Student Handbook

Bel-Aire Elementary School

2023-24 Handbook

Principal: Dr. Clint Epley


The faculty and staff welcome you to Bel-Aire Elementary School. Please take the time to read through this handbook together.  It contains valuable information that will help you to have the best possible experience at our school. Our school welcomes parent participation and support.  Please let us know if we can assist you and your child as we work together to make this a successful school year. All parents and visitors are welcome. To ensure the safety of our students, a photo ID will be required each time you visit.

The mission of Bel-Aire Elementary School is to maintain a safe learning environment that focuses on individual student achievement and academic expectations.




SUPERVISION IS NOT PROVIDED FOR STUDENTS ON SCHOOL GROUNDS BEFORE 7:15 AM.  Walkers should not arrive before 7:15. Students need to remain in cars until 7:15. Students arriving at school between 7:15 and 7:45 should go straight to the cafeteria.  Students arriving after 7:45 should go directly to their classrooms. The school day begins promptly at 8:00 a.m. each day. Dismissal is at 3:00 p.m. except for Wednesday. Dismissal on Wednesday is at 1:00.  Students who are not picked up on time may be sent to Kool Kids, and there is a fee for this service.

Children who walk home from school each day are called to the front lobby and escorted out of the building with a staff member.  They leave from the door that is closest to the direction they will walk. A walker is expected to walk directly home. Please do not park off campus and have your child walk to a vehicle. This is not a safe procedure. Students being picked up should be dismissed in our pick up lines.

Children who ride home in cars are dismissed to three locations.  Kindergarten and first grades gather at the back door closest to the kindergarten hallway.  Second and third grades dismiss from the front porch. Fourth and fifth grades dismiss from the Bel-Aire Drive side of the building.  Adults are requested to please remain in your cars in the pick-up lines, and staff will walk children to the cars.

Car tags will be given to each student. One per family  If you walk to the school to pick up your child, you must have a car tag. If you arrive for pick up without a car tag, you will be asked to park and come in to show your ID before your child is dismissed. As a safety procedure, please update your pick up list as needed. Anyone not on the card will not be allowed to pick up your child.

  • All students should enter and leave cars at the curbside.

  • Students who have not been picked up by 3:30 will be taken to Kool Kids.  Parents will be required to pay the daily fee.

  • Please do not leave cars parked in the traffic lanes.  If you need to come into the building, park in the designated parking areas on Stone Boulevard.


Student success in school is directly tied to attendance.  Each day a student learns new skills and ideas that will help in the activities of the next day.  The importance of prompt and regular attendance cannot be over emphasized.  Law requires your child’s attendance.  The courts hold the parents accountable for their child’s attendance in school.  The schools are required to maintain records of all student absences, including any reasons for the absence or tardiness.  Parents should call the office after 7:30 if their child is going to be absent. Send in doctor’s notes if the child visits the doctor. It is understandable that a child might not visit the doctor for every ailment. However, after 5 days of excused or unexcused absences, a doctor’s excuse will be required.

The principal has the authority to excuse students when absent under the following conditions as designated in the policies of the Tullahoma City School Board of Education:

  • Child’s personal illness

  • Illness in the family requiring temporary help from the child

  • Death in the family

  • Special religious holidays regularly observed by persons of their faith

  • Doctor’s appointment (Parents are encouraged to make these appointments on Wednesday afternoons after 1:00.)

  • Other reasons as determined by the principal

Any absence is unexcused if the school is not notified of the reason for the absence or if the reason does not fit into one of the above categories.

Since 1994, the principal has been required to notify the Director of Schools when any student is absent without an excuse for a total of five (5) school days.  A parent whose child has 5 or more days of unexcused absences will receive a letter informing them of the absences.

Automatic Phone Messaging System

Tullahoma City Schools use an automated phone message system to notify parents of important events.  Pre-recorded messages will be sent to all Bel-Aire families as a means of communication throughout the school year as needed.  Please make sure the office has a current phone number.  The system will keep trying to reach each home or will leave a message.

Bel-Aire Belief Statements, Pledge, and Cheer

  1. Our students have the right to learn in a safe environment where developmentally appropriate learning activities, instructional time, and regular school attendance are valued and expected.

  2. Student instruction should be based on a evidence-based curriculum that supports best practices and clearly defines expectations for student learning.

  3. Frequent and varied assessments monitor and evaluate student learning and are analyzed to improve instruction.

  4. Teachers, parents, students, and the community share the responsibility for the support of the school’s mission.

  5. Clearly communicated behavioral, academic, and attendance policies contribute to the school’s mission.



I am a Bel-Aire Bee.
I will be respectful, responsible, and safe.
I will be the best I can be!



Be the best that you can be.
That’s our motto; that’s our plea
Bel-Aire Bees are really neat.
We’re number one; we can’t be beat!


Bullying is repeated, unwanted behavior with an intention to hurt someone. It is different from conflict because bullying involves an imbalance of power. Potential bullying behaviors may include: social exclusion, false rumors and/or threats. It may be verbal or physical.

We desire a safe learning environment for all our children. Therefore, bullying is unacceptable.

Cancellation of School

School may be canceled under extraordinary circumstances such as extreme weather, equipment failure, or public crisis.  Every practical means is used to notify parents of an impending cancellation, including radio, TV, and social media.  Tullahoma City Schools uses an automated phone system to notify parents of important information as well as social media outlets.  A correct and current phone number is needed for this service.  Parents should watch Cablevision’s Channel 6 and Nashville TV or listen to AM 1610. Announcements of school closings will be made as early as possible.  Make sure that the school cancellation is for Tullahoma City Schools, not Coffee County.


Students who arrive at school after 8:00 a.m. will be counted tardy and will not be eligible for perfect attendance recognition.  Any student who is late for school must report to the school office for permission to enter class.  The parent or guardian should accompany a child who is tardy to the office to sign the attendance register.

No child is allowed to leave the school grounds without permission.  When a student must leave the school for any reason during the day, the child’s parent or guardian must sign the child out in the school office.  Students who are checked out of school before the regular dismissal time are not eligible for perfect attendance recognition. The only persons allowed to check out your child are those you have authority to do so in writing. Photo IDs will be required. Keep this list updated in the office.

All tardies and early checkouts are recorded daily and will be recorded on the child’s report card.  Parents should send a written note to the teacher and/or call the school office with the reason why the student misses any part of the school day.


Discipline and Behavior Policy

We believe that all students can and should behave appropriately while at school.  All teachers have a right to teach, and all students have a right to learn in a safe environment.  Our school abides by the Tullahoma Board of Education Policy Manual.


Dress Code

Students have a better self-concept if they come to school dressed in clean and comfortable clothes.  Student attire should not be a distraction in the classroom. Children are expected to wear tennis/athletic shoes for safety reasons (no cleats).  Flip flops are not safe shoes to wear to school. Some of the items we DO NOT ALLOW students to wear are:

  • Bare midriffs, halters, strapless or spaghetti strap tops

  • Any item that advertises drugs, alcohol, or tobacco

  • Any item that has obscene or inappropriate slogans

  • Shorts or skirts that are too short

Teachers will determine the appropriateness of the student’s attire and conference with the student. Parents may be called if necessary to bring a change of clothes. We also keep clothes in the office for students who need to change.  

General Expectations


  1. Bring only necessary supplies to school – no toys, trading cards, computer games, etc.

  2. Fighting will not be tolerated.

  3. Obscene language or hand gestures are not tolerated.

  4. Any student violating Tullahoma Board of Education Policy 6.52 (weapons) will be suspended pending an administrative hearing.  See also Board Policy relating to bullying/harassment.

Health and Medication

The education and well being of students is of primary concern in our school.  In some unique circumstances, students require medications during school hours to maintain and support their continued presence in school.  All prescription and non-prescription medications that are required to be given at school are kept in the school office in a secure area.


The school may assist students who require medication during the school hours only with proper written documentation.  A medical permission form provided by the school must be completed and returned to the school before school personnel may give these medications.  If over the counter medication is to be given, parents must sign the permission form.  If prescription medication is to be given, both the physician and parent must sign the permission form.  Parents are encouraged to have extra copies of the permission forms available for trips to the health care provider.  Additional copies of the medication permission form are available in the office.


Medications must be brought to the office by the parent/guardian in the original container.  For students who are on long-term medications, parents may wish to ask their pharmacist to dispense the medication in two bottles – one for home and one for school.

The policy of Tullahoma City Schools is to exclude students with live lice since pediculosis is a communicable disorder.  When a student is found to have live lice at school, the parent is notified that the student must be removed from school until he/she has been appropriately treated and no live lice remain in the hair.  The parent is also responsible for accompanying the student to school after the appropriate treatment has been completed. The parent should remain at the school until the child has been checked.

Instructional Supplies

Each child is expected to have the necessary supplies requested at each grade level. A fee established by the Board of Education for instructional supplies is collected from each child at the beginning of the school year.  This money is used to buy consumable materials that will be used by a student during the course of a school year.  No fee may be required of a child, but we ask that those able send the fee money to the classroom teacher to help offset consumables.

Lost and Found

Please mark all clothing (coats, gloves, etc.) with your child’s name.  Each year, we have several articles of nice clothing lost or left at school. Items are kept for a period of time at the school. If clothing items are missing, feel free to visit the lost/found table. Unclaimed items will eventually be donated to charity.

Lunch and Breakfast Programs

Bel-Aire Elementary provides a free breakfast and lunch each day. Breakfast in the Classroom starts at 7:45 am.  Several choices are offered each day through the school nutrition program. Extra foods are available and priced separately.  If you do not wish for your child to purchase extra items, contact the Bel-Aire cafeteria manager, and this will be noted on your child’s account.

Children may bring their lunches from home.  However, NO SOFT DRINKS may be brought from home.


Parents and other interested people are invited to eat lunch with the students.  In order to properly prepare enough food for all of our students and guests, please make reservations by calling the school cafeteria. When visiting, check in at the office, get a visitor’s badge, and wait in the lobby. Students in grades 3-5 will walk with you from the lobby to the cafeteria for lunch.  If you are eating with a student in grades K-2, we ask that you remain in the lobby until the scheduled lunch time. This procedure will allow the teacher and the students to prepare for lunch following their usual routine. After eating, please sign out in the office. We ask that you do not walk to the classrooms or playground after lunch.


In order to provide fast and efficient service in the cafeteria, we use a computerized cash register and record keeping system.  With this system, each student is given a personal number that he/she will use as long as he/she is a student at Bel-Aire. Money may be deposited into a child’s account before each school day.


Why does a student need to take certain foods?

Tullahoma City Schools participate in the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs and receive some reimbursement for the meals served.  Since Tullahoma City Schools participate in this program, we must meet their requirements. According to the Federal Guidelines, a school lunch must offer 5 meal components:  1 serving of 2 ounces of meat or meat alternate, 1 bread serving, 2 different servings of fruits and/or vegetables (1/2 cup), and 1 cup milk. For a plate to count as a meal, the student must take at least 3 different food items of the required components and may take 4 or 5.  A double serving of one of the items may not count toward meeting the meal requirement.  When a student does not take 3, 4, or 5 of the meal component items, in the required amount, the foods must be priced individually.  Ala Carte pricing (pricing for individual food items) is more expensive, so we encourage selecting the full meal. When a student chooses to take more than the permitted serving size, the student must be charged for the extra.


The National School Breakfast Program requirements are similar to those of the Lunch Program.  However, only 4 components must be offered and 3 must be chosen for the plate to be a reimbursable meal.

No commercial restaurant food or soft drinks will be allowed for the child or the visitor.  When the school holds Picnic Day, this is allowed.

Questions may be directed to the Director of Nutrition, Angela Cardwell at 454-2600.

Moment of Silence

State law requires that we begin every day with a moment of silence.  During this time all talking and movement will stop throughout the building.

Parent Teacher Conferences

Parents and teachers are encouraged to communicate on a regular basis. Two formal conference days are scheduled each school year.  However, other conferences can be arranged at any time throughout the year. Conference dates are indicated on the TCS Academic Calendar.

When a conference is desired, please contact the teacher by email or sending a note.


Parties are limited to a party at Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and a treat for Halloween.  Kindergarten students will have a costume party on Halloween.

Parents are encouraged to recognize birthdays outside of school.  Please do not send flowers or balloons to students at school.  Please do not distribute party invitations at school.  If you do send these items, they will not be given out until the end of the day.

Picture Day

Individual student and class pictures will be taken each year.  The photographer will offer you a package of pictures for purchase. Check our school calendar for the “picture day” at Bel-Aire.


Bel-Aire students participate in the pledge to the flag during morning announcements.

Pre-Entrance Testing

Students who come from schools other than those approved by the Department of Education may be required to complete exams to determine their performance level and/or appropriate placement.


Pre-School/Child Find Program

The Tullahoma City School System’s preschool child-find program offers free screening for all preschool children living within the city limits of Tullahoma.  Any child, age 3 to 5 years old, is eligible for screening. If you are concerned about your child’s hearing, vision, speech, language, motor, or cognitive development, please call 454-2639 for further information or to schedule an appointment.

Related Arts: PE, Art, & Music

Students may receive grades in special classes based on the student’s effort, behavior, and participation.  We believe that participation in these classes enhances the lives of our students and contributes to their successes at school.  All students are expected to wear tennis shoes on PE days.

Report Cards

Report cards are issued following the completion of each nine-week grading period.  Progress reports are also sent home in the middle of the grading period. Please carefully review your child’s progress and contact the school if you have any questions regarding grades.


  • 1 = Experiencing great difficulty

  • 2 = Not consistent/Still needs practice

  • 3 = Consistent/Still needs practice


Grades 1 & 2

Students will receive numerical grades based on a 100 point scale.

  • EM = Exemplary/Mastery  92.50% - 100%

  • PC = Proficient/Consistent  84.50% - 92.49%

  • NC = Not Consistent  74.50% - 84.49%

  • EGD = Experiencing Great Difficulty  74.49% and below


Grades 3, 4, & 5

  • A = 93 – 100% B = 85 – 92% C = 75 – 84%   D = 70 – 74%    F = 69% and below

**An indication of grade level will also be marked in reading and math for grades 1-5.


Reporting Progress

Each week your child will bring graded work home for your review. Please go over these papers with your child, as this is also a part of the learning process.  Sign the folder as requested by your child’s teacher. Teachers will communicate with parents regarding missing assignments. Students in grade 3-5 will have an agenda. Students in grade K-2 will utilize folders and may send work home on a daily basis to inform you of student progress.  Parents are encouraged to use the online grade book program. User information and student passwords will be assigned at the beginning of the school year.


Procedures for student evacuation are posted in each classroom area.  Fire, tornado, and other safety drills are held periodically. A committee of teachers, parents, administrators, and local law enforcement officials has developed the safety plan at Bel-Aire.  It is available for review by parents or other interested community members.


School-Wide Positive Behavior Support

Bel-Aire staff believe that children should be recognized for appropriate behavior throughout the school.  Three rules have been adopted:

  • BE RESPECTFUL – to all adults, fellow students, and building

  • BE RESPONSIBLE - complete assignments and tasks as necessary

  • BE SAFE - follow rules and procedures to promote a safe environment

Students will be taught the expectations for how to follow these rules at the beginning of each school year and throughout the year as needed.   Children who demonstrate appropriate behavior will be rewarded in various ways. Bel-Aire implements a Positive Behavior System. Faculty/Staff will handle minor infractions in the classroom and send a discipline sheet as notification of the incident. When a student receives 3 discipline sheets, on office referral will take place. All major infractions resulting in an office referral will be handled by the principal, and the parents/guardians will be notified.

Staff Qualifications

Parents may request information about qualifications of teachers and educational aides who instruct their child.

Student Information Cards

Student information cards are kept on file in the office.  These cards contain information concerning emergency phone numbers and names of persons who are allowed to pick up a child.  A student is not allowed to leave school with someone whose name is not on the card.  Parents/guardians need to keep the cards updated with phone numbers and other pertinent information.  The office should also be notified of any custody issues and will require copies of court documentation for the safety of the child. The office goes by current records.  Please update pick up list as needed.


Student Media Access Opt Out/ Student Privacy Information

All student records are stored in the office.  Access to any student’s record is limited to persons directly responsible for the child’s educational needs.

The United States Department of Education provides protection of student records under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).  


Click Here to view these rights and access the opt-out form.  

Click Here to view student privacy information including COPPA laws, HIPPA laws and TCS Board Policy - Media Access to Students.  


Students Entering Kindergarten

In order to register a child for Kindergarten, parents/guardians are required to produce a current immunization record on the state form, proof of a physical examination within the last twelve months, a birth certificate, and a Social Security card.  Parents will also be required to provide proof of residence in the Bel-Aire school zone. A child must be 5 years of age on or before August 15 in order to enter Kindergarten.



The office telephone is a business phone and is not to be used by students, except in an emergency.  Messages to students should be limited to emergency situations.

If you wish to talk to a staff member, we request that is done by email. If you prefer telephone contact, the secretary will take your number and notify the staff member to return your call.  We make every attempt to protect your child’s instructional time.

Cell phones owned by students should be left at home.  If cell phones are brought to school, they are to remain in the student’s backpack and the power must be turned off.  If a student breaks this rule, the phone will be taken by the teacher, and a parent will be required to come to the school to get the phone.  If there is a second offense, the phone will be taken to the office. The principal reserves the right to lock the phone away until the end of the school year.

Check the TCS “Bring Your Own Device” policy on the website for more information.


Parents are welcome at Bel-Aire, but all visitors are required to stop at the office for a visitor’s badge before visiting any area of the building.  PLEASE REMEMBER YOUR PHOTO ID. Visitors come to our school for various reasons:

  • If you are dropping off an item, leave it, and we will gladly see that it is sent to your child as soon as possible.

  • If you need to see your child, let the secretary know.  She will send for the student to come to the office. We do ask that you remain in the office/lobby.

  • If you are with us for special event days, please stay with your child’s class during that time.  Please notify the teacher in advance if you need a conference.  We know that you want to protect your child’s instructional time. Parents should not visit teachers between 7:45 and 8:00 without a prior appointment.


Bel-Aire has an active PTO Board composed of parent volunteers. All parents are encouraged to volunteer throughout the school year. Volunteers organize and run our Walkathon fundraiser, assist with Book Fairs, AR Store, and help work with children. Please notify the classroom teacher if you are interested in volunteering.