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What is a fundamental school?

A fundamental school provides a highly structured learning environment stressing academic performance.  The primary objective is to provide a sound foundation in academic education with emphasis placed on the basic skills in reading, writing and arithmetic, though all strategies are taught.  The foundation in basics will provide for the successful pursuit of higher education and a productive entry into society. 

 Dewey embraces the philosophy that academics and community go hand in hand. We believe that rigor is important to student learning and that parent support of the school’s efforts is essential for student success. We expect parents to commit 12 hours per trimester per child of volunteer time.  This sends a message to the child that school is important and schools and families are a team.

 Respect is an important part of the fundamental philosophy.  We endorse the concept that appropriate behavior is essential to a positive and effective learning environment.  Emphasis is placed on self-discipline, respect for self, respect for others and their property. Our aim is for students to develop an awareness of his/her worth, their place and role in this school and society at large. A positive atmosphere of reinforcing desirable behavior is provided and we expect both school staff and parents to take active roles in implementing this concept in a fair and consistent manner.

Community Service

The school, working in cooperation with the home, will strive to instill in each student a sense of responsibility, citizenship and pride in accomplishment.  Dewey students are involved in community service throughout the year. We start with a fall clothing drive, benefiting several organizations, including the Western Service Workers and the San Juan Unified School District Clothes closet. 

 During November and December we conduct our annual canned food drive, where we team up with the Rotary Club of Fair Oaks to provide holiday food baskets and our Give-Up-A-Gift program, in which the students are asked to “give up” one item on their Christmas list for a less fortunate child.  Gifts are divided between the CHiPs Toy Drive (California Hwy Patrol), who distribute to disadvantaged and hospitalized children and Western Service Workers, who are dedicated to helping the working poor.

 During the early spring students participate in “Pennies for Patients” a fundraiser for Leukemia patients.  We also have a book drive to send books to Sacramento Children’s Home and the River Oaks Center for Children.

 On-going community efforts include “Be-a-Tiger-Helper-Save-All-Toiletry Samples,” the collection of toiletry samples benefits Francis House.


Students have the following rights:

  • Respect from adults and peers.
  • Privacy (including restrooms).
  • Fair treatment.
  • Freedom to express opinions and beliefs in an appropriate manner.
  • Opportunity to progress at their own rate.
  • A positive and collaborative classroom.
  • Competent teachers, adequate materials and facilities.
  • Safe environment—physically and mentally.
  • Rules and expectations that are clearly defined.
  • Freedom from slurs that are racial, ethnic, religious, sexually demeaning, or that relate to handicapped people.

Home Communication

  • Take a look at everything your child brings home. Respond promptly to communications sent by the school, which require a parent signature and/or response.
  • When requested by teacher, parents will promptly acknowledge receipt of homework, work or tests completed and absentee assignments.
  • The absence line is (916) 867-2021 or you can email Parents are asked to communicate when their child in late or absent.  If the school is not notified by 9:30 am, the parent will receive a message.
  • Parents will inform the school if the home situation is changing, difficult or there is an unusual event (i.e. divorce, death, remarriage).
  • Ask your child to tell you about school. Ask how and why questions.
  • Give praise—express encouragement for students’ efforts and accomplishments.
  • Share ideas!


  • The teacher will inform parents of class activities when necessary.
  • The school will send home a weekly school newsletter.
  • Parents will be immediately notified about their child’s quality of work, behavior, academic progress, test results and assignments when necessary.
  • PFO meetings will be scheduled on a regular basis.
  • Parent conferences will occur on a formal and informal basis by appointment.
  • Classes will not be interrupted to give students or teachers messages from parents unless it is an emergency. Calls will not be transferred into the classroom during the school day.


Students are responsible to:

  • Know and follow school rules.
  • Demonstrate respect for:
    • Themselves
    • Others (Peers and adults)
    • Property
    • Possessions
  • Deliver communications to and from home and school (including absence notices).
  • Demonstrate proper conduct in classroom:
    • Neatly completed tasks.
    • Neatly completed and returned homework.
    • Have necessary tools to work.
  • Maintain regular attendance.
  • Arrive on time (No more than 10 minutes early).
  • Be neat and clean at all times.
  • Assignments and projects to be turned in one time.
  • Help keep our school and our community safe
    • We will make sure that our expectations are clear so that you can make sound decisions.
    • We will teach you the guidelines/rules and review them periodically.
  • Strive to be independent and self-directed
    • We will teach you to problem solve and be accountable for decisions and actions.
  • Have fun!
    • You will learn best if you relax, socialize, play and exercise while you’re learning.


Families are expected to:

  • Assure regular attendance and the prompt arrival and departure of their child.
  • Respond promptly to communications sent by the school that require a parent signature and/or response.
  • Notify the school of the reason for a child’s absence.
  • Attend appropriate parent meetings.
  • Help in correcting discipline problems.
  • Support the homework guidelines.
  • Help in the total school program, at school and/or at home. Families are expected to volunteer 1 hour/week/student.
  • Schedule vacations during regular school holidays.
  • Support the dress and grooming guidelines.
  • Encourage a positive attitude toward the school.
  • Sign a commitment to support the philosophy and guidelines of the Dewey Fundamental School program.


Purposeful homework is an important part of the total school program.  After the first two weeks of school, homework will be assigned regularly.

Homework will be used to improve and reinforce skills, develop responsibility and accountability, and encourage good work habits.

Homework must fit the needs of the child and should be understood by the child when it is assigned.  Students will be held accountable for homework assignments and should correct errors.

Homework will not be assigned as a punitive measure.  Each teacher will explain the homework guidelines and classroom practices to the parents and students.  Teachers will be responsible for developing a means of communicating homework assignments to students and parents, such as homework notebooks, folders or assignments sheets. Parents may assist with homework by providing a quiet place, appropriate materials and a regular time to do the work.  Parents should expect homework for students and help ensure that assignments are completed.  Parents of students having difficulty with homework assignments will be expected to contact the teacher for additional help.

Homework will be assigned four times per week (Monday through Thursday) using the following time guidelines:

Kindergarten—15 minutes

Grades 1-2—30-45 minutes

Grades 3-6—45-60 minutes

The average time is dependent on a student’s individual abilities and work pace.  Homework does not include unfinished class work or work missed by absence.  Special projects (art projects, reports) may require additional time.  Students are expected to complete all homework assignments.  Note:  Parents should arrange to pick up student classroom work for an absence and confirm with the teacher when it will be due.

Items left after dismissal may be retrieved if the teacher is still in their classroom. No other staff members will provide access.


  • Boys’ and girls’ pants are to be neat, clean, and in good repair. They must not drag on the ground or be frayed.  Pajamas or clothes that resemble pajamas are not appropriate for school.  Pants should not sag.
  • Shorts and skirts must be fingertip length.
  • Students are required to wear appropriate undergarments which do not show.
  • Tank tops, muscle and mesh shirts are unacceptable attire for school. Sleeveless shirts/blouses must be a minimum of 3” wide.
  • Bare mid-riffs and bare-back attire are not permitted. Low cut or scooped tops that detract from a learning environment are not permitted.
  • Inappropriate messages on patches or clothing are not permitted at school.
  • Flip flops, clogs, elevated platform shoes, high heels, shoes with wheels or sandals without heel straps are considered unsafe and are not to be worn. Bare feet are not permitted.  Shoes with socks should be appropriate for all school activities, including physical education.  Tennis shoes are strongly encouraged.
  • Haircuts should be neat and properly trimmed. Extreme hairstyles such as mohawks, hair carving or any other hairstyle are permitted only at the discretion of the principal. 
  • Head covers (hats, caps, scarves, hoods) of any kind are not to be worn indoors and are to be worn outdoors only as weather conditions deem appropriate.
  • Make up such as lipstick, eye shadow, eye-liner is not permitted.


When providing food and beverages for school events and classroom activities/celebrations, please keep in mind that we have students on campus with allergies. Labeling the ingredients included in homemade items is encouraged so that students can make informed choices about what they eat.  We also ask that parents and families provide healthy treats (whole grains, low fat dairy, fruits, vegetables or protein foods as their main ingredients) whenever possible. We want to ensure that snack items are lower in fat, sugar and sodium and that they provide more of the nutrients children need.


Students have the right to know what is expected of them and what is considered to be appropriate behavior.  School rules will be reviewed and discussed with students regularly in each classroom.  Parents and staff will act as appropriate role models.  By the end of the second week of school in the fall, students will be expected to know the school rules and procedures.


Students have the right to know what is expected of them and what is considered to be appropriate behavior.  School rules will be reviewed and discussed with students regularly in each classroom.  Parents and staff will act as appropriate role models.  By the end of the second week of school in the fall, students will be expected to know the school rules and procedures.

The following will not be allowed:

  • Running in the halls, (use sidewalks to help us keep our grass green and growing).
  • Abusive or obscene language or abusive behavior.
  • Spitting or obscene gestures or disruptive noises.
  • Fighting, teasing, wrestling or chasing games.
  • Bullying behavior of any kind is not tolerated. Bullying is defined as an aggressive behavior that intends to cause harm, distress, and/or humiliation.  Any of the following criteria can be used to define bullying:  imbalance of power (physical or social), repetition of aggressive behavior, one person is humiliated by the behavior and/or another student enjoys the humiliation.  Bullying can by physical or name calling.  Bullying can be social, such as: spreading rumors, excluding others, getting others to bully/call names).  Cyber bullying is considered bullying and will likewise not be tolerated.
  • Gum chewing—except by teacher direction.
  • Roller skates, roller blades, scooters, toys (including electronic games, radios, iPods, cd players, etc.) are not allowed during school hours
  • Skate boards are not allowed on campus at any time.
  • Leaving school grounds without permission.
  • Destruction of school or personal property such as:
    • Writing on walls
    • Littering
    • Improper care of textbooks, furniture and equipment
  • Drinking of alcoholic beverages, smoking, use and/or possession of drugs.
  • Dangerous objects, such as guns, knives or any object that might be considered dangerous.
  • In the cafeteria, (clean up after yourself).
    • Throwing of food
    • Running
    • Loud voices
    • Clean up after yourself


Students are expected to follow the rules of the school.  Non-compliance can result in the following disciplinary measures:

  • Visual warning
  • Verbal warning
  • Loss of privileges
  • Campus community service
  • Parent notification (teacher’s discretion)
  • Principal conference
  • Suspension


Students may be suspended or removed from ongoing instruction for any of the following reasons:

  • Causing, attempting to cause, or threatening to cause physical injury to another person.
  • Possessing, selling or furnishing any unauthorized firearm, knife, explosives or other dangerous object.
  • Possessing, using, selling, furnishing or being under the influence of any controlled substance, alcoholic beverage or intoxicant.
  • Unlawfully offering, arranging or negotiating to sell any controlled substance, an alcoholic beverage, or an intoxicant of any kind, and then either selling, delivering or otherwise furnishing to any person another liquid, substance, or material and/or representing the liquid, substance or material as a controlled substance, alcoholic beverage, or intoxicant.
  • Committing robbery or extortion.
  • Causing or attempting to cause damage to school property or private property.
  • Stealing or attempting to steal school property or private property.
  • Possessing or using tobacco.
  • Committing an obscene act or engaging in habitual profanity or vulgarity.
  • Offering, arranging, or negotiating to sell any drug paraphernalia.
  • Disrupting school activities or willfully defying the valid authority of supervisors, teachers, administrators, school officials or other school personnel engaged in the performance of their duties.

 Students may be expelled or removed from the immediate supervision and control of school personnel for any of the following reasons:

Causing, attempting to cause, or threatening to cause physical injury to another person.
Possessing, selling or furnishing any unauthorized firearm, knife, explosive or other dangerous objects.
Possessing, using, selling, furnishing, or being under the influence of any controlled substance, alcoholic beverage or intoxicant

School arrival/dismissal

Students should not arrive at school before the arrival bell, which rings ten minutes before the start of school—8:25 am.  We request that students and parents wait by the multi-purpose room in front of the school or the kiddie walks.  No student should be on any part of the school campus before 8:25 am. There is no supervision until that time.

Students are expected to arrive at school in a timely manner.  Tardy or late students must stop at the office to check in and have their hand stamped.  Students who do not check in will be marked absent and a parent will be called.  The total number of tardies and absences are reported on each student’s report card each trimester.

Leaving During the School Day

For the safety and protection of your child, your cooperation in the following procedures will be appreciated.

  • Children leaving school during the day for any reason should bring a signed note from the parent or guardian permitting us to excuse your child.
  • The parent or authorized adult must come to the office where he/she will be required to sign the checkout log giving name, relationship, and reason for taking child from school.
  • While the adult is recording this information, the classroom will then be called and asked to send the child to the office.ID will be checked.
  • A child may be checked out by someone other than the parent or guardian only if the parent has given authorization by note, phone call, or the person is listed on the child’s emergency card.

 Dismissal Safety - Drivers

  • Please have a consistent pick up routine for your child no matter who is picking them up. Set a standard location for your child and have each adult adapt to that standard location. 
  • Children being picked up in cars will line up on the sidewalk outside the Kindergarten rooms. Cars will drive single-file through the pick-up area.  Adult supervisors will load the students into the cars.  No cars may be parked and left unattended in the pick-up line.
  • Approach the school of Falcon going west to Goodyear in a one-way direction.
  • During drop off and pick up Falcon Road is a one way street. Do not pass the car line or block neighbor’s driveways.
  • No child will be allowed to cross Falcon Rd.
  • Adults should wait for the dismissal bell in the bike rack area. Do not wait outside the classrooms as this is a distraction for students and teachers.
  • Please observe the parking restriction signs on Falcon Rd. The C.H.P. will site illegally parked vehicles.
  • Students are to be picked up immediately after dismissal. There is no supervision provided beyond that time period.  If students are not picked up and a parent or an emergency contact cannot be reached, the Sheriff’s department will be called.
  • Traffic is a problem. You may want to pick your child up at the Papaya or Rockland kiddie walks.
  • Please observe the 25 mile per hour speed limit on Falcon Road and be respectful of our neighbors by not blocking driveways or access to mailboxes.

Dismissal Safety - Students

  • Students report directly to their dismissal location when the bell rings.
  • Students are attentive to the supervising, adults, looking at and listening to them for information.
  • Students need to be observant as well, noting when their transportation has arrived.
  • All students are to sit on the benches or stand behind them or next to them so that they are facing the carline. No students are to be on the sidewalk in front of the kitchen or behind the planter under the overhang near the cafeteria.
  • Students are to raise their hand and step forward near the curb when they see their vehicle.
  • Students are to be focused on quickly and safely getting in the vehicle; this is not the time for running.
  • This is not the time for playing, chasing, raising voices, nor are there to be balls, recorders or musical instruments out or used.
  • Anyone who is chasing/running will be directed to sit on a bench until picked up.

Emergency Release procedures

In case of a serious emergency that requires the release or relocation of students during school hours, a designated off site location will be assigned by Safe Schools.  Students will be transported to that location and parents will be contacted with further instructions.  Teachers will remain with their class and will have a dismissal log that each parent must sign.  Parents must sign their own children out.  Any other adult picking up a child must have a signed note from the parent or be a designated contact on the emergency card.