- School Information
- Student Safety
- School Policies/Procedures
- Academic Intervention Team (AIT)
Pembroke Hill Mission Statement
Freedom With Responsibility
Pembroke Hill is a place where:
- Every child is known, cared for and valued
- Teaching and learning is at its highest level
- A growth-oriented culture of excellence thrives
- Positive supportive relationships exist
Lower School Mission
The mission of The Pembroke Hill lower school is to enable all students to build character and to develop their intellectual, physical and creative abilities to the highest possible level.
To fulfill its commitment to each student, the school will:
- Create an environment of academic excellence to ensure that each of our graduates is thoroughly prepared for college through a challenging and globally-inspired curriculum that provides a sound knowledge base in the liberal arts, mathematics and science.
- Develop independent and articulate communicators who are critical thinkers, collaborative, innovative, analytical and able to problem solve.
- Place a strong emphasis on character and citizenship education and provide experiences in life skills, leadership and service.
- Foster and promote emotional, social and physical well-being through strong athletic and wellness programs.
- Develop student creativity through engagement in the arts with a comprehensive and vibrant arts program.
- Explore emerging technologies and opportunities that will enhance the school's programs and expand our student's related capabilities.
The objective of the lower school is to create a challenging and exciting curriculum committed to excellence. The school is dedicated to providing an educational experience that focuses on developing expert learners in all children. Our students also benefit greatly by our dedication to integrated instruction. This type of instruction incorporates the teaching of core academic disciplines with topics that are relevant to children’s experiences.
Areas of interest are explored and extended to enable students to see the patterns, relationships and connectedness of learning. Skills and concepts learned in context rather than isolation prove more meaningful and enduring.
Additionally, our resource teachers work hand-in-hand with the classroom teachers to enrich the breadth of instruction. Resource classes are vital to a well-rounded education and allow valuable occasions for the expression of specific talents and abilities. Daily activities are deliberately crafted to provide opportunities for critical thinking, problem-solving and real-life application of acquired knowledge. Discussions, social interaction and cooperative learning are inherent to the process.
Each child comes to Pembroke Hill with different experiences, needs and potential that should be served and nurtured. The opportunity and exhilarating task of preparing students for school and life by helping them take the first steps in acquiring lifelong skills and values is welcomed.
Pembroke Hill strives to provide a safe and nurturing environment and encourages respect, ethical behavior and individual responsibility. These goals are accomplished by establishing a community of mutual respect among students, faculty and parents. Students are assisted in choosing responsible behavior that meets their needs without interfering with the ability of others to meet their needs. (Time used for students to plan is handled discreetly and in a positive manner.)
The school’s discipline program affords many opportunities to help children develop self-discipline and the self-confidence that accompanies taking effective control of their lives. In addition to the counseling procedures (planning) that are the result of breaches in discipline, the classes discuss ways to responsibly meet one’s needs in school.
Pembroke Hill has developed a Core Values framework that will further strengthen the emphasis on character and citizenship education. Four words are central to this foundation: Respect, Compassion, Scholarship and Integrity. Character education is an important element in the school’s academic, arts and athletic offerings. Additionally, under the support and leadership of our school counselors, each of the four divisions has developed a character education curriculum for their students.
816-936-1200 (ph) 816-936-1248 (fax)
Dr. David D'Ercole - Principal
816-936-1301 (ph) 816-547-9724 (cell) 816-936-1309 (fax)
Paula Engetschwiler - Director of Auxiliary Programs
816-936-1377 (ph) 816-936-1328 (fax)
Naomi Weichert - Administrative Assistant (Primary Building)
816-936-1242 (ph) 816-936-1248 (fax)
Liz Rooney- Administrative Assistant (Intermediate Building)
816-936-1302 (ph) 816-936-1309 (fax)
Judy Donnellan, RN - Nurse
816-936-1351 (ph) 816-550-2224 (cell) 816-936-1378 (fax)
Individual school phone numbers for faculty, faculty assistants and support staff are published in the Family Directory and in the website directory in the Parents Portal.
All PHS employees can be reached by email. Addresses consist of the employee's first initial and last name, then pembrokehill.org. (example: email@example.com)
It is important that children are at school ready to begin the day’s work by 8 a.m. Tardiness puts children in a negative learning position. Classroom doors open at 7:45 a.m., and morning work begins at 7:50 a.m. A child is considered tardy if they arrive after 8 a.m.
Extended Day hours: 3:10 to 6 p.m.
Early supervision is provided starting at 7:30 a.m. Kindergarten through second grade meet in the Primary Building McNeely Library; grades three through five meet in the Intermediate Building Dickey Library.
All students are taken to Extended Day if they are not picked up by 3:20 p.m.
The Pembroke Hill School offers an extended day program to students in early childhood through fifth grade from dismissal until 6 p.m., each day. The purpose of this program is to provide a safe, nurturing place that encompasses a wide variety of after-school activities for students.
Extended Day for early childhood and grades K-2 includes both organized and free play activities. Grades 3-5 have a study hall period from dismissal until 4:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday, to provide students an opportunity to complete their homework before leaving campus. Extended Day staff members are available to assist students when necessary.
Students in kindergarten through fifth grade may enroll in an after-school enrichment class or club. These classes are designed to engage students in activities with their peers that include a variety of topics. Multiple types of Extended Day contracts are available in the Parents Portal.
Families with a daily contract will pay a discounted rate. A drop-in contract is also available for those who wish to use the program on a flexible schedule. Families who need care on a given day should contact the auxiliary office at 816-936-1380, as well as the student’s teacher.
Attendance And Leaving Early
Regular attendance is expected except in case of illness. If your child is not going to be in attendance at the beginning of a school day, please call or email the homeroom teacher and the corresponding administrative assistant between 7:30 and 8 a.m. The school requests that you do not schedule appointments for your children during regular school hours. If it is necessary, please inform the homeroom teacher and the divisional administrative assistant (Naomi Weichert or Liz Rooney).
It is very important that parents sign their children out and in from the school office upon leaving and returning to campus. In addition, we discourage additional trips requiring students to miss multiple days of school. Ample vacation time is built into our yearly schedule.
Messages And Telephone Calls
If a situation arises in which a student needs to receive a message about a medical appointment, early dismissal, change in transportation plans or medicine to be administered or taken, please call the classroom teacher prior to noon. If you wait until a short time before dismissal to have a message relayed, the teacher is not always able to see that the student is informed. In case of emergency every effort is made to contact a student. Messages can be left on your child’s homeroom teacher’s telephone. (See the printed Family Directory, the online directory on the school's website or in the Parents Portal for a phone number.)
With permission from the teacher or administration, school telephones may be used by students in case of illness or emergency.
If it is necessary to park, please use designated parking areas. It is imperative that signage be observed for the three lanes of the circle drives during the following times: 7:30 to 8:15 a.m., 12:45 to 1:15 p.m. and 2:30 to 3:15 p.m. There is no parking along the fire lane. When attending a homeroom or grade level event, please park in Loose Park.
Parents who want to temporarily park and walk their children into the Primary Building are asked to park on the north (left) side of the 50th Street driveway. Please avoid parking in the south (right) side of the driveway. After 8:15 a.m., parking is allowed in either lane except for the "curve portion" by the Primary Building entrance until 2:30 p.m. Cars will need to be moved at 2:30 p.m., for afternoon dismissal. On the 51st Street side, parking is allowed along the south side of the drive.
Children may be dropped off at either the 50th Street or 51st Street loading zones. Teachers and safety patrol students are on duty at both locations and in the courtyard to assist with arrivals. When dropping off students, please exit riders on the curbside of the car. If this is not possible, please pull forward to the crosswalks and unload from the “right lane.” Remain there while riders cross in front of the car. Do not leave parked cars in the fire lane.
Many parents choose to park and walk their child into school. Finding parking in the early morning hours continues to be a challenge for some of our faculty and staff. Please be considerate when parking.
The parking lot entrance to the Primary Building is locked at 8 a.m., every morning. Any K-2 students arriving in the back parking lot after 8 a.m., must enter through the front entrance by Naomi Weichert’s office. In this case, parents are asked to park their cars and walk their children around to ensure their safe arrival.
The overall goals of student dismissal on the Wornall Campus are to be efficient, safe, reduce stress on drivers and retain the joyful end to the school day for all community members.
- All Wornall Campus siblings stand together at dismissal time, so cars only stop once to pick up children. In most cases, this means that all siblings in a family will be stationed at the youngest child's dismissal zone (the only exception is second graders with siblings in third-fifth grade).
- We ask that drivers do not arrive at school before 3:10 p.m., for dismissal pickup. We also strongly request that cars NOT line up on 51st street prior to 3:10 p.m. This is extremely unsafe and also leads to a great deal of frustration for our surrounding neighbors. Drivers are encouraged to circle around the block or wait in Loose Park if the pickup lines are full.
- Families who do not have children in the lower school who are parking and picking up early childhood children at 2:45 p.m., will need to be out of the upper parking lot by 3:05 p.m. No cars should be left unattended in the pickup lines after 3:05 p.m.
- All early childhood carpool pickups are done from the north/left lane. This is so teachers are not standing in traffic when they are putting children in car seats. Also, cars should never cross from the left lane to the right lane (or vice versa) in the pickup line, as this is extremely dangerous.
- The driveway speed limit is 5 miles per hour. You can watch a video about Wornall Campus driveway safety by clicking here.
Parents must adhere to the following safety procedures:
-Drive cautiously at all times.
-Please refrain from using cellphones while driving. Many accidents are caused by the use of cellphones while driving.
-Load children on the side away from traffic unless assisted by an adult.
-Parking off campus and walking to get children is an option that is strongly encouraged.
-Follow the entrance and exit pattern.
-Do not enter the middle parking lot on the 51st Street side of the campus to wait for children.
-Do not park at any time in the designated handicap spots unless in possession of a legal handicap tag.
If parents have any questions about the dismissal procedure or where to pick up their children they are encouraged to reach out to their child's homeroom teacher for further clarification.
Announcements concerning school closings will be made by 6:15 a.m. Parents will receive an email, text message and voicemail about school closures. Please note that during high cell phone use time periods, the receipt of text messages may be delayed. Messages will also be placed on the school’s website, pembrokehill.org, school portals and social media channels. Parents may call the school’s main number (816-936-1200) to hear a recording. Additionally, announcements will be made through local television, radio and news outlets. On busy news mornings, these announcements may take a while to actually air on these outlets. In the event no announcement is made, school will be in session. Delayed starts will be announced as well.
Parents are encouraged to visit our classrooms. However, please schedule your visits with the school office or individual teacher due to schedule changes, tests and field trips. For security reasons, check in with the office before going to a classroom and obtain a visitor’s badge.
While you are on campus you might want to share a special talent, recipe or object with your child’s class. Let the teacher know if you would like to do this. You may also have lunch with your child. Guests will join the children at their dining room table. Children will receive the regular menu selection; please do not share special treats with children for safety reasons.
You may obtain two lunch tickets from the receptionist in Founders Hall. If you must exceed the two visit limit, it will be necessary to purchase additional tickets. Remember these visits are not for teacher conferences and should be limited to an hour or less.
Parents of children at Pembroke Hill, like parents of children at all schools, will encounter expenses in addition to enrollment expenses (tuition, Bookstore deposit for books and supplies, lunch, Parents Association dues and class dues) as their children progress through school. Over the past several years, Pembroke Hill has worked to minimize these extra costs while creating a tuition structure that is as inclusive of these costs as possible. Parents are always encouraged to contact the school if they have a concern about an expense.
Some of these additional expenses are required of a student if he/she chooses to participate in an activity (such as athletics) or a specific course. Other expenses are for items that are voluntary, with the degree of student involvement becoming a family decision.
The following lists of expenses are included here to help parents get a sense of the activities and events that have costs associated with them. They are listed by categories such as school-wide and by division. Within these categories, items are listed as required or optional. These lists should not be considered complete, but it is hoped that most items have been included so that parents may plan accordingly.
School-wide Expenses (Optional)
- Raider Club
- Annual Fund
- Arts Council dues
- Parent gatherings
- Projects supporting charitable organizations
- School photos
- Snacks/food for various events
Lower School Expenses (Required)
- May Day attire (school has dresses that can be borrowed; boys, grades 2 and 5, need white shorts) and May Day flower rings
- Kris Kringle (intermediate grades)
- Pancake Breakfast
- Book Fair
- After-school activities (division skating parties)
- Scholastic Book order
- If in band, individual music lessons (school strongly encourages)
- Music performance videos
- Recreational sports
- Market Day
Special Curricular Events
Each grade level participates in special events that augment the curriculum. Examples of these might include: Kansas City Zoo, nature center, apple farm, pumpkin patch, Powell Gardens, restaurant, parent’s place of business, Wornall House, Ernie Miller Nature Center, Nelson-Atkins Museum Of Art, various theaters and Wildwood Outdoor School.
Lower School Assembly Program
The lower school is committed to a highly enriched assembly program whose purpose is to enrich the lives of children and broaden their life experiences. They provide quality learning opportunities to enhance the academic program of studies. When students make emotional connections to learning, their retention rate increases. The assemblies provide these connections.
An assembly may be for just one grade level or for all of kindergarten through fifth grade. Topics vary, but tend to be in the fine arts such as musicians, dancers and authors.
Parent involvement in, and support of, school programs strengthens the entire curriculum and school community. There are many opportunities in which to participate in the school whether you are a working parent or one who is not employed outside of the home.
Sandra Rodriguez, director of parent programs, will be happy to discuss opportunities that interest you. Please contact her at 816-936-1225.
Your child’s safety is most important. In fact, each child knows Rule #1 - Stay with the teacher. If your child must leave the school before regular dismissal, please send a note to the teacher via email. Under no circumstances will your child be released from the school’s care without a note from you. Introduce any individuals other than parents who might be picking up your child from school to the teacher. Teachers may ask to see the driver’s license of any person who is taking the child from the school grounds. Please sign in and out of the appropriate school building office anytime you are in the lower school, other than attending a program or function.
Supplemental Student Insurance
A supplemental student accident insurance policy is provided to assist families with out-of-pocket expenses resulting from an injury at school or at official school events. The policy is structured to cover expenses after existing insurance policies have responded. When an injury occurs that is likely to result in the family seeking medical treatment (i.e. emergency room or doctor’s visit), a claim form will be sent along with a copy of the student accident report. Claims need to be filed directly with the policy administrator within 90 days of the injury. Please contact the principal’s office if you did not receive a claim form for an injury that required professional medical treatment. If you have questions about the policy itself, please contact James Miller, chief financial officer.
When parents are out-of-town, the school should be notified in writing of the dates, the name and telephone number of the adult responsible for the child during the parents’ absences. Please give appropriate emergency phone numbers to the building administrative assistant and homeroom teacher.
Severe weather and lockdown drills are conducted periodically, acquainting students and teachers with the plans within each building. Emergency fire drills are practiced, and the school is inspected by the fire department on a regular basis. The lower school has developed a crisis plan that includes emergency materials for each classroom and an evacuation plan to Loose Park or the InterContinental Kansas City At The Plaza (in case of inclement weather). At recess, the supervising adult is furnished with an emergency device. If necessary, 911 can be notified immediately.
Lower School Dress Code
In keeping with the school motto of Freedom With Responsibility, the aim of the lower school dress code is to create a reasonably informal atmosphere and to influence student dress without requiring all to dress alike. The school believes that standards of neatness and appropriateness in clothing encourage an atmosphere that is conducive to learning, working and discipline. Furthermore, it is felt that pride in one’s self is, in part, influenced by appearance.
The lower school faculty knows that the cooperation of parents and students is key in creating this climate. Past experience has proven that our families understand because our students come to school dressed appropriately. We see them wearing collared shirts, fashion t-shirts, turtlenecks, shorts of proper length, khaki pants, capris, skorts, etc.
Even though children's fashions continue to mirror the adult look, we expect “age-appropriate dress” for our students. Children are expected to be neat, clean, well-groomed and appropriately dressed when attending school. All clothing must be in good repair (i.e. no holes or tears) and the appropriate length. Students must wear an appropriate shirt, sweater or blouse. Attire of any kind with inappropriate coverage, messages, slogans or symbols is prohibited. At all times, daily footwear must allow children to run, jump and play safely. Athletic shoes are best for this purpose. If children wear non-athletic shoes, they must have rubber-soles, flat heels and be closed at the toe and heel. Athletic shoes are necessary for physical education class. No specific P.E. uniform is required.
Lost And Found
The main Wornall Campus “lost and found” box is in the Deramus Field House, and parents are urged to check for lost items. Items from each building are sent to the Field House on the last Friday of every month and displayed for easy claiming several times a year. Unclaimed items are donated to charity. We ask all parents to mark their children’s clothes with identification.
The NWEA MAP Test is given to second-fifth grade students during the first month of school. These tests are taken in the classroom via the iPad.
The primary purpose of this testing is to provide teachers with another form of assessment data to meet the needs of every student in his or her class. Results are shared with parents by the homeroom teachers.
Please be sure your children come to school dressed for changes in the weather. All students are expected to participate in recess. Generally, if a child is too sick to go outside for recess, the child is too sick to be in school. There will be occasional exceptions to this rule, but it is a reasonable guideline. A written doctor's request for indoor recess will always be honored. There will be no outdoor recess when:
- The temperature is 15 degrees Farenheit or below.
- The wind chill index is below zero.
- There is significant falling moisture.
Religious Observance Policy
In keeping with tradition, no full-period test shall be scheduled or major papers assigned over the two Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. In addition, Pembroke Hill recognizes that the student body includes adherents of many faiths, and that observance of major religious holidays is an important facet of practicing one's religion. In consideration of these holidays, teachers and administrators shall be respectful when scheduling tests, project deadlines and, whenever possible, extracurricular activities. While absences due to religious holidays will be excused, we kindly ask that parents notify the school at least 48 hours in advance.
From the Board of Trustees
The school shall not tolerate any activities which condone, encourage or make light of alcoholic consumption or the use of illegal substances nor shall the school tolerate any activities which denigrate students, faculty members, administrators or others.”
Adopted June 1990
Pembroke Hill believes that students should have the best education available. We believe this happens when students feel good about themselves, care about each other and respect the rights and property of everyone. We endorse and promote our school motto, Freedom With Responsibility.
Responsibility is defined as the ability to fulfill one’s own needs without interfering with the ability of others to fulfill their needs. All students must know that they are responsible for their actions and must demonstrate this both in school work and social relationships. Students who accept responsibility for themselves find joy and success in learning and relationships.
Child Abuse And Neglect Policy
The safety of our children is of utmost importance to us. All PHS faculty and staff members are mandated reporters of any suspected abuse and must comply with the Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect laws. PHS will report any physical or verbal abuse, and/or neglect of a child to the Missouri Division Of Family Services Child Abuse Hotline.
The school nurse is available from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., in the Mellon Building. She provides medical services to students including health appraisals, medication administration, health education and first aid. The nurse will always be available via cell phone at 816-550-2224, and by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The fax number is 916-936-1378.
Before school begins, various forms must be returned to either the division office or the nurse’s office by Aug. 1. All forms are posted on the school’s website, www.pembrokehill.org, in the Parents Portal. Once these are filled out, please keep a record at home and fax copies to the school nurse office at 816-936-1378, or mail to the school.
Immunization records: The Missouri Department Of Health requires that we have a copy of immunization records on or before the first day of school. The school does not provide a specific form for this. Simply ask your physician's office to provide you with a record of your child's immunizations and send that record to the school. Thank you for your help in getting these to the school on or before the first day.
Over-the-counter medication: If you would like your children to receive over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen, Benadryl or Tylenol, please update your Household Profile Update in the Parents Portal, located in top left corner under My Portal. No telephone calls will be made or accepted for authorization. These medications are given according to the written instructions on the label, i.e. the child’s age and weight. Medication requests that exceed the recommended dose or guideline will require written permission from your pediatrician.
Emergency/Transportation/Medical Information: Parents provide this information each year in the Household Profile Update section in the Parents Portal, located in the top left corner under My Portal. The Household Profile Update is where parents can update their child's health, emergency contacts and transportation information.
Antibiotics and daily medications: Please send only the amount to be given to the student at school. This includes over-the-counter medications that are to be given only once or twice. Medications must be in the original container. You may obtain an extra labeled medication bottle from the pharmacy at the time the prescription is filled.
Any dosage change requires a signed note from your child’s physician. Only the appropriate dosage of medication according to the PDR recommendations will be dispensed.
All inhalers, whether used daily or as needed, require a Student Asthma Action Form signed by parent and physician. This form is located in the Parents Portal. Any dosage change requires written permission from the doctor.
Sending Ill Children Home From School
Children will be sent home if they:
- Have a fever of 100 degrees or above;
- Are vomiting (24 hours in most cases is the rule. Exceptions are episodes of car-sickness, choking or gagging in the absence of other infectious symptoms.);
- Have diarrhea;
- Have unusual rashes; or
- Have red or draining eyes.
When contacted by the school nurse that your child is sick, please make arrangements to pick up your child within 45 minutes. This helps the school decrease the spread of germs.
Children may return when free of the above symptoms for 24 hours. These guidelines are implemented for the well-being and protection of your child and their classmates.
Common Sense Parenting And Health Promotion
Keep children home until they are fever free without medications for 24 hours. This reduces sharing germs, and it gives your child extra time to rest and fight off the illness.
Keep children home if they have had diarrhea or are vomiting. Usually, they feel physically drained if they have had these symptoms. They may want to return to school when they are system free after 24 hours. Please consider keeping them home to regain their strength. Keeping them home for an extra day is a healthy investment to you and them.
It is the position of the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) that the management of head lice (Pediculus humanus capitis) in the school setting should not disrupt the educational process. Leadership provided by the registered professional school nurse can impact reduction of the stigma associated with head lice by providing accurate health education including anticipatory guidance to the school community and implementing evidence-based strategies for the management of head lice in schools. Evidence-based strategies include abandoning “no-nit” school policies, allowing children to remain in class and participate in school-sponsored activities when live lice or nits (the eggs of head lice) are found on their heads, notifying parents/caregivers at the end of the school day when findings indicate the presence of a head lice infestation, and educating parents/caregivers about evidence-based treatment options.
- The nurse is contacted by a parent or teacher.
- The nurse checks the child/children affected.
- The nurse confidentially informs the teacher and faculty assistant of her finding
- The nurse contacts the parents to inquire about whether their child (with nits) has been treated, or if this is a new outbreak.
- If this is a new case of lice, the nurse will request that the parent treat the child when he/she goes home.
- We do not enforce a no-nit policy. We do ask parents to do their best in removing as many of them as possible to help us when we recheck the classroom.
- Parents need to keep checking their children every day for at least two weeks to keep removing nits and monitor for any live lice.
- Parents should notify other families if they think they have exposed other children.
In order to be able to communicate accurately and in a timely manner about health issues affecting the school, Pembroke Hill is asking parents to provide information about their child’s illness when calling in an absence. This becomes important especially in working with area health departments concerning several communicable illnesses. Pembroke Hill will adhere to the following guidelines for informing parents when a student contracts a contagious disease.
On the Wornall Campus, a contagion notice will be emailed to the grade level that may be affected. These notices will be sent home when a child has been diagnosed with chicken pox, fifth disease, hand, foot and mouth disease, impetigo, pink eye, scabies or strep infections.
Suggested Snack Options
K-2: The school's food service provides a healthy snack for K-2 students each day. No other snacks should be sent with your child.
Grades 3-5: Our school has taken a proactive approach to the importance of an adequate breakfast and snacks to help children stay alert and attentive during the school hours. If you and your child have specific food preferences, this is a good time for him/her to exercise personal options (Freedom with Responsibility).
Homeroom teachers support all children with this approach. The individual teacher will determine the appropriate time for the daily snack, based upon the class schedule and need.
All third through fifth grade students' snacks need to come to school in a sealed Ziplock bag or container, especially if left in lockers.
Never: gum, candy, sugared cereals, chips, cookies and sodas
Sometimes: crackers, Fruit Roll-Ups, pretzels, nuts (in cases where classmates will not be put in danger)
Anytime: fresh fruit, dried fruit, raisins, cheese, beef jerky, sandwich, graham crackers, granola bars, trail mix, breakfast bars, non-sugared cereals in a bag and fresh veggies
Technology Responsible Use Guidelines
- Pembroke Hill's intent is to make Internet access available to further its educational goals and objectives. PHS does not have control of the information on the Internet. Certain sites have been blocked, but we realize it is impossible to limit access to all potentially objectionable material. Pembroke Hill believes that the benefits to educators and students having access to the Internet far exceed any disadvantages of inappropriate use. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the student to use technology and the Internet in an acceptable and ethical manner.
- The use of the technology and Internet at school is a privilege, not a right, and inappropriate use will result in disciplinary action. Any unauthorized use that includes, but is not limited to, hacking of the PHS computer network, the school's servers, computers or others' files will be viewed as a major violation of privacy and will result in disciplinary action.
- It is suggested that students accessing or using web products and technology for assignments keep personal information out of their postings.
- Students are not permitted to log into the network or web tool accounts as another classmate.
- It is expected that students using web tools and technology will treat the tools as a classroom space. Using web or digital tools for speech that is inappropriate, harasses or discriminates against others is not appropriate. Students are expected to abide by policies and procedures in the Student Handbook, including those policies regarding plagiarism and general conduct.
- Information stored in school issued accounts should have no assumption of privacy. Information in these accounts will only be viewed when a concern of acceptable use is determined by school administrators.
- Cell phone use by students is not allowed during the school day.
In order to celebrate all children’s birthdays in an efficient, consistent and safe manner, our food service team provides "birthday treats" once a month (in place of individual student celebrations). Having the treats made by our food service team ensures that the ingredients are safe for all students to ingest.
On the day of a child's birthday, it is also common for parents to come eat lunch with them in the Wornall Dining Hall. Students love the extra attention, and it gives parents the opportunity to celebrate their child without infringing on classroom learning time.
Finally, invitations to birthday parties outside of school should not be distributed to students unless all children in the classroom are invited.
Halloween: Grades K-2 bring costumes for the annual 8:30 a.m. Ghost Walk parade. Weather permitting, the parade occurs in the courtyard. In case of inclement weather, it will be held in Deramus Field House. Grade 3-5 students may bring costumes to wear during the grade level parties in the afternoon.
Pembroke Hill teachers have spent considerable time examining the available research regarding the topic of homework. We want to thank Dr. Harris Cooper of Duke University, a national homework expert, for his assistance with this project.
Teachers can structure homework in many ways, and student differences influence that decision. Students can determine when, where and how to complete their assignments. The home environment influences the process by creating an atmosphere conducive to, or inhibitive of, study. The broader community plays a role by providing other leisure activities that compete for students’ time. There are several purposes/goals of homework.
These purposes include giving students the opportunity to:
- Study for tests;
- Practice skills;
- Learn time management;
- Learn self-discipline;
- Gain organizational skills;
- Complete classroom work;
- Research or expand knowledge base;
- Read for enrichment; and
- Go above and beyond what can be accomplished during the school day.
It is difficult to say how much homework a child will have. The time spent on homework depends on a variety of factors including a student’s processing and organizational skills, as well as use of class time. With this said, teachers should assign no more than 10 minutes X the child’s grade level for homework tasks each night. For example, a second grader should expect no more than 20 minutes of homework (10 X 2), while a fourth grader should expect no more than 40 minutes of homework (10 X 4).
Independent reading is also an essential part of learning. Students are strongly encouraged to make reading a part of their homework routine. It is important for all children to independently read at least 30 minutes per day.
Parental Involvement In Homework
Parents have a significant role to play in their child’s education. Parents’ attitudes about homework’s importance and their support in providing the time and place to complete homework assignments greatly affect a child’s success with this ongoing responsibility.
Suggestions for how to be most effective in helping your child with homework assignments are as follows:
- Read and understand the school’s general homework policy.
- Share any concerns you may have about the amount or type of homework assigned with your child’s teachers.
- Provide a regular time, suitable study area and the necessary tools (for example: paper, pencils and reference books) for your child to complete homework assignments.
- Strike a reasonable balance among after-school activities, family time, television viewing, free reading and time for homework.
- Be available to help with an occasional question and to review completed assignments if asked.
- Read aloud to your child through the middle school years. Select books that are above your child’s reading level or ones that will open the door to new authors, genres and series. (One of the school’s highest priorities is to create lifelong readers and reading aloud to your child is key to this process.)
- Praise your child’s efforts.
- Inform teachers in advance of coming vacations or other necessary absences from school.
- Collect make-up work for a child who is sick or absent from school.
- Remember: It’s your child’s homework, not yours! Direct parental involvement in specific assignments should be kept to a minimum.
Picking Up Homework
If a student is ill and you would like to pick up homework for the day, email or leave a voicemail with the homeroom teacher before 10 a.m. Homework may then be picked up in the office.
The ultimate responsibility for homework lies with the student. Students should write down homework assignments, make sure they understand expectations, take home the necessary materials to complete their homework and return homework to school.
The student is responsible for "make-up" work: that work that could or should have been finished during the school day, or work that was assigned while the student was ill or on vacation.
While completing homework, students are expected to organize assignments, including reading and studying for tests, and self-regulate the completion of all homework, whether it is written or not. Students are also expected to produce quality work -- work that demonstrates understanding of the assignment and is legible, complete, neat, accurate and aesthetic.
The teacher assumes certain responsibilities to ensure that students transfer knowledge and skills learned in school to solving problems outside of school. The teacher should:
- Remind students of the characteristics of quality work.
- State expectations clearly and outline procedures to be followed to ensure successful completion of each assignment.
- Help students learn to use their planners to become more organized, independent and proficient.
- Individualize assignments for some students when necessary.
- Communicate with resource teachers to avoid overlap of tests or major projects.
- Assign homework that is meaningful and purposeful.
In conclusion, it is important to note that homework assignments are influenced by more factors than any other educational strategy. Therefore, it is not surprising that homework can be a source of friction between home and school. These homework guidelines clarify the expectations of the lower school. By keeping communication open between school and home and working together, homework becomes a meaningful part of the curriculum.
The Academic Intervention program consists of three academic interventionists who support identified students in grades K-5 during the Spanish block. All intervention efforts are directly linked to the results of assessment data and students are monitored in 6-8 week cycles to determine growth. As soon as a student demonstrates appropriate academic growth, they are returned to their normally scheduled Spanish class. Each student at Pembroke Hill School brings various strengths, needs, interests and learning styles to the classroom. Research-based programs and assessments are utilized to support and challenge students and to monitor progress.
The academic intervention team meets weekly with teachers to learn about specific students’ needs and offer guidance/support. This team is made up of the three Academic Interventionists, a speech therapist, an occupational therapist, the school counselor, the curriculum coordinator and the principal. The interventionists act as the main profile adviser for the homeroom teacher, student and parents. If you have any questions regarding this service, please contact your homeroom teacher.
The academic interventionists work in collaboration with the teachers to ensure that each child’s individual needs are met. As the profile adviser, she helps to create a plan for students who may need additional academic support, assessment or different learning opportunities to reach his or her potential. This may include any of the following:
- Observing and assessing the student;
- Generating student profiles to help individualize instruction;
- Providing intensive academic support at the student’s specific zone of proximal development;
- Identifying next steps for support that may include outside services; and
- Facilitating transitions from grade to grade or division to division for the student.
The Wornall Campus counselor serves students’ social and emotional needs in early years (2 year-olds) through grade 5. The counselor also assists students with resolving peer conflicts, supports the prekindergarten to kindergarten and fifth to sixth grade transitions, assists students in dealing with a family crisis, coordinates the PHS character education program and teaches guidance lessons in grades K-5. The counselor also teaches growth and development in fourth/fifth grade, holds individual parent conferences when necessary, plans and leads parent education activities throughout the school year and provides support with designing and implementing individual behavior plans for students. In addition, the Wornall Campus counselor serves as part of the lower school leadership team along with the curriculum coordinator/instructional coach and innovation coach.
Speech, hearing and occupational therapy screenings are offered each fall to students recommended for screening by their classroom teachers. The school covers the cost of these screenings. A speech pathologist and an occupational therapist from St. Luke's Hospital work on the Wornall Campus four afternoons a week. If your child should need speech or occupational therapy, time may be arranged for this during school hours. Payment for work with the speech pathologist and occupational therapist will be arranged through St. Luke's Hospital.
The strongest schools value parent input and communication between home and school. The school believes in working closely with parents to ensure the very best education for children attending PHS.
Remember - the school needs to hear from you. Call or make an appointment whenever necessary - the school will do the same.
Reports address the social, academic and physical development of your child. Report cards are made available for students in grades kindergarten through fifth grade three times during the school year: November, March, and June. Letter grades are not used in lower school.
Formal conferences are scheduled early in November. These conferences give you a chance to talk with your child’s teacher about their progress and goals for the rest of the year. Additional parent conferences may occur whenever a parent or a teacher feels that communication is necessary. These conferences may take place in person or by telephone. Please ask that specific resource teachers or the principal be present if needed. Feel free to contact resource teachers for a conference at any time of the year. Dismissal is not the appropriate time or place for conferencing with teachers.
Parents are encouraged to maintain open communication with their child’s teacher and principal throughout the year.
Suggested Parent/Teacher Conference Discussion Topics and Questions:
- Homework - Is my child’s homework completed thoroughly, accurately and on time?
- Class Participation - Does my child ask questions, volunteer answers and participate in class discussions?
- Organization - Does my child seem organized? Does he/she come to class prepared?
- Academic Success - How is my child doing in class? Is the class appropriate for my child’s ability level? Is my child working up to his/her potential?
- Classroom Time Management - Does my child use class time wisely?
- Attendance and Punctuality - Is my child in class every day? Is he/she arriving on time?
- Focus - Does my child pay attention in class?
- Social Adjustment - Is my child respectful and courteous to teachers and classmates? Does my child appear to get along well with other students?
- Strengths and Weaknesses - What is my child good at doing? What does he/she need to work on?
- Additional Comments - Do you have any advice or suggestions for me or for my child?
The Pembroke Hill school website, www.pembrokehill.org, provides a wealth of information about the school. Lower school news as well as school-wide news can be found on the Parent Portal section of the website. Each child has a portal page on the website that is updated regularly.
The Parents Newsletter is emailed monthly by the school. Stories that run in the Parents Newsletter are available in the Parents Portal.
Pembroke Hill School communicates about school activities, classes and programs through several popular social media outlets.
Lower School Athletic Program
The Pembroke Hill lower school athletic program is committed to offering a variety of recreational athletic activities to students from prekindergarten through fifth grade. Coached by parent volunteers, the goal of each activity is to focus on skill development, teamwork and physical fitness in a supportive and positive environment.
The school values of Respect, Compassion, Integrity and Scholarship are an important aspect of the athletic program. The role of the coaches, parents and participants is to reflect and instill such values in a manner that emphasizes good sportsmanship. Every student is a valuable member of his or her team, therefore, equal playing time is given to all participants. Activities offered include baseball, basketball, field hockey, flag football, lacrosse and soccer.
51st Street Singers
Chorus is open to fifth grade students. Rehearsals are scheduled for Tuesdays and Fridays from 7:25 to 7:55 a.m., in the music room. There is no practice in January.
Sponsor: Mrs. Stephanie Springate
Math Club (K-2)
Students will learn and enhance math skills through board and card games. The club meets on Wednesday mornings from 7:15 to 7:45 a.m. Startup date and location TBA. First and second grade students will meet in the Wornall Dining Hall and kindergarten will meet in Primary 105. Parents are always welcome to help.
Sponsors: Dr. D'Ercole, Ms. Pearson and Ms. Clarke
Math Club (4-5)
Math Club is designed to enhance student problem-solving skills and mathematical reasoning. Fourth and fifth grade students, who have a real love for the logical, mathematical and like to do challenging work, will have a great time. The club will meet on Wednesdays from 7:30 to 7:55 a.m., beginning in September and ending at spring break.
Sponsor: Ms. Hughes
May Day Dance Practices
Fourth and fifth grade girls may sign up to participate in the Waltz Of The Flowers dance in our annual May Day celebration. There will be nine practices. Four will be during the school day, and five will be in April after school from 3:10 to 4:10 p.m. Practice dates and May Day scheduling are available in the Parents Portal. Requirements include attendance at practices and a May Day dress (some are available to borrow or you may make your own). Also, each dancer is responsible for decorating a wire hoop provided by the school. Information will be sent home in late February.
Sponsor: Ms. Hughes
Private music lessons are offered after school by appointment. Contact Paula Engetschwiler at 816-936-1377 for information.
Safety Patrol is open to any fourth grader who can be on duty by 7:30 a.m. We follow the AAA Safety Patrol rules and regulations. Regular attendance is required. Students will be asked to start volunteering the first week of school.
Sponsors: Dr. D'Ercole and Mrs. Longhofer