Student Handbook

code-of-conduct-buttonThe information has been carefully prepared to answer your questions and help you become an integral part of our school. Communication is a critical part of the learning process. This handbook will become an important part of the communication between home and school. It is by working together that we can secure the best education for our children. We are a TEAM and Together Everyone Achieves More!



  • School Hours: 7:45- 3:30
  • First Bell: 8:10 a.m.  (Students need to arrive by 8:00 for breakfast)
  • Tardy Bell: 8:15 a.m.
  • Dismissal Bell: 3:30 p.m. (After 3:45, parent will need to come in to the office for pickup)
  • Office Hours: 7:30 – 4:00


  • Morning drop-offs begin at 7:45 a.m.  Cars are permitted only between the yellow safety lines. Pull all the way up to orange cones.
  • Families picking up students in the afternoon must stay in their car and drive through the car pick-up line.
  • A car rider tag must be placed on the rear-view mirror.
  • Car rider tags will be issued at Orientation. After the school year begins car rider tags will be issued by the office staff. Car tags must be shown to pick the student up.
  • The staff duty day begins at 7:45 a.m.  There is no one to supervise them outside until 7:45 a.m.
  • All visitors must check in at the office. Anyone on campus without a visitor badge will be stopped and sent to the office.
  • Students must be in their classroom by 8:00 otherwise, they will be marked tardy.  After that, all students are tardy and must go to the office with their parents to get a Tardy Pass.
  • Only authorized adults on the student’s emergency card may pick up that child. Everyone checking out a child will be required to show identification.  No transportation  changes can be made over the phone due to safety concerns. Emergency card information may be changed through Parent Portal.


When your child is absent, please call our office before 8:20 a.m. (863) 853-6020.  Upon returning, students will need to bring a note for their absence. All schoolwork must be made up in a timely manner.

  • School attendance is DIRECTLY related to school achievement.
  • Parents have the responsibility to make sure that students attend school every day, arrive promptly and remain throughout the scheduled day.
  • Early pick-ups are discouraged. Children may not be picked up after 2:15 p.m.
  • All absences are classified as excused or unexcused.
  • Prior approval is needed for all planned extended absences, such as vacations.

Excused absences include:

    • Illness
    • Family funeral All other absences are defined as unexcused according to the Polk County Student Code of Conduct. Section 2.04 of the Student Code of Conduct: Any student who is absent without an excused absence for more than 5 (five) days during a nine-week grading period will be reviewed by an Attendance Committee.

 Parents will:

  • Make every effort to schedule medical and dental appointments after school hours or during holidays.
  • Call the school office by 8:20 a.m. if a child is not in school and send a written note to school following a student absence. The note must include the date, reason for absence, signature of parent/guardian and phone number.
  • Connect-Ed will call parents each day for students who are absent.
  • Send a written request to school in advance if a student has an appointment during the school day. A parent/guardian must sign out students from the office or those authorized on the student emergency contact list. The person signing the child out must be prepared to produce a drivers license or Florida picture I.D.

When a student arrives after the tardy bell, the parent must report to the office to check the student in before the child will be admitted to class. Poor attendance or persistent tardiness will show itself in poor academic performance.

**Excessive absences or tardiness will require a parent conference with an administrator and/or truancy officer as absences will affect academic performance.


Student academic progress will be reported every nine weeks through Interim Reports and Report Cards.

Students are expected to: 

  • Master grade level expectations and skills.
  • Participate and put forth their best effort.
  • Make progress toward the goal of becoming self-disciplined, self-directed, problem solving and communicators.
  • Bring necessary materials to class.
  • Complete and turn in assignments on time.
  • Get agenda signed each night.

School behavior will be reported each nine weeks on the Study Habits/Personal Development portion of the report card.

As a STUDENT, I will

  • Come to school every day and be on time.
  • Believe that I can and will learn.
  • Bring my homework and my supplies every day.
  • Be truthful and respectful toward other students and adults.
  • Read at home every night.
  • Get my agenda signed every night.
  • Follow school and bus rules.
  • Take pride in my school.

During all classes, Students are expected to:

  • Remain quiet, orderly and task oriented.
  • Speak courteously to any adult or student and display good manners at all times.
  • Remain in the classroom until dismissed by a teacher.
  • Be recognized before speaking in the classroom setting.
  • Remain seated during direct instruction.
  • Refrain from throwing objects.
  • Follow the directions the first time asked.

In the restrooms, Students are expected to:

  • Practice safety.
  • Wash and dry hands, put paper towels in the trash cans.
  • Keep the restroom clean.
  • Be quiet and orderly.
  • Refrain from taking anything into the restroom (such as, pencils, crayons, etc.).

In the dining room, Students are expected to:

  • Enter and leave quietly.
  • Remain silent during the first 10 minutes of lunch.
  • Practice courtesy and good manners while eating.
  • Speak in low conversational voices.
  • Keep the lunchroom neat and clean.
  • Remain seated until dismissed.
  • Do not share food.
  • Clean up their dining area.

On the sidewalks, Students are expected to:

  • Remain silent
  • Walk in a single file line at all times with hands and feet to themselves.
  • Stay on the sidewalks.
  • Keep to the right of the painted line on the sidewalk.

On the school bus, Students are expected to:

  • Obey the bus driver’s instructions and Polk County School Bus Guidelines.
  • Walk to and from the bus – no running after the bus at any time.
  • Go directly to buses or assigned bus area at dismissal.


Any of the following student behaviors will result in immediate removal from the classroom:

  • Profane language or gestures directed toward any staff member.
  • Repeated profanity or gestures.
  • Fighting.
  • Excessive and repeated classroom disruptions.
  • Destroying or defacing school property (including graffiti).
  • Leaving the classroom or grounds without permission.
  • Defiance or disrespect to staff or students.
  • Any incident of stealing.

Repeated Offenses: Consistent disregard for behavioral or academic expectations will be subject to administrative review and possible reassignment to an alternative school.

Violations of the Student Code of Conduct or Florida law will be dealt with as explained in Polk County’s Student Code of Conduct Handbook.


Every child can be successful and as a parent I will:

  • Show commitment for learning and support for school staff.
  • See that my child attends school regularly, is on time and is prepared with the necessary materials.
  • Provide a quiet place at home for schoolwork and make sure the work is completed and returned.
  • Communicate daily with my child’s teacher through the agenda.
  • Meet with my child’s teacher at least two times a year.
  • Encourage and teach my child to be respectful to other students and adults.
  • Reinforce school-wide rules.


You can count on our staff to:

  • Communicate and support the mission, vision and goals of Griffin Elementary.
  • Provide a caring and nurturing environment.
  • Help students identify and reach their potential.
  • Contact parents when necessary.
  • Promote students’ abilities to inquire, communicate, think logically and critically.
  • Promote and support a feeling of respect for and between our students, parents, faculty and staff.
  • Seek ways to maintain and develop professional excellence.
  • Use technology as an academic tool.
  • Develop real world problem solving and applications in all subjects.


The primary purpose of homework, in addition to reinforcement, is the experience it gives students in working on their own.


  • Will be meaningful.
  • May be written or unwritten.
  • Is an extension of class work.
  • Should be reviewed by parents.
  • Should be neat and completed on time according to teacher directions.
  • Is the student’s responsibility and should be completed and returned as assigned.
  • Missing homework will affect your child’s grade.

Parents are expected to:

  • Provide a suitable amount of time and a place for homework.
  • Model and encourage reading on a daily basis.
  • Monitor homework quality and completion.
  • Allow 24hr notice for all teacher conferences, return phone calls, and requests for student makeup work.

Students and parents should budget the following amount of time for homework each day:

Kindergarten: 15–20 minutes including being read to.

1st Grade: 20–30 minutes to include reading to and with.

2nd Grade: 30–40 minutes to include reading with and independently.

3rd Grade: 30–45 minutes to include reading independently.

4th & 5th Grade: 45-60 minutes to include long term projects, reports and independent reading.


  • All students will participate in Physical Education.
  • Attire: Socks and closed toe shoes with rubber soles are required.
  • If a student needs to miss a day of physical education a note from the parent is required. Those students who will miss 3 or more days will need a note from a physician.


  • Breakfast will be served from 7:45-7:55.
  • Students eating breakfast will go directly to the cafeteria when they arrive at school.
  • After receiving breakfast students will go directly to their classrooms.


Bus riders:

  • Students riding the bus need to use quiet voices stay seated and obey the bus driver and bus rules.

Bike riders and walkers:

  • Bike riders must walk their bikes on the school grounds.
  • Bikes are to be kept in designated area.
  • All bikes must have locks and bike riders must wear a bike helmet.
  • Walkers/bike riders are to (exit the west side of campus through the cross-walk).

Car riders:

  • Students should be dropped off in the auto loading zone by 8:10 but not before 7:45. Students must be in their classroom when the 8:15 tardy bell rings.
  • Parents are to follow the lines through the auto loading zone.
  • Please pull down as far as possible before letting your child out.


Students requiring medication must have a copy of the Polk County Authorization for Medication form signed by their physician on file.

  • NO medicine will be administered without this form; this includes over -the- counter medications.
  • Medicine must be in the original labeled container.
  • All medicine will be kept and given in the clinic.
  • No medicine may be kept by the student including cough drops.
  • It is the responsibility of the parent to bring medications to the office.

Students (per PCSB policy) are not allowed to bring medicine to school or take home any medicine.


  • Permission forms must be signed by a parent/guardian
  • Chaperones must be an approved volunteer



New approach for discipline to supplement our countywide discipline code of conduct handbook.

  • Positive Behavior Support is a collaborative, assessment-based approach to developing effective interventions for problem behavior.
  • PBS emphasizes the use of proactive, educative and reinforcement-based strategies to achieve meaningful and durable behavior and lifestyle changes for all students.
  • The aim is to build effective environments in which positive behavior is more effective than a problem behavior so that success can be achieved.