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Van Buren's 10 Things You Need to Know

Van Buren's 10 Things You Need to Know

Van Burnes 10 Things You Need to Know


Stephanie Pajerski: PRINCIPAL

1515 Lapham St.

Janesville, WI 53546

Main Office: 743-7100 / Attendance: 743-7130 / Fax: 743-7110

School Mascot: The Eagles


Engaging Learners ~ Respect Others ~ Respect Property


Printable PDF of the 10 Things You Need to Know

10 Things You Need to Know Section
A. Daily Schedule 1
B. Student Drop-off / Pick-up Procedures 2
C. District Calendar  3
D. Staff Directory 4
E. Absences / Homework Information 5
F. Community Connections & Family Resource Centers 6
G. Emergency Drills/Evacuation Location 7
H. Lost & Found 8
I. Student Illness/Injury/Dismissals 9
J. Visitors / Volunteers (including lunch and classroom visits) 10



First Bell 8:15 am
Instruction Begins; Students are in class 8:20 am
School is Dismissed 3:08 pm
Outside Supervision ends 3:15 pm

The instructional day for children in grades K-5 is from 8:15 – 3:08 with
a 30-minute LUNCH/recess and a 15-minute recess in the daily schedule.


Grade Lunch / Recess
Kindergarten and Grade 1  11:05 - 11:50
Grade 2 and Grade 3 12:25 - 1:10
Grade 4 and Grade 5 11:45 - 12:30

Breakfast and Lunch

Our school now qualifies for free breakfast for all students under the Community Eligibility Provision. This means that all students will be able to participate in our breakfast at no cost.  We will be taking part in the "Breakfast After the Bell" program. This insures that every student is offered a breakfast after the school day begins. This will also replace the daily snack and milk break, so you no longer need to supply a snack or send money for snack milk. Due to these changes, we will no longer have a "Breakfast Club" before school.

The daily lunch menu is published on the school district website under Food & Nutrition - Menus. A copy will also be sent home with each student.



Drop-off / Pick-up Instructions


Van Buren is a school that has students bussed from outlying areas. The bus loop located on the northeast corner is for buses only. A Stop, Drop, and Go Zone is located on the south side of Lapham where the curb is indented. Also, please be aware of the parking regulations on the west side of Pine Street between Lapham and State Street.  The staff parking lot is also Off limits for picking up and dropping off students. Van Buren has crossing guards available in the morning and after school to assist the students in using the crosswalks. We expect all pedestrians to use the crosswalks around the school.

Please adhere to the orange cones restricting parking around the front of the school. The bus loop beyond the crosswalk on Lapham Street and the parking lot are off limits to picking up or dropping off. You may pull up to the Stop, Drop and Go Zone in front of the school to pick up or drop off your child. When using the Stop, Drop and Go Zone, drivers must remain in their vehicles and keep moving forward as space allows.

Playground supervision will begin at 8:00 am.  Students should not arrive at school before then.

Drivers can access our inner drive for dropping off or picking u students. Drivers can also choose to drop off or pick-up their children along Randolph Road or Stonefield Drive. We do ask all drivers to observe the following guidelines.

  • Whenever students are present, the maximum speed limit on school grounds is 5 Miles Per Hour.

  • Do car pool - this will help reduce the quantity of cars in the front and rear of the School.

  • Do teach your children to cross the street only at the crosswalks.

  • Do drive carefully when approaching a crosswalk. If the crosswalk has safety patrols, they cannot go into the street to direct traffic.

  • Do observe the one-way signs when entering and exiting the two parking lots.

  • Do not park in the crosswalk at any time.

  • Do not double park or pick up a child in the passing lane of the driveway

  • Do remember to Stop - Drop / Pick-Up - Go

  • Do not park in the drive and leave your vehicle. Use the parking stalls or park in the street.

Dropping Off Children

  • Do drop off all children in a car at one spot rather than two or three different ones

  • Do keep the flow of traffic moving by pulling up as far as you can to drop off students

  • Do not park between the bus/van signs. These are for handicapped students

All Janesville residents are required by law to follow these and other Janesville City Ordinances:

  • 6.04.110 Pets are prohibited on leash or not

  • 10.32.030 Obedience to crossing guards - violation with penalty

  • 10.36.010 Prohibited acts: It is unlawful to block hinder or retard any street traffic, whether it is vehicular or otherwise including by receiving or discharging passengers from a vehicle in a lane designated for the movement of traffic.

  • 10.40.025 No parking, stopping or standing contrary to official traffic or parking sign or marker - No Exceptions.

  • 10.40.140 Vehicle left with motor running is prohibited.

Dismissal During School Hours

If a student is to be excused before the end of the school day for doctor or dentist appointments, a note from the parent must be written to the child’s teacher. A yellow “passport” will be issued and is to be signed by the doctor/dentist and returned when the child returns to school. Students will not be allowed to leave the school grounds without written permission by a parent.

Late Pick-Up

If a parent is to be detained from picking a child up at dismissal time, the office should be notified so the child is not left standing outside the doors or at the curb. (The office is open from 7:30 A.M. until 4:00 P.M.) Late pickups should be rare. If late pick-ups become frequent, Van Buren staff will work with the family to address the issue.


Parking is allowed as stated on the signs posted on the streets surrounding the school. The city of Janesville and the Police Department will enforce parking regulations as stated on the signe. You may not enter the bus loop; this area must be free from automobile traffic. It is for bus traffic only.

There are three handicap-parking spots in the staff parking lot by the front entrance of the building. The parking lot is used by students before and after school as a safe route to and from school; therefore, automobile movement in this area may be dangerous.  The staff parking lot is off limits for picking up and dropping off students.

This sign means NO PARKING.  This sign is posted on Lapham and Pine Street. Please observe where they are posted. Tickets will be issued by the Janesville Police Department for parking in a no parking zone.

We want to avoid all danger for our Van Buren students. Please use the crosswalk.


Bike and Skateboard Riding

Children who bring bicycles to school do so at their own risk. The school does not provide special supervision for the bike rack and will not be responsible for bikes that are damaged or stolen.

Bikes are to be parked and locked (students need to provide their own bike lock) in the bike racks provided. Although our safety patrol provides some supervision, bikes are the responsibility of their owners. Bikes and skateboards are not to be ridden on school grounds. Once a student enters Wilson property, they must walk their bike or carry their skateboards on school grounds. We ask that skateboards, roller blades, shoes with wheels, and scooters be brought to the office.




2019-2020 School Year Calendar

Event Date Day of the Week
Labor Day - No School September 2 Monday  
Student First Day of School  September 3 Tuesday
Parent/Teacher Conferences (After school)  October 23 Wednesday, 4:00 - 8:00 PM 
Parent/Teacher Conferences October 24 Thursday, 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Teacher Non-Work Day - No school October 25 Friday
Middle/High Only - End of Quarter October 31 Thursday
Middle/High Only - No School For MS/HS Teacher Work Day  November 1 Friday
Elementary Only - End of 1st Trimester November 21 Thursday
Elementary Only - No School For Elem. - Teacher Work Day     November 22 Friday
Thanksgiving Break - No School November 28-29 Thursday/Friday
Winter Break - No School December 23  Monday
School Resumes January 2, 2020 Thursday   
Middle/High Only - End of Semester January 16 Thursday
Middle/High Only - No School for MS/HS Teacher Work Day  January 17 Friday
Martin Luther King Jr. Day - No School January 20 Monday
Elementary Only - End of 2nd Trimester February 20  Thursday
Elementary Only - No School For Elem. - Teacher Work Day   February 21 Friday
Parent/Teacher Conferences (After school)  March 4 Wednesday, 4:00 - 8:00 PM  
Parent/Teacher Conferences - No School  March 5      Thursday, 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
No School - Teacher Non-Work Day March 6  Friday 
Spring Break Begins - No School March 23 Monday
School Resumes March 30 Monday
Middle/High Only - End of Quarter April 2 Thursday
Middle/High Only - No School For MS/HS -Teacher Work Day  April 3 Friday
Good Friday - No School  April 10 Friday 
Teacher Work Day - Snow Reserve Day - No School Unless Needed  May 22 Friday 
Memorial Day - No School May 25 Monday
Last Day of school (Students and Staff) June 5 Friday
Snow Reserve Day: Two inclement weather days for students are built into the district calendar. If school is closed for inclement weather more than two days in the school year, the third and beyond inclement weather days will be made up on the closest Snow Reserve Day after the inclement weather day that is not already being used for make-up time. If one or more of these days are not needed to be used to make-up time they will be days off for students.




Staff Directory

Area of the Building Name Direct Phone Number
Office   Area Code (608)
  Principal: Stephanie Pajerski 743-7106
  Secretary: Terry Terrell 743-7106
Early Childhood    
  Tiffany Duhr 743-7157
  Bobbi DeSormeau 743-7155
  Jodi Halpi 743-7154
  Kristi Niman 743-7188
1st Grade    
  Lisa Campion 743-7194
  Jennifer McCool 743-7187
  Brenda Raby 743-7146
2nd Grade    
  Leah Kavanaugh 743-7163
  Christine Munch 743-7160
  Lisa Zimmerman 743-7170
3rd Grade    
  Jessica Benish 743-7162
  James Caley 743-7182
  Sarah Perry 743-7167
4th Grade    
  Chris Broege 743-7181
  Becky Carter 743-7166
  Kari Cihlar 743-7176
5th Grade    
  Amanda Giron 743-7183
  Crystal Gross 743-7178
  Amanda Malchow 743-7165
  Patty Henrichs 743-7199
Academic Learning Coach    
  Kaleigh Pope 743-7144
  Kelly Hausknecht 743-7193
  Amanda Mory 743-7193
  Beth Heilman 743-7108
  Marilyn Olson 743-7108
  Leslie Bauer 743-7126
  Leona Lux - Head Custodian 743-7109
  Erika Moen 743-7109
  Dori Wright 743-7109
Family Resources    
  Melanie Utecht 743-7127
Innovation Specialist    
  Melissa Schur 743-7135
  Linda Madarik 743-7161
  Rebecca Rush - Band 743-7175
  Nicole Heling - Orchestra 743-7175
  Katrina Huebner 743-7112
  Catherine Boudreau 743-7189
  Tisha Corell 743-7106
  Amy Dahlke 743-7130
  Kimberly Hilmer 743-7189
  Stacie Hogue 743-7199
  Terri Offerdahl 743-7135
  Julie Steinman 743-7106
  Melanie Utecht 743-7127
  Leslie Wente 743-7135
  Deon Wentworth 743-7171
Physical Education     
  Nick English 743-7148
  Luci Flood 743-7186
Special Education    
  Leah Comfort 743-7115
  DHH - TBD 743-7115
  Cathy Lillie 743-7196
  Mary Mackey 290-7041
Speech & Language    
  Kelsie Quinn 743-7195
Social Worker    
  Tarah Thompson 743-7115
  Katherine Sween - OT 743-7192
  Lynn Swerig - OT Assistant 743-7192
  Amber Slaybaugh - PT 743-7192
  Patty Ziebel - PT Assistant 743-7192
Youth Advocate    
  Malik Farr  


 Absences / Homework Information   

Reporting Student Absences

State Statute 118.15 ( requires that all children of school age be in school during all days and hours that school is in session.  Students who must be out of school due to reasons of health or family emergency must return to school with a statement from parents, guardians, or physician to the attendance office.  Parents or guardians are expected to call the attendance office if their child is going to be out of school.  Students who skip a class or a school day or who exceed the 10 day/80 hours of parentally excused days are subject to disciplinary action.  Every time a student reaches the equivalent of 5 unexcused absences (40 hours), a referral to the school resource officer will be made and a truancy ticket (fine) will be issued.  Attendance records transfer with the student to any School District of Janesville middle school.

When a student is absent, it is important that the parent call as early as possible (office opens at 7:30 A.M.)  to report the absence. If a parent forgets to call, the school attendance clerk will make a telephone call to follow-up on the absence.

  • The Board of Education policy states that parents must contact the school office when their child is absent. 
  • Please give the following information: student’s name, homeroom teacher’s name, reason for absence and if you are requesting homework be gathered.
  • Homework requested is not guaranteed to be ready until 3:15pm
  • In addition, parents may provide a written excuse for each absence when the child returns to school.
  • After 10 unexcused absences, a student is considered Habitually Truant and a parent / guardian will be required to meet with the school principal and/or social worker to discuss the situation.

When a student is to be excused before the end of the school day for any reason (example: doctor or dentist appointment), a note from the parent must be written to the child's teacher. The office will then issue a yellow passport slip, which must be signed by the doctor or dentist and returned to the school office when the child returns. A parent or the adult who picks up the child MUST come into the school office -NOT the classroom or entryways, and sign the child out of the building before the child can be released during the school day. A passport DOES NOT take the place of a written note from parents regarding illness or other absences. Students may not leave the school grounds at noon time or recess without written permission from their parents on file in the office for that specific day. 

When planning vacations during the school year; please check the school calendar so you are not removing your child from key classroom instruction and discussion.

Calls to the Van Buren School Office should be made by 8:30 am to (608) 743-7130. Voice mail is available 24/7 for your convenience. All students are to enter their assigned doors each morning until 8:25 am . After 8:25 am , all students will need to enter the front door, come to the office and receive a tardy slip.  Students are given a 5-minute leeway when entering through the correct doors and entering by 8:25 am.



Community Connections & Family Resource Center 


The Van Buren Parent Teacher Association (PTA) is an organization developed to support and speak on behalf of children and youth in the school, in the community, before governmental bodies, and other organizations that make decisions affecting children.  It is also here to assist parents in developing the skills they need to raise and protect their children.  Lastly, PTA is here to encourage parent and public involvement in our public schools. Meetings are held on the first Monday of each month. All parents are encouraged to join and become active in this organization.

2018-2019 Officers: Officers are elected in the spring of the year and serve a one-year term.

President Catherine France

Vice President - Activities

Vice President - Membership

Cathy Dinnes

Leslie Elmer

Secretary Melissa Ottenelli
Treasurer Gretchen Gremminger

Family Resource Center:

The Family Resource Center encourages parent-school partnerships and helps strengthen parent-child interactions. Family Resource Centers promote choice, responsibility and independence.

The Family Resource Center is a special place within the school where all parents can stop by, relax, browse, meet other parents, and check out family games, videos, toys, books, community information, and parenting information. Students may also check out items during the school day. We have something for every family to enjoy!

Family Resource Center Guidelines:

  • Help find a safe place at home to store and play with checked-out materials
  • Depending on the child's age, play/work with him or her so they know how to use these items.
  • Due Date: All materials may be kept for 1 week
  • Please return materials promptly to the FRC
  • Check-out Limit: 1 game &/or 3 books per child
  • If books of pieces of a game or toy are lost or broken. please list what is missing on a piece or paper and put it inside the bag or box.

Throughout the district, parenting workshops and family nights are offered. Watch your school newsletter for these events.



Emergency Drills/Evacuation Location

Fire drills are held at least once a month. We are able to evacuate the building in less than 2 minutes during these drills. Disaster drills (tornado) are held in the fall and spring and classes are assigned a safe place in the basement of the school. “Lockdown” drills are also scheduled twice during the year.



Lost & Found

PLEASE mark your children’s clothing, boots, lunch boxes, etc., with tape or a marker. If they lose any article, please have them check the LOST AND FOUND lockers near the office. The amount of unclaimed lost clothing during the year is tremendous, and we are unable to return many of these articles because of no name. If glasses are lost, please check in the office.


Medications at School / Student Illness/Injury/Emergency Care

Medication Policy

All medication prescribed by a physician that is to be given at school, requires a permission form giving instructions, dosage, etc., signed by both physician and parent. This form is kept in the office along with the medication.

Illness / Injury / Emergency Care During School

If a child becomes ill during the school day, the parent will be contacted. If the parent cannot be reached, the emergency contact number will be called about picking up the
child. If no one can be reached by phone, the child will remain at school until dismissal time. It is important that you notify the school of any phone number changes.

A. If your child has a minor accident, the following action will be taken:

  • First Aid will be administered according to school approved procedures
  • Your child will be returned to class if he/she is all right

B. If your child is unable to return to class because of illness or minor injury, the following steps will be taken:

  • You will be contacted, and when arrangements have been made with youm your child be allowed to leave the school premises.
  • If you are not available, the emergency contact number recorded on the student information card will be called. 
  • Once contacted, you or the emergency contact will have the responsibility for providing transportation for your child to leave school in a timely manner.
  • If we are unable to reach you or the emergency contact, your child will be kept at school and continued attempts will be made to reach you or the emergency contact.

C. If your child is in need of immediate medical attention, the following steps will be taken:

  • First aid will be rendered immediately according to District approved procedures.
  • Transportation to a medical facility will be arranged for your child
  • You will be called. If you cannot be reached, the emergency contact will be called.
  • When necessary, if you or your designated emergency contact cannot be reached, your child will be taken to a local emergency room.

D. If your child receives a head injury during the school day, the following steps will be taken:

  • First aid will be rendered immediately according to District approved procedures.
  • A letter will be sent home with your child to inform you of the head bump/ injury and a call home will be placed to inform you of the head bump/injury.
  • If your child is unable to return to class because of the head bump/injury or if school personnel feel that the head bump/ injury is serious, you will be contacted.

E. Automated External Defibrillator (AED) device is available when the need arises.  An AED is a device that delivers an electric shock to the heart. For a person who has just experienced a sudden cardiac arrest, the electrical shock from an AED may help save the person's life. Persons on the Emergency Response Team in each school have received CPR and AED training through the American Red cross. These responders will bring the AED to emergency calls in the building.

We need your cooperation in putting this plan in effect for each child. Please insure that the emergency contact information on your child's Student Information Card and emergency contact information on Infinite Campus is accurate. Failure to provide the school with emergency contact information or with any other necessary up-to-date information will give the school district authority to provide emergency care as needed according to school approved procedures.

Emergency Procedures

Fire drills are held once a month.  We are able to evacuate the building in less than 2 minutes during these drills. Disaster drills (tornado) and lockdown drills are held in the fall and spring. Students are assigned a place in the building with their classmates and are taught how to assume a safe position in the event of such an emergency. Lockdowns are practiced twice a year with the staff and students. In a case of a lockdown, students will be kept at school and released when the "all clear" has been given by the municipal authorities.

Campus Messenger will service as our primary means of notification to let parents know when students will be released. 


Visitors / Volunteers (including lunch and classroom visits)

The experience of watching your child interact with others in a learning environment is something we encourage. We also know that when parents visit the classroom they give a child a feeling of cooperation between parents and teachers.  Parents are requested to contact the building principal in advance to seek approval to schedule a classroom visit.  All visitors must sign i with the school office and were a visible visitor's Badge during their stay.

For safety reasons, visitors who are participating in classroom activities or chaperones on field trips, etc. must complete a volunteer form for approval. Approval is good for the current school year, with a background check each following year.  Approved visitors must stop into the office to sign in and receive a visitor's badge.   

The final decision to accept or deny a visitor to the school, a classroom or on a field trip rests with the designated building or district administrator. 

Parents wishing to have lunch with their children must sign in with the school office and wear a visible visitor's badge during their stay, proceed directly to the lunch area, and sign out in the office after the lunch period.

Student visitors are allowed only with prior district approval, and teacher and principal permission.

For additional information on visiting or volunteering at your child's school, please refer to Board Policy 1230 and Administrative Regulation 1230.1 - Volunteers in Schools; Board Policy 1240 and Administrative Regulation 1241.1 - Visitors to Schools; and Board Policy 1241 and Administrative Regulation 1241.1 Registered Sex Offenders. The school District of Janesville recognizes its responsibility for the health and safety of all students and will take appropriate precautionary measures in situations where the District has been notified that a registered sex offender wishes to visit a school building or persons on school premises. 

For a volunteer/visitor form please visit our Community Page 

Field Trip Chaperone Guidelines

Thank you so much for volunteering to chaperone for Wilson Elementary School field trip. Please read and follow the guidelines below to help ensure a safe and successful experience.

  • If you find out that you cannot be a chaperone, please contact the teacher immediately so other arrangements can be made.
  • Stay alert to the whereabouts / activities of your group.  "Count heads" FREQUENTLY.
  • Avoid being distracted by conversations with other adults
  • Remember that you are setting an example for the children, so please be respectful to the visited area and enforce school rules
  • Follow the directions of the teacher in charge
  • Refrain from drinking, smoking, bringing weapons or using profane language during the field trip. 
  • Verbally correct students in a calm manner who are not following the rules (Please walk,. Please do not talk during the performance, etc.) If the behavior continues, advise the classroom teacher of the problem.
  • Follow the bus rules
  • Wear appropriate attire. Be sure all slogans on clothing and hats are suitable for the elementary school environment.  (NO adds for liquor, smoking materials or inappropriate language.)
  • Smoking at a school activity is prohibited by law
  • For safety reasons and due to liability concerns, no siblings or other children will be allowed to accompany a chaperone.
  • Supervise public bathrooms very carefully
  • Because this is a school sponsored trip, all students must stay with their assigned group and chaperone.
  • If possible, please bring a cell phone with you for emergencies. Please provide that number to your child's teacher prior to the trip.

Please see the District Handbooks for more information