Taper Avenue Elementary & S.T.E.A.M. Magnet

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Upcoming school holidays: 3/26/18 - 3/30/18 -- Spring Break, 4/2/18 -- Cesar Chavez Day, 5/28 -- Memorial Day Observed, 6/6 and 6/7 -- Minimum Day dismissals, 6/7 -- Last Day of School

Taper Parent/Student Handbook




The Taper Avenue Elementary School community will provide a strong academic program within a safe, friendly environment that allows all students to reach their fullest potential.



  1. All students can learn, will learn and want to learn.
  2. Parents are an integral part of their child’s education both at home and at school.
  3. Learning is a life-long process.
  4. Teachers and parents will be models of life-long learning.
  5. Learning takes place best in a safe, clean, challenging and non-threatening environment.



  1. All Taper Avenue School students will be able to listen, speak, read and write in all curricular areas to become effective communicators in a technological society.
  2. All Taper Avenue School students will be creative and critical thinkers.
  3. All Taper Avenue School students will be self-directed learners who are able to work collaboratively.


SCHOOL LEADERSHIP GOVERNANCE COUNCIL – Taper is involved in school governance.  With this empowerment, our local school site and our school community can actively participate in innovation, local control and reform.  The Council meets quarterly, and welcomes all concerned and interested parents and/or community members to participate.  The Council is also an advisory group for our ELAC Council.


ENGLISH IMMERSION PROGRAM – The goal of this program is to promote the acquisition of English by second language barriers.  Teachers receive training on how to most quickly accomplish this goal.


GIFTED/HIGH ACHIEVERS PROGRAM – At Taper Avenue, students identified as gifted/high achievers receive additional classroom instruction and projects.  Gifted students will meet together for ongoing projects and seminars conducted by our classroom teachers.  Taper is also a “School for Advanced Studies (SAS)” and receives additional funds to promote differentiated instruction.  Teachers receive specialized training.


PTO (PARENT TEACHER ORGANIZATION) – We encourage every parent and interested community member in our school area to join and participate in the Taper Avenue PTO.  This is a very active group dedicated to child welfare.  You will soon receive information concerning membership.  PTO Board Meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month at 8:15 a.m.  This date may be adjusted around holidays and special events.




OFFICE AND ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF -  Our office staff is composed of Principal, Steven Skrumbis; Assistant Principal, Leanne Malinowsky; Magnet Coordinator, Amber Olsen; School Administrative Assistant, Debbie Goltz and Office Assistant, Doreen Offitzer.  The school office is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  The school phone number is (310) 832-3056.  The cafeteria menu, monthly calendar of events and the Taper Newsletter are available on our website www.tapertigers.com.


ARRIVAL – Students in grades K – 5 begin at 8:00 a.m.  We ask that students arrive at school no earlier than 7:45 a.m.  THERE IS NO SUPERVISION BEFORE 7:45 a.m. Students may not be left without supervision.  When you drop off your children in the morning, please remember not to block the lanes of traffic in front of the school.  Pull over to the curb as close as possible and do not double park.  Parents are requested not to use the staff parking lot for parking or dropping off students.  Do not park across the street and allow students to cross in the middle of the street.  This is a serious problem.  For your child’s safety, we encourage you to drop off in the front of the school, or park away from the school and walk your child to the nearest entrance.


SECURE CAMPUS – Our focus at Taper is student learning.  Taper’s instructional minutes begin when the teacher greets the class at 8:00 a.m.  Only students may enter through the gates to the yard.  All gates will be locked at 8:10.  Starting at 8:30, volunteers must check in through the main office and receive a visitor’s badge. This policy is critical to the safety and education of your child and will be strictly adhered. 


DISMISSAL – For Grades K-5 dismissal is at 2:24 p.m. daily, except for time banked Tuesdays,  August 25, 2015 – April 5, 2016 (see schedule), when the dismissal time is 1:24 p.m.  If you are picking your child up, please do so at the designated gate (All Kindergarten classrooms will exit from the Barhugh gate; Grades 1-3 from the Taper Avenue gate and Grades 4-5 from the Casey Place gate.  Do not double park or block driveways.  Older brothers and sisters are to meet their siblings outside the gate.  Please emphasize the necessity for crossing streets at the intersections only, obeying the crossing guard, and not speaking to any strangers. If a family member is late picking up their Kindergarten or 1st grade child the student will stay in the office until someone arrives.  If the student is in grades 2-5 they can go to the after school playground to wait for their ride.  Students in grades 2-5 are not allowed to use the office phone to call for their ride home until after 3:00.  


GATE POLICY – All gates will be locked at 8:10 a.m. They will be unlocked at 2:24 p.m. (1:24 on Tuesday).  If your child is late to school, please enter through the Main Office.  The gate in the Kindergarten yard will be unlocked at 2:24 p.m. for dismissal of Kindergarten students.


CROSSING GUARD – The crossing guard at Taper Avenue and Westmont is there for our students’ safety.  Please follow the guard’s directions.  The crossing guard’s hours are:

            7:30 a.m. to 8:50 a.m.             2:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.


ATTENDANCE – All children are expected to be in attendance every day unless they are ill.  Remember that a written note explaining the reason for the absence is required upon the child’s return.  The District/school receives money for in seat attendance only.  We realize that there will be instances when your child may be tardy, but avoid this whenever possible.  Tardiness interrupts your child’s instructional time. Tardiness is marked for late arrivals and early departures.   A note should also accompany your child to explain the reason for his/her tardiness (either excused or unexcused).  All tardies will be reflected on their report card.  Three (3) unexcused tardies in excess of 30 minutes constitute truancy.  Truancy letters are generated by the MISIS System and sent home by the District. 


STUDENTS LEAVING EARLY FROM SCHOOL – Students leaving early from school will receive a tardy on their attendance record and report card.  Please schedule your child’s doctor and dental appointments around school hours.  If this is not possible, you must come to the main office first to check your child out.  So that your child will not lose valuable class time, we will not call for the child until the parent arrives to sign them out.  For your child’s safety, he /she will not be released to anyone not on the emergency card.


CONNECT-ED – The District notification system called Connect-Ed enables us to personally communicate with you regarding emergency situations, attendance, school events and other important issues impacting your and your child.  We can contact everyone within minutes through this service.  Please help up by ensuring we have your current contact information.


WEBSITE – All school correspondence will be posted on our website www.tapertigers.com. as well as our facebook page.  If you do not have computer access contact the school office. 


PARENTS ALWAYS WELCOME Parents are welcome to visit the classes.  Visits are limited and may not disrupt the instructional program.  Parent-teacher conferences should be scheduled separately with the individual teacher.  In the event a conference is desired, we suggest that parents send a note in advance to the teacher or call the school and leave a message for the teacher.  Every effort will be made to arrange conferences to the mutual satisfaction of all concerned.  You will receive specific invitations throughout the year to visit the campus and classroom activities.  Parents wishing to visit the classrooms may do so after 8:30 a.m. by obtaining a visitor’s pass from the office prior to going to the classrooms.  Parents wishing to volunteer in the classroom and/or activities need to have a School Volunteer form on file with LAUSD and wear District issued ID badges.





  • All volunteers must have a Volunteer form and current TB test on file.  You must receive your District issued ID badge prior to volunteering.
  • All volunteers must sign-in prior to going to the classroom.
  • Children not enrolled at Taper are not allowed on campus while volunteering.
  • Volunteers must wear District issued ID badges while volunteering.
  • As a safety precaution, no drinks/food are allowed.


HOMEWORK POLICYWe at Taper believe that four nights of homework each week (Monday -Thursday) is appropriate for our students.  The duration of the homework will vary but limited to approximately one hour.  Students are to do the best they can with their homework.  If homework cannot be completed in one hour (for primary) or within a reasonable time for grades 4-5, send the completed portion of the homework to the teacher with a notation.


EMERGENCY CARDS – An emergency card will be sent home for you to complete.  Return the card promptly and with all information areas filled in completely.  Copies will be made for distribution to the office, health office and teacher.   Make sure all telephone numbers/addresses are accurate and clearly written.  Remember to put the name and telephone number of a local person who can be contacted and is willing to pick your child up in case you cannot be reached.  Notify the school if you change addresses/telephone numbers during the year.  It is very important that our records be kept up to date.  The authorization for release on these cards will be the basis for releasing students at all times.


RAINY DAYS – Please determine with your child how he/she is to go home during rainy weather.  Much confusion is avoided if you discuss rainy day procedures with your child ahead of time.  Establish how the child is to get home and when/where he/she will be picked up.  Please do not call the school to leave messages or ask your child to call you.  A good idea is to park a block or so away from school, walk to exit gate to meet your child and walk back to your car or use the valet program in front of the school.  Car honking never gets it done.  PLEASE DO NOT DOUBLE PARK OR HONK YOUR HORN.  Observe all traffic and parking signs.


TELEPHONE – Because of our heavy use of the telephone for school business during the school day, we do not allow students to use the phones.  In case of an emergency, the school staff will call the parent or will summon the child from the classroom to talk to the parent.  Plans for after school pick-up need to be made with the child before the school day.  We will not interrupt classrooms to give messages to students.


BIRTHDAY TREATS – Due to the high number of allergies present at schools and our focus on student learning, parents may not bring edible treats (i.e. cupcakes, cake or cookies, pizza etc.), balloons, flowers etc.  Instead families can bring other supplies, such as silly pencils, small books or other fun items to acknowledge their child’s birthday with their class.  Families can also wrap a favorite new book and donate it to the class or library.  We appreciate your understanding on this issue.


EARTHQUAKE PREPAREDNESS – Our teachers and staff are trained on emergency procedures.  We conduct regular fire and earthquake drills throughout the year.  In the event of an earthquake, the entire school will be evacuated to the school playground.  Parents, relatives or friends (indicated on the Emergency Card) request to pick up students at the main gate and then meet them at the Reunion Gate.  A picture ID will be required.


SERIOUS OR PROLONGED ILLNESS – A student returning to school following a serious or prolonged illness, injury, surgery or other hospitalization must have written permission by the physician to attend school, including any recommendations or limitations regarding physical activity.


MEDICATION – Students who need to take prescribed medication (including aspirin, cough drops etc.) must have a Request for Medication form signed by the physician and parent before the medication can be brought to and administered at school.  The medication and form must be left in the office and must be updated annually.



SPLINTS/CASTS/CRUTCHES – Students coming to school with casts, splints, heavy bandages, crutches, etc. must obtain a release from their physician to be at school.  This includes homemade splints, etc.  The student must be cleared through our health office before entering the classroom.  These students will be excluded from the playground for their safety and assigned to the office during recess and lunch until released by the physician.


COMMUNICABLE DISEASES – Communicable disease inspections will be conducted periodically.  A student suspected of having a communicable disease will be excluded from school until guidelines for readmission are met.


TRANSFERIf you plan to move to another school, be sure to request a transfer form from the office by calling or stopping by a few days prior to moving.  This will assist you in registering your child at the next school.


LUNCH – Lunch is served daily in the Taper Cafeteria.  Menu selections are sent home monthly.  Meal applications were sent via U.S. Mail this summer.  If needed, applications may be found on the lausd.net website or the cafeteria or office.    For more information contact the cafeteria manager, Ms. Jarvis at (310) 547-4377.  The Taper Cafeteria uses a cashless system for all students purchasing breakfast or lunch.  Free lunch recipients are credited for their meals throughout the school year once the application has been processed and approved.  Reduced and full pay students MUST deposit money in their account.  It is recommended that parents visit the Cafeteria in the morning between 8:00 and 9:00 and deposit $20 (no checks) in your child’s account or envelopes are available in the office to drop off at the cafeteria window.  Each meal will then be deducted from your child’s account as they purchase their meals. In order to reduce the number of classroom disruptions, please send your child to school with his/her lunch.  All lunches brought to school after the start of the day will be left on the office counter.  Let your child know to check in the office. In keeping with the District’s policy on good nutrition, we ask our parents to make or buy a nutritious lunch.  NO FAST FOOD!


                                    FULL PRICE             REDUCED PRICE

LUNCH                      $ 2.75                               .40




  1. All students will be required to show proper attention to personal cleanliness, health, neatness, safety and suitability of clothing and appearance for school activities.
  2. Shorts and pants are to be norm fitting and not over-sized. The length of skirts, shorts or dresses should be sufficient so that under garments may not be seen at any time.  No shorter than 4” above the knee is good judgment.  Shirts are to be buttoned and worn tucked into trousers unless specifically styled to be worn outside slightly below the waist.  Items of clothing not appropriate include: low cut, or halter type necklines, bare midriffs, playsuits, bareback or tube blouses, under shirts, loose tank tops, see-through blouses, short shorts, cut-off pants or straps worn down on overalls.  Clothes distinctive either by design, lettering or pictures, advertising alcoholic beverages or controlled substances will not be permitted.  Clothing and accessories indicative of gang affiliations are not allowed. 
  3. Footwear: Closed toe shoes. No clogs, boots, thongs, sandals, open toe or open heel shoes.  No platforms (high soled tennis shoes).  No shoes with wheels.  Shoes are to be worn with socks. 
  4. Accessories – All earrings must be removable in the event they need to be removed for safe participation in a school event.
  5. Students wearing inappropriate clothing will be sent to the office so parents can be contacted to bring them suitable clothing.
  6. Students who are members of special groups such as Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts may wear their uniforms to school on their meeting days once a week.
  7. Student Council has special dress days – children are encouraged to participate in these days.





LABELING PERSONAL ITEMS – Save yourself some time and money.  After you read this section, take 10 minutes to do what it says.  All sweaters, jackets, lunch kits and other personal belongings brought to school should be clearly labeled with the child’s first and last name and room number.  Do this before the cold weather begins.  Children are encouraged to check the lost and found after school for lost articles.  Parents are invited to visit our lost and found collection at any time.  Labeled items will be sent to the child if turned in to the office.  Again, we strongly urge parents to mark all belongings.  Unclaimed items will be given to charities each month.


STUDENT ACCIDENT INSURANCE – The Los Angeles Unified School District does not provide accident insurance for your child and therefore does not have funding for hospital or medical expenses as a result of an accident here at Taper.  However, on a voluntary basis, you may enroll your child in a student plan with United Healthcare online at www.K12StudentInsurance.com. 


DAMAGE TO SCHOOL AND NEIGHBORHOOD PROPERTY – Parents are held financially responsible for damage to any school property by their children i.e. books, graffiti, bathroom doors, fixtures, etc.  Please discuss with your children the problems that can arise from playing on the school grounds after school closes and on weekends.  Children should not play around buildings or shrubbery or the teacher’s parking lot area.  We appreciate your help.  Occasionally, the school receives calls from neighbors reporting children picking their flowers, collecting rocks, or littering, etc.  We stress a school beautification program at every grade level.  Help us reinforce our instruction by discussing with your child his/her citizenship responsibilities in our neighborhood.  Students will be required to pay for supplies which have been deliberately wasted or misused.


CARE OF TEXTBOOKS, LIBRARY BOOKS, ETC. –Students are responsible for all textbooks and library books issued to them during the school year.  All Textbooks going home must be properly covered.  Replacing textbooks costs $30.00 and up.  All lost or damaged books must be paid for.  All monies collected are recorded by our school administrative assistant and paid to the proper fund for replacement purposes.  If a lost book is found, money paid will be refunded.  (Prices subject to change.)


BICYCLES – The following rules were adopted by our School Leadership Governance Council:  Because of the great hazard that exists when many children ride bicycles, we do not encourage children to ride to school.  It may take a few minutes longer for your child to get to school, but it will be safer.  ONLY STUDENTS IN GRADES 4 AND 5 MAY RIDE BIKES TO SCHOOL.  All bicycles must be locked and parked in the bicycle racks.  It is best that all “attractive” gadgets be kept off bikes.  State Law – Students must wear helmets.



  1. All bicycle riders must wear helmets.
  2. All bicycles must be walked while on campus.
  3. All bicycles must be locked at the bike rack during the day.
  4. Riders should not ride out into the street from between parked cars.
  5. Bicycles should be walked across intersections.
  6. Bicycles must be walked on the sidewalk when in front of school and on school grounds.


SKATEBOARDS/ROLLER SKATES/ROLLER BLADES/SCOOTERS –  Because of heavy traffic and lack of facilities for safekeeping, children are not to bring or ride skateboards, roller skates, roller blades or scooters to school.  Roller shoes must have wheels removed at all times while on campus.


TOYS/GAMES – Please share the following with your child:  Because of the distraction and improper use of some toys and electronic games, children will not be allowed to bring toys of any kind to school.  Aside from being a safety hazard, they often cause problems among children or get broken.  Toys collected by the teacher will be returned upon request of the parent.  Do not allow your child to bring his/her collection of cards, yoyo’s, electronic devices, tapes, games, etc. to school.


GUNS/TOY  GUNS/KNIVES – The Los Angeles Unified School District has a strict policy on guns/toy guns, knives at school.  Students of any age or grade level bringing guns, knives of any kind to school are subject to arrest and expulsion from Taper and the school district.  This expulsion policy applies to all types of knives and guns, including air guns, stun guns, pocket knives and replica (toy) guns.


PETS – Pets are not allowed on campus except in special circumstances.  Whenever pets are found on the school grounds, we make every effort to locate the owners and if not successful, we notify the animal shelter.


DISCIPLINE POLICY – The following discipline policy was established and approved by the Taper Avenue School Site Council.


DEFINITION OF DICIPLINE – Discipline is a process of growth by which an individual acquires self-direction and self-control.  The disciplined person assumes responsibility for his/her own action in accordance with socially accepted behavior.


DISCIPLINE: A SHARED RESPONSIBILITY – An effective discipline program must have the cooperation and support of all persons involved.



  1. Respecting the authority of the parents, teachers, principal and other school staff to enforce district policy and school rules and regulations regarding student discipline and conduct.
  2. Behavior in classrooms and on the school campus in a manner that does not disrupt or interfere with the rights of students to learn.
  3. Proper behavior to and from school to ensure the safety of persons and property.
  4. Attending school promptly and regularly and working to the best of his/her ability.
  5. No teasing. Rights and feeling of others are to be respected.



  1. Ensuring that their children have adequate nourishment and are dressed appropriately.
  2. Giving children encouragement, recognition and praise at home for appropriate behavior.
  3. Reviewing school discipline rules and regulations with children.
  4. Cooperating with the school staff in carrying out appropriate discipline consequences when such action is necessary.
  5. Instructing students in safe and responsible practices while going to and from school and alerting them to basic safety practices at home and school.



  1. Assisting in the development and enforcement of school rules and developing clear, concise classroom standards.
  2. Planning for instruction and classroom management to establish an atmosphere that elicits proper behavior and gives each student full opportunity to learn in a positive classroom environment.
  3. Promptly communicating with students and parents regarding student successes and problems.



  1. Leadership in communicating clearly and monitoring the roles and responsibilities of staff and students.
  2. Leadership in communicating clearly and monitoring the rules and expectations and responsibilities of staff and students.
  3. Protecting the rights of:
  • Students, as they pursue learning
  • Teachers and other staff as they attend to their daily tasks
  • Parents as they assume their role of partnership with the school in the education of their children
  1. Defining the referral procedures and everyone’s part in that procedure.
  2. Enforcing this discipline plan within the existing district, state and federal laws.


POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT – The key to maintaining an effective discipline program is the use of positive reinforcement activities.  It is the school’s policy to inform parents about the positive progress students are making in school through regular citizenship awards and notes home.


REFERRAL PROCEDURES:  The referral policy for unacceptable behavior in class, on the yard, or to and from school is as follows.  Each step represents repeated occurrences of unacceptable behavior by a student.  NOTE:  Behavior which threatens the safety of any individual is subject to immediate suspension.


Step 1:  Teacher counsels student.

Step 2:  Teacher informs parent by phone or letter

Step 3.  Principal Counsels student.

Step 4.  Principal informs parent by phone or letter.

Step 5.  Parent conference is scheduled.

Step 6.  Student is suspended and parents are notified in writing.

A parent conference will be scheduled to discuss recurring problems at any step.  At each step in the referral process, natural consequences should result which deter a specific unacceptable behavior.  For example: when a student deliberately disrupts the classroom environment, he/she is isolated from the lesson in that room or under supervision in another room.

Unacceptable behavior: May result in immediate suspension. Expulsion is the ultimate consequence.


  1. Assault – verbal or physical threat or action against another person
  2. Weapons – possession of any item or dangerous object which could cause injury to any person (which includes knives, guns, toy guns, fireworks).
  3. Smoking, drugs or alcohol – use or possession
  4. Vandalism – destruction or attempted destruction of school or private property
  5. Vulgarity or profanity
  6. Deliberate classroom disruption
  7. Defiance of authority
  8. Theft or extortion


Parents should consult with the teacher directly and immediately when questions relating to performance or conduct arise.  We take pride in our high standards and academic achievement.  In order to preserve and further improve these standards, we must insist that students follow classroom and school-wide rules.  Each student will bring home a contract for your signature outlining the rules of expected behavior.  Each student will receive an orientation to school-wide rules at the beginning of the school year.  Parents with questions or concerns should contact the school administrator for further information.




1824 Taper Avenue

San Pedro, California  90731

(310) 832-3056




August 10, 2016





Dear Parents,


Welcome to the 2016-17 school year. We hope you had a wonderful vacation and are ready for an exciting new school year.


This handbook has been prepared to give you a variety of information about the practices and policies at Taper Elementary and Taper S.T.E.A.M. Magnet.  Please take a few minutes to review and discuss the handbook with your child.  These guidelines are in place to promote student safety and the smooth running of our school.  This handbook serves as an excellent reference for you and your child to refer to as needed.


On behalf of the faculty and staff, I would like to invite you to attend your child’s programs and become active in the PTO, School Leadership Governance Council, Volunteer programs and Bilingual Advisory Committee.  Your partnership in your child’s education is essential to their success.


Thank you in advance for your support of our efforts on behalf of your child(ren).







Steven Skrumbis