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School Policies & Procedures

School Policies

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Capistrano Unified School District does not assume responsibility for loss or damage to any equipment not owned by the District. The safety and security of parent/student owned equipment, e.g. musical instruments, computers, phones, games, music players etc., are the sole responsibility of the owner and it is suggested that parents/students purchase insurance to protect expensive equipment while away from home.

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Homework Policy

Homework is an important part of the instructional program when properly designed. The district’s policy calls for regular homework assignments and for careful monitoring of the work by teachers. Meaningful homework helps children develop effective study habits, reinforces classroom learning, and enriches learning by building upon supplemental activities, projects and field trips.

At each school, the principal and teachers are responsible for implementing the homework policy. Homework is the responsibility of the student, with the assistance of parents. Teachers review completed homework. This combined effort of home and school assists students in extending their learning and in improving achievement.

Cooperation between parents and the school is essential for effective homework completion. At the elementary level, the district recommends that students in grades K-2 be introduced gradually to homework, with assignments increased in time and complexity in Grades 3-5.

At the secondary level, homework is a regular part of the instructional program. The frequency and length of homework will vary by subject matter.

Parents are encouraged to support the successful completion of homework by encouraging children to make the work a priority and by setting aside a quiet study area and regular time for the work to be done.

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School Libraries

All of our District schools have libraries. Students are encouraged to use the school library for study, research and recreational reading. Each school has a copy of the District library plan to make sure that the facility is up-to-date and provides a strong resource for students.

A branch of the Orange County Public Library is part of the Ladera Ranch Elementary and Middle School complex. The upper level of the library is open regularly to the public. The lower level is available exclusively for students during school hours. After the instructional day ends, the lower level is also available to the public.

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Lost Books

Students are asked to take care of all school materials. Parents or Guardians will be charged for lost or damaged books. Refund requests for returning books that have been lost and paid are honored for up to one year. There is a fee of $25 for any returned check. The Library and Textbook policies are available through the Parent/Student Portal and are available in both English and Spanish.

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Lost and Found

Students or parents may check a school’s lost-and-found bin for missing items. Elementary students should have lunch boxes and other items marked with their name for easy identification. Unclaimed items at schools are donated to charities throughout the school year.

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When a child’s physician prescribes medication to be taken during school hours, state law requires that the physician state the dosage and related information on the appropriate school District form, which is available in all school offices. Parents are required to sign a release allowing school personnel to dispense medication.

For additional information on medication issues, please see sections of the California Education Code as detailed in the Annual Parent Notifications section of this website.. An information sheet about medication administration, illness and communicable diseases is distributed in all student registration packets and is available by contacting your school principal, the school health office.

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Orange County health regulations prohibit dogs on school grounds at any time except service animals.  Students are asked not to bring pets from home. Pets may never be taken aboard school buses.

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Technology, Acceptable Use

Acceptable Use of Technology

For a complete list of rules, policies, and procedures around technology, please refer to the District Student Acceptable Use of Technology Agreement. (English Version - Spanish Version)

Telephones/Electronic Devices

Students may use the school telephone only in an emergency. Parents are asked to plan ahead with their children regarding any changes to procedures for students to follow after school. Changes such as not riding the bus should be communicated to the student’s teacher by written note.

CUSD policy permits possession of cell phones on a school campus but requires that they are turned off and stored in a locker, backpack, purse, pocket or another place where it is not visible during the instructional day. Depending on the specific campus policy, the device may be used before the first bell and after the school day ends. Only students in high school may use cell phones during the lunch period.

If a student uses a cell phone inappropriately on campus, school officials have the authority to confiscate the device. If the device rings, or is visible during exams or is used for cheating, it may be confiscated and the student may be removed from the situation. Exceptions to this policy may be granted by the site administrator for purposes relating to the health or educational needs of a student.

If the device is found connected to the CUSD network without permission, it will be determined that the student has violated the Student Acceptable Use Policy and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken. This will occur only in cases where the device is used in a manner that disrupts the learning environment.

The District assumes no responsibility under any circumstances for the loss, destruction, or theft of any cellular phones, or any other electronic signaling devices that are brought to school at any time or to any extracurricular or after school activity. School and District office personnel are not required to investigate lost or stolen devices.

Pictures or recordings taken on campus or at school events will not be posted on the Internet or shared without the written permission of the Administration. The District is not liable for any inappropriate actions, content, or materials accessed or shared on personal devices (see BP 6163.5 and AR 6.7). If there is reasonable suspicion, the administration reserves the right to hold onto the device and search content on any personal device, including but not limited to blogs, text messages, images, etc., during an investigation.

No student shall be prohibited from possessing or using an electronic signaling device that is determined by a licensed physician to be essential for the health of the pupil and the use of which is limited to the pupil’s health.


The use of camera functions on electronic devices is prohibited on campuses.

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Parents are encouraged to visit their child’s classroom. Please contact the principal regarding arrangements. Visits by children who are friends or relatives of students are not permitted.

All visitors to schools must report to the office prior to entering classrooms or school grounds and receive a visitor badge. There are no exceptions to the requirement.