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School Rules and Absences

Citizenship at John Hay

We believe elementary school should be a safe and nurturing place that creates opportunities for students to develop strong and appropriate social and behavioral skills. We are here to nurture, respect, and assist students—academically, socially, behaviorally and emotionally. We believe that in any community, all members should feel respected, have a forum through which to share concerns, and participate in creating a community where accountability for positive and productive behavior is upheld by all.

The goal of any community behavior plan should be two-fold: 1) to enable students to achieve academic success and responsible citizenry, and 2) to allow our staff to create and maintain a safe, positive learning environment. Ultimately, any system to guide behavior should target bringing students to a high level of self-discipline, compassion and responsible community involvement.

The Big 5

The John Hay Big 5 represents principles and values that we believe are important for all young chidren to learn to live by. We build the Big 5 into our rewards systems, our classroom guidelines, and even our school song and monthly spirit assemblies. Following the Big 5, we believe, will make citizenship STARS of every one, child to adult:

S tewardship – Learn to care for the needs of others and the environment.
T ruthfulness – Demonstrate honesty and integrity in words and actions.
A ttitude – Develop positive attitudes for learning. Own responsibility for self.
R espect – Show respect for teachers, classmates, property and self.
S afety – Use safe behaviors on the playground, in the halls, & in the classroom.

Positive Discipline

Star Citizen Awards

Have you ever noticed a person around you doing something unselfishly for another – just because? We see kids doing for other kids and adults at school all the time, and we believe it is important to recognize students who take the lead, make good choices, and serve others. Our Star Citizen Awards are presented to students, by staff, when we find a child makes a choice to care for another. Star Citizen Awards are personalized to the child and their leadership behavior and then placed into a drawing. Each Tuesday, Awards are drawn and lucky students have the opportunity to have lunch with the principal during the last week of the month. All Star Citizen Awards are then sent home for the child to keep. This special program keeps us all focused and celebrating leadership behavior that exemplifies the Big 5 in some way.

Monthly Spirit Assemblies

On the last Friday of every month, we call our community together for a lively and positive, fun-filled school spirit assembly. These community gatherings are designed to highlight our school’s successes, promote positive behavior, and consider the areas of citizenship that we might want to improve. The John Hay Players, our own drama team made up of Hay teachers, present an interactive skit that brings a message for the whole community to learn. In addition, individual students are presented with awards from the principal, that showcase a child’s strengths and accomplishments. Every child in the school receives at least one award per year. Parents and families are always invited to our Monthly Spirit Assembly. The dates and times are posted in the weekly bulletin, delivered via e-mail.

Classroom Meetings and Incentives

In addition to our school-wide positive reward programs, all classrooms use positive incentives and classroom meetings to build community and help students develop strong citizenship

Guidelines and Procedures for Conduct and Safety


Students should wear a safety helmet, and they must obey all traffic rules while traveling to and from school. Bikes must be locked at the bike rack located on the south side of the playground. The school is not responsible for bikes. Bikes/skateboards/scooters may not be ridden on school grounds. Due to property damage and unsafe behavior, skateboarding is not allowed on school grounds. Skateboards and scooters CAN be carried back and forth to school when on the grounds. Heelys (shoes with roller skate wheels in the sole) are not allowed to be worn to school or on the playground.

Big Toy (Climber – Playground Structure)

The Big Toy is fun when used safely. our P.E. teacher takes every class through the toy and explains the rules very carefully before they are allowed to play on the structure. For safety and fairness, rooms take turns on the toy and are assigned certain days for their class. No staff supervision is provided for the Big Toy after school and it is recommended that students only be allowed to play on the Toy under careful parent supervision.

Dress Code

John Hay students are expected to dress in a way that is safe and appropriate to the weather and expected activities. John Hay does not have a uniform requirement. We do, however, recognize the importance of good grooming and cleanliness.

Please consider the following code for clothes appropriate at school:

  • Clothing that is disruptive or offensive such as shirts with inappropriate slogans or advertising, items that are overly revealing, are not permitted and are unacceptable for school.
  • Students should not wear the following:
    1. pants cut below the hips
    2. thin “spaghetti” straps
    3. baggy or saggy pants
    4. shorts more than 3 inches above the knee
    5. shirts revealing the belly and/or halter tops
    6. low-cut shirts.
  • Students should wear shoes that are safe and appropriate for outdoor play. Shoes should be substantial enough to stay on the foot. Students should remember to wear appropriate clothes and shoes on their PE days. Sandals are not allowed on PE days. Except in special circumstances, students are expected to remove hats while indoors.

Food and Drink

Students shall eat and drink in the cafeteria only. No food is to be taken outside or in the halls unless given permission by the classroom teacher or cafeteria supervisors. Students are allowed to eat in a classroom, under teacher supervision, for a special activity.


Any individual students in the halls, unescorted, must have permission from a teacher or administrator. Students are required to go about their business in a quiet manner without disturbing others. Walking is required at all times.  Students are not allowed in the building before school unless permission is provided by the classroom teacher. 

Lost & Found

All clothing and personal items should be labeled with a child’s first and last name. The Lost & Found is located by the gym. Unclaimed, lost items are donated to charity at the end of each term.


Students are expected to line up and enter the lunchroom in an orderly manner.  All students are expected to wash their hands prior to lining up at the food counter. Hand Sanitizer dispensers are available at each lunchroom entrance, as are students restrooms.  Classes are assigned tables in the lunchroom and have 20 minutes for recess followed by another 20 minutes for lunch. John Hay is a designated Green School.  Thus, when directed, students are asked to dispose of recyclable and food waste appropriately and discard other garbage in the bins provided. Classes are dismissed when areas are clean.  Students are to escort themselves back to class in an appropriate manner.  The lunchroom is supervised, daily, by administration and lunchroom supervisors.


Per City Ordinance pets are not allowed on school grounds. Students are not allowed to bring pets to school unless specifically cleared by the teacher for a special event or project.  Any pet  accompanying an adult, but be on a leash and may not be present on the school grounds before, during or after school.

Pathway Garden

The Pathway Garden is a beautiful memorial garden created through the efforts of the community, parents, staff and students. It is a tribute to the students and families who died in Alaska Flight 261, in 2000. It is also a fun place to play and visit and is part of our Memory Miles Book Lap course. Rules for keeping the garden beautiful and pleasurable to all are reviewed for students each year.

Parking—The Hay Way

Please observe the parking signs in front of the school on both the Galer and Garfield sides. We understand that parking is limited but please DO NOT PARK IN THE LOAD ZONE between 8:45-9:45 a.m. and 3:00-4:00p.m.   In order to safely load/unload students, the buses must pull into the load zone. Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

Playground Supervision

Supervision by staff begins at 9:10 a.m. Other supervised playtime occurs at the morning, noon, and afternoon recesses. At least two adults and several other volunteer parents are on the playground during regularly scheduled breaks. The playground is not supervised after school buses depart.


Children are given several recesses each day. They are expected to dress for playing outdoors in rainy or cold weather. If the child is too ill to play outdoors, he/she should probably be at home or bring a medical excuse. In severe weather, students will come inside.

Supervision After School & Loitering

Students must leave the grounds promptly after classes or activities are dismissed unless with a parent or other adult. We have no supervisors on the grounds after the buses depart. Non-students are not permitted on the grounds unless they have registered as official guests in the Main Office and received clearance.


Visitors must check in the main office whether visiting or volunteering. Volunteer stickers are available to those who frequently help out in the classroom. All visitors must wear a visitor sticker while in the building.


School staff will take daily attendance and notify you when your child is absent without an excuse. Please notify the school office when your child will be late or absent by telephone or written notice.

When a student accumulates one unexcused absence in a month, the school must notify the home via letter or a phone call. After two full day unexcused absences in a month’s time, a letter will be sent home scheduling a conference between the parents, student and school officials. At the scheduled conference an Attendance Agreement will be written up and filed with the district truancy office. After seven unexcused absences in a month’s time or ten unexcused absences during the school year, the School District Truancy Board will file a petition with the juvenile court.

Notifying the School About Absences

When your child will be late or absent from school please notify the attendance office at 206-252-2100 between the hours of 8:30 AM to 4:30 p.m. or leave a message on the voice mail during non-school hours or .

The District’s attendance definitions are as follows.

Excused Absences:

Unplanned absences are excused when your child’s personal illness or injury, or the illness, injury or death of a family member, prevents your child from attending school. The school may require a note from your child’s doctor before excusing absences if your child is absent due to illness or injury more than 10 days.

Planned absences are excused when you submit a request to the principal or assistant principal at least three school days before the start of the planned absence, usually for a doctor or dentist appointment, or religious, or other special one-time events. Long-term absences or a succession of long-term absences may affect whether your child will be promoted. Absences for longer than twenty consecutive school days may result in your child being dropped from school enrollment.

Absences due to short-term discipline of your child are excused on District attendance records unless your child is under court order to attend school without additional truancies or behavior problems.

Unexcused Absences:

All other absences are considered unexcused, including absences caused by the student or parent oversleeping, student missing the bus, transportation problems, student needed for babysitting or translating for parents, student job requirements, disputes about student assignment, etc.

Absences by long-term suspended and expelled students for whom space is available in the reentry program, but who do not enroll and attend, are unexcused.

Family vacations or family trips during regular school days are not excused.


Tardiness is considered an academic concern. Any child who arrives to school later than 9:35 AM – three separate times – will be marked absent for one-half day. Students who arrive after the 9:35 AM tardy bell must sign in with the office. A parent conference will be held for students with repeated tardies. If your child has an excused tardy be sure to notify the office the day of so it can be marked appropriately.

Emergency Contacts

It is very important for emergency and administrative reasons, that we maintain up-to-date information in the school office. Please be sure we have a person to contact in case we can’t reach you in the event of an emergency . PLEASE NOTIFY US IMMEDIATELY IF YOU CHANGE YOUR ADDRESS OR PHONE.

Leaving Campus

Students may not leave the school campus for any reason without the knowledge and consent of their teacher. Written consent must be given by parents/guardians and the student must be checked out through the office.

Changing Plans/Play Dates

Please let the office know ahead of time of any changes in your child’s daily schedule either in writing or by telephone. Play dates should be arranged prior to the date.

Bus Safety Rules

  • Obey the driver and bus supervisor
  • Remain seated
  • No smoking, swearing or loud talking
  • No pushing, shoving or fighting
  • Keep hands, feet and objects to yourself
  • Keep bus clean—NO eating allowed
  • Keep personal belongings out of the aisles
  • Keep all parts of your body and all objects inside the bus
  • Get on and off the bus at your assigned stop
  • Be on time
  • Know emergency procedures.

Seattle School District Transportation Department