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Getting Started

Getting Started

The Bernice A. Ray School welcomes all elementary-age children from Hanover and Etna, NH.  We offer a balanced and challenging academic program and a supportive atmosphere for students of all abilities and backgrounds.

The educational, social, and emotional growth of each student is our primary focus, and we actively encourage our students to become responsible and contributing members of the community.  This handbook has been prepared to help parents and guardians understand how things work at the Ray School.  Please share information with us that you feel would help us serve your student’s needs, and contact us whenever you have questions or concerns you would like to discuss.


Children who reach the age of five, on or before September 30, are eligible to attend school that year.  The child’s birth certificate, immunization records, documentation of recent physical exam, and proof of residency are required.  Families new to the Hanover School District should register as soon as possible.  Health and academic records from the previous school are needed; the school will directly request the records after a parent/guardian signs a release.

Dressing for School

There is no specific dress code for the Ray School. We expect that all students and staff will dress in a way that is appropriate for a school setting. However, students may be asked to remove or modify unsafe or inappropriate footwear (eg., sandals for gym) or other clothing. We believe that appropriate attire is not gender specific, and we support that individual self-expression is a natural and important part of human development.

However, we may (in a respectful way and private setting) ask a student to reconsider their attire if their attire violates any of the following: 

Non-Allowable Dress:

  • Clothing may not depict, advertise, or advocate the use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs/controlled substances.

  • Clothing may not depict pornography, nudity, violent or sexual acts.

  • Clothing may not use or depict hate speech targeting groups based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious affiliation, or any other protected group.

  • Clothing must not threaten the health or safety of any other student or staff.

Sneakers are required for physical education classes and outdoor play. Students generally are not allowed to wear caps/hats inside the building, but there are exceptions and ultimately this decision is left up to the discretion of the teacher or adult leading instruction.

Students should be dressed appropriately for weather conditions to be prepared for outdoor play during recess, outdoor classroom, and gym periods.  Students go outside unless it is raining or bitterly cold.  They need warm jackets, hats, mittens, and boots for cold or wet weather.  When boots are worn, students will need to bring shoes for time inside the building.  Extra shoes and/or boots may be left at school.  Boots may not be worn inside, and slippers are not allowed in case of a fire drill during the winter months.


Recess Temperature Guidelines

All temperatures will INCLUDE wind chill (“real feel”) temperature on the Accuweather Website

10 degrees and above                      regular outside recess

Below 10 to 1 degree                        10-15 minute recess (shortened)

0 degrees and below                        indoor recess

Please label all clothing your child normally removes or stores during the school day: jackets, boots, hats, mittens, sweatshirts, sweaters, rain gear, book bags, as well as items brought to school or playground activities. We are able to return labeled items to students. However, many items that are not clearly labeled end up unclaimed in the Lost-and-Found bin in the vestibule.  Unclaimed items are donated monthly to local service organizations.


Essential Supplies

The school will provide the majority of supplies for students. There may be some limited specific requests from classroom teachers, but please reach out to the teacher or administration if you experience difficulty obtaining a specific item for any reason.


Arrival and Dismissal

Students who walk or are driven to school may arrive at 7:30 a.m. at the earliest when outdoor supervision begins for “before school recess,” or “precess.” For students who arrive by bus, supervision begins when their bus arrives. Students line up in designated areas at 7:55 a.m. and enter the school. Morning Meeting and other instructional activities begin at 8:00 a.m.  Students who arrive after 8:00 a.m. are considered to be late unless tardiness is caused by a late school bus.  Late students must report to the office to check in before continuing to their classrooms. A  parent/guardian must notify the office if a student will be arriving late due to an appointment or prior commitment.

Daily Schedule
Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays

7:30 am - Precess Supervision Begins
7:55 am - Bell rings to line up and enter the building
7:55 - 8:00 am - Settling in
8:00 am - Morning Meeting/Day Begins

Hours of instruction: 8:00 am - 2:45 pm

2:45 pm Dismissal


7:30 am - Precess Supervision Begins
7:55 am - Bell rings to line up and enter the building
7:55 - 8:00 am - Settling in
8:00 am - Morning Meeting/Day Begins

Hours of instruction: 8:00 am - 1:55 pm

1:55 pm Dismissal

The school office is open from 7:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. on school days.

Documentation either by email or written note must be provided to the office for students needing to be dismissed early. Students will report to the office when it is time to leave and be dismissed directly from the office to the parent and/or guardian.  Please do not arrange to meet your student elsewhere.

Except for unexpected changes directed by a parent and/or guardian the student will be dismissed, as is his/her usual routine.  The parent and/or guardian need to notify the office of any dismissal changes prior to 1:00 p.m.  Students will not be allowed to initiate changes to their afternoon dismissal, so please make sure you have discussed with your student(s) prior to school his/her dismissal plans for the day.  Again, all expected changes in dismissal should have a note or email from the parent and/or guardian.

Each classroom begins the school day with the Pledge of Allegiance, in compliance with New Hampshire statute RSA 194:15-c.  Students may participate or not, depending on their preference and belief.  Whether participating or not, students are to respect the rights of their classmates.

Kindergarten/First Grade Dismissal

A reminder to parents/guardians of kindergarteners/first graders -- please wait by the designated teacher area to pick-up your student.  For safety reasons, students must wait for the bell, line up with their class and proceed to the designated teacher area for parent/guardian pickup. Make sure you check in with the teacher or educational assistant before taking your student from the pickup line. 

For more information about other transportation-related topics, see the section on Transportation.


Punctuality is an important part of developing good work habits.  Regular attendance and punctuality are expected of each student from the first day of school. When a student will be absent, parents/guardians must notify the school office before 8:00 a.m. Otherwise, the office will call parents/guardians of students who are not in school to confirm their absence.

Students who must leave school during the day must have permission/documentation from a parent or guardian.  They must report to the office when it is time to leave, and be dismissed directly from the office to the parent/guardian.  Please do not arrange to meet your student elsewhere. 


Planned Absences

Medical or other outside appointments should be scheduled outside the school day whenever possible.  Student absences have an impact on learning at any grade level, and extra work is required of teachers to bring returning students up to speed. Work done at home does not replicate the classroom experience.   For planned absences of more than 10 school days, parents/guardians should begin discussions with teachers and administrators well in advance.

Homework During Absences 

Children should rest and get well during the early stage of an illness.  We prefer not to send school work home until the third day of an absence.  For absences less than two days, homework is sent home only if parents may reach out to the classroom teacher. Please note that no assignments can replicate the classroom experience, and as such, teachers may be limited in what they can send home to support learning during an absence. Assignments can go home with a relative, neighbor, a parent/guardian, or a sibling if requested by a parent/guardian.


Electronic Devices

Students may not use personal electronic devices at school during the academic day.  If a student requires use of a cell phone for parent/guardian communication after school dismissal, the cell phone must be turned off and stored in the student’s backpack during the school day. 

The school provides district iPads, Chromebooks, and MacBooks for use during the academic school day. Students should not bring their own devices to school.

If a student’s personal electronic device of any kind is causing distraction/disruption during the school day, administrators may call a parent/guardian to come collect the device.



The school is pleased to offer the vast resources of Internet access to students and staff.  Our purpose is to promote educational excellence through resource sharing, innovation, and communication.  The value of this interaction far outweighs the possibility that users may procure material inconsistent with our educational goals. Parents must review the Internet Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) with their student(s).

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