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Bethel Elementary School 2021-2022


Providing a positive, nurturing, student centered environment where all students can achieve their fullest potential to be productive citizens of the 21st century. 




 Students to

 Transform Tomorrow

I am looking forward to another great year with the outstanding staff, students, and parents at Bethel Elementary School.  It is truly an honor and privilege to be a part of such a collaborative, high-performing team.  Our staff is committed in giving their best to ensure that every year is a successful one for your child.  Let’s continue working together to accomplish great things in the lives of our most precious gifts… our children. 

The information in this handbook has been published to provide an overview of our school’s opportunities and expectations.  One of the most crucial ways parents can assist in providing their children with a foundation for learning is to read with them daily.  Research consistently shows a strong correlation between reading and academic success at all ages.  In the upcoming 2021-2022 school year, let’s work collectively to provide your child with the very best conditions for learning.  

Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your child’s life,

Heather Hollingsworth


Bethel Elementary School

4700 Old River Road

Canton, NC  28716

Bethel Elementary School…………………..646-3448

After School Program………………………..400-7668


www.haywood.k12.nc.us/HCS/schools/BES (please visit our website for current information, pictures and updates)


Bethel Elementary believes that students should progress to the next level of study only after they are proficient in their knowledge and application of the current curriculum level. To the extent reasonably possible, students should be given as much time or as little time as they need to be proficient at a particular level of study. Students will be promoted to the next level of study as described in this policy.

The superintendent shall develop (1) proposed promotion standards and (2) a process to be used in determining a student’s readiness to progress to the next level of study and shall submit the standards and process to the board for approval. The standards will be based, in part, upon proficiency in reading. The standards and process must provide multiple criteria for assessing a student’s readiness to progress to the next level of study, such as standardized test scores, formative and diagnostic assessments, grades, a portfolio or anthology of the student’s work, and, when appropriate, accepted standards for assessing developmental growth. The standards and process will incorporate all state law and State Board of Education policy requirements, including those for the assessment and promotion of third grade students as described in G.S. 115C-83.6 et seq. and State Board of Education Policies GCS-J-002 and -003. 

Principals have the authority to promote or retain students based upon the standards approved by the board and any applicable standards set by the State Board of Education.

Bethel Elementary will conduct grade level activities for family involvement throughout the year.  Student accountability information and curriculum highlights will be presented through these activities and families should make every effort to attend.



Parent/guardians gain better insight into the child’s strengths, needs, and learning progress through regular communication with the classroom teacher. The faculty/administration is available by appointment for conferences any time throughout the year. 

ATTENDANCE (Board Policy 4400)

Attendance in school and participation in class are integral parts of academic achievement and the teaching-learning process. Through regular attendance, students develop patterns of behavior essential to professional and personal success in life. Regular attendance by every student is mandatory. The State of North Carolina requires that every child in the State between the ages of 7 (or younger if enrolled) and 16 attend school. Parents and legal guardians are responsible for ensuring that students attend and remain at school daily. A student must be present for at least one-half of the school day or class period in order to be recorded as present for that day or class.

When a student must miss school, a written excuse signed by a parent or guardian must be presented to the student’s teacher on the day the student returns after an absence. Absences due to extended illnesses may also require a statement from a physician. An absence may be excused for any of the following reasons:

  1. personal illness or injury that makes the student physically unable to attend school;
  2. isolation ordered by the State Board of Health; 
  3. death in the immediate family; 
  4. medical or dental appointment; 
  5. participation under subpoena as a witness in a court proceeding; 
  6. a minimum of two days each academic year for observance of an event required or suggested by the 

    religion of the student or the student’s parent(s);

  1. participation in a valid educational opportunity, such as travel or service as a legislative or

    Governor’s page, with prior approval from the principal; 

  1. pregnancy and related conditions or parenting, when medically necessary; or
  2. visitation with the student’s parent or legal guardian, at the discretion of the superintendent or  

    designee, if the parent or legal guardian (a) is an active duty member of the uniformed services as 

    defined by policy 4050, Children of Military Families, and (b) has been called to duty for, is on leave 

    from, or has immediately returned from deployment to a combat zone or combat support posting. 

In the case of excused absences and short-term out-of-school suspensions, the student will be permitted to make up his or her work. (See also policy 4351, Short-Term Suspension.) The teacher will determine when work is to be made up. The student is responsible for finding out what assignments are due and completing them within the specified time period.

EXCESSIVE ABSENCES GRADE K- 8  (Board Policy 4400)

Excessive Absences – Grades K – 8 Students exceeding fifteen (15) absences, or who are absent more than 8 percent (180 days x 8.4 % = 15 days) of the days enrolled in a school year shall not be promoted to the next grade except by a determination of the principal/designee upon review of the student’s record. Non-promotion may be required when excessive absences interfere with the student’s educational progress. After school remediation and/or summer school may be required for a student with more than the maximum number of absences per year to be promoted. Each school may design its own plan for making up time; programs may include opportunities for making up time before school, after school, on Saturdays or during the summer, and parents will provide transportation. If an exceptional student exceeds fifteen (15) absences, promotion and/or summer school attendance shall be determined by the School IEP Team.


Students shall have two (2) school days to complete assignments missed from the first absence, four (4) school days to complete assignments missed from two consecutive absences, and one (1) calendar week to complete assignments missed during three (3) to five (5) consecutive days or class periods. A student absent from six (6) to ten (10) consecutive days or class periods shall have two (2) calendar weeks to complete assignments. A maximum of ten (10) school days will be allowed for students to complete all missed work. All make-up work must be completed by the end of the semester unless extenuating circumstances are approved by the principal. Long-term assignments are exempt from make-up consideration and are due as assigned. The following regulations apply to work missed by pupils as a result of absence:

  1. Work missed because of an absence may be requested and completed with full credit according to the guidelines listed above. 
  1. Work missed because of an educational absence shall have prior approval through the principal’s office and must be completed within the guideline previously stated. 
  1. Students who receive a school imposed out-of-school suspension sanction may request to makeup daily classroom work, and to take textbooks home. (See policy 4351 Short Term Suspension). 


  1. School begins at 7:50 a.m. and students must arrive on time.  The doors will open each morning at 7:15 a.m. Students should not be dropped off at school prior to 7:15 a.m.  Students who are left unsupervised before 7:15 a.m. constitute a safety issue and proper authorities may be notified.  
  2. Students arriving after 8:00 a.m. are tardy.   Students who are tardy miss directions that set the tone for the day and instruction that is critical for grade level proficiency and success in school.  Tardies are disruptive to student learning.  Excessive tardies due to living outside the Bethel school district may result in pupil reassignment to the home school.  
  1. Students must be signed in and out through the office if they are tardy or are being checked out early. 
  1. Students must have written permission from the legal parent or guardian to leave the school with others and/or change transportation.  Phone calls regarding emergency transportation changes should take place prior to 2:30 p.m. when at all possible to allow ample time for effective communication of the change.  
  1. Check-outs are disruptive to the instructional day and are discouraged unless an emergency exists.  No check outs will be allowed after 2:30 unless there is an emergency. A scheduled appointment is NOT an emergency.  
  2. Car riders will be dismissed at 2:55 p.m.  Yellow cards completed with student names must be displayed and visible throughout the entire car lot to expedite proper and efficient loading of cars.  Bus riders will be dismissed at 3:00 p.m.


All visitors must sign-in through the office and wear a nametag while on campus.  This is part of our safety plan and is for our students’ protection.  Visitors shall not disrupt classrooms during instructional time (8:00 a.m. – 2:55 p.m.). Conference appointments can be scheduled with teachers and administration throughout the year.  Parents/guardians who are guests for lunch will be asked to eat in a designated area with only their child.


North Carolina law requires that kindergarten students be five years of age on or before August 31st. North Carolina General Statue G.S. 115C-364 requires the parent or guardian of any child presented for admission for the first time to a school to furnish (i) a certified copy of the child’s birth certificate, which shall be furnished by the register of deeds of the county having on file the record of the birth of the child, or other satisfactory evidence of date of birth, as provided in Article 4 of Chapter 130A of the General Statutes and (ii) a certificate of immunization as required by G.S. 130A-152. 


Please make sure your child’s teacher and our office is aware of custody issues.  In addition, please ensure that our office has a copy of your child’s current custody papers.  The office should also be updated concerning changes in custody and legal documentation should be provided.  The office will follow court orders.


A safe and orderly environment is critical whenever transporting students. The Code of Student Conduct and board policies on student behavior apply as provided in policy 4300, Student Behavior Policies. All students will receive training on school bus safety as required by law regardless of whether they regularly ride a school bus to and from school. Violation of any board policy, the Code of Student Conduct, or other school rule governing student behavior on school and activity buses may result in a student’s suspension from the bus or other appropriate disciplinary action.


Afternoon childcare services are available until 6:00 p.m. on regular school days.  This program requires weekly payment and is a state regulated and inspected childcare program. An application must be completed before a child stays in the after school program.



The reasons for managing student behavior are to (1) create an orderly environment in which students can learn; (2) teach expected standards of behavior; (3) help students learn to accept the consequences of their behavior; and (4) provide students with the opportunity to develop self-control. 

Students must comply with the Code of Student Conduct in the following circumstances: 

  1. while in any school building or on any school premises before, during, or after school hours; 
  2. while on any bus or other vehicle as part of any school activity; 
  3. while waiting at any school bus stop; 
  4. during any school-sponsored activity or extracurricular activity;
  5. when subject to the authority of school employees; and 
  6. at any place or time when the student’s behavior has or is reasonably expected to have a 

    direct and immediate impact on the orderly and efficient operation of the schools or the safety 

    of individuals in the school environment

Classroom rules and expectations will be developed by individual teachers.   A copy of the behavior plan will be sent home with each child at the beginning of the school year. Parents will be asked to sign acknowledging that they have read and understand the behavior plan. In elementary school, we serve children ranging in age from 5-12 so it is very difficult to have a set of “rules and consequences” that are appropriate for that wide of an age span. That is why each teacher/grade level will communicate their expectations with the students and parents. Communication is at the core of making sure each student behaves in a manner becoming of a Bethel Elementary student. If a student is struggling behaviorally, the teacher, counselor, and/or an administrator will reach out to the parent and we will all work together to try to help the child learn the skills and strategies he/she needs to be a successful learner.

Students are prohibited from possessing, handling, using, or transmitting, whether concealed or open, any weapon or any instrument that reasonably looks like a weapon or could be used as a weapon.


Our staff takes seriously all complaints of unlawful discrimination, harassment, and bullying. The process provided in this board policy is designed for those individuals who believe that they may have been discriminated against, bullied, or harassed in violation of board policy.  Individuals who have witnessed, or have reliable information that another person has been subject to unlawful discrimination, harassment, or bullying, should report such violations to school personnel. 


Students should notify any staff member of any acts of violence, harassment, or bullying or any other unusual or suspicious behavior that may endanger safety. Ongoing student education efforts will aim at minimizing any fear, peer pressure, embarrassment, or other impediments to students reporting potential problems. 

Maintaining a safe school environment that is conducive to learning requires staff to be proactive in dealing with violence, harassment, and bullying. Staff members must report immediately to the principal any information regarding unusual or suspicious behavior or acts of violence, harassment, or bullying. 

Every principal is required to investigate and act upon any report of such behavior, including, when appropriate, reporting criminal activities to law enforcement, the State Board, and the superintendent or designee (see policies 1710/4021/7230, Prohibition Against Discrimination, Harassment, and Bullying, 1720/4015/7225, Discrimination, Harassment, and Bullying Complaint Procedure, and 4335, Criminal Behavior). 


The presence of weapons or destructive devices, bomb or terrorist threats, or actions that constitute a clear threat to the safety of students or employees will not be tolerated.   Any student who violates this policy will be removed from the classroom or school environment for as long as is necessary to provide a safe and orderly environment for learning.

Students are prohibited from possessing, handling, using, or transmitting, whether concealed or open, any weapon or any instrument that reasonably looks like a weapon or could be used as a weapon.


(Board Policy: 4318)

Students are prohibited from using cell phones and other electronic devices on school property, including school buses, unless authorized by school personnel.  Toys should not be brought to school as they are often lost or damaged which causes additional disruptions to the learning process. 

The school will confiscate electronic devices or toys that distract students or cause disruptions at school.  The school will not be held responsible for personal items that are lost, traded, stolen, or damaged. 



Students in grades 1-5 will receive report cards each nine-week grading period. Progress reports are issued at the midpoint of each grading period. 


A well-balanced meal is served daily in the lunchroom.  Breakfast is also available each morning.  All students will receive free meals during the 2021-2022 school year. Lunch menus will be sent home each month to help you and your child decide what they’d like to have for lunch.


Our Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) supports Bethel Elementary School. The PTO is a very active organization and all parents are encouraged to attend and participate in PTO activities. Please check your child’s backpack for more information regarding the PTO and programs/events they offer.


We encourage communication between parents and teachers.  Please call teachers before 8:00 a.m. or after 3:00 p.m. to avoid academic disruption.  Calls to teachers during the school day will be forwarded to teachers’ voice mail boxes.  Teachers will respond as soon as possible following student dismissal. Our teachers have the Remind text message communication system. This is a great tool but please do not send a message to a teacher during the day and expect an immediate response; they are teaching students and should not be constantly checking their phone. Transportation changes must be made via a phone call to the front office. Do not use Remind for transportation changes. 


All student possessions should be labeled with the student’s name. Students should not carry extra money.  Missing items should be reported to the teacher or the office.  Items found will be placed in the “Lost and Found” located inside the gym.  


K-2 classes go to the library on a regular weekly basis. Grades 3-5 will be on a Flexible Schedule and students can access the library as often as needed.  Kindergarten and first grade students will check out only (1) book at a time.  Second through fifth graders will check out a maximum of two (2) books at a time. All books must be returned before additional books are checked out. Each child needs a special place at home to keep books. This can help avoid damage to books. Students will be charged for damaged and lost books. 


Music classes are offered to all elementary students. Students are responsible for any musical items issued to them.  Parents and students are financially responsible for lost or damaged items. 


All students participate in physical education. Sneakers and comfortable play clothes need to be worn.  Three or more days during one 9-week period without appropriate attire will result in an unsatisfactory grade. Students will be required to participate in PE unless a note from the doctor is provided.  


Field trips are provided for Bethel Elementary students to enhance and extend their educational experience.  The following field trip guidelines must be followed:

  1. The teacher is ultimately responsible for maintaining discipline and control of the group. 
  2. Chaperones are under the direction of the teacher. All final decisions are made by the teacher. 
  3. Students must remain with their class and teacher at all times. 
  4. Students will be asked to share the expenses of the trip. Students who are unable to pay will not be denied the opportunity to participate.  
  5. Only students and school personnel will be allowed to ride the bus.  Students are expected to ride the bus to and from the destination.  
  6. Parents may have an extenuating circumstance and need to check out their child prior to the bus trip home.  In this situation, parents must notify the classroom teacher and principal prior to the field trip and provide a written note prior to the trip.  


School insurance is available for school-day coverage and/or 24 hour coverage. We urge you to consider the purchase of school insurance.  If your child is injured at school, the school may not be responsible for medical bills.


Medication administration requirements must be followed and parents must have completed the required medication forms.  All medicine must be kept in a designated area and will be administered and documented by a staff member. Parents must bring medicine to school; students are not allowed to carry it on the bus or into the school in their backpack.

A school nurse is available almost every afternoon from 12:00-3:30 and all day on Friday should you have any questions regarding your child’s health. Please feel free to call the school to contact her @ 



The goal of the counselor is to help your child have a happy and successful school year. Students are encouraged to visit the counselor’s office at any time that is agreeable with the classroom teacher.  Parents are encouraged to collaborate with the school counselor to discuss concerns that impact a child’s success in school.  Please call our school counselor to schedule an appointment. 


The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that governs the maintenance of student records. Under the law, parents/guardians of students or students if they are at least 18 years of age have both the right to inspect records kept by the school about the student and the right to correct inaccuracies in the records. Access to the records by persons other than the parents/guardians of the student is limited and generally requires prior consent by the parents/guardians and 18-year-old students under FERPA. For more information please visit http://familypolicy.ed.gov/


As part of Haywood County Schools’ long-term maintenance program, pest control will be administered monthly on all buildings and grounds. Normally scheduled pest control administration will occur the first full week of each month.Occasionally, unscheduled dispensation of pest control is needed. Notice of non-scheduled pesticide use will be made 72 hours in advance, to the extent possible. All pest control methods used in Haywood County are approved by state and federal agencies to insure safety.


Upcoming Events

May 27, 2024
HCS - Annual Leave Day
May 31, 2024
HCS - Last Student Day
June 3, 2024
HCS - Mandatory Teacher Workday
June 4, 2024
HCS - Optional Teacher Workday
June 5, 2024
HCS - Optional Teacher Workday
June 6, 2024
HCS - Optional Teacher Workday
June 7, 2024
HCS - Optional Teacher Workday
June 10, 2024
HCS - Optional Teacher Workday
August 13, 2024
HCS - Mandatory Teacher Workday
August 14, 2024
HCS - Mandatory Teacher Workday
August 15, 2024
HCS - Mandatory Staff Development Day
August 16, 2024
HCS - Optional Teacher Workday
August 19, 2024
HCS - First Student Day - 12:30 Dismissal
September 2, 2024
HCS - Holiday
October 14, 2024
HCS - Optional Teacher Workday

Contact Us

  • Bethel Elementary School
  • Amanda Watson, Principal
  • 4700 Old River Rd., Canton, NC 28716
  • 828.646.3448