Skip Navigation

Parent & Student Handbook



Welcome, to a new and exciting year of learning. The faculty and I encourage each of you to maintain an active role in your child’s educational experience throughout the school year. This handbook is designed to provide you with information, policies and procedures, which will ensure the safety of students; the opportunity for all children to learn; and expectations for the way students, staff members, and adult volunteers interact with each other. It is important that all of us: students, staff members and parents work together to create a positive school atmosphere in which learning is meaningful, challenging and enjoyable. Please use this handbook as a reference point in conjunction with other school related materials you will receive during the
school year.

Optimal Learning Home-School Agreement

Parent Agreement

Parent: I want my child to achieve and succeed. Therefore, I shall strive to:

  • See that my child is punctual, strive for 100% attendance, and contact the school if my child is absent. Schedule
    appointments before or after school.
  • Support the school in its efforts to maintain proper discipline.
  • Ensure my child wears their uniform daily.
  • Establish a time and place for homework; check the work nightly, and sign the agenda book or folder. Talk with my child about his/her school activities every day.
  • Monitor my child’s progress by reviewing school work, progress reports, requesting and attending conferences, report cards, and using the Family Portal.
  • Read with or to my child daily and sign the family reading log. Limit my child’s TV viewing/video games and help select worthwhile programs.
  • Join our PTA and volunteer a minimum of two times during the school year

Teacher Agreement

Teacher: It is essential that all students achieve and succeed. Therefore, I shall strive to:

  • Engage students in cognitive demanding learning experiences in my classroom.
  • Provide homework assignments for students Monday through Friday.
  • Communicate students' progress through work sent home, agenda book, Family Portal, progress reports,
    conferences, and report card.
  • Provide differentiated instruction to meet the diverse needs of my students.
  • Explain my expectations, instructional goals, and grading system to students and parents.
  • Provide opportunities for parental engagement, i.e. projects, volunteer opportunities, family nights, etc,
  • Enforce our school wide discipline expectations and student code of conduct.

Student Agreement

Student: It is essential that I work to the best of my ability. Therefore, I shall strive to:

  • Achieve 100% attendance.
  • Wear my uniform daily and follow the Prince George’s County Public Schools Dress Code.
  • Adhere to the behavior expectations of Barack Obama Elementary School.
  • Come to school each day with pens, pencils, paper, and other necessary tools for learning.
  • Work as hard as I can on my school assignments and complete and return homework assignments.
  • Read every day for a minimum of 15 minutes at home.
  • Follow the Code of Student Conduct at school, on the bus or on field trips.

Administration Agreement

Principal/Assistant Principal: It is essential that I work to the best of my ability. Therefore, I shall strive to:

  • Create a welcoming environment for students, parents and staff.
  • Communicate our school's mission and goals to staff, students, parents and community.
  • Serve as the instructional leader by focusing on teaching for learning & supporting teachers in their classrooms.
  • Ensure a safe and orderly learning environment with parental support.
  • Enforce our school wide discipline expectations and student code of conduct.
  • Provide opportunities for parental engagement, i.e. PTA, projects, volunteer opportunities, or family literacy, math or science nights.
  • Provide appropriate professional development and training for teachers all staff.

Most important, we pledge to maintain a positive open line of communication, model appropriate behavior and support each other to carry out this agreement. My child’s dedicated homework space and time is ___________________________.

School Hours, Arrival and Dismissal Procedures, and Transportation

School Hours

Before & After Care: 7-7:45 a.m. & 1:55 - 6 p.m.
Office: 7:15-3:00 p.m.
Registration Hours: 9:00-1:00 p.m.
Students: 7:45-1:55 p.m.
Teachers: 7:15-2:45 p.m.

Kiss and Ride Arrival & Dismissal Procedures

Kiss and Ride areas for cars will be through the Main Entrance. Every car will enter the gate and proceed to the kiss and ride designated area. Your child is expected to exit the car quickly and parents are to immediately exit the parking lot. Parents will not be allowed to park their cars in this area during the arrival (7:20-7:40 a.m.) and dismissal (1:40-2:10 p.m.). All driving within the Kiss and Ride perimeter is continuous. If your child is not present as you reach the pick-up area, you will be motioned to continue driving, and circle the Kiss and Ride perimeter again.

Parking Areas

Because the safety of our students is of paramount importance, it is necessary to establish rules regarding the use of school parking lots and the areas near the school, when dropping off or picking up students, please be considerate to other drivers by treating them with courtesy and respect. Automobile traffic is not permitted in the bus loop during the time of bus loading and unloading. These times are 7:20 to 7:40 a.m. and 1:40 to 2:10 p.m. School buses may never be passed while loading or unloading students. You are encouraged to let your children ride the bus to and from school due to the traffic situation. If you need to come in to the school building during these times, you may park on Brooke Lane and walk inside.

Bus Transportation

School bus transportation is provided for every student that lives within our school boundaries. This is also a privilege for all, which means that this privilege can be withdrawn for inappropriate behavior on the bus or at the bus stop. We believe that all students can behave appropriately and safely while waiting at the bus stop and riding on a school bus, and will not tolerate students prohibiting drivers from operating the bus safely. Students should be at the bus stop at least 10 minutes prior to their scheduled bus pick-up. Parents are responsible for the supervision and safety of students from home until they board the bus, as well as from the bus stop to home.

In accordance with Prince George’s County Public Schools Administrative Procedure 5131.1 on School Bus Conduct, all students must follow the rules listed below:

Prior to Loading

  • Be at the bus stop on time.
  • Remain on the sidewalk while waiting for the bus to arrive. Be considerate of the property of others by staying off lawns, porches, shrubs, etc.
  • Stand in line and wait until the bus comes to a complete stop before attempting to load.

While on the Bus

  • Stay seated at all times, facing forward.
  • Do not throw objects from or at the bus.
  • No eating or drinking, fighting or playing.
  • Keep feet out of the aisles, arms out of the windows.
  • Obey the driver and patrols at all times.
  • Do not use foul or abusive language.
  • Do not deface or damage any part of the bus.
  • Speak in a conversational voice. No yelling, screaming, or boisterous behavior.
  • Cell phones, cameras, radios, toys, and electronic devices or games are not allowed.

After Leaving the Bus

  • Get off at your designated stop.
  • Cross the road when necessary, but only after looking to be sure that no traffic is approaching from either direction.

Each driver is provided with a discipline log and Bus Conduct Report Form.

If a student chooses to break a rule, the following consequences are applied:

Level One Corrected by bus driver, seat change, student conference, parent conference or parent contact
Level Two Administrative referral, parent contact, parent/student conference or bus behavior contract
Level Three Administrative referral, possible restriction or suspension of school bus riding privileges or short-term suspension
Level Four Administrative referral with request for long-term suspension/extended suspension or suspension of bus privileges


Any behavior that impedes the driver’s ability to transport children safely (e.g. fighting, throwing objects, etc.) will result in immediate consequences. Continued misbehavior may result in permanent denial of bus privileges. Students must ride their assigned bus. Parents are advised to discuss and review the guidelines and consequences with their children, making sure that each child understands the expectations. Thank you in advance for your support of the conditions established to ensure the safety of all students. The transportation office schedules bus stops and bus routes. Late bus & additional information can be found on or by email -

Delayed Openings and Emergency Closing of School

Delayed Openings

Changes due to emergency conditions are announced on local radio, television stations and on the County’s website or sign up at school messenger via website to receive an email or text message. These public service announcements will be broadcast before 6:30 a.m. and at other times during the day should an emergency occur. The announcements will refer to a one or two-hour delay. One-hour delay; all buses run one hour later than normal. Two-hour delay; all buses run two hours later than usual. Before & After Care, Pre K and Kindergarten classes will be held on days when there is a one or two-hour delay.

  • 1 Hour Delayed Opening - BOES begins at 8:45 a.m.
  • 2 Hour Delayed Opening - BOES begins at 9:45 a.m.

Early Closings

School closing before the regular time will be broadcast over local radio, television stations and on the County’s website .
School buses will transport students home and Food Services will provide lunch. All afternoon and evening activities will be cancelled. An
Emergency School Closing /PM Transportation Information form will be sent home the first week of school. Please be sure to complete
and return this form so that the school is aware of your plans for your child. Each family should work out an emergency plan in the event of
an early closing so that children know exactly what to do and where to go when a responsible person is not at home.

  • 3 Hour Early Closing - BOES closes at 10:55 a.m.
  • 2 Hour Early Closing - BOES closes at 11:55 a.m.
  • 1 Hour Early Closing - BOES closes at 12:55 p.m.

Early Departures

Students are expected to complete a full day of school. Instruction ends at 1:55 p.m. Early dismissal to facilitate parent convenience not only disrupts the class but also deprives the student of valuable instruction. Parents are encouraged to make medical appointments after school hours. When an early departure is necessary, a note indicating the time, date, and reason for departure must be presented to the teacher at the beginning of the school day. This enables the teacher to provide the student with any homework or class assignments that should be completed. When a parent arrives to pick up his/her child, they must check in at the office, inform the secretary, and formally sign the child out of the building. A secretary will notify the classroom teacher and the child will be sent or escorted to the office. Teachers are not allowed to release students from their classrooms to anyone and students are not allowed to walk home at any time during the school day. We will not dismiss a student to anyone not authorized by the parent in writing. If you assign someone whose name does not appear on the emergency card, you MUST send the school written authorization before the child can be released. Students are never allowed to leave the building unescorted. Students must be picked up by 1:30 p.m. for early departure. Adults will be asked for photo identification to ensure the safety of the students. Students are responsible for making up missed
assignments. Frequent early dismissal negatively impacts academics, the acquisition of key concepts and skills and may be reflected in decreased performance and lower grades.

Parents are reminded that REPEATED early departures will be reviewed by the Principal who will determine if the reason for early departure is legal under Prince George’s County’s Attendance Policy (Administrative Procedure 5113). If the Principal determines that the early departure request is not a legal absence from school, the child will be marked truant and referred to the Pupil Personnel Worker.

Attendance and Tardy Policy

See AP 5113 - Student Attendance, Absence and Truancy

In accordance with Maryland Public School Laws all students are required to be in school daily. Absence will be excused in case of pupil illness, death in the family, quarantine, court summons, violent storms, and observance of religious holidays. Please send a note to your child’s teacher the day he/she returns to school. After a three (3) day absence, a doctor’s certificate is required. A parent note is required for absences less than three days. You must send in a note to the office the day the student returns.

Students are entitled to make up work missed when they have excused absences from school. It is the responsibility of the student or parent to request assignments. Tests (when applicable) can be made up (excused absences only) by making arrangements with the teacher. Short-term suspensions are legal absences from school; it is the parent’s responsibility to request make-up work or missed assignments.

Consistent absences or tardiness will be referred to School Counselor or Pupil Personnel Worker for investigation. Repeated tardiness will result in a lowered report card grade in work habits. Late students must report to the Main Office before going to class. Students are marked late after 7:45 a.m.

If a child is excessively tardy and/or absent, the following procedures are in effect at Barack Obama Elementary School.

  • If a student is habitually tardy or unlawfully absent, a letter will be sent to the parent.
  • If the situation continues, the school will call the parent in an attempt to resolve the problem.
  • If the same situation persists, the parent will receive another letter requesting them to contact the school to schedule an APPOINTMENT with school personnel.
  • If after the first three attempts the problem still exists, a registered letter will be sent to the parent indicating that the matter will be turned over to the school’s Pupil Personnel Worker.

School Breakfast and Lunch

Breakfast and Lunch

It is the responsibility of the parent or guardian to ensure that their child either has money for a hot lunch or brings a lunch from home. Eating lunch in the school lunchroom is a privilege. Our school will serve breakfast each morning, except on scheduled half days and delayed openings. Students who participate in the breakfast program will be served starting at 7:20 a.m. until 7:40 a.m.

There will be 4-5 lunch periods, lasting 30 minutes each. Students eligible for free meals will be provided a meal at no cost. The school utilizes a computerized meal program with an automated terminal. This system will allow us to provide better service and account for all meals served. Each student will be assigned a 4 or 5-digit Personal Identification Number (PIN).

Meal Prices and Menus

Meal prices and Menus can be found on the PGCPS Food and Nutrition Services page. You can add funds to your child's lunch account at If your scholar forgets their lunch at home then they will receive the free lunch in the cafeteria. In addition, we ask that no outside food (Chick Fil A, McDonald’s, Burger King, Pizza etc.) be brought or delivered to school due to COVID Restrictions and the safety of our children. Also, we ask that candy and gum not be brought to school.

Playground and Recess Expectations

Playground equipment will be provided during supervised times. Students are not allowed to bring any play equipment from home. Students are to play on designated playground areas only. They are not to leave the playground for any reason unless the person on duty has granted permission. Students are not to play in or near the parking lot area or other areas unsupervised by an adult. Students are to use playground equipment appropriately. If a student chooses to display inappropriate behavior, they may lose their privilege, and be assigned to an alternate physical activity, i.e. independent walking for the duration for recess.

Birthday Recognitions and Celebrations

Per PGCPS Wellness, Nutrition & Physical Activity Policy # 0116 only pre-packaged foods are permitted.

Celebrations will only be allowed the last 15 minutes of the school day or if pre- arranged with the teacher. If there is testing or the celebration will impact learning we reserve the right to prohibit the event

Phone Calls, Personal Possessions, and Lost Items

Phone Calls

Students will not be called out of class to take phone calls from parents. If an emergency necessitates a child being contacted, an administrator or designee will assist as needed. Phone calls made for changes in dismissal procedures for your child will not be accepted without written documentation. Cell phones must be turned off and in book bags when students are on school property. The school will not be held responsible for cell phones that are lost/stolen when not in the bookbag. Students are not allowed to make or receive calls from class or school bus on a cell phone.

All cell phones and personal electronic devices (PEDs) must be powered off and put away during the school day, except when permission is given by a teacher or administrator to use for instructional purposes.

  • Students may not listen to music, text, make phone calls, play games, or take photos or videos at school, except under certain circumstances where permission may be granted by administration.
  • Students may use cell phones/PEDs on the school bus, except when entering and exiting the bus, as long as it does not cause a disruption. Students may not take photos or videos on the bus.
  • PGCPS employees are not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged devices.
  • When not in use for instructional purposes, all cell phones and PEDs must be powered off and put away.
  • Devices may be confiscated for inappropriate use. Confiscated items must be picked up by a parent or legal guardian. Continued violations may result in disciplinary actions. PGCPS employees are not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged confiscated items.
  • Continued violations may result in a student being banned from bringing a cell phone / PED to school for a specified time (up to the remainder of the school year).
  • Refusal to hand over a device when requested to do so by an administrator or security personnel will result in a suspension from school.

Personal Possessions

Students are not permitted to bring personal items such as electronic devices, or games, radios, IPODS, MP3 players, toys, sports equipment, or extra money to school. Cell phones are permitted, however they must be turned off and secured by students when students are on school property, including the bus. Any student engaged in inappropriate behavior with use of cell phones during the school day will have their cell phone taken away by the teacher and or school administrators. Parents will be required to pick up the cell phone. Cell phones will not be returned to students. Any of these items bought to school will be taken by the teacher or principal and returned only to the parent upon request in person. The school does not assume responsibility for any prohibited items that are lost, damaged or stolen. Chewing gum and candy are also prohibited. Sometimes students dispose of these items improperly in the building or outdoors area, causing damage to the property. If a student needs to bring a drink or beverage to school, please make sure that it is not in a glass bottle or container. The staff appreciates your cooperation and support in seeing that your child refrains from bringing the above mentioned to school.

Lost Items

Lost items will be located in the cafeteria in the lost and found box. Please label your child's sweaters, jackets and backpacks as these are the items most often misplaced. Unclaimed items will be donated at the end of each semester.

Field Trips

The Washington area is rich in educational and cultural experiences. These abundant opportunities invite organized excursions by school classes to broaden the student experience and knowledge. When it is possible to take advantage of these enriching opportunities, field trips are arranged for pupils adhering to PGCPS Code of Student Conduct and BOES expectations as a supplemental extension of units of study in the classroom. There is usually a nominal charge to cover the bus transportation and/or admission fees. The parent or legal guardian must sign a permission slip before a student can participate in the field trip. In certain instances, a parent may be asked to accompany his/her child on a field trip in order to ensure the safety of the child and his/her participation. All necessary precautions will be taken to ensure the safety of all children. Any student having previously paid for a trip and unable to attend irrespective of the reason, (behavior, tardy, illness, etc) may not be entitled to a refund unless a standby goes in his/her place or an agreement can be made with the Principal. Students who choose to violate PGCPS and BOES behavior policies maybe denied access to a trip or allowed to participate if accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Parents are an integral part of each field trip. As a chaperone, you are sharing in the welfare and safety of each child under your supervision. Each parent is responsible for an assigned group of children from the time of departure until the time of arrival back at school.

Guidelines for parents acting as chaperones are as follows:

  1. Know each child in your group by name.
  2. Keep your group together at all times. While students are using the bathroom, the parent should wait outside the facility for the group to assemble.
  3. Do not hand out candy, gum, or food while on the trip unless otherwise directed.
  4. Avoid smoking in front of the students.
  5. During an emergency, be certain that another adult assumes responsibility for your group.
  6. Be sure to know the return time and predetermined location at which the bus will meet your group.
  7. Be punctual.
  8. Do not buy food or gifts for the students or allow students to share drinks or food.

Parent Chaperones, Volunteers and Mentors

Parent Chaperones, Volunteers and Mentors

Persons who wish to contribute to the instructional, cultural and social development program using specialized abilities and talents are welcome and encouraged to assist us. Volunteers and mentors working in a capacity where uncontrolled access is anticipated, such as those working with students in an unsupervised capacity on school grounds, away from school property, (over night field trips) or after school are required to be fingerprinted and complete a full fingerprint and background check.

Due to a recent change in policy (Administrative Procedure 4215), commercial background checks can no longer be utilized for field trips.

  • Cost of Fingerprint Background Check $56.57
  • Cost of Commercial Background Check $7.00 (not applicable for field trips)
  • Cost of Online Commercial Background Check $7.26 (not applicable for field trips)

School Volunteers

Our school needs a strong Volunteer Program; parents, grandparents, guardians, senior citizens, young adults, community organizations, businesses, and churches are welcome. Volunteers can assist in many ways: helping in the classroom or Main Office, assisting in the cafeteria, tutoring students, serving as a Mentor to a student, rendering services from their home or business, making monetary or other contributions, chaperoning field trips, and assisting with special events or projects. Contact the Main Office, the Guidance Counselor, the Principal or your child’s teacher if you’d like to help out.

School Visitors – AP 0500

  • Pre-arranged in advance - Parents or guardians who make classroom visits of current students, attend a conference on their student, attend a meeting or parent training, attend an assembly or performance.
  • Requirement – Raptor System
    • Scan photo identification into the Raptor Visitor Management System prior to initiating any school related business and to sign out at the conclusion of any designated school-related business.

Volunteers – AP 4215 & 4216.6

  • Provides a variety of services e.g. tutoring, mentoring, and chaperoning for the students) on a regular basis without financial remuneration from the school system. Activities that volunteers are involved in include: working with a student or groups of students in the classroom, assist classroom teacher in making instructional materials, assisting with different duties in the school, assist in the office, etc. on a regular basis; chaperone on a day field trip or overnight trip.
  • Requirement – Fingerprinting and CPS
    • All volunteers, such as: mentors, interns, tutors, and chaperones, must undergo a fingerprint background check and child protective services (CPS) clearance at least 14 days in advance of the day field trip, overnight trip or working on or off school property.

Volunteers for a One-time Event - AP 4215 & 4216.6

  • Are escorted and under the supervision of a PGCPS employee at all times while on campus for a one-time event, such as parents/guardians volunteering for Career Day, Science Fair, College Fair, Spelling Bee, STEM Fair, Principal for a Day, Men who Make a Difference Day, book fairs, school dances, etc.
  • Requirement – Commercial Background Check (exception)
    • All volunteers for a one-time event must undergo a commercial background check and provide a copy of their government issued identification to be scanned into the Raptor Visitor Management System.
  • Online commercial background checks
  • More information regarding the cost of commercial background checks can be accessed on our PGCPS Finderprinting page.

Fingerprint background checks

  • Fingerprint background check may be completed in the following office at the PGCPS Sasscer Administration Building, 14201 School Lane, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772: Background Unit, Room 128 Hours: M-F, 8:00 a.m.-3:45 p.m. Ph.: 301.952.6775.

CPS Clearance checks

  • CPS clearance may be completed in the following office at the PGCPS Sasscer Administration Building, 14201 School Lane, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772: Employee Services Center, Room 124 Hours: M-F, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Ph.: 301.780.2191.

School Visitors and Conferences

Classroom Visits and Observations

Barack Obama Elementary invites parents to visit our school when they have an opportunity. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the school and ask to have your child’s teacher contact you for clarification. When asking to speak with a teacher, please keep in mind that we cannot call the teacher from the classroom nor can we transfer calls during instructional time. A message will be taken and the teacher will return your call within 48 hours.

Parents are also welcome to observe teaching strategies, lesson delivery and student engagement. Classroom observations provide an opportunity to check in on your child and or volunteer, to observe the day-to-day happenings in the classroom and to watch your child interact with his/her peers. Prince George’s County Public Schools policy requires all visitors to first come to the Main Office, present photo ID, and sign-in to obtain a visitor’s pass. This protects our students and staff from intrusion and limits disruption of the instructional process. If a parent has a court ordered restriction against any persons regarding visitation and access with your child, provide the Main Office with copies of the signed and dated court order.

When observing your child please be sure to observe the following areas that often interfere with student achievement:

  • Organization, Attentiveness, Self-Control and Respect
  • Following Directions and Completing Assignments
  • Participation and Having Appropriate Materials
  1. All Parent(s)/Guardian(s) must first sign in to the Main Office and obtain a Visitor’s Badge.
  2. Proceed to your child’s classroom for observation and ask the teacher where to sit in the classroom so that you are able to clearly observe your child without sitting next to or in close proximity to your child.
  3. Please refrain from correcting or interacting with any other students particularly in matters concerning behavior. Just as you would not wish an unknown individual interacting with your child, we must guarantee the safety and security of all children.
  4. Please refrain from correcting or interacting with the teacher regarding classroom management. Management is the responsibility of the classroom teacher and you are free to discuss issues with the teacher during a private scheduled discussion so as to not disrupt class instruction.
  5. Please do not attempt to have a conference with the teacher regarding your observations. Please call or leave a note in the office requesting a conference with the teacher to discuss observed behaviors and identify strategies to support learning.

From 7:45 a.m. until 2.15 p.m., teachers and administrators are involved in the instructional process and their attention must be devoted to the educational needs of all students. Teachers are unable to meet or conference with parents during this time. If a parent wants to meet with a teacher, counselor, Assistant Principal or Principal, please send in a written request, email or call the Main Office in advance and leave a message, so that a mutually convenient time can be arranged, i.e. before/after school, or during teacher planning periods, etc. Our phone number is: 301-574-4020. All parents are required to attend at least one parent-teacher conference per year.

Administrator’s Conferences

Dr. Ashworth and Mrs. Walker are primarily responsible for monitoring teaching and learning from 7:15-2:45 through daily informal and formal classroom observations, facilitating 504 Plan, School Instructional Team, and Individual Educational Plans meetings, engaging in collaborative planning and data utilization with the instructional staff, and overseeing a safe and orderly environment therefore we may be unavailable for unscheduled conferences. To best serve you and your child, please email Principal Ashworth at or the Assistant Principal Walker at or leave a detailed message with the main office staff at 301-574-4020 and you will be contacted to schedule a conference.

Instructional Programs

Curriculum and Instruction

Barack Obama Elementary School offers a Standards Based Curriculum. Content and performance standards are provided for all grade levels. The approved Board of Education State Curriculum (SC) serves as a guide for teachers to instruct specific standards to ensure students learn the necessary skills for each grade level. Please view the SC for each content area at to become familiar with what your child is expected to learn each quarter. Literacy is the core of learning for our students; therefore students are expected to participate in our million word challenge by reading at home for 20 minutes everyday and complete their reading log. Students will receive instruction in the areas of Reading, Mathematics, Social Studies, Science, Health, Physical Education, Music, and Art. Instrumental music and chorus is available for all fourth -sixth grade students. All instructional spaces accentuate a print-rich learning environment. Our instructional program stress student ownership and engagement through small group and cooperative learning instruction. Technology is an integral part of lesson presentation and knowledge acquisition for both students and staff.

Special Education

Our Special Education Resource Program supports the provision of specialized instruction for students with disabilities in the least restrictive environment. The program ensures that students with disabilities have the same opportunity as their non-disabled age peers to participate and progress in the general education curriculum, to the extent appropriate. Students participating in our special education program will receive instruction by a service provider based on the goals indicated in their Individualized Education Plan (IEP).


Textbooks, library books and other instructional resources are property of PGCPS. Our county spends millions of dollars annually replacing lost or damaged textbooks and instructional materials. Textbooks will be assigned to students and distributed during the first week of school. Students and parents are required to sign the textbook contract and return it to the issuing teacher. According to Board Policy 6161, students may not participate in school sponsored or extra curricular activities if their loaned materials are not returned in the conditioned issued (ordinary wear and tear is expected) or the school is not reimbursed for lost or damaged materials. This is done upon the condition that such books and materials are returned in the same basic condition as issued. All textbooks must be covered; we recommend you use fabric covers that may be reused or brown grocery bags. Please refrain from using contact paper or any other product that sticks to the book.

Talented and Gifted (TAG) Program

The Talented and Gifted (TAG) Program at Barack Obama Elementary is provided for identified students in grades two through six. Students in first and third grades will be assessed in the fall. TAG in the Regular Classroom Program (TRC) provides TAG identified students in the attendance area school an enriched, thematic, interdisciplinary educational experience beyond the PGCPS core curricula. The TRC Program offers appropriate advanced activities using strategies of Differentiated Instruction within the regular classroom. This model is appropriate for schools with larger TAG populations (50+). The pace and rigor of instruction for these gifted students should be based on student readiness, interests, and learning profile.

Enriched approach to language arts integrating the areas of literature, reading, composition.

Components of the TRC Program

  • TAG students are cluster grouped with at least 7 other TAG students
  • Guided Independent Study/advanced research opportunities
  • Junior Great Books Discussion Program
  • William &  Mary Jacob’s Ladder Program
  • Advanced Author Studies 
  • Instruction and activities reflecting Multiple Intelligences and Learning Styles
  • Gifted Students with Special Learning Needs (GSLN) Services (selected sites)
  • Off-site educational, scientific, and artistic enrichment opportunities

Differentiated Instructional Strategies in the Heterogeneous Classroom

  • pre-assessments
  • curriculum compacting
  • tiered assignments
  • flexible grouping
  • independent study
  • acceleration
  • concept-based/interdisciplinary units
  • learning/interest centers
  • enrichment clusters


BOES recognizes the assignment of homework as a learning activity that extends the instruction provided in the classroom. The purpose of homework is to reinforce, supplement, and enrich work done in the classroom, to promote competency in skills, and to help students learn to manage time effectively. K-fifth grade students are required to purchase a home-school communication folder and an Agenda Book to serve as a communication tool between home and school. Supply lists will be sent home with students.

At the beginning of the school year, teachers send home specific guidelines for the completion of homework and how homework assignments factor into the grades your child will earn. Generally, homework is assigned to each student Monday through Friday. If you find that your child is experiencing difficulty completing assignments, please inform his/her teacher via a note or phone call. For students in kindergarten, approximately twenty minutes should be spent completing assignments, in grades one and two, approximately thirty to forty-five minutes daily, and students in grades three through six should spend approximately forty-five minutes to one hour completing homework.

We recommend that definite and consistent home study habits be established and maintained each day. This includes:

  1. Establishing a set time when homework is to be done.
  2. Providing the proper environment-lighting, air, that is free of distractions.
  3. Providing the necessary supplies.
  4. Offering assistance in the form of guidance without actually doing the assignment for your child.
  5. Checking and signing assignment sheets daily.
  6. Insisting that your child complete and turn in homework on time.

Reporting Pupil Progress/Grading Policy and Parent Teacher Conferences

The reporting system of the Prince George’s Public Schools offers several means of reporting pupil progress throughout the school year. Report cards are issued twice during the year for Pre-K students, (January and June) and four times (every nine weeks) for a student in grades kindergarten through six. The report card represents an evaluation of the student’s progress in content areas, work habits and social skills (behavior). Grading policy and procedures will be discussed during Back-to-School Night and be sent home at the start of the school year. Students in grades 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 will receive grades using the traditional A - E grading scale. Students in grades 1 will be assessed using “satisfactory” or “needs more time” grading scale. There are no letter grades in grade 1. The pre-kindergarten and kindergarten report card is a description of the child’s development physically, socially/emotionally, math skills, and reading/language arts skills.

Interpretation of Letter Grades

Grades 2nd - 5th

A - Excellent progress at the level of instruction indicated. A=90-100% A=4
B - Above average progress at the level of instruction indicated. B=80-89% B=3
C - Average progress at the level of instruction indicated. C=70-79% C=2
D - Below average progress at the level of instruction indicated. D=60-69% D=1
E - Unsatisfactory progress at the level of instruction indicated. E=0-59% E=0

Pre K - 1st Grade

PR - Proficient (80-90%)
IP - In Process (60-79%)
ND - Needs Development (50-59%)

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Parent-Teacher conferences are scheduled at the mutual convenience of parents and teachers during one of the reporting periods. Additional conferences may be scheduled as needed. Parents are encouraged to conference with teachers on a regular basis, establishing an open dialogue between the home and school. Our instructional program requires teachers to effectively utilize the allotted 12 time frame for each subject area in order to meet the goals of the curriculum. We encourage parents to visit their child’s classroom throughout the year. However, please be mindful that this is not a time to conference with the teacher. All conferences must be scheduled in advance. This will enable the teacher adequate time to prepare and gather the necessary documentation. Conferences may be scheduled by contacting the teachers by phone or email. Calls will not be transferred to classes during instructional time. Secretaries will take a message and forward it to the teacher. Please all 48 hours for a teacher to return your call.

Interim progress reports are issues quarterly (at the mid-point of each grading period) or as necessary. Interim progress reports are issued to parents of students with grade averages (at the time) of “D” or “E” in any subject area. This alerts parents to problems or concerns about their child’s performance or behavior. When a parent receives an Interim Progress Report, he/she should contact the child’s teacher for a conference so that an action plan for improvement can be developed and implemented. The reporting system outlined above enables the home and schools to share information and work together to foster the academic success of each student.

Student Assessment

Student achievement is consistently monitored throughout the year using a variety of informal and informal methods including testing and evaluation. Teachers analyze test results in order to evaluate individual student progress and class progress as a whole. This frequent analysis is useful in determining skill level for appropriate instructional placement of students and in evaluating the effectiveness of our program. We know that students will perform best on tests when they have had adequate sleep, a nutritious breakfast, support and reassurance, and have been prepared with the appropriate test taking skills.

Student Recognition

Throughout the year students will be recognized for academic and social achievement, attendance, being good citizens, as well as, hard workers. Assemblies will be held quarterly to acknowledge these accomplishments.

Professional School Counselor

Our school has a full time counselor to help your child with positive self-esteem, problem solving, social skills, anger management, and school attendance. Parents/guardians are also encouraged to contact the counselor to discuss their child’s needs or seek assistance in the above areas or other areas of concern.

Code of Student Conduct

The Students Rights & Responsibilities Handbook (SRRH) is based on the principle that a positive learning environment and a good state of discipline, starts with everyone involved having knowledge and understanding of the basic standards of acceptable conduct and the procedures for handling inappropriate behaviors. Four words provide the recipe for discipline in PGCPS: Prevention, Intervention, and Progressive Discipline. The Code of Student Conduct is a set of twenty-three rules and regulations designed to maintain the order and discipline necessary for a safe learning environment. These fall into two broad categories; gross misconduct and persistent disobedience. Gross Misconduct is defined as willful and malicious acts that seriously disrupt the educational environment in a class, activity, or the school in general.

  • Acts of Gross Misconduct include:
  • Possession or use of alcoholic beverages
  • Arson
  • Possession of fireworks or explosives
  • False Alarms
  • Inciting others to violence or disruption
  • Fighting
  • Physical attack and/or threat of physical attack
  • Theft
  • Possession or use of weapon Vandalism
  • Shakedown or strong arm
  • Bullying, Threats
  • Harassment, Intimidation
  • Possession, use, or distribution of a controlled dangerous substance

Persistent Disobedience is defined as acts that also have a disruptive effect, especially when they are repeated over a period of time.

Acts of Persistent Disobedience include:

  • Cheating
  • Continued class/school disruption
  • Disrespect Distribution of unauthorized printed material
  • False reports
  • Forgery
  • Gambling Insubordination
  • Loitering Smoking
  • Leaving school
  • Repeated Profanity
  • Unauthorized sale or distribution of any object or substance

The Code of Student Conduct recognizes the need for cooperative relationships between the school and home. This relationship is exemplified by:

A home condition which:

  • Assumes the primary responsibility for the discipline of the child
  • Acknowledges the child’s responsibilities and obligations in the school as well as the community.
  • Recognizes that school personnel must concern themselves primarily with the education and instruction of all students.
  • Cooperates with the school and participates in conferences regarding the behavior, health, and/or academic progress of their child.

A responsible student who:

  • Respects authority and obeys school rules and regulations.
  • Shows respect and consideration for the personal and property rights of others and has an understanding of the need for cooperation with all members of the school community.

Responses for Misbehavior as outlined in the Code of Student Conduct may range from mild to severe, depending on the particular circumstance, the frequency, and severity of the misbehavior. Disciplinary response examples are:

  • Teacher-Student Conference
  • Teacher-Parent Conference
  • Counselor-Parent Conference
  • Counselor-Student Conference
  • Administrator-Student-Teacher Conference
  • Administrator-Parent-Student-Teacher Conference
  • Temporary Removal from Class
  • After School Detention
  • Functional Behavior Assessment
  • Behavior Intervention Plan
  • Parent Shadowing
  • Student Program Adjustment
  • Referral to Pupil Services
  • Short or Long Term Suspension
  • Expulsion from School or PGCPS

Please refer the Students Rights & Responsibilities Handbook for a framework for academic standards and positive student behaviors.

Discipline Referrals "PS 74"

The Pupil Discipline Referral PS 74 is forwarded to the Principal/Assistant Principal by staff members for severe or repeated behavior infractions of the Code of Student Conduct. Parents who receive a copy of the PS 74 are asked to review it with their child and follow appropriate action. As needed, parent conference date and time are placed on the PS 74. The signed PS 74 should be returned to the Principal or Assistant Principal. Parents will be informed of their child’s conduct through verbal or written communication from the Principal or Assistant Principal. All PS 74's are entered in School Max, and filed in the cumulative folder with the student’s other records and is retained until the child graduates from high school. If the parent is not contacted regarding the circumstances of the referral, the principal sends the parents a copy of the form to keep.

All students will attend a Code of Conduct assembly in August and January. Subsequent assemblies and class sessions will occur throughout the school year. A copy of the Student Behavioral Contract will need to be signed by you and your child following the Code of Student Conduct orientation.

Bullying, Harassment, or Intimidation

Bullying, harassment, or intimidation is serious and will not be tolerated. Bullying, harassment, or intimidation is defined as intentional conduct, including verbal, physical acts. The acts range from name-calling and poking, punching, to blackmail. This also includes written and electronic communication, that: (I) creates a hostile educational environment by substantially interfering with a student’s educational benefits, opportunities, or performance, or with a student’s physical or psychological well-being and is: 1. motivated by an actual or a perceived personal characteristic including race, national origin, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, ancestry, physical attribute, socioeconomic status, familial status, or physical or mental ability or disability; or 2. threatening or seriously intimidating; and (II) 1. Occurs on school property, at a school activity or event, or on a school bus; or 2, substantially disrupts the orderly operation of a school. Electronic communication means a communication transmitted by means of an electronic device, including a telephone, cellular phone, computer, or pager.

Everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect in Prince George County Public Schools. We take incidents of Bullying very seriously. If you believe that you are a victim, please report the incident immediately to the school counselor or administrators. For further information on your rights and reporting procedures please visit the Anti Bullying website. Reporting forms are available online, in the main office, and in the counselor’s suite.

Dress Code and Uniform Policy

Mandatory Uniform School

Boys Uniforms | Girls Uniforms | Accessories and Other Items | Inclement Weather Items | Additional Uniform Information | Clothing Items Not Permitted | Uniform Violations | Opt-Out | School Spirit Days

Barack Obama Elementary is a mandatory uniform school. The uniform policy requires all students at school to wear the adopted school uniform that is consistent with the school system’s Dress Code Policy Number 5152. It is the belief of the staff and parents that the uniform policy will reduce distractions and disruptions caused by clothing, make economic disparities between families less obvious, promote student achievement and school pride and create a safe and orderly environment. Barack Obama Elementary students are required to wear school uniforms consisting of the following:

Boys Uniforms


  • Grades Pre K-5-Gold or light blue oxford/long or short sleeve shirt or polo shirt
  • 5th Grade Option- Burgundy oxford/long-or short sleeve shirt or polo shirt


  • Navy blue trouser pants, walking shorts, skirt, skort, or jumper


  • Navy blue or white socks or tights (No leggings)


  • Closed Toe Leather Shoe or Tennis Shoe
  • Colors: Black, Brown, or White

Girls Uniforms


  • Grades Pre K-5 Gold or light blue oxford/long or short sleeve shirt, blouse (with or without peter-pan collar) or polo shirt.
  • 5th Grade Option- Burgundy oxford/long or short sleeve shirt or polo shirt


  • Navy blue trouser pants, walking shorts, skirt, skort, or jumper


  • Navy blue or white socks or tights (No leggings)


  • Closed Toe Leather Shoe or Tennis Shoe
  • Colors: Black, Brown, or White

All Students

Accessories and Other Items


Solid Black or Brown

Head Coverings

As is stated in the PGCPS System-Wide Dress Code for Students, “Headdress may be worn indoors for religious or health reasons only.”

Inclement Weather Attire - ALL Students


A matching turtleneck may be worn underneath the uniform shirt.


Solid navy blue sweater or vest are allowed.

Additional Uniform Information

Shirts are worn tucked into the pants with belts showing. Belts should be solid black or brown in color and may not contain ornamental buckles (i.e. Bullets, metal, skull heads etc.) Colored shirts are not showing under the uniform shirts. Skirts, dresses and shorts comply with the Prince George’s County fingertip policy. It is required that tennis shoes be worn for Physical Education (P.E.) classes. Teachers will provide a schedule indicating P.E. days so that your child can wear the appropriate footwear. On school spirit or other designated days, students may be allowed to wear appropriate specified attire with administration approval. For example, Career Day, Field Day, Performances, etc.

Clothing Items Not Permitted

  • Clothing with visible labels or logos. Footwear with multiple colors, lights or flashing logos
  • Athletic wear of any kind
  • Sweatshirts, hoodies or other fleece outerwear
  • Belts that contain large or inappropriate buckles
  • Heelies (combination shoe/skate)
  • Baggy slacks, cargo pants or Capri’s
  • Slippers, flip flops, sandals, Crocs,or other open-toe shoes
  • Clothing that has been altered (cut-out holes, rips, drawings)
  • Stretch pants, sweatpants or form fitting clothing
  • Jeans or other denim clothing

Uniform Violations

  1. For the FIRST violation of this policy, the student’s teacher fills out the uniform violation form to be sent home to the parents as official notification of the violation.
  2. For the SECOND violation, the student’s teacher completes the 2nd uniform violation form and sends the student to the office.
    • The Assistant Principal will call the parent to bring the child a change of clothing in order for the child to return to the classroom.
    • Parent will receive a copy of the form as official notification of the 2nd violation.
  3. For the THIRD violation of this policy, the student’s teacher completes the 3rd uniform violation form and sends the student to the office. The Assistant Principal will call parent and send home the 3rd referral form. Parents will be called to bring the child a change of clothing in order for the child to return to the classroom. At this time, the administration will conduct a parent/student conference to reiterate the parameters of the policy, as well as, consequences for future violations.
  4. For the FOURTH violation, the student will receive a 4th and final uniform violation form; parents will be contacted by the Principal and be required to bring a change of clothing. At this time and the students will receive a PS-74, which will be placed in their cumulative folder for failure to adhere to the uniform expectations.

In the event of repeated failure to comply with the mandatory uniform policy, the student will possibly be reassigned to another school that does not have a mandatory uniform policy. This decision will be made by the Principal in accordance with the PGCPS Administrative Procedure 0114.

Opt-Out Process in a Mandatory Uniform School

(Reference PGCPS Administrative Procedure 0114)

  1. Parents or guardians who disagree with the adopted mandatory school uniform policy may opt-out of participation in this new requirement for the duration of this program at that school.
  2. Parents or guardians shall complete the Application for Exemption from Mandatory School Uniform Program Form (PGIN 7540-3500) within forty-five (45) days after their child has been assigned to the school, after the school year has commenced.
  3. A student whose parents(s) have exercised their right to opt-out of the mandatory school uniform program at the school will be reassigned through established procedures to another school.

School Spirit Days

  • On “School Spirit Fridays” students may wear their Barack Obama Eagles T-shirt or Sweatshirt with their Navy Blue uniform pants, jumpers or skirts.
  • Students who choose not to participate and wear a Barack Obama T-shirt or Sweatshirt on “School Spirit Fridays” should wear their regular uniform.

If a student is consistently late, absent, receives a PS 74 Monday – Thursday or display inappropriate behavior, he or she may lose their privilege to participate in “School Spirit Fridays” and will have to earn the right through improved repeated behavior. An administrator will notify you if your child has lost their privilege to participate in “School Spirit Fridays”.

Health Room, Illness and Medications at School

A full-time Registered Professional School Nurse staffs the school health room. Health Aides are not permitted to administer any medicines. Forms are available in the school to be completed by a doctor for any medications that must be taken at school. This refers to over-the-counter medications, as well as prescription medications. Please check to see that your child is well before he/she comes to school. Due to limited facilities and personnel, a student who becomes ill at school may remain in the health room for up to 30 minutes before a parent is called.

A student injured at school will be sent to the health room where minor scrapes and bruises will be attended to. Parents are called when there is an injury to the head or back. In the event of serious injury, if a parent or emergency contact cannot be reached, 911 will be called and the child may be transported to the nearest hospital. If, after being ill, a student is not sufficiently recovered to participate in physical education or go out to recess, that child is probably not ready to return to school. There are some exceptions such as broken limbs. A doctor’s excuse is needed when a student is not able to participate in physical education. The law requires the regular participation of every child unless declared unfit by a medical doctor.

Medications at school: We urge you to dispense all medications at home whenever possible. If medications must be taken at school, clearly defined guidelines must be followed. Any medications brought to school must be left in the health room where they are placed in locked facilities. All specialized medical services and medications require health forms from a physician specifying dosage, child’s name, and the time the medication is to be given, with authorization for us to administer the medication at school. A Physician's Prescription and Non-Prescription Form, or a Emergency EpiPen Epinephrine Order Form, or a Inhaler or Nebulizer Order Form must be on file for each individual situation. Upon taking the medication, the student signs a log indicating receipt of the medication.

Computer Technology and Multi-Media Acceptable Use Policy

Prince George's County Public Schools views technology as computers, scanners, digital cameras, video projectors, video cameras, and the Internet as instructional tools for learning. As such, all users are expected to follow the accepted and established guidelines listed in the PGCPS Acceptable Use Guideline (hhtp:// and highlighted in this document.

Accepted use of technology and all related resources requires users to:

  • Protect private information such as addresses, phone numbers, or passwords.
  • Use appropriate language. This applies to public messages, private messages, and materials posted on the Web.
  • Respect all copyright laws.
  • Use computers for their intended educational purposes only.
  • Understand that the use of the computer or the network for illegal activities is strictly prohibited.

Examples of Unacceptable Use of Technology and all related resources include, but are not limited to:

  • Damaging computers, computer systems, or computer networks.
  • Trespassing in another’s files, folders or work.
  • Accessing inappropriate Internet Web sites.
  • Accessing “chat lines” which are not a part of a class activity directly under the supervision of a teacher or educationally inappropriate.
  • Gaining intentional access to obscene or inappropriate files.
  • Using abusive or otherwise objectionable language in either a public or private message.
  • Harassing, insulting, or attacking others.
  • Posting anonymous messages.
  • Vandalizing the data of another user.
  • Identifying one’s self with another person’s name or identity.
  • Using an account or password of another user without authorization.
  • Theft of data, equipment, or intellectual property.

If it has been determined that a user has improperly used the equipment or its resources in any manner, the user can expect disciplinary actions which may include but are not limited to:

  • Access to such equipment may be immediately suspended.
  • Disciplinary action by school administration.
  • Additional disciplinary action may take place as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct.

Parent Teacher Association

The Prince George's County Board of Education believes that parent-school collaboration is essential to providing the best learning environment for children. If you are looking for a way to get to know parents in a totally diversified and inclusive environment, the Parent Teacher Association (P.T.A.) is a good place to start. If you have the skill set for finding and securing funds that would support our school programs, the P.T.A. is the path to success. If you want find a way to commit to spending more time in schoolhouse, the P.T.A. has got you covered on that front too. There is no limit to what the P.T.A. can do, and you can do all of this by working together with the administration and teachers. The P.T.A. will meet on the 1st Tuesday of every month. The meetings will begin at 7:00 P.M. The P.T.A. president or other board member is a member of the School Improvement Team & School Planning & Management Team, along with any other interested parent.

Home-School Communication

In an effort to conserve financially and protect our environment, our newsletter and instructional updates will be posted on the school's website and/or grade level Google site. Our Bi-weekly Folder is a school-wide communication device, every other Wednesday your child will bring home a folder containing important information for you. Completed and graded assignments (class and homework) will be included. Please be sure to review the content of the folder, sign the inside pocket and see that your child returns it on Thursday to the teacher. Should your child not bring the folder home, please notify his/her teacher immediately. Students in grades two through six are required to purchase an agenda book which is used by students to record daily home assignments. Additionally, the agenda is designed to enhance two-way communication between parents and teachers. Throughout the year, parents will receive recorded telephone messages via School Communication System (SCS). These messages could be about daily absence, late arrival, upcoming meetings, events, reminders, etc. Please make sure we have a working phone number to contact you and keep you informed.

Prince George’s County Public Schools uses an online student information system called SchoolMAX. This system keeps track of nearly all student data, including:

  • Contact Information
  • Attendance
  • Grades
  • Discipline

The SchoolMAX Family Portal allows designated family members to view this information for their children. It is a browser-based application and works best on any of the web browser applications:

  • Internet Explorer 7.0 or later
  • Mozilla Firefox 3.0 or later
  • Apple Safari 3.0 or later

Important Notes About Registering for the SchoolMAX Family Portal

  • In order to register for the SchoolMAX Family Portal you will need to use the Mozilla Firefox browser.
  • You will use an email address as your username when you register. Please avoid using a work email address. Also, when signing in your email address (username) will need to be entered in all lowercase letters. If you are signing in on a mobile device it may automatically capitalize the first letter. This can cause an unknown username error.
  • It is also very important to complete the security questions portion of registration. Once you register you will receive an email with a link prompting you to set up your security questions which can be used later to access your account if you forget your password. Your account will also stop working at some point if you do not set up the security questions.
  • Additional information can be found at on the SchoolMAX Support for Parents and Guardians page.

If you encounter any problems, contact Betty Tinnin ( the Family Portal Administrator for our school. 

Change of Address

Parents are required to promptly inform the school of any change of address, telephone numbers or other related information. Current and accurate information is vital in case of an emergency and for maintaining up to date records at school. If you plan to move out of the Barack Obama’s attendance area, notify the school office. The Family Portal is a feature of SchoolMax that allows designated family members to view information such as attendance records, grade books, and discipline incidents for their children.

School Improvement Team (SIT) | School Planning Management Team (SPMT/ILT)

Members of the SIT and SPMT represent the total school community (teachers, staff, parents, business partners & students). They represent the ideas, concerns, input and perspective of all respective groups and serve as the decision making team for the school. The Parent Teacher Association (P.T.A.) President or designee is part of the SIT and SPMT. School Improvement Team/School Planning and Management Team meetings are held monthly. A school improvement update and dialogue session will take place at every PTA Meeting.

Emergency Evacuation Drills

Every precaution is taken to ensure the safety of your child during regular school hours. Monthly emergency evacuations are executed to make certain students learn proper safety procedures and adhere to all safety guidelines. Emergency exit directions are posted in each room. Monthly drills are held to provide practice in the event of an emergency. Updated family information, such as proper address, phone numbers and emergency contact numbers are critical. When you move or change phone numbers, please notify school personnel immediately. Please notify the school if you change addresses or telephone numbers during the year. It is very important that your records are kept up to date. Remember to put the name and telephone number of a person who can be contacted in case you cannot be reached.