Welcome Information

Welcome to the West Shore School District

Parents and schools work together in the education of children.  Both want children to do well in school.  When parents and families get involved in education, their children do better and grow up to be more successful.

One part of working together is for parents and school staff to be able to speak with each other.  We are able to get interpreters and translators to help you.  If you want to speak with school staff, but do not speak English, you can call the school, say your child’s name, who you are (mother, father, guardian), the language that you speak and your phone number. You can also send a note to school with the same information.  Someone from the school will call back with an interpreter as soon as possible.

We encourage you to read the important information about our schools in this handbook.  If you have any questions, please call your child’s school for more details.

Handbook Information

What happens if my child cannot attend school?
The school law of Pennsylvania requires that all students between the ages of six (6) and 18 years of age attend school.  It is important for students to come to school each day.  A student can be absent from school for the following reasons:
  •  Illness
  • A death in the immediate family
  • Very urgent reasons that affect the child (as determined by the administration)
  • Unsafe roads (as determined by the administration)
  • Educational field trip (approved by the parent and principal)
All other absences are considered illegal.

Do I need to call the school if my child cannot attend school?
Yes.  Please call the school to let them know that your child will not be in school that day.

Do I need to do anything else if my child cannot attend school?
Yes.  When your child returns to school after being absent, he/she should bring a note from you. The note should have the date and reason for the absence and should be signed by a parent. This is very important.
To whom it may concern,
John Smith was absent from school on
Monday, March 1, 2022 because he was sick.
Mrs. Smith

If a note is not given to the office within three (3) days of the absence, the absence will become illegal.  If a student has three (3) illegal absences, his/her parents may be required to pay a fine up to $200.

What if my child has a dentist or doctor appointment?
If an appointment must be made during the school day, a note should be given to the school the DAY BEFORE the appointment.  

Also, when you take your child to the dentist or doctor, please ask for a note from them and give this note to the school when the child returns.  If your child misses a small part of the school day for an appointment, they should be in school the rest of the school day.

What if my child is sick for many days?
If your child misses three (3) or more days of school because of illness, please ask his/her doctor for a note for school. If your child misses school a lot because of illness, you may be asked to provide the school with a doctor’s note each time that your child is absent.

Automated Phone Call and Email Notifications
At registration, you completed a form about the automated phone call and email notification system used by the District.  Through this system the District is able to communicate by phone, email, and text with parents about school closings/delays, school events, important issues impacting your child and, if needed, emergency situations.

Please tell the school secretary if you change your phone number during the school year.

Cell Phones
Elementary School - Children can bring cell phones to school if they have permission from the principal.

Middle and High School - During the school day cell phones can be used if the teacher allows.

Change of Information
It is very important to tell the school (by telephone, email, or a note) if your address or phone number changes.  

Cycle Days
Our schedule is based on six cycle days.  After six school days, the cycle returns to day 1.  

Sample below:
Mon.    Tues.    Wed.    Thurs.    Fri.
Day 1    Day 2    Day 3    Day 4    Day 5
Day 6    Day 1    Day 2    Day 3    Day 4
Day 5    Day 6    Day 1    Day 2    Day 3

Students have certain responsibilities:  come to school each day, work hard in the classroom, and follow school rules.  No student can interfere with the educational process of any other person.  Students are expected to respect others in school. 
Disciplinary action will take place when students do not behave appropriately.

What do I do if I would like to pick up my child from school?
If you plan to pick up your child at the end of the school day, please send a note in with your child on that day.  You will need to sign a paper at the school in order to pick up your child. If you plan to pick up your child EVERY day after school, you will only need to send in one note stating that you will be picking up every day.  You may also be asked to show identification.

Middle and High School students do not need a note to be picked up at dismissal. Please communicate with your child about dismissal plans.

Dress and Grooming
Students do not wear uniforms in the West Shore School District.
  1. Students are responsible for keeping themselves, their hands, hair, and clothing clean.
  2. In classes such as technology education, science, family & consumer science, and physical education, students with long hair may be required to tie it back for safety.
  3. Clothing displaying profanity, inappropriate pictures, gestures or words, drug use, alcohol, tobacco products, weapons, or sexual innuendos is not acceptable.
  4. Students may not wear clothing that is tight, torn, tattered, or revealing.  Undergarments must not be showing.
  5. Jewelry that may pose a danger to the student or others will not be allowed.
  6. Hats, head bands, and head coverings (unless worn for religious reasons) may not be worn during school hours.
  7. Shirts must cover the stomach.  Students may wear clothes without sleeves as long as undergarments are not showing.
  8. Shorts and skirts must be of mid-thigh length or longer.
  9. Students must wear safe shoes.  
Drug Awareness
Illegal drugs and drug equipment are not allowed in school at any time.  Students who do not follow this rule will be immediately suspended and may be expelled from school.

If a student needs to take medication during school hours, parents must contact the school nurse.  The Medication Order and Request Form must be completed before medication can be administered during school hours.  

The parent (NOT the child) must bring in any medication that needs to be administered during school hours.  

Educational Trips
I would like to take my child on a trip during the school year.  What should I do?
You will need to complete an Educational Field Trip Form at least five (5) days before the trip.  A student may not miss more than five (5) days of school.  A student may not miss the first five (5) days of school or the last ten (10) days of school.  A student may not miss school during state testing or mid-term/final exams.

What if I need to return to my home country for a few weeks?
Please discuss this with the school principal.

Food Services
How does my child buy breakfast/lunch at school?
All District schools use a prepay system for student breakfasts and lunches.  You can deposit online at K12PaymentCenter.com. Money may also be added to student accounts by sending cash or checks made payable to “West Shore Cafeteria Fund” to school in an envelope with the student’s name, ID number, and the amount on the front.

Money may not be accepted during lunchtime - it should be handed in at the beginning of the school day.

Can my child receive meals for free or for a lower amount of money?
Possibly.  Please get an application for free/ reduced meals from your child’s school, complete it, and return it to school.  Each family only needs to complete one application.  Please list all of your children on the application.  

A new application needs to be completed each year.  This application comes in many languages.

The schools in the West Shore School District are a safe place for all students.  No student shall harass or intimidate another student by making derogatory statements, slurs, or wearing of items depicting prejudice or hatred based on race, color, age, creed, ancestry, religion, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, national origin, or disability.  If your child sees a student being harassed or is being harassed, please contact the principal at your child›s school.

Homework is an important part of the American school system. The purpose of homework is to help students learn or practice what was taught in class.  Please ask your child about his/her homework and check to make sure he/she is completing it.  

If you are not sure how to help your child with his/her homework, please talk to your child’s teacher.

Late for School
What do I do if my child is late for school?
Please take your child to the office when you arrive at the school.  The school will ask for the reason that your child is late.  

Is there a place at school for my child to keep their belongings?
Elementary School - Children can keep their belongings in their classroom.

Middle and High School - The District provides lockers for students to keep books, clothing, school materials, and other personal property by request.

Lockers do not belong to the student.  School staff can look in the lockers at any time.

Materials for School
What materials should my child bring to school?
Textbooks are provided for all students.  At the elementary level, students should have a backpack.  Middle and high school students should bring a backpack, binder, folders, paper, and pens/pencils to school.

Elementary and middle school students cannot carry backpacks during the school day, but high school students can.

Parent-Teacher Conferences
Parent-teacher conferences are meetings between parents and teachers.  The teacher meets each child’s parents to talk about how the child is doing in school.  These conferences are scheduled in the fall and spring.  Parents can also ask for a conference any time.

Physical Education
Does my child need special clothes to wear for physical education (gym) class?
Elementary students do not need to wear special clothing for physical education class.  However, they should wear sneakers on the day they have physical education.

Middle school and high school students must wear a gym uniform.  The uniform consists of shorts or sweatpants, tee shirt or sweatshirt, socks, and sneakers.  Shorts and tee shirts can be bought from the school or students can wear their own.  

Please check with the physical education teacher for more information.

The District uses a student information system named PowerSchool.  Parents can access PowerSchool online to see their child’s attendance, classes, grades, and bus information.  

Please contact your child’s school to sign up to use PowerSchool.

Rules for Riding the Bus
  1. Be at your bus stop five (5) minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.
  2. Stay 10 feet back until the bus comes to a complete stop and move away from the bus 10 feet after getting off the bus.
  3. If you are crossing the street, always cross in front of the bus after looking both ways. Do not touch the crossing arm.
  4. Sit in your seat and face front.
  5. Do not stand up or move from your seat while the bus is moving.
  6. No yelling or shouting on the bus.
  7. Keep your hands and feet to yourself.  Do not hit others or throw anything.
  8. You may not eat on the bus.
  9. Do not put any body parts out the window.
  10. Do not touch the emergency door unless the bus driver tells you to.
  11. Be respectful.
  12. Listen to what the driver tells you.
  13. You may not take skateboards, scooters or live animals on the bus.  
  14. You may not bring large instruments or projects on the bus unless they can fit on your lap.
  15. The District’s transportation department video tapes student activities on the bus to help ensure safety.

If a student does not follow the bus rules, he/she might not be allowed to ride the bus.

School Start and End Times
  • Morning Kindergarten:  8:45 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
  • Afternoon Kindergarten:  12:45 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
  • Elementary School (Grades 1-5): 8:45 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
  • Middle School (Grades 6-8): 7:38 a.m. - 2:45 p.m.
  • High School (Grades 9-12): 7:37 a.m. - 2:45 p.m.
  • Modified Kindergarten: 10:45-12:45 p.m.*
 * Used when a two-hour delay is called. The modified kindergarten schedule does not impact afternoon kindergarten students.

Remote Learning Days
There are days during the school year when students will work a half day from home. Student work may be completed on the remote learning day, or anytime over the weekend/vacation, and submitted the next day school is in session.

Sports Programs
Are there after school sports programs offered by the schools?
Elementary School - After school sports programs are not offered through school.  However, there are many community programs available for elementary students.

Middle School - Students in seventh and eighth grade can participate in football, wrestling, field hockey, cross country, and soccer programs at the high schools.  Basketball, track, girls’ volleyball, and cross country programs are available for seventh and eighth grade students at each middle school.  Students who would like to participate in sports programs must complete the appropriate paperwork.  Please contact your child’s school for information.

High School - There are many activities available to high school students. Students should ask for an activities book and discuss with their teacher.

What do I need to do to help at my child’s school?
Schools welcome parent volunteers in the building and in the classroom.  If you would like to volunteer at your child’s school, ask your child’s school for more information.

What happens if there is bad weather on a school day?
There are times when school will start late, end early, or be cancelled because of bad weather.  

Two-Hour Delay
School will start two hours later than normal.
  • Elementary will start at 10:45 a.m.
  • Middle school will start at 9:38 a.m.
  • High school will start at 9:37 a.m.
If your child rides a school bus to school, the bus will pick them up two hours later than the normal pickup time.

Elementary schools do not serve breakfast on two-hour delay days.  Middle and high schools do.

Early Dismissal
Students will get out of school early. The time of dismissal will be decided by the District.  

If there is a 2-hour delay, does my kindergarten student go to school?
When there is a 2-hour delay, morning kindergarten students arrive at school at 10:45 a.m. with the other elementary students. They stay in school until 12:45 p.m. Afternoon kindergarten students go to school at their normal time.

How do I find out if there is a two-hour delay, an early dismissal, or if school is closed?
There are several ways to find out if there is a change in the school schedule.
  • Listen for an automated phone call from the West Shore School District.
  • Check for a phone call, email, or text from the West Shore School District.
  • Check the District web page (www.wssd.k12.pa.us), twitter, or facebook pages (@WestShoreSD).
  • Call the District’s weather line at 938-3179.
  • Watch local TV stations.  Look for CUMBERLAND COUNTY - WEST SHORE SCHOOL DISTRICT or YORK COUNTY - WEST SHORE SCHOOL DISTRICT at the top or bottom of the television screen

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