A Message from Principal Gina Terrazas:

Dear Parents, Guardians and Students:

On behalf of Barranca Mesa Elementary, we would like to welcome you back to the 2020-2021 school year.  We understand this year is unlike any other, however we look forward to meeting with you and providing you with the tools and knowledge to have a successful year.  We hope to have a strong partnership with parents and guardians as we recognize this is key to the success in your child’s education.

Please take some time to review the handbook with your child/ren.  It is our hope that this handbook will answer your questions and provide information regarding various topics  of concern.  There is a new section regarding COVID 19 recommendations and guidelines.

Our goal at Barranca Mesa is that every child who enters the doors of our school will thrive and be the best that he or she can be. Please review the Behavior Procedures as well as Attendance and Tardy Policy.

We look forward to a productive and fun school year.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us at 505-663-2730.

Educationally,

Gina Terrazas
Principal
Barranca Mesa Elementary

DAILY SCHEDULE

Every Wednesday, dismissal is 12:00 Noon for all grades

8:00   Playground supervision begins

8:15   Doors Open /All classes begin

8:20   Tardy Bell Rings

10:00 – 10:15   Morning recess

11:00 – 1:00   Lunch period M-T-TH-F
(K, 1st: lunch 11:00-11:25, recess 11:30-11:45)
(2nd & 5th: recess 11:15-11:30, lunch 11:35-12:00)
(3rd & 4th: lunch 12:00-12:25, recess 12:30-12:45)
(6th: recess 12:15-12:30, lunch 12:35-1:00)

12:00   Wednesday classes dismissed

2:00 – 2:15   Afternoon recess

3:20   Dismissal

3:20   Playground supervision Ends

Should an emergency or disaster situation ever arise in our area while school is in session, we want you to be aware that the schools have made preparations to respond effectively to such situations. In fact, public schools in New Mexico are built to meet stringent construction standards, and they may be safer than your own home in the event of a disaster.

Should we have a major disaster during school hours, your student(s) will be cared for at this school. Los Alamos Public Schools have detailed emergency response plans, which have been formulated to respond to a major catastrophe. While the specific details of these plans cannot be made public, we will provide any information necessary for your emergency planning needs and peace of mind, in case of an emergency. After you have thoughtfully reviewed this process, please sit with your child(ren) and help them to understand that it is necessary for them to follow the directions of any school personnel in times of an emergency drill or actual emergency situation. The safety of all depends on all personnel and students treating drills and emergency directions with serious respect.

Your cooperation is necessary in any emergency:

  1. Do not telephone the You can receive updated information through an emergency communication system, provided by the school district and Los Alamos County. Telephone lines may be needed for emergency communication.
  2. In the event of a serious emergency, students will be kept at their schools until they can be picked up by an identified, responsible adult who has been listed as such on a LAPS emergency card, which is required to be completed by parents/guardians at the beginning of each school year. Please be sure you consider the following criteria when you authorize another person to pick up your child at school:
    • S/He is 18 years of age or
    • S/He is usually home during the
    • S/He could walk to school, if
    • S/He is known to your
    • S/He is both aware and able to assume this

During an extreme emergency, students will be released at designated reunion sites, to be identified by the Incident Commander and located on school campuses. Please instruct your student to remain at the school until you or your designee arrives.

  1. Turn your radio to AM 1610 for emergency If students are to be kept at school, radio stations will be notified. If electrical service is not affected, information will be relayed via LAPS to the radio and television broadcast media. In addition, information regarding day-to-day school operations will be available by accessing our website, or subscribing to our E-Alerts web-based system. All sites have hotline numbers, which will be updated.
  2. In the event that any emergency takes place during the time that students expect to be transported to or from school:
    • If students are on the bus at the time, they will be kept on the bus, and the driver will ask for assistance through radio contact with the school and district
    • Any child who is home waiting for the bus will not be picked up and remains the responsibility of the parent or
    • In any situation, if the student’s bus does not arrive at the stop within fifteen (15) minutes, the student should return
    • In the event that an emergency occurs in the afternoon, the driver will make every attempt to continue delivering the students to their homes. Should road conditions prevent the driver from delivering students to their home or to school in the morning, the students will be delivered to the nearest district site, and that site’s personnel will communicate with home school personnel to inform them of the students’
  3. In case of a hazardous release event (i.e. chemical spill) near the school area, Shelter procedures will be implemented to provide “in place” All students and staff will clear the fields, report to their rooms, and all

efforts will be made to prevent outside air from entering the classrooms during the emergency. “Shelter-In-Place” signs will be placed in classroom windows or hung outside classroom doors during a drill or emergency. Students arriving at school during a Shelter drill or event should report to the school office or to a previously designated area at the school because classrooms will be inaccessible. When the dangerous incident has subsided, an “all clear” signal will be given.

In the case of a county-wide evacuation, which would include the schools, that evacuation would proceed in accordance with the protocols established in the Los Alamos County Emergency Operations Plan. Please access the County’s website for this county-wide evacuation plan.

Parental Roles in Emergency Preparedness

  • Discuss the Standard Response Protocol with your child(ren)
  • Please make sure to update your student’s school emergency Call or come by the school to update. Remember to update again when necessary.
  • Sign up for E-Alerts on the school and district You’ll be notified by email whenever an emergency results in a delay, cancellation, or early dismissal.
  • As part of your family plan, know your student’s Please check the accuracy of this schedule with your child.
  • Parents with students currently taking emergency medication (i.e. medication for diabetes, seizures, anaphylaxis, asthma, etc.), please provide the nurse with a three-day supply of medication in a prescription container that is clearly marked with your child’s name and Please include doctor’s orders for the prescription and parental permission for a dispensation of the medication and any special storage instructions.
  • Notify and provide the school with the special dietary needs of your

You might want to think about having your student have a change of clothes and personal hygiene articles (toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, contact lens kit) in their locker.

Please discuss these matters with your immediate family. Planning ahead will help alleviate concern during emergencies.

To find out if there is a Delayed Start, School Cancellation, or Early Dismissal due to Snow or Ice:
• Visit the District Office homepage announcements at www.laschools.net
• Call 663-2223 (LAPS Info-Line)
• Watch one of the local morning news programs
• Call your school”s info line (below)
• Tune in to KRSN AM 1490

This message is to provide ddistrict-wideprocedures, communications strategies, and to help us further prepare for the winter of 2015-16.  The information may be particularly important because the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting ~150% of the annual average snow fall for northern New Mexico this year.

Communications:
•  The decision to close school or delay the start of school will usually be made by 5:30am.
•  Official announcements will be made via the media, district web page, School Messenger, the school district’s information line (663-2223), and each individual school line.
•  We will be coordinating with LANL and the County on all decisions about a delayed start, cancelation, or early dismissal.  In general, if the Lab is on a delay, school opening will be delayed.  If the Lab is closed due to weather, our schools will usually be closed.
•  When school is dismissed early or cancelled for the day, all after school programs including athletics (both home and away contests) and activities are cancelled.
•  This information will be used to update the LAPS webpage and Employee Handbook.

Delayed Start
•  Students should arrive at school for these start times
o  10:20am – Elementary schools (On Wednesdays, no school when there is a two-hour delay, YMCA programs start at noon)
o  Morning Pre-School is cancelled; afternoon Pre-School will meet as usual
•  Busses will arrive at bus stops two hours later than the usual pickup time
•    Parking lots will usually be cleared and ready for buses and cars by 7:30am.  Please allow our maintenance staff to clear the parking lots.
•  Parking lots will usually be cleared and ready for buses and cars by 7:30am.  Please allow our maintenance staff to clear the parking lots.
•  Sidewalks will usually be cleared by 8:00am
•  With regard to employees reporting to work, safety comes first
o  Certified staff should arrive no later than 2 hours after their normal start time
o  Classified staff should follow instructions from their immediate supervisor

Employees:
For delayed opening/Early Dismissal:

o    School site personnel (which includes teachers, instructional assistants, clerks and secretaries), should arrive no later than 2 hours after their normal start time.  Time missed beyond the delayed start will be charged leave.

o    Classified staff (260 day employees):
• Follow instructions from their immediate supervisor.  Based on their regular schedule, Non-certified staff will report to work or remain at work, if possible.  Custodians and maintenance staff may be called in early for snow removal.  Employees unable to report to work will notify their supervisor.  However, lost time must be made up as specified below:
•    An employee may use annual leave for absences on days when schools are closed because of inclement weather.
•    Sick leave may not be used for inclement weather absences.
•    With the approval of an employee’s supervisor, an employee may use comp time to cover short-term absences on “abbreviated days”.
•    No School Days/Bad Weather/Emergency Days
o    School site personnel (which includes teachers, instructional assistants, clerks and secretaries), will not be required to report to work on those days when there is no school for the entire day and will not suffer any loss of pay or accumulated leave.  They will be required to work any days or portions of days, which may need to be made up to meet state requirements without any additional compensation. (Snow days)

o    Classified staff (260 day employees) should follow instructions from their immediate supervisor.  Site administrators and maintenance/custodial supervisors will determine the essential employees on bad weather or emergency days. Employees unable to report to work will notify their supervisor.  However, lost time must be made up as specified below:
•    An employee may use annual leave for absences on days when schools are closed because of inclement weather.
•    Sick leave may not be used for inclement weather absences.
•    With the approval of an employee’s supervisor, an employee may use comp time to cover short-term absences on “abbreviated days”.

When you see snow and ice on the roads, please:
1.  Make safety your first priority
a.  Be extra cautious when driving
b.  Wear footwear that helps prevent slips, trips, and falls

2.  Take advantage of the learning opportunities
a.  Weather provides an incentive for students to write stories, learn science, and even calculate travel times
b.  If possible, allow students to talk about their experiences getting to school in the snow
3.  Exercise special patience
a.  Snow and ice can cause stress; thus, try “giving an extra hand to your neighbor”
b.  Remember that people have different tolerances for weather and we want to be understanding of each other
c.  Consider getting up earlier than usual to clear snow and provide extra travel time

Going To and From School
The school district assumes responsibility for students when they are using school bus transportation as they come to and from school and when they are on the school grounds between 8:05 a.m. and 3:20 p.m. on regular school days. The schools are not responsible for children while they are walking, riding bicycles, or otherwise coming to and from school. In this area, the County and the parents share responsibility for the children. However, the school and the Aspen PTO have an active interest in maintaining and assuring the safety and welfare of students who are walking or bicycling to and from school and will work cooperatively with the police, parents, and the County Transportation Committee in promoting and educating children in pedestrian and bicycle safety and law enforcement.

Early Dismissal/Snow Day Plan
On days of deep snow or exceptionally bad weather, schools may choose to follow a 2 hour delay plan. Any activities scheduled before school, such as band or orchestra, are canceled on snow days. Students should arrive at school two hours later than usual. If a 2-hour delay is called on a Wednesday, there will be NO school at the elementary level. Announcements concerning snow days will be made over the radio station KRSN AM 1490, on major local television channels (4, 7, or 13) beginning at approximately 6:30 a.m., or call the district info line at 663-2223.

On rare occasions, school will be dismissed early because of unusually heavy snowfall or other emergency situations. This decision is made by staff in Los Alamos Schools Central Office in collaboration with LANL staff and Los Alamos County staff. When this occurs, there will be radio messages to inform you of the decision. We ask your cooperation at this time. Please make a plan with your child ahead of time so he or she knows where to go after school is dismissed. We will send home a form for you to fill out to share your plan with us. This will help us know what you and your child have decided to do. Each teacher will keep a copy of your plan at school. Keep your email address current since we will send out a general announcement to our Barranca Family email list. When the decision to dismiss early occurs, it generally precedes early county and laboratory closings. For that reason, it is important for students and school staff to proceed home quickly so the roads may be clear for subsequent county and laboratory traffic. Please understand that the school phone lines must remain open during this time. Please go over the plans with your child to avoid any confusion.

The following forms and/or documents are available for download in PDF format:

General:

Kindergarten Developmental History

Are you planning a move?

Elementary Student Withdrawal

Technology
Permission to Distribute Materials

The purpose of any computer utilization is to enhance the educational experience. All students and staff are required to have a signed district Technology Agreement on file. Use of computers is a privilege and not a right. Inappropriate use will result in the cancellation of those privileges. LAHS administration will determine what is inappropriate use and that decision will be final. Inappropriate use will result in the closing of an account at any time or by removal from a computer-based class.

• Ethical Use of Technology Board Policy 6144R

Internet Safety:
In today’s environment, Internet safety is a must. Los Alamos Public Schools takes this very seriously and has posted valuable information for you to read up on. Please click on the link below to read more about our policies.

Internet Safety Tips For Parents