Cumberland Elementary and Middle School Frequently Asked Questions


How can I add money to my child’s lunch account? You may pay by card through the parent portal, or you may send money to school with your child. Please note that TeacherEase charges a processing fee when you deposit money in accounts. All money sent to school must be clearly labeled. Make checks out to Cumberland CUSD #77.

May my child purchase milk to accompany his/her lunch from home? Yes, it is $0.35 per milk. The money will also need to be deposited into your child’s lunch account.

 Does my family qualify for free or reduced lunch? You may fill out the application that is available in the office and website. It will be processed in 3-5 school days, and you will be notified of your status. Waiver Request Form

Will other children or staff know that my child qualifies for free or reduced lunch? No, the lunch cards for all students look the same, and each child goes through the lunch line the same way. Staff members aware of students' free and reduced status are bound to confidentiality laws.

When should I submit the application for free and reduced lunch? You should submit it before school begins so you will not have to pay for any lunches.

May I eat lunch with my child? Yes, but please send a note to school with your child at least 24 hours in advance so you can be added to the guest list when possible. An alternative setting will be provided for you to privately eat with your child.

May anyone eat with my child? No, only individuals whom a parent/guardian gives written permission each time may eat with your child.

Am I charged a fee when I pay fees and add money to my child’s lunch account? Yes, TeacherEase charges a percentage fee based on the amount of your payment. To avoid paying the fee, you may send money to school with your child in a sealed and labeled envelope.

Is breakfast served daily at school? Yes, breakfast is prepackaged food items like Pop Tarts and packaged fruit served with milk. The cost is $1.25 each day. Students that are free or reduced for lunch are also free or reduced for breakfast. Money is deducted from each student's lunch account when they eat breakfast at school.

When do students eat breakfast? They eat as soon as they arrive at school. Breakfast is served as Grab and Go in the hallway and is eaten in the classrooms. Breakfast is served from 7:50- 8:05 am. Students have until 8:15 am to finish breakfast.

Sick Students and Absences

What do I do if my child is sick and will not be attending school? You need to call the grade school office at 217-923-3132 and report the absence before 9:00 am. Also, call the bus garage. 217-923-3132 Extension # 1005 as early as possible so your child’s bus driver can be informed and will not wait at the bus stop for your child.

Why am I getting an automated call about my child’s absence? You did not call the school office to report an absence. You either need to call the office or send a note the next day explaining the absence.

Why does my child have an unexcused absence? The absence was not verified by a parent/guardian, or your child has missed more than 8 days during the semester.

What may I do if my child is ill and misses more than 8 days during a semester? You can get a note from your doctor for appointments, so the absence will be doctor verified. Any time a child is absent due to going to the doctor, dentist, eye doctor, psychologist, etc., it is a good practice to get an excusal note each time.

What happens if my child misses more than 8 days a semester? At that point, your child will be monitored for truancy. You will receive a letter in the mail or by email as a notification. Interventions to improve your child’s attendance will be utilized. The attendance specialist from the Regional Office of Education will become involved.

 What are the mental health days? The state has decided that students may miss 5 school days a year for mental health reasons. Mental health days will count towards the allotted 8 days a semester that a child may miss and be excused. The school counselors will be involved when a child misses more than 2 mental health days of school in a row.

Are mental health days in addition to the allotted 8 days of absences a semester? No, mental health days are included in the days allotted per semester for student absences.


My child will be parent drop-off and pick up every day. What do I need to do? You will need to send a note to school before school starts or on the first day of school. Your child will be documented as full-time parent pick-up.

What if my child will be parent pick-up sometimes? You will need to send a detailed note to the school each day they are picked up. If it is someone besides a parent/guardian, the note must clearly state who is picking up your child. In some cases, a photo ID will be required.

May my child change buses as needed? No, at the beginning of the school year, a permanent pick-up and drop-off plan must be established and maintained. Students will not be allowed to change from the plan at any time.

What time does my child need to be at school? Students must be in their classrooms at 8:05 am. If they are not in the classroom by then, they will be counted as tardy.

May I just walk up to the school or parking lot and get my child after school? No, due to security situations, parents must use the pick-up procedures.

May anyone pick my child up from school? No, only those individuals with written permission from the parent/guardian may pick up your child.

May emergency contacts pick up my child? Only when you cannot be reached, and your child is nurse verified as ill.

May I pick my child off the school bus while it is parked at the school? No, all students must be picked up in the parent pick-up area. A written note must show documentation of a change of transportation plans. The bus driver will not allow a child to exit the bus once he/she is loaded. In the event of an emergency, drive through the parent pick-up line and call the office, and we will get your child off the bus.

School Nurse Procedures

My child takes medication. May I just send it to school with him/her? No, the medication must be delivered to the school by a parent/guardian and counted with the nurse or designee present.

What happens if my child becomes ill during the school day? Your child will be sent to the nurse's office and screened. If the nurse deems the symptoms severe enough to send the child home, a parent or guardian will be called. If a parent/guardian cannot be reached, the emergency contacts will be called in the order they are listed. When a child is sent home by the nurse, they will have an excused absence.

After being ill, when can my child return to school? Your child may return after 24 hours of being symptom-free without medication reducing the symptoms. When a child leaves from school, they will not be able to return the next school day regardless of symptoms.

 My child has head lice; what do I do? Your child will be sent home the same way as if they are ill. After a child is treated and determined lice-free by a parent/guardian, the child must be brought to school by the parent/guardian and checked by the nurse and be determined lice-free before they can return to school.

Students cannot ride the bus until they have been cleared by the school nurse. See page 12 of the student handbook for complete information.


Am I able to visit my child’s classroom? Yes, you may, but you need to arrange the visit in advance with your child’s teacher. You will be placed on the guest list, so the office staff and school resource officers know about your visit.

Can anyone visit my child at school? No, parents/guardians have to give written permission for anyone to visit the school. Visitors beyond a parent/guardian must also be approved by the principal.

May I send birthday treats to school for my child’s birthday? No, we celebrate birthdays once a month with treats. If you want to contribute money towards the treats, you may send the money to the office with a note. (2022-2023 and 2023-2024 school years are being paid for by the Cumberland PTO)

Will there be times that I can attend celebrations and parties? Yes, the teachers will be looking for volunteers throughout the year. Everyone will have an opportunity sometime during the year to volunteer.