Middle School Student Parent Handbook

Table of Contents

Mission Statement and PBIS
Parent Portal
Expectations of Students, Parents, Teachers, Staff and Administrators
How Parents Can Help Their Children Succeed In School
Homework
Daily Schedule
Bell Schedule
GROW
Tenth Period
Grouping
Middle School Course Offerings
Building Leadership Team
Extra-Curricular Activities
Counseling
Health Office
Athletics
Trading Post
Cafeteria
Lockers
Cell Phones and Electronic Devices
School Closings
Busing
Attendance Policy
Student Pick Up
Bringing Valuables to School
Grading Policy
Backpacks
Dress Codes
Gum
Permanent Markers
Planners and Passes
Physical Education Class
Discipline Code of Conduct
Bullying and Harassment
Weapons
Disciplinary Guidelines
Field Trip Policy
Restricted Pass
Detention
In-School Placement
Out-of-School Suspension
Attention Eighth Graders
Important Contact Information

RCS Middle School Mission Statement

The mission of the Middle School Building Leadership Team is to create a learning environment in which our students and staff have a sense of understanding and compassion for others, a sense of ownership in their school, and can feel comfortable taking accountability for their actions.  We, as a team, stress the complete development of a student, not only academically, but as a contributing member of the school and community in which they live.

Parent Portal

Parents of middle school students can sign up to view their child’s attendance records, grading information, schedules, and much more.

You sign up by printing out the online form ahead of time, fill it out, and bring it to your child’s school or you can go to the main office at your child’s school to fill out the Parent Portal form.

Please note: You will need to provide photo ID when you drop off the form.

As soon as your form is processed (up to 5 business days), you will receive an automated notification letting you know your account has been created and a password has been generated.

If, after 5 days, you do NOT receive your password via email, please email ParentPortal@rcscsd.org and include your name, child’s name, and the email address provided when you initially signed up. This will allow us a more efficient way to provide support for our users.

Students can access their grades, attendance and discipline using their computer password and username.

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)

The district has adopted the PBIS program.  We hope to foster a positive social and academic environment for students and staff.  We prefer to celebrate the positive things students do on a daily basis.  You will find many small and large things we do this school year will center around PBIS.

We only ask that your child come to school and be:
Respectful
Responsible
Ready To Learn!

RCS Middle School Expectations

The following expectations illustrate the guidelines that students, parents, teachers, staff, and administration should follow.

Expectations of Students

  • To read the handbook and discuss with parents
  • To follow all school and classroom rules
  • To be to school and each class on time
  • To treat all members of the school community with respect
  • To come to school and class prepared to be a learner
  • To be an active member in the life of the school and the school improvement effort
  • To complete the work assigned
  • Access Schooltool to check grades

Expectations of Parents/Guardians

  • To become familiar with policies and procedures at the Middle School and in their child’s classroom(s)
  • To keep in contact with the teachers and staff about their child’s academics, behavior, and attendance
  • To treat all members of the school community with respect and model appropriate behavior
  • To encourage their students to follow the rules and keep the Middle School safe
  • To support and uphold the policies and procedures at the Middle School
  • To be an active member in the life of the school and the school improvement effort
  • To have your child to school on time!!!

Expectations of Teachers and Staff

  • To share his/her classroom expectations with students and parents at the beginning of the year
  • To keep in contact with parents/guardians regarding their child’s academic performance and behavior
  • To be present in the halls during passing times to ensure that R-C-S Middle School is safe and orderly
  • To support and uphold the policies and procedures at the Middle School
  • To treat all students fairly and consistently
  • To treat all members of the school community with respect
  • To provide the students with differentiated and integrated instruction and to ensure the delivery of the curriculum and standards
  • To be an active member in the life of the school and the school improvement effort
  • To model appropriate behavior

Expectations of Administrators

  • To treat all students fairly and consistently
  • To treat all members of the school community with respect
  • To support and uphold the policies and procedures at the Middle School
  • To support the teachers’ efforts to provide differentiated and integrated instruction and to ensure the delivery of the curriculum and standards
  • To be an active member in the life of the school and the school improvement effort
  • To encourage parent/teacher communication and parent involvement in the school
  • To model appropriate behavior

How Parents Can Help Their Children Succeed In School

  • Give your child his/her own place to keep books, and to do their homework.
  • Keep track of assignments, check the Schooltool Parent Portal, and communicate with teachers.
  • Give your child a special place for the items he/she must take to school each morning.
  • Read and discuss your child’s schoolwork.
  • Relate subjects with your child to everyday life situations.
  • Encourage your child to read and write.

Homework

When you reinforce at home material presented in the classroom, the result is improvement of learning. Homework is an extension of the classroom and can serve any one of the following purposes:

  • to review what the student learned in school
  • to practice a new skill
  • to prepare for an upcoming lesson or quiz
  • to develop independent study skill
  • to research and learn about a topic
  • to conduct an experiment

The classroom teacher regularly evaluates homework assignments. Students who are absent from class are responsible for missed work.

Daily Schedule

Students arrive at the school between 7:10 A.M. – 7:25 A.M. Parents should not drop off  children before this time. Sixth graders report to the LGR. Seventh graders report to the library. Eighth graders wait in the cafeteria until released to their homerooms at 7:25 A.M. Breakfast is available to all students.  Late students should be signed in by a parent/guardian.

Bell Schedule

Period 1 — 7:30 – 8:18 a.m.
Period 2 — 8:21 – 9:01 a.m.
Period 3 — 9:04 – 9:44 a.m.
Period 4 — 9:47 – 10:27 a.m.
Period 5 — 10:30 – 11:10 a.m.
Period 6 — 11:13 – 11:53 a.m.
Period 7 — 11:56 a.m. – 12:26 p.m.
Period 8 — 12:39 – 1:19 p.m.
Period 9 — 1:22 – 2:02 p.m.
Enrichment — 2:05 – 2:40 p.m. (except Fridays)

Grow

Students are recommended by teachers and counselors to enter the program.  The students have morning check-in, are provided academic support during the school day and are required to stay tenth period.  Parents and students must fully buy-in and participate in the program to have optimal results and to remain in the program.

Tenth Period

The middle school has tenth period Monday – Thursday  2:05 – 2:40.  Tenth period is used to remediate, support and enrich classroom instruction.  Clubs, activities and intramurals often meet tenth period.  Teachers may assign students to meet with them during this time.   Students must have advance permission stay with a teacher and not be in the building unsupervised.  Students should call home to notify parents that they are staying (they may use a school phone).

Grouping

R-C-S Middle School uses mixed‑ability groupings in most settings. Classroom activities are adapted to provide challenging experiences for students who are academically talented, as well as to give additional practice for those who need more time to master basic skills. Flexible grouping is utilized at times within the classroom to address particular skills.

We offer accelerated classes in Math for grade 7 & 8, in Science for grades 7 & 8 as well as Honors 8 English.  Those who qualify for Accelerated Math or Science in 7th grade may continue, in most cases, with the Mathematics 9/Earth Science course in 8th grade, if the student still meets the criteria.

Students who score below a certain reference point on standardized tests may receive Academic Intervention Services (AIS). This may include remedial math, remedial reading, or other services. AIS is additional instruction and/or student services which supplement the instruction provided in the general educational program and assists students in meeting the NYS Learning Standards.

Middle School Course Offerings

The students, throughout their Middle School years, receive instruction in English Language Arts (ELA), Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Foreign Language (French or Spanish), Health, Music, Physical Education, Technology, Art, Family and Consumer Sciences, Core ELA & Math, and AIS/Skills.

Building Leadership Team

The Building Leadership Team (BLT) is comprised of building administration, representatives of teaching and non-teaching personnel, parents, and students.  This group discusses building level issues and tries to foster positive interactions and activities both socially and academically throughout the building.  All are welcome to attend the monthly meetings, which are held in the Middle School. The dates are listed on the district calendar.

Extra-Curricular Activities

Keep your children busy and get them involved!  A number of clubs and activities are available for students at RCS Middle School. These include intramural sports, modified sports program, Art Club, Best Buddies, FACS Club, French Club, Hiking Club, Newspaper Club, Photography Club, Science Olympiad, Spanish Club, Stamp Club, Stars Club, Stock Market Club, Trading Post, and Yearbook. Students are elected to Student Council. Others may be selected for the Jazz Ensemble or Select Chorus.

Research indicates that students who participate in extracurricular activities have fewer problems in school. All students are encouraged to participate in at least one extracurricular activity, keeping in mind that academics take precedence over these activities. Most of the clubs and organizations meet regularly during 10th period.

Counseling (756-5200, Ext. 3016)

The counseling center at the Middle School includes guidance counselors, social workers, and school psychologists. Students can drop in during lunch/recess or may be referred by teachers. The Counseling Staff works with students individually or in groups. The counselors also go to classes to teach about planning for high school, career planning, bullying, and other important topics. The Counseling Staff meets regularly with core teachers, exploratory teachers, and administrators to address individual needs of students. They also serve on the Committee on Special Education and act as a liaison between home and school. Parents are encouraged to keep in touch with their school counselor.

Health Office (756-5200, Ext. 3021)

The health office is located on the first floor near the main office, and is staffed by a full‑time registered nurse and part-time district floating nurses. Parents should inform the health office of any pertinent medical information concerning their child.

Screenings of height, weight, vision, hearing, and scoliosis are performed according to State Education Department guidelines. Physical examinations for 7th grade students and sports are performed by the school physician in October and May.

Illnesses and injuries that occur in school are seen in the health office. Parents are notified upon the occurrence of an injury that might warrant a physician’s attention.

No prescription or over-the-counter medications can be given in school without written authorization from the student’s health care provider and a parent. Students may not transport medication to or from school on the bus. Students are not allowed to take over-the counter medications on their own during the school day (Advil, Tylenol)

A pertussis booster is required by New York State Education Law for admission into 6th grade. Please contact the Health Office for any questions about your child’s immunization status.

Athletics

Interscholastic athletics are available to seventh and eighth graders.  For more information, contact the Athletic Director at 756-5200 ext. 2016.

Trading Post (School Store)

The Middle School has a school store known as the “Trading Post.” It is located near the nurse’s office on the same hallway as the Main Office. The Trading Post is staffed by Middle School staff and students.

The Trading Post offers a variety of school supplies and other products. The hours of operation are 7:00 – 7:25 A.M.

Cafeteria (Automated)

RCS Middle School has an automated student ID system in the cafeteria for breakfast and lunch that will make it easier for your child to purchase a meal using this pre-pay system.

Payment  Payment

  • Make a check out to RCS School Lunch Fund, including student’s name on check and indicating breakfast, lunch or both.
  • One check must be written for each student in the family.
  • Students can bring checks to school or parents may mail checks to: School Lunch Fund, 2025 Route 9W, Ravena, NY 12143.

Student’s Accounts

Please note student ID cards were distributed last year and new ID cards will be distributed after school pictures are taken this year.   If for some reason your child has lost their card, they may use their student ID number.  If they cannot remember their number, the Cafeteria Staff will be happy to assist them.

  • Student’s will scan their ID cards and the cost of the meal will be automatically deducted from the student’s account.
  • If students do not have their ID card with them, they need only give the Cafeteria worker their ID to access their account.

Regardless of whether meals are prepaid or not, students will be asked to scan their student ID’s.  This allows students who receive free or reduced price meals to do so anonymously and provides a safe way for parents to have their students buy meals without having to carry money.

Breakfast is available for anyone who would like to purchase breakfast foods. Students who arrive at school near the beginning of first period are allowed 10 minutes to eat his/her breakfast. Any abuse of the breakfast time may result in breakfast restrictions.

Hot meals, sandwiches, and snacks are available for purchase at lunchtime. All food and drink should remain in the cafeteria. No glass containers are allowed in school.

Parents who believe their child(ren) qualify for free or reduced‑price lunches should contact the Food Service Manager, Doug Porter at 756‑5200 ext. 2437 and complete the necessary application.

Please Note:  Forms must be filled out by October 1st each year.

Lockers

All students will be assigned a locker for academics.  Locks will be provided, non-school locks may be used on academic lockers, please see the guidance secretary to arrange. The school needs to and has the right to have access to all lockers. School officials reserve the right to check lockers at any time. Locker assignments will be issued on the student’s schedule. Guidance will have a list of all students’ locker information. If locks are stolen, damaged, or lost, a $5.00 fee will be required for a new one. All students will be assigned a PE locker, it will be assigned by their PE teacher.

No one can get into your child’s locker unless your child has given out the combination!  Therefore, students are urged not to reveal his/her locker combination to anyone.

Cell Phones, Electronic Devices and Headphones

Cell phones, etc. are to be put in your child’s locker before first period.  Phones are to remain in the locker until your child leaves for dismissal.  Phones are not to be seen or used during the school day.  Headphones should be taken off upon entering building and put in locker before first period.

*Any cell phones/ i-pods/headphones etc. seen during the school day will be confiscated and brought to the main office.

  • Parents may pick up the cell phone/device from the main office.
  • If your child refuses to give their cell phone/device to a staff member, you may pick up the phone and your child immediately!

School Closings

If bad weather or emergencies close or delay school, it will be announced on local radio and TV stations, on our school website www.rcscsd.org and an automated phone message will be sent to all families.

The RCS School District is using a messaging service which will enable us to personally communicate with parents about emergency situations, school events and important issues impacting your child.  It allows us to send personalized voice messages to your family’s home, work or cell phones.

Busing (756-5241 0r 756-5200, Ext. 7000).

Riding a school bus is a privilege, not a right. Students are expected to behave with courtesy and respect for one another and for the bus driver at all times. Bus rules and regulations are outlined at the beginning of the year by the bus driver. Breaking these rules will result in disciplinary action, which may include a suspension from riding the bus.

Any questions regarding bus transportation should be directed to the Transportation Department (ext. 7008 or 7010).

Parents must send in a note allowing their child to ride a different bus.  Please do not e-mail or call to request this, the people you send them to may not be in, or may not get to their e-mail to find this request….plan ahead!

Attendance Policy

The Board of Education of the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Central School District believes that attendance is a critical factor in academic achievement and school success.  Consistent school attendance, academic success, and school completion have a positive correlation. Therefore, the RCS Board of Education establishes a minimum standards Attendance Policy.

Under New York State Education Law, Section 3205, parents are responsible for the regular attendance of their children for instruction.

A student absent for an extended period of time must make up the missed work within a reasonable amount of time, as determined by the teacher.

Tardy (Being Tardy 3 Times = 1 Absence)

Students are expected to be in school or in class at the start of the school day or start of the class and remain in school until the end of the day.  Students will be considered tardy if they arrive late to school or late to class for reasons other than a late school bus or permission granted by the building principal.

Students who are tardy to school three times in a marking period will be sent a note from the school informing them of this fact. On the fifth tardy, the child will receive a late detention for that occurrence and every tardy thereafter for the remainder of the quarter. A parent must sign their child into and out of school.

Absences

Regular attendance is essential for success in school.   Parents will be notified when students are absent. Frequent absences will be addressed by the middle school social worker, school counselor, and/or administration.

Please note:  Students may lose course credit if they are absent 28 times for a full year course or 14 days for a semester long course.

The district may initiate strategies to improve attendance which may include counseling, attendance counseling, psychological referral, filing of a PINS (person in need of supervision) diversion.

Excused Absences (Legal absences)

Absences which are legal will not be counted as an absence for which the student could lose credit or be retained, so long as any assigned make up work is completed.  A pattern of excessive absences or consecutive days of absence will require a note from a doctor stating the reason(s) for the absence.

Parents will be sent notification of absences after 7 and 14 absences.  A meeting will be requested if your child has over 15 absences.

Excused Legal Absences/Tardy

  • Personal Illness
  • Illness or death in family
  • Impassable roads or inclement weather
  • Religious observance
  • Quarantines
  • Court required appearance
  • Medical appointment
  • College visit
  • Approved cooperative work program
  • Approved education activity military obligation

All are considered unexcused unless a note is turned in to the main office.

Unexcused Absences

  • Vacations – scheduled by families on days other than official school vacations will be considered unexcused and will be added to the student’s total unexcused absences.
  • Truancies – a student absent from school without the consent of a parent/guardian.*
  • Unlawful Detention – A student absent with the knowledge and consent of his/her parent/guardian for other than a legal reason.*

To ensure regular attendance, the RCS Central School District requires, that upon return to school from an absence, a written excuse be submitted.  This excuse must be submitted to the main office on the day the child returns to school.  The excuse should state the student’s full name, reason(s) for his or her absence, days or dates of absence, and the signature of the parent/guardian. Failure to do so requires that absence be counted as unexcused.

The complete Comprehensive Student Attendance Policy can be found on the district website.  Policy #7110

Student Pick Up

Parents Please Read!  We are responsible for the safety of your child.  If you are picking up your child, please come into the main office and sign your child out (this includes pick up at dismissal).  If any person is picking your child up from school and is not on your emergency pick up list, a signed note must be brought to the office in advance.  Please respect that we are looking out for the safety of your child…we will not release your child unless appropriate protocol is followed.

Bringing Electronics and Valuables to School

Electronic devices are not permitted unless the student has been given permission by a teacher for a specific occasion.  Electronic devices include, but are not limited to: cell phones, iPods, video recorders, cameras, paging devices, laser pointers.  These items will be confiscated and can be picked up at the school by the student’s parent.  Parents should discuss with their child(ren) that valuable items should be kept at home.  The school will not be responsible for lost or stolen items (this includes jewelry, money, electronic devices, etc.).  Students should make sure their regular and gym lockers are secured at all times.  They should not give out their locker combinations.

Grading Policy

Numerical grades will be used for subjects taken in grades 6‑8. No student in a full‑year course will receive below a 50 in the first and second marking period. For the remainder of the year, students will receive their actual averages. Reports will be sent home for each student every five-calendar weeks to indicate overall performance. These dates are listed on the school district calendar.

The grades for all subjects will be averaged together each marking period to determine honor roll standings, and all are weighted equally. Students whose averages are 89.5 or higher will be on the Honor Roll; students whose averages are 84.5‑89.4 will be on the Merit Roll.

Backpacks

The Middle School staff has taken the position that students may not use backpacks, string backpacks, book bags, tote bags, etc., during the school day. These create health and safety issues for the students and staff. All of these types of items must be stored in the student’s lockers once they are at school. Students will be given time at the end of the school day to collect his/her belongings from his/her locker. No backpacks during 10th period.

Dress Code

Cover the Top and Cover the Bottom!  Inappropriate clothing, which includes ANY apparel that would be distracting or offensive to students or staff, is prohibited.  School staff reserves the right to interpret the dress code policy in the Middle School and at Middle School sponsored events.  Students are to place jackets and coats in their lockers at the beginning of the school day.  Brief garments are prohibited.  These include, but are not limited to tube tops, net tops, halter tops, cropped shirts, spaghetti straps, plunging necklines (front or back), see through garments, short shorts/skirts/skorts.  Pajamas and other loungewear are also prohibited.  Underwear should be completely covered with outer clothing.  Pants or jeans with any writing on the back are also prohibited.  Hats, bandanas and sunglasses are not permitted to be worn in the Middle School.  Outerwear is not to be worn to classes.  Wallet chains are prohibited. Clothing that promotes or advertises weapons, tobacco, alcohol, drug products, or contains sexually suggestive content is prohibited as well.  Shoes are to be worn at all times for safety purposes. No slippers.

Hint #1:  Shorts & Skirts – your child should be able to put their hands down by their sides and have their shorts or skirts come below their fingertips!

Hint #2:  Shirts – the straps must be at least two inches wide (which is approximately three finger widths)

Gum

The Middle School staff has taken the position that students may not chew gum in school. Gum creates a nuisance, is difficult to clean off surfaces, and is unsanitary.

Permanent Markers

Students will not be allowed to use permanent markers or sharpies in the Middle School unless the student has been given permission by a teacher for a specific project.  Please DO NOT send permanent markers to school with your child. They will be taken and given back at the end of the day.

Planners

RCS student planners are issued to all students at the beginning of the school year.  If a student must leave the room, he/she must present his/her own RCS planner to the teacher or staff.  Use of another student’s planner is prohibited.  If a student leaves the classroom, he/she must have a signed planner or pass and he/she must sign the Student Sign-out Sheet, which should be located in the classroom near the door. This includes going to the nurse’s office, main office, guidance office, restroom, lockers, phone, another classroom, library, etc. If a student loses his/her planner, a replacement must be purchased at the Trading Post for $3.00.

Physical Education Class

All students are expected to change and participate for physical education class.  The middle school curriculum includes class in the swimming pool. Please note that participation is expected in the pool activities as well.  Students who do not change and participate will receive a grade that reflects no participation and their overall average will reflect this.  Please encourage your child to change and participate.  Any questions should be brought to your child’s Physical Education teacher.

Lockers with locks are provided for the students.  Valuables should be locked up at all times.

Discipline Code of Conduct

Learning best takes place in a safe, orderly, and supportive environment. The Middle School staff is dedicated to teaching for success, and believes every student is valuable, capable, and can be successful.

Being successful means doing all assigned work and following the school rules. All students are expected to show respect for themselves, for each other, for every adult in the building, and for school property.

When the school and the parents work together, the child is given a clear message that the most important people in his/her life will do whatever it takes to make him or her successful. This code and this handbook are an invitation for parents to work with the school staff to achieve this goal.

Infractions are categorized as Level I, Level II, or Level III. Level III is the most serious.

Level I Infractions

Level I infractions are relatively minor infractions of established procedures. The frequency of occurrence determines the appropriate response and possible reclassification to a higher level. In most cases an individual teacher, staff member, or team will handle these infractions.

Level I infractions include, but are not limited to:

  • Tardiness to class
  • Disruptive behavior
  • Bullying
  • Creating a disruption in class
  • Dress Code violations
  • Possession of inappropriate items
  • Being unprepared for class
  • Skipping class
  • Unauthorized use of school property or facilities
  • Using inappropriate language
  • Bussing infractions
  • Inappropriate computer use

Consequences may include:

  • Detention
  • Developing a behavioral contract
  • Restriction of privileges
  • Community service
  • Parental contact
  • A verbal reprimand and immediate adult counsel
  • Restricted hall pass
  • Temporary removal from class
  • Payment for damages
  • Loss of privilege

Level II Infractions

Level II infractions include misbehaviors, which disrupt the learning climate of the school and seriously affect the student’s own education.

Level II infractions include, but are not limited to:

  • A continuation of Level I misbehavior
  • Harassment of other students
  • Use of profanity or obscenity
  • Defiance and/or insubordination
  • Continued documented bullying
  • Missing detention
  • Chronic misbehavior on the school bus
  • Truancy
  • Forgery and cheating
  • Chronic level I offences
  • Possession of cigarettes/lighters/fake cigarettes/electronic cigarettes on school property

Consequences may include:

  • Counseling
  • Developing a behavioral contract
  • Restriction of privileges
  • Community service
  • Parental contact
  • A verbal reprimand and immediate adult counsel
  • Restricted hall pass
  • Temporary removal from class
  • Payment for damages
  • Detention, ISP, OSS

Level III Infractions

Level III infractions are the most serious because they have a lasting negative effect on the individual or pose a threat to the health and safety of others in the school.  The consequences for these actions may include alternative placement, in-school supension or out-of-school suspension and a parental conference or telephone conference with the principal. Any of the above may include a detention and/or a Superintendent’s hearing.  Law enforcement officials will be notified and criminal charges will be filed, when appropriate.

Level III infractions include, but are not limited to:

  • A continuation of Level ll misbehavior
  • Leaving the school without permission
  • Use of tobacco on school property
  • Continued documented bullying or harassment
  • Use of fire/fireworks on school property
  • Threats of bodily harm made to a student or staff
  • Falsely reporting a fire or other emergency
  • Possession or use of alcohol
  • Use or sharing of OTC or prescription drugs
  • Possession or use of drugs, drug paraphernalia (Police will be called)
  • Sexual harassment
  • Chronic truancy
  • Stealing
  • Extortion
  • Physical altercations
  • Assault
  • Vandalism
  • Inappropriate computer use
  • Making a bomb threat

Consequences may include:

  • Parent conference
  • Community service
  • Referral to a community agency
  • In-School-Placement (ISP)
  • Loss of privileges, attendance at activities
  • Counseling
  • Suspension from bus transportation
  • Late detention
  • Out-of-School Suspension (OSS)
  • Superintendent’s Hearing
  • Any combination of the above

Bullying and Harassment

The Board of Education affirms its commitment to nondiscrimination.  Therefore, in accordance with the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA), Education Law, Article 2, the District will strive to create an environment free of discrimination and harassment and will foster civility in the schools to prevent and prohibit conduct, which is inconsistent with the District’s educational mission.

The District condemns and prohibits all forms of discrimination and harassment of students or staff based on actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender, or sex by school employees or students on school property and at all school functions.  The Dignity Act (DASA) prohibits discrimination including harassment/bullying/cyber bullying, of students on school property, including at school functions, by any student and/or employee. As the amended act states, cyber bullying may include, among other things, the use, both on and off school property, of electronic technology, including, but not limited to, e-mail, instant messaging, blogs, chat rooms, pagers, cell phones, gaming systems and social media websites, to deliberately harass or threaten others.  In addition, any act of discrimination or harassment, outside of school-sponsored events, which can reasonably be expected to materially and substantially disrupt the educational process may be subject to disciplinary consequences.

The District will investigate all formal or informal complaints of bullying, harassment, and discrimination, and take prompt corrective measures as necessary.  Complaints will be investigated in accordance with applicable policies and regulations.  If, after an appropriate investigation, the District/middle school finds that this policy has been violated, corrective action will be taken in accordance with the District and middle school policies and regulations, the Code of Conduct, and all appropriate federal or state laws (Reference Board of Education Policy #3420-Harassment and #7552-Dignity for All Students Act).

What Is Bullying?

Bullying of a student by another student is strictly prohibited on school property, in school buildings, on school buses, and at school sponsored events and/or activities whether occurring on or off campus.

The term “bullying” among children is defined, in general, as: “a variety of negative acts carried out repeatedly over time.  It involves a real or perceived imbalance of power, with a more powerful child or group attacking those who are less powerful.”  Bullying can take three forms:

a)     Physical (including, but not limited to, hitting, spitting, pushing, taking personal belongings)

b)     Verbal (including, but not limited to, taunting, malicious teasing, name calling, making threats)

c)     Psychological (including, but not limited to, spreading rumors; manipulating social relationships; engaging in social exclusion, extortion, or intimidation)

“Internet bullying” (also referred to as “cyber-bullying”) including the use of instant messaging, e-mail, web sites, chat rooms, and text messaging is also prohibited when such use interferes with the operation of the school; or infringes upon the general health, safety and welfare of district students or employees.

Please understand that once the district has been notified, interventions will be put in place to stop the bullying.  If it continues, disciplinary action may be needed.  If behaviors still continue, the child will be referred to our DASA coordinator, parents will be notified and additional consequences my be needed.

Please note:  When a student files a bullying complaint and it is found that said child is also a party to bullying, all parties will face disciplinary consequences.

Please refer to the RCS Website www.rcscsd.org for further information regarding our district’s Bullying Policy.

Weapons

Any student, who brings any type of firearm, knife, dangerous chemical, weapon paraphernalia, or any other object which is not necessary for school activities and which could be used as a weapon, will be subject to consequences as delineated in Board Policy 7.2.11. Also, in compliance with the Gun‑Free Schools Act of 1994, 20 USC8921, and subdivision (3) (d) of §3214 of the New York State Education Law, a student determined to have a firearm in his or her possession shall be suspended from school for a period of at least one year, unless the superintendent determines that a shorter period of suspension is appropriate. Students will also be referred to the appropriate legal authorities for possession of firearms or any other weapon.

Disciplinary Guidelines

Discipline at RCS Middle School is addressed in different ways. Our primary focus is to create a school climate where appropriate behavior is modeled, expected, and rewarded. In making our expectations clear, we also want to find ways of eliminating the behavioral problems standing in the way of a student’s success.

Inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated, and the student must accept the consequences when he/she commits an infraction. The guidelines for restriction, detention, alternative placement, alternative placement with detention, on-campus placement, on-campus placement with detention and out-of-school suspension follow.

Dance Guidelines

It is important to note that students, who are restricted, receive a late detention(s), in-school suspension or out-of-school suspension or has a Level III infraction for a period of three weeks prior to a dance or activity will NOT be permitted to attend the dance or activity night.  All school rules apply at all school functions. No phones, hats, backpacks, etc.

Field Trip Policy

Any student with a referral withing three weeks of the trip OR is failing two or more classes may not be able to attend. This is at the discretion of administration.

Restricted Pass

A student may be  placed on a restricted list upon the recommendation school staff.

1)     The student will pick up the restriction form from a main office secretary at the beginning of the day. This form must be returned at the end of the day.

2)     The student will remain in the classroom at the end of each period and wait until the second bell rings. He/she will then be excused and will arrive at the next class within two minutes. At the end of each period, the supervising teacher will initial the pass and indicate whether behavior has been satisfactory or unsatisfactory. For each unsatisfactory report, another day will be added to the restriction.

3)     The student will not be allowed to go to the library, guidance, nurse, main office or any other area without a pre‑signed pass.

Detention

Students may be assigned to late detention for violating the Middle School Code of Conduct.  Parents will  notified by discipline referral, phone call by staff or by student. Students can take the 5 pm bus home following a late detention, unless otherwise noted.

1)     Detention will be served Monday – Thursday as assigned. The student is to report to detention no later than 2:45 P.M..

2)     Students will arrive at detention with the following materials: homework assignments, textbooks, pen, pencil, notebooks, and loose-leaf paper, books and/or magazines.

3)     Students will work on homework for specific classes, do assigned reading, or work on assigned projects.

4)     Students must do work or read and not engage in conversations with others.

5)     If the student cannot follow the guidelines set forth, they will receive another detention.

In-School-Placement (ISP)

1)     Students are assigned ISP for serious misconduct.  The student will report to the main office immediately upon entering the school and he/ she will then be escorted to the ISP room.

2)     ISS is a silent work/study time when students work on homework and class assignments.

3)     Students are to arrive at ISP with books, notebooks, pens, pencils and loose-leaf paper.

4)     Students in ISP will be allowed lavatory privileges at the discretion of the ISP supervisor.

5)     Students who do not complete ISP in an appropriate manner may be required to complete an additional day.

6)     Students in ISP are not permitted to participate in any after school activities during that time.

Out-of-School Suspension (OSS)

1)   Students who are placed on Out-of-school suspension for at least two days will be entitled to district provided tutoring.

2)   Students on OSS are not permitted to any school functions during that time.

Superintendent’s Hearing

Students who continuously violate the discipline code or who have Level III infractions may require a Superintendent’s Hearing.  At this hearing, which is a formal hearing process, the Superintendent will hear testimony regarding the students behaviors.  If found guilty, the Superintendent may impose long-term suspension.

Attention Eighth Graders

Eighth grade students who are failing two or more classes (math, ELA, science, social studies, technology, PE, health, and foreigh language) at the time of their fourth quarter, interim report are academically ineligible to participate in co-curricular activities, including the eighth grade dance or field trip.

Eighth grade students (after a minimum of two weeks) may obtain a co-curricular eligibility form from the Guidance Office.  When all teachers (every subject) indicate on the form that the student’s grades are passing, the form is signed by the principal.  Eighth grade students will then earn eligibility status for the fourth quarter interim.

Eighth grade students who are failing two ro more classes (math, ELA, science, social studies, technology, PE, health and foreign language) for the year will not be eligible to attend the eighth grade dance or field trip.  The calculation used for this determination will be quarter 1 average + quarter 2 average + quarter 3 average + quarter 4 interim average divided by 4 (this is for each subject, each quarter).  We round to the nearest hundredth of a point.

Extenuating eligibility circumstances may be appealed to the principal in writing for consideration.

Important Contact Information

Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Middle School

2025 U.S. Route 9W

Ravena, NY 12143

www.rcscsd.org

Telephone: 518-756-5200

Fax: 518-756-1988

Middle School Principal, ext. 3036

Middle School Assistant Principal, ext. 3037

Ken Blair, Guidance (A-L), ext. 3017

Stephanie Cook, Guidance (M-Z), ext. 3038

Leslie Graves, School Psychologist, ext. 3027

Kathleen Durivage, Social Worker, ext. 3029

Karen Waddingham, Health Office, ext. 3021

Ann Jackson, Special Education Director, ext. 3032

Robert Dorrance, Athletic Director, ext. 2016

Doug Porter, Food Service Director, ext. 2437

Jennifer Houck, Transportation Director, ext. 7010

Darcy Hunter, Transportation Dispatcher, ext. 7008

Ralph Domanico, Operations/Maintenance Director, ext. 7001