2021-2022 Royle Family Handbook
Regular school hours are 8:25am-2:55pm. Students should not arrive before 8:15am. There is no adult supervision before this time. Students may arrive between 8:15-8:25am by bus, parent drop off, walking, or biking. Students who arrive prior to 8:25am should proceed to their outdoor grade level designated area. All students will proceed directly to their classrooms at promptly 8:25am.
Early dismissals may be called due to inclement weather or any event requiring the early dismissal of students. The Superintendent may close school for a morning emergency dismissal or a regular early dismissal (times below).
Morning Emergency Dismissal: 10:55am (no lunch served)
Regular Early Dismissal: 12:55pm (lunch is served)
Early dismissals may also be scheduled for reasons such as conference days, the day before holiday recess, etc. On scheduled early dismissal days, students will dismiss at 12:55pm and lunch will be served.
Students are expected to attend school every day. Regular school attendance is critical to a student's academic success, as well as their social and emotional wellbeing.
Students arriving late to school (after 8:25am) should enter through the front doors of the school and report to the main office to obtain a tardy slip.
If your child will be absent, please call 203-655-0044 x4977 or email Royleatt@darienps.org to report the absence. After classroom attendance has been taken, a check will be made against the absences phoned or emailed to school. In any case of absence where there has been no notification by the parent/guardian, contact will be made with the home to verify the absence.
Per Connecticut State Law regarding school attendance, students are allowed up to 9 absences from school without documentation for illness or otherwise. After this absence limit has been reached, documentation will be required for all absences or they will be noted as “Unexcused”. Documentation may include a note from a doctor or pediatrician to excuse a day due to illness. Our school nurse is also a resource if you need assistance determining if your child should or should not attend school due to feeling unwell. The school will provide regular reports to you regarding any attendance concerns, and schedule meetings to review your child’s school attendance and truancy if necessary.
If you are experiencing any difficulty getting your child to school, or getting your child to school on time, we are here to help! Please contact Dr. Mullin, Royle Principal, or one of our School Psychologists, Danielle Colabatistto (grades K, 1, and 5) or Diana Whamond (grades 2, 3, and 4).
If you would like to pick up your child early from school, we ask that you send an email to your child’s teacher, as well as our main office secretary, Jessica Presser (firstname.lastname@example.org), or make a note in School Dismissal Manager (see below). At the time of the pick up, your child will be dismissed to the front office and our campus monitor will release them to you in front of the school. Parents do not need to come into the school building to pick up children for early release.
School Dismissal Manager and Dismissal Changes
We use School Dismissal Manager (www.schooldismissalmanager.com) to notify classroom teachers of any change to a student’s dismissal. All parents are required to log in and prepare their child(ren)’s dismissal for each day of the week. You can select options for all days, for example, if your child will always take the bus or always be picked up. If there is a change to your child’s dismissal, you must go into School Dismissal Manager and note changes prior to 1:30 pm. If your child is having a playdate with another student, the parents/guardians of BOTH children must note this in School Dismissal Manager, either for the bus or for parent pick up. School Dismissal Manager may also be used if you need to pick up your child in the middle of the day for an appointment, etc.
School Closings, Delayed Openings, and Early Dismissals
School closings, remote learning days, and delayed openings due to snow or other emergencies are announced on the following stations as early in the morning as possible:
WICC Bridgeport 600 AM
WEZN Bridgeport 100 FM
WGCH Greenwich 1490 FM
WNLK or WLYQ Norwalk 1350 AM or 96 FM
WSTC or WYRS Stamford 1400 AM or 96.7 FM
WABC New York 770 AM or 96.6 FM
CABLE NEWS 12 Cable TV Channel 12
WTNH TV Channel 8
The Superintendent of Schools will also send out a message to members of the school community. You can select your options for receipt of this message (home phone, cell phone, email) in your ASPEN parent settings.
Please note, in the event of a delayed opening, Royle School will open 2 hours later than normal (10:25am). Your child can expect the bus to pick up 2 hours later than their regular pick up time.
Extended/Family Vacations During the School Year
Extended vacations beyond the regular scheduled school vacations are strongly discouraged. Skill development is a day-to-day process. Interruptions to your child’s normal school calendar may be harmful to the learning process. Please note, remote learning will not be provided for a family vacation during the school year, or an extended vacation beyond the scheduled school recess. Additionally, homework and other classwork will not be provided in advance.
Bus routes are published in local newspapers approximately one week before school begins. Kindergarten students will be provided with a bus tag that should be clearly displayed/worn on their backpack, so that the bus driver can easily identify Kindergarten riders. Kindergarten students must be met by an adult at their bus stop, or they will be returned to school for pick up. Students may not change their bus stop without prior approval by the school and notification by the parent through School Dismissal Manager. Students may not bring a friend on their bus without the change noted by both parents in School Dismissal Manager. All requests for changes to busing and stops are subject to approval by the school, and are contingent upon available space on the bus and acceptable bus behavior on the part of the student. All transportation inquiries may be directed to Kate Barbieri at Central Services: email@example.com.
Arrival and Dismissal
Below is information on updated arrival and dismissal procedures.
Students can arrive by bus or by parent drop off at school. Students are also still welcome to walk or bike to school. Bike racks are located at the rear of the Kids’ Zone.
Students may arrive at school between 8:15am-8:25am. Students will be directed to designated outdoor areas (weather permitting) where they will wait with their grade level classmates for the building to open and will be supervised by Royle staff. Students in Kindergarten and Grade 1 will be permitted to use the swingset and playground structure during this arrival time. School will open at 8:25am and students will then proceed directly to their classroom.
Parent drop off will continue to be in the lower lot. Please ensure that your child is ready to exit your vehicle and go directly into the building. Please note: you cannot park and walk your child to the door. Staff will be outside ready to assist your child(ren) and help with their belongings. For students that may require additional assistance for the transition, our administrators and school psychologists will be available to assist you.
All students in grades K-5 will dismiss at 2:55pm. Walkers and bikers will be called first to dismiss. Children taking the bus will remain in their classroom until their bus is called.
Car visor signs should be clearly displayed in the front windshield or passenger side window for all cars in the pick up line. You will proceed to the lower lot and pull forward to the Royle staff member waving you on. We will read the visor tags and call into the school to have children sent down for dismissal in order to maintain social distancing and safety.
Bicycle and Scooter Riders
As of October 1, 1993, Connecticut State Law requires ALL BICYCLE RIDERS UNDER THE AGE OF 14 TO WEAR HELMETS. Students are to park and lock their bikes or scooters on the bike racks located in the KidZone. Once bikers and scooter riders arrive at the corner of Royle Rd and Mansfield, bicycles and scooters are to be walked the remaining distance to school to ensure safety. Riders should stay on the sidewalks, and follow the sidewalk across the front of the school building, down the stairs toward the lower lot, and up the sidewalk to the bike racks in the KidZone. Only students in grades 3, 4, and 5 are permitted to ride their bicycles and scooters to school.
Riders should stay in single file on the right hand side of the road using hand signals and obeying traffic lights and road signs. On heavily traveled roads, riders use sidewalks, granting the right of way to pedestrians, except in downtown Darien where bicycles are not allowed on sidewalks. Children may not ride double on bicycles or borrow another student’s bicycle or scooter. It is recommended that all bicycles be registered with the Darien Police Department.
Dogs and other animals
Dogs and other family pets are not allowed on school property during school hours. Please do not bring your dog with you when walking to school to drop off or pick up your child(ren). While we love our Royle Family dogs, we need to ensure a safe environment for all students, staff, and community members. Dogs may be brought in your vehicle for drop off/pick up, but must remain in your vehicle at all times. Dogs are not permitted on school grounds for walks, etc. during school hours.
Visitors and Volunteers
Visitors and volunteers are welcome at school for pre-arranged meetings or events only. While we continue to implement mitigation measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we will work to balance opening up the school to visitors again while maintaining a safe environment to ensure schools stay open. As a result, visitors must wear a mask inside the school building, regardless of vaccination status, and will be welcomed on an essential basis only.
If you are bringing a forgotten belonging or lunch to school for your child, you may leave it on the cart outside the front doors of the school and our campus monitor will bring it to your child. This helps limit disruptions to class learning activities during the day. Please ensure any items brought during the day and left on the cart are labeled with your child’s full name and teacher. Parents may not visit their child for lunch or recess. The school campus (fields, playgrounds, picnic tables, etc.) is closed to all visitors during school hours. The campus, including the playground, may be used outside of school hours and on the weekends.
School Lunch Program: Nutrislice
Children will go through the lunch line in the cafeteria to buy lunch at school this year, so there is not a need for the pre-ordering via Nutrislice as we did last year. Lunch menus are available online so you can see “what’s cookin” each week!
For information regarding Free/Reduced Lunch, please contact Kate Barbieri (firstname.lastname@example.org) and see the information below:
Snacks and In-school Celebrations
Some classrooms will be designated NUT FREE due to student need. If your child’s classroom is a “nut-free” classroom, you will be notified by our school nurse and your child’s classroom teacher. At this time, students may bring food with nuts to the cafeteria, but we would prefer that our school remain as “nut-free” as possible to provide the safest environment for our students with life threatening nut-based allergies.
Additionally, Royle will continue to have NON-FOOD celebrations for all birthdays and holidays. Consistent with our approach to healthy lunches through our district lunch program and healthy habits through our district Physical Education and Health curriculum, in-school celebrations for holidays, birthdays, etc. will not be food-based. Students will not be allowed to bring food to share with their class or peers. Room parents, in conjunction with our Royle PTO, will work with individual teachers and classes on other ways to celebrate children’s birthdays and other holidays throughout the year.
PE: Each child needs a pair of sneakers for physical education and may not be allowed to participate in physical education activities without them.
Art: A smock or apron is suggested for students in grades K & 1 for art.
Dress guidelines: Your child should wear clothing to school that is comfortable for them in the classroom, as well as for playing at recess. Recess will be held outside except when inclement weather or extremely high or low temperatures prevent it. During winter months, please make sure children are dressed warmly with appropriate footwear, coats, hats, and mittens/gloves. We ask that every item of outerwear is labeled with your child’s first and last name. Clothing that should NOT be worn at school are:
Hats, caps, hoods
Clothing items that feature or advertise illegal substances
Clothing with slogans that include profanity
Clothing that substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school
Lost and Found
Articles and belongings found in and around school should be turned in to the campus monitor. Articles labeled with students’ names will be returned to their owners. Unmarked items are placed in the Lost and Found. Names on lunch boxes, boots, jackets, sweaters, hats and gloves are especially useful in identifying belongings. All unclaimed items will be donated to a charitable organization at the end of each school year.
During the school year, students may take field trips in conjunction with the curriculum being studied at that time. Notification of individual trips will be sent home in advance of each trip. If parent volunteers are required for chaperone support, your child’s classroom teacher or room parent will reach out to organize volunteers. If a parent participates as a volunteer chaperone on field trips, they are not permitted to bring any other children with them.
Library Media Center
All students, faculty, and staff may borrow library materials. All children are held responsible for any material(s) taken from the library. Lost materials and books must be paid for before the end of the school year.
In addition to managing the books and learning materials in the library media center, our library media specialist (LMS) is also responsible for the distribution, maintenance, and initial tech support for our Chromebooks. All students will be given a device at the beginning of the school year. Students in grades k-2 will use a Chromebook tablet, and students in grades 3-5 will use a Chromebook laptop. Students will learn about our acceptable use policy in their classroom, and parents are required to sign off on the acceptable use policy in ASPEN in order for your child(ren) to receive their device. Our LMS, along with classroom teachers, will review internet safety and digital citizenship at the beginning of the year and on an ongoing basis throughout the school year.
Students in grades K-2 will have Library as a “Special” once during each 6-day cycle. Students in grades 3-5 will also have access to the LMS for lessons regarding digital citizenship and internet safety, along with lessons aligning to the curriculum, on a regular basis.
The primary purpose of homework is to assist in reinforcing skills and knowledge directly related to the curriculum followed in the classroom. Parents can help their child(re) with establishing a homework routine by providing a place to study and encouraging independent reading. The most important “homework” activity your child should complete is 20-30 minutes of reading. For our youngest learners, we encourage parents to read to and with their children, as well as look through the books sent home in their book baggies with them. Children who are independently reading should read through their Just Right Book(s) sent home in their book baggies each night. Homework is not new learning, and should never be a struggle for our elementary learners. It is a chance for children to practice skills they learned in the classroom, as well as work on acquiring and strengthening important executive functioning skills. If your child is having difficulty completing homework, please contact your child’s teacher or School Psychologist and we will work with you to make a plan for your child’s success.
Report Cards and Conferences
Report cards are issued in November, March and June. Parent-teacher conferences are held twice a year: in December and March. Parents are also always welcome to reach out to their child’s teacher, or the School Principal, for a meeting at any time during the year if there are concerns. Conferences and meetings must be scheduled in advance and drop-ins will not be accommodated. Parent-teacher conference dates will be listed on the district school calendar and on the school website. On all conference days, students will be dismissed early at 12:55 p.m. *Format of conferences (in-person/Zoom) TBD*
Class Composition and Student Placement
Classes at each grade level are grouped heterogeneously. Each child is an individual, and the strengths and needs of each are considered in class placement. Input from relevant school personnel is gathered which assists in each child’s classroom placement. Additional information used to assist in class placement include:
Student academic and social and emotional needs
If a parent feels that additional information relative to the placement of a child is necessary, information may be given to the Principal. The School Principal will send a letter out to all families explaining the process for sending additional input in the spring each year. The Principal reserves the right for the final placement of any child within a classroom. If there are any questions concerning the placement of your child, please contact the Principal.
Standardized Testing and Benchmark Assessments
All students K-5 participate in a universal benchmark screener for literacy and mathematics three times per year. The district currently uses Aimsweb for this benchmark assessment. The results of these assessments are available through ASPEN, or by contacting your child’s teacher. Your child’s teacher, along with the school’s literacy and math interventionists and administrators, will review the results of these assessments to determine if your child requires additional support through the SRBI process.
In the spring, students in Grades 3,4 and 5 are administered the Smarter Balanced Assessment. Classroom teachers assist students in learning the procedures for these computer-based assessments. Students in 5th grade also take the NGSS (Science) test. These test results typically are released in late summer.
Lastly, students in grades 3 and 5 are administered the OLSAT. This assessment measures students' verbal and nonverbal reasoning skills. Scores on the OLSAT are one component of our gifted screening process, as well as the math placement process for students transitioning to middle school.
The gifted program in Darien is called Idea. The Idea program provides specialized instruction for intellectually gifted students. The program is designed to foster intellectual curiosity and independent thinking. Students are referred as possible candidates for the IDEA program by their teachers and/or parents. Students are then evaluated for possible placement in the program. Evaluations for the program are conducted each year, once in the fall for students new to Darien and once in the winter for current students being newly referred, for students in grades 1-8. More information regarding the Idea program can be found on the district website.
Health and Safety
All children in the public schools are required by Connecticut law to have three physical exams by a legally qualified medical practitioner. In compliance with this law, the Darien Public School System requires that students have a physical examination in the following grades: pre-kindergarten, sixth, and tenth. All students new to the Darien School System must have a physical exam form submitted to your child’s school prior to the start of school. If for any reason you are unable to adhere to this deadline, please contact the school nurse.
Emergency information can be filled out directly in ASPEN and should include: physicians as well as relatives or friends and their phone numbers in case you are not at home when an emergency occurs. Please keep this information up-to-date as we rely on this for emergency situations.
In the event a child becomes ill or is injured during the school day, the school nurse will make every attempt to contact the parent before releasing the child to the listed emergency contact.
CHILDREN WILL NOT BE RELEASED WITHOUT PARENTAL CONSENT EITHER BY TELEPHONE OR BY AUTHORIZATION THROUGH ASPEN TO AN ADULT OTHER THAN THE PARENT/GUARDIAN.
Medications should not be given during the school day unless absolutely necessary. If your physician orders oral medication to be administered during school hours the following procedure must be followed to comply with Connecticut State Law:
An authorization form must be completed by the physician specifying information about the drug and plan of administration. This form is available from the school nurse and must be signed by the parent as well.
A parent/guardian is responsible for delivering medication to be administered to the school nurse in the original pharmacy prepared container, labeled with the name and strength of medication, name of patient, his/her physician, the date of original prescription and directions. No more than a 45 day supply may be stored.
Under no circumstances is a child to be sent to school carrying medication. If you have any questions, contact your school Principal or nurse.
Medications will only be administered in school by the nurse. Exceptions are not permitted.
Please report to the school any cases of communicable diseases, including COVID-19, chicken pox, scarlet fever, impetigo, and head lice, as soon as diagnosis is complete. Notice of exposure to these diseases is sent to parents when the first case appears in each classroom.
Below is a list of the most common contagious diseases with exclusion information:
COVID-19: 10 days from positive test results. Students should remain home from onset of symptoms AND should remain home pending test results even if symptoms are not present.
Chicken Pox 14 to 21 days 5 days after eruption first appears Mumps 12 to 26 days 9 days from onset, less if swelling subsides
Measles 8 to 13 days 4 days after first day rash appears German Measles 14 to 21 days 4 days after onset of rash
Scarlet Fever 1 to 3 days 24 hours after first dose of medication
COVID-19 Mitigation Strategies
All schools will continue to employ mitigation measures to prevent COVID-19 cases in the schools. These mitigation strategies may include: physical distancing where possible, masking inside the school building, cleaning procedures, and good hand washing and hygiene practices. If your child presents with symptoms consistent with COVID-19, you should immediately contact the school nurse. Students must remain home while awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test. If a student tests positive for COVID-19, the student will remain home for a period of 10 days and contact tracing will commence. The school nurse will act as a point person during this process and is the best point of contact for parents.
COVID-19 Quarantine and Isolation
Students that test positive for COVID-19 will enter a 10 day isolation period from the date of the positive test. The school nurse should be contacted for all information regarding length of isolation, restrictions, and contact tracing. Remote learning will be in place for any student required to isolate.
Following contact tracing, unvaccinated staff or students found to be a close contact must quarantine. The duration of the quarantine depends on if a COVID test is completed on day 5. If the contact tests on day 5 and receives a negative result, the quarantine period is 7 days. If a COVID test is not completed, quarantine will last the full 10 days. Vaccinated students and staff will not need to quarantine if found to be a close contact, as long as they are not exhibiting any symptoms. Remote learning will be in place for any student who is required to quarantine. In some classes, contact tracing may result in an entire class being quarantined. The class would then engage in remote learning for the duration of the quarantine period.
Hybrid and Remote Learning Models
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there may be times when it is necessary for the school or district to shift the learning model for some or all students. This may happen if some students, or a class, need to quarantine following contact tracing of a positive case, or if the district or state metrics require a change to the learning model for all students.
In the event the school must change to hybrid learning, students with last names A-K will attend school in person on the first day of hybrid learning and students with the last names L-Z will engage in remote synchronous learning with their class from home. On the second day of hybrid learning, students with last names L-Z will attend school in person and students with last names A-K will engage in remote synchronous learning with their class from home. This schedule will continue with the cohorts switching on and off each day for in person instruction until the learning model changes back to full in person learning or to full remote learning.
In the event the school must engage in full remote learning, information regarding the district’s elementary remote learning model as well as tech info and frequently asked questions can be found in our DPS Elementary Remote Learning Manual or on the district website.
Homework for Sick Students
Generally speaking, homework is not provided to students who are out due to illness unless they are out of school for three or more days. If a student is ill, it is more important that he or she get better, rather than do homework for the first two or three days. If your child is ill or recovering from a medical procedure at home, please contact the school nurse to discuss the potential length of absence. It is only through collaboration with the school nurse that students may gain access to remote learning due to quarantine or to school work due to extended absence.
Physical Education Exclusion
The state of CT requires a physician’s note for any long-term physical education exclusions following a serious illness or injury. These forms are available in the nurse’s office. Any and all questions regarding exclusion from Physical Education or recess should be directed to the school nurse.