• Parent Student Handbook
    We would like to extend a warm welcome to all parents and students of Bear Creek Elementary. We are committed to provide a positive, caring, learning atmosphere where each child is challenged to reach his full potential. We believe that we must know each child as an individual, accept him as he is and help him progress at his own rate to achieve maximum academic progress and social development. We stress parental involvement, realizing that the educational process is a partnership where parents working together with teachers can provide the best education possible for our youngsters. This Parent-Student handbook has been prepared to provide essential information to the students who attend Bear Creek Elementary School and their parents. Please take a few minutes to review the contents.

    If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call the school. We are looking forward to working with you and your child in making our school the best it can be. 

    Bear Creek Elementary Guidelines for Success
    * Be Responsible
    * Encourage Others
    * Actively Participate
    * Respect Others

    Mission Statement
    Bear Creek Elementary is a community of dedicated professionals who are here to motivate and prepare each child academically and socially. We hold high standards as we implement best practices in a safe learning environment.


    Core Values
    We believe...
    * the staff of Bear Creek Elementary will continue to learn, teach and facilitate
    educational and social best practices.
    * in Commitment to Character.
    * in achieving high standards and expectations for our staff, students and families.
    * that the school is part of the community and the community is part of the

    school blocks

    School Hours
    Student Hours - 8:35-3:05 Mon-Fri

    First Bell (enter rooms) - 8:15 AM
    Tardy Bell - 8:35
    Office Hours - 7:30 AM-4:00 PM
    Teacher Hours - 7:30 AM-3:40 PM
    Breakfast - 8:00-8:30 AM
    Dismissal Bell - Car/Walkers @ 3:05 
    Dismissal Bell - Bike/Bus/YMCA @ 3:07


    Important School Numbers
    School Office (727) 893-2332
    School FAX (727) 893-2334
    Cafeteria - 727-893-1381 - Laura Neuman, Manager
    YMCA - 727-345-4817 
    Bus Transportation (727)587-2020 

    School Board of Pinellas County
    Dr.Michael Grego, Superintendent
    Pinellas County Schools Administration Bldg.
    301 4th Street SW
    Largo, FL 34649-2952
    (727) 588-6000

    Bus Transportation
    (727) 587-2020 

    Family Education & Information Centers 
    St. Petersburg (727) 552-1595 
    Clearwater (727) 298-2858

    dance pencil

    Agenda Books
    Agenda books are used in all grades. These books provide a way for your child to become organized as well as an excellent method of communication between school and home. Agenda books are paid for with Title 1 Funds. *Replacement books are available in the front office and cost $5.00. 

    Appointments for Pupils
    Students will be excused during school hours for verified medical/family purposes. When this is necessary, a note should be sent to the teacher stating the date and time. All students must be signed out in the office by an individual listed by the parent/guardian on the registration card before leaving the school. Identification will be required by a person unknown to the office staff when taking a child from an elementary school.


    Regular attendance is important for successful school progress. A note or phone call explaining any absence from school is expected. Absence/Tardies are recorded daily by computer. If your child is absent please call the office by 9:00 am and send a written note the following day for documentation. Extended absences may require a medical statement or prior conference with the principal. An elementary student having an unexcused absence shall be given the opportunity to make up assignments and may be assessed any additional penalty determined by the school. It is the responsibility of the parent to be aware of all absences. Lack of notification by the school is not an acceptable excuse for not knowing the number of and the penalty for, unexcused or excessive absences or tardies to school.

    When an elementary student has had five unexcused absences the parent or guardian will be contacted by school officials. If excessive absences continue the Office of the State Attorney will be notified and that office will work with the family and school staff to resolve the problem. The Truancy Intervention Program will be initiated.

    It is important that all students arrive promptly to class. Students arriving before 8:50 should go directly to class where the teacher will mark the student tardy. A tardy slip from the office is necessary for admittance to class when the student arrives after 8:50. Chronic tardiness will be reported to the school social worker for investigation.

    Before/After School Care
    YMCA offers their prime time program on our school grounds from 6:30 am until the start of the school day and after school from dismissal until 6:00 pm. For more information call YMCA 895-9622. Your child should be enrolled in the YMCA if you must drop off before 8:15 AM or pick up later than 3:10 PM.

    bike rider

    School safety patrols caution and assist bike riders and walkers across street crossings. Bicycles shall be locked to prevent theft and bike helmets are mandatory. Bicycles are required to be licensed by city ordinance. Students will walk bicycles on sidewalks and on school grounds to and from the bike compound. Scooters and skateboards are not allowed. Rolling backpacks are NOT permitted in Grades K-3.


    Breakfast and lunch are available daily. Breakfast begins at 8:00 am. Breakfast and Lunch are free. School menus are published in local newspapers and our school newsletter. Candy, soda and gum are not allowed. 

    Pinellas County School meal programs allow substitutions on a case-by-case basis for the basic meal requirements if a child is unable to consume the required food because of medical or other special dietary needs. All exceptions must be supported by a statement from a recognized medical authority that includes recommended substitute foods. The statement will be maintained on file in the school.


    Bus Transportation
    Transportation is approved for all students living two or more miles from school. Bus safety requires that rules be followed to prevent accidents. Each transported student will receive a set of rules that must be signed and returned to school. The bus driver has the responsibility for the safety and conduct of students riding the bus to and from school. Students should obey the driver at all times. Any student who persists in disorderly conduct on a school bus shall be reported to the principal and may be suspended from riding the bus. Students should know the arrival time of the bus and be ready. Drivers will make every attempt to be on time. Parents are responsible for the supervision of their children at the bus stop prior to the arrival of the bus.

    Permission for a student to ride a bus other than the one assigned or to get off at a stop other than the one assigned will be approved only in cases of emergency. A written parental request for a bus change must be presented to the office early in the day. Riding other buses for the purposes of going home with friends or other personal conveniences will not be approved. Insurance laws and over crowded conditions prohibit students from riding a school bus unless they are registered as bus students. The telephone number for Transportation is 587-2020. Please have your child's route number available for faster service if you need to contact Transportation.

    Cafeteria Rules
    Cafeteria hostesses will assume responsibility for supervision of students during the lunch. The expectations for success listed below will help make the lunch period pleasant and relaxed. 

    Students will be required to follow the posted rules in the cafeteria.
    1. Keep hands, feet and objects to self
    2. Use appropriate voice level
    3. Raise hand for assistance
    4. Use good manners
    5. Treat everyone with respect
    6. Enter and leave in an orderly manner


    Car Riders
    PLEASE use our designated car circle located at 3rd Avenue South to drop off and pick up your child each day. Cars should enter our car circle by making a right turn from 61st Street. This means you will need to enter from the south. Staff will help load students in the PM. Please write your child's name and teacher's name on paper and leave in windshield when picking up in the PM. This will hopefully expedite the dismissal. DO NOT park along 61st Street as this limits visibility of our walking students who use the crosswalk from 4th Ave South. DO NOT park along 3rd Ave South when picking up your children as this requires you to cross our car circle traffic. 
    DO NOT use the south parking lot or 5th Ave South for dropoff and pickup as this is a very dangerous area. 
    Our students' safety is number one with us and we need your help in providing this safe environment during arrival and dismissal. 

    Change of Address/Telephone/Cell Phones
    Parents MUST report any change of address or telephone number to the office within five days. All parents must have two working telephone numbers where they may be reached during the school day.

    Cell phones are NOT allowed on an elementary campus. Parents must receive permission from the principal if their child carries a cell phone on campus.

    A conference between the school staff and parents is one of the best ways of exchange. Group conferences and individual conferences are the two ways parents and teachers may gain insight, understanding, and information about the children. Cooperation from both parents and teachers is necessary for conferences to be an effective means of communication.

    Pinellas County Schools implement a firm, fair and consistent disciplinary policy to ensure an excellent educational environment for all students. This is fully explained in the Code of Student Conduct, which is sent home with all students. Parents are asked to read and discuss this document thoroughly with their child. Parents and students are asked to sign the acknowledgment page on the inside back cover of the Code of Student Conduct and return it to Bear Creek Elementary.

    The School Board has adopted a policy that requires mandatory expulsion for any student who brings a gun or other weapon to school. Toy guns are also prohibited and may be dealt with as serious misconduct leading to a suspension from school. Acceptable and appropriate behavior is expected at all times.

    All teachers will develop and publish a classroom discipline plan with their students and make it available to parents. Discipline plans will reflect mission statement, goals and class rules which will be posted in the classroom. The following steps may be followed before a student is sent to the office:
    � Time-out in classroom
    � Time-out in another classroom
    � Action Plan
    � Contact Parent
    � Child may be immediately sent to office if serious disruption occurs

    School-wide Rules
    � Walk quietly in buildings and corridors
    � Keep hands and feet to yourself and respect others
    � No gum, candy, toys, trading/playing cards, guns, knives or facsimiles
    � Leave radios, tape players, beepers, CD's and large sums of money at home
    � No skateboards, roller blades, scooters, or shoes with built-in wheels allowed on school grounds, due to liability.
    � Cell phones are not allowed on elementary campuses
    � Follow uniform policy

    Dress and Grooming
    Mandatory Uniform Policy
    At Bear Creek we encourage kids to "dress for success" by wearing uniforms every day. How we dress shows how proud we are of Bear Creek and that we are ready to learn. We want to look smart, act smart, and be smart at school. It is important to check our school uniform policy each year prior to making purchases. 

    o Collared solid color in navy, light blue or white (no designs or patterns)
    o T-Shirts - only school t-shirts and can be worn on any day of the week. School spirit day is Friday, so we ask that if you have a school t-shirt that you wear it on Fridays.
    o Shirts must be tucked in at all times
    o Khaki or navy blue shorts, slacks, skirts, skorts, capris, or jumpers
    o No jeans, sweatpants, cargo pants or baggy clothing
    o Pants must be worn at waistline. If not, a belt must be worn or zip-ties will be given to students to use with their pants.
    >Winter Wear
    o Solid color sweatshirts, sweaters, and jackets in navy, light blue or white
    o No printing or designs allowed on outerwear
    o Hoods may not be worn inside the classrooms

    All students in Pre-K through 5th grade will wear their uniforms daily, except for the following days:
    * Individual school picture day (September)
    * Scout uniforms on meeting days
    * 5th Graders only - Enterprise Village Day & End of Year activities
    We feel it is important to also share the following minimum dress code standards stated in Pinellas County School's Elementary Code of Conduct booklet.
    * Shoes shall be worn - no "flip-flop" or "thong" type shoes allowed. Boots are not encouraged due to Physical Education activity.
    * No hats will be allowed except during outside PE class.
    * No midriff blouses or shirts will be worn.
    * Hairstyles and colors and other fashions or styles, which are disruptive to the school environment, are prohibited. 

    Early Arrival/Late Pick Up
    Children are NOT to report to school before 8:00 am. There is no adult supervision until this time. Students should not be on school grounds after 3:15 pm. Parents are responsible for picking up students on time. The YMCA program is available on campus for students who must arrive before 8:00 or remain after 3:15.

    fire extinguisher and smoke alarm

    Evacuation Drills
    Fire drills are held at least once a month and other drills such as tornado and lockdown drills are held throughout the school year. Visitors in the building at the time should follow the school procedures. Each child is also issued an emergency tag, which is kept by the classroom teacher. This tag must have the child's legal guardian or parents name, correct address, home phone number and parent work number.

    Field Trips
    A signed Pinellas County Field Trip permission form is required for all children to go on field trips. Verbal permission via telephone call and handwritten slips are not permitted or accepted. Permission slips and field trip money (CASH only) must be turned in no later than the day before the trip. Students will not be able to call home on the day of the trip to get verbal permission. Mrs. Stickney, our school secretary, must write and mail the check prior to the field trip date, as most locations require pre-payment. Funds will not be accepted the morning of a field trip. 

    Pinellas County Schools will allow any privately owned or rental vehicle except pick-up trucks, motorized cycles and vehicles having a soft or open top to be used to transport students on field trips and related school activities. The vehicles must be registered, insured, and in good working order as determined by school personnel. All persons who volunteer on campus, including field trip drivers, must be pre-approved by Pinellas County Schools.

    Field trips are an extension of classroom learning. The goal is for every student to participate. However, if a student displays repeated poor behavior choices at school, he or she will be asked to remain at school during the field trip.

    First Aid/Medication
    The school staff seeks to prevent accidents. If a minor accident occurs the staff will administer first aid. In case of serious accidents, the parents are telephoned and the child is taken to the nearest hospital emergency room. It is very important that your correct home and business telephone number is on file in the school office. A medical emergency card should be on file for each student and list other adults who are authorized by the parent to take the child home when the parent cannot be reached.

    Children will not be allowed to take medicine at school unless the parent has completed the medication authorization card that is kept on file at the school. Medication must be in the original container, whether it is a prescription or over the counter, and must include the following: name of the medicine, amount of the dosage, time it is to be administered and purpose of the medicine. All medication must be taken to the office when a student arrives on campus.

    Head Lice
    Pinellas County Schools have a No-Nit Policy that calls for the exclusion of a student from school until the removal of all lice, 
    eggs, and nits has been accomplished. A parent must accompany the child when they return to school after being treated. Students must be nit-free to return to class.


    The purpose for homework is to develop independent, self-disciplined learners and to increase student academic achievement. Teachers assign homework primarily for preparation, practice, extension or creativity. Preparation homework helps students prepare for the next day's lesson. Practice homework provides students with needed review and reinforcement. Extension homework guides students so they expand upon concepts taught in class. Creative homework is inventive and helps students develop their own ideas related to a class topic. We try to provide a variety of homework types to meet the diverse learning styles of our students.

    Parents will receive homework policy information before or during Open House. The policy will address frequency of assignments for each subject area, procedure for collection and process for parent and student feedback.

    Pinellas County Schools Homework Helpline number is 547-7223, and is available Monday - Thursday from 5:00 � 8:00 PM.

    Any time that a child does not feel well enough to remain in class, a parent will be called to pick up the child. We need to have up-to-date phone numbers to help us contact parents or emergency care. Since we do not have a full time school nurse, all parents must provide two working telephone numbers where they may be reached during the school day.

    At the beginning of the school term pupils are given an opportunity to purchase accident insurance through an on-line service. The school serves only as an agent and all claims are made to the company. All accidents should be reported immediately to the principal in order for claim forms to be signed. Insurance covers the pupil at school and while traveling to and from school. Twenty-four hour coverage may also be purchased. The school system does not provide coverage to cover student injury; therefore, you are encouraged to purchase this inexpensive coverage if your child is not otherwise covered.

    Lost and Found
    All items of clothing should be labeled for easy identification. Lost items are located in the clinic.

    student reading

    Media Center
    Each child is responsible for the library book that they check out. They will have one book at a time and if it is not returned or is damaged, we would expect payment for replacing the book. We have an open library policy where children are allowed daily. We encourage research and computer use. We are committed to having our students prepared to be information seekers for the future.

    Your child will be given a newsletter to bring home the last Wednesday of each month. The newsletter will keep you informed about school holidays, school activities, lunch menus 
    and opportunities for your child. Please ask your child to see the newsletter.

    Parent Involvement
    It would be very difficult for Bear Creek to operate without its devoted and dedicated volunteers who work so diligently assisting in the classroom and at home. Tutors and mentors are critical to highest student achievement at Bear Creek. An orientation for volunteers will be scheduled for one morning in September. All volunteers should record their volunteer hours during the year on the computer located in the main office. All persons who volunteer on campus, including field trip drivers, must be pre-approved by Pinellas County Schools.

    Volunteers may not bring younger siblings to school when working directly in the classroom or when going on field trips.

    Business and community partners work in a coordinated effort so that the basic education program provided by our county is enhanced by their assistance. Be it monetary or time spent with students, our goal is the same, success for all of our children. Our classroom partners are involved and the success shows!

    Physical Education
    Elementary students are not required to change clothes for class. All students, boys and girls, should wear a supportive tennis or running shoe every day during physical education classes. Girls should wear shorts or pants under skirts and dresses.

    If your child must miss PE, please send a note or letter describing the reason. For absences of three or more days, a doctor's excuse must be sent to the school. Students cannot be excused from class without these written permissions. Please advise the PE teachers any time during the school year of any medical or physical problem that would prevent your child from physical activity. 

    report card2

    Progress Reports
    Progress Reports are completed by the teacher four times a year for Grades 1-5. Kindergarten students will receive two progress reports per year. The progress report is sent to the parent or guardian who must sign the envelope and return it to school. 
    Parents may keep each progress report. A new one will be printed each marking period.

    Explanation of Codes
    These set of codes listed below are used in:
    � Grades 1 & 2 � all areas
    � Art, Music and Physical Education � all areas
    � Grades 3-5 - work habits and conduct 

    E � Excellent performance in classroom work or behavior. Daily performance meets or exceeds Pinellas County grade level expectations. (Pinellas County School Student Expectations)
    V � Very good performance in classroom work or behavior. Daily performance meets or exceeds Pinellas County grade level expectations.
    S � Satisfactory performance in classroom work or behavior. Daily performance may be at or somewhat below Pinellas County grade level expectations.
    N � Needs Improvement in classroom work or behavior. Daily performance is below Pinellas County grade level expectations.
    U � Unsatisfactory in classroom work or behavior. Daily performance is markedly below Pinellas County grade level expectations.

    These set of codes listed below are used in:
    � Grades 3-5 - grades in Reading, Writing, Mathematics, Social Studies, Science and Health

    A � (90-100%) Student抯 average grade during the marking period falls within the range of 90-100% and daily work consistently meets high quality standards 
    B � (80-89%) Student抯 average grade during the marking period falls within the range of 80-89% and daily work consistently meets acceptable standards
    C � (70-79%) Student抯 average grade during the marking period falls within the range of 70-79% and daily work consistently meets acceptable standards
    D � (60-69%) � Student抯 average grade during the marking period falls within the range of 60-69% and daily work is inconsistent in meeting acceptable standards
    F � (0-59%) Student抯 average grade during the marking period falls within the range of 0-59% and daily work does not meet acceptable standards most of the time.

    All students participate on a regular basis in art, music and physical education classes. In PE, students participate in activities and learn about subjects that fall within the following standards: physical education literacy, responsible physical activity and the promotion of physically active lifestyles. In Art and Music classes students participate in activities and learn about subjects that fall within the following standards: skills and techniques, creation and communication, cultural and historical connections, aesthetic and critical analysis and applications to life. Each student receives grades based on student expectations. Expectations are different for each grade level. Information will be that includes more specific information on the expectations for your child's grade level will be shared at Open House. 

    Student Honors Criteria
    Principals List � Students in grades 3-5 who receive all A抯 in the academic subjects and who achieve all E抯-V抯-S抯 for conduct, work habits, physical education, art and music shall have their name entered on the Principal抯 List

    Honor Roll � Students in grades 3-5 who receive no grade lower than 揃� in the academic subjects and who achieve all E抯-V抯 -S抯 for conduct, work habits, physical education, art and music shall have their names entered on the honor roll.

    Each parent, teacher and friend of Bear Creek Elementary is invited to become a member of our Parent Teacher Association.

    PTA membership dues are $5.00 and information regarding this will be sent home at the beginning of the school year. The dates of PTA meetings and events are listed in the calendar section of this agenda. The executive board meets monthly. Feel free to contact board members regarding ideas or concerns. We encourage you to become involved in your PTA!

    School Advisory Council (SAC)
    The School Advisory Council is a vehicle for linkage between the school and our community. SAC meetings are open to the public. Dates and times will be published in the newsletter and posted on the school marquee. SAC is composed of teachers, staff, parents, and community members representative of the ethnic, racial, and economic community served by the school. Information should flow in both directions with the common goal of improving education. The SAC is advisory in nature. It acts as a resource to the school and principal. SAC assists in the preparation and evaluation of the school improvement plan. The principal remains responsible for decisions which are necessary for the administration and supervision of the school.


    Safety Patrol
    Students from Grade 5 are selected to be safety patrol members. Their major jobs are to remind children of safety rules and to aid other students in crossing intersections. Students must maintain good grades and have appropriate behavior to remain a safety patrol.

    new year

    School Parties
    Classroom teachers arrange parties with the help of room parents. Any food brought in by parents must be commercially prepared. Homemade items cannot be served to children as per Pinellas County School Board Policy. Celebrations are encouraged to support academic success.

    Bear Creek has security fencing around our campus buildings that includes several gates that will remain locked throughout the day. Between 8:35-3:05. All visitors must enter the school through our front office. Please note that the gates will remain open during arrival (up until 8:35 am) and dismissal times. We know that you, along with us at the school, appreciate this added security in keeping our students, your children, safe from any visitors that shouldn't be on our campus during the school day.

    Severe Weather
    During severe weather conditions students will not be dismissed to walk or ride bicycles home. Transported students will not leave until authorities let us know it is safe. During rainy day dismissals, everyone needs to be very patient.

    no smoking

    In accordance with School Board Policy, smoking is prohibited anywhere on the school campus. This includes the parking lots and the car pick-up area.

    Student Records
    Please be sure to review the information regarding student records in the Code of Student Conduct booklet. If you do not want directory information released, you must tell the principal in writing what types of directory information you do not want released. That written notice to the principal must be received no later than September 15 of each year.

    Teacher Assignment/Request
    Parent requests for specific teachers will not be honored unless there are extenuating circumstances as determined by the principal. We have an excellent staff and feel that children should learn to accept a variety of personalities and teaching methods.


    The office telephone should be used only for emergency reasons.

    Textbooks are one of a variety of instructional materials used at Bear Creek Elementary. Novels, teacher and supervisor developed packets, experimental kits, models, nonfiction library books, reference books, periodicals, on-line services, newspapers, magazines, subject-based audio/video recordings, software, maps, and globes are examples of other instructional materials used to successfully meet the needs of our students. The school staff is actively involved in the selections and purchase of instructional materials both at the district and the school level. Funds allocated for instruction are used to provide newly adopted materials and replacement materials for all students. Materials are selected by teachers and administrators from the district's state adopted and flexibility manual and ordered by administrators in the spring for fall delivery. All textbooks and library books are loaned to students free of charge. However, students are responsible for lost or damaged books and will be expected to pay for them. 


    Students at Bear Creek use technology in their classrooms daily to improve their reading, writing, math and science skills. Our schoolwide network allows access to the internet for virtual field trips, web sites that help with reading and math FCAT practice, and server based instruction such as Think Central. Students and teachers also use a program called Destiny to search for books, videos and other media from any computer on campus and home. 

    Toys or cards should not be brought to school without prior approval from the teachers for special occasions such as 揝how and Tell.� The school assumes no responsibility for lost or stolen items. Children should not bring any electronic items such as games, tape/CD players, iPods, MP3 players, beepers, phones, TV抯 or radios, nor should they bring excess money or other items of value. Toys, cards, electronic items or other valuables brought without permission may be confiscated by the teacher or principal. The parent would then be responsible for coming to school to pick them up.

    Students are not permitted on school grounds after school hours or on weekends. The school will not be responsible for students who are on school property without permission. If this becomes a problem, you will be contacted by local authorities. Security checks of the campus are made nightly and on weekends.

    Any persons willfully damaging Bear Creek property will be assessed the total cost of all replacement or repairs.


    Parents are welcome to visit our school at any time. School Board requires that all visitors report to the office before going to any other part of the campus, even for very brief periods of time. All visitors will be required to wear a visitor badge. 

    Visits to classrooms for the purpose of observing the teaching process are by appointment only and should be made at least 24 hours in advance.

    Please notify the school as soon as possible when a student will be leaving. We must follow a checkout procedure, which includes checking library and textbook records, as well as completing reports. Fines will be assessed for lost or damaged textbooks or library books.