Parent Handbook

      CHICORA SCHOOL OF COMMUNICATIONS…….Where We Use Technology and the Arts!



A Title I, Charleston County Elementary Learning Community, & LINKS to Success School

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                                    3795 Spruill Avenue 

North Charleston, SC 29405

Phone - 843-746-2210

Fax – 843-566-7792


Future Home of Chicora School of Communications!

‘Where We Use Technology and the Arts!




  • WINGS, our after school program, will be serving approximately 120 Chicora students in kindergarten to 5th grade on Mondays through Fridays from 2:30 to 5:30. Not only do they offer homework assistance, WINGS focuses on social emotional growth. For more information please contact the Director, Ms. Ashley Tucker, through the school office.
  • This year we will be offering an Extended Learning After-School Program for students who require interventions in Reading and Math.  The program will be at least 2 days a week for 2 hours each session.  Students and parents will be notified if selected to participate in the program.


BUSES, BUS DISCIPLINE AND BUS RULES: Durham School Services, is a private firm that operates the Charleston County Bus System.  Safety on the buses is necessary to ensure each child’s safety.  The order maintained on the bus is a huge responsibility for the driver and therefore the driver is required to report any disorderly bus conduct to the school administration.  Very clear expectations allow the students to know the consequences for the failure to follow school bus rules. 

            If your child is not dropped off at his or her stop, or if you have any concerns about bus transportation, please follow these steps.

1.  Contact friends or family members who may have made alternative plans for your child but may have failed to communicate
with you.

2.  Call the Chicora School of Communications at 746-2210.  School offices have full coverage that extends before and after the school day, and staff members are prepared to answer your call. The school will be able to communicate with the staff members on bus duty that day

3.  If you do not get through or have further questions, Call your area’s “bus supervisor.” These are Durham School Services staff members who are on call to hear your concerns. Supervisors can quickly communicate with their drivers by the parent or guardian calling (843) 745-7084.
Call the Durham Bus Services Company central office at (843) 725-3160. This number is covered from 8:30-5:00 p.m. 
Call the CCSD Transportation Office at (843) 566-8142 or (843) 566-8169.

For more information, call the Office of Communications at 937-6303.


Bus Discipline Policy

Durham Bus Services and the bus drivers have the responsibility to provide your family with safe transportation to and from school.  Therefore, it is extremely important for students to show behavior that allows the bus driver to provide his/her service in a safe manner. 

Students should follow the expectations explained in the Student Code of Conduct in order to show our SMART rules on the bus and at the bus stops.  Transportation to and from school is a service delivered to your family; therefore, it is the expectation for all students to practice SMART behaviors.  In order to maintain safety on the bus, service will be denied to students that cause a danger to the safety of others by acting in ways that distracts the bus driver or show disrespect to others or bus property.  Inappropriate behaviors include those behaviors present at the bus stop too.

The following progressive discipline schedule will be in place for this school year:

v First referral from the driver: Verbal warning and referral sent home for signature, review of bus expectations.

v Second referral: Verbal warning and referral sent home for signature, review of bus expectations.

v Third referral:  One day suspension from the bus service.

v Fourth referral: Two days suspension from the bus service.

v Fifth referral: Three days suspension from the bus service and warning letter sent home warning of removal from the bus for the rest of the year.

v Sixth referral:  Bus riding privileges denied for the remainder of the year.

Each time a student is suspended from the bus it is the responsibility of the parent to provide transportation for the student to get to and from school.



Students may also lose bus riding privileges for the year by demonstrating behavior that is extremely dangerous to others on the bus or in the public.  To report problems at the bus stop contact the North Charleston Police department.  To report problems with the route or the bus driver contact the school’s Assistant Principal at 746-2210 or Durham Bus Services at 745-7083.


Local businesses and organizations have a vested interest in the quality of education in their community.  Therefore, local businesses and community affiliates unite with the school to improve the quality of life in the community and give local citizens an opportunity to participate in the educational process.  Chicora is honored to have a large number of partners working together for the benefit of our students.


Our school nurse is on duty five days per week and the clinic is located on the first floor near the office.

            Accidents  The school makes every effort to provide a safe environment for  all of the children.  In the event of an accident the school nurse or a member of the staff will render first aid and notify parents as necessary.  Parents must keep emergency cards updated in case the school needs to reach them.

            Medications All medication must be registered with the school office before school begins on the day medication is to be given.

A physician’s authorization form must be on file in the school clinic.


 7:10  am – 7:40 am    Students Report to Classroom   (Breakfast Served in Classrooms)

7:40 am   Announcements/Tardy Bell
2:25 pm   Student Dismissal

Students are recognized quarterly for perfect attendance.  Attendance is a requirement for promotion.  If your child has to be absent, please send a valid excuse to the office within three days of the absence.  It is very important for your child to be on time each day and stay until school is dismissed.  Tardies and early outs should only happen for medical reasons or emergencies.   Please help your child have 100% attendance and no tardies. Our No Family Left Behind initiative recognizes each family for having no tardies every nine weeks. For the purpose of Perfect Attendance Awards a student must have perfect attendance as well as no more than 2 tardies and /or “early outs.”


Chicora’s schoolwide discipline plan supports the Safety and Order initiative in the Charleston County School District’s Vision 2016.

Teachers are responsible for teaching and learning.  We are committed to a rigorous academic program for all students.

Parents are responsible for setting limits, tutoring their children in ethical standards, expecting children to be responsible for their actions, communicating high expectations to their children and expecting them to be careful listeners and to actively participate in learning in order to achieve success.

It is very important to have a strong discipline policy to ensure safety and to provide a positive learning environment.

Children feel secure and safe when they know what is expected. The classroom rules and school wide rules have been developed using the SMART Model.


SMART is easy for the students to understand and everyone throughout the school will be enforcing basic rules for the same reasons.




The expectations for students, teachers, and school visitors are listed below and are our SMART Expectations.




                                                                                S   Successful
                                              M   Motivated
                                               A   Aware 
                                              T   Team Player


A copy of the SMART discipline plan will be sent home the first week of school for parents and students to review, sign and return to school to put in each student’s citizenship folder.



Each student will receive an emergency card to be completed by the parents and returned to school.  Parents must fill out this information COMPLETELY and notify the school anytime there is a change in informationIt is VERY important that we are able to reach you in case of an emergency.  We must have the names and telephone numbers of other people we can contact in case of an emergency.  Please let these people know that they are listed as emergency contacts on your child’s emergency card.  If necessary in an emergency, EMS will be called when no one can be reached on the emergency card.  Please notify the school as soon as possible when moving, changing telephone numbers, or place of employment, etc. 



The mission of Exceptional Children Services (ECS) is to provide our students with a continuum of high quality education and related services that meets their unique needs and ensures that they gain the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to go to college, pursue 21st Century careers, and become independent and productive citizens.  The vision of the Exceptional Children Services is that all students receive a full continuum of services and a rigorous, high quality education that prepares them for success in college, careers, community life, and independent living.  Therefore, in CCSD and at the Chicora School of Communications, we believe all students must:  have access to equal and appropriate educational opportunities in safe, orderly general education settings in schools as close to home as possible; be considered as general education students first; be welcomed as unique individuals and integrated into the school community; and, be provided high quality, rigorous and relevant instruction. ECS supports the Chicora School of Communications by:  facilitating training on legal policies, procedures, programs, and practices for the education of exceptional children ;  offering extra supports, shared resources, parent training, and community outreach for exceptional children and their families; and, providing direct and explicit instructional assistance on research-based programs and strategies for teachers of exceptional children.



K-2 grades are reported using the State Rating Scale of CD- Consistently Demonstrates, SD- Sometimes Demonstrates, or RD – Rarely or Never Demonstrates.   
The grading scale for grades 3-5 is:  A=100-93, B=92-85, C=84-77, D=76-70, F=69-0.       



Guidance in the elementary school is concerned with the mental, emotional, social, physical and educational developmental needs of the students.  Students will participate in classroom guidance and individual and group counseling as needed.  Small groups will meet periodically throughout the year to target specific concerns such as anger control, study skills, etc.  Parents/Guardians will be notified about small group participation so they can decide if their child should participate.  Ms. Laura Isaac, Guidance Counselor, is available to meet with parents to discuss any educational or social/emotional concerns in regards to their children. 



Homework assignments are meaningful and reinforce skills studied during the day.  Primary teachers will assign about 30 minutes of homework and elementary teachers will assign about 45 minutes of homework.   It is helpful if the student has a set time and place to study.  Please encourage your child to read daily.  The most important thing a student can do to improve academically is to read. 



The following meal prices have been approved for the 2014-2015 school year.

Elementary Lunch     Full Price $2.25     Reduced Price $0.40        Adult  $3.75

Elementary Breakfast  Universal Breakfast for all students          Adult  $2.25

Free and Reduced Meal Forms will be sent home with the students and they will also be available in the school office.



Chicora School of Communications is a neighborhood magnet school. As a neighborhood magnet, we accept a certain number of students from outside the attendance zone each year. If you are moving in the future, please contact us at 746-2210 to see if you can qualify for our magnet program. All students who attend Chicora must complete the magnet enrollment process every May.



A mentor is a wise and trusted adult friend.  The Chicora Lunch Buddy program believes that every child can benefit from having a positive role model in their lives. Students interested in having a mentor complete an application at the beginning of the school year. Mentors are matched with their mentees based on common interests and as needs arise. Teachers, the guidance counselor, the principal, and parents can recommend students for mentors. If you feel your child needs a mentor, please call the school office at 746-2210. We will do our best to match your child with a mentor.  If we do not have a mentor currently available, your child’s name will go on a waiting list.  




In addition to a PTO (Parent-Teacher Organization), Chicora will also have a parent advocate, and/or  a parent educator during the 2013-2014 school year. Monthly programs will include topics, such as, Motherread; Lunch, Listen, and Learn; PASS testing tips; Black History; ADHD; homework tips; and other interesting topics as the schedule permits.  Graded papers will be sent home in a special folder each Wednesday.  Please look over your child’s papers and talk with your child about them.  Interim Reports will be sent home every 4 1/2 weeks and Report Cards will be sent home every 9 weeks. Teachers will send home newsletters periodically to keep you informed about the activities and topics your children are studying.  Teachers and/or parents may request conferences as needed.  Communication is very important to make sure everyone is working on the same goals. 




The purpose of the School Improvement Council is to allow those closest to the students - parents, teachers and administrators- to make decisions to improve educational quality and student achievement in individual schools.  The SIC meets eight times a year and all parents, guardians and community persons are invited to attend and participate.  If you would like to participate as a member of the SIC this year, please call the school office at 746-2210 and leave your name and number and the principal will return your call.  We welcome and need your participation.



Each year the State Department of Education and the Charleston County School District administer specific tests.  The kindergarten classes will take math and reading assessments at the beginning of the year and periodically throughout the year.  First to fifth grades will participate in MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) for reading, math, and language three times a year. Students in grades three through five will take PASS, the State’s assessment in the spring, once in March (writing) and also in May (reading, math, science, & social studies).  Parents/Guardians will be kept informed of their child’s progress.  Parents are invited to schedule a conference with their child’s teacher or the principal to interpret the results of the PASS test scores. 



Chicora Elementary meets the criteria to be a Title I School.  We receive federal funding that is used for teacher salaries to reduce class sizes, purchase materials, and provide other resources that the Title I Team determines to be a need.   A Title I Plan is housed in the media center and everyone is invited to stop by and read it.  The surveys that parents and teachers complete in the spring are used to help develop the plan each year.



The following procedures should be followed if withdrawing or transferring a student:

1.      The student will return all library books and any other school property.

2.      The student will pay for any debts such as a lost textbook, pictures, etc.

3.      The parent/guardian must come to the office or send a written request stating the withdrawal date, new address and name of new school (if known).  Records will be sent to the new school at their request.





All students are expected to wear uniforms.  The uniform colors are khaki, navy, white, light blue, and burgundy.  Please help your child to have a successful day and get off to a good start by making sure he/she is dressed appropriately. The following articles of clothing make up Chicora’s uniform:


·        Oxford or polo style, short or long sleeve

·        navy, white, burgundy, light blue



·        Khaki or Navy Blue

·        If there are belt loops, a belt must be worn.

·        Shorts must reach the knee cap when child is standing straight.



·        tennis or dress shoes

·        NO SANDLES

·        Tennis shoes must be worn days when student has PE



·        Chicora T-shirts and sweatshirts are permitted and are for sale in the school office. Please call for prices.




All visitors must report to the office to receive a visitor’s pass before going to the classrooms.  If a parent/guardian is on campus to observe or help in a classroom, a visitor’s pass is still necessary.  To protect instruction in the classroom, younger children should not accompany the parent/guardian on observation visits. Please schedule a conference with your child’s teacher so that a convenient time can be arranged for both parties. Unscheduled conferences may take place during arrival and departure times only.  All other appointments must be scheduled with the classroom teacher, prior to your visit.



Chicora welcomes volunteers.  Parents/guardians, community persons, church people, retired citizens and business representatives are appreciated and welcomed at Chicora.  There are many things that volunteers can do to help make Chicora Elementary School a safe, productive and inviting place for our students.  If you are interested in volunteering, please give the school office a call and someone will be very happy to meet with you.  Our Communities in Schools counselors are our volunteer coordinators.




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