All children can learn. All teachers and administrators are responsible for teaching them. All other staff members are responsible for supporting that mission.
Collier Mission Statement
All children do learn in a positive, supportive environment. Children are taught to think, to communicate, and to function sensitively and successfully in a complex, changing, and culturally diverse world. Cooperative partnerships among parents, staff, and students promote success and a sense of community.
Children come first! Children have differing needs and learn in differing ways.
High expectations lead to high levels of performance.
The contents of this handbook are current at the publication date; however, note that changes in school practices and district board policies may be made after the printing of this document and must be adhered to by all personnel, students, parents, volunteers, and visitors.
Notice of Non Discrimination
Tucson Unified School district does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, religion, or disability in admission or access to, or treatment or employment in, its educational programs or activities.
El distrito Escolar Unificado de Tucson no discrimina a base de raza, color, origin, nacional, sexo, orientacion sexual, edad, religion, o inhabilidad en admission o acceso a, o tratamiento de personas o empleo en, sus programa educacionales o actividades.
Whenever a student must be absent from school, a parent or guardian must notify the school attendance office. Messages can be left even when the school office is closed. If the office has not been notified then the attendance clerk or office manager will attempt to contact the parents. If unsuccessful in reaching parents at home or places of employment, contacts will be made to all names listed as contact sources for the child. State law requires this effort and our interest in the safety of our children demands this. If we do not have any contact with you on the day of your child’s absence, please send a “reason” note on the day your student returns.
Arrival and Dismissal
Student safety is our primary concern and we ask cooperation and diligence in dropping off and picking up students. Our monitors watch the students as they wait and board the school buses at the bus bay and blue shade area on the southwest corner of the campus. State law prohibits students from being dropped off or picked up in the same location where school buses load.
Students are expected to be in school at all times except in cases of illness or emergency.
After School Care
Several private day care facilities offer services and packages that include pick up in the afternoon at Collier School. Contact the school office for information on the availability of any “on-site” after school programs.
Before School Care
Several private day care facilities offer services and packages that include drop off in the morning at Collier School. Contact the school office for information on the availability of our “on-site” Happy Hours after school program.
Encourage students who walk or ride bicycles to obey safety rules. Bike riders should wear protective helmets. All bicycles must be parked in the racks provided. Each must be locked with its own lock.
Transportation is provided for students according to the home address. Bus routes are created each year and available on the visit day at the opening of school. We want our children to be safe from the moment they leave home in the morning until they return home safely in the afternoon. This can best be achieved by working together. Please make sure that you discuss the route you want your child to take to and from the bus stop. Discuss both the safety precautions and common courtesies to be maintained en route and at the bus stop. Make sure both you and your child know which bus route to take to school and which one to take home. Talk about what to do if the bus is late in the morning or if no one is home in the afternoon. Also, reiterate the importance of always boarding and departing the bus at the correct stop that you know and approve.
Any changes to the afternoon bus route/plan for a child must be submitted by the parent (via the child) in writing to the office on the morning of the change. Any change must be approved by the office for each child.
At the beginning of the school year, a letter from the TUSD Transportation Department is sent to parents outlining the rules for bus riding and the potential consequences for non compliance. We consider the bus like the first and last “classroom” of the day.
Every day the students have time to socialize in the cafeteria while they enjoy lunch. Students are expected to sit and eat lunch for a minimum of ten minutes and then are dismissed to go outside to play. Individuals and whole classes are held responsible for appropriate behavior. Children – all children in grades K-5 – are expected to remain seated while eating, to clean up after their lunch, to raise a hand to be excused to line up or for restroom use, and to be cooperative.
Federal regulations require that only the student who purchased a school lunch eat it. No food served in the cafeteria or brought from home may be brought outside to consume. Students may contribute items to the “share table” they do not want and other students may select one item at a time.
Lines form that students move through to obtain their meals. We adjust our arrival times to minimize the wait time.
Our monitors are provided by TUSD to promote the general well-being and ensure safety in the cafeteria and on the playground during the lunch periods. These monitors provide a great service to our school and children.
Parents and guests are welcome to join children for lunch and sit in the special seating area. It’s been the tradition to acknowledge a clean week in the cafeteria by having music for singing and dancing on Fridays for the enjoyment of all.
Check Out Procedures for Students to Leave Earlier than Regular Dismissal
All students leaving the school grounds for any reason must check out through the office. No one is to leave the school grounds without getting prior permission from the office. Students will be released only to parents or legal guardians, or other adults authorized on the Information Card for each student. All other family members or friends, including divorced parents not having legal custody, will not be permitted to remove a child from school without written prior permission from the custodial parent or legal guardian. Once the adult checks the student out properly in the office, the student will be called to the office for dismissal. Note: Only medical appointments or emergencies are considered “excused” reasons for early dismissal.
The best placement of students are made when knowledgeable teachers meet with the principal in the spring to determine classroom assignments. The decisions are made based on a variety of factors including student achievement, learning styles, behavior, ethnicity, gender, special needs, social and emotional factors, and parental input. We take student placement very seriously and work hard to make the best assignments for all our learners. A form is sent in the spring for information in order for staff to make plans for the next year.
If you have any concerns about classroom procedures or your child’s progress, please contact the teacher directly. This will help open communication between your child’s teacher and home.
Communication from School
Getting information home with students is always a challenge but we never stop trying! Every Collier student is provided with a special “home” folder into which teachers of primary students put important assignments. Teachers of intermediate students instruct students to utilize the folder to hold important papers. The principal publishes a monthly newsletter. The PTA publishes a monthly newsletter. We try to designate either Friday or Monday (a teacher preference) as the day of the week when homework packets or folders are sent home. Please try to locate the folder to obtain important information and stay connected to the school, the classroom, and special events. Check our Collier website (edweb.tusd.k12.az.us/Collier ) for information too.
Cross Categorical Services
This Exceptional Education program is for students who are identified through testing and qualifying for extra assistance. Services are provided both in and out of the classroom as needed and determined by the individual education plan (IEP). Certified teachers in areas of expertise work with students and address special needs.
An adult crossing guard is at the crosswalk on Bear Canyon Road just south of the school to assist children who walk or ride bicycles to school.
A crosswalk with a crossing guard is provided just south of the school to help students cross Bear Canyon Road.
Collier has a very active group that originated in 2001 when a group of Dads wanted to do things to improve the Collier campus. The Dad’s Project sponsors special activities to support and enrich Collier School. Watch for flyers, notices, and messages on the marquee. Check our school website (edweb.tusd.k12.az.us/Collier) for a link to the Dad’s Project page.
Our philosophy is to “Be safe, Be respectful, & Be Caring!” We have a positive approach to discipline that focuses on respect, communication, self-discipline, problem solving, development of a positive self-image, and prevention of discipline problems. Staff, students, and parents cooperatively establish and review discipline procedures and rules. Students will accept responsibility and be held accountable for their behavior. Phone calls or notes home from the teacher or principal will inform parents of problems. The TUSD document to assist schools in addressing the classroom and school environment is titled Guidelines for Rights and Responsibilities in Grades K-12 Handbook . A copy of this book is sent home at the beginning of the school year to all newly registered students.
TUSD developed a dress code for students to provide an educational environment designed to teach and encourage students to focus on academics. We ask that students and families use common sense and consideration of the weather conditions and the building conditions in selecting appropriate school clothes and shoes. For example, under the district and Collier guidelines the following are not permitted.
Controversial or offensive language, logos, or graphics. Alcoholic or Tobacco product advertising.
Midriff, halter tops, spaghetti straps, or revealing materials. Baggy pants that expose undergarments.
Rubber flip flops Athletic shirts with mesh or wide arm openings that expose too much skin.
Early Dismissal Days
TUSD elementary schools have four early dismissal days in the year. There are three in fall and one in spring for the purpose of parent conferences. Dismissal is at 12:10 on those special early dismissal days. Lunches are still served, but on an accelerated schedule. Most students prefer eating at home once dismissed. Every Wednesday, there is a 2:10 dismissal for the purpose of teacher/staff professional development.
Emergency Drills & Procedures
Collier students participate in regular evacuation drills (fire drills). Collier devised a plan for an invacuation – when we must get everyone INTO the building. Additionally, we have plans for lock-downs or evacuations for the whole campus. To ensure student safety, staff review procedures regularly.
Exceptional Education Inclusion
Collier is an inclusive school where neighborhood students with moderate to severe disabilities are educated in classrooms along with regular education students. Special support and services are provided to enable all students to be successful. The educational program of students with special needs incorporates paraprofessional instructors, volunteers, and support staff to assist in classrooms.
Family Life Curriculum
Family Life curriculum is a state mandated course of study for all students in grades 4 through 12. Parent permission is required for students to participate in this health course that focuses on puberty, growth and development, and decision making. The course is generally taught by the fourth and fifth grade teachers during one week in the year. The TUSD Governing Board requires that in elementary school, girls and boys are taught the human sexuality lessons separately. An alternative class is offered for those students not participating. A parent informational meeting is held to review curriculum and answer questions before classes begin.
Each classroom teacher identifies any and all field trips that integrate into the classroom program of studies and supports student achievement. Field trips are optional and solely based on teacher willingness to assume the responsibility for organizing and implementing such excursions. Individual permission slips for each event are sent to parents. When parent volunteers drive students, they must certify vehicular insurance and provide written documentation of that insurance.
Foreign Language in Elementary Schools (FLES)
According to state requirements, TUSD implemented the FLES program to introduce Spanish to elementary school students. Regular classroom teachers offer introductory lessons through singing and other experiences. Many teachers seek Spanish speaking volunteers to assist in the classroom instruction.
Special programs and projects are funded through the generosity of the PTA, Tax Credit Donations, the Dads’ Project, and other gifts and donations such as business matching funds. Some of the programs have included Physical Education, Music, Art, field trips, and special performances. These programs are not funded in the regular school budgets; therefore, to provide the experiences and opportunities for our Collier students, we rely on the generosity of our energetic support groups. Participation in any fundraiser is always voluntary and not required.
GATE/PLUS (Gifted & Talented Resource Program)
GATE is an enrichment program offered once a week to develop and enhance critical and creative thinking skills. Students who have been identified as gifted through TUSD testing attend GATE as an alternative to their classroom activity one period a day when the special itinerant teacher is at Collier. Parents receive an invitation and must grant permission for their child to participate.
Guest Teachers (aka Substitutes)
When the regular teacher or staff person is absent, substitutes provide the services. We appreciate the cooperation of everyone on these days. It’s not easy because routines and practices are interrupted. All substitutes are certified by the state and TUSD has provided training on expectations.
Our health office provides valuable services to our students and families. Everyday, there is a health assistant on duty. At least once during the week, an RN is on our campus. Annual height and weight data is gathered for the students. There are vision and hearing screenings conducted as well. Additionally, medications are dispensed for students regularly – whether it’s on “PRN” or daily. First aid is provided for the many scratches, bumps and lumps. When students exhibit signs of illness, parents are contacted. It is critical that Emergency Card information is complete and current.
We believe that homework can assist students in the development of self-discipline, self-direction, and study skills. It provides a vital link and ongoing communication. Homework should strike a balance between academics, family life, and the child’s needs. Each teacher establishes the classroom policy and practice for the school year. Typically, classrooms in grades K-2 have about 30 minutes and grades 3-5 have about 45 minutes on Mon.-Thurs. This is a very general time frame. If the actual time spent is too little or too much, please speak with the teacher.
In most cases, if a child is absent, it’s due to illness and the time at home needs to be spent on recovery. Usually, if a child is out for 1-2 consecutive days, the teacher will customize the work that is necessary to make up once the student returns to class. Since much of classroom work is collaborative and interactive, it is not always conducive to translate to a specific written assignment. However, if a parent has a request, it should be made at the time an absence is called in and teachers will have material ready for pickup at the end of the school day. In other cases, parents can make arrangements in advance with teachers for specific assignments.
School insurance is available for your child. Forms are sent home at the beginning of the school year and the insurance goes in to effect when the form is returned. Each year a new contract must be signed.
Kindergarten Round-Up/Spring Visitation
There is an orientation visit held in the spring for incoming kindergarteners and their parents. Students visit the kindergarten classroom and playground while parents learn about Collier and its programs. Special notices are sent to recruit participation in the special event that typically happens in spring.
The center includes reference materials, fiction and non-fiction, periodicals, access to the Internet, and a variety of technological resources. Students have borrowing privileges and we work diligently to maintain a quality collection and facility.
Lost and Found
Lost articles of clothing are hung on a rack and lunch boxes are put in a box in the cafeteria. If not claimed, these are donated to the TUSD Clothing Bank after each quarterly progress report. Small items such as jewelry, money, eyeglasses, etc., are turned in to the office.
Two lunch selections are available daily beginning on the first day of school in our cafeteria through the TUSD Food Services Department. (Prices subject to change.)
Full Price: $1.75*/day Reduced Price: $.40*/day(*includes milk) Milk only: $.30/day
Lunches may be purchased separately or paid for on a weekly or monthly basis. Checks are to be made payable to Food Services Collier School. Applications for free or reduced lunch are available from the school office. Students who forget their money or lunch will be permitted to call home. We do not have a charge system. Students who are unable to reach their family members will be given a peanut butter sandwich, courtesy of PTA.
Meaningful Access to District Programs and Services
The school district will ensure Meaningful Access for students, parent/legal guardians, and family members to all District programs and services through interpreter and translator services in the home language of the student, parent/legal guardian, or family members. The interpreter and translator services will be available at all times to students, parents/legal guardians, and family members. In addition to interpreter services, district forms will be translated into various languages. Some of these languages are Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), Russian, and Arabic.
We need your cooperation when medicine must be taken by your child at school. Collier follows all Arizona regulations regarding dispensation of medicine.
1. Medicine must be prescribed by the child’s physician.
2. Prescription drugs must be in the original pharmacy container, labeled with the child’s name, date, medication dose, and time to be taken.
3. A parent must taken medicine to the health office and complete a medication administration form.
4. Medicine must be given in the presence of a nurse, health clerk, principal, or designated staff member.
5. Student must assume the responsibility of self-management.
6. Non-prescription medication is not to be given unless the family physician indicated a need in writing.
Messages to Students
Parents occasionally need to get messages to students during the school day. All messages are to be called in to the office as early in the day as possible. Messages will be sent to students at the end of the day so that classroom activities are not interrupted. We try to deliver all messages by 2:00 p.m. Any telephone messages that come in after that time cannot be guaranteed to be communicated to your child’s classroom before the dismissal bell. We try to avoid interrupting the academic work in classrooms.
Messages to Staff
All teachers have telephones for direct access by families. A directory is sent home at the beginning of the school year. There is a voice mail system on which callers can leave a message too. Teachers also have email addresses for easier communication. (The protocol is the teacher’s email@example.com) There is also “the old fashioned way” of calling the office and leaving a message. Of course, parents can send a note too. While we would expect a reply to parents within 24 hours, sometimes due to a variety of factors, it may be 48 hours. If you haven’t received a reply, let the principal know so that a reminder can be delivered. Thanks for your patience and understanding, because occasionally there is a technology failure or a human oversight in listening to messages.
Monitors (aka “Mom-i-tors”)
Our monitors are also known as our “Mom i tors.” They are the people who act as the playground parents. They are official positions funded by TUSD, but we typically only have two at a time on the playground. Their role is to promote the general well-being and ensure safety in the cafeteria and on the playground during the lunch periods as well as before and after school. These monitors provide a great service to our school and children. It is a rewarding job in that the children form bonds with their adult friends on the playground. It is also a challenging job because there are so many children who want their attention. We appreciate the support and cooperation of all our Collier families. All monitors wear nametags and orange vests for easy recognition. Students are expected to respect and obey their directions. If you are interested in serving in this most valued role, contact the office.
Non-Accidental Injuries-Neglect-Abuse of Children
School personnel are mandated by law to report concerns about children (such as non-accidental injuries, physical neglect, or emotional abuse) to either law enforcement or another state agency such as Child Protective Services (CPS). The law requires only that the concern is a reasonable belief so there does not have to be physical evidence. Failure to comply carries serious consequences for school personnel. School personnel do NOT investigate or judge, we only report as obligated by state statute.
There are two designated times in the school year when students are dismissed early to facilitate the opportunity to conduct formal parent conferences. One is in the fall when student progress is discussed and a written progress report is issued for students in grades 1-5. There is another day scheduled in the spring when students are dismissed early so that teachers can conduct conferences with selected parents.
Please drive with care in the parking lots and around the school campus. Do not encourage children to run across a parking lot to meet you. Student safety is our primary concern.
Please be respectful of our students and families with wheelchairs. Do not stop or park behind the designated parking places as it blocks access for those vehicles and children.
TUSD and Collier Elementary cannot be responsible for loss, damage, theft, or vandalism of students’ personal property. Please do not allow your child to bring toys or other personal items. The school cannot be responsible if your child gives one of their personal items to another child and is not able to get it back. Each bicycle needs an individual lock and must be walked on school grounds. Skateboards are prohibited. Please try to label your child’s belongings (including lunch boxes and jackets). Lost and unclaimed items are donated quarterly.
Physical Education Enrichment
Each class receives one weekly lesson of various PE activities that promote physical well being. These lessons are taught during the school day and the entire class participates. Funding is provided by tax credit donations.
Supervision on the playground does not occur until 8:30 in the morning. Students should not arrive at school before that time. Students will not be allowed to enter the building before the start of school at 8:54 a.m. When students are dismissed at the end of the day, they must go directly home. Collier Elementary School cannot assume any responsibility for playground supervision after dismissal at the end of the school day. During students’ lunch period, some time is allotted for the playground and there is always supervision.
For Grades 1-5, student progress is reported every nine weeks in the form of a written report to parents. The report uses performance standards, or rubrics, which provide a picture of a child’s progress as measured to the state academic standards. The rubric scoring ranges from 1-4. A 1 means “falls far below” the standard. A 2 means “approaches” the standard. A 3 means the learner "meets" the standard. A 4 means that the learner “exceeds” the standard. For Kindergarten, student progress is reported twice a year.
Collier has a very active PTA. Everyone is encouraged to join. The PTA sponsors special activities and fundraisers to support and enrich the Collier School community. Watch for regular newsletters and messages on the marquee. Check out our school website (edweb.tusd.k12.az.us/Collier) for a link to the PTA page.
According to the state of Arizona, the decision of promotion or retention rests in the hands of each teacher and is based upon the learner’s performance. The state standards for academics, individual needs, special challenges, student effort, family support, and extenuating circumstances are factored into the decision to promote or retain. Teachers will begin conversations with parents early in the school year if there is concern for performance. A plan of interventions for home and school will be created collaboratively with parent and teacher. At the end of the school year on the final student progress report, the word promote or retain will appear. Parents have the right to appeal the decision of your child’s teacher to retain or promote your child. In order to appeal, a written request for a review must be submitted to the Tucson Unified School District Governing Board office within ten days after the issue of the progress report at the end of the school year.
School Council for Shared Decision Making
This is a site-based advisory committee that includes and represents parents, faculty, staff, principal, and members of our community. The team was initially formed in accordance with the Arizona Revised Statute requirements (ARS Sec. 15-31) The Collier Council meets regularly and posts notices to announce upcoming meetings. The principal’s newsletter also announces the meeting dates for the month. Everyone is invited to attend and address the Council in the “Call to the Audience” portion of the agenda. The primary purpose is to support programs and practices at Collier to enhance student achievement. Decisions are made regarding programs, policies, school practices, calendar, special events, tax-credit expenditures, and hiring. There is a bulletin board in the main hallway on which the minutes, agendas, and bylaws are posted for review.
Student pictures are taken twice yearly. There is no obligation to purchase any of the packet options provided by photographers. A small profit percentage is earned for all sales and is deposited into the Student Council account. The Student Council determines how to spend these funds for the Collier school community.
Sexual harassment consists of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, graphic, written, or physical conduct of a sexual nature when made by a member of the District staff, student, or member of the public while on District property. A single incident may result in violation of this policy. Anyone who is subjected to sexual harassment, or who knows of the occurrence of such conduct, should report it to the site/department administrator or directly to the EEO Compliance Officer. (Board policy ACA)
Special Deliveries to Students
If a delivery is made to school for a child’s special occasion, the student will be called to the office to pick up the item just prior to dismissal.
Collier spirit thrives! Every Friday is Collier sprit day when students and staff wear school colors of blue and gold or a Collier shirt. Every Wednesday is UofA Wildcat day when students and staff wear red and blue or UofA shirts. Every Tuesday is our patriotic day when students and staff wear red, white, and blue. Student Council typically sponsors several other special spirit days throughout the school year.
State Standards for Academics
All classroom instruction is based upon the guidelines established by the state. Visit the Arizona Department of Education website at www.ade.gov or the TUSD homepage www.tusd1.org . On the TUSD page, follow the Quick Links on the right for “Academic & Instructional Resources” to view the specifics for each grade level and subject area. Progress toward the mastery of the prescribed standards is assessed in a variety of formal and informal ways that are delineated annually by the TUSD School Board and the Arizona Department of Education.
Student Rights & Responsibilities
TUSD established guidelines to help students, families, and schools achieve a quality education. These guidelines are for student behavior and are intended to help create a positive and safe teaching and learning environment in all schools. A separate booklet is published and sent to newly enrolled students to describe the rights, responsibilities, and consequences of student behavior. Specific infractions are defined and the consequences recommended are listed. In addition, information is cited regarding which infractions are reported to School Safety or law enforcement.
Student Drop Off and Pick Up
When driving students to school, please exercise caution. On the southwest side of the building, there is the bus bay and another parking lot for staff. The north side of the building provides a “turn around” curb that provides the safest access to building doors through which the children can pass to enter the playground.
We encourage punctuality in order to maximize learning time for all children. Please see that your child arrives at school on time every day. All children arriving at school after the 8:54 a.m. bell are considered tardy and must report to the office to obtain a late pass to enter the classroom. Usually, if the child can enter the classroom with the other students who are walking into the classroom they are not considered tardy.
A “Tardy Time” policy was designed as a logical consequence to modify the pattern of chronic tardy arrivals. At the third tardy, that is considered “unexcused” or not as a result of a documented medical/dental appointment, then a student forfeits part of the lunch play time. For example, if the student is 15 minutes tardy, then 15 minutes of playtime is lost.
Starting the day with the whole class sets the tone for the whole day and ending the full day with the class concludes a day of learning. Tardy students disrupt the teaching and learning for the whole class. Students dismissed early, disrupt the learning environment too.
We appreciate the diligence and cooperation to maximize the learning day and support student success.
Tax Credit Donations
Arizona has a tax credit plan from which any taxpayer can determine where $400 (joint) or $200 (single) of their state taxes go. This is not a contribution of regular income, but a designation of the tax bill that can go to the school. It’s easy and it’s a WIN-WIN situation!
It works in the following way.
All this means is that you, the taxpayer, gets to tell the state of Arizona that you want to give some of your tax money directly to Collier Elementary School.
We love to have volunteers and visitors at our school. You are welcome anytime, but we require all visitors and volunteers check in at the office to obtain a Visitor Badge. Student safety is our primary concern.