Family Handbook


Classroom Assignment

The Mount Laurel school district cannot honor requests from parents for placement with a particular teacher or in a particular class. If a parent is dissatisfied with the placement that has been made, the principal must be contacted in writing and informed of the reasons. The principal will evaluate the situation on its individual merits and inform the parent of his/her decision. If a parent is not satisfied at this level, the parent may appeal to the superintendent in writing. The superintendent will then review the case and render a decision.

Pupil Records

In accordance with requirements of the New Jersey Administrative Code entitled "Pupil Records", local school districts must notify parents annually of their rights with regard to pupil records and shall make copies of the applicable state and federal laws and local policies available upon request. Pupil records shall contain only information which is relevant to the education of the pupil and is objectively based on the personal observation or knowledge of the originator of the record. Parents and children have a right to individual privacy and the right to know concerning information gathered by the school. If you wish to examine your child's records, you may arrange to do so by making an appointment with the principal's office.

Student Transportation

Transportation is provided for students as follows:
Elementary Schools - All students who live more than one mile from school.
Upper Elementary & Middle School - All students who live more than one mile from school.
The only exception to the one-mile limit for elementary students and upper and middle schools is where walking conditions have been determined to be hazardous. The district's only responsibility is to transport eligible students to and from their homes. The transportation policy is sent home with all students for parent signatures.

School Visitors

Persons wishing to visit a school should make arrangements with the school office in advance. All school visitors must register with valid identification at the main office to receive a visitor's pass. The pass must be worn at all times while in the building and returned to the office at the conclusion of the visit.

Photo & Videotape Permission

Photographs taken of students in the Mount Laurel schools are used in school publications and sent to area newspapers only with parent permission. With parent permission, photos and videos of our students are posted on our secure Family Portal website and videos are shared on our web television station. These web outlets require a specific user name and password to access. Photo permission is included in the Demographic Update portion of our Power School system. Parents may make changes in permission designation by printing off that form, making corrections and returning it to your child's school at any time. If you have questions about this matter, please call the Office of Communication Services at 235-3387, Extension 3018, or e-mail mreynolds@mtlaurelschools.org

Promotion Standards

A pupil in the elementary grades will be promoted to the next succeeding grade level when he or she has completed the course requirements at the presently assigned grade; has achieved the instructional objectives set for the present grade; has demonstrated the proficiencies required for movement into the educational program of the next grade; and has demonstrated the degree of social, emotional and physical maturation necessary for a successful learning experience in the next grade. A seventh or eighth grade pupil will be promoted to the next grade when he or she has completed, in the current school year, 11 course points.

Delayed School Opening

In order to allow school to remain open on days when weather conditions are poor in the early morning hours, a two-hour delayed opening schedule has been developed. In the event of a two-hour delay, lunch will be available for purchase.

Schedule for Two-Hour Delayed Opening:
Countryside & Fleetwood

Grades 1 - 4: 10:30 a.m. - 2:55 p.m.
Kindergarten: AM: 10:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. / PM: 12:25 p.m. - 2:55 p.m.
Hillside, Larchmont, Parkway & Springville
Grades 1 - 4: 11 a.m. - 3:25 p.m.
Kindergarten: AM: 11 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. / PM 12:55 p.m. - 3:25 p.m.
Mount Laurel Hartford School
Grades 5 - 6: 10 a.m. - 2:35 p.m.
Harrington Middle School
Grades 7 - 8: 9:30 a.m. - 2:05 p.m.

In the event of a two-hour delayed opening, there will be no preschool, and regularly scheduled transportation will be delayed accordingly. For example, a child regularly scheduled to be picked up at 7:45 a.m. would be picked up at 9:45 a.m.

Parent-Teacher Conferences

The educational welfare of children is best served when there is complete understanding and cooperation between the home and the school. Parent-teacher conferences are scheduled twice during the year - in the fall and in the spring. In addition to the two scheduled conferences, parents may make appointments to see teachers at any time during the year. A conference appointment can be made by contacting the teacher at the elementary school, guidance counselors at the Mount Laurel Hartford or Harrington Middle Schools, or the principal's office. Parents are urged to utilize parent-teacher conferences to establish an active two-way communication that will assist in the progress of the child according to his or her own individual growth pattern.

Student Absences

In the event of a child's absence, a message should be sent to the school in care of a brother/sister of the absent child, or a phone call should be made to the school the absent child attends between 8:15 and 9:00 a.m. with the information. If a child's absence is not verified by a note or a telephone call from a parent, it will be necessary for the school staff to call the home. If the school is unsuccessful in reaching the home, the emergency telephone numbers will be used to call the parent/guardian at his/her place of employment to verify the child's absence.

Please note that new legislation has compounded the importance of attendance. In the past, if your child was absent due to a family trip, those missed days would be reported in our internal system as unexcused absences. Under the new process, the NJ Department of Education is now collecting its data directly from our reporting system. Any days reported as unexcused in our system are considered "truant" by the state. As you know, truancy can result in serious legal consequences for parents.

Therefore, please plan family trips outside of the school year. When such absences are unavoidable, a letter explaining the reason for the trip must be submitted to the school principal prior to your departure and approved to avoid the reporting of unexcused days.

Medication Rules

1. All prescription medication to be taken by students during school hours shall be:
    a. Kept in the nurse's office;
    b. Supplied by the student's parents or guardian, along with a physician's written authorization that the medication
is to be given during school hours;
    c. Clearly labeled with the child's name, name of the medication, drug store where purchased, name of the prescribing physician, and the time and amount of medication to be given.
2. Parents are urged, when possible, to have their child take any necessary medication before or after school hours.
3. Parents are requested to keep children at home during acute stages of illness, especially when medication is necessary at frequent intervals.
4. Request for over-the-counter medication to be given during school time must be accompanied by a note from the physician, student's name, dosage, time of administration, and the period of administration (example: 3 days, one week, etc.)
5. All requests for children to take medication must be renewed each school year.

Emergency School Closings

If adverse weather conditions cause a delayed opening, interruption or cancellation of school, word of the closing will be sent to radio and television stations for announcement. School closing announcements start as early as 6 a.m. and are repeated frequently. Emergency information may be found on the district web site. The central office recorded message service also will carry announcements of school closing or delayed openings. The message service number is 235-3387. Area radio stations and Lenape Regional High School's educational cable television station, Channel 19, will also carry up-to-the-minute announcements. Parents can sign-up for our Emergency E-Mail Notification service and receive e-mails at home or work.

If in the opinion of a parent, weather conditions are adverse and there has been no emergency closing announcement, parents should use their own judgment as to the advisability of sending their child to school. If a severe storm should begin during the hours school is in session, an effort will be made to dismiss schools early enough to allow children to reach home prior to the time road conditions become too hazardous. When schools are closed early due to inclement weather, Extended Day Care will also be closed.

Sports Physicals, Grades 5-8

According to Chapter 29, Sub chapter 6, Physical Education and Athletics Personnel & Procedures, the State has mandated that all students in grades 5-8 participating in intramural/interscholastic school sports must have a medical examination by a physician within 365 days prior to the first practice session.

The New Jersey State Department of Education recommends that your child be examined by your family doctor, as he/she is more familiar with your child's needs and physical condition. A Medical History Questionnaire and the Physical Examination Form must be completed and returned to the school nurse. These forms may be found on our district website.

Student Insurance

The Board of Education has purchased school-time student accident insurance for all children enrolled in the district. At the beginning of each year, parents are given the option to extend that insurance to cover their child 24-hours per day. The district's group accident insurance provides coverage on a full excess basis, meaning that all bills must first be submitted to all other medical expense policies under which the child is covered. All questions regarding this policy should be directed to: Bollinger Insurance at 856-267-0092.