- JEFFERSON COUNTY AND JEFFERSON MIDDLE SCHOOL MISSION AND VISION
- JEFFERSON MIDDLE SCHOOL SCHEDULE AND HOURS
- PURPOSE OF HANDBOOK
- CARE OF SCHOOL PROPERTY
- CHANGE OF ADDRESS OR TELEPHONE NUMBER
- COMPUTERS/ONE-TO-ONE TECHNOLOGY
- DISMISSAL PROCEDURES
- FIELD TRIPS (Board Policy 4.302)
- INTERNET USAGE (Board Policy 4.406)
- LOCKERS (TCA 49-6-4203c)
- MAIN OFFICE
- MEDICINES (Board Policy 6.405)
- SALE OF ITEMS/ADVERTISING
- SCHOOL COUNSELOR’S OFFICE
- SCHOOL CLOSINGS AND DELAYS
- SCHOOL FEES
- SCHOOL INSURANCE
- SCHOOL SAFETY
- STUDENT DELIVERIES/PARTIES
- STUDENT VALUABLES
- STUDENT WITHDRAWAL FROM SCHOOL
- TELEPHONE MESSAGES
- ACADEMIC PROGRAM
- GRADING SCALE (GRADES 3-12)
- MAKE-UP WORK (Board Policy 6.200)
- PARENT CONFERENCES
- REPORTING STUDENT PROGRESS (Board Policy 4.601)
- STUDENT PLANNERS
- TESTING PROGRAMS (Board Policy 4.700)
Welcome to a new school year at Jefferson Middle School! We are excited about the coming year and look forward to working with you to help your children grow academically, socially, and emotionally. At JMS, we believe that this partnership is extremely important in a child’s educational success. Communication is the key to that success, and this handbook is intended as one way to promote communication. Please review the information in this handbook carefully. Important guidelines, policies, and procedures used in Jefferson County Schools and at Jefferson Middle School in particular have been included for your easy reference. Please note that the information in this student handbook is not inclusive of all Jefferson County School Board policies. Should Board Policy change, or if the school administration deems changes necessary for the safe and effective operation of the schools, then items are subject to change and parents will be notified.
If you have any questions or need clarification for any policy or procedure, please feel free to contact the school. The staff of Jefferson Middle School looks forward to an exciting and successful year for our students and their families.
Jefferson County Schools’ Mission: Success and productivity for every student in Jefferson County.
Jefferson County Schools’ Vision: We will ensure success for every student through high quality, standards-based curriculum, highly effective instruction, balanced and reliable measurement, and targeted response to learning.
JMS Motto: Success and productivity for every student, every child, every day
Doors will be unlocked at 7:15 each morning for early student drop-off. Students should not be dropped off and will not be allowed to enter the building before 7:15. Upon entering the building, students must report to the gym and sit in their assigned areas or report to the cafeteria for breakfast. They may not go to lockers or other areas of the building during this time. Breakfast begins at 7:15. Students who go to breakfast will remain in the cafeteria until dismissal at 7:53.
Students who arrive at school after 8:00 will be considered tardy and must report to the main office with a parent/guardian to receive an admit slip to class. At 8:00 all outside doors except the main entrance will be locked, and students who are tardy will be required to come through the front office and be signed in by the person dropping them off. After 5 unexcused tardies, students will receive an office referral.
|First Period||8:00 - 9:08|
|First Load Bus Dismissal||3:05|
|Walkers/Car Rider Dismissal||3:15|
|Second Load Bus Riders||3:15 approx.|
This handbook has been prepared as a guide and source of information for the following purposes:
- To develop a code for students.
- To provide direction for self-discipline and a desirable self-image.
- To enter into a partnership with the home in sharing responsibility.
- To assist in making decisions.
- To keep the community informed and supportive.
- To provide information on school policies and procedures.
Assemblies are a regularly scheduled part of the curriculum and, as such, are designed to be educational as well as entertaining experiences. They provide one of the few opportunities in school to learn formal audience behavior. Regardless of the type of program, courtesy demands that the student body be respectful and appreciative. In live entertainment—unlike radio, television, or movies—the performers are very conscious of their audience. Talking, whispering, whistling, stomping of feet, and booing are discourteous and therefore not permitted. Yelling is appropriate only at pep rallies.
Breakfast and lunch are offered daily in our cafeteria for a nominal cost. Every effort should be made not to charge meals; however, in such cases lunch and breakfast charges shall not exceed five (5) days in length per student. After the fifth day of charges, the student will not be permitted any more charges, and administrative approval will be required until charges are paid. After five days of charges, students will be given an alternative meal (sandwich and milk) and their account will be charged for this (Board Policy 3.500).
Free or reduced meal prices are available to those students who meet the criteria. Applications for free/reduced meals are available in the main office and must be approved by the administration. Extra items (such as chips or ice cream) are also available for purchase, but are to be paid with cash only and do not qualify as part of the free/reduced menu.
Parents may pay for their children’s lunch online through My Payments Plus. Go to http://jc-school.net, and under the District section, click on “Pay lunch accounts here.” This will take parents to the My Payments website, where an account can be set up. Please call the school if there are any questions.
Students are not allowed to have food from outside vendors in the cafeteria. Additionally, students may not bring sodas or energy drinks to school, as carbonated drinks often explode.
Students are responsible for the proper care of all books, supplies, technology, and furniture supplied by the school. Students who disfigure property, break windows, or cause damage to school property or equipment will be required to pay for the damage or to replace the item. Disciplinary action will also be taken. Any unlawful act taking place on the school grounds or on buses not only makes the student subject to penalties which the courts may prescribe, but also could result in suspension or dismissal from school.
A school nurse is available to assist students with medical needs. Medications should be kept in the clinic with the nurse unless otherwise directed in writing by a medical doctor. Parents, not students, should bring in medications. Students found in possession of medications will be disciplined according to school policy.
The nurse uses a set of nursing guidelines to determine whether students should be sent home due to illness. Whenever possible, students will be treated and released back to class. Additionally, an online medical service (eMDAnywhere) provides access to a nurse practitioner electronically. The school nurse can provide additional information to any parent interested.
School dances will be held periodically throughout the year. Only Jefferson Middle School students are permitted at dances; no guests will be allowed. Students are expected to follow all school rules and dress code regulations will be enforced. If a student is absent from school on the day of the dance, he/she will not be allowed to attend the dance. Students must be picked up on school property; students who are not picked up on time will not be allowed to attend the next dance. For safety reasons, students may not walk home from dances.
The academic day ends at 3:05. No early dismissals will be allowed after 2:45. A bell will ring at 3:05 to dismiss first load buses only; these students will exit through the gym doors and load buses. It is very important that a student ride the appropriate bus so that he/she does not miss the next bus at one of the elementary schools.
At 3:15 a bell will ring for car riders and second load bus riders. Car riders will report to the cafeteria and sit quietly so they can hear when their names are called. Students will be called out onto the sidewalk, and they must wait to load their cars until cars are stopped in the loading area.
Because of safety concerns, students will not be allowed to walk down the side of the building to load cars. Per Board Policy 3.401, all students who are car riders must be picked up at their school of origin and may not ride a bus to another school for car rider pickup there. Violations are subject to disciplinary action.
Second load bus riders will be dismissed to the gym to wait for their buses.
Note: A student going home by any other means than his/her normal transportation must have a note signed and dated by a parent/guardian. This note should be turned in to the student’s first period teacher. Office staff will verify the change and return the note to the student at the end of the day. Students must show these notes to the bus driver before getting on a bus.
Field trips designed to stimulate student interest and inquiry and to provide opportunities for social growth and development are considered appropriate extensions of the classroom.
To be educationally beneficial, a field trip requires thoughtful selection, careful advance preparation of the class, and opportunities for students to summarize the experience at the conclusion of the trip. To this end, teachers and principals will be expected to consider the following factors in selecting field trips:
- Value of the activity to the particular student group or groups;
- Relationship of the field trip activity to a particular aspect of classroom instruction;
- Suitability of the activity and distance traveled in terms of the age level;
- Mode and availability of transportation; and
- Cost — Cost per student shall not be calculated so as to include the payment of the cost of any school personnel, or others, except the sponsor(s) of the group or club which takes the trip.
Field trips that reward students may be planned by staff each semester. Students may only attend these field trips if they meet the requirements set forth regarding attendance, academics, and discipline (see Attendance, Discipline, and Homework for more information). Requirements for reward field trips will be set by a school committee. Administration reserves the right to determine other restrictions for field trips on a case-by-case basis,
Students should move through the hallways in an orderly fashion at all times in order to keep disruption of learning to a minimum. Horseplay will not be tolerated, and these behaviors will result in disciplinary action.
Students shall not be in the hallways during class without a pass from their classroom teacher. Students out of class without a pass will be escorted back to their respective class. Students should always ask the teacher to issue a pass and sign out prior to leaving the classroom. Students should be in the hallway during class in emergencies only or on official classroom business, such as going to the library or office.
NOTE: No student should be in the hallways before or after school hours without administrative approval.
The Board supports the right of staff and students to have reasonable access to various information formats and believes it incumbent upon staff and students to use this privilege in an appropriate and responsible manner. The director of schools shall develop and implement procedures for appropriate Internet use by students. Procedures shall address the following: 1. General rules and ethics of Internet use. 2. Prohibited or illegal activities, including, but not limited to:
- Sending or displaying offensive messages or pictures
- Using obscene language
- Harassing, insulting, defaming or attacking others
- Damaging computers, computer systems or computer networks
- Hacking or attempting unauthorized access
- Violation of copyright laws
- Trespassing in another’s folders, work or files
- Intentional misuse of resources
- Using another’s password or other identifier (impersonation)
- Use of the network for commercial purposes
- Buying or selling on the Internet
A written parental consent shall be required prior to the student being granted access to electronic media involving district technological resources. The required permission/agreement form, which shall specify acceptable uses, rules of on-line behavior, access privileges and penalties for policy/procedural violations, must be signed by the parent/ legal guardian of minor students (those under 18 years of age) and also by the student. This document shall be executed at kindergarten entry, at 6th grade entry and at 9th grade entry. It should be kept on file as a legal binding document. In order to rescind the agreement, the student’s parent/guardian (or the student who is at least 18 years old) must provide the director of schools with a written request.
Users with network access shall not utilize district resources to establish electronic mail accounts through third-party providers or any other nonstandard electronic mail system unless used for legitimate educational purposes. All data including e-mail communications stored or transmitted on school system computers shall be monitored. Employees/students have no expectation of privacy with regard to such data. E-mail correspondence may be a public record under the public records law and may be subject to public inspection.3 Students may establish an email account through state or district approved sites for specific educational assignments monitored by faculty (i.e. college for TN). Email addresses will be subject to the District’s policies in addition to any other terms of service.
Violations of this policy or a procedure promulgated under its authority shall be handled in accordance with the existing disciplinary procedures of this District. (Note: Please visit the School Board tab to see entire policy).
The goal of the library is to provide resources for classroom and individual use in sufficient quantity, quality, and variety to implement the instructional program in all areas, and to support the development of the user.
JMS students go to the library as a part of the Related Arts curriculum. The library is also open at other times for students to work individually, in small groups, or in a particular academic class. Books are borrowed for two (2) weeks at a time with one renewal. Library skills, reference skills, and research skills are taught individually and in groups. Lost or damaged books must be paid for by the end of the school year. Students who owe books/fines will not be permitted to attend special activities or field trips.
Lockers are available for all Jefferson Middle students. Lockers will be assigned at the beginning of the school year by homeroom teachers. A student may use only his/her locker, and may not have access to any additional lockers or other students’ lockers. Since lockers are a permanent part of the building, students are expected to keep them in good, usable condition. No one should leave class to go to his/her locker except with special permission. All school property, including lockers and storage areas, are subject to search for good cause.
Student backpacks must be kept in student lockers. For safety reasons, students may NOT carry backpacks to classes during the day.
It is the student’s responsibility to see that his/her locker is kept locked and in order at all times. Locks purchased by the school will be loaned to students. These locks are a requirement and must remain secured on lockers. A student may be required to pay for a lock that has been lost or damaged.
Students and/or parents must report to the main office to do the following things:
- Enroll in school (student must be accompanied by parent/legal guardian)
- Turn in a note for an absence
- Check in (if tardy for first period)/check out for early dismissal (must be accompanied by parent/legal guardian)
- Report a student accident
- Obtain an application for free/reduced meals
- Check for lost items
- Obtain insurance forms
- Withdraw from school (must be accompanied by parent/legal guardian)
Students must have permission from teachers to come to the office, and they will not be allowed to go past the front desk without permission.
If under exceptional circumstances a child is required to take nonprescription or prescription medication during school hours and the parent cannot be at school to administer the medication, only the principal or the principal’s designee will assist in self-administration of the medication if the student is competent to self-administer medicine with assistance in compliance with the following regulations.
Written instructions signed by the parent will be required and will include:
- Child’s name;
- Name of medication;
- Name of physician;
- Time to be self-administered;
- Dosage and directions for self-administration (non-prescription medicines must have label direction);
- Possible side effects, if known; and
- Termination date for self-administration of the medication.
The medication must be delivered to the principal’s office in person by the parent or guardian of the student unless the medication must be retained by the student for immediate self-administration (i.e. students with asthma). Students in violation of this policy will be disciplined accordingly
All parents and visitors must sign in at the office first. For the protection of our students, our front doors will be locked at 8:00 each morning. We must insist that all visitors enter the building by the exterior front door and immediately go to the office to sign in and receive a visitor’s pass. Parents and visitors who do not sign in will be requested to return to the office to do so. Students will only be called to the office to see a visitor in cases of extreme emergency.
Students may not bring guests to our school. Parents may NOT go into their child’s classroom during the school day to speak with a teacher, as this interrupts the instructional program. They may request an appointment by calling the school, sending a note, or emailing the teacher.
Parents may NOT go into a classroom at the beginning or the end of the day. This time is dedicated to preparation for the day and other necessary tasks. Immediate concerns will be relayed to teachers by the office staff, and teachers will respond as soon as possible.
In the middle school setting, we do not allow parents to eat lunch at school with students.
Parking will be allowed in the designated visitor spaces at the front of the building or vacant spots at the back of the building for visitors.
Because of traffic and parking limitations, parents are urged to leave students at designated entrances during morning drop-off. Parents will not be permitted to park in the front to drop off/pick up their children during regular drop-off/pick-up times.
In the afternoons, no visitors should be parked in the front of the school between 2:45 P.M. and 3:45 P.M. This is a bus loading zone and must be kept open for buses. Car riders will be dismissed at 3:15 P.M. from the cafeteria/side entrance. Students may NOT be picked up in the front of the building or at local businesses.
Please DO NOT drive through the parking lot while buses are loading or unloading, as there are children moving through that parking lot. State law requires all vehicles to stop if the school bus stop sign is displayed.
P.R.I.D.E. stands for Promoting Responsibility in Daily Education. The goals of P.R.I.D.E. are to teach students to be respectful and responsible and reward them for doing so. Respect and responsibility include appropriate behavior, completing and turning in work, and attending school regularly. Incentive activities, such as field trips and other activities, will be scheduled throughout the year to reward students who exhibit these characteristics. The P.R.I.D.E. committee will determine requirements for participation in reward activities and will disseminate this information to parents and students each year.
Through the P.R.I.D.E. program and the guidance department, lessons are designed and delivered to teach students how to treat others and how to deal with situations involving bullying and harassment.
School pictures and yearbooks are available at appropriate times of the year. The price of these items is determined by the cost of production. Fundraising sales are held as needed on a school-wide basis and by designated school groups and clubs. Students are not permitted to sell items of their own or to raise funds for other organizations during the school day or on school property, including school buses.
Flyers or other types of advertising from groups not affiliated with the school will not be allowed except with express approval of the Director of Schools.
Mr. Jeff Moore (boys) and Dr. Melissa Hensley (girls) provide counseling and support services, including groups, classroom, and individual, for students at JMS. Students must make an appointment and have classroom teacher permission before visiting the counselors. Every effort will be made to see students during their PE or related arts time
In the event of severe weather, school may be closed or the starting time delayed. The same conditions may also necessitate early dismissal. This situation will be announced over local radio and television stations, the Blackboard Alert System, as well as posted on the Jefferson County Schools website. If no report is heard, one can assume that school will be in session on regular schedule. Please do not call the school. Telephone lines must remain open for emergencies.
Everyone has a responsibility for maintaining a safe and orderly learning environment at school. These rights and responsibilities are listed below:
Students have a responsibility to report to their teacher or principal:
- Any student threats of violence, either direct or indirect.
- Any knowledge of alcohol, drugs, or weapons at school.
- Any suspicious/unknown person in or around the school.
- Any student use of gang symbolism.
- Any student issue involving bullying.
Administrators will report or cause to be reported to a child’s parent:
- Any violence or threats of violence from/or to the child.
- Any violation of tobacco, alcohol, drugs, or weapons policies by the child.
- Any student who leaves the school grounds without permission.
In order to maintain a safe environment and prevent disruption of the school day, deliveries (flowers, balloons, singing telegrams, etc.) to students will NOT be allowed. Birthday parties are not permitted. Food and/or drinks sent to school for the purpose of celebrating a birthday will not be permitted. Special events and activities that correlate with subject material may be held at the discretion of the administration.
When a student withdraws from school, regardless of the reason, the parent/legal guardian must come to the office to complete appropriate paperwork. A student transfer form must be completed and signed by all the student’s teachers and anyone else on the staff who might reasonably have a claim on fees, monies, books, and/or materials. A Release of Records form should be filled out and signed by the parent/guardian. This procedure provides a smoother transition to the new school.
Textbooks are provided to each student at no cost to the student. Students are accountable for all free textbooks. Students will be required to reimburse the Jefferson County School System for any books that are damaged, destroyed, stolen, or misplaced. If a student loses a book during the school year, he/she must pay for the lost book before another one can be issued. Classroom teachers and the librarian make the decisions regarding book damage.
CHILD CUSTODY/PARENTAL ACCESS (Board Policy 6.209)
The Board presumes that the person who enrolls a student in school is the student’s custodial parent. Unless a Tennessee court specifies otherwise, the custodial parent shall be the one whom the school district holds responsible for the education and welfare of that child.
Parents or guardians shall have the right to receive information contained in school records concerning their minor child. The Board, unless informed otherwise, assumes there are no restrictions regarding the non-custodial parent’s right to be kept informed of the student’s progress and activities. If restrictions are made relative to the rights of the noncustodial parent, the custodial parent shall be requested to submit a certified copy of the court order which curtails these specific rights.
Unless there are specific court-imposed restrictions, the non-custodial parent, upon request, shall be given access to all of the student’s educational records, including but not limited to, the student’s cumulative file and the student’s special education file, if applicable.
No principal or teacher shall permit a change in the physical custody of a child at school unless:
- The person seeking custody of the child presents the school official with a certified copy of a valid court order from a Tennessee court designating the person who has custody of the child; and
- The person seeking custody shall give the school official reasonable advance notice of his/her intent to take custody of the child at school.
Homework is often a necessary extension of classroom learning. Teachers may give assignments for a variety of purposes, and students are expected to bring homework assignments back to class according to the due date given by the teacher. Students who do not complete assignments may be assigned to Lunch and Learn until the assignment is turned in. After 2 Lunch and Learn visits for the same assignment, students will be given a zero. After 3 Lunch and Learn visits during any nine weeks, students will not be allowed to participate in the 9 weeks reward (which includes field trips at the end of the 2nd and 4th nine weeks). After 6 Lunch and Learn visits in a semester, students will receive an office referral. Additionally, students who do not show up to an assigned Lunch and Learn or who do not bring back signed Lunch and Learn forms will receive disciplinary action.
In accordance with state guidelines, all JMS students will be screened through a universal process to determine what types of academic interventions must be made. An intervention time has been added to the schedule, and all students will receive focused instruction according to their needs during this time.
Students who have an absence are required to make up any work that they have missed. Arranging to make up work is the responsibility of the student immediately upon his/her return. In the event of an extended absence, special arrangements may be made through the office and/ or the student’s homeroom teacher regarding make-up work. A zero or incomplete will be recorded for work that a student fails to make up.
There are two designated conference dates during the school year for the purpose of discussing student progress or other pertinent information. Parents who would like to request additional meetings may make appointments for conferences with teachers by calling the school or sending a note to the teacher. Conferences shall be physically accessible to all students, parents and/or guardians.
Student progress reports shall be provided at least once every 9 weeks for grades K-12. The reporting procedure shall be in writing and shall be uniform for all reporting periods during each school year. Student progress reports shall indicate the students’ conduct, attendance and academic progress, and other information necessary to communicate effectively with the parents.
In addition to the regular progress reports, principals and teachers are encouraged to confer with parents on the educational progress of their children. All students in grades K-12 shall receive an informal midterm progress report at the mid-point of each nine-week instructional period. Teachers shall consult with parents of students who are working at an unsatisfactory level or whose performance shows a marked or sudden deterioration. Parents shall be notified by the teacher as early in the school year as possible if the retention of a student is being considered.
JEFFERSON MIDDLE SCHOOL HANDBOOK 2019-2020
A supplemental letter of personal consultation may be used when a teacher desires to give some explanation not covered by other reporting methods.
Parents may check their child’s grades online by going to the District Web-site and clicking on the Aspen link in the lower left side of the web page. Parents may log in as follows:
- Username: firstname.lastname (official first name and last name of the student)
- Password: student’s lunch number
If parents experience trouble logging in, they should contact the school for help.
Jefferson Middle School purchases student planners each year for every student in the building. These planners are an important aspect in teaching students to be organized and responsible. All students are expected to use their planners to keep up with daily assignments through the week, but also are encouraged to use them to keep up with non-school activities as well.
The Board shall provide for a system-wide testing program which shall be periodically reviewed and evaluated. The purposes of the program shall be to:
- Assist in promoting accountability;
- Determine the progress of students;
- Assess the effectiveness of the instructional program and student learning;
- Aid in counseling and guiding students in planning future education and other endeavors;
- Analyze the improvements needed in a given instructional area;
- Assist in the screening of students with learning difficulties;
- Assist in placing students in remedial programs;
- Provide information for college entrance and placement;
- Assist in educational research by providing data.
State-mandated student testing programs (TN Ready) shall be undertaken in accordance with procedures published by the State Department of Education. The TN Ready will be administered in the spring of each school year and will include a writing assessment for English/Language Arts, as well as assessments for Math, English/Language Arts, Science, and Social Students. These assessments will be scheduled for late April/early May. Updates will be available on our District Website. TN Ready scores shall be included as 15% of students’ final grades, unless scores are not received at least five days before the end of the course.
Other tests may be given as requested by students, teachers, or parents when approved by the principal. Any test directly concerned with measuring student ability or achievement through individual or group psychological or sociometric tests shall not be administered by or with the knowledge of any employee of the system without first obtaining written consent of the parents or guardians.
Results of all group tests shall be recorded on the students’ permanent records and shall be made available to appropriate personnel in accordance with established procedures.
Technology has become an essential part of our school as we move through the 21st Century. In order to be prepared for the future, students must have the skills for the 21st century and as much experience and training as possible in the field of technology. Each classroom is equipped with several types of equipment, including interactive Promethean boards. There are currently two computer labs in our school and each student will be assigned a computer for use throughout the school year. Students and parents must acknowledge and sign the Use of Technology Agreement and all device agreements before being allowed to use a school computer. Student misuse/abuse of technology will result in disciplinary action.
- Tennessee Law
- Jefferson County Board of Education Policy (6.200)
- Jefferson Middle School Policy
- ASSIGNMENT OF STUDENTS (Board Policy 6.205)
- ATTENDANCE OF NON-RESIDENT STUDENTS (Board Policy 6.204)
- RELEASE DURING SCHOOL HOURS (Board Policy 6.208)
- TRANSFERS WITHIN THE SYSTEM (Board Policy 6.206)
Attendance is a key factor in student achievement, and therefore, students are expected to be present each day school is in session. Absences shall be classified as either excused or unexcused as determined by the principal/designee. Excused absences shall include:
- Personal illness/injury;
- Illness of immediate family member;
- Death in the family;
- Extreme weather conditions;
- Religious observances;
- School endorsed activities;
- Summons, subpoena, or court order; or
- Circumstances which in the judgment of the principal create emergencies over which the student has no control.
Students participating in school-sponsored activities, whether on- or off-campus, shall not be counted absent. In order to qualify as “school-sponsored,” the activity must be school-planned, school-directed, and teacher-supervised. NOTE: A student attending a school-sponsored activity is counted as attending school and is responsible for all school-work missed.
Late arrivals/early dismissals disrupt the learning day and are strongly discouraged. Such arrivals/dismissals will be permitted for the following reasons only:
- In case of emergencies;
- With a valid doctor’s appointment;
- With a validation of funeral attendance of immediate family including parent, grandparent, brother, sister, mother-in-law, father-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, uncle, or aunt.
NOTE: Any student arriving late or leaving early must be signed in/out through the front office according to Board Policy 6.208 (see “Release During School Hours”). JMS requires a parent/ guardian to sign the student in.
Clock time for unexcused late arrivals or unapproved early dismissals will accumulate on the student’s attendance record and will be considered as part of the student’s aggregate days missed as determined by the school calendar. These aggregate days may be reported to parents for five (5) day notifications and to the attendance officer for ten (10) day notifications in compliance with Compulsory School Attendance Law.
Annually, the Director of Schools/designee will provide written notice to parent(s)/guardian(s) that attendance at school is required. Students shall be present at least fifty percent (50%) of the scheduled school day in order to be counted present. Students may attend part-time days, alternating days, or for a specific amount of time as indicated in their Individualized Education Plan or 504 Plan and shall be considered present for school attendance purposes. If a student is required to participate in a remedial instruction program outside of the regular school day where there is no cost to the parent(s)/guardian(s) and the school system provides transportation, unexcused absences from these programs shall be reported in the same manner.
A student who is absent five (5) days without adequate excuse shall be reported to the Director of Schools/designee who will, in turn, provide written notice to the parent(s)/guardian(s) of the student’s absence. If a parent does not provide documentation within adequate time excusing those absences, or request an attendance hearing, then the Director of Schools shall implement the progressive truancy intervention plan described below prior to referral to juvenile court.
PROGRESSIVE TRUANCY INTERVENTION PLAN
Prior to referral to juvenile court, the following progressive truancy intervention plan will be implemented.
Tier I of the progressive truancy intervention plan shall include the following:
- Each school will initiate a referral process for students of concern due to attendance.
- A conference with the student and the student’s parent(s)/guardian(s);
- An attendance contract, based on the conference, signed by the student, the parent(s)/guardian(s), and an attendance supervisor or designee. The contract shall include:
- A specific description of the school’s attendance expectations for the student;
- The period for which the contract is effective; and
- Penalties for additional absences and alleged school offenses, including additional disciplinary action and potential referral to juvenile court; and
- Regularly scheduled follow-up meetings to discuss the student’s progress.
If a student accumulates additional unexcused absences in violation of the attendance contract in Tier I, the student will be subject to Tier II. Under this tier, the attendance contract will be initiated or updated with the parent/guardian and student. Also under this tier, a school employee may conduct an individualized assessment detailing the reasons a student has been absent from school. The employee may refer the student to counseling, community-based services, or other services to address the student’s attendance problems.
This tier shall be implemented if the truancy interventions under Tier II are unsuccessful. These interventions shall be determined by a team formed at each school. The interventions shall address student needs in an age-appropriate manner. Finalized plans shall be approved by the Director of Schools/designee.
Students with excessive (more than five (5)) unexcused absences or those in danger of credit/promotion denial shall have the opportunity to appeal to an attendance hearing committee appointed by the principal. If the student chooses to appeal, the student or his/her parent(s)/ guardian(s) shall be provided written or actual notice of the appeal hearing and shall be given the opportunity to address the committee. The committee will conduct a hearing to determine if any extenuating circumstances exist to excuse an absence(s) or to determine if the student has met attendance requirements that will allow him/her to pass the course or be promoted. Upon notification of the attendance committee decision, the principal shall send written notification to the Director of Schools/designee and the parent(s)/guardian(s) of the student of any action taken regarding the excessive unexcused absences. The notification shall advise parent(s)/guardian(s) of their right to appeal such action within two (2) school days to the Director of Schools/designee.
The appeal shall be heard no later than ten (10) school days after the request for appeal is received.
Within five (5) school days of the Director of Schools/designee rendering a decision, the student’s parent(s)/guardian(s) may request a hearing by the Board, and the Board shall review the record. Following the review, the Board may affirm or overturn the decision of the Director of Schools/ designee. The action of the Board shall be final. The Director of Schools/designee shall ensure that this policy is posted in each school building and disseminated to all students, parents, teachers, and administrative staff.
Students, including those in kindergarten, are expected to attend the school in the school zone to which they are assigned by virtue of the residence of their legal and/or custodial parent(s). Residence is defined as the location of property where the student lives in a dwelling with the parent on a daily basis, eating meals, sleeping, playing and performing what are considered routine family activities.
An application to attend school outside a student’s zone of residence must be submitted to the principal. Permission will be considered under the following conditions:
- The student’s attendance will not cause the student/teacher ratio to exceed the state guidelines in the class or grade-level for the out-of-zone school.
- The parent will provide regular daily transportation to and from school.
- The receiving principal agrees that the enrollment of the student will not adversely affect the efficiency of the operation of the school.
- The director shall establish specific procedures for such enrollment.
The principal shall be responsible for assigning all students to classes. Students who enter the system from another school system are to be placed by the principal in the grade and/or level as indicated by records from the former school. If the student’s placement is inappropriate in the grade or level assigned, he/she may be reassigned by the principal to another grade level. Parents shall be kept advised.
Only students residing within the boundaries of Jefferson County will be eligible for enrollment. However, under specific conditions a student residing outside the boundaries of Jefferson County may attend schools within the school system with approval of the director of schools. For more specific information, please see Board Policy 6.204 under School Board.
The following procedure will be observed with regard to dismissal of students:
- No student will leave school prior to regular dismissal hours, except with the approval of the principal and parent. Elementary students will be permitted to leave school prior to regular dismissal time only in the company of a parent, legal guardian, school employee, police officer, court officer, or a person designated in writing by the parent(s).
- When dental and medical appointments cannot be scheduled outside school hours, parent(s) must send a written request for dismissal or call for the student in person.
- Children will be released only upon the request of the parent whom the court holds directly responsible for the child, or who is the parent or guardian registered on the school record.
- No principal or teacher shall permit a change in the physical custody of a child at school unless:
- The person seeking custody of the child presents the school official with a certified copy of a valid court order from a Tennessee court designating the person who has custody of the child; and
- The person seeking custody gives the school official reasonable advance notice of his/her intent to take custody of the child at school.
Transfer students will meet the same enrollment requirements as new students.
Students whose families change their residence to another school zone within the county after the first month of school may complete the school year at their former school. Students who present evidence that they will move during the school year and who desire to enroll in a new school in the new area may do so with prior written request for a change of school zone. The director of schools may grant other exceptions to this policy for good and sufficient reasons.
Students who are attending Jefferson Middle School out-of-zone must request approval for this in writing to the Director of Schools in the spring of each school year they are attending JMS. Approval for out-of-zone attendance at JMS will be dependent on the student’s grades, attendance, and discipline. Students who are not in good standing in these areas may be asked to return to their zoned school.
Principals shall allow credit for work transferred from other schools only when substantiated by official transcripts or successful completion of comprehensive written examinations approved, administered, and graded by the principal or his/her designated representative.
In the case of elementary school students, the examination shall cover the last grade completed.
If pupils are admitted to approved schools from unapproved schools by examination, it shall be the duty of the principal thus receiving them to keep the examination papers on file for a period of at least one year.
Students who are suspended from one school in Jefferson County cannot enter another school in Jefferson County.