Academic policies & procedures - Elementary Schools

Grade Reporting

Students in grades K-5 will have four grading periods.  Report cards must be signed by the parent or guardian and returned to the school, except for the final report card of the year. Work samples will be sent home regularly throughout the school year to keep parents informed about the child’s progress.

Grades Pre-Kindergarten Through Second Grade

In Pre-Kindergarten, student progress of the Pre-Kindergarten Curriculum Guidelines introduced by the teacher are reported every grading period, using “Excellent”,  “Satisfactory”, “Needs Improvement” and “Unsatisfactory”.  In Kindergarten, student progress of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) introduced by the teacher are reported every grading period, using “Excellent”, “Satisfactory”, “Needs Improvement” and “Unsatisfactory”.  In Grade One, student progress of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) is reported every grading period, using “Excellent”, “Satisfactory”, “Needs Improvement” and “Unsatisfactory”.  In Grade Two, schools will report student progress in reading and math using numeric grades. Progress in science, social studies, and language arts will be reported using “Excellent”, “Satisfactory”, “Needs Improvement” and “Unsatisfactory”.

Grades Three, Four, and Five

In grades three, four, and five, the schools will report grading period language arts, reading, math, social studies and science grades to parents using numeric scores.

Numeric Grading System

  • 90-100 =  A
  • 80-89   =  B
  • 75-79  =  C
  • 70-74  =  D
  • 69 or below  =  failing

Students whose classwork and/or instructional approaches have been significantly adjusted through accommodations will receive the note “ACC” under impacted subjects.  The note “NG” for No Grade will be used for beginning level English learners in the first two grading periods of enrollment or for students with insufficient attendance for grading.

Citizenship and Work Habits Grading System

E – Excellent citizenship or work habits displayed in class

S – Satisfactory citizenship or work habits displayed in class

N – Citizenship or work habits need to be improved

U – Unacceptable citizenship or work habits displayed in class

       (Parent Conference Requested)

Home Access Center (HAC)

Parents can view daily grades, attendance, Progress Reports and Report Cards through the Home Access Center (HAC), a web portal for parents.  Parents of Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten students can view attendance via the Home Access Center.  Information on the Home Access Center can be found at

Progress Reports

All students PK-5 will receive a progress report for each grading period. The purpose of the Progress Report is to inform parents of the student’s current grades in class and will inform parents of any unsatisfactory work at the time of the report. A notice of this kind is to be returned to the teacher signed by a parent or guardian the day after it is received. These reports will be issued on the fourth or fifth week of each grading period. Progress reports may also be issued any time a student’s progress becomes unsatisfactory.

Even though a progress report has not been issued, a student may still receive a failing grade. Usually failing notices do precede a failing grade, but occasionally a poor grade received at the end of a grading period can cause a student to fail.

Assignments/Make-up Work

Students shall be permitted to make up assignments and tests without penalty after an absence. Students may receive a zero for any assignment or test not made up within the allotted time.

Teachers may assign additional work to ensure that students who have been absent have sufficient opportunity to master the TEKS. The assignments shall be based on the TEKS for the subject and may provide greater depth of subject matter than routine make up work.


All instructional materials are the property of Northside ISD.  The use of these materials is the right of the student, but this right carries with it basic responsibilities of proper use and good care. 

Instructional materials will be issued at the discretion of the campus.  Damage to the material may result in a fine.  If a student is unable to locate or return any issued material, he/she will be required to pay for it before a second copy is issued.  Grades and/or transcripts may be held until the student’s materials account is settled.

Students should know where their materials are at all times.  It is poor practice to permit other students to “borrow” materials, since students are responsible for the condition of their own materials and any damage which may occur.

Calculators which are issued to students for their personal use are District property.  If a calculator is damaged or lost, the student is responsible for the repair or replacement fee.

Testing Program - Elementary Schools

State-Mandated and Local Testing Programs

Northside ISD has a balanced assessment system which includes National, State and District assessments. All assessments provide valuable information on student progress used to evaluate programs and guide instruction for individuals and groups. Assessment results help determine when tutorials, interventions and enrichment are needed. In order to make wise decisions, the District needs reliable information. Students are urged to be present during the administration of all tests, and parents are asked to encourage good performance. The following assessments occur in the following grades and subjects.

  • PreKindergarten - Reading Readiness Screener
  • Kindergarten - Math, Reading, and Dyslexia Screeners
  • Grade 1 - Math, Reading, and Dyslexia Screeners
  • Grade 2 - Math and Reading Screeners
  • Grade 3 - STAAR Reading and Mathematics, Math and Reading Screeners, Interim Assessments
  • Grade 4 - STAAR Reading and Mathematics, Math and Reading Screeners, Interim Assessments
  • Grade 5 - STAAR Reading, Mathematics and Science, Math and Reading Screeners, Interim Assessments
  • Grades K-5 TELPAS Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing for emergent bilingual students


Testing for Acceleration

Any student interested in skipping an elementary grade level must take a series of tests for acceleration/promotion. There is one test for each content area (language arts, math, science, social studies). 

To apply, go to and follow the link to Credit-by-Exam. Grades K-5 TELPAS Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing for Emergent Bilingual students You may also contact the Testing Office at 210-397-8726. 

Applications must be received no later than 30 days prior to the selected District testing date and be signed by the school counselor or principal of the school where the child is registered.  There is no charge for the test. 

To accelerate to the next grade, a student must meet the following requirements:

Kindergarten Acceleration

The District has developed testing procedures in keeping with state policy which allow students who have not yet reached their sixth birthday to have initial placement into first grade. The student must be five years of age by September 1 to be eligible for this acceleration. Students must be currently enrolled or pre-registered in NISD and meet the following acceleration criteria:

Score 80% or higher on the tests designated by NISD to measure achievement in reading, writing, and mathematics.  These tests are administered by NISD personnel. 

AND Meet any other criteria deemed appropriate by the Deputy Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, such as:

  • Recommendation of the kindergarten or preschool previously attended
  • Observed social and emotional development of student
  • Concrete demonstration of student’s instructional level in reading, writing, and math

If the student meets the testing standards, a consultation takes place with the campus principal and parents. Other appropriate staff members such as a kindergarten teacher, first grade teacher and/or counselor may be included in the consultation. A parent who disagrees with the campus decision may appeal it by following the process in NISD Board Policy FNG (LOCAL).

Grades 1-5 Acceleration

A student in any of Grades 1-5 may be accelerated one grade level per year if he or she meets the following requirements:

(A) the student scores 80% on a criterion-referenced test for the grade level he or she wants to 

      skip in each of the following areas: language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies;

(B) a school district representative recommends that the student be accelerated; and

(C) the student’s parent or guardian gives written approval for the acceleration.       

Example: For a third grader to move from third to fifth grade, skipping fourth grade, the District will administer fourth grade level tests in language arts (reading, writing), math, science, and social studies. The student must score 80% or higher on each of the four tests, be recommended by a school administrator to be accelerated, and have parent or guardian written approval for the acceleration in order to be promoted to fifth grade. 

Academic Integrity

All students are expected to be honest and to display a high standard of integrity in the preparation and presentation of work for credit in all classes. The attempt of any student to dishonestly present work as his/her own will be regarded as a serious offense which may result in a grading penalty and/or disciplinary action. School staff will contact the parent or guardian of any student who is found to be in violation of this policy to determine disciplinary action.

Cheating or dishonesty of any kind on a test, written assignment or project, assisting others to cheat, or altering grade records are considered serious offenses.

Offering the work of another as one’s own work without proper acknowledgement is plagiarism. Any student who fails to give credit for quotations or essentially identical material taken from books, encyclopedias, magazines, the internet, and other reference works or from writings of a fellow student is guilty of plagiarism, also a serious offense.

Honor Roll

Each elementary school which chooses to publish an honor roll shall comply with the following guidelines:

  1. The honor roll will be published at the end of each grading period for grades three through five, with the inclusion of second grade as optional.
  2. The honor roll will consist of two categories:
    1. Students having all A’s.
    2. Students having all A’s and B’s with at least one A.
  3. Students listed in either honor roll may not have any N’s or U’s on the report card.
  4. Kindergarten and first grade students will not be placed on the honor roll. Their efforts and progress should be recognized in alternative ways developed by the individual campus.

Parent/School Communication

Close communication between parents and teachers is essential for student success. Parents are encouraged to provide their valuable input and support as teachers and parents work together to help the students learn. Parents should plan to conference with their child’s teacher during the school year, both to hear about his/her successes and to work to resolve problems or concerns. Parents may make an appointment for a conference by contacting the school secretary or the teacher. A time will be arranged for the parent to meet with the teacher during the teacher’s conference period. In addition, teachers may ask for a conference with parents to discuss specific issues or to go over the student’s progress to date.

Parent Concerns

When parents have concerns regarding the school program and/or their child’s success at school, they should make an appointment to meet with the appropriate staff member on the school campus to discuss the concern. This person is usually the child’s teacher, but in some cases it might be the school counselor or other staff members. All teachers have a conference period during the day. If parents are not able to come at this time, a time before or after school can usually be arranged. If the concern cannot be resolved in this manner, the parent should make an appointment to meet with the principal or vice-principal. Most problems can be resolved when the parents and staff meet to listen and problem-solve together. In those rare instances when concerns cannot be resolved at the school campus, parents may then call the Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Administration at 397-8640 or the Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Instruction, 397-8644.

Parent Orientation Meetings

Communication is the key to developing a partnership between teachers and parents in working for the best interest of children. Parent orientations are held at the beginning of each school year to welcome parents to a new academic year. It is an opportunity for parents to meet their child’s teacher, tour the campus, and learn about academic expectations and campus policies and procedures.


Sec. 26.001. PURPOSE.

  1. Parents are partners with educators, administrators, and school district boards of trustees in their children’s education. Parents shall be encouraged to actively participate in creating and implementing educational programs for their children.
  2. The rights listed in this chapter are not exclusive. This chapter does not limit a parent’s rights under other law.
  3. Unless otherwise provided by law, a board of trustees, administrator, educator, or other person may not limit parental rights.
  4. Each board of trustees shall provide for procedures to consider complaints that a parent’s right has been denied.
  5. Each board of trustees shall cooperate in the establishment of ongoing operations of at least one parent-teacher organization at each school in the district to promote parental involvement in school activities.

Sec. 26.002. DEFINITION. In this chapter, “parent” includes a person standing in parental relation. The term does not include a person as to whom the parent-child relationship has been terminated or a person not entitled to possession of or access to a child under a court order.


  1. A parent is entitled to:
    1.  petition the board of trustees designating the school in the district that the parent’s child will attend, as provided by Section 25.033;
    2. reasonable access to the school principal, or to a designated administrator with the authority to reassign a student, to request a change in the class or teacher to which the parent’s child has been assigned, if the reassignment or change would not affect the assignment or reassignment of another student;
    3. request, with the expectation that the request will not be unreasonably -denied:
      1.  the addition of a specific academic class in the course of study of the parent’s child in keeping with the required curriculum if sufficient interest is shown in the addition of the class to make it economically practical to offer the class; sufficient interest would be 22 students as defined under TEC 28.003
      2.  that the parent’s child be permitted to attend a class for credit above the child’s grade level, whether in the child’s school or another school, unless the board or its designated representative expects that the child cannot perform satisfactorily in the class; or
      3. that the parent’s child be permitted to graduate from high school earlier than the child would normally graduate, if the child completes each course required for graduation; and
    4. have a child who graduates early as provided by Subdivision (3)(C) participate in graduation ceremonies at the time the child graduates.
  2. The decision of the board of trustees concerning a request described by Subsection (a)(2) or (3) is final and may not be appealed.

Sec. 26.004. ACCESS TO STUDENT RECORDS. A parent is entitled to access to all written records of a school district concerning the parent’s child, including:

  1. attendance records;
  2. test scores;
  3. grades;
  4. disciplinary records;
  5. counseling records;
  6. psychological records;
  7. applications for admission;
  8. health and immunization information;
  9. teacher and counselor evaluations; and
  10. reports of behavioral patterns.

Sec. 26.005. ACCESS TO STATE ASSESSMENTS. Except as provided by Section 39.023(e), a parent is entitled access to a copy of each state assessment instrument administered under Section 39.023(a), (b), or (c) to the parent’s child.


  1. A parent is entitled to:
    1.  review all teaching materials, instructional materials, and other teaching aids used in the classroom of the parent’s child; and
    2. review each test administered to the parent’s child after the test is administered.
  2. A school district shall make teaching materials and tests readily available for review by parents. The district may specify reasonable hours for review.
  3. Section C is included in the TAC. It reads: A student’s parent is entitled to request that the school district allow the student to take home any instructional materials used by the student. Subject to availability of the instructional materials the district or school shall honor the request.


  1. A parent is entitled to complete access to any meeting of the board of trustees of the school district, other than a closed meeting held in compliance with Subchapters D and E, Chapter 551, Government Code.
  2. A board of trustees of a school district must hold each public meeting of the board within the boundaries of the district except as required by law or except to hold a joint meeting with another district. All public meetings must comply with Chapter 551, Government Code.


  1. A parent is entitled to full information regarding the school activities of a parent’s child except as provided by Section 38.004.
  2. An attempt by any school district employee to encourage or coerce a child to withhold information from the child’s parent is grounds for discipline under Section 21.104, 21.156, or 21.211, as applicable.


  1. An employee of a school district must obtain the written consent of a child’s parent before the employee may:
    1. conduct a psychological examination, test, or treatment, unless the examination, test, or treatment is required under Section 38.004; or
    2. make or authorize the making of a videotape of a child or record or authorize the recording of a child’s voice. (A District employee is not required to obtain the consent of a child’s parent before the employee may videotape the child or record the child’s voice if the videotape or recording is to be used only for a purpose related to regular classroom instruction.)
  2. An employee of a school district is not required to obtain the consent of a child’s parent before the employee may make a videotape of a child or authorize the recording of a child’s voice if the videotape or voice recording is to be used only for:
    1. purposes of safety, including the maintenance of order and discipline in common areas of the school or on school buses;
    2. a purpose related to a co-curricular or extracurricular activity;  
    3. a purpose related to regular classroom instruction;
    4. implementation of federal and state special education regulation;
    5. OR media coverage of the school.

Board Policy EF. All instructional materials, including teacher’s manuals, films, tapes, or other supplementary material, that will be used in connection with any survey, analysis, or evaluation shall be available for inspection by the parents or guardians of students.

No student will be required to participate in a survey, analysis, or evaluation that reveals information concerning the following topics:

  1. political affiliations;
  2. mental and psychological problems potentially embarrassing to the student or his or her family;
  3. sex behavior and attitudes;
  4. illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, and demeaning behavior;
  5. critical appraisals of other individuals with whom students have close family relationships;
  6. legally recognized privileged or analogous relationships, such as those of lawyers, physicians, and ministers;
  7. income (other than that required to determine a child’s eligibility for participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under such a program); without the prior written consent of the student’s parent or, if the student is an emancipated minor or an adult, without the prior written consent of the student. Any surveys that are considered for student response (required or voluntary) must comply with these legal requirements AND must have prior approval of the principal.


  1. A parent is entitled to remove the parent’s child temporarily from a class or other school activity that conflicts with the parent’s religious or moral beliefs if the parent presents or delivers to the teacher of the parent’s child a written statement authorizing the removal of the child from the class or other school activity. A parent is not entitled to remove the parent’s child from a class or other school activity to avoid a test or to prevent the child from taking a subject for an entire semester.
  2. This section does not exempt a child from satisfying grade level or graduation requirements in a manner acceptable to the school district and the agency.

Sec. 26.011. COMPLAINTS. The board of trustees of each school district shall adopt a grievance procedure under which the board shall address each complaint that the board receives concerning violation of a right guaranteed by this chapter.

Sec. 26.012. FEE FOR COPIES. The agency or a school district may charge a reasonable fee in accordance with Subchapter F, Chapter 552, Government Code, for copies of materials provided to a parent under this chapter.

Parent Access To Teaching Materials (NISD)

See Sec. 26.006 Access to Teaching Materials

Parent concerns about the appropriateness of teaching materials should first be presented to the campus principal. Complaints not resolved at the campus level may be made to a committee at the District level as outlined in NISD procedures.

Program Information

Northside Independent School District has a reputation for implementing innovative programs for its students. Elementary students participate in physical education classes, fine arts classes (music, art), STEM labs, guidance classes led by the counselor and library services. Other special class offerings vary among campuses.

Special Programs

Options and Requirements for Providing Assistance to Students Who Have Learning Difficulties or Who Need or May Need Special Education

If a child is experiencing learning or behavorial difficulties, the parent should contact the school counselor and/or campus administrator to learn about the district’s overall general education referral for support services. This system links students to a variety of support options, including referral for a Full and Individual Evaluation (FIE) to determine if the student qualifies as a child with a disability under IDEA. Students having difficulty in the general education classroom should be considered for Multi-Tiered System Support (MTSS), tutorials, compensatory services, and any other academic and behavior support services that are available to all students.

At any time, a parent is entitled to request a Full and Individual Evaluation. Within a reasonable amount of time, the district must decide if the evaluation is needed. If evaluation is needed, the parent will be notified and asked to provide consent for the evaluation. The district must complete the evaluation and the report within 45 school days after the date the district received the written consent. The district will provide a copy of the report to the parent.

If the district determines that an evaluation is not needed, the district will provide the parent with a written notice that explains why the child will not be evaluated. This written notice will include a statement that informs the parent of their rights if they disagree with the district. The notice will include a copy of the Notice of Procedural Safeguards - Rights of Parents of Students with Disabilities.

The school counselor or campus administrator should be contacted regarding a child experiencing learning difficulties for a referral for a Full and Individual Evaluation. Campus phone numbers are listed at the front of this handbook. Northside also accepts referrals for a Full and Individual Evaluation for preschool age children who are suspected of having a disability.  Such referrals should be directed to the Northside Child Office (210)397-3566.


Students Who Qualify for Special Education Services

Qualifying students may receive support through a variety of service models to include specialized support classes for academics, behavior or prerequisite skills, in-class support, co-teaching, speech and language services, as well as other related services. You may consult the District Special Education Department if you have questions regarding the “continuum of services for special education”.


Aiding Students Who Have Learning Difficulties or Who Need Special Education or Section 504 Services 

For those students who are having difficulty in the regular classroom, all school districts and open enrollment charter schools must consider tutorial, compensatory, and other academic or behavior support services that are available to all students, including a process based on Multi-Tiered System Support (MTSS). The implementation of MTSS has the potential to have a positive impact on the ability of districts and charter schools to meet the needs of all struggling students.

If a student is experiencing learning difficulties, his or her parent may contact the individual(s) listed below to learn about the school’s overall general education referral or screening system for support services. This system links students to a variety of support options, including making a referral for a special education evaluation or for a Section 504 evaluation to determine if the student needs specific aids, accommodations, or services.  A parent may request an evaluation for special education or Section 504 services at any time.


Special Education Referrals:

If a parent makes a written request for an initial evaluation for special education services to the director of special education services or an administrative employee of the school district or open enrollment charter school, the district or charter school must respond no later than 15 school days after receiving the request. At that time, the district or charter school must give the parent a prior written notice of whether it agrees to or refuses to evaluate the student, along with a copy of the Notice of Procedural Safeguards.  If the school district or charter school agrees to evaluate the student, it must also give the parent the opportunity to give written consent for the evaluation.  

Please note that a request for a special education evaluation may be made verbally and does not need to be in writing.  Districts and charter schools must still comply with all federal prior written notice and procedural safeguard requirements and the requirements for identifying, locating, and evaluating children who are suspected of being a child with a disability and in need of special education. However, a verbal request does not require the district or charter school to respond within the 15-school-day timeline.

If the district or charter school decides to evaluate the student, it must complete the student’s initial evaluation and evaluation report no later than 45 school days from the day it receives a parent’s written consent to evaluate the student.  However, if the student is absent from school during the evaluation period for three or more school days, the evaluation period will be extended by the number of school days equal to the number of school days that the student is absent. 

There is an exception to the 45-school-day timeline.  If a district or charter school receives a parent’s consent for the initial evaluation at least 35 but less than 45 school days before the last instructional day of the school year, it must complete the written report and provide a copy of the report to the parent by June 30 of that year. However, if the student is absent from school for three or more days during the evaluation period, the June 30th due date no longer applies. Instead, the general timeline of 45 school days plus extensions for absences of three or more days will apply.

Upon completing the evaluation, the district or charter school must give the parent a copy of the evaluation report at no cost.

Additional information regarding special education is available from the district or charter school in a companion document titled Parent’s Guide to the Admission, Review, and Dismissal Process.

Contact Person for Special Education Referrals:

The designated person to contact regarding options for a student experiencing learning difficulties or regarding a referral for evaluation for special education services is:

  • Contact Person: Dr. Coleman Heckman
  • Phone Number: 210-397-3508


Section 504 Referrals:

Each school district or charter school must have standards and procedures in place for the evaluation and placement of students in the district’s or charter school’s Section 504. Districts and charter schools must also implement a system of procedural safeguards that includes notice, an opportunity for a parent or guardian to examine relevant records, an impartial hearing with an opportunity for participation by the parent or guardian and representation by counsel, and a review procedure.

Contact Person for Section 504 Referrals:

The designated person to contact regarding options for a student experiencing learning difficulties or regarding a referral for evaluation for Section 504 services is:

  • Contact Person: Jocelyn Dudney 
  • Office Number:  210-397-8741

Additional Information:

The following websites provide information and resources for students with disabilities and their families.


Gifted and Talented Programs

Subchapter D. Education Programs for Gifted and Talented Students

29.121 Definition

In this subchapter, “gifted and talented” means a child or youth who performs at or shows the potential for performing at a remarkably high level of accomplishment when compared to others of the same age, experience, or environment and who:

  1. exhibits high performance capability in an intellectual, creative, or artistic area;
  2. possesses an unusual capacity for leadership, or
  3. excels in a specific academic field


NISD Identification

General screening of students for the gifted and talented programs is conducted each school year. Referrals are accepted for general screening throughout the year. Recommendations are accepted from teachers, parents/guardians, self, peer, community members, or by reviewing test scores. All kindergarten students are screened using planned experiences. Assessment forms are provided in both English and Spanish. NISD provides testing in Spanish and works to provide options for other languages.    

Written parental consent shall be obtained before any special testing or individual assessment is conducted as part of the screening and identification process.  Quantitative and qualitative data is used to determine to determine individual eligibility for the program.  Assessment tools may include, but are not limited to the following: achievement tests, cognitive ability tests, creativity tests, and behavioral checklists completed by educators and parents.  The selection committee for gifted and talented services is composed of at least 3 local district or campus educators who have received training in the nature and needs of gifted and talented students and who have met and reviewed the individual student data. Written permission from the parents must be obtained before a student is placed in the program.

Other Program Options to Meet Student Needs:

  • Credit by Examination; grades K-12

Monitoring Progress

Student progress in response to gifted services is periodically assessed using standards in areas served and results are communicated to parents or guardians.  If the need for gifted services changes, then furlough and/or exit may occur after parent consultation. 


Campus and Central Office support is available for assistance in seeking appropriate interventions for the gifted.

Bilingual/ESL Programs


Northside's ESL Program provides intensive instruction in English. The focus is to improve students' English language skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The goal of the program is to develop competence in English while valuing the academic and cultural experience of the student. Additionally, the NISD Newcomer ESL program helps acculturate recent immigrant English learners to their new country, new school, and new language within a safe, supportive environment.


The purpose of the NISD Bilingual Education Programs is to enable Emergent Bilingual Students to become proficient in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in the English language through the development of literacy and academic skills in the primary language and English. Northside’s Transitional bilingual/early exit is a bilingual program model in which students are served in both English and Spanish and are prepared to meet reclassification criteria to be successful in English-only instruction.  The NISD Dual Language Bilingual Program seeks to create bilingual, biliterate, and bicultural students by developing their academic proficiency in both English and Spanish.

Other Special Programs

Enrichment programs and after school classes are available on campuses.


Students enrolling in public schools in Texas shall be assessed, as necessary, for dyslexia and related disorders at appropriate times (TEC §38.003 (a)).   The appropriate time depends upon multiple factors including the student’s reading performance; reading difficulties; poor response to supplemental, scientifically based reading instruction; teachers’ input; and input from the parents or guardians.  Additionally, the appropriate time for assessing is early in a student’s school career (19 TAC §74.28), the earlier the better.  While earlier is better, students should be recommended for assessment for dyslexia even if the reading difficulties appear later in a student’s school career.  

Growth And Development

The district provides programs on human growth to help 4th and 5th grade students understand their changing bodies. In the fourth grade the girls are shown a film on menstruation with a discussion led by the school nurse. Boys and girls in the fifth grade are separately given information about human reproduction. A film is used followed by a discussion led by the school nurse. Parental permission is required before a child may participate in these activities. Parents are invited to view the films prior to their being shown to the students, or to view the films with their children.


In accordance with Board Policy and the Texas Education Code, Chapter 33.005-007, Northside

provides a Counseling Program to meet the needs of all students. It is staffed by professional school counselors and is an integral part of the total educational program. Counselors assist students in their educational, career, personal, social and emotional development. The guidance program is designed to provide developmentally appropriate services to all students. The Program Framework is divided into four program components: Guidance Curriculum, Responsive Services, Individual Planning, and System Support. Guidance Curriculum addresses topics such as intrapersonal effectiveness, interpersonal effectiveness, post-secondary planning & career readiness, and personal health & safety. Responsive Services address the immediate concerns of students with both prevention and intervention. Counselors respond to students’ needs both individually or in small groups. Individual planning provides guidance to all students as they plan, monitor, and manage their own educational and career development. System Support includes activities and services that support the school environment. Parents are encouraged to be active participants in the school-based Comprehensive School Counseling Program. Materials used in the Comprehensive School Counseling Program are available for preview upon during parent preview events and when requested during school hours. A parent or guardian must provide consent for ongoing individual and small group counseling. 

All campus staff receive training on how to identify and refer students experiencing a mental health concern. Students who are in crisis may self refer to a counselor. A crisis is defined by the student. Counselors and other campus helping professionals may administer the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale (CSSR-S) to determine level of care and interventions needed for student safety. Parents and guardians will be contacted every time a concern for student safety is identified.

Acceptable Use of the District’s Technology Resources

Access may be given to the District’s Technology Resources for educational or district-related goals. The District’s Technology Resources are defined as the District’s network, servers, computer workstations, mobile devices, telephones, peripherals, applications, databases, library catalog, online resources, internet access, email, online class activities and any other technology designated for use by the District.

With this opportunity comes responsibility. It is important that users of the District’s Technology Resources read the Northside ISD Administrative Regulation for Acceptable Use (in Section E) and the Parent-Student Authorization Form, and then ask any questions if you need help understanding them.

Please be advised that the rules and responsibilities outlined in the Conduct on the System section of the Student Handbook do also apply to the use of a District network account on a personal (BYOD) phone or mobile device. Inappropriate use of any District technology resource on a BYOD device can result in the consequences in this section, to include losing the privilege to access and/or use an NISD network account.

Please acknowledge receipt and understanding of these items found in Section E by completing and returning the Parent-Student Authorization Form in the back of this handbook. This form should be received before a student can be given access to the system.
Please note that Internet access is part of the District’s Technology Resources.  The Internet is a network of many types of communication and information networks, which are used frequently in classroom assignments and include access to library materials and purchased online databases. Some material accessible via the Internet may contain content that is illegal, inaccurate, or potentially offensive.  It is possible for users of the District’s Technology Resources to access (accidentally or otherwise) these areas of content.  While the District uses filtering technology and protection measures to restrict access to such material, it is not possible to absolutely prevent such access.

Consequences for inappropriate use

  • Suspension of access to the District’s Technology Resources; 
  • Revocation of the District’s Technology Resources account(s); and/or  
  • Other appropriate disciplinary or legal action in accordance with the handbook(s) and applicable laws.

Note: The agreement to abide by these guidelines must be renewed each academic year. Also, District Policies and Administrative Regulations are included as an addendum to all handbooks for your review.


Campus libraries support student learning. All NISD students have access to print and digital materials through their library to support the curriculum and their personal interests. Parents are able to view their student's library account through the Library Catalog link in the student Classlink portal

Students should take good care of their library materials. If any library materials are lost or damaged, the student is expected to pay for them. Parents are also invited to use their child’s campus library. Check with the librarian to create a library account. Librarians can assist with finding “just the right books” for students.

Information literacy skills for life-long learning are taught, practiced, and applied through lessons with their teacher and librarian. We look forward to seeing you there.

Physical Education

All students in Kindergarten through Fifth Grade are required to take physical education as a part of the required curriculum under the Texas Education Code. Students participate in 135 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity during each school week. The essential knowledge and skills in physical education emphasize a balanced program of instruction. 

Fully enclosed rubber-soled athletic or tennis style shoes should be worn during physical education classes to ensure safe participation during activities.

A student may have a temporary or permanent physical condition that prevents their full participation in physical education. Non-participation for three days or less will be excused by a parent’s note; however any student not able to participate because of extended illness or injury past three days, must have a written excuse from a physician or a member of the healing arts licensed to practice in Texas. This written excuse must include the time span of inactivity, limitations, or appropriate activity levels.

Physical Fitness Testing Requirements

All elementary students in grades 3–5 must be assessed at least once annually for physical fitness. The Texas Education Agency(TEA) identified FitnessGram® as the program used by school districts. Parents may request in writing their student's physical fitness scores at the end of the school year from their PE teacher.

Elementary Summer Program

The district offers a Summer Program for Northside students in Pre-K through grade 5 who are recommended by their teacher and principal because they are being retained at their current grade level or promoted with an Accelerated Instruction Plan into the next grade level.  Also, fifth graders who have not passed STAAR reading or math assessments participate in accelerated instruction. These programs are located at several cluster school sites around the district and transportation is provided to eligible students as long as they attend the designated cluster school in their area, but live at least two miles from that campus. More information will be provided by the home campus to parents of recommended students during April and May of each year. Parents of eligible students are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to help their student to be more successful.

Promotion Standards, End-of-Year

All PreKindergarten students are promoted to the next grade level.

Kindergarten students must be able to:

  • Demonstrate proficiency of most kindergarten TEKS in reading, language arts, and mathematics, or be expected to do so early in first grade.


First Grade students must be able to:

  • Demonstrate proficiency of most first grade TEKS in reading, language arts, and mathematics, or be expected to do so early in second grade.


Second grade students must be able to:

  • Receive an end-of-year average of 70% or higher in reading and mathematics
  • Demonstate proficiency of most second grade TEKS in reading, language arts, and mathematics, or be expected to do so early in third grade.


Third, Fourth, and Fifth grade students must be able to:

  • Receive an end-of-year average of 70% or higher in reading, language arts, and mathematics.
  • Receive a 70% overall grade average when reading, language arts, mathematics, science and social studies are combined.
  • Demonstrate proficiency of most grade level TEKS in reading, language arts, and mathematics, or be expected to do so early in the next grade.


Students Not Meeting Standards

A student may be promoted only on the basis of academic achievement or demonstrated proficiency of the subject matter of the course or grade level. (Texas Education Code 21.021)

Promotion of a student with an Accelerated Instruction Plan into a higher grade level when the student has not demonstrated proficiency on the TEKS may be used only if it is part of a well-defined plan designed to bring the student to the higher grade level proficiency within a reasonable time. Achievement is monitored each grading period, and if needed, the plan is adjusted.  Parents are invited to provide input to the plan.


Alternate Achievement Standards for Students with Disabilities

An Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) committee may modify promotion standards for a student receiving special education services.  Students shall have the modified promotion standards documented in the student’s individual education program (IEP).  Placement of a student at a higher grade level when the student has not demonstrated proficiency of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) may be used only if it is part of a well-defined plan for acceleration, with interventions designed to bring the individual student to grade-level proficiency within a reasonable time, or upon a determination by the student’s ARD committee that the student will not be able to meet grade-level standards within a reasonable time due to the student’s disability.