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Shalmont Central School District
Scott Ziomek, Principal
Kenneth Rizzo, Assistant Principal

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2 Sabre Drive, Schenectady, NY 12306 • Phone: 518.355.6255 Fax: 518.355.5329

MS Student Handbook

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Introduction

We would like to extend a welcome to all entering students. We are proud of our commitment to excellence and we have enjoyed a tradition of high academic achievement. Some credit for this record must be given to past boards of education, administrators, teachers, and community groups. However, much of the credit for our past successes must go to the students who have attended our school.

The Schalmont Middle School has an outstanding faculty and excellent facilities. We all stand ready to provide every student with the best instructional program possible and it is our hope that each student will do their best to take advantage of the many educational opportunities available here.

This handbook provides a great deal of information about the middle school. Please become familiar with it. Our continued success depends on each student’s complete commitment to these guidelines.

Finally, there are many of us at the middle school who are willing and able to help you if you have any problems, questions, or concerns. Please do not hesitate to ask for our assistance.

School Phone: 355-6255

School Address: Schalmont Middle School, 2 Sabre Drive, Schenectady, NY 12306

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OUR MISSION

The staff and community of the Schalmont Central School District will provide programs, resources, and facilities to foster a positive learning environment. Each individual will be encouraged and assisted to grow emotionally, intellectually, physically, and socially to meet the challenges of the future.

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OUR PHILOSOPHY

We believe that all students are unique individuals capable of becoming life-long learners, free to develop their own abilities. Each can learn to communicate effectively through language; think critically using the analytic tools of mathematics, science, and logic; think creatively and intelligently to solve problems; demonstrate knowledge of our common human heritage and its rights and responsibilities; develop a sense of awareness for art, music and literature; and practice habits of good physical and mental health. Through programs and activities designed to meet individual needs, students will strive toward academic success.

A respect for all people and the development of self-discipline is a responsibility for all students to attain through a positive learning environment. It is the task of all who come in contact with the students of our community to challenge and develop their strengths and helps them learn to be successful. We strive to develop self-confident, healthy, and knowledgeable individuals who demonstrate zest for being contributing members of society.

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TIME SCHEDULE

Grade 5 is based upstairs in the middle school and adheres to their own schedule.

Period

Grade 6

Grade 7

Grade 8

Homeroom

7:40-7:45

7:40-7:45

7:40-7:45

Period 1

7:45-8:30

7:45-8:30

7:45-8:30

Period 2

8:30-9:15

8:30-9:15

8:30-9:15

Period 3

9:15-10:00

9:15-10:00

9:15-10:00

Period 4

10:00-10:45

10:00-10:45

10:00-10:45

Period 5

 Lunch

10:45-11:15

10:45-11:15

Period 6

11:15-12:00

Lunch

11:15-12:00

Period 7

12:00-12:45

12:00-12:45

Lunch

Period 8

12:45-1:30

12:45-1:30

12:45-1:30

Period 9

1:30-2:13

1:30-2:13

1:30-2:13

Dismissal

2:13

2:13

2:13

Extra Help

2:20-3:30

2:20-3:30

2:20-3:30

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STUDENT ACADEMIC SERVICES

PURPOSE OF THE MIDDLE SCHOOL

The purpose of the middle school is to provide students with an effective transition from the elementary level to high school level of education. Our instructional program is intended to provide students with the basic skills necessary to become independent learners. Early adolescence is also a period of profound physical and psychological change and we feel that it is our responsibility to help students to become responsible decision-makers and good citizens.

By the time students have successfully completed the middle school, they should have the attitude and skills necessary to continue their education throughout the course of their lives and to function effectively in a democratic society.

MIDDLE SCHOOL STAFF

• Believes that administrators, teachers, and students are human beings with an inherent desire to be recognized as individuals.

• Believes that for the sake of effective organization in meeting its goals, the school must have some practical standards and rules.

• Believes that all human life is dynamic and regards change as a challenge rather than a threat.

• Believes that all people involved must work cooperatively to find satisfactory accommodations for the individual within the structure of school organization, and that this can be done most effectively by:

• Providing students with freedom to develop the skill for decision making and to experience its complement; responsibility for consequences (success or failure).

• Viewing the role of teacher as friend and guide as well as authority and expert.

• Experimenting with new programs and curricula to meet changing needs.

• Keeping channels of communication open and viable among all segments of the school community.

TEACHING TEAMS

The middle school serves as a bridge between the various elementary schools of the school district and the senior high school. In order that this function be accomplished in the most effective manner possible, a system of interdisciplinary teaching teams has been employed.

Each team is composed of teachers who are responsible for teaching English, Math, Science, Social Studies, and Special Education.

OTHER FACULTY AND STAFF MEMBERS

In addition to team teachers, the middle school employs a full complement of special area teachers. Special areas in instruction handled by this staff include Reading, Special Education, Physical Education, Home and Careers, Health, Art, Technology, Music, Computer, French and Spanish.

In addition to staff mentioned above, other member’s providing services include the nurse and librarian who work directly with students. Students will also meet secretaries in the main office.

In the cafeteria, a manager and her staff provide the food services of the school. The head custodian and his staff provide custodial and maintenance services.
The principal is responsible for the total program of instruction and services for the middle school. He is assisted by a vice principal.

Outside the middle school the district provides important services (including bus transportation, speech therapy, social work, psychology, etc.) through a staff of specialists.

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GUIDANCE SERVICES

The middle school guidance staff plays a very important role in helping students get over the hurdles during their stay here. They, as well as teachers, are available to answer any questions students might have.

Every middle school student will be assigned a guidance counselor to assist him or her. Students should be aware that all records kept on a student can be found in the guidance office. Parents are also encouraged to be in contact with the guidance counselors as the need arises. A counselor can be a most valuable friend during one’s stay in the middle school.

Services offered by the Guidance Department include:

1. Individual or group counseling

2. Career and educational counseling

3. Interpretation of standardized test results

4. Referrals and recommendations to other pupil service specialists and outside counseling services

5. Coordination of parent-teacher conferences.

In addition, reading, math, speech/language and social/emotional concerns are addressed through direct services to students and consultation with staff members and parents. Arrangements for this type of assistance may be made through the Guidance Department.

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GRADE REPORTING

Schalmont Middle School’s grade reporting consists of interim progress reports and report cards.

Interim progress reports are sent home approximately halfway through each marking period. The purpose is to inform students and parents of student progress during the first half of each quarter. Progress reports will be distributed in October, December, March and May.

Report cards are sent home one week after the conclusion of each marking period. Achievement is recorded in each class with a numerical grade. Report cards will be distributed in November, February, April and June.

REQUIREMENTS FOR PASSING

The requirements for passing a course are as follows:

1. A student must have a minimum grade of 65%.

2. For seventh and eighth grade core area subject the grade is based on four quarter grades and a final examination grade.

3. Sixth grade final exam grades will be included in the fourth quarter average.

4. For fifth grade core area subjects the grade is based on four quarter grades. Fifth grade does not have final examinations.

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HOMEWORK

Teachers will give daily and weekend homework assignments. Each student is provided with an assignment notebook at the beginning of the year. Students are expected to write their assignments in their book each day. Some students may find this procedure a new experience. Students are expected to do their homework regularly. Such work is assigned to supplement classroom instruction. Students will have an average of from thirty minutes to an hour of homework each school night. Develop good study habits. Do not make the mistake of doing just enough to “get by”. Be honest with yourself – do your best!

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HONOR ROLL

Placement on the High Honor Roll or Honor Roll is determined by the students’ average. To qualify for the Honor Roll a student must have an average of at least 88%. To qualify for the High Honor Roll a student must have an average of at least 92%.

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PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCES

Conferences may be held during the school year to discuss student progress. These conferences may be requested by teachers or parents. If parents wish to arrange a conference, they should call the guidance office (355-6255, ext. 2001).

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RETENTION

Promotion to the next grade or retention in the present one is determined by the Principal with input from the teachers and guidance counselors. Some of the factors considered in deciding whether to retain a student include: previous retentions, maturity level, grades, skill level, effort and attendance.

During the school year through progress reports, report cards, contacts by guidance counselors, and parent conferences, every effort is made to keep parents informed of students experiencing academic difficulty. Recommendations to avoid failure are made by the teachers. Guidance counselors and team teachers maintain regular communication concerning the progress of students who are potential retentions.

Students who fail two or more academic subjects may be required to attend a summer school program or repeat a grade. The principal will make this decision based on the recommendation of the student’s teachers and guidance counselor.

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STUDENT ACADEMIC HELP

The help period begins at 2:20 p.m. and includes time for extra help, activities, and intramurals.

Extra help is offered in all subject areas by your teachers on designated days from 2:20-3:30 p.m. This is a good time for you to make up work you missed during absences or to get extra help. Your teachers may also ask you to stay for extra help if they feel you need it.

Activities, clubs and intramural sports are also offered from 2:20-3:30 p.m. These activities provide you the opportunity to participate in something you enjoy, plus they give you a chance to meet new friends. Students are definitely encouraged to become involved.

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LIBRARY

The middle school is provided with an excellent library where students have available to them a large collection of books, magazines and computers with access to the internet which may be used with parent permission. Students may use the library at various times including before and after school. There are all kinds of reference books to help students with special assignments.
The middle school uses a computerized checkout system which is operated by the librarian. Lost or damaged books and/or materials must be paid for by the borrower. Magazines are not to be taken from the library without special permission. Individual teachers will designate reserve-books and magazines, which may circulate overnight, three days, or one week.

The library is an important center of learning in our school. Take advantage of it.

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HEALTH SERVICES

The administration and faculty consider this one of the most important sections of this handbook. Good health is a prerequisite to learning; as a matter of fact, good health is essential to successful participation in most activities.

The school nurse is here every day. She is responsible for health records, annual vision and hearing screening, and color perception checks. She administers to and makes arrangements for children who are taken ill while in school.

When children are absent from school they should bring a dated excuse, stating the reason, upon returning to school. If the child is absent more than one day, it would be helpful to the teacher and the nurse if the parents would call the school to report the cause. This is especially important if the child has a communicable disease.

Medication in School – Regulations of the New York State Educational Law prevents the possession, administration and taking of any medication in school, including aspirin, vitamins and cough medications. The only exception to the above requirements are prescription medications ordered by a physician to be given at specific hours during the school day. The school nurse must have on file a written request from the physician stating the medication name, the dosage required, and the specific time it is to be given. Medication must be in the original bottle from the druggist. The medicine must be kept in the Health Office and given only under the supervision of the school nurse. Any student observed with any medication in their possession will be referred to the school nurse and/or administration for evaluation of the situation.

Accidents – All accidents in school should be reported to the school nurse the day of the occurrence.

STUDENT PHYSICALS – The New York State Department of Education Law states:

Each child in New York State Public Schools must be given a physical examination in grade 7. This examination may be administered by a family physician, but if no physical examination record is available by September, the student will be examined by the school physician.

AIDS INSTRUCTION

Schools are required by section 135.3 of the Commissioner’s Regulations to provide classroom instruction regarding AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). This topic is often dealt with in the context of health and/or family living courses. Given the importance of the subject matter and the potential for controversy and community concern regarding the course content, the school may include a brief statement about the requirement, and the provisions under which students may be excused from instruction regarding the prevention of AIDS.

In compliance with the commissioner’s regulations, the district will provide AIDS instruction as part of a sequential and comprehensive health program for all students, K-12. The school provides age-appropriate instruction, which must include the following information.

1. the nature of the disease;

2. methods of transmission of the disease; and

3. methods of prevention of the disease (stressing abstinence as the most effective and appropriate protection against AIDS).

A copy of the course outlines (by grade level) is kept in the main office for public information. Parents may request to have their children excused from that segment of AIDS instruction regarding methods of prevention of the disease by filing a request with the superintendent of schools. The request must give assurance that such instruction will be given at home. Please contact the building principal for a copy of the request form.

The district has an advisory council consisting of members of the Board of Education, appropriate school personnel, parents and community representatives (including representatives from religious organizations). The advisory council makes recommendations on content, implementation, and evaluation of the AIDS instructional program.

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BUILDING POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

ATTENDANCE GUIDELINES

Importance of Regular and Punctual Attendance

Good attendance and success in schoolwork go together. Students should make every effort to maintain a good attendance record. Parents are requested, where possible, to avoid making appointments for students during school hours. If it is necessary for a student to be absent more than one day, parents are requested to call the nurse’s office.

Regarding attendance, the Board of Education has adopted the following policy:
The Board of Education requires that a student must be in attendance a minimum of four-fifths of the number of days school is in session. For purposes of this policy, students will be considered in attendance while participating in school-sponsored activities.

1. A student missing more than twenty percent (36 days for a full year, 18 for a half-year course) of the number of days a class is in session will lose all credit.
Elementary and middle school students who are absent more than one-fifth of the days classes are in session, will repeat the school year, or attend a summer school program.

Parents are also required to send in written excuses for all absences. Absences are defined as follows:

a. Legal – due to sickness, etc.

b. Illegal

• “UNLAWFUL DETENTION” occurs when a pupil is absent from school with the knowledge and consent, stated or implied, or his/her parent for reason other than legal.

• “TRUANCY” – occurs when a student is sent to school and his/her parents expect him to be in school. If that pupil does not attend for other than lawful reasons, he/she is truant.

c. In the event of a prolonged illness where a student will be absent for more than 10 days, that student will receive home teaching and will be considered in attendance. Parents should contact their child’s guidance counselor to initiate home teaching.

2. Students who arrive late to school three times in one month receive After School Detention (illegal reason). Students arriving late in excess of five days will receive In-School Suspension (ISS).

ABSENCE FROM CLASS – ILLEGAL

A student’s grade should reflect the quality of his/her class work, tests and examinations. It should not be changed because of lateness to class or days missed because of illness. However, any student who is truant, cuts class, or misses a quiz due to illegal lateness, is subject to a “zero” grade regardless of work handed in or performed in class that day.

You will be assigned a homeroom. Homerooms open at 7:38 a.m. This room will be your “home base” at the beginning of each school day. The Pledge of Allegiance, attendance and daily announcements occur during the homeroom period.

A.M. AND P.M. PROCEDURES

A.M.

1. The doors will be open to students at 7:00 A.M. on school days. Parents are asked not to drop off students prior to 7:00 A.M.

2. As soon as students arrive they may go directly to their locker and then to homeroom. If students arrive before homeroom is opened, they may wait in the corridor.

3. At 7:38 A.M., all students should file into their homerooms. Once in homeroom, students are expected to remain there until classes pass.

4. Homeroom time is 7:40 A.M. If a student enters his/her homeroom after 7:40 A.M. without a pass, he/she is considered tardy.

5. If students arrive at school after 7:45 A.M. regardless of the reason, they should report and sign in at the main office. If the reason for tardiness is legal, the students will be automatically excused and sent to class with a pass.

P.M.

1. 2:15 P.M. Dismissal

a. Students should place their chairs on their desks just prior to dismissal as directed by their teachers.

b. Those students who are leaving the building should go directly to their buses.

c. Students are not permitted to loiter in either the middle school or high school buildings after 2:20 P.M. Loiterers will be placed in the detention room until 3:30 P.M.

d. If a student has an activity, he/she is expected to see a teacher or intends to go to the library; he/she should do so by 2:30 P.M.

e. If a student misses his/her bus, he/she should report to the office for further instructions.

2. 3:30 P.M. Dismissal

a. Students are to obtain a late bus pass from their teachers.

b. Those students who are leaving the building should go directly to their buses.

c. Students are not permitted to loiter in either the middle school or high school buildings after 2:20 P.M. Loiterers will be placed in the detention room until 3:30 P.M.

d. If a student has an activity, he/she is expected to see a teacher or intend to go to the library he/she should do so by 2:30 PM.

e. If a student misses his/her bus, he/she should report to the office for further instructions.

HOMEWORK REQUESTS

Requests for homework will only be taken for students who have been absent for two or more days. All requests must be received by 8:30 A.M. in order to contact all of the teachers. Requests made after 8:30 A.M. will be processed the following day. Students who are absent less than two days should make arrangements with a friend to get the assignments.

CLASSROOM TARDINESS

Tardiness to class is handled by the classroom teacher. Habitual tardiness to class may result in a referral to the administration.

EARLY DISMISSAL

If it becomes necessary for a student to leave school before dismissal at 2:15 P.M., the parent should write a note explaining the reason. The student should present the note to the office secretary before 7:45 A.M. The office will issue the student an Early Leave Form which must be shown to the teacher whose class activity and/or lunch the student is leaving. The parent/guardian must sign out child in the guidance office.

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TRANSFER TO ANOTHER SCHOOL

Parents must notify their child’s counselor before transferring to another school during the school year and sign a Release of Records Form in order to transfer records to the new school on the last day of attendance. The counselor will give the student a checkout sheet which must be signed by all teachers and the librarian. All books must be returned and all bills settled before a copy of a student’s permanent record can be sent to another school.

Students who leave the district less than five weeks from the beginning of a quarter will receive no mark for that quarter. Students who leave five or more weeks after the beginning of a quarter will receive the teacher’s average mark for that quarter. This mark is reported in the regular manner for the student’s permanent record.

Students who must leave for legal reasons less than ten days prior to their first final examination will pass or fail courses based upon the average of their quarterly grades and “the school” final average recorded on the official transcript. Exceptional cases may be reviewed for disposition.

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CHANGES OF NAME, ADDRESS AND/OR TELEphone number

If students move to another location within the school district, the change of address should be reported to the respective counselor immediately. Changes in telephone numbers should also be accurate and up-to-date.

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“NO SCHOOL” ANNOUNCEMENT AND EARLY DISMISSAL DUE TO WEATHER

School is in session every day except when the weather makes the roads impassable. “NO SCHOOL” announcements are give on stations WGY, WRGB, WTEN, K-LITE, WGNA and WTRY beginning at 6:30 A.M. You may also sign up for the School News Notifier (SNN) and will receive an email. Please do not call school to inquire about “NO SCHOOL” announcements.

EARLY DISMISSAL

When weather conditions become severe after students are already in school, it may become necessary, in the interest of safety, to close school earlier than the regular dismissal time. If early dismissal becomes necessary, area radio stations will carry the announcement for the parents benefit.

When the schools are closed due to weather conditions, all after school and evening activities are automatically canceled. This includes events such as team and group practices, sports events and contests, evening classes, concerts and community events held in the school building.

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COLLECTION OF MONEY

At no time is a collection of money or articles to be made for any purpose by any student or group of students at school without the Principal’s knowledge and approval.

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POSTERS

All posters, signs, banners, in school or out of school activities of any kind must be approved by the principal before they may be placed on school property.

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GAMES AND ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT

At school, education comes first. Games and sound equipment, including cell phones, beepers, laser pointers, radios, walkmans, electric games, etc. should be left at home. Any personal property which disrupts the learning atmosphere of the school will be confiscated by teachers or staff members and left at the school office for the day. Upon a second offense, it will be confiscated and returned only to a parent.

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VISITORS TO THE SCHOOL

Parents and other citizens are encouraged to visit the school during the course of the school year. Persons who are not students or staff must report to the office upon entering the building to sign in and receive a visitor’s pass. When you have completed your visit, please return your visitors pass and sign out. Student visitors from other schools, unless they have a specific reason and prior approval of the principal are not permitted to enter the building.

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DISCIPLINARY PHILOSOPHY

The general philosophy of discipline at Schalmont Middle School is intended to be positive. An attempt is made, through the granting of additional privileges at each grade level, to develop self-discipline on the part of all students. This involves the opportunity for students to make decisions, which in some cases, are thoughtless or deliberate acts against school regulations. In such cases, students are disciplined.

The basic responsibility for student discipline in classrooms is the staff member assigned to that class. The basic responsibility for student discipline elsewhere in the building or on school grounds is any staff member present. This authority lies with all staff; custodians, food service workers, student teachers, aides, secretaries, non-teaching certified staff, teachers and administrators.

The teacher is the first line of correction within the classroom setting. When a problem exists, the teacher is expected to exhaust all methods of classroom management and behavior modification in dealing with the situation. These methods are to include discussions with the student and/or parent(s) of the student. Should the problem persist beyond all strategies available to the teacher, the student should be referred to the administration for disciplinary action.

Specific Disciplinary Guidelines are used when handling student discipline cases. They outline the type and degree of penalty that may be applied to each different case. The penalties range from being formally warned, to a suspension from school for serious or repeated offenses.

The Disciplinary Guidelines are used when handing student discipline cases. They outline the type and degree of penalty that may be applied to each different case. The penalties range from being formally warned, to a suspension from school for serious or repeated offenses.

The Disciplinary Guidelines are outlined in detail in this handbook. Each student is responsible for reading and understanding the information contained in the student handbook.

PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITIES

The administrative and teaching staff believes that the ultimate responsibility for a student’s behavior rests with his/her parents.

Students are to obey constituted authority, which includes the understanding, acceptance and adherence to school rules, regulation and procedures.
The administration of Schalmont Middle School anticipates that parents will be concerned and cooperative in dealing with any behavioral problems which may arise and expects that this cooperation will be made apparent to the student. One of the most significant objectives of discipline must be to develop within the individual student the desire to exercise his/her rights judiciously.

CLASSROOM SELF CONTROL

Students should begin each class with the idea of getting as much as possible from the time spent there. Have all the materials needed; the borrower is inconsiderate of others. Give the teacher an undivided attention. Successful education requires that the teacher fulfill his/her responsibility – to teach – and that students fulfill their responsibility – to learn. Learning requires active involvement and cooperation; even listening is an active process.

Disruptive conduct in the classroom is not fair to other students in the class, and to the teacher. Such conduct may result in:

1. notification of the responsible student’s parents

2. detention after school

3. suspension from the class

4. referral to administration

ASSEMBLY SELF-CONTROL

Assemblies are presented for student’s education as well as for their enjoyment. Show appreciation and maturity by being courteous. It is important to remember that watching a school assembly program is not like watching television at home. Students should remain absolutely quiet during an assembly out of consideration for other students in the audience and for the people performing.

RESPECT FOR THE PROPERTY OF OTHERS

Respect for the property of others is fundamental to good citizenship. Such respect first of all covers those items of personal property belonging to teachers and classmates such as pencils, pens, books, etc. Simply speaking, do not take or damage items that do not belong to you.

RESPECT FOR SCHOOL PROPERTY

All students are expected to respect all school property. Included under the definition of school property are such things as books, building, desks and school equipment. School vandalism is an offense punishable by law.

CARE OF BOOKS

Books are loaned to middle school students free of charge. Such books are expected to be safeguarded from marring, loss or destruction. All textbooks should be covered. All books are issued by number. A student is required to return his/her own book at the end of the year. Missing books should be reported to the teacher immediately. A new book will be issued (if available) within 2 or 3 days. A student is given three weeks to find the missing book. If the book cannot be found, the student is charged the cost of the book. If the book is later found, the money would be refunded.

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FIRE DRILLS

A number of fire drills will be held during the year. It is important that students think of each of these drills as though it were a real emergency. Classroom teachers will tell you what corridors and exits to use. The following guidelines must be strictly enforced.

1. It is extremely important that there be no talking during drills. In a real emergency, it would be necessary for one to be able to hear instructions.

2. Form two single lines in each corridor and stay in line. Confusion during an emergency usually occurs at corners and junctions.

3. Walk well away from the building once outside, but stay in line.

4. Move along briskly without running. Do not stop at lockers regardless of weather.

Teachers in each area of the school review with students the exit usually used in that area, as well as alternative exits should regular exits be blocked.
Be sure to understand the procedures so that there will be no reason to become flustered during drills or real emergencies.

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LUNCH PROCEDURES

Middle school students eat during three lunch periods, which are 30 minutes long. When students arrive at the cafeteria lobby they should immediately get in line to the dining room assigned. Students are reminded that they are given three minutes to arrive to lunch. No fooling, horseplay, or other boisterous behavior will be tolerated. Students are responsible for cleaning up after themselves. Students are not permitted to leave the cafeteria without a pass. Students will be dismissed from lunch by the teacher/monitor in charge.

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RESOURCE PERIOD

Resource period allows student time to meet with their teachers, conduct research, and complete various assignments. Students will not be allowed to leave their Resource for the first ten minutes, unless the entire period is needed to make up a test, etc. Only students with a pre-signed pass will be allowed to leave Resource.

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PASSES

All students are required to have passes when going from one location to another except before and after school and during the passing of classes. More specifically, students must have a pass to go to the library, to the nurse’s office (except in an emergency), to the main office, to the lavatory, to another room or to lockers.

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CORRIDOR TRAFFIC

1. Up to 3 minutes are provided for students to pass from room to room. This provides enough time for students to pass without running.

2. Students are expected to cooperate with teachers who are supervising traffic in the corridors.

3. There should be no horseplay, pushing, shoving or yelling in the corridors at any time.

4. It should be kept in mind that some students are in class while others are passing, therefore, noise should be kept to a minimum.

5. Students should be extremely careful when opening lockers while students are passing.

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BUS PROCEDURES

Students must have written (signed) permission from a parent/guardian to get off the bus at any other stop other than was assigned. The note must include student’s name, address where getting off, bus number and daytime phone where a parent can be reached. Notes must be brought to the main office before homeroom or during lunch. No permission will be accepted over the phone!

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SEXUAL HARASSMENT

The Board of Education affirms its commitment to non-discrimination and recognizes its responsibility to provide for all district students an environment that is free of sexual harassment and intimidation. Sexual harassment is a violation of law and stands in direct opposition to District policy. Therefore, the Board prohibits all forms of sexual harassment by employees and students. Generally, sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

1. Submission to sexually harassing behavior is a condition of the successful completion of any course of study or education and extra-curricular activity, including the acceptance into or rejection from such course of activity;

2. Conditions exist with the school environment that allows or fosters obscene pictures, lewd jokes, sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other harassing activities of sexual nature;

3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with a student’s academic performance or participation in an education or extra-curricular activity, or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive learning environment.

The Board acknowledges that in determining whether sexual harassment has occurred, the perspective of the victim, as well as the offender’s conduct and/or intention, should be evaluated. Any student who believes that he/she has been subjected to sexual harassment shall report all incidents of such conduct to the District’s designated complaint officer through informal and/or formal complaint procedures developed by the District. In the event that the complaint officer is the offender, the complainant shall report his/her complaint to the next level of supervisory authority. All such reports will be held in strictest confidence.

Upon receipt of an informal/formal complaint, the District will conduct a thorough investigation of the charges. However, if the District has knowledge of or has reason to know of any alleged sexual harassment, the District is obligated, even in the absence of a complaint, to investigate such conduct promptly and thoroughly.

Based upon the results of the District’s investigation, immediate corrective action will be taken. Should the offending individual be a school employee, appropriate disciplinary measures will be applied, up to and including termination of the offender’s employment in accordance with contractual and legal guidelines. Should the offending individual be a student, appropriate disciplinary measures will be applied, up to and including suspension/expulsion.

The Board prohibits any retaliatory behavior directed against complainants and/or witnesses. Follow-up inquiries shall be made to ensure that harassment has not resumed and that the victims and/or witnesses have not suffered retaliation.

The Board directs the Superintendent to develop regulations for resolving sexual harassment complaints by students. The Superintendent/designee(s) shall affirmatively discuss the topic of sexual harassment with all employees and students, express the District’s condemnation of such conduct and explain the sanctions for harassment. A copy of this policy and its accompanying regulations shall be posted in appropriate places and available upon request to all employees and students.

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STUDENT GUEST

A student guest may be allowed to visit the middle school, but they must have permission from the Principal. Such permission should be obtained at least one day in advance. Student guests must be either 6th, 7th, or 8th graders and must have a middle school student sponsor. The guest will be instructed to follow the same as his/her sponsor.

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CARE OF PERSONAL BELONGINGS

Students should take special care in protecting their personal belongings and valuables. Coats, jackets, sweaters, etc., should all have some definite form of identification in them. Since these items of clothing should be hung on the locker coat hooks, they should have some kind of loop sewn into them to prevent them from falling to the bottom of the locker. Money or other valuables should never be left in a desk or locker. Girls should never leave their pocketbooks unattended.

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LOCKERS

Students are issued corridor book lockers each year. Individual locker combinations are also issued. Students should not share their lockers or their locker combinations with other students. Lockers should always be locked. Lockers, desks and other storage space remain the exclusive property of the school. Students should be aware that lockers and/or desks might be inspected by school authorities at any time. Pictures, etc. should not be taped to inside of lockers.

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STUDENT ATTENDANCE AND PARTICIPATION IN CO-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

CO-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

A number of student activities are organized at the middle school on an extra-curricular basis. Joining an activity will prove that fun is also part of the school program. If there is a club or activity that students are interested in but does not exist, see if other students share that interest. Every effort will be made to provide a faculty advisor for new clubs and activities.

Any student may join an activity. The responsibility of each member is to attend meetings regularly, to participate creatively and actively and to show a continued interest. Soon after school starts, students will have an opportunity to sign up for the activity in which they wish to participate. There is no limit to the number of activities in which students may participate.

Clubs and activities will be scheduled after regular school dismissal.

STUDENT COUNCIL

The council is made up of representatives from each social studies classroom that meets periodically to discuss student affairs. Early in the fall there are school-wide elections for President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer. The Student Council is the governing body for student affairs. Discussion of school activities, questions and suggestions may be brought up during the social studies period.

DANCES AND SABRE CITY

An opening dance for the middle school is held in the gym during the month of October under the sponsorship of the student council. These dances are open to our middle school students only. The dance will run from 7:00 to 9:00 P.M.
Sabre City is a recreational program for our middle school students, which operates on selected Fridays from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. during the months of September through March. This program offers a number of recreational activities (dances, games, etc.). A large number of parent chaperones are required to make the recreational program successful. Specific dates and information regarding the program will be sent to you during the school year.

Students are required to have their school I.D. card for admission to dances and Sabre City.

INTRAMURALS

Intramurals provide an opportunity for boys and girls to complete in a variety of sports. The following intramural sports are available.

BOYS: Basketball, wrestling, bowling, golf

GIRLS: Basketball, volleyball, bowling, golf

MODIFIED SPORTS

There are a variety of modified sports available to students on a competitive basis on the 7th and 8th grade level. Girls modified sports include: soccer, basketball, volleyball, cross-country and softball. Boy’s modified sports include: soccer, basketball, wrestling, baseball, football, and cross-country.

NATIONAL JUNIOR HONOR SOCIETY

Membership in the National Junior Honor Society is by invitation only. Students must provide evidence of scholarship, character, community service, leadership and citizenship. A faculty committee will review the applicants and select students who exhibit the highest qualities. An induction ceremony is held in the spring.

SCHOOL SOCIAL EVENTS

Social events are held primarily for the enjoyment of middle school students and are not open to the public. The following guidelines are intended to support this purpose.

Only students presently attending the middle school may attend such events. Usually, evening affairs begin at 7:00 P.M. and do not run beyond 9:30 P.M.

Afternoon events will usually end at 3:30 P.M.

Attire for social events must be appropriate for the social event.

I.D. cards are required for admission.

CLASSROOM PARTIES

Classroom parties are under the control of the school. Details are established during the school year. Birthday parties for students are not permitted at school. Invitations to private parties cannot be passed out at school. They should be mailed. At no time will gifts be exchanged.

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PARENT TEACHER ORGANZATION (P.T.O.)

The middle school has an active Parent Teacher Organization whose main function is communication between the community and school. Every parent who has a child in the middle school is a member of the P.T.O. Parents are invited to attend the monthly meetings which start at 7:00 P.M. and end at approximately 8:30 P.M. Meetings are usually held on the third Tuesday of the month.

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Athletics

The following guidelines will apply to students participating in interscholastic and co-curricular activities with respect to their eligibility and their attendance.

1. A student who has been suspended from school will be ineligible for participation in all school activities including practice sessions during the term of his/her suspension.

2. A student must be in attendance in all classes the day of a co-curricular event in order to participate. Exceptions to this are to be cleared in advance through the principal.

3. Should the event or practice session occur on a non-school day, the full-day attendance rule will apply to the preceding school day.

4. It will be the coach/advisors’ responsibility to check on items 1, 2 and 3 above and to take the appropriate action.

5. When an attendance problem arises resulting in disciplinary action which is not a suspension from school, the coach/advisor will deal with the matter in the manner which he/she deems to be appropriate.

ATHLETIC ELIGILIBITY

The following rules for eligibility shall govern participants in the Interscholastic Athletic and Cheerleading Program:

1. Each coach shall ascertain that each player meets the eligibility rules as adopted by the N.Y.S.P.H.S.A.A.

2. Each coach shall see that the team meets the eligibility requirements and game standards as enumerated by the N.Y.S.P.H.S.A.A.

TOBACCO, ALCOHOL AND DRUGS

Philosophy – It is known that certain substances (tobacco, alcohol, drugs, i.e., including performance enhancing drugs) have a significant impact on many aspects of one’s total health, and subsequently, on one’s athletic abilities. Therefore, it is the philosophy of the Schalmont Central School District to absolutely forbid the use or possession of these substances by athletic program participants.

Rules – A student shall not: (1) use a beverage containing alcohol; (2) use tobacco: (3) use steroids; (4) or use or consume, have in possession, buy, sell or give away any controlled substance defined by law and/or student handbook as a drug.

Penalties and Recommendations

First Violation:

1. The athlete will be suspended from participating in all athletic contests for two (2) weeks (14) days. The athlete must practice with the team during his loss for eligibility.

2. The student will be suspended from participation in co-curricular activities for two (2) weeks (14) days.

3. If violation occurs on school grounds and the student is suspended from school, team suspension (14 days) will not start until the athlete officially returns to school.

4. Legal absences extend the agreement on a day-for-day basis.

5. The student of his own volition becomes a participant in a chemical dependence program, treatment program, and/or an education instruction program, whichever is deemed necessary. This will be at his/her own expense.

Second Violation:

1. The athlete will be suspended from participating in all athletics for the remainder of that season or four (4) weeks (28) days, whichever is longer.
2. The student will be suspended from participation in co-curricular activities for four (4) weeks.

Third Violation:

The athlete will be suspended from participation in all athletics for the remainder of the school year.

ACADEMIC ELIGIBILITY

1. All students involved in interscholastic and co-curricular activities are expected to be doing satisfactory work in all subjects. Course grades will be reviewed every five (5) weeks.

2. If a student is failing two (2) subjects in any five (5) week marking period, he/she has two (2) weeks to bring at least one of the grades up to passing. If this does not occur, the student will be suspended from the activity until the required improvement is made.

3. If a student is failing more than two (2) subjects, he/she will be declared ineligible to participate in the activity until the excess failing grades are brought up to only two (2) failures. Then we will follow #2 above.

CITIZENSHIP

1. An athlete suspended externally or internally from school for a violation of school rules may not participate in any activity while under suspension.
2. Any student absent from school legally (illness) or illegally (truant) may not participate in any activity that day.

3. A student illegally absent (truant) Friday may not participate in any weekend activity. A student legally absent on Friday may participate in the weekend activity with a signed note from parents.

4. An athlete must be in school before 7:40 A.M. to be eligible to participate in any athletic event on that day, unless excused by school personnel.

5. Every athlete must be a good community and school citizen. Athletes who violate civil law, violate rules on buses transporting teams, and violate rules of good conduct at the host school will lose eligibility for the remainder of the sport season.

6. All athletes must ride to and from the game with the team. Only in unusual circumstances will this procedure be altered. This should be done with a written note or verbally from the parents to the coach and/or the Athletic Director.

7. Once a coach announces the final cut has been made, an athlete will be expected to continue on the team for the rest of the season. If an athlete “quits” without permission from the coach, the athlete loses eligibility for the remainder of that season. An athlete can withdraw and change sports in a season following proper withdrawal procedures. This decision will be made by the coaches involved and the Director of Athletics.

8. Any student in possession of unauthorized school uniforms or equipment will be suspended from athletics for one calendar year.

9. Athletes must remain in school until at least 11:30 A.M. in order to participate that day. Exceptions are school educational trips.

Scholastic Eligibility

uStatement: All students involved in interscholastic and co-curricular activities must be encouraged to do their best in every subject in which they are scheduled. High scholastic achievement is, and should be, the number one goal of all students.
uRule: All students involved in interscholastic and co-curricular activities are expected to be doing satisfactory work in all subjects. Course grades will be reviewed every five weeks. It is the responsibility of the principal, and/or his/her designee to assure that timely notice is given to the student and his/her coach/advisor/director when the student is not fulfilling eligibility requirements as outlined in this policy.
uPenalty: If a student is failing two subjects in any five-week marking period, he/she has two weeks to bring at least one of the grades up to passing. If this does not occur, the student will be suspended from the activity until the required improvement is made.

If a student is failing more than two subjects, he/she will be declared ineligible to participate in the activity until the excess failing grades are brought up to only two failures, then eligible for two weeks during which he/she has to bring at least one of the grades up to passing. If this does not occur, the student will be suspended from the activity until the required improvement is made.

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