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Student Handbook

Below is Avon Middle School's 2018-2019 Student Handbook. 

 

HUMAN RIGHTS & RESPONSIBILITIES

The Avon Middle School community understands that for our rights and liberties to thrive and be protected, we must mutually recognize and agree to fulfill our responsibilities as citizens of our school community.

Therefore, we state that it is our basic responsibilities of good citizenship to act for the benefit of others and to support education for all; to welcome and support the diversity of others without bias; and to do the right thing and make good choices so that we may be afforded:

The right to develop one’s own personality without disrespectful bias, criticism or pressure from others.

Freedom from mental abuse, physical and/or verbal abuse such as name calling, intimidation, bullying, profanity, digital media abuse, or gossip and spreading rumors

Freedom from being set apart or mocked because of race, sex, religion, cultural stereotypes, physical strength, size, features, friendship groups, age, culture, handicap, financial status, clothing, gender identification, or any other human differences.

The right of privacy and freedom from being singled out disrespectfully, or permanently labeled as a result of honest mistakes; the right to be treated respectfully, and the freedom to take intellectual risks without fear.

The right to an education which means teachers should be free to teach and students free to learn without being interrupted by inconsiderate or unruly students.

The right for students to be heard and considered with respect, for their viewpoints and learning styles to be valued, and to have the right to participate in decision-making about their own education.

The right to have personal and school property respected everywhere by students and staff, including personal digital property; our school community should be a safe place for property as well as people.

This document was created by Avon Middle School Student Council, 2002

(Revised and updated by a student committee, May 2016)

Policies and Procedures

GENERAL INFORMATION

Avon Public Schools Mission Statement: Our mission is to inspire in each student a joy and passion for learning and a commitment to excellence, personal integrity, and social responsibility.

PREFACE

The material covered within this student handbook is intended as a method of communicating to students and parents regarding general district information, rules and procedures and is not intended to either enlarge or diminish any Board policy, administrative regulation or negotiated agreement. Material contained herein may therefore be superseded by such Board policy, administrative regulation or negotiated agreement. Any information contained in this handbook is subject to unilateral revision or elimination from time-to-time without notice.

This booklet is written for our students and their parents. It contains required and useful information. Because it cannot be as personal a communication as we would like, we address students not directly as “you” but rather as “the student,” “students,” or “children.” Likewise, the term “the student’s parent” may refer to the parent, legal guardian, or other person who has agreed to assume responsibility for the student. Both students and parents need to be familiar with the District’s Student Code of Conduct which is intended to promote school safety and an atmosphere conducive for learning.

The Student Handbook is designed to be in harmony with Board policy. Please be aware that the handbook is updated yearly, while policy adoption and revision may occur throughout the year. Changes in policy that affect portions of this Handbook will be made available to students and parents through newsletters, web pages, and other communications.

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY

Each student is encouraged to develop and achieve individual educational goals. The district will provide every student with equal educational opportunities regardless of race, color, creed, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, religion, age, economic status, marital status, or disability. No student will be excluded on such basis from participating in or having access to any course offerings, student athletics, counseling services, employment assistance, extracurricular activities or other school resources. Programs and activities shall be accessible and usable by individuals with disabilities as prescribed by law.

Mr. James Pappa,  Assistant Principal at Avon Middle School and Ms. Cara Boland are the designated district compliance officer, who will coordinate compliance with the nondiscrimination requirements of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

ADVERTISING
The public schools maintain careful controls on the way in which students are exposed to materials and announcements, other than those directly related to school sponsored programs and activities. Caution is exercised to prevent exploitation of the system and its students. District-prescribed standards shall be met.

ASBESTOS
Legislation requires all school buildings to be reevaluated to determine if asbestos is present and if it poses a significant health hazard to the building’s occupants. The District has on file plans showing the location of asbestos in each building and measures undertaken to comply with regulations to maintain a safe school environment. Request to review these plans may be made in the school office.

ASSEMBLIES
There are times when classes, grades, teams or the entire school may gather for assembly programs. These programs are arranged to bring information or entertainment to the student community. A student’s conduct in assemblies must meet the same standards as in the classroom.

ATTENDANCE
Connecticut state law requires parents to make sure that their children between the ages of 5 to 18 attend school regularly. Daily attendance is a key factor in student success, thus any absence from school is an educational loss to the student. These rules are designed to minimize student absenteeism while providing students the opportunity to make up school work missed due to a legitimate absence.

A student is considered to be “in attendance” if present at his/her assigned school, or an activity sponsored by the school, such as a field trip, for at least half of the regular school day. A student serving an out-of-school suspension or an expulsion will always be considered absent.

School is in session each day from 7:35 am to 2:15 pm. Students are not permitted to enter the school prior to 7:20 a.m. unless arrangements are made with a teacher for extra help or for early morning extracurricular activities. In the event of 2 hour delayed school openings, school will commence at 9:35 a.m. Students are not permitted to enter school prior to 9:20 a.m. In the event of half day early dismissals, students will be dismissed at 10:45 a.m.

Absence
Every attempt should be made to confine necessary appointments to after school, weekends and vacation periods. When a parent determines that an absence is necessary, parents are requested to contact the school as early as possible by telephoning the school at (860)404-4770.

In addition to a phone call, the parent is required to send a written excuse to the school on the date of the student’s return. The student should submit the excuse directly to the office. Parents should contact the child’s team leader in order to take advantage of special services such as the collection of homework assignments for the student who must be out several days.

The responsibility for makeup of work lays with the student. Unless a student has an extended illness, all makeup privileges must be completed after the student returns to school. Generally, class work, including tests and quizzes, can be made up within a period not longer than twice the length of the student's absence. Additional time may be obtained upon request if a reasonable excuse is approved by the school administration. A schedule of teacher availability for make-up assignments will be regularly communicated to students. Additional assistance may be obtained from teachers at the request of the student at a time specified by the teacher.

Although the school will maintain records and keep parents informed within the limit of its capability, parents and students are expected to keep accurate attendance records and compare them to report cards issued quarterly. Parents are also encouraged to contact the teachers, guidance counselors and administrators to get help in verifying attendance and attendance records at any time during the year.

Disciplinary Absences
Absences that are the result of school or district disciplinary action are excluded from these definitions.

Early Dismissal
Students needing to be dismissed early should bring a note to school stating the time of dismissal. Notes must be given in to the office before the start of first period. If someone other than the parent is to pick up the student, their names should be stated in the dismissal note. All students must be signed out by their parent or their parent’s contact designee. Students need to come to the office at the time of dismissal.

Excused Absence
A student’s absence from school shall be considered excused if written documentation of the reason for the absence has been submitted within ten school days of the student’s return to school or in accordance with Section 10-210 of the Connecticut General Statutes and meets the following criteria:

1. For absences one through nine, a student’s absences from school are considered excused when the student’s            parent/guardian approves such absence and submits appropriate documentation.

2. For the tenth absence and all absences thereafter, a student’s absences from school are considered excused for        the following reasons:

  • student illness (Note: all student illness absences must be verified by an appropriately licensed medical professional to be deemed excused, regardless of the length of absence)
  • student’s observance of a religious holiday
  • death in the student’s family or other emergency beyond the control of the student’s family
  • mandated court appearances (additional documentation required)
  • the lack of transportation that is normally provided by a district other than the one the student attends (no parental documentation is required for this reason)
  • extraordinary educational opportunities pre-approved by district administrators and in accordance with Connecticut State Department of Education guidance

Leaving School Grounds/Release of Students from School
Under no circumstances may a student leave the school or school grounds during school hours without permission from his/her parents or guardians and school administration. In the event it is necessary for a student to be dismissed early, a parent or guardian should send a written request to the office. Telephone requests for early dismissal of a student shall be honored only if the caller can be positively identified as the student’s parent or guardian. Children of single-parent families will be released only upon the request of the parent whom the court holds directly responsible for the child and who is identified as such in the school records, unless prior arrangements have been made with the school. Arrangements should be made with the building administrator on the parent or guardian to pick up the student in the school office.

If someone other than a parent/guardian picks up the student, the person appearing in the school office should be pre-identified to the school through prior communication and show two (2) forms of identification (including a driver’s license) when signing the student out of school.

Tardiness
Students who are not in their homeroom by 7:35 A.M. are considered tardy and must report directly to the office. A student discovered on school grounds who has not signed in at the office will also be considered tardy. A student who is repeatedly tardy may be considered truant. Students may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension if the principal determines that tardiness is excessive.

Students will receive an after-school detention for every five (5) times they are tardy to school (excused or unexcused). A detention may be waived by an administrator if the cause of the tardiness is unavoidable.

Truancy
A student with four (4) unexcused absences in one month or ten (10) unexcused absences in a school year will be considered a truant. Parents have the responsibility to assist school officials in remedying and preventing truancy. Unexcused absences from school or a class are considered a serious offense and may result in disciplinary action. The Superintendent of Schools will file a written complaint with Superior Court Juvenile Matters if the parent fails to cooperate with the school in trying to solve the student’s truancy problem. Unexcused absences from school or a class are considered a serious offense and may result in disciplinary action.

Unexcused Absence
A student’s absence from school shall be considered unexcused unless they meet one of the following criteria:

1. the absence meets the definition for an excused absence (including documentation requirements);

2. the absence meets the definition of a disciplinary issue

BOARD OF EDUCATION
Board members are unpaid elected public officials with the responsibility for governance of the school district. The current members of the Avon Board of Education are:

Chairperson: Debra Chute

Members: Jacqueline Blea, David Cavanaugh, Jeffrey S. Fleischman,  Jason Indomenico, Houston Putnam Lowry, Bogdan Oprica, Jay Spivak,and Laura Young.

Meetings of the Board follow a planned and posted agenda. At a certain time in the agenda the Board chairperson will recognize individuals who want to make a statement, or to express a viewpoint. In addition, if they give advance notice to the Superintendent, individuals with relevant issues for discussion may have such issues placed on a future Board agenda for a more thorough discussion of the topic. The Board’s main purpose is policy setting designed to improve student learning. Board members are interested in the public’s opinion on district issues, which can assist them in formulating policy which reflects community values and expectations.

BULLYING
Bullying behavior by any student in the Avon Public Schools is strictly prohibited, and such conduct may result in disciplinary action, including suspension and/or expulsion from school. “Bullying” means the repeated use by one or more students of a written, oral or electronic communication, such as cyber bullying, directed at or referring to another student attending school in the same school district or a physical act or gesture by one or more students repeatedly directed at another student attending school in the same school district that:

A. Causes physical or emotional harm to such student or damage to such student’s property,

B. Places such student in reasonable fear of harm to himself or herself, or of damage to his or her property,

C. Creates a hostile environment at school for such student,

D. Infringes on the rights of such student at school, or

E. Substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school.

Bullying shall include, but not be limited to, a written, verbal or electronic communication or physical act or gesture based on any actual or perceived differentiating characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, socioeconomic status, academic status, physical appearance, or physical, mental, developmental or sensory disability, or by association with an individual or group who has or is perceived to have one or more of such characteristics.

Students who engage in any act of bullying, on school grounds, at a school-sponsored or school-related activity, function or program whether on or off school grounds, at a school bus stop, on a school bus or other vehicle owned, leased or used by the Board of Education, or through the use of an electronic device or an electronic mobile device owned, leased or used by the Board of Education, and outside of the school setting if such bullying:

A. Creates a hostile environment at school for the victim,

B. Infringes on the rights of the victim at school, or

C. Substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school.

Students and/or parents may file verbal or written complaints concerning suspected bullying behavior, and students shall be permitted to anonymously report acts of bullying to school employees. Any report of suspected bullying behavior will be promptly reviewed. If acts of bullying are verified, prompt disciplinary action may be taken against the perpetrator, consistent with his/her rights of due process. Board policy and regulation #2009 set forth this prohibition and the related procedures in detail, and are available to students and their parents/guardians upon request. Furthermore, a Safe School Climate Plan, outlining our mission to alleviate bullying among our community members, has been developed for Avon Middle School in compliance with the Board’s policy. A copy of the plan can be found on-line at www.avon.k12.ct.us/avonmiddle and in our main office.

CAFETERIA
All eating is to be done in the cafeteria. Food is not permitted elsewhere in the building. Rules of cleanliness are to be observed at all times. Misconduct in the cafeteria may be cause for receiving an assigned seat or forfeiting the right to eat in that location or such other disciplinary action deemed appropriate for the misconduct.

The District participates in the National School Lunch Program and offers to students nutritionally balanced lunches daily. Free and reduced price lunches are available based on financial need. Information on this program can be obtained from the Director of Food Services, Maggie Dreher, (860) 404-4724.

Food and beverages offered for sale to students, whether in the cafeteria or vending machines will meet federal and state standards and guidelines. Sodas and sports drinks will not be available for sale. In conformity with applicable law, necessary accommodations will be provided, where required, for students with food allergies, including emergency procedures to treat allergic reactions which may occur. Charging is not encouraged by the District but on those occasions that a student does not have money they will be offered an alternate meal.

CHILD ABUSE
All school employees, including teachers, superintendents, principals, coaches of intramural or interscholastic athletics, paraprofessionals and other professional school staff including guidance counselors, social workers, psychologists, and licensed nurses are obligated by law (C.G.S. 17a-101) to report suspected child abuse, neglect, or if a child is placed in imminent danger of serious harm to the Connecticut State Department of Children and Families Services. Specific procedures governing the reporting of abuse and neglect are in effect, and staff receives yearly training in their use.

Reporting of child abuse and neglect is a responsibility which is taken seriously. If there is any doubt about reporting suspected abuse or neglect a report will be made. The school will work with the parents and appropriate social agencies in all cases.

Child abuse is defined as any physical injury inflicted by other than accidental means or injuries which are not in keeping with the explanation given for their cause. Improper treatment such as malnutrition, sexual molestation, deprivation of necessities, emotional abuse, cruel punishment or neglect is also considered child abuse.

CLASS PLACEMENT
Every effort will be made to place students with teachers and on academic teams where a positive student-teacher relationships will be established. Parents will have an opportunity to provide information relative to placement. The final decision for placement rests with the principal.

COMPUTER RESOURCES
District resources have been invested in computer technology to broaden instruction and to prepare students for an increasingly computerized society. Use of these resources is restricted to students working under a teacher’s supervision and for approved purposes only. Students and parents will be asked to sign a user agreement regarding appropriate use of these resources. Violations of this agreement may result in withdrawal of privileges and other disciplinary action.

Responsible Computer, Network and Internet Use Policy

General Security
 

  • All technology resources (e.g., computers, networks, peripherals, and related software) that are the property of APS or utilize APS networks must be used in compliance with APS policy statements.
  • Users have no expectation of privacy.
  • Use of APS technology resources, including the Public Wireless Network, constitutes acceptance of this monitoring policy.
  • Any attempt to circumvent APS security policy is strictly prohibited.
  • Unauthorized use, destruction, modification, and/or distribution of APS information or information systems is prohibited.
  • These policies can be changed at any time and become effective immediately upon distribution by any means to affected individuals.

Network Security

  • Access may be restricted.
  • Users must regularly review and delete unnecessary files. Disk quotas will be in effect for users.
  • Users will NOT download or store any program files, utilities, batch, executable, or install files. Technology resources will be monitored to ensure compliance and access may be restricted or terminated at any time. Files found not to comply will be subject to deletion at any time.
  • Prior to gaining access to APS computing resources, all users must acknowledge their obligation under this policy. Any user violating these administrative regulations may be disciplined.
  • Requests for adding or modifying user accounts must be submitted to the Office of Technology.

Password Security
 

  • All user accounts must be configured with a policy compliant password:
  • Passwords will be a minimum of 8 characters.
  • Password cannot contain any part of a username or user’s name.
  • Sharing or disclosing of passwords is prohibited.
  • Utilizing another individual’s credentials to gain access to technology resources is prohibited.
  • Users may be required to change passwords periodically.

Device Utilization and Security

  • The Office of Technology has the responsibility to install all approved software, hardware or peripherals onto any APS device.
  • Network access using any non-APS device (e.g., user’s personal laptop, phone, tablet) will be limited to the Public Wireless Network.
  • Disabling, modifying, or interfering with virus protection or device settings is prohibited.
  • Disabling or interfering with logging, auditing, or monitoring software is prohibited.
  • Security irregularities, incidents, emergencies, and disasters must be reported to a school authority
  • Possession, storage, development, or the unauthorized use of tools that compromise or otherwise circumvent security (e.g., system disks, password crackers and network sniffers) is strictly prohibited.
  • Unauthorized copying or distributing of copyrighted software is a violation of federal copyright law and will not be permitted.

Network and Internet Acceptable Use

  • All internet access will be filtered.
  • All requests to modify settings must be submitted in writing/email to the Office of Technology.
  • Users will not try to circumvent filtering in any way.
  • Actions having a negative effect on APS technology resources (e.g., playing online games, listening to online broadcasts, stock tickers, weather "bugs", etc.) are prohibited unless approved and installed by the Office of Technology.  Access may be restricted or prohibited until the problem is corrected.
  • APS technology resources may only be used to further the educational mission of APS.
  • Users may not use technology resources to plagiarize..
  • APS is not responsible for the workability or serviceability of non APS devices.
Other - Staff Only
  • Account rights/privileges and access to various technology resources will be limited to what is necessary for each user to perform his or her job functions.  Only members of the Office of Technology will have administrative logins.
  • Terminated personnel will not be provided access to any APS technology resource after termination, including email access and forwarding.
  • Requests for adding, modifying, or moving computer equipment must be submitted via the online work-order system.
  • Users may not store APS files on a third party system without the prior approval of the Office of Technology.

Email – Staff and Students Grades 4–12

  • Access to email will be password protected and the APS Password Policy applies.
  • Only students in grades four through twelve may be provided with an email account. Students through grade three will have an account that is limited to logging into the service and cannot receive email.
  • Email deleted by the user is still archived for a period determined by law.
  • Email may not exceed the user's quota.
  • Language in email must comply with APS policy.  This means profanity, inappropriate language, pornography, or libelous and misleading content is prohibited (inter alia).
  • Spam is prohibited.  This includes the forwarding of chain letters.
  • Forging of emails(e.g., identification, address, headers, etc.) is prohibited.
  • Any email activity which violates APS policy should be reported to the Office of Technology.

The Avon Public School System makes no guarantee that the functions and/or services will be error-free or without defects. The district is not responsible for any damage users may suffer including, but not limited to, loss of data or interruptions of service. The district is not responsible for the accuracy or quality of the information obtained through these technology resources.

Parent Consent:
A parent/legal guardian of a student must provide written permission for their child to use APS networks and to access networked resources such as the Internet and email. Individuals and families may be held liable for violations of APS policies and procedures and laws applicable to such access. Some materials on the Internet may be objectionable, but parents are asked to accept responsibility for guidance on Internet use, including setting and conveying standards for their child to follow while selecting, sharing, or exploring information or media. Parents are therefore asked to indemnify and hold harmless APS, their agents and employees, for any misuse of access that their child commits.

CONDUCT
Students are responsible for conducting themselves properly in a responsible manner appropriate to their age and level of maturity. The district has authority over students during the regular school day and while going to and from school on district transportation. This jurisdiction includes any school-related activity, regardless of time or location, and any off campus school-related misconduct, regardless of time or location.

Student responsibilities for achieving a positive learning environment in school or school related activities include:

1. Attending all classes, regularly and on time.

2. Being prepared for each class with appropriate materials and assignments.

3. Being dressed appropriately (Refer to Dress Code Policy).

4. Showing respect toward others.

5. Behaving in a responsible manner.

6. Paying required fees and fines.

7. Abiding by the code of conduct.

8. Obeying all school rules, including safety rules, and rules pertaining to Internet safety.

9. Seeking change in school policies and regulations in an orderly and responsible manner, through appropriate              channels.

10. Cooperating with staff investigations of disciplinary cases and volunteering information relating to a serious                  offense.

Students who violate these rules will be subject to disciplinary action and shall be referred when appropriate to legal authorities for violation of the law.

Students at school or school-related activities are prohibited from:

1. Engaging in academic dishonesty, including cheating, intentionally plagiarizing, wrongfully giving or receiving help during an academic examination and wrongfully obtaining test copies or scores.

2. Throwing objects that can cause bodily injury or damage property.

3. Leaving school grounds or school-sponsored events without permission.

4. Directing profanity, vulgar language, or obscene gestures toward other students or staff.

5. Disobeying directives from school personnel or school policies, rules, and regulations.

6. Being disrespectful or directing profanity, vulgar language, or obscene gestures toward teachers or other school employees.

7. Playing with matches, fire, or committing arson.

8. Committing robbery or theft.

9. Damaging or vandalizing property owned by the school, other students, or school employees.

10. Disobeying school rules on school buses.

11. Fighting, committing physical abuse, or threatening physical abuse.

12. Committing extortion, coercion, or blackmail; that is, forcing an individual to act through the use of force or threat of force.

13. Name-calling, making ethnic or racial slurs or derogatory statements that may substantially disrupt the school program or incite violence.

14. Engaging in inappropriate physical or sexual contact disruptive to the school environment or disturbing to other students.

15. Assaulting a teacher, staff member or other individual.

16. Selling, giving, delivering, possessing, using, or being under the influence of drugs such as: marijuana; a controlled substance or drug; or an alcoholic beverage.

17. Possessing a deadly weapon, dangerous instrument, firearm, martial arts weapon, or weapon facsimile.

18. Prescription drugs which are given to person other than who the drug is prescribed.

19. Smoking or using tobacco products.

20. Hazing, bullying

21. Behaving in any way that disrupts the school environment or educational process.

22. Using electronic devices during the school day in school buildings, without prior approval of the principal.

23. Violating the district’s Internet Safety policy and/or Online Social Networking Policy...

24. Using or possessing a laser pointer unless under a staff member’s supervision and in the context of instruction.

25. Cheating, plagiarizing.

26. Threatening in any manner, including orally, in writing, or via electronic communication, a member of the school including any teacher, a member of the school administration or another employee, or a fellow student.

27. Taking, storing, disseminating, transferring, viewing or sharing of obscene, pornographic, lewd or otherwise illegal images or photographs, whether by electronic data transfer of other means, including but not limited to texting and emailing.

28. Violating any state or federal law which would indicate that the student presents a danger to any person in the school or to school property.

Students are subject to disciplinary action, including suspension and expulsion, for misconduct which is seriously disruptive of the educational process and is a violation of publicized Board of Education policy, even if such conduct occurs off-school property and during non-school time. In determining whether conduct is “seriously disruptive of the education process” for purposes of suspension and expulsion, the administration in cases of suspension, and the Board of Education or impartial hearing board, in matters of expulsion may consider, but consideration is not limited to (1) whether the incident occurred within close proximity of a school, (2) whether other students were involved, or whether there was gang involvement, (3) whether the conduct involved violence, threats of violence, or the unlawful use of a weapon and whether any injuries occurred, and (4) whether the conduct involved the use of alcohol.

Dangerous Weapons and Instruments
No guns, knives or any other objects, including martial arts weapons and facsimiles of weapons, capable of threatening or causing injury or death may be brought onto school grounds. Any object used to cause injury will be considered a weapon. Violators will be subject to arrest and prosecution, as well as, appropriate disciplinary action. Any student found to possess a weapon on school grounds or during a school-activity will be expelled from school.

An expelled student may apply for early readmission to school. Such readmission is at the discretion of the Board of Education (unless the Board has delegated authority for readmission decisions to the Superintendent.) The Board or Superintendent, as appropriate, may condition such readmission on specified criteria.

Dress Code
The Avon Board of Education encourages students to dress in a manner that reflects pride in and respect for themselves, their school and their community. Students not complying with the dress code will be asked to call parents to bring a change of clothing.

The following are prohibited:

  • apparel which promotes illegal discrimination of others based on religion, race, ethnicity, gender or disabilities;
  • apparel or accessories that depict logos or descriptive writing of sex, violence, drugs, tobacco products or alcohol;
  • clothing that is not adequate in length and coverage appropriate for school; undergarments that are visible; transparent tops, bare midriffs, strapless low cut clothing or tops and outfits that provide minimum coverage such as sleeveless tops, halters, backless dress or tops, tube tops, tank tops, spaghetti straps, strapless shirts, muscle shirts, excessively baggy pants;
  • excessively baggy pants – clothing must be secure at the waist;
  • outerwear worn during school; and
  • hats and caps in school.

Electronic Devices
Cell phones, iPods, tablets and similar devices may not be used during the school day unless explicitly permitted by an administrator and/or teacher for instructional purposes. Electronic devices used without permission may be confiscated by staff members and brought to the administration for parents to retrieve. The middle school is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged electronic devices brought to school by students.

Honor Code
Avon Middle School requires all students to follow certain standards of academic honesty and integrity. Academic integrity, respect for rules, the development of higher order thinking skills, and the acceptance of personal responsibility are basic values stated in the school's Mission Statement. As members of this school community, students are expected to follow the standards and guidelines stated in this Honor Code.

It is recognized that middle school students are developing the thinking skills necessary for becoming lifelong learners, and therefore are in the midst of building an understanding of what kinds of specific activities represent correct or incorrect academic effort. The teachers and staff of Avon Middle School will provide multiple opportunities for instruction and guidance in all of the areas which may involve student decision-making regarding academic honesty and integrity, including internet research and the correct use of related technologies.

It is the obligation of students not to violate the rules, as instructed by their teachers, or to aid in any violation by their peers. Any violation of the honor Code, or participation in unacceptable conduct as outlined below, will result in consequences appropriate to the circumstances. Consequences for student violation of the Honor Code will be determined by the subject teacher, team leader, assistant principal and/or principal in a constructive and informed manner.

1. Cheating: using unauthorized notes, study aids, electronic devices such as PDA's, or information during a quiz or test, copying another student's work, allowing another person to do one's work and then submitting that work under one's own name, submitting identical or similar papers in more than one class without permission of the teacher, or gaining access to tests, exams, or other materials not intended for use by students.

2. Plagiarism: submitting material that in part or whole is not completely the student's own work without correctly citing those same portions to their correct sources, including the internet.

3. Fabrication: falsifying or inventing any information, data or citations or sources.

4. Obtaining an Unfair Advantage:

• gaining information about quizzes or tests from students who have already completed such assignments,

• stealing or concealing materials for the purpose of depriving other students of their use,

• collaborating in an unauthorized manner on an assignment, project or report,

• doing any kind of activity with the purpose of creating or obtaining an unfair academic advantage over other students' academic work.

5. Falsification of Records and/or Documents: forging signatures of authorization on any documents, such as parental permission forms, teacher passes, tests and quizzes sent home for parent signature, progress reports, missing work reports, etc.

6. Unauthorized Access to Computer Systems: gaining entry into any computer programs or databases for which the student is not authorized, modifying computer programs, or interfering with the use of availability of computer systems or information.

Consequences for violations of the Honor Code may include, but are not limited to:

• A grade of zero – no credit for the assignment

• The student required to complete the assignment in the correct manner

• A phone call with parent(s), or letter sent home, or conference with parents(s)

• Academic detention after school

• In-school suspension or more severe consequences for repeated violations

This policy, similar in goals and expectations to Avon High School's policy, is intended to help middle school students understand the inherent value and importance of honest and genuine academic learning.

Riding Bicycles and Walking
If students wish to ride a bike or walk to or from school, the school office must have a signed permission note from a parent. The permission slip can cover the entire year or a particular sport season. Students must follow safety rules and wear helmets when riding to and from school. Once students leave school grounds, they may not return.

Smoking
Student shall not smoke or use tobacco products on school property or at any school-related or school-sanctioned activity, on or off school property as provided by state and federal law.

Telephone Use
Students may request to use the phone in the Main Office to contact parents in emergency situations. Cell phones are not to be used during school hours without explicit permission from the classroom teacher or building administration.

Substance Abuse
As stated in the CONDUCT section of this handbook, the school prohibits the manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession or use of alcohol or controlled substances on school grounds or during school activities. Any student in violation of this will be subject to disciplinary action(s) in accordance with BOE Policy No. 2040.

In addition to the prohibition pertaining to alcohol, drugs, tobacco and inhalants, the Board of Education prohibits the use of performance-enhancing drugs, including anabolic steroids and food supplements, including Creatine, by students involved in school-related athletics or any co-curricular or extracurricular school activity or program, other than use for a valid medical purpose as documented by a physician.

Substance abuse or distribution of drugs and/or drug paraphernalia including alcohol may indicate serious, underlying problems. Every effort will be made to offer student assistance, including early identification, referral for treatment to private or community agencies and aftercare support.

Disciplinary procedures will be administered with the best interests of the student, school population and community in mind and with due consideration of the rights of students. However, consideration must be given to the fact that substance abuse is illegal and subject to criminal prosecution. Unauthorized possession, distribution, sale or consumption of dangerous drugs, narcotics or alcoholic beverages is considered grounds for expulsion.

Students are encouraged to consult with teachers, administrators and other professional staff on substance abuse problems. A staff member who is contacted by a student regarding a drug or alcohol problem may elect to keep that information confidential and not disclose it to any other person in accordance with state law. However, the student will be encouraged at the earliest appropriate time to seek help from parents or guardians.

In such cases, the decision to involve the parents/guardians will be arrived jointly by the student and educator unless, in the judgment of the educator, the mental or physical health of the student is immediately and dangerously threatened by drug/alcohol use. If such danger is imminent, the parents/guardians and health officials will be notified so that appropriate action can be taken.

CYBER BULLYING
The District’s computer network and the Internet, whether accessed on campus or off campus, during or after school hours, may not be used for the purpose of harassment. All forms of harassment over the Internet, commonly known as cyber bullying, are unacceptable, a violation of District policy and of the District’s acceptable computer use policy and procedures. Cyber bullying means any act of bullying through the use of the Internet, interactive and digital technologies, cellular mobile telephone or other mobile electronic devices or any electronic communications.

Cyber bullying includes, but is not limited to, such misuses of technology as harassing, teasing, intimidating, threatening, or terrorizing another person by sending or posting inappropriate and hurtful e-mail messages, instant messages, text message, digital pictures or images, or website postings, including blogs. It is also recognized that the author (poster or sender) of the inappropriate material may be disguised or logged on as someone else.

Students and community members, who believe they have been the victims of such misuses of technology as described, should not erase the offending material from the system. A copy of the material should be printed and brought to the attention of the Safe School Climate Specialist, the Principal or Director of Technology. All reports of cyber bullying will be investigated by the Safe School Climate Specialist.

In situations in which the cyber bullying originated from a non-school computer, but brought to the attention of school officials, any disciplinary action shall be based upon whether the conduct is determined to be severely disruptive of the educational process so that it markedly interrupts or severely impedes the day-to-day operation of school. Also, such conduct must be in violation of a publicized school policy. Such conduct includes, but is not limited to, threats, or making a threat off school grounds, to kill or hurt a teacher or student.

Disciplinary action may include loss of computer privileges, detention, suspension or expulsion. A communicated threat or a hate crime will be reported to the police.

DEFIBRILLATORS IN SCHOOLS (AED’s)
Each school will have (1) one automatic external defibrillator (AED) and (2) school personnel trained in AED operation and cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The AED and trained personnel will be available during the school’s normal operational hours, at school-sponsored athletic events and practices on school grounds and at school-sponsored events not taking place during normal school operational hours. The school also has an emergency action response plan addressing the use of trained school personnel to respond to individuals experiencing sudden cardiac arrest or similar life threatening emergencies.

DISCIPLINE
A student who violates the district’s code of conduct shall be subject to disciplinary action. The district’s disciplinary action(s) may include using one or more discipline management techniques, such as detention, removal from class, removal to an alternative education program, in school suspension, out of school suspension, and expulsion. Disciplinary measures will be appropriate for the offense. In addition, when a student violates the law that student may be referred to legal authorities for prosecution. Students are subject to discipline, up to an including suspension and expulsion for misconduct, which is seriously disruptive of the educational process and violates publicized board of education policy even if such conduct occurs off-school property and during non-school time.

Detention
A student may be detained outside of school hours for violation of the code of conduct. The detention shall not begin, however, until the students’ parents have been notified of the reason for the detention and can make arrangements for the student’s transportation on the day(s) of the detention.

Office-assigned detentions are given on Tuesday or Thursday, from 2:15 pm to 3:00 pm.in a supervised classroom. Students serving detentions must arrive on –time and remain for the full duration of their detention.

Expulsion
A teacher may remove a student from all classes when the student deliberately causes a serious disruption to the teaching and learning process within the classroom.

Suspension
A teacher may remove a student from a class when the student deliberately causes serious disruption of the teaching and learning process within the classroom. School administrators will determine, using state guidelines, whether the suspension will be in-school or out-of-school.

The administration may suspend a student for infraction of school rules. Suspension is defined as an exclusion from school privileges for not more than ten (10) consecutive days, provided such exclusion shall not extend beyond the end of the school year in which suspension was imposed.

However, no student shall be suspended without an informal hearing before the building principal or his/her designee at which time the student shall be informed of the reasons for the disciplinary action and given an opportunity to explain the situation, unless circumstances surrounding the incident require immediate removal. In such instance the informal hearing will be held during the suspension.

Suspension from school will result in loss of extracurricular and social privileges during the period of suspension.

For any student suspended for the first time and who has never been expelled, the administration may shorten the length of or waive the suspension period if the student successfully completes an administration-specified program and meets any other administration-required conditions, which shall not incur an expense to the student of his/her parents.

Persistently Dangerous Schools/Victim of Violent Crime
Students enrolled in a school identified as “persistently dangerous” by the Connecticut State Department of Education or a student who is the victim of a violent criminal offense, as defined by the Department of Education, are entitled to transfer to a safe school elsewhere in the district with free transportation.

DISTRIBUTION OF MATERIALS
Printed materials may be distributed to parents by students as a means of communications. All requests from groups or individuals to have students distribute materials to the community, with the exception of school-connected organizations, will be referred to the office of the superintendent to determine whether the request complies with school policy.

The principal or his/her designee may approve such distribution providing:

1. The material is related to the school, community, local recreational or civic activity.

2. The material does not relate to any religious belief or activity, or promote private gain.

3. The material does not promote any outside governmental political party, candidate or position.

4. Does not promote profit making organizations.

5. Does not advocate a position regarding a referendum question.

Materials that have a religious content may be made available to students during non-instructional time. The District has the right to impose neutral time, place and manner restrictions on the dissemination of religious materials to ensure that students are aware that the materials are not endorsed or sponsored by the District.

Publications prepared by or for the school may be posted or distributed, with prior approval by the principal, sponsor or teacher. Such items include school posters, brochures, school newspapers and yearbook.

EMERGENCY SCHOOL CLOSING INFORMATION
In the event school is closed because of bad weather or another emergency, announcements will be made on local television stations (e.g. WVIT, WFSB, WTIC). Emergency closings will also be announced by posting on the district's website, http://www.avon.k12.ct.us. As well as through an automated call system using information provided by parents at the beginning of the year.

EXEMPTION FROM INSTRUCTION
A student will be exempted from instruction on Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), Bilingual Education, or Family Life and Sex Education upon receipt of a written request for such exemption from his/her parent or guardian.

EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES
Most extracurricular activities occur after school from 2:15 pm–3:45 p.m. and are supervised by middle school teachers. A 4:00 p.m. late bus is available Monday through Friday. Students may also make their own arrangements for transportation home at the end of the activity. Please note: Sponsors of student clubs and performing groups may establish standards of behavior, including consequences for misbehavior that are stricter than those for students in general. Students must be in good academic standings to participate in extracurricular activities. This determination shall be made by the building principal or his designee.

Athletics
Athletics are considered an integral part of the school’s educational program. Whether participation is on the intramural, interscholastic, or class level, students have an opportunity to acquire qualities of fitness, self-discipline, and cooperation. A program of after school sports is available for both boys and girls. The intramural program is designed to allow students to participate when possible. A student may join intramurals at any time during the year. Information regarding interscholastic dates will be handed out to students as well as announced in school. A valid Connecticut physical exam is required for participation as outlined by the Board of Education policy. Sport forms can be found on-line on the Avon Middle School website under downloads/forms.

The following intramural and interscholastic sports programs are available to students enrolled at AMS:

Intramural Sports:
Fall: flag football / field hockey

Winter: basketball / dodgeball / unified basketball

Spring: volleyball / floor hockey

Interscholastic Sports: *
Fall: cross country / field hockey

Spring: track & field

*A fee to participate will be required.

Clubs and Performing Groups
Many clubs reflecting student interests are organized after the opening of school. The plans, activities and functions of each club are decided upon and carried out by the members with the help of a faculty advisor. Students wishing to form a new club should contact the building principal. The following clubs are offered at AMS:

Math Counts, Poetry Club, Welcoming Team, Peer Support Club, Student Council, LEO Club, Craft Club, Yearbook Unified Theater, Debate Club, and A.C.E. Club

Dances and Social Events
School dances may be scheduled periodically during the school year. Only legally enrolled students of this school may attend dances unless other arrangements have been made and approved by the administration. Students are expected to dress appropriately for all dances. Standards of dress, admission costs, and other pertinent instructions such as time of the event will be announced prior to the dance. All school rules will apply.

Student Publications
The official student newspaper provides an instructional device in the teaching of writing and other journalistic skills. It also provides a forum for the opinion of students, school staff and members of the community, as well as to serve the entire school by reporting school activities.

The faculty advisor to the school newspaper shall have the primary responsibility of reviewing each article prior to its publication. The school principal or his/her designated representative other than the newspaper advisor may also review copy prior to its publication. However, such copy must be returned to the student editors within 72 hours after it is submitted for review. No copy may be censored except for reasons listed in board policy.

FACILITIES
Certain areas of the school will be accessible to students before and after school for specific purposes. Students are expected to remain in the area in which their activity is scheduled to take place.

After dismissed and unless involved in a teacher/staff supervised activity, students are expected to leave the campus immediately. Students may not return to campus after having previously left on the same day unless accompanied by a parent.

FEES
Materials that are part of the basic educational program are provided without charge to students. A student is expected, however, to provide his or her own supplies of pencils, erasers, and notebooks. The student may be required to pay certain other fees or deposits, including:

1. Club dues.

2. Security deposits.

3. The materials for a class project that the student will keep.

4. Personal physical education and athletic equipment and apparel.

5. Voluntary purchases of pictures, publications, class rings, yearbooks, etc.

6. Student accident insurance.

7. Insurance on school-owned instruments, instrument rental and uniform maintenance.

8. Fees for damaged library books and school-owned equipment.

9. Membership dues in voluntary clubs or student organizations and admission fees to extracurricular activities.

The fees associated with participating in extracurricular activities will be made available prior to the start of each program. Support is available through the administration in the way of fee waivers (partial or in whole) to those claiming hardship.

FIRE DRILLS AND EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS
Fire drills are held at regular intervals as required by state law. Students must follow the exit directions posted in each classroom. A crisis response drill will be substituted for one of the required monthly school fire drills. Such crisis response drill will be planned and conducted with the local law enforcement agency. Students are expected to follow the direction of teachers or others in charge quickly, quietly and in an orderly manner.

The signal for a fire drill is loud, continuous announcement. When the alarm sounds, students are to proceed along the posted exit routes in a quick, quiet and calm manner. Students should not return to the building until the return signal is given.

FOOD ALLERGIES
The school is committed to providing a safe environment for students with food allergies and to support parents regarding food allergy management. A plan based upon guidelines promulgated by the State Department of Education will be implemented for each student for the management of students with life-threatening food allergies and glycogen storage disease.

Substitutions to the regular meal provided by the school will be made for students who are unable to eat school meals because of their disabilities, when that need is certified in writing by a physician. Meal services will be provided in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of the disabled student. An Individualized Health Care Plan (IHCP) and an Emergency Care Plan (ECP) shall be developed and implemented for students identified with food allergies. Such students may also be eligible for accommodations and services under Section 504 and special education law.

FUND-RAISING
Student clubs or classes, outside organizations, and/or parent groups occasionally may be permitted to conduct fund-raising drives for approved school purposes. An application for permission must be made to the administration at least fourteen (14) days before the event. Except as approved by the Avon Board of Education, fund-raising by outside groups is not permitted on school property.

GRADING SYSTEM
Avon Middle School uses an unweighted, alpha-numeric grading system to communicate a student’s progress towards meeting the expectations established for them in any given content area. The following letter grades are given for the following range of percentages received:

A+ = 97-100 A = 93-96 A- = 90-92
B+ = 87-89 B = 83-86 B- = 80-82
C+ = 77-79 C = 73-76 C- = 70-72
D+ = 67-69 D = 63-66 D- = 60-62
F = 0-59 P = Pass (60+) W = Withdrawal
EX = Excused AU = Audit I  = Incomplete

 

Incomplete (I)
A grade of incomplete must be resolved within ten (10) school days of the close of the marking period unless an extension has been approved by the teacher. Work not completed in the designated timeframe will be calculated as a zero and the resulting grade may affect co-curricular eligibility.

Presidential Academic Excellence Award
AMS participates in honoring students who have obtained an A- average in the core academic classes over the two years of attendance with the Presidential Academic Excellence Award. Individual awards are presented to students at an end-of-the year ceremony.

Grade Reporting
Student grades are accessible to parents and students through PowerSchool, an electronic student database. At the beginning of the year, students and parents will receive unique usernames and passwords for access to their grades as well as to class schedules. Progress reports are provided electronically three times per year through this medium at the end of the first three academic quarters. A final written report card will be distributed by mail following the end of the academic year. Teachers monitor student grades frequently and identify those students receiving a C- or below to the administration along with the type and level of intervention required to support the student’s success. Parents play a vital role in this process and will be contacted for their support of any intervention that is developed to assist the student.

GREEN CLEANING PROGRAMS
A green cleaning program to clean and maintain the school will be implemented by July 1, 2011. The program provides for the procurement and proper use of environmentally preferable cleaning products in the school. The cleaning products used meet standards approved by the Department of Administrative Services and minimize potential harmful effects on human health and the environment. No parent, guardian, teacher, or staff member may bring into the school facility any consumer product which is intended to clean, deodorize, sanitize or disinfect.

GUIDANCE AND COUNSELING
Social services and counseling are rendered by professionally qualified members of the school staff. The responsibilities of the pupil services staff include helping the student function more successfully within the school environment. The district’s comprehensive counseling program strives to assist students in acquiring critical skills in the academic, career, and personal/social aspects of development.

School counselors will use a variety of methods to assist students in overcoming barriers to learning, to make strong connections with the educational opportunities in the school and to ensure that every child learns in a safe, healthy and supportive setting.

Counseling is an opportunity to talk with someone about things that are important to students. These opportunities to talk may be personal, social, educational or vocational. Counselors will listen and be open and honest with students. Students are encouraged to seek an appointment with their counselor by stopping by the guidance office before school, between classes or after school.

HEALTH SERVICES
The school health office is designed to provide care to students who become ill or are injured while in school. A cumulative health file is maintained for each student. This file includes notations of past illnesses, results of physical examinations, and other pertinent health information. Scoliosis and hearing tests are administered to students in grade eight. The results are provided to the parents.

Parents are notified of any deviation from the normal pattern of health and suggestions are given for follow-up. It is likewise important that parents notify the (school nurse) in case of a student’s illness. If a student is to be excused or limited for an extended period from participation in school activities, he/she is required to bring a statement signed by a physician. The (school nurse) is available to parents and students for conferences regarding health issues.

Administration of Medication
Parents of students requiring medication during school should contact the school nurse. Special forms are required to permit the administration of medicine in school. They are available from the school nurse. All medication must be in original container with proper labels.

In cases in which a student is able to self-administer medication, the parents or guardians must submit a signed statement that the medication must be taken during the school day and the student is capable of administering the medication. The statement must be accompanied by a physician’s, dentist’s or advanced practice registered nurse’s statement indicating the necessity and naming the medication, the strength, and the prescribed dosage. It must specify the schedule on which it is to be taken and the details of administration. Such statements must be renewed at the beginning of each school year.

A student with asthma or an allergic condition may carry an inhaler or an epipen or similar device in school at all times if he/she is under the care of a physician, physician assistant or advanced practical nurse and such practitioner certifies in writing that the child needs to keep an asthmatic inhaler or epipen at all times to ensure prompt treatment of the child’s asthma or allergic condition and to protect the child against serious harm or death. A written authorization of the parent/guardian is required.

A student with diabetes may test his/her own blood glucose levels if the student has written permission from his/her parents/guardian and a written order from a Connecticut licensed physician. The time or place of such testing shall not be restricted.

A school nurse or the principal will select a qualified school employee to, under certain conditions, give a glycogen injection to a student with diabetes who may require prompt treatment to protect him/her from serious harm or death. Written parental permission and written order from a physical are required.

Communicable/Infectious Diseases
Students with any medical condition which within the school setting may expose others to disease or contagious and infectious conditions may be excluded from school and referred for medical diagnosis and treatment. Additional information concerning this may be obtained from the school nurse.

Before a child may return to school after an absence due to such condition, parents and students may be required to submit medical evidence that their child has recovered sufficiently to prevent exposing others.

Disabilities
School district will not discriminate on the basis of disability as required under ADA, IDEA and Section 504 and C.G.S. 10-76a and any similar law or provision.

Emergency Medical Treatment
Parents are asked each year to complete an emergency information form for use by the school in the event of a medical emergency.

Health Records
School nurses maintain health records using the Connecticut “Health Assessment and Record Form.” These records are accessible to certified staff working with the child and to school health aides if permission is granted by the nurse or building administrator. Parents may request to inspect the health records of their child. Copies may be provided if requested. Original copies of the record are sent where a student transfers to another school in the state. If moving out-of-state, a copy will be forwarded. Health records are maintained for at least six years after the student graduates. The District will comply with the requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) to maintain the privacy of protected health information.

A diabetic student may test his/her own blood glucose level per the written order of a physician or advanced practice nurse stating the need and the capacity of the student to conduct self-testing. Such self-testing shall be done in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Commissioner of Education.

Homebound
Home instruction is available to students who are unable to attend school for medical and/or mental health reasons for a period of ten (10) days or longer as diagnosed by a physician, psychiatrist or the Planning and Placement Team. Home instruction may also be provided for those students who have been excluded from regular school attendance for disciplinary reasons.

Immunizations
All students must be immunized against certain diseases and must present a certificate from a physical or local health agency. If the student should not be immunized due to medical or religious reasons, a statement from a physician or the parent as appropriate must be provided. The required immunizations are: Diphtheria, Tetanus, Polio, Pertussis, Measles, Mumps, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Varicella (Chickenpox), Meningococcal, Pneumococcal, Rubella, Influenza and Hemophilus Influenza Type B.* Parents or guardians of any children unable to have the mandated immunizations prior to initial school entry and the boosters as required in the later grades may have the immunizations, on the recommendation of the Board of Education, be paid by the town.

In addition to the required immunizations for initial entry into school for kindergarten, regular and special education preschool programs, additional immunizations are required for entry into seventh grade and for entry into eighth grade and ninth or tenth grade. The school must enroll any homeless student even if the student is unable to produce the required medical and immunization records.

Physical Examinations
All students must present evidence of a physical examination upon enrollment to the district. (C.G.S. 10-204a) Health assessment shall also be required in grade 6 (or 7) and in grade 9 (or 10). All students in grades K-6 and grade 9 will undergo vision screening by the school nurse or school health aide. Hearing screening will be conducted for all students in grades K-3, grade 5 and grade 8. Postural screening will be conducted for all students in grades 5 through 9. If a homeless student, as defined by federal statute, lacks immunization/medical records, the school will enroll the child and refer the parent/guardian to the district’s homeless liaison.

HOMEWORK
Homework is an extension of clearly defined classroom activities and should be appropriate to the age, ability and level of independence of students. Teachers should assign meaningful homework that is consistent with the Board of Education's achievement goals. In addition to assigned homework, students are encouraged to read independently every day to develop and enhance their literacy skills.

Guidelines for Effective Homework Assignments

  • Homework is an appropriate extension of class work. The assignment and its purpose must be as clearly stated and carefully planned as any classroom activity.
  • When appropriate, guided practice takes place in the classroom to prepare students for the homework, but homework should not be completed during instructional time.
  • It may not be necessary for the teacher to correct all homework. It is important for the teacher to determine that the desired learning has taken place rather than just the completion of the homework.
  • Corrected homework requires a timely return in order for students to learn from the experience.
  • Homework will be assigned only when adequate time is given to prepare students for the assignment.
  • Homework will not be used for disciplinary purposes.
  • Complex, long-range assignments will incorporate clear directions, guidelines, including a sequence of tasks, deadlines and frequent progress reviews.
  • Teachers who work with the same student will coordinate, to the extent possible, homework assignments to meet the recommended average time for homework assignments.
  • At the elementary school levels, homework will not be assigned over long vacation periods, weekends or holidays.
  • The assignment of homework will be consistent with Board of Education Policy #2003 regarding religious holy days.
  • Students will be provided the opportunity to complete assigned homework within a clearly defined and reasonable timeline. Homework submitted after the designated date may be accepted, but may not receive the full credit.

Purpose of Homework

  • foster lesson enrichment;
  • strengthen and teach the application of basic skills;
  • review and practice skills that have been previously taught;
  • develop initiative, responsibility and self-direction;
  • build independent study skills;
  • teach budgeting of study time;
  • build confidence by ensuring successful learning experiences; and
  • promote parent understanding of the curriculum.

Recommended Homework Time
Grade 7: 60-90 minutes daily up to five days in a seven-day week

Grade 8: 90-120 minutes daily up to five days in a seven-day week

Responsibilities of Parents
While students assume the major responsibility for completing homework assignments, parents are encouraged to take an active interest in students' homework by:

  • Promoting a positive attitude toward homework;
  • Providing a consistent time and suitable place for homework;
  • Assisting with drills;
  • Refraining from actually doing the work, producing any section of the assignment or editing the finished product;
  • Communicating to the teacher any special circumstance that may affect the student's ability to complete the homework assignment;
  • Communicating with the teacher if the student is spending an unreasonable amount of time on the homework assignment.

Requests of Homework Assignments/Make-Up Work

  • Students are responsible for requesting their homework assignments following school absences. Students should check teacher websites and/or e-mail teacher and classmates for missing assignments. The teacher will provide the homework assignment no later than one day following the request for the homework assignment.
  • Students who will be absent due to a family vacation during the school year may be provided homework assignments that the teacher has already prepared, but parents and students should not expect teachers to prepare assignments in advance.
  • A student will be permitted to make-up tests and to turn in projects due in any class missed because of absence. Secondary teachers may assign a late penalty to any project in accordance with time-lines approved by the principal and previously communicated to students.
  • For any class missed, students may be assigned make-up work based on the instructional objectives of the subject or course and the needs of the student. The student is responsible for obtaining and completing make-up work within the time specified by the teacher.
  • Students will be given two days for every day of absence to make up missed assignments for full credit.

For additional information on the APS Homework Policy, please refer to Bd. of Ed. policy #6061, which is available on-line at www.avon.k12.ct.us.

*The special education needs and requirements in a student’s Individual Education Program (I.E.P.) or Section 504 Plan supersede the guidelines of this policy.

INSURANCE
School insurance is made available to families through a specific program. Brochures are distributed to all students at the beginning of each academic year. While the program is not mandatory, it is suggested that parents take advantage of the opportunity to provide adequate protection for their children while in school. Any such arrangements are contractual between the parent and insurance carriers and the Avon Public School assumes no liability from disputes arising from such contract.

LASER POINTERS
Students are not permitted to possess or use laser pointers while on school property, while using District transportation, or while attending school-sponsored or school-related activities, whether on or off school property unless under a staff member’s supervision and in the contest of instruction. Laser pointers will be confiscated and students will be disciplined.

LIMITED ENGLISH PROFICIENT (LEP) STUDENTS
Parents of Limited English Proficient (LEP) Students participating in a language instructional program will be notified within 30 days of their child’s placement in the program. The notification will include an explanation of why, a description of the program, and the parent’s rights to remove their child from the LEP program. In addition, the notification will explain how the program will help the child to develop academically, learn English and achieve the standards necessary for promotion.

Students not meeting the English mastery standard or demonstrating limited progress will be provided with additional language support services which may include, but are not limited to, English as a Second Language program, sheltered English programs, English Immersion programs, summer school, after-school assistance, and homework assistance and tutoring. Students after 30 months in a bilingual program will not be offered additional bilingual education.

LOST AND FOUND
Any articles which are found in the school or on school grounds should be turned in at the main office. Unclaimed articles will be donated at the end of the school year. Loss or suspected theft of personal or school property should be reported to the main office.

LIBRARY/MEDIA CENTER
Students are invited to use the books, magazines, newspapers, videos, CD’s and other materials, including computers, located in the library/media center. Students are responsible for any material they sign out. Materials must be returned to the library at the circulation desk. Students must pay for any materials they lose or damage. A student’s grades, transcript or report card may be withheld until a student's obligation is met.

PARENT CONFERENCES
Parents are encouraged to become partners in their child’s educational successes. Conferences with teachers may be held at any time during the school year. Parents and students, as well as teachers, counselors or administrators may initiate a conference.

A parent or student may arrange a conference with an individual member of the school staff or a group conference with school staff members. Conferences are held during school hours but every effort will be made to accommodate parent schedules.

PARENT INVOLVEMENT/COMMUNICATIONS
Education succeeds best when there is a strong partnership between home and school based on communications and interactions. Parents/guardians are urged to encourage their children to put a high priority on education and to make the most of their educational opportunities available. Parents/guardians should become familiar with all of the child’s school activities and with the District’s academic programs, including special programs. Attendance at parent-teacher conferences, participation in campus parent organizations, attendance at board of education meetings and being a school volunteer are strongly encouraged.

PARENT-TEACHER ORGANIZATION
The AMS PTO is a vital link between the school, community and the parents it serves. Thus, parents are urged to join and take an active part in the PTO.

PESTICIDE APPLICATION
Only certified pesticide applicators shall be used in schools for any non-emergency pesticide use in school buildings or on school grounds. Pesticide applications are limited to non-school hours and when activities are not taking place. Areas to receive pesticide application will be posted and a written record of all pesticide applications will be maintained for five years. Parents/guardians and staff who want to receive advance notice of all pesticide use will be listed on a registry and such notice will be provided as required by law. Parents/guardians who want to be notified prior to pesticide applications inside their child(ren)’s school assignment area may contact Myles Altimus, Director of Buildings and Grounds at (860) 404-4700.

POSTERS
Signs and posters that students wish to display must be approved by the building administration. Posters displayed without authorization will be removed. Any student who posts such material without authorization shall be subject to disciplinary action.

PROPERTY, LOCKERS, AND EQUIPMENT
It is the policy of the Board to hold students responsible for any loss of or damage to the property of the school under the jurisdiction of the Board when the loss or damage occurs through fault of the student.

Any student damaging or defacing school property will be financially liable for restoring the property regardless of the condition of the property at the time of the destructive act, in addition to any other discipline up to and including arrest or civil prosecution as deemed appropriate.

In addition, anyone who witnesses such an act and fails to report it to the proper authorities will be considered as having contributed to that action. Such charges for damaged property will be exactly those which the school must incur to repair the damage.

Each student is assigned a hall locker and/or other equipment. These items are the property of the school, loaned to students for their convenience during the school year, and should be kept in good order and not abused.

Searches of desks or lockers may be conducted at any time there is reasonable cause to believe that they contain articles or materials prohibited by district policy. Parents will be notified if any prohibited items are found in the student’s desk or locker.

Students should not attempt to repair school equipment but should notify the main office immediately if it isn’t functioning properly. Any damage done will be the responsibility of the person to whom it was loaned for the current year. Students may not bring in locks from home and attach to assigned lockers. Students are warned not to bring large sums of money or valuables to school, liability for these items remains with the student.

PSYCHOTROPIC DRUG USE
School personnel are prohibited from recommending the use of psychotropic drugs for any student enrolled within the school system. School nurses, nurse practitioners, district medical advisor, school psychologists, school social workers and school counselors, may recommend that a student be evaluated by an appropriate medical practitioner. Further, the District is prohibited from requiring a child to get a prescription before he/she may attend school, be evaluated to determine eligibility for special education or receive special education.

SCHOOL CEREMONIES AND OBSERVANCES
The school district recognizes the value of certain ceremonies and observances in promoting patriotism and good citizenship among the students. Therefore, activities in schools commemorating national holidays such as Memorial Day, Thanksgiving and President’s Day are encouraged. Avon Public Schools reminds students, faculty and administration of the variety of religious beliefs, and all are urged to be conscious of and respect the sensitivities of others.

An opportunity will be provided, at the beginning of each school day, for students to observe an appropriate period of silent meditation and to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Participation in these activities is voluntary. Nonparticipants are expected to maintain order and decorum appropriate to the school environment.

SEARCH AND SEIZURE
The right to inspect desks, lockers and other equipment assigned to students may be exercised by school officials to safeguard students, their property and school property. An authorized school administrator may search a student’s locker or desk under the following conditions:

1. There is reason to believe that the student’s desk or locker contains contraband material.

2. The probable presence of contraband material presents a serious threat to the maintenance of discipline, order, safety and health in school.

This document serves as advance notice that school board policy allows desks and lockers to be inspected if the administration has reason to believe that materials injurious to the best interests of students and the school are contained therein.

Under special circumstances, school officials may search students, particularly if there is reasonable suspicion that a student possesses illegal matter, such as a dangerous weapon or illegal drugs. Students must be aware that such items are forbidden both on school property and at school-related activities.

SPECIAL PROGRAMS
The district provides special programs such as but not limited to, gifted and talented, bilingual, learning disabilities and for those with other disabilities which affect a student’s success at school. A student or parent with questions about these programs should contact (name, title of staff); the coordinator of each program is available to answer questions about eligibility requirements, programs and services offered in the district or by other organizations.

The District utilizes the Response to Intervention (RTI) process which combines systematic assessment, decision-making and a multi-tiered delivery model to improve educational and behavioral outcomes for all students. Academic and behavioral support and targeted interventions will be provided for students who are not making academic progress at expected levels in the general curriculum.

For students in need of Special Education programs, a planning and placement team (PPT) is designed to provide communication and decision-making at the school level concerning the effective use of available resources. The team is also responsible for follow-up and periodic review of all students presently in Special Education and special services programs.

Any child identified as possibly needing special education and/or related services must be referred to a special education Planning & Placement Team for evaluation (PPT). The PPT will determine whether special education services are required. Parents must give their consent before any evaluation can be done or any services can begin. An Individualized Education Plan, based upon the diagnostic findings of the evaluation study will be developed by the PPT, with parental involvement. Parents will be informed regarding the use of scientific, research-based interventions.

STUDENT ASSISTANCE TEAM
The mission of the Student Assistance Team is to combine the expertise of administrators, teachers, support staff, and parents to respond to the academic and/or emotional needs of the student. The student is brought to SAT when numerous strategies employed by staff and parents have been unsuccessful in meeting the needs of the student and additional support services may be necessary. Refer to the Avon Middle School Course of Studies for a complete list of academic support services and interventions offered through recommendation of the SAT.

STUDENT RECORDS
A student’s school records are confidential and are protected by federal and state law from unauthorized inspection or use. A cumulative record is maintained for each student from the time the student enters the district until the student withdraws or graduates. This record moves with the student from school to school.

By law, both parents, whether married, separated, or divorced, have access to the records of a student who is under 18 or a dependent for tax purposes. A parent whose rights have been legally terminated will be denied access to the records if the school is given a copy of the court order terminating these rights.

The principal is custodian of all records for currently enrolled students at the assigned school. The Superintendent of Schools is the custodian of all records for students who have withdrawn or graduated. Records may be reviewed during regular school hours upon completion of the written request form. The record’s custodian or designee will respond to reasonable requests for explanation and interpretation of the records.

Parents of a minor or of a student who is a dependent for tax purposes, the student (if 18 or older), and school officials with legitimate educational interests are the only persons who have general access to a student’s records. “School officials with legitimate educational interests” include any employee such as an administrator, teacher, support staff, Board of Education member, attorney, agents, or facilities with which the district contracts for the placement of students with disabilities, as well as their attorneys and consultants, who are:

1. Working with the student;

2. Considering disciplinary or academic actions, the student’s case, an Individual Education Plan (IEP) for a student with disabilities under IDEA or an individually designed program for a student with disabilities under Section 504;

3. Compiling statistical data; or

4. Investigating or evaluating programs.

Certain other officials from various governmental agencies may have limited access to the records. Parental consent is required to release the records to anyone else. When the student reaches 18 years of age, only the student has the right to consent to release of records.

The parent’s or student's right of access to, and copies of, student records does not extend to all records. Materials that are not considered educational records, such as teachers’ personal notes on a student that are shared only with a substitute teacher and records pertaining to former students after they are no longer students in the district, do not have to be made available to the parents or student.

A student over 18 and parents of minor students may inspect the student’s records and request a correction if the records are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy or other rights. If the district refuses the request to amend the records, the requestor has the right to a hearing. If the records are not amended as a result of the hearing, the requestor has 30 school days to exercise the right to place a statement commenting on the information in the student’s record. Although improperly recorded grades may be challenged, parents and the student are not allowed to contest a student’s grade in a course through this process. Parents or the student have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education if they believe the district is not in compliance with the law regarding student records. The district’s policy regarding student records is available from the principal’s or superintendent’s office.

Copies of student records are available at a nominal cost per page, payable in advance. Parents may be denied copies of a student’s records (1) after the student reaches age 18 and is no longer a dependent for tax purposes; (2) when the student is attending an institution of post-secondary education; (3) if the parent fails to follow proper procedures and pay the copying charge; or (4) when the district is given a copy of a court order terminating the parental rights. If the student qualifies for free or reduced-price meals and the parents are unable to view the records during regular school hours, upon written request of the parent, one copy of the record will be provided at no charge.

Certain information about district students is considered directory information and will be released to anyone who follows procedures for requesting it, unless the parent objects to the release of any or all directory information about the child. This objection must be made in writing to the principal within ten school days after the issuance of this handbook. Directory information includes a student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, major field of study, grade levels, photograph, e-mail address, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, awards received in school, and most recent previous school attended.

Military recruiters or institutions of higher learning shall have access to secondary school students names, addresses and telephone listings, unless a parent/guardian or secondary student aged 18 or over requests in writing that such information not be released.

The District will release to the Parent Teacher Association the names, addresses, telephone number and grade levels of students (unless the District is informed by September 15 of the school year that designation of such directory information has been refused as to a particular student) provided such information is to be used by the PTA for its own school activities or school business.

The District, when a student moves to a new school system or charter school, will send the student’s records to the new district or charter school within ten business days of receiving written notice of the move from the new district. Unless the parents/guardians of the student authorize the record transfer in writing, the sending District is required to send a notice when the records are sent to the new district.

Parents and eligible students have 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. Complaints may be addressed to: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 5400 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC 20202-4605.

STUDENT SCHEDULES
Student schedules are provided two times per year; once prior to beginning of the school year and again before the beginning of the second semester. A request for additional copies can be made at any time through the counseling department or through PowerSchool, the on-line student database.

TEACHER AND PARAPROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS
Parents have the right to request information about the professional qualifications of their child’s teacher(s). The response will indicate whether the teacher is certified for the subject matter and grade taught; the teacher’s undergraduate major and any graduate degrees or certifications a teacher may have. Parents will also be advised, if requested, as to whether the child is provided service by paraprofessionals and their qualifications.

TEXTBOOK CARE AND OBLIGATIONS
Students are responsible for the care of books and supplies entrusted to their use. They will be assessed damage to textbooks, equipment or materials. In accordance with state law, the school reserves the right to withhold grades, transcripts, or report cards until the student pays for or returns the textbooks, library book or other educational materials.

TRANSFERS AND WITHDRAWALS
Students withdrawing from school must notify the guidance office one week in advance of their last day. At that time, they will be given forms for their parents to complete. Included will be a formal written statement of withdrawal and release of records form.

On their last day of attendance, students will be given a form that must be signed by each of their teachers. This form will indicate their grade at the time of withdrawal and that all materials have been returned. Records cannot be forwarded until all materials have been returned.

TRANSPORTATION
School transportation privileges are extended to students conditioned upon their satisfactory behavior on the bus. Unsatisfactory student behavior on the bus may result in suspension of transportation services or such other disciplinary action that is appropriate for misconduct. Disciplinary sanctions and changes in transportation for a student with a disability shall be made in accordance with the provisions of the student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP).

TRANSPORTATION SAFETY COMPLAINTS/PROCEDURES
All complaints concerning school transportation safety are to be made to the Transportation Coordinator/Assistant Superintendent of Finance. A written record of all complaints will be maintained and an investigation of the allegations will take place.

TUTORING
Teachers may not teach privately (tutor) students of the school in which he/she teaches. This does not apply to teachers of homebound children employed by the Board of Education.

VISITORS
Parents and other visitors are welcome to visit Avon Middle School. All visitors must first report to the main office. Visits to individual classrooms during instructional time shall be permitted only with the principal’s approval, and such visits shall not be permitted if their duration or frequency interferes with the delivery of instruction or disrupts the normal school environment.

Unauthorized persons shall not be permitted in school buildings or on school grounds. School principals are authorized to take appropriate action to prevent such persons from entering the building or from loitering on the grounds. Such persons will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

All visitors are expected to demonstrate the highest standards of courtesy and conduct. Disruptive behavior will not be permitted.

WEBSITES
School web pages must contain material that reflects on educational purposes. School web pages are not to be used for personal, commercial or political purposes; and are considered a publication of the Board of Education. The Principal or his/her designee will approve all material posted on the school’s web page. Student maintaining personal web pages may be subject to disciplinary action for the content of such sites under certain conditions where the information provided significantly impacts or undermines the educational environment.

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