School Procedures

Click on the following link to view the districtwide student and family handbooks,


7:45 a.m. – 2:15 p.m.

For the welfare and safety of all, students should not arrive more than 15 minutes prior to the beginning of the school day (7:30 a.m.).  There is no supervision prior to this time. This is especially important for students who walk, ride bicycles or who are dropped off by parents/guardians.

In case of inclement weather, students may enter the building and wait in the hallways. Students who eat breakfast at school may enter the building and proceed directly to the cafeteria at 7:30 a.m.

Safety is a top priority for our school. At Pilot Knob, we welcome families and volunteers. All visitors coming to school at any time must enter through the main office doors during school hours. All other entrances to the building are locked and secured and are not entrances for visitors.

Anyone wishing to visit the classrooms, school library, or volunteer during the school day must come to the main office to sign in. Using our iPad sign in device in the main office, visitors will have their picture taken and wear a visitor badge during school hours. Visitors will be asked to come back to the office to sign out and leave through the main office doors. All regular volunteers must follow this process throughout the school year.

At Pilot Knob STEM Magnet, we take school attendance very seriously and expect and require (MN statute) that our students attend school every day possible and on time. 

Please call 651-403-7907 if your child will not be attending school or will be late for school by 9:00 am. The office staff may contact families when we do not receive a call. We have 24 hour voicemail for your convenience, so you may leave the information at anytime, day or night. Please leave student name, grade, teacher and reason for the absence. Child safety is important to us.
The following guidelines are provided to help with this decision and are reasons for an excused absence:
- Fever 100 degrees or higher. Stay home for 24 hours after the temperature returns to normal.
- Vomiting or diarrhea. Stay home for 24 hours after last episode.
- Rash with unknown cause. Check with physician before sending to school.
- Eye redness, drainage or itching. Check with physician before sending to school.
- If your child has a chronic illness or other health concern please communicate this to the school nurse.

Other acceptable excused absences include doctor appointment including mental health or therapy, religious holiday, funeral, extreme family emergency.
Unexcused absences: missed the bus, needed to stay home to care for a sibling, cold weather, travel or vacation without approval from the Principal, the child is not immunized.

*Vacations during scheduled school days need to be approved by the Principal.

If your child becomes ill during the day, you will be contacted and your child should be picked up as soon as possible. It is the parent’s/guardian’s responsibility to provide transportation home for the child. Make sure you check your child out before taking him/her home.

Please schedule doctor or dentist appointments before or after school as these might be unexcused absences if the child does not return or come to school that day.  We know that some absences are unavoidable, please try to schedule elective appointments, vacations, and other family activities at times that do not conflict with school hours.
Tardiness can also lead to an accumulation of unexcused absences. Every three times a student is late (except for a doctor/dentist appointment or specified family matter) equates to one full day unexcused absence. If your child arrives to school late (after 7:45 am) a parent/guardian must accompany the student into the school office.  The student must be signed in by the office staff to ensure that the student’s attendance and lunch count are recorded accurately.  

Pilot Knob School will conduct the following procedure if absences and/or tardiness are a concern:
1. First Alert Letter- notification will be sent to parents/guardians of those students with three unexcused absences or nine tardies (3 tardies = 1 absence).  

If attendance problems continue, the following will occur:
1. A second alert letter is sent after 5 unexcused absences or 15 tardies. The 360 Communities Family Support worker will set up a meeting with parent(s) and create an attendance plan to identify barriers in an effort to improve attendance.
2. A third alert letter is sent after 7 unexcused absences and a report is made to Dakota County Child Protection for educational neglect.  

Per Dakota County: The definition of Educational Neglect is when a student has been absent without lawful excuse for seven or more school days. The burden of proof for a child being excused from school is placed on the parent/guardian of the child.  Parents and school officials have the duty (according to MN Statute 120 A.22, compulsory attendance law) to ensure that children attend school.  A school has the right to accept or deny an application for unexcused absences.

If you need your child to make a change in their normal after school routine, please notify the office and your child’s teacher by 1:30 p.m. the day of the change.  This is especially important for children participating in the after school classes offered at Pilot Knob.  If we do not have a note or a phone call from the parent, we will send the child home in their usual manner.  If for some reason you feel your child needs to take a different bus home you must contact the Transportation Department at 651-403-8320.  If we do not receive approval from them, your child will be sent home in their usual manner.

If it is necessary to take your child out of school during the school day, you must come to the office to sign him/her out.  Please send a note to the classroom teacher stating the time you will pick up your child.  To maintain instructional time as a priority, children do not wait in the office or meet parents/guardians at the front door.  The office staff will call your child from his/her classroom to meet you in the office.  No child is permitted to leave with anyone unless requested and approved by the parent or guardian.  If your child will return to school before regular dismissal or is coming to school late, we ask that you accompany your child to the office and sign him/her into school.  It is because we are concerned for your child's safety and general welfare that we ask for your cooperation in this area.

In the event of an emergency or severe weather, school closing or delays will be posted online at  They will also be announced on local television and radio stations.  The district will also notify families by phone and e-mail via the district’s parent notification system.  To ensure proper delivery of such notifications, please be sure Pilot Knob has your current contact information on file.

The decision to dismiss schools early once they have begun for the day will be made only in the most extreme emergency.  All other student and public activities are usually cancelled when schools are closed.


A nutritious lunch is offered to students daily. Students may choose hot lunch, salad or cold sandwich.  Students may also bring a bag lunch from home and purchase milk at school. Any student who forgets his/her lunch or no longer has money in their account will be provided a peanut butter sandwich and milk (for a limited number of days).  You are always welcome to dine with your child.  Call the school office at 651-403-7900 by 8:30 a.m. to make a reservation for your school lunch!

Breakfast is also available to all students who wish to have it.  There is a cost for breakfast, which comes out of the same account as a child's lunch.  Children may enter the building at 7:30 a.m. to eat breakfast.

Information on meal prices, menus, adding funds to your child's lunch account, the Free or Reduced meal program and more is available at


Parents/Guardians can help their children in six critical areas by:

  • emphasizing language development
  • establishing family routines and work habits
  • participating in stimulating activities
  • reinforcing self-esteem
  • setting high, but realistic, academic expectations
  • supporting academics at home

The staff at Pilot Knob STEM Magnet is committed to providing quality instruction for all students.  While we focus on teaching basic skills, we also teach human relations, respect for self and others, and the feeling of putting forth the best possible effort at all times.  We take pride in all the people who work and contribute to a smooth operation.  The interest and involvement you show in education and in your child will pay huge dividends both now and in the future.

Positive support from home is an important aspect of education.  Parents/Guardians are the most significant role models in the lives of children.  When discussing any school issue with your child, your attitude stated or not, has a direct influence upon your child's attitude about school.  If you speak well of the teacher, content, activities, friends, etc., your child will sense your positive support and happily participate in his/her educational experience. Your power cannot be underestimated.  We need you.

Pilot Knob teachers and staff believe that reading is fundamental to school success. All Pilot Knob students are expected to read every night. Please help to promote reading by reading with your child.

Research shows that when schools and families work together to support learning, everyone benefits – students do better in school and in life; parents become empowered; teacher morale improves; schools get better; and communities grow stronger.

There are many opportunities to volunteer whether that is in the classroom as a tutor, mentor, reading buddy, event chaperone or as a volunteer for an event outside of school hours with the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) there are ways to be engaged based on your specific desire.  

For PTA events, at the beginning of each school year a list of opportunities with descriptions is distributed to each student. Information is also posted on the PTA website,

All students are expected to behave responsibly and safely while riding on a school bus. Unsafe behavior prevents students from having safe transportation and drivers from doing their jobs.

Students must:

  • follow directions of the driver
  • stay in their seats
  • keep head, arms, feet and personal possessions in the bus
  • not push, shove, cut in or fight at any time
  • not eat, drink, smoke or spit
  • not throw things or use bad language

Students who normally ride the bus must have a letter of permission from their parent on file in the school office if they intend to walk or ride their bicycle to or from school.

Visit for more information regarding the district's transportation services.

Pilot Knob students are outside for recess.  Children should dress appropriately for the weather. The following conditions are taken under consideration:

  • Warmer than zero degrees = outside recess for all students.
  • Between zero and minus ten degrees wind chill = recess time shortened.
  • Colder than minus ten degrees wind chill = indoor recess for all students.

The most important component of recess is the opportunity to make good choices, socialize with friends and play.  Students spend about 15 to 30 minutes a day on the playground during recess.  Because this time is not as structured, Pilot Knob provides adult supervision.  Most children manage themselves well.  Teachers and staff expect children to meet the following expectations:

  • Treat one another with dignity and respect.
  • Tackle games, pushing, shoving, hard balls, hard bats, running on ice, skateboards, in-line skates, electronic games and hockey sticks are prohibited.
  • Violence is not tolerated at Pilot Knob STEM Magnet School.
  • If problems occur, adult supervisors and/or teachers will ask a child to go to a time-out area.
  • Problems, when serious in nature, should be referred to the principal.
  • Avoid icy areas.

Parents/guardians can help considerably by supporting these expectations from home.


  • The philosophy is based upon positive interactions with children.
  • Each year begins by discussing behavior expectations with the children.  Student input is encouraged.
  • Expectations are generally few in number and simply stated.
  • Because all behavior is based on making choices for one's actions, teachers and students determine the standards for making good choices and the consequences for making poor choices.  This process recognizes the need for the student to accept the responsibility and ownership for his/her actions.
  • Classroom expectations and consequences are posted in the classroom and shared with parents/guardians during Open House and at Parent/Teacher Conferences.
  • The principal schedules time in each classroom during the first few weeks of the new school year to discuss expectations for behavior throughout the school and to offer support for the established classroom procedures.

Pilot Knob adheres to the School District 197 "Rights and Responsibilities" as it pertains to our elementary students.

The following items are not allowed at school: knives, including Swiss Army Boy Scout types, weapons, explosives, cigarettes, drugs, water guns or pornographic materials.  These items, in addition to anything else that causes problems of security at school, will be confiscated.  For reasons of safety, personal well-being and cost factors, the following items are not allowed at school:  baseballs (hard balls), electronic games, CD players, portable radios, skateboards and in-line skates.

A licensed school nurse and/or a health paraprofessional are on duty daily.  The nurse is available for consultation with parents/guardians if needed.  If you have any questions concerning the health of your child at school please call the Health Office at 651-403-7902.

Visit for more information regarding when to keep your child home from school, medications and more.

Parents/guardians of a School District 197 student and eligible students (18 years or older), have the right under federal and state laws to review their student’s educational and health records. 

Parents have the right to require an amendment to student records to ensure they are not inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy or other rights. They have the right to direct the district not to divulge to the public certain “directory information” relating to the student – including name, telephone number, e-mail address, date and place of birth, date of attendance, enrollment status, and previous educational institutions attended. They may also request that the name(s) and phone numbers of parents be withheld. 

Requests for non-disclosure must be made in writing and received by the district by Oct. 1. (Requests should be sent to Mary Amidon, Superintendent’s Office, 1897 Delaware Ave, Mendota Heights, MN 55118.) Note that a request is effective for only one school year. Parents also have the right to consent in writing before the district discloses to the public any other information within the student’s educational records. However, parental consent is not required for disclosure to district staff members who have a legitimate educational interest in the student. The school district also forwards educational records, upon request, to a school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.

The district’s information policies and regulations may be examined at the District Office. A complaint for any failure to comply with the student privacy requirements may be filed
with the Student and Family Education Rights and Privacy Office, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, DC 20202. A complaint must contain specific allegations of fact giving reasonable cause to believe that a violation of the federal statute or regulations has occurred.

Visit (Policy 515) for complete information on the protection and privacy of pupil educational records.

A safe and civil environment is needed for students to learn and attain high academic standards and to promote healthy human relationships.  Bullying, like other violent or disruptive behavior, is conduct that interferes with students’ ability to learn and teachers’ ability to educate students in a safe environment.  The school district cannot monitor the activities of students at all times and eliminate all incidents of bullying between students, particularly when students are not under the direct supervision of school personnel. However, to the extent such conduct affects the educational environment of the school district and the rights and welfare of its students and is within the control of the school district in its normal operations, it is the school district’s intent to prevent bullying and to take action to investigate, respond, remediate, and discipline those acts of bullying which have not been successfully prevented.  The purpose of this policy is to assist the district and schools in their goal of preventing and responding to acts of bullying, intimidation, violence, and other similar disruptive behavior.  

Visit (Policy 514) for complete information on bullying prohibition.

Photos and videos taken at school or Community Education activities may be submitted to the media or used in print or electronic district and school publications (e.g. newsletters, websites, calendars, social media, etc.). Written requests not to use these visuals will be honored. Contact your child's school office for more information or requests may be mailed to the principal.

The ability to use technology tools and conduct electronic information research skills are now fundamental to preparation of citizens and future employees. Access to the school district technology system and to the Internet enables students and employees to explore thousands of libraries, databases, bulletin boards, and other resources while exchanging messages with people around the world. The school district expects that faculty will blend thoughtful use of the school district technology system and the Internet throughout the curriculum and will provide guidance and instruction to students in their use. 

The Internet and Electronic Resources Acceptable Use and Safety Policy (524) defines acceptable student and employee use of the school district technology system, provides guidelines for use of personal devices within the district and sets forth policies establishing acceptable and safe use of the Internet and web 2.0 tools, including electronic communications. The policy covers uses of the school district technology system and Internet resources or accounts on or off district property and/or personal electronic resources while at work or on district property and/or the district system. 

At the start of each year, all parents/guardians of students who are new to Pilot Knob or in kindergarten must sign and Internet and Electronic Resources Acceptable Use Agreement. Parents/guardians with questions or concerns about the Acceptable Use Agreement should schedule a meeting with the school principal to discuss alternative learning options.

Visit (Policy 524) for complete information on Internet and Electronic Resources Acceptable Use.