In and Around at Phantom Lake: What you need to know
Walk, bike or carpool to school if at all possible! It is not easy to find parking in the morning. If you drive, allow enough time to park up to 2 blocks away and walk a bit (the north side, away from Tillicum, is less congested in the mornings but very congested around 3:00). Be courteous of the neighbors—no blocking driveways, honking horns, or stepping on landscaping, please! Avoid left turns into or out of the parking lot, which cause backups and frustration.
OBEY the student traffic patrol! These kids are here to keep everyone safe. Don’t try to sneak past them! (And thank them once in a while—they get up extra early and their job is difficult!)
Stay out of the bus zone, staff parking lot, and the handicapped parking areas. The parent loading area is in the north lot, along the chain link fence only. Please don’t stop and load/unload unless you are parked in the loading zone. Load quickly and move on. Find a parking spot if you need to come inside.
Pull into a street parking spot to drop off or pick up your children. No double parking, no stopping in the middle of the street! Every other parent is in just as big a hurry as you are, so please don’t block traffic even for a moment. Help keep traffic flowing, kids safe, and everyone’s morning running smoothly.
Did you know? Traffic fines DOUBLE for all moving infractions in a school zone. This means a fine of $248 for talking on the phone/texting, even if you are not speeding! Use caution when parking–five feet from driveways, fifteen feet from the fire hydrant, and 30 feet from intersections. Many of our parents have received $40 tickets for these violations, and we would like to save you the hassle and expense. Additional information about parking regulations can be found here: http://www.bellevuewa.gov/pdf/Transportation/Parking_Rules.pdf
After the Sandy Hook tragedy last December, the school decided to have one entry point to our building in order to know all adults who are on our campus with access to our children. Most mornings Mrs. King will be opening the double doors by the office and greeting families and Ms. Judy will be opening the doors by the gym to greet families who are dropping students off in the drop-off area. Unless one of us is sick or handling another need these will be available for entry into the building. There will be 3 entry points:
If there is not someone opening the doors at the gym or by the office people will need to enter through the office. Once again, this change was made so that our staff is aware of every single person who is gaining access to our children. Read more about school security.
Students are expected to be seated and ready to learn at 8:35. If they are still in the halls when the 8:40 bell rings, they are sent back to the office for a late slip. Please help your children get in the habit of arriving on time.
Children are not allowed on the playground before or after school without supervision. They need to be at breakfast or in childcare if they arrive before 8:25. They are expected to line up peacefully outside their classrooms. If this is difficult for your child, we suggest walking them to school or spending a few minutes with them on the playground before bringing them inside.
One great way to avoid morning parking lot headaches AND get the wiggles out is to park at Lake Hills Park and walk just 3 minutes up the path to school. Access is much faster and easier, it’s fun, and that little bit of fresh air will do everyone some good!
You can meet your child outside the building on the north (gym) side. Each grade level has a marked meeting area, where the teachers will drop off students after school. If you want your child to meet you in another location, please make arrangements with the teacher so everyone knows what to expect.
Families are absolutely welcome and encouraged to come to Phantom Lake at any time- we just need to know you are here. Stop by the front office to sign-in and get a nametag.
You will find the building is less heated and air-conditioned than in previous years, thanks to budget cuts. Dress your children in layers and be aware that temperatures may be quite warm or chilly in the classrooms, depending on weather. You may send your child with a water bottle (and we recommend freezing them or adding lots of ice when it’s warm outside!) PLEASE label your child’s sweaters and coats!
Snacks and Lunches
Each classroom has a snack pantry, stocked with donations from parents. Please bring in a box of crackers or other snacks as soon as you can. Snacks should be healthy (not sugary) and able to keep at room temperature. There are no refrigerators or microwaves in the classrooms. If your child has special dietary needs, please send appropriate snacks for him or her. Otherwise, plan to contribute to the classroom pantry and have your child eat the same snacks as the rest of the class.
Your child received a PIN number in the mail for his or her school lunch account. Ms. Mahala is happy to help students who forget their numbers. You can keep your account current online with PayPAMS, or bring a check to school for your child’s account. Ms. Mahala will send a note home when your child’s account is getting low.
We use “KidMail” or “Backpack Mail” to send home written communication from school. This is generally done on Mondays, but please check your child’s backpack daily so you don’t miss anything. You should also be sure you are signed up for both school and PTA e-mail lists, which should tell you everything you need to know about school:
Bellevue School District News: www.bsd405.org
Hello, Lost and Found?
We can’t say it enough: label your child’s belongings! The lost and found is located in the lunch room. Take a peek in there once a week, even if you don’t think you’re missing anything. You might be surprised! At most evening events, you’ll see an assortment of coats and lunchboxes lining the halls. This is another opportunity for your child to be reunited with his stuff—please check the lineup! Last year we gave over a hundred coats and sweaters to charity after being unable to locate their owners.
Toys and Electronics
Please leave the valuable electronics and favorite toys at home. Your child will not be able to play with them during school, and there’s always a chance of loss or theft. Children are not allowed to use cellular phones during class times. They can always be reached, and can reach a parent, in case of an emergency.
If your child is going to be absent, please call the Absentee line at Phantom Lake, (425) 456-5609. You will be asked to leave a message including your child’s name, teacher’s name and room number, and reason for absence. It’s good to give specific symptoms if your child is ill; our wonderful secretaries and nurse keep track of what’s going around in different grades.
We have a new policy to help control head lice. If two children in the same classroom are found to have lice, all children in the classroom will be checked. Here’s all kinds of helpful information to keep you from dealing with an infestation this year. Let’s hope it works!
With larger class sizes comes an even greater need for volunteers. Parents, caregivers, grandparents and community members are encouraged to share their time and talents during the school day. All you need to get started is to fill out the volunteer application, which you can get from the main office. This is a one-time application which will be kept on file with the Bellevue School District, so you may volunteer in any school. You will be required to show ID and there is a State Patrol background check, in order to protect both our children and our volunteers.
Please plan to come in on Picture Day to have your picture taken. You’ll get a photo ID badge to wear while you’re in the building. There is no charge for the photos or the badge—this is a service provided by PTA. If you don’t have a photo ID, there are temporary badges in the office. All volunteers and visitors are expected to sign in and wear a badge during school hours.
We can use volunteers in the classrooms, on playgrounds during recess, and in the clinic (nurse’s office). Plenty for everyone to do! Please check with your child’s teacher or the front office to get started. The sooner the better!
Changes in class sizes and staffing
This year’s funding cuts have left us with quite large class sizes at every grade level. Don’t panic! Be prepared, and be realistic about what can and cannot be done about this. Complaining to the teachers and principal will not help; voicing your concerns to our legislators just might, though. Do what you can to ensure that your children come prepared to learn (well fed and rested, homework done, dressed comfortably.) Know that the teachers are doing their very best to keep everyone happy and help them make academic progress. Consider how you can help, by spending some time helping in the classrooms, on the playground, or in the office. Understand that while conditions are not ideal, they are still very good. Our kids have excellent teachers and support staff working to ensure their success.
Did you know that PTA is the largest nationwide organization lobbying on behalf of children? Now you do! Check out the state PTA website: http://www.wastatepta.org/advocacy/index.html for tools you can use to communicate with your legislators and stay in touch with what’s happening in Olympia.
Become informed about what’s happening with education funding. Take a look at http://www.educationvoters.org for the latest information in education and politics. Yes, it’s hard to understand it all. No, we can’t fix it right away, but we can stay informed, we can vote, and we lean on the people who can do something about funding: our state and federal lawmakers. If we all raise our voices, we will be heard.