Monterey Hills Elementary School

Skip to main content

Policies & Procedures

It is important that families and schools work together to help students achieve high academic standards and develop personal growth. Through a process that included teachers, school support personnel, School Site Council, and the principal, specific responsibilities were developed that we, as partners, will carry out to support student success in school and in life. 

Coming together as families, teachers, and school staff, we form this partnership and affirm the importance of family involvement in children's learning. 

We pledge to:
Share responsibility at school and at home to give students a great education. 
Help schools welcome families: to reach out to families before problems arise; to offer meaningful learning opportunities; to create safe learning environments; to improve student learning, and to support family inclusion in the school decision-making process. 
Help families monitor student attendance, homework completion, and television watching; to take the time to talk with and listen to their children; to become acquainted with teachers, principal, and support staff, to read with younger children and share a good book with older children; to volunteer in school when possible, and to participate in the school decision-making process. 
Promote effective, two-way communication between families and schools by reducing educational jargon and breaking down cultural and language barriers (schools), and by families staying in touch with the school. 
Provide opportunities for families to learn how to help their children succeed in school and opportunities for school staff to work with families. 

Support family-school efforts to improve student learning by reviewing progress regularly and strengthening cooperative actions. 
Staff Pledge: 
We agree to carry out the following responsibilities to the best of our ability:
  • Teach classes through interesting and challenging lessons that help develop a love of learning and promote student achievement. Endeavor to motivate students to learn. 
  • Communicate regularly with parents about student progress. Be available to discuss individual student needs or concerns with parents within a reasonable time frame.  
  • Set high expectations for each student and meet needs so that each student reaches his/her potential.
  • Provide a safe and caring learning environment. 
  • Reinforce positive social behaviors. Assist each student to realize his/her personal responsibilities. 
  • Correct and return student work in a timely manner, providing useful feedback on all assignments.  
  • Prepare relevant homework assignments to reinforce and extend learning, and provide parents with a classroom homework policy and plan. 
Student Pledge: 
I agree to carry out the following responsibilities to the best of my ability:
  • Arrive at school ready to learn, work diligently, and do my best every day. 
  • Bring necessary school supplies. 
  • Complete my homework. Read every day after school for at least 20 minutes. 
  • Deliver and return all required notices from school to home. 
  • Know and follow the school dress code, and school and class rules.  
  • Limit my TV watching during the school week. 
  • Respect my school, my teacher, the school staff, my classmates, and my family.
Parent/Guardian/Family Pledge
We agree to carry out the following responsibilities to the best of our ability:
  • Ensure that my child attends school every day and is in class without being tardy. 
  • See to it that my child has ample sleep and proper nutrition at breakfast and provides for a daily lunch. 
  • Provide regular medical attention, not send my child to school should he or she be ill, and promptly provide the school office with an absence excuse through a phone call or note home. 
  • Provide a quiet place for homework and monitor TV viewing hours. 
  • Read to or with my child or encourage him/her to read every day for at least 20 minutes at home.  
  • Regularly monitor my child's school progress and attend parent-teacher conferences. 
  • Work out problems or concerns positively by meeting with the teacher first to resolve it.  
  • Review, sign, and return all school notices.  Read THE ROADRUNNER newsletter from the PTA.
Orientation / Questions: The school schedules meetings during the year to familiarize parents with the school and its instructional program. New Student and Family Orientation, Welcome Back Picnic BBQ and at Back-to-School Night, classroom teachers give presentations that explain the curriculum that will be covered during the year.  School tours for interested parents are conducted three times during the school year and prospective parents are encouraged to view our school calendar in order to reserve a spot. Please feel free to address questions to our school principal, classroom teachers, or front office staff via email or with a phone call (626) 441- 5860.
Attendance and Arrival: Please select this link to learn about Attendance and Punctuality
Irregular Departures During School Hours: If your child will be leaving school prior to the regular dismissal time, please send a note with your child that indicates the student’s name, date, time of pick-up, and the name and relationship of the person picking up the student. The student should give the note directly to the teacher at the beginning of the school day. Students will remain in the classroom until a person arrives in the school office to pick them up. When the authorized person arrives at school to pick up the student, the adult must report to the office to sign the child out of school. Students will ONLY be released to the authorized person indicated in the note or listed on the student record card in the office. If your child returns before school are over, please escort him/her to the office to sign him/her back into school. Students will not be released during school hours to ride bicycles or walk home alone.
Absence From School/Independent Study: We are required by law to secure an absence excuse from an adult when a child has been absent from school. Please email [email protected] in the morning if your child will not be attending school (new policy as of August 2022). Regular attendance is vital to a student's success in school. The student, who is frequently absent, misses social interaction and direct instruction from his/her teachers even though written work can be made up. Any day or hour absent is a missed learning opportunity.  If your child must go out of town for five or more days, you may request that your child is signed up for an Independent Study Agreement. Please see the steps outlined below:
  1. At least a week in advance of the absence, please report to the office to sign an Independent Study form.
  2. The form will be given to the teacher in order to specify the requirements of the Independent Study contract.
  3. Ensure that your child completes the assignment and returns it to the teacher as prescribed on the form.
  4. Assignments are due when the student returns to school.
Visiting School: All volunteers must first report directly to the office to sign in and obtain a visitor badge.  Please return to the office and sign out after the volunteer service is over. School tours also called Community Coffee will resume during the 2022-2023 school year. These tours include an overview of the many school programs and a visit to a classroom.  Reservations are no longer required. Please visit the School Tour page for upcoming dates. Visiting the campus for any other reason must be scheduled in advance with your child's teacher in conjunction with the school administration. All visitors must enter the school through the school office, sign-in, and get a visitor pass prior to going on campus.
Homework Request For Illness Caused Absences: Parents may request assignments after the second day of absence by phoning the school office in the morning. Homework may be picked up at 3:00 p.m. the day of your phone call.
Emergency Procedures & Preparedness Plan: During School Hours
  1. Regardless of whether it is an alert or actual disaster, all students will be held at school until the school principal is notified by the superintendent to release students.
  2. Early Release — Until notification is received by the office to send the student home, students will be released only to their parents or an adult listed on the child’s emergency card.
Each classroom is equipped with an emergency bag stocked with emergency supplies. In the event of an actual emergency, students will be evacuated to the playground and will be released to parents one at a time so that an accurate accounting of students can be made. For more information on school safety, click here
Lunch / Nutrition: Cafeteria School Lunch - $3.25Milk - $.50Children may either go home for the 45-minute lunch period or eat at school. An adult must accompany those who leave the campus for lunch. Those who eat at school may carry their lunches or obtain lunch in the school cafeteria. Milk (low-fat white or non-fat chocolate) may be obtained for $.50 by those who carry their lunches. This milk is available for purchase on a day-by-day basis only. The cafeteria lunches are available for $3.25 a day, including milk. Lunches may be paid for daily in cash or by pre-payment into their accounts. All children must enter their account numbers when buying lunch. Menus for the hot lunch program are posted each month in classrooms, as well as sent home with each student. So that an adequate number of hot lunches may be prepared at the high school kitchen for your children, the school secretary is required to have the lunch count to the high school very soon after school begins in the morning. Food Service Department provides lunch to children if a child is unable to bring lunch or lunch money. For additional information and the daily menu SPUSD Food Services
Medication During The School Day: For the health and safety of your child at school it is requested that:
  1. ALL medication given at school must be accompanied by a District form available in the office.
  2. All medication must be given from the prescription bottle or vial and in accordance with the label on the bottle or vial.
  3. For the safety and welfare of your child, as well as the total school population, do not put medication in a school lunch container. This includes such things as Tylenol, cough drops, etc.
  4. If medication is given, a medication form must be obtained from the office and signed by your physician. No medication will be given without the dosage, schedule time, and amount to be given.
Health Issues - Parental Responsibilities: 
  1. To see that children attend school well-nourished, well-rested, and free from illness.
  2. To ensure that children are dressed appropriately for the weather.
  3. To notify the school promptly if a child has a contagious disease such as head lice, chicken Pox, measles, impetigo, strep throat, conjunctivitis, etc., and to keep the child at home in accordance with school district policy.
  4. To ensure that your child brings a healthy, nutritious snack/lunch if a student will not purchase lunch at school.
Appropriate School Dress: Students are expected to give proper attention to cleanliness and to wear clothing that is both reasonable and appropriate for elementary-age children who are expected to participate in physical education and recess activities. Clothing may not be a distraction to other students or the classroom learning environment and must promote safety.  In particular, the following do not meet the requirements:
  1. Any shoe with wheels built into the soles
  2. Open-toe, open-heel, or over 1” high-heel shoes
  3. Tops that expose the midriff
  4. Any shirt that displays inappropriate language or graphics or displays a logo or reference to tobacco, alcohol, drugs, sex, or violence
  5. Excessively baggy clothing that inhibits physical education activities
Discipline - Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS): We place importance on all aspects of a child’s growth and development — emotional, behavioral, and academic. At MHS we have three (3) pillars for positive behavior: Be Safe, Be Responsible, and Be Respectful.  We emphasize the values of respect for the worth of the individual, integrity, and diversity, as well as, the concept of making responsible and safe choices. Part of growing up is learning to make responsible, positive choices. Good behavior, following the rules, and making responsible choices are important and are regularly acknowledged at MHS. Understanding that no one makes the best choice all the time, we stress the importance of making better choices with each new experience. All adults on campus are here to guide students in following the rules and learning from previous situations and choices. Although some actions, behaviors, or violations need the immediate attention of the principal, the teacher is usually the first person to deal with the child when there is a problem. For additional information, please click here.
Homework Policy:  Please check the link to read our entire Homework Policy
Bicycles/Skateboards/Scooters: Students in Grades 3, 4, and 5 and students in K-2 with adult supervision may ride bicycles, scooters, and skateboards to school. Students should be sure to secure the bicycle with a proper lock in the bike cage next to Gate C.
Classroom Celebrations: Classroom celebrations are organized by classroom teachers with help and support from Room Parents. These celebrations occur throughout the school year.  Store-bought or restaurant-prepared food items are preferred and recommended when providing food for classroom celebrations. Classroom celebrations should follow guidelines outlined in SPUSD's Wellness Policy. For Birthday Parties - District policy states that birthday parties are not part of the school day. This includes sending in refreshments and party favors. Students may not hand out party invitations at school. More healthful tips can be found here Wellness Committee Letter
Field Trips: For information on our various Field Trips, Parent Drivers, Forms, and more click here
Student Council: MHS students elect student body officers twice each year. In addition to the officers, each classroom, grades 2 - 5 elects two student representatives to serve on the Student Council.  Student Council Advisor is Mr. Millar - [email protected]
Telephones and Cell Phones/ Smart Watches: Students will be allowed to use the phone in the office or classroom for emergency calls only. All after-school or social arrangements should be made prior to the school day.  The use of cell phones, smartwatches, or other personal communication devices is not permitted during the school day.
Lost And Found / Names In Clothing: Each year, a distressing amount of clothing is lost, found, and unclaimed. Please place names in your child’s clothing so that we may promptly return lost articles to him/her. A Lost and Found rack is located in the MPR. For more information, click here
Communications: On Sundays, the PTA sends a fun and informative weekly newsletter, The Roadrunner. Don't miss out on the Principal's weekly messages, PTA events, District information and Community events. Click here to sign-up
The principal and teachers send regular communications to parents to keep them informed about school activities. All communications sent home with students or passed out at school must be cleared in advance by the principal and district.
Parent Support Groups: PTA sponsors academic enrichment programs, and events throughout the year to offer MHS school students opportunities to expand their knowledge and experience academically and to have fun as well. The Cultural Art Assemblies, Piano Recital, Talent Show, and Reflections Programs offer classroom and after-school, art and music enrichment throughout the school year. The Holiday Workshop offers students an opportunity to make gifts for family and friends. STEM Night; Pajama Story Night and All-City Track Meet are other activities provided to students and for which we can always use parent support. In order to support these and other programs, PTA sponsors our major fundraisers, Wish Night is held at Back to School Night and funds are used directly in your child’s classroom. Parents are encouraged to join PTA each fall and invited to attend meetings held the first Wednesday of each month. Look for notices of meetings on our school calendar and via our PTA school newsletter.
Parent Volunteers: MHS is known for its very supportive and involved parents. Parent volunteers participate in all school activities. Your participation is needed! Please contact your PTA classroom representative or your child’s teacher. For more PTA information, click here
Fundraising: The PTA raises money for the school primarily through WishNight. Additional fund-raising comes from our jog-a-thon.  For more information, click here
School Site Council (SSC): The School Site Council (SSC) is a group of parents and teachers who are elected to serve 2-year terms on this committee. The SSC serves as an advisory council in overseeing the planning, implementing, and evaluating of the School Improvement Program and its budget. These are restricted funds coming from the State of California. Meetings are publicized and are open to all interested parents.
South Pasadena Educational Foundation (SPEF): The South Pasadena Education Foundation raises money and funds for many programs throughout the District in Grades K - 12. SPEF along with the SPUSD provides a summer school program for grades K - 12.
Professional Development Days: During the year the District schedules “Professional Development Days” so that teachers may participate in in-service training. On-going teacher training is important to the maintenance of a high-quality instructional program. The District schedules the length of the school day and school year so that students still receive the number of instructional minutes as required by the State.
Instructional Programs: PHYSICAL EDUCATIONPhysical Education (P.E.) is scheduled for 200 minutes every ten days.  Students participate in activities designed to improve large muscle skills as well as those which teach the basic fundamental of games/team sports.MUSIC, ART, DRAMA- MHS shares an itinerant teacher with the two other schools in the district.  On a rotating basis, for a third of the academic year, students receive art instruction for music, art, and drama.  Classroom teachers provide additional instruction as well.
English Language Development (ELD): Students’ English language proficiency is assessed and appropriate instruction is planned.
Special Education: Special Education services are available for those students with identified learning disabilities. A team that includes school and District support staff as well as parents, determines a child’s eligibility for this program. Programs include: RSP (RESOURCE SPECIALIST PROGRAM) for students who need specialized instruction due to an identified learning disability. Support is offered for less than 49% of the instructional DaySDC (SPECIAL DAY CLASS) for students who need specialized instruction due to an identified learning disability. Support is offered for more than 49% of the instructional DayLSS (LANGUAGE SPEECH SPECIALIST) for students who need assistance with speech and language.APE (ADAPTIVE PHYSICAL EDUCATION) for those who need help with large motor needs or other related challenges of identified students OT (OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST) for students with physical or sensory needs, OTs can also help with barriers that affect a student’s emotional, social and personal needs For more information visit Special Education
Gifted and Talented Education (GATE): GATE identified students are clustered into each 4th and 5th-grade classroom.  Children have been identified through a variety of testing and assessment procedures, including one cognitive abilities test and input from the child’s parents and teachers. All teachers have received specialized instruction in the methods of teaching GATE students and in differentiating the curricula in terms of depth and complexity.
Extended Day Care Program: SPUSD offers an Extended Day Care Program at MHS for students in grades TK-5. For more information on availability and cost, please contact the district office at 626- 441-5810 ext. 1125. The MHS Extended Day Care phone number is 626-441-5860 ext. 6951.  KinderCare's phone number is 626-441-5860 ext. 6008. For more information on the district website about the Extended Day Program, please click on the attached link:
Playground Rules and Policies: 
  1. All students should be engaged in play in one of the following designated play areas:
    • Handball
    • Tetherball
    • Kickball
    • Hop Scotch
    • Four Square
    • Jump ropes/hula hoops
    • Basketball
    • Reading/Board Game/Social tables
    • Play and climbing structure 
  2. Chase or tag of any kind will not be permitted
  3. All games will be played according to P.E. rules.
  4. Play safely and most of all have fun!

Contact Information