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3375 Cheney NE • Grand Rapids, Michigan 49505 •Phone: 616.819.2848 •Fax: 616.819.

Jerry Bentley, Principal E-Mail:
Rick Noel, Asst. Principal E-Mail:

Guide ©
North Park Schools’ Staff

Position Name Room Number

Principal Jerry Bentley

Asst. Principal Rick Noel Office
Secretary Terri Schmitt Office
Custodian Cindy Salois 040

PreK/Kindergarten Kathy Freewind 008
PreK/Kindergarten Pat Pott 009
Kindergarten Sharon Andree 124
1st Grade Susan Hendricks 126
1-2-3 Montessori Jennifer Hall 121
1-2-3 Montessori Nikki Jones 123
1-2-3 Montessori Joe Uzarski 125
2nd Grade Johanna Morrissey 103
3rd/4th Grade Mary Stahl 113
4th / 5th Grade Dave Huyser 206
4-5-6 Montessori Pamela Lee 203
4-5-6 Montessori TBD 102
Speech Sharon Attar 204
Physical Education Barb Dahlman 004
ASD Teacher Mandi DeGroot 105
ASD Teacher Anita VanZoeren 122
ASD Teacher Beth Diekema 101
Resource Room Mary Guidry 104
Speech Mary Sherman 200
Vocal Music Obe VanderTol 202
Art Lucia Zapata 202

Support Staff
Michelle Conley
Barb Denhof
Robin Geahan
Pam Hall
Sue Lockwood
Kurt Meyer
Sue Prendergast

Regular attendance is essential in school. We cannot teach an

“empty seat” and an absence further compounds a child’s difficulty
when they return to class due to lost instructional time. It is critical to
begin developing “life-long” skills of punctuality and attendance that
will carry over into a child’s world of work as an adult.


Students should attend school daily, unless they are truly ill. If your child
is ill please call the school office at 819-2848 before 9:00 AM. It is
critical for us to know that your child is safe. If we do not hear from
you, we are required to contact you at home or work. As a courtesy to
our office staff, we would truly appreciate a phone call. If absences
become excessive, a report is automatically made to the proper
authorities and you will be notified by those authorities.


A student is considered tardy if he/she arrives to school after 9:15 AM.

A student that arrives late, must report to the school office so that
attendance records can be updated.

Early Dismissal

The parent / guardian or a designated responsible adult must sign out

their child in the school office. No student is to leave the school
grounds without permission from the principal’s office. No student is
released without verified parent / guardian approval. This policy exists
to keep your child safe and accounted for at all times. We ask for your
cooperation that all medical, dental and other appointments be
made outside of school hours to prevent an interruption in the
instructional time of your child.

The parent / guardian assumes responsibility for their child’s daily

attendance and assumes accountability as well.

Information Changes

Please be vigilant in keeping your parent / guardian information

accurate and up to date in the school office. It is critical that in an
emergency we have accurate information to reach you or your

Homework is still considered an essential part of the learning process.

The goal is to reinforce and support learning that is taking place within
our classrooms and to develop a “life-long skill” of responsibility and

Create a special place and time for your child to complete their work.
If you deem the work they do as important – they will internalize that
feeling for themselves and develop the skills and work ethic that is so
critical to their future success.

Homework takes many shapes; from a written assignment, reading

activities, creative projects and long-term research projects. In
addition to their regularly scheduled homework your child may bring
home incomplete assignments that must be completed and returned
to school.

We expect parents to sign ALL homework assignments as partners in

your child’s learning. Hold you child(ren) accountable to complete
their work on time – EVERY time!

Homework Timeframes:

Grade Level Expected Time Requirement

Kindergarten 10-15 Minutes

1st Grade 10-15 Minutes
2nd Grade 10-20 Minutes
3rd Grade 30 Minutes
4th Grade 30-40 Minutes
5th Grade 30-40 Minutes
6th Grade 40-45 Minutes

Your child’s teacher will communicate specific homework and project

expectations with their classroom schedules.

School Security and Safety Procedure

Our first priority in everything that we do is to keep your child safe - all
day – every day! With this in mind we have policies adopted to ensure
that is a reality.

All exterior doors are locked during the day. Please use the main
entrance (Cheney St.) to enter the building. All visitors MUST SIGN IN at
the main office upon entry to the building – there are no exceptions to
this critical safety issue. Volunteers and visitors must wear the
appropriate badge while in the building.

To volunteer in our school in any capacity (classroom assistance, field

trips, classroom visits, etc) you must complete a background check – if
you do not complete this critical check or do not receive the
appropriate clearance – you may NOT participate in school related
activities – no exceptions – please help by cooperating with this
important initiative to keep your child safe.

Grand Rapids Public Schools Student Policy Handbook

The GRPS Student Handbook provides specific information regarding

policies and procedures for all Grand Rapids Public Schools. This
handbook should be read thoroughly and the information shared with
your child(ren).

North Park Schools supports and enforces the GRPS Zero

Tolerance Philosophy

Health Procedures

If your child becomes ill during the course of the day, parents are
called. Please make sure that your contact information is accurate so
that we may reach you in a timely fashion for the sake of your child.

If your child is ill, they should be kept home until they are fully
recovered. It is in the best interests of everyone to help mitigate the
spread of germs and virus within our school community. Upon their
return to school they will be expected to participate in all activities
(including outside recess) unless we receive written directions from your
child’s physician to the contrary.

No medication can be given at school unless it is prescribed by a

physician and in its original container. The physician must complete
the appropriate form that includes method of administration, time of
administration and dosage. For your convenience that form can be
faxed directly from your physician’s office to us at 819-2849.

Additionally, parents must complete a form at the school office for

medication to be administered to a student. A child may not bring
medication to school. Let’s do everything that we can to adhere to
this important State Law.
GRPS Head Lice Policy

Children with evidence of live lice are not permitted to be in school

and will be sent home immediately for treatment to minimize exposure
to other students. If your child is found to have nits (lice eggs) they are
permitted to remain for the rest of the day, but are not allowed to
return until treated and all evidence is removed.

This is a sensitive and embarrassing issue, but one that does happen
periodically when children are playing and working closely together.
We will help you in any way possible to reduce your anxiety,
embarrassment and fears regarding lice issues here at school.

Severe Weather Information

Tornado Watch Procedures

Our school is notified of watch conditions. School will remain in session
during a tornado watch and monitor conditions continually. Please
monitor school news on the radio and television – do not call the
school – we strive to keep our phone lines open for weather updates.

Parents / guardians are always welcome to pick up their children

during watch conditions – although it is not encouraged. Parents must
follow the normal check out procedures by signing their child out at
the office.

If the watch is still in effect at dismissal time, school staff will monitor
and ensure that children are out of the building and on their way

Tornado WARNING Procedures

During a tornado warning students will remain in the building and take
shelter in our designated locations.

Should the warning occur at dismissal time, students will be held here
at school until the ALL CLEAR is given.

Severe Weather updates are broadcast on all radio,

television, and internet stations.
North Park Schools’ Services and Programs

North Park Schools is a GRPS Elementary School that proudly houses a

traditional K-5th grade program, Montessori PreK-6th grade program
and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Classrooms. We are a proud and
strong member of the Grand Rapids Public Schools!

Special Education

Resource Room
This program is designed to meet the needs of children with minimal
learning problems. Students receive instruction in reading and/or
math. This instruction can happen right in a child’s general education
classroom or may take place in a smaller group setting. An
Individualized Educational Planning Committee (IEPC) which includes
the teacher, parent(s), resource teacher, reading coach, school
psychologist, speech pathologist, social worker and principal meet to
share student’s strengths and area(s) of challenge. Student
assessment occurs to determine eligibility and the necessary course of
study for each child.

Speech Services
Students identified in their IEPC requiring assistance in articulation and
language skills are eligible for services from a speech and language

Autism Spectrum Disorder Program (ASD)

Students who have been identified through an IEPC as being Autistic
receive services from this program. We strongly support and
encourage students from the ASD Program to participate in our
general education programs, activities and events where possible.

At-Risk Students
Students demonstrating a difficulty with Grade Level Content
Expectations (GLCEs) will receive additional support through our
intervention process.

Specialized Instruction

Instrumental Music
Vocal Music
Physical Education
Art Education
Computer Lab
Safety Patrol
Peer Buddy Program
Lunchroom Assistants
Room Helpers
Character Education
Library – each child must have the permission slip signed and returned!

North Park Schools’ Conduct

It is the expectation that your child will follow general school and
classroom rules. We expect North Park Students to represent their school,
community and families everywhere they go!

Three (3) Simple Rules:

• Take Care of YOURSELF!

• Take Care of EACH OTHER!
• Take Care of YOUR SCHOOL!

Three Way to Handle Conflict

• Talk (politely tell the person to stop – give your reasons)

• Walk (remove yourself from the situation)
• Get Help! (Sometimes you need to ask an adult to help!)

It is the expectation that children of North Park Schools will show respect
and act appropriately at all times.


Every member of the North Park Schools Community (principal, teachers,

staff, parents, volunteers, visitors) will demonstrate respect for themselves
and others.

Watch for classroom communication regarding your child’s classroom

contract for behavior.

v Act responsibly
v Respect other’s right to learn
v Exhibit good behavior at all times!
Zero Tolerance

• NO ROUGH play (pushing, kicking, hitting, jumping on

each other – if it looks like fighting – IT IS FIGHTING!)
• Excessive Noise
• Running in the school building
• Playing in bathroom or halls
• Disrespect for our wonderful building, materials or
• Inappropriate Language
• Sexual Harassment
• Discrimination

It is the student’s responsibility to know the expectations and to

follow them each day – every day!


All students are expected to attend daily recreation breaks with their
class. Supervision is provided on the playground areas. This recreation
break is an important part of your child’s physical, social and mental well-
being. During inclement weather or on very cold days this recreation
break will occur indoors.

All students are expected to respect the playground rules, supervising staff
and our playground boundaries. Supervising staff members will supervise
students, help resolve conflicts and issue appropriate consequences.
Very serious or habitual offenses will be referred to the principal and may
result in your child attending an alternative recreation break.

On our playground we……

• play within boundaries and designated areas

• use equipment safely and appropriately
• keep our hands to ourselves
• listen to and respect supervising adults
• follow classroom rules should we be indoors due to
inclement weather


Breakfast will start at 8:50 AM and end at 9:10 AM. Students transported
by bus will eat upon arrival – late bus riders will always eat!

Students should enter through the cafeteria door.

Please help us to keep your child(ren) safe by not sending anyone to

school before the 8:50 AM Breakfast Schedule – there is no supervision for
children before 8:50 AM.


We expect our lunch room to look similar to a nice restaurant with

appropriate behavior choices.

During lunch we will see…..

• children remaining orderly in the hall, on the stairs and in the

• using inside voices at all times
• children seated during meals
• healthy habits of cleanliness; washing hands and disposing of
trash properly
• clean tables and floors

Our hot breakfast and lunch program begins on September 8 and prices
are as follows:

Breakfast: Full Price $0.75 Lunch: Full Price $1.00

Federal guidelines determine which students are eligible for free meals.
Milk may be purchased at $0.30 for those students eating a sack lunch.
Menus will be sent home in your Parent Homework Packet and monthly
throughout the year. You and your child may choose any or all of the
school breakfasts and lunches as long as we know what to plan for your
child. Please send $ in an envelope to pay by the week or by the month
(YES!), labeled with your child’s name, classroom number, teacher’s name
and what days and meals for which you are paying – there is also an on-
line pay option (more information. Simply dial (866) 700-1741 or log on
( and use a credit or debit card to add money to
your child’s account.
Lunch Aides supervise children during the lunch period and recreation
time. Students are given approximately 20 minutes to eat their lunch
(individual students may be given more time if necessary). We encourage
students to eat their entire lunch, if this becomes an issue we will contact
you as soon as possible.

As your child’s first teacher you know them best, please let us know if there
is something that we need to know about your child’s eating habits.

Bus Rules / Field Trips

When a student rides a bus, all rules and regulations of the Uniform
Discipline Code apply. Failure to comply with these rules and regulations
could result in removal of transportation services for your child.

Be sure that your child is at their stop 5 minutes before their pickup time.
To insure the safety and efficiency of transportation for our students, the
following rules must be observed:

• students board the bus in an orderly manner

• students remain seated during the entire bus ride
• head, hands and feet remain inside the bus
• food and beverages are not allowed on the bus

The bus driver is the responsible adult and it is their duty to maintain safety
and order on the bus. The authority of the bus driver must be respected
at all times. The permission slip in the back of the discipline code book
includes a trip permission slip that must be returned to school in order for
your child to participate in class trips. Prior to each trip, your child’s
teacher will communicate all necessary information to you – including,
but not limited to the date, departure and return time, destination and
what assistance they will require from you with supervision / chaperoning.


Students who walk to school are expected to model good school

behaviors from the moment they leave their house. Walking to school is
such an amazing privilege, make every effort to maintain this privilege!

• obey all safety rules

• respect our neighbor’s lawn by walking on the sidewalk ONLY
• use cross walks
• use a route supervised by a safety whenever possible

There are no bicycles allowed at North Park Schools.


Safeties are on their corners every morning before school and at dismissal
throughout the school year for the safety and protection of all students.
Students are expected to come and go from school promptly while
safeties are on duty.

For safety, we at North Park Schools…..

• cross only at designated corners

• obey and respect safeties
• do no not talk to strangers
• walk only on the sidewalk
• go directly to school and directly home after school
• use the route supervised by the safeties

Dress Code

The GRPS Student Policy Book contains a section on student dress. Please
review this section with your child.

At North Park Schools, parents and students are encouraged to make

certain that students dress appropriately every day for classroom activities
held and weather / temperature conditions. Our recreation breaks are
outdoors daily except during inclement weather.

Headgear shall not be worn in the school building except when approved
by the building principal.

Gym shoes are required for participation in physical education.

School dress is to be neat, clean and appropriate for a learning

environment. If it is keeping your child or another child from learning – you
will be notified!

Parent / Visitors / Volunteers

Family involvement is critical to the educational process. We not only

welcome your participation – we truly need it to achieve our desired
goals for your child(ren). This is your school, and as such you are welcome
here any time – North Park Schools has an open door policy.
Background Checks

To volunteer in our school in any capacity (classroom assistance, field trips,

classroom visits, etc) you must complete a background check – if you do
not complete this critical check or do not receive the appropriate
clearance – you may NOT participate in school related activities – no
exceptions – please help by cooperating with this important initiative to
keep your child safe.

We want and need your help and assistance. Once the background
check is completed and we have received your clearance – there will be
a volunteer badge kept for you on site. This badge lets our community
know that you are safe and strong member of the North Park Team!


The PTA is a national organization that advocates for children. We are

proud to have a “Super Hero” PTA at North Park Schools! It is the
assistance and collaboration of our PTA that has helped to make North
Park such a special place! We encourage you to become a member.
Watch for membership information and meeting information included in
our school newsletter.

Our Executive Board:

President: Matthew Patulski (Montessori)

Vice President: Cathy Cardosa (Traditional)
Treasurer: Sue Cleland (Montessori)
Corresponding Secretary: Amanda Brown (Traditional)
Recording Secretary: Mary-Ann Faulkner (Montessori)

Grand Rapids Public School Board Meetings

GRPS School Board Meetings are held the 1st and 3rd Monday of each
month. Plan to attend, get involved and lend your voice of support as we
transform our schools for the next century.

It is our hope that with this Learner’s Guide and our GRPS Student Policy
Handbook – all of your questions have been answered. ☺

If you have additional questions, remember that this is your school and we
are here to assist you. Always, start with you child’s teacher or contact
the school office if that is more appropriate.