Parent & Student Handbook


Welcome to the 2018-2019 school year at Portola Springs Elementary! I am proud and honored to be the principal of a community where students, parents, and staff work together to provide students with a positive educational experience. In a community that seeks the best for its youth, among students who are hungry to learn, we invite you to experience the vision of Portola Springs Elementary by becoming as involved as possible in our school. Please take time to read the information provided in this brochure and review pertinent sections with your children. Additional information and updates will be disseminated throughout the year via the weekly Grizzly Bizz e-blasts, the Principal Report at PTA meetings, and our Portola Springs and classroom websites. Each of these can be accessed through the main website at Here’s to a great year! -Megan Bricker, Principal


attendance procedures Hotline 949-936-8801

Studies show that there is a direct correlation between good school attendance and student achievement. Therefore, we encourage you as parents to reinforce the importance of good school attendance and to make every effort to send your child to school on a regular basis. Please call 949-936-8801 before 8:45 a.m. each day if your child will be absent or tardy. The above line is dedicated specifically for this purpose. All tardy students must sign in at the front office before going to class.

Attendance and tardies are monitored at the District level and, per CA Ed Code, letters will be generated if your child has three or more tardies of 30 minutes or more, ten tardies of less than 30 minutes, or three unexcused absences. Per CA Ed Code, a student shall be excused from school when the absence is due to: illness, medical/dental appointments, funeral for immediate family members, observance of a holiday or ceremony of his or her religion, attendance at religious retreats, or student’s appearance in court.


Tardy/Leaving Early

Students are considered tardy if they are not in their class line at 8:15 a.m for primary, and 8:00 a.m for upper grades. If your child is tardy to school, he/she must report through the front office to allow us to update our attendance records for that day. Doors to the building are locked. Students will gain access through the office.


Should you find it necessary to schedule a medical appointment during your child’s class time, please sign out your child in the office. Do not go directly to the classroom at any time. This minimizes disruption to our instructional program and maintains student safety. Students leaving school before dismissal time must be signed out in the front office by a parent, guardian, or other adult listed in the Emergency Contacts on the computer. Students will be released only to those whose names are listed on the Emergency Contacts. Students will not be called out of class until parent arrives.


Homework Requests for Absent Students

If you wish to pick up homework for your absent child, please call the office or email the teacher prior to 9:15 a.m. It will be available for pick-up after class is dismissed.


Independent Study Contracts

We realize that there are times during the school year when families are out of town for one reason or another. These are considered UNEXCUSED absences. We do not offer independent student contracts to excuse these unexcused absences.


playground supervision

Playground supervision begins at 7:45 a.m. Students are not to arrive on campus before that time. There is no supervision after school on the playground. All students must go directly home when dismissed. Primary students who are dismissed early may wait for older siblings at the lunch tables. There is supervision for 15 minutes after dismissal at the lunch tables and in the parking lots. After 15 minutes all students will be brought to the office to call home.

The school grounds/playground are for the sole use of Portola Springs Elementary students during the school day, and are not open to siblings during school hours. Students are permitted to bring their own balls (no tennis balls) to use during recess. If they choose to do so, the school is not responsible for the equipment and students may not exclude other students from playing a game because of the personal equipment. The school provides equipment for recess and lunch periods.

dress code

Portola Springs Elementary School promotes a standard of appearance which enhances the learning environment while allowing for reasonable comfort and individuality for all students. With the support of the student’s guardian, each student is expected to appropriately groom and dress themselves, keeping clothing clean, comfortable, and appropriate for all elementary school activities. A student’s clothing should not be a distraction or disruption in the classroom. The following is Portola Springs Elementary School’s Dress Code:

  • Shoes should be practical, appropriate and sturdy enough for all school activities, including physical education. For students’ safety, no flip flops, crocs, clogs, open-toed sandals or backless shoes, or heelies can be worn at school.
  • Approved hats, hoods and caps are acceptable for outside activities only. No headwear may be worn inside the building, except if it is worn for or a special event. This includes hooded sweatshirts.
  • No distracting hairstyles or hair colors. No distracting makeup.
  • No jewelry that distracts from the educational environment or could be unsafe during physical activities should be worn. Earrings that dangle and could become dangerous when playing. Sunglasses may be worn outside the building.
  • Clothing may not contain inappropriate graphics or messages.
  • Shirts must be long enough to keep the midriff covered when the arms are raised. Bare midriffs, sheer or see-through clothing, bare backs, off-the-shoulder tops, tank tops, spaghetti straps, muscle shirts, and other revealing garments are not allowed.
  • Shorts and pants must be of appropriate size. Overly baggy or saggy pants will not be allowed. No short shorts or skirts. The hemlines should be no higher than mid-thigh (pockets should not hang below the bottoms of shorts).
  • Undergarments or boxer shorts must be totally covered by outer clothing. Sleep and loungewear are not appropriate.


Parents can help monitor the dress code by purchasing clothing that is in good taste; seeing that each child leaves for school properly dressed, and encouraging each child to take pride in his/her appearance. The school will monitor this dress code and inform parents in the event that a student's dress or grooming is not appropriate for school.


Below is an excerpt IUSD’s Board Policy governing Dress and Personal Appearance:

Appropriate dress and personal appearance at school and school-related activities shall not include any clothing, attire, or accessory that by its manner of appearance, arrangement, trademark, fit, or any other attribute, is unsafe; disruptive; unhealthful; obscene; profane; ethnically, racially or sexually degrading; libelous or slanderous; exposing undergarments; provocative or revealing; advocating unlawful behavior or illegal substances; or suggesting or promoting any affiliation with any street gang or other group that commits unlawful acts [see Board Policy 5132(a)- Dress and Personal Appearance and Board Policy 5136(a) - Gang Affiliation].


The Irvine Unified School District offers a breakfast and hot lunch program for students. Portola Springs also offers snack options that cost between $.25 and $1.50.The cost of an elementary lunch is $3.25 per meal and milk alone is $.50. Each student has been assigned a personal identification number. Parents are asked to deposit funds in the student’s account either electronically or by sending a check to school with your student. The goal for the school and the school district is to be cashless. Money will not be handled in the lunchroom—please do not take your money to the cafeteria.

Option 1- Go to and register for an account (see details below).

Option 2- Send a check to the school office made payable to IUSD Nutrition Services. Include your student’s Lunch Box number on the memo line of the check.

Another option to consider: the National Lunch Program. Complete a free/reduced lunch application by October 1st. If you qualify, your child never has to purchase a lunch at school. Qualifications for free/reduced lunch is confidential. Applications are available on the school website.


Meetings at school

Please note that if a parent has a meeting on school grounds, the child should remain with the parent or have other arrangements for supervision. Supervision is not provided in the office or hallways during meetings.


general school rules

  • Personal belongings, such as skateboards, roller blades, scooters, Heelys, and hand-held laser pointers, are not permitted on school grounds.
  • Students may not talk or text on their cell phones or listen to messages at any time during the school day. Cell phones confiscated for failure to adhere to these rules will be turned into the principal and will be returned to the student’s parents only. Any student cell phones (not being used as BYOD devices during designated times) must be kept in the child’s backpack and off at all times.
  • Any watch or device that has 2 way communication capabilities, not being used for BYOD activities, will need to be off and in the students backpack or left with the teacher during the school day. The school and/or staff will not be held responsible for the damage or loss of such devices.
  • Students are not allowed to use the front office phone for non-urgent matters. In order to minimize classroom interruptions, we also do not deliver non-emergency phone messages from the office to individual classrooms. We ask that you take care of all after-school arrangements with your child before he/she leaves for school. Your assistance is greatly appreciated.
  • Students will use appropriate language both in the classroom and on the playground.
  • Students must have a pass to be in the buildings or atriums before school, during recess, or during lunch periods.
  • Students are allowed on campus no earlier than 15 minutes before their school day begins and no later than 15 minutes after their school day ends.
  • Playing in or near the bathrooms is not permitted.
  • Unsafe play (wrestling, tackling, etc.) is not permitted. Students must keep hands to self at all times.
  • Closed toe shoes must be worn at all times.
  • If a major discipline issue arises, administration will conduct an investigation by interviewing and talking with any/all parties involved. Discipline and other means of correction/support will be determined on a case by case basis.

P.B.I.S. Overview

Arrival and Dismissal

medication at school

Any time your child requires medication at school, the medication must be kept in the nurse’s office to be given by school personnel. LEGALLY, the school requires:

1. Medication MUST be in the ORIGINAL pharmacy bottle, labeled by the pharmacist.

2. The parent MUST sign a consent form prior to medication being administered. The form is available in the school office, as well as on the IUSD web-site under Health Services (

3. The physician MUST sign a consent form prior to medication being administered. Medication will not be administered unless instructions are specific.

4. Medication MUST be brought to school by a parent. At no time should medication arrive at school in a lunch box, backpack, baggie, etc.

  1. regulations apply to NON-PRESCRIPTION medications as well. Non-prescription drugs include aspirin, vitamins, cough syrup, cough drops, ointments, etc. The only exception would be if parent/guardian gives consent to provide first aid such as calamine lotion, eye wash, Vaseline, etc.

· Please do not ask school personnel to administer medications supplied by you until the above mentioned requirements have been met.

· Please do not ask school personnel to supply your child with medication as no medications are supplied by the school.

· Please do not send your child to school with medications of any kind.

We encourage students to wear sunscreen to school. Students participate in activities outside daily including recess and lunch, Physical Education, and learning in our outdoor learning spaces. Students are permitted to bring and apply their own sunscreen, if they are able. Staff is not permitted to assist in application. We also encourage hats and other protective clothing to be worn outdoors.

Student Accident and Health Insurance

IUSD makes available to parents a low cost accident and health insurance for their children. Forms are distributed to parents on the first day of school. Additional forms are available in the front office. The desirability of having such a plan can provide benefits and coverage when help is needed.

health office

A District nurse, health clerk, or office staff are available on campus to assist with the illness or injury of a child. Parents will be contacted to pick up their child if he/she needs to go home or see a physician. Information and guidance is provided to staff, parents, and students when medical conditions affect academic and/or social growth.

When Your Child is Ill Germs spread very quickly. If your child tells you that he/she does not feel well, please take the time to take his/her temperature BEFORE sending your child to school. We know that a child does not always have a fever when feeling ill, but most often we find ourselves sending home children who do. Listen to your child and take their temperature! A temperature of 99.8 degrees + will result in a phone call for him/her to be picked up.

Vision and Hearing Screenings

District nursing staff provides students with vision and hearing screenings for grades K, 2, 5, new students, or at parent or teacher request.


Please make certain that your child eats breakfast before arriving at school. Often times a “sick” child is just hungry.

emergency preparedness

At Portola Springs, we are constantly concerned for the safety and welfare of each of our students. We hold regular drills to teach children the appropriate way to safely exit the building in the event of a fire, to “duck and cover” in the event of an earthquake, and to respond to lockdowns (both for non-emergent situations and emergency situations). The school is fully equipped with search and rescue materials, first aid supplies, food, and water. Staff are assigned emergency preparedness roles and undergo specific training as needed. Our school staff is prepared to deal with a major emergency and to provide for the physical and emotional needs of students while they are under our supervision, as well as their orderly and safe release.

Access to students, in the event of an emergency, will be carefully controlled so that we may account for every child. Students will be released ONLY to adults designated on their emergency data.

In the event of an emergency, we will attempt to contact the parent community using emergency systems linked to phones and email.

To assist us in this effort, we require parents to do the following:

· Keep your contact information (including home phone, cell phone, email, and emergency contacts) on the MyIUSD parent portal up to date.

· In the event of an emergency, check in at the designated student-release area to pick up /sign out students.

· The school provides water for students. No earthquake kits are needed.

Parent Portal

We ask that parents keep their Parent Portal accounts with contact information up to date at all times. This information provides us your contact information and other emergency contacts in the event of your child being sick, hurt, or if there is an emergency. Students will ONLY be released to adults listed as an emergency contact.


We understand that the location of our school may be near the natural habitat for some animals, including coyotes. To help us prevent any problems please be aware of the following:

· Our school is fully gated on 3 sides (only entrance is through the parking lot). This should discourage wildlife entering the site. A 6 foot high chain link fence, with netting at the base, surrounds the back to protect the playground area.

· The school staff and supervisors are fully trained in how to respond if an animal does enter campus. Students participate in quarterly lockdown drills and will be trained on what to do if they see an animal.

· The back chain link fencing has added netting at the base to prevent snakes from entering .

· It is paramount that your child only be on campus when supervision is present. If your child is dropped off earlier than 7:45 or picked up late, there will not be supervision.

· All food (snacks and lunches) are kept indoors. Additionally, trashcans are only accessible during snack and recess times or kept covered.

Parent Involvement

Parent-Teacher Association (PTA)

Portola Springs is fortunate to have the support of an active group of parents who devote their time and talents to promote activities and events for our students. Our PTA assists in community building, planning, and providing financial support, not available by other means, which improves the quality of learning and increases opportunities for enrichment for all students. Parents are encouraged to attend meetings, support activities, and volunteer. Dates and times of meetings and activities will be posted on the PTA link of the Portola Springs website and on the Portola Springs PTA webpage

School Site Council (SSC)

The School Site Council is a group of parents and school personnel whose responsibility is to plan, monitor, and evaluate our School Improvement Plan. Parent members are elected by vote of all parents in the fall. Meetings are open to the general parent community and the schedule of times will be listed on the Portola Springs Website and in the Grizzly Bizz Newsletter.

English Language Advisory Committee (ELAC)

The ELAC is composed of the principal, staff, and parents of English Language Learners who meet to review our instructional support of English Language Learner students. This committee is combined with the SSC.

If you are interested in being a part of any of these organizations, please call the office at 949-936-8800.


All visitors and volunteers must check in through the front office. Upon your first visit, you will need to have your Driver’s License or Passport to be scanned through our Raptor system. Visitors that are unable to provide this information, will not be permitted on campus. Please note that high volume days (holiday performances, class parties, etc) there may be significant wait time to be scanned. Please have your ID scanned early to save time!

Classroom Volunteers

Portola Springs welcomes and values our volunteer assistance. In addition to the organization opportunities detailed on page 11, parents and guests may volunteer in classrooms and the library when pre-arranged with teachers/staff.

Classroom/Library Assistance

Classroom teachers and our library staff will recruit parent help at the beginning of the school year. There are opportunities for parents to work directly with students, to complete clerical tasks, and to complete tasks at home. If you are interested in serving in this way, please contact your child’s teacher. If working in the library is of interest to you, please contact our library staff.

We want your experience as a classroom or library volunteer to be a successful one. Here are some suggestions that might be of interest to you when you come to help out:


1. Meet the students in a relaxed, friendly manner.

2. Learn student names and pronounce them correctly.

3. Let the students know that you are truly interested in them by asking about interests, friends, etc.

4. Give students your full attention. Listen to what they have to say.

5. Set an example for students by being courteous and respectful to them.

6. Build students’ self-confidence. Let them know you expect them to try and to succeed.

As you work with students, keep these ideas in mind:

1. Be consistent when working with students.

2. Learn school rules and be sure to follow them.

3. Be dependable. The teacher and students are depending on you.

4. Be prepared. Have everything ready when you start to work with students.

5. Reward students with positive praise.

6. Help students learn HOW to do their work.

7. Ask for help if you find a problem that you feel you may not be able to handle.

8. Your interest and enthusiasm as a volunteer may be the single most important part of success in learning for many students.



All student information observed or obtained while volunteering is to remain confidential. Adults who breech this confidentiality expectation will not be invited to return.

Please recognize that when volunteering in the classroom, you are offering your assistance to the classroom teacher. If you are interested in observing your child’s classroom, you are allowed up to three observations of no more than one hour each during the school year, per IUSD Board Policy. Please request your desired observation in writing at least two school days in advance.


Student Birthday Celebrations

While we appreciate the joy and excitement that accompanies our students’ birthdays, we do not allow parents to bring food items to their child’s classroom to commemorate their child’s special day. Dietary restrictions, food allergies, and the varied nutritional preferences of our parent population require considerable and deliberate coordination of any event involving food, and we cannot facilitate such oversight for every student’s birthday. Party favors are seen as more appropriate for a private setting, but if strongly desired, a parent may bring non-food items such as pencils, stickers, stamps, etc. for classmates. A more lasting gesture would be the donation of a Birthday Book to our library. Our library/media clerk has excellent suggestions for choosing an appropriate Birthday Book. A special dedication card will be placed in the book. Then, the book will be shared with your student’s class. After that, the book will be placed in the school library as a continuing memory of your child’s special day.

Parent Communication

Our commitment is that we will regularly and thoroughly communicate with parents. This communication will be accomplished through a variety of methods and formally scheduled activities throughout the year.

Back to School Night

Portola Springs participates in a “flipped” Back to School Night. During the first month of school, the principal will send home a PowerPoint for the teachers to present the curriculum, policies, and procedures for the year. The Back To School evening in September is a “meet and greet” and an opportunity for parents to sign up for a variety of volunteer opportunities. This is a night for parents only. Staff may discuss general information, not specific student progress.

Report Cards

Three times per year, report cards are issued for all students in grades TK-6. The report card is no longer printed, but rather is available on the MyIUSD Parent Portal (

Parent Conferences

Conferences are scheduled two times per year, once in the fall and once in the spring. The fall conference is a goal setting conference to select goals for each child and to review early progress. The spring conference is optional and serves as follow-up when necessary. Teachers are always available to schedule an individual meeting to discuss concerns or issues.

Open House

Open House is scheduled in February to showcase students’ progress. This event is an acknowledgement of the commendable efforts our students make throughout the year. Family and friends are invited to experience this popular event with their student.

Portola Springs Website

The Portola Springs website offers a plethora of information about our school program, staff, and events. Be sure to check it regularly!

Grizzly Bizz Email Blasts

The Grizzly Bizz is issued periodically throughout the year. It contains more detailed information about our school programs. Look for it on the Portola Springs website.

Thursday Folders

In an effort to ensure that materials reach home, each child has an envelope or folder that parents should expect to be brought home every Thursday afternoon throughout the school year. The conduit might contain both school communication and schoolwork/homework. We hope that you will allow time each Thursday to review the information with your child and return the envelope or folder to school on Friday.

Grade Level/Teacher Websites

Our TK-6th grade teachers utilize classroom or grade level websites to communicate grade level news and information. These links can be located on the Portola Springs website.

Email and Voicemail

All staff members have a phone message line and are requested to check it regularly. The phones in the classrooms revert to voicemail during the school day. Each staff member also has an email address, which they check at least once per day, when present at school. Staff email addresses are listed on the staff page of the Portola Springs website). Please call the office for any emergency issues as teachers will not answer the phone or check email during instructional time. Please allow staff members 24-48 hours to respond to emails.

special programs & support services

In addition to our outstanding general education program, Portola Springs has a variety of other programs and services.

Gifted and Talented Education Program

The GATE Program is available to identified students grades 4-6 with exceptional learning abilities. The program consists of small clusters of identified students within the general education classrooms with a teacher who has been trained in meeting the needs of the gifted student. Appropriately differentiated instruction including depth, complexity, acceleration, and novelty is taught within the core curriculum. You may obtain further information by visiting the Gifted and Talented Education page of the IUSD website at

Specialized Academic Instruction (SAI) Classes

IUSD provides students with a minimal or total support system (academic, behavioral, personal, vocational, transition) through which he/she can acquire knowledge and those skills necessary to function in the regular class-room and ultimately in society.

Psychological Services

The school psychologist provides assistance for behavioral, social/emotional, and cognitive needs of students. Diagnosis of student needs, guidance for students and parents, testing, and consultation are available. Additionally, our Elementary Resource Counselor (ERC) and Guidance Assistant (GA) are available to support students in navigating social and emotional needs.

Education Specialist and Learning Center Program

This program is designed to assist children who demonstrate significant deficits in academic skills. A student can qualify for this program by demonstrating a specific learning disability or a significant discrepancy between ability and academic achievement. After a student is identified as qualifying for this program, an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is designed to assist the student to make reasonable academic gains utilizing his/her strengths and remediation of weaknesses. This program is designed and implemented by the resource specialist in classrooms and in a one-on-one or small-group learning situation.

Speech and Language Pathologist

This program is designed to diagnose and provide therapy for students who demonstrate difficulty in speech, language development, and language-based skills. Students who qualify for this program have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) designed for them and receive individual or small group assistance as appropriate.

English as a Second Language

Our staff recommends that children learning English as a second language enroll in the IUSD Newcomer Program. Students are much more successful in English acquisition through this specialized district program. After students reach an intermediate level, they will return to their neighborhood school. Students who have been identified as English Learners receive additional support to assist them in reading, writing, listening, and speaking standards.

What if I feel my child needs extra support?

At Portola Springs, we pride ourselves in working collaboratively with families. We encourage parents to discuss any concerns with their child’s teacher. Your child’s teacher will always be your best point of communication for anything academic or behavioral. Should your child need extra enrichment or extra supports, Portola Springs has a Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) team that gathers data to review student progress at least once a month. This team can discuss any concerns and look into any possible interventions available to your child. We strive to challenge and support every learner at school.

The MTSS team, consisting of administration, school psychologist, EL Coordinator, Intervention Lead Teachers, Elementary Resource Counselor (ERC) and other members, meet regularly to evaluate student data and determine what additional supports and strategies can be put in place to support and challenge all learners.

Additionally, the MTSS team can determine if extra interventions are necessary included Extended Learning (6-8 week interventions), Elementary Resource Counselor support, Guidance Assistant support, and more.

Enrichment Offerings

· Art Specialist: 1-3, 4-6

· Art Instruction: TK-K

· Instrumental/Choral Music: 4-6

· Vocal Primary Music: TK-3

· Library/Media Center: TK-6

· Health Education: TK-6

· Science Specialist: 4-6

· Peer Buddy Classes (primary and Upper as well as gen ed and Special Education classes)

· DARE Program (6th Grade): a special drug awareness program for 6th grade, sponsored by the Irvine Police Department

Student Fee Information

California's Constitution affirms that students and parents cannot be required to pay money to gain access to educational activities, nor can they be charged for materials and supplies necessary to participate in educational activities.

“Educational activities” has been clearly defined to include extracurricular offerings such as music, sports and some clubs. Moreover, the rules described above are believed to apply to all affiliated groups sup-porting district and school programs, including PTAs, boosters and foundations.


In 2010, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the state over impermissible fees, charges and deposits imposed on public school students. Two years later, Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation that codified existing laws and judicial decisions while establishing reasonable enforcement measures for schools and districts. The ACLU subsequently dropped its suit.


It should be noted that IUSD was in the process of analyzing its own practices even before the ACLU suit, looking specifically at funding requests that were made to help offset the cost of transportation, elective courses, summer school classes and essential supplies and equipment. The district has since worked to clarify that parent donations for most educational activities are voluntary, and that students will not be denied participation if their families choose not to contribute.


For further information, please check the following link on the IUSD website:

Bring Your Own Device (4th, 5th, and 6th Grade) Responsible Use Policy– Parent/Student User Agreement

Portola Springs Elementary is committed to aiding students and staff in creating a 21st century learning environment. We are piloting a new policy which will aid in this goal. Upper Grade (4th-6th) students and all staff will now be able to bring electronic devices to school. Students may use their own devices with classroom teacher approval to access school-appropriate material for educational purposes. By allowing students to use their own technology on campus, we are hoping to increase the access all students have to the resources they need to succeed.


Teachers may allow students to utilize devices for instructional purposes (novel studies, book reports, historical primary source documents, web-based applications and simulations, non-fiction reading in relation to content area curriculum, self-selected reading, research) and in accordance with IUSD’s board policy and IUSD’s Acceptable Use Policy. The teacher has the discretion to allow and regulate the use of personal devices in the classroom and for use during specific projects. Teachers may require a hard copy of a book in certain situations such as a specific translation of the text; illustrations and/or cover art; or foreword, appendix, or other literary additions required for class.


Ability to use electronic devices on campus is a privilege, not a right. All material on any electronic device must be appropriate for school. All users shall be required to acknowledge understanding of all administrative regulations governing use of the device and shall agree in writing to comply with such regulations and guidelines. Noncompliance with applicable regulations may result in suspension or termination of privileges and other disciplinary action consistent with district policies. Students may not use devices to record, transmit, or post photographic images or video of a person or persons on campus during school activities and/or hours unless otherwise allowed by a teacher. Devices may not be used for non-instructional purpose (such as making personal calls, sending personal e-mails and/or texting, etc.).

Device Types:

For the purpose of classroom use, the word “device” means a privately owned wireless and/or portable electronic piece of equipment that includes laptops, iPads, tablets, iPod Touches, cell and smart phones. No gaming devices are allowed (to include: Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable PSP, etc.)



· It is imperative that both students and parents agree to the classroom guidelines.

· All students are expected to exhibit digital citizenship in accordance with Portola Springs Elementary school rules. This is a privilege, not a right.

· We would also like to make clear that parents are not expected to purchase a device for their child. We do have a number of sharable devices that are available for class-time use.

· If a student owns a device, has parent permission, and agrees to the guidelines, only then will the student be allowed to bring his/her device to school for use during class-time only, on teacher-approved days.

· Students may not use their own devices during instructional time unless approved by the classroom teacher.

· Clearly and permanently label all devices and power cords with your student’s name

· Devices may not be used for non-instructional purposes (such as making personal calls, sending personal e-mails, texting, social media, etc.).

· The student takes full responsibility for his or her device and keeps it with him/her at all times. The school, nor the teacher, is responsible for the security of the device.

· The student is responsible for the proper care of his or her personal device, including any costs of repair, replacement, or any modifications needed to use the device at school.

· The school reserves the right to inspect a student’s personal device if there is reason to believe that the student has violated Board policies, school rules, or has engaged in other misconduct while using his/her personal device.

· Violations of any Board policies, administrative procedures, or school rules involving a student’s personally owned device may result in the loss of use of the device at school and/or disciplinary action.

· The student immediately complies with teacher's request to shut down the device or close the screen. Additionally, all devices should be on MUTE unless otherwise directed by the classroom teacher.

· Personal devices shall be charged prior to bringing them school and shall be capable of running off of their own batteries while at school.

· The student may not use the devices to record, transmit or post photos or video of a person or persons on campus. Nor can any images or video recorded at school be transmitted or posted at any time without the expressed permission of the teacher.

· During school hours the student should only use their device to access classroom-related activities, with the expressed consent of the teacher.

· The student will only use the guest wireless network by logging in when directed. Use of 3G & 4G wireless connections are not allowed.


Tech Support:

Students who have technical issues with their technology tool need to take care of this issue by working with the user’s manual that came with the device outside of the classroom. These are not IUSD devices and the district is not allocating resources to troubleshoot issues. It is the responsibility of the student to bring the device to school charged and in working condition.



Although the student and parent are responsible and liable for the safety, protection, and security of the electronic device, student users of personally-owned devices are expected to alert school staff immediately regarding safety and security concerns. IUSD will not be held accountable for any harm or damages that result from the use of personally-owned devices whether it results from a mistake, negligence, or the willful violation of this agreement. Neither IUSD nor Portola Springs Elementary School can be held financially or criminally responsible for the loss of the device. Locking facilities will not be provided by Portola Springs or by any staff member. The student or parent may wish to consider the investment in the device before sending it to campus where it may end up in an unsecure situation.


Homework Plan


Part 1:

Purpose Statements

For each grade level or department,

articulate the purposes for which homework is assigned.


Practice concepts and skills taught in class to check for understanding or develop mastery.

Preview assignments to prepare for subsequent lessons

Extend assignments to transfer new skills or concepts to new situations

Create activities to integrate many skills toward the production of a response or product

Support creative, logical, critical, evaluative, and analytical thinking

Develop and strengthen study habits and responsibility.

Communicate to parents the skills and concepts in class


Part 2:

Appropriate Parent/Guardian Involvement

For each grade level or department,

a description of appropriate parent/guardian involvement.

Set up a consistent organized distraction-free place for homework.

Help your child establish either a consistent schedule for completing homework or help him/her create a schedule each week that reflects that particular week’s activities

Prompt your child by reviewing the directions and the completed work.

Encourage your child but if the work cannot be completed, contact your teacher.

If your child is practicing a skill, ask him/her to tell you which steps are easy, which are difficult and how she/he is going to improve.

There is a strong correlation between reading to or with children every day and increased student achievement.

Recognize that each child learns differently.


Part 3:

Informing Parents & Guardians

The means by which parents/guardians shall be informed about: homework expectations; how homework is factored into student grades, when it is factored into student grades; how to respond when homework demands feel excessive.


Teachers shall communicate homework policy during Back-to-School Night, parent conferences, and grade level websites.



Listen to an adult read daily.

Practice reading aloud.

Complete a monthly reading log.

Complete weekly homework packet in a timely manner and with best effort.



Homework will come home nightly and should take no longer than 20 minutes.


Independent Reading

There is a strong correlation between reading to or with children every day and increased student achievement.




First Grade

Practice math facts and read aloud nightly.

Do work independently and ask questions if needed.

Demonstrate your personal best effort.


Homework will come home nightly and should take no longer than 20 minutes.

Independent Reading

There is a strong correlation between reading to or with children every day and increased student achievement.

Second Grade

Complete all written work neatly in pencil.

Practice math facts and read aloud nightly.

Do work independently and ask questions if needed.

Demonstrate your personal best effort.


Homework will come home nightly and should take no longer than 20 minutes.

Independent Reading

There is a strong correlation between reading to or with children every day and increased student achievement. Each child is encouraged to have a nightly reading experience.

Third Grade

Record nightly homework assignments in planners.

Complete nightly homework neatly in pencil.

Study for tests


Homework will come home nightly and should take no longer than 30 minutes.

Independent Reading

There is a strong correlation between reading to or with children every day and increased student achievement. Each child is encouraged to have a nightly reading experience.

Upper (4th-6th) Reminders

· Provide evidence of thinking/solution attempts on all homework assignments, even if the task is not finished.

· Persevere through difficult assignments and write down specific questions to ask if you get stuck.

· Make arrangements for access to technology when necessary.

· Be mindful of due dates posted on Canvas.

Fourth Grade


Students should expect 30-45 minutes in the first term. As they adjust to upper grade expectations, the amount of time will increase to 40-50 minutes.

Independent Reading

Students are encouraged to read independently daily. Homework assignments will include the practice of reading skills, but we hope that reading for pleasure as well as for information will become a daily routine for our students.

Fifth Grade


Students should expect 30-45 minutes in the first term. As they adjust to upper grade expectations, the amount of time will increase to 45-60 minutes.

Independent Reading

Students are encouraged to read independently daily. Homework assignments will include the practice of reading skills, but we hope that reading for pleasure as well as for information will become a daily routine for our students.



Sixth Grade


Students should expect about 60 minutes each night for academic subjects, and 15-20 minutes each night for music practice.

Independent Reading

Students are encouraged to read independently daily. Homework assignments will include the practice of reading skills, but we hope that reading for pleasure as well as for information will become a daily routine for students.


Part 4:

Student Access

The access that students shall have to obtain: resource materials from the library media center including online materials, assistance, and/or tutoring.

Access to the library/media center print resources occurs either when the student comes to the MC with a teacher as a class or individually with a pass. (Primary students can come individually to check out materials if they missed a class check out due to absence or small group pull-out session.)

Online access 24/7 to Destiny catalog and IUSD’s subscription to Encyclopedia Britannica

We have the ability to allow students to access videos that are part of the Discovery Streaming database from home if teachers choose to make that an option (cannot require it.)

Assistance and/or tutoring

EL support (EIA Instructional Assistants)

Extended learning (based on test scores, grades, teacher recommendation)

District tutor list online

Ways to disseminate the above information:

Direct parent contact

Direct student instruction (library resources)

BTSN flyers


Teacher website

School website

Destiny homepage



Part 5:

Coordination of Assignments

The means by which teachers shall coordinate assignments so the students do not receive excessive daily homework assignments.

Each grade level team works together to create daily and weekly homework.

Students are encouraged to read nightly; specific reading assignments may be given..


Part 6:

Excused Absences

Notification to parents/guardians that no student may have his/her grade reduced or lose academic credit for any excused absence when missed assignments and tests are satisfactorily completed within a reasonable period of time Such notification shall include the full text of Education Code 48205. (Education Code 48980)

Students are encouraged to complete missed homework within 3 days of their absence. Annual Parent Notification document sent via email at the beginning of the school year and available on IUSD website.



Part 7:

Student Suspensions

Notification to parents/guardians that the teacher of any class from which a student is suspended may require the student to complete any assignments and tests missed during the suspension.

(Education Code 48913)

Parent notification included in suspension letter that must be signed by both student and parent.

General notification on district website and in annual Parent Notification document.

Part 8:

Academic Breaks

A description of when academic breaks will occur that acknowledges that students need and will receive time without homework assignments.

It is recognized that homework, like all educational curriculum, should be developmental in nature. In this light, we will strive to build all academic programs from a developmental perspective beginning in early grades. Additionally, we will make every effort to progress over the years to an academic level that will help assure success at the high school level for those individuals who take advantage of the opportunities afforded them. It is further recognized that in order to accomplish this goal, students need to be nurtured in such a manner to ensure the most positive experience we can envision for each child. Clearly, children need a combination of free time and meaningful work to progress. The word balance is the key, and it is, by necessity, determined on a student by student basis.


With these constructs in mind, the following points shall serve as conditions for intersession homework across all grade levels:

Homework assignments may include the following: (1) Reading – Benefits include a higher aptitude for learning in general, better communication skills, as well as an ability to grasp abstract concepts, apply logic in various scenarios, and recognize cause and effect; (2) Music Practice – To master your chosen instrument and become good players, students should aim to practice daily.

Assignments will be available to all students.

Students shall not be penalized for circumstances beyond their control. For example, if the student is out of town during the entire intersession break and unable to bring their instrument, his/her parent can write a note to excuse the student from music practice.

  1. will be provided with sufficient time during the quarter (whether before break, after break, or both) to complete assigned work. In other words, additional homework shall not be assigned over the break, though students may have assignments they choose to work on during the break.

Students failing to meet the grade level criteria may be encouraged to take remedial action with parental assistance during intersession.


The best information regarding your child’s progress and upcoming assignments can be found on your child’s classroom teacher’s website which can be found through our school website: