• Welcome Mark Twain Parents and Students!


                Whether you are a new parent to our school or a returning parent familiar with the Mark Twain staff, we welcome you to another school year filled with a variety of learning experiences.  Our This Parent/Student Handbook contains important information, which has been prepared to help inform and answer some of the common questions parents have about our school.  I hope this helps you get acquainted!


                The staff at Mark Twain looks forward to working with you this year in creating an educational partnership on successful learning for all students in a safe, nurturing and caring environment.  Education today is a cooperative venture.  Not only does this include the school professional staff and students, it includes parents as well.  It will take all of us working together as we strive to reach higher academic standards for all students and continuous school improvement for Mark Twain Elementary.


    Parents give many levels of support throughout the year, which is extremely valuable to education.  Your participation by getting your child ready for school with the proper supplies, properly fed, dressed and to school on time while encourage regular attendance lays the foundation to a great start every day.  Working closely with your child’s teacher shows support.  Volunteers are also needed at school to make our special and traditional programs work.  Your time and energy will add a wonderful richness to our school.  We encourage all families to join and participate in our P.T.A.  Our active and supportive P.T.A. does an excellent job supplementing and complementing our academic offerings.  As the year progresses, please look for opportunities to participate in your child’s education.


    To maintain A+ communication with you and keep you informed of events throughout the year, look for school newsletters from the office, classroom newsletters and PTA newsletters.  You may also check the Mark Twain Elementary school web site. 


    If you have a question about your child’s curriculum, classroom activities, or progress in class, please contact your child’s teacher by note, telephone or e-mail.  The professional staff is dedicated to assisting you and your child.  Feel free to contact me, as my door is always open.  Together we can work to develop the best possible educational experience for your child.



    Lawrence (Chip) Elfering, Principal






                                                                  Mark Twain believes All kids will succeed. NO EXEPTIONS!


    Vision Statement

    Putting students first to make learning last a lifetime.  Celebrating academics, diversity, relationships and innovation.



    School Information



    1801 Road 40

    Pasco, Washington 99301



    (509) 543-6794

    Fax Number:

    (509) 546-2847


    Office Personnel:

    Lawrence (Chip) Elfering, Principal

    Hilary Wingert, Assistant Principal

    Julie Cantu, Home Visitor

    Maira Avila Herrera, Secretary

    Julissa Olvera Avila, Clerk

    Kim Sanchez, Nurse

    Bernadette Flores, Counselor


    School Hours:


    8:40 a.m.         Breakfast is served

                                       9:00 a.m.         School begins  Kindergarten - 5th grade

                         1:40 p.m.        School dismissal on Wednesday

                                                             3:40 p.m.        School dismissal- Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday


    Children who walk or are brought to school should not arrive before 8:40 a.m. since no supervision is provided prior to that time.  Playground supervision begins at 8:40 a.m.

    ·         Students should be dropped off and picked up in front of the school. Please do not park or pick students up in the bus loading zone, as it is very dangerous for our students. Students or parents should not cross between buses.

    ·         If you choose to park across the street, please have your child use the cross walk on Road 40.  If you are parked across the street on Ella Street, we ask that you get out of your car and meet your child on the school grounds.



    All entering kindergarten students will be five years of age on or before August 31.  A birth certificate or other legal proof of birth is required for all kindergarten students, and first graders, if a first time Pasco student.  A record of immunizations is also required.

    Withdrawal Procedures

    If it is necessary to withdraw your child from school, the office must be notified either by a note, phone call or a personal visit by the parent.  The office will forward records to the new school.


    Emergency Cards

    It is very important for us to keep a current emergency card on file for each student.  It allows us to have up-to-date information if an emergency arises.  This card gives us the helpful and necessary guidelines if you cannot be reached.  Please update your phone or address as needed.  Remember, the names on the file are the ONLY people authorized to check out a student from school unless you have notified the school of changes.



    In order to administer ANY type of medicine at school, we must have a Permission to Administer Medicine Form on file in the office.  This is available from the secretary or nurse.  The medication is kept in the nurse’s room and will be administered by the office nurse/staff only.  A NOTE FROM HOME DOES NOT TAKE THE PLACE OF THE PROPER FORM.  Prescriptions must be in the original container.  Over-the-counter medicines are not allowed at school. If your child becomes ill or is injured at school, you will be notified.  It your number or emergency contact phone number changes during the year, please let the office know.


     Parents, Visitors and Volunteers Due to COVID-19 Restrictions we cannot have visitors

    For the safety of our students, you MUST come to the office to sign in and receive a Visitor’s Badge before proceeding to your child’s classroom.  Please DO NOT wait in the hallway for your child prior to the dismissal bell.  You may wait in the covered entrance until school is dismissed.


    Attendance/Student Absence

    Studies have shown that regular and prompt attendance is a key factor to success in school.  We are required by law to track attendance and notify parents of any unexcused absences.  Washington State Law states the only legal reason for absence is illness.  The following principles are the attendance procedures at Mark Twain and are based on the Pasco School District Board of Directors Policy and RCW 28A/225/010.

    ·         Absences due to illness or a health condition; family emergencies and as required by law.  The Principal, upon request by a parent/guardian, may grant permission in advance for a student’s absence, providing such absence does not adversely affect the student’s educational progress.

    ·         An excused absence shall be verified by the parent/guardian.

    ·         The school shall notify a student’s parent/guardian in writing or by telephone whenever the student has failed to attend school after one (2) unexcused absence within any month during the current school year

    ·         It is the school’s responsibility under state law and district policy to file a petition with the Juvenile Court alleging a violation of the RCW 28A.225.110.  When a child has (5) unexcused absences within the month, it is the responsibility of the school staff and parent/guardian to meet and discuss the student’s absences prior to the notification of the Pupil Personnel Director.

    ·         When students are tardy or absent, parents may call the school office between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m. to report the absence.  If a call hasn’t been made the parent should provide a note for the classroom teacher explaining the reason for the absence.  If we feel that absence or tardiness is affecting the success of your child, we will notify parents and ask their help in ensuring regular attendance. 


    All of the research states that children who attend school with 90% attendance or above will be successful.  Please join us in our efforts to help your children be successful in his/her academics. 


     Lunch and Recess Hours

    11:10, Kindergarten

    11:10 1st Grade

    11:45 2nd Grade

    11:45 3rd Grade,

    12:20 4th Grade

    12:20 5th Grade

    Meal Prices and Charging Policies

    All PSD students are eligible to receive breakfast and lunch at no cost to the student for the 2022-26 school years due to recent changes made to the federally funded program called the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP). All students enrolled in PSD programs, including preschool, will be eligible.

    Although there is no application for free meals, our district does send out a Family Income Survey in the fall. This form collects household income information so that PSD is eligible to receive state funding for important educational programs that our students are entitled to. If your family receives this form, we encourage you to fill it out and return it as soon as possible.


    • Free/reduced breakfast and lunch applications are available in the school office throughout the year.  If you think you may qualify, fill out the form and return it to school.
    • Go to www.Myschoolbucks.com to enroll in the online lunch payment system.
    • If you wish to pay weekly or monthly, please send check or money in an envelope marked with your CHILD’S NAME, ROOM NUMBER AND AMOUNT OF MONEY.  Your child can take it to the attendant in the cafeteria.
    • Monthly menus will be sent home. 
    • School breakfast is available for all students each day in the cafeteria/gym from 8:40 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.


    Change in Routine/Early Release from School

    If it is necessary to pick up your child from school during the school day, please send a note to the teacher informing him/her of the time you plan to pick your child up.  Teachers are instructed not to release a child from the teaching areas unless authorized by the office.  This procedure is followed to protect your child and to hold classroom interruptions to a minimum.  In order to release the child from the building, you must sign them out at the front desk.  Please do not pick your child up early for parent convenience.  It is important that children are in class for all lessons.



    • Bikes must be walked on the school grounds and across all crosswalks.  There are crosswalks on Court Street/Road 40, Pearl Street /Road 36, Opal/Road 40.  Bikes should be placed in the bike racks and locked.  The school cannot be responsible for bikes being brought to school. Proper safety equipment, including helmets, is encouraged.
    • Walkers should cross at all crosswalks.  Our crossing guards report to their areas at 8:40 a.m. daily.


    Bus Riding

    • Students are expected to ride their normal bus.  Students must receive permission from adult personnel in the office before riding a different bus to or from school.
    • Students who ride the bus are expected to follow the rules provided by the transportation department.  Please read over the bus rules with your child.  Students and parents must realize that riding a bus is a privilege that can be taken away if their behavior is not under control. It is important for everyone’s safety that the rules be followed at all times.  Specific rules will be sent home every year or they can be found here


    School Closure

    In cases of very severe weather, school closures or late starts will be announced over the local radio stations by 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m.  Please listen to the radio for information regarding school delays or closures.

    • Radio Stations:  AM 610---KONA,  FM 92.5---KZHR La Campensina
    • Television Stations:  Channel 25 or 6—KNDU
    • Through the Pasco School District App.
    • Pasco School District Website:  https://www.psd1.org 

    Emergency Drills

    On a regular basis, we practice evacuating the school so that all students are aware of the fastest and most efficient way to do this if necessary.  Lock-down drills and drills for evacuating the playground will be conducted regularly. We also practice a Shelter-in-Place process that would be used in a situation where there was an external danger from chemicals or other toxic agents.  The transportation department practices school bus exit drills twice during the school year.



    Please help us keep a positive learning atmosphere at Mark Twain.  School clothing should be functional and reflect the attitude of the students toward learning.  Students and parents should work together to determine an appropriate standard of attire as long as it does not violate dress code requirements and/or disrupt the learning process.  Clothing should also be appropriate for the weather.  The following guidelines should be followed:

    ·         Tennis shoes should be worn for PE and recess and they should be tied securely.

    ·         Platform shoes and “flip-flops” are discouraged as they are not safe on the playground.

    ·         Shirts that use profanity or promote alcohol/smoking/substance abuse are not acceptable.

    ·         Halter tops, spaghetti straps, see-through blouses, or blouses that expose midriffs are not appropriate.

    ·         Tank tops with wide arm holes that expose the chest or back should not be worn.

    For a complete Dress Code Click here


    Food and Drinks on the Playground

    Please keep gum, candy and pop at home.  Except for designated days, food and drinks will not be allowed on the playground.



    Electronic toys such as Game Boys, Nintendo Switch, I-pods & cell phones are not allowed at school.  Marbles, jump ropes or nerfball will be sent home when these are offered, as it is necessary for the office to have the appropriate permission forms prior to participation.



    • We will communicate through email, phone, text, and ClassDojo
    • How do I get in touch with my child’s teacher?  If at any time you wish to meet with a teacher, he/she is available before and after school.  You may also call for an appointment at another convenient time.  During instruction times, you may leave a message with our office and the teacher will call you back as soon as possible.
    • Getting information to your child during the school day—If you need to get a message to your child during the day, we ask that you call it in by noon so the office staff has plenty of time to get it to your child.  Please do not wait until the last minute or your child may not get the message in time.

     Discipline/Classroom Management

    Effective classroom management is established beginning on the first day of school.  In order to insure that student behaviors occurs at the high levels that we expect, the following will occur:

    ·         The classroom teacher will teach, maintain and model the school and classroom rules. Schoolwide rules will be discussed and behaviors that demonstrate standards for Respect, Responsibility and Readiness to Learn will be expected.

    ·         The classroom teacher will review the school discipline policy with students at the beginning of the year and review on a regular basis.

        Additional Opportunities

    ARTS & MORE!

    Arts & More is an enrichment program unique to Mark Twain for all Kindergarten through fifth graders.  Each student is provided an opportunity to participate in sessions that include Music, Art, Technology, P.E, Library, and many other activities that integrate the academics.  These courses are designed to address the music, movement,  and visual arts disciplines the state identifies in the Essential Academic Learning Requirements for the Arts. 


    Orchresta and Band

    Both choir and chimes are offered for students in the fifth grade.  Students who elect to participate in these programs practice each week during their Specialist time.  Throughout the school year, they have opportunities to perform for the school and the community.



    Band is offered for any fifth grade students who are interested in learning how to play an instrument.  Students who participate in band meet four days a week to practice. They are provided many opportunities to perform for the school, their families, and the community. There are instruments available to borrow for students who may not be able to rent or purchase an instrument to use.


    Student Council

    Students have the opportunity to gain leadership skills and be a student representative.  Student Council Representatives from third, fourth and fifth grades meet the first Thursday of the month.  Student Council Leader is Mrs. Mendoza.


    Before/After School Programs

    Throughout the school year, various opportunities or sessions are offered for students to receive additional assistance in reading, writing, math or science. 


    Building and Playground Rules


    1. Staff and students will respect others and their property at all times.  Respecting others includes standing quietly in line, listening, and following directions.  You should treat each person and piece of equipment with care.  Profanity and fighting are absolutely not allowed.
    2. Assemblies.  Teachers will prepare students before each assembly, reviewing appropriate behaviors for the specific kind of assembly.  Students will walk to the assembly using appropriate hallway procedures.  Students in need of closer supervision should be kept close to the teacher.  Classes will sit in designate areas. After the assembly, classes will be dismissed beginning with the kindergarten students.  Teachers should debrief with their class after the assembly, discussing how they did as a class.
    3. Students will follow directions given by an adult.  Anywhere in the school building, throughout the school grounds, respect should be given to any adult.  Being willfully disobedient or defiant of adult authority is unacceptable.
    4. Students may ask any adult for help if they cannot solve a problem on their own.  Wherever you are at school, there will be an adult you may ask for help.
    5. Students will stay within areas designated to be theirs.  Students will not be in classrooms without adult supervision.  Playground areas are designated by grade level.  Stand in the correct bus line after school until excused to board the bus.
    6. Hallways: Students should walk quietly on the right side of the hallway in single file or two lines.  A hall pass is required for individual students whenever they are out of the classroom.
    7. Students will leave toys, sports equipment, skateboards, scooters, radios/I-pods at home. 
    8. Cafeteria: Students should use only 6” voices while waiting in line.  Teachers will supervise students until their duty free lunchtime begins.  Students will sit at their assigned tables.
    9. Bathrooms-A bathroom pass or classroom check out system is required for all students.  No more than one boy or one girl from each class should be allowed to use the bathroom at the same time.  Overuse of the bathroom should be monitored.  Bathroom use should be encouraged during break time and should not be leaving the classroom during instructional time except in the case of an emergency.  Students will use the bathroom appropriately, maintaining a quiet bathroom for all students and teachers.
    10.  Recess- Teachers will walk their student to and from recess.  All equipment should be checked out through recess procedures.  Only school rules, taught to all students by the PE teacher will be applied when playing games.  Safety is the most important focus.  If a game is viewed as unsafe it will be stopped.  Students will exhibit responsibility for equipment and their own behavior. 
    11.  Homework:  Homework is a regular part of the curriculum in grades K-5. Homework will be given for work not completed during school hours, incomplete work, work missed as a result of an absence and as a reinforcement for material introduced in class.  All students will be responsible for any homework assignments and will complete these assignments to the best of their ability.  Generally, students will receive the following amount of homework:

    Grades K-1                 15-30 minutes

    Grades 2-3                 15-45 minutes

    Grades 4-5                 20-45 minutes

    All students should have a minimum of 20 minutes of reading per night.


    12.  Snacks/Birthday Treats/Class Parties (Please Contact the School for COVID-19 Restrictions) :

    If you would like to celebrate your child’s birthday at school, we are asking that any treats brought to school that are going to be shared with the class be peanut-free,store purchased and factory sealed in the original packaging. (Home baked items will not be allowed.) Due to severe and life-threatening allergies of several of our students please check with the office or the classroom teacher to make sure the items are safe for all students.  Also, feel free to acknowledge your child’s birthday with a non-food item for the students in the class. 



     School Supply List

     This is an optional list of supplies to purchase.  All students need to have a backpack to transport papers, books, and schoolwork safely between home and school.




    Suggested School Supply List is here 





    Parent Involvement Policy


                Recognizing that a child’s educational success is dependent upon a partnership between Home and School, parent input will be solicited to help design programs of both academic and social instruction using Title 1, Bilingual, and LAP funds for staff, materials, and training.  Mark Twain parents will be encouraged to be involved throughout the school year in several ways:


    ·         Meetings will be announced on ClassDojo, through email, listed on our website, and our Electronic School Bulletin Board .

    ·         Parent Education opportunities will be offered, which will include School District and State conferences or meetings. 

    ·         An annual survey of parents will be conducted for their evaluation and suggestions on current programs.

    ·         Parents will also have the opportunity at both Open House and Parent Conferences to give input to teachers concerning current programs.

    ·         Parents will be asked to support the Parent-Student-Teacher Compact in order to maintain a home and school connection for student success.

    ·         Parents, family, and friends, will be invited to participate in school activities and celebrations such as Frontier Days, Field Trips, plays, and musical performances.

    ·         Parents are encouraged to serve as volunteers in the classroom reading and writing with children in a one-to-one format.



    Family-School Compact 

    This agreement defines the expectations and the shared responsibilities of the student, the parent and the school as equal partners for student learning.




    I will:

    ·         see that my child attends school regularly and on time.

    ·         provide a home environment that encourages my child to learn.

    ·         insist that all homework assignments be completed.

    ·         communicate regularly with my child’s teacher/attend conferences.

    ·         support the school in developing positive behaviors.

    ·         talk with my child about his/her school activities every day.

    ·         encourage my child to read at home and monitor his/her TV viewing.

    ·         volunteer time at my child’s school (if possible)

    ·         show respect and support for my child, the teacher, and the school.




    I will:

    ·         always try to do my best in my work and behavior.

    ·         work cooperatively with my classmates.

    ·         show respect for myself, my school, and other people.

    ·         be responsible in my actions and decisions in school and on the bus.

    ·         take pride in my school

    ·         come to school prepared with my homework and supplies.

    ·         believe that I can and will learn.




    I will:

    ·         believe that each student can learn.

    ·         show respect for each child and his/her family.

    ·         come to class prepared to teach.

    ·         provide an environment that is conducive to learning.

    ·         help each child grow to his/her fullest potential.

    ·         provide meaningful and appropriate homework activities.

    ·         enforce school and classroom rules fairly and consistently.

    ·         maintain open line of communication with students and parents.

    ·         seek ways to involve parents in the school program.

    ·         demonstrate professional behavior and a positive attitude.



    Action Team for Partnerships


    “Connecting Schools, Families & the Community”

    Education succeeds best when there is a strong partnership that thrives on communication and involvement.  We want your child to be happy and successful.  In addition to what happens in the classroom, we believe that your support and involvement are essential to your child’s success.  Research shows that a child who knows that his or her family is interested in and supportive of school programs will almost always have more success and fewer problems.


    We believe that communication among parents, students, and teachers is critical, so we invite you to be our partner in education as we continue the implementation of our School and Family Partnership Program at Mark Twain Elementary.


    Parent/Teacher Organization


    The Mark Twain PTO is a valued part of our school!  We hope you consider becoming a part of the parent-teacher team.  A membership drive and information table will be set up during Open House.  Meetings are open to all parents and are typically held on the 2nd Thursday of the month at 6:00 p.m. Child care is provided, Please check ClassDojo for updated times.