Question: My child got a note saying he owes money for lunch, but he qualifies for free lunch, do I still owe?

Answer: Yes, you have to pay for any lunch your student received before he qualified for free lunch.

Q: How do I pay for lunch?

A: Some ways to pay for lunch are:

  1. Come to the Lunchroom to give our Lunchroom Manager the money.
  2. Send a check made out to SPS Nutrition Services. In the ‘Memo’ line, please include you student’s name & Lunchroom ID. The Ms. Susie will put it on your student’s account.
  3. Bring in cash or send with your student in a sealed envelope, with their name and teacher’s name on it, it will go on your student’s account.
  4. Set up a PayPams Account
    • PayPams require the student’s Student ID number or meal account pin number (provided by the school)..

Q: How will I know when my student is out of money?

A: The lunchroom will send a phone call or a note home with each student as they run out of money.

Q: Can I visit my child’s classroom to see how they are doing?

A: Absolutely! We welcome opportunities for parents to observe. If you do decide to come it, please arrange it with the teacher at least 24 hours in advance, sign in at the front office, and get a visitor’s badge.

Q: I have a problem that I need to speak to the teacher about .

A: Call or email to make an appointment with the teacher before or after school, please try not to meet during teaching time, as every moment is valuable.

Q: Can I volunteer in my child’s classroom or somewhere else in the school?

A: We encourage parents to come in and volunteer! If you would like to spend time in the classroom volunteering you will need to fill out a volunteer form in the Main Office. Any adult spending time in the classroom working with students must have an approved volunteer form on file in the office before volunteering in the classroom. Fill out the form and return it to school along with a copy of your ID, such as a driver’s license. We must do a background check for all volunteers through the Washington State Patrol.

All parents or adults going on field trips must have an approved volunteer form in the office, at lease 24-hours prior to the day of the field trip. Please visit our “Volunteering & Chaperoning” page for more information and forms.

Q: How do I get tardies excused? It was not my child’s fault that we were late.

A: Many times, in fact most often it is not the students fault he/she is late, especially if the parents drive them to school. Anytime a student misses class time it is reflected in their attendance? This includes students that leave early as well as students that arrive late. We are very protective of class time (we have a lot to get done!). The only way to have an officially excused tardy (or early out) is to bring in a note from the doctor or dentist from an appointment. Car trouble, over-sleeping, problems with baby, lost shoe, finishing homework, dog got out, no clean clothes, lost cat, etc? All these happen once in awhile, but are NOT excused. A pattern of unexcused tardies (or early outs) becomes part of a problem attendance pattern. We must then take action according to state law.

Q: What happens if my child gets in trouble at school?

A: Kids are always learning at school and will sometimes make a poor choice. We handle this by carefully teaching and re-teaching the expectations. Usually when a student makes a mistake, they are redirected or reminded of the better option and that is that. Sometimes students need more intentional consequences and are sent to the office. If a student is referred to the Main Office, the family is called so that the family can help us reinforce better choices. Consequences can include break time in the office, an apology, loss of recess, and for level three offenses—suspension. The goal is not to exclude kids from school, but to assure everyone is safe and productive. We expect all students to meet the Dearborn Park expectations (please see Student Handbook for Levels of Behavior).

Q: The traffic around school is terrible at the end of the day. Where can I pick my student up to help avoid the rush?

A: The lack of space and the volume of cars, large school buses and people can definitely be chaotic. The Seattle Chinese Alliance Church that is across the street from us has graciously allowed parents to use their parking lot. Many students walk across the street to meet parents who are picking them up. We have a crossing guard before and after school to cross students in the crosswalk.

Q: I need to pick my student up early.

A: This is an issue that has become a concern for teachers and all staff. When a child is picked up early they miss valuable teaching time, even if it is ten minutes early! A medical appointment or an emergency are what we consider valid excuses.

Q: My student would like to go to his/her friend’s house after school. What is the protocol to get them on their friend’s bus?

A: The Main Office can provide a SPS temporary bus card. In order for your student to receive a temporary bus card, we do require a written note from you, expressing your permission to let them ride the bus to their friend’s house. The written note must include:

  • Your name
  • Your phone number
  • The date
  • Your student’s name
  • A note expressing consent for your student to ride the school bus with their friend
  • The friend’s name
  • Your signature

If your question does not appear on this FAQ, you more than welcome to call the Main Office: 206-252-6930.