Bledsoe County Middle School Student-Parent Handbook

Mr. Chris Cagle, Principal

Welcome to Bledsoe County Middle School. We, the faculty and staff, hope your years here will be the best of your educational career. This student-parent handbook will provide you with an understanding of the policies and expectations of your school. We ask that students and parents become familiar with this information. If at any time you do not understand the policies of your school, please contact the office for assistance. The office phone number is 447-3212. The school website is http://bledsoecounty.schoolinsites.com/bcms.

I. GENERALINFORMATION

Mission Statement—The mission of Bledsoe County Middle School is to engage all individuals – students, parents, educators, and community members – in the lifelong learning necessary to become responsible contributors to society.

Code of Conduct—Respect yourself and others.

Mascot—Bledsoe County Middle School was established in August of 1999 to serve all Bledsoe County students in grades 6-8. Our school colors are blue and gold, and our school mascot is a “Warrior.”

Change of Address or Phone Number—Inform the school office if you change your address or phone number. This is very important.

Visitors—Parents, volunteers, or other community members are welcome to visit our school. However, for the welfare of our students, we must insist on the following:

BEFORE MAKING A VISIT, ALL VISITORS MUST GO TO THE SCHOOL OFFICE AND IDENTIFY THEMSELVES AND THE REASON FOR THEIR VISIT. ALL VISITORS MUST SIGN IN AND GET A VISITOR’S PASS TO GO INTO A SPECIFIC AREA OF THE BUILDING.

Because of disruptions, students from other schools may not be visitors in instructional areas of the building during the school day.

Parent-Teacher Conferences—Conferences between teachers and parents are encouraged. They must be set up by appointment to insure that teachers are not interrupted while they are teaching students. Call the guidance counselor, Mrs. Kristie Merriman, at 447-3212 to set up an appointment or conference.

Clinic—BCMS has an infirmary in the school office. Any student who is sick will be sent to the infirmary. If a student needs to go home, our school personnel will contact a person listed on the Student Emergency Contact Form.

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Medication—If it becomes necessary for a student to take any form of medication at school, a signed medication card from a parent with directions must be presented to the school nurse. Students taking prescribed medications are required to identify themselves to the proper authorities in the school. All prescription medication must be received by the nurse in the original pharmacy labeled container and should be brought to the principal’s office by the parent/guardian. Any non-prescription medication must be brought in the original container and brought to the principal’s office. All medication will be kept and dispensed by the nurse or designated office staff member. Use of a drug authorized by a medical prescription from a registered physician and administered by our nurse shall not be a violation of Bledsoe County Middle School drug policies. Intoxication from abuse of prescribed drugs shall be considered in the same manner as intoxication from illegally obtained substances. All medicine must be registered with the school nurse. Anyone who has any kind of medicine that has not been registered with the school nurse will be subject to strict disciplinary action.

School Closing—Knowing early dismissals may occur due to emergency situations, please inform your child what he/she needs to do about arrangements to get home. With our large student population, it is impossible to call every parent to ask what a child needs to do. Please make sure your child knows what to do. In the event of inclement weather or mechanical breakdown, school may be closed or starting time delayed. The same conditions may also necessitate early dismissal. School closing, delayed starting time, or early dismissal will be announced by local media and the School Messenger System. Please have a plan ready for your child to follow.

Telephone and Messages—Messages and deliveries from home should be left in the office. Students will be called out of class only in an emergency. Cell phones are allowed on school grounds. Cell phones must be turned off and kept out of sight. Any violation of this cell phone policy will result in disciplinary action. Students may use the telephone in the school office with permission if it is absolutely necessary. Students will be required to state their reason for needing to use the phone. Only emergency messages should be phoned in.

Withdrawals—If a student is moving out of our school, it is necessary for the parent to withdraw the child from school. To obtain instructions for proper procedures, parents should call the office at least two days before the child is to withdraw.

II. SCHOOLPROCEDURES

Student Emergency Form—A legal parent or guardian must complete an Emergency Contact Form for each child. Please list persons and their phone numbers who are allowed to pick your child up in the event of an emergency and you cannot be reached. The student will not be permitted to check out with anyone whose name is not on the Emergency Contact Form.

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Attendance—Regular attendance is very important for academic success. A student cannot receive full benefit from his/her classes if his/her attendance is irregular. Students are given a perfect attendance certificate at the end of each year if they have not missed any days. The law allows five unexcused absences per year. A student will have as many days to turn in classwork as the number of days he/she missed. It is the student’s responsibility to get this work from his/her teacher. Excused and unexcused absences will not be a factor in making up work. Students who are suspended will be allowed to make up their class work with a reduction in the grade. The maximum grade given on any assignment shall be a seventy (70). For example if the assignment is correct, the grade is seventy (70). If any points need to be deducted for incorrect work, those points shall be deducted from seventy (70).

All absences will be counted as unexcused unless one of the following conditions exists: 1. Personal illness

2. Illness in the family requiring temporary help from the student (Physician’s statement required)

3. Death in the family 4. Special, recognized religious holiday regularly observed by persons

of the student’s faith 5. School sponsored activities 6. Court appearances (Documentation required) 7. Three parent notes will be accepted each semester to a maximum of

5 days total. Any excuse must be turned into the office within 5 school days to be accepted.

The purpose of excusing days or not excusing days is to determine the necessity of taking action against students who are excessively absent. Excessive absences and five (5) or more unexcused absences will be considered as a truancy violation and may be referred to the appropriate authorities.

Make-Up Work—Students are expected to do make-up work for absences in a timely manner. BCMS has a “time for time” policy for make-up work. For example, if the student was absent one day, he/she must complete all make-up work within one day of returning to school. If the student was absent three days, he/she must complete all make-up work within three days of returning, etc. It is the student’s responsibility to see his/her teacher to get make-up assignments and to complete all make-up work. Teacher’s websites are accessible from http://bledsoecounty.schoolinsites.com/bcms.

Tardiness and Early Dismissals—Because of school’s full schedule, tardiness is discouraged. Coming to school on time is part of learning a sense of responsibility. Those students who arrive after 8:00 a.m. must report to the office for a pass to enter class. If possible, medical and dental appointments should be made outside school hours. When this is impossible, a student may be checked out by his/her legal parent, legal guardian, or designee as long as this adult is listed on the child’s Student Emergency Form. A total of three early dismissals and/or morning tardies in one semester shall count as one day’s absence. Excessive tardiness and/or check-outs will be considered as a truancy

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violation and may be referred to the appropriate authorities.

Truancy—Skipping school, skipping class, or leaving the school grounds without permission is strictly prohibited and will be dealt with as truancy. Truancy can lead to the student being taken to Juvenile Court. Excessive absences, tardies, and/or check- outs will be considered as a truancy violation and may be referred to the appropriate authorities.

Before School—(7:15 a.m. – 7:50 a.m.)—All students who are eating breakfast are to go directly to the cafeteria in the morning. Having finished breakfast, students will go to the gym. All students who are not eating breakfast are to go to the gym until dismissed. At 7:50 a.m. all students should proceed to their classrooms.

Arrival—Students riding buses will unload in the front of the school in the designated bus lane. They will then proceed to the cafeteria or to the gym. No student should be dropped off prior to 7:15 a.m., and all students must be unloaded only in the designated area in front of the school where adult supervision is provided.

After School—(2:55 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.)

Bus Riders—All buses will load in the front of the building in the designated bus lane. Buses will begin loading at 2:55 p.m. Any student wishing to ride a bus other than his/her designated bus must have written parental permission and the approval of the principal or her designee. Students will turn in the written note to the office upon arrival to school and the note will be verified before the student is allowed to ride a different bus. If the student fails to turn in the note or if the office cannot reach the person who wrote the note, the student will not be allowed to change buses for that day and will be put on their regularly assigned bus.

Car Riders—Car riders will load in the designated car lane in front of the school. Car riders will begin loading after buses have been dismissed.

III. STUDENT BEHAVIOR

All students are expected to display consideration for others and their feelings. Treat others with the respect you would like directed toward yourself, respect the property of others, and practice self-restraint (both verbal and physical). Your conduct reflects on the school. We want and expect you to reflect a positive image for Bledsoe County Middle School. This includes good student behavior at athletic games, trips, and all school-sponsored activities.

Field Trips— Students may be excluded from field trips for an out-of-school suspension or excessive behavior issues. The principal will have discretion in this matter. If the field trip is a reward trip, then the student must have passing grades in all classes and have no more than five unexcused absences. In addition, the student cannot have been suspended out of school or served more than three days of in-school suspension.

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Daily Behavior—Violating class rules, horseplay, shoving, pushing, hitting, excessive talking, playing with toys, etc. could result in disciplinary action by the teacher or principal. Students are expected to show respect for and obey all teachers and other school personnel at all times.

Horseplay, fighting, bullying, threatening, harassing, stealing, vandalism, vulgarity (written or spoken), possession and/or use of tobacco products, drugs, alcohol, pornography, extortion, and willful defiance of the authority of teachers and other school staff members have no place in school and will not be tolerated. Students who engage in such activities will be subject to swift and strong disciplinary actions.

Bus Behavior—From the time a student boards a bus until he/she is dropped off in the afternoon, he/she will comply with the bus driver’s wishes. The following rules should be observed regarding transportation by bus to and from school:

Obey the driver. He/she may assign seats if needed. • Observe the same good conduct as in the classroom.

Any student riding on a bus other than his/her designated bus must have written parental permission and approval of the principal or his/her designee. If a discipline problem calls for loss of bus privileges, the penalties will be:

Once a student is let off the school bus or let out of his/her parents’ car, the student must go to the gym or cafeteria, and he/she may not leave school grounds without permission from the office.

Personal Relationships—Students will refrain from public displays of affection (holding hands, hugging, kissing, etc.) during school hours or at school-sponsored activities.

Cafeteria and Dining Information—The school cafeteria provides a nutritious lunch. Our school participates in the National School Breakfast Program and the National School Lunch Program. These programs provide free or reduced price meals for students whose families are eligible for the program. If you think you are eligible and want to participate, contact the school office for more information and for an application.

All students shall eat lunch in the dining area of the school cafeteria. If a student brings lunch from home, he/she must eat lunch in the cafeteria. Noise, loud talking, disturbances, throwing food, and unseemly behavior are not permitted in the cafeteria. Cutting line, shoving, horseplay, and continuously being out of one’s seat are not allowed. Trays, utensils, food, and drinks may not be taken from the cafeteria. Students should pick up after themselves, discard trash, and return trays to the designated area. Any student who is causing a disturbance will be subject to disciplinary action.

For the 2014-15 school year, there will be NO CHARGE for breakfast or lunch for any student. NO extra food purchased may be charged. Since this is a Pilot Program, all parents/ guardians will be required to fill out a FOOD SERVICE SURVEY FORM and return the form to school in order for your child to receive these benefits.

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Internet and Computer Use Policy—Before using the computer network, you must read the Bledsoe County Schools Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) and consent to the Bledsoe County Middle School Acceptable Use Contract. It is very important for you to use the Internet safely and responsibly. If you do not abide by the Acceptable Use Policy, your use of computers at school may be restricted or terminated.

Food and Drink Policy—Students will be allowed to have water in the classrooms, as long as it does not disrupt from the educational process. Students may not eat in any classrooms throughout the regular academic day. If the classroom teacher schedules a class party, food and beverages may be consumed in the classroom during the party. Trash should be deposited in the proper trash receptacles. No open or unsealed containers are to brought in the building.

Library Policies—Noise, loud talking, disturbances, and unseemly behavior are not permitted in the library. Any person who is causing a disturbance will be asked to leave and will be subject to disciplinary action. Eating and drinking are not permitted in the library reading room or adjacent rooms. Computers and other forms of technology are provided for research, study, and instructional purposes. Users are responsible for all library materials used, whether borrowed for use outside the library or not, and will be held liable for any loss, mutilation, or other damage. The full cost of either repair or replacement shall be paid by the student.

Users are responsible for ensuring that computers, technology equipment and library facilities are used in an appropriate manner. Upon leaving the library, all books and the contents of book bags and cases must be presented for inspection on request by the staff member on duty. Users must also comply with the provisions of the Copyright Act currently in force.

All materials borrowed from the library must be returned to the library by the due date recorded in the library circulation system. Users requested to return an item must return the item immediately. Overdue notices will be printed and passed out every three weeks. Regular circulating library materials are checked out for a two-week period. Students may check out one book at a time. Students will not be permitted to check out another book if they have an overdue book. Reference materials may be checked out at the end of the school day and must be returned by the start of 1st period class the next school day. A $1.00 per day fine will be charged for late reference materials.

Instructional Materials—Textbooks, library books, and other school materials assigned or charged out to a student are the responsibility of that student and must be returned in good condition or replaced if lost or damaged. Students will not receive grade cards at the end of grading periods and at the end of the school year if they owe fines or replacement fees for textbooks, library books, and other instructional materials.

Outstanding Fines and Financial Obligations—Students and/or their parents are responsible for settling all financial obligations with the school in a timely manner. Students will not receive grade cards at the end of the school year if they have any unpaid fines or

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financial obligations.

Vandalism and Property Damage—Parents or guardians will be held responsible for any damage the student might do to the furniture, books, and other property of the school system. This includes financial responsibility. If a student willfully destroys school property, suspension and subsequent expulsion may be necessary. If a student should happen to damage something by accident, it should be reported to a teacher or the school office immediately. Students are expected to take care of all school property, building, and grounds. Students should help protect the school by discouraging or reporting vandalism or property damage by others.

Posters—No posters or notices are to be posted anywhere in the building without approval of the administration. Any item posted on a painted surface (walls) must be attached without using tape.

Illegal or Non-Allowed Items—Students may not have drugs, tobacco products, alcohol, matches, lighters, razor blades, knives, guns, sticks, or any item judged capable of inflicting harm to others. These items will be taken from the student and will not be returned. Radios, CD players, rubber bands, laser lights, toys, permanent markers, and cards of any type (baseball, football, wrestling, trading, playing, etc.) are not permitted at school. These will be taken from the student and turned in to the school office. Disciplinary measures could result.

Cell Phone and Personal Electronic Devices Policy (School Board Policy)—Students may possess personal communication devices, such as cell phones, while on school property. However, the personal communication device must be in the off mode and must be kept in a backpack, purse or similar personal carry-all and may not be used during school hours. The principal or his/her designee may grant a student permission to use a personal communication device at his/her discretion. A device used outside these parameters shall result in confiscation of the device until such time as it may be released to the student’s parent or guardian. A student in violation of this policy is subject to disciplinary action. Use of cameras on personal communication devices is strictly prohibited on school property or at school functions. A student in violation of this policy is subject to disciplinary action.

Personal electronic devices such as CD players, iPods or MP3 players may be stored in backpacks, purses or personal carry-alls. However, the use of the devices during school hours is strictly forbidden. Use or improper storage of the personal electronic device will result in confiscation of the device until such time as it may be released to the student’s parents or guardian. A student in violation of this policy is subject to disciplinary action.

School Policy: If a cell phone or personal communication device is taken from a student because of use during school hours or interruption of class time, the phone/device will only be released to a parent/guardian.

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1st offense: 2nd offense: 3rd offense:

Can be returned the same day Returned after one calendar week Returned after one calendar month

IV. DRESS CODE FOR STUDENTS

Students should dress appropriately at all times. Dress should never distract from school activities or prove a hazard to the student’s safety or the safety of others. In the judgment of the administration, a student not appropriately attired or whose grooming constitutes a distraction or disturbance to the school environment will be sent home and not be readmitted until he/she is properly attired and groomed. Students will not be allowed to wear heavy coats or jackets during the school day inside the building. All coats, jackets, backpacks, and purses must be stored in the students’ locker during the school day.

The following attire is inappropriate: Hats or other head coverings Tank tops, sleeveless shirts, or any shirts or dresses that are inappropriately

revealing. Pants/shorts with holes or patches Leggings, yoga-type pants, sweat pants, or any tight, stretchy materials Bagging, or sagging of pants Clothing which allows undergarments to be visible when standing or sitting Any clothing that has obscene or profane language, depiction of alcoholic

beverages or unlawful substances, and/or gang related Clothing which exposes the midriff (Tops must extend below the beltline and/or

be tucked in at all times) Tattoos, either permanent or temporary, including writing on yourself Body piercing jewelry (except of the ears) Hair that disrupts the instructional process or impairs vision. No un-natural

colors. Skirts, dresses, capri pants, and shorts that are not at or below the knee Pajamas • No boots such as military, work, or muck boots.

The above listing is a minimum standard. Principal may modify only to the extent that is a higher standard. The principal also reserves the right to add restrictions to the dress code as the need arises.

The principal will notify the student’s parent or guardian and have the student remedy the problem by changing clothes or removing/covering/reversing objectionable clothing, jewelry, or head covering. The student may be sent home to change clothes or have clothes brought to him/her. When the problem has been corrected, the student will return to class after the principal has determined the disciplinary option to be administered.

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V. DRUGANDALCOHOLPOLICIES

Smoking and Tobacco Policy—Students shall not use any tobacco product, including smoking, dipping, or chewing, while on school property, while participating in a school- sponsored event, or while on school busses to and from school or to and from school- sponsored events.

Drug Policy—No student shall possess, use, or be under the influence of any narcotic, amphetamine, barbiturate, hallucinogen, marijuana, alcoholic beverage, or intoxicant of any kind. This includes:

On school grounds during and immediately before or immediately after school hours; On the school grounds at any other time when the school is being used by any school group;

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Any student who violates this policy will be subject to state law, which requires zero tolerance. Zero tolerance is expulsion from school for one calendar year. According to Bledsoe County Board of Education policy, the director of schools shall have the authority to modify the expulsion requirement on a case-by-case basis.

Additionally, the Bledsoe County School District has entered into an agreement with Interquest Detection Canines, Inc. to provide trained detection canines to conduct random unannounced inspections of all campus locations in the county. The canines are trained to detect the presence of illicit drugs, prescription pills, alcohol, and firearms. Campus buildings, parking lots, and grounds will be randomly inspected for prohibited items. If detected and found, the county will initiate the appropriate disciplinary action. The canines are non-aggressive and they are trained to discriminate specific “scents” of contraband items. With the recent publicity concerning the dramatic increase in teenage drug use and shootings, the county is taking every reasonable precaution to ensure a safe and healthy learning environment.

VI. ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS AND SERVICES Awards—Awards Days are held at the end of the school year to give special recognition

to students.

Grading System and Report Cards—Grade cards will be sent out four times a year at approximately forty-five day intervals. Parent conferences with your child’s teachers are welcome. If you have questions or concerns about your child’s work, please call the guidance counselor for an appointment. The grading scale is as follows:

Off the school grounds at a school activity, function, or event.

A B C

93-100 D 70-74 85-92 F 69 and below 75-84

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**Percent of Course Grade: Student scores on the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP Achievement) grades three through eight (3-8) shall comprise fifteen (15%) percent of the student’s final grade in the spring semester in the subject areas of mathematics, reading/language arts, science, and social studies.

**Student Absences: If a student does not have a Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP Achievement) exam score, regardless of why the student misses the assessment, there is no subsequent administration in which the student can make-up the assessment. For an excused absence, the school shall not incorporate a 0 score into the student’s final second semester grade. For an unexcused absence, the school should incorporate a 0 score into the student’s final second semester grade.

Physical Education—All students must take physical education unless excused in writing by a licensed physician.

Sports—Basketball, football, softball, baseball, volleyball, archery, cross country, soccer, and cheerleading are the sports programs offered at Bledsoe County Middle School. Tryouts are held for these teams and interested students should contact the appropriate coach. Tryouts for cheerleaders are held in the spring for the following school year. Cheerleaders serve for one year. Athletes and cheerleaders must be passing all of their academic classes to be eligible to participate.

Sale of School Items—Items such as pencils, paper, etc. will be available for sale in the library each day.

Sale of Non-School Related Items—Students are not allowed to sell items for outside organizations.

Lost and Found Items—Found items are placed in the school office. They will be held for a two-week period. Any items left over two weeks will be removed. Students who have lost items are to check in the school office.

Lockers and Locks—Students will be assigned lockers and combination locks by their homeroom teacher. Students must rent combination locks from the school at a cost of $4.00. Students must use the locker assigned to them exclusively. Backpacks and personal belongings should remain in lockers during class times. Lockers and other storage areas are school property and are subject to search.

Student Clubs and Organizations—The following student clubs are available for student participation: Beta Club and Health Council. These groups have official guidelines and policies for selection and membership.

VII. SERVICES Skyward—Skyward is the Bledsoe County School System’s new Student Information

System. It gives our teachers, students, caregivers and administrators better tools to

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communicate. Through Skyward, caregivers will be able to see their student’s grades, attendance, student class schedules, calendar of assignments and an online school directory. Through Skyward, you will be able to choose the level and frequency of notifications (“Skylert”) and communicate with our student’s teachers.

NOTE: Grades 4-12 students have been provided with their own login and password. Some of the options available to them (portfolio) are not available to parents. Similarly, there are some functions (editing contact information) that are not available to students. We recommend you do not share your login information or password with your children.

NEED A LOGIN? If you do not have a login and password to access Skyward, go to www. bledsoecountyschools.org to complete the form requesting access. You can also use this form to add another caregiver for your family. If you have further questions, the same website will provide a contact person for your school.

Special Education and 504 Policies—It is the policy of the Bledsoe County Board of Education to provide a free and appropriate public education to each handicapped student within its jurisdiction, regardless of the nature or severity of the handicap. It is the intent of the district to ensure that students who are handicapped within the definition of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 are identified, evaluated, and provided with appropriate educational services. Students may be handicapped under this policy even though they do not require services pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Due process rights of handicapped students and their parents under Section 504 will be enforced. Questions should be referred to the Special Education Supervisor (P.O. Box 369, Pikeville, Tennessee 37367; 447-2914).

Discrimination and Grievance Procedure—The Bledsoe County School System does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, color, religion, national origin, handicap, age or veteran status in provision of educational opportunities, programs, activities or employment opportunities and benefits. Questions should be referred to Bledsoe County Board of Education (P.O. Box 369, Pikeville, Tennessee 37367; 447-2914).

Curriculum and Testing Information—Parents may receive information about their child’s curriculum and test information from the individual school or district office.

AYP—Bledsoe County Middle School has met its Adequate Yearly Progress as required by the NCLB program.

Title I School Status—Bledsoe County Middle School is currently participating in the Title I School Wide Program.

Right to Request Teacher Qualifications—Bledsoe County Middle School receives federal funds for Title I programs that are part of the NCLB Act of 2001. You have the right to request information regarding the professional qualifications of your child’s classroom teacher(s). If you would like to request this information, please contact the school.

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If you have any questions about the policies in this handbook or any item not covered in the previous information, please feel free to call the school office at 447-3212.

THE ADMINISTRATION HAS THE RIGHT TO CHANGE BY ADDING OR DELETING ANY RULE OR REGULATION. STUDENTS MAY BE NOTIFIED OF CHANGES BY WRITTEN OR ORAL COMMUNICATIONS.

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Sign and Return

Please read, sign and return this page to inform us that you have received the handbook.

_______________________________________________ Parent/Guardian Signature Date

_______________________________________________ Student Signature

_________________ Date

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