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Hillcrest School
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School handbook

School Hours


  Regular Days Minimum Days**
Grades Arrival Time Dismissal Time Arrival Time Dismissal Time
K - 5 8:30 a.m.* 2:50 p.m. 8:30 a.m.* 1:15 p.m.
6 - 8 8:15 a.m. 2:39 p.m. 8:15 a.m.
1:09 p.m.

(Please note that this schedule is subject to change. Check back periodically.)

* At 8:28 am, grades K-5 will form a circle on the yard for the daily opening ceremony.

** Minimum days (early release days) are Wednesdays and a few additional days assigned by OUSD. Please check the school calendar or the weekly Yellow Pages newsletter for updates.

Office Hours are 8:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Arrivals

Students should not arrive on the school grounds before 8:15 a.m. unless they are:

  • Enrolled in Adventure Time
  • Enrolled in a before-school language program
  • Have been requested by their teacher to come in early

Rainy Days: Students should not come to school earlier than necessary. If they are early, they are allowed to wait in the breezeways until the bell rings. There is no supervision prior to 8:15 a.m.

Quiet Please! School is in Session: Teaching and learning are happening at Hillcrest, so after you drop off or before you pick up your child, please keep the hallways quiet, hold conversations outside and wait for your child outside of the building. Pre-arrange a meeting place with your child and meet him/her there. Please do not call your student at school; if you need to drop off lunch, bring it to the office, not the classroom.

Drop-off/Parking Procedures

Morning Drop-off Procedure: Thank you to all who take the extra effort in complying with our drop-off and pickup rules. Together we can make our parking situation very safe. Please do not park in the yellow zone in front of the school on Marguerite Drive from 8 to 8:30 a.m. This area must be clear for morning drop-off, which occurs from 8:10 to 8:30 a.m. The yellow zone in front of the school is the only car drop-off place. Volunteer parents, safety patrol students, and staff will be at the front of the school to assist the children in exiting the cars. During this morning drop-off time, please make every effort to drive only in the westbound (downhill) direction on Marguerite Drive.

  1. Please use the drop-off lane in front of the school on Marguerite Drive to drop off your children in the morning. Even if you are running late, it is safer for your child to be dropped off in front of the school versus running across Mandalay!
  2. We ask that when you enter the drop-off lane that you pull all the way forward, allowing other cars to move off of the street and into this lane.
  3. Children should exit vehicles on the right hand/passenger side of the car quickly. Say your byes and I love you’s as you pull forward and not after you stop. Parents should not get out to help children with backpacks, lunches, etc.
  4. Students should not use the front doors when entering school in the morning – go directly to the yard using the AT gate.
  5. When exiting the drop-off lane, pull forward onto Marguerite and then carefully turn onto Mandalay. Please watch your left and right hand turns! We have St. Theresa, Holy Names, Aurora and Hillcrest students crossing streets!
  6. Parking, stopping or dropping off on the opposite side of Mandalay and having children cross the street is not safe, even if they are with you. Please insist that your children are crossing at the corners.
Afternoon Pickup: Please park legally in the neighborhood. Do not block driveways or crosswalks, even if you need to walk a bit more to and from the school.

Continue to think SAFETY OVER CONVENIENCE.

Please be respectful of our neighbors by obeying the posted parking signs and the school’s guidelines when dropping off or picking up your child. We do not want to receive parking complaints from neighbors. Let's serve as good role models for our kids on this issue. And please inform all of your children’s caregivers about the rules of safe and neighborly parking.

  • Do not park along the narrow part of Hermosa (by the stop sign or guardrail). Parking here is not only illegal, but also unsafe. Do not park along the “No Stopping” zone in the same general area.
  • Do not park in the teacher/staff parking lot along Mandalay before school or during school hours. Teachers and staff recently have been unable to park there due to parents using the spaces in the morning and during the day. We ask that you respect this special privilege that we extend to our teachers.
  • Do not double-park behind the cars in the teacher’s lot when picking up your child. Yes, double-parking includes sitting in your car waiting for your child.
  • Relatedly, do not use the Mandalay gate (the big gates that open right onto the playground) as a drive-by drop off or pick up area. You should not be letting your kids out of your car here in the morning. Nor should you have them run through those gates and out to you in your car in the afternoon. It is unsafe to do so here. You may park legally and walk through the gates to pick up your child on the playground, but this is not a drive by and pick up zone.
  • Do not block crosswalks.
  • Do not exceed the time limit in the green zone on Marguerite Drive.

Attendance

If your child is going to be absent from school, please call the school office during the school day after 9 a.m. (879-1270). Speak to Joan Cannon or Khadejha Valere. You may also verify your child's absence by e-mail. Send the verification to the Hillcrest Office at hillcrestattendance@gmail.com. The state administrator requires schools to contact absent students within 24 hours of missing school.

Parents are requested to schedule medical or dental appointments after school or on weekends whenever possible. If you know in advance that your child will be leaving school, please send a note to your child’s teacher. Students need to be signed out from the School Office. Your child will only be released to a parent, guardian or designee listed on your child's emergency card.

The school district is reimbursed by the state only for the days that your child actually attends school. If your child cannot attend school for the entire day, have them attend for part of the day. If your child needs to be absent for five or more days, contact the school in advance to arrange an independent study plan. Speak with Joan Cannon.

Tardiness: Students who arrive on campus after morning ceremony must go the office for an admit slip.

Health

Emergency forms are sent home for completion at the beginning of the school year. In the case of an injury or illness, school personnel will care for the student temporarily and will render first aid treatment only. Parents or their designated emergency contacts will be asked to pick up sick or injured children. Students can be released only to their parents or to persons authorized on the emergency forms.

It is critical that the school has up-to-date information on every student. Please notify the school immediately of any changes in your child’s address, home, work or emergency telephone numbers or medical status or people authorized to pick up your child.

Medications: Students are not to carry medication at school. Medications must be brought to the office by the parent/guardian with a school form completed by a physician and kept in the school office. Forms are available in the office.

To Send or Not to Send: Please use good judgment in determining whether or not your child is well enough to attend school, remembering that above normal temperatures, runny noses and persistent coughs are often indications that your child is not well and may be contagious. Rule of Thumb: A child should have a normal (unassisted) temperature for 24 hours before sending to school.

Fall is usually LICE season: Being watchful will help us all to manage these pests. Remember that everyone can get them regardless of how squeaky clean we might be. Remind your children to take precautions, being mindful not to play with each other's hats or hair. Your cooperation and your partnership will help to keep the cases at Hillcrest to a minimum. Information is available in the office.

TB Screening for Volunteers: All classroom volunteers need to be screened for TB. Check the OUSD web site Health and Resources information page for possible TB screening opportunities or arrange it on your own. Test results need to be given to the office and be on file.

Expected Behaviors

Discipline Guidelines: All students are subject to disciplinary action when involved in violating the expected behaviors policy, while the student is on school grounds or at a school activity, during lunch time, or while the student is going to or coming from school or a school activity. In looking at a student's past behavior, facts of an incident, and age, the principal may assign a different consequence from the guidelines below. The principal has the final decision for disciplinary action. A full list of Hillcrest's discipline guidelines is available online.

Playground Guidelines: Your hands and feet are to yourself. No Put-Downs: Do not use words, actions, and/or body language to degrade, humiliate, or dishonor others. A full list of playground guidelines, including rules for games and playground equipment, is available online.

Adventure Time

Adventure Time runs child care in the school multi-purpose room Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 6 p.m. Please contact the Adventure Time business office (658-7412) to make arrangements for child care. Adventure Time’s telephone number at Hillcrest is 652-4242.


Dress Code

Although the Oakland School Board has a policy requiring a school uniform, it is not enforced at Hillcrest. However, we do require that certain standards be maintained: no foul language on clothing, no tank tops on boys, no “spaghetti” straps on girls, and no bare midriffs. Shoes should be closed toed with backs to facilitate safe running and climbing. The Principal will also use judgment for other questionable attire.

Lost and Found

Mark all personal belongings with the full name to aid in return if lost. Check the lost and found. Small or valuable items should be turned into the school office and will be returned when identified by the owner. Articles not claimed at the end of the month will be donated to charitable organizations.

Lunch Program

Students may bring lunch from home or buy lunch at school. A lunch menu is sent home each month. School lunches cost $1.25 and include milk (pizza lunch excluding milk costs $2.00). Milk is also sold separately for 30 cents. Lunches can be purchased daily or pre-paid for 10 lunches at a time. Checks should be made out to ‘Hillcrest School Cafeteria’ and all monies paid to the cafeteria person on duty. A free or reduced-cost lunch program is available for families who qualify. Forms are available in the school office.

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Parent-Teacher conferences are scheduled once in the fall and additionally as requested by parent or teacher.

Safety

Emergency Preparedness: Hillcrest has an emergency plan and drills are conducted monthly. In the event of an emergency, students will be supervised until picked up by those authorized on the Student Emergency Form. The school has minimal supplies to care for students for three days. In the event the school is deemed unsafe, signs will be left (on the main doors and the playground gates) to indicate where the children have gone. Options include St. Theresa’s, Claremont Country Club golf course and the Red Cross Shelter at Oakland Technical High School.

Cancellation of School: School is cancelled only during extraordinary circumstances such as extreme weather, equipment failure or public crisis. Announcements will be released to radio, television and to newspapers. In the unusual event that school must be cancelled during the school day, parents or people authorized on the emergency form will be notified.

Library

Parents are welcome to check out books in the library. The Hillcrest Library's catalog, plus other research and homework resources from OUSD, are available online. Open period on Friday from 3-3:30 pm provides a chance for parents and children to go to the library and check out books together. A fee is charged for damaged and lost books. The library always welcomes volunteers. Friends of Hillcrest Library raises funds for library book purchases. The Birthday Book program allows families to make a donation to the library in honor of their child. With any contributaion amount, children can choose a birthday book from a special selection. They get to choose from several original bookplate designs and then be the first one to check out the new book. The high quality of our library reflects the hard work of our PTA-sponsored librarian, the library committee, and the high level of community support.

School Directory

The PTA publishes the Hillcrest School Directory in both a hard copy and a password-protected online format. The directory lists all of the students in each class and parents’ names, addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail information. Soon after the school year begins, the new year's directory is created and parents are asked to log in to verify their contact information. Please remember the directory and its information is designated for use by, and distributed to Hillcrest families.

Yellow Pages

Look for news from the school in the Yellow Pages sent home each Tuesday with your child. It provides a calendar of upcoming events, messages from the Principal and PTA President, and articles and notices from other members of the Hillcrest community. Yellow Pages are also available online and via e-mail; you can sign up for e-mail delivery on the Hillcrest PTA website.

School Site Council

The School Site Council (SSC) is composed of five parents and five teachers/staff members. Members of the council are elected by their peers and serve for two years. Each year the council finds out the needs of students, develops and reviews a school site plan, decides on the School Improvement Plan (SIP) budget and plans a way to measure program effectiveness. The school receives a minimal amount annually in SIP funds. All meetings are open, and parents are invited to attend.

Parent Teacher Association

The Parent Teacher Association (PTA) promotes communication and cooperation between the home and the school. The PTA provides funds and sponsors many programs outlined below. All Hillcrest parents, teachers, and friends are encouraged to join and participate in the PTA. Membership is $5 per adult. Dues can be paid to the folder in the front office. The website iswww.hillcrestpta.org.

A membership drive is held in the fall, but parents may join any time during the year. Board meetings are usually held the second Thursday of each month at 6:00 p.m. at the school; general meetings are usually held right after the board meeting at 7 pm. The date of the meeting may vary for family programs and special events. Check the PTA web site full calendar for the most up-to-date info.

After several years of discussion, study and evaluation, the Hillcrest PTA concluded that one of the best ways to enrich our children’s education was to provide assistants and specialists to work with the Hillcrest staff in particular areas. This is done in close coordination with the Hillcrest Principal. These roles include a curriculum aide, a librarian, art and music teachers, computer instructors, and teachers to achieve class-size reduction.

The PTA funds these programs mainly through an annual auction, the walkathon, a donation letter, and scrip/retail programs. Your support for these fundraising efforts directly benefits the children of Hillcrest School.

The PTA encourages every family to participate in the PTA. Become actively involved by serving on a committee including areas such as: Hospitality, Emergency Preparedness, Membership, Programming, Fundraising, Communications, and Curriculum for Arts and Music, Computers, the Library, Science, and Technology. For more info go to the PTA Contacts page.

The Hillcrest Mission

The Hillcrest School Community will be engaged in continuous inquiry and self-reflection to provide a nurturing environment and engaging and powerful learning for each and every child. Read more about Hillcrest's mission, philosophy and goals.

Hillcrest School  •  30 Marguerite Drive  •  Oakland, CA 94618  •   Tel 510-879-1270  •  Fax 510-879-1279