Parent FAQs


What do I do if my child is absent?

When a student will not be present at school, a parent must phone the Health Coordinator at 847-657-2194 by 8:30 a.m. on EACH day of the absence or give a range of dates.  When leaving a message on the answering machine, the student’s parents should leave the student’s name, team, and reason for absence.  If a parent notifies the student’s teachers about an upcoming absence, the parent must also call the health office with the same information.  If there is no report of a child’s absence, the health office will contact home.  

Best efforts should be made to make student’s appointments (medical, dental, etc.) and family vacations when school is not in session. 



What do I do if my child will be absent for an extended period of time?
If your child will be out of school for an extended period of time, please notify the Health Office (847-657-2194) in advance of the absence, if possible.  The Health Coordinator will ensure that the student's teachers are also aware of the absence if it will be more than a 2 day period.
What to do if parents go out of town?
Please advise the school Health Coordinator in writing if you are planning to be away for any extended period of time while your child remains in school.  The Health Office should know the name and telephone numbers of the person(s) who will be responsible for your child in your absence.
How do I request homework information during my child's absence?
A student must be absent for at least 2 days before requesting that homework be gathered by the Health Office.  Students can utilize the team websites, contact a “homework buddy,” or use the other methods teachers have identified to access homework information to find out about missed assignments for an absence of less than 2 days. Upon returning to school, the student should check in with teachers.

Homework requests for 2 day or more absences should be submitted to the Health Office by 10:00 a.m. on the day it will be picked up.  Teachers will determine appropriate due dates for these assignments, and will offer students an opportunity to seek extra help before and after school when they return.  The homework may be picked up from the Main Office between 3:15 and 4:30 p.m. Since many teachers send assignments electronically for students to access on their IPads, parents are advised to call the office before coming in to see if any paperwork or textbooks has been brought down to the office.

For a week or more planned absence: a request must be submitted at least a week before the homework is needed.  Parents should be aware that not all schoolwork may be made up independently; students may need to meet with teachers before or after school for additional “catch-up,” to take missed tests/quizzes, or to do project work.

For any long-term absence due to illness (at least 10 days), homebound instruction may be arranged through the Student Services Administrator.

District Handbook

District 34 Handbook
Please click below to view the District 34 Handbook.

District 34 Handbook

Overture Period (7:10am-8:15am)

What is Overture period?
“Overture” refers to our morning activity period from 7:10 am to 8:20 am, during which time the building is open for student use.  Within this time, students are welcome to go to the cafeteria (where they can get breakfast and socialize with others), use the LRTC, or meet with a teacher to make up work, get extra help, etc.  Also, during Overture students enrolled in Band, Orchestra, and Chorus are attending large group rehearsals.
Where should my child enter school if arriving during Overture period?
The early bus run will drop off students on the Washington Road side (main office entrance) of the building, parents dropping off at this time are to use the island in the Washington Road parking lot as buses will be using the main drop-off lane.
Can students go to their lockers during Overture period?
Students arriving any time before 7:55 a.m. will go directly to Band, Orchestra, Chorus, the cafeteria, the LRTC, or a teacher’s classroom (with a pass).  Students will bring all of their things with them to these locations and will go to their lockers beginning at 8:15 am.   Students who arrive during the Overture Period should be sure to have study materials or an independent reading book with them to make the best use of their morning.
What happens if my child takes the regular morning bus or is dropped off after 8:00am?
Students arriving on the regular bus run will go directly into the East Gym and will wait there for the 8:15 a.m. bell to sound.  Students will be able to talk with friends or complete school work while waiting for the 8:15 a.m. bell.  They will then have 10 minutes to go to their locker and organize/prepare themselves for the start of the school day at 8:25 a.m.
Can my child meet with a teacher for extra help during Overture period?
Any student wishing to meet with a teacher during the Overture period is asked to make arrangements with the teacher in advance.  In doing so, the student is sure to find the teacher ready and able to meet.  A student can ask a teacher for a pass the day before or, if the need arises in the evening, send the teacher an e-mail requesting help.  The teacher's response to the e-mail will act as the student's pass to the classroom.  If a student does not have a pass or the teacher did not respond to an e-mail, the student may go to the school office in the morning and ask that the teacher be contacted.  An administrative assistant will call the classroom and if the teacher is available to meet with the student, the assistant will issue a pass to the student.  
What if my child is in Band, Orchestra, and/or Chorus?
Students enrolled in Band, Orchestra, and/or Chorus are required to attend Overture rehearsals on the days assigned.  Each director will provide students with a monthly calendar that outlines when rehearsals will be held. A band, orchestra, or chorus student are not permitted to "skip" rehearsal to meet with another teacher, use the LRTC, or sleep-in.  
What is the earliest my child can arrive at school?
Students may begin arriving at school no earlier than 7:10am in the morning, as there is no supervision in the building prior to that time.  Band, orchestra, and chorus students who are required to attend morning rehearsals should do so on their assigned days.  Other students may go to the cafeteria for breakfast or for quiet study, use the LRTC. Students may have a prearranged meeting with a teacher before school. A pass from the teacher is required. 


Transportation Questions

What are the transportation rules?
The District shall provide free transportation for all students in the District: (1) residing at a distance of one and one-half miles or more from their assigned schools, or (2) residing within one and one-half miles from their assigned schools where walking to school or to a pick-up point or bus stop would constitute a serious hazard due to vehicular traffic or rail crossing, and adequate public transportation is not available.

The District may provide and charge a fee for transportation for other students residing within one and one-half miles from their assigned school. A student’s parent(s)/guardian(s) may file a petition with the School Board requesting the District to submit a serious safety hazard finding to IDOT requesting transportation due to the existence of a serious safety hazard. 

Free transportation services and vehicle adaptation for special education students shall be provided if included in the students’ individualized educational program.

Students are only allowed to ride the bus or buses they have been assigned to ride and will only be assigned to one morning route and one afternoon route. Additionally, they may only be picked up from and dropped off at their assigned stop or stops and these stops are to remain consistent. Parents are responsible for transportation if a short-term change is needed.
How will my child know which bus to use for each of the four bus runs?
Transportation information, including bus numbers and bus stop locations, will be sent home to families in mid-August each year.  Additionally, student bus numbers will be printed on their student IDs.  Students receive their IDs on the first day of school each year.  Sixth grade students will have bus procedures explained to them as part of their orientation to Springman on the first day of school.
MORNING BUS ROUTES: What is the difference between "Activity" bus runs and "Regular" bus runs?
Each morning when school is in session, unless otherwise noted, there will be a Morning Activity Bus Run and a Regular Morning Bus Run.  The purpose of the Morning Activity Bus Run is to ensure that students, who are entitled to busing services, and enrolled in Band, Orchestra, and Chorus arrive at school by 7:20am.  Any student though, entitled to busing services, may use this Morning Activity Bus Run to arrive at school and must then follow the expectations for our Overture period (7:20-8:15am).  The Regular Morning Bus Run ensures that ALL students entitled to busing services can arrive at school by 8:15am.  

Please note that the there are fewer buses providing transportation for the Morning Activity bus run than for the Regular Morning bus run.  This means that students will walk a little further to their assigned Morning Activity bus stop than to their Regular Morning bus stop.
AFTERNOON BUS ROUTES: What is the difference between the "Regular 3:00pm Bus Run" and the "4:10pm Activity Bus Run"?
There are two afternoon bus runs on each school day for all students entitled to bus services.  Students board buses for the Regular Afternoon Bus Run at the end of the school day (3:00pm) and buses leave for their destinations by approximately 3:10pm each day.  Students choosing to stay after school for an activity (clubs, intramurals, etc.), to meet with a teacher, or to use the LRTC, may then utilize the 4:10pm Activity Bus Run. Students who participate in these activities will be issued a bus pass by the adult who supervised them during the activity period. Students staying after school must be in a supervised activity with a staff member.

There are fewer buses for the 4:10pm Activity Bus Run than for the Regular Afternoon Bus Run so students will have a longer walk from the bus stops to their residences.

Early Dismissal & Late Arrival

What do I do if my child will be late for school?

Parents should call the Health Office at 847-657-2194 if their student will be arriving to school after 8:20am to report the tardiness. If a parent calls in, they do not need to accompany their child inside. Parents who do not call are asked to sign in their child in the Main Office or send them in with a signed note. Students enter through the Main Office and must sign in at the Health Office upon arrival.  After signing in, the student will then be issued a pass to class.

Because punctuality is such an important habit for their adult lives, students who are late without a parental call or note, doctor's note or on frequent occasions regardless of notes may be issued a detention at the administration's discretion.  
What do I need to do to pick up my child before the end of the school day (early dismissal)?

If a parent needs to pick up their child before the end of the school day, please send them to school with an explanatory note.  Be sure to include the time of pick up from school. Instruct the student to bring the note to the Main Office or Health Office upon arrival at school.  A staff member will issue an Early Dismissal Pass  which they in turn will present to the teacher whose class they will be leaving.  The child will then pack up their belongings and wait for pick up in the Main Office. A parent or authorized person must come into the office to sign out the student. Children are not permitted to wait outside.

Students are required to have a note even if they will be leaving during passing period or lunch.  They should present the Early Dismissal Pass to their next teacher so their whereabouts will be known.

On rare occasions, if a student needs to leave early for an issue that has come up after the child has left for school, parents may call the Main Office or Health Office to request an Early Dismissal Pass be sent to their student in class.  These requests should be made as early as possible and will be only taken until 2:30pm. As a matter of course, office staff do not call into rooms to give students messages.

Adhering to this policy allows for a quicker exit from building as students are waiting in the office and limits the amount of interruptions to classes.

Grading Communication

How are trimester grades calculated?

In the 2009-10 school year, our middle school teachers spent a great deal of time discussing issues related to grading. We also reviewed best practices and research that identifies how grading can best support and represent the learning process. From this dialogue and study, the middle school staffs have adopted grading practices that will provide more consistent, accurate and meaningful information about student learning.  This document helps explain these guidelines to parents and, most importantly, to help parents connect the guidelines to their children’s learning experiences and progress reports.   Click here to read the Parent Guide to Middle School Grading Guidelines.

What is the promotion policy?

In order to be promoted to the next grade level, a students must earn an overall average of at least a “C” (2.0 Grade Point Average) and maintain at least a “D” average in every subject. Failure to attain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 will require remediation before promotion to the next grade. If a student earns a 2.0 GPA but earns less than a “D” average in one class, remediation will be recommended. Remediation will be required for a student who earns a 2.0 GPA but earns less than a “D” average in two or more classes. 

What do letter grades mean and how do they impact the Grade Point Average?

Grading System: The following grades are used to report a student’s academic progress:

  • A grade of “A” is given to an active learner who achieves above and beyond grade level expectations. This student has exemplary work habits and a firm grasp of concepts and skills. It is valued at 4.00 points in the Grade Point Average.

  • A grade of “B” means achievement is beyond average expectations. This student has a good grasp of concepts and skills and has demonstrated a maturing thinking process. It is valued at 3.00 points in the Grade Point Average.

  • A grade of “C” indicates satisfactory progress, achievement at an average level, and meeting grade level expectations. It is valued at 2.00 points in the Grade Point Average.

  • There is cause for concern if a student receives a grade of “D” or “U.” These grades often reflect poor work habits and/or insufficient effort. An average lower than a D would indicate that a student may not possess all of the skills necessary to be successful in the next year’s academic program. In this case, the student and the parent will address this deficiency with the teachers. A “D” is valued at 1.00 point in the Grade Point Average and a “U” has a value of 0 points in the Grade Point Average.

  • A grade of “I” (Incomplete) indicates missing assignments that must be made up soon (usually within two weeks). Incomplete grades are counted in the Grade Point Average and have a value of 0 points. 

When and how are grades communicated to parents?
  1. The academic year is divided into three equal trimesters. Grades are reported at each mid-term and at the end of the trimester in a report card.  The mid-term of each trimester is indicated on our school's calendar.  As a reminder to parents, an e-mail will be sent the day prior to the mid-term of a trimester to remind you of the marking period and to encourage you to access your child's grade via the online portal.  Parents and students can access grades via Powerschool’s on-line portal. The link for parent access to grades is accessed using the same log-in and user id you use to access lunch account information. Parents and students simply need to click on the “Grades and Attendance” icon to view student grades, teacher comments regarding grades, and assignment marks. Grades will be routinely entered and a “last updated” date will show on the grade access screen so parents and students can see when grades were last entered and calculated. We encourage parents and students to check their grades on a regular basis and to discuss learning and academic progress together. At the end of each trimester, a hardcopy report card will be sent home in a special report card envelope with your child.  Your child is expected to share his/her report card with you and parents are asked to sign the report card envelope as evidence you have reviewed the report card.  Your child will then bring the empty report card envelope with your signature back to his/her teachers.

How can I find information about my child's grades?
Parents can access Powerschool using their parent web ID and password (these are the same as the ones you use to log-in to add money to your child's food service account).  Click here for instructions on how to access your child's grades on-line.  

Lost & Found, Personal Technology, Forgotten Items

How can I help my child find a lost item?
We ask students to thoughtfully label all school supplies and materials regularly brought to school with their full names (first and last).  This includes labeling jackets, lunch bags, and pencil bags/boxes.  If a student misplaces an item during the school day, the student should check each of his/her classrooms - this means talking with each teacher about the missing item.  If this classroom search is not successful, the student should check the lost and found located in the cafeteria. If the item is still missing, the student can report the missing item(s) to the Asst. to the Principal (Rm 111) and the Main Office.  The Asst. to the Principal will help with the search and report any progress in locating the item(s) to the student.

More expensive lost items (cell phones, glasses, etc) will be given directly to the Asst. to the Principal.