The Bright School does not discriminate on the basis of gender, age, race, color, creed, religion, disability, ethnicity, national origin or sexual orientation in the administration of its educational policies, admissions practices, financial aid decisions or other school programs and activities.
School-Wide Policies & Procedures
The Bright School recognizes there are students with life-threatening allergies to certain foods such as peanuts, tree nuts and milk. The school strives to create and maintain a healthy and safe school environment for all students. It is the responsibility of all faculty, staff, students and families to support practices that reduce exposure to allergens and promote the health and comfort of all students.
Parents should notify the school of any food allergies upon enrollment to the school. The student health profile section of the annual enrollment contract for junior pre-kindergarten, pre-kindergarten and kindergarten provides a place to list allergies. The perpetual enrollment contract for grades first through fifth includes a similar student health profile section. Families should keep allergy information updated and inform the school when a new allergy is diagnosed. The school nurse annually reviews student information and will make sure families also have submitted a Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Emergency Care Plan (FARE). Please see the EPI-PENS section for more information.
Reminders to faculty, staff and parents of this policy are distributed at the beginning of each school year.
- The cafeteria is a nut-free zone. No food in the cafeteria contains peanuts or tree nuts.
- Milk is served in the cafeteria, however, the school nurse, teachers and cafeteria staff work with individual students to reduce exposure, provide food alternatives and promote safety.
- If other food allergies exist, the school nurse, teachers and cafeteria staff work with individual students to reduce exposure, provide food alternatives and promote safety.
- Sodexo, the school’s cafeteria vendor, provides snacks for the school. These snacks follow the same guidelines as above.
- Students in junior pre-kindergarten bring lunches from home and eat in their classrooms. These lunches must be nut-free. Should other allergies be present, teachers and parents work together to create a safe environment for all students.
Classrooms, Class and Grade Parties/Functions
- The focus of parties will be activities and games, and they will be held outdoors when possible. Food may include fruit/veggie trays, Chick-fil-a platters, or cheese pizza. Desserts must be purchased through approved vendors. Some pre-packaged snacks may be included.
- All parties or activities that include food or set-up and reserving a location on campus must be approved in advance. Event organizers should complete the event form at least two weeks in advance of the event and include all details, including the food items.
- Please see OUTSIDE FOOD POLICY FOR PARTIES for more information.
- Food may not be consumed on a Bright School bus or bus hired by Bright School unless special permission is given for a specific event.
- Food known to cause allergies to students who routinely ride a Bright School bus or are riding a bus for a field trip or other function is not allowed to be brought on the bus.
- The locations where Bright Afternoons is held are nut-free zones. No food served during these activities contain peanuts or tree nuts.
- Snacks for Bright Afternoons are provided by Sodexo, and the same practices for during the regular school day apply to Bright Afternoons.
After School Sports, Activities and Classes
- The locations where these activities take place are nut-free zones.
- The school will provide a copy of the allergy policy to the directors and instructors for these activities. The directors and instructors must promote the safety of all students participating in their activities.
Happy Cart Room
- This is a nut-free zone.
- The snacks located in the Happy Cart Room are provided by Parents’ Association volunteers. The Parents’ Association will provide a copy of the allergy policy to volunteers to ensure snacks with peanuts or tree nuts are not provided.
- For events such as field trips, athletic events and other activities off campus, school staff and families should communicate concerns regarding allergy-causing foods to promote the safety of all students.
Regular attendance and on-time arrival to school each day is essential for student success. We believe there is no substitute for class attendance and that all students should be at school and in class every day in order to achieve the highest levels of academic excellence. Absenteeism generally results in lower subject grades because of the missed interaction and sharing of information. When absences do occur, it is the responsibility of the student and parents to make sure that the missed work is completed in a timely manner.
All absences must be documented. Documentation should take one or more of these forms:
Parents of a student who will be absent from school should call the school office (423-267-8546) or email the teacher by 9 a.m. to report an illness, injury, or family emergency.
In the case of a long-term illness (longer than three consecutive days), a note from a physician should be sent upon a student's return to school.
In the event of an illness or other unplanned absence, arrangements may be made to pick up assignments and books in the office AT THE END OF THE SCHOOL DAY.Return to Top
During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is the policy of the school for families to keep children at home for 48 hours after a fever subsides without using fever-reducing medication. A child should not be sent to school after taking fever-reducing medication. If there is any question about his/her condition, err on the side of caution. Please see the HEALTH CONCERNS section for more information.
In the event of a planned absence, notification should be submitted to the Head of School, Assistant Head of Curriculum and Instruction and classroom teacher at least two weeks in advance of the planned absence. This will allow the teacher to gather assignments for the student. If necessary, the student and parents may conference with the teacher to make up any work missed upon return.
Parents are requested to schedule all vacations, trips, doctor's appointments, and other planned absences around the published school calendar in order to avoid placing an undue hardship on themselves, their child, and the faculty. The school does not excuse students for early vacation departures or extensions, and teachers are not obligated to honor requests for special accommodations in the event of such absences.
All students are required to be in attendance at school during ERB testing. If a student is ill during this week, he/she will require documentation from a physician in order to make up the test. Please remember that the Secondary Schools require this information during the admissions process at the beginning of the student’s fifth grade year.
Please note: We are required by law to report excessive absences without adequate excuse to the State of Tennessee. When a student reaches 5 absences, parents will be notified by the Head of School with an attendance notification letter. If a student reaches 10 absences, the parents will be asked to meet with the School’s administrative team. If absences continue to accrue after initial notification and meeting, a legal report will be made to the State of Tennessee.
- It is important for students to begin the day in an organized fashion. Morning work is assigned by the teachers, therefore, it is extremely important for students to be on time (prior to 8 a.m.).
- If a student is tardy, he/she must be signed in at the office by a parent and before proceeding to the classroom. Should a student have an excessive number of tardies, parents will be contacted by the administration.
- Students who arrive before 7:45 a.m. are to go to a supervised location. Students in grades junior pre-kindergarten and kindergarten are to report to the library. Students in grades 1-5 should report to the cafeteria.
- A staff member will be present by 7:15 a.m. to welcome and supervise early arrivals in the cafeteria or library. Parents may not leave students at school before 7:15 a.m.
- If a student leaves school for any reason during the day, a parent must sign out the student, stating the reason for the early dismissal. In order for the teacher to be prepared to help the student gather assignments and be ready to leave on time, parents should send a note with the child in the morning.
- The secretary will place a call to the room to let the teacher know when the parent arrives. Under no circumstances will students be allowed to wait in the office.
- Early dismissals should be limited to circumstances that are otherwise unavoidable. Routine extra-curricular activities such as tennis lessons, piano lessons, etc., should not be scheduled at a time that would necessitate early dismissal. It is never acceptable to dismiss a student early in order to avoid the carpool line. Early dismissals between 2:30 and 3 p.m. are strongly discouraged, so parents are urged to schedule accordingly. The regular academic day at Bright School begins at 8 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m.
After school care is offered for the convenience of parents. Bright Afternoons, formerly called Extended Care, involves age-appropriate activities. Light snacks are provided. Students who have not been picked up at afternoon car pool by 3:30 p.m. will automatically be sent to Bright Afternoons and the parents will be billed accordingly. Please see the Bright Afternoons page of our website. Return to Top
Deliveries of bouquets of flowers, balloons, cookies or candy are strongly discouraged. If birthday deliveries are made to the school, they will be kept in the office until dismissal so as to minimize the disruption to and distraction from the instructional process. Parents are cautioned to remember that balloons or other bouquets pose a distraction during dismissal, and may therefore become a safety concern.
Parents may join their children for lunch on their birthdays, but no outside food of any kind is allowed to be brought to school. Parents may bring party favors, toys or small trinkets for the class. Please notify your child's teacher in advance if you are coming for lunch and if you plan to bring party favors. Teachers may prefer to hand out the party favors at the end of the school day.
One day a month will be designated Birthday Day, and we will celebrate all children's birthdays that month with a giant cake that has the names of all the children whose birthdays are that month. Each child in the school will get a piece of cake with lunch that day. Bright School has contracted with B's Sweets to provide these cakes. There will be two sheet cakes. Both will be nut-free, and one will be dye-free. There will be other desserts provided for the children who are vegan or have dairy and gluten allergies.
Our food service provider, Sodexo, offers a variety of nutritious choices for students. Encourage your child to eat healthfully. Students are not allowed to bring their own lunches unless there are dietary restrictions that we are unable to accommodate. If your child has a food allergy or special needs that affect his/her diet, please consult with the cafeteria manager so that she can make the necessary accommodations. These dietary or health concerns MUST be indicated on the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Emergency Care Plan (FARE) form and enrollment contract. Please see the ALLERGIES section for more information. Return to Top
Please visit our school’s website for the most current school calendar. Parents are encouraged to consult the school calendar before planning trips or vacations in order to avoid unnecessary student absences.Return to Top
Arrival and dismissal times at Bright School are hectic, and we urge parents always to be alert and observe the safety guidelines that are in place to protect the children.
- Conscientiously observe the posted speed limit of 5 mph for the school zone when entering or leaving McDade Lane.
- Refrain from using your cell phone when in the car line.
- Follow the directional arrows and always go with the flow of traffic.
- Be considerate of others and do not hold up the car line in order to attend to your child, talk with someone, or to walk your child into the school building.
- Be alert and watchful at all times that a child or other pedestrian has not wandered out in front of your vehicle.
- At arrival in the mornings, do not park in the “aisles” between the rows of parked cars and send or escort your child across the car line. Drop your child off at the concourse with an adult on duty and then park if you are on campus to conduct business that morning.
- Parking is prohibited along the concourse and front door at arrival and dismissal times.
- Student drop-offs and pick-ups are prohibited in the parking lot behind the school.
- Please respect the spaces reserved for the Bright School buses along the curb in front of the columns and for the auctioned parking spaces marked in the parking lot.
- At afternoon dismissal, please do not come onto the concourse to get your child.
- Please send a note in the morning or call with a message (before 2:30 p.m.) if your child’s regular dismissal arrangements have changed. Afternoons are hectic in the office, and we discourage children from calling to confirm their pick-up status. Refrain from emailing this information to the teacher during the day, as she/he may not have a chance to check before dismissal.
- All students not picked up by 3:30 p.m. will be sent to Bright Afternoons. There is a fee for this service.
- If you would like to ride a bicycle to school to drop off or pick up your child, please follow these guidelines for the safety of everyone: wear a helmet, arrive before 7:40 a.m. in the morning drop off and arrive before 2:55 p.m. and take the first position in the car line in the afternoon.
Students are discouraged from bringing cell phones to school. If there are extenuating circumstances that necessitate a student having a cell phone in her/her possession at school, the phone must be turned off during the day and kept in the backpack. The school does not assume responsibility for loss or damage to the phone. Misuse of cell phones at school will result in confiscation of the phone.
Parents are cautioned not to use cell phones during carpool as these may pose a distraction and therefore become a potential safety concern for the school. Parents also are asked to be courteous and considerate, and to silence or turn off phones in all meetings and assemblies.Return to Top
Recognizing that the process of educating children is enhanced by a safe and orderly environment, and in order to effectively govern the behavior of students when they are in our care, the faculty and administration of the school have adopted the following guidelines. Please take a moment to discuss these with your child, being certain that he/she understands how they apply to everyday life.
- Bright School students show respect for the rights and feelings of fellow students and adults.
- Bright School students show respect for both the school’s property and the property of others.
Within this framework, each classroom teacher has created his/her own specific rules to meet the needs of the particular environment. Bright School students are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that reflects a high standard of deportment. Consistent and persistent departure from accepted modes of proper behavior will be addressed first by the classroom teacher and then referred to the Assistant Heads if necessary.Return to Top
Bright School has a comprehensive Responsible Use Policy for technology. Every family is to read, discuss, sign, and return this document to school. The policy is included in materials for Registration Day.Return to Top
Communication between home and school is a key component for student success. Strong partnerships are fostered through open and direct communication. In addressing concerns with a teacher, students and parents are asked to contact the teacher first. If an acceptable resolution is not reached in the initial meeting, proceed in order to the Head of Curriculum and Instruction and finally to the Head of School should the situation so warrant.
There are many avenues of communication available and open between the school and the home.
- Weekly email blasts from classroom teacher
- Woodshop: Sent each Monday to all parents. Includes important information and announcements.
- Agendas: Homework agendas are an organizational tool for students. They should come home daily and will contain a record of the nightly homework and reminders of any upcoming events at school. Please check with students to be sure they are consistently using their agendas.
- Bright School Website: The school’s website may be accessed at www.brightschool.com.
- Weekly Take-Home Packets: These go home regularly from JPK-5 teachers on scheduled days. They contain valuable information such as weekly notes, special memos, graded tests and papers, and may often need to be signed and returned.
- Teachers’ Email and Voicemail: When it becomes necessary to contact a teacher personally, please send an email or leave a voice mail during the day. Bright School teachers regularly check their messages, and they will return your call or email later that day. In an emergency, teachers’ and administrators’ home phone numbers are published in the Bright School Directory. Please be considerate of employees’ family time when calling.
- Social Media: The school maintains social media accounts that include Facebook and Instagram.
There may be situations in which parents do not share the same home. The school is obligated to release a child to either parent unless legal documents have been filed in the office designating otherwise. Please present any legal documents either to the Assistant Head or to the school secretary. These documents are placed in a confidential file, and only pertinent information will be shared with the necessary personnel.
All notices regarding the student’s school related activities shall be sent to the custodial parent of record unless otherwise arranged. As required by state and federal law, and unless specifically prohibited by court decree, report cards and other reports concerning the student’s performance will, upon request, be supplied to the non-custodial parent.
Parents are advised to review all legal documents on file with the school at the beginning of each school year to be sure they reflect the most current court decisions. Whenever a legal decision has been changed, the school needs to be apprised immediately. Out of consideration for your children, please remember that the school and the campus are not an appropriate forum for public discussions of private family matters. If there is any disruptive conflict between parents while on campus, local law enforcement officials will be called to settle the dispute.
In cases where faculty and staff are subpoenaed for court appearances, the school reserves the right to bill the parents of the child(ren) in contention for the costs of substitute personnel necessitated by the subpoena. Additionally, costs related to requests for copying documents from school files or gathering documentation for use in legal proceedings may be billed to the parents.Return to Top
See ATTENDANCE Return to Top
(Also see CELL PHONES)
With rare exceptions, students’ personal electronics have no place at school. School administrators and/or teachers will confiscate any such equipment Permission MUST be granted by a teacher or administrator for any special waiver, and such use must be under the direct supervision of a teacher.
Students commuting on the Bright School buses for Dalton and Signal Mountain students may use personal electronics with individual headphones for entertainment purposes while in transit but such devices are to be left in their backpack during the school day.
With school permission, iPads, e-Readers, tablets and laptop computers may be used for the express purpose of academics, although personal electronics of this type are not recommended for use at school. The protection from the damage or loss of this expensive equipment is the responsibility of the student.Return to Top
In the event of an accident or illness at school, every effort will be made to contact parents immediately. In emergency cases when a parent cannot be contacted and the situation warrants, the school will initiate emergency procedures and contact emergency services.
Bright School has a comprehensive emergency plan. The plan covers any foreseeable emergency. To read this plan, see the Assistant Head of Operations. Each teacher has his/her own copy of the plan.
- Accidents/Injuries: All parents must complete an emergency information and authorization for emergency medical treatment form. First Aid is given in the school office and adjoining “sick room.” If a more serious injury occurs, 911 will be called and parents notified immediately.
- Fire: Students and faculty hold appropriate drills to practice quick and orderly evacuation from the building.
- Tornado: Students and faculty hold appropriate practice drills to seek safe shelter within the building.
- Lockdown: Students and faculty hold practice drills to ensure everyone's safety within the building. Parents and outsiders will not be allowed in the building in the event of a lockdown.
Please see WEATHER-RELATED PROCEDURES for more information.Return to Top
The Bright School recognizes that there are students who have allergies that may require the use of an Epi-Pen. Such allergies may include but are not limited to certain foods, insects, medications, latex and/or asthma. The following are guidelines for parents and students for the use of an Epi-Pen during school hours and/or school sponsored activities.
- A list of all student allergies must be submitted to the school at the beginning of the school year.
- A Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Emergency Care Plan (FARE) is to be filled out for each school year and is to include an updated picture of the student.
- The parent is to supply the school with one or two Epi-Pens. Epi-Pens will be stored in the child’s classroom and/or the front office. A child may keep an Epi-Pen in his/her backpack.
- Per state law, the Epi-Pen should be brought to school in original, pharmacy labeled container. The container shall display: student name, prescription number, medication name and dosage, administration route or other directions, date, licensed prescriber’s name, and pharmacy name, address, and phone number.
- As age appropriate, students should be instructed in the use of their Epi-Pen by their physician and parent on a yearly basis.
- Upon use of an Epi-Pen, 911 (EMS service) will be immediately called and the student will be transported to a local emergency room for further treatment and observation. Parents will be contacted as soon as possible and informed of student’s allergic reaction, use of Epi-Pen and transportation to an emergency facility.
Fighting among students will not be tolerated at Bright School. Students who are involved in physical altercations at school may be subject to immediate suspension or possible dismissal.Return to Top
Firearms, knives, lighters, fireworks and any other explosive or potentially harmful instruments are strictly forbidden on campus at anytime. The administration will confiscate all such items and then place a call to the child’s parents. Any student having any of the aforementioned items in his/her possession while at school may face dismissal.Return to Top
The Bright School recognizes there are students with life-threatening allergies to certain foods such as peanuts, tree nuts and milk. The school strives to create and maintain a healthy and safe school environment for all students. It is the responsibility of all faculty, staff, students and families to support practices that reduce exposure to allergens and promote the health and comfort of all students.
Parents should notify the school of any food allergies upon enrollment to the school. The student health profile section of the annual enrollment contract for junior pre-kindergarten, pre-kindergarten and kindergarten provides a place to list allergies. The perpetual enrollment contract for grades first through fifth includes a similar student health profile section. Families should keep allergy information updated and inform the school when a new allergy is diagnosed. The school nurse annually reviews student information and will make sure families also have submitted a Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Emergency Care Plan (FARE). See the Epi-Pen Policy for more information.
Please see ALLERGIES and OUTSIDE FOOD POLICY FOR PARTIES for more details.Return to Top
If your child forgets to bring his/her homework, books, athletic gear, etc. to school, the items should be taken to the school office and not to the child's classroom. Upon receipt of the items, the secretary will alert the classroom teacher so that the student may pick up the items from the office.Return to Top
Bright School seeks to be a community in which every individual is treated with civility, tolerance, and respect. Physical acts of aggression, name calling, making fun of another person, and other acts of degradation are never tolerated. When such actions cause a student to feel intimidated or demeaned, they constitute harassment and/or bullying.
When differences of opinion or misunderstandings occur, it is hoped that these differences will be resolved directly by the individuals involved. When students cannot informally resolve their differences, they are encouraged to seek mediation through their teachers, Assistant Heads of School, or the school counselor. When mediation does not resolve the dispute, procedures are established to achieve formal resolution.
- Harassment Policy
- Harassment or bullying, whether verbal or physical, is hostile, offensive, or intimidating treatment of a student that interferes with that student's ability to learn and to enjoy the full benefits of the Bright School experience.
- The school will not tolerate harassment of individuals at any time for any reason. These reasons include, but are not limited to, ethnic background, handicaps, physical characteristics, religion, gender, or race.
- If a student thinks he or she has been the victim of harassment or bullying, he or she should consult with one of the following: (1) a teacher (2) the Guidance Counselor, or (3) the Assistant Heads of School.
- The resulting action, aimed at preserving a community characterized by tolerance and mutual respect, might include steps ranging from a warning to separation from the school.
Bright School retains the services of a registered nurse who provides advice for injuries and illness that occur during school hours. All prescription medicines brought to school must be in the original containers and checked in with the school secretary. They must be clearly marked with the child’s name and carry specific physician’s instructions for dispensing.
If a student has a temperature of 100.4 F or higher, he/she should stay home. If your child has a fever of 100.4 or higher while at school, the school nurse will contact the child's parents or guardians to pick up the child. The child should not return to school until the temperature has been normal without fever reducing medication for a minimum of 24 hours.
If your child is experiencing any of the following symptoms you should notify the school nurse and keep your child at home. A student who presents at school with any of the following symptoms should report directly to the school nurse to be evaluated. The nurse will contact the child’s parents/guardians to be picked up from school. Parents should contact their child's primary care doctor to discuss whether a COVID-19 test is required. A test also may be necessary for any siblings currently enrolled at Bright. These symptoms include:
- Fever (l100.4 F or higher)
- Uncontrolled cough
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- New loss of taste or smell
- Or two or more of these symptoms: chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea
Although inhalers and cough drops may stay with the child in certain cases for self-medicating, the nurse and the classroom teacher must have a record of them and monitor their use. No medication (including acetaminophen and ibuprofen) will be given to students without parental permission.
Please see the ALLERGIES and EPI-PENs sections for more information.Return to Top
The state of Tennessee requires that every student provide the school with a certificate of immunization (as defined in TCA § 49-6-5001). New students cannot be allowed to attend The Bright School until the form, signed by a physician, is on file at the school. Certificates of immunization are required each year until the immunization schedule is completed.
The only allowable exemptions are those permitted by state law. Exemptions, signed by parents and notarized, must be filed with the school each year the child is enrolled. In the event of an outbreak of an illness that poses a health risk, the school reserves the right to exclude exempted students from school.Return to Top
Bright School carries a basic secondary insurance policy on each student covering the time that the student is involved in a school activity. Parents should contact the Business Office for information on filing any claims for injuries sustained while at school or on a school-sponsored activity or trip.Return to Top
When misplaced items are found around the school, they are deposited in a bin in the short hallway off the concourse closest to the main office. If an item is lost, please check the bin first to see if it is there. Unclaimed items that are not labeled with a student’s name are taken to a local charity quarterly or, in the case of school uniform attire, placed in the used uniform sale. Please remember to clearly mark your child’s possessions for easy identification.Return to Top
When necessary, there are several options for getting a message to your child’s teacher. Parents may:
- Send an email.
- Leave a message on the teacher’s voicemail. All teacher extensions are listed in the school directory.
- Call the office and leave a message for the teacher.
- Come by the office and leave a message in the teacher’s box.
Please note that teachers may not have the opportunity to check voice mail or email during the school day. CALL EARLY as teachers usually check their boxes first thing in the morning and again around lunchtime.
Notification of emergency changes must be called in to the office no later than by 2 p.m. in order to guarantee timely delivery to your children. Please, do not go to the classroom during the day, as this is disruptive to the instructional process.Return to Top
The following guidelines are required when bringing outside food into the school:
Celebrations are a fun part of elementary school. At The Bright School, we seek to mark holidays and special days with fun events that are centered around activities instead of food. Food allergies, particularly for nuts, dairy and gluten, affect many students and adults and limit the ways people can enjoy an event if it is centered around food. In addition, we believe in promoting the safety and well-being of our community through healthy choices.
Class events are planned by teachers in conjunction with room reps. These are the foods that may be included at a class party:
- Vegetable/fruit trays, Chick-fil-a trays and cheese pizza are acceptable and generally allergen-free.
- Desserts may be purchased at B's Sweets, Julie Darlings' Donuts and Signal Mountain Cookie Lady, which have been vetted for adherance to allergy-free items.
Any additional food selections not included in the recommended list are to be listed on the events request form to be reviewed and approved by the Events Committee based on allergies within the referenced grade level.
Pre-packaged items are allowed if approved by the Events Committee.
No nuts of any kind, including peanut butter, are allowed. Do not bring food items with an allergy and ingredient alert such as:“May Contain Peanut or Tree Nuts”; “Processed on shared equipment with Peanuts or Tree Nuts”; “Manufactured in a plant with Peanut or Tree Nuts”; “Contains Peanut or Tree Nut Ingredients”
All parties or activities that include food or set-up and reserving a location on campus must be approved in advance. Event organizers should complete the event form at least two weeks in advance of the event and include all details, including the food items.
The birthday celebration policy was amended this year to reflect restrictions due to COVID-19. Parents or other guests may visit for lunch on a child's birthday. Parents should let teachers know when they plan to come to lunch. Visitors need to check in at Mrs. Jackson's desk upon arrival.
Birthdays are celebrated on one day per month, and all children will receive a piece of birthday cake at lunch. Names of students celebrating a birthday that month will be announced over the loudspeaker before lunch.
Parents may bring or send non-edible trinkets for all students in the class on the child's birthday or day closest to it. Please coordinate these gifts in advance with your child's teacher.
All questions regarding this policy should be directed to assistant heads of school Renee' Kropff and Kendra Reasor.
When a parent wishes to have a conference with his/her child's teacher(s), he/she should contact the teacher by phone or email to arrange a mutually amenable time. Similarly, an administrator or teacher may contact parents to arrange a needed conference at school to discuss a child's progress. In addition, each teacher through fifth grade holds formal conferences with individual students’ parents twice a year, and parents are strongly encouraged to take advantage of these opportunities. Appointments for formal conferences are scheduled through the online Parent Portal.Return to Top
Distribution of party invitations (birthday or other) on campus is discouraged unless the student’s entire class or grade level is included, or unless you are inviting all the boys/all the girls in the class. This will avoid hurting the feelings of any child who might not be invited.
There are times that a student may want to invite his/her entire homeroom and just a few students from another homeroom. Whenever this is the case, please send out invitations from home. If you choose to distribute invitations to an entire group, please do so at the end of the day to avoid unnecessary disruption of the instructional process. In addition, always check to see if just a few students have been left off an invitation list, as this may seem to be a deliberate exclusion and therefore more hurtful to the child/children who were left out.
If you are hosting a party directly after school, please arrange transportation discreetly and not from the campus. Parents are also strongly encouraged to hold all parties on weekends and not on school nights.Return to Top
Students are not to bring toys or other personal property to school. Toy guns, knives, or weapons (simulated or real) are never allowed at school. No child should bring more than a small amount of change to school any day, and as a rule, even small change is best left at home. Students are not to bring items from home to sell at the school.
Personal property of significant value, such as musical instruments, is brought to school at the owner's risk and is not covered under the school's insurance policy. It is strongly recommended that such items not be left at school for extended periods of time. (Please see Electronic Equipment policy for additional information.)Return to Top
(See “HEALTH CONCERNS”)Return to Top
Re-enrollment contracts are mailed to parents the first week of February each year for rising pre-kindergarten and kindergarten. They are to be returned by the end of February in order to reserve the child’s spot for the next school year. The contract for kindergarten is a perpetual enrollment contract that remains valid through fifth grade. Families with a child in rising grades 1-5 must let the school know by January 31, preceding the next school year, if the child is returning the following year.
When a student is experiencing significant academic, social and/or behavioral difficulty beyond the scope of our resources, a review will be conducted to determine whether continuation at the Bright School serves the best educational interests of the child. In such cases, the re-enrollment contract will be held until the determination is made. Re-enrollment contracts will also be held in the case of any family with a delinquent account unless specific arrangements have been made with the business office.Return to Top
Nutritious snacks are provided each day through our dining services provider, Sodexo, and follow the guidelines set forth in the food allergy policy. Snacks, like lunches, should not be brought from home unless there are dietary restrictions which are indicated on your child’s medical form.
Chewing gum and candy may not be eaten in any of the common areas of the school including the hallways and the concourse. Chewing gum is allowed in the classroom only at the discretion of and with the express permission from the classroom teacher and for use only at that particular time. While it is understood that chewing gum may assist some students with focusing, it is never allowed outside of the classroom.Return to Top
The school reserves the unconditional right to suspend, expel or ask not to return, any student at any time for consistent or persistent breach of normal school protocol, including academics, behavior or attitude, or if the parents’ relationship with the school becomes uncooperative or adversarial, or for the parents’ failure to meet financial obligations to the school.Return to Top
Parents may not request a specific teacher for their child. Pertinent information from the parents submitted in writing to the Assistant Head of School for Curriculum and Instruction before the end of the school year may be a consideration when assigning students to a teacher. Several factors are taken into consideration when making student assignments.Return to Top
The telephone is for school business. Students will be called from class for emergencies ONLY. Parents are requested not to call in messages unless it is absolutely necessary. Social arrangements and carpool changes should be made prior to the school day as much as is possible. Likewise, students are not permitted to use the phone unless a specific, legitimate need is perceived by a teacher, who may grant an exception.Return to Top
The Bright School campus is a non-smoking environment.Return to Top
(See PERSONAL PROPERTY) Return to Top
(See ATTENDANCE) Return to Top
All visitors and parents must sign in at the office and receive and display a visitor or parent volunteer badge. All student visitations must be prearranged through the office. Under no circumstances should any visitor, including parents and volunteers, proceed to any classroom without authorization from the school office.Return to Top
Bright School does not necessarily follow the local public schools’ closings or delays during inclement weather. Information stating whether school will be open, closed, or run on a delayed schedule will be communicated to families via the school’s text alert system and email, released to the major radio and TV stations, and posted on the school’s website and social media accounts. Parents, of course, are expected to use their own good judgment as to whether conditions in their neighborhood preclude a student from arriving safely at school.
Some weather conditions during school hours require students, faculty and staff to seek shelter within the school. During a tornado warning issued by the National Weather Service, students, faculty and staff are required to take shelter during the length of the warning. A tornado warning means a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. A tornado watch means tornadoes may occur and taking shelter is not required in schools. The school will not dismiss students to parents who attempt to pick up their children during a tornado warning, and, if the warning takes place at the time for afternoon dismissal, start of the car line will be delayed until the warning ends.Return to Top
Academic Policies & Procedures
Students are issued books by the homeroom teacher. An appropriate fee will be charged for any textbook lost or damaged beyond normal use.Return to Top
Our comprehensive curriculum is grounded in research-based practices and centered on the academic needs of each individual learner. Children are challenged to meet their academic potential while opportunities for creative growth are provided in music, the visual arts, foreign languages, and technology. Students learn to think critically, solve problems, be creative, and become confident, independent learners. Classroom experiences build a firm foundation upon which students become wise and compassionate citizens of the world. Bright School prides itself in providing a child-centered education for all students. Inter-disciplinary units of inquiry that are relevant, authentic, and developmentally appropriate engage students at each grade level. Our program offerings emphasize citizenship, the joy of learning, and confidence within a nurturing environment. For a detailed description of our curriculum, please see the Program section of the website.Return to Top
A student’s educational records are strictly confidential and are available to school personnel only. If the custodial parents(s) wishes copies sent elsewhere, written notification should be sent to the school office.Return to Top
If a student is referred to any outside agency or professional for academic evaluation, testing, or tutoring, a copy of the report/evaluation MUST be provided to the school. These records are highly confidential and are never included with any transcripts released to another school without the express permission of the custodial parents.
As a matter of common practice, all student evaluations, recommendations, formal transcripts etc. requested by any outside agency or professional on behalf of a parent must come through the Kilbride Enrichment Center and the Assistant Heads. Completed forms are not returned to parents, but are forwarded directly to the agency requesting the information. Bright School does not initiate or solicit outside intervention on behalf of any student, nor does the school respond to any solicitation without the written consent of the custodial parent.Return to Top
Field trips are an important part of the curriculum and vary depending on the grade level. Permission forms for each trip will be sent home in advance. Field trips are paid in advance by parents.Return to Top
The purpose of homework is to reinforce skills and allow time for practice. Consistent homework fosters effective work habits and teaches responsibility. Regular homework will be assigned in grades 1-5. The length of assignments varies according to the grade.Return to Top
In grades Pre-K – 2, the Head of Curriculum and Instruction, in consultation with the classroom teacher shall determine promotion. Many factors including the child’s age and physical development, his or her ability to do independent work appropriate to the grade level, and relationships with peers will be taken into consideration. Bright School attempts to keep families fully informed about the possibility of retention. This information is discussed through a conference with parents and progressed is closely monitored throughout the school year. The school waits until late April or early May to make a final decision. As with placement, parents are involved in the discussion process, but the school maintains the right to make the final decision.Return to Top
Bright School’s academic year consists of three trimester grading periods, each approximately 12 weeks. Report cards are sent home at the end of each trimester. Each classroom teacher is responsible for providing parents and students with grading marks and a narrative description of student growth and progress. One copy of each report card will be sent home and parents can access a PDF version from the parent portal.
- Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten:
Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten utilizes a developmental skills checklist to report student progress at the end of each trimester. In the early childhood grades, student progress is reported utilizing the following scale:
- B – Beginning
- D – Developing
- S – Secure
- First and Second Grades:
In the primary grades, student progress is reported utilizing the following scale:
- M – Meeting Expectations
- P – Progressing Towards Expectations
- N – Not Yet Meeting Expectations
ï Third, Fourth and Fifth Grades:
In the intermediate grade levels, the following numerical scale is utilized for reporting student academic progress.
90 - 100
80 - 89
70 - 79
69 - 70
In addition to a numerical grade, the student receives an Effort grade on the report card for each discipline as well as a grade for Social Growth and Work Habits. These are recorded as follows:
- M – Meeting Expectations
- P – Progressing Towards Expectations
- N – Not Yet Meeting Expectations
Parents are encouraged to initiate independent tutoring only after thorough consultation with teachers and administrators. It is essential that parents notify the school if their child is being tutored. Students may meet with instructors for extra help at a time amenable to both. Should a child require special tutoring or significant remediation, parents will be consulted as a matter of routine protocol.Return to Top
Standardized testing is an important component of student assessment and evaluation, but more importantly informs our curriculum and classroom instruction. Bright School uses two different tests published by the Educational Records Bureau (ERB). Kindergarten, first grade, and second grade students take the Children’s Progress Academic Assessment (CPAA) five times a year. The CPAA assesses student progress in the areas of literacy and math. Second grade students take the Otis Lennon School Ability Test (OL-SAT) once a year. Third, fourth, and fifth grade students take the Comprehensive Testing Program, 4th edition (CTP-4) in January. The CTP-4 assesses student achievement in the areas of reading, writing, and math. Dates for the CTP-4 are announced at the beginning of the school year. Please do not schedule appointments or trips during these testing times. The information that we gather from these assessments is a vital piece of every student’s portfolio of permanent academic records.Return to Top
BONANZA: Annual school fall festival exclusively for Bright School families
THE BRIGHT FUND: The Bright Fund is our school's annual giving program that enables us to support our most valuable assets - our students and teachers.
BRIGHT SCHOOL LUNCH: Traditional lunch of ground beef, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, and a roll, served since the early days of Miss Bright’s administration
BRIGHT SCHOOL “FREE DRESS” DAY: These are days students are allowed to wear non-uniform clothes to school. These days are earned by students reaching goals set forth for the Parents’ Association’s annual fundraising program, Charleston Wrap, or other special events. These days are scheduled on the calendar and will be communicated to parents.
BRIGHT SCHOOL MUSEUM: Located in the KEC (Kilbride Enrichment Center). The museum chronicles the beginning and life of The Bright School.
BRIGHT SCHOOL PICNIC: Annual family picnic and outing held at Cross Creek Farms in May; heavily steeped in tradition, the picnic dates to 1913-14, the inaugural year of the school.
BRIGHT SCHOOL T-SHIRT DAY: These are scheduled days in which students are allowed to wear purchased Bright School t-shirts with uniform bottoms.
BUDDIES: At the beginning of the school year, fifth grade mentors are assigned to Kindergarteners. These upper school “buddies” help the younger ones by reading and doing crafts with them. Special outings and field days are arranged for “buddies” to have fun together.
CENTENNIAL THEATER: The facility seats 400-people and is utilized to showcase the many talents of our current students, alumni and other fine art organizations.
CHARLESTON WRAP: Annual Parents’ Association fundraiser; proceeds benefit school improvements and projects.
CONCOURSE: The covered portico in front of the courtyard where students are dropped off in the morning and picked up in the afternoon; outdoor receptions are also held here.
ECC: The Early Childhood Center which houses the junior pre-kindergarten (JPK), pre-kindergarten (PK) and kindergarten classrooms.
ENCHANTED FOREST NATURAL PLAYGROUND: Located beside the ECC (Early Childhood Center), this natural playground is a place of enchantment, mystery and discovery for our youngest students.
GMAC: The Gus McCravey ’01 Athletic Complex (GMAC) was formally dedicated on May 14, 2016. The track and field is named for McCravey, a Bright alumnus who died in 2011.
GUERRY INTERNATIONAL PLAZA: Located on “The Hill” at the entrance to the school, this plaza features flags of the nationalities of currently enrolled Bright School students. Flags from over 22 countries are on display.
HANDBELL ROOM: The practice room for hand bells located on the second floor of Miss Bright’s apartment.
THE HILL: The playground located on the hill to the left of the entrance to the school
THE KEC: The Kilbride Enrichment Center which houses the Instructional Support Specialists and the School Guidance Counselor. The Bright School Museum is located in this area.
LABYRINTH: The large, circular meditation and teaching path modeled on the design from The Cathedral of Chartres, France, located on the hill playground
MISS BRIGHT’S APARTMENT: Built in 1963 for school founder Mary G. Bright, it was never actually occupied as a residence; today, it houses the German classroom, storage, and the PA office.
MONDAY MEETINGS: An assembly in the Centennial Theater held each Monday morning and run by fifth grade students, who lead the school in the Pledge of Allegiance, make announcements, recognize birthdays and lead in the singing of The Bright School Song.
THE MONDO: The gated play area adjacent to the Early Childhood Center and the library; so called because of the name of the colorful surface with which it is covered
PA: Parents’ Association; every parent is automatically a member. The PA provides financial assistance and volunteers for a variety of important school programs
PAJAMA PARTY AUCTION: An online auction held each year in the fall to benefit the Bright Fund. Students celebrate the end of the auction by having a pajama day, in which they wear pajamas to school.
PEEPLES PAVILION: The official name for the outdoor classroom and gardens made possible through the generosity of the Peeples family. The open-sided structure built in 2007 adjacent to the Kilbride Center is used for both classes and special receptions
WOODSHOP: The traditional woodworking class at Bright and the name of the email sent each Monday morning to parents about school-wide announcements.