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2009/2010 Secondary Student/Parent Handbook

WELCOME

We welcome you to the Northeast Hamilton Middle School and Senior High School.  The purpose of this handbook is to acquaint you with the policies governing our school.  You will be held responsible for this information so it is important to read the entire handbook and know its contents.

MISSION STATEMENT

The mission of the Northeast Hamilton Community School District is to provide an environment for each student to achieve his or her highest potential and to foster a desire to pursue lifelong learning.

PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENTS

When school is canceled because of inclement weather prior to the start of the school day, students and parents are notified over the following radio stations:  KQWC (1570 & 95.7), WHO (l040), KWMT (540), KKEZ (94.5) and KLMJ (104.9), and the following television stations: WOI -TV  Channel 5, KCCI-TV Channel 8, and WHO-TV Channel 13.   The missed day may have to be made up at a later date.  If school is dismissed because of inclement weather after the school day has begun, parents are notified by the same means. Parents need to have a plan in place for their child(ren) in the case that school has been dismissed. If relevant to the situation, the superintendent determines whether buses will follow the regular routes. If the buses do not follow the regular routes, they follow emergency routes or the parents are responsible for picking up the students at school. Longer range announcements, such as School Board meetings, will be broadcast over KQWC and published in the Webster City Freeman Journal and the Iowa Falls Times-Citizen.  Minutes of the meetings are also made available in/over the Webster City Journal and KQWC.

Extra-curricular activities or practices scheduled for the day or evening of a day when school is canceled or dismissed early are canceled and re-scheduled. The principal may determine whether to hold extra-curricular activities or practices. If the extra-curricular activity is to be held that day, students and parents are notified in the same manner as the notification that school was dismissed.

ACADEMIC LETTER OF EXCELLENCE

This award is given by the Northeast Hamilton School for students doing excellent work in the classrooms.  To be eligible for this award students have to meet three criteria:

  • Students must be named to the quarter honor roll at least three out of the last four quarters.  This dates back to the 4th quarter of last year.(Freshman must be named to the honor roll the first 3 quarters of their freshman year)
  • Students must receive a composite score in the 75th percentile or better on the Iowa Test of Educational Development.
  • Student’s attendance throughout the year must be at least 95% or better.  That means the student missed 9 or fewer days during the school year.

Please check the attendance section for regulations on attendance at NEH.

ADDING AND DROPPING CLASSES

If a student wishes to change his/her class schedule, he/she must have the approval of the counselor, the instructor, his/her parents, and the principal.  Students may add a course to their schedule during the first week (week meaning 5 school days) that the course meets.  Students taking the minimum course load have one week to drop a course and then add a course.  Those taking more than the minimum load of six full academic classes have two weeks to drop a course.  Any course dropped after these deadlines will receive an "F".  Schedule change cards must be obtained from the counselor's office.

ADMINISTRATION OF MEDICATION

Students may need to take prescription or non-prescription medication during school hours. Students may carry medication only with the permission of the parents/guardian and principal. The school must know the medications a student is taking in the event the student has a reaction or illness. Students must provide written instructions for administration of the medication as well as parental authorization to administer the medication.  Medication is held in a locked cabinet and distributed by trained staff members. Medication must be in the original container with the following information either on the container, in the instruction sheet or in the parental authorization: name of the student; name of the medication; directions for use including dosage, times and duration; name, phone number and address of the pharmacy (if applicable); date of the prescription (if applicable); name of the physician (if applicable); potential side effects; and emergency number for parents.

ASBESTOS NOTIFICATION

Asbestos has been an issue of concern for many years. The Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act of 1986 (AHERA) was designed to determine the extent of asbestos concerns in the schools and to act as a guide in formulating asbestos management policies for the schools. The school district facilities have been inspected by a certified asbestos inspector as required by AHERA. The inspector located, sampled and determined the condition and hazard potential of all material in the school facilities suspected of containing asbestos. The inspection and laboratory analysis records form the basis of the asbestos management plan.

A certified management planner has developed an asbestos management plan for the school district facilities which includes: notification letters, training for employees, a set of procedures designed to minimize the disturbance of asbestos-containing materials, and plans for regular surveillance of the materials. A copy of the management plan is available for inspection in the office.

ASSEMBLIES

Throughout the year the school district sponsors school assemblies. Attendance at these assemblies is a privilege. Students must act in an orderly fashion and remain quiet on their way to an assembly, during an assembly and on their way back to the classroom after an assembly. Students attend assemblies unless, for disciplinary reasons, the privilege is taken away. Students who are not attending assemblies shall report to an assigned location during assemblies.

ATTENDANCE POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

Students are expected to be in class and to make attendance a top priority. Only through attendance and class participation do students achieve the full benefits of the education program. Participating in class discussion, developing an appreciation for the views and abilities of other students, and forming the habit of regular attendance are legitimate class objectives. Learning lost due to an absence can never be replaced. Regular attendance and being well prepared for class helps students in school as well as prepares students for adulthood.  Students who know they will be absent must notify the office prior to the absence. If advance notification is not possible, parents must notify the office at (515) 325-6234 on the day of the absence prior to 9:00 a.m. If notification is not received, the office attempts to contact the parents at their daytime number.

The school determines whether an absence is excused or unexcused. Excused absences include, but are not limited to, illness, family emergency, recognized religious observances, medical/dental appointments, and school activities. Unexcused absences are absences that are deemed unnecessary reasons for missing school by the school principal.  Students will make up missed time for unexcused absences outside the school day.  Truancy is an absence from school that neither the school nor the parent/guardian has excused.  Consequences for truancy are as follows: 1) The first time it will be a day of in school suspension, 2) The second time it will be 2 days of in school suspension, the superintendent will be notified, and a parental meeting will be held before the student is allowed back to normal classes 3) The third time the student will be dropped from classes for the semester.  

Any student who is absent from a class in excess of 10 times in a semester will be removed from that class and receive no credit for that course(s).  Absences due to school related and school supervised activities do NOT count toward their total.  The student and the parent will receive written notification upon the 6th and 10th absences.  Absences due to court proceedings or suspensions do not count toward their total. Serious or prolonged illness, extended hospitalization, or other extenuating circumstances need to be presented to the office.  Any period where the student has missed more than 50% of the class will be deemed as an absence.  All absences, except those stated, will be counted towards the student’s allotted 10 days of absences per semester.

An appeal shall be made in writing by the student to the office.  The appeal form should be picked up from the office.  An appeal panel consisting of the principal, guidance counselor, 2 classroom teachers, and nurse (if for a medical reason) will hear the appeal from the parent and the student and render a decision regarding the absence(s) in question within 2 school days.  A doctor’s statement may be required.  The student may remain in the class with no credit being given if agreed upon by the aforementioned appeals committee.  The student would then have the right to appeal the decision to the Superintendent and ultimately to the Board of Education. 
Students who need to leave school during the school day must receive permission from the office.   To get permission they need to have a note signed by the student's parents, have their parents telephone the office or have their parents pick them up. A student who arrives after the school day has begun must also have permission from the office for re-admission to class. Students are not released to anyone other than their parents during the school day unless the office has granted permission otherwise.

Students participating in extra curricular activities must be in school at least one-half day including 8th period on the day of the event in order to participate in an extra curricular activity. The remaining half-day must be an excused absence for participation in extra curricular activities that day/night. Only in extraordinary circumstances, may this rule be waived by the principal and must be done in advance.  Students who know they are going to be absent need to make arrangements with their teachers in advance to make up schoolwork. Students have the number of days missed plus one additional day to make up schoolwork for days missed not to exceed 5 days upon return from the excused absence. If the number of days missed exceeds 5, makeup work will be determined on an individual basis as agreed upon by the principal. 

BUS CHANGE PERMITS

Unless other arrangements have been made by the parents, students will be dropped off the busses only at predesignated points, generally the farm driveway or town park.  If other arrangements are needed on a temporary basis, the parents must notify the school office in writing so a temporary "bus change permit" may be issued.  The written notification must be brought to the office by the student before the permit is issued and for final processing.  In case of emergencies, the school secretary can fill out the permit after a phone call from the parents has been received.

BUS RIDER RULES (Parents, please discuss the following with children)

  • Follow driver's directions the first time.
  • Stay in seat unless the driver gives permission to do otherwise.
  • Keep your hands, feet, and objects to yourself.
  • No swearing or teasing.
  • Talk in a normal tone of voice.
A student gets one warning for the violation of any of the preceding rules.  On the second violation, the driver will write up a discipline slip and turn it in at the office.
*  The penalty for the first discipline slip is probation.  The principal will conference with the offending student.  Parents will be notified in writing or by phone.
*  The penalty for the second discipline slip in a year is not riding the bus for a period of time to be determined by the principal and a conference among the student, parents, and the principal.
*  The third discipline slip will result in a conference with the student, parents, principal, and superintendent.  The time off the bus will be determined by the superintendent.

Because of the drifting snow and possibly muddy roads, the school will sometimes use emergency routes to pick up the students for school.  The use of emergency routes will be announced over the usual radio stations.  See the public announcements for these radio station’s listings.

These routes have been chosen on the basis that almost everyone will be within two miles of an emergency route.  Turn-arounds have been left out in all but one instance.

All of the busses except the Williams town bus will leave the barn at 7:30 a.m., if school is starting at normal time.  If school is delayed a certain amount, please adjust the bus starting time accordingly.  The busses will slow for all intersections and stop at the intersections at which students are waiting.  We believe that setting a schedule time will be very difficult to predict.  Please send the students to the intersections with adequate protection from the elements since they may have to wait a few minutes.

The emergency routes are as follows:
Peggy Moore (Bus #4) - Leave Blairsburg and travel north on highway 69 to county road D20 east to county road R75 north to county road C70 West to county road R38 South to 220th St. (Old highway 20) then east to Blairsburg.

Lanette Willems (Bus #5) - Leave Blairsburg and travel South on highway 69 to 220th St. (Old highway 20) east to D25 continuing East to the Scott Renaud farm turn around and return to Old highway 20 turn North to Williams  , then from Williams travel North to county road D20 West to highway 69, then South to Blairsburg.

Mary Harreld (Bus #6) - Leave Blairsburg and travel South on highway 69 to county road D-41 (270th St.) East to county road R-77 North to county road D-25 West to old highway 20 North to Williams then return to Blairsburg on old highway 20.

Jerry Klaver (Bus #7) - Leave Blairsburg and travel West on 220th St. (old highway 20) to county road R-38 South to Kamrar then continue South to county road D-41 (280th St.) East to highway 69 North to Blairsburg.

CARE OF SCHOOL PROPERTY

Students are expected to take care of school property including desks, chairs, books, lockers and school equipment. Vandalism is not tolerated. Students found to have destroyed or otherwise harmed school property may be required to reimburse the school district. In certain circumstances, students may be reported to law enforcement officials.

All textbooks will be checked out by the teacher on the first day of school and checked in by the same instructor at the end of the course.  Students are to bring their textbooks to class every day unless the teacher specifies otherwise.  Lost or damaged books will be paid for at replacement cost by the student before he/she will be issued a new book.  Damage to a book in excess of normal wear and tear is also charged to the student.

CHARACTER COUNTS PROGRAM

Northeast Hamilton Community School district is determined to prepare students to contribute to society.  All students achieve their highest potential through mastery of educational outcomes with an emphasis on lifelong learning.  Northeast Hamilton has adopted the “Character Counts” program and will be actively involved with this program.  Northeast Hamilton’s Character counts Program will:
  • Promote Ethical values as the basis of good character
  • Define, recognize and practice the traits and conducts associated with good character to enhance the climate and culture of the school community.
  • Integrate the instruction and celebrate the successes of character growth and to encourage young people and their families to live with the Six Pillars of Character Counts!: TRUSTWORTHINESS, RESPECT, RESPONSIBLITY, FAIRNESS, CARING and CITIZENSHIP
  • Actively recruit and involve parents and community members as full partners in the character-building efforts.
  • Evaluate the character education of the school, the schools staff’s functioning as character educators, and the extent to which the students manifest good character.
  • Actively support the importance of social, behavioral and emotional development of students.

CLASS OR GROUP GIFTS TO SCHOOL

Student groups may give gifts to the district after obtaining their principal's recommendation and the approval of the superintendent.  Gifts may be accepted and acknowledged by the superintendent or his designated representative acting for the Board.

DRESS CODE

There is a strong connection between academic performance, students' appearance and students' conduct. Inappropriate student appearance may cause material and substantial disruption to the school environment or present a threat to the health and safety of students, employees and visitors on school grounds. Students are expected to adhere to reasonable levels of cleanliness and modesty. Students are expected to wear clothing that is appropriate to their age level and does not disrupt the school or educational environment.
Hats are not to be worn or carried during the school day.  If a student’s hat is seen by staff during the school day, the hat will be taken from the student and given to the office where the student must pick it up.  Repeated offenses and the hat will be held and be required to be picked up from the office by a parent. 

Students are prohibited from wearing clothing advertising or promoting items illegal for use by minors including, but not limited to, alcohol or tobacco; from wearing shoes with cleats except for outdoor athletic practices.  Students are to wear clothing:  1) not displaying obscenity, profanity, vulgarity, racial or sexual remarks, making reference to prohibited conduct or similar displays; 2) free of inappropriate words or pictures; 3) that will not be disruptive or damage school property.  Students are not to wear bare midriff shirts, halter tops, revealing shorts or any clothing deemed inappropriate by the staff and administration.  Students are not permitted to wear hats during the school day but may wear them to appropriate school functions.  (Staff members who have students perform publicly may establish their own guidelines with administrative approval).   Students need to dress accordingly for the weather. Under certain circumstances or during certain classes or activities a stricter dress code may be appropriate, and students must comply with the stricter requirement. The principal makes the final determination of the appropriateness of the student's appearance. Students inappropriately dressed are required to change their clothing or leave the school.

EARLY GRADUATION

Students who meet the graduation requirements set by the board prior to the end of their senior year may apply to the guidance counselor for early graduation. Students must apply at least one semester prior to the completion of the graduation requirements. In order to graduate early, students must have the approval of the superintendent and principal and appear before the board for its approval.  Students who graduate early become alumni of the school district and are not allowed to participate in school activities, including senior activities, except for graduation ceremonies.

EIGHTEEN YEAR OLDS

The legislature granted adult rights to eighteen year olds.  School policies will apply to all students regardless of age while attending or participating in school or school sponsored events.

EMERGENCY PROCEDURES

Periodically the school holds emergency fire, tornado and bomb threat drills. At the beginning of each semester, teachers notify students of the procedures to follow in the event of a drill. Emergency procedures and proper exit areas are posted in all rooms.  Students are expected to remain quiet and orderly during a drill or an emergency. Students who pull the fire alarm or call in false alarms, in addition to being disciplined under the school district's policies, rules and regulations, may be reported to law enforcement officials.

FAILING COURSE WORK

It is the student's responsibility to enroll in the proper courses to meet all graduation requirements.  If a student has failed a required course, it is his/her responsibility to see the principal or the counselor to reschedule the deficiency as soon as possible.  It may be necessary to attend alternative school to fulfill graduation requirements.  We have a variety of programs to help students who want additional help.  Please feel free to call the school and talk to the guidance counselor to make arrangements.

FIELD TRIPS

In certain classes, field trips and excursions are authorized and may be taken as an extension of the classroom to contribute to the achievement of the educational goals of the school district. If a field trip is required for a course, students are expected to attend the field trip. Absences in other classes or school activities due to attendance on field trips or excursions are considered excused absences.  While on field trips, students are guests and considered ambassadors and representatives of the school district. Students must treat employees, chaperones and guides with respect and courtesy.

Prior to attending a field trip, students must return a permission slip signed by the student's parents or in registration packets, parents could sign a form that gives the school staff permission to take your child on a school all school sponsored field trips.  Students must complete an admit for the classes missed while attending the field trip for the trip to be excused.
Periodically throughout the year the students will be doing community service.  Parent permission is not required for this.  If you do not want your child to participate in community service you must submit a written letter to the principal at the beginning of the year as to why you do not want your child to participate.  Alternate work will be assigned to students not participating in community services.

FOOD/DRINK

Food and drink are only allowed in the cafeteria and commons unless otherwise approved by a staff member for a particular classroom.  All meals will be eaten in the cafeteria.  No pop is allowed in the cafeteria during the lunch period.  This privilege of food and drink other than school lunch may be revoked at the discretion of the administration.  Middle school students are not allowed to have food or drink in their lockers and hallway areas.

FREE NIGHT

Wednesday evening has been reserved as community night and no activities will take place after 5:30 p.m. unless scheduled by an organization outside the control of the school.  All students are to be out of the building by 5:30 p.m. except those accompanied by a parent. 

GOOD CONDUCT RULE

The Board of Directors of the Northeast Hamilton CSD offers a variety of voluntary activities designed to enhance the classroom education of its students.  Students who participate in extra-curricular activities serve as ambassadors of the school district throughout the calendar year, whether away from or at school.  Students who wish to exercise the privilege of participating in extra-curricular activities must conduct themselves in accordance with board policy and must refrain from activities that are illegal, immoral, unhealthy or highly inappropriate.  Participation in these activities is a privilege, conditioned upon meeting the eligibility criteria established by the board, administration, and individual activity coaches and sponsors.  The principal shall keep the records of violations of the Good Conduct Rule.

To retain eligibility for participation in Northeast Hamilton High School extra-curricular activities, students must conduct themselves as good citizens both in and out of school at all times.  Students who represent the school in an activity are expected to serve as good role models to other students and to the members of the community.

Any student who, after a hearing at which the student will be confronted with the allegations, the basis of the allegation, and given an opportunity to tell the student’s side, is found to have violated the school’s Good Conduct Rule will be deemed ineligible for a period of time, as described below.  A student may lose eligibility under the Good Conduct Rule for any of the following behaviors:
  • possession, use or purchase of tobacco products, regardless of age;
  • possession, use or purchase of alcoholic beverages;
  • being in a car or in attendance at a function or party where alcohol and/or other drugs are being consumed illegally by minors;
  • possession, use or purchase of illegal drugs or the unauthorized possession, use or purchase of otherwise lawful drugs;
  • engaging in any act that would be grounds for arrest or citation in the criminal or juvenile court system, excluding minor traffic offenses, regardless of whether the student was cited, arrested, convicted, or adjudicated for the act(s);
  • inappropriate or offensive conduct such as fighting, insubordination(talking back or refusing to cooperate with authorities), hazing or harassment of others.
If a student transfers in from another Iowa school or school district and the student has not yet completed a period of ineligibility for a violation of the Good Conduct Rule in the previous school or school district, the student shall be ineligible as determined that there is general knowledge in our school district of the fact that of the student’s violation in the previous district.

The length of the period of ineligibility will be:
1st offense -    Fifteen (15) school days and ten community service hours for the first violation of the policy.
2nd offense -     Thirty (30) school days and twenty community service hours for the second violation of the policy.  Substance abuse or other rehabilitation classes may be required before eligibility is reinstated.
3rd offense -     Twelve (12) successive calendar months and thirty community service hours for the third and succeeding violations of this policy beginning immediately upon the declaration of ineligibility.  Substance abuse or other rehabilitation classes will be required.

A student must report any violations of this policy to the school administration on the next school day or within 72 hours, whichever comes first.  This pertains to summer months also.  Failure to do so will result in double the penalty of ineligibility.  Community service hours must be completed, documented, and turned into the administration before eligibility will be reinstated.

The offenses start with the first day of high school and end the last day as a high school senior.  The offenses build over the student’s high school career.  If a student participates in high school activities the summer before their freshman year or the summer after their senior year, the beginning and ending dates of those activities dictate the beginning and ending of a student’s high school career.  If the offense occurs during the summer, one week will be used in place of 5 school days.  Students will become eligible for extra-curricular activities on the next school day or weekday following the ineligibility period.  Students do not start over with a clean slate every year.

Academic Consequences:
Unless the student violated the Good Conduct Rule while on the school grounds or at a  school event or activity off school grounds, there will be no academic consequences(e.g., detention, suspensions, etc.) for the violation.

Appeals:
Any student who is found by the administration to have violated the Good Conduct Rule may appeal this determination to the superintendent within 3 days of being advised of the violation.  The penalty will be in effect pending the superintendent’s decision.

If the student is still dissatisfied, he or she may appeal to the school board by filing a written appeal with the board secretary at least 24 hours prior to the next board meeting.  The review by the board will be in closed session unless the student’s parent (or the student, if the student is 18) requests an open session.  The grounds for appeal to the school board are limited to the following: the student did not violate the Good Conduct Rule; the student was given inadequate due process in the investigation and determination; or the penalty is in the violation of the Handbook Rule or Board Policy.  The penalty will remain in effect pending the outcome of the meeting with the board.

If the school board reverses the decision of the administration, the student shall be immediately eligible and shall have any record of the ineligibility period and violation deleted from the student’s record.

GRADES AND MID-TERMS

Report cards are presented to students each nine-week period.  If a child has failing or low grades, the parents are urged to consult with his/her teachers on any regular school day.  Mid-term reports will be sent out mid way through each 9 week period.  Nine week grades and mid terms will count towards extra-curricular eligibility with the ineligibility period starting the first Monday after they are issued and the student has been notified.  Mid-terms will be mailed to parents in the form of a micrograde sheet at the time of mid-terms.  See the school calendar for mid-term dates.

GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE GRADUATING CLASSES OF 2008 AND BEYOND:

A minimum of 50 Credits are required for graduation.

ENGLISH: 8 credits of English are required as follows with the class of 2010 and beyond (otherwise 6 credits)
Grade 9 - English 9 (2 credits)
Grade 10 - English 10 (2 credits)
Grade 11 or 12 - English electives (2 credits)

SOCIAL STUDIES: 6 credits of Social Studies as follows:
Grade 9 - U.S. History (2 credits)
Grade 10 - World History (2 credits)
Grade 11 - None
Grade 12 - American Government/Economics (2 credits)

MATHEMATICS: 6 credits of Math are required as follows:
Grade 9 - Pre-Algebra (2 credits), Algebra I (2 credits), or Geometry (2 credits)
Grade 10 - Pre-Algebra (2 credits), Algebra I (2 credits), Geometry (2 credits), or Algebra II (2 credits)
Grade 11 - Maintaining Consumer Records, or Geometry (2 credits), or Trigonometry/Statistics (2 credits)

SCIENCE: 6 Credits of Science are required as follows:
Grade 9 - Physical Science (2 credits)
Grade 10 - Biology (2 credits)
Grade 10 or 11 – Science elective

COMPUTER: 1 Credit:
Grade 9 – Computer Application I

PHYSICAL EDUCATION: 2 Credits:
Exceptions may be granted for scheduling conflicts at the discretion of the principal with a minimum of 1.0 credit over the student’s four year high school career. (One semester of Physical Education is worth ¼ credit)

Also: In order to participate in graduation ceremonies, a student must meet the above requirements AND HAVE COMPLETED ALL CURRENT COURSE WORK BY 4:00 P.M. THE THURSDAY BEFORE GRADUATION SO GRADES CAN BE COMPLETED.

GUIDANCE PROGRAM

The purpose of the guidance program is to help each individual student achieve their highest growth mentally, emotionally, and socially.  We try to do this in several ways:
  • Helping the new student feel at home in our school.
  • Holding individual conferences whenever deemed necessary by student or staff.
  • Administering the testing programs designed to help students learn about their interests and abilities.
  • The counselor welcomes the opportunity to talk with students, staff, and parents.

HALL PASSES

Students must have their student planners whenever in the hallway during classes with the hall pass ledger signed for destination, times, and dates. 

HARRASSMENT/ ANTI-BULLYING/ HAZING/ INITIATIONS

Harassment, bullying and abuse are violations of school district policies, rules and regulations and, in some cases, may also be a violation of criminal or other laws.  The school district has the authority to report students violating this rule to law enforcement officials.
Students who feel that they have been harassed or bullied should:
  • Communicate to the harasser or bully that the student expects the behavior to stop, if the student is comfortable doing so.  If the student needs assistance communicating with the harasser or bully, the student should ask a teacher, counselor or principal to help.
  • If the harassment or bullying does not stop, or the student does not feel comfortable confronting the harasser or bully, the student should:
    • tell a teacher, counselor or principal; and
    • write down exactly what happened, keep a copy and give another copy to the teacher, counselor or principal including;
    • what, when and where it happened;
    • who was involved;
    • exactly what was said or what the harasser or bully did;
    • witnesses to the harassment or bullying;
    • what the student said or did, either at the time or later;
    • how the student felt; and
    • how the harasser or bullying responded.
Sexual harassment may include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.  Harassment or bullying on the basis or age, color, creed, national origin, race, religion, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical attributes, physical or mental ability or disability, ancestry, political party preference, political belief, socioeconomic status or familial status includes conduct of a verbal or physical nature that is designed to embarrass, distress, agitate, disturb or trouble persons when:

•    places the student in reasonable fear of harm to the student’s person or property;
•    has a substantially detrimental effect on the student’s physical or mental health;
•    has the effect of substantially interfering with the student’s academic performance; or
•    has the effect of substantially interfering with the student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school.

Sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to:
•    verbal, physical or written harassment or abuse;
•    pressure for sexual activity;
•    repeated remarks to a person with sexual or demeaning implications; and
•    suggesting or demanding sexual involvement, accompanied by implied or explicit threats.

Harassment or bullying based upon factors other than sex includes, but is not limited to:
•    verbal, physical, or written harassment or abuse;
•    repeated remarks of a demeaning nature;
•    implied or explicit threats concerning one's grades, job, etc; and
•    demeaning jokes, stories or activities.

HEALTH/DENTAL/LEAD SCREENINGS

Throughout the year, the school district sponsors health screening for vision, hearing, scoliosis and height and weight measurements. Students are automatically screened unless the parent submits a note asking the student be excused from the screening. The grade levels included in the screening are determined annually. Parents are notified prior to the health screenings.  However, upon a teacher's recommendation and with parental permission, students not scheduled for a screening may also be screened.

HONOR ROLL

To be placed on the quarter or semester high school honor roll, a student must be carrying a minimum of six graded regular courses and maintain an honor point average of 3.000 or better.  All courses count with PE weighing 1/4 credit, band and choir weighing 1/2 as much as regular courses.

HOT LUNCH PROGRAM

Each student will receive a lunch picture ID card with his or her lunch number on it.  Each middle school and high school student will be responsible for their own card.  Teachers will be responsible for elementary students’ cards.  Each student may receive one card during the year at no charge.

Once a week, notices are printed or emailed for lunch account balances that are under $5.00, indicating the family lunch account needs replenishing.  These are handed out to students, usually the youngest in the family.  A detailed explanation of your account (current year only) may be obtained by contacting Mrs. Utrera at 325-6234.  If after several notices, there is no attempt to clear the negative balance, the student(s) may be denied charging meals until the matter is taken care of.

IMMUNIZATIONS

Prior to starting school or when transferring into the school district, students must present an approved Iowa Department of Public Health immunization certificate signed by a health care provider stating that the student has received the immunizations required by law. Students without the proper certificate are not allowed to attend school until they receive the immunizations or the student makes arrangements with the principal. Only for specific medical or religious purposes are students exempted from the immunization requirements. Students may also be required to pass a TB test prior to attending school. Parents who have questions should contact the office.

INTERNET

Students will be able to access the Internet once they and their parent/guardian have signed the Ethical Use Policy. Each student will have a folder on the server for storage. This folder will be erased at the end of each school year. Emails will not be issued to students. It is a goal to allow teachers and students access to the rich opportunities on the Internet, while we protect the rights of students and parents who choose not to risk exposure to questionable material.

The use of the network is a privilege and may be taken away for violation of board policy or regulations. As a user of the Internet, students may be allowed access to other networks. Each network may have its own set of policies and procedures. It is the user’s responsibility to abide by the policies and procedures of these other networks. All students are subject to the regulations set forth in the NEH Ethical Use Policy.

Students will adhere to on-line protocol:
•    Respect all copyright and license agreements.
•    Cite all quotes, references and sources.
•    Remain on the system long enough to get needed information, then exit the system.
•    Apply the same privacy, ethical and educational considerations utilized in other forms of communication.

Restricted Material – Students will not intentionally access or download any text file or picture or engage in any conference that includes material which is obscene, libelous, indecent, vulgar, profane or lewd; advertises any product or service not permitted to minors by law; constitutes insulting or fighting words, the very expression of which injures or harasses others; or presents a clear and present likelihood that, either because of its content or the manner of distribution, it will cause a material and substantial disruption of the proper and orderly operation and discipline of the school or school activities, will cause the commission of unlawful acts or the violation of lawful school regulations.  Unauthorized Costs – If a student gains access to any service via the Internet which has a cost involved or if a student incurs other types of costs, the student accessing such a service will be responsible for those costs.  Northeast Hamilton has taken steps to restrict access to materials that are obscene, pornographic, harmful to children, or otherwise inappropriate as much as possible; however, we cannot guarantee that filtering software will in all instances successfully block access to questionable materials or that a student will not reach inappropriate information, as information appears, disappears, and changes constantly on the global network. Accessing messaging and personal blog websites are not permitted and if accessed will result in disciplinary action.
Students who access restricted items on the Internet are subject to the following consequences:
•    First Violation – A verbal and written “Warning” notice will be issued to the student. The student may lose Internet access for a period of time at the discretion of the supervising teacher. A copy of the notice will be mailed to the student’s parent and a copy provided to the building principal.
•    Second Violation – A verbal and written “Second Violation” notice will be issued to the student. A copy of the notice will be sent to parents and a copy provided to the building principal. The student will forfeit all Internet privileges for a period of time at the discretion of the supervising teacher or principal.
•    Third Violation – A verbal and written “Third Violation” notice will be issued to the student. A copy of the notice will be sent to the student’s parent and a copy provided to the building principal. The student will forfeit all Internet privileges for the balance of the school year.
If a student is put under discipline as stated above, the principal will send an email to all staff indicating the dates that said student is not allowed on the Internet/Computer. Said student will be unable to access the Internet during the time set. If a class requires computer use, said student may have access to a computer in that teacher’s classroom only and only for instructional purposes – no Internet use will be allowed.

LATE STARTS

The second Wednesday of each month school will start at 10:00 a.m. for professional development.  Some months the late start dates may be changed due to schedule conflicts.  Please check your newsletter, school calendar, or call the school if you are unsure.  These times will be used for general staff meetings, in-service meetings, and work on school curriculum and materials.  The school breakfast program will not be served on late start days.  Bus routes will run approximately 90 minutes later on these days, so please plan accordingly.

LEGAL STATUS OF A STUDENT

If a student’s legal status, such as the student’s name or the student’s custodial arrangement, should change during the school year, the parent or guardian must notify the school district. The school district needs to know when these changes occur to ensure that the school district has a current student record.

LOAN OF EQUIPMENT

School equipment is not to be loaned out to individuals or organizations without prior authorization from the administration.  Please get prior permission before using any school equipment.

LOST AND FOUND

A “lost and found” department is maintained in the principal’s office.  Students finding unclaimed articles about the building are asked to turn them into the office.  There may also be gym clothes and shoes located in the locker room areas which have been lost.  There will be lost and found tables set up at both Parent-Teacher Conferences.  Unclaimed articles after those conferences will be taken to goodwill.

MULTICULTURAL/NONSEXIST POLICY

It is the policy of Northeast Hamilton Community School not to discriminate on the basis of sex, race, national origin, creed, age, martial status, or physical disability in its educational programs, activities, or employment policies as required by Title VI and VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments, and the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  It is also the policy of this district that the curriculum content and instructional materials utilized reflect the cultural and racial diversity open to women as well as men in our society.  One of the objectives of the total curriculum and teaching strategies is to reduce stereotyping and to eliminate bias on the basis of sex, race, ethnicity, religion and physical disability.  The curriculum should foster respect and appreciation for the cultural diversity found in our country and an awareness of the rights, duties, and responsibilities of each individual as a member of a multicultural/nonsexist society.  If you have questions in regards to this policy contact Pat Hocking or Sally Greenfield, Equity Coordinators, 325-6234.

OPEN ENROLLMENT

Iowa’s open enrollment law allows students residing in one school district to request transfer to another school district upon the parents’ request. Students wishing to open enroll to another school district must apply for open enrollment by March 1 of the school year preceding the school year in which they wish to open enroll unless there is good cause. Open enrolled students from low-income families may qualify for transportation assistance. Open enrollment may result in loss of athletic eligibility for students open enrolling. Students interested in open enrolling out of the school district must contact the superintendent’s office for information and forms.

PARENT-TEACHER CONFERENCES

Parent-Teacher Conferences will be held in the fall and spring.  Elementary teachers will hold conferences in their rooms, while 6th-12th grade conferences will be held in the gym.  Please check the school calendar for dates and times.

PERMISSION TO LEAVE THE BUILDING

Any student desiring to leave the grounds must first secure a pass to leave the building.  A parent phone call or a written excuse must be presented to the office before permission will be granted.  When the student returns to the building, they must check in at the office to obtain a pass before returning to class.  In case of emergencies, a phone call from the parents or guardian may be substituted for written permission.

PHYSICAL EXAMINATIONS

Parents are encouraged to have their children receive periodic physical examinations.  Students participating in athletics are required to provide a school district physical examination form signed by the student’s doctor stating the student is physically fit to perform in athletics prior to the start of the sport. Failure to provide proof of a physical examination makes the student ineligible. Students who cannot afford the cost of the physical examination should contact the coach of their sport.

PLAGIARISM AND/OR CHEATING

Students are expected to do their own schoolwork. Cheating by looking at another student’s schoolwork, copying others’ work, copying from other sources or similar cheating is not tolerated.  If a student is caught cheating on a test, daily paper, or quiz, the paper will be picked up and a zero recorded in the grade book and parents will be notified.  A second plagiarism/cheating incident will result in a parent meeting and may result in one or more of the following: suspension, expulsion, or dropped from the class with an “F”.

POST SECONDARY ENROLLMENTS

Students in grades nine through 12 may receive class or vocational-technical credits that count toward graduation requirements for successfully completed courses at community colleges, private colleges or state universities.
The school district may pay up to $250 of the cost of a course taken by 9th and 10th grade talented and gifted students and 11th and 12th grade students. The school district pays only for courses which are not offered by the high school and which are offered during the regular school year by the community college, private college or state university. The school district does not pay for the costs of summer school classes. However, summer school classes are eligible for credit.
Students who fail the course or fail to receive credit in the course paid for by the school district must reimburse the school district for all costs directly related to the course. Prior to enrolling in a course, students age 18 or over or the parents of students under age 18 shall sign a form indicating they are responsible for the costs of the course should the student fail the course or fail to receive credit for the course. The school district may waive the cost of the course for students who fail the course for reasons beyond their control, including, but not limited to, the student’s incapacity, death in the family or a move to another school district.  Students interested in participating in this program should contact the guidance counselor.

PROTECTIVE DEVICES

In accordance with state law, students participating in certain classes are to wear personal protective devices.  Any student failing to comply with such requirements will be temporarily suspended from participation in the said course, and the registration of a student for such course may be canceled by principal for willful, flagrant, or repeated failure to observe the above requirements.
RADIOS, ELECTRONICS GAMES, REMOTE TOYS/ETC.
Radios, video games, remote toys, etc. are not allowed in school unless special arrangements have been made with the principal.  If a student brings any these to school, staff will take them and turn them into the office.

RETURNED CHECKS

Each family will be allowed one returned check.  After the second returned check, the family will be on a cash only basis through the remainder of that school year.  A family with two returned checks in one year will be allowed one returned check in year 2 and subsequent years, before dealing strictly on a cash only basis for the remainder of each school year.  The Northeast Hamilton School District will seek reimbursement through the court system if payment is not rendered for the returned check amount.

SCHOOL DAY PERIOD SCHEDULE

Northeast Hamilton operates on an eight period day weekly schedule.   Daily class period times are as follows:
First Period -        8:30 – 9:15                LUNCH SCHEDULE
Second Period -       9:18 – 10:03            Middle School Lunch - 12:13 – 12:33
Third Period -     10:08 - 10:53            High School Lunch - 12:40 – 1:06
Fourth Period -      10:56 - 11:41
Fifth Period -        11:44 - 1:06
Sixth Period -         1:09 - 1:54
Seventh Period -      1:57 - 2:42
Eighth Period -      2:45 - 3:30

SCHOOL NURSE

The school nurse is available part of each day to assist when the students become ill or injured.  The nurse assists with classes in personal cleanliness and grooming, personality improvement, human growth, and maturity.  At the request of the teacher, the nurse works as a consultant in health classes and programs.  Her office is located in the elementary school.

SCHOOL OFFICE AND SCHOOL DAY

The central office and principal’s office are open from 7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. each day.  It is advisable for parents to call the building principal to arrange conferences with faculty members.  Generally students, staff, or faculty will not be called to the telephone unless they have an open period of time or in case of emergency.  A message will be forwarded to the individual to return the call when she/he has an open period. Students may be present on school grounds before 8:00 a.m. or after 4:00 p.m. only when they are under the supervision of an employee or an extra-curricular activity sponsor. If school is dismissed early, students are expected to leave the school grounds within 10 minutes of dismissal.  The normal school day hours are 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. otherwise staff voicemail is available.

SCHOOL-SPONSORED STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS

School-sponsored student organizations are those which are recognized by the school district and board.  Participation in school-sponsored student organizations is a privilege. Individual sponsors or coaches may impose rules in addition to those contained in this handbook. The privilege of participation may be suspended or canceled for violating an individual coach’s or sponsor’s rules as well as for violation of school district policies, rules or regulations.

SEARCH, INSPECTION AND VIDEO SURVEILLANCE

In order to protect the health and safety of students, employees and visitors to the school district and for the protection of the school district facilities, students and their belongings and school owned lockers and desks may be searched or inspected. A search of a student will be justified when there are reasonable grounds for the suspicion that the search will turn up evidence that the student has violated or is violating the law or school district policy, rules, or regulations affecting school order.  The Northeast Hamilton CSD also uses video surveillance on its grounds and school busses to assist and ensure in the safety and proper behavior of the students, staff and patrons of the district.

Reasonable suspicion may be formed by considering factors such as the following:
  • eyewitness observations by employees;
  • information received from reliable sources;
  • suspicious behavior by the student; or,
  • the student’s past history and school record
A search will be permissible in its scope or intrusiveness when the measures adopted are reasonably related to the objectives of the search. Reasonableness of scope or intrusiveness may be determined based on factors such as the following:
  • the age of the student;
  • the sex of the student;
  • the nature of the infraction; and
  • the emergency requiring the search without delay.
A student’s body and/or personal effects (e.g., purse, backpack, etc.) may be searched when a school official has reasonable suspicion to believe the student is in possession of illegal or contraband items or has violated school district policies, rules, regulations or the law affecting school order.

Personally intrusive searches will require more compelling circumstances to be considered reasonable. If a pat-down search or a search of a student’s garments (such as jackets, socks, pockets, etc.) is conducted, it will be conducted in private by a school official of the same sex as the student and with another adult witness of the same sex present, when feasible. A more intrusive search, short of a strip search, of the student’s body, handbags, book bags, etc., is permissible in emergency situations when the health and safety of students, employees, or visitors are threatened. Such a search may only be conducted in private by a school official of the same sex as the student, with an adult of the same sex present unless the health or safety of students will be endangered by the delay which may be caused by following these procedures.

Students are permitted to park on school premises as a matter of privilege, not of right. The school retains authority to conduct routine patrols of the student parking lots. The interior of a student’s automobile on the school premises may be searched if the school official has reasonable and articulable suspicion to believe that illegal, unauthorized or contraband items are contained inside.

STAFF ASSIGNMENTS

Mrs. Beth Buxton: Instrumental Music                           Mrs. Kathy Brandt:  Vocal Music
Mrs. Ashley Davis:  Resource Room                            Ms. Julie Freeman:  Business/Technology   
Mr. Brandon Frohwein:  Science                                   Mrs. Joan Gelder:  Art   
Mrs. Sally Greenfield:  Guidance                                   Mrs. Chris Hall: TAG       
Mrs. Virginia Hoelscher:  Language Arts                     Mrs. Beth Heller:  Science   
Ms. Lisa Heiden:  Media Specialist                              Mrs. Sherry Leksell:  Language Arts    
Mrs. Leslie Keehn:  Social Studies                             Mr. Brandon Kelley:  Math    
Mr. Jeff Meyer:  Math                                                        Mr. Brennan O’Connor:  P.E.   
Mrs. Amanda Paulson:  High School Spanish          Mrs. Jenny Pruismann:  Resource Room
Mrs. Kim Schimp:  At-Risk Coordinator                     Dr. Herb Strasser:  Ag, Ind. Tech & Curriculum Coordinator   
Mrs. Kathy Thelke:  Personal Family living               Mrs. Kim Cavanagh:   Associate   
Mrs. Lanette Willems: Associate                

STUDENT ABUSE BY SCHOOL EMPLOYEES

The school district does not tolerate employees physically or sexually abusing or harassing students. Students who are physically or sexually abused or harassed by an employee should notify their parents, teacher, principal or another employee. The Iowa Department of Education has established a two-step procedure for investigating allegations of physical or sexual abuse of students by employees. That procedure requires the school district to designate an independent investigator to look into the allegations. The school district has designated school officials according to board policy and the Level I investigator(s) can be reached by calling the office at 325-6234.

Physical abuse is a non-accidental physical injury that leaves a mark at least 24 hours after the incident. While employees cannot use physical force to discipline a student, there are times when the use of physical force is appropriate. The times when physical force is appropriate include, but are not limited to, times when it is necessary to stop a disturbance, to obtain a weapon or other dangerous object, for purposes of self-defense or to protect the safety of others, to remove a disruptive student, to protect others from harm, for the protection of property or to protect a student from self-infliction of harm.

Sexual abuse includes, but is not limited to, sexual acts involving a student and intentional sexual behavior as well as sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when submission to such conduct is made either implicitly or explicitly a term or condition of the student’s education or benefits; submission to or rejection of the conduct is used as the basis for academic decisions affecting that student; or the conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with a student’s academic performance by creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive educational environment.

STUDENT ACADEMIC ELIGIBILITY

Academic Eligibility for High School/Middle School: To be eligible to participate in high school and middle school extra-curricular activities, a student must not have failed any courses the previous report period in order to be eligible for the current report period.  Eligibility is also determined at the mid-quarter (approximately 4 1/2 weeks), quarter and semester with the criteria of not failing a course.  If a student is failing one course, that student will be ineligible for 10 school days.  After the ten day period, if the grade is brought up to a passing score then the student becomes eligible at that time.  If a student is declared ineligible with 2 or more failing grades, he/she is ineligible until the next report period (approximately 4 1/2 weeks) at which time eligibility is re-determined.  Eligibility for summer activities will be determined by the second semester 4th quarter grades.  Ineligibility for summer activities shall be for 2 or 4 1/2 weeks. (Grades do not affect eligibility for junior high summer activities).

Any student who feels he/she has been unjustly treated under this policy, may appeal his/her case through the due process procedure outlined in the student conduct policy.

STUDENT COMPLAINTS

Students may file a complaint regarding school district policies, rules and regulations or other matters by complying with the following procedure. This procedure is strictly followed except in extreme cases.
  • If an employee is involved, discuss the complaint with the employee within (10) days of the incident;
  • If unsatisfied with the employee’s response or if there is no employee involved, talk to the principal within (10) days of the employee’s response or the incident;
  • If unsatisfied with the principal’s response, talk to the superintendent within (10) days of the principal’s response;
  • If unsatisfied with the superintendent’s response, students may request to speak to the board within (10) days of the superintendent’s response. The board determines whether it will address the complaint.

STUDENT CONDUCT

All students at Northeast Hamilton Middle School/High School are responsible for their actions.  To succeed, discipline must ultimately be self-discipline.  When a student is not capable of exercising appropriate self-discipline, sanctions will be imposed by the school.

All associates, bus drivers, cooks, custodians, and secretaries are to receive the same respect given to teachers.  Substitute teachers will command as much respect as regular faculty members.  Every member of the class will do all he/she can to help in the absence of the regular teacher.

Violations of these rules can result in detention, suspension, expulsion, referral to law enforcement agencies, and/or other appropriate actions.  Such disciplinary actions can result from, but not limited to, a violation of the following rules:

  • Students are to abide by all reasonable requests by any faculty or staff member.
  • Students are to show good sportsmanship at school and school activities.
  • Students are responsible financially for any damage, destruction, and theft of school and/or personal property.
  • Students are not allowed to store, possess, or transfer dangerous weapons on school property.
  • Students are to treat others in a considerate manner.  Hazing, physical abuse, verbal abuse, and sexual harassment will not be tolerated.
  • Students are to remain free of consumption, possession, or use of alcohol, tobacco, illegal drugs, or drug paraphernalia on school grounds and/or school activities.
  • Any student who is dismissed from class due to disciplinary reasons during the duration of the class may be dismissed from that class permanently and receive an "F" for a grade.

These rules apply to all school sponsored activities, bus routes, as well as the regular school day.

  • DETENTION:  This is an additional in-school time to be served outside of the school day for a period of 30 minutes.  A school employee will be supervising all detentions.  Detentions are assigned when student conduct rules have been violated.  The student will have no more than 5 days after being notified of the day the detention to serve it unless other arrangements have been agreed upon.  The administration reserves the right to give alternative disciplinary action in place of detentions.
  • SUSPENSIONS:  These can be either in-school (isolated from the student body) or out-of-school (removed from school).  Class work will be made up.  The student has two days in which they can serve their in-school suspension.  The student will not be eligible to participate in extra-curricular activities on the day(s) out of school suspensions are served.  Out-of-school suspensions will take effect as soon as the parents can be contacted and arrangements are made.  Grounds for suspension are but not limited to:  1) truancy  2) cheating, stealing;  3) fighting;  4) continuous disruptive behavior;  5) violation of alcohol and drug policies on school grounds;  6) failure to serve detention;  7) insubordination;  8) any other actions which jeopardizes the common welfare and safety of the school.
  • EXPULSION:  The Board of Education may, by a majority vote of the members present at a hearing, determine the severity of the alleged misconduct, expel a student from school.  The legal grounds for expulsion are as follows:  1) immorality; 2) violation of rules and regulations set or approved by the Board; 3) evidence that the presence of the student is detrimental to the best interests of the school.  The expulsion of a student shall be considered only after a thorough investigation of the facts, with procedural due process observed.  Disciplinary hearings shall be scheduled by the superintendent when, in the superintendent's opinion, expulsion of the student is one of the alternatives in dealing with the case under consideration.  Students expelled from school shall be considered for re-admission only by the Board of Directors.  The procedures for reconsideration shall be forwarded to the student in the letter of expulsion.
  • DUE PROCESS:  All students are entitled to:  1) be given oral and/or written notice of the charge, 2) be given an opportunity to admit or deny the charge, 3) be given an explanation of the evidence against the student if he/she denies the charges, 4) be given the opportunity to explain the situation.
In some cases an informal hearing will be held with the superintendent, principal, student, and parents to determine the most appropriate educational program available for the student or to consider recommendation to the Board of Education for expulsion.  Under certain circumstances school officials will inform law enforcement authorities of certain types of student behavior.  Expulsion will be considered when there is evidence that the student's presence is detrimental to the best interest of the school.  Procedural due process will be forwarded, in writing, to the student.

STUDENTS DRIVING TO SCHOOL

  • Every student driving to school must register the vehicle at the office.
  • Students are to park in the student parking lot and use the east entrance/exit drive when coming and leaving school.
  • Any vehicle blocking in another auto may be subject to disciplinary action.
  • The parking lot is off-limits during the school day without permission from the school office.
  • It is recommended that all student cars be locked.
  • Anyone caught driving unsafely or tampering with any other motor vehicle will be reported to the proper authorities and appropriate actions will be taken.
  • Students are responsible to be at school on time.  If there are car problems, the students need to make other arrangements or call the bus barn so that a school bus can pick them up. (325-6228)
  • Failure to comply to the above regulations will result in disciplinary actions.

STUDENT’S EDUCATIONAL RECORDS

Student records containing personally identifiable information, except for directory information, are confidential. For a complete copy of the school district’s policy on student records or the procedure for filing a complaint, contact the board secretary, in the central administration office.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) afford parents and students over 18 years of age (“eligible students”) certain rights with respect to the student’s education records. They are:
  • The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of receipt of the request. Parents or eligible students should submit to the school principal (or appropriate school official) a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. The principal will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
  • The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate or misleading or in violation of the student’s privacy rights.  Parents or eligible students may ask the school district to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the school principal, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading.  If the district decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent or eligible student, the district will notify the parent or eligible student of the decision and advise them of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the parent or eligible student when notified of the right to a hearing.
  • The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.  One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the district as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member (including health or medical staff law enforcement unit personnel and certain volunteers); a person serving on the school board; a person or company with whom the district has contracted to perform a special task (such as an attorney, auditor, AEA employees, medical consultant, or therapist); or a parent or student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee or student assistance team, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.  A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
  • The right to inform the school district the parent does not want directory information, as defined below, to be released. Any student over the age of eighteen or parent not wanting this information released to the public must make objection in writing to the principal. The objection needs to be renewed annually.  Directory information includes:
    • NAME, ADDRESS, TELEPHONE LISTING, DATE AND PLACE OF BIRTH, E-MAIL ADDRESS, MAJOR FIELD OF STUDY, PARTICIPATION IN OFFICIALLY RECOGNIZED ACTIVITIES AND SPORTS, WEIGHT AND HEIGHT OF MEMBERS OF ATHLETIC TEAMS, DATES OF ATTENDANCE, DEGREES AND AWARDS RECEIVED, THE MOST RECENT PREVIOUS SCHOOL OR INSTITUTION ATTENDED BY THE STUDENT, PHOTOGRAPH AND LIKENESS AND OTHER SIMILAR INFORMATION.
  • The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the district to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is:   Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave., SW, Washington, DC, 20202-4605.

STUDENT FEE WAIVER AND REDUCTION PROCEDURES

The school district charges fees for certain items, such as field trips, class materials, fines, and class dues.  Students whose families meet the income guidelines for free and reduced price lunch, the Family Investment Program (FIP), Supplemental Security Income (SSE), transportation assistance under open enrollment, or who are in foster care are eligible to have their student fees waived or partially waived.  Students whose families are experiencing a temporary financial difficulty may be eligible for a temporary waiver of student fees.  Parents or students who believe they may qualify for temporary financial hardship should contact the board secretary at registration time for a waiver form.  This waiver does not carry over from year to year and must be completed annually.

STUDENT INSURANCE

Student health and accident insurance is available to students at the beginning of the school year. Parents may purchase insurance for their children at their discretion. Parents who would like more information about student health and accident insurance should contact the office.

STUDENT LOCKERS AND DESKS

Student lockers and desks are the property of the school district. Students shall use the lockers and desks assigned to them for storing their school materials and personal items necessary for attendance at school. It is the responsibility of each student to keep the student’s assigned locker and desk clean and undamaged. The expenses to repair damage done to a student’s locker and desk are charged to the student.

Although school lockers, desks and other spaces are temporarily assigned to individual students, they remain the property of the school district at all times. The school district has a reasonable and valid interest in insuring the lockers, desks and other spaces are properly maintained. For this reason, lockers, desks and other spaces are subject to unannounced inspections and students have no legitimate expectations of privacy in the locker, desk or other space. Periodic inspections of all or a random selection of lockers, desks or other space may be conducted by school officials in the presence of the student or another individual. Any contraband discovered during such searches shall be confiscated by school officials and may be turned over to law enforcement officials.

The contents of a student’s locker, desk or other space (coat, backpack, purse, etc.) may be searched when a school official has a reasonable and articulable suspicion that the contents contain illegal or contraband items or evidence of a violation of law or school policy or rule. Such searches should be conducted in the presence of another adult witness when feasible.  Combination padlocks are available at the school office.  All other locks risk being cut off in case a locker needs to be opened. 

STUDENT PUBLICATIONS

Students may produce official school district publications as part of the curriculum under the supervision of a faculty advisor and principal. Official school district publications include, but are not limited to, the school newspaper and yearbook. Expression made by students, including student expression in the school district publications, is not an expression of official school district policy. The school district, the board and the employees are not liable in any civil or criminal action for student expression made or published by students unless the employees or board have interfered with or altered the content of the student speech or expression. Copies of the school district publication code can be obtained from the school office.

A faculty advisor supervises student writers to maintain professional standards of English and journalism and to comply with the law including, but not limited to, the restrictions against unlawful speech. No student shall express, publish or distribute in an official school district publication material which is:
  • obscene; libelous; slanderous; or encourages students to:
  • violate school district policies, rules or regulations or commit unlawful acts;
  • cause the material and substantial disruption of the orderly and efficient operation of the school or school activity;
  • disrupt or interfere with the education program;
  • interrupt the maintenance of a disciplined atmosphere; or infringe on the rights of others.
Students who believe they have been unreasonably restricted in their exercise of expression in an official student publication should follow the complaint procedure outlined in this handbook.

STUDENT RELATIONSHIPS

All student relationships in and around school are expected to be kept at the highest social level.  Hand holding, embracing, kissing or other displays of affection in the halls or on school grounds are NOT in good taste.  Students who do not comply with this rule may be subject to disciplinary action and parents will be notified.

STUDENT SOCIAL EVENTS, DANCES, OR EVENING ACTIVITIES

School-sponsored dances/events/activities must be approved by the principal at least 2 weeks prior to the planned date. Students who leave dances/events/activities are not allowed to re-enter. School district policies, rules and regulations apply to students as well as non-students at school dances/events/activities. Students and non-students violating school district policies, rules or regulations are asked to leave the dances/events/activities and school grounds.

STUDENTS WHO ARE SICK OR INJURED AT SCHOOL

A student who becomes ill or injured at school must notify their teacher or another employee as soon as possible. In the case of serious illness or injury, the school shall attempt to notify the parents according to the information on the emergency form. If the student is too ill to remain in school, the student will be released to the student’s parents or, with parental permission, to another person directed by the parents. While the school district is not responsible to treat medical emergencies, employees may administer emergency or minor first aid if possible. The school will contact emergency medical personnel, if necessary, and attempt to notify the parents where the student has been transported for treatment.

SUCCESS TEAM

The Northeast Hamilton Success Team is comprised of the principal, guidance counselor, at-risk coordinator, Title 1 teacher, special education teachers, regular education teachers, school nurse, parents, and an AEA representative. Students who are not identified as special education may be considered at-risk. They may have difficulties meeting standards and benchmarks, exhibit behavior problems, and/or are in some other way significantly at-risk. These students are served through the Success Team.  Teachers may bring a student up for problem solving at any time during the year. The Success Team will go over relevant data provided by the teachers and prescribe applicable interventions to help the students meet success.  Student progress is monitored and evaluated throughout the year.

TELEPHONE/CELL PHONE USE DURING THE DAY

Generally, students receiving telephone calls during school hours will not be called to the telephone. The office will take a message and forward it to the student. Only in emergency situations are students removed from class or another school activity to receive a telephone call.  Students wishing to use the phone may do so during times in which they are not in class and have been given permission to do so.  Please attempt to make all arrangements prior to the school day.

If a student wishes to bring a cell phone to school, the cell phone must remain in their locker.  Cell phones are not to be used or taken outside of the commons area.  If a student takes a cell phone to class and it is seen or causes a disruption, staff will confiscate the phone and turn it into the office where the student may pick it up.  1ST offense – Student can pick it up at the office.  2nd offense – the student may pick it up at the office after 2 days or a parent can pick it up.  3rd offense- the student may pick it up at the office after 3 days or a parent can pick it up.   Any offenses beyond these and the phone will be held and be required to be picked up from the office by a parent.     

THREATS OF VIOLENCE

All threats of violence, whether oral, written, or symbolic, against students, employees, visitors, or to school facilities are prohibited. All such threats will be promptly investigated. Law enforcement may be contacted. Threats issued and delivered away from school or school activities may be grounds for disciplinary action if the threat impacts the orderly and efficient operation of the school.

Students engaging in threatening behavior will face disciplinary consequences up to and including expulsion. The following factors will be considered in determining the extent to which a student will be disciplined for threatening or terroristic behavior; the background of the student, including any history of violence or prior threatening behavior; the student's access to weapons of any kind; the circumstances surrounding the threat; the age of the student; the mental and emotional maturity of the student; cooperation of the student and his or her parent(s) or guardian(s) in the investigation; the existence of the student's juvenile or criminal history; the degree of legitimate alarm or concern in the school community created by the threat; and any other relevant information from any credible source.

TRANSPORTATION TO SCHOOL EVENTS

Students taking part in co-curricular activities which take them to other towns must travel to and from by the transportation provided by the school.  Failure to comply with this regulation will mean the elimination from the activity.  The activity sponsor may grant permission to return home with his/her parents.  There will be no pep buses taken to events when there is school the next day, except for tournaments.  Any other transportation arrangements must be made with the administration prior to the event.

VISITORS

Visitors to the school grounds must check in at the main office and state their intentions for their visit.  Office staff will assist them as needed.  Students will not be allowed to bring visitors to school as this causes a disruption to the educational day.  Exceptions may be granted by the building principal but only in an extra ordinary situation.

WEAPONS

The Board of Education believes weapons and other dangerous objects and look-a-likes in the school district facilities cause material and substantial disruption to the school environment or present a threat to the health and safety of students, employees, and visitors on the school district premises or property within the jurisdiction of the school district.

Students bringing firearms to school or knowingly possessing firearms at school shall be expelled for not less than one year.  Students bringing to school or possessing dangerous objects or look-a-likes, including firearms, will be referred to law enforcement authorities.  Parents will be notified of any such violations of this policy.  The superintendent shall have the authority to recommend this expulsion requirement be modified for students on a case-by-case basis.  The term "firearm" includes, but is not limited to, any weapon which is designed to expel a projectile by the action of an explosion or other force, the frame or receiver of any such weapon, a muffler or silencer for such a weapon, or any explosive incendiary or poison gas.

Students may not use normally non-destructive objects such as pencils, rulers, compasses, books, etc. in a threatening way or assaultive manner.  The use of any object in a dangerous way will be treated as if the item(s) used were a dangerous weapon.

Students shall not possess toy weapons or "look-a-like" weapons at school, except with the knowledge and permission of a teacher, coach, or administrator and then only for educational purposes.  Violation of this policy will result in confiscation of the "weapon” and detention or suspension will be given depending on the student’s disciplinary history.

IF YOU HAVE A CONCERN

Take your concern to the person closest to the problem.  Regardless of where the problem is, take your concern there first.  Whether in the classroom, on the bus, on the practice field, or on the playground, the quickest and easiest solution is usually always with the staff member most directly involved.

Present your concern to the next level.  The Principal is directly responsible for supervision of staff.  The Director of Transportation oversees all school bus drivers.  These are examples of the next level of school personnel in the school district you should contact if the staff member closest to the problem hasn't been able to resolve the difficulty to your satisfaction.

Talk with the Superintendent of Schools.  Sometimes all the best intentions can't solve a problem.  When you believe you've worked hard with those closest to the problem, and you've also taken the problem to the next level but still haven't achieved a satisfactory outcome, the Superintendent of Schools is the next place to go.

Contact your school board members.  School board members are elected to represent the interest of all parents and district residents, and you should always feel free to tell them your point of view.  However, school board members do not have direct authority.  All authority in day-to-day school operations is the result of official actions by a majority of the board members at meetings open to the public.


 

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