PLACENTINO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
- Welcome to Placentino School
- School Information
- Student Support Services
- Behavioral Expectations
The Sam Placentino Elementary School is an educational and community resource center that recognizes and respects the whole child and the diverse individual differences that each primary age child brings to the learning environment. These awakening formative years have special developmental needs.
Child-Centered, Creativity, Curiosity, Character-building, Cooperation, Communication, Challenging
Healthy, High Appropriate Expectations, Happy, Hands-on, Home/School/Community Partnership
Independence, Individual Differences, Initiative, Innovative, Inquiring
Literacy Based, Love of Learning, Language Rich, Linguistic Awareness, Literacy Across the Curriculum (the Arts, Technology, Physical Education)
Developmentally Appropriate, Diversity, Documented Curriculum, and Curriculum-Based Assessment
Respect, Responsibility, Readers/Writers and Risk Takers
Emotional Well Being, Enthusiasm, Enriching Experiences in All Subject Areas
All members of the Holliston School community, including the School Committee, the administration, faculty, staff, students, parents, and volunteers, are committed to the proposition that every person at the Sam Placentino Elementary School has the right to learn and work in a positive, mutually-respectful environment. Each of us has the responsibility to demonstrate a positive attitude, and to respect the school as a place of learning and to respect each other. In order to achieve this goal, all members of the school community will:
Treat others as we would have others treat us;
Accept our differences;
Practice common courtesy, friendliness and the use of appropriate language;
Be cooperative, attentive and supportive in class and in school activities;
Accept the ideas of others in and outside class with an open mind and polite attention;
Solve problems with thoughtful dialogue;
Support one another in our efforts to do our best as we pursue our individual goals;
Value the environment within and without the school and maintain school facilities free from litter and vandalism;
Take responsibility for our own actions and be ready to accept the rewards and/or consequences of those actions.
Because we all share the responsibility for setting and maintaining standards of respectful behavior, all members of the school community will be responsible for setting a positive example while on school grounds, on school buses, or at school-sponsored events. We know that school safety and a respectful school culture are promoted by dealing with small problems when they are small, before they escalate into more dangerous behaviors. Therefore, we are committed to establishing a high standard of behavioral expectations. Certain behaviors will not be tolerated. Those behaviors and their consequences are listed in detail elsewhere in this Handbook. They include, but are not limited to:
Harassment and threatening behavior of any kind that creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment;
Conduct that interferes with school discipline;
Malicious destruction of property;
Possession of alcohol, drugs, drug paraphernalia, or weapons, including facsimiles of guns or other weapons; and
Possession or use of tobacco and tobacco products.
Statement of Non-Discrimination
The Holliston Public Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or age in admission to, access to, and treatment in its programs and activities or in employment. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies:
Dr. Susan Kustka
Superintendent of Schools
370 Hollis Street Holliston, MA 01746
The Holliston Public Schools are committed to providing the resources and opportunities that will enable each student to develop and maximize individual potential in a positive and collaborative environment that encourages and affirms academic achievement and personal excellence.
Our goal is to graduate confident, critical thinkers, productive and creative lifelong learners, and socially responsible, engaged citizens who are capable of adapting to change in a technologically advanced and multicultural society. We will accomplish this by:
Creating a challenging and desirable learning environment for students and staff
Strongly supporting instructional innovation
Establishing and fulfilling high expectations of scholarship
Exceeding all federal and state accountability measures for student achievement
Expanding educational partnerships within the community and region
Preparing students for success in a dynamic, multi-faceted world
We Believe In:
An emotionally and physically safe school environment
Instruction that is responsive to student needs and learning styles
Class sizes and resources that best support instruction and the curriculum
Recruitment and retention of high-quality teachers, administrators and support staff
Relevant student assessments to measure individual growth, identify individual needs and inform individual instruction
Appropriate use of technology to enhance teaching and learning, and support the efficient management of district resources
Collaboration in learning which engages family and community
Effective interactive communication among all stakeholders
The importance of being recognized as a community with superior schools
Diverse extracurricular and cultural enrichment offerings available to all students
Promotion of tolerance and respect by understanding and appreciating individual differences
The Holliston Public School System is an innovative and comprehensive educational community. In continuing our pursuit of excellence, we commit to empower our students to succeed in meeting the challenges of the 21st Century.
“It is the policy of Holliston Public Schools not to discriminate on the basis of race, sex, gender identity, religion, national origin, color, homelessness, sexual orientation, age or disability in its education programs, services, activities, or employment practices”
- General Information
- No School/Delayed Opening
- Emergency Planning
- Parent Teacher Conferences
- Registration and Orientation of Students
- Visitors and Volunteers
- Parking and Pickup Procedures
- School Lunch
- School Buses
- Office of Community Education and Child Care: The Extended Day Program
Principal: Jaime Slaney 429-0647
Assistant Principal: Cheryl Lassey 429-0647
Student Services Administrator: Jennifer Ramsdell 429-0647
Administrative Secretary : Faith Antonioli 429-0647
Nurses: Catherine Harkin 429-0689
Sarah Holmes 429-0689
Fax Machine 429-0691
Grades K , 1, 2 and Montessori 6-8 - 8:55 AM to 3:20 PM
AM Preschool 9:00AM to 11:30 AM
PM Preschool 12:50 PM to 3:20 PM
Early release for Grades K-2 and Montessori 6-8 will be at 11:55 AM.
The following procedures are used when canceling school, delaying the opening of school, sending students home early because of severe weather conditions and /or other emergency situations.
Canceling School – When the conditions of the roads and access to schools are judged to be unsafe for bus travel, schools are canceled. The following radio and TV stations will broadcast cancellation, delayed opening and emergency dismissal information: WBZ (1030 AM), WSRS (96.1 FM), WTAG (580 AM), WBUR (90.9 AM), WXLO (104.5 FM), Television CHANNELS 4, 5, 7. 25 and Holliston Cable 8.
Delayed Opening – On days when road conditions in the early morning make driving hazardous, school may open one or two hours later than usual. The delayed opening procedure will be used. Bus pick-ups will occur one or two hours later than regularly scheduled. School will be dismissed at the regularly scheduled times.
Emergency Dismissal – If it is necessary to dismiss schools prior to regular dismissal times because of weather or other emergency conditions, the following dismissal times will be in effect:
High School 10:40 AM Middle School 10:35 AM
Miller School 11:10 AM Placentino School 11:55 AM
Periodic emergency evacuation drills will be held. The signal will be a prolonged ringing of the fire alarm. Directions for a swift and orderly evacuation of the building are posted in all rooms. GOOD ORDER is to be maintained during the drill. When the fire signal rings:
- Close windows, turn off lights, close the door, and proceed in a single file line out posted exits.
- If the signal rings and you are not with your class, go out the nearest exit and locate your class or a find a trusted adult.
- The students who reach the outside exits first should hold the doors open until the building is cleared.
- Remain at least 100 feet away from the building. Keep off the road and driveways, and at least 50 feet away from fire trucks.
- Talking should be kept to a minimum, as there may be directions over the PA system or special instructions by faculty members.
- Return inside when the “all clear” is sounded.
Massachusetts Law requires compulsory attendance for all students. Chapter 76, section 1 of the Massachusetts General Laws requires all children between the ages of six and sixteen to attend school. The school must uphold state laws relative to student attendance. For the complete Holliston Public Schools’ School Committee policy visit -- HSC School Absence and Dropout Prevention Policy
Any student who is absent for all or part of the school day without the knowledge/consent of his/her parent/guardian or who leaves school during the school day without prior knowledge and consent of school authorities and of his/her parent/guardian shall be considered truant. Being truant and/or being late for class or missing a class deliberately is serious and disciplinary action will be taken.
Notification of Absence/Tardy
When a student is absent from school or going to be tardy (arrival after 8:55 is considered tardy) parents are asked to email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call (508-429-0647, option 3) the school prior to 8:15 a.m. on the day of the absence/tardiness and leave a message on the absentee line; 429-0647, option 3. When a student returns to school from an absence, the student must have a note from a parent/guardian verifying the absence or from a physician excusing the absence. The student will report directly to homeroom and give the note to the homeroom teacher. Students arriving tardy must be signed in by a parent/guardian or present a note from a parent/guardian to the main office and obtain a tardy pass.
An Excused Absence/Tardy includes:
Illness or quarantine
Bereavement/serious illness in family
Weather so inclement as to endanger the health of the child
Major religious observations
For students who have five tardies (excused or unexcused) or five absences (excused or unexcused) per 45 school days, an internal review will be conducted by the school-based Team to identify, if necessary, whether appropriate interventions and/or accommodations are needed. For students with seven tardies or absences (excused or unexcused) per term a staff member will make contact with parent/guardian and a meeting may be held. For those students who reach 10 days of tardies or absence (excused or unexcused) during a 45 day span a letter regarding absences will be mailed home and the parent/guardian will continue to work with the school regarding missed educational time.
Requests initiated by the parent/guardian should be explained in a note sent with the child. Students will be released to designated individuals age 16 or older with written permission from a parent/guardian. Parents/guardians whose children leave school early must sign their child out through the Placentino School Office. To ensure a smooth and safe dismissal for all children, all office dismissals should be completed by 2:30. After 2:30, all K-2 students will be dismissed through the typical dismissal procedures.
Please note: It is extremely important that students complete their day at school. Please dismiss your child from school only when it is necessary to do so.
With prior School Committee approval, there will be a series of early release days for preschool, grades K-2, and Montessori 6-8 during the school year for the purpose of conducting parent/teacher conferences. The school calendar lists the dates for each grade. A review of your child's progress will be discussed at this time.
The early release time for students attending Placentino School is 11:55
Registration and Orientation for Children Entering Kindergarten
A child must be 5 years old on or before September 1st of the entering year. Registration dates for kindergarten are well publicized in the local media, on the Placentino website, and on the local cable TV channels. Should you have a conflict with the announced dates and times, please call the Placentino School Office at 508-429-0647.
Information Necessary for Registration:
A copy of your child’s birth certificate or equivalent proof of age acceptable to the Principal.
As determined by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, immunization for DPT, measles, mumps, German measles, polio, Hepatitis B and Chickenpox and a recent (within 12 months) physical examination.
Documented evidence of lead poison screening.
Proof of residence.
Children do not need to accompany their parents to registration. It is the responsibility of the school district to “screen” each incoming kindergarten child in an effort to prevent school failure through early identification of developmental skills and learning styles. The purpose of the screening is to determine the child's skill levels in all developmental areas. The screening is then used to correlate a curriculum based on developing these skills. Parents will be notified by mail of the screening date scheduled for their child.
All Kindergarten and Preschool children and their parents participate in an Orientation and Open House Day prior to their first day of school. This allows children and parents to meet the teacher, visit the classroom and take part in a few planned activities.
Registration for Children Entering Preschool
Children entering Preschool will follow the same guidelines as those entering Kindergarten. However, they must be three (3) years of age by September 1 of the entering year
If a child is transferring to the Holliston Schools from another school system, a transfer card, or equivalent, is to be presented at the time of registration. A child withdrawing from our schools needs a transfer card for entrance into his/her next school system. The school office should be notified several days before the child's departure.
Change of Address:
If you should change residence please advise the school office as soon as possible. Parents are responsible for updating emergency information when a work address or phone number changes. Students moving out of town who wish to remain in the Holliston Public Schools must receive permission of the Superintendent of Schools.
Student Verification Form
This form contains important information concerning how parents may be reached at home or at work during the school day. It also contains the names and phone numbers of friends, relatives or neighbors who may be contacted if you are unavailable and your child becomes ill. Your physician should be listed on this form. This information is kept in your child's classroom, in the Main Office and in the Nurse's Office. Parents must complete this form electronically and return it to school before the end of the first week of each school year. It is important that the information on this form remains current and up-to-date at all times. Please help us to maintain accurate information for your child by providing any changes of address, phone number, daycare, etc. in writing to your child’s teacher and our school office.
Non-Resident Students/School Choice
The Holliston School Committee participates in “School Choice” and will operate under the current State Law and guidelines. Students who reside in Holliston and move to another town are expected to change enrollment to the new school. Under certain conditions (Policy JECB Non-Resident Students, #12, included in our district policy manual), a student may request permission from the Superintendent of Schools to finish the school year in the Holliston schools. The responsibility lies with the family or legal guardian of the student to inform the Superintendent’s office in writing in advance of a change in legal residence to outside of Holliston, no matter when during the year such a change of residence occurs.
All visitors must first check-in at the office and obtain a visitor badge when visiting our school. We welcome parents into our schools. However, we wish to protect the safety of our children and avoid disrupting class lessons. We ask for your cooperation with this procedure. It will be enforced. Incidents of school violence have driven home the need to focus staff and parent attention on ensuring the safety and security of all students in our schools. We hope that these procedures will provide a safe and positive school climate. All exterior doors will be locked after the students arrive at 8:55 in the morning. When visiting the school for any reason, visitors must first be “Buzzed” into the building. The “buzzer” is located to the left of the front left-hand side doors. All visitors need to be prepared to show a photo i.d. when signing into the office. All staff has been informed to immediately report any strangers to the office. Visitors must also obtain a Visitor’s Badge in the Main Office. Anyone not wearing a Visitor’s Badge should be stopped immediately and redirected to the Office to obtain a badge. Signs have been posted at all common entrances in compliance with the updated regulations.
The following safety procedures are in place:
Parents and visitors will be required to enter the Placentino School through the front entrance. Upon entering the school, all visitors must report to the office and sign in and out. After being “Buzzed” in, a valid ID may be requested. All parents and visitors must wear a visitor’s badge.
Student Visitors. From time to time we get requests from parents asking permission to allow the children of their visiting relatives and friends to attend classes at our schools. We do not allow student visitors because of the legal ramifications that fall upon the school when it accepts a student not officially enrolled. Your cooperation in this situation is appreciated.
All volunteers at Placentino School must complete a CORI form including a copy of a picture ID and be cleared before beginning their volunteer responsibilities. This process can take up to 2 weeks time. Please provide your CORI documentation with appropriate lead time.
To ensure the safety of every child, please drive with extreme caution and respect the stop signals and signs on our school buses. REMEMBER THAT IT IS A STATE LAW THAT CARS MAY NOT PASS A SCHOOL BUS WHEN THE BUS HAS ITS LIGHTS FLASHING.
The Placentino parking lot and access roads are very busy places. On a daily basis, hundreds of vehicles arrive to drop-off children at the beginning of the day, pick-up children at the end of the day, and park for various reasons all involving our very young children. In order to provide the safest possible environment for parents and children, please review the Arrival and Dismissal procedures under the Welcome section of our website.
Additional Important Parking Guidelines
Parking along any of the access roads, fire lanes or handicapped areas may result in a parking ticket being issued by the Holliston Police Department.
There is no parking allowed in the fire lanes in front of the school.
Please see the link below for the Holliston School Committee policy on school lunch.
The following link provides information about the auto-pay accounts and menu options by month for the school lunch program.
A nutritious complete lunch that adheres to the National School Lunch Program guidelines, consisting of a protein-rich entree, vegetable, fruit, bread, and milk is available for students to purchase in our cafetorium. Students must take either a fruit or vegetable in order for their lunch to be considered complete.
Copies of the lunch menu are posted in each classroom and posted on our Food Services website.
Free and reduced lunches are available to children whose families meet the eligibility criteria, please click here to find the Free and Reduced Form:
Application forms are available on our district website. Parents who qualify and prepay for free and reduced lunch need their child’s student ID number for online payments. The Placentino School Office can provide this information to you. If you have questions concerning our school lunch program, Ms. Susan Palefsky, our Director of the School Lunch Program, can be reached at 508-429-0673.
In this school, students have the privilege of eating in the cafeteria with classroom friends. Any student who does not cooperate with lunchroom personnel will be referred to the Principal or her designees. If inappropriate behavior persists the Principal will take appropriate action. Cafeteria privileges may be taken away if a student misbehaves and the student may have to temporarily eat in an alternate location.
All students riding our school buses must have a bus pass. Bus passes must be obtained through an application process that can be found on the transportation section of our district website. Bus schedules are also available on transportation section of the district website. Please print the schedules for future reference. These times are tentative and changes are inevitable. Please be patient for the first few days of school.
For any change in transportation plans please notify the the classroom teacher in writing. Without notification, your child will be sent home on their regular bus. Children are not to take any bus other than their assigned one due to the limited capacity of the buses. Exceptions cannot be made to go to a friend's house or elsewhere after school. In case of an emergency, only the Principal or designee may grant permission.
Upon arrival at the designated bus stop, students in Kindergarten and Grade 1 must be met by a family member or designated adult in order to depart from the bus.
School Bus Behavior
Acceptable conduct on the school bus is achieved through the cooperative efforts of parents, students, and school personnel. School children being transported on a school bus are under the supervision and direction of the school bus driver.
In cases when a child does not conduct themselves properly on a school bus, the bus driver and/or the transportation coordinator shall bring such misconduct to the attention of the Principal. The child's Principal or her designee will inform the parents of the misconduct and request their cooperation in altering their child's behavior.
A child who becomes a serious disciplinary problem on a school bus may have their riding privileges suspended. After each disciplinary notice for inappropriate behavior on the bus, parents will be notified. A child may not be able to ride the bus for a period of time if you receive a third notice. If this does occur, the parents are responsible for transporting the child to and from school.
Damage to the School Bus
In the event a student causes damage, the student and his/her parents and/or guardian will be liable for all reasonable costs incurred for the repair of the vehicles. After each disciplinary notice for inappropriate behavior on the bus, parents will be notified by phone and/or mail. A child may not be able to ride the bus for a period of time if a third notice is necessary.
Although the safe operation of the vehicle may warrant the immediate suspension by the Principal of the student's busing privileges, revocation of busing privileges shall occur only after the Principal has consulted with the driver and met with the student and parents or guardian. In no instance will the student's bus privileges be revoked without prior written notice to parents.
The Holliston Public Schools' Extended Day Program is a self-supporting, nonprofit organization offering recreation and enrichment to those children needing care when school is not in session. The Holliston Public Schools and a Parent Advisory Board govern the program. Holliston Extended Day maintains a non-discriminatory policy with respect to staff and enrollment. It is open to all Holliston school children in grades preschool through seven.
Parents must provide transportation to and from our Extended Day Program. If an exception is needed to access school bus transportation, parents should contact either the Building Principal or the Assistant Principal to discuss specific needs.
The Extended Day staff recognizes the uniqueness and importance of each child and strives to create an environment where each child can learn: to make choices, discover new pastimes and explore new ideas in a safe, supportive and creative manner. Contact Ms. Carol White at 508-429-0664 for more information.
- Expectations - Placentino School Curriculum
- Traditional Program
- French Language Immersion Program
- Montessori Program
- Social Studies
Our curriculum reflects the standards described in the most updated standards described in the Massachusetts State Frameworks and the Placentino School standards-based curriculum. These standards and the curriculum are delivered by teachers who set appropriately high academic expectations for each child.
- Literacy: Reading/Language Arts
- Language Development
- Writing Process
- Oral Language
- Emergent Bilinguals/English Language Learners
- World Language: French Immersion/Spanish Programs
- Social Studies
- Physical Education/Health
- Social-Emotional Learning/PBIS
Curriculum improvement and development constitutes the core of our academic programming. The Massachusetts Department of Education Frameworks and our Holliston Schools Curriculum drive the lessons that each one of our teachers prepares for their students on a daily basis.
At Placentino we utilize Savvas Realize Math (formerly Pearson K-12 Learning) as a method to instruct the curriculum frameworks. These instructional materials focus on differentiation and using technology to enhance learning.
For literacy, we utilize the Reader’s Workshop model with the Fountas and Pinnell Classroom materials as a vehicle to meet the essential literacy needs of our youngest learners.
To ensure that our curriculum remains viable and dynamic, each year one of the curriculum content areas will be “under review” throughout the district. Curriculum review and update are just two components of a healthy curriculum structure within a school district. The quality education that your child receives at Placentino School is reflected in the commitment of our School Committee, staff and administration to the continuous academic growth and development of each and every one of our young students.
Traditional education embraces ALL students within a welcoming Tradition of current curriculum. Instruction reflects the most current and progressive educational research while respecting individual learning styles, student needs, and community values.
Fundamental to the Traditional Value System are the core curriculum goals in Reading, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, World Language and Technology as well as the enhancement of self-esteem for ALL.
Among the most modern Traditional Education initiatives are:
Inclusive classrooms with supportive services.
Literature-based reading instruction with thematic units.
Digital-assisted instruction throughout elementary grade levels with an emphasis on writing, mathematics, and digital literacy.
The Placentino School French Language Immersion Program is an approach to elementary education in which French is used as the medium for all classroom instruction. The current curriculum for each grade level is taught exclusively in French, and students acquire French language skills through using the language in the classroom. Generally, students enter the program at the kindergarten level when their parents request French Immersion at Kindergarten registration. Currently, the French Immersion program continues through Grades 1-12. The availability of this program may be limited by lottery when necessary.
The Montessori system of education is both a philosophy of child growth and a rationale for guiding this growth. It is based on the child's developmental needs for freedom within limits and presents a carefully prepared environment. The classroom is filled with a variety of unique materials, mostly self-correcting, specially designed and used to develop a child's knowledge of language, mathematics, science, geography, music, art, practical life, and sensory discrimination.
The Montessori concept has proven to be successful for all students. At Placentino School, Montessori education at the 3-6 and 6-8 levels is offered as a program for preschool, kindergarten, and children in grades one and two. Entry into this program is by parental request submitted at Kindergarten registration time. Currently, the Montessori Program continues at the Miller through Grades 3 and 4. The availability of this program may be limited by lottery when necessary.
The Literacy Program at the Placentino Elementary School is grounded in the Massachusetts English Language Arts Standards.
Our literacy approach is grounded in current research around best practices in reading. Utilizing a structured literacy approach, students are engaged in authentic reading experiences, explicit instruction in phonics, phonemic awareness, and comprehension strategies. We utilize a variety of reading materials that are culturally responsive and developmentally appropriate.
The mathematics program at Placentino is directly correlated to the state and national math standards and is supported by the Pearson EnVisionMATH series, educational software programs, guided reading books containing math content, and classroom manipulatives as well as mathematical games and activities. The services and resources of the Curriculum Library, Media Center, Math Lab, and our Mathematics Curriculum Specialist are also available to support classroom teachers. Common assessments and the on-going analysis of student data are an important part of our continued growth in mathematics.
The purpose of science education is to nurture natural curiosity and help students make meaning of the world around them. The science program is correlated to the most updated state standards, is based upon the principles of child interest and lends itself to activity-oriented teaching which is supported with classroom nonfiction readings. Students will make observations, analyze data, test hypotheses, communicate findings and relate this to the real world that they are a part of.
Our Social Studies curriculum helps students develop an informed worldview, develop the ability to think from multiple perspectives, and acquire the skills necessary for active citizenship in the 21st century that will enable them to interact effectively in an increasingly interdependent world.
From an early age, students will read and think critically, speak and write effectively, and engage in purposeful decision-making and problem-solving within the context of the social sciences. With the support of our Scott Foresman textbooks and content leveled books our students will develop curiosity and competence, continue learning about themselves, and develop knowledgeable local, national, and global perspectives.
- World Language Spanish Program
- Physical Education
- Report on Student Progress (ROSP)
- Homework Guidelines
The World Language Spanish Program at Placentino School is an integrated approach to the delivery of the elementary school curriculum through the development of Spanish language skills. Lessons taught using the Spanish language serve to enhance the development of skills in all other curricular areas. All students in grades K-2, except those participating in the French Immersion Program, will receive Spanish instruction during the week.
All students in grades K-2 are provided with physical, gross motor, and movement experiences. No formal uniform is required, however, students are expected to wear sneakers and appropriate clothing when participating in Physical Education.
Students excused from Physical Education/Movement Classes
Students will be excused from physical education/movement classes when:
The teacher receives a note from home signed by a parent or guardian.
Our school nurse receives a note from the child’s physician indicating that the child will be unable to participate in physical education/movement for an extended period of time. A follow-up note should be sent when the student may return to class.
At the discretion of the school nurse or the physical education instructor, it is determined that the student should be excused from physical education/movement.
The classroom teacher must make a copy of any note received from a parent or medical professional excusing a student from physical education/movement and provide the copy to the Physical Education or Movement Teacher.
All students in grades K-2 receive weekly Art instruction. The elementary art program introduces and teaches age-appropriate art skills in a variety of activities. Basic art materials are used in the creation of original self-expressive projects. The students explore the artistic process with a series of creative experiences designed as a groundwork for more advanced activities. They develop the concepts and elements on which all visual art forms are based. The program offers a variety of experiences that introduce artistic heritage, creative expression, aesthetic awareness, and the development of visual perception.
The Placentino Elementary School provides two methods of reporting student's progress to parents/guardians. The first method is the fall/winter parent/teacher conference.
The second method of communication to the parents is a Report On Student Progress, is sent out twice a year: once in January/February and again in June. Specialty areas are evaluated using an elementary Report on Student Progress that reflects the student's attitude, understanding of concepts, and development of skills. The emphasis at this level is placed on student effort and participation rather than outstanding performance. Specialist reports in Art, Music, Physical Education, and Spanish for grades 1-2 are also issued at mid-year and June.
School counseling support services are an integral part of the total educational program. The counseling program for elementary students in the Holliston Public Schools is developmental and preventive in its orientation. Our counselors provide counseling services to students and to parents. The guidance service to students includes classroom, small group and individual counseling, and behavioral support. Support to parents assists them in the making of appropriate decisions relative to their child's school program and with parenting related issues.
Student Record Information
Federal and state laws provide parents and eligible students (those who are age 14 or older or in the ninth grade) with rights of confidentiality, access, and amendment relating to student records. Copies of the Massachusetts Student Records Regulations, 603 CMR 23.00, (“Regulations”), which detail these rights, are available in the Office of the Student Support Director. The following is a general overview of the provisions in the Regulations.
Access and Amendment: A parent or eligible student has a right to access student records and to seek their amendment if the parent or eligible student believes them to be inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student's privacy rights. In order to obtain access or to seek amendment to student records, please contact the Building Principal. Records must be made available within ten days of the initial request, except in the case of non-custodial parents, as described below.
Access by Noncustodial Parents
Massachusetts General Laws c. 71, §34H (“Section 34H”) governs access to student records by a parent who does not have physical custody of a student. Section 34H requires a noncustodial parent seeking access to submit a written request and other documentation to the Principal on an annual basis. Information may not be provided to non-custodial parents until after they have complied with the statutory requirements. Parents who have questions or concerns regarding access to records by noncustodial parents are requested to contact the Building Principal or Office of the Superintendent for detailed information regarding the procedures that must be followed under Section 34H.
Release of student records generally requires consent of the parent or eligible student. However, the Regulations provide certain exceptions. For example, staff employed or under contract to the district have access to records as needed to perform their duties. The Holliston Public Schools also releases a student’s complete student record to authorized school personnel of a school to which a student seeks or intends to transfer without further notice to, or receipt of consent from, the eligible student or parent.
Release Of Student Record Information
With few exceptions, information in a student's record will not be released to a third party without the written consent of the eligible student and/or a parent having physical custody of a student less than 18 years of age. An exception is:
1. Directory Information - Directory information includes a student’s name, address, telephone listing, date, and place of birth, major field of study, dates of attendance, weight and height of members of athletic teams, class, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, degrees, honors and awards, and post-high school plans.
Please be aware that a parent and/or eligible student may specify that only certain types of Directory Information or Recruiting Information may be released and that the parent and/or eligible student may rescind a release at any time during the school year by providing notice in writing to the Principal. The release or publication of information prior to receipt of that written notice will constitute a violation of the confidentiality requirement.
Please refer to the Holliston School Committee Policy JRA regarding Student Records and Directory Information for a description of other circumstances in which student records may be released without the consent of a parent or eligible student.
Student Services Administrator
The Student Services Administrator, Mrs. Jennifer Ramsdell, works with our entire school population to identify, assess, and, when appropriate, facilitate implementation of support for students at Placentino School who may require specific services to optimize learning opportunities. She can be reached at 508-429-0647 extension 1205.
Our Health Office is staffed a licensed school nurse who can be reached at 508-429-0647 x 1206. Our school nurses are available for routine care and emergency situations during the school day. Our priority is to provide a safe and healthy learning environment for all of our young students. Parents/guardians are encouraged to share relevant medical information with our school nurse so that the individual health needs of each student can be met during the school day.
In order to ensure the safest environment possible for all of our students, the following limitations apply to ALL of the classrooms at Placentino:
- ALL classrooms are “nut free.” No food containing any type of nuts or that is produced in a facility that includes nut products may be brought into any classroom. The only exception would be an item that is contained in a lunch box for a student’s lunch.
- No food may be provided for any classroom celebrations (including birthdays).
- All students must be fever free (temperature of 100 degrees or less) without taking any fever reducing medications for 24 hours before returning to school after any illness.
Student Health Regulations
A record will be kept of all visits to the Health Office. Parents will be notified if a health problem seems to be developing.
The School Physician and the School Nurse provide advisory and emergency care only. The School Health Office is not a diagnostic clinic. Once first aid has been administered it is the responsibility of the family and the family physician to carry out treatment and aftercare.
If a student becomes ill or injured in school and must be sent home, parents must make provisions for transportation. In case of extreme emergency where it is impossible to reach the parents, the Principal or the Assistant Principal acts as “parent in absentia” and will take whatever steps appear necessary to ensure the wellbeing of the student. Only those injuries or illnesses occurring in the school, on the school bus or on the school grounds are the responsibility of school personnel. If a parent/guardian is unavailable, students may be dismissed to one of the emergency contacts listed on the Student Information Form.
The Student Information Form, signed by the parent or guardian, must be on file in the school and health offices. The information is critical at the time of illness or emergency. It is the parent's responsibility to update the information when necessary.
Signed consent by the parent/guardian is required to dispense any medication. All medication, including non-prescription drugs, requires a signed medication order. The written medication order form must be completed by your child's licensed prescriber (physician, nurse practitioner, etc.) and returned to the school nurse. This order must be renewed as needed and at the beginning of each academic year.
We encourage parents to notify the school nurse, preferably in writing, of any health condition pertinent to the child's wellbeing: tendency to nosebleed, epilepsy, toxic reaction to bee stings, diabetes, asthma, bone and joint problems, difficulties with speech, vision or hearing problems and religious stipulations regarding medical care. Parents are encouraged to make an appointment for a conference with the nurse to develop an Individual Health Care Plan.
Special medication situations. For short-term prescription medication, i.e., those requiring administration for ten (10) school days or less, the pharmacy labeled container may be used in lieu of a licensed prescriber's order.
Medicine should be delivered to the school in a pharmacy or manufacturer labeled container by the parent/guardian or responsible adult whom you designate. Your child may not transport medicine on the school bus. Please ask your pharmacy to provide separate bottles for school and home. No more than a thirty (30) day supply should be delivered to the school. When your child needs medicine to be given during the school day, please act quickly to follow these policies so we may begin to give the medicine as soon as possible.
Please pick up all medications on the last day of school. The school nurse will dispose of any medication left in the Health Office.
Please note: the school nurse must administer all medication.
The School Immunization Law is fully implemented in Holliston. No student will be enrolled unless immunization requirements are met. All students entering school must present a physician's or Board of Health Certificate showing complete immunization as required by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Religious and/or medical exemptions are allowed as stated by Massachusetts state law.
The requirements for children entering Kindergarten are DPT (5), Polio (4), MMR (2), Hep B (3), Chicken Pox Vaccine (2), and lead poison screening.
The requirements for children entering Preschool are: DPT (4), Polio (3), MMR (1), Hep B (3), Hib (1-4), Chicken Pox Vaccine (1), and lead poison screening.
Massachusetts Law also requires Physical Examinations for students in grades Preschool and Kindergarten, 4, 7 and 10. The family's primary care provider may conduct these examinations. If a student does not have a primary care provider he/she will be referred to the school physician. If a student does not have health insurance he/she will be referred to a state program such as Masshealth or the Children's Medical Security program. Vision and hearing screenings are mandated by law and are conducted yearly by the school nurses. If any health problems are identified, parents will be notified and referred to their primary care provider as needed.
Head Lice, or pediculosis, may be a problem among school children. We request that all parents check their own children at least once a week. All cases must be reported to the school nurse in an effort to control an outbreak.
Students contracting a disease noted below shall be excluded from school for the following minimum times:
Chicken Pox If a student has contracted Chicken Pox, the school health office must be contacted immediately. When all blisters are crusted over and dry, your child may return to school. Please report your child’s Chicken Pox to the Holliston Board of Health 508-429-0605.
Strep Throat Strep throat is highly contagious among school age children. Students with strep throat should not return to school until at least 24 hours after beginning appropriate antibiotic treatment and resolution of their fever. Antibiotics should be taken for the full course of prescribed treatment primarily to prevent rheumatic fever or other complications. Symptoms include sore throat, headache, nausea, and vomiting. A throat culture should be considered.
Scarlet Fever This is a type of strep infection that is characterized by an associated skin rash. Students should not return to school until at least 24 hours after beginning appropriate antibiotic treatment and resolution of their fever. Be sure to take the full course of antibiotics.
Students with contagious skin disorders (impetigo, ringworm, etc.) will be excluded from school and readmitted at the discretion of the school nurse.
***The Board of Health is located at the Town Hall. The phone number is 508-429-0605.
Tobacco on School Premises
Use of any tobacco or vaping products within the school buildings, school facilities, or on school grounds, school buses, or school-sponsored trips by an individual, including school personnel and students, is prohibited at all times. Additionally, possession of tobacco products by students is prohibited within the school buildings, school facilities, or on school grounds, school buses, or school-sponsored trips.
Please see the link provided below provided by the Holliston School Committee regarding Tobacco on school premises:
Alcohol on School Premises
Please see the link provided below provided by the Holliston School Committee regarding Alcohol on school premises:
The Holliston Elementary School provides its students with these instructional, diagnostic and support services. Among them are:
Title One Reading
Title One Reading is provided through a Federal Grant. These services are targeted for students who will benefit from this early intervention.
This program provides support services to students who are experiencing reading difficulties or require early intervention.
- Instructional supports are provided to all students who require additional skill based focus.
- Assessment by the reading specialist may be followed with supplemental tutoring.
Emergent Bilingual/English Language Learner
All parents registering their child for school must complete the Home Language Survey that is mandated by the Massachusetts Department of Education. Careful review of the survey will determine if additional evaluation is necessary to assess the literacy level of your child. Literacy support will be provided when necessary.
This program provides support services for selected students who are experiencing difficulties meeting grade-level mathematics standards.
1. Instructional supports are provided to all students who require additional skill-based focus.
2. Supplemental tutoring may be provided within the classroom or in small groups outside the classroom setting.
Special Education Services
Special Education services are offered to Holliston students in accordance with 603 CMR 28.00 of the General Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Student Services Administrator works with the classroom teacher, specialists and parents to ensure that, when appropriate, referrals are made to assess a student's eligibility for special education support services. The Student Services Administrator at Placentino School is Mrs. Jennifer Ramsdell. She can be reached at 508-429-0647 ext. 1205.
Speech and Language Services
This service is provided for those students who have been identified as having a speech and/or language disability.
504 Accommodation Plans
Coordinator for Compliance under Section 504
Susan Kustka, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Holliston Public Schools
370 Hollis Street
Holliston, MA 01746
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a civil rights law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of a handicap and/or disability.
The law is designed to protect “Any person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more life activities, has a record of such an impairment or is regarded as having such an impairment.” The major life activities include walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, caring for oneself and performing manual tasks.
Students who fit this definition are entitled to “a free and appropriate” public education comparable to that provided to students without disabilities. This may include regular or special education services. However, students can receive related services under Section 504 with the appropriate documentation, even if they are not provided any special education services.
Please contact the Placentino School Guidance Office if you have questions or would like more information regarding 504 Accommodation Plans.
Our Media Center is an extension of the classroom, providing supplemental teaching aids that enrich and extend each child's learning. Children are encouraged to visit and use the Media Center to apply the reading and research skills they have learned in the classroom. The Placentino Media Center houses a centralized audio-visual collection of teacher resources, books and computers for student use, and parent resource materials. The Media Center also houses our Makerspace.
Placentino School thanks the many parents who volunteer their time to keep our Media Center open daily from September to June.
Our School Library and Censorship
It is our firm belief that our school libraries need to be at the center of learning for children in the Holliston schools. We try to keep our collection up-to-date so that children's reports reflect accurate information. We order books covering a wide range of topics ensuring that children are able to find information on whatever subject they choose. Children should feel that the Media Center is a place where they can learn to research and find resources for all school projects.
The school library is also a place where recreational reading is fostered and encouraged. Because children's reading levels vary, the Media Center provides reading materials that range from emergent readers to difficult classics. Most purchases are based on reviews. Our librarian tries to match children with books that they can both read and enjoy.
Our library is filled with material for a wide range of ages and abilities, and we know that children will, from time to time, check out material that is too difficult or which has content that you feel is inappropriate for your child. We would like to work as a team with parents, and would like your child to return anything that makes you uncomfortable. We believe, however, that libraries should have books that express a variety of viewpoints on issues and we do not remove books simply because a particular individual or group feels such material is inappropriate. Libraries are for everyone and so, by their nature, must be inclusive. For more information on libraries and censorship, feel free to schedule a meeting with the school librarian.
- Code of Conduct
- Memorandum of Understanding with the Holliston Police Department
- Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)
- Extra Curricular Activities
The Holliston Public Schools place a high value on each student as an individual. We honor diversity and believe that each and every student is unique.
In order to accomplish and fulfill the Mission or our schools, each of us takes on the responsibility of instilling in students a respect for themselves and others. The Code of Conduct embodies the principles of respect and defines the Holliston Schools in its pursuit of excellence.
The following is a listing of behavioral expectations and disciplinary sanctions. This list is not and cannot be all-inclusive, but is designed to provide guidance to students and their parents of the behavioral expectations. As stated explicitly below in connection with specific offenses, severe or habitual violations of the code of conduct can result in the denial of school privileges and/or participation in extracurricular activities, and an in-school or out-of-school suspension.
School buses are an extension of the school and students are under the jurisdiction of the school while riding the bus. Students should keep hands and heads inside the bus at all times, and refrain from loud talking and horseplay that may divert the driver’s attention and make safe driving difficult. State law prohibits smoking on school buses. Students are not permitted to leave their seats while the bus is in motion. The school department or the transportation company is not responsible for articles left of the bus. Bus rules apply to the regular daily buses to and from school, late buses, field trip and athletic buses, and all bus trips sponsored by the Holliston Public Schools.
All students are expected to present their own work for evaluation. A teacher who determines that a student has been guilty of the above offenses shall take all reasonable and necessary steps to address this first with the student and his/her parents and then may refer this matter to an administrator and will give a grade zero for the work in question. Violations may result in loss of privileges, and in some cases, can lead to suspension from school. A student who disagrees with the teacher’s finding that she/he has been guilty of cheating or plagiarism can appeal this finding to the Principal.
Students are not allowed to wear articles of clothing or accessories that interfere with safety or that are disruptive, offensive, disrespectful, discriminatory, or otherwise inappropriate for the school community or that interfere with learning. Footwear must be worn at all times by all persons in the school and on school grounds. The school administration and staff reserve the right to make decisions in cases where the dress, appearance, or behavior of one student may interfere with the learning process for other students. Proper attire is required for participation in all physical education classes.
Electronic devices and any related equipment are not to be used or be visible during school hours. Such devices will be confiscated by school personnel and brought to the main office.
Students who are in the hallways while classes are in session should pass quietly and not cause any disruption.
Hazing (See Expectations)
Suspension from School
Out of School Suspension and In-School Suspension
Returning to School After a Suspension
Long Term Suspension/Expulsion
Suspension/Expulsion Pursuant to M.G.L. c71, s.37H and s.37H1/2
The Holliston Public Schools and the Holliston Police Department have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding in order to prevent and eliminate substance abuse and acts of violence in our community. As provided in that Memorandum of Understanding, school personnel agree that certain activities by Holliston students will be reported to the Police Department and that both the School and Police Departments will act cooperatively in addressing issues involving violence, hate crimes, possession and use of alcohol or controlled substances, and possession and use of firearms or other weapons. School personnel retain the prerogative to impose school-based discipline in connection with any and all acts that occur on school grounds, including school buses, and at school-sponsored or related functions, including but not limited to field trips, athletic events, or dances. A complete copy of this Memorandum of Understanding is available in the office of each building Principal and in the office of the Superintendent.
Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS)
- PBIS is a positive, school-wide systems approach that is research-based and data driven. It is designed to:
- establish clearly defined expectations within the school setting and define consistent responses to those positive and negative behaviors
- explicitly teach and reinforce appropriate behaviors across all areas of the school TO ‘explicitly teach and reinforce expected behaviors across all setting within our school
- provide a common school-wide language
- pro-actively utilize data to guide implementation of targeted interventions with the goal of increasing positive student behaviors in all settings within our school
- PBIS Matrix
Cooperation Acceptance Responsibility Effort
Whenever a student is referred to an administrator for reasons of serious misbehavior, information regarding the incident will be gathered from the teacher and student. The Principal, or designee, will then contact the student’s parent(s) or guardian to discuss the inappropriate behavior and consequences when necessary. The Principal, or designee, may request a parent conference to further discuss the incident.
Due Process Rights
All due process with regards to the rights of students as outlined below will be observed:
1. Oral or written notice of the charges against him/her.
2. An explanation of the evidence against him/her.
3. The opportunity to present his/her side of the story to an impartial decision-maker (who may be a school administrator).
4. The right to appeal the administrator's decision to the Superintendent of Schools.
In-school and out-of-school
In certain cases, students are suspended from the Elementary School. The length of the suspension is determined by the administration but will not exceed five days. A student's parents or guardian will be informed about the suspension. Please see the above due process procedures that protect the student's rights in these cases. Grounds include:
3. Use of threats or acts of intimidation.
4. Possession of any weapon (including pocket knives).
5. Acts endangering the safety of others.
6. Destruction of property.
7. Disruption of school activity.
8. Theft of property.
9. Profanity or obscene language.
10. Theft of property.
11. Causing a false fire alarm (in addition to $100.00 fine from the Holliston Fire Dept.).
12. Possession of drugs.
13. Possession and/or use of alcoholic beverages.
14. Use of tobacco.
15. Possession of fireworks.
Under the new Education Reform Act, a student attending public school can be expelled for possession of drugs or a weapon (including pocket knives - a 2 inch or longer blade) or assault on a staff member.
The General Laws, c. 269, section 10 by Chapter 150 of the Acts of 1987 prohibits firearms to be brought to school:
"Whoever not being a law enforcement officer, and notwithstanding any license obtained by him under the provisions of chapter one hundred forty, carries on his person a fireman as hereinafter defined, loaded or unloaded, in any building or on the grounds of any school, college, or university without the written authorization of the board of officer in charge of said school, college, or university shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both. For the purpose of this paragraph, 'firearm shall mean any pistol, revolver, rifle, or smoothbore arm from which a shot, bullet, or pellet can be discharged by whatever means'."
Disciplining Students With Special Needs
All students are expected to follow the Holliston’s Code of Conduct, unless otherwise determined by the student’s Individualized Education Plan Team and written in the student’s IEP or 504 Plan. Federal and state laws provide certain procedural rights and protections relating to discipline of students who have been identified under such laws as having special needs based upon a disability.
A brief overview of these rights is provided below.
In general, if your child has violated Holliston’s disciplinary code, the school may suspend or remove your child from his or her current educational placement for no more than 10 consecutive school days in any school year. If your child possesses, uses, sells or solicits illegal drugs on school grounds or at a school-sponsored event; carries a weapon to school or a school function; or inflicts serious bodily injury upon another person at school or a school-sponsored event, the school may place your child in an interim alternative educational setting for up to 45 school days. If your child has been placed in an interim alternative education setting as a result of a disciplinary action, your child may remain in the interim setting for a period not to exceed 45 school days. Thereafter, your child will return to the previously agreed-upon educational placement unless you or Holliston have initiated a hearing on the disciplinary action that the district took and a hearing officer orders another placement, or you and Holliston agree to another placement.
Any time Holliston wishes to remove your child from his or her current educational placement for more than 10 consecutive school days in any school year, or if a student is removed for disciplinary reasons for more than a total of 10 days in any school year when a pattern of removal is occurring, this is a “change of placement.” A change of placement invokes certain procedural protections under federal special education law. These include the following:
(a) Prior to any removal that constitutes a change in placement, the school must convene a Team meeting to develop a plan for conducting a functional behavioral assessment that will be used as the basis for developing specific strategies to address your child’s problematic behavior. If a behavioral intervention plan has been previously developed, the Team will review it to make sure it is being implemented appropriately, and will modify it if necessary.
(b) Prior to any disciplinary removal that constitutes a change in placement; the school must inform you that the law requires that the school district consider whether or not the behavior that forms the basis for your child’s disciplinary removal is related to his or her disability. This is called a “manifestation determination.” Remember that you, as the parent, always have the right to participate as a member of the group of people making this determination.
Consideration of whether the behavior is a manifestation of the student’s disability:
The law provides that Holliston and the parent, along with relevant Team members, must consider all evaluation information, observational information, the student’s IEP and placement; and must determine whether your child’s behavior that prompted disciplinary removal was a manifestation of his or her disability. The behavior is considered a manifestation of your child’s disability if the conduct in question was caused by, or had a direct and substantial relationship to your child’s disability, or was a direct result of the school district’s failure to implement his or her IEP.
If the manifestation determination decision is that the disciplinary behavior was related to your child’s disability then your child may not be removed from the current educational placement (except in the case of weapon or drug possession or use, or serious bodily injury to another) until the IEP Team develops a new IEP and decides upon a new placement and you consent to that new IEP and placement, or a Hearing Officer orders a removal from the current educational placement to another placement.
If the manifestation determination is that the behavior was not related to your child’s disability, then the school may suspend or otherwise discipline your child according to the school’s code of student conduct, except that for any period of removal exceeding 10 days the school district must provide your child with educational services that allow your child to continue to make educational progress. Holliston must determine the educational services necessary and the manner and location for providing those services.
In the case of a disagreement with the Team’s determination:
If you disagree with the Team’s decision on the “manifestation determination” or with the decision relating to placement of your child in an interim alternative education setting or any other disciplinary action, you have the right to appeal the Team’s decision by requesting an expedited due process hearing from the Bureau of Special Education Appeals (BSEA).
Discipline of Students Whose Eligibility for Special Education is Suspected:
The IDEA protections summarized above also apply to a child who has not yet been found eligible for services under the statute if the district is “deemed to have knowledge” that the child was eligible for such services before the conduct that precipitated the disciplinary action occurred. The IDEA provides that a school district is “deemed to have knowledge” if: (1) the child’s parent had expressed concern in writing to district supervisory or administrative personnel or the child’s teacher that the child needs special education and related services; (2) the child’s parent had requested an evaluation of the child to determine eligibility for special education services; or (3) the teacher of the child or other school district personnel had expressed specific concerns about a pattern of behavior by the child directly to the district’s director of special education or to other supervisory personnel. However, a school district is not “deemed to have knowledge” if the district evaluated the student and determined that the child was not eligible for special education services or the child’s parent refused an evaluation of the child or IDEA services.
If the school district has no knowledge that a student is an eligible student under the IDEA before taking disciplinary measures against the student, the student may be disciplined just as any other student may be. If, however, a request is made for an evaluation to determine eligibility while the student is subject to disciplinary measures, the district must conduct the evaluation in an expedited manner. Pending the results of the evaluation, the student must remain in the educational placement determined by school authorities, which may include suspension or expulsion without services. If the student is determined eligible for an IEP as a result of the evaluation, the school district must provide the student with special education and related services in accordance with the IDEA.
Holliston Public Schools are committed to providing quality education to our students while promoting behavioral safety within our schools. Our school has adopted the Safety-Care TM Training Program, developed by Quality Behavior Solutions, Inc., which is a behavioral safety program for our educators and is in compliance with the State of Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) regulations. This program provides our educators with the skills they need to confidently, safely, and respectfully prevent, minimize and manage student behavioral challenges.
Please feel free to contact our building administrators or our district Behavior Inclusion Specialist if you have any questions or would like more information about this program.
On May 3, 2010 Governor Patrick signed an Act Relative to Bullying in Schools. This law prohibits bullying and retaliation in all public and private schools, and requires schools and school districts to take certain steps to address bullying incidents. The law was updated in July 2013 to expanded the list of possible aggressors/perpetrators to include school staff members. Chapter 86, Section I(3) provides that each bullying plan shall recognize that certain students may be more vulnerable to becoming a target of bullying or harassment based on actual or perceived differentiating characteristics, including race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, socioeconomic status, homelessness, academic status, gender identity or expression, physical appearance, pregnant or parenting status, sexual orientation, mental, physical, developmental or sensory disability or by association with a person who has or is perceived to have 1 or more of these characteristics. Parts of the law (M.G.L. c. 71, § 37O) that are important for students and parents or guardians to know are described below.
Perpetrator is a student or a member of a school staff including but not limited to an educator, administrator, school nurse, cafeteria worker, custodian, bus driver, athletic coach, advisor to an extracurricular activity, or a paraprofessional who engages in bullying, cyberbullying, or retaliation.
Bullying is the repeated use by one or more students or by a member of a school staff including but not limited to an educator, administrator, school nurse, cafeteria worker, custodian, bus driver, athletic coach, advisor to an extracurricular activity, or a paraprofessional of a written, verbal or electronic expression or a physical act or gesture or any combination thereof, directed at a victim that: (i) causes physical or emotional harm to the victim or damage to the victim’s property; (ii) places the victim in reasonable fear of harm to himself/herself or of damage to his/her property; (iii) creates a hostile environment at school for the victim; (iv) infringes on the rights of the victim at school; or (v) materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school. Bullying includes cyberbullying.
Cyberbullying is bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication, which shall include, but shall not be limited to, any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photoelectronic or photo optical system, including, but not limited to, electronic mail, internet communications, instant messages or facsimile communications. Cyberbullying shall also include:
The creation of a web page or blog in which the creator assumes the identity of another person or the knowing impersonation of another person as the author of posted content or messages, if the creation or impersonation creates any of the conditions enumerated in clauses (i) to (v), inclusive, of the definition of bullying.
The distribution by electronic means of a communication to more than one person or the posting of material on an electronic medium that may be accessed by one or more persons, if the distribution or posting creates any of conditions enumerated in clauses (i) to (v) inclusive, of the definition of bullying.
Hostile environment is a situation in which bullying causes the school environment to be permeated with intimidation, ridicule, or insult that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of the student’s education.
Victim is a student against whom bullying, cyberbullying, or retaliation is directed.
Retaliation is any form of intimidation, reprisal, or harassment directed against a student who reports bullying, provides information during an investigation of bullying, or witnesses or has reliable information about bullying.
Bullying is prohibited:
• on school grounds,
• on property immediately adjacent to school grounds
• at a school-sponsored or school-related activity, function, or program, whether it takes place on or off school grounds
• at a school bus stop, on a school bus or other vehicle owned, leased, or used by a school district or school
• through the use of technology or an electronic device that is owned, leased or used by a school district or school (for example, on a computer or over the Internet)
• at any program or location that is not school-related, or through the use of personal technology or electronic device, if the bullying creates a hostile environment at school for the target, infringes on the rights of the target at school, or materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school
Retaliation against a person who reports bullying, provides information during an investigation of bullying, or witnesses or has reliable information about bullying is prohibited.
Anyone, including a parent or guardian, student, or school staff member, can report bullying or retaliation. Reports can be made in writing or orally to the assistant principal, principal or another staff member, or incident reports may be made anonymously using the anonymous Incident Reporting Form below.
Cheryl Lassey– Assistant Principal, 508-429-0467 or @ email@example.com
Please see the Anonymous Bullying Reporting Form found on the Placentino School webpage under the “Publications Link”.
School staff members must report immediately to the principal or his/her designee if they witness or become aware of bullying or retaliation. Staff members include, but are not limited to, educators, administrators, counselors, school nurses, cafeteria workers, custodians, bus drivers, athletic coaches, advisors to an extracurricular activity, or paraprofessionals.
When the school principal or his/her designee receives a report, he or she shall promptly conduct an investigation. If the school principal or designee determines that bullying or retaliation has occurred, he or she shall (i) notify the parents or guardians of the target, and to the extent consistent with state and federal law, notify them of the action taken to prevent any further acts of bullying or retaliation; (ii) notify the parents or guardians of an aggressor; (iii) take appropriate disciplinary action; and (iv) notify the local law enforcement agency if the school principal or designee believes that criminal charges may be pursued against the aggressor.
For detailed information regarding Bullying Prevention and Intervention, please refer to the Holliston Public Schools Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan and the Holliston School Committee’s Bullying Prevention Policy (JICFB):
Professional Development for School and District Staff
Schools and districts must provide ongoing professional development to increase the skills of all staff members to prevent, identify, and respond to bullying. Staff must complete the district’s annual Bullying Prevention and Intervention training.
The content of such professional development is to include, but not be limited to: (i) developmentally appropriate strategies to prevent bullying incidents; (ii) developmentally appropriate strategies for immediate, effective interventions to stop bullying incidents; (iii) information regarding the complex interaction and power differential that can take place between and among an aggressor, target, and witnesses to the bullying; (iv) research findings on bullying, including information about specific categories of students who have been shown to be particularly at risk for bullying in the school environment; (v) information on the incidence and nature of cyberbullying; and (vi) Internet safety issues as they relate to cyberbullying.
Dangerous Weapons, Controlled Substances & Assaults on Educational Staff
Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 71, section 37H requires that all student handbooks contain the following provisions:
(a) Any student who is found on school premises or at school-sponsored or school-related events, including athletic games, in possession of a dangerous weapon, including, but not limited to, a gun or a knife; or a controlled substance as defined in chapter ninety-four C, including, but not limited to, marijuana, cocaine, and heroin, may be subject to expulsion from the school or school district by the principal.
(b) Any student who assaults a principal, assistant principal, teacher, teacher’s aide or other educational staff on school premises or at school-sponsored or school- related events, including athletic games, may be subject to expulsion from the school or school district by the principal.
(c) Any student who is charged with a violation of either paragraph (a) or (b) shall be notified in writing of an opportunity for a hearing; provided, however, that the student may have representation, along with the opportunity to present evidence and witnesses at said hearing before the principal. After said hearing, a principal may, in his discretion, decide to suspend rather than expel a student who has been determined by the principal to have violated either paragraph (a) or (b).
(d) Any student who has been expelled from a school district pursuant to these provisions shall have the right to appeal to the superintendent. The expelled student shall have ten days from the date of the expulsion in which to notify the superintendent of his appeal. The student has the right to counsel at a hearing before the superintendent. The subject matter of the appeal shall not be limited solely to a factual determination of whether the student has violated any provisions of this section.
(e) Any school district that suspends or expels a student under this section shall continue to provide educational services to the student during the period of suspension or expulsion under section 21 of chapter 76. If the student moves to another district during the period of suspension or expulsion, the new district of residence shall either admit the student to the school or provide educational services to the student in an education service plan, under section 21 of chapter 76.
Students should note that the definition of “assault” includes not only harmful or offensive contact, but also threatening such contact. Additionally, students should be aware that the federal Gun Free Schools Act mandates that any student who brings a firearm to school be expelled for a minimum of one year, with exceptions granted only by the Superintendent. Under this Act, a firearm includes not only a gun but also an explosive device.
Felony Complaints or Convictions
Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 71, section 37H 1/2 provides that:
(1) Upon the issuance of a criminal complaint charging a student with a felony or upon the issuance of a felony delinquency complaint against a student, the principal or headmaster of a school in which the student is enrolled may suspend such student for a period of time determined appropriate by said principal or headmaster if said principal or headmaster determines that the student’s continued presence in school would have a substantial detrimental effect on the general welfare of the school.
The student shall receive written notification of the charges and the reasons for such suspension prior to such suspension taking effect.
The student shall also receive written notification of his right to appeal and the process for appealing such suspension; provided, however, that such suspension shall remain in effect prior to any appeal hearing conducted by the superintendent.
The student shall have the right to appeal the suspension to the superintendent. The student shall notify the superintendent in writing of his request for an appeal no later than five calendar days following the effective date of the suspension. The superintendent shall hold a hearing with the student and the student’s parent or guardian within three calendar days of the student’s request for an appeal. At the hearing, the student shall have the right to present oral and written testimony on his behalf, and shall have the right to counsel. The superintendent shall have the authority to overturn or alter the decision of the principal or headmaster, including recommending an alternate educational program for the student. The superintendent shall render a decision on the appeal within five calendar days of the hearing. Such decision shall be the final decision of the city, town or regional school district with regard to the suspension.
(2) Upon a student being convicted of a felony or upon an adjudication or admission in court of guilt with respect to such a felony or felony delinquency, the principal or headmaster of a school in which the student is enrolled may expel said student if such principal or headmaster determines that the student’s continued presence in school would have a substantial detrimental effect on the general welfare of the school. The student shall receive written notification of the charges and reasons for such expulsion prior to such expulsion taking effect. The student shall also receive written notification of his right to appeal and the process for appealing such expulsion; provided, however, that the expulsion shall remain in effect prior to any appeal hearing conducted by the superintendent.
The student shall have the right to appeal the expulsion to the superintendent. The student shall notify the superintendent, in writing, of his request for an appeal no later than five calendar days following the effective date of the expulsion. The superintendent shall hold a hearing with the student and the student’s parent or guardian within three calendar days of the expulsion. At the hearing, the student shall have the right to present oral and written testimony on his behalf, and shall have the right to counsel. The superintendent shall have the authority to overturn or alter the decision of the principal or headmaster, including recommending an alternate educational program for the student. The superintendent shall render a decision on the appeal within five calendar days of the hearing. Such decision shall be the final decision of the city, town or regional school district with regard to the expulsion.
(3) Any school district that suspends or expels a student under this section shall continue to provide educational services to the student during the period of suspension or expulsion under section 21 of chapter 76. If the student moves to another district during the period of suspension or expulsion, the new district of residence shall either admit the student to the school or provide educational services to the student in an education service plan, under section 21 of chapter 76.
The term hazing refers to any conduct or method of initiation into any student organization, whether on public or private property, which willfully or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health of any student or other person.
Chapter 269: Section 17. Hazing; organizing or participating; hazing defined.
Section 17. Whoever is a principal organizer or participant in the crime of hazing, as defined herein, shall be punished by a fine of not more than three thousand dollars or by imprisonment in a house of correction for not more than one year, or both such fine and imprisonment.
The term ""hazing'' as used in this section and in sections eighteen and nineteen, shall mean any conduct or method of initiation into any student organization, whether on public or private property, which willfully or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health of any student or other person. Such conduct shall include whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to the weather, forced consumption of any food, liquor, beverage, drug or other substance, or any other brutal treatment or forced physical activity which is likely to adversely affect the physical health or safety of any such student or other person, or which subjects such student or other person to extreme mental stress, including extended deprivation of sleep or rest or extended isolation.
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section to the contrary, consent shall not be available as a defense to any prosecution under this action.
Chapter 269: Section 18. Failure to report hazing.
Section 18. Whoever knows that another person is the victim of hazing as defined in section seventeen and is at the scene of such crime shall, to the extent that such person can do so without danger or peril to himself or others, report such crime to an appropriate law enforcement official as soon as reasonably practicable. Whoever fails to report such crime shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars.
Chapter 269: Section 19. Copy of secs. 17 to 19; issuance to students and student groups, teams and organizations; report.
Section 19. Each institution of secondary education and each public and private institution of postsecondary education shall issue to every student group, student team or student organization which is part of such institution or is recognized by the institution or permitted by the institution to use its name or facilities or is known by the institution to exist as an unaffiliated student group, student team or student organization, a copy of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen; provided, however, that an institution's compliance with this section's requirements that an institution issue copies of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen to unaffiliated student groups, teams or organizations shall not constitute evidence of the institution's recognition or endorsement of said unaffiliated student groups, teams or organizations.
Each such group, team or organization shall distribute a copy of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen to each of its members, plebes, pledges or applicants for membership. It shall be the duty of each such group, team or organization, acting through its designated officer, to deliver annually, to the institution an attested acknowledgement stating that such group, team or organization has received a copy of this section and said sections seventeen and eighteen, that each of its members, plebes, pledges, or applicants has received a copy of sections seventeen and eighteen, and that such group, team or organization understands and agrees to comply with the provisions of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen.
Each institution of secondary education and each public or private institution of postsecondary education shall, at least annually, before or at the start of enrollment, deliver to each person who enrolls as a full time student in such institution a copy of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen.
Each institution of secondary education and each public or private institution of postsecondary education shall file, at least annually, a report with the board of higher education and in the case of secondary institutions, the board of education, certifying that such institution has complied with its responsibility to inform student groups, teams or organizations and to notify each full time student enrolled by it of the provisions of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen and also certifying that said institution has adopted a disciplinary policy with regard to the organizers and participants of hazing, and that such policy has been set forth with appropriate emphasis in the student handbook or similar means of communicating the institution's policies to its students. The board of higher education and, in the case of secondary institutions, the board of education shall promulgate regulations governing the content and frequency of such reports, and shall forthwith report to the attorney general any such institution, which fails to make such report.
A. Field Trips
Placentino School children participate in field trips throughout the school year. The children love the opportunity to ride the buses to special destinations and enjoy different kinds of learning through new and exciting experiences. Please note the following important information regarding Placentino Field Trips:
All chaperones must complete necessary CORI forms and be cleared by our office for participation in school activities.
Only “teacher-designated chaperones” can participate in our field trips. Parents are discouraged from “meeting” their child at a field trip location.
Because parking at Placentino School is limited, we ask that all chaperones please park in the Miller School lower parking lot or Adams School parking lot located at the back of the school.
B. School Council
School Councils were established through the Education Reform Act. Successful school improvement planning is a collaborative process which requires participation from our entire school community which includes: administrators, teachers, parents and community representatives.
The School Council helps to shape the School Improvement Plan for the upcoming school year. The School Improvement Plan is one of the basic sources for planning budget initiatives, action plans for the school year, and new initiatives within our school community.
Each year our Parent Organization recruits parents for “open” School Council positions. Grade level parent representatives are elected to the Placentino School Council by the grade level parent community for a one or two year term, and one parent is elected as an “at large” representative. The Placentino School Council meets once a month from September – June.
Holliston Parent Teacher Organization (PTO)
The Holliston Parent Teacher Organization is a volunteer parents group that works closely with the school administration and teachers to provide Holliston's children in grades PreK-12 with special programs and services during the school year. Each school has a dedicated group of volunteers from the Holliston PTO working to provide information, special programs, and grants. Money raised through dues and several fundraising activities is used to support many different programs at all levels of the system.