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A Reminder About Attendance Policies
by Christa Gustafson, Main Office Manager
Attendance policy for early childhood:
Early childhood children must be signed in and out every day. If your early childhood student will be absent or late, please let their teacher know.
Attendance Policies & Procedures for Grades 1-8
Do I really need a late slip?
You always need a late slip if you arrive after 8:25. There are some days that I won’t record late students up until 9:00 if the roads are bad, but late slips are always necessary.
Why are late slips always necessary?
To answer this question, I will describe a scenario that often happens:
The bell rings at 8:25. The children come in the building and go to their rooms. The teacher takes attendance, marking your child absent. Your child then arrives and goes to their room without getting a late slip. The attendance is delivered to the office with your child marked absent when in fact they were just late. I call you and say, “your child isn’t at school,” when in fact they are. Although I hate to make that type of call, I always err on the side of caution if I’m not sure why a child is absent. This call can be avoided by using late slips responsibly.
Following are excerpts from our parent handbook:
When a child arrives late, he or she is being asked to jump onto a moving train. Lateness puts the student at a disadvantage and interrupts the class and the teacher. Every effort should be made to have your child arrive at school on time. Students in Grades 1 – 8 who arrive after 8:25 am must check in at the Main Office and obtain a late slip before joining his or her class.
If your Grades 1 – 8 child will be absent, please call the school’s Main Office at extension 100 no later than 9:00 a.m. If your Nursery/Preschool/Kindergarten child will be absent, please leave a message for your child’s teacher. If your High School child will be absent, please call the High School at extension 109 no later than 8:00 a.m.
For the safety of the children it is necessary that they all be accounted for every morning. If a Grades 1-8 teacher reports a child as absent to the Main Office and we have not heard from a parent, we will attempt to contact the parents to make sure the child’s whereabouts is known. Please see the High School handbook for policies specific to the High School.
Planned absences are discouraged. If you know in advance that your child must miss school, please inform his or her teacher and the Main Office Manager. The student is responsible for getting assignments from the teacher before a planned absence. Try to schedule doctor and dentist appointments after school hours.
If you must pick up your children during the day some time before dismissal, you must sign them out outside the Main Office so that we know they are no longer in the building. Children in Grade 8 and younger may not sign themselves out.
Attendance policies for the High School:
Students are expected to arrive five to ten minutes before their first class and remain for the entire day except in case of illness or when an absence has been excused. This means that students are not to leave school early without authorization from a parent or guardian. In the event a student needs to leave school during the school day they or their parent/guardian must sign them out at the main office in addition to informing both the appropriate high faculty and either the HS Coordinator or the Director of Student Services. If a student then returns back to the school they or their parent/guardian are required to sign them back in at the main office.
Skipping classes will result in disciplinary action to be determined by the HS Coordinator and teacher whose class was skipped and/or the Director of Student Services. Students also are expected to attend every school event scheduled for the HS, including festivals and assemblies.
Unscheduled absences should be telephoned in by the parent/guardian to the HS office before 8:00 a.m. A phone call from a student is not sufficient to excuse an absence. Doctor and/or dental appointments should be scheduled for hours outside of school whenever possible. Students who are too ill to be in academic classes are considered to be too ill to be able to attend afternoon and/or extracurricular activities.
Make-up work after absences is at the discretion of the teacher. When absence is for all or a major portion of a block, the teacher will determine how the student may best make up the work. The student is responsible to approach the respective teacher to make up work. A record showing excessive tardiness and/or absence will be brought to a HS faculty meeting for review. Excessive absence/tardiness may affect the student’s ability to fulfill requirements for the class and/or graduation.
It should not be assumed that family vacation times can be extended into school time. Permission to miss school (for college visits, for example) should be coordinated through the HS faculty and administration and must be scheduled well in advance without the assumption that permission will be automatically granted.
When a student is not present in class or on the premises when they are supposed to be, every effort will be made to contact a parent by telephone.
Turbo Teens: An Evening with Douglas Gerwin, Ph.D
Don’t Miss Family Friendly Improv Night – Sat. Jan. 11th!
Our High School students have been rehearsing and planning a terrific show for The Denver Waldorf School community to enjoy. Working with experienced performer and DWS parent Craig Zablocki, the students have honed their on-the-fly acting skills and are ready for prime time!
This show will be fun for kids of all ages. Please join us on Saturday, January 11th from 6:00 – 8:00 pm for a great night of surprising theater! Tickets for this event are $10 per person. All proceeds will support the Duk Payuel School in South Sudan. The Duk Payuel School’s mission is to help rebuild war-torn Southern Sudan through education, nurturing and hope for the people’s future.
The Peace Group will also be hosting a bake sale during the improv show to raise additional money. We’ll have all kinds of goodies, including gluten-free and dairy-free. Bring a few extra dollars for something yummy!
Holiday Fair: Thank You!
Hooray, we did it! The frigid temperatures outside were no match for the warmth of the 39th Annual Holiday Fair.
Thank you to the students, parents and staff who provided the many helping hands and smiling faces, the comforting smells and joyous sounds and the spirited energy of the day. For me, it was a wonderful reminder of the richness of this Waldorf education and I appreciate how we came together to celebrate that as a community. I am in awe and full of gratitude for the magic we all created together.
I would like to add to our collection of treasured Holiday Fair photos. Please send any photos that you’d like to share to firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out our Facebook page for some snapshots from the day as well.
Over the winter break, I will be asking for a few helping hands to help in taking down the festive decorations. A call to action email will be out soon.
Parent Council Meeting & Coffee Talk
Help Prevent the Spread of Pertussis
Carolyn’s College Corner: Scholarship & Financial Aid
A Few Tidbits Going Forward…
New college search engine based on costs
It may be a bit late for you to fully benefit from this new college search engine, but it might help you compare the colleges that you’re already applying to. CollegeRealityCheck.com is sponsored by The Chronicle of Higher Education and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the interactive search tool takes into consideration factors such as “net price based on actual family income, projected monthly student loan payments, and potential earnings after graduation.” Their byline is: “Compare colleges by facts, not fluff.” Worth a look!
For those of you who will be filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid in order to apply for need-based financial aid, paper versions of the FAFSA are no longer being mailed to high schools. You are strongly encouraged to complete and submit the FAFSA online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. If, however, you would like a paper copy of the application, you may request one by calling toll-free the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243). You can also access a PDF version of the form that you can complete online, print out and mail, or print out, complete by hand, and mail. Read all about FAFSA filing options at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/options.htm.
If you’d like a quick way to determine if you’re likely to qualify for need-based aid, access the Fafsa4caster via a link on the FAFSA home page: www.fafsa.ed.gov. Also, you can access a pdf version of the publication Funding Your Education: The Guide to Federal Student Aid, that includes basic information about student eligibility, the application process, and aid programs at http://www.studentaid.ed.gov/pubs. Also, here’s a good website for understandable explanations of financial aid applications: http://www.finaid.org/fafsa/.
Keep in mind that you can’t file the FAFSA before January 1 (when the current tax year is over), but most colleges need your FAFSA results in February, so aim to file no later than February 15
College Opportunity Fund for all students planning to attend college in Colorado
CollegeInColorado.org provides a link to the application for the College Opportunity Fund stipend that provides a tuition cost break for in-state students attending Colorado colleges and universities.
Send your scores
Remember that most colleges require that you have your standardized test scores sent directly from the testing agency. To send your scores, go online to http://sat.collegeboard.org/scores/send-sat-scores (SAT) and/or www.actstudent.org/scores/send (ACT) and have a credit card handy. (College Board allows students who have taken the SAT with a fee waiver four no-charge score reports sent to colleges, in addition to the up to four reports that you may have requested sent straight to colleges when you registered for the test.) Also, keep in mind that in most cases, you may choose to send either your SAT or ACT scores. A small number of colleges, though, require SAT Subject Test scores in addition to ACT scores. Do your homework and know what your colleges require.
Gap Year Fair
Sunday, January 19, 2014, 1:00-3:30pm
Denver Academy, 4400 E. Iliff Avenue
If you’re even contemplating the benefits of a gap year — stepping off the education conveyor belt for a year to do something stimulating, eye-opening, energizing, and worthwhile, this will be well worth your time, so check it out!
Many reputable organizations that offer gap year programs will be available to offer information and answer questions.
Find out about the organizations involved at www.usagapyearfairs.org/programs
SAT/ACT test dates for early 2014
SAT – January 25th and March 8
ACT – February 8th and April 12th
(While I would like to take credit for all the below information, I must give credit where credit is due. Thank you Kent Denver for the following information. I think there are some great possibilities here and within our own community)
SMART Scholarship (Science, Technology, and Research for Transformation)
- Sponsored by the Department of Defense Defense (DoD) to “support undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines.”
- $25,000 to $38,000 per year depending on one’s major. (For a list of majors, go to: http://smart.asee.org/about)
- Applicants must have a GPA of at least 3.0, be able to participate in a summer internship, and be willing to work for the DoD after college graduation.
- Application materials are at http://smart.asee.org
- Deadline: December 16, 2013
- $20,000 scholarships awarded to 300 high school seniors every year!
- An initiative of the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, which “recognizes students who have overcome significant obstacles to pursue their educations. In turn, these scholars serve as positive role models and change the trajectories for their siblings, friends and their communities.”
- Minimum GPA: 2.4
- Applicants must demonstrate financial need, self-motivation, and “determination to succeed.”
- “The Dell Scholars Program is more than a check. Rather, the program aims to provide students with everything they need to begin and complete college.” In addition to scholarship money, “the Dell Scholars Program provides its students with technology, a private scholar networking community, resources, and mentoring to ensure they have the support they need to achieve their college degrees. Scholars become part of a support network for each other that is made up of themselves, their schools, families, peers and a dedicated Dell Scholar team at the Michael & Susan Dell foundation.”
- The online application is easy to complete. Applicants selected as semi-finalists will be requires to submit additional materials. Find more information and a link to the application at www.dellscholars.org.
- Deadline: January 15, 2014
SAE Engineering Scholarships
- Applicants must enroll in an ABET-accredited engineering or related program, meet minimum requirements pertaining to GPA or ACT/SAT scores, and complete an essay about their engineering goals, plans, and experiences. (ABET is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization that accredits college and university programs in the disciplines of applied science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology.)
- Scholarships range from $400 to full tuition
- Learn more specifics and access an application at http://students.sae.org/awdscholar/scholarships (In the “Type of Scholarship” box, click on the “Freshman Year of College” link)
- Deadline: January 15, 2014
PFLAG Denver Scholarship Program
- Sponsored by the Denver chapter of PFLAG (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays)
- One $2,500 and two $1,000 scholarships “for LGBTQ high school seniors and their straight allies to recognize those students who are beacons in their communities, to encourage them to pursue post-secondary education and to promote a positive image of LGBTQ youth”
- Applicants need a 2.5 GPA or better.
- For the application, along with FAQs, go to www.pflagdenver.org
- Deadline: February 28, 2014
A “Taste” of Simplicity Parenting
Join retired DWS teacher and mother of 3 Colette Green for a Saturday morning gathering designed to give parents a taste of what her Simplicity Parenting course has to offer. Based on the teachings of Kim John Payne, author of Simplicity Parenting, these courses emphasize simplifying our homes and our lives in order to strengthen the connections we feel to family, friends and ourselves.
The Mysterious Message of Children’s Drawings
Join the Early Childhood Education Teachers of DWS for a Parent Evening that offers insight into the messages of your child’s artwork: