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Policies and Procedures

Dear Chahta-lma Families,

As principal of Chahta-lma Elementary, it is my pleasure to welcome everyone back for the 2022-2023 school year. We are all excited to have students back on campus filling our hallways with laughter and an enthusiasm for learning. It is our hope that all Chahta-lma students feel welcomed, loved, and part of our school family.

Our faculty and staff work together to Challenge, Inspire, and Educate Every Day. We know that if we all partner together to support our children, we can give each child the power to reach his or her greatest potential.

This handbook was created to inform you of our school expectations, procedures, policies, rules, activities, and other important information. We hope that this information will be useful to you and your family throughout the school year. Please take time to read this handbook as well as the St. Tammany Parish School Board Discipline Policies and review both with your child.

We encourage you to be involved in your child's education both at school and at home. Joining our PTA is one valuable way to be involved. Our Chahta-lma PTA supports our children in many always. Research shows that children perform better in school when parents and guardians are involved.

Chahta-lma is a Title I school, and because of this, our school receives additional funds from the Federal Government to better meet the needs of all of our students and CIE families. We have many effective academic programs, new technologies, and so many other benefits funded through Title l. Families are invited to take an active role in Title I Parent Family Events and the School Improvement Plan decisionmaking process. We greatly encourage all families to give us input on these significant components. We encourage you to join our monthly PTA/Title I Meetings in which you can play an intricate role in decision making and having a voice in your child's education.

Please visit our school website at to learn more about Chahta-lma and for current events and information. You can also learn more about our school district at the St. Tammany Parish School System website at

We are looking forward to a great new school year. If you have any concerns, questions, suggestions, or comments at any time this year, please do not hesitate to call the school (985) 882-7541 or email me directly at


Dr. Ali O'Dowd,


Dear Families of Chahta-lma Elementary,

Welcome to the 2022-2023 school year. I am honored to embark upon another full school year at Chahta-lma as the Assistant Principal. Being a part of a school community filled with enthusiasm about education and faculty and staff members dedicated to the success of every student is quite an honor.

I will continue to work with Dr. O'Dowd to tackle all of the challenges that come with our mission of providing students with academic, social, and emotional growth. I look forward to meeting and working with all Chahta-lma students and families. I truly believe that strengthening family involvement in school will help to increase student achievement.

Chahta-lma is a Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) school, and we incorporate the FISH Philosophy throughout our schoolwide expectations and behavior plan. PBIS encourages and promotes positive behavior, and it also motivates students to be active and responsible learners.

The FISH Philosophy:

Be There

Make Their Day

Choose Your Attitude

Have Fun

As you walk around Chahta-lma's campus, you will see our schoolwide expectations posted throughout the school, along with examples of how the FISH Philosophy relates to behavior expectations. In addition to the posted PBIS signs, faculty and staff members model and reinforce schoolwide expectations daily.

As the assistant principal of Chahta-lma, I will exemplify the FISH philosophy in all that I do, and maintain high expectations throughout our school. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at 985-882-7541 or


Ms. L. Graves

Assistant Principal

St. Tammany Parish Public Schools

Title I

Parents' Right to Know

Parent and Family Engagement Best Practices


The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires school districts to inform parents and families about their right to receive information on the professional qualifications of their children's teachers.

Parents and families have the right to know:

Whether all employed personnel have met state qualification and licensing criteria for the position they hold within the school;

If any personnel is employed under provisional status where state qualification or licensing criteria have been waived;

All college degrees and general areas of certification held by teachers, and qualifications of the paraprofessionals;

Whether their child receives services by paraprofessionals and their qualifications;

Teacher Certification/Degree Information can be verified at


St. Tammany Parish Public School System believes that Parent and Family Engagement (PFE) is important for children to achieve success. Parents and families are key partners with the schools. PFE includes programs, services, and activities at the school and district level.

  • Involve families in developing and reviewing the district's PFE Plan
  • Hold yearly Federal Programs, PFE Stakeholders', and PFE activity planning meetings
  • Support STPPS Title I schools in planning and carrying out their PFE activities
  • Annually review and monitor PFE activities and school-wide programs outlined in the School Advancement Plans
  • Provide a Title I PFE resource page and presentations for school personnel use
  • Develop a Title I PFE survey to evaluate PFE plans and use results to plan future PFE programs and adjust PFE policies and procedures
  • Invite parents to a school meeting highlighting their school's educational programs, curriculum, and PFE opportunities
  • Offer PFE activities at various times which support learning goals at home
  • Involve parents in the planning, review, and implementation of PFE programs

  • Provide parents with timely information about the school PFE policy

  • Provide families with opportunities to volunteer, participate, and observe in the school and classroom

  • Maintain 2-way communication with families

  • Provide each student with the Compact for Student Success outlining responsibilities of students, parents, and teachers in the educational process

  • Support all students in their effort to achieve success

Education of Children and Youth in Homeless Situations

The McKinney-Vento Act is a federal law passed in 1987 to help people experiencing homelessness. The Act requires states and school districts to make sure students in homeless situations can attend and succeed in school. The McKinney-Vento Act applies to all children and youth who do not have a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, including all children who are living in the following situations:

  • Doubled-up housing with other families or friends because they lost their home or their family is having temporary financial problems 

  • Living in a motel/hotel because of economic hardship or loss of housing

  • Living in an emergency or transitional shelter, domestic violence shelter, or in a runaway/homeless youth shelter

  • Living in a vehicle of any kind; campground without running water and/or electricity; abandoned building; substandard housing; bus/train station

  • Abandoned in a hospital

Children and youth in homeless situations have the right to the following:
  • Attend and succeed in school no matter where they live or how long they have lived there
  • Enroll in a school despite the lack of a permanent address or lack of school and immunization records or birth certificates and other documents
  • Receive services comparable to those offered to non-homeless children and youth
  • Get transportation to school, if feasible
  • Access educationally related support services
Should you or your child meet these qualifications; please contact your school's main office or guidance office to complete a form for consideration.



Faculty and Staff Handbook




Please read the Family/Student Handbook and the St. Tammany Parish Handbook on Attendance, Discipline, and Student Records for more complete information concerning policies and procedures especially those concerning Civil Rights and Sexual Harassment.