Southside Elementary School
Home of the Bees
10305 Boydton Plank Road
Dinwiddie, VA 23841
Office Hours: 8:15 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Tips for a Successful Year
Cell Phone Use
Changes in Parent Contact Information
Child Study Team
Classroom Assignments/Teacher Requests
Dropping Off/Picking Up Students
Early Dismissal/Leave Early
Inclement Weather/School Closing
Late Arrival to School
Lost and Found
Moment of Silence
Parent Teacher Organization(PTO)
Reporting Student Progress
Transfer/Withdrawal of Students
- 8:15 a.m. —Buses Unload/Car Riders Released; Students report to class, then to breakfast
- 8:30 a.m. — Tardy Bell; Students arriving after 8:30 a.m. must sign in with a parent/guardian in the office. Parents will not be allowed to walk students to class.
- 8:40 a.m. — Morning Announcement; Moment of Silence
- 3:15 p.m. — Car Riders Dismissed to Cafeteria
- 3:25 p.m. — Board buses
- 3:30 p.m. — Buses Depart
- 3:50 p.m. — Teachers Dismissed
- 4:30 p.m. — Office Closes
- Bright Stars 11:00 – 11:30
- Kindergarten 11:15 – 11:45
- First Grade 12:35 – 1:05
- Second Grade 11:25 – 11:55
- Third Grade 12:30 – 1:00
- Fourth Grade 12:00 – 12:30
- Fifth Grade 11:45 – 12:15
Dear Southside families,
Welcome to Southside Elementary School, Home of the Bees! Southside is a place where BEING a hard-worker, SHOWING integrity, HAVING values, and STRIVING for excellence, is our key to success.
The vision of our school is to provide an educational experience where children can achieve their highest potential in a safe and nurturing environment. We are eager to form a family partnership where we build positive relationships and work together.
Southside Elementary has an outstanding faculty and staff who are committed to the success of all its students. We recognize that in order to be successful, children need support from both home and school. We know a strong partnership with you will make a great difference in your child’s education. As partners, we share the responsibility for our children’s success and want you to know that we will do our very best to carry out our responsibilities. Please help us by encouraging your child to attend school daily, to arrive on time, and to be prepared for class with needed supplies and ready to learn. “Bee” involved! “Bee” supportive! Have daily conversations with your child about their school experiences!
We know this school year will be your child’s best year yet as we continue to build upon the future of Dinwiddie County Public Schools’ “Deep Roots, Great Heights.” It is an honor and a privilege to be working with you and your child. Please feel free to contact us at (804)-469-4480 or email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org at any time.
Mrs. Sheri Culbreath, Principal
Mr. Frankie Crowder, Assistant Principal
- Talk to your child’s teacher frequently. Together you are a team for your child’s academic success.
- Read with/to your child daily.
- Provide a quiet place and a consistent time to do homework. Support your child in homework efforts but refrain from doing the homework.
- Help your child learn to follow directions. Give one and two-step directions and see that the task is completed.
- Teach your child to show respect for others by using polite phrases such as please, thank you, and excuse me.
- Model, reinforce, and encourage appropriate behavior.
- Help your child learn his address and telephone number.
- Guide and monitor your child’s television viewing and computer use.
- Establish a bedtime routine and require your child to be in bed on time every school night.
- Listen to your child and encourage him to talk about his experiences that day.
- Encourage your child to succeed by insisting he always do his best.
- Write your child’s name on the inside of all personal items brought to school such as coats, hats, gloves, sweaters, lunchboxes, etc.
- Refrain from sending your child to school sick.
- Dress your child according to the weather. Students will go outside every day – weather permitting.
- Discuss with your child what to do in the event you are not at home when he arrives.
Virginia Code Section 22.1-254 requires that all school age children be enrolled in school and attend school on a regular basis. Failure to comply with the Compulsory School Attendance Law will result in court action against both the child and the parent/guardian.
A student is expected to attend school 180 days per school year. Any absence shall be deemed unexcused until appropriate verification by the parent or guardian is received and reviewed by the principal/designee. Parents are asked to call the school the morning of their child’s absence; otherwise a phone call will be placed to the home to verify an absence. An absence may be excused when a parent/legal guardian indicates to school officials in writing that the absence resulted from one of the following reasons per nine weeks marking period:
- Personal illness (3 days with parent verification)
- Death in immediate family/household (4 days)
- Professional / legal appointments (unlimited unless there may be reason to suspect abuse)
- Extenuating circumstances (with prior approval of the principal)
- Three unexcused absences – parent will be contacted and a school official will review the attendance policy.
- Four unexcused absences – the attendance team will meet with the student.
- Five unexcused absences – an attendance contract will be developed and implemented.
- Six unexcused absences – a plan will be developed with the parent to determine if more supports and/or interventions are needed.
- Seven unexcused absences – the school social worker will file a complaint against the student and/or parents through Dinwiddie Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court.
A written statement by a physician may be required when a student misses more than 10 days during the school year because of illness.
Tardiness shall be considered excused for reasons consistent with those for which an excused absence is granted. Students are not considered tardy when the bus arrives late.
Students must be signed in by an adult when arriving after 8:30 a.m.
If your child becomes ill or is injured at school, we will make every attempt to notify you or the person listed on the Emergency Card and in the Student Management System. Please help us keep this information current by notifying us immediately of changes in telephone numbers. In some cases, your child may need to be picked up by the parent or designee so that you may make a decision on the treatment needed. Students who are vomiting, who have a 100° F or higher fever, or who have diarrhea cannot stay at school. They must be picked up within a reasonable amount of time. In respect for the health and well-being of other children, your prompt response is essential. Minor cuts and scrapes will be disinfected and dressed. The administrative team will notify emergency services when deemed necessary. You will be notified of this call.
Students may not return to school until they have been free of vomiting, fever, and/or diarrhea for 24 hours. This keeps all of our children safe and healthy!
Students have a number of opportunities to participate in activities for which they receive special recognition. These include, but are not limited to, Citizenship, Spelling Bee, Academic Excellence, and Attendance.
Students will be recognized each nine weeks for academic achievement as well as good behavior. A formal awards ceremony will be held at the end of the school year. Parents are encouraged to attend.
Criteria for Nine Weeks Citizenship Award:
Displays appropriate behavior above and beyond expectations
- No office/ bus referrals for the year
- Displays appropriate work habits, citizenship, and attitude in the classroom and at specials above and beyond expectations
- no “N”s or “U”s on report card in Work Habits, Citizenship or Weekly Resources for the nine weeks.
Criteria for Nine Weeks Attendance Awards:
Students who were present every day during the school year with no tardy arrivals and/or early dismissals will receive a Perfect Attendance Award.
Criteria for Academic Recognition
- Each nine weeks, students who receive all A’s will be recognized:
- Grades 1-5 – Principal’s Honor Roll
- Each nine weeks, students who receive all A’s and B’s (no C’s) will be recognized:
- Grades 1-5 – Honor Roll
- To receive Academic Recognition for the year, a student must receive A’s and B’s (no C’s) for each 9-weeks report card.
Student birthdays are important to us at Southside.
If parents choose to send/bring in cake/cupcakes to celebrate their child’s birthday, the following guidelines should be observed:
- Must be store bought. No homemade goods.
- Must be reviewed by school nurse for potential food allergies.
- May be shared during lunch time in cafeteria.
Students will not be allowed to distribute birthday party invitations at school unless everyone in the class is receiving an invitation. Privacy laws prevent the office from disclosing parent’s telephone numbers or addresses.
Parents are encouraged to contact the teacher in advance.
Southside participates in the National School Lunch Program which includes breakfast.
Breakfast and lunch will be provided to students at no cost to families. Menus are posted in the classroom and sent home monthly in the Wednesday Folders. All opened or perishable foods must be consumed in the cafeteria and will not be permitted in any other part of the building.
School bus transportation is provided as a service to the students of Dinwiddie County. Riding the bus is a privilege that may be revoked if students fail to follow bus rules. (Refer to County Code of Conduct for a full explanation of bus rules.)
Bus drivers will explain the bus rules and expectations to students on their bus during the first week of school. Parents are encouraged to carefully review these guidelines with their child. It is critical that students comply with all bus rules and procedures to ensure all students arrive at their destination safely.
Requests for changes to the bus a student normally rides must be made in writing by the parent/guardian. The bus pass should contain the following information:
- Student’s full name
- Bus # they are to ride
- Name and address of stop where they are to get on and/or off
- Date(s) student is to ride this bus
- Indicate morning, afternoon or both
- Signature of parent
- Phone number of parent (for verification purposes)
For safety and security purposes, bus passes cannot be taken over the phone. All bus changes must be made in writing.
If an emergency arises during the school day, parents may fax a bus pass to the school before dismissal. It must contain a parent’s signature.
It is important that parents follow these guidelines in order to protect our students.
Use of good manners in the cafeteria and ensuring that our cafeteria is clean and orderly is a student’s responsibility. Students are expected to pick up dropped paper or food items. At the end of the lunch period, each child is responsible for returning their tray to the dish room and properly disposing of trash.
All students are asked to assist in having our lunchtime remain orderly. Parents can assist us greatly by teaching and modeling appropriate table manners at home.
An individual monthly calendar for the upcoming month will be sent home on the last Wednesday of each month in the Wednesday Folder.
Elementary students are not permitted to possess, display, or use cell phones on school grounds or on buses at any time. Cell phones brought to school will be taken from the student and held in the office until it is claimed by a parent/guardian.
Parents are expected to notify the office immediately of any changes in address, phone numbers or other contact information throughout the school year. This enables the school to reach parents quickly in the event of an emergency involving the student.
Character Education involves teaching children about basic human values including honesty, kindness, generosity, courage, freedom, equality, and respect. The goal of our character education program is to raise children to become morally responsible, self-disciplined citizens. Problem solving, decision making, and conflict resolution are important parts of developing moral character.
We focus on one character word each month. We encourage students to remember these words throughout the year and show good character every day. Parents can help by modeling good character traits and by reminding their child to be good a citizen.
Responsibility – being dependable, reliable in words and conduct, accountable for one’s actions.
Self-Discipline – ability to control one’s behavior, words, and actions
Generosity – sharing and giving to others willingly without selfishness
Respect – showing consideration for self, other people, property and authority.
Cooperation – two or more people working together in a mutually supportive manner for a common goal.
Caring – having sympathetic attitudes toward others in need, with a desire to help.
Citizenship – living up to obligations to society and community, showing patriotism and being involved.
Perseverance – to persist in any undertaking, to complete a task.
Trustworthiness-deserving of trust, honor and confidence.
Fairness – treating everyone the same under the rules and requiring everyone to abide by the rules.
The issues related to the legal and physical custody of students are complicated and can impact the student’s academic performance. Parents and legal guardians are strongly encouraged to stay involved with their student’s academic progress. Unless a court order states otherwise, either parent or a legal guardian may view educational records and attend school functions or school meetings regarding the student. Official notices and report cards will be sent to the parent or legal guardian with primary physical custody for the student during the school year.
It is the responsibility of the parent or legal custodian with primary physical custody to provide current copies of court orders to the school.
A Student Success Team is available to assist the school and our parents in seeking solutions to problems which result from poor attendance, lack of academic progress, lack of motivation and unacceptable behavior. In short, this team will seek to find solutions for children who are not meeting success, regardless of the reason. Parents may contact the school counselor for more information.
Students are assigned to classrooms and teachers by the principal. Many factors are considered including the student’s academic strengths and weaknesses. Decisions are made based on what is believed to be best for the student.
If your child has a contagious condition such as head lice, pink eye, chicken pox, etc., you will be given a letter at the time of occurrence outlining the conditions which must be met for the child to return to school.
Teachers are responsible for addressing a child’s inappropriate behavior in the classroom and enlisting the parent’s assistance. In cases of serious disruptive behavior or when the child’s behavior is repeatedly disruptive to the learning environment, a referral to administration may become necessary. When a referral is received by the administration, the action taken will be determined by the seriousness of the situation and the number of previous referrals. Examples of actions taken may be (but are not limited to) a warning, telephone call to parent, note home, detention, silent lunch, conference with parent and student, or suspension.
[Refer to Dinwiddie County Code of Conduct (pages 20-40) for specific details.]
There is a direct correlation between dress, attitude, and achievement in school. Parents and students are asked to support a standard of dress that contributes to a positive educational environment.
A student’s dress and appearance shall not be such that it causes disruption, distracts others from the educational process or creates a health or safety problem.
All students must follow the Dress Code Guidelines set forth in the DCPS Code of Conduct.
Students may not be dropped off at school prior to 8:15 a.m. as we do not have staff to provide supervision prior to this time.
Students being picked up by car at dismissal will report to the cafeteria. Parents/guardians must have a car rider tag to pickup their child. Car rider line-up can not begin prior to 2:50 and students will be released by 3:15.
Parents/guardians picking up children with out a car rider tag must report to the office to sign out their child prior to 3:15. Once bus dismissal begins, parents will need to wait until all buses have been dismissed. A picture identification will be requested before releasing a student. This is to ensure your child is safe and secure. Your cooperation is appreciated since the safety of our students is involved.
The Dinwiddie County Public Schools abide by local, state and federal laws to provide a drug-free workplace for staff, students and visitors. Smoking is not permitted on school property at any time.
When early dismissal is necessary (doctor’s appointment, dentist appointment, etc.), the person picking up the student must sign him/her out in the office. Persons picking up children will be required to show identification and must be listed on the emergency card.
(Note: Written permission is required if the child is leaving with someone other than the legal guardian.)
Early dismissal shall be considered excused for reasons consistent with those for which an excused absence is granted. Parents are asked to remain in the office and a member of the office staff will call the student from the classroom.
Parents are encouraged to ensure that students remain in school until dismissal. Valuable instructional time is lost when students leave before the end of the school day.
Dinwiddie County Public Schools have established plans for emergencies such as fire, illness and violent or threatening behavior. Plans and complete procedures are on file in the school office and students are informed of them at the beginning of each school year as well as throughout the year.
In addition, Southside Elementary School has a crisis management team and the entire staff receives training in crisis management annually.
Should your child notice a condition that appears threatening to them, he/she should tell the nearest staff member so that appropriate action may be taken to ensure the safety of all students.
Field trips are an extension of classroom instruction in that they enhance and enrich concepts and content taught in the classroom. All students are expected to participate in field trips.
Parent chaperones will generally be assigned a small group of students in their child’s class to supervise on the trip. Chaperones are expected to travel on the bus with the students and enforce instructions given by the teacher. Many times, only a limited number of chaperones will be allowed to participate due to the nature of the field trip. In this case, chaperones may be chosen by drawing names.
Fundraising activities that involve Southside Elementary students in door-to-door solicitation will not be allowed.
Students are not allowed to sell/buy items to/from other students on the bus or at school.
Holiday celebrations (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Spring) may be held in the classroom beginning at 2:45 p.m. on the day of the holiday or the last day of school before the holiday.
Halloween costumes are allowed provided the following guidelines are followed:
- Costumes should not in any way prevent the child from participating in normal school activities.
- Costumes may not drag the ground or prevent the child from safely getting on/off the bus.
- Masks (other than PPE), face paint covering the entire face, fake blood or anything that covers the face is prohibited.
- Scary costumes or costumes which promote violence are prohibited.
- Toy guns, knives, swords, etc. may not be brought to school for any reason.
Homework should be given as a means of review and reinforcement of previously taught skills. Students should practice reading on their independent reading level 20 minutes each night.
In the event that inclement weather conditions warrant the closing of school, announcements will be made over social media, county website, and the following TV stations:
- WTVR Channel 6
- WRIC Channel 8
- WWBT Channel 12
The school division utilizes an automated telephone system to communicate with and notify parents of events or schedule changes for the school or division. Parents should notify the office of any telephone number changes as they occur during the school year to allow these communications to be received.
Should it be necessary to close school early due to weather conditions, announcements will be made over the same stations.
Should it be necessary for the school to close on short notice, we must have (in writing) a location to send your child if it is different from the regular afternoon routine.
Students arriving at school after 8:30 a.m. must report to the office with their parent/guardian, sign in, and pick up a tardy slip before reporting to class.
Parents are encouraged to ensure students arrive at school by 8:30 a.m. to prevent missing valuable instructional time. (Parents will not be able to walk students to class after 8:30 a.m. as it creates a disruption to instruction.)
Items which are found should be brought to the main office. To claim an item, students should come to the office and check to see if the item has been turned in. Due to the lack of space, items will not be kept for more than one month. Unclaimed jackets and other clothing will be donated to Social Services or other charitable organizations. Personal items such as combs, costume jewelry, etc. will be thrown away if not claimed within this period of time.
A student must not bring medication of any type to school. This is Dinwiddie County School Board Policy and must be followed. Please use the following guidelines when requesting the school to administer medication to your child.
Non-Prescription Medication – We do not administer this type of medication without a doctor’s order (this includes Tylenol, Motrin, etc.). Medication questions should be referred to the school nurse.
Prescription Medication (for a temporary condition) We ask, if possible, to arrange a schedule that would not make it necessary to give this medication at school. If the medication must be given three (3) times a day, check with the doctor to see if this could be done before and after school, and at bedtime. If the medication should be given every six (6) hours, ask the doctor if it is possible to administer before and after school.
Prescription medication (given at school on a regular basis) – The parent must bring the medication to school. The proper documentation must be submitted at this time. This includes Physician’s Administration Form indicating the name of the medication, the dosage that the child receives, the time that the medication is to be administered, and the signature of the physician and Parent Permission Form that gives school personnel permission to administer the medication. The medication must be in the original container with the child’s name, name of the medication, dosage time and amount.
Reminder: An adult must bring all medication to the school office. At no time should medication be transported by a child.
A moment of silence will be observed daily as mandated by the Virginia General Assembly.
Parent/teacher conference days are scheduled once each semester during the school year. Parents who wish to meet with the teacher at any other time during the school year are asked to call the office and make an appointment. Every effort will be made to accommodate a parent’s schedule; however, parent conferences cannot be scheduled during a teacher’s instructional time. Parents are also asked to refrain from meeting with the teacher in the mornings during student arrival.
The goal of the Southside PTO is to create awareness about the educational programs and to provide support for these programs. The interest and support of every parent/guardian is essential to the success of this organization. The PTO sponsors several fundraising projects a year. Proceeds from these projects are used to purchase equipment, books, instructional supplies and entertainment for the development and enjoyment of the children. Parents are encouraged to join the PTO as your involvement will create a better educational environment for our children.
Parents and visitors are asked to park in the gravel side visitor’s parking lot and enter the building through the main entrance. Parking is prohibited along the curb near the entrance. Car traffic is prohibited in the bus loop (gravel parking lot between the school and orange cones) anytime buses are present — generally between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.
The physical education program is an important part of the elementary education experience for students. If a health condition prevents a student from participating in physical activities over an extended period of time, a note from a doctor indicating the limitation is required. For a student to be excused from physical education for a short period (1-3 days) a written request from a parent is needed.
- Students are expected to wear tennis shoes on the days they have P.E.
- Gum, food, and drink should not be brought into the gym at any time.
- Students are expected to exhibit good sportsmanship at all times. Reckless behavior such as running, pushing, foul language, defacing of facilities or fighting will not be tolerated.
- If a student gets injured, he/she should report the injury to the Physical Education teacher immediately.
Parents are encouraged to carefully review the following list with students to ensure these items are not brought to school:
- Toys including, but not limited to fidget spinners/cubes, trading cards, balls, plastic guns, plastic knives/ swords, toy cars, action figures, etc.
- Weapons including, but not limited to guns, knives, cap guns, swords, bullets, empty ammo casings, etc.
- Electronic games, CD players, cell phones, radios, laser pointers, etc.
- Matches, lighters, tobacco products, alcohol, fireworks, illegal substances /drugs, prescription medications, etc.
- Glass or breakable items
- Expensive/valuable jewelry or items
Any articles of this type which are brought to school or on the school bus will be taken from the child and will not be returned. Any child who is aware of another child having a dangerous article must report it to the closest authority.
Also, for the protection of all, we will rigidly enforce the existing policies as stated in the Dinwiddie County Code of Conduct. In the event a dangerous article is brought to school (regardless of intent), a lengthy suspension or expulsion will most likely result and School Board action may be required for reinstatement.
Please do not allow your child to bring any item for show and tell which is forbidden by policy.
Your cooperation will help us maintain a safe environment for your child. (See County Policy)
It is our desire for every child to be successful. We ask parents to carefully monitor grades in Infinite Campus, Wednesday Folders, Interim Reports, and Report Cards to assure success. In the event your child is receiving low grades (Ds or Fs) in any subject, we suggest that you schedule an appointment with his teacher to discuss your child’s lack of success. Should retention be necessary, it should be evident by the third nine weeks.
A copy of Dinwiddie County’s Promotion/ Retention Policy will be made available upon request.
Reading is a top priority at Southside. Parents are encouraged to read to/with their child a minimum of 20 minutes each day (including weekends). It is also important to discuss what was read with your child.
Every class also receives 40 minutes of scheduled library time each week. During this time, students will be allowed to check out books as well as receive instruction in various aspects of library usage and research.
Additionally, one month each school year is designated as reading month and special activities are planned to celebrate reading and writing.
Report cards will be made available via Infinite Campus at the end of each nine-week grading period. Interims (progress reports) will be posted midway through each nine weeks.. Specific dates are indicated on the school calendar.
- A 90–100: Superior
- B 89–80: Good
- C 79–70: Fair or Average
- D 69–60: Poor
- F 59–Below: Unsatisfactory
For a child to attend Dinwiddie County Public Schools, he/she must reside with a natural parent/guardian (with legal custody) who is a legal resident of the county. Proof of address can be requested at any time during the school year. Any parent who wishes to have their child attend Southside Elementary and does not reside in the Southside school attendance zone must submit an Out-of-Zone Waiver to the building principal.
The school schedules a professional photography studio to take individual and group photographs of students in the fall and again in the spring. All students will be photographed in the fall regardless of whether parents choose to purchase pictures. Photographs will be used for the computer student information system and student cumulative files. Information regarding picture dates and cost will be sent home to parents in the Wednesday Folder.
The Dinwiddie County Code of Conduct can be found electronically on the DCPS website. It contains specific information concerning student behavior, disciplinary consequences, and expectations and rights of students. Parents and students should read and discuss its contents thoroughly. It is important to understand that disruptive students who interfere with the educational process and/or do not comply with regulations and procedures are subject to administrative action.
Students and parents will be expected to sign and return an Acceptable Computer Use Policy (located in the County Code of Conduct) before students will be allowed access to school computers. Students who fail to abide by the Acceptable Computer Use Policy may lose their privilege to use school computers for part or all of the school year.
The school telephone is for conducting school business. Students may use the phone for emergencies only. An item or assignment forgotten at home is not considered to be an emergency. Elementary students are not allowed to bring or use cell phones at school or on the bus.
The school division provides students with textbooks for use during the school year. Students are expected to exercise care when handling and using textbooks and library books. Parents will be responsible for the cost of lost or damaged textbooks and library books.
Parents of students withdrawing or transferring from school should contact the office at least two days prior to the last day of attendance. This allows time for completion of records, return of books, and completion of the transfer form. All accounts with the school should be settled prior to the transfer.
Students will bring home a yellow folder (Wednesday Folder) each Wednesday containing papers and graded work from that week as well as calendars, fliers, lunch menus, and general school information. Parents are asked to carefully review the contents of the Wednesday Folder with their child. Papers requiring a signature should be signed and returned to school in the envelope on Thursday.
Visitors are always welcome at Southside Elementary. For the safety and protection of students, all persons must enter the school through the main entrance and report immediately to the office, sign in, and wear a visitor badge while in the school. A picture ID (driver’s license, DMV picture ID, or military picture ID) must be presented when visiting.
Parents who desire to discuss their child’s progress with the teacher or discuss a problem or concern are asked to schedule a time before 8:15 a.m., after 3:45 p.m. or during the teacher’s planning period.
Parent and community volunteers provide many valuable services to our students, teachers, and school. Please consider joining our dedicated team of volunteers and become an active part of your child’s school. The rewards are wonderful! Contact the school if you are able to give just a little of your time.
Volunteers are welcome to join the Southside’s Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) which supports the educational programs offered to our students and teachers. The interest and participation of parents/guardians is essential to the success of our PTO. The PTO sponsors our fundraising projects and proceeds are used to purchase materials, supplies, etc. Parents are encouraged to join the PTO as your involvement will help to create a nurturing, educational, environment for our children.