Parent/Student Handbook

“Set your standards high, maybe a little out of reach, so you will always strive. You will never feel that you have reached perfection…The standards you achieve will be in ratio to what you give. Give it your best.”

~ Mae Carde

1. School Hours

  • 8:00 – 8:25 Arrival
  • 8:30-8:45 Morning Assembly
  • 8:45 Classes begin
  • 3:00 Kindergarten-4th Grades Dismissal
  • 3:30 Grades 5-8 Dismissal

2. Admission Policy

All new students who apply for admission to The Howard School must submit a complete application packet, and participate in an interview with the Headmaster. Students who are accepted will be informed in writing and will secure their place by submitting a tuition agreement with a non-refundable deposit. See the Tuition & Fee Schedule for details. In the mutual interest of the student and The Howard School, the first six weeks of a new student’s enrollment are probationary. In classes where space is limited, first consideration will be given to siblings of past and present Howard School students and children who are transferring from other Carden schools. The Howard School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.

3. Attendance

Consistent and punctual attendance is essential to the progress of the child and his class. Absences should be minimal. A sick child should not be sent to school. Should a child become ill during the school day and be unable to return to class, the parents or emergency contact person will be asked to pick up the child. Parents should notify the office as early as possible if their child will be absent. Make-up work will be arranged through the office. Any extended absence should be brought to the attention of the Headmaster. If a student needs to limit his school activities due to injury or the lingering effects from illness, please send a note to the teacher identifying the limitations.

4. Academic Policies

“The purpose of education is not to raise spectators.”

~ Mae Carden

A. Grading Policy

The Howard School does not issue report cards to students in the Kindergarten through fourth grade. The parent/teacher conferences provide the parents with a thorough assessment of the student’s progress. Students who are in fifth grade or above will receive a quarterly report card in addition to parent/teacher conferences.

B. Schoolwork

All schoolwork should be completed in a neat and precise manner. A child should take pride in his work and strive for excellence. Children are expected to complete all make-up work from absences in a timely manner. Carden students are expected to make any corrections to their work that are necessary to maintain a standard of excellence.

C. Homework

Students should expect homework on a regular basis. Homework gives the child the opportunity to practice concepts learned in class. It also encourages him to develop stamina, responsibility and self-discipline. Please remember that a parent’s attitude toward homework greatly impresses upon the child not only the value of homework, but of education, personal priorities and responsibility. Parents should encourage their child to view homework as a priority and a commitment to his education.

D. Standardized Testing

An achievement test will be administered during the spring semester to all children who are enrolled in Kindergarten through Eighth grades. Test results will be shared with parents during the parent/teacher conference, or by appointment.

5. Conduct

“One of the greatest services a teacher can render any child is the ability to face his conduct fairly… The character of a child determines his future welfare.” ~ Mae Carden

Howard School students are expected to behave properly at all times. They are expected to treat the teachers, staff, children and guests of the school with respect. It is our goal to guide the children in a manner which encourages them to grow in self-discipline and self-control.

Student conduct and discipline are ultimately the responsibility of the parents. In the interest of the child and the school, parents are expected to support the teacher and school in establishing and maintaining excellent behavior. Any concerns should be addressed to the Headmaster during a conference. If any behavioral concerns arise, the parents will be notified immediately. Persistent disciplinary problems are grounds for disciplinary probation; continued problems are grounds for dismissal.

6. Uniform Policy

Students of The Howard School are to be nicely dressed and well groomed. We have found that the child’s appearance helps to shape his/her attitude toward school: that it is serious and worthy of respect. Please follow these uniform guidelines for your child’s dress.

All Students:

  • The child is to wear a school uniform unless the school has given specific instructions for the child to wear non-uniform attire.
  • All uniforms are to be neat, clean and in good repair.
  • Sweatshirts or sweaters with school logos may be worn over uniform shirts.
  • Sweatshirts or sweaters without the school logo may not be worn during school hours.
  • Heavy coats and rain gear may be worn to school, but not during morning assembly or inside the classroom. They may be worn at recess only with the teacher’s permission.
  • There may not be any commercial logos, numbers or pictures that are over two inches in diameter.
  •  Children who are involved in organizations such as Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts or 4-H may wear their uniforms to school on meeting days.
  • Students may wear shoes that enable them to participate in a full range of school activities including outside play and P.E. All footwear must cover the back of the foot or have back straps.
  • Jewelry and accessories should be tasteful, moderate, and safe to wear both on the playground and during P.E. activities.
  • Hats may be worn to school, but may not be worn during school hours.

Boy’s Dress:


  • Shirts must be a solid-colored polo, turtleneck or buttondown oxford shirt. A knit vest with the school logo may be worn over the oxford shirt.
  • Polo and turtleneck shirts must have the embroidered school logo, and may be worn in any solid color.
  • Oxford shirts may be worn in white, light blue or light yellow. They do not require the school logo.
  • If a long sleeve shirt is worn under a short-sleeved polo, the long sleeve shirt must be the same color as the short sleeve polo.
  • Shirts should always be tucked in.


  • Pants or dress shorts may be worn in navy blue, tan,grey, or black.
  • Both pants and shorts are expected to fit properly and not be baggy. Pants with pockets on the side, as in cargo-style pants, are not permitted. Pants may not have jean-type stitching nor flaps on the pockets. Pants are to be worn at the waist.
  • Shorts may not extend past mid knee.
  • If pants or shorts have belt loops, then a belt is to be worn for the first grade and above.


  • Hair must be out of the eyes and above the collar.

Girl’s Dress:


  • Shirts must be a solid-colored polo, turtleneck, peter pan, or oxford button-down shirt or blouse. A knit vest with the school logo may be worn over the oxford shirt.
  • Polo and turtleneck shirts must have the embroidered school logo and may be worn in any solid color.
  • Button-down oxford or peter pan blouses may be worn in white, light blue, light yellow or light pink. They do not need the school logo.
  • If a long sleeve shirt is worn under a short-sleeved polo, the long sleeve shirt must be the same color as the short sleeve polo.
  • Shirts should always be tucked in.


  • Pants, dress shorts, skorts, skirts, or jumpers may be worn in navy blue, tan, black, or school plaid: Lands’ End hunter/classic navy; French Toast green. Polo dresses may be worn in blue, navy, pink, green or red and must have the embroidered school logo. The polo dress may be worn in another solid color if it is the exact replica of the Lands’ End dress.
  • All bottoms must be no shorter than two inches above the knee and are expected to not be baggy. Pants with pockets on the side, as in cargo-style pants, are not permitted. Pants may not have jean-type stitching nor flaps on the pockets.
  • Pants are to be worn at or above the waist.
  • Socks are to match either the shirt or bottom. Example: yellow shirt and navy jumper with yellow or navy socks; green shirt and tan jumper with green or tan socks. White socks are always acceptable.
  • When a plaid jumper is worn, peter pan shirts or polos may be worn in the following colors: red, green, yellow, dark blue, or white. Tights or socks worn with plaid jumpers must be either solid red, green, yellow, dark blue or white.
  • If pants or shorts have belt loops, then a belt is to be worn.
  • For girls in grades Kindergarten through Second, both printed and solid tights/socks may be worn. For girls in the Third grade and above, only solid tights/socks may be worn and must be color-coordinated to the top or bottom worn. White tights/socks are always acceptable as well as footless tights. (Footless tights do not have seams and are the same material as regular tights.) If socks are worn with footless tights, socks must be the same color as tights. Pants may not be worn beneath dresses, skirts, jumpers, etc.


Children who come to school without the appropriate uniform will receive a warning in writing. In addition, a copy of the uniform policy will go home for the parent and student to sign and return to school. If a student receives three warnings, the consequence will be the loss of the student’s next free dress day. Should you have any questions regarding the uniform, please consult the office.

Resources for Uniforms:

  • Lands’ End School: Catalogues available at school office;
  • landsend.com/school; Howard code #9000-9127-3
  • French Toast: Catalogues available at school office;
  • frenchtoast.com; Howard Source code QS5ACIE
  • ATZ Monogramming: Catalogues available at school office;
  • 805-645-8400; atzmonogramming@aol.com

7. Transportation

Parents are responsible for the transportation of their child to and from school. Students in the third through eighth grades may walk or bike to and from school if they have parental permission on file in the school office. Children must have written permission to leave campus with anyone other than their parents. This includes drivers of carpools and parents of other students.

8. Lunch and Snack

  • Children need to bring their lunch to school.
  • Lunches should be nutritious and easy for the child to eat.
  • Please do not send candy or soda. The students will eat in the covered picnic area with their classes.
  • Children will have the opportunity to order hot meals prepared by parents at the school.
  • Children should bring a healthy snack for the midmorning recess.

9. Medication

For the safety of all students, no student may have any prescription or over-the-counter medications in his possession. If it is necessary for a child to be administered any medication, parents must make prior arrangements with the school office.

10. Emergency Procedures

The school has regularly-scheduled emergency drills throughout the year. Should an emergency such as an earthquake or fire occur during the school day, the school will abide by the following procedure:

  1. Cope with initial hazards during and immediately after the emergency;
  2. Conduct any necessary evacuations to a safe area, most likely El Carro Park, which is adjacent to the Girls Incorporated facility;
  3. Account for all students and adults;
  4. Notify parents or emergency contact persons;
  5. Release students to authorized adults from a designated sign-out location.
  6. If a child becomes seriously ill or sustains a severe injury, the school will immediately contact the appropriate emergency agency and notify the child’s parents. Every child must have an emergency consent form on file in the office.

11. School Property

Students are responsible for the proper use and care of school materials, equipment and facilities. Any repair or replacement costs needed because of carelessness or misuse is the parent’s responsibility.

12. Personal Belongings

Children should not bring personal belongings to school except with the permission of the teacher. This includes cell phones, toys, games, and electronic devices such as portable music players, and hand-held video games.

13. Visitors/Parents on Campus

All parents or visitors on school campus must sign in at the office.

14. Parental Participation

Parents are encouraged to maintain ongoing communication with the school. Parent/Teacher conferences will be scheduled in the Fall and the Spring for all students.

Other conferences may be scheduled through the office when desired. The Howard School’s policy is that parents confer on the performance of their children with teachers only in the presence of the Headmaster. Parents are asked not to interrupt teachers once classes have begun. If it is necessary for you to deliver something to your child or the teacher after classes have begun, please take it to the school office so that classes are not interrupted. Parents are welcome to observe classes during the school year. Arrangements should be made through the school office.

The school relies on parental participation and transportation for field trips. Drivers are responsible for the safety of their passengers, and must provide proper restraints for each child. A Driver Information Form needs to be on file in the office.

15. Chaperone Policy

Chaperones have three primary responsibilities:

First is to assist and support the teachers and staff in their supervision of the children. If a child has a complaint, it is important that you instruct them to address it with the teacher. This will prevent the common problem of the children using the chaperones to “run interference”.

Second is to help maintain a safe environment for each child. This means close supervision and high standards. You must supervise the children assigned to you. They are not to be left alone for any reason; you must know where each student is at all times. Please help reinforce the concept that safety is a matter of prevention.

The third, and perhaps most important, responsibility is to model the standards that we expect from the children. This means that chaperones must abide by the same rules as the children. Tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, and consumption of controlled substances are strictly prohibited while on a school trip. If you have to take any sort of medication that prevents you from fulfilling your duties, please inform the trip leader before you take the medication so that you can be relieved of responsibilities. Also, please be punctual; plan on arriving five minutes before any meeting time.

16. Parent Auxiliary Committee

The Howard School Parent Auxiliary is a committee of the Board, the membership of which is the parents/guardians of all currently enrolled children. Interested family or community members are also welcome. The purpose of the Parent Auxiliary is to provide assistance to the administration, teachers and staff by helping with special events and projects. Activities are coordinated by the Auxiliary leadership under the guidance of the school’s Headmaster and Board of Directors. The Parent Auxiliary gives parents the opportunity to support the daily activities of the school and the teachers in their efforts to provide each child with a vital Carden education. Activities of the Parent Auxiliary are invaluable to the school.

“When a child has developed assurance, he has the strength of character to resist the fads and fallacies which divert so many people from the basic truth. He will be able to chart his own course through life and be able to maintain the path he wishes to follow.”

~ Mae Carden