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School Policies

The Jefferson Davis Parish School Board and James Ward Elementary School strive to employ teachers who are highly qualified to perform the duty of providing students with an educational environment which encourages future success of all students. This handbook has been prepared for students and families as a source of information on school policies.  If the information needed is not in the handbook, the student or parent should consult with the homeroom teacher, guidance counselor, or administrators.  Information in this handbook is reviewed and updated annually.  The information is subject to change as required to insure effective application of the policies of the school, the Jefferson Davis Parish School Board, and the state and federal governments. 

All parish policies and procedures that are adopted take precedence over any policy that appears in this handbook if there is a conflict.  If you have questions about the contents of this handbook, please call our office at 824-1235.  

Information in this handbook is subject to change as required to insure effective application of the policies of the school, the Jefferson Davis Parish School Board, and the state and federal governments.  All parish policies and procedures that are adopted take precedence over any policy that appears in this handbook if there is a conflict.

If you have questions about the contents of this handbook, please call our office at 824-1235.

Tanya Gaudet, Principal

Erica Arabie, Assistant Principal


Jefferson Davis Parish School System will provide all students with educational opportunities to achieve success in a multicultural global society.

Visitors are welcome every day!

… however, all visitors must report to the office before visiting any part of the school -- no matter the time, length, or reason of the visit.  This rule places the children’s safety first every day.



Aug. 7, 2019              State Professional Development Day

Aug.08, 2019                                    Teacher In-Service Day

Aug. 9, 2019                       1st & 2nd Grade Students Report

Aug. 13, 2019      PreK and Kindergarten Students Report

Sept. 2, 2019                                                            Labor Day

Sept. 3, 2019                                    Teacher Workshop Day

Oct. 3, 2019              State Professional Development Day

Oct. 4, 2019                                                     Parish Fair Day

Oct. 15, 2019                                           End of First Quarter

Nov. 25-29, 2019                               Thanksgiving Vacation

Dec. 23, 2019, to Jan. 03, 2020                Christmas Break

Jan. 6, 2020                                                   Return to school

Jan. 6, 2020                                   First Semester / 2Q Ends

Jan. 20, 2020                                     Martin Luther King Day

Feb. 24, 2020                                   American Heritage Day

Feb. 25, 2020                                           Mardi Gras Holiday

Feb. 26, 2020                                   Teacher Workshop Day

Mar. 12, 2020                                         End of Third Quarter

Apr. 10-17, 2020                 Spring Break / Easter Holidays

May 21, 2020                      Last Day of School for Students

May 22, 2020                                        Teacher Record Day


Guidelines for the Accelerated Reader program will be handed out at the beginning of each school year.  No grades will be assigned for Accelerated Reader. 


        If a student’s health information, address, phone number, or emergency contact information changes, inform the office as soon as possible by calling 824-1235.


        A student entering school in Jeff Davis Parish must present his/her birth certificate, current immunization (shot) record, Social Security card, and proof of residence, if requested, in order to register.

        Custody Issues:  Families and guardians are asked to supply copies of custody papers or other judicial orders if one or both families do not have parental rights or have limited rights. Without a legal document restricting parental rights, the child may be released to either parent.

The recommended initial entry level for all students in the Jeff Davis Parish School is pre-kindergarten. The minimum age for all students to enter school is as follows:       

  • Pre-K: 4 years old by Sept. 30
  • Kindergarten: 5 years old by Sept. 30
  • First Grade: 6 years old by Sept. 30


A screening test will be administered to all students entering kindergarten.  The test is used along with other measures to plan instructional and remedial activities.

As a prerequisite to enrollment in first grade, every child shall meet one of the following requirements:

  • Have attended at least a full-day public or approved private kindergarten for a full year,
  • Or, meet criteria for promotion from kindergarten.


Every effort is made to contact your family when a child has not been picked up from school or after-school detention. Please contact the school if an emergency occurs. As a last resort, children who are not picked up in a reasonable amount of time may be referred to the local juvenile authorities for assistance in getting them home.


Students should arrive after 7 A.M.  Teacher and staff duty begins at 7 A.M.  Breakfast is served from 7 to 7:27 A.M.  Students who do not ride buses should arrive at school between 7:10 and 7:25 A.M.

Please use the school’s assigned drop-off and pick-up area and enter from Shankland Avenue.  Personnel are assigned in this drive-through area to receive the children from PreK to Grade 2 by opening car doors and guiding them as they enter the building in a safe manner.

Only busses may use the horseshoe drive in the morning. Students should not be dropped off in any area on North Main Street or Shankland Avenue.

Pre-K and kindergarten dismissal begins at 2:35 P.M.

Students in Pre-K, Kindergarten, Grade 1, and Grade 2 who walk home leave at 2:45 p.m.  Students in Grades 1 and 2 who are car riders report to the car pick-up area at 2:45 p.m.  Buses leave from 2:45 p.m.

If a child needs to leave school during the day, the parent, guardian, or designated responsible adult must check the child out through the office.

ARRIVAL – Morning Parent Procedures

All families will use the following procedures for morning arrival.  During the first week families may walk children to their classrooms to ease the back-to-school transition.  After the first week, families must use the carline and / or busses to drop their students at school.  Families or other guests may visit the classrooms if a conference has been scheduled.  This reduces congestion and often difficult separation periods in the morning.  Other arrangements may be made for special needs students.


The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) has approved policy changes effective Sept. 2010.

     In order for elementary students to be promoted, students must attend 94% of the required time.  Based on our school calendar of 177 days, students may not exceed 16 instructional days per year, or 8 instructional days per semester of absences.  The only exceptions to the attendance regulations as verified by the Director of Child Welfare and Attendance are newly defined by State Law. These extenuating circumstances are:

1.     extended personal physical or emotional illness in which a student is absent for three or more consecutive school days as verified by a physician or nurse practitioner licensed in the state;

2.     extended hospital stay in which a student is absent for three or more consecutive school days as verified by a physician or dentist;

3.     extended recuperation from an accident in which a student is absent for three or more consecutive school days as verified by a physician, dentist, or nurse practitioner licensed in the state;

4.     extended contagious disease within a family in which a student is absent for three or more consecutive school days as verified by a physician or dentist licensed in the state; or

   5.    observance of special and recognized holidays of the student's own faith.

For other extenuating circumstances, families must make a formal appeal to the Director of Attendance through the school principal in advance of the missed days if possible.  Examples: Military Deployment, Court Appearances.

All excuses, including original doctor/dentist verification, for a student’s absence must be presented to the school within five (5) days of the student’s return to school to be considered for extenuating circumstances.

Denial of Credit Procedure: When a student has exceeded the allowable days of absence as defined by the new 94% mandate and no extenuating circumstances are documented, a committee appointed by the Principal will review the student’s absences before credit or promotion is denied.  If no extenuating circumstances are confirmed by the committee, the student and families will be notified in writing of the decision to deny credit or promotion. An appeal may be made to the Director of Child Welfare & Attendance 824-2003.

Tardies:  Students shall not exceed five (5) tardies per year.  Tardiness consists of a student arriving in class after the tardy bell rings at 7:30 a.m.  It shall also include leaving or checking out of school unexcused prior to the regular dismissal time at the end of the school day.  PreK and Kindergarten dismiss at 2:30 p.m.; first and second grade dismiss at 2:45 p.m. Students must be signed out of the office if they leave before these times.

The Office of School Welfare and Attendance will press charges against any parent, tutor, or other person residing within Jefferson Davis Parish who has control or is in charge of any child that is legally enrolled in our schools and violates the Compulsory Attendance Law.

Students who exceed 16 days of absence, who are at risk of failure due to absences or who are habitually tardy will be referred to the JDP Truancy Court.  Families and students must attend the Truancy Court before the judge and other officials. Fees from $25 - $100 per referral will be collected at court. 

In cases of habitual absences or tardiness, consequences to parent/legal guardian in the new law may include:

1st offense shall be punishable by a fine of not more than fifty dollars ($50) or the performance of not less than twenty-five (25) hours of community service.

Any subsequent offense shall be punishable in accordance with R.S. 17:221 (A)(2) which states: “Whoever violates the provisions of this Subsection or R.S. 17:234 shall be fined not more than two hundred and fifty dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days, or both.

According to State law and ACT 745 -- regarding amendments and reenactment of LA R.S. 17:233 (B)(1) and LA R.S. 17:233(C), habitual absences and tardiness, Truancy Court for the 2010-2011 school year will occur on a regular basis.   If your student meets the criteria listed below, he/she may be referred to Truancy Court which is an informal court process and intervention strategy of the Jeff Davis Parish 31st Judicial District Families in Need of Services Program (FINS), Truancy Assessment Service Center (TASC), and the Jeff Davis Parish School’s Child Welfare & Attendance Program: 

Students who exceed 5 days unexcused absence or five unexcused tardies to include early sign outs by families within a school year or as deemed eligible by the Director of Attendance referral, and who do not provide a valid excuse according to the criteria listed above may be referred to Truancy Court.

Interventions may include student and/or parent counseling, required school bus ridership, surrendering of driver’s license, or driving permits, or hunting/fishing license, Saturday community service, and court fees.

In cases of non-compliance, continued absences or occurrences of being tardy, or when interventions fail to correct the problem, violations may be referred to formal court where additional penalties may be imposed upon the parent/legal guardian and/or student.

If you have any concerns regarding school attendance, contact the office at 824-1235 or the director of attendance at 824-2003.


Doctor, dentist, and parent excuses are required no later than five (5) school days after the absence.  After five days the excuse will not be accepted, and the absence will be considered unexcused.  Administrators may extend this deadline if the situation warrants.


At the end of every nine-week period and the end of the year, James Ward Elementary conducts an assembly program to reward students who have made the honor roll and have perfect attendance or recognized leadership.

The criteria for receiving an honor roll certificate follows:  Students who have no grade lower than Satisfactory in all areas or have no grade lower than a B in all subject areas are considered honor roll students.   Conduct is not included for 1st and 2nd grade students.  Handwriting is not counted for honor roll.

Perfect attendance awards are given to those students who have not missed a day of school for the nine-week period or the entire year.

Awards Day programs will be held each nine-week period (usually a few days after report cards are issued).  Newsletters are sent home with students giving specific dates and times.  Kindergarten awards are at 11:35 a.m. 1st Grade, 8 a.m. and 2nd grade at 1:30 p.m.


All changes in regular dismissal plans (bus or car) must be received by noon in writing. Families should write a note and send with the child in the morning.  If plans change after the student is at school, the parent should come to the school and fill out a dismissal change form in the office.


        Early checkouts from school are logged in the school computer.  Repeatedly checking out from school will result in consequences similar to morning tardiness (i.e. letters sent home, Truancy Court, referral etc.).  See Tardiness.


No student shall use, possess, or operate any electronic device (pager, cell phone, intercom, CD player, game system, etc.) in any school, on the grounds, or in any school bus, unless in the event of an emergency as declared by the principal or his/her designee or after regular school hours.

Students who accidentally bring cellphones to school are required to voluntarily submit them to the principal or his/her designee upon arriving at school.  Students who submit their telecommunications devices to the principal shall have them returned at the end of the school day.  A violation of these provisions may be grounds for discipline, including, but not limited to, suspension from school.  A properly authorized medical device worn by a student shall not violate this policy.

The Jefferson Davis Parish Association of Principals established that any student in sixth grade or above shall be suspended from school if found to be in possession of a cell phone.  This includes school grounds and buses.


Families are required to fill out a permission form before students are allowed to participate in field trips.  The teachers will remain with students until all students have been picked up from school.  

Jeff Davis Parish policy requires all students to go to the field trip and return by parish school bus.



All students in Jennings schools participate in free breakfast and lunch through a federal grant.

The school lunch consists of meat, grain and bread products, vegetables, fruits, and milk.  No carbonated drinks are allowed in the cafeteria.

If a student is allergic to milk, the cafeteria must have a note from a doctor stating such; then the cafeteria will provide full strength juice or water for the child.

Families or guardians may call the cafeteria at 824-4044 for more information.


JDP School Board policy states that medication shall not be given to or taken by students at school with limited exception.  Students will not have any type of medication in their possession (including aspirin or cough drops) on school property.  Medication found in a student’s possession at school shall be taken from the student and reported to the principal who shall contact the parent.  The student may be suspended from school.  This policy is designed to protect the well-being of students, families, and school personnel.  Please cooperate by planning medication use during non-school hours when possible.

Please note that cough drops, aspirin, medicated Chapstick, throat/vitamin drops, eye drops, and nasal sprays are medication and are subject to drug-related disciplinary rules.  However, if families write a note and the student gets a principal or assistant principal’s signature on the note, he/she may have peppermint candy during class to help with coughs.

        Very ill students will be sent home after contacting families or guardian. Students recovering from short-term acute illness should remain at home until the need for medication no longer exists. Families or guardians may, with principal approval, give medication to their children at school. Teachers may not give medication to students.

If a child has a medical condition or a change in a condition even if no medication needs to be given at school, families are asked to inform the nurse so that correct records can be kept on file.

Special Circumstances: When there are special needs because of permanent or long-term health issues and medication is needed to assure school attendance of the student, arrangements by the parent or legal guardian of the student shall be made with the principal of the school for the student to receive required medication. The doctor must authorize medication given at school. Required paperwork is available at the office. Call the school nurse at 824-1235 for information.


A parent may request that a student use a name other than his/her legal one; however, the student’s legal name will remain on the child’s permanent records.


Families are encouraged to take an active role in the progress of their children and to call the school at any time for an appointment to visit with teachers, the counselor, or principal.  With the safety and best interest of students at heart, all visitors are required to report to the office before visiting any part of the campus -- no matter the time, length, or reason of the visit. 

Even if an appointment is scheduled with a teacher, the parent must report to the office to sign in and receive a badge to carry as he/she visits the class.  The badge must be returned to the office when the parent leaves school.

There are many ways to be involved at school:

A.  Volunteer substitute teachers

B.  Volunteer teacher aides

C.  Chaperones for school-sponsored trips

D.  Parent monitoring during state testing

E.  IEP and EP Conferences

Families involved in their children’s education make a difference and everyone benefits from this partnership –children, families, and schools.  Students achieve, schools improve, and families feel rewarded because they know they’ve increased their children’s chances for success.


     At least two (2) parent-teacher conferences shall be scheduled by teachers during the first semester of each school year.  At least one (1) parent or guardian of the child shall attend or participate in at least one (1) of the scheduled parent-teacher conferences.  

    A teacher may elect to not require a parent or guardian to attend a conference if the student’s academic record is satisfactory.  Other conferences may be scheduled as the need arises.

      The School Board shall direct the Superintendent to establish regulations regarding the failure of the parent or guardian to attend at least one (1) of the scheduled parent-teacher conferences.  Said regulations shall not include any negative action against the student as a result of the families/guardians not attending the required parent-teacher conference.

The principal or supervisor should be present at any parent-teacher conference when there is reason to anticipate a dispute.


Teachers often take pictures and videos of students as a part of class activities and/or special occasions and then display these in the classroom, in other areas of the school, and sometimes in newspapers.  Teachers also prepare PowerPoint presentations including pictures of students and share these presentations with other classes and even with other schools. Students enjoy this recognition tremendously. 

Families will be asked to sign a permission form each year to release the students’ names and photographs for awards day, honor roll, and other special occasions.


This policy applies to students in grades K to 2 including exceptional students in specially designed regular instructional programs and limited English proficient (LEP) students.

The School Building Intervention Team (SBIT) is designated by the principal to review student information and make placement decisions.

Attendance Requirements

K-8 students must attend 165 days, except in cases where extenuating circumstances exist. These situations will be reviewed by the Supervisor of Child Welfare and Attendance and the Principal.

Grading Scale

Grades shall be determined using the following scale:

Letter      4.0 Scale           % Scale      Other                       

A             3.5-4.0               93 - 100       Satisfactory

B             2.5-3.49             85 – 92

C             1.5-2.49             75 - 84         Needs Improvement

D             1.0-1.49             67 – 74

F              0.0-0.99             00 - 66         Unsatisfactory


Limited English Proficient (LEP) Students

    Promotion/retention policies for limited English proficient (LEP) students in a regular instructional program are the same as for regular students.  No limited English proficient student shall be retained based solely on a lack of English dependent courses (i.e. science and social studies) until the student develops a degree of proficiency in the English language (i.e. reading and writing skills).

    LEP students shall be provided language services which address their need for becoming fluent and literate in English.  They shall be provided instructional programs which foster their success in math, science, social studies, and language arts.

    LEP students in grades K-8 should receive instructional modifications in the regular classroom. This plan cannot negate any applicable federal or state laws, statutes, or court decisions regarding the education of LEP students.  LEP students will not be placed in language.


  1. Kindergarten students will begin receiving grades in the fourth week of the first nine-week period. Grades of S, N and U will be assigned.  At least six major grades are required; the lowest grade – not including the quarterly exam -- will be dropped.
  2. Attain 80% on Kindergarten Level English Language Arts objectives as measured by the JDP Kindergarten ELA Exit Test and determined by the teacher.
  3. Attain 80% in Kindergarten Level Mathematics objectives as measured by JDP Kindergarten Math Exit Test and determined by the teacher.

First and Second Grades

  1. Students will receive an A, B, C, D, or F in ELA and Math. At least six major grades are required each period; the lowest grade – not including the quarterly exam -- will be dropped.
  2. Students must achieve a final average of a D (.6) in English Language Arts (ELA) -- which language and reading -- and mathematics. At least three quality points must be earned with one quality point being earned in the third or fourth nine-week period. 
  3. Students must demonstrate mastery of standard skills as defined by the Louisiana state standards
  4. Students will receive a grade of S, N or U in Music, Art, P.E., Science, and Social Studies. 

        Spelling, Accelerated Reader, Accelerated Math, participation, and homework cannot count as a grade at any grade level in any subject. Grades will reflect the student’s mastery of Louisiana state standards. 

      Remediation and skill recovery for mastery will occur during the academic RTI cycle of instruction.

      Students in kindergarten to grade two will take a quarterly exam at the end of each nine-week period. This test will address skills covered in the nine-week period as well as earlier periods.  It will be recorded as a major grade for that nine-week period.

     (The requirements may change pending the JDP Pupil Progression Plan Committee’s final review and/or changes in state requirements.)


Directory information on students may be released for recognition purposes.  Families have the right to review the directory information and the right to request in writing that it not be released.

Federal law permits the school district to disclose personally identifiable information in the student’s education records to school officials with legitimate educational interests.  School officials include persons employed by the district as an administrator, supervisor, teacher, or support staff member (including but not limited to transportation personnel).  School officials also include a person, agency, or company with whom the District has contracted, or otherwise arranged to perform a special task or service.  Such individuals have a legitimate educational interest to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional and/or official responsibility. 

Families will be asked to sign an information release form in August to publish students’ names and photos in newsletters and newspaper articles for honor rolls and special / awards programs.


Regular report cards will be issued to families / guardians at the end of each nine-week period (usually four days after the end of the period).  Progress reports will be sent home on the 26th day of each nine-week period.  Special reports may be made at any time concerning school work or discipline.

At least six major grades will be given each quarter.  Quarterly exams will be given in kindergarten to grade two. These will be graded assessments and part of their nine-week average.  (Note: Grades are not assigned in Pre-Kindergarten; however, progress reports will be sent home each nine weeks beginning this year.)



Progress Reports Issued

Quarter Ends

Report Cards Issued


Sept. 16

Oct. 15

Oct. 21


Nov. 20

Jan. 6

Jan. 10


Feb. 12

March 12

March 18


April 27

May 21

May 22


A student who is habitually late may be disciplined.  School begins at 7:30 a.m.  Arriving in class after the 7:35 a.m. bell is tardy.  When a child is tardy, this information is placed in his/her computer file and becomes a part of the permanent record.   When a child arrives at school after 7:35 a.m., a parent or responsible adult must bring the student to the office to sign him/her in properly and state the reason for the tardiness.

School personnel shall make every reasonable effort to assist a child who is absent or tardy from school often.  When all assistance has failed to correct the condition, the principal, with the help of the teacher, shall file a report of the school’s efforts to effect regular attendance by the student with the Supervisor of Child Welfare and Attendance.  He shall, after written notice to the parent is presented, report such child to the appropriate court.

If a student does not arrive at school on time, he/she should have a note signed by his/her parent stating the reason for the tardiness.  Following the 4th unexcused tardy, a letter will be mailed to the parent/guardian. 

Any student who accumulates five (5) tardies without doctor’s notes in a nine-week period may be placed in after-school detention from 2:45 - 3:15 p.m. on a day assigned by the principal – usually Tuesday or Thursday unless otherwise indicated.  A parent, guardian, or other responsible adult, as designated by the parent, must pick the child up promptly at 3:30 p.m. After that the child may be brought to the police station to wait for the parent.

If, after five (5) unexcused tardies, a parent chooses not to have the student stay for after-school detention, the student may be suspended from school for one (1) day and/or referred to Truancy Court.  Additional tardiness will be handled with more stringent disciplinary measures.

Leaving Early: Early checkouts are also logged in the computer.  Repeatedly checking out from school will result in consequences similar to morning tardiness (i.e. letters sent home, referral to Truancy Court, etc.).


This school routinely transfers the records of students to the school which is receiving the student from James Ward Elementary School.  (Buckley Amendment)


        All students exiting James Ward Elementary should notify the school in person that the student will be moving.  The parent or guardian should provide JWES with the name of the new school so records may be sent there.



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Contact Information

James Ward Elementary School
208 Shankland Ave.
Jennings, Louisiana 70546

Office Hours: 7:00 A.M. – 3:00 P.M.

Summer Hours: 8:00 A.M. – 3:00 P.M.

Phone: 337-824-1235
Fax: 337-824-3155