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Dartmouth Elementary


This campus handbook contains information to help students and parents understand school specific expectations for our students. Students and parents also need to be familiar with the Student and Parent Guidebook and Student Code of Conduct, which are separate documents provided by the district, and used to make decisions at the campus level. These documents contain detailed information important to all families such as attendance, truancy, policies, school expectations, and bullying.

Both handbooks are available on the Student Services Policies Page. Please take time to read and discuss this information with your child/children. Thank you and I look forward to a great year!


Kristin Pernici, Principal

Students will be able to enter the building at 7:30 a.m. Children dropped off before 7:30 a.m. are unsupervised. It is HIGHLY suggested that students do not arrive on campus BEFORE the doors open at 7:30 a.m. Students will go directly to their classrooms upon arrival. Staff in the hallways will help direct students to their class. Students eating breakfast will drop off their backpack in class and pick up their lanyard before going to the cafeteria. 

Please hug your children and say goodbye in front of the school away from the entrance. Families and students will not wait in the foyer.  If you must wait with your child, please do so outside. Please be mindful of the traffic flow at all times.

Dismissal time is 3:10 p.m. Students must be picked up on time. Parents are expected to follow the dismissal traffic expectations. We need you to help us ensure the safety of all children. Please refer to the dismissal information provided in the Duck Tales newsletters.

Children and adults on bikes or scooters must WALK with their equipment on school grounds at all times. It is strongly advised that all bikes are locked at the bike racks. Please bring all helmets inside to store in cubbies.

All drivers must adhere to the expectations as explained in our arrival/dismissal map shared in the Duck Tales newsletter. 

  • There will be NO left turns into the circle drive.
  • There will be NO left turns when leaving the circle drive.
  • Do NOT park in the drop off line.
  • Adhere to School Zones
  • No cell phone use by drivers in School Zones

Please practice patience as you follow the traffic rules. Our children need our attention for their safety.

A picture ID is required to pick a child up from school. Only adults listed on the child’s emergency form may take the child from campus. Students will not be released from the office after 2:55. If you need to pick up children early for an appointment, please do so before 2:55. The student will not be released from the classroom until after the  parent has arrived and presented the necessary identification.

All students are required to be regular and punctual in attendance. Please refer to the district handbook for absence and truancy information. Parents must send a note with the student on the day the child returns to school, or up to 3 days later.  Alternatively, parents may email our SDS,, with the absence note.  This note must contain the student’s full name, date of absence(s), and reason for the absence.

Phone calls from the school and school district often are sent through an automated system. If a student is marked absent in the system, an automated call will be sent to the primary number on file. Please listen to the message before calling the school.

Students are expected to be seated in the classroom at 7:50 a.m. Students arriving between 7:51 a.m.- 8:05 a.m. will be documented as tardy. Students will be marked as late from 8:06 a.m. –  8:59 a.m. Significant tardy/late issues will be addressed by the administrators. Individual plans for students with significant tardiness will be developed with parental involvement. 

 It is important that the emergency contact information in Focus is up to date and correct. The contact information in Focus is used when determining who should have  access to your student in the event the parent cannot be reached. Email the SDS with changes that need to be made as needed.

Breakfast and Lunch prices, menus, and other information are available online. Parents can prepay for their child’s meals with a check or cash at school, or on 

In order to set the routines and procedures, there are no lunch visitors at the beginning of the school year. Parents will get more information in the Duck Tales newsletter when we open up lunch to visitors. Parents will only be allowed to bring food and eat with their own child.

If you are dropping off lunch for a student, there is a cart in the airlock. Please follow the directions on the cart and leave the lunch on the cart. We will take care of it at lunch time.

Our aim is for each student to reach the goal of self-discipline and self-responsibility. Students are taught what is expected of them in the classroom, on school grounds, on the bus and in common areas of the building. Students  know the consequences for inappropriate behavior and the rewards for appropriate behavior. A goal of DME is to  build a community with mutual respect for students, staff, and parents based on the PBIS model (positive behavior intervention system). 

We strive to prevent bullying, however, should  an incident occur, we identify and intervene immediately upon the knowledge of the situation. We follow the RISD  guidelines for bullying as identified in the Richardson ISD Code of Conduct.

Each grade level will have a specific grading system and homework plan. Your children’s grade level communication plan will be presented at the beginning of the school year. Grades reflect the alignment of curriculum, instruction and assessment. Grades will be an average of projects, classroom and homework assignments and assessments.

A parent who wants to schedule a conference with a staff member should contact them for an appointment. Generally, a teacher will be able to meet with parents or return calls during his/her conference period or after school within 24 hours of a work day. It is advised to always contact the teacher about a situation/question before asking another staff member or administrator. In most cases, the teacher has more knowledge of a situation or event and can help a parent in a timely manner. Teachers are expected to supervise their learning environments and cannot visit with parents for any length of time during the day, except during their conference period, before (prior to 7:30 a.m.) or after (after 3:20 p.m.) school hours. Teachers will not answer their desk phones during school hours while working with students. Communication between parent and teacher is an important piece of a student’s success. The progress of the child is communicated to the parents by progress reports, report cards, written notices, conferences, and telephone or email communication. Parents will receive a grade-level weekly newsletter via email with information about upcoming curriculum and activities.  Additionally, parents will receive a weekly school newsletter, “Duck Tales,” that will include school wide announcements and events. 

Each classroom assigns students to a cubby, desk, or coat hanger for their backpacks and jackets. Students are responsible for keeping track of their own items and keeping their assigned area organized.

Due to heightened safety and security measures across all schools, please be aware that we will be utilizing increased safety measures when buzzing visitors into the building, as well as using our Raptor system to print badges.  During large school wide events, this may take longer than in the past for all to be checked in to our system.  We appreciate your patience and support as we continue to work to keep our students and staff safe.  All visitors must be buzzed in at the front office.  Please refrain from holding the door for other visitors to enter the building.

Parents of any student who must take prescription or nonprescription medicine during the school day must complete a Parent Physician Request for Administration of Medication form which is available in the clinic. All medicine must be kept in the school clinic. 

A child who is ill or whose temperature is 100 degrees or above in the last 24 hours should not attend school. When the nurse calls, please come pick up your child or send someone listed on the emergency card immediately. Students must be fever free without medication for 24 hours before returning to school. Parents must send a note with the student on the day the child returns to school.

RISD Student Cell Phone Guidelines: To promote the best possible learning and social environment in Richardson ISD, students will not use their cellphones during the school day, unless provided permission from an authorized district employee during the instructional day. The intent of the cell phone policy is to establish a cell phone-free environment and avoid cell phones distracting from learning as well as causing a loss of instructional time.

Staff will confiscate cell phones being used by students during the school day. Parents will be contacted. Continued violations will result in disciplinary actions.

Clothes must be worn in a way that private areas are all fully covered. Undergarments, except straps and waistbands, should not be visible. All items listed in the “must wear” and “may wear” categories below must meet this basic principle.

Students must wear (while following the basic principle above);

  • An opaque top with a sleeve or strap and must cover the stomach, back and chest area.
  • An opaque bottom, such as pants, jeans, or the equivalent of a skirt, sweatpants, joggers, leggings, dress, or shorts
  • Closed-toe shoes

Students may wear, as long as these items do not violate basic principle above:

  • Closed-toe shoes
  • Fitted pants, including leggings, yoga pants, and skinny jeans
  • Ripped jeans as long as underwear and private body parts are not exposed
  • Athletic shorts and athletic skirt
  • Religious headwear

Students cannot wear:

  • Images, language, or symbols that depict tobacco products, drugs, drug paraphernalia, alcohol, violence, hate speech, profanity, pornography, gang symbols, or other illegal activities
  • Images or language that creates a hostile or intimidating environment based on a protected class or group
  • Accessories that could be considered dangerous or could be used as a weapon

If you want to drop off edible or non edible items for ALL the students in your child’s classroom, please contact your child’s teacher in advance for guidance.

  • Some classrooms may have allergies
  • Teachers might prefer treats to be brought only at the very end of the day, etc.

Birthday party invitations may be passed out at school if the entire class receives one. 

There will be two parties during the school year. These are prior to the winter break and Valentine’s day. The PTA organizes and executes these parties with parent volunteers. All Parents and volunteers must have completed a background check before attending using the system. All visitors must enter the building through the front office, present a valid picture ID, sign in, and receive a visitor badge.

 Students may not bring personal items to school without teacher permission. This includes electronics, sporting equipment, toys, and games. It also includes items that may distract the learning environment such as trendy toys, playing cards, etc…Teachers may take the item causing a disruption. They will contact the parent to discuss the disruption and retrieval of the item(s).

Parents and/or visitors who enter DME must proceed directly to the office, present a valid picture ID, sign in, and receive a visitor badge. All RISD schools use a system that scans visitor information and cross references a database to ensure the safety of our students. No one will be allowed in hallways at any time without a visitor badge. Only those individuals designated on the Emergency Card will be allowed access to your children provided they can display proper identification. For student and staff security, teachers have been instructed to report the presence of any visitor not wearing a visitor badge provided by the school.

Visits to individual classrooms during instructional time are permitted only with approval of the principal.

Pets can be unpredictable. Please be careful with them on school grounds and they must always be on a leash. Pets are not allowed inside the building for any reason. 

Volunteers must pre-arrange the time, date, and activity with the respective school employee prior to volunteering.  Volunteers must complete and pass an online background check every year. There are NO Exceptions. Please apply early to be guaranteed approval in time for an event you would like to attend. Any parent wishing to volunteer at Dartmouth must complete the online application. You must go to to complete the process.

Please contact your campus principal for any additional information specific to your campus.