The calendar of district events can be found on our website www.falmouth.k12.ma.us. The school year runs 185 days including an additional 5 days in case of school closings for weather or other emergencies. Any of the 5 days not necessary to cover emergencies will be dropped from the calendar at the end of the school year.
The year is divided into three marking periods with report cards issued at the end of each. A marking period consists of approximately 60 days. Morse Pond School runs on a six-day rotation. A cycle might start on Wednesday and run Thursday, Friday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. The six-day cycle would start on Thursday and run through the next Thursday. The purpose of the six-day cycle is to create a rotation relative to the days of the week so that, for instance, Monday holidays don’t interfere with the same classes. Students and teachers will be reminded each day that it is Day A, B, C, D, E, or F. Early release days are not counted as letter days.
Academic Support Services
Morse Pond School has a wealth of services available to students. We also have volunteers (VIPS) available for a myriad of support. If you need assistance, please contact Dr. Kerri Whipple at (508 548-7300 ext. 403). You may also email email@example.com or VIPS at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Field trips are offered throughout the year. There may be scholarships available for those that may need them.
- Students will observe school rules of behavior and respect the laws and property of the region.
- Students must observe curfews set by chaperones and be respectful. Some basic reminders are: no running, no shouting, no slamming of doors, and socially appropriate clothing should be worn at all times.
- A buddy system will be enforced by chaperones in order to ensure safety.
- Students who are absent from school during the school activity must make up the work they missed. Unless previously assigned, this work must be done within the time period as specified in this handbook (one day missed= one day make up.)
- The Travel and Medical Permission Form must be signed by both parent and student and returned on the due date to the chaperone.
- During transits between activities, each student will be assigned to an appropriate chaperone. The student must report to his chaperone for head counts at specified times.
- When appropriate, a telephone tree will be established by chaperones to alert parents or guardians in case of late or early return of students on a school activity or trip. Please check on who will be calling you and whom you will be calling.
- When necessary, a student should ask his/her doctor for a copy of his/her prescription in case he/she loses the medication.
- Students participating in a school -sponsored activity are covered under the school insurance policy.
Parents/Guardians are asked to sign the Field Trip Permission Form. This will enable your child to participate in any and all field trips. A reminder and details for each trip will be sent home prior to the trip. You may at that time elect not to allow your child to participate in the planned trip.
At times during the year, parents or guardians are asked to help with transporting students on local field trips. Those who volunteer to drive are assuming the same liability as they do when they transport anyone in their car. If you want to drive students during the year, contact your insurance agent to verify that you have adequate insurance coverage. You must also fill out the VIPS registration and insurance forms.
G Suite for Education - Parent Information
Falmouth Public Schools’ students and staff use G Suite for Education, formally known as Google Apps for Education (GAFE), to support student learning. As with any educational endeavor, a strong partnership with families is essential to a successful experience.
Falmouth Public Schools actively monitors all student activity within our Google domain, and we ensure that our use of Google complies with both the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). There is no presence of advertising within Falmouth Public Schools’ Google Apps Domain, and no personal student information is collected for commercial purposes. All student use of G Suite for Education must follow the District’s established Internet Acceptable Use Policy, which is available on our website.
The following services are available to students:
- Google Drive: A digital storage tool that allows students to save work in the ‘cloud’ and access it where there is an Internet signal. Each student has storage, which will stay with him or her until graduation.
- Google Docs, Sheets, Slides: A suite of applications for creating, editing, and sharing word processing documents, spreadsheets, and presentations.
- Google Keep: A tool that allows students to create electronic sticky notes to help keep them organized.
- Google Classroom: A blended learning platform for students and teachers to create, distribute, and manage classroom assignments in an electronic way.
- Google Calendar: A calendar that can be used to enter events with the potential to be shared with others.
- Google Sites: A web page creation software that allows the user to build a site to display and share information. This is for students in grades 7-12 when approved to use for classroom projects.
- Gmail: Allows students to send messages to other students and teachers within Falmouth Public Schools. This application will be managed so that only internal communication is allowed. Only for students in grades 7-12.
Using these tools, students create, edit, and share files for school related projects with other students and teachers. These services are entirely online and available 24/7 from any Internet-connected device.
Human Sexuality Curriculum
The Health Teacher will send a notice home with students prior to the start of this unit. Materials will be made available for parents/guardians to review.
Report Cards and Conferences
Progress reports are issued when needed. Report cards are issued three times per year in grades five and six. Special Education progress reports are also issued three times per year. These reports are provided to inform both you and your child about the progress he/she is making in school. They serve as a formal record and help facilitate communication between the home and the school. Report cards are not a substitute for parent/guardian conferences. Conferences may be scheduled at any time of the year when a parent/guardian or teacher believes it would be in the best interest of the student. Formal conferences with parents and/or guardians will be scheduled at least once a year. Conferences provide two-way reporting: parent/guardian-to-teacher and teacher-to-parent/guardian. Please refer to the school calendar for scheduled parent/guardian conference dates.
Teaching About Alcohol, Tobacco, and Drugs
In accordance with state and federal law, the District shall provide age-appropriate, developmentally appropriate, evidence-based alcohol, tobacco, and drug prevention education programs in grades K-12. The alcohol, tobacco, and drug prevention programs shall address the legal, social, and health consequences of alcohol, tobacco, and drug use, with an emphasis on nonuse by school-age children. The program also shall include information about effective techniques and skill development for delaying and abstaining from using, as well as skills for addressing peer pressure to use alcohol, tobacco, or drugs. The objectives of this program, as stated below, are rooted in the Committee’s belief that prevention requires education, and that the most important aspect of the policies and guidelines of the District should be the education of children and youth on healthy decision making:
- To prevent, delay, and/or reduce alcohol, tobacco, and drug use among children and young adults.
- To increase students’ understanding of the legal, social, and health consequences of alcohol, tobacco, and drug use.
- To teach students self-management skills, social skills, negotiation skills, and refusal skills that will help them to make healthy decisions and avoid alcohol, tobacco, and drug use.
The curriculum, instructional materials, and outcomes used in this program shall be recommended by the Superintendent and approved by the School Committee. This policy shall be posted on the district’s website and notice shall be provided to all students and parents in accordance with state law. Additionally, the district shall file a copy of this policy with DESE in accordance with law in a manner requested by DESE.
Teachers and the Falmouth Public Schools administer tests at appropriate times to assess student achievement and to determine if learning difficulties are present. The Falmouth Public Schools assess students’ reading and mathematics skills three times per year: fall, winter, and spring. Our assessment system, Formative Assessment System for Teachers (FAST) provides valuable information to help determine students’ areas of strength and areas for improvement.
The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education also requires annual testing. The Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) is the annual test administered to students in grades 3 and 4. Students are assessed in the areas of English/Language Arts & Literacy and Mathematics. Testing schedules will be shared with parents/guardians once they are established. The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education does not allow for students and/or their parents/guardians to opt out of state testing. In accordance with guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, students who refuse to take the MCAS test may remain in the testing room as long as they are sitting quietly and are not interfering with other students. Parents/guardians should contact their child’s teacher or principal if they have additional questions regarding state testing.