Hidden Oak Policies and Procedures

  • The School Day

    • The school hours are from 7:45 a.m. until 1:52 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.
    • School hours on Wednesday are from 7:45 a.m. until 12:47 p.m.
    • Supervision of children begins at 7:15 a.m. Children should not arrive before 7:15 a.m.

    Arriving at School

    • When students arrive in the morning, they are expected to go directly to their classroom.
    • All students eating breakfast at school should go directly to the cafeteria.
    • The late bell rings at 7:45 a.m. Students arriving after 7:45 a.m. must stop by the office to check in and pick up a tardy slip before reporting to class.


    • A full school term for the State of Florida is 180 school days for students. All absences are recorded.
    • Regular attendance is required by Florida Law; Section 232.09. The statute states, “Each parent of a child within the compulsory attendance age shall be responsible for such child’s school attendance as required by law.”
    • Parents are requested to report reasons for absences by sending a note to the teacher following the child’s absence.
    • Alachua County attendance officers receive computer-generated attendance reports and follow-up with school personnel on reasons for student absences. Repeated absences or tardies are referred for further investigation.
    • Attendance officers may call or visit parents when students have excessive absences or tardies.

    Getting To and From School Safely

    • For Your Child's Safety: All parents MUST pick up children at car pick-up area and not come into the building at dismissal time.

    Walking to School

    • Students must walk on the sidewalks provided and cross the road only at the designated crosswalks with the crossing guard.

    Bus Riders

    • Bus students are to go directly to the bus loading area upon dismissal. Students will board the bus, find their seat and remain in their seat. Students are not permitted to exit the bus without the permission of the driver or supervising teacher.
    • Students go directly home after being dropped off at their bus stop. Children will not get off at a different stop without a note from home. Students must have a note from home and signed by the principal to ride a bus different from his/her regular bus.

    Automobile Riders

    • All automobile traffic must use the car area in front of Building 1. Double-lanes merge into a single traffic lane in front of school. Only single lane is permitted in the car pick-up area. Students to be picked up by car should go directly to the designated loading zone in front of the school. Students waiting to be picked up will remain on the sidewalk by grade level while waiting for their ride. Students must load from the curb under the teachers’ supervision.
    • Cars will follow the established traffic pattern. Drivers are encouraged to pull up as far as possible next to the sidewalk. Please do not leave a car unattended in the loading zone. If your child is not waiting for you when you get to the pick up area, please circle through the line again.
    • Parent must come into the front office to sign out any student not picked up on time.


    Bicycle Riders

    • Students may park their bikes on either the north or south end of the school in designated bike area. Bikers are expected to follow safe riding rules.

    Changing Plans For Getting Home

    • Please make advance plans for getting home on rainy days or when the routine for getting home changes. A written note must be sent with your child explaining how he/she is to get home. Since verifying a parent/guardian’s identity on the phone, we ask that requests to change the way a child goes home not be made via phone. We thank you for your understanding and for adhering to this safety measure as we take every precaution to keep our children safe.


    Extended Day Program (EDEP)

    • EDEP, an educational program for after-school hours is scheduled from school dismissal until 5:30 p.m. Located in the Hidden Oak Cafeteria. Taylor Mitchell is the coordinator, she may be reached at pritchettt (@gm.sbac.edu) or at 352-672-5273. Information on costs and registration is available in the school office or at the ACPS EDEP Program. This program is only provided when school is in session.

    Guidelines For Student Conduct (Student Code of Conduct)

    • Parents are urged to help their children understand the expectations set forth by Hidden Oak Elementary School and the Alachua County Public Schools. The purpose of the behavior guidelines is to ensure a happy, cooperative, safe environment for learning.
    • Students at Hidden Oak Elementary are responsible for their personal behavior at all times. Members of the school community are expected to be polite and considerate of the rights of others.
    • Students are expected to cooperate with all teachers and staff members. Student teachers, visitors, and volunteers are to be treated with the same respect as teachers and staff.
    • Physical violence and threats are considered to be very serious forms of misbehavior and will not be tolerated at Hidden Oak.
    • All students are expected to abide by the rules set forth in the ACPS Code of Student Conduct. Failure to display appropriate behavior may result in loss of individual privileges or a conference between the parents and the teacher or principal.

    Toys & Games

    • Toys, radios/tape players, and games (including electronic devices) should be left at home unless the teacher gives prior permission for them to be brought to school. If these items are brought to school and they are collected, a parent may be requested to come pick them up. It is very important that students concentrate on learning while at school. Toys often distract the student from his/her lessons.


    • Weapons and other dangerous objects, including pocket knives, are not permitted on school buses or the school grounds. Possession of a weapon is a serious offense and may result in suspension or expulsion from school. Refer to the Code of Student Conduct for specific details.

    Gum, Candy, Etc.

    • Children may not eat during class without permission of the teacher. If food is brought to school, it should be put away until the child is seated in the lunchroom. In accordance with our District Wellness Program, we encourage parents to choose fruit or other nutritious snacks rather than candy.

    Bus Rules
    It is a privilege to ride a school bus. Students are expected to follow the rules. Students must:

    • Obey the driver.
    • Standoff the roadway while waiting for buses.
    • Be at the bus stop on time.
    • Sit according to the seating chart.
    • Remain seated when the bus is in motion.
    • Keep arms and heads inside the windows.
    • Remain quiet. Unnecessary conversation with the driver is dangerous.
    • Observe classroom conduct at all times while aboard the bus.
    • Have no food or drink on the bus.
    • Whenever boarding or departing, cross the road 10 feet in front of the bus when the driver signals that it is clear to cross.
    • Ride only your assigned buses to and from school. Written permission, with principal approval, is required to get off at a different stop. Parents assume responsibility.
    • Pay for damage to school buses or property within 10 days after billing.
    • Have no large boxes, balloons, cages, firearms, knives, glass bottles, animals, reptiles, offensive materials, etc. on the buses.
    • Three bus reports or serious misconduct may result in either temporary or permanent suspension of the privilege of riding the school bus.

    Bringing Money To School

    • Students should not be allowed to bring extra money to school unless a note is sent home for a school-sponsored project.

    Leaving School Early

    • Students are not permitted to leave during the school day without being checked out through the office. The parent/guardian must come to the office and sign the child out. The child will then be called from the class. In an effort to minimize disruptions in the classroom, we ask that early checkouts be reserved for emergency situations only. Please plan to make all doctor appointments, etc. after school hours. We thank you for your cooperation.
    • If someone other than the parent/guardian is to pick up the child, make sure the office has written authorization from the parent/guardian. It is the parent’s responsibility to notify any after-school daycare when a child is absent or has gone home directly from school.


    Student Attire

    • Clean, appropriate clothing helps set the tone for the day. We encourage good grooming and neat appearance at school.
    • We count on our parents to exercise good judgment in selecting clothing to be worn by our students. Clothing for elementary school children should be comfortable and allow for freedom of movement. Closed shoes are to be worn at all times. Shoes that double as skates are not allowed as they are not safe footwear for school.

    Art, Music, & Physical Education

    • Each student participates in a regularly scheduled class for art, music, and physical education. Parents should help children select shoes and clothing appropriate to the activity of the day.

    Lost & Found

    • The school maintains an area in back of the Cafeteria for claiming lost belongings. Parents should mark their children’s things with a permanent marker. The most frequently misplaced articles include: jackets, sweaters, sweatshirts, and lunch boxes. Items marked with the child’s first and last name are easy to return to their owner.

    Field Trips

    • Field trips are planned as extensions of class activities. Parents and guardians are encouraged to volunteer as chaperones. Chaperones may not bring other children on the field trip. Volunteer applications must be completed each year and must be submitted at least one week prior to a field trip. An application must be on file for anyone who chaperones a field trip.
    • Should a student’s conduct indicate that he/she might present a safety or security risk while off the grounds, they may not be invited to participate in the field trip. In some cases, a parent or guardian might be required to personally chaperone the child as a condition for participation.
    • No child will be allowed to go on a field trip without a signed permission form. All students must ride the bus to attend a field trip.


    • Homework is a planned extension of school activities. Its purpose may be to reinforce important facts or skills, or to enrich a subject through personal experimentation or research. Correctly used, it helps develop self-discipline and a sense of responsibility.
    • If a student frequently needs a good deal more time than seems appropriate, the parent should request a conference with the child’s teacher. Homework should be completed and returned to class within the allowed time limit. If an emergency prevents a child from being able to complete the assignment, the parent is encouraged to contact the teacher so that adjustments may be made.

    Bringing Animals To School

    • Animals may not be brought to school without prior permission from the teacher. The cage used should adequately provide for ventilation, food, and water, as well as ensure the safety of the animal and the children. Dangerous or poisonous animals are not permitted.
    • An adult must transport the animal to and from school. Animals are not allowed on the school bus.

    Media Center

    • The school Media Center is open to students and parents at any time during the school day. Students come to the Media Center individually, in small groups, and with their class.
    • The Media Center is a place for everyone to enjoy. Students may talk quietly, but not disturb others. It is a place for recreational reading, research, browsing, and instruction.
    • Books may be checked out for two weeks. Overdue books are considered lost until they are returned. If a student loses or damages a book, he/she will be expected to pay for it.
    • All students are expected to take proper care of school materials that are used at school or taken home. Parents can help by reinforcing responsible use of these materials at home.


    • The cafeteria at serves breakfast and lunch daily. Students eating breakfast may do so as soon as they get to school. Breakfast is served between 7:15 a.m. and 7:40 a.m.
    • Students may purchase a lunch, or bring one from home. Students who bring their lunches may purchase milk. Teachers will collect lunch money for their classes and prepayments will be accepted. Students will be credited for days absent.
    • Hidden Oak Elementary participates in the program to provide free and reduced-price lunches for families who qualify. Eligibility for this program is based on family income. Applications must be submitted at the beginning of each school year. Information and application forms are available through the school office and updated as needed due to change in financial status.

    Lunchroom Conduct
    Basic rules to remember while in the cafeteria are:

    • Talk quietly to people at your table.
    • Stay at your table.
    • Follow the traffic pattern.
    • Do not trade or share food.
    • Wait for a cafeteria assistant or teacher to dismiss you from the table.
    • Put silverware, trash, and trays in their proper disposals.
    • Leave your area clean.
    • Always use your best manners.

    Visiting The School

    • Visitors and volunteers are welcome. We have a few simple guidelines that should help make your visits as pleasant and productive as possible.
    • For the safety of our school community, all visitors and volunteers are requested to check in through the front office upon arrival on campus. They will have to show a valid driver's license or a government issued picture ID.
    • Arrangements should always be made with the teacher in advance. This can be done through a written note, email or by calling the teacher at school between the hours of 7:15 a.m. and 7:40 a.m., or between 2:00 p.m. and 2:45 p.m.

    Parent-Teacher Conference

    • It is our hope that communication between the home and school will be ongoing. The School Board’s policy of not setting formal conference days supports the belief that parent-teacher conferences should be scheduled as needed throughout the year. We value the opportunity to talk with parents about the child’s progress.
    • Either parents or teachers may request conferences. Parent-teacher conferences need to be scheduled in advance. If a parent wishes to set up a conference time, he/she may contact the teacher either with a written note or by calling at the times listed above in the visitation notes.
    • Mr. Kuhn, the principal of Hidden Oak Elementary, is also available for parent conferences. If you wish to meet with Mr. Kuhn, please call the school office to set up an appointment.

    Class Parties & Special Occasions

    • A limited number of class parties are held during the year. Birthday parties are not conducted at school. However, a parent may bring a treat to share with the child’s class. Arrangements should be made with the child’s teacher ahead of time. We encourage healthy food snacks to be served to the students. Please, no artificially color drinks (red, purple, orange) as they stain the carpet and adversely affect some students.
    • Invitations to private parties, unless issued to every student in the class, may not be distributed at school.
    • Deliveries for students (flowers, balloons, etc.) cannot be accepted at school. Such deliveries can be a disruption of the class as well as a problem for the child going home. Balloons are a safety hazard on the school bus.

    Reporting Pupil Progress

    • Report cards are sent home at regular intervals throughout the year. Teachers may also send home interim reports during the grading period. Parents may request an interim report if they have a specific concern about progress in a subject area. Report card receipts should be signed and returned to school.

    Student Emergency Cards

    • The school must have an emergency card on file for each student with current names and telephone numbers of people to contact in case of an emergency and who is allowed to pick up your child. If any of the information changes, please notify the school office immediately.

    Parent Teacher Association

    • Our Parent Teacher Association does a tremendous job of promoting a positive educational program. We invite all parent/guardians to become actively involved in any of the many PTA sponsored activities. As a volunteer, room mother, Board member, or officer, you can make a meaningful contribution. Get involved and be a part of the team!

    School Advisory Council

    • The School Advisory Council advises the principal on issues of school-wide concern and will be instrumental in the on-going process of the development, implementation, and evaluation of a School Improvement Plan.
    • All meeting are open to the public.
    • Notices of the meetings and follow-up from the previous meeting will be on our school website.


    Content used with permission of Irby Elementary