The following document is a guide on key parent topics that all new and existing Casa parents should be familiar with. This is meant to be a reference document and links to content on the Casa Website where it exists.

 

What is the process for morning carpool?

Morning carpool runs from 8:05-8:25 in the morning. If you arrive after 8:25, please do not drop your child off. Please come in and sign your child in by going into the front office.

Where is the start to the line ?

Please turn on Meridien Drive to get in the carpool line. The carpool route wraps around the back of the school along Meridien Drive. This line can be long at certain times of day. If you accidentally turn on Times Drive, please move to the back of the carpool line. This might require you to take a left turn.

Key points to keep in mind

1. Turn off all cell phones for the sake of the children you don’t see.

2. Pull up as much as possible and pay attention to the adults who are helping children to cars.

3. Do not get out of your car to help your child get out. Carpool volunteers will escort your child out of your car.

4. Your child may only leave your car through the passenger side. Cars pass by on the driver’s side and it is unsafe for children to be there or behind your car.

What to do if you come after 8:25 am

If you come after 8:25, drive around to the front of the school, park, and escort your child in the school. You must go to the front office and sign your child in.

 


What is the process for afternoon carpool?

Afternoon carpool runs from 3:00-3:30. Please get to the carpool line before 3:20 so that teachers can have more time to prepare for your child’s next day.

Key points to keep in mind

1. Turn off all cell phones for the sake of the children you don’t see.

2. Pull up as much as possible and pay attention to the adults who are helping children to cars.

3. Do not get out of your car to help your child get in. Carpool volunteers will escort your child to your car.

4. Your child may only enter your car through the passenger side. Cars pass by on the driver’s side and it is unsafe for children to be there or behind your car.

5. Please pull up to the buckle up zone as soon as your child is in your car and the door is closed. Do not buckle your child while in the carpool line.

6. Please plan to arrive at the carpool line before 3:15 pm. Adults arriving after 3:30 pm may not be called and will have to come inside with appropriate identification to retrieve their child(ren).

7. Please hang your carpool number on your rear view mirror so it is viewable.


Detailed Carpool Procedures and Map


Purpose of the carpool number

The carpool number caller will only call cars that have the official Casa Carpool Tag and have entered the carpool line from the correct location. Please hang  the carpool tag number on your rear view mirror so it is viewable and leave it hanging the entire time you are in the carpool line.

 Carpool tag form

 

 What to do if you come late or forget my carpool tag number:

Please drive to the front of the school and give appropriate identification to the Carpool Jams person waiting outside the front door.

To pick up someone else’s child you must:

1. You have the carpool tag of the child whom you are picking up viewable in your window.

2. The child’s parent has previously given (not faxed) the school a note authorizing you to pick up the child.  This is done at the front office.

3. Your name appears on the list of people authorized to pick up the child.

Afternoon Walk-ups

Due to security concerns and lack of adequate staffing there will be no afternoon walk-ups. Please make appropriate arrangements for the timely pickup of your child during afternoon carpool.

Checking children out early

Adults are not allowed to walk back to the classrooms in the afternoon to pick up children.

Before 2:15 p.m., you may come to the office, request your children, sign them out and the office will call them up to the front office with their belongings.

Note: If the child is taken out before 11:30 they will be counted as absent for the day.

Note: Any time a child is picked up early (before 2:50), the child is missing instruction time, which could negatively impact his/her achievement. Please keep early check-outs to a minimum.


What can my child wear to school?

It is important we set our children up for success at school. It starts when they are dressing in the morning. School uniforms are an important part of building community at Casa and the Montessori philosophy.

Key Points To Keep In Mind:

1. Shirts must have a collar and be either red or white for children’s house, lower elementary, and upper elementary.

2. The pants or skirts must be navy blue.

3. Socks must be red, white, or navy.

4. Shoes must have closed heels and toes and must not be slip on, have wheels or light up.  For girls dress shoes, they should have a strap to secure them to their foot.  This is for safety on the playground.

5. Middle grades can choose to wear the above uniform or khaki pants and navy shirt with a collar.

6. No characters or designer logos on lunch boxes or back packs.

If the dress code is not followed, a note will go home for immediate attention required.

 


Dress code policy

 


 What is the Uniform Swap?

The uniform swap is a service offered by Casa where you return your uniforms to the school and/or take uniform pieces. You do not have to donate clothes in order to receive.You may access the uniforms at any time you are in need.

The boxes are labeled by size and gender and are found on the shelves on the right-hand side as you walk down the ramp to the “Lowlands”.  If you want to donate items, they may be turned in to the front office. PLEASE do not donate any uniform clothes with holes or stains.

Throughout the school year we will have scheduled Uniform Swap days. Please see our monthly newsletter for details on upcoming swaps.

 


What can I pack in my child’s lunch?

Each full-day child must bring his or her own lunch and water, 100% juice, or milk beverage. Please help your child prepare a balanced lunch each day which includes healthy foods from all food groups. Sound nutrition is an integral part of the health and wellness curriculum. Please support your child in this area of his/her learning and growth. Microwaves are not available for heating lunches, so please send hot foods in a Thermos if you desire.

 

Key Points to Keep In Mind:

  1. Candy, gum, fast food meal items, soda and carbonated beverages are not allowed in the classroom.
  2. Please do not pack anything chocolate (ie- chocolate milk or pudding, or items with chocolate chips), chips or gogurts (yogurt in tubes). Such items will be returned home uneaten.
  3. Please follow these nutrition guidelines for birthday foods as well.  No iced cupcakes or cakes.  Please bring in a healthy snack.


Healthy Food Suggestions

 


What is the Attendance Policy?

Casa parents should be aware of the impact of their child’s attendance in the Charter School during the first twenty days of school. Full funding for the year requires that your student be in attendance on the first day of school. 1/20th of the full year funding is deducted each day your child is not enrolled. For example, if your child misses the first 5 days of school consecutively, he/she is considered enrolled on the sixth day and the school loses ¼ of the funding for your child for the year. Attendance is important academically all year round; during these twenty days, it is also financially critical that students attend.

Parents must ensure that students attend and remain in school daily. The Head of School must assure adherence to attendance rules and regulations and notify parents of their responsibility under the compulsory attendance law. The teacher must monitor and report student absences and late on a daily basis and follow all rules and regulations concerning attendance.


Attendance policy

 

 


Why is it important my child is on time?

Montessori education encourages children to be independent. After the first two or three days of school, we encourage you to allow your child to walk back to the classroom after saying goodbye to you in the carpool line or at the front lobby of the school building.

Each morning at the entrance into school, your child will be greeted by staff. It is important for each student to greet the teacher and staff with appropriate eye contact and an audible verbal greeting. This builds a sense of community. Ensuring your child arrives with plenty of time to get their personal belongings put away is essential to starting their day. When your child can get themselves settled without being hurried, it allows them to get their mind ready for learning. Learning the responsibility of being on time is invaluable.

 


What is a Work Plan?

A work plan is an individualized learning plan. The work plan lists the work assignments that the child does in class each day and is prepared each week by the teacher. It is important to monitor your child’s work plan so you can see how your child is performing and if your child is completing his/her work each day. Teachers will also add comments on your child’s progress if there are any issues that you should be aware of.

Montessori-trained faculty members prepare an environment and guide children toward self-initiated learning, rather than adult-centered teaching. Teachers observe the children and their progress in the environment, record their observations and use them to drive future instructional choices.

 

 


What is Montessori Learning?

Italian pediatrician, Maria Montessori, developed the child-centered Montessori educational movement at the beginning of the twentieth century. Dr. Montessori found that children’s innate drive to acquire and develop knowledge can best be cultivated by providing children with tools and manipulative materials for learning. The tools are tailored to particular stages of development which occur naturally in children around the world. The Montessori trained teacher uses a variety of tools to assess the progress of each individual child.

Children direct their own work by touching, manipulating, and experimenting with materials that are self-teaching and self-correcting. They develop physically, intellectually and socially. In the classroom, children are free to work independently or with others, to move about, to speak, to help others, and to seek help from adults or classmates.

Download the “Benefits of Montessori” Presentation (Presented by Udy Navia and Lina Espinosa at our PFA “Montessori A to Z” event on 1/14/2014)

The International Montessori Council has numerous articles that highlight Montessori parenting, curriculum, leadership, and the Montessori method as applied to adults and the elderly. Please go HERE to check out this great resource.


Parent Handbook

 

 


 

Spanish-English Immersion Program

Students learn core content curriculum in Spanish, including language arts. Supplemental literacy instruction in English is also included daily in these classrooms.

Admission to Casa Esperanza does not guarantee admission into the immersion program. Because program demand exceeds program space availability, admission to this program may be based on teacher recommendation for currently-enrolled Casa students, previous educational language experience, and/or parent and student interviews.

Children will not be accepted into the immersion program after kindergarten unless under special consideration.

The conviction that learning more than one language is important for every child guides Casa Esperanza’s commitment to a language studies program.

Casa’s partial immersion program has been designed to create the environment, incentive, resources, and opportunity for monolingual English-speaking children to learn Spanish, for monolingual Spanish-speakers to learn English, and for children partly bi-lingual in both to balance and enhance their dual-language skills. To achieve this end, Casa’s classrooms are facilitated by faculty members who speak both Spanish and English. The method of daily exposure to and participation in both languages is a rapid and effective means of learning a new or less familiar language.


Program Details

 

Homework in Spanish

Most homework is in Spanish. The lessons are taught in the class first so the material is not new.

If your child does not understand the homework please circle it and have your child show the teacher.  The teacher does not want parents to translate the Spanish.

 

 


Spanish Enrichment Program

The core content curriculum is taught in English. Students also participate in daily Spanish lessons. The goal of Spanish enrichment learning is to familiarize students with Spanish vocabulary, conversation, and culture.

Students typically exit language enrichment classes with the ability to respond in Spanish in limited conversational settings.


Program Details

 

 


How to get involved in school

Getting involved in Casa as a parent is key to ensuring the success for everyone.  There are many ways to participate.

1.)    School Board  –  (Casa Website)

The board of directors represent the nonprofit organization established in 2000 to make a language-studies based, Montessori education available to children in the Triangle area of North Carolina through a private preschool and public elementary and middle grades charter school, which serve students ages 3-14 years.

The Board of Directors is responsible for writing the Casa strategic plan to guide the growth and development of the school, including excellence in academic performance, fiscal responsibility, managed growth, community involvement and clear leadership.

If you are interested in serving on a committee as a committee member or committee chairperson please contact our Board Chairperson, Luke Simmons – lsimmons@cemcs.org

2.)    Parent Faculty Association (PFA)  – (Casa Website)

The Casa Parent Faculty Association’s main goals are to support our teachers, staff, and students.

We organize fundraisers, support school events and fund programs like the fish tank, art projects, the playground, teacher grants, teacher appreciation and the library media center.

Find out more at how you can support fundraisers or get on a PFA committee or board at the Casa PFA website or by emailing the PFA at  PFA@cemcs.org

3.)    Teacher classroom helper  (Lunch time, Reading time, Donate supplies etc .. )

Parents can be involved in the classroom in many ways. You can sign up to help while teachers are having lunch, assisting during recess and leading reading groups or reading with children individually. Teachers also need helpers to make copies, laminate, donate supplies or act as a room parent. Please go to your child’s teacher to ask how you can help and participate.

4.)    Teacher classroom parent

A room parent is helpful in facilitating communication between the teacher and the parents of the class. Many times room parents will pass along information sent from the PFA. They are also responsible for sending reminders to parents who sign up for monthly duties (ie library, recess or lunch parent helper, snack, laundry for CH/CHLE classrooms). This role also organizes collections of money or items in celebration of teacher birthdays, teacher appreciation week or end- of-the-year gifts. Most of this role is done outside of the classroom but can include helping the teacher with jobs or projects within the classroom. The room parent also creates the emergency phone list of all the student parents.

5.)    Donate money and Fundraising events

Monetary donations to Casa are very important because Charter schools get less money than other public schools. See the following webpage to make donations – http://www.cemcs.org/giving/

Other fundraising events:  (Casa gets money by your participation in these programs)

  • Amazon-completing your regular purchases through CASA’s link
  • SCRIP spending cards/gift cards
  • Linking Harris Teeter Grocery Card
  • Terra Cycle
  • Box Tops

 

 


Expectation of Parents

The Casa Esperanza community of families, educators and dedicated volunteers actively fosters enthusiasm for learning, independence, individual academic progress, cultural awareness, and social and emotional well being.

Key policies:

In the classroom

  • Make sure your child is on time every day, had a good sleep and is ready for school.
  • Make sure your child had a good breakfast.
  • Make sure your child has a healthy lunch and water for recess.
  • Review your child’s daily work plan.
  • Review your child’s homework.
  • Attend the quarterly meeting with the teacher to discuss your child’s performance.
  • Review the teacher monthly newsletter with upcoming class content, assistance the teacher needs and supplies needed.
  • Watch for emails from the classroom parent on where support is needed and upcoming class events.
  • Ask your teacher questions you have about your child’s performance and questions you have on the curriculum.

Outside the classroom

  • Participate on the PFA Board/Committee or School Board/Committee — http://www.cemcs.org/
  • Donate money to the school directly or via one of the many programs like scrips, Terra cycle and other fundraisers — http://www.cemcs.org/giving/
  • Donate your time to your classroom teacher by helping with reading, sorting folders, and other classroom activities – (Contact your teacher or classroom parent)
  • Look at the Calendar of school events and participate in school programs
  • Participate in Casa events like PFA family nights.

 

 


Where to expect to get communication and information

The following are different places to get communication:

  • Weekly Friday Casa Parents email
  • Monthly Parent Faculty Association (PFA) email
  • Monthly Classroom email (from your child’s teacher)
  • Emails from your child’s Google classroom alias
  • Carpool lane (Reminder signs)
  • Casa Calendar on the website — http://www.cemcs.org/calendar/
  • Facebook