Communication with the School
Q: Where do I find information about upcoming events taking place at the school?
A: The school website is updated daily, click on the heading “Daily Announcements”. In addition, information is posted on the district calendar DYNCAL.
Q: How do I access the ASPEN?
A: Go to the District Website: www.bernardsboe.com.
Under Parents and students click on ASPEN.
Click on ASPEN.
Q: I lost my username or password for the ASPEN. Whom do I contact for help?
A: Please contact Jennifer Fiorini at the Board Office by e-mailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: What can be seen on ASPEN?
A: Parents and students can see schedules, averages, report card grades, attendance, and disciplinary infractions. It should be noted that teachers are required to update grades in ASPEN every two weeks.
Q: What is the Friday Folder?
A: Parents have to sign up for the Friday Folders for the schools with which they are associated by going to the” parent section” on the school website and following the prompts. Parents may also sign up for the District Friday Folder for news of events concerning the entire school district. This is the schools main source of communication.
Q: What happens if I don’t get to see a Friday Folder?
A: Friday Folders are archived each week. Go on to the District website and click on the yellow backpack icon.
Lunch Periods and Study Halls
Q: My child left his or her lunch at home, what must I do?
A: Please, bring the lunch with their child’s name on it to the school provided it is before the student’s lunch period. There are lunch bins in the front office where the food may be dropped off to be given to the student at lunch time. It is important that lunches are dropped off before the lunch period begins because lunch bins are delivered to the cafeteria at the very beginning of each lunch period.
Lunch periods are:
6th Grade Period 5 10:46 – 11:26
7th Grade Period 7 11:29 – 12:09
8th Grade Period 6 12:12 – 12:52
Students may also buy lunch from the cafeteria; they may pay with cash or use the Nutrikids system, which is an online payment system through Aramark. Money may be deposited online by going to the school website, clicking Nutrikids, and following the prompts. Accounts may also be replenished by sending a check to the school. Checks are payable to Bernards Township. Students can drop their lunch checks in the lock box on the front cafeteria wall.
Q: What happens if my student leaves his or her money at home or does not have money in his or her account?
A: NO STUDENT IS EVER TURNED AWAY IF HE OR SHE DOES NOT HAVE MONEY FOR LUNCH. The cafeteria staff directs the student to the front office where he or she can call a parent as a reminder to either bring in money the next day or replenish the student’s cafeteria account on line or via check.
Q: Why do students have two study halls on their schedules?
A: There are many reasons the study hall system developed. Primarily, it is because of the large number of students on each grade level that would violate capacity codes in the cafeteria. Each study-hall session, reduces the number of students in the cafeteria by about 110 students. The study-hall system enables the teachers in the cafeteria to better supervise students. It also enables students to get some homework completed during the school day. Students will be assigned a Study Hall 1 and Study Hall 2 session two times a week. Study Hall 1 requires that students go to their assigned study hall room for the first part of lunch. Study Hall 2 requires students to attend lunch first and be dismissed the second half of the period.
Q: Are there optional study halls during lunch periods?
A: There is a twenty-minute optional study hall offered during the second half of lunch on each grade level. Students may sign up for this optional “extra” study hall at the sign-out desk upon entering the cafeteria each day. Students may attend the optional study hall only on the days they do not have study hall 1 or study hall 2. On those days, students must attend their regularly scheduled study hall and eat lunch in the cafeteria during the other half of the period.
Q: May students order two lunches?
A: Yes, students may order two lunches.
Q: May parents send in birthday treats for lunch?
A: No, there are many students with severe food allergies in the building and students may not bring in food from outside to share with friends.
Q: Is fruit included in the lunch price and can fruit be bought a la carte?
A: Fruit is included with pizza, hot lunch and deli; it may also be bought a la carte.
Q: Are incoming sixth graders able to get their schedules before the open house?
A: The administrative team will try to coordinate schedule availability with the open house date.
Q: Are the students grouped into team colors based on ability?
A: Students are grouped heterogeneously and evenly balanced based on gender. There are Special-Education classes on every team and grade level. Beginning with the 2014-2015 school year, sixth grade students have been clustered grouped into mathematics and science classes by their Spring MAP Math score.
Q: Are students in many of the same classes together?
A: Students are assigned teams and then randomly assigned. Students in resource-room settings have a higher chance of having some of the same students in their classes.
Q: What is the school’s dress code?
A: Students need to wear clothes which are clean, neat in appearance, and suitable for the educational atmosphere:
- Shoes must be worn at all times and must be attached at the heel.
- No flip flops are allowed.
- Skirts and shorts may not be more than three inches above the knee.
- Hats or caps may not be worn in the building.
- Spaghetti straps, tank tops, and halter tops are not appropriate. If a student’s bra straps are visible, it is not a suitable top.
- Clothes promoting alcohol, drugs or tobacco products, as well as containing inappropriate language or messages may not be worn.
A student who is deemed to be in violation of the dress code will be instructed to call home and have his or her parents bring in suitable clothes. If this is not possible, the nurse’s office provides appropriate clothing for students to wear.
Q: What do students wear in physical education classes?
A: Students wear sneakers, socks, shorts and a tee shirt. Sweat shirts and pants are recommended if the weather dictates it. All students are required to change into P.E. clothes for P.E. class every day. Students are assigned a lock and a locker in the locker room. Deodorant is recommended for students for use after P.E. periods.
Q: Are students permitted to carry backpacks and are girls permitted to carry purses in the building?
A: Because of the number of students and the crowdedness of the hallways, no students are permitted to carry backpacks throughout the building during the school day. Students may carry backpacks to and from school. Girls are not permitted to carry purses with straps but are permitted to carry small clutches for their personal hygiene needs.
Q: May students decorate their friends’ lockers on their birthdays?
A: No, locker decorating is not allowed because of concerns with vandalism on lockers and students’ feeling left out.
Q: When will students receive their bus passes?
A: Bus passes are typically sent out about two weeks before the start of the school year. The pass will state the number of the bus on which your child will be riding, e.g. WA1, WA2 etc, as well as the time that the student will be picked up in the morning and dropped off in the afternoon. Students are requested to be at the bus stop ten minutes before the scheduled pick up time. Students are only permitted to ride the school bus that they have been assigned.
First Day of School
Q: What kind of supplies do students need on the first day?
A: Students are required to bring certain supplies to school in order to enhance their learning. On the first day of school, students should come with general supplies that they will need (notebook, paper, pencils, pens, etc). Teachers will communicate with the students any additional supplies that they may need and provide them with ample time to purchase them.
Q: What are the locker dimensions? What size backpack will fit in lockers?
A: Backpacks must be able to fit in the following locker dimensions – Height – 6’, depth – 11”, Width – 10”. Oversized backpacks cannot be kept in homerooms.
The School Day
Q: What is the earliest time that students may be dropped off at school?
A: Students may not be in the building before 7:00 AM.
Q: What is the procedure for students coming before school for extra help with a teacher?
A; During the previous day in class, teachers provide students with written or printed passes to attend extra help sessions the next day. Students report to the office first, then to the classroom for the extra-help session. If a student does not have a pass, he or she must report to the office and secretaries will call the classroom to find out if the teacher is in the building before sending the student up.
Q: To where do students report when arriving to school?
A: Students arriving on the bus or being dropped off by car between 7:00 AM and 7:40 AM report to an assigned area by grade level:
6th grade – the auditorium
7th grade – the gym
8th grade – the cafeteria
Absences and Tardies
Q: What is the procedure when arriving late to school?
A: If you know that your child will be late, please call the nurse’s office BEFORE 8:00 AM. The number is (908) 204-2610 X 103. When your child arrives at school he or she reports to the main office where the student is given a pass to class.
Q: If a student needs to see the Orthodontist on a regular basis, can the student arrive to school late?
A: No, students must be seated at their desks at 7:45 sharp ready to start the day. Parents of students who are tardy seven times in one semester receive a letter informing them of the tardiness and consequences may occur. In order to reduce disruptions to your child’s education, please schedule appointments for before or after school as much as possible.
Q: What is the procedure if a student is sick and not attending school?
A: Please call the nurse’s office BEFORE 8:00 AM to inform them of your child’s absence. If you child is home with a contagious illness, a doctor’s note is required to be submitted clearing them to return to school.
Q: My child was ill several times last year and I received a letter about it. How often can my child be absent?
A: In accordance with Board of Education Policy M 5200 (procedures), parents are required to receive written notification about their child’s attendance record at the set intervals of ten, twenty and thirty regardless of the reasons for their child’s absences. While we understand that there may be legitimate reasons for your child’s absences, our major concern lies more directly with the student’s overall academic performance.
Q: What is the procedure for picking up a child early from school?
A: Unless an emergency occurs, if it is necessary to leave school early, please send your child to the main office upon arrival with a written note requesting early dismissal and indicating with the pick-up time. The main-office secretaries will give the student a pass to present to the teacher later in the day for early dismissal. Your child will be waiting for you in the main office when you arrive to pick up him or her.
Q: I had to make an emergency appointment for my child, what is the procedure for getting him or her out of school?
A: If you need to pick up your child and it is before his or her lunch period, call the main office and the secretaries will put a note in the lunch bin which will be given to your child at lunch time. If it is after your child’s lunch period, come in to the office a few minutes early and the secretaries will call down your child.
Q: If my child is absent, can I call his or her teachers for work?
A: Work is collected for students after they have been out for a minimum of three days. Please call the School counselling office (X 114) and they will arrange for the teachers to drop off your child’s work to the front office. Work can be collected after 2:30 PM and can be found on the wooden shelf, underneath the flag, to your right, as you enter the office. Teachers also post homework on their website, please check the Homework Portal daily and particularly when your child is absent.
Q: What is the procedure for contacting a teacher on a regular basis?
A: Teachers can be contacted by e-mailing them or by calling them on their extension at the school. The extension number can be found in the school directory.
Back to School Night
Q: Are all teachers present at Back-to-School Night?
A: All teachers are present unless they coach at the high school and have away games. There are two Back-to-School Nights each year to accommodate for parking.
Q: How do you find your way around the building on Back-to-School Night?
A: Maps of the school go home with each student on the first day of school. They are on the back of students’ assignment pads. There are many staff members available to give directions to parents during the evening.
Q: How does a student obtain a yearbook?
A: Yearbooks are on sale for several weeks during late Fall. Announcements are made throughout the month to remind students that yearbooks are available for purchase. They may be purchased online at jostensyearbooks.com.
Q: What is WAMS homework policy?
A: The homework policy is 2330. Please, take time to read the policy, particularly concerning the middle school. For Grades 6-8 there is approximately 10-20 minutes per subject (exception is advanced math placement). Homework is an extension of the classroom, tied to the curriculum, and reinforcing concepts learned in class.
Q: How can I find out what my child has for homework?
A: All teachers post their homework on the Homework Portal every day. The Homework Portal can be accessed by clicking on the link on the school website and registering your student.
Q: My child is forgetful and often leaves his homework/books/gym clothes at home. How can I get these items to him?
A: Firstly, email the teacher and let them know that you are bringing in the item. Label it clearly with your child’s name and bring it to the main office. As you enter the office you will find shelves to your left. Place the item on the shelf that corresponds with your child’s grade level. It is your child’s responsibility to periodically check for the item. Office secretaries are not allowed to call students to the office to pick up items dropped off.
Q: When will a teacher contact you about poor grades?
A: Teachers contact parents when students drop in grades significantly and when student averages drop into the D/F range.
Address and Telephone number changes
Q: Whom do I notify if we change our address, phone number, or email address?
A: If you move houses and change your address, you must notify the central registrar for the school district. Her name is Michele Vitiello and she can be reached at (908) 204-2585 X 105. Please call her to set up an appointment as she will need to see some form of document as proof that you live in the town, e.g. title deeds, utility bill, etc. A change in phone number or email can be handled by the WAMS main office staff.
If your email address changes, remember to make these changes on the Friday Folder and the Honeywell Alert System. To do this, go to the BOE web site and scroll down to Friday Folder (it’s a green apple) and Honeywell Alert System. Follow the prompts to complete the changes.
Lost and Found
Q: What happens when a student loses clothing such as a jacket in the building?
A: The school has lost-and-found bins in the front office. It is the student’s responsibility to come to the main office and look for lost items in the bins. Parents are also welcome to come and check the lost property bins in the office. Any clothing not claimed by the end of each semester is donated. PLEASE LABEL YOUR CHILD’S CLOTHES CLEARLY, THIS INCLUDES GYM CLOTHES.