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Buena Terra Elementary School

Students & Parents » Student Handbook & Policy

Student Handbook & Policy

Buena Terra School

School Procedures





Students have been tentatively assigned to classrooms until school enrollment has stabilized.


Tentative class lists have been made after much consideration and analysis of student achievement levels, work habits, English Language proficiency, and citizenship. Classrooms are balanced to ensure efficient and effective instruction designed to meet the needs of each student. Therefore, students will not be transferred based on requests unless it is determined that the present placement is detrimental to the student's overall education.

*Please realize that we have a number of combination classes and can no longer follow the policy to place a student in a combo class for only one year.  Children will not be moved from combo classes based upon the number of times they have been in a combo.

When enrollment stabilizes we will review the total enrollment before finalizing class placements.  These enrollment adjustments will be made as soon as possible.  Adjustments to class placements may be needed to meet the fluctuating enrollment.





Students are not to arrive at school before 7:50 a.m. unless arriving for breakfast which starts at 7:30 a.m. There is no supervision on the school grounds before 7:50 a.m., and the grounds are not open for play.


Students may walk and talk together on the blacktop from 7:50‑8:03 a.m.  When the 8:03 bell rings, students are to line up for flag ceremony.



After school students are to go directly home or be with their parents.  Primary students are not wait for siblings or friends on upper grade schedule unless in the supervision of a parent or guardian. 

Children not picked up or left unattended will be sent directly to the office where their parents will be contacted.  CHILDREN WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO PLAY ON THE PLAYGROUND AFTER SCHOOL.     

Visitors standing on the playground or in the passing corridors during the hours that school is in session (8:05 a.m. to 1:40 p.m.) will be asked to check in with the office. 


Kindergarten ‑ 8:05  ‑ 1:35 pm.

Thursday dismissal 1:15 pm.


Grades 1 ‑ 2 ‑ 3  ‑ 8:05 a.m. – 1:50 p.m.

Thursday Dismissal: 1:30 p.m.


Grades 4 ‑ 5 ‑ 6  ‑ 8:05 a.m. ‑ 2:25 p.m.

Thursday Dismissal: 1:30 p.m.



Each Thursday is considered a minimum day for grades 1 through 6.  Students (except kindergarten) will be dismissed at 1:30 p.m.  Kindergarten students will be dismissed at 1:15 pm.


School-Wide PBIS Plan



Buena Terra School-Wide Discipline Plan has been developed in order to provide a safe and orderly environment where teachers can teach and students can learn.  Our goal is to nurture self-esteem as we help students to learn to make good behavior choices, become self-disciplined, and responsible for their actions.  Parents are welcomed to be active supportive partners in their child’s educational program.  Our emphasis at Buena Terra is:

BT Eagles S.O.A.R to Success

Super Attitude


Always Responsible


This acronym will be directly taught and modeled by teachers on a continuous basis. Students need a clear understanding of the expected behaviors as well as the opportunity to practice them. The guidelines will be used for encouragement, corrective feedback, and recognition.


Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is a pro-active and positive approach to behavior management and has been adopted by the Centralia School District through the Orange County Department of Education with professional development presented to all school staff. It is reinforced daily in the classrooms and often for the whole school by the principal.


School-wide Expectations for Success

A behavior matrix has been designed for different settings around Buena Terra School: classroom, playground, hallways & lines, lunch area, and restrooms.  The matrix describes the types of behaviors expected from students in the various settings.  The expectations are reflective of the “SOAR” guidelines listed above.  The matrices are posted in all designated areas and all classrooms.



Misbehaviors are separated into minors and majors. Most instances are minors. Staff will issue a discipline “Pink Slip” form for misbehavior in the various settings. The student will be given the pink slip and the teacher will give a consequence. The Pink slip will be sent home and the slip will need to be signed by the parent. **Chronic minors= 3 minors that have similar behavior within the same month equal a major.


Major offences are more serous in nature and are written an office referral.

The principal will work with the teacher to resolve majors and contact parents. A copy of the major referral form is attached for your reference.


Student Success Team

A support system and individual behavior plans will be used for students with persistent behavioral difficulties. Identified students will have their cases reviewed by a team and the student’s behavior will be charted for a period of time. A team of teachers, support staff, and the parent will design proactive interventions and supports that will address the function of the child’s behavior.


School-wide Student Recognition

Positive student behavior is recognized in the classroom and school-wide through praise and SOAR cards.  SOAR cards can be exchanged for prizes at the student's store during Friday’s Reward Recess.  Students can earn Friday Reward. Recess if they have followed the classroom and school wide expectations.


Classroom Discipline/Expectations 

Each teacher has developed a plan that clearly states classroom standards, rewards for positive behavior, and consequences for negative behavior.  Each teacher's class rules are based on the SOAR expectations and focus on a positive approach to encourage appropriate school behavior. Each teacher will discuss classroom expectations, rules, and rewards at Back to School Night.


Building Character

Character building and a focus on positive academic traits is part of our curriculum that emphasizes on helping students make better choices by teaching universal values.  Teachers will use the nine character traits throughout the year. Student of the month awards are given to students that demonstrate these characteristics. Parents are encouraged to reinforce these traits at home.


August- Goal Setting

September - Preparation

October - Respect

November – Self Control

December – Gratitude

January – Perseverance

February – Intellectual Curiosity

March – Multiple Perspectives

April – Cooperation

May- Excellence



All student restrooms are solely for the use of BT students during regular school hours.  Parents are not allowed in the restrooms.  If a child needs parent assistance please go to the office where you and your child can use the “Health Clerk’s” restroom.  Adults needing a restroom should go to the office where a restroom will be provided. 



Please make dental and medical appointments for your child after school to minimize lost instructional time.  If there is no other option please send a note to the teacher or email the teacher the day before so that they can plan to be ready to send the student when you arrive.





This procedure is for the safety and welfare of all children, parents, and teachers. 


Parents are welcome to visit the school, but must make an appointment if they want to visit a classroom. WE ASK THAT PARENTS DO NOT HOLD CONFERENCES WITH TEACHERS DURING ARRIVAL, DISMISSAL OR DURING CLASSROOM TIMES.  Please make an appointment with your child’s teacher if you have a concern.  Teachers must supervise students when students are present.



All absences must be verified by a written note, email, or a phone call from the parent.  Please notify the school office or call the attendance line before 10:00 a.m. of any absence on the actual day of the absence. Please note that written note or message MUST stated the reason for absence, date, and person reporting (mom).


If your child will be coming in late, and needs a lunch please call the office by 9:00 so that a lunch can be ordered for your child. You may also email the office, please see the link on our website LATE LUNCH ORDER.



If your child is absent and you would like to request homework for the day, please notify the office by 10:00 a. m. You may pick it up in the office after school. Homework is usually not requested for 1 or 2 days absent, unless it is a “packet day”.




Students are expected to wear clean and neat clothing to school.  The following clothing standards have been established to help maintain an academic environment and student safety in our classrooms and on our campus.

  • Shoes must be worn at all times.
    • Closed-toe shoes are recommended for safety during physical education and recess.
    • Open footwear such as sandals and shoes with elevated heels, or platform shoes are not appropriate for school.
    • Tennis Shoe Skates (heeley’s) are not allowed at any time.
  • Shorts should measure at least 3 inches on the inside seam. Shorts that are too tight, too short, and/or too high on the sides are not appropriate for school. (The shorts should be no shorter than the end of the fingertips when the arms are extended at the side)
  • Thin-strapped tops (under 2 inches) should be worn with an over-blouse or under T-shirt. Cropped or short tops are not appropriate for school.  Tank tops cut low in the front, back and/or under the arms are not acceptable. Clothing exposing the stomach is unacceptable. 
  • Printed messages on garments should be in good taste. References to alcohol, drugs, violence or obscene words are not acceptable.  Any message of a derogatory nature is not to be worn to school.  Students are not to write on each others’ clothing.
  • Clothing that reflects gang/tagger affiliation is NOT ALLOWED:
    • Pants and belts must fit at the waist.
    • No cutoffs, hems on all garments must be finished.
    • Shirts should be no longer than the end of the fingertips when the arms are extended at the side.
    • Pants should not drag on the ground. Pants legs should not be so wide as to interfere with playground and PE activities.
  • Hats are not to be worn at school (except a hat with a 3” brim all around the hat if needed for dermatological reasons).
  • Only stud-type earrings are acceptable. Dangling earrings are considered dangerous due to the active nature of elementary age children.
  • Underwear should always be worn but not visible.
  • Makeup, acrylic nails, lipstick, and dyed hair are not appropriate for the elementary school setting.
  • Hair color and hairstyle should not be distracting to the learning environment. Wildly colored hair is only to be worn on specified days. 

STUDENTS ARE ALSO NOT ALLOWED TO BRING: TOYS, EXPENSIVE ELECTRONICS (including  Electronic Games or cameras) OR SPORTS EQUIPMENT ON CAMPUS AT ANY TIME.  Students are not permitted to bring electronic devices unless there is a signed Student Electronic Signaling Agreement turned into the office.  Teachers are not responsible for phones.  Phones must be turned off during school hours and put away.  Any items causing a disruption (including phones that are being used or that ring during school time) will be confiscated until the parent can pick them up.    If you are not sure, do not bring the item without first checking with your child’s teacher.        


Buena Terra is using the prepaid lunch program.  By registering on line you can check your child’s balance, and add money to the account.  You can also drop off money for the account in the box in the office or the MPR.  Please be sure your child knows what his or her plans are for lunch.  Students can bring a lunch or if you bring a lunch for your child late, bring it to the office area and place it in the cart marked “lunches.”  Please put your child’s name and room number on the lunch bag.  Parents are NOT permitted to bring lunches directly to the classrooms.


Our lunch count has to be called in at 9:00 each day. If your child is going to be late and you wish for them to purchase a school lunch, you must call the office BEFORE 9:00.  If you have not contacted us, then it will be necessary for the student to bring a lunch with them. You may also contact us via email before 9:00 am.



Students buying lunch can choose to bring in lunch money to add to their account by filling out the prepaid lunch envelope and placing the envelope in the lunch box located in the office.


The cafeteria will not allow students to purchase a lunch if they are $9 or more behind in their account.  SCHOOL OFFICES DO NOT HAVE LUNCH ACCOUNT INFORMATION. Please call the District Food Services Department at 714-228-3183.



We place extreme importance on each child's safety.  Although several safety programs are offered through school, we ask that parents make sure that their children observe safety practices outside of school such as: taking safe routes to and from school; observing bicycle safety, leaving skates and skateboards at home, refraining from talking to strangers, and always walking with a buddy.



If you customarily walk with your children to school, please drop them off and meet them at the entrance gate.  Visitors standing on the playground or in the passing corridors during the hours that school is in session (8:00 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.) will be asked to check in with the office.


We encourage every child to walk to school with a buddy.   Please remember not to walk through the parking lot.  All students are to leave campus within ten minutes of their dismissal time. 



If it is necessary for your child to take any medication at school, it must be done through the health office.  Authorized school personnel may administer medication to students, providing the following requirements are met:

  1. The office must have a Parent Release and a Doctor's Request on file. These forms          are available from the Health Clerk or on our website located under School Forms.  
  2. The medication must be in a container prepared by the pharmacy with the child's name, doctor's name, medication dosage, and time of administration clearly indicated.
  3. Medication will be administered only during regular school hours; never before or after school.
  4. The child will be responsible for reporting to the health office at the specified times to receive and take medication.  (School Personnel will cooperate in every way and will           help the child remember, but will not be held responsible if the dosage is missed.)



Third, fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students may ride bikes to school if they have a signed permission slip.    PLEASE NOTE THAT STUDENTS MUST WEAR A BICYCLE HELMET IF THEY RIDE A BICYCLE TO SCHOOL.  THIS IS IN COMPLIANCE WITH CALIFORNIA STATE LAW. All students riding bicycles must provide their own locks, one per bike.  Bikes are to be locked to the bike rack only, not to another bike.  Bicycles are to be walked on and off the school grounds, on sidewalks, and in the bike parking area.  The bicycle area is off  limits during school hours.

Do not ride bikes through the parking lot.  THERE IS NO BICYCLE RIDING ON SCHOOL GROUNDS.  Students riding bikes on school grounds at any time will receive a pink slip.  Students may lose bike-riding privileges for disregarding Bicycle Rules.

Scooters are permitted if they follow bicycle rules and are locked up during the day in the bike rack.  Permission Slips are located on our website under School Forms.




The office telephone is a business phone.  Therefore, children are requested not to use it except in an emergency.  The office personnel will determine whether the nature of the call is serious enough to warrant the use of the phone.  All children carrying a cell phone must fill out a cell phone permit.  Permission Slips are available on our website under School Forms (Student Electronic Signaling Agreement). Cell phones must be turned off and left in the back packs during the day.  Students are not to turn on or use their cell phones after school until they have left the classroom areas. 


Please arrange with your child, before you send them to school, regarding who will be picking them up.  Classrooms will not be interrupted during instructional time to deliver messages, lunches or homework.



It is very important that students bring all materials needed to complete homework assignments, glasses, keys, etc. with them when they leave the classroom each day.  Once the teacher has left the classroom, it may not be possible for the student to get into rooms to retrieve forgotten items.  Our custodians and office staff have a very time sensitive schedule that may not allow them to leave their duties to open classrooms after hours.



The Buena Terra Staff requests that parents do not bring flowers, cakes, cupcakes, balloons, etc. for birthday celebrations. We believe such activities are disruptive to the learning environment that we strive for at Buena Terra School.  Individual teachers will recognize student birthdays as they see fit. Please do not plan for a birthday celebration at school.  Any food items provided for students must be store bought and must follow our Healthy Schools guidelines.  Homemade items are not allowed!  If the parent would like to recognize the birthday pencils or a “school supply” item would be more appropriate, but talk to the classroom teacher first.



When you are planning to move to a new location, please notify the school office one week in advance so that we may complete "Pupil Transfer Placement Information."  This information may be picked up in the office or brought home by the child on his last day of attendance and should be given to the new school upon enrollment.




In order to allow parents to enjoy evening performances, unaccompanied children will not be admitted without a parent.



If at anytime you experience a concern in the classroom, get in touch with your child’s classroom teacher immediately so that the situation can be clarified.  The teachers and principal are available and welcome your calls before or after school.  If you wish to come in for a conference, please call and we will gladly schedule an appointment.



For more information, please visit our school website at or Centralia School District at