School Policy Guide
The School Policy Guide is a supplement to the District Policy Guide, and is customized for each school. It may include important phone numbers, classroom placement procedures, transportation information, and after-school childcare options. This guide was formerly known as the school handbook.
- Attendance & Arrival
- Behavior Education & Social Emotional Learning
- Child Care / After-School Information
- Classroom Placement Procedures
- Emergency Situations
- Food & Nutrition
- Picking up your child during the school day
- PTO and Family Engagement
- Safety and Security
- School Hours
- Special Events and Volunteers
- School Start/Dismissal: Safety, Traffic, Pick-up & Drop-off
- Technology Use
Attendance, including being to school on time, is extremely important in your child’s success. Research demonstrates that students with 94% or better attendance are more likely to succeed in schools than students below 94%. We want all children to be safe and accounted for at all times. Taking the following steps can ensure your child’s safety:
When your child is going to be late or absent from school, please call the school’s Attendance number 204-2002 by 9:00 a.m. the day of the absence. A recorded message will ask you to leave your name, your child’s name, classroom teacher, and the reason for absence or tardiness. The Attendance Phone Line is available 24 HOURS A DAY.
If you do not have a phone, please contact the Emerson School Office to let us know a phone number you wish us to call if we need to check on your child.
To avoid confusion in trying to determine the whereabouts of your child, please call the Attendance Number as soon as you know your child will be absent or tardy.
Emerson’s 24-Hour Attendance Line: 204-2002 Thank you for your cooperation!
In 2013, MMSD changed from an outdated “Code of Conduct” that emphasized punishment and consequences to a more research-based, proactive Behavior Education Plan, that emphasizes proactive teaching and learning and a progressive approach to discipline (repeated misbehavior has greater consequences) so that students develop the social-emotional and behavior skills to be successful. Emerson follows this plan closely, including a system of Positive Behavior Intervention Supports (PBIS).
If your child is at least ten (10) years old and wishes to ride a bicycle to school, please request a permission slip from the office. Students are encouraged to wear helmets and must lock their bikes in the rack on school grounds. Bicycles are permitted for the purpose of transportation to and from school only and are not to be ridden during school hours. Please take the time to check your child’s bike to be sure it is in good condition and to review bicycle safety rules with your child. Students are expected to walk their bikes once on school grounds for the safety of other students. Permission slips are available in the school office and must be returned to the office before a child may ride to school. Thank you for making bicycle safety a priority!
Roller skates, roller blades, skateboards and scooters are not permitted on school grounds during the school day.
The Safe Haven Program of MSCR provides after school care at Emerson. Care is provided from immediately after school until 5:30pm. For further information contact the Safe Haven Program at 204-2023.
MOST (Madison Area out-of-School Time) connects families with many out of school programs. Other after school care providers are Kindercare (249-3393), Sunny Ridge Kids Child Care Center (244-6098), Play Haven (249-8722), Salvation Army (250-2258) and Goodman Community Center (241-1574). Some providers offer before school care and provide transportation between the center and the school. Parents should contact these programs directly for details.
Music con Brio has been a proud partner of Emerson for more than a decade. They offer music lessons on strings instruments on a sliding scale after school.
Determining student classroom placement is a complex and lengthy process. In general, we know our students well when making classroom placement decisions. We take many factors into account. These factors include balancing strengths and weaknesses, personality factors, providing a good multicultural mix and a good match with the teacher. We strive for balanced classrooms. Each spring, parents can request to provide information they believe will be helpful in this process. As enrollment numbers change up until school starts, parents will typically be notified of class placement around the end of August. This helps “getting it right the first time” as much as possible. In the past, early communication of class placement was later changed due to enrollment changes.
In kindergarten, students will be assigned a temporary teacher and classroom to start the year. We will take up to two weeks to learn about students. We will communicate student permanent classroom placements to parents by the end of the second week.
In the 2019-20 school year, we incorporated the Standard Response Protocol into our emergency procedures in line with guidance from the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s Office of School Safety and national recommendations on school safety. It incorporates many of the concepts we already use but offers more clarity and consistency in terminology among schools and first responders across the country. Each school year, students will receive age-appropriate instruction on what to do in each of these scenarios through lesson plans, slide presentations, class discussions, videos, and more.
Emerson students have the opportunity to eat breakfast at school before the start of the school day. Breakfast service hours are 7:35–7:48 a.m. each morning.
Students are given a minimum of 20 minutes to eat lunch. Students also have a 30 minute recess. Specific lunch and recess times for each grade level are available in the office and provided by teachers.
To ensure the safety of your child, please send a note in advance to your child’s teacher or the office. We require parents to come into our office and sign out the student. We will call the classroom to have the student sent down to the office to meet the parents. Please remember anyone picking up a student must be authorized and listed in Infinite Campus. Once school is in session, no non-school staff (including parents) will be allowed to go to a classroom unaccompanied and pick up a child.
Emerson School’s Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) is comprised of invested parents and staff who want to actively support Emerson’s community. You are encouraged to become involved in this organization both by attending the meetings and also by volunteering your time to participate in jointly sponsored events which may include: evening family events, classroom volunteers, and fundraising. Meetings are held in the Library from 6-7:30 p.m. usually on the second Tuesday of each month. Child care is provided. Be an active part of this important group to make a difference in your child’s education.
Families play a key role in school safety. We believe that it is beneficial for families and the community to engage in our students’ education. We also want to provide a safe and comfortable environment for our students to learn. If you plan to visit, please pre-arrange your visit with the classroom teacher. The teacher will communicate with the office about your visit. You’ll find more information on district safety and security, including how we communicate with you in an emergency, at mmsd.org/safety. Thank you for your partnership in creating a safe and positive school environment. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me for any reason.
Emerson holds several special events throughout the year. Family volunteers are always welcome and needed at these events. Please contact the school office or the PTO if you are interested in helping. A large percentage of events scheduled are on the school calendar. Please reference classroom newsletters and the Emerson family newsletter for updates or revisions. You may also call the school office to verify dates/times of the following events
Open House - Come in to meet your child’s teachers and visit their classroom. Learn more about Emerson School by participating in our scavenger hunt. Be prepared, we like to take pictures of our beautiful Emerson Families. Make sure to bring your best smile!
Block Party - We look forward to our 3rd annual Brentwood Block Party in Spring!
Book Bowl - Fourth and fifth grade students participate in a tri-school, district competition focused on questions based from a dozen books that school teams have read and discussed together.
Book Fair - Sponsored by Emerson’s PTO and the school library, this is an annual fundraising event. Scholastic Books provides books, posters, bookmarks and other items for sale on the day of the fall Parent/Teacher Conference. Students may visit to preview books the day before at the Book Fair set up in the auditorium. All are welcome to come and shop anytime during the Parent/Teacher Conference hours.
Emerson Family Variety Show - Either come to perform or come to watch a wide range of amazing performances. Emerson definitely has talent!
Popcorn Sales – One Friday a month, PTO volunteers make popcorn. The PTO collects an annual donation at the beginning of the year. Proceeds go toward popcorn and PTO projects. Volunteers are needed to pop the corn Thursday after school or Friday mornings from 8:00-10:00 a.m.
Family Fun Night - This is an annual event sponsored by the Emerson PTO. It features games and prizes for all ages, plus pizza, popcorn, and other refreshments. The entire family is welcome.
Fine Arts Nights K/1, 2/3, and 4/5- Sponsored through our Music and Art classes, students perform songs and display artwork for families and friends. Each performance is followed by a light reception in the school cafeteria.
Emerson Beautification Day Fall/Spring - Typically 6 weeks into the school year and 6 weeks before the school year ends, Emerson PTO, families and community members join together on a Saturday morning to give the Emerson grounds a good face lift by trimming, cleaning, fixing, building and planting items around the school. Enjoy great breakfast items, taste test the Eagles’ Roost Coffee, meet new families/community members and experience some light physical activity all to support the Emerson Beautification Project.
Spelling Bee - Fourth and fifth graders compete for the opportunity to be the Emerson representative at the annual city Spelling Bee.
Science Night - Sponsored by our Downtown Kiwanis partners, families participate in various science presentations provided by many community volunteers. A light supper is provided before the science presentation rotations.
ABC Countdown - To engage students in the last weeks of school, we have an ABC countdown, which involves a special activity / event for each letter of the alphabet.
Fun in the Field Day. This very special day occurs during the last week of school to celebrate our Positive Playground. The afternoon begins with a pep rally and then students rotate through stations filled with fun activities to promote a positive playground and an active lifestyle. It is a great way to end the school year.
School Dance – Join us for a great night time event with your family! Enjoy a light supper and dancing to the music from the DJ in the school cafeteria. Students love this special night.
School Picnic - Sponsored by the Emerson PTO, Emerson families and community members come together to enjoy a picnic-style cookout on the Emerson playground. Bring your favorite blanket or lawn chair and celebrate a great school year and summer ahead.
Fifth Grade Promotion – On the last day of school we say “farewell” to our graduating fifth grade students with a special fifth grade recognition and celebration reception.
For safety precautions, all adults should check-in the office first. In nearly all cases, students enter the school by themselves. Staff will help students get to class or to the office. Please do not go directly to classrooms.
Yes, traffic patterns are less than ideal. Please keep safety first and make the best of it! A student was killed at another school because he ran into the road to get into a car at dismissal. Please make safety our top priority!
Option 1 Drop-off/pick-up location: 7th street, school side
Option 2: Dayton street circle (see map below)
Option 3: Park on side street and walk student to/from Emerson
Note: students enter through Door 3 in the morning. After the tardy bell, they enter through the main entrance (Door 3A).
Do Do not
- wait patiently
- be a role model
- stay in your car until you help your child get into the car
- park legally
- students enter/exit car from the sidewalk side
- students only cross the road in the crosswalk
- leave your vehicle unattended. You can get a ticket
- idle or run your car while parking for more than 5 minutes. This violates city ordinance and pollutes the air
- park on E. Johnson St. (Buses only)
- double park or park on the non parking side of 7th street
- students enter car in the middle of the road
Like other MMSD schools, Emerson uses a balanced approach to using technology as a powerful tool for learning while being intentional about appropriate screen time. In general, Emerson students are taught and expected to be safe, responsible, and respectful when using technology and follow the District’s Acceptable Use Guidelines (Board Policy 3721).
Badger Bus will provide transportation service to students living more than 1.5 miles from the school or who are on a hazardous route. Students riding the bus are expected to follow all rules including safety, respect and behavior while going to and from the bus stop as well as on the bus. Badger Bus staff may be reached at 298-5471.
Note that many items in these guides are specific to teaching and learning within school buildings, and we know that adjustments will need to be made as we go. Please use this as a starting point and connect with your school if you have specific questions about how things will be handled in a virtual setting.