Handbook » Parent Handbook - Academic Performance and Programs

Parent Handbook - Academic Performance and Programs

John R. Briggs Elementary School


Parent Handbook

We Grow and Learn Together, Here at JRB
Academic Performance and Programs
Reporting Progress
In an ongoing effort to improve the quality of education at John R. Briggs the professional staff conducts trimester report cards, December, March and June.

Parent-Teacher Conferences
Conferences are scheduled in November and March to review and discuss your student’s academic and social progress/goals and any related issues/concerns. Parents sign up for their preferred day and time at Parents Night and/or Open House.

Getting to Know School
Open House/Curriculum Night is scheduled for Tuesday, September 21. The John R. Briggs professional staff will be meeting with parents/guardians in their classrooms to discuss their academic expectations for the year and how parents/guardians can support the learning occurring in the classrooms.
A first look is provided for new families to the district and any families of students that are extremely anxious about the upcoming school year. This year’s event is from 4-6 on August 26th. In addition, a Kindergarten Scavenger Hunt will take place on September 3rd, from 9-11 AM.

State-Wide Testing/Assessment
The Massachusetts Department of Secondary and Elementary Education standardized tests, MCAS 2.0, will occur in April-May 2020 for students in third through fifth grades. The school-wide testing schedule will be sent home in the family newsletter and posted on the JRB webpage as soon as it is available (usually January). ACCESS testing for all students participating in or opting-out of the English Language Learner program will take place in January-February. Families will be notified by the EL
teacher of their child’s testing schedule.

Kindergarten Screening
The Ashburnham-Westminster Regional School District is required by Massachusetts Chapter 766 State Law, to screen all children entering kindergarten. Screening includes an assessment of the child’s development in the areas of cognition, language, and motor skills. It is not used to determine readiness for kindergarten. Screening will be conducted during the first week of school. Families of children entering kindergarten will be provided with more specific information.

Make-up Work
Homework assignments will be provided for students absent for two or more days. We ask that families limit the number of absences due to extended vacations. Therefore; homework will not ordinarily be prepared in advance for students who do not attend school because of family vacations. We ask that students be responsible for missed work upon their return to school.
Placement is a lengthy process that involves all teachers, specialists, support personnel, guidance and the principal. We use a wide range of criteria (i.e. achievement, special needs, learning styles, etc.) to assist us in developing class lists. Parents may provide in writing educational reasons that may be helpful in their child’s placement. For example, a child may do better if they have a teacher with a certain type of teaching style. It is important to note that requests for specific teachers cannot be
accepted. After consultation with the placement process team, the final decision rests with the principal. Input should be submitted to the principal on or before the END of APRIL 2022.
Student Record Regulations, Inspection, Confidentiality, and Amendment
The student record consists of two sections: Transcript and Temporary Record. Transcript includes only minimal information necessary to reflect the student’s educational progress, such as name, address, course titles, grades, credits, and grade level completed. It is kept for at least 60 years after the student leaves the system. Temporary record contains the majority of the information maintained by the school about the student and may include such information as standardized test results, participation in school-sponsored extra-curricular activities, evaluations, and comments by teachers, counselors, and others. At the end of Grade 5, only the transcript and standardized test scores are sent to Overlook Middle School. Parents/guardians may send a note stating their desire to pick up, and sign for, the temporary record. All records not picked up by July 31 will be destroyed.

Parents/guardians have the right to inspect all portions of the student record upon request. The school is required to make the record available to you no later than two days after receiving your request, unless you consent to a delay. You also have the right to receive copies of any part of the record, although a reasonable fee may be charged for the cost of duplicating the materials. You may request to have parts of the record interpreted by a qualified school professional, or you
may invite anyone else you choose to inspect or interpret the record with you.
Record Confidentiality: With a few exceptions, only parents/guardians, the student (age 14 and over), and school personnel working directly with the student are allowed access to information in the student record without the specific, informed, written consent of the parent/guardian.
Records are stored in a locked cabinet, centrally located in the school and parents/guardians removing the record will sign them in and out.

Record Amendment: Parents/guardians have the right to add relevant comments, information, or written materials to the student record. Additionally, parents/guardians have the right to know that information in the record can be amended or deleted. Parents have the right to a conference with the school principal to make any objections known. Within one week after the conference, the Principal must render a written decision. If you are not satisfied with that decision, you have the right to appeal it to the

Environmental Camp – Camp Cody - 5th-Grade Program
Each spring, the 5th graders at J. R. Briggs are offered the opportunity to attend a school endorsed and parent-funded weeklong educational experience, “Camp Cody”. J. R. Briggs students attend Camp Cody with the 5th grade students from Westminster Elementary School. This is believed to be an excellent opportunity for students from both schools. Attempts will be made yearly to continue this joint venture.

Students are accompanied by teachers and staff from J. R. Briggs and by parent chaperones. Students are given the opportunity to participate in a fundraiser to raise some or all of their tuition. Our Camp Cody Coordinator organizes this fundraiser, and details are sent home with each 5th grade student. A parent information meeting is offered during the school year, as well as an overview of the program for the students. Partial student scholarships are available through our Enrichment Fund for those students qualifying for Free or Reduced Lunch, or other extenuating circumstances.

School Choice
School Choice slots are determined during the spring and are based upon the number of student openings that may occur for the upcoming school year. School Choice openings are voted on by the AWRSD School Committee. Parents interested in applying for School Choice should contact the Superintendent’s Office for the application and will be notified by the Superintendent’s Office in the spring if their child has been accepted via School Choice.