Frequently Asked Questions 2022-2023
Whitehall Elementary School
Answers to the Most Frequently Asked Questions
What time does school start and end?
Our buses begin to arrive at 8:40 AM and our walker/car rider door opens at 8:45 AM. Students should be in their homeroom by 9:00 AM and homeroom begins at 9:05 AM and students are considered late at 9:20 AM Dismissal is at 3:20 PM. If you are picking your child up from school in the afternoon, please send in a note so that he/she can be at the walker/car rider pickup door to meet you. The pickup area is on the side of the building closest to the administration building. Please follow all directional signage and support by staff members on duty.
When is the first day of school?
Monday, August 29, 2022
Where do the children enter the school?
All school buses arrive at the front door and the students enter through the main entrance. Students are directed to their homeroom for breakfast. If you are dropping your child off, you need to do so on the Car Rider side of the building located at the front-right side of the school. Please follow the directional signs, safety barriers, and look for the staff on duty to keep our students safe. The walker/car rider doors will not open prior to 8:45 AM.
How do I find out what bus my child rides?
You will receive a bus notice before the start of school. When you receive your bus notice, make sure that you download the transportation app http://wwwfirststudentinc.com/technology/firstview-bus-tracking/firstviewapp . You can also set up an account by accessing firstviewapp.com. PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THE PROVIDED TIMES MAY CHANGE THE FIRST TWO WEEKS OF SCHOOL DUE TO THE DRIVERS GETTING FAMILIAR WITH THE ROUTES AND AS NEW STUDENTS ARE ADDED TO THE BUS ROUTE. Students should arrive at the bus stop 10 minutes prior to the time provided. We recommend that parents/guardians stay at the bus stop at the end of the day for at least twenty minutes past the arrival time. It is a good idea to have a cell phone with you at the bus stop in case the bus is delayed. ALL KINDERGARTEN STUDENTS MUST HAVE A PARENT/GUARDIAN AT THE BUS STOP AT THE END OF THE SCHOOL DAY TO RECEIVE THEM. If not, the bus will return the student to school and it will be the responsibility of the parent/guardian to pick their child up from the school building immediately or within a reasonable amount of time.
How will I know what days school will be closed?
The Norristown Area School District Website has this information for you to print or refer to throughout the school year. Please go to www.nasd.k12.pa.us/ . A District calendar can be found on this website in English and Spanish. You will periodically receive and have access to important dates for the month in the Wednesday folder on our website, in your email inbox, through text messaging (Talking Points or DoJo), or on our social media pages. Please make sure to check these sources daily and weekly at a minimum for important information, school events, and community events.
What is the dismissal time for an early dismissal day?
Early dismissal time is 12:20 PM. Please be sure to make arrangements for someone to be at the bus stop or the house for the early dismissal days. Kindergarten students will not be permitted to exit the bus without a parent/guardian to receive them. Students at the elementary level should be safe and supervised while at home for a long period of time.
When will I find out about the curriculum?
There will be an Open House for parents in September beginning at 5:30 PM. Please join us to meet the staff, your child’s teacher, and find out about what your child will be learning this year. We have so much work to do this year to make up for lost time due to the pandemic. Please ask a lot of questions about what your child will be learning and how you can help.
What about breakfast and lunch?
We participate in a universal meal program which means all children eat breakfast and lunch free of charge. Students can also purchase various extra snacks each day for an additional cost. To do this, money can be placed on your child’s account by going on to our district website under Food Services. You will need a credit card to add money on your child's behalf.
What do I do if my child is sick?
You should email or send a message to the teacher to report your child's absence. You must send in a completed absence card or written note within 3 days of the illness. Otherwise, the child will be marked unexcused absent. If you send the teacher an email or text, that will serve as your written note. After 3 days of unexcused absences or for truancy, a SAIP plan will be required with the Guidance Counselor. This process is a State Law.
What if I want to change my child’s transportation?
Any temporary walker or car-rider transportation change must be requested in writing. A note must be sent in to explain the change in transportation. If your child is not assigned to a bus, they cannot ride a bus. Students also cannot switch buses. Both of those requests will be denied. NO PHONE CALLS WILL BE ACCEPTED TO CHANGE YOUR CHILD’S TRANSPORTATION AFTER 2:45 PM. This is to protect your child’s safety. Bus changes are not permitted. Temporary and permanent bus changes must be submitted through the transportation department. 610-630-5025
What if I had a change of address or contact information?
All changes of address and contact information must be reported immediately. The safety of all Whitehall students is paramount, and that means getting them to and from school safely, responding swiftly during an emergency, as well as ensuring the compliance of all school boundaries. Please call the school to report an address change or contact the district's Family Resource Center.
What if I need to pick up my child early?
You must put the request in writing and send it in with your child. When you arrive for pick up, please be prepared to show identification. Your child will be called to the office when you arrive. Please do not ask to have your child waiting in the office for you. Students who are sitting in the office are missing instructional time. The teacher will have your child packed up and waiting in the classroom. We will do our best to have your child in the office as quickly as possible. If there is an emergency, please call the school as soon as possible so that we can safely contact the teacher and have your child pack up. It does take time to locate your child's schedule and track them down in the building before they even go and begin to pack up.
What if my child needs medication during the school day?
Please contact the Nurse’s Office, as there is a process. All medical documents should go directly to the Nurse’s Office. No medicine can be administered without written doctor’s orders. You may enclose the forms in an envelope marked SCHOOL NURSE. Please do not send medicine with your child. We prefer an adult to drop the medicine off at school.
There will be a Kindergarten Orientation for parents and students prior to the start of the school year. More details will be sent out later in the summer. On this day, you can bring in all school supplies and an extra change of clothes that will remain in the classroom in case needed.
** Please send in a change of clothes for your kindergarten child in case of a spill, getting dirty or wet at recess, or if your child may not get to the bathroom on time. If any of these scenarios occur, additional clothes must be sent in the next day. Please remember to send in the extra undergarments, socks, and possibly a change of shoes/sneakers if needed. You know your child best.
***During the first days of school, and maybe before, important information that must be submitted back to school will be sent via email. Please be sure to complete the EMERGENCY CARD in detail. Once you are finished completing all of the documents online, just electronically submit them back to us.
Much of our communication is done on our website, social media, through email, and text. Please provide current telephone numbers and email addresses so that we may reach you under all circumstances. If your child requires a bus service, it is important for us to have your correct house address as well.
Please know that we are sincerely overjoyed to have your child with us. Your child’s safety, academic progress, and their social and emotional well-being are our top priorities. Please help by providing any information that will help us understand your child’s additional needs. Thank you in advance for your help, support, and partnership. We cannot do it without you!
IMPORTANT PHONE NUMBERS & DISTRICT DEPARTMENTS
Whitehall Elementary School- 610-630-6000
District Administration Main Number- 610-630-5000
FOR THE OFFICES OF:
Transportation, Special Education & Food Services: 610-630-5000
NASD Central Registration: 610-630-5016
First Student Norristown Transportation Call Center: 610-272-7671