Upton Student Handbook

Contents

Behavior & Consequences

PERSONAL PROPERTY

Students are discouraged from bringing items of value to school. Items such as jewelry, expensive clothing & shoes, excessive cash, and electronics are tempting targets for theft. The school cannot be responsible for their safe-keeping and will not be liable for loss or damage to personal valuables. In the case of electronic devices such as cell phones, iPads, iPods, mp3 devices, electronic games, portable media devices, these must remain in the student's locker from 7:35 am until dismissal.

If a teacher or coach calls for the use of these in a class for a specific purpose for a specific time, the students may use these, but may not carry these with them to other classes or lunch, nor may they extend this use beyond the specific times indicated by the teacher or coach.

Any personal property that is judged to be disruptive to the educational process will be taken from the student. Camera/video equipment other than those used specifically for school purposes is prohibited. Skateboards, scooters, and roller blades are not permitted on school property unless approved by a building administrator.

USE OF TELEPHONES

The student phone in the office is for use by students and the general public. Students using the student phone during the school day will do so after having received permission from a faculty member. Calling for rides is discouraged; students should make transportation arrangements before coming to school. Office phones may be used by students for emergencies only.

EXPECTATIONS FOR STUDENTS

It is very difficult to list all that is “acceptable” behavior, good conduct, proper citizenship characteristics, and the like. However, in an effort to give students a general idea of what is expected, we offer these guidelines. The student should:

  • Understand and follow school policies;
  • Attend school regularly;
  • Be prompt in arriving at an assigned place;
  • Respect the worth and dignity of each person;
  • Respect the rights of fellow students;
  • Respect the property of fellow students, private property near the school, and the school building and grounds;
  • Respect the rights of all school personnel;
  • Respectfully follow the directions of all adult staff employed by the school;
  • Observe a code of conduct for all citizens in etiquette, appearance, and the use of proper language;
  • Devote all of their energies toward realizing their potential;
  • Become involved in the total school program and take advantage of all the school has to offer in the way of curriculum, library services, counseling, activities, etc.;
  • Harassment, sexual harassment, and bullying have no place in our society and are not tolerated at Upton Middle School (see Anti-Bullying Policy below).

Students are prohibited from taking part in serious or criminal misconduct while off school property and outside direct travel to and from school which poses the likelihood of danger or harm to the physical or emotional health or welfare of students, or which makes the continued presence o f the students in the school disruptive to the educational process.

DISCIPLINE

The stated rules apply to all students, regardless of age, for all school sponsored activities and activities in which the school is a participant, on and off campus, before, during, or after school hours. Refusal to accept consequences may result in suspension.

Reference to school property in the Upton Middle School Student Handbook indicates all public school property – high school, middle school, elementary schools, all school playgrounds & athletic fields, as well as school buses, and bus stops.

All students and parents must sign a form to indicate they have read the handbook and they acknowledge they accept responsibility to follow all rules and policies contained within.

ACADEMIC DISHONESTY

Students who cheat will receive a “zero” on their paper, quiz, or test plus may receive other disciplinary action. Cheating includes copying another student’s work or answers, allowing a student to copy one’s work or answers, copying or having someone other than the student prepare the student's homework for which credit is given, any action intended to obtain credit for work that is not the student's own work (such as stealing a test or changing a grade), forging parental signatures on notes, and plagiarism. Consequences are:

  • First offense building-wide, no credit for work, parent contacted by teacher, and report sent to administration for documentation;
  • Second offense building-wide: no credit for work, parent contacted by teacher and administrator, and disciplinary actions as assigned by the administrator.

ASSEMBLIES

Assemblies are considered to be a valuable part of the educational program and are intended to enrich and broaden the students’ background. When going to assemblies, students are not to make locker stops. Outer garments are not permitted in an assembly. Conduct is expected to be the best during assemblies because our school’s reputation is on the line. Any student showing bad conduct will have assembly privileges suspended and will make up time in detention.

BOOK BAGS & TOTES

All book bags, totes, and the like are expected to be kept in the locker during the school day. They are not allowed in the classroom or the lunchroom. Trappers and other types of notebooks are welcome in the classroom, but should not be brought to lunch.

CELLULAR PHONES

Students may not carry cell phones during the school day. These must be turned off and kept in the student's locker between 7:35 am and dismissal at 2:40 pm. At no time are cell phones to be used in the bathroom or the locker room. Cell phones may not be turned on or used on the bus as well. If it is critical that a parent must get a message to a student, please call the office and they will see that the student receives it.

Student and parents may not expect that the student will be able to monitor text messages during the school day. If a parent needs to get information to a student, please call and leave the message with the office.

Consequences:

1st time – Confiscation & pick up by parent;
2nd time – Confiscation, pick up by parent, and detention assigned;
3rd time – 2 detentions assigned, as well as loss of the privilege of bringing/using a cell phone on school property for the balance of the school year;

4th time – 1 day of Out of School Suspension.

Refusal to turn over a phone when requested by any staff member will result in an immediate suspension and loss of privilege.  

GUM CHEWING

Gum chewing, chewing of toothpicks, paper, etc., is not permitted at any time on buses or on middle school property.

HALLWAYS

Students should walk in the hallways and keep their voices at a conversational level. Behavior in the halls is expected to be appropriate for a sound learning environment. During class time, students must have passes to be in the hallways.

LOCKERS & SEARCHES

The care of your locker is your responsibility. Do not write on the lockers or leave food items in them.  Lockers should not be construed as the private property of the students. These lockers are school property at all times. Because these are school property, the administration reserves the right to search any locker and its contents. Lockers may be inspected periodically by homeroom teachers, the media specialist, or building administrator. If you are unable to open your locker, bring it to the attention of your homeroom teacher or the office. Each locker has a combination lock that is owned by the school. If this is damaged, you are responsible and will be charged $20.00 replacement cost. It is the student's responsibility to turn the lock dial when closing a locker in order to secure its contents. Locks are to prevent theft, not searches.

LUNCHROOM REGULATIONS

1) Everyone will eat in the lunchroom and no food or beverages will be taken from the lunchroom, with the exception of clear bottled water;
2) Students will clean up spilled food and beverages;
3) Students will be allowed to leave the lunchroom during the lunch period only in an emergency, or with permission from the lunchroom supervisor;
4) Students are not allowed to bring carbonated beverages to the school;
5) Anyone misbehaving will be removed from the lunchroom. Consequences may include being moved to non-social lunch or after school detention;
6) Talking should be in normal tones – no yelling or shouting;

7) "Table Hopping" (moving from table to table to visit) is not allowed.

Parents are encouraged to keep a balance in the student’s lunch account. Accounts may be reviewed and replenished online. Students with a negative balance will not get a lunch choice and will not be able to make additional purchases at the Snack Bar.

POSTING IMAGES ONLINE

Any individual capturing images on school owned property or vehicles is prohibited from posting the product on any website other than either the official school website or on websites specifically sanctioned by the school, and may result in disciplinary actions up to and including expulsion.

PROPERTY DAMAGE

Students who damage or deface property of the school district or teachers (at the school or at his or her home) or students shall be required to pay fully for all damages and shall be liable to prosecution according to the law. Further, until such payment is made, the student will not be enrolled for the next semester. Vandalism of school or teacher’s property is grounds for suspension and/or expulsion. Suspension may occur and the police may be called if a student witnesses an act of school vandalism and doesn’t report it to school authorities or is uncooperative with administration.

SCHOOL DRESS

We believe that student dress is a factor in the establishment of an educational atmosphere and that clothing should be appropriate for school. Student dress will not constitute a threat to the health, safety, welfare, or property of one’s self or others, not disrupt or impede the educational process, and will be in accordance with public decency and civil statutes within the community.

Within this framework, the following specific guidelines for student dress have been established and shall apply to attendance at school and all school activities and events:

  • All students must be completely covered from mid-thigh to the upper chest.
  • Clothes with profanity, vulgarity, slurs, alcohol, tobacco, or illegal substance logos or text, and clothing or accessories that create a safety hazard are not permitted.
  • Proper footwear is required at all times. Specific requirements may exist for some classes.
  • Hoods, hats, bandanas, sunglasses, and the like are not to be worn in the building (unless part of religious belief). Students’ faces must be fully visible at all times.
  • Outerwear (coats) may not be worn to class under ordinary circumstances.
  • Any item the administration deems disruptive or inappropriate is not permitted.

If students are not sure whether their attire is appropriate, they are encouraged to check ahead of time with a counselor or teacher. 

If a student is found to be wearing inappropriate clothing, s/he will be allowed to call home for a change of clothing. A student will be asked to change into their gym clothes or borrow a set of gym clothes from the school and expected to return to class at this point. Repeat violations will have escalating consequences.

Please note that students sometimes assume, INCORRECTLY, that if they have worn something inappropriate and not been corrected, that this means their attire is appropriate. This is not accepted as an excuse.

It is the administrator’s or designee’s responsibility to ensure that enforcement of this policy is done so in a consistent manner with respect to community standards and age appropriateness. While it is inevitable that there will be differences of opinion regarding the appropriateness of a student’s attire, the final decision lies with the school administration.

Consequences:

1st Time - Verbal Warning & Required to Change Clothes
2nd Time - Written Warning & Parent Contact along with Required to Change Clothes
3rd Time - Required to Change Clothes & Detention
4th Time - Required to Change Clothes & 2 Detentions
5th Time - Required to Change Clothes & Assigned Suspension - 1 day 
6th Time - Required to Change Clothes & Assigned Suspension - 2 days

7th Time - Repeated offenses may result in a longer out of school suspension for noncompliance

(Note)  Exceptions apply to students participating or taking part in student-related activities/functions and other activities approved by school administration.

TOBACCO, ALCOHOL, & DRUGS

Tobacco – Michigan law states a person under 18 years of age shall not possess or smoke cigarettes or cigars; or possess or chew, suck, or inhale chewing tobacco or tobacco snuff, electronic cigarettes or similar devices; or possess or use tobacco in any other form, on lands used for public purposes or in any public place. Students smoking or possessing tobacco on school property, or next to school property face immediate suspension from school. This also applies to students while going to and from school.

For purposes of this policy:

A.  "tobacco product" means a preparation of tobacco to be inhaled, chewed, or placed in a person's mouth;

B.  "use of a tobacco product" means any of the following:

1.  the carrying by a person of a lighted cigar, cigarette, or other lighted smoking device;

2.  the inhaling or chewing of a tobacco product;

3.  the placing of a tobacco product within a person's mouth; and/or

4.  the smoking of electronic, "vapor," or other substitute forms of cigarettes, clove cigarettes or other lighted smoking devices for burning tobacco or any other substance.

The Board prohibits the use or possession of tobacco product by students in District buildings, on District property (owned or leased), on District buses, and at any District-related event.

Alcohol – Using, possessing, or being under the influence of alcohol is prohibited on school property and at all school sponsored activities wherever they occur, before, during, or after school hours.

Drugs – The misuse of drugs and drug-related activity in the school environment will not be tolerated and offenders will be disciplined. This will include all school-sponsored activities on or off campus, before, during, or after school hours. Any situation that involves the misuse of legal drugs, illegal drugs, counterfeit drugs, steroids, inhalants, or look-alike drugs, or the possession, use, distribution, offer of distribution, or acceptance of money to distribute these items falls into this category. School administrators will deal with any situation that contributes to a drug-related atmosphere that is unhealthy and unacceptable, either by suspension or recommended expulsion.

First offenses in these three categories may include maximum ten-day suspension, police involvement, and required outside counseling.

Any activity that involves the sale or delivery of these three substances may result in recommended expulsion.

DETENTION

Students with undesirable patterns of conduct, attendance, or tardiness, as well as other disciplinary problems may be assigned detention by a faculty member, office personnel, or an administrator.

Each student assigned detention is to: 1) arrive on time; 2) cooperate fully with the detention supervisor. Any student who does not report as directed may be suspended from school. PARENTS WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR PROVIDING TRANSPORTATION IF YOU ARE ASSIGNED DETENTION.

Refusal to accept/serve consequence may result in an in-school or out-of-school suspension as determined by the building administrator. Students may be assigned before or after school detentions, lunch hour detention, Saturday detention, or other special work assignments as designated by the building administrator.

SUSPENSION POLICY

Suspension from school is a serious matter. Upon being suspended, the student will not be allowed to return until a parental conference has been held with the principal or assistant principal. Students suspended Out of School are not to be on any St. Joseph Public Schools property or participate in or attend extra-curricular events during the time of suspension. Athletes may also suffer additional penalties for violation of the athletic code. Daily work missed due to suspension may be made up for credit. Also, projects and tests may be made up. Students assigned to lunchtime detention should bring a sack lunch or plan to eat a hot lunch. They will not be able to make purchases from the snack bar.

“Prior to suspending or expelling a student for any statutorily mandated reasons, the Board designee shall consider the following factors:

a.     the student’s age

b.     student’s disciplinary history

c.     whether the student has a disability

d.     the seriousness of the violation or behavior

e.     whether the violation or behavior committed by the student threatened the safety of any student or staff member

f.      whether restorative practices will be used to address the violation or behavior

g.     whether a lesser intervention would properly address the violation or behavior

 

A student may face after-school detention or immediate suspension for:

  1. Showing disrespect, intimidation, harassment (sexual, racial, or otherwise), or bullying toward any student, faculty member, staff member, or administrator;
  2. Physical assault, intimidation, or verbal threats. Threatening to kill a student, faculty member, staff member, or administrator will result in immediate suspension pending clearance from a mental health professional that the student appears to be no danger to self or others.;
  3. Participating in a fight, provoking someone into a fight, encouraging others to fight, talking about fighting, or using threatening words in conversation;
  4. Non-compliance with staff directive, or chronic defiance or disobedience towards faculty or staff;
  5. Damaging school property, stealing school property, or the theft of money or personal property from any member of the student body, faculty, or staff;
  6. Unauthorized use of any school property. Students are expected to obtain permission to use any school property or private property located on school premises.
  7. Using profane or obscene language or gestures;
  8. Cheating, forgery, or academic dishonesty;
  9. Being repeatedly truant and/or tardy;
  10. Gambling or possessing and/or consuming of alcoholic beverages, drugs, or tobacco, or activity that contributes to a drug-like atmosphere on, or adjacent to school property before, during, or after school hours;
  11. Organizing, promoting, or belonging to a gang, squad, or other negative group;
  12. Misbehaving at any school-sponsored event (athletic contests, dances, etc.);
  13. Driving a motorized vehicle to school;
  14. Participating in any unauthorized activity that is disruptive in nature;
  15. Leaving school or a class without permission;
  16. Being repeatedly in violation of school rules and regulations;
  17. Not reporting to detention as directed;
  18. Possession, use, or distribution of fireworks, matches, lighters, or other incendiary items at school;
  19. Public displays of affection;
  20. Trespassing on school property at unauthorized times or in areas deemed inappropriate;
  21. Improper use of camera and/or video equipment;
  22. Participating in any activity that is dangerous to self or others;
  23. Any other matter that, in the judgment of the building administrator, is of a serious enough nature to warrant suspension.

A student making a death threat will automatically be suspended from school, and will not be readmitted until providing a letter from a mental health care professional verifying that the student presents no threat to self or others.

EXPULSION POLICY

Expulsion constitutes permanent exclusion from school. The building administrators may recommend expulsion proceedings against a student when a student:

  1. Brings a weapon or any explosive device to school (a weapon is defined as a dagger, a dirk, a firearm, an iron bar, a knife, a pocket knife opened by a mechanical device – switchblade, brass knuckles, or a stiletto.);
  2. Purposely sets in motion anything such as a fire that endangers school property and its occupants. Arson is a felony;
  3. Sale or distribution of controlled substances at school or on school property or at a school event, (See also “Tobacco, Alcohol, and Drugs”);
  4. Commits a physical assault (for the purpose of this policy, physical assault is defined as intentionally causing or attempting to cause physical harm to another through force or violence) against another student, a teacher, other school employee, or volunteer;
  5. Commits a verbal assault (verbal assault is defined as any willful, verbal threat which is intended to place another in fear of immediate physical contact which will be painful and injurious, coupled with the apparent ability to execute the act) against a district employee or against a person engaged as a volunteer or contractor for the district;
  6. Makes a bomb threat;
  7. Extorts, using intimidation, force, or deception to take or receive something from someone else.

In addition, the building administrators may recommend expulsion proceedings against a student whenever, in his judgment, the documented behavior pattern of the individual or the seriousness of the offense is opposed to the process of formal education within Upton Middle School and the St. Joseph Public Schools. After the recommendation by the building administrator, the parents may request a hearing with the district superintendent.

BUS SERVICE

Bus transportation is provided as a service to those students living some distance from school. Students are to remember this is a service and may be denied to anyone who misbehaves. If a bus driver finds it is necessary to report a student to administration, that student may be removed from bus transportation for a period of up to ninety (90) school days. If students wish to deviate from their bus assignment, they must bring a note from a parent and obtain a bus pass from the office. We will attempt to honor requests for bus passes which should be brought to the office before homeroom.  Bus passes will not be issued after 12:00 noon.

Bus stops are reviewed annually. Drivers are not authorized to make changes of bus stops without the prior approval of the transportation supervisor. Please do not ask this of them. You are invited to call the transportation office when you have a question about school bus services (926-3900).

GENERAL RULES AND REGULATIONS:

  • Be on time at your designated bus stop. Drivers have a schedule to meet and cannot wait for tardy pupils. If the bus cancels its lights or pulls away, do not chase the bus. This is how accidents happen;
  • Once a student has exited the bus and the door has closed, state law prohibits that student from re-entering. Once a bus has made any stop and has closed its doors, the stop is complete and state law prohibits the bus from re-opening the doors even if they see a student arriving late;
  • Cheerfully obey the bus driver’s instructions. Friendly people get along better;
  • Students may only ride assigned school buses, and must board and depart only at assigned bus stops. Students will not be permitted to ride unassigned buses for any reason other than an emergency, except as approved by the office;
  • Students are expected to display good behavior while on the bus. Quiet conversation is fine. When approaching a railroad crossing, students are to be silent until the bus is safely across the tracks;
  • Always remain seated while a bus is moving. It may be necessary to sit three to a seat. The driver may also assign seats at any time to maintain safety and reasonable order;
  • Wait until the bus has come to a complete stop before attempting to enter or leave the bus;
  • Cell phones and other electronic devices may not be out or turned on while on the bus. If a student has a cell phone or other electronic out on the bus, it may be taken by the driver and turned over to a building administrator. It may be picked up by a parent at the school. The exception to this may be in the event of a field trip or travel for an athletic event as decided and arranged by the teacher or coach with the bus driver;
  • Eating, drinking, and gum-chewing is not permitted on the bus except for special occasions approved by the driver;
  • Musical instruments, books, or other personal items must be held by the owner or placed where designated by the driver if room is available. Items may not be left in the aisle;
  • Stay off roadways at all times while waiting for a bus. Form a single line and board the bus one at a time;
  • Wait until the bus has come to a complete stop before moving forward to enter;
  • Upon entering the bus, go immediately to a seat and be seated;
  • Hands and heads are to be kept inside the bus at all times. There will be no unnecessary disturbing noises or vulgar/profane language;
  • When crossing, students must be ten feet in front of the bus stop and look at the red paddle the driver holds in the window. When the driver shows the green side, students may then cross only in front of the bus. Never should a student cross the road behind the bus; Animals and glass containers are not allowed on the buses;
  • Students are expected to help keep the buses clean. Dispose of paper and other unwanted items properly; Students are asked to report any damages they see to the driver;
  • Riders are expected to be considerate of all other passengers and the driver at all times; Misconduct on the bus will not be tolerated. Drivers are in charge at all times and are required to report this behavior to building administrators. Riding privileges may be suspended;
  • Remember – school bus transportation is a privilege, not a right. Misconduct may result in the loss of this privilege.

RESPONSIBILITY OF PARENTS:

  • As parents, the school expects you to:
  • Review bus-riding rules with your child;
  • Be sure your child arrives at their stop on time;
  • Provide necessary protection for your child while at the stop;
  • Accept the responsibility of your child’s conduct at the bus stop and on the school bus; Remember, adults set the examples.

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