School Procedures

The school day begins at 9:00 a.m. and ends at 3:35 p.m.


Students are offered a nutritionally balanced breakfast and lunch daily.  The cost is listed on the monthly menu which can be found on the food services webpage. Extra milk, juice or hot meals may be ordered at an additional cost.  Students may also order items a-la-carte.

Forms to apply for reduced or free breakfast and lunch are available in the main office or on-line under the food service department.  Students whose family income falls below a federally designated level are eligible.

Please be advised that the district’s food service department has implemented a PIN system for student lunch accounts.  You may contact the food service department at (845) 878-2094 X 225 with any questions. 

All students will have an hour lunch and recess.

Dropping Off Students

Our school day begins at 9:00 and ends at 3:35  **Please do not drop children off at school before 8:50 AM**

  1. Please drive slowly while in the parking lot and adhere to safety directions.
  2. No child should be dropped off at school before 8:50 A.M. because there is no one to supervise your child.
  3. At 8:50 a Custodian will be available to open your car door and greets your child at the Kindergarten entrance.
  4. If you arrive at school and no one is outside to supervise your child, please park your car and walk your child into the main entrance of the school. Please do not leave your car running outside by the entranceway.
  5. Please do not park in the spaces designated as reserved or handicapped.

Release of Students

According to the Board of Education policy, students can only be released to authorized adult(s). This includes parents and those listed as emergency contacts. If your child is to go home with someone not listed as an emergency contact, please send a note, or contact the office to give us direction and permission. Children can be picked up in the cafeteria at dismissal. Please be prepared to show identification.

When your child needs to leave school during the day for any reason, such as a Dr.’s appointment, you MUST come to the Main Office to sign him/her out.  If returning the same day, it is necessary to sign in.  It is always helpful to send a note to the teacher with this information as well. 

IMPORTANT: If there is a restraining order or parenting plan that is relevant to your child, we must have a copy for your child's file in order to comply.

If there is an emergency, we will only release students to people listed as emergency contacts/authorized persons, or who a parent specifically authorizes when we contact the parent.

Parent Custody Issues

If there are issues involving custody, whether legal or personal in nature, make sure the office is provided appropriate documentation. If you are not the primary residence of the child but would like copies of all school notifications, please send a letter of request to the office.

Practice Drills

Matthew Paterson Elementary has a number of practice drills to insure the safety of students.  The following is a list of drills that will be practiced during the school year.  Families are not told when the drills occur.  Be assured that teachers will help children to understand that the drills are practice and that students are not in any danger.

  • Emergency evacuation
  • Fire
  • High wind
  • Lock-down
  • Sheltering
  • Tornado/severe weather

Class Parties

Holiday parties and class celebrations are enrichment to our program.  We welcome parental involvement and participation.  There are guidelines for parties to ensure a safe environment for students and adults.  Guidelines for parties foster a calm, structured, purposeful environment.   Guidelines help avoid over-crowding and parking lot safety.  The guidelines are:

  • Parents will be scheduled with the classroom teacher for each party.
  • Only parents on a list for the day will be permitted to attend.
  • The party is for the children in the class only. Siblings should not attend.
  • Every parent is required to sign in and wear an ID tag.
  • Please refrain from visiting additional classrooms.

Lost & Found

Our school has a lost and found cabinet available during school hours throughout the school year. It is located in the cafeteria. Parents should be sure their children’s possessions are labeled with your child’s name (i.e., lunches, and clothing) to ensure proper identification. Items not claimed are given to charity at the middle and end of the year.

Toys, Games & Devices

In an attempt to keep the focus of the school on academic issues, we ask that no personal property be brought to school. Personal property is defined as anything that is brought to school by the student that does not directly support a particular lesson or educational activity assigned by the teacher. This includes but is not limited to trading cards (i.e., “Pokemon,” sports cards, etc.) gum, candy and other food (except as part of lunch or classroom snack), skateboards, skate shoes, rollerblades, electronic devices (Walkman, portable C.D. players, Gameboy, virtual pets, etc.) laser devices, pictures, posters, games, toys, and excessive amounts of money. For the safety of students, bicycles and scooters are also not permitted. Cellular phones, electronic pagers, and/or wireless telecommunication devices should not be brought to school. In addition to the distraction of these items to the learning process, they can be a source of conflict between students. They can become lost or damaged as well. For the benefit of everyone, all of these items should be kept at home where they are safe and do not interfere with the school’s focus. The school will not be responsible for lost, stolen or damaged personal property.

Homework Procedures


The Site Based Team established homework procedures for all students at Matthew Paterson Elementary School.  As a learning community we believe that the purpose of homework is to:

  • Build study habits.
  • Increase student knowledge.
  • Build better attitudes about school.
  • Provide consistency between school and home.
  • Reinforce what is learned in school.
  • Provide opportunities for creative projects that expand student learning.

Homework will be assigned to students at Matthew Paterson Elementary School four to five days a week based upon teacher discretion.  It is expected that all students will spend quality time doing homework and all homework returned to school is neat, appropriate, spelled correctly and organized. 

In addition to homework, students should read a minimum of twenty minutes each day and accomplish reading at least twenty books on their own outside of assigned reading from school.  Parents are encouraged to read with their children.

Time Spent on Homework

Homework and classwork are different.   Teachers will note on top of a student’s page when the assignment is classwork to be made up or homework.  Work not completed in school is expected to be completed at home in addition to homework.

How Much Time Should a Student Spend on Homework?

The following are rules-of-thumb guidelines for the amount of time homework assignments should take. Since students work at a different pace, parents should use discretion as to how much time should be allotted to an assignment. If your child consistently has a hard time finishing assignments, call or meet with her/his teacher to discuss the difficulty.

As we strive for Differentiated Instruction, all students’ homework experience will be varied in content, and more uniform with respect to the time they need to invest in it. Independent reading is an important component of the complete education of every student. The following time guidelines do not include independent reading unless specifically assigned.

Kindergarten - 10 minutes per night

Grade One - Approximately 15-20 minutes per night

Grade Two - Approximately 20-30 minutes per night

Grade Three - Approximately 30-45 minutes per night

Grade Four - Approximately 40-60 minutes per night

Field Trip Procedures

We recognize that parents are an essential positive component for their child’s total educational program. Parents are invited to volunteer to participate on school trips.  Teachers will select parents on a rotating basis set forth by the classroom teacher.  These guidelines should be followed when participating on field trips.

  1. All children need a parent signed permission slip.
  1. School rules and expectations are to be followed.
  1. Parents are discouraged from following school buses during school trips due to the safety and security of our students.
  1. Chaperones are responsible to ride the school bus and assist the teacher in overseeing students from the time they leave the building to the time they return to school. If a parent is uncomfortable on a school bus, perhaps another volunteer activity is better suited to that individual parent.
  1. Parents are required to adhere to the school sign-out procedures, at the end of the field trip.
  1. Smoking is not permitted during a field trip.