Pennekamp Elementary School

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Pennekamp School Parent Handbook



Prompt and regular attendance at school is very important to the education of children. It also instills in children important values and behavior patterns that carry throughout their lives. We strongly encourage parents to actively assist the school in teaching children the importance of being on time and attending school regularly.

  Student arrival and dismissal times are as follows:  
Grades M, T, Th, F Wed Minimum Day Schedule
AM Kinders 8am - 11:20am 8am - 11:20am 8am - 11:20am
PM Kinders 11:25am -2:45pm 10:10am - 1:30pm 8am - 11:20am
Grades 1-5 8:15am - 2:15pm 8:15am - 1:30pm 8:15am - 12:40pm



 Kindergarten and PEP students should arrive approximately 5 minutes prior to class beginning, and wait in front of the classrooms. All other students should arrive no earlier than 8:00 AM, which is when the upper (east) playground supervision begins. (There is no supervision prior to 8:00 AM). Parents may wait with their child on the upper playground on the east side of the school, but should leave campus once school begins unless volunteering in the classroom.



Parents and caregivers must leave the classroom, hall areas, and playground promptly after teacher dismissal. Please be on time when picking up students at the end of the school day. Students should not remain at school to use the playground equipment or field(s), but should report home immediately after school. There is no teacher supervision after school.


Parents and caregivers must keep well informed of transportation arrangements, play dates, etc. Confusion arising over whereabouts of children after school causes great anxiety to parents and school personnel. Please be certain that all parties are aware of after school arrangements and instruct your children not to go home with friends without informing you and the school.





The school should be notified of anticipated absence due to out-of-town trips (see Independent Study), family emergencies, or medical or dental appointments (see Picking Up Your Child Early).


If your child is going to miss school for any reason, please do the following:
  1. Call the school on the morning of the first day of expected absence at (310) 798-6223.
  2. If your child is ill, let us know if your child has a contagious disease, such as chicken pox, measles, strep, or mumps, so we can watch for symptoms in other students.
  3. Send a note when your child returns to school. Include your child’s name, date(s) of absence, reason for absence and your signature. We need this information for school funding.
A child who was absent due to a fever must be fever-free for 24 hours before returning to school.

Important Note: For every day that a student misses school, MBUSD loses $35.00. We strongly advise that parents refrain from keeping children out of school for vacations, social purposes, or reason other than illness. If parents do choose to keep their child out of school for such reasons, we respectfully request that they donate $35.00 per day, per child, in order to offset the financial loss due to unexcused absences. Please make checks payable to MBUSD. See the letter from Superintendent Dr. Gwen Gross on this topic.

If you need to take your child out of school before the end of the school day:

  1. Send a note in with your child stating the time your child will be picked up, by whom, and the reason for the early release.

  2. Go to the school office, not the classroom. Teachers can not release a student to a parent directly from the classroom.

  3. Sign the release form in the office. The office staff will call the classroom and your child will meet you in the office.

  4. All adults must be prepared to show photo identification.

This simple procedure protects your child.  We will not release a student to anyone except the parent, legal guardian, or a person you have authorized to pick up your child.  Please list all authorized individuals on the emergency card.



Independent Study

Independent study contracts are available in the event that an important family trip cannot be scheduled during regular school holidays. Students qualify for Independent Study contracts when planned absences are a minimum of 5 days in duration:

Disruptions to your child's school attendance can have a significant impact on his or her academic performance. Please consider this carefully before you decide to remove your child from school for several days at a time. Independent study contracts keep your child “in touch” with class curriculum while they’re away, and allows the school and the district to receive ADA (Average Daily Attendance) funds from the state. Before your child leaves school, you will need to fill out important paperwork.

Please follow these procedures:
  1. Pick up the forms in the office at least one week in advance and complete page 1.
  2. Return forms to office for Principal to approve.
  3. Teacher completes form with assignment (page 2) and sends home with child.
  4. Complete time spent on independent study (page 3) and send all work and forms back to school within one week of return.




When To Keep Your Child At Home

It is often difficult for parents to know whether their children are too sick to attend school. For their well-being as well as for their classmates, please keep them home when they are sick. The following are some general guidelines:

  • Vomiting and Diarrhea
  • Fever, measured orally of 100o F or above; student must be fever-free for 24 hours before returning to school.
  • Severe Cold Symptoms, constant cough, sneezing or nasal drainage
  • Flu, fever accompanied by body aches and headache
  • Rashes of unknown origin require a physician’s note indicating the diagnosis and releasing your child to return to school.
  • Conjunctivitis (pinkeye) and Strep Throat: Student may return to school after 24 hours or more of physician prescribed medication.

This list is not comprehensive and any time your student is not well it is advised that you keep them home for observation. Please keep in mind that these guidelines are to protect all students and staff members and when your child displays the above symptoms they will be sent home from school. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Pennekamp health office.


Taking Medicine at School

The California Education Code 49423 requires that if medication is to be taken by a child while he is in school then the school must have:

  1. A signed order from the physician authorizing us to give the medication medication to the child, detailing the method, amount and time schedules by which such medication is to be administered. This includes over-the-counter medications such as aspirin, cough syrups, anti-histamines, Tylenol, etc.
  2. A signed consent from from the parent or guardian.
  3. The medication in the original prescription container, clearly labeled with the following:
    1. Child’s full name
    2. Physician’s name and phone number
    3. Dosage, schedule, and dose form
    4. Date of expiration of prescription


This applies to any medication to be taken for one or more days. The medication should be kept in the school health office. It is the child’s responsibility to come for it at the proper time.

If your child is on continuing medication at home, please inform the health office.




If your student sustains an injury that requires he/she wear a brace or cast, please provide the health office with a physician’s note indicating any restrictions that may apply while he/she is at school (i.e. P.E. excuse).




Report Cards


Students will receive three report cards during the school year: November, March, and June.
Parent-Teacher Conferences


Parent-Teacher conferences are held, November 30 - December 4, at the end of the first reporting period. During Parent-Teacher conferences school will be operating on a minimum day schedule.
Working Together


If a problem or concern arises concerning your child, talk it over first with your child's teacher. Please send a note asking for an appointment or return phone call from the teacher. If you still have a concern after speaking to the teacher, please set up an appointment through the office to speak with the principal. We will do all we can to address your concerns quickly and satisfactorily. Your child's education is our major concern.
Keeping You Informed


Look for your children to bring home a large white envelope each Tuesday. (The first envelope of each school year will commence on the first day of school). This is an important means of communication between school and parents. All envelopes must be signed and returned the next day (Wednesday) with your child.


The Tuesday Envelope contains the weekly Green Sheet on the first Tuesday of each month and additional important information. This includes school information, reminders, and upcoming events. In addition it may also contain a variety of information supplied by your child’s teacher, the School District , City/Recreation Department, and PTA. Please take time to review the information coming home via this method. If you are returning documents to school, utilize this envelope when your child brings it back to school on Wednesday.


The PTA also provides information via the following publications:


PTA Web site - is updated each week during the school year and hosts the Green Sheet, photographs of school events on the Historian’s page, PTA and School Site Council meeting minutes, an electronic version of this Parent Handbook, and links to e-mail addresses for all PTA Executive Committee members plus many other items of interest.
Back to School Night


Pennekamp holds an annual Back To School Night in late September. This is a time for parents meet their children’s teachers and visit the classroom. This is an informational meeting when teachers discuss the year’s activities, goals, expectation of students, curriculum, academic standards, and rules and guidelines. Parents have the opportunity to have general questions answered. This is not a time to discuss your child's individual progress. (See Working Together and Parent-Teacher Conferences). This evening is for parents/adults only, please plan ahead for a sitter.
Open House


Open House will be held on Thursday, May 26, 2010. This is your opportunity to visit the classrooms with your children. Children will have the opportunity to present their work to family and friends. The PTA also hosts a bake sale during this time in the cafeteria. The Young At Art program holds their art show this evening in the cafeteria. All students will have their projects on display.


State Testing


Standardized tests (e.g., STAR) typically occur during the first two weeks of May. Grades 2 to 5 participate in standardized testing. Please do not schedule medical appointments or family excursions during this time. Additionally, classroom teachers offer reviews and test practice strategies during the month of April and we encourage all students to participate. The STAR measures understanding of California Content Standards and these are taught all year so every school day is important!




Riding a bike to School

Third through fifth grade students, with parental permission, may ride bicycles to and from school. Students who ride a bike to school must obtain a permission slip from the office or the PTA website. Fill out the form, sign and return.

All bicycle riders must wear helmets. Bikes must be parked in the bike racks and secured with a a lock. The school is not responsible for missing bicycles.

Bicycles, skateboards, and roller blades are not to be ridden in the halls at any time, including evenings and weekends. Please help us by encouraging your children to follow this policy.

Skates, Skateboards, Scooters, etc.

MBUSD policy prohibits students from riding or bringing these items to or from school at any time, including after school and weekends. This includes "Razor" or similar type scooters as well as "Wheelies", "Heelies", or any of the other current shoes with inserts.

Proper School Attire

Students are expected to attend school with general cleaniness, as well as dress neatly, safely and appropriately for both indoor and outdoor activites. Appropriate shoes are an important safety factor during physical education; sandals and slip-ons are impractical and unsafe for P.E.

Hats may be worn at school for protection from the sun during outdoor activities, and are not to be worn indoors. Hats are to be worn with the brim forward and are to be worn only by the owner.

Students are not to wear clothing that is revealing (no bare midriffs, low cut shirts, spaghetti straps, etc.) or in poor taste. Clothing must not contain words, pictures, etc., that may be viewed as inappropriate or offensive.

Lost and Found

Lost and found items are stored in a cabinet in front of the school cafeteria. Approximately twice a year, after written reminders in in the Tuesday Green Sheet, the contents of the cabinet that remain unclaimed are donated to charity.


We ask that your child have a nourishing breakfast each morning before school. For lunch, students can buy a healthy school lunch or bring their own. You can find out what we are serving by checking the school menus here.

School Lunches

Lunches can be purchased daily at school for $3.25. More information can be found here.

You can deposit money your child’s lunch account by visiting MyNutrikids.

The hot, nutritionally balanced lunch includes milk. If your child cannot drink milk, we need a written notice from your child’s doctor to substitute juice

Free Or Reduced Price Lunches

Free or reduced price lunches ($8.00 for twenty) are available to children who qualify under the income/family size guidelines. Application forms are sent home at the beginning of the year and are available in the school office. All information is strictly confidential.

Lunches From Home

If you choose to send a lunch from home with your child, please do not send soft drinks, non-biodegradable, squeeze-type sweet drinks, or drinks in cans or bottles. Please do not send candy. We encourage nutritious lunches. If your child brings lunch from home, milk , orange juice or water may be purchased for 50 cents.

We encourage you to volunteer in our classrooms. Your involvement and support are greatly appreciated and enhance the educational experience of all students.

Parents, Volunteers and Visitors on Campus

All parents and visitors are to report to the school office to sign in and obtain a "Visitors" badge, except during drop-off and pick-up. All classroom volunteers are required to sign in and obtain a badge prior to volunteer assignments in the classroom, library, Young At Art, etc.

This procedure allows the office staff to locate a parent if the need exists by reviewing the sign in sheet and assist staff members in identifying who should be on campus.
Classroom Volunteers

Parents may volunteer in their child’s classroom. All volunteers are required to have and pass a Mantoux (TB) skin test. Testing is given at the Manhattan Beach Care Station at 1010 N. Sepulveda Blvd. If you have questions regarding the Mantoux test, please contact the Care Station at 376-6262. Turn in all test results to the Pennekamp Health Assistant.