Lower School Handbook

Academic Program

Lower School Academic Program

Procedures

The following formalized procedures should be seen as checkpoints and updates rather than the primary means of communication between home and school.

Early Childhood

Two formal parent-teacher conferences are scheduled in October (with the other Primary grades) and at the end of February. The February conferences will be held while the students are in school. The teachers will also complete comments in June.

Primary

Elementary teachers schedule conferences with parents to review their children’s academic and social progress in October and April. The teachers of grades 1 - 4 also complete comment reports twice a year in January and June. In June, the fourth graders will receive letter grades included in the comment reports.

Primary Classroom Placement

We strive to arrange well-balanced class sections that represent the school community. Considerable time and effort are focused on trying to achieve the best individual and group placement for each child. We value parental information and take parental input into account when making these important decisions. We also believe that we know how your children function in the school setting. Therefore, we ask that parents do not request a particular teacher. Decisions in placement are based on the professional judgment of our experienced faculty and administration. The final decision rests with the Dean of the Lower School.

Middle School

In Middle School, teachers write mid-term comments and issue grades at the end of each trimester. One formal parent conference is held in the fall. We recommend that parents meet with their child’s team face-to-face at least once a year. This process helps to ensure that problems can be identified and steps taken toward remediation before the end of the term. A cumulative report card, accompanied by comments whenever necessary, will be sent home at the end of the trimester. The following guidelines are set forth:

A, 100-90: Excellent work of outstanding quality

B, 89-80: Good and highly proficient work

C, 79-70: Satisfactory, sound, acceptable work

D, 69-60: Poor work which satisfies minimal requirements but is deficient in an area

F, Below 60: Unsatisfactory work which fails to satisfy minimal requirements

Plus and minus designations are added to grades in order to communicate more precisely the quality of the student’s achievements.

Academic Honors

An academic honors list is compiled for grades 6-8 after each trimester report card has been issued. An explanation of the criteria for each honor roll is stated below. When we compute averages for the seventh- and eighth-grade honor rolls, we weight the grades in the second foreign language and advanced mathematics courses (Algebra B in grade 7, Geometry in grade 8) by an extra 0.5 point.

High Honor Roll: Overall academic average of 10.5* or above

Honor Roll: Overall academic average of 9.0* or above

*No student with a grade of F or in the D range is named to the high honor or honor roll.

Each letter grade is worth the points designated below:

GradeNumerical EquivalentPoints
A+100-9712
A96-9311
A-92-9010
B+89-879
B86-838
B-82-807
C+79-776
C76-735
C-72-704
D+69-673
D66-632
D-62-601
FBelow 600


In an effort to facilitate a smoother transition into Middle School, we have instituted the following policy for fifth graders:

• First and second trimesters: report card, no honor roll designation
• Third trimester: report card, honor roll

In cases where an incomplete grade is given, work must be completed before the end of the first week of the new term.

Homework

HOMEWORK (GRADES 1-8)

Students in grades 1-8 are assigned homework in their academic subjects. Homework assignments must be done in a timely fashion to benefit the student by preparing her/him for the next day’s instruction. In the middle school, penalties are assessed for failure to complete assigned work on time. In the case of absence due to illness or inclement weather, students are responsible for homework; deadline extensions must be arranged with the teachers. Points are deducted from a student’s trimester grades if he/she has violated homework policy.

The grade-level teams have determined the following parameters for the amount of time their students are expected to spend in doing homework each day.

Grade 1: 15 minutes
Grade 2: 15-30 minutes
Grade 3: 30-45 minutes
Grade 4: 1 hour plus 20 minutes of reading
Grade 5: 1-1.5 hours
Grade 6: 1-1.5 hours
Grade 7: 1.5-2 hours
Grade 8: 2-2.5 hours

Please note that eighth graders taking two foreign languages and algebra or geometry may have to spend up to three hours a day in preparation for their classes.

School Hours

Toddler and Preschool: Drop off takes place from 8:15-8:30 a.m. Half-day hours begin at 8:30 a.m. and pick-up is at 12:00 p.m. Full day pick-up is at 3:00 p.m. To accommodate families who have older children attending the Lower School, a before-care program is available beginning at 8:00 a.m.

Pre-Kindergarten: Half-day hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Please pick up your half-day Pre-Kindergarten student promptly at 12:00 p.m. in the classroom. If your student attends only in the morning, please park in the Visitor Parking Lot for pick up. For those students whose parents have opted for the full day, the hours are 8:30 a.m. to 3:05 p.m.

Kindergarten-Grade 8: Homeroom begins at 8:15 a.m. Students are expected to be present in their homerooms and ready to begin the school day no later than 8:15 a.m. After 8:15 a.m., students are “tardy;” after five tardies, a student will get an after-school detention.

First period starts at 8:15 a.m. Instructional periods vary in length according to grade level and subject area.

Dismissal: Students in Pre-K through grade 4 are escorted out of the building at 3:05 p.m. by their grade-level teachers. Middle School students (grades 5-8) are dismissed at 3:12 p.m. Students who have not been picked up by 3:30 p.m. will be sent to after-school care for which their parents must pay an extra fee. Parents should make every effort to pick up their children at the designated time.

Security: For the protection of our students, the Lower School building is locked from 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. During school hours, visitors are asked to activate the buzzer and identify themselves at the main entrance on Wyoming Avenue.

Academic Divisions

Early Childhood (Toddler, Preschool, Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten)

The early childhood programs are tailored to meet the developmental needs of children aged 18-months to six years old. The class sizes are small, and the learning environments are modified appropriately for these ages. The curricula are coordinated with the entire Wyoming Seminary program and are integral to the early childhood program. Specials (i.e. chorus, library skills, creative movement and physical education) are introduced in Pre-K. Art, music and foreign language classes are added in kindergarten and are offered once a week.

Primary (grades 1 – 4)

To accommodate the children’s tremendous growth in grades 1 – 4, each grade has a team of teachers who work together to nurture individual needs. In grades 1 – 4, children are assigned to a homeroom teacher who is responsible for most of their learning, especially in language literacy and mathematics. For given units of study, the grade-level team of teachers may meet with all the children, depending on their needs. Introductory foreign language classes (French and Spanish) are offered once per week in kindergarten and first grade, and twice a week in second grade. Third and fourth grades meet for foreign language every other day. Specials (i.e., art, chorus, library skills, music and physical education) continue through the elementary grades.

Middle School Division (grades 5-8)

Upon entering the Middle School, students are grouped in two or more sections depending upon overall class size. They may be placed in these sections according to their instructional needs. Sectioning in some classes is determined by performance in school during the previous year, by standardized test scores and by teacher recommendations. Aside from sectioning for developmental reasons, we also try to create different groupings in other subjects so that a child may spend some time with other students at his or her grade level. These different groupings help to promote social as well as academic growth.

Each middle school student takes the four major academic subjects (English, mathematics, science and social studies). In our middle school transitional grade 5, instruction occurs in a combination of self-contained and departmentalized classes; the students move from classroom to classroom. Most fifth graders and sixth graders take French or Spanish five days a week or study skills. Seventh and eighth graders take French or Spanish and/ or Latin. Critical reading, enrichment reading and study skill classes are offered in the seventh and eighth grades. Depending on students’ particular needs, these special courses may be taken in lieu of a foreign language with guidance gained from a psychoeducational report.

Middle school students also take concomitant courses in art, computer (grades 5-6 only), health, music and physical education. Physical education schedules are different for each grade. There is also a daily activities period that is used for assemblies, band/chorus rehearsals, occasional study halls and various other activities.

The grade-level team of teachers discusses and reviews students’ academic and social progress in the middle school. If a given student’s academic performance has deteriorated significantly, the grade-level team will meet with her/him to determine what remedies should be adopted or what extra support should be implemented. The student’s parents will also be advised of the situation. In some cases parents may be asked to attend a team meeting to discuss the student’s progress. Sometimes the student may be moved into another section of a given course. In all cases our chief concern is meeting the student’s needs by providing the best possible educational experience and creating the partnership between home and school that will support those needs.

Testing

We administer standardized tests (CTP 4 of the Educational Records Bureau) to all students in grades 3 - 8 during the spring term. We then share the results of these tests with parents during the summer. Eighth graders also take the SSAT as part of the admission/transition process to the Upper School. If you have any questions about these tests and the interpretation of their scores, please contact one of the deans or the testing coordinator.

Aftercare

At the Lower School, we are happy to offer Aftercare which parents may register for. There are two programs available - an Early Childhood Program for students in our Toddler through Kindergarten classes (which will meet in the Arlington House) and a Lower School Program for students in Grades 1-8. Aftercare begins immediately after school and is available until 5:30 p.m. for our Early Childhood Program and 6:00 p.m. for those in the Lower School Program. Lower School faculty supervise the programs.

We offer a prepaid payment plan to participate in the Aftercare program. It is recommended that you register for the prepaid plan by trimester. With the prepaid trimester plan you will be able to choose the number of hours and days that you will require. This plan provides a half-price sibling discount for multiple children from the same family. Once you sign up for the prepaid plan, you may not opt out of this plan until the next trimester. Also there will be no refunds for unused plan days, nor can you carry over any unused hours. Those families who did not prepay for aftercare will be charged a flat fee of $12 an hour the cost of which will be added to your tuition bill.

Please be aware that any students in aftercare beyond 6:00 p.m. will be charged an additional $15 for every 15 minutes.

In addition, families with unpaid aftercare bills at the close of each trimester (November and March) will not be able to use aftercare until the bill has been paid. Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter.

Aftercare is not available on the day of the Holiday Tea or Family Field Day.

As always, if there are any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the main office at (570) 718-6600.

Alma Mater

Our Banner to the breeze unfold!
Its colors blue and white, so bold!
It waves above us every day
To guide our work and share our play.

Chorus

At sports it joins the merry din
And makes our teams strive hard to win.
But when the luck deserts our game,
We’ll gather ’round it just the same.

Chorus

The splendor of the blue and white
Within our hearts will ne’er grow light;
It holds us loyal to the end
And gives us courage to defend.

Chorus

Chorus:
The blue and white then raise on high!
We’ll guard our emblem till we die.
Oh, may it never sullied be
Or trailed in dust by you or me.

Athletics

PROGRAM

Our athletic program offers middle school students the opportunity to play various sports on interscholastic teams. Seventh and eighth graders may participate in PIAA league sports (cross country, field hockey, soccer, basketball, baseball and softball) as well as non-PIAA ice hockey, lacrosse, wrestling and instructional football. Fifth and sixth graders may participate in non-PIAA basketball, ice hockey and lacrosse, instructional field hockey and swimming.

PHILOSOPHY

To fulfill the overall mission of Wyoming Seminary “to be responsive to the needs of individual students while providing a challenging program to develop the mind and body,” the administration and faculty of the Lower School are committed to supporting various interscholastic team sports for boys and girls in grades seven and eight (grades five through eight in non-PIAA sports). We regard the purpose of competitive athletics for middle school students as manifold: the conditioning and development of the athletes’ bodies; the teaching of the fundamental rules, skills and strategies of particular team sports; the inculcation of fair play and sportsmanship; the cultivation of team objectives and teamwork; and the training of young athletes for participation at the next level on Upper School teams.

Finally, to justify an ambitious program of competitive athletics in the middle school grades, we believe that it is essential for our student-athletes to make a commitment to their Wyoming Seminary teams. To wit, players who do not attend practices for other than unavoidable medical or religious reasons should not expect to play in games. Moreover, players who miss games for other than unavoidable medical or religious reasons may jeopardize their status as members of a particular Wyoming Seminary Lower School team.

ELIGIBILITY

Because of the potential liability concerns, it is essential: 1) that parents communicate to coaches and the trainer or school nurse specifics of medical consultations/diagnoses and recommended treatments from doctors seen under parental auspices off campus; 2) written medical clearances to play must be given by parents to coach or trainer after any doctor’s visit, and the school must retain copies of such clearances. The school, in turn, will communicate with parents full particulars of athletic related medical situations which Sem personnel have handled or overseen.

Furthermore, coaches shall be required to include in any written information given to players and parents before the start of a season the gist of the following:

On injuries and medical clearances to resume play, Sem expects that parents will be honest and informative with coaches and school medical personnel concerning athletic-related injury examinations arranged by parents off-campus. Sem coaches are not allowed to play students following any noticed athletic injury without clearance from our trainer or medical director, OR a written clearance from an off-campus doctor, a copy of which a coach or trainer must retain. We all want to strike a balance between enabling student athletes to practice and compete and to endure through minor physical discomfort on the one hand, and their future health and welfare both as athletes and human beings on the other.

Finally, appropriate forms for PIAA or non-PIAA sports must be handed in at the start of the season, before formal practices or any competition takes place. All athletes who are earning an F or two D’s are ineligible for both practice and games for one week (from Monday to Sunday) after the eligibility list is circulated. Prior to missing a class for an athletic event, the Lower School athlete takes full responsibility to communicate with his/her teachers for fulfilling his/her academic obligations.

An athlete must be in school at least half of the day (by 11:35 a.m.) in order to be eligible for that day’s practice or game. Exceptions may be made by the dean.

ATHLETIC CODE

Please read our full athletic code of conduct in the Athletics section of our website.

Attendance & Absences

ABSENCES AND EXCUSES

Please call the school and request homework between 8:15-9:15 a.m. if your child will be absent. When a student has been absent from school, a note should be sent to the office upon the child’s return. The note must be signed by the parent or guardian. If a child is marked absent, the school will call the home if we have not heard from the family by 9:30 a.m.

When a parent wants a child to be excused from participating in her/his physical education class or other activities after an illness or an injury, the parent or the family physician should write a note to the school nurse and specify when the child may resume normal physical activities.

VACATIONS

Our school calendar is available online so that families can plan vacations to coincide with the closing of school. Although we are aware of the educational advantage children gain from an interesting trip, and we realize that sometimes these opportunities occur at times other than during school vacation periods, we strongly discourage removing children from regularly scheduled class days. If you are going to remove a child at times other than the published vacations, please discuss your plans with the appropriate dean several weeks before your departure. Primary students are asked to write in a journal and read during vacation. Saved work will be available upon return. Middle school students should also contact their individual teachers to arrange for assignment/test make-up coordination. Work should be completed within a week of returning to school. Failure to complete work could jeopardize report card grades and/or promotion to the next grade.

EARLY PICK-UP

Parents who come to pick up children from the Lower School before dismissal time must ALWAYS come to the office. A child will not be allowed to leave the building and wait outside for the parent. It is vitally important that we know whether or not a student is in the building. Therefore, all students must be signed out by a parent.

Communications

Frequent communications are essential in fostering a partnership between the school and home. Together teachers and parents can share observations and insights and plan strategies for further academic and affective growth. Parents are encouraged to maintain open lines of communication with individual teachers or teams of teachers (where appropriate) in order to ensure that their child’s needs are being met and that consistency between home and school allows positive growth.

Mutual respect, trust and confidence between parents and the school are necessary to make meaningful the contractual relationship which is the basis of the family-independent school connection. On rare occasions that trust may be undermined to a degree that meaningful fulfillment of the contract is menaced, withdrawal or non-return may be appropriate, either initiated by the parents or required by the school. Disciplinary, academic or fiscal concerns may also impede fulfillment of the contractual relationship. But the overwhelming majority of Lower School students have progressed happily through Wyoming Seminary since the Lower School’s inception in 1951, many of them for a full fifteen years!

Frequent communications are essential in fostering a partnership between the school and home. Together teachers and parents can share observations and insights and plan strategies for further academic and affective growth. Parents are encouraged to maintain open lines of communication with individual teachers or teams of teachers (where appropriate) in order to ensure that their child’s needs are being met and that consistency between home and school allows positive growth.

E-MAIL CONTACT

Every teacher and administrator at Wyoming Seminary Lower School has an e-mail address that parents are encouraged to use. Although teachers and administrators make every effort to respond to e-mail messages promptly, class schedules do not allow for instantaneous replies, so extremely urgent messages should be handled on the telephone to the front office. The addresses have been standardized to make contact easy (i.e. jdoe@wyomingseminary.org). E-mail addresses are also listed on the Sem website on the faculty and staff directory. If you have not provided the school with your e-mail address(es), please send that information to jmoran@wyomingseminary.org or make changes in My Sem in the profile section.

Conduct & Discipline

CONDUCT

Life at Wyoming Seminary is based on mutual respect, self-discipline and personal responsibility. Responsible conduct concerns itself with providing an appropriate environment for both the individual and the community to pursue academic and social growth. In this vein all students of Wyoming Seminary Lower School are expected to exhibit a sincere respect and concern for others and to act as young ladies and gentlemen at all times.

While it is our policy to give individual consideration in disciplinary matters, departure from commonly accepted standards of responsible behavior will constitute grounds for appropriate disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

All students must observe the following rules:

1. Students must not leave before the customary dismissal time without mutual consent of home and school.

2. Cheating is forbidden at Wyoming Seminary. Please review the section on the Honor Code.

3. Possession or use of tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, drugs, firearms (including BB and air guns), knives, martial art supplies or fireworks is prohibited.

4. Vandalism of any kind is prohibited. This includes vandalism to school property as well as to anyone’s personal belongings.

5. Chewing gum is prohibited inside the school building.

6. The use of laser pointers and Apple watches are prohibited.

7. All cellular telephones, digital cameras and pagers must be turned off and stored in backpacks or lockers during the school day.

8. The use of CD players, GameBoys, iPods or any MP3 players, PlayStation Portable (PSP), etc. is prohibited in the Lower School building.

DISCIPLINE

Any discipline matters in the Lower School are first handled by the classroom teachers. However, serious and chronic concerns will be brought to the attention of the grade-level team, the division coordinator, then the dean and, if necessary, the president. Except for minor incidents, parents will be informed immediately by the appropriate teacher, coordinator or dean. If a student should ever engage in behavior that cannot be handled through usual methods in the classroom, he or she may be assigned a form of detention or suspension. These will vary in degree and will be determined on an individual basis. If a student incurs more than five detentions in a term, a suspension of some degree is likely to occur.

HARASSMENT

Wyoming Seminary does not tolerate harassment or bullying – physical or emotional, verbal or visual. Harassment includes the transmission of disrespectful text messages, e-mail messages, photographs and postings on social networking websites (Facebook and others). Harassment may include not only direct suggestions or slurs, but also offensive movements or gestures, as well as drawings or posters which may be taken as suggestive or demeaning.

Students (or their chosen advocate), faculty members or other employees who are concerned about, wish to bring charges concerning, or need to deal with possible harassment may follow any of three routes:

• conference with either the Dean the Lower School or the School President;
• conference with the Middle-School coordinator; or
• consultation with any teacher of choice. Harassment is considered a major rule violation to be dealt with through regular disciplinary channels.

DISCRETION AND SENSITIVITY

Students are expected to behave in a manner which exhibits respect for others. Friendliness, helpfulness, courtesy and sensitivity to others are a reflection of good upbringing and the attitude one has towards others. The use of foul language will not be tolerated.

Contacts

Every teacher and administrator at Wyoming Seminary Lower School has an e-mail address that parents are encouraged to use. Although teachers and administrators make every effort to respond to e-mail messages promptly, class schedules do not allow for instantaneous replies, so extremely urgent messages should be directed to the Lower School front office at (570) 718-6600.

Email addresses and office phone numbers can be found on our full directory.

IMPORTANT CONTACTS

President
Kevin Rea
(570) 270-2150
krea@wyomingseminary.org

Dean of the Lower School
Kathleen Hanlon
(570) 718-6600
khanlon@wyomingseminary.org

Athletic Director
Paul Burg
(570) 718-6600 x2036
pburg@wyomingseminary.org

Business Manager
Robert Tarud
(570) 270-2135
rtarud@wyomingseminary.org

Dean of Admission
Julie Bean
(570) 718-6611
jbean@wyomingseminary.org

Main Office
(570) 718-6600
Judy Katra: jkatra@wyomingseminary.org
Jill Moran: jmoran@wyomingseminary.org

Nurse
Maria Coons
(570) 718-6615
mcoons@wyomingseminary.org

Dress Code

SEM ATTIRE

Wyoming Seminary has adopted the "Sem Attire" dress code for preschool through eighth-grade students. This is not a single uniform, but rather a selection of clothing pieces that a committee has chosen through the Lands' End catalog.

TO ORDER FROM LAND'S END

To order clothing online, please go to the Lands' End Wyoming Seminary approved attire page. You may also call Lands' End directly at 1-800-469-2222. For questions about the dress code or the Parents Association's "Sem Closet" (a collection of gently used Sem attire for purchase), call 570-718-6601.

DRESS REQUIREMENTS

Toddlers
Toddlers are not expected to wear attire with the Wyoming Seminary logo but we ask that they adhere to our uniform colors of navy, white, maize yellow and khaki.

Primary
Sem Attire is required every day for primary students.

Boys and Girls:
• Lands’ End polos or oxfords with the Wyoming Seminary logo in white, blue or yellow
• All shirts must be tucked in
• Khaki or navy blue bottoms
• Chino shorts may be worn in September, October, April and May
• Plain or pleated-front chino shorts may be worn in September, October, April and May
• Cargo pants or shorts are not permitted
• Belts must be worn (suggested for grades 1 and 2, required for grades 3 and 4)
• Sneakers, dress shoes or boots may be worn all year (no sandals or flip-flops)
• Blue or white socks are required
• Knee socks, tights, crew socks or bobby socks are acceptable
• Solid leggings are permitted (blue or white only)
• Hats are not to be worn inside the building
• Only Sem attire sweaters/fleeces may be worn inside but do not require the embroidered Wyoming Seminary logo

Middle School
Students in grades 5-8 may mix and match any of the Sem Attire items each day.

The following also applies to students in the Middle School Division with respect to dress code. After three dress code violations a middle school student will have to serve a detention.

Boys and Girls:
• Lands’ End polos or oxfords with the Wyoming Seminary logo in white, blue or yellow
• No athletic-style sweatshirts or hooded jackets are permitted during the school day. Any sweaters or jackets worn on top of Sem attire during the school day MUST be solid navy, white or maize color but do not require the Wyoming Seminary logo.
• Sneakers may be worn all year; however no high-tops, high heels, or Wheelies. In addition, no extreme designs or colors are allowed.
• Socks/tights are required with shoes or sneakers from November through March.
• Plain or pleated-front chino shorts may be worn in September, October, April and May
• Boots are allowed from November through March, although boots should be free of extreme style, color and decoration
• Belts must be worn
• No hats are to be worn inside the school building
• Dress sandals are permitted in September, October, April and May. For safety reasons, no rubber or leather-soled flip flops are permitted

Boys:
• All shirts must be tucked in
• Collared shirts are required under crew-neck sweaters
• No cargo-style pants or shorts are permitted

Girls:
• Shorts, skirts or jumpers must be no shorter than three inches above the knee
• Shirts with uneven hems must be tucked in. Only straight-finished hems and sweaters may be worn untucked
• Solid-colored leggings are permitted under Sem Attire skirts or jumpers in lieu of tights or pantyhose
• Cropped chino pants are permitted throughout the year but no low rider styles are permitted
• For safety reasons, shoes with heels higher than two and one-half inches are not permitted. (If shoes are platform style, the front of the shoe may not exceed one inch in height.)

CONCERT ATTIRE

During special announced events, all boys will be required to wear a jacket, shirt and tie or turtleneck, dress slacks, dress socks and dress shoes. Girls should wear a dress (see the guidelines for appropriate design and style under the Commencement Dress Code) or a skirt and blouse or sweater and dress shoes.

PHYSICAL EDUCATION UNIFORMS (GRADES 3-6)

P.E. uniforms will be sold during P.E. classes during the first week of school. The name of the vendor, along with minimum requirements and prices, is published in the August/September electronic newsletter. Items selected will be billed to parents.

General Information

ADDRESSES

Please record any changes in address, e-mail, telephone or cell phone numbers in the profile section of My Sem.

BIRTHDAY PARTIES/TREATS

Parents (preschool - grade 4) should make every effort to invite all students in their child’s homeroom. This practice has worked well and has prevented many social problems at school. If you wish to send birthday or other special treats, please include all members of the class. The treats will be distributed at lunch in the cafeteria.

INSURANCE

Every child enrolled in the Lower School is automatically covered by an accident insurance policy for the duration of the school year. The children are covered for twenty-four hours a day for any accident regardless of where it occurs; however, we remind you that all claims are subject to a $25 deductible provision. Parents should use their primary insurance first. If you wish to present a claim, please complete an accident report within 24 hours of the accident. Forms are available at the office.

NON-SCHOOL-RELATED FUNDRAISING

We ask that children not raise funds for outside organizations.

TELEPHONE MESSAGES AND USE

Except in the case of an emergency, all messages from parents to students during the school day will be delivered only during lunch and at 2:30 p.m. In order to ensure that your child receives your messages, all messages should be left with the office before 2:00 p.m. Only in an emergency will students be given permission to use the office phone or make calls during non-lunch-period times. Students may not use cell phones during the academic day.

END-OF-YEAR OBLIGATIONS

The student and their family must meet all financial obligations to the school, including library fines and aftercare expenses, before final grades or transcripts are released. All Grade 8 students are expected to fulfill their attendance obligations by taking part in Graduation exercises. If a student cannot attend these closing ceremonies the graduation certificate will be mailed home at the family's expense.

Graduation

Please see details about graduation in our campus life section.

Health Services

Lower School Nurse
Maria Coons
(570) 718-6615
mcoons@wyomingseminary.org

School Psychologist
Dr. Kathleen Carlisle
kcarlisle@wyomingseminary.org

Parents should be aware that Wyoming Seminary requires an annual physical for students in all grades. Medical forms are to be filled out in the "Enrollment & Permission Forms" section of My Sem and are due by the first day of school. Parents of students entering the Lower School are reminded that Pennsylvania state law mandates the completion and documentation of required immunizations. Students should not be sent to school if they are ill. They should be fever-free without medication for 24 hours before returning.

ILLNESS IN SCHOOL

We are fortunate to have a full-time certified nurse in our health office. The nurse will inform the parents if a child becomes ill. If she is unable to reach the parents, she will call the person listed on the emergency health form. Please be sure to inform the office if contact information changes.

ILLNESS AND MEDICATION

The school nurse will administer necessary medication during the school day provided the parent/guardian has given written permission. A limited amount of over-the-counter medication is kept in the infirmary for unexpected illness. The nurse will not administer these medications unless the medication consent, sent home with the health forms, is signed by a parent/guardian and returned. If your child frequently requires over-the-counter medications, the parent may send a supply that will be kept in the dispensary for his/her use.

If a student requires a prescription medication, the medication must be delivered to the school nurse in the original container labeled by the pharmacy with the name of the medication, dose to be taken and the frequency (most pharmacies are happy to give a separate bottle and label if you request it for use at school). The parent must also send signed permission for the nurse to administer the medication and note the time it is to be given. The nurse may ask the parent to complete a special form for medications that will be given for an extended period of time.

Medications should be delivered to the nurse by an adult if possible. If you must send medication with a student, be sure the medication is securely capped and instruct the student to take the medication directly to the nurse’s office upon his/her arrival at school. Additionally, the parent should telephone the nurse by 8:30 a.m. to ensure that the nurse has received the medication and instructions. Medications that are controlled substances (for example: Ritalin, Adderall, Concerta and Focalin) must be delivered directly to the school nurse by an adult without exception. Under no circumstances should a student have medication in his/her possession during the school day without the permission of the nurse.

If your child will need to take the medication on field trips, a special consent form will need to be signed by the parent prior to the trip. The only exception to this will be rescue inhalers and epi-pens, which will automatically be sent with the adult supervising the trip.

PSYCHOEDUCATIONAL EVALUATIONS

An evaluation may be recommended to provide parents and teachers with information as to how best to help a student who seems to be struggling in the school setting. After a physical examination has ruled out any biological causes for a student’s difficulties, a psychoeducational assessment may be warranted. Parents who have questions or need information concerning this or other issues should contact the learning support teacher, testing coordinator, their child’s teacher, the counselor or the dean.

An in-depth handout is available through the learning support teacher, the testing coordinator, school counselor or the dean, which explains the differences between the various kinds of professionals in this field, how to make the best choice, and questions to ask the professional.

When an assessment is undertaken because of difficulties arising in school, it is vital that the child’s teachers be part of the evaluation process. They will have observations and insights which are necessary for a valid and accurate report.

Standard protocol for an adequate evaluation should include: a history of concerns, rating scales and other data from parents and key teachers; an interview and problem-rating scale (depending on age) from the student; psychological and educational testing. Copies of any available school reports and any previous psychological or neurological evaluations should be provided to the evaluator. Assessments are confidential, kept in a secure location in the appropriate dean’s office, and will be returned to parents when the student leaves Wyoming Seminary.

The school has also started a resource library with books and videos which address issues commonly faced by children.

Honor Code

Wyoming Seminary is an academic community based on trust. Honesty in the execution and presentation of graded work is vital for real learning and fair evaluation.

Cheating, facilitating cheating, and plagiarism impedes learning and creativity, undermines meaningful grading, and subverts trust between students and faculty.

Each faculty member has the responsibility to clearly express to students what types of work and assignments should be done without assistance and what citations are appropriate. Students are expected to sign an Honor Code statement (“I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid on this work.”) on specified tests, papers and reports.

Each student agrees:
• I understand and will support and follow the Honor Code.
• I will not personally use unauthorized materials, and I will not participate with others in cheating.
• I will not facilitate cheating, and if I become aware of violations of academic integrity, I understand that I have a responsibility to the community and should at least say something to the student involved or discuss the situation with a teacher.

In an extreme situation, the school may convene a team of teachers, the Middle School Division Coordinator and the Middle School Dean to further discuss the incident.

Network Acceptable Use Policy

Please view our full network acceptable use policy.

Parents Association

Every parent or guardian of a child who attends the Lower School is a member of the Parents Association. The purpose of the WSLSPA is to advance the interests and promote the welfare of the Lower School. We provide opportunities that offer fellowship among teachers, parents and students. We raise money to purchase items for the school that are otherwise not budgeted for, such as the faculty wishlist, and we contribute annually to the Wallace F. Stettler Lower School Scholarship Fund.

The Board of Directors meets regularly; see schedule below. Directors and officers each serve two-year terms. All meetings are open – please join us! The WSLSPA welcomes the involvement of all parents and guardians. If you would like to volunteer, please fill out our volunteer form, contact a board member or attend a meeting. If you have any questions about Wyoming Seminary's Parents Association, please feel free to contact Julie McCarthy Strzeletz '81, Wyoming Seminary's Lower School Parents Liaison and Director of Alumni, (570) 270-2142, jstrzeletz@wyomingseminary.org.

MEETING SCHEDULE

WSLSPA meetings are open to all and parents are welcome to attend any monthly association meeting. Meetings generally occur on the second Tuesday of every month in the Powell Conference Room (first floor) at 1:00 p.m. unless noted otherwise. Check the school calendar for the most accurate information.

September 13, 2016
October 11, 2016
November 8, 2016
December 13, 2016
January 10, 2017
February 14, 2017
March 14, 2017
April 11, 2017
May 9, 2017
June: TBA

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Rachel Coates, President, rachelbogart@yahoo.com
Danielle Bruno, Secretary, dibruno1@gmail.com
Courtney Cawley, courtneycawley@yahoo.com
Mary Lou Fenster, fensterml@hotmail.com
Dona Hall, donahall305@gmail.com
Holly Kelleher, hollyakelleher@hotmail.com
Jenny Kotowski, jennykotowski@yahoo.com
Caroline McCarthy Youngman ‘84, ping@epix.net
Kathy Platt, k5r3@hotmail.com
Tanya Pyke, t.pyke@me.com
Carol Scotto D’Abusco, carolbrandon@live.com
Christina Taylor, christinataylor94@yahoo.com
Maggie Zembruski, maggie_zembruski@yahoo.com

Student Services

BOOKS AND BOOKSTORE

Books will be distributed to all students on the first day of school. Some of the books will be issued for free through Act 195 of the Pennsylvania Education Law. Parents will be billed for all other books not supplied by Act 195. Students may not write in, or in any way deface, the state-loaned materials. In the primary grades and in middle school, students receive paperbacks and workbooks. The book and supply fee covers the cost of these items. Notebooks, paper and other supplies are purchased by the students themselves. On the first day of school, all new textbooks and supplies are distributed to the students in grades 1 – 4 by the appropriate teacher. After the first day of school, they will receive additional books and supplies from their teachers as needed.

LIBRARY

The Sordoni Library will be open from 8:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Students in grades pre-kindergarten through grade 4 visit the library during a scheduled weekly class period to borrow books, enjoy story time and research projects. All students are welcome to visit the library during their homeroom periods to select or return books. Middle school students may also visit the library, with a library pass, during their study halls.

LOCKERS

Students in grades 3-8 will be assigned to gym and hall lockers. For grades 6-8 there will be a charge of $10 for a hall combination lock, which they will keep through their middle school years.

LUNCH SERVICE (GRADES 1 - 8)

Cafeteria service is provided to students participating in our lunch program on a daily basis. Students may elect to participate in our lunch program on an annual basis or opt-in at the start of the winter or spring terms. The school will attempt to meet any special food requirements or honor any restrictions necessary for religious or medical reasons. A monthly menu is posted online. Students who bring their lunch should not bring beverages or food in glass containers. Soda is not allowed.

Transportation and Visitors

MORNING DROP-OFF

As part of our security system, all students must enter the school through the Glass Foyer. Our front door and all other doors are locked. Drivers may stop in front of the Atwood Foyer or anywhere in the left lane adjacent to the brick walkway. Once they have dropped off their passengers, drivers may carefully move into the field side right lane and proceed out the gate for the required right turn onto Seminary Place. The red brick walkway allows us to have more than two cars safely unload their student passengers at one time. We ask that students use the front entrance only when arriving at school after 8:20 a.m.

AFTERNOON PICK-UP

Students in Pre-K through grade 4 will exit the building at 3:05 p.m. Teachers will escort their students through the middle of the double line of parked cars. When all grades have passed through the car lines, the right lane (reserved for drivers with only primary students) will proceed to exit onto Seminary Place. Drivers in the building side left lane will be waiting for middle school students, who will exit the Atwood Foyer after 3:15 p.m. These students will proceed along the brick walkway and enter their vehicles from the driver’s side. When drivers have picked up all their passengers, they may move carefully into the open right lane and exit the campus onto Seminary Place. Our front parking lot is open only to our school buses between the times of 2:30 p.m. (when our buses begin arriving) and 3:25 p.m. (when all buses have pulled out of the lot). All other vehicles are not allowed to use this lot during this time. Alternately, you can use our carline. If you still feel it is necessary to walk in to pick up your child, you must park on Arlington Road and come to the front door.

REMINDER

Please avoid Seminary Place in the morning and the afternoon. We have promised our neighbors that we would do everything in our power to limit parking and traffic along their narrow street. In any case, we do not allow parents to bring their children onto our campus through the gates on Seminary Place. It is far too dangerous to have pedestrians entering the campus at a oneway vehicular exit. The safety of our students is our foremost priority. We ask for parents’ caution and cooperation.

AFTER-SCHOOL ACTIVITIES & EVENTS

We want students to be in a safe, supervised environment at all times while on campus. Students who participate in after-school activities are to stay with the teacher until they are picked up. Any student who attends an athletic event as a spectator will need a note from a parent indicating that he or she is to be there. Under no circumstances are students allowed to leave the campus without adult supervision or a note from the parents granting permission to go off campus for that particular day. Parents must know that students who are not participating in an after-school activity cannot be supervised by coaches or other school personnel. Parents should not allow their children to remain at school in this manner.

PARKING

Faculty parking is assigned to the Wyoming Avenue (entrance)/Arlington Road (exit) lot. No parent or driver should pick up children in this area. Buses use this lot to enter our property. Due to safety considerations, students will not be released into this section. Faculty parking is also assigned along the field. If parents need to enter the school with their child, they should park in an empty space in the back. Please be advised that you always have the option of parking legally on a side street; however, we request that you avoid Seminary Place in consideration of our neighbors on that narrow street. Thank you for your cooperation.

BUS TRANSPORTATION

Transportation is available on public school buses for students beginning in kindergarten. (Toddler, preschool, and pre-k students of any age may not ride public school buses.) Children who wish to ride the bus must be five years old or must turn five during the school year. Four-year-old pre-kindergarten students may, however, ride the Berwick, Scranton/Clarks Summit or Stroudsburg buses that Wyoming Seminary contracts.

Berwick Area: (570) 718-6600
Crestwood Area: (570) 474-9512 or (570) 474-6782 x325
Dallas Area: (570) 675-5201
Hanover Area: (570) 831-2303
Lake Lehman Area: (570) 675-2165 then press 7
Nanticoke Area: (570) 735-5066
Old Forge: (570) 457-6721
Pittston Area: (570) 655-4105 or (570) 654-4890
Riverside: (570) 562-2121, ext. 6
Scranton/Clarks Summit: (570) 718-6600
Stroudsburg: (570) 718-6600
Wilkes-Barre: (570) 826-7116
Wyoming Area: (570) 655-2836, ext. 2346
Wyoming Valley West: (570) 288-6551

Transportation for all new students (except those in the Berwick, Scranton/ Clarks Summit or Stroudsburg) should be arranged through your local school district office. Transportation for returning students will be arranged automatically by the school.

BUS RULES

If your child rides a school bus to Wyoming Seminary, it is important for you to know that the buses are under the jurisdiction of the local school districts that have contracted with private bus companies. If you should have any problems with the bus schedule or driver, you should contact the individual bus company or your local school district transportation office. Please keep Wyoming Seminary informed of any contacts you may have with these offices.

Bus transportation is a privilege, not a right. All students are required to observe the following rules of conduct while riding the buses. Please keep in mind that each school district and/or bus company may also have its own set of bus conduct rules to be followed.

1. At dismissal children will board the buses as soon as they leave their homeroom or last period class.

2. At pick-up times, they will board the bus immediately after it comes to a complete stop.

3. As soon as children board the bus, they are to go to their seats and remain there until the driver gives them permission to move.

4. Students must remain seated with their feet and belongings out of the aisle, and they may not leave their seats once the bus leaves the school property.

5. Students may not leave their seats while the bus is in motion.

6. The instructions of the driver will be followed should he/she give special directions for the children when they leave the bus.

7. If specific seats have been assigned, children shall not sit in any other than their assigned seats without the permission of the driver.

8. Students who do not exhibit appropriate bus behavior may be denied bus-riding privileges. If this occurs, parents will be notified by one of the deans.

It is helpful for the school and for the bus driver to know when a child is not riding the bus home. Notes to that effect should be sent to the office in the morning by the student or, in the case of younger children, given to their homeroom teachers. If transportation changes must be made later in the day, parents should telephone the school office. Because insurance does not cover students from other school districts, students may not ride on any buses except those from the school district in which they live.

VISITORS

Visitors are always welcome at the Lower School and should sign in at the office. Primary parents should check with their child’s teacher so she will expect you; middle school parents should make arrangements with Mr. Will Davis.

Weather Delays

For details regarding delays, early dismissals and closings, parents should check Sem’s homepage first, as emergency messages will be displayed there.

In general, Wyoming Seminary’s guidelines in response to winter weather will be that if the Valley is functioning – meaning that a majority of businesses and offices are open – we will try to stay open. While roughly half of kindergarten through eighth-grade students arrive on public school district transportation, there may be days when the school opens (usually with a delay), leaving it up to parents to bring their children to school. This decision should be based on the parent's own logistical imperatives and judgment on the hazards of driving in their particular locality.

The residential areas for Wyoming Seminary students varies greatly in terms of local weather effects and the road infrastructure. Sometimes it may be snowing in Mountain Top, while it is raining in Kingston. Parents must be the primary judge of personal safety and the advisability of driving in their particular conditions. Parents and students may be confident that when the Lower School is open with a significant number of students absent for weather-related reasons, no students will be penalized for testing or new material missed, any more than they would be for illness.

DELAYED OPENING

If your school district’s buses are on a delayed-opening schedule, your child will be expected to arrive in accordance with your district’s announced time, whether or not she or he rides the bus. If you wish to drive your child to school, however, we ask that you listen to road condition reports and use your own discretion.

For prompt notification of delays, parents should always check Sem’s homepage where they will see school delay information. Although school delay information should be announced on local radio and television stations no later than 7:00 a.m., this method is the least reliable.

SCHOOL CLOSING

If your school district closes its schools due to inclement weather, your child will not be expected in school even if we are open. Once again, if you wish to transport your child in this situation, do so at your own discretion. If our school is closed, the announcement will be made on Sem’s homepage and on radio and TV before 6:45 a.m.

EARLY DISMISSAL

When we are contacted by a school district about an early dismissal, parents of children who ride the bus may expect their children to be dismissed when their bus arrives. Students who do not ride the bus but whose district is closing early may be picked up by their parents at the early dismissal time as well. Of course, as in any emergency weather situation, if parents feel that driving conditions are hazardous in their area, they may come for their children at their discretion.

We will determine the Lower School’s closing time based on the time that the last school district closes. When this time is determined, we will post it on Sem’s homepage. Parents of students who do not ride a school bus should pick up their children by this time. Aftercare charges will go into effect, once the school has officially closed, for any children who are still in the Lower School building. The Dean of the Lower School will run Aftercare until all students are picked up.

During the wintery months, please check our homepage frequently during the day for any anticipated early dismissals. If you plan to change your child’s usual pick-up procedure during an early dismissal, please send a note to the classroom teacher to let them know. When sending a note regarding this change, please discuss these new instructions with your child.

Parents do not need to come into the building. A teacher will be stationed at the glass foyer and will call the office. The office will then send your child out to meet you.

Please remember that we are doing our best in a unique situation in which we are dependent upon individual school districts. We urge parents not to call the school during this time: our phone lines must be open for school districts to call us. Parents may rely on prompt notification by checking Sem’s homepage.