Handbook

Administration

Principal - Martha Flemming

Assistant Principal – Kimberly Booker

Office Manager – Lori Hollaway

Attendance/Health Specialist – Sally Martin

 

Office Hours: 8:00am – 4:00pm Monday-Thursday,  9:30am – 4:00pm Friday

 

MAIN OFFICE:  (425) 204-3300

ATTENDANCE LINE:  (425) 204-3310

ATTENDANCE EMAIL: bensonhillattendance@rentonschools.us

FAX:  (425) 204-3313

Mission Statement

“All Bobcats are valued, connected, and learning through active intellectual engagement.”

 

Dear Families,

We appreciate your interest and involvement in our school as we team together to support children.  As a staff, we are guided by Renton School District’s three core values of service, excellence, and equity.

  • Service – We serve our students, staff, families, and communities.
  • Excellence – We strive for excellence in all that we do.
  • Equity – We remove barriers and pursue outcomes that enable all students to realize their potential and maximize their future opportunities.

New families to Benson Hill will find a number of school-wide practices in place here. Our school motto is “We are a Reading School”. Students are expected to read or be read to twenty minutes each school night. Reading fluency and comprehension skills are emphasized in daily instruction across curriculum. Mathematics also continues to be a focus. Classroom teachers have developed a school-wide model for teaching math problem solving strategies to students. Staff members and school volunteers teach and assess students’ computation and problem solving progress regularly. Each Benson Hill student is taught a specific strategy for use when organizing his/her thoughts in the pre-writing process. School-wide behavior expectations (PAWSITIVE EXPECTATIONS) are taught and reinforced by all staff. Academic progress, positive interactions, and student success are important to our teaching and support staff. 

At Benson Hill, we believe that communication between home and school is critical to student success. In an effort to keep families informed, we have developed this handbook. Please review it and let us know how we can improve upon it. Throughout the school year, we encourage parents or guardians to call or stop by with questions or concerns. We recommend that you contact your child’s teacher directly with questions pertaining to the classroom. Questions regarding arrival, dismissal, and playground may be directed to one of us. Above all, we want families to contact the school with questions, suggestions or concerns. Working together, we can provide powerful support to students!

Again, welcome to Benson Hill. Thank you for entrusting our staff with your child’s education. We pledge our best efforts to help your student have a successful school year!

Martha Flemming
Principal        

Kimberly Booker
Assistant Principal

Anti-bullying Promise

Supporting peace and kindness

We will not accept bullying at our school!

Our goal is to develop and support peace and friendship!

We agree that it is everyone’s responsibility to stop bullying!

My promise is:

  • To treat others with fairness and kindness
  • Find ways to help others join games and other activities
  • Speak out against bullying
  • Refuse to let others be bullied
  • Report bullying to an adult
  • Refuse to bully others
  • Be responsible by not encouraging bullying
  • Help others feel safe and comfortable at our school

Daily Schedule

Benson Hill Office Hours

8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Monday - Thursday
Friday - 9:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

School Starts (Monday - Thursday):

8:35 a.m. - 3:10 pm

Please have students in their class line at 8:30 ready to enter into the building and be ready to learn at 8:35. Students may not arrive prior to 8:20 a.m.

Late Start Fridays

10:05 am - 3:10 pm

Benson Hill PTA

Benson Hill PTA enriches our school community in many ways including providing support for special reading programs, field trip transportation fees, guest speakers, assemblies, special classroom projects, family fun nights, and much more. You are invited to join Benson Hill PTA. PTA meetings are held the first Monday of each month at 6:00pm in the library.

Find updated information our Benson Hill PTA Facebook page

Renton School District Contact and Policies

District Office:

Kohlwes Education Center   

Renton School District
300 SW 7th Street, Renton 98057

(425) 204-2300 

www.rentonschools.us

Transportation Department:

(425) 204-4455

All policies and procedures of the Renton School District may be found on the Renton School District Board Docs

These include, but are not limited to:

  • HARASSMENT- FREE ENVIRONMENT AND PROHIBITION OF DISCRIMINATION OF OR BY EMPLOYEES
  • STUDENT CONDUCT EXPECTATIONS AND REASONABLE SANCTIONS
  • CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT, DISCIPLINE AND CORRECTIVE ACTION
  • PROCEDURES SAFE AND ORDERLY ENVIRONMENT/CLASSROOM VISITORS/DISRUPTION OF SCHOOL OPERATIONS
  • REGULATION OF DANGEROUS WEAPONS ON SCHOOL PREMISES
  • USE OF TOBACCO AND NICOTINE SUBSTANCES
  • TECHNOLOGY RESOURCES: RESPONSIBLE USE
  • NOTICE OF FERPA (FAMILY EDUCATIONAL RIGHTS AND PRIVACY ACT)

Attendance

Regular and punctual attendance is important to your child’s success. The Renton School District policy allows up to 48 hours after a student has returned from an absence to excuse the absence. An absence cannot be excused after this 48 hour period and will remain on your child’s record as an unexcused absence.

When absences or late arrivals are necessary:

Please call the school office before 9 am at (425) 204-3310 or email bensonhillattendance@rentonschools.usstating your student’s name, spelling the last name, teacher name, and the reason for the absence. If we do not receive a morning call, an attempt will be made to reach you and verify the child’s whereabouts. The verification call is for your child’s protection. 

Students who arrive after 8:35 am must report to the office for attendance verification and lunch count. Parents please accompany your child to the office and sign them in. Students will receive a pass and may go directly to class.

Parents are asked to contact our school nurse or provide a physician’s written verification if their student is absent five or more days due to illness.

Tardy Policy

When a student accumulates excessive tardies, parent/guardian will work with teacher and administrator to develop a plan to help their child meet the expectation of on-time arrival. A copy of the plan will be maintained by the teacher and the teacher will closely monitor the student’s tardies. Teacher will notify attendance staff and administrator if tardies persist. 

Pre-arranged Absences Policy

A Pre-arranged Absence Form must be completed by the parent/guardian and signed by Administrator at least 48 hours prior to any student’s extended absence. If you know that a student and family has an upcoming absence, please refer them to the office to complete a Pre-arranged Absence Permission form to be signed by the parent, teacher, and administrator.

Excusable Absences

Please be aware that there are state guidelines for excusable absences. We are only able to excuse the following absences:

  • Illness or health condition
  • Family emergency
  • Medical appointment
  • Religious observation
  • Legal appointment or court appearance
  • School-approved activity
  • Funeral for a family member
  • Disciplinary action
  • Activity mutually agreed upon between principal and parent


BECCA Law

In Washington State, it is the law that all children between the ages of 6 and 18 must attend school unless they attend a private school, are home schooled, have graduated, or acquired a GED. *

Washington’s truancy law, often termed “the BECCA Bill” is intended to stop truancy before it becomes a problem. The law requires only one thing of students: Attend school. If a student does not attend school, the law requires the school district to take action.

One (1) or Two (2) Unexcused Absences-

After a single unexcused absence the school must contact the parents. This is generally done by a phone call or letter. After the second absence the school is required to schedule a conference with the parent and student to discuss solutions to the truancy problem.

Five (5) Unexcused Absences-

After five (5) unexcused absences in a month, the school may take stronger steps to end the truancy problem. The school may file a petition with the King County Superior Court, enter into a written truancy agreement (Stipulated Agreement) with the family, or take other reasonable action.

Seven (7) and Ten (10) unexcused absences-

Court action is required when a student has seven (7) absences in a month or ten (10) in a year. The truancy law requires that the school district files a petition in Superior Court against the student, parent, or both. After a petition is filed several things may happen with a student’s case. Depending on the circumstances of each individual case, a student’s petition may not be immediately heard in Juvenile Court.

Parents may contact the district’s Attendance Liaison, Marsha Linn at 425-204-2359 for further information.

Arrival/Dismissal Procedures

Arrival

Students should arrive no earlier than 8:20 am. To ensure the safety of your child, please do not drop off before this time as there is no student supervision prior to 8:20 am. 

All students should be lined up in their appropriate class lines by 8:30 am.

On late start Fridays supervision begins at 9:45am and students should be in their lines by 10:00am.

Dismissal

Students are walked out with a teacher to their bus, to the designated teacher area, or to the parent pick-up zone. Parents/guardians must make contact with the teacher in order for students to be dismissed. If a family has students walk home without an adult, the walkers and bike riders are expected to go directly home after dismissal. Bus students are to walk directly from the classroom to bus loading zones and stand in line until the bus arrives. 

Parent Pick-up/Drop-off Map

Drop-off and pick-up your children from the pick-up zone in the south lot. The front lot is for Staff and Buses ONLY. Please have your yellow pick-up card displayed. When dropping children off in the morning, please pull all the way up in the drop-off zone and stay behind the car in front of you at all times.

 If parking your car, please display a pink PARKING card in your windshield. Cars who are parking move to the left lane and park in an angled parking spot.

 The church across 116th Street is also available for parking.

 Remember that you may only make a right turn out of the parent lot to keep cars moving and U-turns are not allowed.

Early Student Dismissal Policy

Adults are required to come to the office when checking out your student for early dismissal. Students will be called from the classroom to be picked up in the office. Please ensure that the attendance office receives notes students bring to the classroom regarding early dismissal.

Students are released only to parents, guardians, or those persons listed as emergency contacts on the student’s emergency information/registration sheet. All adults will be asked for identification to ensure every child’s safety. 

Dismissal after 2:45 is highly discouraged. This is an important time in the school day as teachers are providing important information to go home, to include homework, to students. Dismissal at this time can be very disruptive.

Late Pick Up Policy

Student safety is the highest priority of the Renton School District. Therefore, we make every effort to ensure that all students are under appropriate supervision until they return to you at the end of their school day. Please ensure that you pick your child up on time each day.

Benson Hill staff is concerned about students who are left after dismissal time or who are brought back to school because no one is there to meet the bus.  The school is not, and cannot be, staffed to provide supervision for students in these situations; hiring extra personnel is beyond our financial resources. In addition, children can feel confused and apprehensive when they are not picked up on time.

Visitors and Volunteers

Visitors

Visitors must check in at our office, sign in on our visitor clipboard and wear a Visitor badge. All Visitors and staff members on campus are expected to wear a RSD badge or a Benson Hill Visitor badge.

Parent Classroom Visits

Parents are welcome to schedule classroom visits and must schedule classroom visits with teachers at least one day ahead of time.

Student Visitors

Liability issues do not allow us to host non-Benson Hill visitors, friends, or relatives from other schools who request to visit Benson Hill students during the instructional day. 

Volunteers in the Classroom

Volunteers will register in the office upon arrival and wear a visitors badge at all times. Assure that each volunteer receives training for assigned tasks.

Background Check Forms

Volunteers must have a completed and approved Washington State Patrol Background Check Form on file in our office in order to work with students other than their own child. Blank Background Check forms are available in our school office. Volunteers will turn completed forms into the office. The completed forms will then be sent to KEC for processing. No one is allowed to work with children until the background check process is completed and approved. Background checks require approximately two weeks to process.

Forms will be available for parents at Back to School Night and must be completed if parents plan to attend field trips or volunteer in other ways during the year. Background Check Forms need to be updated and approved every two years. More information and the Background Check Form is also available on the Renton School District Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteers should only use the adult bathrooms. 

Health Information

School Nurse/Clinic Aide

Our school nurse, is assigned to Benson Hill two days a week.  Staff Specialist also assists ill or injured students in the clinic.

Illnesses

A student must be fever free for at least 24 hours without medication in order to return to school.  If your child requires medication, please keep them home. When a student returns to school, he/she must be able to participate in all activities fully including recess and PE. 

Medication

If a health reason exists which requires the involvement of school personnel in the administration of any medication to a student during school hours or the hours in which the student is under the supervision of school officials, certain district procedures apply.

A medical form completed by the doctor and parent must be on file in our office. In addition, all medication must be in the original container and clearly labeled with the name of the medication and the student’s name. School personnel are not allowed to dispense medication without this permission. All medications (prescription and over the counter medications) must be taken to the office. Please contact our nurse with medication administration questions. Please do not send cough drops or hard candy for students to self-administer.

Nutrition Services and Menus

Behavior Expectations

Pawsitive Behavior Expectations

  • Be Safe
  • Be Responsible
  • Be Respectful
  • Follow Directions
  • Do Your Best!

Benson Hill students who follow school PAWSITIVE BEHAVIOR EXPECTATIONS strengthen the healthy school climate at Benson Hill. Student behavior expectations are taught by all school staff at the beginning of each school year and reinforced during the year. Students are recognized regularly by staff members for their positive behavior. 

When students do not follow school behavior expectations, staff members will work earnestly to teach and re-teach expectations repeatedly so that students will make safe and respectful choices. Staff members will confer with students when a rule has been broken or an expectation is not met. In our conferences, we help students to identify the behavior concern and to practice safe and responsible choices. Students may be issued a Minor or Major Discipline Referral for not following behavior expectations. In order to ensure communication and partnership with families and school, classroom teachers will contact parents regarding minor discipline referrals and an administrator for major discipline referrals.

Benson Hill is committed to promoting our positive learning environment through weekly, monthly, and periodic incentives,

Positive Incentives

Benson Hill is committed to promoting our PBIS system through our weekly, monthly, and periodic incentives.

Daily: Individual Bobcats can earn Pawsitive Tickets for demonstrating our Pawsitive Expectations.

Weekly: One Bobcat from each class is selected from those who earned Pawsitive tickets and is recognized as a Pawsitive Behavior Bobcat in Monday morning announcements. Students earn a special prize and have their photo on the recognition wall.

Monthly: Exceptional classroom students will earn Pizza with the Principal which is celebrated the first Thursday of each month.

Bobcat Assemblies are held monthly – typically on the last Friday of the month – to celebrate filling our positive ticket bin, to highlight class learning, and to celebrate special school wide events.

In addition, any Bobcats who receive no minor or major discipline referrals will earn extra recess (“Way to Go Recess) or activity at the end of each month when they have not received a major or minor referral.  Students who do not earn extra recess or activity, process with an administrator in “Way to Go Next Time” and are encouraged to set a goal to earn the extra recess the following month.

Each Trimester: As each of our Bobcats receive Pawsitive tickets we continue to fill our ticket bin. When the bin is filled, we celebrate with a school-wide celebration.

Minor Discipline Referrals:

If a student is not following the PAWSITIVE Behavior Expectations, a minor referral will be written to communicate the behavior concern with the student and family. Any staff can issue a minor referral. Teachers will also communicate the behavior incident with parents by phone or email and partner together to determine ongoing support for students. The student will be retaught the expected behavior and a relevant intervention or consequence will be given. The student will take home the white copy of the referral form to return with a parent signature.

 Major Discipline Referrals:

Students will receive major discipline referrals for persistent behavior that disrupts the learning environment and/or health and safety of students at Benson Hill. Major Discipline referrals are intended as a teaching tool for problem-solving behavioral incidents where staff and parents partner to communicate and support students. An administrator will call home and send the white copy of the form home. The student will take home the white copy of the referral form to return with a parent signature.

The following behaviors are unacceptable at school and will result in serious consequences:

  • BRINGING A WEAPON OR A TOY WEAPON TO SCHOOL
  • MAKING THREATS TO THE SAFETY OF OTHERS
  • SEVERE MISCONDUCT IN WHICH LEGAL ACTIONS MAY RESULT
    • HAVING KNOWLEDGE OF A WEAPON AT SCHOOL AND NOT REPORTING THIS INFORMATION TO SCHOOL STAFF MEMBERS
  • BULLYING and/or HARASSMENT

General Information

Bicycles

ONLY students in grades four and five may ride a bicycle to and from school. State Law requires that students wear bicycle helmets. A chain or standard lock which can attach the bike to the bike rack must be provided. The school is not responsible for bikes on school property. Students bringing bicycles do so at their own risk.

Cell Phones

Cell phones and other communication devices must be turned off and stored in students’ backpacks during school hours from 8:30am – 3:10pm Monday through Thursdays and from 10:00am – 3:10pm on Fridays.

Directory Information

Federal law and school district regulations allow schools to release directory-type information (student name, address, phone, date/place of birth, dates of attendance, awards the student has received, and previous schools) to such agencies as school news or PTA unless parents notify the school of wishes to the contrary. Information other than Directory Information is considered confidential.

District Policies and Procedures

Renton School District Policies and Procedures can be located on the district’s website (www.rentonschools.us ). At the left side of the district’s homepage, click on Board of Directors. On the Board of Directors page, click on “Policies and Procedures.”

Dress Code

Dress and appearance must be appropriate and not present health or safety problems or cause disruption to the learning environment. Chests, backs, and stomachs should be covered. Tops or dresses with spaghetti straps should be covered by a shirt. Hems of skirts and shorts should not be shorter than fingertip length. Hats and hoods are worn outside the school buildings only. Footwear should be safe.  For safety, no flip-flops or shoes with wheels. Tennis shoes are required during PE classes. Clothing containing tobacco, drug, alcohol or suggestive profanity is not allowed. 

*Students are asked to dress appropriately for the weather. Most days, students will go outside for recess.

Emergency Contact Information

An Annual Emergency Information form will be provided to all families in September. Please complete this form and return it to school. During the school year, if changes in family address, home or emergency phone numbers occur, please notify our school office.  Keeping emergency contact information up to date is extremely important for the safety of your child.

Emergency Procedures

In the event of an emergency (such as snow, severe storms, earthquakes and power failures) Renton School District schools may close, delay opening and/or limit bus service. School closures will be communicated through School Messenger (phone notification system), over local television and radio stations and on the internet.

E-News

A community e-mail newsletter is sent each week. To receive Benson Hill weekly e-news you may sign up in the school office or with your classroom teacher.

Gum

Gum is not allowed at school.

Individual Photos

Families have an opportunity to purchase individual student and class photos. Student photos are scheduled in the fall and class photos are scheduled later in the spring.

Insurance Availability

Renton School District does not carry medical, dental, or life insurance for students. However, arrangements have been made to provide these services to parents. Information regarding the student insurance fees and a company provider are sent home each year in September and must be mailed back directly to the insurance company.

Lost and Found

Please label your child’s coats, caps and lunch boxes. Each year, abandoned, unlabeled items collect in our Lost and Found area. If unclaimed, items are donated to local clothing banks. Check our lost and found regularly, it is located in the commons.

Media Release

From time to time, Renton School District uses pictures of students in educational publications. Please indicate on the Student Information – Annual Update form under the section titled “photo/media release information” if you do not want your child’s photo used or directory-type information released for school/district publications, TV, radio, and/or media or yearbook purposes.  If you would like to change this status at any time, please call the main office.

Parent Concerns

Sometimes concerns are expressed about our actions or decisions.  When parent concerns are voiced to the principal (relating to classroom activities) the parent will be referred back to the classroom teacher.  Following the teacher and parent conversation the teacher may ask for administrator’s involvement.

Parent Conferences and Report Cards

Each November, time is scheduled for parents or guardians to meet with teachers to discuss students’ progress. Additional conferences may be requested throughout the year.

Student progress is reported 3 times a year at the end of each trimester.  Progress reports are distributed again in March and June. 

Personal Property

Students are asked to leave ALL personal toys or equipment at home. Examples of items are roller blades, skateboards, scooters, trading cards, radios, iPods, digital cameras, and electronic games. Our school and Renton School District are not responsible for theft, loss, or damage of student property. Students may not bring a playground ball from home. Playground equipment is provided for students to access. If items are brought to school, they will be collected by the teacher and returned at the end of the day.

School Messenger

School Messenger is an automated telephone notification system. It is used to notify families of school events, closures and other important information. 

Special Services

Benson Hill provides Special Education services for students who qualify. We have a Resource Room and self-contained classes to meet “identified students” individual needs.

Safety Concerns/Vandalism

If you observe or suspect vandalism or other security-related concerns at the school, please call the district’s 24-hour emergency number (425) 204-4411.

Safety Patrol

Benson Hill Student Safety Patrol is made up of 5th grade students. They will help your child cross the parking lot and 116th AV SE. Please obey the patrol and model cooperation and safety when using the crosswalk with our patrol.

Transportation/Bus Information

Students riding the bus go directly to the bus loading area at the front of the schools. Students who are identified as the cause of discipline problems at the bus stop or while on board the bus are subject to disciplinary action including suspension from bus services. Bus rider information is distributed at the beginning of the school year. If you have questions or concerns about a bus problem please contact the Transportation Department at 425-204-4455.

Emergency Notification/Inclement Weather

SCHOOL CLOSURE or LATE START 

EMERGENCY INFORMATION / NOTIFICATION

When decisions are made by the Renton School District Superintendent to delay or cancel school due to bad weather or other emergencies, the district works quickly to ensure the safety of all students and staff and to communicate changes to school schedules.

All parents and employees should expect to receive a call from the district’s School Messenger system by 6:00 AM to the family’s “primary” phone number in Skyward regarding the decision to delay or close schools. Information is also provided on most local radio and TV stations and posted at the top of the front page of the district’s website www.rentonschools.us. Please continue to monitor local media as it may be necessary for the district to make additional announcements due to changing weather conditions.

During an emergency that requires school closure or delays, please refer to the phone call or local media for changes to school schedules. Please do not call the school, the transportation department or district offices, as office phones likely will be used to continue to provide emergency updates directly to parents.

Parents and employees should ensure the school and district has their most current contact information and phone number.

WHEN INCLEMENT WEATHER CAUSES A LATE START, ALL SCHOOLS WILL START 90 MINUTES LATE

When school opening is delayed due to inclement weather, all schools will open 90 minutes (1-1/2 hours) late and follow the same schedule as a delayed-start Friday. All staff need to arrive at their regularly scheduled work time. REA instructional staff are to make every effort to arrive on time but no later than one-half hour prior to the adjusted student start time. If the late opening happens on a delayed-start Friday, school will start as scheduled for delayed-start Fridays.

See the Renton School District website for complete information about the delayed start for inclement weather.

When school opening is delayed, out-of-district programs are cancelled as well as Career & Life Skills off-campus programs such as Valley Medical Center, Adult Transition Programs, etc.

WHEN INCLEMENT WEATHER CAUSES SCHOOL CLOSURES

When schools are closed for the day, all school, after-school and community activities held in school buildings will be cancelled, including all scheduled home and away athletic events. When bad weather causes schools to close, only 260-day administrators and 260-day classified staff members will report to work.