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Tonawanda Middle School STUDENT HANDBOOK SCHOOL MISSION STATEMENT

We, the staff of Tonawanda Middle School, are committed to providing the best education possible for all our students through the use of various teaching and learning strategies, coinciding with a standards-based curriculum. We will foster a positive environment that promotes academic achievement in all students, while nurturing their social and emotional growth. We are determined to monitor student progress as often as possible in the classroom and in after-school enrichment programs. We accept the responsibility to help all students reach their maximum educational potential, and strive to prepare our students to make responsible decisions in preparation for the many challenges that they will face in the future.

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SCHOOL PROCEDURES

TEXTBOOKS (CARE OF) When an assigned book is lost or damaged, the student is responsible to make payment for the replacement or repair of the book. We encourage parents to cultivate a respect for books in their children. Please discuss the need to be responsible for textbooks. Help your children protect their books with book covers.

EARLY ARRIVAL Students who come to school before homeroom must report to and stay in cafeteria C-D or remain outside the building until the homeroom bell sounds. Students are not permitted to be in the hallways or use their lockers without teacher permission. ATTENDANCE/VACATIONS It is each student’s basic responsibility as a member of the school community to be on time and attend all classes. Daily telephone calls will be made to parents/guardians to report unexcused absences. The following reasons for student absences from school are recognized as excused: 1. Personal illness 2. Illness or death in the family 3. Impassable roads or weather making travel unsafe 4. Religious observance 5. Medical appointment 6. Approved school-sponsored trips 7. Quarantine 8. Required court appearances Any other absence is considered unexcused. Written excuses from a parent/guardian must be submitted to the main office within two school days after the student has returned to school or the student will be considered truant from school.

LOCKERS Periodic inspections will be made by teachers to see that lockers are clean, neat and orderly. Students should use only the locker assigned to them and keep it locked. Students should not give their combinations to anyone or tamper with another person’s locker. BACKPACKS AND JACKETS ARE TO REMAIN IN THE STUDENT’S LOCKER DURING THE SCHOOL DAY! PROPERTY DAMAGE The students at Tonawanda Middle School are very fortunate to have the wonderful facilities to use, plus the equipment that supports the curriculum and student outcomes. All the new computer hardware, printers, projectors and wiring have been put into our school to enhance the learning process. We are indebted to the community for providing this equipment, but at the same time each student is to be responsible for the proper care and use of all the equipment.

It is recommended that the school be notified at least one week prior to leaving on a family vacation. However, New York State Law considers vacations while school is in session an illegal absence. It is expected that students make up work to the satisfaction of the individual teacher while being absent for any reason. In the case of an extended absence, please contact the school counselor to obtain daily assignments.

Acts of vandalism will be addressed according to district procedures. Each case will result, when appropriate, in a request for restitution for damages from the parents. VISITORS Visitors to our school are always welcome. Please report directly to the office to obtain an official visitor’s pass.

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STUDENT CONDUCT IN THE CAFETERIA/LUNCHROOM 1. Be on time. 2. Respect the monitor/teachers. 3. Talk in quiet, conversational voice. 4. No pushing, running or throwing food. 5. No glass containers. 6. Keep uneaten food on trays and empty trays carefully. 7. Remain seated until dismissed by the monitor/teacher. Students who misbehave during lunch time will be reminded of the rules after their first offense. Students who continue to misbehave will have their parents contacted and may be disciplined under the district’s code of conduct.

parents. They have the right to determine how the student shall dress, provided that such attire is not destructive to school property, complies with requirements for health and safety, does not interfere with the educational process, or impinge upon the rights of others. The administration is authorized to take action in instances where individual dress code does not meet these state requirements. This policy does not mean that student, faculty, or parent groups may not recommend appropriate dress for school or special occasions. It means that a student shall not be prevented from attending school or a school function, or otherwise be discriminated against, so long as his/her dress and appearance meet the above requirements.

FIRE AND SAFETY DRILLS Teachers will inform students as to specific fire drill instructions. When the fire alarm rings, students should go quickly to the designated exit. Students must remain quiet in the event that directions are given.

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BICYCLES Bicycles brought to school should be kept in the bike racks located near the back parking lot. Bikes are not to be parked by trees, bushes, or street signs. Students must provide their own bike security.

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CHARACTER EDUCATION The Tonawanda City School District works in partnership with parents to maintain a learning and working environment that supports positive student attitudes and the character development of its students. Character development will reflect and reinforce character and civic values such as honesty, integrity, responsibility, hard work, and. respect for others. Parents, students, and the school community will work together to teach, promote, and model ethical behavior. The Tonawanda City School District will reflect and reinforce positive character traits that embody community values and promote principles of fairness and justice.

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No tube tops, spaghetti straps, or tank tops No backless shirts No see through clothing No bare midriffs Shorts and skirts must reach fingertips and cover all undergarments No sunglasses, hats or bandanas (except for medical reasons) No chains No writing on self No footwear without backs No item of clothing should have vulgar language, sexual or drug promoting messages including alcohol and tobacco or gang/group affiliation No pants with excessive number of pockets, chains or loops, or writing on the derriere. No pajama bottoms Jewelry is not to be worn in physical education classes Jackets are not to be worn during the school day Backpacks are to remain in lockers during the school day

USE OF BICYCLES, SKATEBOARDS, ROLLERBLADES, AND SNEAKER SKATES ON SCHOOL PROPERTY Students are encouraged to ride their bicycles to school; however, they must walk their bicycles on school sidewalks. As soon as students arrive at school, they should park and lock their bicycles in the appropriate area. The school is not responsible for stolen or damaged bicycles. The use of skateboards, roller skates, sneaker skates, scooters, and rollerblades are not allowed in school. If a student uses these items in school, they will be confiscated.

APPROPRIATE DRESS CODE The responsibility for the dress and appearance of students shall rest with the individual students and 3


LUNCH PROGRAM We invite all students to show their support for their school lunch service program through frequent participation. Children from households that meet Federal income guidelines may apply for free or reduced price meals. Program benefits and services are available to all children without regard to race, sex, handicap, age or national origin. A record of student purchases is available in the Main Office or by calling 695-5506.

attending future events for a specific period of time. All spectators at Tonawanda City School District interscholastic events will be expected to • Encourage good sportsmanship for all players, coaches, and officials at every game, practice or other sporting event. • Place the emotional and physical well being of the students participating first. • Support the coaches and officials working with the children and encourage a positive and enjoyable experience for all. • Demand a sports environment for the children that is free from drugs, tobacco and alcohol pursuant to the District’s Code of Conduct. • Encourage sportsmanlike behavior from all participants and other spectators.

USE OF ELECTRONIC DEVICES Students may not operate electronic devices in school or on school property 7:50-2:30. Electronic devices are defined as cell phones, pagers, electronic organizers, personal laptops, any type of camera, portable CD players, headphones, MP3 players, hand-held video games, etc. 1st offense, students will be able to retrieve these items at the end of the day.* 2nd offense, with the same student, a one-hour detention will be assigned. * 3rd offense, with the same student, a day of inschool suspension will be assigned. *4th offense, with the same student, the student will be assigned a three-day, out of school suspension. *5th offense, with the same student, the student will be assigned a five-day, out of school suspension. Upon further offenses with the same student, the student will face a Superintendent’s Hearing. The length of time for out-of-school suspension will be determined during the hearing by the Superintendent. For special circumstances, an administrator may grant permission in writing for the use of electronic devices.

BULLYING WILL NOT BE TOLERATED! VISIT THE DISTRICT’S WEBSITE AT www.tona.wnyric.org

* With the second or any other repeated offenses, a parent/guardian must come into school to retrieve the electronic device. SPECTATOR SPORTSMANSHIP AT INTERSCHOLASTIC EVENTS The Tonawanda City School District expects the same behavior of all spectators at school-sponsored sports events that it expects of its staff and students during the regular school day. Spectators at sports events who do not abide by the following guidelines will, in the first instance, be reminded of their obligation, and in the second instance, be STUDENT asked to leave the event and/or refrain from 4

RESPONSIBILITIES


We strive to help our students develop a positive attitude toward academic achievement and responsible decision-making which is necessary to enable students to exercise their individual rights. Parents play an important and active role in helping their children practice responsible decision-making.

ATTENDANCE New York State Law requires pupils to attend school regularly. Daily attendance to school is your responsibility. Please make sure you attend school every day unless you have a legal excuse. A written excuse from a parent/guardian must be submitted to the main office within two school days after the student has returned to school or the student will be considered truant from school.

Students who choose to protect their individual rights demonstrate the responsible decisionmaking behavior of: •

Attending school daily, except when ill, and being on time to all classes

Conducting themselves in accordance with school rules and expectations of good behavior

Expressing verbal/written opinions in a respectful way to prevent interference with the rights and privileges of others

Participating in a positive way with teachers and counselors during informal talks to solve problems in a productive way so students’ behavior will not have to be addressed at the formal stage of disciplinary action

Becoming aware of inappropriate behaviors and actions which constitute serious wrongdoing and then using good decision-making skills to avoid the problem

TARDY Students are responsible to be on time every day. If a student is late 5 times within a five week marking period without an excuse, a letter will be sent home and a two-hour detention will be assigned. Further action may be necessary if the student continues to be tardy to school. SMOKING Smoking is harmful to everyone’s health. Students, visitors, parents/guardians and faculty are not permitted to smoke at any time in the school building or on school grounds including Clinton Small Stadium. If you are concerned about your child’s smoking, please contact the school counselor or nurse. PRINCIPAL REFERRAL PROCESS The staff seeks to insure that its disciplinary procedures are consistent and fair. Disciplinary responses vary from informal talks with a teacher to an informal hearing with the Principal to a hearing with the Superintendent of Schools.

Utilizing teachers and resources after school if assistance is needed after calling home first

If you have any questions or concerns about the district’s policy on school conduct and discipline, please contact the building Principal at your earliest convenience.

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ACTIVITIES & ORGANIZATIONS ATHLETICS Students are encouraged to take advantage of Tonawanda’s many sports programs. Seventh and Eighth Grade students are able to participate in most school sports offered at the Senior High. To participate a student must: 1. Pass a physical exam by the school physician or provide written proof from a private physician 2. Be academically eligible 3. Meet NYS maturity and fitness standards 4. Provide written parental permission Additionally, a variety of intramural sports are provided throughout the school year.

stories, do the “paste-up” work, and finally fold and distribute the papers to the entire Middle School. COMPUTER CLUB The Computer Club is open to all students who have an interest in computers and other areas of technology. STUDENT COUNCIL Student Council is a government organization that allows students to experience the parliamentary procedure while encouraging better communication among students, staff and the community. Many school events are sponsored by the Student Council. Please encourage your child to become involved.

DANCES/ACTIVITIES/FIELD TRIPS Club sponsored dances/activity functions are held in the secondary complex from 6 to 8:00 p.m. Tickets are sold on a pre-sale basis only. Parent chaperones are encouraged to attend. Students will not be allowed to attend any of the above activities if the following suspension(s) has occurred. - In School Suspension – within 5 school weeks prior to dance/activity. - 1 day Out of School Suspension – within 10 school weeks prior to dance/activity. - 2 day Out of School Suspension – within 15 school weeks prior to dance/activity - 3 day Out of School Suspension – within 20 school weeks prior to dance/activity - 4 day Out of School Suspension – within 30 school weeks prior to dance/activity

NATIONAL JUNIOR HONOR SOCIETY The purposes of the National Junior Honor Society are to: create enthusiasm for scholarship, stimulate a desire to render service, promote leadership, develop character, and encourage citizenship. Membership is open to all students who have a cumulative scholastic average of at least 90% and rank in the top 10% of their grade level. Students who meet the scholastic requirements are then evaluated by a faculty member on the basis of leadership, service, character, and citizenship. A ceremony is held in the spring for the induction of new members. Every year, in addition to many other activities, at least one service project is chosen based on school or community need.

NEWSPAPER CLUB If you like to write or create original drawings or cartoons, and are interested in what is happening at school, you will be interested in the Newspaper Club. Each member volunteers to write about a current school event, write an editorial column, or do an update on the latest trend in fashion, music or movies. The students decide what to include in each issue of the paper, research and write the

INFORMAL 8TH GRADE DINNER DANCE During the spring, the 8th grade class is invited to attend an informal dinner dance sponsored by the Student Council. Appropriate dress and parent permission is required. Information is sent home in May.

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ENVIRONMENT CLUB The Environmental Club is designed to teach students to become more aware of their environment and the effects they have on it. Students are also taught to take an active role in protecting the environment. One of the activities that is sponsored by the club to promote these goals is school-wide recycling.

MATH CLUB The Math Club is based upon “Mathcounts”, a national organization supporting excellence in math while promoting interest and enthusiasm for math. Students will experience math competitions designed to produce high levels of math achievements in our students. NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF STUDENTS AGAINST VIOLENCE EVERYWHERE (SAVE) An organization for students to make a positive difference in safety efforts in our school

DRAMA CLUB The objective of the Drama Club is to expose students to professional and amateur productions. In our meetings, we discuss the aspects of acting and use familiar plays to practice reading with expression and intonation. As the club continues to grow, we hope to practice acting with props, which will eventually lead to a play production for the public.

WHOM DO I CONTACT ABOUT? Athletics ………………… Busing – Rainbow ………. Cafeteria – Student Printout Counselors ………………. Family Assistance Center (F.A.C.T.) ………... Main Office ………………

MEMORY BOOK CLUB The club is open to 6th, 7th and 8th grade students. Students have the opportunity to design and create the Tonawanda Middle School Memory Book. Students are exposed to design, layout, editing and sales experience. FRENCH CLUB Crafts, games, video and food tasting activities are experienced while learning about parliamentary procedures, culture, diet and customs of French speaking people. These activities are best suited for students who are studying French at the present time but are open to everyone. SPANISH CLUB Students will have the opportunity to promote knowledge and understanding of the Spanish language, customs and the culture of Spanish speaking people. CHESS CLUB The Tonawanda Middle School Chess Club meets weekly to develop a game that is always popular. Tournaments with other area schools and other activities punctuate our active club environment. The Chess Club is open to any seventh or eighth grade student. Involved students learn to think critically, be a good sportsman and meet new friends.

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694-7675 694-8171 695-5506 694-7660 695-5578 694-7660


Tonawanda Middle School – Homework Policy Purpose •

Homework is defined as the time students spend outside the classroom in assigned learning activities. The purpose of homework should be to practice, reinforce, or apply acquired skills and knowledge (Poway USD). Homework extends learning opportunities beyond the school day (Marzano). Homework assignments serve on of two purposes: •

Practice of basis skills – If this is the purpose; there will not be a penalty for wrong answers. In some cases, a grade for effort may be assigned on this type of assignment.

Application and reinforcement of material that has been taught in class. These assignments may be graded for accuracy.

EXPECTATIONS •

Homework is the responsibility of the student. Parents play a supportive role by monitoring completion of assignments, encouraging effort and providing a conducive learning environment. Research shows that the average student doing homework outperforms 75% of students in a no homework class (Cooper).

Homework will have a strong emphasis on reading and writing. When appropriate, the Step Up to Writing method will be used when completing assignments. Students will have math homework on a regular basis (nightly). Clear directions and modeling, when necessary, will be given to students by his or her teacher. If the student is unsure about an assignment, it is the student’s responsibility to ask for clarification. See the teacher after school for extra help.

Teachers will let students know how successful they are on their homework assignments. Homework will be checked in class on the day that the assignment is due or the assignment will be collected, corrected, and returned so that students know if they understand the material or if they need additional help.

Homework will account for up to 20% of a student’s class grade. Completing homework assignments on time will improve a student’s grade in two ways •

Students will receive the most credit for assignments that are completed on time. Points will be deducted for late assignments.

Doing homework will help students practice and understand the material that is being taught in class.

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Expectations Cont’d. •

Students should expect that the length of homework should be no greater than one hour per evening. When completing long-term assignments, expect clear checkpoints by the teacher. If weekend homework is assigned, it will be minimal. In most instances there will not be homework assigned over holidays; however, parents should expect many tests and assignments prior to an extended break.

Long term or project-based assignments will, in many cases, be completed in the classroom under the supervision and guidance of the teacher.

If for any reason a student misses a class (ex.: music lesson, leadership, nurse, etc.) it is the students responsibility to hand in all assignments by the due date.

Students should use their daily planners to write down each homework assignment. This should include how long each assignment should take (ex.: math – 12 minutes). Some teachers have students start homework in class to see if they understand the assignment.

Students should use technology whenever possible. Webquests, Blogs, and resource information on the Web could be used to complete homework assignments. If students do not have access to technology at home, the Library Media Center (LMC) will be available after school.

School administrators will be supportive of teacher efforts in getting students to complete homework assignments. All stakeholders are held accountable for student learning, however, the child needs to be responsible for making sure assignments are completed.

Consequences •

ACT (Academic Completion Time) or other appropriate consequences will be assigned in the event that homework is not done or is incomplete. Failure to attend ACT may result in a Principal’s detention being assigned.

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Pursuant to Board of Education Policy #3420 summarized below staff, students and visitors have the right to work in our district free from any form of harassment. The Board of Education has adopted an anti- harassment policy that protects you. SUBJECT: ANTI-HARASSMENT IN THE SCHOOL DISTRICT The Board of Education affirms its commitment The Board of Education affirms its to nondiscrimination and recognizes its Commitment to nondiscrimi responsibility to provide an environment that is free of harassment and intimidation. Harassment is a violation of law and stands in direct opposition to District policy. Therefore, the Board prohibits and condemns all forms of harassment on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, political affiliation, sex, age, marital or veteran status, or disability by employees, school volunteers, students, and non employees such as contractors and vendors as well as any third parties who are participating in, observing, or otherwise engaging in activities subject to the supervision and control of the District. The Board also prohibits harassment based on an individual’s opposition to discrimination or participation in a related investigation or complaint proceeding under the antidiscrimination statutes. This policy of nondiscrimination and anti-harassment will be enforced on School District premises and in school buildings; and at all school sponsored events, programs, and activities, including those that take place at locations off school premises.

For purposes of this policy, harassment shall mean communication (verbal, written or graphic) and/or physical conduct based on an individual’s actual or perceived race, color, creed, religion, national origin, political affiliation, sex, age, marital or veteran status, or disability that: a)

Has the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or is used as a basis for employment decisions (including terms and conditions of employment) affecting such individual; and/or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment;

b) Has the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably interfering with a student’s academic performance or participation in an educational or extracurricular activity, or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive learning environment; and/or effectively bars the students access to an educational opportunity or benefit;

It is intended that this policy apply to the dealings between or among employees with employees; employees with students; students with students; employees/students with vendors/contractors and others who do business with the School District, as well as school volunteers, visitors, guests and other third parties. All of these persons are hereinafter referred to collectively as “the named group.”

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Otherwise adversely affects the employment and/or educational opportunities and benefits provided by the District.

The School District will act to promptly investigate all complaints, either verbal or written, formal or informal, of allegations of harassment based on any of the characteristics described above; and will promptly take appropriate action to protect individuals from further harassment.

If you feel you have been subjected to any form of harassment, please contact the following district officers: Sexual Harassment All Other Harassment

Assistant Superintendent Assistant Superintendent

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694-7681 694-7681


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