Principal's Message to Families

From the Principal We are asking our parents for help with the following as we ensure our learning environments remain protected from distractions that reduce student learning and engagement. We additionally ask for parents to recognize and respect the need to provide student equity in our environment by respecting the following school requests: 1. No individual student balloons, flowers, or gifts will be accepted in the office for personal delivery to students. Individual student celebrations need to take place at home.

2. Students should always have wholesome lunches and while we know that sometimes fast food is the only last-minute option, please make an attempt to place fast food lunches in a student lunch bag. No delivery of pizzas or other "group" lunches for students (McDonalds, Taco Bell, etc) will be accepted in the front office for the cafeteria. We will accept individual student lunches only.

3. Birthday celebrations must be whole-class, are at the discretion of the teacher, and must be arranged with the teacher in advance of the birthday. Birthday celebrations will not take place during grade-level lunches.

4. Students are released for pick up ONLY to adults that are listed as emergency powerschool contacts. For the safety of every child in this school, there are no exceptions to this rule. Adults here to pick up students will wait in the office until the child comes to the office.

5. Please have your student at school no later than 7:45am. Our doors open at 7:30am for breakfast. Students that arrive tardy or after 8:00 am, the start of the school day, MUST be signed in by parents. The first few minutes of the school day is so critical for student success and setting the tone for learning. Please do your best to ensure that your child is on time and at school, every day.

6. Parents wishing to visit a classroom during the school day must receive prior approval of teacher and grade-level principal at least one week, and preferrable two weeks, in advance of a visit. Approval is at the discretion of the principal and teacher and will not last longer than one hour. Any extra adult in a classroom creates unnecessary distractions to student learning and the routines and rhythm of the school day for students.

7. For the safety of all students in our school-- All parents who wish to volunteer as a parent-helper for more than two hours in a month must go through a district required background and fingerprinting check. Having parent volunteers in a classroom is at the discretion of the teacher.

8. Lunch times are designated opportunities for students to develop and practice social skills with their peers. Parents, grandparents, and guardians are welcome to volunteer for lunch duty in the cafeteria for up to two hours a month, but no other arrangements for special lunches with individual students will be made. If you wish to be a lunch duty volunteer, please sign up in the office and volunteer cafeteria duty responsibilities will be shared with you.

9. Unless there is an emergency, please arrange changes in after school transportation home in writing and with the teacher at the beginning of the day. Know that there are 800 students in the building and it is sometimes very difficult to get last minute end-of-day changes to classrooms for students. It is especially difficult to do this during the last 20 minutes of the day. We will do our best to ensure that your child gets home safely.

10. We are very busy ensuring that every child at Nina Otero receives a high quality education, all day, every day. This means that most of the time, grade level principals will not be available for pop-in visits. There is a form at the desk if you would like to make an appointment with your child's grade-level principal. We will call you back at the end of the day or the next day to schedule an office visit or phone conversation. If it is an emergency, please let the secretary know so that we can be pulled from our duties to meet with you.

We appreciate your help and support in the requests above! If you have any questions, Ms. Trish Gharrity is the supervising administrator for grades PK, 4 and 5, Mia Anderson is the supervising administrator for grades K-3, and Dr. Clarke is the supervising administrator for grades 6-8.

Our leadership team is committed to providing your child with rigorous and engaging learning opportunities balanced by teaching and modeling effort, kindness, stewardship, compassion, and integrity. We hope you will join us as partners this year!

We look forward to a new and exciting year!

Ms. Trish Gharrity

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