Mill Creek Elementary School
We are a community of learners inspired by our world.
From the Principal
My goal is simple; help Mill Creek’s teachers, students and families continue the journey of excellence while looking for innovative ways to help students reach even higher, have fun and continue the love of learning.
I look forward to working with each of you this school year and carrying on the tradition of excellence here at Mill Creek Elementary. Go Elks!
Elk Rapids Public Schools
707 East Third Street Elk Rapids, MI 49629 231-264-8692
Superintendent – Steve Prissel
Board of Education
Gerald DeGrazia- President
Carol Pressman- Vice President
Sherry Steffen – Secretary
Darryl Antcliff- Trustee
Martha McGuire – Trustee
Holly Spencer -Trustee
Jennifer Brown- Trustee
The Board of Education in room 124 of the Elk Rapids High School. Please contact the Superintendent’s office to verify dates and times. Visitors are always welcome.
“The Elk Rapids Schools located at 707 East Third Street, Elk Rapids, Michigan will receive and use federal funds and United States Department of Agriculture donated foods. No person because of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or handicap shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination in our United States Department of Agriculture donated food and child nutrition programs. Any person who believes they have been discriminated against should write immediately to the Secretary of Agriculture, Washington, D.D. 20050.”
MILL CREEK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
We are a community of learners inspired by our world.
Mill Creek School in partnership with children, parents, staff and community will:
- Share the right to and responsibility for lifelong learning.
- Recognize and delight in each person’s uniqueness and believe that each person can learn and will make a contribution to society.
- Provide a secure environment for physical, intellectual, and emotional growth, in a cooperative, respectful and enthusiastic climate.
- Expect all children to learn basic skills and problem solving.
- Understand learning is achieved through effort.
- Encourage risk taking, celebrate successes, and allow for mistakes.
School Practices and Regulations
(Reference Board Policy 5500.1 – 5500.2 – 5600)
Our aim is to work closely with your family for the benefit of your youngster. All our practices are intended to create a safe and supportive school network for your child. Please feel free to call 267-9955 if we may be of further assistance.
Attendance – Reference Board Policy 5200
- School begins 8:50 a.m.
- School dismisses 3:48 p.m.
- Half-day dismissal 12:10 p.m.
- (Unless otherwise designated in school calendar)
Anytime your child is absent from school, please phone the office by 9:30 a.m. Upon his or her return to school, a note explaining the reason for the absence can be sent with the child to inform the teacher of your child’s condition. For the safety of children, the office will phone you at home or work to check on your child’s absence if we have not received prior notification regarding the absence.
If your child is ill before school, keep the child home. Be alert to such symptoms as upset stomach, runny nose, fever, or sore throat. Check with your doctor for diagnosis, treatment, and the proper time for returning to school.
If your child becomes ill at school, they should tell their teacher who will send the child to the school office. We will call you if there is an illness or injury that requires treatment or if we feel your child should go home.
*Please note: If your child gets a contagious disease, virus, or bacterial infection, call the office. This will help to limit the spread of the disease to others.
Late for School
Students are expected to be on time for school except in the case of an emergency or an unavoidable appointment. Please try to avoid taking your child out of school. Upon arriving at school late, a tardy student must report to the office and present an excuse signed by a parent or guardian explaining the tardiness.
Leaving School Early
All children who leave early will be dismissed through the office only. Children will not be released to anyone other than parent or guardian, unless we have written permission to do so. Please remember to sign the logbook.
Vacations During the School Year
Parents are encouraged not to take their child out of school for vacations. When a family vacation must be scheduled during the school year, the parents should discuss the matter with the principal and the student’s teacher(s) to make necessary arrangements. It may be possible for the student to receive certain assignments that are to be completed during the trip.
If your child is to ride a different bus or go to a different drop-off point, the office must be notified by a note or a phone call. Written notes are appreciated because they lessen the probability of mix-ups, particularly at the end of the school day, which is a busy time in the office. Please call the office with any bus changes before 2:00 p.m.
If you want your child to ride a bike or walk to and from school, please send a note to the office giving your permission. For safety, students without notes will be required to ride the bus.
Bus Policy for Kindergartens and Pre-school students:
For your child’s safety, no kindergartner/Pre-schooler will be allowed off the bus at home or day care provider without a parent or a day care provider wave of the hand. The only exception will be a written permission slip or note to allow your kindergartner to get off with an older responsible brother or sister.
Please put your child’s name on each article of outside clothing. Clothes should be simple, washable, sturdy, not too tight, safe, easily managed by the individual child. Over-boots should be large enough so that your child can put them on without help.
Desk Inspections and Searches
Desks, drawers, lockers and/or other areas where students keep their books, supplies, and personal items are the property of the school. All students are expected to keep their areas clean. If there is any reasonable suspicion that a student’s area may contain something that it should not, it may be open to search by a school official.
Directory Information Release
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and its implementing rules allow a school district to release certain “directory of information” without specific permission of parents/guardians.
This information may include the following:
- Name, address and home telephone number.
- Date and place of birth.
- Participation in school activities.
- Dates of school attendance.
- Honors and awards received.
- Honor roll members.
- Similar information usually found in yearbooks.
The above listed items will be released only to the following: schools and school organizations, and press releases. Parents or guardians may request the above information regarding students not be released. Such requests must be in writing and be sent to the Superintendent’s office, Elk Rapids Schools, 707 E. Third St., Elk Rapids, MI 49629, by October 1st annually.
In accordance with “The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act”, we do not give out information that would be an invasion of your family’s privacy. Under this act, however, it is considered appropriate to give out directory information including name, address, and home telephone number. PTO or classroom parents may request this information for making telephone calls for birthday parties or other out of school events.
If you do not want us to give out your phone number or address, please write a note indicating your wishes and send it to the school office.
Dress and Grooming
At Mill Creek School we expect children to set good examples at all times, both in behavior and appearance. Parents, please help your child select clothing for the weather, yet appropriate in appearance.
Pay special attention to footwear. “Flip Flops” can be dangerous inside as well as on the playground. Sandals, too, can create a problem, especially when your child is having physical education classes outside.
Early spring and late fall present special challenges when dressing children for play. A good rule of thumb to follow is to send your child to school prepared for the worst (from November until the first of May, we may get significant snowfalls). Children can always remove extra clothing if they are warm, but they cannot put more on if they don’t have proper clothing with them. The rule for boots is that when the playground is snow-covered or wet, boots must be worn.
For emergencies, the office does have a few extra sweatshirts, mittens, and snow pants. However, due to the highly contagious nature of head lice, hats are not available.
Drug Free School
(Board Policy 5530)
In accordance with federal law, the Board of Education prohibits the use, possession, concealment, or distribution of controlled substances (drugs) by students on school grounds, in school or school approved vehicles, or at any school related event. Drugs include any alcoholic beverage, anabolic steroid, and dangerous controlled substance as defined by state statute, or substance that could be considered a “look-a-like” controlled substance. Compliance with this policy is mandatory for all students. Any student who violates this policy will be subject to disciplinary action, in accordance with due process and as specified in the student handbook, up to and including expulsion from school. When required by state law, the district will also notify law enforcement officials.
The district is concerned about a student who is a victim of alcohol or drug abuse and will facilitate the process by which she/he receives help through programs and services available in the community. Students and their parents should contact the school principal or counseling office whenever such help is needed.
Emergency School Closing
In the event of school cancellation because of bad weather, notification will be broadcast, usually by 7:00 a.m., over the following radio and T.V. stations:
WLDR Traverse City
WTCM Traverse City
WCCW Traverse City
WJML Traverse City
TV 7 & 4
TV 9 & 10
If unusually hazardous weather and road conditions develop during the school day, it could become necessary to dismiss school early. It is therefore highly important that parents fill out the “early school closing form” that will be sent home at the beginning of the school year. This form will inform school staff where students need to go in the event that school is dismissed early. If a severe storm approaches the area at the normal dismissal time, the children will be kept at school until the storm alert is lifted. Students will then be dismissed and bussing will proceed as usual.
Harassment sexual and other forms
(Board Policy 5362)
It is a violation of school rules, and often of law, for any student to harass or intimidate another student or staff member. If a student is the victim of any unwanted sexual conduct or derogatory communication or conduct concerning his/her gender, religion, race, ethnic group, or disability, the student should report such behavior to the office. All reports shall be kept confidential and shall be investigated immediately. Policy 5362 is included at the back of this handbook. Please call the principal at 267-9955 if you have any questions or concerns.
Homework is defined as any school-related activity including assigned reading to be completed at home.
The purpose of assigning homework to children is to:
• Develop responsibility
• Develop initiative
• Provide practice
• Strengthen home/school ties
• Enrich and extend learning
• Develop organizational and time management skills
Mill Creek teachers may assign homework at their discretion, beginning in the primary grades and gradually increasing in the intermediate grades. Generally ten minutes of homework per/grade is an appropriate rule of thumb. A second grader may have 20 minutes and a fifth grader 50 minutes of homework.
Elk Rapids’ Kid’s Club is a before and after school program designed to provide a nurturing and enriching experience for all students in Elk Rapids Elementary Schools. The program is sponsored by Elk Rapids Public Schools. This program is licensed by the Division of Day Care Licensing. All children in Kid’s Club must be registered and must attend the program on a regular basis. “Kids Club” is now available from 7:00 a.m. until the start of school and from the end of school until 6:00 p.m. For registration information, please contact the Mill Creek office at 267-9955 and ask for Tracy Trautner
Lockers are provided for children’s use at school. Locks are not allowed.
Lost and Found
The lost and found table is located in the hallway near the office. The contents of the lost and found table are displayed at every PTO meeting, conferences, and at several evening programs at the school. Whatever has not been claimed by spring will be donated to Goodwill. The best solution to lost clothing is to label all items with your child’s name.
Each day our cooks prepare a hot lunch for the children. We encourage as many children as possible to take advantage of this program. A before school breakfast program is also available.
Free and reduced lunch/ breakfast applications are available in the office.
• Hot Lunch
o $2. 75 per day
o $.40 reduced cost
o Free to eligible students
o $1.00 per day
o $.30 reduced cost
o Free to eligible students
Although we encourage children to purchase a block of lunches on the first day of school each week, lunches are sold on a daily basis. If necessary, a lunch can be charged; no more than three lunch charges will be allowed at any one time.
Milk or juice is available for children who carry their lunch at ($.40 milk, $.50 juice).
Children who need to take medication during school hours must have a signed medication form on file in the office. Both the parent and child’s doctor must sign this form. A copy of the medication form is available in the school office. Please contact the office if you have any questions.
Students at Mill Creek receive blue communication folders that are sent home every Monday. The folders include work the students have completed during the week, and notes from teachers or the office. Notes are sent home with the oldest child in the family. A red dot is placed on folders to indicate whether a child is the oldest. The purpose of the red dots is to reduce duplication of notes and to conserve paper.
Money/Valuables in School
If you send money to school with your child, please put it in a sealed envelope. Write your child’s name, teacher’s name, and its purpose.
Please be sure children do not bring “extra” money or valuable (such as old coins, or expensive jewelry) to school which could become lost or stolen. We discourage bringing Walkmans, boom boxes, and Game Boys, and Ipod’s to school. They can be broken or stolen by others and distract from a focus on learning.
On any given day we receive numerous telephone calls from parents who want messages given to their children. Please, whenever possible, make your plans before the school day starts so that we don’t have to interrupt learning.
Elk Rapids schools is proud to offer our “Wee” are E.R. Pre-school again
this year. Children ages 3 to 5 years old may attend. For more information, please contact Tracy Trautner at 267-9955.
- Care of Property
- Students are responsible for the care of their own personal property. The school cannot be responsible for personal property. Valuables such as jewelry or irreplaceable items should not be brought to school. The school may confiscate such items and return them to the student’s parents. If a student does damage to or loses school property, the student or his/her parents will be required to pay for the replacement or damage.
- Electronic Games and Musical Devices
- We ask that students not bring video games to school. They do not contribute to academic learning, and are easily broken and can be stolen. We ask that students not bring musical devices for the reasons mentioned above. Additionally, music that is acceptable in some households, may be offensive in other households due to profanity or poor social values contained within. We cannot screen or censor music brought by students to school and feel a responsibility to protect home values and, therefore, request that students not bring recordings to school unless cleared by a teacher for classroom use
When weather permits, all children are expected to go outside for recess where supervision is provided. If children are not well enough to benefit from playing outside in the fresh air, they generally should not be in school.
During inclement weather, children remain indoors during recess periods; supervision is provided.
Reports to Parents
- Parent/Teacher Conferences
Conferences are scheduled in the fall and spring for parents or guardians of each student. This is a special time for parents/guardians and teacehrs to meet and discuss a common goal; helping your child to get the best possible education. You are an important part of the team! We need a close partnership with you in order to help your child get the best education.
- Report Cards
Report Cards are issued the second Monday following the end of each marking period. If you have a question about either the interpretation or the card grades, please contact the teacher.
Children attend school from 8:50 a.m. to 3:48 p.m. each day unless otherwise designated in the school calendar. Half-day dismissal time is 12:10 p.m.
Dropping Off/Picking up
For safety’s sake, please pick up and drop off youngsters at the visitor parking area (east side of the school). Avoid the bus parking area on the west side of the school. For safety reasons, it is important that children do not arrive at school more than fifteen minutes before classes begin. Children should walk directly to the playground, unless they are participating in the breakfast program or enrolled in “Kid’s Club”. Weather permitting, students do play outside where supervision is provided at 8:35 a.m.
The purpose of the safety patrol program is to supervise and encourage safe practices en-route to and from school, on school grounds, and in the building. Fifth grade students who demonstrate responsibility are encouraged to join.
For the security of our children, please observe the following procedures when visiting:
- All visitors, including parents, need to sign-in at the office when they enter the building. We welcome parents and other volunteers, but please stop in the office first before going to a classroom, and be sure to wear an identifying badge/lanyard. Parents are welcome to observe classes at Mill Creek. Please call ahead then stop in the office when you arrive.
- All visitors, including parents, need to wait in the front entry area of the school while school is in session. No one may go to the classroom without permission of the office, until school is dismissed at 3:48 p.m. and children have boarded the busses to go home. If you need your child to leave school early, or give a forgotten item to your child, please let the office know and we will notify the classroom. Parents are welcome to stop at a classroom to see projects or talk with a teacher after school is dismissed. We appreciate your involvement in your child’s education.
- If you need to take your child out of school before the end of the day, please sign the log at the front office desk. If you return your child to school, be sure to sign him/her back in on the log.
- It is important that parents understand that these expectations must apply to all. However, if you have a special situation in regard to your child that you believe requires different consideration, call or stop in to see Mr. Knight. We are asking parents to consider these procedures as part of a safety network for children and not as an inconvenient roadblock. We feel strongly the need to do our best to keep your children safe and believe that, above all, parents wish safety for their children, too. You are welcome and invited to be involved with your child’s education and school.
Periodically we schedule special assemblies for our children. Our intent is to bring new experiences to them, which are not regularly provided in our community. Occasionally we may ask the students to pay a small fee for a cultural art assembly. Contributions are on a voluntary basis only.
Student Class Placement Requests
We do our best to honor class placement requests from parents. Please send a note to the principal describing what placement you feel would be appropriate. The principal needs to reserve the right to make the final decision on class placement. She will do her best to accommodate your request. There are many factors involved, including students who do especially well together, or students that we have found to do better when they are not with particular children. We create class lists that are balanced in terms of male and female, ability, effort, and cooperation. Please do not specify a particular teacher by name, rather request based on teaching style, students learning ability, etc. While we always try to work with families for the best placement of your children, we are not always able to grant every request. Requests must be received by, May 1st . As always, please give Mrs. Ziecina a call at 267-9955 if you would like to share your ideas or thoughts.
If you are moving please call the school in advance so that we can arrange a smooth transition for your child.
The school or classroom telephones are available for students to use, with permission, in the event of an emergency or serious situation. Please help your youngster remember to bring all necessary things when he/she comes to school each day. Together we can help children learn responsible behavior. We try to reinforce the importance of prior planning and responsibility.
The Michigan Legislature passed Senate Bill 459 making schools tobacco free. Specifically, the bill prohibits the use of tobacco products in buildings and on real estate owned, leased or otherwise controlled by a school district with the exception for outdoor areas only on:
- After 6:00 p.m. on days during which there are regularly scheduled school hours.
- Saturday, Sundays, and other days on which there are no regularly scheduled school hours.
The Antrim County Health Department provides free vision screening for all first, third, and fifth grade students, and hearing screening for all second and fourth grade students. Students new to Mill Creek, as well as those kindergartners and young five students not previously checked are also tested. Parents are notified only if further testing is recommended.
Parents, please talk with your children to be sure that they do not bring knives or any other weapons to school. The State of Michigan requires a one-year expulsion from school for students found in possession of a “dangerous weapon” on school property.
Getting the Nits Out / Head Lice / Get the Facts
Getting the Nits Out
Along with all the excitement a new school year brings each fall, we take time for some necessary health screening. Head lice check are done by health professionals. Should head lice be detected, the child’s parent will be notified. Due to the highly contagious nature, your child will need to be picked up from school. They may return the next day upon successful treatment and removal of all nits.
Getting the nits (eggs) out is your best defense in this battle against head lice. Nothing kills the nits 100%, so they must be taken out. All of the nits must be out before your child returns to school.
To remove nits, begin by parting the hair:
- Take a very small section of hair and check it for nits and lice.
- Remove what you find by pulling the nit down the hair shaft with your fingers or by using a comb.
- When all nits are removed from treated section, clip it back out of the way.
- Pick up another section and remove nits.
- Keep doing this until you have gone through all of the hair.
This takes time but you can do it. All your efforts will be worth it!
Check your child every day for two weeks. Remove any lice or nits that you find. Then make it a habit to check your child twice a week. Be sure to look carefully behind the ears and at the nape of the neck.
**Mill Creek will also be rechecking your child in 8 – 10 days after they return to class.
Household Practices to Eliminate Head Lice
To prevent the return of lice to treated hair, lice and their eggs (nits) must be removed from the home. Here is a list of common household practices you must do:
- Collect all combs, brushes and hair accessories (scrunchies and hair bands). Soak these in hot water (140 – 150 degrees) for at least 10 minutes.
- Collect all coats, scarves, hats and recently worn clothing. Launder in hot water and dry for at least 20 minutes in a hot dryer.
- Wash all bedclothes and towels in hot water and dry in a hot dryer for at least 20 minutes.
- Collect all non-washable items such as afghans, blankets, stuffed animals, coats, etc and either dry clean or seal in a plastic bag for 2 weeks. You may also place the sealed bag in the freezer for 12 hours or place outside, if it is below freezing temperatures.
- Vacuum all furniture, chairs, couches, pillows, and the floor. Vacuum your car and child’s car seat. Remove the vacuum bag and place in the outdoor garbage.
- Wash hard surfaces such as kitchen chairs with soap and water.
- Spraying home with insecticides is NOT recommended
How to Use NIX
- Wash hair with a plain shampoo – DO NOT use a shampoo that contains a conditioner. Work over sink not a bathtub or shower.
- Towel or blow dry hair.
- Apply NIX by parting hair as you go. Completely cover the scalp area including behind the ears, at the nape and crown of the head.
- Work NIX through the hair until it is saturated.
- Wait 10 minutes, use a watch or timer.
- Rinse the hair until the water is clear. Do not use a conditioner for two weeks.
- Towel or blow-dry the hair.
- Launder the towel.
- Anyone can become infested, young, old, those with good as well as poor hygiene, and those with short or long, clean or dirty hair.
- Lice do not fly or jump. But they spread easily by way of personal contact.
- Children are at highest risk, since they tend to play closely together and share personal items.
- The peak season is autumn, when school starts.
- Discourage your children from sharing combs, brushes, hats, or headphones with others.
- The most prominent symptom is persistent scratching.
- Checking the hair shafts for the nits can be difficult due to their small size and white/clear coloring.
- They are easily distinguished from dandruff because the nits stick to the hair shaft and need to be pulled off.
- PLEASE notify the school, daycares, and friends if you should find head lice on your child.
- Check your child regularly!
Student Discipline and Rights and Responsibilities
Code of Conduct
A major component of the educational program at Mill Creek is to prepare students to become responsible workers and citizens by learning how to conduct themselves properly and in accordance with established standards.
We all expect children to behave appropriately in our school. Good discipline and positive behavioral growth build a foundation for all other learning. By home and school working together, we can help youngsters develop a framework of responsibility that will serve them well as they go through life.
Please read our “Rights and Responsibilities at Mill Creek School”. We actively teach and model these responsibilities at our school and ask you to help your youngster understand them. Too. Take time to ask your child about each responsibility and see if he or she can give examples. If they are unclear, help your youngster understand by talking about experiences at home or school.
The short list of “Rights and Responsibilities” is posted in each room in the school as a set of rules.
Rights and Responsibilities
Use good manners
Take responsibility for learning
Cooperate with others
The classroom teacher handles most disciplinary situations at school. In other areas such as fighting, endangering others, severe disrupting, or chronic rule breaking, students are referred to the principal.
The principal will:
• Discuss the situation with the child.
• Try to help the child understand the situation and responsibility.
• Help the student devise an alternative solution to the problem.
• Assign consequences for breaking the rule.
• Send a copy of the completed referral back to the teacher or aide who initiated it. A copy will be sent to the classroom teacher.
• When appropriate, call the parent to inform them and decide on a mutual support plan.
• File a copy in the “Discipline Book” for future reference. After the school year ends the copies will be discarded.
If the parents have concerns or questions about student discipline they are encouraged to call, visit, or send a note to the teacher or to Mrs. Antcliff.
Bus Conduct Regulations
To ensure safe operation of each school bus, students are expected to demonstrate respect for the driver and other passengers, and to obey all regulations established by the driver.
Any questions regarding Transportation issues, please contact the Transportation Director
Les Morden at 264-9631.
These include, but are not limited to the following:
1. To occupy the seat assigned by the driver and to refrain at all times from changing seats while the bus is in motion.
2. To keep hands, feet, and objects to yourself.
3. To refrain from foul language or loud talking.
4. To refrain from pushing, shoving or fighting.
5. To refrain from throwing objects.
6. To keep all harmful objects such as drugs, tobacco, alcohol and weapons off of the bus.
7. To refrain from littering, writing on, or damaging the bus in any way.
8. To keep hands and head inside the bus at all times.
9. To refrain from displaying any over affection toward another student.
10. To be in the designated place, both morning and after school, ready to board the bus at the proper time.
11. To stay off the traveled roadway at all times while waiting for the bus.
12. To wait until the bus has come to a complete stop before attempting to get on or off.
Elk Rapids Schools
Bylaws & Policies
is directed at one (1) or more students;
substantially interferes with educational opportunities, benefits, or programs of one (1) or more students;
adversely affects the ability of a student to participate in or benefit from the school district’s educational programs or activities by placing the student in reasonable fear of physical harm or by causing emotional distress; and,
is based on a student’s actual or perceived distinguishing characteristic (see above), or is based on an association with another person who has or is perceived to have any of these characteristics.
Physical – hitting, kicking, spitting, pushing, pulling; taking and/or damaging personal belongings or extorting money, blocking or impeding student movement, unwelcome physical contact.
Verbal – taunting, malicious teasing, insulting, name calling, making threats.
Psychological – spreading rumors, manipulating social relationships, coercion, or engaging in social exclusion/shunning, extortion, or intimidation.
Model Anti-Bullying Policy, Michigan State Board of Education, 9-12-06