McDonough Student Handbook


McDonough School

Student Handbook


McDonough School

550 Lowell Street

Manchester, New Hampshire 03104


McDonough School

550 Lowell Street

Manchester, New Hampshire 03104



Our student handbook is now available on line in an attempt to conserve and protect our environment. If you do not have internet access and would like to request a paper copy for your convenience you may do so.

I am requesting a paper copy of the McDonough School Student Handbook. ______Yes ______No

Please sign both sections below and return to your child's teacher.

Student’s name:______________________________

Teacher’s name:_______________________

Student Handbook

I have read and discussed the McDonough School Student Handbook with my parent/child, which I was able to view on the school webpage.


Parent’s signature


Student’s signature


On behalf of the staff, I take pleasure in saying:


We feel that all students are capable of learning and that they deserve to be challenged to the highest possible achievement. Students need to be active participants with their parents in promoting their social, academic, and emotional growth. Children will be provided with a safe and secure environment that is conducive to learning.

We will continue to encourage parents to actively participate in their child’s education. Together we can make our school #1.

I look forward to working together to provide the best learning experience for your child. If you need anything, please feel free to stop by the office or call me at 624-6373. Thank you and have a wonderful school year!


Kenneth DiBenedetto, Principal

Table of Contents

Parent/Student Response Page .............................

Message from the Principal...................................

Table of Contents ...................................................

McDonough School Information………………..

McDonough Cares .................................................

Attendance, Student Conduct ..............................

Safety .......................................................................

Emergency Information ........................................

Playground Behavior .............................................

Bicycles, Skateboards, and Roller Blades ...........

Bus Transportation....................................

School Assemblies ..................................................

Parent/Teacher Conferences .................................

Progress Reports/Report Cards............................

Parent Teacher Conferences .................................

Progress Reports / Report Cards..........................

Field Trips...............................................................

Cafeteria Behavior .................................................

Lunch and Breakfast Programs ...........................

Health ......................................................................

Dress Code ..............................................................

Cell Phones………………………………………..

Guidance Program ...............................................

Library .................................................................

Art, Music, Physical Education ..........................

Parent Teacher Association ................................

Volunteers ............................................................. Miscellaneous........................................................

McDonough School Information

Daily schedule for 2019-2020

** No student supervision is available prior to 8:15am.**

8:15 Arrival for students having breakfast

8:30 School arrival time for students not having breakfast- students will enter the building using the playground doors

8:45 Official school start time

2:40. Kindergarten students will be dismissed at 2:40pm. Kindergarten students exit to the playground. Teachers will wait with the students until they are picked up.

2:50 Dismissal-At 2:50 PM students who walk or are picked up by car will be dismissed to the playground. Please pick up your student on the playground.

*Students who are not picked up in a timely manner will be brought back into the office to wait for their ride.*

Automobiles -To ensure the safety of all our students, automobiles are not permitted on the school playground, before, after, or during school hours. Automobiles should NEVER be left unattended at the main entrance to our school as Special Needs buses and vans arrive and depart from that entrance throughout the day. We appreciate your help and cooperation during dismissal.

~Any change in the regular dismissal routine for any student will require a parental permission note written directly to Mrs. Amlaw.~Any last minute change of dismissal plans please notify the office by 2:00pm. This is to allow the information to get to the students and the teacher in a timely fashion. (Please do not rely on email because Mrs. Amlaw or the teacher may be absent on that day). Our goal is the safety of all of our students- we appreciate your cooperation with this.McDonough School Cares

We show this through:


To accomplish this, we will follow these rules:

1. I will take pride in McDonough School.

2. I will move quietly and safely through the halls.

3. I will always tell the truth.

4. I will always show respect to others.

5. I will take responsibility for my actions.

6. I will remember my manners.

7. I will play safely and cooperate on the playground.

8. I will wear appropriate clothing.

9. I will always give my best effort.

10. I will come to school with a positive attitude.

11. I will be kind to myself and others.


To receive the maximum benefit from classroom and instructional participation, it is extremely important that students arrive and depart from school each day on time.

If a student is going to be absent for any reason, parents must notify the school by calling the office at 624-6373 before 9:00 AM or by sending a note with a sibling or friend. Upon return to the classroom, the teacher will require that the student bring a written note from the parent or guardian stating the reason for the absence. Continual absences not due to illness or other sufficient cause will be considered truancies. Truancy violates state and local attendance laws and will be considered a serious offense. Both full days of missed school and tardiness/dismissals affect a student’s attendance record.Every third tardy equals one full day’s absence. Every third unexcused dismissal equals one full day’s absence.

The policy is located at t

It is important that children develop a good sense of responsibility for arriving at school on time. If a student is tardy, he/she must report to the office stating the reason he/she is tardy before being admitted to class and a parent must sign the child into school. We realize that certain unforeseen circumstances may arise from time to time, but habitual tardiness will not be tolerated.

If a child is present, it is to be expected that he/she be well enough to participate in physical education classes and outdoor recess. If an illness or other circumstances prevent participation in these activities, a doctor's note will be required. Students should not be dismissed from school before the close of the day, except in cases of illness or other emergency. If a child needs to be dismissed early, he/she must bring a note to his/her teacher stating the reason for early dismissal and the time the student will be leaving. Parents must sign the child out at the main office.


When students follow the McDonough Cares rules good behavior results. We will not tolerate fighting, disrespect towards others, obscene, vulgar, or otherwise inappropriate language, or destruction of school property. Students must be reminded that poor decisions will lead to consequences. Students who continually break the rules and cause disruption to the learning environment will be sent to the office and handled accordingly. Parental help in resolving disciplinary problems will be requested as the need arises.

All students should be made aware that they are the ones who make the decisions on their behavior in the classroom, playground and all areas of the school setting. It is necessary that they learn self-discipline to facilitate their learning.

The Elementary Code of Conduct as set forth by the Manchester School District and approved by the Board of School Committee will be enforced. The Code defines the rights and responsibilities of students and the disciplinary options that can be enforced by the principal, assistant principal, or teacher when inappropriate behavior impedes orderly classroom operation. The Manchester School district’s student code of conduct is available on the District website under policies(


McDonough School has a comprehensive emergency management plan, which prepares students and staff to respond appropriately in the event of an emergency. Drills are conducted periodically throughout the year in cooperation with the Manchester Fire and Police Departments.

In order to maintain a safe and secure school environment, all visitors and volunteers are required to enter the school through the main entrance and report to the school's office upon arrival. Visitors and volunteers must sign in and obtain an identification badge to be worn throughout the visit. Parents are not permitted to escort their children to their classrooms or wait with their children in the building during inclement mornings.


It is very important to keep the office informed of changes in employment, new telephone numbers or names of persons to be contacted during an emergency situation. Your cooperation in this matter will be greatly appreciated.


Recess time is a learning part of each student's day as well as a time to play. All recesses are monitored by staff members. Students are expected to seek them out if they need assistance. The following guidelines are to be followed by all students to ensure everyone's safety. 1. Respect is to be shown for each other and the property of others. Tripping, hitting, spitting, shoving, or knocking others down is not allowed. No games involving tackling are to be played. Hands and feet are to be kept to oneself. There is to be no swearing or name- calling. 2. Fighting or play-fighting is not allowed. 3. Students are to use the equipment only on their assigned day. 4. Students are not to enter the school building unless they have permission from a staff member on duty. 5. Students are to remain on the playground at all times. Stray balls are to be retrieved only under the supervision of a staff member on duty. 6. All trash is to be placed in a trash barrel or carried back inside the school. 7. Students must line up quickly at the end of recess and use the time in line to settle down and prepare to enter the school quietly.


Due to the dangerous hills and heavy traffic on our neighborhood streets, bicycles, skateboards, and roller blades will not be allowed at McDonough School. This is not to cause hardship, but to promote the safety and welfare of our student population.

The Board of School Committee policy prohibits skateboards on any Manchester school property at any time of the day.


Parents and students must realize that school bus transportation is a privilege and that under NH State statute (NHRSA 189: 9a) students who misbehave can be denied this privilege. Included within this handbook is the Transportation Policy as accepted by the Board of School Committee.

If books or other items are left on the bus, you may contact the Manchester Transit Authority at 623-8801


School assemblies are held throughout the year in the gymnasium. Assemblies include opportunities for recognition of student talent, school spirit, curriculum-related performers, speakers and presentations.

When a class enters the gym for an assembly, students are expected to keep their voices quiet and sit where assigned. When the person introducing the program begins, it is important for everyone to be silent and pay attention to the speaker. Students are expected to sit still and be attentive and respectful at assemblies. Appreciation is to be shown by clapping only. When the assembly is over, students are to remain seated until instructed to return to their classroom.


Either party throughout the year may request a conference between parents and teacher. These conferences should be scheduled in advance and at such times as is convenient for both parents and the teacher. Open House provides the opportunity for parents to meet teachers and view evidence of classroom activities and should not take the place of conferences. Parent Conferences are scheduled by the school in late October. More information to follow.


The academic year will be divided into three marking periods. Progress Reports for the first trimester will be passed out at individual parent- teacher conferences. If parents or guardians do not attend the conference, the progress report will be sent home with the student.

Report cards will be sent home at the end of each trimester. These reports are to be retained at home for the parent's records. The accompanying envelope must be signed and returned to school.

Mid-term progress reports will be sent home during the second and third trimesters.


Teachers sometimes plan field trips for their classes during the year. In order to participate in these activities, your child must display appropriate behavior throughout the year. If your child's behavior is inconsistent with school expectations for student behavior then he/she will not be allowed to attend.

Permission slips will be distributed to the children prior to the trip. These must be returned with a parent or guardian signature indicating approval for participation. Students without a signed permission slip will not be allowed to attend.


Students are expected to follow the rules set by the teachers on duty. Soda, glass bottles, glass containers and gum are not allowed at school.


Students may bring a cold lunch or participate in the school's hot lunch program. Lunch can be purchased by the day or by the week. Students having cold lunch may purchase milk from the cafeteria. Drinks may be brought from home but soda is strongly discouraged and glass containers are not allowed. Although upon occasion a parent may need to bring a fast food lunch in for their child, the practice can be disruptive and is discouraged.

Parents who wish to apply for free or reduced price lunches for their children may do so by completing an application and returning it to the school. Free and reduced lunch applications will be sent home the first week of school. You may re-apply at any time during the school year if your income changes. Just call the school or send a note in with your child.

Lunch money is collected on Friday for the upcoming week. Every effort to have payment available on Friday will be greatly appreciated. No large bills, please. Checks or money orders are encouraged.

Breakfast is available for those who wish to participate. Students who qualify for free/reduced lunch will also receive breakfast at the appropriate rate. There is a minimum fee for breakfast for all other students.

Students who plan on eating breakfast must arrive at school and be at the playground door at 8:15 AM for entry to breakfast. Only bus students will be permitted to participate after 8:30 AM. Breakfast runs from 8:15 to 8:40 AM daily.

Lunch $2.40/day $12.00/week Reduced Lunch $ $ 0.40/day$2.00/week

Milk $ 0.50/day $2.50/week

Breakfast $ 1.30/day $6.50/week Reduced Breakfast $ 0..30/day $1.50/week


McDonough School has a full time, registered nurse to help provide health services. Any student who feels ill should request permission from their teacher before reporting to the nurse.

Students and parents are requested to keep the nurse informed of any health problems that are ongoing or that should arise during the school year. Periodic vision and hearing tests, physical examinations, and other tests will be conducted through the nurse's office.

Students are not allowed to bring medicine to school including over-the-counter medicines such as cough drops and aspirin. By STATE LAW, you are required to adhere to the following procedure if it is necessary for your child to take medication in school: 1. Only medicine prescribed by a doctor will be allowed. A doctor's written authorization and instructions must be kept on file. 2. The medicine must be in the original container and be labeled with the child's name, doctor's name and instructions for dispensing the medication. 3. Parent's written authorization for the school to give medication must be kept on file.


All students are expected to be neat and clean and to be modestly dressed in clothing appropriate to school. Dress or appearance disruptive to an orderly classroom learning process will not be tolerated and students will be sent home upon contact with a parent or loaned clothing from the nurse's office. Noticeable make-up, including artificial fingernails, is not permitted. All students must wear appropriate footwear that is not dangerous or harmful. Sandals must have a backstrap for safety. Platform sneakers or shoes are not allowed. Socks must be worn with all footwear. Hats and headwear are not to be worn in the school building. Shorts are permitted and must be no shorter than fingertip length when the child’s arms are extended downward. Cut-offs, short gym shorts, short shirts, halter-tops, tank tops, and muscle shirts are not allowed. Clothing with messages in poor taste or that promotes alcohol or other drugs is prohibited. The complete student dress code can be found near the back of this handbook. Please note that due to safety issues, flip flops are not allowed. They are not safe on the stairs or on the playground.


No use or display of cell phones by students will take place during the day. Any cell phone that is visible or used during the day, will be kept in the school office. Parents will be notified to pick up the phone.


McDonough School has a full-time counselor who is available to work with students, parents and staff. Our guidance program offers a variety of services including consultations, individual conferences, group, and classroom work. Students may request appointments or may be referred. It is requested that parents wishing to consult with a counselor make an appointment to do so.


The school library is a resource available to the students and staff of McDonough School. The mission is to enable students to be effective users of information and to promote literacy by providing books that children want to read.

Children are allowed to sign out books. By signing his/her name on the card, the child assumes responsibility for the book and is expected to return it the following week. Overdue notices will be sent home when borrowed material is not returned on time. If the book is lost or damaged, the child will be held responsible and a replacement fee will be assessed.

To support the school curriculum, the library program depends on access to an organized collection of appropriate materials in a variety of formats – books, magazines, videotapes, computer software, pamphlets, and DVD’s. The library program is the responsibility of a media generalist. Volunteer staff is always welcome.


Art, Health, Music, and Physical Education classes are scheduled on a regular basis for students in grades K through 5. Students should wear appropriate clothing and bring sneakers on the day they are scheduled for physical education.


The McDonough School PTA is a non-profit association open to all parents of children attending our school, its teachers, administration and educational assistants. Our goals are to provide a vehicle for communication among the parents, staff, and school administration, as well as, to provide educational enrichment for the students by means of moral, financial, and volunteer support.

To this end we need everyone's input, be it suggestions for new programs, ideas for new and better ways to reach parents, or actual involvement in ongoing functions. We need parents to support our activities if they are to be successful.

Meetings are held monthly, except for December, February and April , at 6:30pm on the second Tuesday of the month. All parents are welcome.


We welcome parents, guardians, and relatives to volunteer in our school. If you are interested, please contact your child's classroom teacher, the school's volunteer coordinator, or the office. The McDonough School Volunteer Program is operated in accordance with the Manchester School District Volunteer Program policy.

If you would like to share your interests, hobbies, profession or other points of interest with your child's classroom, please call the office or your child's teacher. We always welcome guest speakers or readers.


The Manchester School District, in partnership with families and the community, encourages and assists all children reach their fullest potential to become lifelong learners. Children’s success depends on an active partnership between school staff and families since neither can do the job alone. In order to set expectations of excellence for every child, we offer educational opportunities which provide challenging content, promote children’s enthusiasm for learning, and enlist the help of families and community to achieve success for all children.

Families are diverse in culture and language. Families share the school’s commitment to the educational success for their children. The District schools, in collaboration with families, shall establish programs and practices that enhance school, family, and community partnerships and reflect the specific needs of students and their families.

The school, family and community partnership will be comprehensive and coordinated in nature. It will include, but not be limited to, the following components of successful family engagement programs:

A Family Engagement Committee, comprised of district wide Title 1 families and staff, will meet regularly each year. This committee shall ensure that Title 1 programs, activities and practices are planned and implemented with meaningful consultation between families of participating children.

The Committee will meet annually with the District Title 1 Director to review and evaluate this Policy and revise it, as needed.

The Committee will share best practices in family engagement and identify barriers to participation remaining sensitive to the diverse needs of families.

The District will ensure that Title 1 schools carry out the Title 1 Family Engagement Policy requirements:

  • Each school will develop a school Title 1 policy, compact, and plan in consultation with Title 1 families or adopt the District Title 1 Policy.

  • The District will provide access to the Manchester Academic standards.

  • Each school will hold an annual meeting to explain the Title 1 program, to help families understand the school’s curriculum and assessment and review the Title 1 plan.

  • Each school’s Title 1 plan will include how family involvement will be integrated into the educational plan of the school.

  • Communication with families will be clear, two-way, and in a format that families will understand, to the extent possible.

“Family” refers to all caregiving and guardianship relationships.


Moving/Change of Address Please keep the office informed of any change in address, phone numbers, or work information throughout the school year. If you move to a different Manchester school area during the school year and wish to have your child remain at McDonough School, you must write a letter to McDonough School's principal stating the reason(s) you wish to have your child remain at McDonough School for the remainder of the school year. It should include your child's name and grade as well as your former and new addresses.

Lockers- Lockers will be assigned to each child for the duration of the school year. Each locker will be shared with another classmate. Locks on lockers are not permitted. Valuable items should not be brought to school. McDonough School is not responsible for lost or stolen items

Telephone- Due to the heavy flow of incoming calls, students will not be permitted to use the school's telephone to call home except in the event of an emergency. If your child forgets his/her lunch, he/she will be allowed to have a school lunch and payment is expected on the following day. Musical instruments left at home, forgotten sneakers, permission to go to a friend's house, forgotten assignments or projects are not considered reasons for telephone usage. Your cooperation in this matter is greatly appreciated.

Textbooks -Textbooks are provided for all our students. Students are responsible for the proper maintenance of these books. Lost and/or damaged textbooks will require a charge for replacement.

Lost and Found Lost clothing items, school bags, and lunch boxes are placed on racks along the back wall of the cafeteria. We encourage you and your children to look there for lost items. All unclaimed items are donated to charity at the end of each month.

School Cancellation or delayed opening- In the case of inclement weather the School District will make the decision to either cancel or delay the school day. Please visit the district website( or stay tuned to WMUR).


A detailed listing of all Manchester School District policies is available at:


Available online at