It is the policy of the Houston Independent School District not to discriminate on the basis of age, color, handicap or disability, ancestry, national origin, marital status, race, religion, sex, veteran status, or political affiliation in its educational or employment programs and activities.
WELCOME TO KOLTER, an exemplary school of languages and cultures. We are dedicated to nurturing the unique academic and personal potential of each student by partnering with teachers, parents, and the community.
This handbook has been designed for you and your child. It is well documented that parental involvement in school activities fosters academic success in children.
While the HISD Code of Conduct outlines district policies, The Kolter Way provides in depth information concerning the culture, routines, and policies specific to our campus.
With a collaborative effort between parents and teachers, our students will be prepared for a global future.
The Story of Jennie Katherine Kolter In 1959, Jennie Katharine Kolter was a teacher at Poe Elementary. On September 15, a father had attempted to enroll his son in second grade at Poe Elementary but was denied since he lacked birth and health certificates. He returned soon after and approached the playground with a briefcase in hand. Sensing something ominous, Jennie Kolter approached and began to usher children and teachers back into the building. The disgruntled man ignored demands by the principal and others to leave the school grounds and ultimately detonated the briefcase containing dynamite, claiming the lives of six people, including Jennie Kolter.
As a result of their courage and bravery, Jennie Kolter and others are credited for saving the lives of many. The following year, two new campuses were opened in HISD. One was named in honor of Jennie Katherine Kolter and the other for James Arlie Montgomery, a Poe Elementary custodian who also lost his life.
At Kolter, we find everyday opportunities to teach our children about the traits of heroism including courage, bravery, integrity, generosity, and kindness. In 2010, Mayor Bill White declared September 15th as Jennie K. Kolter Day in Houston, Texas. Our school also celebrates Jennie Kolter Day by hosting an assembly with a focus on character and service in the community. A special Jennie Kolter ribbon is worn by all teachers and staff on Jennie Kolter Day!
When we talk to children about Jennie Kolter, we do not discuss the details of the tragic events that occurred. The discussion centers on the how Jennie Kolter’s actions helped save countless lives. Excellent connections are made with children in regards to courage, bravery, integrity, kindness, commitment, and appreciation. The message is that such character traits are in all of us, specifically our children, and we all have the power to make a difference in the lives of others.
EARLY DISMISSAL DAYS: 12:30 P.M. DISMISSAL
Important: No student should be dropped off at school prior to 7:15 A.M. This is a negligent act by the parent as there is NO SUPERVISION for students before 7:15 a.m. and after dismissal at 3:15 p.m. If your child participates in Extended Day, please refer to policies and procedures provided to you by the Extended Day coordinator.
KEY KOLTER EVENTS BY MONTH
The table below includes a generic list of events and/or acknowledgements which are traditions at Kolter. Acknowledgement might range from classroom lessons, guest speakers, or a school-wide assembly. Check your newsletter for more updated information!
Students must bring a note from a parent/guardian to the homeroom teacher explaining the absence. You have 3 days to bring in the note upon returning to school. The note needs to include the student’s first and last name, grade, date(s) of absence, and reason for absence. The note must also be dated with a parent/guardian signature and a phone number for verification. Students are given five days to make up work once returning to school.
Absences for Vacation or Travel
Such absences are unexcused and a student’s academic progress can be negatively affected. Magnet students or transfer students who accumulate excessive absences are subject to being exited from the magnet program.
Absences are excused for personal illness, sickness or death in the family, quarantine, weather or road conditions making travel dangerous, participation in school activities with permission of the principal, juvenile court proceeding documented by a probation officer, approved college visitation, religious holy days, and doctor or therapy appointment (a doctor’s note is required). Please note that any absence for personal illness for 3 or more days requires a doctor’s note to be considered excused. All other absences are unexcused.
Leaving School Early
If students have an appointment, a note must be submitted to the teacher or main office in advance. The note needs to include the student’s first and last name, grade, date of the early dismissal request, time the student is to be released and reason. The note must also include a parent/guardian signature and phone number. All students must sign out in the Main Office and receive a permit prior to leaving campus.
Usually, when a divorce occurs, both parents have equal rights under the law. If this is not the case, you must notify the office and bring in a certified legal document of custody; otherwise, under the law, we must provide equal rights to both parents. We are not able to take directives from one parent in regards to the other unless said directive is outlined in a legally binding custody document.
The best suggestion for the making the carpool process smooth and painless is to plan ahead! Please be patient and helpful with your fellow families, and lend a hand in acclimating them to the “procedures.”
The most important rule is to NEVER, EVER, drop a child off on the opposite side of the street and let them walk across! The adults are models for our children, so we do not want parents walking across the street unless they are using the crosswalk. An injury is never intended, and is always regretted. This is one of the most serious acts of child endangerment observed at Kolter. Please protect your child and others’ by adhering to this rule. Please call 713-726-3630 for additional information.
Carpool pick up tags are required for all student releases in the afternoon. A valid driver’s license or other form of ID is required in the absence of a carpool pick up tag.
Do not park, sit idle, or block any crosswalk or driveway…Dumfries St., Runnymeade, S. Rice
Use the crosswalk; you are the role model for your child and others!
Sisters and brothers will report to the younger sibling’s pick up area at dismissal time.
Parents are responsible for communicating any type of carpool pick up change by 10:30 am in writing to the main office (i.e., going home with friend or relative)
Frequent and last minute changes to the method in which your child gets home each day creates anxiety and confusion for your child and Kolter staff who are responsible for his/her safety.
Be careful not park in the moving carpool lane, or park directly across the street from a moving carpool lane.
U-turns on Runnymeade or any other street adjacent to Kolter is not permitted.
DO NOT get out of your car while in the carpool lane. This holds up other parents. Please have your child’s items ready so that they can quickly exit the car.
A.M. Drop Off:
Pre-K parents will receive instructions regarding drop off and pick up from Ms. Lyons.
Kindergartners are dropped off at the Kindergarten gate on S. Rice. Do not park your car on S. Rice in the morning to walk your child to school as this will hold up the whole line behind you and create a traffic jam.
1st-2nd graders must be dropped off on Runnymeade in the front of the school in the “drive through drop off zone.”
3rd-5th graders must be dropped off on Dumfries between 7:15-7:40. After 7:40, the gate will be locked and children will not be able to enter because the staff on duty must report to their classroom.
P.M. Pick Up: Carpool Student Pick Up Tags are mandatory! Please hang the tag from the rear view mirror or carry it with you if walking.
Kindergartners, 1st and 2nd graders will be escorted to the Runnymeade entrance of the school at 3:05 .pm. to wait on the porch area. Teachers will assist with loading children as parents drive through the “pick up zone”. No parking is allowed in the orange cone area at this time (NO U-TURNS, DRIVE AROUND THE BLOCK!!!). If walking up, please hand your pick up tag to the parent volunteer or staff member calling for students. Every effort will be made to call names in the order they were received provided the student is present at the time. WE ENCOURAGE PARENTS TO USE THE CARPOOL LANE RATHER THAN WALK-UP TO PICK UP CHILDREN.
3rd – 5th graders will be escorted to Dumfries St. Two gate entrances are used for afternoon pick up and each serves a different purpose:
Gate 1 (closest to Runnymeade): Used only for persons walking up to get their child. Children may not get into a vehicle in the moving carpool lane from this gate.
Gate 2 (closest to Godwin Park): Used only for moving carpool lane. Children will not be released to a person who has walked up from this gate.
Bus riders are escorted to the bus pick up area at dismissal time. Parents are responsible for notifying the office in advance when the students will not be riding the bus. If you pick up your child prior to the end of the day, please notify office staff that he/she is a bus rider.
Extended Day Program:
Students enrolled in the Extended Day Program will report directly to the designated Extended Day teacher for each grade level at dismissal time (3:00 pm).
Developed by HISD and distributed to all parents and students, this booklet describes disciplinary offenses and how the district handles them. Parents are responsible for ensuring that their children adhere to the rules and conventions of proper behavior while at school. While the Code of Conduct is a comprehensive handbook, below is a brief synopsis of how misconduct is categorized.
Level I: Violation of classroom rules; generally notes on a conduct sheet and corrected by the teacher or parent contact. (Examples: talking out of turn, chewing gum, off task behavior)
Level II: Administrative/teacher intervention; generally more serious in nature or a repeated violation under Level I. (Example: teasing another student, rough horseplay, discourteous remark)
Level III: Misconduct that disrupts the instructional process in class, at school, or school-related activities; repeated violation of Level I and II offenses; considered to be a serious offense. (Examples: refusing to comply with school personnel, fighting, profanity, bullying, harassment, possession of small pocket knife)
Level IV: Criminal offenses; any felony, whether school-related or not, are included here unless it is categorized as a Level V. Such an offense requires removal of the student to a Disciplinary Alternative Educational Program (DAEP).
Level V: Acts of misconduct that may result in expulsion include, but are not limited to, assault, and possession of weapons, drug distribution, and other criminal offenses.
The quality of student behavior and the level of engagement in the building depend upon the teaching and supervision contributed by each teacher. Every teacher must help his/her students to establish standards for behavior and to adhere to those standards. Teachers should plan instructional activities to provide involvement, variety, and interest. Students are less likely to be disruptive when they are challenged and involved. Use a variety of learning activities to keep interest up.
Kolter Elementary School seeks to create a learning community where we work together to create a safe, respectful, responsible and committed environment. Students and teachers will participate in following our “Fantastic 4 Values” system:
Play in a safe way and use good judgment.
Consider the health or safety of oneself and others.
Follow school rules in the classroom, on the playground, and in all areas of the campus.
Speak and act in a kind and courteous way to other children and adults.
Follow the instructions of supervising adults.
Respect everyone's right to learn.
Follow established guidelines and routines.
Take care of school and private property.
Manage the time at school in a way that facilitates learning.
Be prepared to learn by coming to school on time with all of the appropriate materials.
Be Committed to learning
Pay attention in class, including taking notes (when necessary) and asking questions.
Do not disrupt the learning environment.
Ask the teacher for help when needed.
Dangerous Weapons Policy
No students shall go on the school premises with a weapon, including a firearm, explosive, knife, any dangerous or illegal instrument, or any instrument represented as one of the above items or that reasonably appears to be one of the above described items. No student shall interfere with normal activities, occupancy, or use of any building or portion of campus by exhibiting, using, or threatening to exhibit or use any weapon or any item that is represented as or that reasonably appears to be a weapon.
Any student violating this policy shall be (a) suspended for a period of not less than one year; and (b) expelled and not re-admitted, if ever, within a one year period of time. This penalty may be modified for good cause. In determining whether there is good cause to modify the penalty, the Superintendent or the Governing Board may take into consideration (a) the age of the student; (b) whether the student brought or used the weapon to harm, intimidate, or in any other manner jeopardize the health, safety, or welfare of others, or interfere with the educational process; and (c) other factors relevant to the issue of the penalty to be imposed.
Disciplinary consequences are designed to deter the student from making errors in judgment or engaging in misconduct that interferes with the student’s (or other students’) ability to be academically successful. Typically, behaviors are resolved through one of the following strategies:
Redirect student behavior
One on one conference with student
Written communication sent home or phone call to parent
Conference with parent
Student referred to office
Should the behavior issue be more serious in nature or if it is not resolved through these means, additional staff members, such as the principal, will be utilized.
Positive Behavior Reinforcement
While we must uphold the disciplinary framework mentioned previously, it is the philosophy at Kolter that positive behavior reinforcement strategies is a crucial tool to reinforce good behavior and eliminate bad behavior. Teachers and staff recognize the importance of building self-esteem and inspiring confidence in children.
Typically when a student exhibits a pattern of poor behavior, staff will collaborate with parents to create a positive reinforcement strategy that is individual and appropriate for the child (ren) involved.
Electronic Devices Policy
The Texas legislature allows for electronic devices on school campuses for the purpose of emergencies. The Kolter cell phone policy is designed with this philosophy in mind. These devices have created a plethora of classroom disruptions, not to mention instances of name-calling, bullying, and cheating. Since these devices are typically very expensive we strongly encourage that they be left at home. Should you allow your child to bring a cell phone device to school, they must adhere to the policy below:
Cell Phones, IPODS, Gaming devices or any other electronics will be turned off and kept in the student’s backpack while the student is on any part of the Kolter campus.
Should the student feel an urgent need to use the phone before or after school hours, a call can always be made from a land line at school. When a special circumstance arises after school hours, the student must obtain adult permission prior to accessing their cell phone.
A phone that can’t be seen or heard cannot be confiscated. Students are not allowed to have their cell phone in their pants pocket, in the desk, or anywhere else.
When parents have an urgent reason to talk to their child, the main office should be contacted immediately. Attempting to contact your child via cell phone will result in the same consequence should the phone be confiscated.
Note: Kolter Elementary is not responsible for lost or stolen electronic devices. Disciplinary Consequences
All instances relating to misconduct concerning electronic devices will be recorded on a discipline referral. The confiscated device will be stored in the school safe. If the phone is confiscated during standardized testing, the test will be considered an irregularity and will be voided.
First Offense: Cell phone will be turned over to administration. Parent will need to retrieve the phone in person from administration, or administration will communicate with parent the method for retrieval.
Second Offense: $15.00 fine will be assessed in accordance with HISD’s code of conduct, and the phone will be kept in the safe until the following Friday of the offense.
Third Offense: $15.00 fine will be assessed and the phone will be confiscated for 30-90 days as determined by the administrator.
Additional consequences may result if it is determined the electronic device violated other school policies (classroom disturbance, name-calling, cheating, etc…).
It is essential that every child arrive at school by 7:40 am, when the first bell rings. An important part of the student’s day is from 7:40 am to 7:45 am. These minutes are for walking to class, unpacking, going to a first station (or seat), developing socialization skills and preparing to begin work when the tardy bell rings at 7:45 am. On the contrary, children arriving late miss important beginning of the day class instruction, disrupt the learning environment of other children, and divert the teacher’s attention from the class to the tardy student.
Furthermore, punctuality is an important life skill for children and a character trait which engenders respect for teachers, fellow students, and our school. Again, excessive tardiness has the opposite effect. By setting a clear and reasonable expectation for all, we hope not to administer consequences. Please note that tardies will not carry over into a new grading cycle.
Consequences for Tardiness:
If a child is not sitting in their classroom by the 7:45 am tardy bell, the student will report directly to their first class and be signed in as “tardy”. The tardy will also be recorded in Chancery, the student database of records. Excessive tardiness will affect a student’s general conduct grade, their eligibility to receive attendance honors, and to participate in special programs, such as field trips.
Interventions and consequences for excessive tardiness is described below:
3 tardies Notice will be sent home.
5 tardies Phone call or conference with the parent by the classroom teacher.
7 tardies Teacher will submit a discipline referral to the administration.
grade, and will be reflected on the report card for the current grading
*Magnet students who accumulate excessive tardies will be placed on a growth plan and the magnet transfer may not be renewed.
The Kolter School tardy policy was created to emphasize the importance of punctuality as a student and parent responsibility. Every child deserves the opportunity to receive the maximum benefit of the educational experience provided by the Kolter staff. Punctuality is a basic expectation, and utilizing staff resources to address these concerns could be better used for issues related directly to teaching and learning. With that said, let’s work together to make sure tardiness does not become a concern for your child, his/her classroom environment, and the ability of the teacher to remain focused on the primary responsibility of educating all children in the classroom. Please feel free to contact Ms. Dickinson, Principal, should you wish to discuss this policy further.
The required school uniform is to be worn everyday by all students except for specified events approved in advance by the principal. The Kolter Elementary School Dress Code requires neat, clean, appropriate dress and grooming. Students should be dressed in such a manner that their appearance in the school contributes to the learning environment. Trends surface quickly; therefore, the principal reserves the right to adjust the dress code should a trend deemed inappropriate for school wear, disruptive to the learning environment or safety of the students becomes apparent. Uniforms are available for individuals without resources to pay for them. A request may be made to the counselor or school nurse. Uniforms can be purchased through PTO and from the Kolter School Store.
Solid Red, White or Navy Blue Collared "polo style" or collared "oxford style".
Kolter T-shirts or plain solid Red, White or Navy Blue T-shirts may also be worn.
Tops must fall into one of the above categories, and be free of designs; logo may not be larger than one inch
Turtlenecks and T-shirts may be worn underneath the standardized shirt and shall be either solid blue, solid white or solid red.
All shirts must overlap the top of bottoms; no midriff can be exposed.
Either solid navy, solid khaki (twill or cotton) or denim (non-faded).
Must be hemmed and be free of designs, holes, or tears.
Must be appropriately sized, fitted and worn at the waist. If pants not worn at waist, a belt will be needed. Overly tight fitting pants or blue jeans are not acceptable attire.
Must be free of fading or bleaching, writing or heavy embroidery.
Denim wear must be one continuous solid color blue or khaki.
SKIRTS, SHORTS/SKORTS AND/OR JUMPERS
Either solid navy or solid khaki or solid blue denim.
Lace, netting, and other heavily embellished clothing is not permitted.
Must be hemmed and be free of designs, holes, or tears.
Must be appropriately sized, not baggy or excessively tight.
Slits and length must be no higher than 3 inches above the kneecap.
Must free of fading or bleaching, writing or heavy embroidery.
Nylon or lycra gym/sport/basketball shorts are not acceptable.
Either solid navy or solid red "polo style" or collared "oxford style" dress.
Must be free of designs, lace, netting, and other heavily embellished fabric.
Must be hemmed and free of holes and tears.
Must be appropriately sized, not baggy or excessively tight.
Slits and length must be no higher than 3 inches above the kneecap.
Must free of fading or bleaching, writing or heavy embroidery.
Socks must be worn with shoes each day.
Must wear school appropriate sneakers, athletic shoes or shoes with rubber sole.
All shoes must have closed front and backs and be fastened at all times.
Shoes w/wheels, cleats, sandals, flip flops, crocs or heels (1+ inch) are not permitted.
Recess, science lab, outdoor learning areas require enforcement of footwear.
SWEATERS/SWEAT SHIRTS/LIGHT JACKETS
Solid red, white, or navy blue sweaters, sweatshirts, hoodies and/or jackets with no logos larger than 1” may be worn.
Official college/university sweatshirts (not T-shirts) can be worn anytime, as promoting a college-bound culture in our youngest children is a good thing!
Outerwear worn inside the building must reflect dress code policy
Leggings: Solid non-patterned white or navy blue.
Socks: Solid, non-patterned, white, navy blue, red, black or khaki socks are acceptable. Low ankle socks or “no show” socks in any color is permitted.
Tights: Solid non-patterned white or navy blue.
The following Backpack Policy is a Shared Decision Making Committee (SDMC) judgment:
The use of standard double-strap backpacks is encouraged. To avoid back strain, ALWAYS use both straps and carry the pack high between the shoulders.
Rolling backpacks are NOT permitted in Kindergarten, First, or Second grade.
Rolling SUITCASES are not permitted.
Rolling backpacks are permitted in grades 3, 4, and 5, if the parent feels they cannot manage without one.
It must be soft-sided, have two straps, and a collapsible handle.
It must be 22” or smaller.
It must be able to sit upright without disrupting the classroom environment.
FREE DRESS DAYS: Occasionally, students earn a free dress day. Clothing such as halters, sundresses, short shorts, short skirts, etc…are not appropriate for school. Keep in mind the general guidelines we have put in place for the dress code as your child participates in free dress day. It is unfortunate when a child needs to be referred to the office on a free dress day.
HEALTH AND NURSE INFORMATION
Our school nurse is Ms. Cathy Crisp, R.N. She consistently goes above and beyond the call of duty to ensure the proper care and safety of all persons at Kolter Elementary.
Office Hours and Location
The nurse’s office is open from 7:45 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. during regularly scheduled school days. The office is located inside the main office, and is also accessible from the main hallway.