You will find many frequently asked questions about registration, arrival and dismissal, attendance, lunch, visiting school and more listed here. If your questions aren’t listed here, please contact us. We would be happy to assist you!
- How do I register my child in Pepper Ridge School?
First you need to make sure you live within the boundary areas for our school. You can do this by phoning the office at 557-4423 or by checking the homepage of the Unit 5 website. Students can be registered during office hours - 7:00 am-3:30 pm. Students must be 5 years old on or before September 1, 2017 in order to be eligible for the 2017-2018 school year.
- What items do I need to bring to registration?
Parents/Guardians will need to bring the following to register a student: 3 proofs of residency (current lease agreement or bank closing papers; and utility bills or current driver’s license), an original certified copy of the student's birth certificate, and current physical and immunization records. If your student is transferring, we will request the records from your child's previous school. If your child has an Individualized Education Plan, commonly referred to as an IEP, it would be helpful if you bring a copy when you register.
ARRIVAL AND DISMISSAL
- What are school hours?
School is in session from 7:45 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. The office is open Monday through Friday (excluding school holidays) from 7:00 am-3:00 pm. Students who arrive after the 7:45 a.m. bell will be considered tardy and will need to be signed in by a parent.
- What is the earliest my child can arrive at school?
For safety reasons, students should not arrive before 7:30 am because there is no supervision until this time. The breakfast program begins at 7:30 a.m. Scribbles offers a before and after school childcare program at Pepper Ridge School. All questions and arrangements for this program can be answered by calling Scribbles staff at 309-665-0000.
- What do I do if my child has an appointment during the school day?
Appointments during school hours should be avoided whenever possible. If your child will not arrive in time for the start of the day, please call the attendance line at 557-4472. If students will need to leave during the day, please send a note to your child's teacher informing them of the appointment. You will need to sign your child out in the office. A secretary will then page your child to come to the office. To allow for maximum instruction, students will not be sent to the office until you have arrived at school. Any student returning from an appointment needs to be signed in at the office.
- What do I do when my child will miss school?
Absences should be reported to the attendance line at 557-4472 no later than 8:00 a.m. on the day of the absence. State law requires the school to attempt to contact parents when we do not have a reason for an absence. Failure to notify the office on the day of the absence will result in the absence being classified as unexcused. Homework requests should be made before 10:00 a.m. and will be ready for pick up at 2:30 p.m. Planned or extended absences should be reported to both the classroom teacher and the office.
- My student doesn't feel well. Should he/she attend class?
Students who have a fever 100.0° or above, diarrhea, a contagious rash or illness, or vomiting should not attend school. In addition, students should be free of the above conditions for 24 hours before returning to school. You are the best judge of whether or not your child is well. If your child is under the weather and his/her condition would not be conducive to learning or would cause a disruption in the classroom, please keep them at home.
- What are tardies and unexcused absences?
Any student who arrives to class after the 7:45 a.m. bell is considered tardy. An adult should come into the office to sign in late students. Regular and punctual attendance is expected for all students. Reported illness, death in the family, medical appointments, student court appearances, and religious holidays are examples of excused absences. Other reasons would be considered unexcused. Examples of unexcused absences are: running late, oversleeping, having car trouble, errands, and being out of town. It is the student's responsibility to gather and complete all work as a result of absences. Please refer to the Elementary Student Handbook for more information regarding attendance.
- Why are the doors locked?
The doors are locked at all times for the safety of all students and staff. We ask that all visitors and volunteers ring the buzzer and then proceed directly to the office to sign in. We also ask all visitors and volunteers to wear their district-approved volunteer badges.
- How does Pepper Ridge prepare students for emergencies?
Pepper Ridge practices fire drills both with and without the fire department present, tornado drills, earthquake drills, and a Code Red evacuation drill at the beginning of the school year. These drills are to help students and staff to be prepared in the event of an actual emergency.
LUNCH AND BREAKFAST AT PEPPER RIDGE SCHOOL
- What choices are offered for breakfast & lunch?
Students have a variety of choices for lunch and breakfast. Our menu is sent home with students at the beginning of every month and can also be viewed on line.
Pepper Ridge School has several students with food allergies. Due to the seriousness of these allergies, our cafeteria does not serve peanut products. We have peanut-safe tables for those students with peanut allergies.
- What are the lunch and breakfast prices?
Regularly priced student lunches are $2.10 per day. Reduced lunches are $ .40. If you would like to join your child for lunch, an adult meal is $2.60. Breakfast for students is $1.45 per day. Reduced breakfast is $.30. Extra milk for lunch or breakfast is $ .55. For more information about free and reduced meals, please call the office. Please note if you receive free/reduced meal prices, guidelines dictate you must pay for extra milk. For example, if you bring lunch from home, you must pay $.55 for milk.
- Where can I get a menu?
Menus are sent home with students the first week of school and at the beginning of each month. Lunch and breakfast menus are also available on our website and the district website. Please note Pepper Ridge School does not offer peanut butter and jelly sandwiches; instead we offer E-Z Jammer sandwiches.
- What time does my child have lunch?
- May I join my child for lunch?
Parents are welcome to join their children for lunch periodically. If you would like to eat the school lunch, please call the office or send a note to the classroom teacher before 8:30 am so you can be added to the lunch count. Parents should pay in the office; the lunch will not be deducted from your child’s lunch balance. It is helpful if you have close to the exact amount since we do not always have change in the office. You may also bring in lunch from home or from a restaurant. Please remember to sign in at the office and get a visitor tag before heading to the cafeteria. Adult lunches are $2.60.
- May I take my child off the premises for lunch?
Parents are welcome to take children out to lunch during their scheduled lunch period. Students should be signed out in the office. Students should return before their recess is over. Recess is the twenty-five minute period after the lunch time listed above. Parents also need to sign their child back in when returning from lunch.
- How do I know how much money is in my child's cafeteria account?
You can check your child’s food service balance through Skyward Family Access. You can pay lunch accounts online, view balances, see student purchases and a spending history, set daily or weekly limits, and request low balance email reminders.
- How can I make a payment on my child's cafeteria account?
We have a computerized system for our lunch and breakfast programs. It is a prepayment system, not a charge account. Lunch money should be sent to school in an envelope marked "lunch money". Be sure the envelope is also marked with your child's first and last name. Payment can be made with cash or a check (payable to Unit 5 Food Service). Payments may also be made online through Skyward Family Access. You will need your Skyward login and password in order to do so. Please call the school office at 557-4423 if you need this information.
- When is breakfast served?
Breakfast is served daily from 7:25-7:40 a.m. Students should not arrive before 7:25 a.m.
- What time should my walker or car rider arrive for breakfast?
Students who walk to school or are dropped off by parents should arrive for breakfast between 7:25 and 7:40 a.m. if they choose to buy breakfast at school. Students who arrive after 7:45 a.m. will be considered tardy.
- Does my bus rider get breakfast when the bus arrives late?
Students may eat breakfast as soon as the bus arrives at school. Students who arrive on late a late bus will still be given the option to eat breakfast.
- What is the best way to know what's going on at school?
Checking your child's backpack on a daily basis, reading the monthly Pepper Ridge Bell Newsletter, and reading classroom newsletters are the best ways to stay current on the events at Pepper Ridge. The Pepper Ridge Newsletter is available on our website.
- What other ways can help me stay informed?
The Pepper Ridge website and teacher websites are excellent sources of information. Talk to your child about school over dinner. Attend PTO meetings. PTO meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month at 6:30 pm. Parent Teacher conferences are held in October.
- What is the best way to get in touch with my child's teacher?
Communication between parents and teachers is very important. Please call, write a note, or send an email to your child's teacher anytime you have questions or concerns. Please be aware that responses will be made as soon as possible. Sometimes, however, teachers may not have an opportunity to return calls or emails the same day. Be assured that teachers will reply as soon as their schedules allow.
VISITING Pepper Ridge
- When can I visit Pepper Ridge School?
It is always best to arrange visits with your child's teacher in advance. Scheduled visits allow you and the teacher to identify the types of activities that would be the most informative and interesting for you to observe. All visitors, including parents, are required by state law to first sign in at the office before heading to the classroom or lunchroom - even if you are only planning a quick visit.
- Where can I park while visiting the school?
Parents may park in the parking lot in front of the school. In order to allow passage of emergency vehicles, please do not park in the bus lane at any time. There is also a parking lot on the north side of the building.
- We live in a busing area. How can I find out what the bus schedule is for my child?
Please call Transportation at 557-4287 to request bus information for your child.
- What should I do if I need to change my child's bus stop?
Please call Transportation at 557-4287 to request bus changes. It may require 2-3 business days in order for changes to be effective. Changes will not be made for a one day or a short term basis.
- Can my child ride the bus home with a friend?
Due to safety concerns and space issues, students may only ride the bus to which they are assigned. Please call the office in the event of a family emergency.
- What should I do if my child will be going home a different way than normal?
Children will only be allowed to go home a different way if the teacher receives a note from a parent or guardian.
- What do I need to do if my child needs to take medication at school?
Students must have a medication authorization form on file at school in order to have both nonprescription (acetaminophen, allergy medication, etc.) and prescription medicine (inhaler, nebulizer, epi-pen, etc.) at school. This form must be completed and signed by a physician. The parent/guardian should also sign the form. Forms can be obtained in the Pepper Ridge office, or through a link on Nurse Marcum’s webpage on the Pepper Ridge website. Parents are welcome to come to school to dispense medicine without a doctor’s form.
- Is a dental exam required for my child?
State law requires kindergarten and second grade students to have a dental exam by May 15 of that school year.
- How will I know if school is closed due to inclement weather?
The announcement of a school closing for any reason will be posted on the Unit 5 website. Unit 5 uses School Reach, an automated phone messaging system, to notify parents of school weather or emergency related school closures. School Reach will call the primary number to make this notification. Parents may also tune to WJBC (AM 1230) to listen for closing announcements.
- Do students go outside for recess during the winter?
Weather permitting, student go outside for recess when the temperature (including wind chill) is 20° or above. Please make sure students are dressed appropriately with coats, hats, and gloves as needed.
OTHER COMMON QUESTIONS
- What should I do if I have moved or changed contact information?
It is important to make sure we have your most current contact information on file. Please call or send a note with your child so that we can keep our records up to date. It is also important that students have at least two local emergency contacts. Emergency contacts are called only when we cannot reach a parent or guardian. If you move out of Pepper Ridge’s area during the school year, your child can remain at Pepper Ridge for the rest of that same school year as long as you provide timely transportation to and from school.
- Does Pepper Ridge have a lost and found?
Lost and found is located in the hallway by the north entrance. There are often a wide variety of hats, gloves, coats, and jackets in our lost and found. Small items such as glasses, books, and jewelry are kept in the office. Parents are welcome to stop by anytime to check our lost and found. Unclaimed items are donated to a local charity twice each year.
- What should I do if my child forgot homework at school?
Students may come back to school until 3:00 p.m. to retrieve forgotten homework. Students should be accompanied by an adult while in the building.
- What should I do if my child forgot something at home?
Forgotten items may be left in the office. A staff member will make sure items are delivered to the classroom or teacher's mailbox.
- What is the best way to learn about volunteer opportunities at Pepper Ridge School?
There are many opportunities to volunteer at Pepper Ridge School. Attending PTO meetings is a great way to learn about upcoming volunteer positions. Occasionally there may also be field trips which require adult supervision; talk you your child's teacher. Classroom and field trip volunteers are required to have a completed background check on file with Unit 5. Please check out our volunteer information under parent tab on our website. All volunteers must complete a background check through the district before volunteering for the first time. Please call the Pepper Ridge office for the link to start that process.
- What types of extracurricular activities are offered at Pepper Ridge School?
Students in fifth grade have the opportunity at the beginning of the year to sign up to participate in band or orchestra as well as volunteer for safety patrol. Fourth and fifth graders can also participate in Student Council. Pepper Ridge School also has several active Scout (Boys & Girls) groups, as well as a Chess Club.
- What can I do to help celebrate my child's birthday at school?
Each teacher has a different routine for acknowledging your child's special day. Please contact your child's teacher before making any plans. Do keep the following in mind: District policy states that edible treats are not allowed. Deliveries such as flowers, candy bouquets, or balloons should not be sent to school. Any such deliveries for students will be kept in the office for parent pick-up. Students may not distribute party invitations at school. We cannot provide home addresses.
Have a question you don't see listed here? Please contact us.
We would be happy to assist you.