T.W. Hunter Middle School
Student Handbook

 

T.W. Hunter exists to empower the lives of students by inspiring them to…

LEARN throughout life as they embrace education to remedy social, economic, and environmental issues

GROW mentally, socially, and emotionally as they move toward an adulthood defined by integrity

SERVE locally, nationally, and globally as they seek to improve their world

LOVE without prejudice as they interact with family, friends, classmates, and humanity

COMPETE academically, athletically, and artistically as they win and lose with grace and humility

SCHOOL POLICIES

The following policies will serve as both a guide for student conduct and an outline of school-wide procedural considerations. Not all requirements for proper conduct have been included, as it is neither necessary nor practical to print all regulations that govern the behavior of ladies and gentlemen.

Purpose: The Sumner County Board of Education has set forth the following rationale for school attendance: “Recognizing that truancy is a hindrance to education and that the progress of a student at school depends on the regularity of attendance, the Board has adopted the following rules and regulations, based on the State Compulsory Attendance Law. It is the purpose of this policy to promote good school attendance in grades kindergarten through twelve.”

Definitions: For the purposes of clarification, attendance related words must be defined in order to establish common meaning. Efforts to do so should prevent miscommunication regarding this very important topic.

Present: when a student is in attendance at the school or class to which he or she is assigned. For truancy purposes, present shall mean attending for a full day of school.

Absent: when a student is not in attendance at the school or in the class to which he or she is assigned. Missing more than one half of a day or a class counts as an absence. Absences are considered either excused or unexcused.

Excused Absences: absences tolerated by the school system under the law because the cause and benefit of the absence to the student as verified by proof outweigh the benefits that would have been achieved by attending school. For absences of a full or partial day to be considered excused, a written note from the parent, guardian, or doctor must be provided. After an accumulation of five (5) days of excused absences and/or tardies, the parent/guardian must file more formal documentation with the principal to assure classification as an excused absence. Reasons for excused absences include:

Student’s personal illness, medical appointment, or hospitalization verified by a licensed physician, dentist, or health agency. If the illness or hospitalization is to exceed ten (10) consecutive days, the parent or guardian should apply for homebound instruction after the first five (5) days of consecutive absences.
Death of a family member. Death of a non-family member if approved by the principal.

Special recognized religious holidays regularly observed by a particular faith. A parent note must be submitted to the school principal prior to the student being absent for a religious holiday.

Required court appearances. Verification of court appearance times from appropriate authorities must be provided.

Approved school related activities. Prior approval is required.

Vacations/trips with prior approval by the principal. A note from the parent/guardian shall be submitted prior to any such trip. Principal will approve no more than one per year. Trips taken without prior approval will be considered unexcused.

Other extenuating circumstances beyond the control of the student. For such absences to be excused, the building principal or his or her designee must approve them.
Unexcused Absences: absences which are not verified or which do not meet valid reasons for absences. All out of school suspensions are unexcused.

Tardy: when a student arrives to school after 7:40 a.m. In such cases, the parent/guardian must accompany the student into the front office and sign in the student. On the fifth tardy to school during a semester, a student will be issued a detention. Each first period tardy thereafter during the same semester will result in an additional detention. For 2nd through 6th period classes, students are considered tardy if they are not in their seats before the bell rings.

Early Dismissal: when a student leaves school before 2:40 dismissal. In such cases, the parent/guardian must sign out the student in the front office, at which point he or she will be called from class. Parents should try to schedule doctor and dental appointments after school. If the student becomes ill during the day or must go home for emergency purposes, the student must report to the office, where an adult will call home for the student. Unless approved by the administration, students who are absent for a full or partial day will be prohibited from participating in after-hour, school related activities on that same day.

Reporting Procedures: the process whereby an absence is considered excused or unexcused. Any student returning from a full or partial day absence must check in at the front office between 7:30 and 7:40, where he or she will receive either an Excused Slip or an Unexcused Slip. Within two days of any absence from school (full or partial day), the student should bring a note from his or her parent, guardian, or doctor in order to have the absence excused. Failure to do so will result in an unexcused absence. Parent notes should state the child’s name, date(s) of absence, and reason for the absence.

Makeup Work: work missed during absences and suspensions. All such work must be made up within three school days after the student’s return to school. Under extenuating circumstances, the due date for this work shall be adjusted at the discretion of the principal. If a suspension occurs during the last ten (10) days of any semester, the student may be permitted to take final examinations or submit such work as is necessary to complete the course of instruction for that semester.

Perfect Attendance: when a student has not been marked absent for any class, in part or in whole, during the entire school year. School approved activities are considered exceptions to this rule and do not jeopardize a student’s perfect attendance status.

In order to keep classrooms safe and aisle ways clear, students are not allowed to bring book bags, messenger bags, duffle bags, or similar items into the classroom. These items may be stored in student lockers but should not be brought into the classroom. SWAG BAGS may be worn any time.
Students are prohibited from using or having cell phones or other electronic devices on their person during the school day. More specifically, cell phones are not to be used during the hours of 6:45 and 3:00 p.m. Students that are afternoon car riders may use their cell phone when outside to communicate with parents for pickup purposes. Any student caught with a phone will have the phone confiscated, and a detention will be assigned. Confiscated phones may be picked up ONLY by a parent or guardian at the end of the school day. Principals may authorize the use of cell phones in the event of an emergency or other serious situation. In addition to having a detention assigned for every offense and requiring the parent to pick up the phone, the following “hold” policy will be observed:
  1. First offense – cell phone held until the end of the day
  2. Second offense – cell phone held for 24 hours
  3. Third offense – cell phone held for 48 hours
  4. Subsequent offenses – additional disciplinary measures
If a student owes money to the school, he or she will not be allowed to attend dances or other selected school activities. Additionally, unpaid debts will result in a “hold” being placed on the student’s report card. Upon completion of the 8th grade or upon transfer to another school, T.W. Hunter will not release records to the new school until all debts have been paid. Debts include, but are not limited to, class fees, field trip fees, textbook replacement or rebinds, cafeteria charges, library fines, and picture money.
Due to the difficulty in making sure every child receives an intended delivery on special occasions, along with problems that may arise during transportation of flowers, balloons, glass containers, and similar items, the administration respectfully asks that all such deliveries be kept to a minimum. Balloons and glass containers are not allowed on school buses.

T.W. Hunter employs a dual-level discipline program. Both assertive discipline and Positive Behavior Support (PBS) will be used as needed in monitoring, regulating, and correcting student behavior. Assertive discipline is the strategy used to hold students accountable for their actions and choices, while PBS is intended to reward positive behavior using a ticket or token system. While not all-inclusive, the following rules have been set forth in order to maintain a school wide culture that is conducive to learning:

  1. Leave toys, games, playing/collector cards, and electronic devices at home. All such items will be confiscated and returned only to a parent. The school will not be responsible for lost, stolen, or confiscated items. Electronic devices, including games, cell phones, and MP3 players are not to be seen at school. If they are seen, they will be confiscated and a consequence will be issued. See Acceptable use policy for approved technology devices in specific classrooms.
  2. Follow the directions of faculty and staff members at all times. Rudeness and disrespect in any form will not be tolerated. Such actions include, but are not limited to, eye rolling, mumbling under one’s breath, and walking away from an adult while being reprimanded.
  3. Follow the directions of bus drivers and attendants. Bus drivers have the authority and responsibility to refer any student to the administration for discipline.
  4. Acknowledge and observe the hands-off policy at all times. For the safety and welfare of our students, this policy is strictly enforced.
  5. Refrain from bringing gum, candy, glass containers, and other prohibited items to school.
  6. Refuse to participate in actions such as loitering (inside or outside the building), profanity of any kind, and harassment (including bullying).

Detentions: Detentions are suitable consequences for many behavior related offenses and may be issued by any adult at T.W. Hunter. Detention will be held three times per week. Students may choose to serve after school on Tuesdays or Thursdays from 2:45-3:30 or on Wednesday mornings from 6:45-7:30. Detentions will be considered satisfied if and only if students arrive on time and are cooperative with the detention supervisor. Teachers (or other detention-issuing adults) are responsible for contacting the student’s parent or guardian before scheduling a time for the detention to be served. When contact has been made, the student will receive a pink copy of the detention to be taken home as a reminder of the agreed upon date.

Failure to serve a detention will result in a second chance to serve on a future date. Subsequent failure to serve will result in one day of in-school isolation (ISI). Students receiving their 3rd detention during a 9-week period will automatically be assigned ISI. Each additional detention during the same time period will warrant one additional day of ISI. Finally, excessive detentions may result in out-of-school suspension (OSS).

Gum: In order to keep T.W. Hunter clean gum is prohibited. Students caught with gum will receive an automatic detention.

Hands-off Policy: With regard to student interaction, T.W. Hunter Middle School enforces a strict, hands-off policy. This policy includes, but is not limited to, hugging, kissing, horse playing, fighting, or any other type of touching. Consequences will be assigned to students who violate this policy.

In-School Isolation (ISI): In-school isolation is a suitable consequence for offenses deemed detrimental to the good order of the school. ISI, unlike a detention, can only be assigned by an administrator. Rules for ISI are established by the administration and will be posted in the ISI room. The number of ISI days assigned is situation specific and is determined by an administrator. An ISI assignment is considered satisfied if and only if the student serves all days assigned and is cooperative with the ISI supervisor. Failure to serve ISI in a satisfactory manner may result in additional days in ISI or even out-of-school suspension (OSS). Students assigned ISI during a semester will not be allowed to participate in school dances, field trips, or other “outside of classroom” activities. The identification of such activities is at the discretion of the administration.

Out-of-School Suspension (OSS): Out-of school suspension is a suitable consequence for offenses of a more serious nature, resulting in conduct detrimental to good order or willful and persistent violation of school rules. OSS is for a period of time determined by the principal not to exceed ten (10) consecutive days. Depending upon the circumstances, a parent may be required to confer with the school for the student to be readmitted to classes. The following non-inclusive list of offenses may result in OSS:

  1. Fighting among students
  2. Theft
  3. Tobacco possession/use
  4. Vandalism
  5. Violence or threatened violence
  6. Willful/persistent misconduct
  7. Shanking

Students assigned OSS during a semester will not be allowed to participate in school dances, field trips, or other “outside of classroom” activities. The identification of such activities is at the discretion of the administration.

Please refer to the 2013-2014 Important Policies for Parents and Students, along with the Sumner County Board Policy Manual for detailed information regarding code of behavior, discipline, and discipline procedures.

The appearance of our students reflects the quality of the school and influences student conduct and performance. Students shall observe modesty, appropriateness, and neatness in clothing and personal appearance. The following is the Standardized Dress Code adopted by the Sumer County Board of Education and applies to ALL school-related activities, both during and after school hours. Consequences for dress code violations include changing clothes, going home, ISI, or other penalties authorized by the administration. Continual dress code violations warrant more severe consequences.

The following shall not be worn to school:

  • Sagging pants or bottoms with writing on the backside
  • Spandex (including jeggings)
  • Clothes with holes in them (with or without strings covering)
  • Clothing with suggestive slogans, vulgar captions, pictures of or advertisements for tobacco or alcoholic products, or gang references
  • Form fitting or body conforming clothes
  • Halters, fishnet shirts, tank tops, or shirts that result in bare midriffs
  • Tops with revealing necklines (measure hand’s breadth with thumb just below Adam’s apple, all fingers together, and straight across the chest)
  • Caps, hats, scarves, or bandanas
  • Black nail polish
  • Extreme hair or feather color (any color that is not natural)
  • Cleated shoes or Heelies

In addition, the following shall be enforced:

  • Shorts (front and back) must be no higher than 3 inches from the bend of the back of the knee, as measured from solid material; cut-off shorts are prohibited
  • Skirt length or slits in skirts (front and back) must not be higher than 3 inches from the bend of the back of the knee, as measured from solid material
  • Leggings must only be worn with skirts/dresses that are the standard length of 3 inches from the bend of the back of the knee
  • Pants length must not drag the floor
  • No house shoes, pajamas, or pajama separates may be worn
  • Shirts longer than finger tip length must be tucked into bottoms
  • Shirts, when hands raised above head, must not reveal the stomach
  • Shirts must have sleeves (fabric beyond the shoulder seam)
  • No tinted glasses/sunglasses unless doctor prescribed
  • No body piercing jewelry except for earrings may be worn during school and school events
  • Jewelry must not be distracting, disrupting, or unsafe
  • Valuable clothes and jewelry are discouraged
  • Flip flops and other minimally covering footwear are discouraged for safety reasons

Report cards are issued every nine (9) weeks and are sent home with students at the end of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd quarters. End of year report cards are mailed to the student’s address of record. Parents will also receive a progress report four times per year, at the end of every 4 ½ week grading period. This progress report is not a final, quarterly grade but provides an opportunity for both parent and student to receive grade information at the midpoint of the quarterly grading period. Parents are also encouraged to stay informed of student grades continually, using teachers’ online grade books and Parent Portal. For purposes of reporting, the grading scale is as follows:

A 93-100
B 85-92
C 75-84
D 70-74
F Below 70
I Incomplete

Quarter, semester, and exam grades are weighted and averaged to determine the final grade in core courses, including English, Literature, Math, Science, and Social Studies.

Calculation of a student’s final grade is outlined below: Final Grade is an average of Semester 1 and Semester 2 grades

Semester 1 Grade is comprised of three weighted components: Q1 grade (45%), Q2 grade (45%) and Mid-term Exam (10%)

Semester 2 Grade is comprised of four weighted components: Q3 grade (35%), Q4 grade (35%), Final Exam (10%), TCAP scores (20%)

*Algebra 1 student Semester 2 math grades are averaged differently: Q3 grade (32.5%), Q4 grade (32.5%), Final Exam (10%), End of Course Test (25%)

Any time a student is in the hall during class time, it is his or her responsibility to have signed out of the classroom and have the appropriate hall pass. Hallways are monitored by cameras to ensure the safety and compliance of all students. Additionally, students are discouraged from leaving the classroom to go to the restroom unless it is an emergency. Restroom breaks should be taken between classes and during lunch with the permission of the cafeteria monitor.
Students are expected to do homework regularly. It is vitally important that parents provide a suitable place for their children to study. Homework provides both reinforcement of learning and an opportunity to practice newly acquired skills.
Students will be issued a photo ID which must remain in their possession at all times on campus. In addition to being required for admission to dances and other extra-curricular events, the card will serve as the student’s library card. If the complimentary card is lost, a replacement will be issued at a cost of $5.
Use of the Internet is a privilege, not a right, and inappropriate use will result in the loss of those privileges. The “Internet Use Permission Form” and “E-reader Policy” must be on file, per county mandate, granting parental permission for students to use the Internet or e-reader at school. A new form is required each year for both internet and e-reader use.
All lost and found items (clothing, backpacks, etc.) should be turned in or claimed through the P.E. coaches. Lost textbooks will be returned to the teacher issuing the book. Lost library books will be returned to the library. Due to space constraints, unclaimed items will be sent periodically to a local charitable organization.
Any student who needs to take medication during the day shall, upon entering the school building, leave the medication at the office to be administered at the designated time. No medication will be administered without proper documentation from the parent (non-prescription) or parent and doctor (prescription). All medications must be brought to school in the original container and clearly labeled. A dispensing log will be kept, documenting the administration of all medication. Neither antibiotics nor prescription pain medications are administered at school.
We urge parents to communicate transportation, appointment times, and so forth before the student leaves home in the morning. Announcements are made before school, before lunch, and at dismissal. Every attempt will be made to relay the message to the student, but we cannot guarantee the delivery of messages received after 2:15.
Students are expected to do homework regularly. It is vitally important that parents provide a suitable place for their children to study. Homework provides both reinforcement of learning and an opportunity to practice newly acquired skills.
Students will be issued a photo ID which must remain in their possession at all times on campus. In addition to being required for admission to dances and other extra-curricular events, the card will serve as the student’s library card. If the complimentary card is lost, a replacement will be issued at a cost of $5.
Any time a student is in the hall during class time, it is his or her responsibility to have signed out of the classroom and have the appropriate hall pass. Hallways are monitored by cameras to ensure the safety and compliance of all students. Additionally, students are discouraged from leaving the classroom to go to the restroom unless it is an emergency. Restroom breaks should be taken between classes and during lunch with the permission of the cafeteria monitor.
Students are expected to do homework regularly. It is vitally important that parents provide a suitable place for their children to study. Homework provides both reinforcement of learning and an opportunity to practice newly acquired skills.
Students will be issued a photo ID which must remain in their possession at all times on campus. In addition to being required for admission to dances and other extra-curricular events, the card will serve as the student’s library card. If the complimentary card is lost, a replacement will be issued at a cost of $5.