The Lower School Handbook

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Please explore the information resources in this paperless ‘Handbook’ and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the Lower School office.

School Day

ASM operates on a two-semester system.  The academic day begins at 8:15 am and ends at 3:35 pm. Administrative offices remain open until 5:00.

Student Absences

To report that your child will be absent: Please call the School Office (05 24 32 98 60/61) before 9:00 a.m.  If the school has not been notified of a student’s absence during the morning, parents will be called before 12:00 noon in order to confirm the student’s absence.

The school day begins at 8:15.  Students are required to attend all classes.  We ask parents to refrain from removing their children from school, except in cases of emergency.  ASM does not condone any absence due to a student leaving early or returning late from vacation.  Students will not receive assistance from their teacher to catch up on work missed in those circumstances.

Students arriving late (after 8:15am) to school must go immediately to the Reception Desk to receive a tardy pass, before proceeding to class.

Homework

ASM believes that homework is of pivotal importance in reinforcing what students have learned in the classroom and in developing habits that are conducive to healthy and successful learning.  Homework helps students understand and enhance their level of achievement in any given academic subject. Here are a few benefits of homework for students and their families:

  • Homework provides opportunities for extensions of learning and developing creativity.
  • Homework gives students another opportunity to review the class material.
  • Homework teaches students about:
    • Time management and the setting of priorities;
    • Taking responsibility for their part in the educational process;
    • Working independently;
    • And the importance of planning, staying organized and taking action.
  • Homework helps teachers determine how well lessons are being understood by their students.
  • Homework gives parents a chance to see what is being learned in school.

Depending on their grade level, students will be assigned homework based on the following guidelines:

KG3 – 1st Grade: 30 – 60 minutes per week
2nd – 3rd Grade: 60 – 90 minutes per week
4th – 5th Grade: 30 – 60 minutes per day

No homework shall be assigned on weekends to Lower School Students (except Independent Reading).  This should be time for young learners to “re-charge their batteries” and to be with their families.

Progress Reports

KG1 to Grade5
Parent-Teacher conferences are held twice during the school year (October & February) and report cards will be sent home at the end of each semester (two times each year).  We also issue mid-term reports twice a year half-way through each semester.

It is very important that one of the parents attend both conferences during the school year. Only parents or legal guardians of the student will be considered as parent representatives at these conferences.

Extra Help and Tutoring

Faculty members are readily available after school to assist students needing extra help. In special circumstances, after a thorough review of the situation, the school may recommend external tutoring in specific subjects.  Teachers are prohibited from tutoring students who are currently enrolled in their classes and from tutoring during school hours. No faculty or staff member shall accept to tutor a child without administrative approval from their respective Divisional Coordinator.

Communication

Most information will be sent home using email. We will also send some mail via students (Friday envelopes up to Grade 5). In emergency situations (if the school has to close, for example), we will send SMS messages.

We believe that the best education occurs when there is effective communication and cooperation between the school and home. We value communication with parents and encourage them to keep us informed regarding their experience at ASM. We do encourage them to always follow the “chain of command” and contact teachers first, regarding assignments and issues that can best be clarified by the classroom teacher.

Discipline

Students will:

  • Have good manners at all times; behave with courtesy and demonstrate consideration and respect for other people, their safety, and property.
  • Show respect to everyone they meet, whether in school or outside school.
  • Show respect for the school environment, doing what is appropriate to make everyone’s life at school more pleasant.
  • Take pride in their appearance at all times and follow the ASM Dress Code.
  • Take pride in all the work they do and always meet deadlines.
  • Be punctual in arriving to class, complete their work in a timely fashion and always have their school materials.

ASM Elementary students are expected to follow the Code of Conduct at all times.

Any student who fails to follow the Code of Conduct can expect to be disciplined.  Most minor breaches of the Code will be dealt with by the classroom teacher, without involving the student’s parents.  However, parents will be called upon for more serious incidents and are always encouraged to work with the school in trying to resolve any concerns that may arise.

Sequence of Sanctions

Failure to follow the school’s Code of Conduct may result in the following sanctions:

  • The student will be told that her/his behavior is unacceptable, given the opportunity to discuss the matter, and encouraged to change his/her behavior. Classrooms use a color-coded system for behavior.
  • Disruptive behavior in class may result in a student being temporarily isolated from his/her classmates through the administration of a “Time Out.”
  • The student may be given an extra assignment to be completed on his/her own time. The work will be relevant to the situation and focus on improving the student’s behavior.
  • Privileges may be withdrawn: sanctions may include exclusion from a particular class, activity or trip.

Failure to improve the standard of behavior may result in:

  • The student’s parents being informed and called in for a meeting with their child’s teacher and the Lower School Coordinator.
  • The student being placed on a daily report or contract so that his/her behavior can be monitored by both the school and his/her parents.

Serious misconduct such as the following may result in suspension or expulsion:

  • Bullying of a student
  • Physical or verbal abuse of any member of the school community
  • Disruptive behavior in the classroom
  • Willful neglect of her/his studies
  • Persistent minor infractions to the Code of Conduct
  • Possession of alcohol, drugs or a weapon
  • Possession of unauthorized medication
  • Willful damage to property belonging to the school, staff or other students
  • Stealing from the school, staff or other students
  • Persistent failure to follow the ASM Dress Code
  • Persistent lateness
  • Cheating
  • Inappropriate touching.

Behavior during Breaks, Recess and Lunch:

  • Students should not enter the playground with food and should never attempt to run or play while eating.
  • Students may not run in hallways at any time.
  • Students are responsible for picking up and throwing away trash left over from eating.
  • After eating lunch, students’ lunchboxes are left in the area designated for each grade.
  • Lower School students may not enter the Upper School grounds and vice versa.
  • Students may not pick up and/or throw stones.
  • Elementary students must wear a hat when they are outside.

Language:

  • Students must be respectful of others at all times:
  • They are encouraged to speak and practice English at break, recess, and lunch.
  • They are to speak English in the classroom at all times, unless they are in Arabic or French classes.
  • They are not to swear or raise their voice.

Class Lists

Every year, ASM will reshuffle class lists to create dynamic and balanced classes.  The process is undertaken by the teachers and it takes into account various educational criteria: academics, native tongue, gender, leadership, behavior, to name only a few.  The new school year class lists will be shared with parents on the first day of school after the summer break and no information shall be given prior to this date.  Parents who have a very strong reason for placing their child in a specific grade level section may forward their request to the administration in writing.  However, there is no guarantee that such request will be honored.  Students will be placed in classes where the educational team believes they are most likely to thrive and reach their fullest potential.

Lunch

Parents are encouraged to provide their child with a balanced, healthy lunch.  In the Lower School, this lunch should be provided in a lunchbox labeled with the child’s name and grade.  The following items may not be brought to school:

  • Chewing gum and candy
  • Soda
  • Glass containers of any type
  • Sharp knives

Students are encouraged to bring one large bottle or three small bottles of water (1 ½ litres) to school daily.

Parents can also order lunch everyday for their child, from one of the providers selected by the school.

Dress Code

The ASM Dress Code contributes to creating an environment conducive to learning. By tradition, the Dress Code stands to ensure that students show good judgment, self-respect, and respect for others. Infractions to the Dress Code will be addressed fairly and consistently by all classroom teachers, the Upper School Coordinator, the Lower School Coordinator and the Head of School, and may result in serious consequences.

All students must wear:

  • A collared or formal shirt or blouse
  • Pants, or shorts or skirts that reach at least the top of the knee

Students may not wear:

  • Athletic shorts or t-shirts (except for Physical Education classes)
  • Pants or shorts with rips, tears, or holes
  • Sunglasses inside the classroom or in the corridors
  • Hats, caps or hoods in classrooms or corridors.
  • Skirts or shorts that are shorter than the top of the knee while standing.
  • Shirts that are low cut or “spaghetti strap” tops, exposing too much of the upper body.
  • Blue jeans are acceptable if they are clean, without rips or holes.

Additional Regulations:

  • Lower School students are not to wear make-up or colored nail polish at any time.
  • All shoelaces must be tied.
  • No visible tattoos or piercing.
  • No undergarments may be exposed at any time.
  • Hair must be clean and neat.
  • Lower School girls must wear their hair tied back (not clipped back).

Violations of the dress code will result in a warning, then detention.  Repeated offenses may require that new clothes be brought to the school for the student to change into, or that the student be sent home for the day.

Birthday Parties

Lower School students may celebrate their birthday in school.   Please refer to the following guidelines:

  • Classroom birthday parties must be scheduled at the end of the school day.
  • Classroom birthday parties must be limited to 45 minutes (one full period).

For birthday parties taking place outside of school, teachers may agree to distribute invitations in the classroom only if all of the students are invited. If such is not the case, the teacher will ask the family to distribute invitations outside of school.

Lost and Found

Students are responsible for their own belongings.  Occasionally a student may misplace something.  ASM maintains a Lost and Found.  We encourage you to write your child’s name in all of their clothing, backpacks and lunch boxes.