Student Handbook

The following topics and information can be found in our Student Handbook.

You can Download a print-friendly PDF version of the 2020-2021 Student Handbook HERE in English or HERE in Spanish.

General Information


Before and After School Supervision

Our supervision schedule does not permit us to supervise children who arrive early. Please do not bring your child to school before 7:50.

Change of Phone or Address

When you change address or phone numbers, the school needs to know so that you may be reached in emergencies. Please send a note or call the school. Inform the school as soon as possible if you are moving.

Class Parties

Parties are scheduled by individual teachers and not held on a school-wide basis. This allows teachers more flexibility in planning their parties to meet curriculum and student needs. Students wearing costumes will be expected to follow the school dress code. Parent volunteers for helping in the classroom, field trips, classroom parties, etc. MUST have a WSP clearance. Please check with your child’s teacher to see if there are any students in their class with dietary limitations.
Food brought for birthdays or other celebrations must be pre-wrapped store-bought food.

Communicating with School

Conferences and Report Cards

Our elementary school will report student progress through conferences. All other reporting will be done through written mid-trimester progress reports and trimester report cards. Teachers will arrange conferences with parents throughout the school year whenever they see a need. Conferences in the interest of your child(ren) are always welcome. We suggest that you arrange for a meeting directly with the teacher. When teacher and parent discuss the child’s school activities, progress can be made. Making an appointment for the conference in advance gives the teacher an opportunity to collect necessary information to make the conference more profitable. We cannot schedule conferences while a class is in session; however, parents are welcome to visit classes while in session at any time with prior communication with the teacher at least 24 hours in advance. (See Class Parties and Visitation information.)


Finley Elementary School has a counselor that is shared with Finley Middle School, who is available to assist your child(ren) with personal, social, and academic problems. Students may self-refer to the counselor, and parents or school staff may alert the counselor to student needs. All students will need a signed permission slip from their parents to speak with the counselor on a regular basis. Teachers will be notified of counseling sessions. Parents are encouraged to be part of the problem-solving process involving their student and may call the counselor for updates on progress. To learn more about the counseling program, please contact Sonya Bell, the counselor at the elementary school office.


Finley School district is implementing recommendations and requirements given by the health department. As mandates change, the school and/or school district will send out information to families via the school district website, Facebook page, Class Dojo and/or automated phone calls.
The information in this section is current as of 9/28/2020.

Beginning of the day:

Students and families must remain in their vehicles or buses until health screening begin at 7:50. A temperature check and screening question will be given.
For students, the screening questions are being modified for age appropriateness: “Are you sick?” and “Is someone in your family sick?”

Face masks and face shields:

All students, staff, volunteers, and guests must wear face coverings at all times, consistent with DOH and L&I requirements. People wearing face shields must also wear a face mask. Please visit the Finley School District website at to find more information on COVID health and safety requirements.


If a student exhibits COVID symptoms (temperature of 100.4o F or higher, difficulty breathing, body aches, headache, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea) students will need to go home as soon as possible. Students will then need to remain out of school for 10 calendar days or provide a negative COVID test result before they can return back to school. Work can be requested by parents for their child to work on while at home.

Entry into the building:

The doors of the school will remain locked. Visitors will need to press the “Call button” to gain entry.

After school pick up:

Due to social distancing, parents will not be able to wait by the front doors or the flagpole to pick up their child. Please remain in or by your car in the designated pick up area and wait for your child to come to you.

Lunch Visit:

Lunch time visitors are limited to 2 people coming to eat lunch with a student. The visitors will need to sign in the office, get a health screen and a sticker before joining the student in the eating area. Visitors will need to share a table with only that student. Another student can not be at the table and due to seating limitations, will not be able to take up additional seating areas.
After lunch has been completed, the visitor will need to leave the school building and not go with them to recess.

Crosswalks and Parking Lots

Our school provides student crossing guards in our parking lot before and after school. Students have been instructed to always cross at the crosswalk and parents are requested to do the same. Please drive carefully in the parking lot whether you are dropping off, picking your child up, or visiting our school. All the curb area in front of the school entrance needs to be kept free for buses from 7:15-3:30. Remind your children to use the crosswalk to and from the parking lot. Please also do not park or drop your student off by the dumpster area. This is a common walk area for students entering the playground and could result in a serious injury to students.

Dress and Property Regulations

Early Dismissal and Re-admittance

Students are not authorized to be dismissed early, or be excused for any part of the regular school day unless special arrangements are made through the school office. If a student needs to be dismissed early from school, he or she must bring a note from home signed by the parent (a phone call from the student’s parent is also acceptable.) When the student’s parent arrives at school, he/she must come to the office to “sign the youngster out.” To minimize disruption to the classroom, parents are asked to wait in the office or in front of the school. Even when it’s close to the end of the school day, we ask that parents do not go directly to the classroom to get their child(ren). Our elementary school is a closed campus and students may not leave the school grounds unless due authorization has been given by the principal or by her designee. (Students who leave without permission will be disciplined.) When students will be leaving school early and re-entering school the same day, the student must report directly to the school office and notify the secretary that he/she has returned. Following this notification, he/she will get a pass to return to the classroom.

Emergency School Evacuation

Federal and Family Right and Privacy Act

The Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act per Finley School District Policy Number 3250 states the following information may be released by the district unless a student’s parents/and or guardian has previously filed a written objection to the release of directory information including: Student name, address, and phone number, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student, and photographs and other similar information.

Food Service / Child Nutrition

Library Procedures

Lost and Found

We maintain a lost and found department and parents or students are encouraged to call the office if articles of clothing, lunch boxes, etc., have been lost or misplaced. Parents are requested to place identification in clothing, lunch boxes, glasses, watches, etc., so that we may return such articles to the owners. Each year we have many articles that are never claimed and we have no way of knowing to whom they belong. Please write your child’s first name or initials somewhere on coats, gloves, mittens, hats, backpacks, etc. so we may return them to your child.

Make Your Day Citizenship Program


Children should bring money to school ONLY for specific reasons. Money is often lost, misplaced or stolen. Money for their food account is safer when it is placed in an envelope with the student’s and teacher’s name on it. This money should be turned into the lunchroom secretary as soon as possible.


If you are an out of district family, you may be asked to have a conference with the principal to go over the “Out-of-District Student Contract” for out of district students.


Pets may be brought for sharing with students only after a conversation between parent, teacher and building prinicpal. Animals are not allowed on school buses, therefore parents will need to deliver and depart with the pet on the day the sharing takes place. Pets, like valuable items, need special care and attention which cannot be given them during the normal classroom day.


Only school equipment is to be used for play during recess. Please do not bring toys from home. Also, the playground is a large area and requires students to be safe, respectful and responsible. Adult supervisors expect students to follow Finley Expectations as they apply to the playground.

  • Be safe by playing with the equipment in the way it was designed to be played with. For example, slides are for only going down feet first and one at a time and swings are meant to be sat on.
  • Be safe by running on the grass only and wearing appropriate shoes. If you are wearing shoes that expose your feet, slides, etc. (see dress code) you will not be able to participate in activities that require running or quick movements.
  • Be safe by keeping rocks, sticks, snow, ice and other objects not found in a toy store for throwing games on the ground.
  • Stay healthy by wearing clothing appropriate for the weather. The health room has a minimal assortment of clothing/shoes to borrow.
  • Be safe by not rough housing, tackling or play fighting. We do not have the mats or padding to make this kind of play safe. Football can only be “Touch Football”. “Play fighting” may be treated as “Real Fighting”. Remember, it’s called an accident for a reason.
  • Be respectful by listening to the adults on the playground.
  • Be respectful by being kind to others on the playground.
  • Be respectful and responsible of and for the playground equipment. If you borrow a ball/toy from the box, please return it to the box. If you see one lying on the ground after the bell rings, please be helpful by picking it up and putting it away.
  • Be respectful by practicing good sportsmanship. Recess is a time to have fun. Getting mad and being a poor sport takes the fun out of the game and takes up playing time.
  • Be responsible by asking for a pass from an adult supervisor before entering the building.

If you have troubles with remembering the expectations of the playground, you will be asked to go to a different area of the playground, adjust points and/or choose Step 1 to reflect on your behavior. If the behavior is repeated or serious, you will be asked to go to the office to discuss your behavior and possible consequence(s).


Recess is an important part of the student’s day. There are many articles showing the benefits. On the site there are 7 reasons why kids need recess:
  1. Everyone benefits from a break.
  2. Recess increases on-task time.
  3. Children need outside light.
  4. Unstructured physical play reduces stress.
  5. Children need to learn to be social creatures.
  6. Our children’s health is at risk.
  7. Physical activity feeds the brain.
In general, the 17/17 rule will be applied for determining outside recess: 17 degrees air temp or 17 degrees wind chill. This will be used to separate inside versus outside recess for most recesses but not necessarily all. Please send your child to school with the most appropriate outside weather gear you have available to you as all kids will be expected to go outside when deemed so by the building administrator or responsible staff member.

If your child has a health issue that prevents them from participating outside, a doctor’s note will be necessary outlining the parameters of inside versus outside recess. As there isn’t staff available to provide direct supervision for children staying inside, a plan will need to be developed between the school, parent, and child.

Snow Day, Extreme Weather, Disaster Policy

In the event that school is closed or buses are running on a different schedule due to extreme conditions, the local radio stations will keep you informed and a phone call will be sent out to families through the district auto-caller. If our school is on a “two-hour late start”, school will start at 10:05 am. There will be not be AM Pre-School on emergency late start days or breakfast served.
Remember, Finley School District and area districts (Kennewick, Pasco, Richland) are not always on the same snow delay/closure. PLEASE DO NOT CALL THE SCHOOL FOR INFORMATION. When students are on a delay, so is the staff.

Student Insurance

If you are interested in obtaining student insurance, the forms were sent home in the first day packet and are available in the office.

For information on free or low-cost health insurance for Washington’s Kids contact the school secretary or call toll free 1-877-KIDS-NOW (1-877-543-7669).

Telephone/Cell phone usage

As a general rule, pupils are not allowed to use the school phones except in emergency situations or to request a Step 4 conference. Likewise, we will not call children out of class to accept phone calls except in emergencies. Arrangements for children to go to another child’s home after school, and similar situations, should be handled with a note before school whenever possible. We will be glad to deliver messages to pupils when parents must change plans without warning.

Cell Phones:

During the school day, telecommunication devices will be turned off and kept in backpacks.

Students are responsible for devices they bring to school. The District shall not be responsible for loss, theft or destruction of devices brought onto school property.

At Finley Elementary we require that students turn off cell phones during school hours and place the cell phones in their backpacks. Cell phones may not be kept in their clothing or be in their possession during class or on the playground. Students shall comply with any additional rules included in the student handbooks concerning the appropriate use of telecommunication or other electronic devices.

Students who violate this policy will be subject to disciplinary action, including losing the privilege of bringing the phone onto school property. In addition, the phone may be confiscated and returned only to the student’s parent/guardian. (Policy No. 3245)


If a textbook is checked out to your child, they are responsible for that book. Lost or damaged books will be the financial responsibility of the student that checked out the book. Lost books cost will be based on the current replacement cost. Damages will be based on severity of damage up to the amount of a replacement textbook at current replacement cost.

Video Taping/Photograph Usage

Videotaping and photographing the students at Finley Elementary takes place from time to time in conjunction with classroom projects, bulletin boards, memory book, special events, and local news media coverage. While many parents enjoy viewing a videotape of their child on the news or in a school production, other parents do not want their child videotaped or photographed.

1. If you do not want your child’s picture taken or your child videotaped while at Finley Elementary School for any reason, please call Hidalia at the elementary office, 586-7577, or send a note stating your wishes.
2. If we do not hear from you, we’ll assume we are free to photograph and videotape your child at any time during the school year.

If you have any questions or would like an “Opt Out” form, please contact the school.


Parent visitation: Parents of Finley Elementary students are invited to visit the classrooms and to confer with the teachers and principal about the school program and/or the child’s progress. To visit the classrooms, parents are requested to obtain pre-approval of the principal and to allow time for consultation with the teacher before or after the visitation. Out of consideration and respect for your child’s teacher, please talk with their teacher at least 24 hours in advance before your classroom visit.

Student visitors: All visitors to Finley Elementary School must check in at the elementary office and obtain a visitor badge prior to entering the campus or classrooms. To avoid disruption of the educational process, student visitation is greatly discouraged. All requests must be previously approved by the principal and the teacher. If approved, student guests will be allowed a maximum of one day’s visit to the elementary school. Visitation beyond one day will not be permitted.


The parents and community have a close partnership with the Finley Elementary classroom and school. Our parents and community members support our school in a variety of ways. We have a large cadre of parent volunteers who help in the classroom or with special events and programs. Their participation is invaluable and our children and community truly reap the benefits.

To provide for the protection of all our children, Washington State is now requiring that all volunteers be checked for past history of child abuse. Anyone who interacts with students in our school, whether helping in the classroom, at parties, supervising field trips or other school activities, is required to have the WSP clearance.

As long as volunteers work with children in supervised areas, this check will not involve fingerprinting and will cost nothing. Please contact the office or your child’s teacher for the volunteer application form or further information.

Voter Registration and Voting

The school secretary will be able to provide you with a mail in Voter Registration. Our office hours are from 7:30AM to 3:30 PM.

To be eligible to vote, a person must be:
  1. An American citizen, either by birth or by naturalization.
  2. Eighteen years of age by election date.
  3. Live in the state of Washington at this address for 30 days immediately before the next election you are planning to vote.
  4. Not having been denied civil rights as a result of being convicted of a felony.

Health Room

Head Lice Procedures at School

The OSPI Infectious Disease Control Guide for School Staff has revised its procedures as to how schools should handle head lice infestations. At Finley Elementary we periodically check students in the school for head lice. If we find live lice in a child’s hair, parents will be notified. Students can remain in class and go home at the end of the school day, be treated, and return to school after the appropriate treatment has begun. Students can return to school with nits following treatment. It is very important that parents let the school know if they suspect their children have head lice. As a proactive measure, all students are asked to keep their coats behind their chairs or in their cubby. Coats may be placed in their backpack; gloves and hats should be kept inside the pockets of their coats.

Illness at School

Your child will be sent to the health room if he/she becomes ill at school. Parents will always be notified if the situation needs further medical attention. It is very important that the office has an active emergency phone number when parents cannot be reached. It is also very important that the office be made aware of any exceptional medical conditions. If your child has a temperature of 100.4o or more in the last 24 hours, please keep your child at home. Your child needs time to recuperate and it will reduce the amount of contagious illnesses to other people in the building.
Other guidelines on when to keep your child(ren) home from school:

  • Rash associated with a fever
  • Vomiting or diarrhea in the last 24 hours
  • A cough bad enough you would not want your well child around a person coughing like this
  • Draining rash or sore
  • A consistent thick, goopy runny nose
  • Evidence of infection
  • Eye discharge or pink eye

A child must be fever free for 24 hours and/or completed a full 24 hours of antibiotics treatment before returning to school.

Life Threatening Conditions

A new law has been enacted in Washington State that requires children with life-threatening conditions to have a medication or treatment order on file prior to attending school.
The medication or treatment order must address the life-threatening condition and it must be on file with the school prior to the child attending school. Under the law, “life-threatening condition” means a health condition that will put the child in danger of death during the school day if a medication or treatment order and a nursing plan are not in place.


Our school district is not required, by law, to provide for school staff to supervise students taking medication at school. We also know that in some cases a student who is under a physician’s care must adhere to strict medication schedules. In order to administer medication, Prescription or Over the Counter drugs, parents must do the following: (Policy 3416)
- A licensed health professional with prescription authority must fill out the appropriate authorization form for a prescription or over the counter drug to be administered by a school employee and the parent portion of the form must be completed and signed.
- Medicine must be brought to school by the parents or a responsible adult.
- Medicine (prescription or nonprescription) must be brought to school in its original container.
- Prescription medicine should have the name of the student, the name of medication, dosage, mode, and time of administration and the name of physician.
- Under no circumstances will a medication be given without the proper documentation.
- Parents may come to school and administer medications without doctors’ prescription or orders.
Be sure to notify the school of any specific medical problems which could require attention at school such as bee sting reactions, allergies, asthma, frequent nosebleeds, etc. If your child is too sick to go outside, please do not send them to school. Students will not be allowed to stay in their classrooms at recess times.

Student Rights

This code sets forth the written rules and regulations of the Finley School District regarding student conduct, corrective action and rights, and it indicates the types of misconduct for which discipline, suspension, and expulsion may be imposed. In addition to these rules and regulations, each school in the district may provide additional rules and procedures regarding student conduct and the administering of corrective action at that school.

This handbook is promulgated and distributed pursuant to Washington Administrative Code Chapter 180-40, which prescribes substantive and procedural due process rights of students. A copy of board policies and WAC 180-40 may be obtained from the Office of the Superintendent of the District.
This handbook is also in compliance with Public Law 101-2226, the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments. Compliance with standards of conduct is mandatory.

Student Rights


Exceptional Misconduct

Search of Students and Personal Property

Personal privacy is a fundamental aspect of individual liberty. All students possess the constitutional right to be secure in their persons, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures.

School officials are required to maintain order and discipline in the schools and to protect students from exposure to illegal drugs, weapons, and contraband. The superintendent, the principal, and other staff designated by the superintendent shall have the authority to conduct reasonable searches on school property as provided by district policy.

A search is required when there are reasonable grounds to suspect a student has a firearm on school grounds, transportation or at school events. No student shall be subject to a strip search or body cavity search by school staff.

Lockers, desks, and storage areas are the property of the school district. No right or expectation of privacy exists for any student as to the use of any space issued or assigned to a student by the school and such spaces are subject to search in accordance with district policy.

No student may use a locker, desk, or storage area as a depository for any substance or object which is prohibited by law or school rules or which poses a threat to the health, safety or welfare of the occupants of the school building or the building itself.

Any student's locker, desk or other storage area shall be subject to search if reasonable grounds exist to suspect that the search will yield evidence of the student's violation of the law or school rules.

Step 5 (Suspensions)

The definitions and limitations are defined by the State WAC codes 392-400.

Suspension (Step 5) shall mean a denial of attendance at any single subject or class, or at any full schedule of subjects or classes for a stated period of time. A suspension also may include a denial of admission to or entry upon real and personal property that is owned, leased, rented, or controlled by the school district.

Short-term suspension shall mean a suspension for any portion of a calendar day up to and not exceeding ten (10) consecutive school days.

*Kindergarten through grade four – no student in grades kindergarten through four shall be subject to short-term suspension for more than a total of total of ten (10) school days during any single semester or trimester as the case may be and no loss of academic grades or credit shall be imposed by reason of the suspension of such a student.

*Grade five and above – no student in the grade five and above program shall be subjected to short-term suspensions for more than a total of fifteen school days during any single semester or ten school days during any single trimester as the case may be.

Long-term suspension shall mean a suspension which exceeds a “short-term suspension” as defined above.

No student in grades kindergarten through four shall be subject to long-term suspension during any single semester or trimester, as the case may be, and no loss of academic grades or credit shall be imposed by reason of the suspension of such a student.

No student, grade 5 and above, shall have a long-term suspension exceeding the length of an academic term as defined by the school board, from the time of the disciplinary action.


Emergency Expulsion A student may be excluded from school prior to a hearing without other forms of corrective action if the principal reasonably believes the student is an immediate and continuing danger to himself / herself, other students, staff, or administrators or is a substantial disruption to the educational process of the district. Such emergency expulsion shall continue until the student is reinstated by the principal or until a fair hearing is held and a final determination reached. The hearing officer may continue the emergency expulsion if he/she finds that the student continues to present an immediate and continuing danger to himself / herself, other students, staff, or administrators or continues to cause a substantial disruption to the educational process of the district.

Expulsion shall mean a denial of attendance of any single subject or class or at any full schedule of subjects or classes for a length of time not to exceed the length of an academic term as defined by the school board from the time of the disciplinary action.

An expulsion also may include a denial of admission to or entry upon real and personal property that is owned, leased, rented, or controlled by the school district.


School districts must not use long-term suspension or expulsion as a form of discretionary discipline. “discretionary discipline” is a disciplinary action taken by a district for student behavior that violates the rules of student conduct, except for actions taken in response to:
  1. A violation of the prohibition against firearms on school premises, transportation, or facilities;
  2. Certain violent offenses, sex offenses, offenses related to liquor, controlled substances, and toxic inhalants, and certain crimes related to firearms, assault, kidnapping, harassment, and arson;
  3. Two or more violations within a three-year period of criminal gang intimidation or other gang activity on school grounds, possessing dangerous weapons on school facilities, willfully disobeying school administrators or refusing to leave public property, or defacing or injuring school property; or
  4. Behavior that adversely impacts the health or safety of other students or educational staff.

Due Process Procedures/Appeals

The administrators and teaching staffs of the Finley Schools desire to treat each student fairly and firmly in instances of misbehavior. Parent understanding, support and cooperation are absolutely essential to their efforts.

District Policy #3241 and the State of Washington, its laws and codes, support this mutual understanding, support and cooperation of the school and the home. To this end, grievance procedures are provided for discipline situations and short-term suspensions. Similarly, hearing and appeal procedures at the building level and at the District level are provided for more serious offenses which result in long-term suspension, emergency expulsion and expulsion.

Prior to the imposition of a corrective action or punishment upon a special education student, the school principal and special education staff who have knowledge of the student’s disability will determine if there is a causal relationship between the disability and the misconduct giving rise to the corrective action or punishment. When a relationship is found to exist, special education programming procedures shall be employed.

The essential features of legal student grievance procedures for discipline and short term suspension are listed below for your information. If you would like a copy of the entire District Policy 3241, please contact the Elementary School Office.


Any parent or student who is aggrieved by the imposition of discipline shall have the right to an informal conference with the principal for the purpose of resolving the grievance. At such conference the student and parent shall be subject to questioning by the principal and shall be entitled to question staff involved in the matter being grieved.

The parent and student after exhausting this remedy, shall have the right, upon 2 school business days’ prior notice, to present a written and/or oral grievance to the superintendent. If the grievance is not resolved, the parent and student, upon 2 school business days’ prior notice, shall have the right to present a written grievance to the disciplinary appeal council during its next regular meeting, or at a meeting held within 30 days, whichever is earlier. A closed meeting may be held for the purpose of considering the grievance. The council shall notify the parent and student of its response to the grievance within 10 school business days after the date when the grievance was presented. The disciplinary action shall continue notwithstanding implementation of the grievance procedure unless the principal, superintendent or board elects to postpone such action.

Re-engagement Plan

School districts must convene a re-engagement plan meeting with the student and family when a long term suspension or expulsion is imposed. Families must have access to, provide meaningful input on, and have the opportunity to participate in a culturally sensitive and culturally responsive re-engagement plan.

Emergency Expulsions/Appeals



Transportation and Safety Concerns

Tips for Parents

The staff believes that an involved and concerned family is the greatest asset a child can have. A parent is a child’s first and most important teacher. We encourage families to participate in some of the following activities with their children.

  • READ WITH YOUR CHILD DAILY. Have your child read to you. Remember that there are many ways to reinforce reading skills, for example; reading maps, grocery lists, recipes, directions for models, patterns, games, informational brochures, etc.  
  • ENCOURAGE YOUR CHILD TO WRITE AT HOME. Letters to friends and relatives, grocery lists, new endings for T.V. shows watched, stories about trips taken and places visited, and parent/child authored stories with illustrations, are all excellent ways to encourage your child to write.
  • TALK WITH YOUR CHILD. The greater a child’s speaking vocabulary, the easier learning to read will be.
  • SHARE PLACES AND EVENTS WITH YOUR CHILD. There are many interesting places to go in southeast Washington, such as: Fort Walla Walla, the airport, colleges, the public library, Mary Hill Museum, the post office, historical museums, the fire station, the dairies, the Children’s Museum and local farms. Have your child talk and write about these experiences.
  • PLAY GAMES WITH YOUR CHILD. There are many excellent educational and inexpensive games for children that reinforce reading, thinking, and math skills. Some of them include: Boggle, Spill and Spell, Master Mind, Scrabble, Yahtzee, Concentration, etc.

Above all, give your child the gift of time — your time. There is no substitute.