Wise School is a thriving community, full of deep learning, meaningful holiday and Shabbat celebrations, athletic competitions, musical performances, and so much more. The pages in this Parent Handbook will help you navigate this busy world by clearly explaining our policies, expectations, and school culture. I hope you will read through it carefully, and if you have any questions I invite you to speak with me about your child, our school, or our community.
I believe the success of a school is built on the strength of the partnership between the students, teachers, parents and administration. It is an honor for me, as Head of School, to work with such dedicated parents as we help our children realize their potential. May we all go from strength to strength!
Head of School
The Annual Giving Campaign supplements the amount received from tuition and fees to provide a comprehensive educational environment at Wise. Gifts to the School’s Annual Giving Campaign provide funds for innovation and technology, student enrichment, professional development and program enhancements. The fund is supported by gifts from parents, grandparents, and staff. Every gift is important to the school and all donors are appreciated and acknowledged. We appreciate all that you have done in the past, and look forward to your heartfelt commitment and continued support.
We invite parents and grandparents to attend our special student celebrations, performances, and events. Siblings in school, however, may not interrupt their classroom instruction in order to attend such events.
As a Jewish day school, it is our hope that the holiday traditions and customs taught in the classroom and sanctuary will carry over to the home. Many of our families celebrate Shabbat. Out of respect to those who choose to do so, the school requests that birthday or other parties not be scheduled on Friday evenings or Shabbat mornings.
Birthdays are special days in a child's life. The school and the teachers are glad to share in acknowledging a child's happiness in growing a year older. Parents are encouraged to follow the guidelines below to ensure that there are no hurt feelings among our students:
When dropping your children off at school or picking them up, it is your opportunity to model attitudes and behaviors of respect and safety. By observing how you respond to the drop off and pick up rules and procedures, your children will shape their own responses to similar situations. Carpool is less stressful and more efficient for everyone when all drivers cooperate.
We ensure the safety and security of our students, parents, staff, and faculty through a rigorous risk management program that employs the knowledge of parents, consultants, and staff members to provide us with the best practices available to mitigate and respond to risk.
Our staff has been trained to provide immediate contingency response support, regardless of circumstances. As such, we regularly engage in shelter-in-place and evacuation drills. Using our on-site resources and staff training, we can provide food, shelter, and first aid care to the entire staff and student community for up to 72 hours.
In case of an emergency or a drill:
Medications: Our Disaster Preparedness Policy requires that we keep a three-day supply of daily medications that are necessary to a child's health in the nurse's office. The medication must be in a pharmacy container, clearly labelled with the following information:
This is in addition to the daily medications described under Health and Safety procedures.
All medications must be replaced prior to their expiration dates. Parents are responsible for furnishing this medication prior to the first day of school.
Wise School has a clearly articulated and well-defined dress code that we expect all students to follow. We believe that parents hold the primary responsibility for ensuring their child is following the dress code.
Students are expected to wear clean clothes and to be well-groomed when they come to school.
All students are expected to wear uniforms and outerwear as described within this handbook. Variations to the approved code of dress for daily wear and physical education activities are not allowed. The dress code that the school has adopted will be enforced at all grade levels, DK-6. A verbal reminder of the dress code will follow the first offense. A written note or email to parents will accompany the second. Recurring infractions will lead to a family meeting with a school administrator.
The library serves our schools, the parents of our students, and the Temple community through an extensive collection of 25,000 volumes of Judaic and general studies books.
Beginning in Developmental Kindergarten, students are introduced to the children’s collection and learn how to handle, care for, and check out books. Most importantly, through regularly scheduled story hours in the library, students are encouraged to love reading. All students come to the library with their classes for workshops and lessons, story hours and writing classes taught by or facilitated by the librarian.
The librarian thanks all students and parents in advance for caring for the school’s books and for returning books and materials on time so that other readers may enjoy them.
Library Hours are as follows:
Field trips are scheduled during the school year to enhance the classroom curriculum. Prior to a field trip, an announcement is sent home providing specific information about the excursion as well as a consent form that must be signed and returned. Students who do not have a signed consent form will not be able to attend the field trip.
In case of a medical emergency, if parents cannot be reached immediately, the information available on the student's online health record ensures the school will provide medical care according to the parents’ instructions. Please make sure that the adults that you have named on your student's online health record as emergency contacts are informed of their roles and responsibilities.
Please update the student’s online health record with changes in phone number(s), addresses or emergency contacts. Parents are responsible for keeping their own emergency information updated online. Enrollment at Wise confers upon the school the obligation to proceed with emergency care if the parent(s) cannot be immediately contacted. The school bears no liability for the decisions made in the event that parents cannot be reached.
If there is death or illness in the family, parental separation or divorce, or a parents’ extended absence from home, the Assistant Head of School should be notified. This will give the school personnel the opportunity to provide assistance and support for a student who may need it. Confidentiality will be maintained.
To protect both students and staff, parents are requested not to send children who are ill to school. The child should be observed at home and taken to a doctor, if necessary, to prevent extended illness or absence from school. If, in the judgement of the school nurse, the child is too ill to complete the school day, parents should make arrangements for their child to be picked up from school.
When an adult or child member of the school community has a communicable disease including, but not limited to, conjunctivitis, impetigo, scabies, tuberculosis, hepatitis, pinworm, German measles, mumps and chickenpox, it must be reported to the school nurse at once. When such an event occurs, the school will make every effort to contact families of the individuals who have been exposed. While protecting the privacy of the patient is important to everyone, protecting the health of the entire school community must receive the highest priority.
All students new to the school must have on file a completed record of immunization compliance including DPT or DT(4), polio(3), measles (10 day), mumps and rubella. If your child receives additional immunizations during the year, please update the online health record and inform the school nurse. A student may not attend classes without complete and updated health records on file.
All prescribed medications must be left in the nurse’s office along with the following information:
Children may not carry medications with them during the school day. They may not bring medications to class.
* Early supervision is available beginning at 7:30 a.m. on Faber Field. Supervision is not provided prior to that hour. It is important that parents be punctual in picking up carpools or individual students at their designated dismissal time. After 4:30 p.m., please be in touch with our Center for Youth Engagement (CYE) which manages our enrichment activities, at 310.889.2263.
At Wise School, homework is assigned to further our vision that students have the opportunity to learn deeply, be creative, experience wholeness and make great happen. Homework assignments are given with purposeful intent. They are meant to support children’s development of proper work habits/organizational skills, promote growth in assuming responsibility, encourage independent behavior, and reinforce daily learning.
Based on current research available, including best practices shared by Denise Clark Pope, the following time allotments to complete homework in all subjects (not including free reading) are offered as general guidelines:
Wise School feels deeply that the best learning is done in class and independently at home. The use of outside support should be coordinated with administration, and a clear line of communication must be established.
Our lunch policy is designed to provide a safe, healthy, and conscientious food atmosphere for all our students.
The following are Standards for Student Conduct. A Wise student represents the school in all activities on or off campus, and is expected to behave in a way that brings credit to the school.
Every student is made aware of the school rules. They are discussed and reinforced throughout the school day and year, in the classrooms and at special assemblies. Children operate best in an environment where clear expectations and mutual respect are the rule. Although we understand that children make mistakes, it is our goal that they will learn from their mistakes as they grow in self-awareness and self-control.
Students are expected to abide by the Standards for Student Conduct whenever they are on the Wise school campus and at all school-related events. By adhering to these principles and standards, our students will thrive and be proud members of our Wise community.
Consequences for violations of the student conduct policy are as follows:
The supervising adult will make the student aware that she/he is behaving inappropriately by issuing a specific verbal warning.
If inappropriate behavior continues, a conference will be held with an administrator to review the steps that have been taken to date and to determine what further action needs to be taken to correct the behavior.
After continued infractions, the student will meet with the teacher and parent. A plan to modify the behavior will be created and communicated to the parents and child.
Students who refuse to abide by the Standards For Student Conduct through extreme or repeated violations may be denied permission to continue at Wise.
Formal conferences are scheduled between parents and the child's teacher in the fall and spring. At the conference, parents and teachers review the child's progress and discuss strengths and areas of growth. Conferences provide an excellent opportunity for the teacher and parent to develop ways of supporting the child's learning experience. If additional information is needed during the school year, parents are encouraged to email their child’s teacher directly. Teachers will respond within 48 hours.
Families receive student progress reports twice a year, in January and in June. At each grading period, in addition to academic performance, teachers evaluate student effort and behavior.
In the spring, the Educational Records Bureau Comprehensive Testing Program (CTP 4) is administered to students in Grades 3 - 6. This test measures our students' achievement in language arts and math relative to the performance of students in independent schools nationwide. Children's test scores are made available to parents. Additionally, our students’ reading and writing skills are assessed individually at specific intervals during the year.
The Student Study Team is chaired by the Director of Student Support Services, and is composed of the Administrative Team, the Counselor, and classroom teachers. The purpose of the SST team is to respond to teachers’ concerns about their students’ academic achievement, classroom behaviors, and social interactions. Teachers may submit a Request for Consideration Form to the Director of Student Support Services. The Student Study Team then gathers to review available information about the child in question. Following discussion with the teachers and examination of student work, measures may be recommended to address the student’s needs. Responsibility may be assigned to one or more team members to further the recommendations. A variety of strategies and services to provide appropriate academic support, enrichment, or social growth opportunities may be recommended.
Parents may be encouraged to seek a comprehensive evaluation or to arrange for supplemental support services outside of the school. Monitoring and follow-through is accomplished through the coordinated efforts of the team. The Director of Student Support Services maintains and updates confidential files of students discussed at Student Study Team. The Director of Student Support Services also collects independent testing results and reports on outside services provided to students. While the staff makes recommendations, parents are always included in the decision-making process.
The counseling program at Wise is supervised by a qualified and experienced school counselor who provides guidance and support services as follows:
From time to time, children who attend Wise may need outside tutoring. When a child is not keeping up with his or her work or when a child is having difficulty acquiring information and concepts, the parent or teacher may ask the Student Study Team to consider the nature of the child’s needs and to recommend an appropriate course of action. In some cases, outside tutoring may be indicated.
To help parents avoid spending money and time unnecessarily, and to assure that the child receives appropriate benefits from tutoring, please observe the following practices when considering engaging the services of a tutor:
From time to time a Wise student might require the assistance of an educational companion or support teacher. The companion is an adult who is trained to provide a range of individual support services for a child with an identified need in social/emotional or cognitive development. The assistance of an educational companion is coordinated through the school office of Student Support Services and paid for by the parents. The length of support will vary according to individual growth and development. All parents should know that educational companions are required to undergo LIVESCAN and TB testing.
The Wise Parent Association is a vital part of your child's school experience, and maximum parent involvement is critical to the WPA's effectiveness as a support organization for Wise School. Through the efforts of WPA members, programs such as the Purim Carnival and the Book Fair are made possible. An important part of the WPA's work involves fundraising for the enrichment of our children's education as well as coordinating social activities for our community.
We encourage each and every parent in our school to attend the Wise Parent Association meetings, as this is the first step in getting involved in your child’s education. You will hear reports from our school administrators, learn about upcoming programs and events, engage with guest speakers and most importantly, volunteer your time to help out in an activity that will be enjoyed by our entire community. Your ideas, input and attendance are needed and appreciated. Working together to make our school the best it can be for our children is our primary goal.
You can contact the WPA at [email protected]
The Los Angeles Jewish community embodies a wealth of national and ethnic diversity. It is home to Jews from around the world and includes mixed-faith, mixed-race, and same-sex Jewish families. Wise reflects the diversity of Los Angeles.
At Wise, we welcome Jews from all backgrounds, and we strive to reflect their diverse Jewish experiences in our community programs and school curriculum. To successfully integrate all members of our community, we expect all of our parents and students to celebrate our diversity and to demonstrate cultural sensitivity. Our varied experiences and personal stories can help to provide our children with the sophistication and skills to navigate our increasingly complex and diverse global world. To ensure everyone’s comfort, we ask that all members of the community speak English when around those who do not share another language, and we ask those who speak only English to be flexible with and understanding towards those who occasionally slip into their mother tongue.
We believe that the following four principles are essential to building a strong, healthy, vibrant, and cohesive community that makes us WISE: