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Getting Started

I. Getting Started

Parents can help children make a smooth transition from summer vacation into the new school year by discussing with them information about transportation, the school lunch system, and safety rules for the playground. Parents should also provide essential supplies and name labels on clothing.


Children who reach the age of five, on or before September 30, are eligible to attend school that year. The child’s birth certificate, immunization records and documentation of recent physical exam are required. Kindergarten registration is generally held in April or early May for the following school year. Families new to the Hanover School District should register as soon as possible. Health and academic records from the previous school are needed; the school will write for these records after a parent signs a release. Parents should separately provide immunization and birth documents.

Dressing for School

There is no specific dress code for the Ray School. However, students may be asked to remove or modify unsafe or inappropriate footwear (e.g., sandals for gym) or other clothing. We teach and model the common standards of etiquette and propriety, and discourage wearing hats, items of abbreviated clothing, and inappropriate T-shirt slogans in school. Sneakers are required for physical education classes and outdoor play. Children may keep a smock or roomy shirt for use during art classes and craft activities.

Children should be dressed appropriately for weather conditions, prepared to be outdoors during recess and gym periods. They go outside unless it is raining or bitterly cold, and are not permitted back inside once they have gone outside. They need warm jackets, hats, mittens, and boots for cold or wet weather. They may not play in the snow unless they wear boots. When boots are worn, children will need to bring shoes for inside. Extra shoes may be left at school. Boots may not be worn inside, and slippers are not encouraged in case of a fire drill during the winter months.

Please label all clothing your child normally removes or stores during the school day: jackets, boots, hats, mittens, sweatshirts, sweaters, rain gear, book bags as well as items brought to school for playground activities, display to the class, etc. Many useful, often wonderful, items end up unclaimed in the Lost-and-Found bin near the school’s front door. Unclaimed items are eventually given to local service organizations.

Essential Supplies

The school provides paper, pencils and textbooks. Parents may supplement these with notebooks, pens, etc. Classroom teachers will send additional information about recommended supplies and activity schedules. Parents may be asked to supply specific items for special projects. If this imposes a financial burden, the school can make other arrangements. Please contact the principal in such cases.

Arrival and Dismissal

Children who walk or are driven to school may not arrive before outdoor supervision begins at 7:45 a.m. For students who arrive by bus, supervision begins when their bus arrives. School doors open at 7:45 a.m. Instruction begins at 8:00 a.m. Students who arrive after 8:00 a.m. are considered to be late unless tardiness is caused by a late school bus. Late students must report to the office before continuing to their classrooms.

Hours of instruction are 8:00 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. (1:55 p.m. on Wednesdays). The school office is open from 7:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. on school days.

Students needing to be dismissed early must bring a note from a parent and/or guardian and report to the office when it is time to leave and be dismissed directly from the office to the parent and/or guardian. Do not arrange to meet your child elsewhere.

Except for unexpected changes directed by a parent and/or guardian the student will be dismissed, as is his/her usual routine. The parent and/or guardian need to notify the office of any dismissal changes prior to 1:00 p.m. Students will not be allowed to initiate changes, please make sure you have discussed with your child(ren) prior to school his/her dismissal plans for the day. Again, all expected changes in dismissal should have a note from the parent and/or guardian.

Each classroom begins the school day with the Pledge of Allegiance, in compliance with New Hampshire statute RSA 194:15-c. Children may participate or not, depending on their preference and belief. Whether participating or not, children are to respect the rights of their classmates.

Kindergarten Dismissal. A reminder to parents of kindergarteners -- please wait by the teacher-designated area to pick-up your child. For safety reasons, children must wait for the whistle, line up with their class, and proceed to the front of the school to line up in a bus line, or a parent pickup line. Kindergarten students ride the regular route buses to the Ray School in the morning and home in the afternoon. It is essential that an adult receive kindergarten students at their afternoon stop. Drivers are instructed NOT to drop off kindergartners at stops without an adult to receive them.

For more information about other transportation-related topics, see the chapter on Transportation (page 18).


Punctuality is an important part of developing good work habits. Regular attendance and punctuality are expected of each student from the first day of school.

When a child will be absent, parents must notify the school office before 9 a.m. Otherwise, the office will call parents of children who are not in school to confirm their absence.

Medical or other outside appointments should be scheduled outside the school day whenever possible. Students who must leave school during the day must bring a note from a parent or guardian. They must report to the office when it is time to leave, and be dismissed directly from the office to the parent or guardian. Do not arrange to meet your child elsewhere.

Homework during absences.  Children should rest and get well during the early stage of an illness. We prefer not to send school work home until the third day of an absence. For absences less than two days, homework is sent home only if parents request it by calling the school office (643-6655). Assignments can go home with a relative or neighbor, be picked up by a parent, or a sibling if requested by a parent.

Planned Absences.  Teachers are concerned about the impact of student absence at any grade level. Extra work is required of teachers to bring returning students up to speed, and work done at home does not replicate the classroom experience. For planned absences of more than 15 days, parents are required to develop a school-approved home education plan. The approval process takes time, so parents should begin discussions with teachers and administrators well in advance.

School Lunch.  Children may bring lunch from home or purchase a hot or cold lunch at the school cafeteria. Students eat in their classrooms, supervised by an adult. Further information, including time, cost and provision for free and reduced lunch, see the section on Food at School (page 12) within the Ray School Environment chapter.

Transportation.  Ray school students include walkers, bikers, bus riders and car riders. Each mode of arrival has its own safety and security needs, which are described in the chapter on Transportation (page 18). Bus routes are published on the school web site, and in a home-mailer booklet each year. Routes are also published in the Valley News each fall. Student bikers must have written permission from their parents.