HEWITT-TRUSSVILLE MIDDLE SCHOOL
2016-2017 Student Handbook
Mrs. Lisa Berry
Dr. Anjell Edwards
Mrs. Niki Lincoln
5275 Trussville Clay Road
Trussville, Alabama 35173
HEWITT-TRUSSVILLE MIDDLE SCHOOL
The Mission of Trussville City Schools is to educate all students using high standards in a safe, nurturing environment fostering academic and career competencies that prepare them to be productive citizens.
Our students will love learning for a lifetime.
We also value discussing being Mentally Tough with our students:
Having a great attitude
Doing your very best
Treating people very, very well
Having unconditional gratitude No matter what your circumstances!
GENERAL SCHOOL INFORMATION
ATTENDANCE and ABSENCES
State law requires that every child enrolled in school regardless of age, comply with the Alabama Compulsory School Law. Prompt and regular attendance in school is critical to a student’s educational development. Unless your child is ill, please see that he/she attends school everyday and is not checked out before dismissal. We urge parents to make routine doctor and dental appointments after school hours.
Absences must be explained (Excerpt from Title 16, Code of Alabama 16-28-15.) Every parent, guardian or other person having control or charge of any child required to attend public school, private school, denominational school or parochial school shall, as soon as practical, explain the cause of any absence of the child under his control which was without permission of the teacher. Failure to furnish such explanation shall be admissible as evidence of such child being truant with the consent and connivance of the person in control or charge of said child, unless such person can show to the reasonable satisfaction of the court that he had no knowledge of such absence and that he has been diligent in his efforts to secure the attendance of such child.
Every student who is absent from school must present the school with a written explanation for the absence within 3 days of returning to school. A parent may request from the principal permission for a student to be absent prior to the date of the absence. Any student who is absent and who did not receive permission before the absence, must submit a written explanation of the absence from the parent, guardian, or other person having control of the student to school officials upon the student’s return to school. The principal will have the opportunity to review the written permission request or the written explanation for the absence to determine whether the absence shall be excused or unexcused. The following are considered permissible reasons to have an absence excused:
· Student illness, physician or dental appointment;
· Inclement weather which makes it dangerous for students to attend school as determined by the superintendent of education regarding emergency closings (ref. BOE Policy A-10);
· Legal quarantine;
· Death in the immediate family (obituary notice from local paper may be required);
· Emergency condition as determined by the principal or superintendent of education;
· Absence to observe traditional religious holidays, of a local, national, or international origin when written verification is received by the student’s minister or religious leader.
Any absence not falling into the categories listed above or otherwise excused by the principal, superintendent, or her designee will be unexcused. However, 6 parental excuses may be used per school year for any reason.
After a student has had 6 days of absences in one school year accompanied by a parent written excuse, the parent is then required to provide a physician’s excuse for future absences to be excused.
Absences due to a family trip or any other extra-curricular activity are counted as part of the 6 parental excuses for the school year. Assignments will not be provided in advance of any trip.
Written excuses and physician excuses for absences should be sent to the office within three days of the absence. A physician’s excuse must be the original, not a copy. Excuses must be dated, reason for absence given, and then signed by the parent, guardian, or physician.
See the TCS Code of Student Conduct.
Students who arrive in their first period class after 7:55 are tardy. Students will be issued a check-in slip and a phone call will be made to the student’s parent informing parent of the tardy. Each student is expected to attend school every day and arrive on time not only to school, but also to each class throughout the day. Unexcused tardies are counted in increments of 3 and accumulate throughout the semester. Each time a student receives a set of 3 unexcused tardies, he/she will receive a Class I Offense and detention.
Checking in with a doctor’s excuse will be counted as an excused tardy.
CHECKING IN/CHECKING OUT
Students must attend school for 50.99% of the school day to be counted present for the day.
The chart below indicates the time of the day that the 50.99% is reached in the bell schedules:
*Students checking in after 11:13am or checking out prior to 11:13am on a Monday bell schedule will be counted as absent for the day.
*Students checking in after 11:49am or checking out prior to 11:49am on a Tuesday-Friday bell schedule will be counted as absent for the day.
Students are not permitted to leave school without checking out through the office. The parent must sign the student out on the checkout sheet. Any adult who checks out a student must show a photo ID and be listed on the student registration form. If an adult other than the parent or guardian is to check out a student, a written note from the parent or guardian must be presented in the office. The student must be signed out on the student checkout sheet and office personnel will call for the child. No one will be allowed to take a student from the classroom without a checkout slip issued from the office.
No one under the age of 18 will be allowed to check a student out of school. Students will not be called to the office to wait on a parent to arrive. The checkout process will begin when the parent arrives in the office.
Good citizenship will be emphasized at all times. Appropriate behavior is required at school and during school-related events. Citizenship grades are assigned by subject teachers as follows:
O – Outstanding S – Satisfactory
N – Needs Improvement U - Unsatisfactory
Students may use the internet under the supervision of the classroom teacher or other assigned faculty members. All students and their parents are required to sign an internet user agreement each year.
Parents are encouraged to discuss with the teacher any questions or concerns that might affect their child’s performance. All teachers are available for scheduled conferences during their planning period each day. If you wish to schedule a conference, please make contact with your child’s team of teachers. . At least one day’s notice is suggested in order to schedule conferences. Please report to the school office when you come in for a conference.
A copy of custody papers must be on file with the school if a child is residing with a legal guardian or custodial parent. It is very important that information on who may pick up a child be given to the teacher and be on file in the school office.
Deliveries to students will not be made during the school day (ex. balloons, candy, flowers, forgotten homework, etc.)
For the safety and security of our students, backpacks must be stored in lockers all day. Students are not permitted to carry backpacks to and from classes..
When students are assigned to detention, a form is sent home explaining the reason for this assignment. Parents need to sign and return the form the following day. By using after school detention, students will maintain the opportunity to remain in school. After-school detention is held on Tuesdays and Thursdays until 4:30. Students are to report to the front office when the bell rings. Work will be assigned during detention. Unexcused absences from or failure to comply in detention could lead to suspension from school or additional detention dates.
FIELD TRIP BEHAVIOR
Field trips are a wonderful way to enhance a student’s educational experience. Money and permission slips must be turned in to the office in accordance with the letter you receive regarding each individual trip. School personnel shall supervise all field trips. Parents or guardians’ assistance as chaperones may be encouraged. (Any parent who agrees to serve as a chaperone will be expected to observe some general guidelines, which will be provided by the teacher). No children will be permitted on a field trip other than the students of the teacher/class requesting the field trip. The administration may decide a student should not participate in a scheduled field trip due to behavioral concerns.
Students must be transported to and from school field trips using TCBOE buses or any other properly insured, franchised, public transportation company. TCBOE bus rules apply to all field trips. No refunds will be given for field trips since reservations and deposits for admissions and buses are made well in advance of the trip.
Each semester is divided into two nine-week grading periods. In determining the semester average, the two nine-week averages are added together and divided by two. To calculate the yearly average, average the grades from the two semesters. The scale for letter grades is below:
A 90 – 100 Excellent
B 80 - 89 Good
C 70 - 79 Average
D 60 - 69 Poor
F Below 60 Failure
Hair must be clean, well groomed, and should not impair vision. Boys’ hair must not touch the collar of a t-shirt when measured in full length. No hairstyle or hair color that is disruptive to the learning environment will be allowed.
Clean, neat clothing, which meets Trussville City Schools Dress Code is appropriate dress for HTMS. There are certain articles of clothing that are fashionable but not acceptable for school dress.
- Oversized clothing (such as large sports jerseys or large, baggy pants) or clothes that are too tight may not be worn to school.
- All articles of clothing should be in good repair. Clothes should not have rips, tears, or holes in them.
- Skirts and shorts must not be shorter than four inches above the knee in the front and the back. Skirts or shorts that are worn with leggings or tights underneath must still meet dress code length. Leggings are permitted with shirts of appropriate length—preferably, no t-shirts.
- Tops must not expose midriff when arms are raised. Crop tops are not permitted.
- “Low rider” jeans are not permitted.
- Sundresses and shirts may not be low cut in the back or front.
- Tank top straps should be the width of at least three adult fingers. No spaghetti straps or muscle shirts are allowed.
- All clothing must be of non-transparent material.
- No attire that is distracting, disruptive, or dangerous is permitted.
- T-shirts depicting drugs, alcohol, tobacco, sex, violence, the Confederate Flag, inappropriate language, or other offensive items may not be worn.
- Hats may not be worn on campus during the day except for special events.
- Shoes must be worn at all times.
- Appropriate shoes must be worn for gym classes.
- Male students may not wear earrings.
- Cleanliness in person, hair, and clothing should be such that others are not offended.
- Rings or other jewelry may not be worn in pierced body parts. The only exception to this is that girls may wear pierced earrings.
Any student who fails to dress appropriately will not be allowed to attend class until proper clothing can be secured. Nonconformity to the dress code is a Class I offense.
Homework assignments are a very important part of the total school program. These assignments are used to provide additional practice and to strengthen skills introduced in the classroom. Homework is necessary to complete short- or long- term projects or to complete unfinished classroom assignments.
Late work policy will be determined by each teacher/team of teachers and will be communicated at the beginning of the school year.
School lockers and gym lockers assigned to students remain the property of Hewitt-Trussville Middle School. Students can rent lockers for storage of books, clothes, and lunches. They are not intended to be storage boxes for money or other valuable items. Lockers are provided for student convenience and any items lost or stolen from the locker are the responsibility of the student. Students must keep their lockers secured at all times, not inform other students of their combination, and not allow other students to use their lockers. All problems with lockers are to be reported to the main office. No stickers, decals, etc. may be placed on the inside or outside of the lockers.
LOST AND FOUND
All students should safeguard their books, articles of clothing, backpacks, and lunchboxes at all times. All items should be clearly labeled with the student’s name. The school Lost and Found is located in the small gym. It should be checked when items have been lost. Unclaimed items will be donated to a charity organization at the end of each nine weeks.
The lunchroom staff works hard to provide a nutritious, well-balanced meal for students, faculty, staff, and visitors. Carbonated drinks are not allowed. Restaurant fast foods may not be brought into the lunchroom by anyone under any circumstances. This is a violation of the Federal Lunch Program guidelines, and it jeopardizes the receipt of the program monies by our lunchroom. All students have a computerized account number in the lunchroom that they must use if any item is purchased. Students are encouraged to make deposits on a weekly or monthly basis rather than a daily basis.Parents may deposit funds into their child’s account by sending cash or a check (payable to HTMS) to the school. Parents may also access and deposit funds into their child’s account by using PayPAMS. You may visit their website: http://www.PayPAMS.com. The lunchroom staff will verbally notify the student when their balance is getting low. Students who forget their lunch money may not charge.
Applications for free/reduced priced lunches will be given to each student at the beginning of the year. Parents will be notified by letter whether or not the application is approved. New forms must be filled out each year.
The meal prices for the 2016-17 school year are as follows:
Breakfast: Students $1.25
Lunch: Students $2.50
The following procedures for making up missed work will be observed:
- Make up work should be completed as soon as possible, generally in one week, after the student returns to school.
- A teacher or principal may require the student to make up missed work before or after school. If this is the case, advance notice will be given to the student/parent for transportation to be arranged.
- It is the student and the parent/guardian’s responsibility to make arrangements for, and to ensure that all examinations and assignments are completed within a reasonable timeframe.
- Students and parents should communicate via email with each teacher for any missed assignments due to an extended absence.
Books in the basic collection of fiction and nonfiction are checked out for a period of two weeks and may be renewed if necessary. Each student is allowed to have a maximum of two books checked out from the media center. If a book is lost, students must pay for the full price of a replacement book. The media center is able to provide copies of materials for the price of $.10 per copy.
The Alabama Board of Nursing, Alabama State Department of Education, and Trussville City Board of Education have strict guidelines regarding medications in the school setting. School Medication Prescriber/Parent Authorization form must be completed for both prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medication. These forms are available online at the school website, in the mainoffice, and in the school clinic.
· A doctor must complete the School Medication Prescriber/Parent Authorization form and the form must be returned to the school clinic.
· Change in dosage requires a new form to be completed by the doctor.
· Medicine must be in the original container giving the physician’s name, dosage and instructions.
· Parents/guardians must bring medication to school. Students may not transport medicine to or from school.
· Emergency medications for asthma, diabetes, or anaphylaxis may be carried by the student on his/her person with a completed Medication Prescriber/Parent Authorization form and physician signature.
OVER-THE-COUNTER (OTC) MEDICATIONS
Under no circumstances is the school allowed to stock its own supply of OTC medicines. OTC medications (such as Advil, Motrin, Tylenol,
Peppto Bismol, cough drops or syrups, etc.) requirethe same Medication Prescriber/Parent Authorization form as prescription medications.
If the OTC medication is to be administered for more than a two week time period, a parent signature and a physician signature are required on the form. Medications to be administered for less than a 2 week time period require a parent signature only. Non-prescription medications must be in the original, unopened, sealed container bearing the entire manufacturer’s labeling and should be delivered to the school by the parent/guardian along with the authorization form. The student’s name should be written legibly on the container. Liquid medicines must have a calibrated medicine cup, spoon, or syringe.
Clinic personnel can treat cuts, scrapes, bug bites and bumps with soap and water, band aids and ice bags only.
Students who get sick during the school day will be sent to the clinic.
Students will be required to check out for:
Fever of 100 or above
Suspected contagious infection
In the event of illness/injury to a student, every effortwill be made to contact a parent as quickly as possible to inform the parent of the student’s condition. It is essential that current phone numbers and contact information be on file so that parents/guardians can be contacted.
PARENT-TEACHER ASSOCIATION (PTA)
We are fortunate to have an outstanding PTA that helps make our school the best it can be. The PTA provides our school with volunteers and financial assistance for many school projects.
Perfect attendance is defined as having no absences, no check-ins, no check-outs, and no tardies.
Electronic devices are acceptable when used to enhance classroom instruction with the permission of the teacher. Texting is not allowed at any time during the school day. The school is not responsible for these items. Any items remaining in the office at the end of the school year will be discarded. Failure to comply with this policy will result in disciplinary action according to TCS Code of Conduct.
PROGRESS REPORTS & REPORT CARDS
Students will be given detailed progress reports every 4-1/2 weeks within a nine-week grading period. The progress report will give the parent detailed information regarding the student’s academic progress in each subject. This report should be signed by the parent and returned to the school within two days. Student report cards will be issued within one week after the nine-week grading period ends. The report card will show the student’s average in each subject. Please return the signed report card within two days after being issued. If you do not receive a report card when it is expected, please contact the school.
PROMOTION & RETENTION
Promotion will be based on student performance in the five major subject areas. For grade six, these are reading, math, English, social studies, and science. In grade seven and eight, these are math, English, social studies, science, and physical education.
A student who fails one or two subjects will be required to attend summer remediation and achieve passing grades in each subject in order to be promoted to the next grade. A student who fails three or more subjects will not be promoted.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS
Gym shorts, shirts, socks, and tennis shoes are required for all students to dress out during PE. Repeated failure to dress in proper gym attire will result in disciplinary action and a lowered grade. Students needing to be excused from physical education for more than three days will be required to obtain a doctor’s excuse.
Making up work or tests for other classes or assisting other teachers will not be allowed during physical education time.
Students are expected to exemplify characteristics of good citizenship at all times. In order to receive the maximum educational opportunities offered by the school, good discipline is essential. One of the objectives of the school is to encourage the development of self-discipline.
Rules of behavior and consequences are listed in the Trussville City Schools Code of Student Conduct. All students are expected to follow these rules.
Due Process – When students are involved in a discipline incident, they will be given Due Process. In cases where disciplinary action is taken, school administrators will do the following:
1. Investigate the charges
2. Explain the charges
3. Give the student an opportunity to present his or her side
Search and Seizure – The principal or other authorized school officials may conduct a search and seizure. Searches and seizures apply to school property, school lockers, private automobiles, back packs, purses, and students. This also applies to school-sponsored activities away from school.
Enforcement Assistance – In special circumstances, the administrators may seek the assistance from the police.
Parents are encouraged to notify their child’s teachers of all email addresses to be used as a means of communication between home and school. All information concerning students must be kept current at all times. Please inform the main office of any change that takes place (ex. address, phone numbers, health issues, etc.). All work and emergency numbers should be current so that we may contact you if a need should arise.
The telephone in the office is to be used for necessary school business. Students may be permitted to use the telephone as deemed necessary by school officials. Transportation issues should be settled before students arrive on school campus.
Teachers will establish a testing policy for the students on their team. Major tests will be announced in advance. Pop quizzes or short daily quizzes that are review and do not require study other than usual homework time will be utilized and permitted. Students will participate in quarterly benchmark assessments.
All textbooks are the property of the state of Alabama and the Trussville City School System. Students are responsible for books checked out and must pay for lost or damaged books. The student’s name and school year should be written in the designated area. No other writing should be done in or on these textbooks. Students are responsible for the textbooks issued to them. Textbooks should not be loaned to other students. If textbooks are misplaced, students should check with their teachers and the Lost and Found.
All visitors, parents, volunteers, and guests coming into the school for any reason must enter the school through the main front entrance and must report to the main office before entering any part of the school campus. Authorized visitors will be issued a visitor’s pass. No student visitors are allowed.
When transferring from this school, a withdrawal form must be obtained from the main office. All textbooks and library books must be returned and any outstanding fees must be paid. Parents must sign a records release form so that records may be sent to the next school. A student cannot enroll in another school before withdrawing from the previous school. Parents must notify counselors/school office in advance of the date of withdrawal. Cumulative records will be sent upon written request to receiving schools.