EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION
Beginning with the 2022-2023 school year, the Ritenour School District will offer free early childhood education to district families. The program was previously tuition-based. Half-day and full-day classes are offered at the Ritenour School for Early Childhood Education, located at 3580 Woodson Road. An enrollment lottery will be held each year for families interested in the program. A waiting list will be created, if necessary, for students not selected in the lottery.
The School for Early Childhood Education is a program designed to help children in the Ritenour School District grow socially, emotionally, physically and intellectually through developmentally appropriate activities. Classes are for children ages three to five years old.
The School for Early Childhood Education offers full-day and half-day programs, Parents as Teachers services, and before- and after-care services.
Ritenour's School for Early Childhood Education is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
EMAIL / VOICEMAIL
All Ritenour teachers have voice and email access in their classrooms. Information, including staff names, voicemail numbers and email addresses, is provided to parents/guardians and is also available by contacting a school secretary.
Students in grades PreK - 8 are not permitted to use personal electronic devices, including cell phones, cameras, radios, hand-held video games, electronic games and stations, laser pointers, etc. during school hours. Students should not bring these items to school since they may be used only before or after school. Electronic devices may also interfere with essential school communication during an emergency. When students use such items during the school day, they may be taken from students and held in the office for parents to pick up later. Disciplinary action may also occur.
The district is not responsible for lost, stolen or confiscated cell phones or other electronic devices brought to school, regardless of the reason behind why the device was at school.
ELEVATOR / ACCESSIBILITY
Elevators are available in all schools for those persons needing assistance due to disability, illness or injury. In cases of illness or injury, a doctor’s note is required and should include the length of time the student will need access to the elevator. A refundable key deposit is also required.
EMERGENCY CLOSINGS AND ALTERNATIVE METHODS OF INSTRUCTION PLAN
Ritenour school buildings close because of severe weather or other emergencies only when it is necessary for the safety of students and staff. Every effort is made to keep schools in session to accommodate regular school and family schedules. All parents receive an automated telephone call informing them of any school closure. School closings are also broadcast on local television and radio stations. Closure information is also available on the district website and social media.
Alternative Methods of Instruction (AMI) Plan
Beginning with the 2020-2021 school year, Ritenour will not be required to make up days when school buildings are closed due to unexpected short-term closures such as inclement weather, illness or utility outages. Instead, the district will implement an Alternative Methods of Instruction (AMI) Plan on these days.
When there is a short-term closure such as inclement weather, families will receive communication from the district letting you know that all students will learn virtually. Students will connect virtually with their teachers for live, real-time learning during school closures. Please note: the district will do its best to give families and staff 24 hours advance notice of a school closure due to inclement weather.
Students should take home devices and other school supplies as needed if there is a potential for school closure due to inclement weather. Please see the schedules below:
Alternative Methods of Instruction (AMI) Closure Schedule:
- Early Childhood: 9 - 10 a.m. & 1 - 2 p.m.
- Elementary Schools: 9 - 11 a.m. & 1 - 3:15 p.m.
- Middle Schools: 7:35 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
- Ritenour High School: 8:05 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
After-school activities such as sports, clubs, scouts, extended learning classes, school-age child care and other community use of buildings are cancelled when school is cancelled. The Ritenour High School activity line, (314) 493-6100, ext. 2, may be called for the latest information regarding high school athletics and activities. For more information about Ritenour AMI days, visit www.ritenourschools.org/AMI.
Emergency Early Dismissal
Because of the inconvenience and hardship that unplanned early dismissals cause many families, school is dismissed early only when the well-being of students becomes an issue. Examples would be damage to the building from severe weather, equipment or utility failure or other emergency.
In preparation for the possibility of an early dismissal, parents should:
- Keep emergency contact information at school up to date at all times.
- Make arrangements for someone to care for children when they arrive home, or
- Discuss with and arrange in advance for your child to go somewhere else if it is not feasible for them to go home.
Schools follow the procedures below to the extent possible:
- Issue a telephone message, text message and email through the district’s notification system.
- Post on social media, such as Facebook and Twitter.
- Announce early dismissals on television and radio stations.
- If the early dismissal is district-wide, release of middle school students is first, followed by high school students and then elementary students so they arrive home as close as practical to their regular time.
- Run bus schedules in the above order if possible.
- Release students only to persons listed on the students’ emergency contact list.
After-school activities such as sports, clubs, scouts, extended learning classes, school-age child care and other community use of buildings are cancelled when school is cancelled. The Ritenour High School activity line, (314) 493-6100, ext. 2, may be called for the latest information regarding high school athletics and activities.
EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS / SAFELINE
The district has an Emergency Response Information Plan (ERIP) that is activated to protect students, staff and visitors in the event of an emergency or disaster. This inclusive plan is based on state and federal best practices and utilizes a multi-hazard approach to emergency planning.
Routine emergency drills are conducted to familiarize students and staff with their role and responsibilities during an emergency. Training and drills prepare students to execute facility evacuation, severe weather shelter and emergency lockdown safety procedures.
Safeline is the district's safety reporting phone system for individuals to call and report safety concerns. Students, parents, staff, and residents can call anytime they have information about possible illegal activity, a potential threat or any type of safety issue affecting Ritenour students or schools.
Safeline is designed to increase safety at Ritenour schools and school events. The system is an automated voicemail system that is monitored Monday through Friday during school hours. Callers can report concerns to the voice mail account seven days a week, 24 hours a day. However, to report an emergency or an incident needing immediate attention, callers should dial 911 or contact the local police. Safeline is anonymous and does not use any caller I.D. devices, although callers are encouraged to leave their names, telephone numbers and detailed information to better allow district administrators to act on the information. Information reported on Safeline is reported daily to school principals and district administrators.
The Safeline number is (314) 493-6205.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS (ELL) / ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE (ESL)
An English Language Learners (ELL) program of specialized instruction and assistance is available for students whose native language is not English. Students are assessed to determine their level of English proficiency. More information for ELL students can be obtained from the school principal.
EVERY STUDENT SUCCEEDS ACT (ESSA) (FORMERLY NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND)
The Ritenour School District fully complies with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015. More information about ESSA is available at www.ed.gov/essa. Additional information is included in the Parents Right to Know Notice and the Standard Complaint Resolution Procedure included in this handbook.
FAMILY EDUCATIONAL RIGHTS AND PRIVACY ACT (FERPA)
Student information and records are regulated by the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Ritenour School District adheres to stringent guidelines to protect private information of all students.
Field trips enrich instruction and help introduce or conclude a unit of study. Students must have a permission slip signed by a parent/guardian to go on a field trip. For the safety of students, verbal permission is not permissible. In situations where the safety of a student is in question due to the nature of the field trip or prior behavior by the student, 504 & IEP teams will determine if the student should or should not attend. If the student is not under a 504 or IEP, the building principal will determine whether the student will participate. Parents must contact the school nurse if any medications are to accompany their student on the trip. Adult volunteers that assist with field trips must complete a Volunteer Application before participating. See VOLUNTEERS for more information.
FUNDRAISING / COMMUNITY SERVICE PROJECTS
Students participate in fundraising activities each year. These projects are coordinated by the school parent-teacher organization, activity director, athletic director or other district employee, and must have approval of the principal. Ritenour School District cannot assume responsibility for lost or stolen fundraising items or money.
Community Service Projects
Ritenour students have a long history of helping others through community service projects. Students participate in school-wide and classroom service projects that help community, state or national organizations such as the American Cancer Society, the Christmas Carolers’ Association, the American Heart Association and the Ronald McDonald House. Community service projects are a vital part of the district’s commitment to teaching its students to be good citizens.