Arbor Ridge Parent/Student Handbook

Student/Parent Handbook

Arrival and Dismissal Procedures

We are so excited for the start of the school year. In order for us to assure that our students arrive and go home in a safe and organized manner, it is essential to have all parents and staff cooperating and working together. We have established procedures for everyone to follow for car riders, walkers and bus riders. These procedures may seem inconvenient for you, at times, but it is necessary when dealing with over 800 students. Our plan will work if everyone follows these procedures. If we see there is a need to modify any of the procedures, we will communicate the change to all of you. 


School hours are from 8:45 to 3:00 every day except Wednesday. Dismissal is one hour earlier every Wednesday; 2:00. The students are expected to be in their classrooms by 8:45. If they are just entering the school building at any time after 8:45, they will be considered tardy.
Our staff hours are from 8:00-3:30, however supervision duty does not begin until 8:20 am. Please do not drop your children off before 8:20 as no one will be here to supervise them. You may wish to speak with our Extended Day if you have a need for fee based before school day care. They can be reached at 407-672-3110 ext. 3032230. Extended day care begins at 7:00 and ends at 8:20. Our extended day program also provides fee based after school care for those interested.
If you are dropping off for extended day in the morning and after 7:45 am, please make sure to park in the visitor parking spot as to not block cars that are dropping off for students before school activities.


FIRST DAY: Parents may park in a designated parking place and walk their children to the classrooms if they wish. All students will report directly to their classroom for the first day only. Staff members will be available to assist. After you drop your children off in their kindergarten class, we invite all our Kindergarten parents to join us for the annual PTSA sponsored "Boo-Hoo/Yahoo Breakfast and Meet the Administrators" in the Media Center at 8:45 am.
AFTER THE FIRST DAY: This is the time to allow our staff to receive your children at the front of the school and let them learn the procedures for arrival in the mornings. You would be surprised at how quickly they catch on and begin to take pride in their independence from mom and dad. Students are expected to arrive by bus, as a walker /bike rider, or dropped off by family members by using the car loop. The only exception would be if the parents have a scheduled conference or need to conduct other school business. In this case, please park in designated visitor parking spots, and not along any curbs or in the car loop area and check in at the office.

There will be staff members standing by the doors and at various positions throughout school and the hallways to assist students with where they are to go. Please do not bring your children before 8:20 am.
All students, who will be choosing to eat breakfast, will report directly to the cafeteria. Staff members will assist them there.
Students will report to their homeroom or 1st period class. Please know that we will have staff members who will be available to assist our students in getting to their classroom.
At 8:40 the first bell will ring and the teachers will take their students to their classrooms so that they can be seated by 8:45, which is when the announcements will begin.
The second bell will ring at 8:45. Any students arriving after that time will be considered tardy, and will need to check in the front office to receive a tardy pass to enter class.

Please know that a photo ID will be required anytime students are checked-out early.
No children may be checked out by parents between 2:30 - 3:00, OR 1:30 - 2:00 on Wednesdays.
If you need to check a child out early for a doctor's appointment, it must be done before 2:30, and 1:30 on Wednesdays. It is always good to communicate with your student's teacher and the front office if there is a plan for early dismissal.
Please let your teacher know how your children will normally go home: bus rider, car rider, or walker/bike rider, day care bus, or Extended Day.
If, at any time, there is a change in how your children will go home, please send a note (preferably separate from the planner) to the teacher. She/he will notify the office. Do not just leave it up to your child to verbally inform the teacher. Without a note, we will send them home the usual way. Many times children overhear parents discussing other dismissal arrangements. At the end of the day the children will suddenly say, "I think my mom said I will be a car rider instead of a bus rider today." It causes a lot of confusion for everyone, at the last minute, trying to call parents or in the worst case not being able to reach the parents.


Walkers and bike riders will enter the building through the front of the school. We ask that parents who walk or bike with their children to school drop their student off at the crosswalk and allow their student to walk their bikes or themselves up to the school on their own. Students can place their bike in the assigned bike rack area then proceed to the front of the school.
Walkers and bike riders will be dismissed and exit the doors closest to the bike rack at 3:00 (2:00 on Wednesdays). If parents wish to meet their children who walk or ride a bike, please wait for them at the crosswalk near the gates closet to Logandale Drive, there will be a sign letting parents know where to wait. We ask that you do not walk on campus, pass the gates as it creates more traffic and makes it harder for students to exit our campus.


Car riders will be dropped off at the sidewalk closest to the school. Please note there is only ONE car lane in the morning to drop off students. Students will exit their vehicle from the passenger side of the car. Please PULL all the way up towards the first cone to drop off your student in order to allow as many cars to drop off at once. For the safety of your child, please DO NOT drop off in our parking lot area, and ONLY use the car line to drop-off your child. There will be staff and student patrols to assist in getting your student out of the car as quickly as possible.
If your child is in a child restraint/booster seat, please have the seat behind the passenger seat if at all possible.
Please arrive no later than 3 pm, or 2 pm on Wednesday.
Car riders will be brought out to our front lobby and will be seated based on their grade-level, where we will have staff helping with supervision.
Parents will line up and use both car lanes in the afternoon, and wait until they are given a cone number before they pull up. A staff member will be out there daily to provide parents with a cone number they will report to.
Staff members will get the children seated in their designated areas and get them quieted down so they can hear their names and what cone number to report to when called. Parents will be required to hold up their safety card or hang them from their rear view mirror with student's first and last names largely printed in black marker. Parents will then be given a cone number which they will drive up to, and meet their student. Please do not get out of your car or call your children over when you see them come out.
During Meet the Teacher you will be given a safety card car sign with the grades and name of children you will be picking up. This indicates to us that you have been cleared as a person who is allowed to pick up these children. (You may request more safety cards from the front office if needed) Please keep these signs in all of your cars at all times. That way you won't forget it.
If you do not have your safety card sign with you, after it has been issued, you must come into the office with your ID to obtain a new safety card, and return to the car line to pick up your student.
A staff member will begin calling the students names and the cone number they are to go to.
When you get to your cone (there will be 10), stop in front of the cone that you heard your child being assigned to. Do not go to any other cone as your child will only go to the cone he/ she heard. Please know if your child is not at the cone when the line starts clearing, you will be asked to pull past cone 1 to a designated spot to allow cars to exit the car line and a teacher will get your safety card and call the child again.
Please note that parents are not allowed to park in the parking lot and have students walk over. ALL CAR RIDERS MUST GO THROUGH THE CAR LINE.
As you get in line for the car loop, it will seem quite backed up. Don't panic. Once we begin loading the students, it will move very quickly. 

Again, we are so excited for the start of the school year, and thank you for your patience and cooperation. 



Regular attendance is important and is required by state law. Students may be excused when the absence is due to personal illness, serious illness or death in the student's immediate family, and to observe recognized holidays of the student's religious faith.

It is the responsibility of the parent to furnish a written excuse explaining the cause of the absence within two days. An absent excuse note should include the following: 

  • Student’s first and last name
  • Student’s grade level
  • Date(s) of absence
  • Reason for absence
  • Parent Signature
  • A phone number at which parent can be reached

If the school does not receive a written excuse, your child's attendance record will automatically reflect an unexcused absence. After five unexcused absences, a certified letter is mailed to the parents. Teachers will document intervention methods to help improve student attendance. Ten unexcused absences are considered excessive and will be reported to the Orange County Social Services Department for investigation.

Family vacations that are taken when school is in session (i.e. outside holidays regularly scheduled on the school calendar) are considered unexcused absences. Teachers WILL NOT be expected to provide assignments to be used during the child's absence.

Excessive absences in our Middle School Magnet Program can result in dismissal from the program.


It is important that your child is on time. Excessive tardiness is a serious problem and will be reported to the Orange County Social Services Department for investigation. Students who are tardy should report to the office for a tardy pass as well as to report the reason for the tardiness. Every five tardies per grading period will count as an unexcused absence. Excessive tardiness to class in sixth, seventh and eighth grade will also result in detention and in-school suspension.


Articles Prohibited in School

Problems arise each year because students bring articles which are hazards to the safety of others or interfere with school procedure. Such items as iPods, CD players, MP3 players, pocket chains, toy guns, water pistols, knives, radios, tape recorders, electronic games, skateboards, cameras, virtual pets, lighters, matches, shoes with wheels, etc. are undesirable items for the educational process and will be confiscated and returned to PARENTS at their request. These items not only disturb classes, but they may be stolen or lost, in which case, the school is not responsible. Cell phones are permitted on campus but must remain concealed and in the off position during school hours. Parents are requested to help students understand the necessity for such regulations.

Disciplinary action will occur for not complying with these policies. Articles that are prohibited at school are also prohibited at Extended Day.

Change of Address and Phone Numbers

Parents are responsible for notifying the office and their child's teacher of any change in address or telephone numbers. Emergencies can occur at any time, and the school must be able to contact the parents at all times! If you fail to keep the school and your child's teacher informed of any changes, especially your telephone number, you may cause us to lose precious time in contacting you.


The school has responsibility for first aid only. In case of illness, the student will be cared for until the parent arrives or he/she returns to his/her classroom. In case of a minor injury, attention will be given, and the student will return to class. In case of major or other injuries, first aid will be given, paramedics will be called and the parents will be immediately notified. Be sure you keep up-to-date telephone numbers on file in the office.

Under no circumstances will any medication be given to anyone without a physician's order and authorization for medication form completed by the parent. These authorization forms are available in the school office. Prescription medicine must be brought to school in the prescription bottle.


The dress code for the school is based on the OCPS guidelines. Extremes in dress have no place at school. Students shall observe modes of dress and standards of personal grooming which are in conformity with the studious atmosphere and good personal hygiene necessary in schools.

It is the responsibility of the principal to see that the appearance of no pupil shall be extreme to the point of creating a disturbance to the educational atmosphere or is hazardous to the student, others, or school property. If a student is not sure about whether or not clothing will violate the dress code, he/she should check with the school administration BEFORE wearing such clothing to school. Students who violate the dress code will be subject to disciplinary action.

Please refer to the Orange County Public Schools’ Student Code of Conduct for specifics on dress code.


Our discipline policy is to work with all children in a positive way. We believe that all children should have positive experiences that encourage academic achievement as well as emotional and social development. Children who are not responsive to teachers when requested, and those who consistently cause disruptions in class or any place on the school grounds are referred to an Administrator. All disciplinary action taken by Administration is intended to help the child accept his/her responsibility for being a student in the school. Parents will be informed by phone, written note, or by formal disciplinary form.

A copy of the Orange County Code of Student Conduct is given to each student. Please read and discuss this with your child. This Code of Student Conduct tells you about the rights of a student in the school and also tells you what will happen if the rules are not followed.

Curriculum Materials

Parents are welcome to review any materials that are used in the classrooms at Arbor Ridge School. Due to the cost of materials, we cannot send these items home. You may request a conference to review materials or inquire in the Media Center for copies that may be checked out. All items used in the classrooms are not always available in the Media Center. However, the school will provide you with the necessary information to obtain your own copies.

Custody Considerations

Parents having sole custody of a child with any specialized court orders that restrain a natural parent from coming into contact with the child need to notify the office of the circumstances. Legal documents of this type need to be included in the child's records.

Early Release

Please come to the school office to complete our sign-out roster if it is necessary for a student to leave early during the school day. Do not go to the classroom. The student must be signed out in the office when he/she is dismissed during the school day prior to dismissal. Students are not permitted to be signed out after 2:30, as the school is preparing for our regular dismissal. If you must sign your child out early, please arrive prior to 2:30. Students may not leave the school during the school hours unless they are picked up, from the office, by their parent(s) or guardian. If someone other than parent/guardian picks up a student, that person's name must appear on the Emergency Form. For student safety, a driver's license or other identification may be requested by school personnel. Parents are asked NOT to make it a habit of signing their children out early from school.

Extended Day Care

Before and after-school care is offered for students through the Champions. Registration is required for the program. A weekly fee and a one-time insurance fee will be required for each child. If a payment is late, the child(ren) will be removed from the program.

Field Trips

Educational field trips are part of the school program. Students need written permission slips from the parent/guardian to attend all field trips. Children without written permission will remain at school. Students who are tardy for field trips may be left behind. Parents volunteering to chaperone school trips may not bring their other children on the trip. Parent chaperones must be registered ADDition volunteers prior to field trips.

No parent may drive a student on a field trip unless he/she has approval from the principal. Proof of automobile insurance must be provided, and a copy will be kept on file in the office. This approval must be renewed prior to each trip.

Parents may be required to accompany their children on a field trip when their child has demonstrated that he/she does not obey the classroom teacher during any school experiences.

Health Screening

The following health screening programs will be made available to certain grade levels within the school: vision, hearing, growth and development, and scoliosis. This is done as part of the Student Services Program and in cooperation with the Orange County Health Department, local medical societies, and other health agencies.

The school will inform parents or guardians in writing that their children will receive specified health services as provided in the district's health services plan. Any student shall be exempt from any of these services if his or her parent or guardian requests such exemption in writing.

Florida Statutes: Chapter 232.0233, Chapter 232.033119, Chapter 4033.32.

Head lice

From time to time some of our students experience the problem of pediculosis (head lice and nits [eggs]). If a student has been diagnosed as having head lice, the parent will be contacted at once. In addition, it will be necessary for the student to be isolated from the other students. Any student with lice OR nits must be effectively treated before returning to school. Shampooing with an over-the-counter or prescription shampoo that is made specifically for treatment of lice and nits effectively treats nits. All units need to be completely combed out of the hair after shampooing.

Upon return to school, your child must be free of ALL lice and nits and present proof of treatment such as shampoo box top and/or a note from you stating the shampoo used and that it was used as directed. Your child will be re-screened. If the treatment was not satisfactory, i.e., removal of all lice and nits, he/she will not be admitted to class and you will be notified again or asked to pick up your child.

If there is a case of lice discovered in a classroom, all parents of students in that room are notified. It is important that you notify the school at once if you find that your child has contracted head lice. When we know, we are then able to check the entire class. This is the best measure we have to prevent lice from spreading.


Homework is assigned on the basis of need. An instructional program that stresses individual differences in children means that homework, when assigned, may vary from child to child. Homework is expected to be completed on time at all times. Homework that is incomplete or not completed at all will result in a decreased academic grade.


A well-balanced breakfast and lunch is served daily. The price includes chocolate, whole or low-fat white milk. A lunch menu is sent home with each parent newsletter. A written statement from a doctor is required if a student needs to receive a milk substitute (juice). If a child brings his/her lunch, he/she may purchase milk separately. Children may bring a thermos of milk, water, or juice. Absolutely no soft drinks or carbonated beverages are to be brought. Smaller size drink containers such as Gatorade are preferred. Refrain from sending junk food in bag lunches. Look for items low in added sugar, salt, and excess chemicals.

Students are encouraged to make advanced payment for lunches on Monday morning. Up to one month's payment is accepted. Send the money in a sealed envelope, clearly marked on the outside with the following information:

· Child's First and Last Name

· Teacher's Name and grade

· Amount Sent

Students will not be allowed to charge breakfast or lunch. If elementary school students do not have money for a meal, a sandwich and milk will be provided.

Media Center

The Media Center strives to maintain a current collection of print and non-print materials that enhance the development of each student. The Media Center operates on an open/flexible schedule. Prekindergarten through eighth grades come to the Media Center using the buddy system or in small groups with passes from the classroom. Materials are checked out for a 14-day period. It is the student's responsibility to care for and return materials. Teachers will receive weekly printouts/notices of students with overdue materials. After a third notice, the student will be expected to pay for the lost or damaged item or to work out a method of payment. A student who habitually has overdue materials or does not take care of materials will be disciplined in accordance with Arbor Ridge's discipline plan. Please feel free to contact the Media Center if a problem arises. Materials are also available for parent check-out.


Please encourage your child to be responsible for the materials needed for school. Delivery of messages and forgotten materials to a classroom during the day causes a disruption for all children in a class. For this reason, messages CANNOT be delivered to children unless there is a REAL emergency. Therefore, it is important that children organize lunch money, homework, books and other materials BEFORE LEAVING HOME in the morning. They should know how they are to get home and have a note if it is different than usual.

Middle School Backpack Policy

Students in the 6th and 8th graders are permitted to carry backpacks. They must remain organized and should be cleaned out each week. 7th graders are not permitted to carry backpacks.


Patrols are fifth graders who have been trained to help direct student movement safely on school grounds. Patrols help to direct the flow of car traffic during morning and afternoon student pick-up. They assist children at the bicycle racks and on the bus loading ramp. Children need to walk in the halls. Patrols help us spread this important message throughout the school. Please encourage your child, for his own safety, to listen to and obey the directions of the school patrols.

Rainy Days

Please make plans and let your children know IN ADVANCE what they are to do in case of rain. Notify the teacher in writing if you plan to pick them up when it rains.


Age Requirements - Florida law states that a child must be six years old on or before September 1 in order to enter first grade, and the child must have attended a kindergarten program. The age requirement is five years old by September 1 for kindergarten entry. A birth certificate is required of all pupils new to Orange County.

Health Records - Immunization certificates (HRS 680 or 3040) are also required of all students entering Florida schools for the first time. A physical examination within the last year is also required.

Proof of Residence - Proof of residence may be provided in the form of a current homestead exemption certificate, a lease agreement, a notarized manifestation of domicile, or a notarized statement of residence.

Reporting to Parents

Evaluation of student progress is an important form of communication between home and school. It provides parents with information to understand the needs of the child. It provides teachers with a base of knowledge to provide individual and group instruction.

Report cards and parent conferences are an integral part of your child's assessment at Arbor Ridge. The school year is divided into four learning periods, each lasting approximately nine weeks. At the end of each learning periods, your child will receive a report card. Progress reports are also sent home to parents in the middle of each learning period.

Parents and teachers are encouraged to have conferences concerning a child's progress and/or behavior throughout the school year. Please arrange for conferences ahead of time. This serves two purposes: 1) it ensures that the teacher will be able to meet with you when you come, and 2) it gives the teacher the time to gather necessary information or materials needed for the conference. If you cannot keep your conference appointment, please call the school and cancel the visit. Online access to student attendance, grades and progress is available at

School Visitation

Orange County School Board Policy states: "Anyone wishing to contact teachers or pupils during the school day must receive permission from the principal or his representative." All visitors must stop by the office to sign in and obtain a visitor's pass before entering a classroom or other school area. Please do not make unscheduled visits to the classroom. All interruptions hinder student learning.


After School Programs: Parents will be responsible for providing transportation when a student remains at school for any extracurricular activities.


Students may park their bikes at the bike racks. However, the school does not assume any responsibility for any bikes parked in the bike racks. Students who ride bikes must follow these rules:


· Students must have a bike lock.

· Only one lock and chain per bike. No double locking with younger siblings or friends. This causes confusion at dismissal time.

· Do not leave the bike overnight at school.

· Do not ride the bike on the school campus.

· Walk the bike across the street at the crosswalks.

· Use a backpack or basket to carry belongings.

· Wear a bike helmet.

Students who repeatedly break the bicycle rules may lose their bicycle privileges on campus.

Bus Riders:

Bus riders are dismissed just prior to the car riders and load in the bus loading area at the south driveway next to the primary wing. No automobiles are allowed in the bus loading area during arrival/dismissal. School bus transportation is a privilege provided to eligible students. The school is responsible for the student at all times while on the bus. Any student misconduct will be reported to the administration. Continued misbehavior on the bus will be cause for suspension of the student's bus riding privilege. In this case, it is the responsibility of the parent to see that the student is transported to/from school. It is important that the student adheres to the following rules:


  • Standoff the roadway while awaiting the bus.
  • Stay in your seat at all times while the bus is in motion.
  • Keep arms and head inside the windows.
  • Refrain from talking to the bus driver while the bus is in motion.
  • Outside of ordinary conversation, classroom conduct is to be observed.
  • The driver is in full charge of the bus and pupils. Pupils must obey the driver.
  • The driver has the right to assign seating to promote order on the bus.
  • No eating or drinking allowed on the bus.
  • Pupils must be on time; the bus cannot wait for those who are tardy.
  • Children are required to ride the bus to which they have been assigned.
  • Children who are not bus riders are not eligible to ride the school bus.

The bus driver is required to drop students off only at a student's assigned stop. If, for some reason, you want your child to get off at a different stop, write a note to the school (include a telephone number where you can be reached to verify) explaining the reason and exact stop. The principal must approve all exceptions each time they occur.

Car Riders:

Parents are to load and unload students at the drop-off spots in front of the school at the primary and intermediate wings. No automobiles are allowed in the bus loading area during arrival/dismissal. Older students will meet younger brothers and sisters at the primary pick-up area. Students waiting for pick-up are to remain calm, quiet, and sit on the blue safety line painted on the sidewalk. Do not park in the parking lot or in front of the school and walk to get your child at the pick-up points. This causes children and adults to walk back across traffic to get to the parking lot. It also tempts children to cross traffic to get to parents. This is extremely dangerous. A child or adult could easily be hit by the oncoming traffic.


Transportation Changes:

It will be necessary to send the teacher a written note or fax the office if you change your child's method of transportation. The teacher will not allow the student to alter their normal routine without this note. Transportation changes cannot be taken over the telephone.