Second Grade Handbook

Welcome to Second Grade 2008-09

Welcome to 2nd Grade!  The following information is to help you become acquainted with our classrooms here at McCaw Elementary School.  It includes commonly asked questions.  If you have any concerns that are not covered, please feel free to ask.  Please keep this handbook available in case any questions arise during the school year.  A printed copy has been sent home with your child.  Please sign and return the last page. 


School Information and Hours


Our school address and phone numbers are:

            Gordon McCaw Elementary School

           330 Tin Street

            Henderson, NV  89015

            Phone (702)799-8930             Fax (702)799-8910


Bell Hours:                  8:50 A.M. – 3:11 P.M.


Office Hours:              7:30 A.M. – 4:00 P.M.


Students will arrive at school NO EARLIER than 8:40 A.M.  No supervision will be provided prior to 8:40 A.M. 


          We know that almost every child must be absent a time or two during the year.  Attendance is very important!  When children are in school much learning takes place each day.  When a child misses a day, he/she has lost that experience.  Except for illness and emergencies, children are to be in school every day. 

Anytime children are absent, a note explaining the absence is required within three days of the absence.  This note allows us to excuse the absence.  This is a Clark County School District Policy.

Tardies disrupt the learning of ALL students.  Please make sure your child arrives to school on time.  Your child is considered tardy if they are not in the classroom by the 9:00 A.M.  Anytime your child is late arriving to class, it is considered a tardy.  Before entrance to the classroom, he/she must go to the office and obtain a tardy slip.  Without the slip, they will not be admitted to the classroom.  If the tardies continue, the parents will be called for a parent conference. 

Work Habits and Academics

          Your child will have several assignments during the school day for which he or she is responsible. If your child is unable to complete an assignment for any reason, it will automatically become homework to be completed at home and returned to school the following day.  It is the student’s responsibility to return work.  Work not returned may result in a zero.

Reading: Our reading program is Harcourt Trophies Reading.  It incorporates many different components.  Students will be participating in Guided Reading Groups, Whole Group Instruction and Independent Reading.  Students may have the opportunity to participate in Literature Circles (group discussion about a common book) as well.

Independent Reading: Students will be accountable for silent reading.  Students will have time in class to read at the beginning of each reading class and when not in guided reading groups.

Writing: Students will be writing using the Four Square Writing Model, the  Write…From the Beginning model, and using Thinking Maps.  Students may be required to write a journal daily.  Students may write about anything they wish in the journal or they may be given a specified topic.  We will be reviewing their writing and giving them feedback for guidance.

Science: Science will involve many hands-on experiences to help the students grasp some abstract concepts.  Our school uses FOSS science to advance our studies in insects, weather, and solids and liquids.  We will also use technology to expand our learning.  If you would like to volunteer in our classrooms, this subject would provide some great opportunities.

Math: Our math series is enVision Math.  It focuses on learning math through technology and hands-on activities.  This is a new program for the distrit and we are excited to begin teaching it.  We will also supplement our math program with Investigations.  This may be different from past math classes and we will be helping your child to grow in this area.


We believe that the reinforcement of skills taught in the classroom, regularly scheduled opportunities of self-accountability, and focusing on good study habits are combined in nightly homework. Furthermore, we believe that through nightly homework student growth, maturation and success can be enhanced.

Homework will be assigned Monday through Thursday.  Students will have homework in math, language arts, and occasionally their will be assigned projects in science and social studies.  In addition, they need to read 20 minutes every night.  A reading log needs to be filled out nightly.  All students are expected to read every night and complete any worksheets and activities assigned for that night.  Be sure your child has adequate workspace, keeps his or her homework in the homework folder and brings his or her folder to school daily.

You’re truly your child’s first teacher.  They look to you for guidance and direction at home with their homework.  Please make sure to look over your child’s homework once they have completed it.  You can circle anything that needs to be corrected.  You can also write “Wow” or “Great Job” or whatever you would like to show that the work your child does at home is valued by you.

Make-Up Work

            When a student is unavoidably absent from school, he or she is responsible for making up the work covered during his or her absence.  Students will have 3 days to make up their assignments upon their return to school in addition to the daily work given.

       If you know of an unavoidable absence in advance, please notify the office and your child’s teacher in writing at least a week in advance.  This will give us an opportunity to provide you with a packet of work to take with you!

Progress Reports 

          Our progress reports are designed to give you an indication of your child’s growing skills.  They are meant merely as part of the ongoing communication between school and home in terms of the current progress. We will be sending home progress reports every three weeks.  They will be sent home on a Monday with the weekly homework.  They are expected to be returned and signed by a parent the very next day.  If you wish to discuss the progress report and to gain additional feedback, please feel free to contact us and arrange a conference.  We will be happy to discuss any of your questions or concerns.

Special Classes

          Students will attend special classes:  Music, Art, Library, and P.E.  When your child is scheduled to have P.E. please make sure they wear tennis shoes and shorts  (appropriate length) or pants. Also, when your child has art, keep in mind that they may be involved in messy projects.  Please dress them appropriately.

Behavioral Expectations

          We trust your child has been taught to respect adults.  Teaching your child to respect their teachers and adults, in whose care they may be placed, will help them to become better citizens.  Our discipline policy is based on the philosophy that each child has the right to learn in an optimal environment.  In order to achieve this goal, children are expected to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner.

Classroom Behavioral Management

          Praise and positive reinforcement are the main components of our management plan.  We believe in using positive methods of reinforcement, which encourages self-control, self-direction, and self-esteem.  Please see your child’s teacher for a detailed copy of their plan.


The best way to get in touch with us is via e-mail, a note or a phone call.     We check our e-mails twice daily.  Please be aware that e-mail within the district is a matter of public record, so treat matters of confidentiality with care.  You may also call and leave a message for us in the office.  My e-mail address is:

            If you would like to schedule a conference, please send a note with your child or an e-mail.  We will try to coordinate a time that is convenient for everyone involved.

Parent Volunteers

          We love having volunteers and can really use help with all of the little “details,” as well as extra hands in the classroom during some classroom activities.  Parent involvement makes a difference in a child’s education.  If you would like to volunteer your time in the classroom, please sign up.  We will work out a schedule once we know everyone’s availability.  Basically, our greatest need is with prepping materials. 

          We apologize in advance for the inconenience, but students' siblings and other children will not be allowed to attend the classroom during volunteer visits.  Unfortunately they can be disruptive to the learnign of other students.

          We understand that with your busy schedules you may not be able to come into the classroom but you still want to help.  There are many other ways you may be involved in your child's class.  Please let your child's teacher know that you are interested in helping.

Lunch and Breakfast

          Breakfast is available for purchase in the Multipurpose Room from 8:40 a.m. – 8:50 a.m.  If your child is going to purchase school breakfast they must be finished with the meal by 8:55 a.m.  They will NOT be allowed to bring the breakfast into the classroom.  Bringing food into the classroom may cause health issues as well as contribute to ant and other insect problems.

Our lunchtime is 11:40 A.M. to 12:15 P.M. It includes 15 minutes of eating time and 15 of recess time.  Please consider the time constraints when packing your child’s lunch.  Many students find this to be a social building time and eat very little.  All open food will be discarded in the multipurpose room, even if the student has not finished the item.

This year our students will continue having recess first then eat lunch.  Students will need to learn their student Identification Number for quick service in the lunchroom.  This is the identification that the school district has assigned your child throughout their school experience.  Please see your child's teacher for the number.


Please keep your child at home if he or she is ill, for the health and well being of all children.  If your child becomes ill or injured during the school day, the school will contact you so that your child may be picked up.  It is imperative that you notify the office if there is any change in home, work, or emergency telephone numbers.  These numbers MUST be current.

If your child needs to take medication during the school day, the medicine must be brought to school in a medicine bottle from a pharmarcy and contain detailed dosing directions.  You will need to take the medicine to the nurse's office and sign it in.  No mediciation, including "over-the-counter" medication, may be administered by staff without a valid prescription from a licensed physician.

Book Orders

Books are very important in our classroom! Almost everything we do centers around reading wonderful literature! And there's no better way to build up both our classroom and your home libraries than with school book clubs! During the year we will use Scholastic Book Clubs, which offer wonderful, current literature AS WELL AS a large selection of EASY and BEGINNING READER books which are sometimes difficult to find, but so appropriate for the Second Grade Reader!

            Several times during the year we will send home book club ordering forms from Scholastic Books.  If you do choose to participate in ordering, please keep in mind that all payments must be made in the form of a check or money order made payable to SCHOLASTIC – no cash please.  In addition, be sure to include your child’s name on the order form and send it in by the specified date.  Please return the money and form by the specified deadline.  PLEASE KNOW that participation in this is PURELY OPTIONAL!  Because the books are so reasonable we feel it is worth offering them to those families who wish to participate!

Thank you for helping to support reading! We hope you find this offer useful, but please remember it is OPTIONAL! If you have any questions, please jot us a note or email us! 


            Several celebrations will be held during the year.  Parents will be asked to provide treats and to help with the event.  Celebrations may include Halloween, Thanksgiving, Winter Holidays, Valentine’s Day, Spring, and End of the Year.  Look for notes from your child’s teacher as these events arrive.

Birthday Celebrations

            Birthdays are exciting for everyone!!  If your child would like to celebrate his or her birthday with the class, please let us know.  Goodies may be brought into the class at 2:45 P.M. to celebrate.  Please only send in acceptable goodies, which include precut or individually packaged treats.

Water Bottles

            Students may bring a labeled water bottle to class.  DO NOT freeze the bottle, it makes for a messy desk!  No other beverages will be permitted.  Water fountains are located in the classroom and throughout the school.