Parents » Parent Handbook

Parent Handbook

The 2023-2024 Parent Handbook can be found here:

Lafayette Elementary School

950 Moraga Road, Lafayette, CA  94549

(925) 927-3570

Melissa Barclay, Principal

Deanna Poulsen, Office Manager

Lafayette Elementary School 

Family Handbook

Policies and Procedures


This handbook is provided to all Lafayette Elementary families.  School information published in this handbook is subject to such changes that may be needed to ensure continued compliance with federal, state, or local regulations and are subject to such review and alteration as becomes necessary for the routine operation of the school. Not all rules, regulations, and information can be written and inserted in the handbook.


August, 2023

Welcome to Lafayette Elementary School. We hope the following information fills you in on the most important aspects of how we operate at school. Please reach out with any questions that you may have for us. The entire Lafayette Elementary School staff is committed to providing our students with engaging and meaningful experiences. We look forward to a positive and productive school year together.

Additional information about our partnership with the PTA and Lafayette Partners in Education may be found on our school website.

Thank you,

Melissa Barclay


[email protected]

May we take this opportunity to acquaint you with some policies and procedures of our school.

School Attendance 

Students are expected to attend ALL scheduled days. Being consistent in attendance is not only necessary to achieve academic success, it is also mandated by the state. There is no substitute for engaging in school each day. Make-up work and Independent Study do not allow for the same experiences as working with a teacher.  

No after school supervision is provided. Students are to go directly home or to after school daycare. Students who are not supervised, will be escorted to the office so that parents can be called. If you have before or after school daycare needs, there are two independently run programs offered on our campus. Please contact:

  1. CATS at (925)283-4500
  2. Skyhawks After School Program will return to LES for the 2023-24 school year! Please use this link to learn more about the program and enrollment information.

Absences – If your child will be absent from school please call the school attendance line at 927-3578 and leave the following information:

  • Say and spell your child’s last name and first name
  • Child’s grade
  • Your name and your relationship to the child
  • Nature of absence, length and date of absence. Communicable diseases must be reported.

You may call the attendance line 24 hours a day, enabling you to leave a message during non-office hours. While it is beneficial for your child’s teacher to be informed of an absence, it is imperative for the office staff to be notified as well.

In the case of a prolonged absence, 3 days or more, we suggest you contact your child’s teacher for assignments. Assignments may be picked up in the office after school.  Independent Studies are available for a planned absence of 5 - 10 days. Please visit the main office to pick up an Independent Study form.

Late Arrival – Attendance is taken in the classroom immediately after the bell rings. Students arriving late must stop by the office for an admit slip before going to their classroom. It is imperative for all students to check in the office if they are late.

Permission to Leave School – We expect students to avoid school-hour appointments whenever possible. If your child needs to leave school during the day for an appointment or other reason, an authorized adult must sign out the student at the office. Do not go to the classroom. Students will only be released to people authorized on the emergency contact list.


Back to School Night will be held during the first two weeks of school in August. TK/K will be on Wednesday August 16, 2023. First - Fifth Grades will be on Thursday August 24, 2023

Report cards are issued at the end of fall, winter and spring trimesters. Parent/teacher conferences are scheduled for mid - September. This is prior to the first report card to enable parents and teachers to set goals and establish a partnership to support your child.

Parents may communicate with teachers through e-mail and voice mail. Email addresses and telephone numbers can be found on the school website. Classroom teachers have websites and publish weekly, bi-weekly, and/or monthly newsletters. The school’s email messaging system will also be used to communicate important school information to our families.

Every Tuesday the PTA publishes a newsletter called Leopard Spots that includes calendar information, school news and upcoming events. Sign up for email delivery of Leopard Spots on the PTA website.

The Principal’s Weekly Message will be sent out on Friday afternoons through the Parent Square messaging platform.

The PTA also maintains its own website,, which provides a wealth of useful information, including information about PTA meetings, the family directory, volunteer information, and the school calendar.

Directory – The PTA creates an online student directory each fall. This is a list of student addresses and phone numbers you may select to be included in. It is provided free to all PTA members.

Messages/Deliveries for Students – Only emergency messages will be delivered to children during school hours. Please leave any communications or items in the school office only. Your child will be sent to the office to receive messages/deliveries.


Health and Safety

Change of Address, Phone Number, or Doctor – Please notify the office whenever there is any change in your address, home or work phone numbers, cell phones and email addresses. It is very important to have accurate information if an emergency should arise and it becomes necessary to contact you quickly.

Bicycles – Bicycles may not be ridden through school grounds before, during or after school hours. A student riding a bicycle to school must lock it in the bike cage with their own lock. The school does not assume responsibility for lost, stolen or damaged items. Bicycle riders are required by law to wear helmets.

Scooters, skateboards and rollerblades may not be ridden to school and are not permitted on school grounds at any time.

Dogs – No dogs are allowed on campus, except service dogs (including during non-school hours and during sports events).

Disaster Procedures The school conducts routine fire, intruder alert, disaster, and earthquake drills. Emergency supplies are kept for all staff and students in case students have to be kept on campus for anywhere from several hours to several days.

In the event that a non-destructive earthquake occurs during school hours, students will remain at school under the supervision of school personnel until the regular dismissal time. Procedures to be followed have been established by the school principal, staff, and PTA. If the severity of an earthquake or other disaster is such that there is damage or destruction to the buildings, communication systems, and/or power, the following procedures will be in effect:

  • If it is safe to do so, you are urged to come to school to pick up your child. Please report to the “Student Release Station” to sign out your child.
  • Students will remain at school until their dismissal time unless picked up by their parents. If at dismissal time, police/fire officials determine it is safe for students to be sent home, students will be dismissed. If it is determined that it is unsafe for students to be sent home, students will remain at school under the supervision of school personnel until picked up by their parents, or until a safe dismissal determination has been made.

Pediculosis (Head Lice) Policies and Procedures - The Lafayette School District has adopted a "no-lice" policy that promotes the early detection of, and response to, head lice infestations, and the distribution of educational materials to school staff and parents on head lice, nit combing, and treatment. Detailed procedures have been established to allow children to return to school after effective treatment for pediculosis.

Lafayette Elementary School's philosophy is to treat incidents of head lice as private and confidential in nature. However, as with any health matter that is communicable, when an incident does occur, notices will be sent home to students in the classroom affected so that parents may act promptly to stop the spread of the infestation.

Please refer to the district's parent handbook or visit the district's website for details. Refer to BP/AR 5141.33 and related forms, available in the Policies section of the district website -

Medicine at School

The Lafayette School District, following California Education Code and State requirements, requires that prior to any medications (over-the-counter and/or prescription) being administered at our schools, a "Permission to Administer Medication Form" completed by the parent/guardian and/or prescribing doctor and signed by parent/guardian, and physician be on file in the school office. All medications, with the possible exception of inhalers, EpiPens, and diabetic equipment and supplies, must be held and administered in the school office. All medications to be administered at school must be delivered to the school office by a parent or designated adult. Permission to administer medication forms are available in the school office or check out “Nurse’s Corner” on the District’s website for more information.

Adults on Campus

Volunteers and Visitors – All volunteers and visitors must sign in at the school office and wear a visitor badge. Please review the Lafayette Elementary School Adult Code of Respect when coming to campus.

Tuberculosis Screening – All regular volunteers must present a completed TB Risk Assessment form or results of a TB screening to the office every four years. 

School Appearance Policy

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance for parents and students for school attire. Students should dress appropriately for freedom of movement and safety on the playground and during physical education. Clothes that are distracting or disrupt the educational process are not allowed. Clothing should be neither too tight, nor too loose. Students need to wear sensible, low-heeled shoes. Close-toed athletic shoes are the safest footwear for all of our students. Hats can be worn outside only. When inside, hats are to be kept in backpacks or desks.


At Lafayette Elementary, we strive to create an inclusive, supportive, and safe space where all families and students are welcome and represented within our school community. We expect all community members to treat each other with kindness and respect and to help in our efforts to challenge racism and exclusion whenever it occurs. We encourage all LES Leopards to be allies and upstanders by looking out for each other, speaking up when they witness injustice, and seeking help from all teachers, staff, and administration.  For more information you may review the School District Board Policies and Equity (BP 0415) and Racial Equity (BP 0415.1). 

We promote this awareness and responsibility through daily conversations, setting expectations, curriculum and books. We encourage parents to be involved with our PTA’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) Committee. We also have a student lead No Place for Hate group run by 4th and 5th graders.


Your child’s teacher is responsible for core subjects such as reading, math and social science. Specialized staff provides supplemental instruction in the following areas:

  • Science – Children receive instruction from their classroom teacher along with the science teacher. The site science teachers work collaboratively with the LPIE science instructors at different times throughout the year. 
  • Art – Art projects are integrated into other subject matter and are part of the classroom curriculum. In addition, new in the 2023-24 school year, we have a credentialed art teacher who will provide weekly instruction to students.
  • Music – Our choral teacher meets with each K-3rd grade class once a week for 30 minutes. Each 4th grade class receives choral music and an introduction to various instruments once a week for 45 minutes.
  • Band/Strings/Chorus- Grade 5 only – Students choose from band, strings or chorus and meet with their instructor twice a week for 30 minutes.
  • Physical Education – Each student has P.E. 200 minutes for every 10 school days provided by the classroom teacher and a P.E. specialist.
  • Library – Each class visits the school library once a week. Research, instruction and information gathering is taught. Our librarian also assists children in selecting books that are appropriate to their reading ability and interest. Books must be returned the following week or renewed. There is a charge for lost books - $25 for hardcover and $10 for paperback.
  • Reading Lab – Lafayette Elementary School has a reading specialist and instructional assistant. The team works to support students who might need extra assistance or intervention.
  • English Language Learners – English Language Learners receive specialized instruction and services coordinated by the ELL teacher.
  • Special Education - We have two instructional support teachers, a full-time school psychologist, a speech language pathologist, as well as OT and PT services provided to students with disabilities through the IEP process.
  • School Counselor - We have a counselor on campus five days a week to provide support to students and families on an as needed basis.

Field Trips

ALL FORMS MUST BE TURNED IN A MINIMUM OF ONE WEEK PRIOR TO DRIVING ON A FIELD TRIP. Only parents who have a “Field Trip Parent-Driver Statement” on file in the office may drive on field trips. Parents who drive on field trips must turn in a T.B. Risk Assessment form prior to driving on the trip.  Parents must also turn in a copy of their driver’s license and a copy of their insurance declaration page indicating the following minimum coverages:  Bodily Injury $100,000/$300,000 Property Damage $50,000 Medical Payments $5000. Please complete this form Field Trip Parent/Driver Statement and return to the school office.

Student Body Leadership

The Student Participation Outreach Team (SPOT) is composed of elected student officers and representatives from fourth and fifth grade classrooms. The team meets at least once monthly to discuss and plan for student body participation in developing a respect for other people and their property, in encouraging good sportsmanship and in making recommendations about school safety and conduct. In addition to that role, the SPOT team promotes and participates in outreach projects in the community such as making blankets for the homeless and a toiletries drive.

School Service is open to students in third through fifth grades. These students contribute much to the success of school life by taking on special assignments, such as Safety Patrol, acting as Talk it Out Partners (to help with recess disagreements), delivering lunch buckets, Recess Facilitation (5th grade only), First Aid helpers, Green team and our No Place For Hate group.

School Climate and Playground Rules

Lafayette Elementary School students and staff develop school rules so that school will be a safe and fair learning environment for all. We expect that our students will be SAFE, RESPECTFUL, and RESPONSIBLE. Rules are constantly reviewed, updated, and added to as needed to support the expected behaviors. 

Students are instructed in classroom and school rules at the beginning of the year and school staff reviews the rules throughout the year. Occasionally, a student may make an error with their behavior.  The majority of the time, classroom teachers handle any disruptive behavior. If needed, a student may be referred to the office by a teacher or yard duty assistant. When a student is referred to the office, they are expected to fill out a reflection form and they are counseled by the principal or her designee. Consequences range depending on the offense, the age of the student and previous behavior records. 

Our district has adopted the Toolbox Project as our Social Emotional Learning program for students. 

The following is our student pledge: I pledge to be my best self.

I will be curious in my learning, 

determined in my attitude 

and thoughtful in my deeds.

I am a Lafayette Leopard!

General Information

Breakfast and Lunch at School –

The state of California became the first state to implement a statewide Universal Meals Program for school children. This program is designed to build on the foundations of the federal National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP). All students enrolled in the Lafayette School District will receive breakfast and lunch free of charge. All food and beverages served meet state and federal requirements. No sign up or registration is needed. Breakfast will be served during snack recess. For more information, visit Lafayette School District Food & Nutrition Services.

We are still encouraging families that currently receive free or reduced priced lunches to continue to fill out the Annual Meal Application. This form is available in the school office or online.

Our breakfast and lunch programs are optional, therefore students may continue bringing lunch and snacks from home. Please send in reusable containers or cartons; glass bottles are not allowed. Also, do not send lunch/snack items that require heating or hot water. For safety reasons, we will not provide hot water for a student’s meal (e.g. for dried soup, hot chocolate, etc.).

Food Policy – Students are not allowed to share or trade any food with each other at any time while at school or while engaged in a school activity (e.g. field trips. etc.). If a child has a food allergy, it is imperative that the parent informs the school of this situation immediately and the student’s medical provider fills out the Medical Statement to Request Special Meals And/or Accommodations form.

Lost and Found – Please place identification on your child’s belongings. We can return clothing to your child’s classroom if it is labeled. Lost and found items are placed in a cart in front of the custodian’s room. Students and parents may check there for lost items.

Personal Items – Toys, electronic games, etc. should be left at home unless special permission is given by a classroom teacher for a particular subject being taught or a scheduled classroom sharing/show and tell time.

Cell phone & Smartwatch Policy

We have entered new territory in the past few years with our elementary students having and bringing devices to school. This has become one more distraction for many of our students which can impact their focus and learning. 

We recognize that parents provide their children with cell phones and/or smartwatches for safety reasons. Therefore, we understand that some students will bring their devices to school.  Students can call/text parents immediately upon arrival or at dismissal. Other than that, cell phones must remain turned off and stowed away during the school day including on the yard during breakfast/before school recess and at lunch. Students cannot be using their smartwatches at all in any capacity during the school day as well.

Cell phones and smartwatches that are being used to make calls, text (parents or peers), play games, or take videos/pictures during the day will be confiscated and kept in the main office for parents or a guardian to pick up. If students need to reach a member of their family, they can use one of the phones in the main office. 

You can help us enforce this policy by not texting your children and calling or answering their calls during the day. Thank you for your support. Whenever possible, if your child can leave all devices at home, that is most ideal to help set them up for success and be able to focus at school.

Drop Off and Pick Up Information

Before and after school, crossing guards are stationed at Moraga Road and Brook Street, School Street and First Street and First Street and Monroe. Please use caution when driving through these intersections, as pedestrian traffic can be heavy. If your child is exiting a vehicle on any of these streets, please pull over to the curb for your child to exit. Do not stop in the middle of the street to drop your child off.

If you drop off or pick up your child in front of the school, a staff member will assist them with getting into or out of the car. DO NOT DROP YOUR CHILD OFF BEFORE 8:15 a.m. There is no adult supervision on campus before 8:15 a.m.

At the end of the day, parents should have a pre-arranged pickup location with their child.  Parents who are walking to pick up their child may meet their child at the gate on School Street or First Street. Parents who are driving to school to pick up their child, will pull up into the main parking lot on Moraga Rd. All of the parking in the school parking lot itself is reserved for school staff. DO NOT DOUBLE PARK in the school parking lot. PLEASE FOLLOW ALL STAFF MEMBER DIRECTIONS IN THE PARKING LOT.

Please never leave your car unattended while waiting for your child. If you are using the drive-up option, please tell your child to go straight to the pick-up area immediately upon dismissal from class. 

Lafayette School Parking Lot Procedures

Courtesy, common sense, and observation of the following will assure SAFETY and SANITY for all.

  • Cars may not be left unattended in the drop off AND pick-up areas between 7:45 a.m.-8:30 a.m. and beginning 30 minutes before and after the end of the school day.
  • When a car pulls out of the drop off or loading lane, all cars must pull forward. Do not cut in front of cars lined up along the curb.
  • Drivers load and unload only after pulling over to the far right lane.
  • Drive slowly in and out of the parking lot. Pull up as far as you can along the curb.
  • Pedestrians must use appropriate crosswalks and walkways only.
  • Please have children exit the car on the side closest to the curb.
  • If the spaces along the curb are all filled, please pull into the left lane and circle through the parking lot until you may SAFELY pull up to the curb.
  • Please let day care providers, and others who may be picking up your child know about the parking lot procedures.

Lafayette Elementary School Anti-Bullying Statement

The Lafayette School District is committed to maintaining a safe and caring environment for everyone. We will treat each other with respect, and we will refuse to tolerate bullying of any kind.

Bullying behavior happens when someone uses his or her power to hurt another person. 

The person who is bullying uses power (size, age, popularity, confidence, verbal ability) to hurt someone physically or emotionally. The power between the bully and victim is not equal. When bullying occurs, there is intent to repeatedly harm, dominate, exclude, or otherwise cause the victim distress.

Depending on the severity and frequency of incidents, consequences may include but are not limited to the following: warning, verbal or written apology, parent contact by student, teacher, and/or principal, restriction from playground at recess or at lunch, restricted participation in special school events, assignment related to bullying, school service requirement, behavior contract, or suspension.

Bullying may include but is not limited to the following behaviors:

  • Physically hurting someone by hitting, tripping, pushing, biting, etc.
  • Using name calling, put-downs, teasing, mockery, racial slurs, sexual comments, or swearing to insult, intimidate or make fun of someone
  • Spreading rumors about someone
  • Purposefully excluding someone from a group activity, or trying to get others to not play with someone
  • Using cruel gestures or facial expressions
  • Taking or damaging someone’s possessions
  • Cyber-bullying

Adults will do the following things to prevent bullying and to help students feel safe at school:

  • Provide instruction on bullying behavior and appropriate responses
  • Watch for signs of bullying in the classroom, on the playground, and elsewhere on campus and stop the behavior when it happens
  • Investigate all reported bullying incidents
  • Assign consequences for bullying and contact parents
  • Assign consequences for retaliation against students who report bullying
  • Provide support for students who have been bullied

Students will do the following things to prevent or stop bullying:

  • Treat each other respectfully
  • Refuse to bully others
  • Refuse to let others be bullied

Students will do the following things to prevent or stop bullying:

  • Refuse to watch, laugh, or join in when someone is being bullied
  • Try to include everyone in play, especially those who are often left out
  • Use strategies and firm verbal statements to respond to teasing and bullying behaviors
  • Report bullying to an adult

Parents can support our anti-bullying policy:

  • Review these listed expectations for student behavior with your child
  • Report any bullying incident immediately to the school if your child has not done so
  • Refrain from actions that exclude and hurt other children, such as but not limited to, distributing party invitations at school
  • Work with staff to provide support for students


Harassment of students or staff, including bullying, intimidation, cyberbullying, hazing or initiation activity, ridicule, extortion, or any other verbal, written, or physical conduct that causes or threatens to cause bodily or emotional harm is prohibited. (BP 5131, 5144)

Cyberbullying includes posting of harassing messages, direct threats, social cruelty, or other hurtful text or images on the Internet, social networking sites, or other digital technologies, as well as breaking into another person’s account and assuming that person’s identity in order to damage that person’s reputation or friendships. (BP 5131, 5144)

To report an incident: Bullying Complaint Form