We believe each student should be in school every day. Regular school attendance is directly related to success in academic work, benefits students socially, provides opportunities for important communications between teachers and students, and establishes regular habits of dependability important to the future of the student. Class attendance is a joint responsibility to be shared by the student, parent or guardian, teacher, and administrators. Eden Prairie Schools is a participant in the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office be@school program. This program seeks to improve school attendance and increase the opportunity for Hennepin County’s children to realize their potential.In collaboration with the County efforts, Eden Prairie aims to have each student attend school every day. In accordance with the Minnesota Compulsory Instruction Law, Minn. Stat. 120A.22, the students of the school district are REQUIRED to attend all assigned classes and/or study halls every day school is in session, unless the student has been excused by the school board from attendance because the student has already completed state and school district standards required to graduate from high school, has withdrawn, or has a valid excuse for absence.
Late Arrival/ Early Departure
Eden Prairie students arriving late or leaving early must have parents call the attendance line. The message should include the parent/guardian’s name, student name, and reason for absence. Excused reasons for being late or leaving early will follow the same listing as excused absences. Students who are late due to oversleeping or missing the bus are considered unexcused and may be counted as tardy or in some cases, as an unexcused absence.
The following reasons shall be sufficient to constitute excused absences:
In order for an absence to be excused, a parent needs to call the school attendance line prior to, or the day of the absence. The parent needs to state when the child will be absent and explain the reason for the absence. Students whose absences are excused are required to make up assignments missed or to complete alternative assignments as deemed appropriate by the classroom teacher. Students who accumulate excessive absences, even when excused, will work with the school staff and parents to develop a plan to assure attendance at school daily.
- Serious illness in the student’s immediate family
- A death or funeral in the student’s immediate family or of a close friend or relative
- Medical, dental, or orthodontic treatment, or counseling appointment
- Court appearances occasioned by family or personal action
- Religious instruction not to exceed three hours in any week
- Physical emergency conditions such as fire, flood, storm, etc.
- Official school field trip or other school-sponsored outing
- Removal of a student pursuant to a suspension.
- Religious observance
- Family vacation (limited to 5 days per year) handled as excused absences and students will be permitted to complete make-up work
- Family emergencies
- A student’s condition that requires ongoing treatment for a mental health diagnosis
TardinessStudents are expected to be in their assigned area at the start of school or the start of a class. Failure to do so constitutes tardiness.Procedures for Reporting Tardiness
Students tardy at the start of school must report to the school office to be signed in. Tardiness between class periods will be handled by the teacher.
Excused TardinessValid excuses for tardiness are:
- Serious illness in the student’s immediate family.
- A death or funeral in the student’s immediate family.
- Medical, dental, orthodontic, or mental health treatment.
- Court appearances occasioned by family or personal action.
- Physical emergency conditions such as fire, flood, storm, etc.
- Any tardiness for which the student has been excused in writing by an administrator or faculty member.
Unexcused Tardiness:An unexcused tardiness is failing to be in an assigned area at the designated time class period commences without a valid excuse.Unexcused Absences or Truancy
These are examples of absences that will not be excused:
- Truancy which is an absence that is not approved by the parent and/or the school district
- Any absence where the student/ family failed to comply with any reporting requirements of the school district’s attendance procedures
- Work at home
- Work at a business, except under a school-sponsored work release program.
- Vacations with family without prior notice and exceeding 5 days
- Any other absence not included under the attendance procedures set out in this policy
- School district staff will work with the parent, student and the Hennepin County Attorney’s office be@school program and follow the three day notification and six day Parent Group Meeting process.
- If unexcused absences continue after following be@school process, the Hennepin County Attorneys office will follow with necessary legal action to ensure attendance at school.
- Absences resulting from official suspension will be handled in accordance with the Pupil Fair Dismissal Act, Minn. Stat. 121A.40-121A.56.
- Days during which a student is suspended from school shall not be counted in a student’s total cumulated unexcused absences.
- Along with following the Hennepin County Attorney’s be@school programs, the student or his or her parent or guardian may, within a reasonable time, request a conference with school officials regarding the student’s absences and the prescribed discipline. The notification will state that the school strongly urges the student’s parent or guardian to request such a conference.
Before and After School Activities
All our elementary schools offer unique activity opportunities for students. Examples include Student Council, Run Club, and Destination Imagination. Ask for information about activities for your student from your school’s office.
EPIC Offered through Community Education
The EPIC program will ignite interest and challenge students in a fun, safe, and supportive atmosphere. Enrichment and recreational classes are open to all Eden Prairie students in grades k-6, and are conveniently held right at school (class days and fees vary). Flyers will be sent home from school with your child. Questions may be directed to Eden Prairie Schools’ Community Education at 952-975-6940.
Dress CodeAppropriate dress is a necessary component in providing an optimal learning environment. Students may not wear clothing that presents inappropriate language (as determined by each classroom teacher or administrator), drug or alcohol advertising, or ethnic, racial, or sexist put-downs. Your clothing must not become a distraction to the educational environment. Clothing that does not cover the shoulders, midriff and chest, clothing that does not cover undergarments, and undergarments that are worn as outer garments, are all examples of dress that creates a distracting environment. Students who wear such clothing will be required to change clothes. (The school will provide appropriate clothing.) Types and amounts of clothing worn should be appropriate for weather forecasts. Hats and caps must be removed inside the building. Students need to wear boots when there is snow or ice. Sweaters, jackets, snow pants, boots, hats, and mittens should be labeled with the student’s name. Gym shoes are required for safety when participating in physical education activities.
Field TripsField trips are designated for each grade level. Permission slips and information will be sent home prior to the trip. The permission slip and payment (if any) should be returned to your child’s classroom teacher as soon as possible. No student will be permitted to go on a field trip without a signed permission slip. No child will be denied the opportunity to go on a field trip because of its cost. If your child needs financial assistance in order to participate in a field trip or other school activity, please contact your school principal.
Homework/study time policies vary from grade to grade, among the teachers, and from subject to subject. Literacy is the foundation of all student achievement; it is our expectation that all students spend at least 15 minutes each day reading. Occasionally, parents misunderstand the difference between homework and “unfinished work” or “make-up work”. Unfinished work and make-up work are not considered to be homework/study time by the school. Rather they are an individual responsibility that the student is expected to complete on his/her own time.
LockersStudents are advised not to store valuables in their assigned lockers as the school district cannot reimburse families if personal property is stolen. Items left in lockers at the end of the school year will be donated to charity. School lockers and student desks are the property of the school district and may be searched by school authorities with reasonable cause. More information can be found under the Search Policy heading in back of this handbook.
Lost and FoundPlease label all items of clothing. Students always have access to the lost and found area at their school. Parents are encouraged to look through the lost and found items on conference days and times they visit the school. If you do not find a lost item, please ask in the office. Unclaimed items will be donated to PROP at various times throughout the year.
Lunch and BreakfastStudents can either bring a lunch from home or purchase a lunch at school with milk included. School lunch choices include the daily menu in the mainline, soup and sandwich, or soup and salad. A student bringing a lunch from home can purchase milk. Reduced-price and free breakfasts and lunches are available for those who qualify. For more information about this program, please call 952-975-8055. Lunch menus and answers to frequently asked questions are available online.
Lunch PINSEach student is assigned an account with a personal identification number (PIN) at the beginning of the school year. Lunches will be paid for by a student entering the PIN number on a keypad at the end of the serving line and saying their first and last name to the cashier. Families must pay for meals in advance by sending a check to school payable to Eden Prairie Schools. Please print your child’s name and PIN number on the check. You will be notified when the account balance runs low. Money remaining in a student’s account at the end of the year will be transferred to the next year’s account, even if they are moving on to a different Eden Prairie School. Parents can also go to the Food Service webpage on the district website, www.edenpr.org to make online payments with FeePay and review history and meal account balance. This is a secure, fast, and friendly online way for parents and guardians to manage their children’s school food service account.
Parental/Sibling Visits During LunchParents are welcome and encouraged to join their children during their assigned lunch period and do not need to notify the school in advance. Parents are encouraged to use their child’s PIN number.
Parties and Treats--Birthday Invitations: Birthday party invitations for personal parties should not be distributed at school. By adhering to this policy, we alleviate hurt feelings and friendship dilemmas. Please handle the distribution of invitations outside of the school environment. The school directory may be helpful in this process.
--Birthday Treats: In light of our district Wellness Policy, students should not bring birthday treats or gifts of any kind. Our classroom teachers may acknowledge and celebrate the birthdays of their homeroom students in unique and individual ways.
Recess/PlaygroundStudents will have approximately 20 minutes for recess and will go outside for recess. Should there be a request for a child to stay indoors, a doctor's request/permission must be provided and should state how long the restriction is to remain in effect. It is important that children be prepared to go outside with appropriate outdoor clothing: boots, mittens, gloves, jackets, snow pants, and hats. Note: If students are in need of winter clothing, please contact the social worker. The Eden Prairie service organization, People Reaching Other People (PROP), provides us with warm clothing for children in need. All playgrounds are adult supervised and have the necessary equipment needed for recess activities. Students should not bring their personal equipment (balls, bats, footballs, frisbees, etc.) from home.
Playground BehaviorSpecific behaviors are necessary to provide a safe environment on the playground. These guidelines are shared with all students, posted in classrooms, and will be reinforced by the playground supervisors. If students choose inappropriate behavior on the playground, specific consequences may occur.
School-Aged Before and After School
All elementary schools have before- and after-school childcare programs which run from 6:15 a.m. to the start of school and after-school to 6 p.m. On non-school days, a full day of programming is available. For more information, log onto www.edenpr.org.
The decision on whether or not to keep the students indoors is made each day prior to the lunch. The following weather conditions necessitate the students to remain inside for recess with alternative recreation provided: it is raining, the temperature drops below -10 degrees, or the wind-chill is -10 degrees. Other weather circumstances could also lead to students remaining inside for recess.
Student Telephone Use
General student use of the school telephone is limited; students may use the telephone at school only when absolutely necessary. Arrangements for transportation, visiting or going home with another child, or other social reasons should be arranged before the child leaves home in the morning. Parents needing to leave a message for their child should contact the school office prior to 2 p.m. Parents should not contact their children via text, personal calls, etc. during the school day.