Fort Daniel Elementary School has established procedures to ensure the safe and efficient operation of our school. The procedures, when followed, allow the school to focus on our core business of teaching and learning. If you have any questions about any of our school's procedures, please to not hesitate to contact us.
Recognizing that the school day begins with important teacher instruction, Fort Daniel Elementary has the following tardiness policy: Students are tardy if they arrive after 8:15 a.m. If the student is tardy 5 times in a nine-week period, a letter from the office will be sent home. A meeting will be held with the parent to develop a plan for prompt school attendance after 10 tardies. All students who are tardy must be accompanied by an adult and checked in at the front office.
Students whose absences fall under the excused category have one day for each day absent following the day they return to make-up work for grades. This is a minimum expectation. Teachers may lengthen the time based on the amount of work that the student needs to complete. A student should complete missed work when there is an unexcused absence so the student will not fall farther behind. All work used for grades must be completed by the student at school. If the child is absent 2 or more days, the parent may call the school and request make-up work. Please work with your child’s teacher to coordinate the picking up of assignments. In general, children too sick to be at school are too sick to work on assignments at home. Students who are absent 10 or more days may be eligible for homebound instruction. Please talk with a counselor, administrator, or your child’s teacher to arrange this.
Regular school attendance and being on time are very important and legally required in the State of Georgia. When students are absent they miss important instructional opportunities that are often difficult to make up after the fact. For this reason, we strongly encourage good student attendance.
Student absences are either excused or unexcused. The following are valid absence excuses:
- Student personal illness
- A death or serious illness in the student’s family
- Absences mandated by a court order
- Absences related to hazardous conditions
- Absences related to voting
- A recognized religious holiday observed by your faith
For each absence, a doctor’s note, email, phone call or written note from the parents must be brought to school the following day. The clinic worker, counselor or teacher may call when students are absent. If you have questions as to whether or not an absence is excused, please check with your child’s teacher or an administrator. Attendance letters are automatically generated when a student accumulate 5, 7 and 10 unexcused absences. These letters are meant to remind parents of the legal requirement for regular school attendance and the importance of providing valid excuses for absences.
Celebration of birthdays will be observed by allowing parents to provide a snack for the class. No birthday favors (i.e. balloons, hats, trinkets, etc.) will be allowed. Parents should bring the birthday snacks in the morning and leave them for lunchtime. The snack should be ready to serve, require no cutting, refrigeration, etc. and should not include drinks. We ask that no party invitations be given out in class unless all children in the class receive an invitation.
Students will follow the directions of the driver at all times. Students will safely wait for, board and exit the bus only at their assigned bus stops. Students will look for traffic and wait for the driver’s signal to cross the road in front of the bus. Students will remain properly seated at all times. Students will keep hands, head, arms, and legs away from the windows and confined to their own seat area. Students will talk quietly. Loud voices, profanity, radios, cell phones or CD players are not permitted. Students will not eat, drink, chew gum or bring tobacco products on the bus. Students will not bring animals, glass objects, or items too big to hold (such as posters and other class projects) on the bus. Students will help keep their bus clean and in good safe condition.
Cell Phone Use
Student cell phones are discouraged. However, if you as the parent feel one is necessary for the safety of your child (i.e. going home alone in the afternoon) we will support your decision if the student follows these guidelines: The cell phone must be kept in the book bag or out of sight and turned to the silence setting or off during school hours. The cell phone is not to be used during school time. If a student cell phone is lost, the school is not responsible for the loss of the phone. Students who do not follow these guidelines will have cell phones taken from their possession. A parent will need to pick up the cell phone from the office.
Fort Daniel is a “Bring Your Own Device School.” Students who have completed the appropriate BYOD steps and consulted with their teacher regarding BYOD rules and expectations may use cell phones, tablets and laptops for instructional purposes only. These should not be used on the school bus and are the sole responsibility of the user.
We encourage parents to visit school. For the safety of our children, all visitors must check in and out through the office and wear a visitor’s badge while in the building. Parents should not escort children to the classroom or make unscheduled teacher visits to the classroom in the morning or during the school day. To protect instructional time, parents should notify the administrative team at least two days in advance if they would like to make a classroom visit. Classrooms visits should be limited to 45 minutes or less.
Early Dismissal/Picking Up Child
A student may be dismissed before the school day officially ends only when a parent or guardian, or a person designated on the student’s enrollment card, comes in person to the office to request the student’s early dismissal. The school staff will require verification of right of custody and a picture I.D. from anyone requesting early dismissal of a student. We cannot take any early dismissal pick up changes over the phone! The last hour of school is a critical time for instruction. We ask for your cooperation in limiting early checkouts to emergency situations only from 1:00 to the end of the day. Do not plan to check students out after 2:15 p.m.
Inclement Weather/School Closing
In the event of severe weather or mechanical problems at the school, the starting time of a school may be delayed or closed. Announcements will be made over radio stations WSB 750AM or 95.5FM.
SchoolMessenger is a rapid notification system used to contact families in Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) via telephone messages, text messages, and email messages. The district will use the system to communicate information related to districtwide events, including key school dates and school closings due to inclement weather.
Reports in the morning will be between 6:00 and 6:30 a.m. If no report is heard, school will be in session. The same conditions may necessitate early dismissal. Please do not call the school. Telephone lines must be kept open for emergencies.
For the safety of our students and staff, Gwinnett County policy requires that all persons visiting in the school sign in at the office and wear an identification tag. All visitors should enter the school through the front door. The front parking lot is available for parent parking. For the safety of all students, please do not drop students off in the front lot while there are busses in the bus lane. If a student needs to enter the front door between 7:45 - 8:10, he or she must be accompanied into the school by a parent. Please do not park in the front drive. Please note that it is a posted no parking zone. You are subject to ticketing or towing from the police department if you park in the front drive area. Do not park in the back driveway near the kitchen as delivery trucks and trash pickup trucks use that drive.
The official school hours for Fort Daniel Elementary are 8:15 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. daily. Gwinnett County Public Schools does not provide before school care. Students may enter the building at 7:45 each morning. Teachers are not available to care for early arriving students. Please arrange day care or a neighbor’s help if your children will not be riding the bus or brought at 7:45. Students can only be dropped off at the car drop-off area (behind the school) between 7:45 and 8:10. Please do not allow your children to get out of the car at any other location than those monitored by staff members. If you pick up your children from school in the afternoons, you will need a car rider number (obtained from the front office or during registration). All car riders should be picked up by 3:00 each afternoon. Please remember adult staff members have duties involving planning and required meetings from the time they arrive each morning until the time students enter the building at 7:45. To ensure student safety, an adult must be assigned to be with students any time they are in the building.
School transportation is offered to Gwinnett County students who live in the Fort Daniel attendance zone. School transportation is a privilege extended by the Board of Education; it is not a right. All students are required to obey bus conduct rules posted in each bus. These rules are to protect the safety and well-being of all students. Failure to observe these rules can result in suspension of bus privileges. Your child’s bus driver will go over these rules with your child the 1st week of school and will remind the students as needed but at least monthly.
Students are expected to be at the bus stop 10 minutes before the bus is due. Every effort is made to provide a seat for all riders. On occasion this may not be possible. When a route becomes overcrowded, it is divided. Should it become necessary to change an existing route, the parents are notified prior to implementing the change. Bus route information is available at your school. Your child will receive a bus tag from his/her teacher the first day of school. This tag needs to remain on the child’s book bag for the remainder of the year. If your child’s information changes, you will need to request a new tag.
The Zone Supervisor and Team Leaders assist the bus drivers with any student behavior concerns on the bus. In the case of minor infractions, parents will receive a phone call from the bus driver. If the inappropriate behavior continues a disciplinary referral is completed and turned into the school administrator. If the infraction warrants immediate action the phone call will be bypassed and the disciplinary referral is turned into the school administrator immediately for action. Bus drivers complete both classroom and road training before being assigned a route. The Gwinnett County school bus driver-training program far exceeds that required by the state to drive a school bus. Each school is assigned a team leader who is responsible for supervision of the buses in the area he/she serves and intervenes when there is any problem. The Dispatch Customer Service line is 770-513-6686.
Home to school and school to home transportation information for your child is collected through the registration process. Any change in this plan must be submitted in writing, dated, and signed by the parent or guardian to your child's teacher when your child arrives for the day. Transportation changes are for a one day period of time only. For your child's safety, no changes will be accepted via telephone or email.
Only in EMERGENCY SITUATIONS will a fax be accepted in lieu of a hand delivered note. The fax must include a copy of the parent or guardian's driver's license and the office staff must be alerted by telephone to expect the fax.