Dear Students and Parents: Gray School has earned an exemplary reputation by establishing fair rules and policies that are enforced. The rules and policies are in place for the safety, order and education of our students. These policies support the Board of Education Student Code of Conduct. Please read this handbook together and if you have any questions, contact Ms. Tomko or Ms. Cano, assistant principals. Thank you for your cooperation and support.
William P. Gray Elementary School School Vision: William P. Gray Elementary School envisions a school environment where home and school work together to support all students, including those with special needs and limited English proficiency, in meeting academic challenges; an environment where all students learn to read, write, problem solve, and communicate with others by addressing the unique learning needs of a diverse student population; and an environment which prepares all children to meet the technological needs of the future.
Mission: It is the mission of William P. Gray Elementary School to:
Provide all children a safe and productive learning environment.
Prepare children to meet the challenges of the future through the use of best practices in delivering instruction in reading, math, science and all other areas by providing appropriate curriculum materials, actively engaging learners, differentiating instruction, providing access to the curriculum for all learners, including those with special needs and limited English proficiency, to meet academic challenges, and by assessing student learning.
Promote self-growth and discipline.
Form partnerships with parent and community organizations to improve learning.
Students must attend school regularly and be on time.
School is in session daily from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm for grades K-8. Students should be dropped off and picked up at the appropriate doors.
Students should not arrive before 7:55 am.
Students may not leave the playground once they arrive to school.
Breakfast is served in the classrooms and students must be on time to participate.
Tardiness: Any student arriving after 8:05 is considered tardy and must have a tardy slip in order to be admitted to class. Tardiness is disruptive to the educational process and after three tardies, the school will call home.
Absence: Each day a student is absent, a parent or guardian is required to notify the school of the absence.
The parent or guardian must send a note with the reason for the absence on the day the student returns to school.
All notes must be received by the end of the month in which the absence occurred; notes will not be accepted late.
Excused absences include: student illness; observance of religious holiday; death in immediate family and family emergency
Family vacations are unexcused absences.
Excessive absences can result in failing grades.
Early Dismissal: Students will only be released to an adult on a child’s emergency form. Early dismissals are disruptive to the school day and should be for emergencies only. Please make doctor and dental appointments on non-attendance school days.
Discipline Code: Students are to conduct themselves in a manner that is safe for all students and appropriate for establishing and maintaining a positive image of Gray School. Every student receives The Student Code of Conduct for the Chicago Public Schools, which defines and outlines the behavior expectations and consequences for inappropriate behavior. Parents should review and be familiar with this code.
In addition to the Student Code of Conduct, students are expected to follow Gray School and individual classroom rules. At the beginning of each school year, teachers will inform parents of these rules.
Every child deserves to attend school without fear of harassment or threats. Gray school administration and staff use restorative practices and conversations to mediate peer conflicts and provide guidance for appropriate behaviors.
Students should not bring toys, electronics, expensive jewelry or large amounts of money to school. These items are distractions in the classroom and can be lost or stolen over the course of the day. In addition, all permanent markers, such as Sharpies, are not allowed. Teachers will confiscate these items and parents will have to come to school to retrieve them. Gray School is not responsible for the replacement cost. Class time will not be used to locate any lost or stolen item.
Students should never bring knives, toy guns, bullets, razor blades or box cutters to school. These are considered WEAPONS. According to the Student Code of Conduct, weapons possession is a level 6 infraction. Any student who has a weapon in his or her possession is automatically considered for expulsion.
Playground Expectations: Students are allowed on the playground beginning at 7:55 a.m. Students should not come to the school before that time unless they have an appointment with a teacher. Only students in grades K-1 are allowed to play in the small playground located at the rear of the primary building. Students in grades 2-8 are allowed to play in the area between the primary and intermediate/upper grade buildings. Students are to leave the playground immediately after dismissal and go home. No ball playing is allowed on the playground 30 minutes prior to the start of the school day and 30 minutes after student dismissal.
Playing, skateboarding or biking in the parking lots are not allowed.
Auditorium Expectations: Students are expected to be attentive, quiet, remain in their seats and show their appreciation through applause.
Lunchroom Expectations: All classrooms receive a 25-minute supervised lunch period. Gray is a closed campus and students are not allowed to leave the building during their lunchtime.
Students must use indoor voices and remain at their assigned table unless given permission to move around the lunchroom. If students wish, they may bring their own lunch to school, but food should not be shared with others. All food must stay in the lunchroom and may not be eaten in the hallways or classrooms. Students must clean up after themselves.
All students must turn in the application for a free or reduced lunch. Parents who do not wish to provide any information should write “No” on the application and sign it. The lunchroom is contracted with an outside provider and nutritious, hot lunches are served daily.
Recess Expectations: Gray School contracts with an outside company to provide all students with a daily 20-minute period of supervised games and activities. Recess is also a time for students to learn the give and take of play and peer conflict resolution. Occasionally, minor cuts and scrapes occur during the course of play. The recess staff will administer first aid and contact the office and teacher and parents will be notified as deemed appropriate. Please ensure emergency form information is current.
Hallway and Washroom Expectations: Students are expected to stay with their classroom or have a hall pass when in the hallway or in the washroom. Voice levels should be no more than a whisper and students are expected to make good choices and respect the privacy of others while in the washrooms. Students are expected to place trash in receptacles and to wash their hands prior to leaving the washroom. No drawing or writing utensils should be brought into the washroom and any student responsible for defacing the walls or any other acts of vandalism will face disciplinary action.
Telephone Use: Students are allowed to call home for emergency purposes only. In such cases, they may use the school phone. Phone calls should be kept to a minimum. Please make arrangements with students before school so phone calls are not necessary during the school day.
Cell/Watch Phones: Cell/watch phones are allowed in school only after parents have submitted a signed cell/watch phone policy form. Cell/watch phones used in school or on school grounds during school hours will be confiscated and only returned to parents on Tuesday and Thursday from 3-3:30 pm. Cell/watch phones must be secured in student lockers and backpacks. The school will not be responsible for lost or stolen cell/watch phones.
Detention: Student misbehavior may result in before or after-school detention and/or community service. Parents will be notified when this occurs and must sign and date the notification of detention before it is served. Parents who refuse to cooperate with this policy will force the school to apply more severe consequences, such as in-school or out-of-school suspensions.
Suspensions: Students who fail to follow the Student Code of Conduct may be subject to in-school or out-of-school suspensions. During an in-school suspension, students will be supervised by an adult who will engage in restorative conversations. During an out-of-school suspension, students are to be confined to their home during school hours and may not participate in after-school activities. Students may not be on school grounds. A reintegration plan and restorative conversation will take place prior to the student’s first day back in school. In both instances, students are expected to complete assigned class work.
Behavior Rewards: All teachers and staff at Gray School have the ability to issue “Hoof Tickets” to those classrooms who exhibit exemplary behavior or display in some way a behavior that shows thoughtfulness or caring for others in the hallway, classroom, lunchroom, playground etc. When a class has earned 30 of these tickets, they may determine as a group a reasonable reward. Some examples from the past include out of dress code day and extra technology time.
Dress Code Students are required to be in dress code daily beginning with the first day of school.
The Gray School Local School Council has adopted the following policy with the intent of promoting a school climate that is free of disruptions, conducive to learning and fosters habits of good grooming and is appropriate to the formal and serious purposes of education.
Tops: Tops will still include any “Gray” polo shirts or any white collared shirt. No logos are allowed on the shirts. However, any of the items on the spirit wear line are acceptable. No hooded sweatshirts are allowed. Students may wear plain blue or black sweaters or Gray School sweatshirts. Bottoms: Since all buildings are air-conditioned, no shorts are allowed. Students may wear blue or black pants. Cargo pants or pants with logos are not allowed. Pants must be worn at the waist.
On Physical Education days, students are expected to wear a white shirt, blue or black shorts, and athletic shoes. Gym clothes should be worn under school clothes as there are no changing facilities. Students will not be allowed to participate in P.E. if they are not wearing athletic shoes. Cleats are not allowed.
Students are to wear closed-toe shoes. Flip flops, slides or swimmer sandals are not allowed.
There are no restrictions on student backpacks.
Ordering Gray School Spirit Wear: These items will be available online and can be worn any day of the week. Seasonally, we will offer new items in a similar manner. The online store will be open for orders for approximately 2-3 week time periods throughout the year and parents must use the access code provided in order to access the “store.” The store will then close so orders can be processed. If a parent misses an opportunity to purchase, the store will reopen at a later date. Parents may use Chromebooks in the main offices to place orders.
Failure to be in dress code: Students will be required to call home for appropriate attire.
Students who do not comply with the dress code will be excluded from all extracurricular activities. This includes sports, choir, extracurricular graduation activities and field trips.
Admission: Parents/guardians must show two proofs of residence, a current physical and immunization record and proof of child’s birth date.
Medical and Dental Records: Students must have proof of immunization on file at the school. Students in Pre-K, Kindergarten, and 6th grades must have a current physical exam on file (within one year of enrollment). Students in Kindergarten, 2nd grade and 6th grade must also have a current dental examination on file. Vision exams are required upon enrollment if a student is entering a State of Illinois school for the first time or entering kindergarten.
Emergency Forms: Parents/Guardians are required to fill out emergency forms at the beginning of each semester. This information is very important as it allows us to contact you in case of an emergency involving your child. Please fill out the form completely and list alternative numbers. Notify the office immediately if there is a change in your emergency contact information. Children become very upset when we are unable to reach parents in an emergency. CPS Policy requires parents to notify the school immediately when there is a change of address.
School Fees: The Gray School Local School Council establishes school fees every year. Please check the Gray School website at Gray.CPS.Edu for a convenient ePay link. This allows you to pay school fees with a credit card. Chromebooks are available in both offices for ePay.
School fees are charged to cover the cost of consumable materials (workbooks, newspapers, science materials etc.) Textbooks and library books must be returned in good condition or a replacement fee will be charged. School fees must be paid or an approved waiver of fees must be on file for final report cards and room assignments to be issued. A payment plan can be arranged in the main office of the primary building. Please make school fees a priority in your family.
Transfers: Students transferring out will be issued medical records. Student records will be forwarded to the new school upon request of the new school. No transfers will be issued unless all books are returned and all outstanding fees are paid. Transfers will be issued at the end of the school year for students who do not reside in the Gray School attendance area. Gray School may require legal proof of address at least once a year.
Homeroom Assignments: A student’s room assignment is permanent except when the need to balance class size calls for reorganization. Teachers help by providing input into homeroom assignments; however, the final decision on placement is made by the administration. In extremely rare cases, students, with principal approval, may be transferred to another homeroom.
Grade book: Parents and students are given activation codes at the beginning of the school year in order to monitor student grades. More information can be found at CPS.edu.
Progress Reports: Progress reports will be sent home during the fifth week of each marking period. For students who are failing, the teacher, student and parent will meet and create a remediation plan. Grades may be reviewed by parents via the Parent Portal.
Report Cards: Report cards are issued four times a year. Parents are asked to pick up their child’s report from school in the first and third quarters.
Promotion: The Chicago Board of Education sets the promotion policy. Parents will receive a copy of it every year. Field Trips: Field trips are a planned part of your child’s education. Field trips are not optional. Students are expected to attend field trips unless they have been excluded for unsafe behaviors. Students must be in dress code in order to leave the building for a field trip. If a parent wishes for the student not to attend a field trip, then the parent should contact the teacher and explain the situation; however, students are expected to be in school even if they do not attend the field trip. Permission slips must be returned with a parent/guardian signature at least two days before the trip. Students must arrive to school on time in order to participate as the buses will not wait for latecomers.
Library Cards: All students should have a Chicago Public Library card in order to take out books for projects and independent reading.
Sports/Academic Policy: This sports/academic policy has been developed in order to maintain balance between sports and academics. It is our responsibility as a school to instill proper values in the students when it comes to determining priorities regarding academics and sports. Students who are invited to after-school programs must attend academic programs before they will be included in sports activities. Academics are our first priority.
Students may participate fully on sports teams provided they are passing all of their classes, have good attendance, good behavior and have attended after-school programs if they are eligible. Grades of D or lower are not passing grades.
Health and Safety
Fire, Lockdown and Disaster Drills: Students will participate in emergency drills every month. Fire drill evacuation routes are posted in every classroom. Students must not talk, run or engage in any behavior that may endanger themselves or others. During other emergency drills, students are to follow the teachers’ directions.
Bus Drills: All students will participate in yearly bus evacuation drills.
Emergency School Closings: Procedures for emergency school closings are on file in the school office. Closings due to weather conditions will be announced on local television and radio stations. If Gray School is ever closed during the school day, grades k-4 will go to Portage Park School and grades 5-8 will go to Reinberg School.
Head Lice: Most schools have outbreaks of head lice. Our policy is that no noticeable live eggs of lice may be in the hair before the student is able to return to school.
Parent Visits and Conferences: Parents are welcome to visit the school and visit their child’s classroom; however, these visits must be arranged ahead of time with the teacher. Parent conferences should be scheduled with individual teachers. Please make an appointment ahead of time. Conferences may not take place during instructional time. Teachers may not be interrupted during class to answer phone calls or to talk to a parent. Please call before or after school and leave a message. The teacher will return your phone call promptly.
Parental Rights: Parents who are separated or divorced and have legal custody or who have restraining orders must have a copy of the legal decision on file in the office. Without legal papers, both parents will be deemed to have equal rights and access to the student and student records.
Volunteering: Illinois State Law provides that parents must be given time off (eight hours a year) to participate in their children’s school. Volunteer applications are available in the main office.
LSC: The LSC meets regularly. All are welcome and encouraged to attend the meetings. Meeting times and members are posted on the LSC bulletin boards in both buildings, published in the monthly calendars, posted on the marquee on Laramie and on the school website.
The School Reform Laws allow the Local School Councils to make policy, but not be involved in the day-to-day operations of the school.
BAC/PAC: Gray School enjoys the benefits of the Bilingual Advisory Committee and the Title 1 Parent Advisory Committee. The meeting dates and times are posted on the school marquee on Laramie, the school website and the main entrances to the school.
Lockers: Lockers are the property of the Chicago Board of Education and Gray School. Lockers may be examined at any time by the administration. School-owned locks are distributed to students at the beginning of the year after students and parents sign a locker contract. Students will be allowed to go to their lockers at designated times during the day. Students are responsible for their lockers and locks, and are not to share lock combinations with other students. A fee of $10.00 will be charged to a student’s account if their lock is lost or stolen as per the locker contract. Locks should remain on the locker and in a closed position when the locker is not in use.
Lockers are a privilege. Abuse of locker privileges or roughhousing near the lockers during passing periods may result in the loss of locker privileges.
Elevator Policy: The elevator is available for students with disabilities, whether permanent or temporary. If a student needs to use the elevator, a plan must be developed addressing the severity of the need and must be approved by the school administrators.
Eighth Grade Community Service: Our counselor works closely with the eighth grade students and their parents in order to assist them in high school placement. Parental input and support are expected and appreciated. Many exciting activities take place during the year. Passing grades and satisfactory behavior are required in order to participate.
In order to foster a sense of responsibility, community and citizenship, the Local School Council has approved a policy that calls for 8th grade students to perform 20 hours of community service to the school and/or the community. Guidelines will be given to each student.
For more information on Gray School, please visit our website at Gray.CPS.edu