School Handbook

Each student should receive a handbook at the beginning of the year that contains all guidelines and policies for the current school year. Download and print from the link below or request a copy in the school office.

Download the School Handbook 

Handbook Excerpts

The several sections of the handbook have been split up under general headings. Not everything has been listed, but many of the basics are included. Contact the office or principal to answer more specific questions.

Attendance Policy
Dress Code
Extended Care
Half Days and School Closings
Homework and Testing
Religion Requirements
General Rules and Policies
Technology and Communications

Attendance Policy


Parents need to contact the school office (949-0710) prior to the start of the school day if children are to be absent from school.  Please call in each day of an absence.  The number of days allowed to make up work will be equal to the number of days absent, plus one.

Vacations during school time are discouraged.  Parents are asked to meet with the principal and teacher should the possibility arise.  Teachers are not required to give out homework early and the parents should expect only a minimum of assignments that can easily be projected for the time of absence.  Students/parents are responsible to see that work is completed on time in accordance with the homework make up policy.

Please try to arrange doctor or dentist appointments outside of school hours whenever possible. Students must have a written request from parents to present to the teacher prior to leaving class.

Students are considered tardy if they arrive in the classroom after 8:30 a.m. Parents will be notified of repeated tardiness. Students will not be counted tardy if they ride a school bus which is late or if they have an excuse from a parent. Five tardies will result in no perfect attendance for that quarter. Parents, do not make tardiness a habit for your child.

Dress Code Guidelines:

Dress Code Guidelines:

Our Savior Lutheran School is an institution of Christian learning; therefore, students should dress modestly.  All students are expected to dress appropriately for school and school-sponsored activities. Appropriate footwear is required at all times.

Students are to dress particularly neat on all chapel days.  On Chapel days girls are to wear blouses or sweaters with skirts or dress slacks. Boys are to wear shirts with collars and dress slacks.

Shorts may be worn the months of August thru October, and April (after Spring Break) thru June.  Shorts must have a hem and be of appropriate length.

During winter months, students are to come prepared with appropriate outerwear.

The preceding paragraph is the dress code policy.  The following partial list is provided to familiarize parents and students with some of the school’s expectations regarding appropriate dress.

Inappropriate dress

  1. T-shirts with slogans, sayings, or advertisements that are objectionable to the school philosophy or have a double meaning
  2. Tube tops, tank tops, spaghetti straps, clothing exposing the midsection or undergarments, or shorts that expose the buttocks
  3. Swimwear
  4. Long Earrings (safety reasons)
  5. Hats (exceptions are Scout hats worn with uniforms)
  6. Pants that do not fit at the waist or are not of an appropriate size
  7. Clothing that is not hemmed or is torn
  8. Clothing that depicts violence, destruction, or symbols of violence and destruction
  9. Hair styles, make-up, clothing, jewelry, or accessories which tend to draw unfavorable attention to the wearer. (with the exception of spirit days)

The following procedure will be used for students wearing inappropriate dress.

  1. A phone call home for a change of clothing will be made.
  2. If no one is available at home a change of clothing will be given from the office.

Repeated violations may result in further consequences.  Phone calls will be made or a written note will be sent home to parents for each offense.

Gym Shoes:
New or very clean gym shoes with rubber soles are needed for wearing in the gym at all times. These shoes are not to be worn anywhere else.

Boots, for inclement weather, are not allowed in the classroom. If students wear boots, they must bring an extra pair of shoes to wear in the classroom. Please mark boots well since so many are alike.

Half Days and School Closings

Emergency Closing:
School closing due to inclement weather conditions or any emergency is announced in the early morning over radio stations WOOD AM (1300) and WCUZ AM (1230) and many others in the GRAIL System. This includes TV stations WOOD TV-8, and WZZM TV-13. Also, check their web pages.

Half Days:
There are partial school days during the year for conferences and meetings. Our school day ends at noon anytime there is a 1/2 day. Please, watch the Every Friday Note for these days.

Severe Weather:
In the event of a severe thunderstorm watch or a tornado watch, the teachers will be advised of the situation. No action will be taken other than to be alert and listening.
In the event this weather does become more severe and a tornado warning is issued by the weather bureau or state police, all teachers and students will be instructed to take shelter in the lower level room (under the stage), in the restrooms; and/or in the hall between the kitchen and the gym.
In the case of severe weather, parents may pick up their children, but no student will be released early without a parent during these times.


It is imperative that your child’s Enrollment Form is filled out very carefully with home and work phone numbers and that the school is notified of changes during the year.  This information helps the office contact the parent or authorized person if illness or injury should occur.

By state law, students must comply with the State of Michigan regulations regarding entrance into a Michigan school.  A Health Appraisal, signed by a doctor, must be on file in the school office when a student enters a Michigan school for the first time.  The county health department may determine the status of attendance for students with incomplete records, and which students need immunizations, visual exams, and hearing exams, and refer the matter to the Principal for further action.  The principal will then enforce the attendance laws to bring the file up-to-date.

If your child is experiencing one or more of the following, please do not send him/her to school for 24 hours:

  • A temperature of 100 degrees or higher
  • Sore throat
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

Any rash which may be contagious (e.g., strep throat and pink eye require 24 hours of prescription medication prior to returning to school, unless otherwise directed by your doctor.)

A student should be fully recovered before being sent back to school. Students should stay at home until at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever or signs of a fever (without the use of fever-reducing medicine). Also, the ability to participate in all school activities including recess is a good measure of whether a student is ready to return to school. If a student is determined “not ready for school” or should a student become ill during the class day, a request will be made to have the student taken home until fully recovered. If the cause of absence is a communicable disease, the school must be notified. A phone call to the office on the day of the first absence is needed, and then a written excuse is required when the student returns.

If a student is injured or becomes ill, every effort will be made to contact the parent. If medical attention is needed, the information on the Enrollment Form and Medical Release Form will be used. Medical treatment will be sought and continued efforts for contact will be made. If it is a small injury, as in a cut or scrape, it will be washed and bandaged by the teacher. Again, contact will be made to report the mishap to the parents.

The school maintains full insurance on the property. We also have a limited student accident plan in case an injury should require treatment. Please, contact the principal for details on whom or when one is eligible.

If it is necessary for a student to take medication during the school day, parents must complete a Medication Form. This form will detail to the teacher and principal instructions for proper administration. The medication will then be kept with the teacher and dispensed from there. The school does not accept the responsibility for timing of medication or any care beyond the common courtesy of giving the medication so that a parent does not have to come to school to administer the medication. By state law, the school is not to dispense any form of medication without direct permission of the parent.

Physical Examinations:
All students must comply with the State of Michigan regulations regarding entrance into a Michigan school. A Health Appraisal (green form) signed by a doctor must be on file in the school office when a student enters a Michigan school for the first time.

Homework and Testing

Homework fosters good study habits independence, responsibility for future education. The challenging curriculum at Our Savior Lutheran School requires some work to be completed at home. The amount of homework, however, depends on the grade level, the student’s ability, and study habits. Parents can aid the student by providing encouragement, materials, and a quiet place for study. Providing too much help is to be avoided as the student may become too dependent on the parent. If the student is unable to complete assignments for any reason, the parent or guardian should send an explanatory note, so the teacher may be informed and assist in the completion of the work. If the assignments are constantly burdensome, the teacher should be informed.

For those students struggling with the completion of their homework, or for those whom the parents, guardians or teachers feel are falling behind or becoming overly frustrated, after school tutoring is available. Our Savior has many capable staff and volunteers who are very willing to assist in this area. Please talk to the principal for a current list of tutors.

FastDirect is an online education platform that is a grade book and much more. Please check this web application regularly to see your child’s progress in class. This grade book is updated in real time. That means when a teacher places assignment and/or scores in the grade book they immediately become available to you. This is a fast, easy way for parents to stay connected to their child’s assignments and grades. To find the FastDirect application, go to the school’s website ( hover over the tab Academics and click on FastDirect. There you can sign in with the information provided by the Principal at the beginning of the year. If you have lost your login information or it isn’t working call the office and help is available.

MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) testing takes place in the fall, winter, and spring of the year. These tests are not part of the grade of a student but only serve as a measure of progress. They help to analyze student strengths and weaknesses in Math and Reading. Scores will be communicated with families at Parent Teacher conferences during the school year as well as with the final report cards.

Hot Lunch:
The volunteer room mothers serve hot lunch. A head room mother (see school directory for contact name) coordinates the schedule and menu. This hot lunch is offered every other Thursday at a nominal cost. Money should be sent to school by the Tuesday preceding the day of the hot lunch. The return slip for hot lunch will be attached to the Every Friday Note (EFN).

There is no daily hot lunch program. Lunches are carried to school by the student and eaten in the classroom. The classroom teacher or monitor will supervise the room. Each student is to observe good manners while eating lunch.

Religion Requirements

Catechism Class:
The Pastor of Our Savior Lutheran Church teaches catechism class. This class helps the students learn more about God’s Word and sacraments, identify more deeply with the Christian community, and participate more fully in its mission. Catechism is taught on the basis of the “Six Chief Parts” of Luther’s Small Catechism four times a week in the seventh and eighth grades. These classes are required of all students.

Chapel Services:
These services are intended for the spiritual growth and worship life of the students. Each Wednesday morning at 8:35am the entire school body gathers together for worship in the gym. Some exceptions are made during Church holidays. In addition , daily services are held during Advent (the season preceding Christmas) and Lent (the season preceding Easter). Mission projects are initiated by students and teachers and publicized to the student body. Chapel offerings are collected to support these missions. Each class will sing in chapel according to a schedule provided by the Music Director. Parents and members of the OSLC congregation are encouraged to attend chapel services.

Church and Sunday School Attendance:
As the “Pledge of Support” says, “My child and I will faithfully attend weekly church services and Sunday School.” The teachers will take attendance to help track this for the students because it is a vital part of the student’s upbringing. Home, school, and church must work together to build the family in the faith.

General Rules and Policies

Classroom Visitation:
Visitors are welcome. Visitors must make an appointment with the principal for a classroom visit.

General Rules:
Specific rules for students while under the supervision of Our Savior Lutheran School will fall under the “Christian Discipline at Our Savior Lutheran School” section found later in this handbook. Examples of these rules are:

  • Gum is not to be brought to school.
  • Candy may be eaten during lunch or with teacher permission.
  • A soft inside voice is to be used in the building at all times.
  • Children are to walk in the halls and the classroom.
  • Encouraging and up-lifting language is to be used in the school. (Ephesians 4:29) “Do not let the speech from your lips become vulgar or foolish.”
  • Always play in a cooperative manner at recess.
  • Bring no toys or electronic devices that could become a nuisance.

This list is not to be considered limited to just these behaviors, but these are examples of good safety habits and rules.


The school library is staffed by the librarian and a group of volunteers.  Please contact the school librarian with questions regarding the library.

Lost and Found:
Please check with the office for any lost items.

Parent-Teacher Conferences:
Formal Parent-Teacher conferences are held at the end of the first two marking periods. The EFN will provide details in regards to parent-teacher conferences.

Parents are encouraged to keep close contact with the school through written communication, by phone, or by requesting an appointment that a conference be arranged with the teacher concerned. Parents should find an appropriate time to make an appointment that does not disrupt the classroom routine at the beginning or ending of the day.. Cooperation between the home and school results in better understanding for the student. Ordinarily, concerns can be resolved through conferring with the classroom teacher. However, the principal should become involved in areas which could be helped with further consultation or available outside expertise.

Technology and Communications

The Every Friday Note (EFN) is usually sent home with students on Friday. This note is designed to help facilitate communication between school and home regarding school, church, and other related activities. The EFN will be emailed to all families. All announcements for the EFN should be submitted in writing to the school office by Wednesday.

Cell Phone and Electronic Device Policy:

The use of cell phones and electronic devices has become a major part of life in the new century.  Other electronic devices are not allowed for use during the school day at all unless with the specific permission of a staff member.

The cell phone is kept in the locker or backpack; turned off during school hours as well as during school functions in which the student participates.  The cell phone is not to be used during school hours, unless the student is given permission.

Parents who need to communicate with their children are asked to do this through the school office. Cell phones may be used after school (after 3:45pm) or after a school event.

Please understand that cell phones are brought to school at your own risk.  These items, as well as other personal items or electronic devices brought to school by students are their responsibility.  The school assumes no accountability for lost or stolen personal property.

Use of electronic devices and cell phones must comply with the “Proper Use Declaration”.  Students who do not comply with this policy will have the devices confiscated and returned only to a parent or a guardian.

Laptop & Netbooks:
Personal Laptop and netbook computers will be allowed in the classroom under the same rules as stated in the cell phone and electronic device policy, and according to the same usage rules for school computers. Teacher approval needs to be given for a child to use any computer (school owned or personally owned) during the school day. The personal computer is the complete responsibility of the student and parents. If a student requests that the computer be secured, it will be locked in the school office and not in the classroom.


Bussing may be provided by Grand Rapids Public Schools for students who live 1 1/2 miles or more from OSLS and who live within the Grand Rapids Public School (GRPS) district limits. Bussing is available only when GRPS is in session. Parents should allow at least one week at the beginning of the year for bus schedules to operate smoothly. All students must be at their assigned stops five minutes prior to the designated pickup time. No food or snacks are to be eaten on the bus. Student misbehavior will be reported to the Principal and transportation office. If a problem continues after a warning is given, bus privileges will be taken away. Grand Rapids Public School bussing service is not required to wait for the student, unless it is ahead of schedule. If a Kindergarten student is to be regularly dropped off at a stop that is unattended, the parent must write a letter to OSLS stating that this is permissible. A copy of the letter will be kept on file in the school office. Please contact the principal if you wish to use GRSP bussing service.

Field Trips:
These trips may take many forms (plays, tours, and investigations) and are arranged by the school and teachers with the students’ interest and learning in mind. Parents receive notice of the event in the Every Friday Note (EFN) or by a special letter from the teacher. The school seeks written consent of parents before a student is permitted to go on a field trip with a school group. For this purpose a slip requesting permission will be sent home in advance of a trip and it should be returned promptly so the student may attend the outing. If a note is not returned, we will interpret that to mean an affirmative answer. In many instances, we must rely on parents for transportation.

Drivers are required to:

  • sign the field trip form for drivers
  • not make stops going to or from the destination unless an emergency arises
  • buckle all students into seat belts and boosters (when required) during each trip
  • see that each student rides in the same vehicle both going to and coming from the field trip (changes may only be made by the teacher)
  • be responsible for student behavior in the vehicle; any discipline problem (ie. loud talking, improper language, etc. is to be reported to the classroom teacher)
  • clear any audio or video tapes played during travel time with the classroom teacher
  • supervise all movement from vehicle to buildings
  • allow no eating or drinking in the vehicle without the driver’s permission.