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Rowen Student Handbook

2018-2019 Student Handbook
for William Rowen Elementary School

A Message from the Principal
Dear Parents:

Welcome to William Rowen Elementary School. My staff and I look forward to working with you to provide your child with a rigorous educational experience that is engaging and effective.

This handbook contains information that will be useful to you throughout the school year.  Please review this handbook with your child.  Frequent correspondence will be sent home to keep you informed of school activities and events.  Teachers, students and parents working together will make the school year successful for every child.


Dr. James G. Murray, Jr.

Mission Statement
We exist to create a responsive school environment that inspires students to dream and motivates them to acquire basic skills and knowledge. We promote a student-centered curriculum that holds teachers, parents and students accountable for themselves and their community while fostering the love and passion of life-long learning. This passion for life-long learning is summed up in our school quote, which is inscribed on our building: “Education is not a mere means to life. Education is life.”

Our vision is a community of learners who function with consistency, work collaboratively, and promote a high level of achievement in a variety of academic pursuits and activities.

Welcome to Rowen
The purpose of this handbook is to promote cooperation and understanding between the home and school for the benefit of the child.  Utilize this Rowen handbook:

–       If there is anything that you want to know about our school

–       If there is anything that concerns you or your child about school

–       If you want more information you are always welcome to call, visit or write to your child’s teacher, the counselor, the school based teacher leader, the special education liaison or the principal. Our school website ( contains the most up to date information

What Kind of School is Rowen?
Rowen is a school committed to children.  At Rowen we are concerned about the whole child.  We promote a standards-driven, inquiry-based approach to learning rooted in big and transferable ideas. We believe that it is the job of the teacher to facilitate learning and promote mastery of discrete knowledge and skills. Our teachers are concerned about the whole child (social, emotional, and academic). We demand that each child is given the opportunity to reach his or her highest potential.

We believe that education is a lifelong process.  One of our principles of learning is effort produces achievement. This means that student achievement is based primarily on student motivation and effort, not IQ score. At Rowen, our goal is to provide students with the motivation and encouragement necessary to maximize achievement and success. We remind our students every day that Education is not a mere means to life. Education is life.

Visiting Your Child’s Teacher
Our teachers are committed to building strong relationships with parents. Our teachers will try to see you before 8:30 a.m., during recess, prep time or after school.  Don’t hesitate if you wish to see him or her. It is important to realize that teachers are at work with their classes during the entire day.  Interruptions during class time deprive many youngsters of the teacher’s necessary attention.  We therefore, suggest that you email or call in advance to make an appointment.  Of course, in emergencies or for special requests, we may make an exception.

Admission and Dismissal Procedures
All teachers report to their class lines in the yard at 8:30 a.m. and at the end of their respective lunch periods to escort their students into the building to the classroom. Our official dismissal time is 3:09 p.m.; however, we stagger our student dismissal times to improve traffic flow.

Kindergarten, 1st, and 2ndgrade classes exit the building through one of the school yard doors and proceed to the school yard to line up. Kindergarten classes exit first for safety reasons at 2:55 p.m. Parents should pick up their kindergarten students from the school yard. At 3:00 p.m., 1stand 2ndgrade classes exit the building through one of the school yard doors and proceed to the school yard to line up. During inclement weather, kindergarten, 1st, and 2ndgrade students will be picked up from the auditorium.

At 3:05 p.m., the 3rd, 4thand 5thgrade classes exit the building through one of the school yard doors and proceed to the school yard to line up. At 3:09 p.m., 3rd, 4thand 5thgrade students are escorted to the 19thStreet gate.  Third, 4th, and 5thgrade students picking up younger siblings will do so in the school yard.

The students involved in after school clubs will wait in the yard on the room number of the extra-curricular (E.C.) club sponsor.  During inclement weather, students involved in clubs will go directly to the E.C. sponsor’s room.

Absence or Lateness
The School Laws of Pennsylvania state that a child must attend school every day. If he/she is absent from school, upon return, a written note signed by the parent must be presented to the child’s teacher within 3 days of the absence.

A child who is not in his or her class line at 8:30 a.m.and arrives at school after his or her class enters the building is considered late.  A written note signed by the parent must be turned in to the child’s teacher when lateness occurs.  If students arrive in school after 10:00 a.m. without a note or leave before 1:00 p.m. without a note, they will be marked half a day unexcused absence. The half-day unexcused absences will accrue to full days. After eight (8) cumulative absences for illness, parents must secure a doctor’s note for any future absences for illnesses. School hours are 8:30a.m. to 3:09 p.m.  Please remember that all students must remain within the school boundaries throughout the day, including lunch.

Progress Report Cards

First Term ReportCards will be available on November 7, 2018
Kindergarten through 5th Grade Conferences:
November 7-9, 2018 (Afternoon Conferences)

Second Term ReportCards will be available on January 30, 2019
Kindergarten through 5th Grade Conferences:
January 30-31, and February 1, 2019 (Afternoon Conferences)

Third Term ReportCards will be available on April 3, 2019
Kindergarten through 5th Grade Conferences:
April 3-5, 2018 (Afternoon Conferences)

Fourth Term ReportCards will be available on June 3, 2019 to non-graduating students. Fifth grade students will receive their report cards on graduation day.

Encouraging Student Success at Rowen
You can ensure your child’s success:
–       By seeing that your child attends school regularly and promptly.
–       By making sure they are well groomed and appropriately clothed in the school uniform.
–       By respecting and cooperating with the school principal, teachers, nurse, and other staff members.
–       By encouraging respect for property.  Students must not damage, deface, trespass, or litter.
–       By participating in and developing respect for adherence to rules of conduct developed by the school.
–       By encouraging your child to have a definite time and place for homework and by checking the homework regularly.
–       By helping your child to have experiences to supplement classroom work such as visits to historical buildings, museums, places of interest, etc.
–       By teaching respect for the possessions of other people – everything belongs to somebody.
–       By teaching respect for the authority of parents, teachers, and elders.
–       By impressing upon your child the seriousness of learning and the importance of going to school.

Recognition of Student Accomplishments
We, at Rowen, are proud of the many accomplishments of our students.  We know that praise and recognition of a child’s effort is important.

The Rowen School Awards Program was established to motivate our students toward greater academic achievement and to encourage them to become better citizens. Various kinds of awards and recognition are given to those who meet certain criteria.

Students are cited for achievement in the following areas:

1.     Lexia Reading Core 5
2.     Honor Roll
3.     Rowen Lion Leaders
4.     Student Council
5.     Extra Effort
6.     Character Counts Champions
7.     Outstanding Attendance – Punctuality
8.     Student of the Month
9.     Terrific Kids

The following are special awards given at the end of each school year:

Ruth B. Williams  – Mathematics Award
Evelyn W. Bailey  – Reading Award
Eva M. Roberts     – Exemplary Service
Gerry Colston       – Special Achievement
Dwight Evans       – Leadership
Idris Amin           – Art
Jenny Lee             – School Service
Rowen “R”           – Academic Achievement
H & S Association – Humanitarian
Mary Smith         – Writing Award
Pamela Friedrich  – Academic Achievement

Communication to Parents
Expect frequent correspondence from school using a variety of media, such as emails, phone calls, our web site, Facebook, Twitter, and written communication. The purpose is to keep our parents and community aware of the numerous opportunities and events at Rowen. You will also receive the “Introductory Information Letter” from your child’s teacher at the beginning of each school year.

Injuries and/or Illness
If an injury occurs, we will get in touch with the parents of the student, or we will follow the instructions listed on the emergency card located in the office.  Please be sure your emergency contact card is kept up to date.  If you have any changes, it is your responsibility to notify the office.

If your child becomes ill while at school, you will be contacted and asked to pick him/her up.  If both parents work, it is very important that arrangements be made with a neighbor or relative to assume temporary care of your child.

Please keep your Emergency Contact Card accurate by contacting the office in case of any change.

Educational Opportunities
Reading, Writing, and Listening Program: Our goal is to bring all students up to standard levels in reading.  Our emphasis at Rowen will be on total student achievement and success in the basic reading skills.

Reading Systems: No one approach or basic reading system can assure success in reading for all students.  We are, however, striving for continuity in the system being used.  We are presently utilizing Pearson ReadyGen, Wilson Fundations (K-2), and Lexia Reading Core 5.

Charlotte H. Warren Instructional Materials Center (Library): Our library is a valuable source of learning and information for our students.  All classes may visit the library on a regular schedule when we have a volunteer to monitor the circulation of books.

The Resource Room: The Resource Room is a special education classroom for students who have difficulties in the basic skills and who are recommended for additional remedial instruction with the Resource Room Teacher.  Students so designated visit the Resource Room for various lengths of time depending on their specific needs.  They participate in the regular classroom program and attend the Resource Room for the purpose of correcting certain deficiencies in a reduced teacher-student ratio.

Learning Support Classes: These classes are for exceptional students whose primary identified need is academic learning.

Emotional Support Classes: This class is for students whose primary identified need is academic learning for the emotionally challenged.

Instrumental Program: One instrumental music teacher is assigned to the Rowen School in order to encourage and develop musical interests.  The woodwinds and brass instruments are all represented.

Extra Curricular Opportunities: These clubs are provided in the Basic Skills, PSSA Preparation and Reading Olympics.

Title I Program: The entire School District of Philadelphia meets the criteria for Title I status. Title I is a federally funded program that is governed by legislation.  Our school has been so designated because the majority of our students meet the economic criteria for Title I resources. Title I supports student success in the basic skills of reading and mathematics for all of the students at Rowen without regard to their individual eligibility.  Major uses of our Title I funds are to provide professional development for the staff and to supplement the instructional program. Included in this last category are the following:

–       Full-time Kindergarten Program
–       Instructional Teacher Leader
–       Part Time Classroom Assistants

Mentally Gifted Program: Students identified as mentally gifted participate in a specially designed program to meet their learning needs.

School Counselor: Works directly with students to help with any problem that occurs. She sees parents as often as needed to plan together in the interest of the child’s adjustment to his school and home.

Speech Teacher: Instructs students who have problems of articulation or receptive and expressive language that interferes with communication and learning.

School Nurse: Administers first aid to students who are injured in school. She also gives medical tests and conducts physical examinations.

Computer Center: Students are scheduled in the Computer Center for at least 45 minutes per week to learn how to use a computer and reinforce academic skills.

Specialist Teachers: Instruct students in computers, music, art and physical and health education in order to help enrich the instructional program.

Breakfast and Lunch Program
Every child at Rowen is entitled to a free breakfast and lunch. During breakfast and lunch, your child will have the opportunity to use the lavatory.  We urge you to discuss with your child the proper lunchroom (restaurant) manners listed below:

1.     Clean up the eating area and place trash in proper containers
2.     Eating is a time for quiet conversation
3.     Running is not permitted in the lunchroom
4.     Obey the lunchroom staff
5.     Food, of any kind, is not to be taken from the lunchroom
6.     Students must have a hall pass in order to leave the lunchroom
7.     Students must sit at their assigned tables
8.      Remain seated

Students will be dismissed from the lunchroom table when their table and area are clean.

Lost and Found
A Lost and Found area is located in the back of the auditorium.  Your child may check the Lost and Found box any day at lunchtime.  Please urge your child to be responsible for the care of his/her belongings.  All outer clothing should be labeled with your child’s name.

Visiting and/or Picking Up Your Child
All visitors and parents are required to report to the office upon entering the school building to sign in and receive a pass.   If your child must leave school early, please comply with the following procedure – send a note of explanation to the teacher, and sign the special Early Release Log located on the front counter in the main office; you must sign in and out and enter the date and time of departure.  Early dismissals are discouraged after 2:30 p.m. The person picking up a student early must be on the emergency contact form, provide identification, and sign the Early Release Log in the main office.

Student Health Needs
Parents of students with special medical conditions should inform the school nurse of the problem.  This information is confidential, but if teachers and other school personnel have to render assistance, it is important for the school to be so informed.

Please come in to discuss with the nurse any medical problem that your child may have.

The Kindergarten Program
What does it mean to go to kindergarten?  For the child it is the beginning of school life as they are helped to:

–       Adjust to a larger social group
–       Fulfill their personality needs as they develop feelings of security
–       Understand the world in which they live
–       Grow in creativeness, initiative and independence
–       Develop good habits and attitudes
–       Build strong healthy bodies and achieve adequate motor development

The kindergarten program is a total language experience that encompasses reading and language arts, mathematics, science, physical education, art, music, computers and social activities.

The kindergarten experience should not be considered merely a preparation for first grade.  It has an essential place in the educational system.  It has been proven that children with kindergarten experience are much more successful in their early school years.

–       All basic texts are loaned to students for their use during the school year.  Textbooks are to be kept clean and handled carefully.
–       Please be sure your child’s name, grade and school year are written on the label in case the book is misplaced.  YOU WILL BE REQUIRED TO PAY FOR LOST OR DAMAGED BOOKS, CALCULATORS, AND TEMPLATES.

Who Was William Rowen?
–       William Rowen’s great-great grandfather was a surveyor in the American Revolution, a resident of Kensington, and lived to be 103 years of age.
–       Largely through his influence, the Penn Treaty Park was established.  He served as a delegate to several conventions to nominate governors of Pennsylvania.
–       Mr. Rowen was instrumental in the building of Kensington High School, Chandler School, William Penn Senior High School, and Mastbaum Vocational School.
–       In 1907, the Board of Judges to the Central Board of Education appointed Mr. Rowen as a member of the Philadelphia Board of Education.
–       His Philadelphia home was at 305 East Girard Avenue where he maintained a funeral home.
–       Underprivileged and mentally handicapped children lost a staunch friend through Mr. Rowen’s death.
–       At his death in 1933, he was 81 years of age and had been connected with the Philadelphia Board of Education for 30 years, the last 12 of which he had been its president.

Home and School Association
The Rowen Home and School Association is affiliated with the Philadelphia Home and School Council and works cooperatively and constructively toward mutual understanding of the home and school.

The Home and School Association issues announcements at regular intervals concerning its activities, programs and general meetings.  The Association welcomes your support for the benefit of the students.

Student Appearance
Students will be expected to keep themselves well groomed and neatly dressed in our school uniform at all times.  It is mandatory for our students to wear white or yellow tops and navy blue bottoms. Any form of dress which is considered contrary to good hygiene or which is distractive or disruptive in appearance and detrimental to the purpose or conduct of the school will not be permitted.  Shirts with obscene or questionable printing on them will not be permitted.  Students may not wear tank tops, or low cut tops.  Sweaters or hoodies must be navy blue.  In addition, students must wear navy blue bottoms such as sweat pants and white sweat tops for gym.  Blue and white are the only acceptable colors for gym class. JEANS ARE NOT TO BE WORN AT ANY TIME. (Open-toed shoes are not permitted to be worn.)

One of the most important lessons that education should offer is discipline. While it does not appear as a subject, it underlies the whole educational structure.  It is the training that develops self-control, character, orderliness and efficiency.  It is the key to good conduct and proper consideration for other people.

All students are expected to behave in an acceptable and responsible manner at school in the lunchroom, classroom, yard, on trips, and in other school related situations.

Rowen students shall not engage in the following types of behavior:
·      Purposely disobey directions of the school staff
·      Disrupt any school activity or tell others to do so
·      Purposely hurt, bully, or try to hurt anyone.
·      Fight in the school, yard, or to and from school.
·      Use language that is obscene, purposely disruptive or offensive to others.
·      Assault a school employee.
·      Use or possess a weapon, dangerous device, alcohol or drugs.
·      Leave the supervision of the adult in charge or the school grounds without permission.
·       Have in their possession a cell phone, iPod, toys, electronic toy or paging device.

Consequences which may be used for a student who disobeys the rules are:
1.     Loss of privileges
2.     Notice to parents; conferences
3.     Placement on a daily report
4.     Detentions
5.     Time out
6.     Counseling/Mentoring
7.     Referral to Response to Instruction and Intervention
8.     Class Change
9.     Community Service
10.  Suspension from School

With an understanding of the purpose of discipline at the Rowen School, a positive attitude is encouraged to enable all concerned to make our school an effective place for learning.

Homebound Instruction
Homebound instruction is planned to meet the needs of students who are unable to attend regular school because of a temporary or permanent illness or disability. Application may be made for students who will be absent intermittently or for four weeks or longer.  The Physician’s Certification Form must be completed, signed by the physician and returned to the school nurse.  The assigned teacher may begin instruction after the student is approved.

A student enrolled in the Homebound Instructional Program follows the School District’s Curriculum.

Computing and Internet Acceptable Use Policy
The School District of Philadelphia is providing its students (“users”) with access to computing equipment, systems and local network functions such as the Internet.  This access has a limited educational purpose for students.  Parents may specifically request that their children not be provided access to the World Wide Web by notifying the District in writing.

In the event there is an allegation that a student has violated the District Acceptable Use Policy, the student will be provided with a written notice of the alleged violation and will be provided with an opportunity to be heard in the manner set forth in the student Hearing Process Policy.  Disciplinary action may be taken.

Hotline and Support Lines
Need help with a question, concern or problem?  Try one of these telephone numbers:

Parent Engagement
Safe Hotline
Information regarding school safety
24-hour hotline telephone service to report child abuse and neglect.  If
you see someone being abused, immediately call the 24-hour hotline
to make a report.

Family Net
“Parents can check their child’s educational progress online through Family Net. The information includes enrollment and academic history, report cards, test scores and the analysis of those results. There are also activities for parents and students, including resources based on benchmark testing.

Any parent can get a user name and password by going to the District’s web site at, clicking on the green “Parents” box and then clicking on “Family Net.”  Once parents have a user name and password, they log into Family Net by going to”.

Last modified: September 3, 2018