Student/Parent Handbook

Arrival & Dismissal

The parking lot directly in front of the school is designated for drop off and pick up in the lane closest to the sidewalk. Please follow the directions on the A frame signage and refrain from leaving your car unattended. Please pull all the way forward before having your child exit or enter your car. Please be sure that your child is ready to leave your car prior to entering the drop off lane. This parking lot is also open for parent and visitor parking.

 

The parking lot on the side of the school is for staff and kindergarten parent parking only. Kindergarten parents must park and walk their children to the kindergarten line-up area at the black gate and/or within the kindergarten play area depending on schedule. This parking lot will also be available to Rainbow Rising parents to park and drop-off/pick-up before and after the school day.

 

Both parking lots require a right turn only when exiting the lot. Parking on Tomato Springs is only permitted on the school side of the street. Please refrain from parking on the opposite side of the street. IPD will enforce the parking restrictions by ticketing cars. Please see the detailed maps included below for safe routes to school and planned traffic flow.

Attendance

   We believe that student success begins with daily attendance. As a result, we take steps to ensure that students attend school daily and that each student complies with school attendance laws and stipulations outlined in the California Education Code. The two basic attendance laws are:

  • All persons 6 through 18 years of age are required by California State Law to attend school. Parents have a legal responsibility to ensure their child’s attendance. (Education Code Section 48200)
  • A pupil is considered truant if he/she is absent for more than 3 full days in one school year without a valid excuse; tardy or absent for more than a 30-minute period during the school day without valid excuse on 3 occasions in one school year, or any combination thereof. (Education Code Section 48260)

As parents of elementary school children, you bear the primary responsibility of ensuring that your children are in school daily, arrive on time, and remain in school the entire day. With that in mind, parents are encouraged to take a proactive approach in establishing positive attendance patterns and avoiding chronic truancy. This will assist your children in reaching their highest potential. By law, absences or tardies are only excused if the child is ill, is attending a funeral for an immediate family member, or involved in religious observance. In each case, documentation or proof may be required. Unless it is an emergency, it is recommended that medical and dental appointments be scheduled after school.

In order to establish positive attendance patterns, it is recommended that parents teach their children the following:

  • Make education their top priority.
  • Follow all district and school attendance policies.
  • Emphasize that education is a precursor to their success in the future.
  • Remind them if they do not go to school, they will fall behind and struggle with their learning.
  • Understand that tardies and leaving school early should be an exception, not a norm.

The majority of students who have accumulated more than three unexcused absences or tardies at Loma Ridge are not considered habitual/chronic truants, but would be categorized as soft truants. Soft Truancy includes, but is not limited to:

  • Bringing a child late to school (less than 30 minutes).
  • Picking up your child early for family outings, vacations, frequent medical appointments, etc.
  • Excusing a student as ill 10 days or more without medical verification.
  • Frequent excused absences.
  • Keeping an older child home to baby-sit.
  • Keeping an older child home to work.
  • Irregular attendance.
  • Taking vacation during school.

Chronic truancy almost always begins with a pattern of soft truancies that is not corrected.
In order to keep all of our students safe, it is important that we verify all student absences as soon as possible each day. Should your child need to be absent from school, please call our attendance line at 949-414-4101 to report the absence. This number may be called at any time. If possible, we ask that you call this number and report your child’s absence by 8:00 a.m. By doing this, we can avoid calling you at home or work to verify your child’s absence.

As important as punctuality and attendance are to student achievement, children should not be sent to school ill. Children who come to the office with a body temperature of 100°F degrees or above will be sent home and should remain at home until a normal body temperature is maintained for 24 hours. Missed class work may be requested after the second day of absence. You may contact the teacher directly and check the classroom website for information.
 
If you find it necessary to schedule a medical/dental appointment during the child’s class time, please have your child dismissed through the office. A sign-out sheet is located in the main reception area. We do require that children be signed out on this sheet by an adult who is listed on their Contacts List should they need to leave school for any reason.

Before & After School Care

At Loma Ridge, we are fortunate to have onsite childcare through our collaboration with the Irvine Childcare Project (ICCP). Rainbow Rising is our provider and the director can be reached at (949)404-1497 to answer any childcare related questions you might have.

Behavior Expectations (PBIS)

Loma Ridge DASH is a school-wide commitment to positive behavior support. Identifying, teaching, and reinforcing the expected behaviors allows students to achieve academic, behavioral, and social success. Loma Ridge DASH was created based on decades of research from the University of Oregon’s Center of Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (P.B.I.S.) Our staff identified our behavioral statement of purpose followed by our DASH expectations and schoolwide matrix. Please see our school-wide matrix to learn more about Loma Ridge Elementary School’s expected behaviors. The school-wide matrix can be found on the PBIS page of the Loma Ridge website.

Behavioral Statement of Purpose

At Loma Ridge Elementary, we empower all students to make connections and build healthy relationships that foster risk-taking, collaboration, and engagement. We promote growth mindsets and encourage accountability for the Loma Ridge community. At Loma Ridge we D.A.S.H.!

 

Our PBIS slogan is … Roadrunners DASH!!!

Demonstrate Grit

Act Safely

Show Kindness

Hold Yourself Accountable

DASH Cards—We will provide students with positive, immediate, and frequent reinforcement for these positive behaviors. When students are observed doing the right thing, Loma Ridge staff will reward them with “DASH” cards. Other student acknowledgement opportunities will include: DASH card drawings in the classrooms, recognition at Friday Flag Deck, and opportunities for special drawings where students are selected for prizes!

P.B.I.S Basics & Research

Utilizing the “Systematic Change Model”, attention is focused on creating and sustaining primary (school-wide), secondary (classroom), and tertiary (individual) systems of support that improve lifestyle results for all children. This makes problem behavior less effective and desired behavior more functional. It is research-based, and it works!

Key Components

  • Clearly defined school-wide expected behaviors

  • Expected behaviors are intentionally taught in all school settings

  • Purposeful reinforcement for demonstrating expected behaviors

  • Consistent consequences and opportunities for re-teaching expected behaviors

  • Use of data to make decisions about school-wide practices and individual supports

  • Comprehensive staff and student involvement goals

  • Improve the academic culture through increased instructional time

  • Improve the behavioral culture through a decrease in office discipline referrals

  • Improve school safety and positive peer interactions

Campus Visitations

In the interest of safety, we ask that all visitors report to the office to sign in through our automated computer system. At that time, visitors will be issued a badge to wear, indicating to the students and staff that they are authorized to be on campus. The visitor badge must be worn at all times while on school grounds.
 
In order to effectively manage students during recess and lunch and to ensure their safety in this less restrictive environment, our campus is closed to visitors on our playground and in our lunch area.
 
All volunteers must complete an IUSD Volunteer Registration & Screening Information form online prior to volunteering. This form is completed at the beginning of each school year. Once the form is completed our front office can sign you in the first time. Additional information about volunteering is available on the district website here.

Classroom Celebrations 

Celebrations can be educational, fun, and exciting for our students. Dietary restrictions, cultural beliefs, food allergies, and the varied nutritional preferences of our student population require considerable and deliberate coordination of any event involving food. Students in our school community have life-threatening allergies to certain foods and other allergens. With that in mind, classrooms are expected to follow the guidelines outlined below for celebrations and parties.

  • As part of our Health and Wellness Initiative, we will not allow food to be shared for student birthday celebrations.
  • To reduce the risk of exposure to one of the most common allergens, please do not send any peanut or nut containing foods for any classroom celebration or party.
  • Classrooms will make allowances for students with food allergies or certain health conditions to bring an alternative item and participate in the festivities.
  • Parents are notified prior to any food being brought into the classroom.
  • Consider non-food items for parties and events so that all children may participate in the fun.
  • Consider a physical, art or music activity in lieu of a food party.
  • Please contact your teacher before bringing any food products to the classroom.

Classroom Interruptions

The Loma Ridge staff makes a concerted effort to establish a learning environment that is conducive to the development of good study habits and uninterrupted academic learning time. We seek your cooperation and assistance in this effort. You can help us by:

  1. Sending the teacher a note or email should you need to pick up your child early. This will allow the teacher time to have your child prepared for pick up.

  2. Avoiding calling school and leaving messages for your child, unless it is an emergency. The telephone is made available to students only for emergencies.

Establishing a system that helps eliminate forgotten lunches, homework, money, musical instruments, etc. In the case that items are forgotten, please adhere to the following guidelines. The office staff will not disrupt instruction to alert your child that their item has been delivered nor will office staff deliver items to the classroom. Parents bringing forgotten items to school should deliver them to our front office. Children are encouraged to check the office for forgotten items throughout the day. Forgotten lunches should be placed in the bins in the covered area outside of the double doors to the front office by no later than 11:40 AM. Noon duty assistants will make the bins available to the students in the lunch area at lunchtime.

Dress Code

We ask that students attending Loma Ridge wear clothing that is comfortable, clean, and appropriate for an elementary school environment. Our instructional program includes active play so students must wear clothing that allows them to run and jump. Clothing and other items students wear must not disrupt the educational process nor create any form of disturbance. 
 
Inappropriate clothing includes:

  • pants or shirts that are oversized and overly baggy and do not fit securely at the waist;
  • clothing with logos, slogans, words, or pictures promoting or depicting alcohol, tobacco, drugs, vandalism, bigotry, violence, sexual connotations, or profanity;
  • any clothing that is inappropriately revealing;
  • earrings that dangle and could become dangerous while playing;
  • any make-up, lipstick, or adornment that causes a distraction in the classroom;
  • chains, including those attached to wallets, belt loops, or other items;
  • shoes with open toes, such as thongs and sandals, and shoes with excessive heels. These shoes are inappropriate and too dangerous for active play.

With the support and cooperation of our parents, students, and staff, Loma Ridge will be a positive and productive learning environment.

Early Dismissal

Children leaving campus need to be signed out by the parent/guardian. Please come to the office to do so and we will call for your child. Children will only be released to parents or other adults listed by you on the child’s emergency card or contacts list in our system. If there are specific limitations related to the release of a child to a natural parent, please be advised that legal custody documents must be on file in the office. The natural mother or father can obtain their child from school at any time, unless a court order is on file indicating otherwise. Photo identification is required.

Field Trips

Field trips are an integral part of the elementary school experience. It is common for students in every grade at Loma Ridge to take a couple of field trips each year. In order for students to participate in a class field trip, a Field Trip Permission Form is required to be completed and signed by a parent/guardian prior to departure.

Health & Wellness

Irvine Unified School District provides school-based mental health/wellness services and resources (www.iusd.org/WeCare or https://iusd.org/department/mental-health-wellness)  to students and families. These services include short-term individual or group counseling for students at the school site; short-term, solution-focused therapy for students and families through the Irvine Family Resource Center; and resource linkages to community-based mental health or social services for students and families. Services are provided by counselors or licensed mental health professionals.

Homework

We all live busy lives, and we know kids have numerous extra-curricular activities. We prioritize unstructured time and family time for our students. With this interest in mind, there will be minimal and grade level appropriate homework assigned by our classroom teachers. Our expectation is that kids read or are read to each evening.

Illnesses & Accidents at School

We document each time a child comes to the health office and will call home and send a notice if there is an injury to the head or face. If your child does not have a fever or the reason for their health office visit is minor and does not require action from a parent, they will be sent back to class. If your child becomes ill or experiences an accident at school that requires him/her to be sent home or seek medical attention, you will be contacted immediately. If we are unable to reach parent(s) or guardian(s) at home or work, we will then call the emergency contacts listed on your child’s record.
 
Please keep home phone number(s), work phone number(s), cellular phone number(s), and emergency contact names and phone numbers current in the Parent Portal. If someone cannot be reached that is listed on your child’s emergency card, depending on the seriousness of your child’s condition, paramedics may be called. This includes, but is not limited to a child having an asthma attack or allergic reaction and no inhaler, epi-pen, or medicine has been provided. 911 will be called in all life-threatening situations.

Lost & Found

Throughout the school year, we accumulate a large number of sweaters, sweatshirts, jackets, and lunch boxes. We urge parents to label everything that is sent to school with the child’s first and last name. Items that are labeled are easier to locate when they are put in the Lost and Found. If your child is missing any of these articles, please visit the lost and found racks located near the front office. Small items such as glasses, retainers, jewelry, and more valuable items such as musical instruments are placed in the front office. Unclaimed items are donated to charities during winter recess, spring recess, and at the end of the school year.

Lunch Program

Hot lunches are available for students in grades 1-6 for the price of $3.25 each school day. Students may pay for lunch with cash or by establishing a School Bucks online account. For additional information about lunch payments please visit the IUSD website. For those students with existing accounts, you may pay online or pay with a check or cash. Envelopes are available in the school office to use if you pay with a check or cash. Once a deposit is made in your child’s account, he/she will be able to buy lunch. If you have any further questions, please call IUSD Food Services at 949-936-6520.

 

Please be certain that your child has a lunch each day. In an effort to foster student responsibility, it is our policy not to loan lunch money. If you are bringing a lunch to school after the day has started, you may place it in the late lunch bins in the covered area outside of the office. Please deliver late lunches no later than 11:40 AM. A noon duty supervisor will roll that basket out to the tables prior to lunch time.

Medication

Any time your child requires medication at school, the medication must be kept in the health office to be given by school personnel. Education Code 49423 allows school personnel to administer medications if the following steps are taken:

  • Physician’s request form is completed and submitted to the office annually for each medication.
  • Parental release form is on file in the office. Both the physician and a parent must sign the consent form prior to medication being administered at school. This form is available in the school office.
  • The pharmacy container with the medicine is labeled with the name of the child, name of the medicine, dosage requirements, and physician’s name.
  • Medicine is brought to school by the parent.

These regulations apply to non-prescription medications as well. Non-prescription drugs include aspirin, vitamins, cough syrups, cough drops, ointments, etc.

Parent Teacher Association (PTA)

The Loma Ridge PTA is a very active and supportive group. The association is composed of volunteer parents and committed staff members who devote their time and talents to providing support for our school and special experiences and events for our students. There are many opportunities for parents to become involved. Your membership and participation in this outstanding organization benefits your child’s education. Meetings are held monthly in the school multi-purpose room. Membership and other PTA related information is sent home during the first few weeks of school.

 

Research shows that parent involvement is key to helping children succeed in school. The idea has been basic to PTA’s philosophy and action since its beginnings in 1897. PTA goes even further by stating that children do better in all ways when their parents care about what they are doing at home, in the community and in school.

 

PTA activities establish communication between school and home. Parents are encouraged to attend meetings, support activities, and volunteer. Dates and times of meetings and activities will be on the Loma Ridge website and social media. PTA questions can be directed to lomaridgepta.org.

Parent Volunteers

Loma Ridge welcomes and values our volunteer parents. Without volunteers, many programs and activities offered at our school would not be possible. Parents will be given opportunities to sign-up to help in the classroom, and to assist with various events taking place throughout the school year.
 
In the interest of safety, we do ask that all volunteers report to the office to sign in through our automated computer system. At that time, volunteers will be issued a badge to wear, indicating to the students and staff that they are authorized to be on campus. The volunteer badge must be worn at all times when on school grounds.
 
All volunteers must complete an IUSD Volunteer Registration & Screening Information form online prior to volunteering. This form is completed at the beginning of each school year. Once the form is completed our front office can sign you in the first time. Additional information about volunteering is available on the district website here.

Personal Items

Personal play equipment, such as toys, balls, games, etc. should not be brought to school unless special permission has been granted by the teacher or principal. This includes electronic devices like phones, smart watches, music players, media players, and video games. If students bring these devices to school, they must be turned off.

Pets 

Pets should not be on campus unless the teacher or principal has granted special permission. Please be aware that, pursuant to Orange County Ordinance 41.46, dogs are not to be on school grounds at any time. Should you choose to bring your dog when walking your child to and from school, please wait for your child off school grounds.

Playground/School Supervision

Supervision by staff at entry points to our campus, in the parking lots, and on the playground is provided fifteen minutes before school begins every day. For your child’s safety, students should not arrive on campus prior to 8:05 AM. Upon arriving, all students in grades first through sixth report to the playground blacktop and line up for class in their assigned area. Kindergarten students must be accompanied by an adult and line up outside their classroom in their assigned area. They are dismissed directly to their parent or guardian at dismissal. Students in primary grades (first through third grade) are dismissed at the parent waiting area in the front courtyard between building A and building B. Students in upper grades (fourth through sixth grade) are dismissed by the teacher at the classroom door to independently meet their parents, carpool, daycare provider, or walk home. After school supervision ends fifteen minutes after dismissal every day. All students should leave campus within fifteen minutes after dismissal unless other arrangements have been made or they are being directly supervised by a parent. No student will be kept after school without prior parent permission.
 
Recess and lunch supervision is provided by trained Loma Ridge staff. Playground supervisors are easily identified by the vests they wear and their IUSD identification badge.

Reports Cards & Parent Conferences

Report cards are issued at the end of each trimester during the school year. During the first month of school, parents are invited to attend Back to School Night to learn about the grade level curriculum and instructional program for their child. A goal setting parent/teacher conference is held in October to establish learning goals for each student. A second parent/teacher conference is scheduled in the spring for some students. Parents are encouraged to schedule conferences with the teacher anytime they feel there is a need during the school year. Open House is scheduled in the spring. All members of the family are invited to come and share in the activities and experiences of our students.

Safety & Emergency Preparedness

We want to assure you that Loma Ridge Elementary School has an extensive emergency plan. In compliance with California law, the Irvine Unified School District uses the Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS) in its emergency plans and procedures. Response procedures are in place to activate the emergency plan. Each year the staff reviews and practices the plan in mock drills to ensure the safest and most efficient response to an emergency. State law requires each elementary school to conduct monthly fire drills, a lockdown drill, and a drop-and-cover drill as part of the emergency preparedness plan.
 
How can you help ensure our students’ safety as a parent?

  • Always sign-in your child at the office if your child is arriving late or sign-out your child in the office if your child is leaving school.
  • Make sure to sign-in and out at the front office and wear a visitor/volunteer sticker at all times when visiting the school.
  • Be familiar with the school site and report anything out of the ordinary to the school office or after school hours to the police.
  • Carefully read newsletters and correspondence sent home by the school.

 
In the event of an emergency:

  • Remain calm.
  • Walk to the playground and follow student release procedures.
  • Ask, “How can I help?”
  • Volunteer and follow the instructions and guidelines carefully.

Student Accident/Health Insurance

The school district makes available to parents a low cost accident and health insurance plan for their children. Forms are available through our re-registration/data confirmation process. Additional forms are available in the office.

Student Fees

California's Constitution affirms that students and parents cannot be required to pay money to gain access to educational activities, nor can they be charged for materials and supplies necessary to participate in educational activities.
 
“Educational activities” has been clearly defined to include extracurricular offerings such as music, sports and some clubs. Moreover, the rules described above are believed to apply to all affiliated groups supporting district and school programs, including PTAs, boosters and foundations.
 
In 2010, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the state over impermissible fees, charges and deposits imposed on public school students. Two years later, Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation that codified existing laws and judicial decisions while establishing reasonable enforcement measures for schools and districts. The ACLU subsequently dropped its suit.
 
It should be noted that IUSD was in the process of analyzing its own practices even before the ACLU suit, looking specifically at funding requests that were made to help offset the cost of transportation, elective courses, summer school classes and essential supplies and equipment. The district has since worked to clarify that parent donations for most educational activities are voluntary, and that students will not be denied participation if their families choose not to contribute.
 
For further information, please check the following link on the Irvine Unified School District website: http://www.iusd.org/student-fee-info/

Technology Use (Personal cell phones, smart watches, etc.)

 

We ask that you take care of all arrangements for the day with your children before they leave for school. If the forecast is for rain, send them in a coat or jacket and give them a plan for pick up/dismissal for inclement weather. If after school activities are scheduled, be certain that they know what is expected of them before they leave for school. We ask that ONLY EMERGENCY MESSAGES be telephoned in to children, since we strive to keep instructional interruptions to a minimum. Arrangements with friends must be made prior to coming to school.
 
Cell phones are permitted at school, however, board policy requires that they be deactivated during the regular school day and used only during an emergency affecting the school or community. The use of cell phones (and smart watches that communicate like a cell phone...ie. the Gizmo Gadget) is prohibited during school hours. They are to be turned off and in the student’s backpack during school hours. Cell phones that are turned on during school hours are subject to confiscation and will only be returned to a parent through the front office.

Textbooks & Library Books

Textbooks and library books are school property and are loaned to students. Students are responsible for their safekeeping. Students are responsible to pay for lost or damaged textbooks and library books. Most textbooks are available online.