Rules and Policies

2017-18 Rules and Policies

ATTENDANCE: Mandatory Education for Children Between Ages Six and 16
O.C.G.A. 20-2-690.1. requires the parent, guardian, or other person who has control or charge of a child or children to sign a statement indicating receipt of such written statement of possible consequences and penalties; children who are age ten years or older by September 1 shall sign a statement indicating receipt of such written statement of possible consequences and penalties.
 
Notice to Parents/Guardians, or Other Persons who have control or charge of a child or children: O.C.G.A. Section 20-2-690.1 requires any person in this state who has control or charge of a child between the ages of six and sixteen to enroll and send that child to school, including public, private or homeschooling. This law further states that any parent, guardian, or other person residing in this state who has control or charge of a child or children and who shall violate this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be subject to a fine not less than $25.00 and not greater than $100.00, imprisonment not to exceed 30 days, community service, or any combination of such penalties, at the discretion of the court having jurisdiction. Each day’s absence from school in violation of this part after the child’s school system notifies the parent, guardian, or other person who has control or charge of a child of five unexcused days of absence for a child shall constitute a separate offense.
 
Notice to Students: A violation of the Georgia Compulsory Attendance Law by a student may result in adjudication through the Juvenile Court of Walton County. In addition, a student who violates this law is also in violation of section 2.23 of the Student Code of Conduct and may be punished as follows:
First Offense
Extended work assignments before or after school, Administrative Probation, Corrective Action Plan, ISS, up to 10 days, removal from the bus, Law Enforcement charges and/or Disciplinary Hearing with Alternative School Recommendations or other reasonable disciplinary actions as deemed appropriate by the principal or principal’s designee such as loss of parking privileges, etc.
Subsequent Offenses
Extended work assignments before or after school and/or Law Enforcement Charges filed with Disciplinary Hearing requested with recommendation of removal to Alternative school. Other reasonable disciplinary actions as deemed appropriate by the principal are referred to the Probation Officer, Truant Officer and/or School Social Worker.
 
Absences: Excused? Unexcused? Truant?
State law requires that youngsters between the ages of six and sixteen attend school except for specific reasons listed. When a student must be absent, the absence will be classified as excused or unexcused. In order for an absence to be excused it must fall into one of the following categories: personal illness, illness or death in the immediate family, recognized religious holiday observed by your faith, absences mandated by governmental agencies, and instances where attendance would be hazardous to the safety of the student or prior approval of principal. All other absences will be considered unexcused.
 
Excuses for absences shall be furnished in writing within three school days of return to school. All notes should contain the student's name, reason for the absence, the date(s) absent, and parent’s/guardian’s or physician’s signature. Students should bring excuse notes directly to the front office upon their return and place them in the excuse note drop box. A note from a parent will serve as sufficient excuse when brought in immediately following most short-term absences. The principal has the authority to require additional proof of the legitimacy of the excuse. For example, the principal may require doctor’s statements justifying the absence of a student.
 
Any unauthorized absence from school will constitute an act of truancy. Students with 5 or more unexcused absences and all cases of students with 10 or more total absences will be submitted to the School Attendance Officer for further review.
 
For perfect attendance purposes, students serving as pages of the Georgia General Assembly shall be counted present on the days missed for this purpose. In addition, students who are present for at least one-half of the instructional day shall be counted present.
 
A student may not participate in activities, rehearsals, practices, and/or games on a day the student is absent from school.
 
Arrival & Dismissal
The building opens at 7 a.m. daily. Student hours are from 7:30 a.m. - 2:25 p.m. The school will provide supervision for students 30 minutes prior to the start of each school day, and 30 minutes following the first dismissal. Students must leave the campus immediately upon dismissal unless involved in a supervised after-school activity. Car riders must load and unload at the designated area for parent pickup. Students involved in an after-school activity must report to the supervising teacher/coach immediately. Car riders who have not been picked up after an extended amount of time will be brought back into the school. A parent will need to come inside to pick them up.
 
Students riding buses will board buses parked in the bus lanes alongside the school. All students who ride in cars are to be picked up in the area specifically designated for parent pickup.
 
Bookbags
Bookbags, drawstring bags and other bags of any type are to be placed in a student’s locker upon arrival and then retrieved only if a student has PE or at the end of the day, unless approved by administration.
 
Cell Phones, Electronic Devices & Personal Items of Value
Students are allowed to bring cell phones and other electronic devices to school; however, these devices must be powered off and stored in the student’s locker during the school day. Cell phones and electronic devices which are out of the locker during the school day will be confiscated. Students with repeated violations of this policy may be subject to further disciplinary action.
 
The school is NOT responsible and may not investigate or recover lost, stolen or damaged personal items.
 
Inappropriate use of technology will be addressed through the Walton County Code of Conduct. Students with repeated violations of this policy may be subject to further disciplinary action.
 
Cheating Policy
Cheating may be defined as giving or receiving information from another source or person during a quiz, test, exam, homework, independent class activity or any other activity where the student is expected to produce his/her own work. Giving or receiving information can include, but is not limited to, directly copying information from another source (plagiarism), talking, signaling, or any other form of communication.
 
In middle school, a student found to be guilty of cheating or plagiarism on any assignment, or any other activity where he/she has been directed by the teacher to produce original work, will receive a zero on the assignment. If a student knowingly gives information or knows he/she is the source of any information on such an assignment, that student also will receive a zero on the assignment. The child’s teacher will contact parents of any student who is punished for cheating.
 
Communication – Parent to Teacher
Parents should obtain their log-in information to our student information system program, iCampus, early in the school year. This portal allows you to view your child’s grades, attendance, and other important information. Please be sure to keep your phone numbers and email address up to date. You can change your email information through a parent portal access on the Walton County website, www.walton.k12.ga.us. Go to the website and click on the parent tab. Click on the ICampus Parent Portal and follow the directions. Your contact information can be changed by coming into our school office and giving that information to an office worker.
 
Conferences
The faculty welcomes the opportunity to engage in conferences with parents and students to discuss classroom performance, behavior, or any other concerns. Any parent/guardian who wish to have a conference should contact your child’s teachers to request an appointment. Keep your teacher’s emails – this is important and allows you to keep up with your child’s performance weekly. If you have a concern or need to talk with someone other than your child’s teacher, please do not hesitate to call the appropriate counselor or assistant principal.
 
Confiscated Items
Items confiscated from students will not be returned to the student. It is the responsibility of the student to notify the parent that an item has been confiscated. Parents must contact a school administrator to arrange return of the item.
 
Detention
Detention is assigned by teachers and is held after school on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Parents and students should arrange transportation home from detention in advance. A student’s failure to return their signed detention form does NOT excuse them from the detention. Failure to attend detention will result in more severe consequences, except in those incidences where a parent makes other arrangements prior to the assigned detention with the teacher who assigned the detention. Students are not permitted to sleep in detention; they are expected to read and complete assignments.
 
Discipline: YMS Strike System - Schoolwide Discipline Plan
1 STRIKE = Warning
2 STRIKES = Teacher assigned silent lunch (No parent contact necessary)
3 STRIKES = Teacher assigned silent lunch (mandatory parent/guardian contact by the teacher)
4 STRIKES = Teacher assigned detention (mandatory parent/guardian contact by the teacher)
5 STRIKES = Administrator assigns Friday School (Teacher set up parent/guardian conference)
6 STRIKES = Referral to administration with documentation included on the REF (mandatory parent/guardian contact)
 
Strikes can include and are not limited to:
      • Behavior Issues
      • Disobeying classroom rules
      • Class disruption   
      • Disregard of teacher’s instruction
      • Can include some level one offenses
      • Classroom tardy
 
YMS Goal: Firmness, fairness, and consistency are the keys to an effective discipline program
  • To increase positive student behavioral choices and reduce negative behavior.
  • To provide a positive academic environment which is safe, orderly, and conducive to learning.
Dress Code
Walton County Board of Education Policy JCDB states students are to dress in a manner that is reasonable and not distracting to the students and teachers. Any dress of an extreme nature will not be tolerated. Administrators will make final decisions regarding student dress in his or her school if anything is disruptive to the school environment.
 
The following guidelines are the regulations that support WCPS Policy JCDB:
  1. Shirts and shoes must be worn at all times.
  2. The “3X5” Rule (using a 3x5 index card)
    a. All dress and skirt lengths will be no shorter than 3” above the knee.
    b. All pants, shorts, and gym shorts lengths will be no shorter than 5” above the knee
  3. Rules for Clothing
    a. Skirts, pants, and shorts must be worn above the hipbone, fitting at the inseam and at the waistline.
    b. No holes, slits, rips or tears in clothing above the knee.
    c. No cleavage shall be visible.
    d. Clothing should not be extremely tight or form fitting as to cause a distraction
    e. No sleepwear shall be worn; this includes bedroom slippers.
    f. Sheer or “see through” clothing shall be worn with a tank top or shirt that covers midriff and cleavage areas. No undergarments can be exposed.
    g. No part of midriff shall be visible.
    h. Tights, leggings, jeggings, or yoga pants may be worn covered by an appropriate length shirt that covers the front and back side.
    i. No tank tops or sleeveless shirts (No exposed shoulders – ex. Cold-shoulder shirts or off-the shoulder shirts)
    j. All coats and jackets are not to exceed the length of the knee.
  4. No head coverings; this includes ball caps, hats, sunglasses, bandanas, or hoodies.
    a. No ball caps worn attached to the pants.
  5. Heavy metal jewelry, wallet chains, or others similar items are not permitted.
  6. No item of clothing, jewelry, headgear, or other visible personal items shall contain the following:
    a. Suggestive language, graphics, symbols or slogans
    b. Profane language, graphics, symbols or slogans
    c. Any reference language, graphics, symbols or slogans that are demeaning or discriminating to others (ex. Confederate flag, Malcolm X symbols, etc)
    d. Any language, graphics, symbols or slogans that are not in keeping with the values of the community.
  7. Any “dress” (clothing, hair color, jewelry, accessories, piercings, etc) determined by the dress code designee or an administrator to be of an extreme nature is prohibited and is a violation of dress code.
  8. All students taking Physical Education classes will abide by the dress code as outlined above.
Consequences for Dress Code Violations:
First Offense: Students will be required to call home for a change of clothing or provided appropriate clothing. The student will wait in ISS until change of clothing arrives.
Repeat Offenses: Student will be referred to an administrator for further action.
The principal has the right to modify or revoke the terms and conditions of the Youth Middle Dress Code Policy at any time. Changes to this policy will be communicated through daily school announcements and will be posted on the Youth Middle School website.
 
Early Checkout
In order for your child to get the maximum benefit from their education, we ask that you help us by ensuring that your child receives a full day of instruction each day. For this reason, and to alleviate traffic problems, we ask the following:
  • If there is an occasional need to pick up your child early for a medical appointment or other personal reason, we ask that you pick up your child prior to 2:15 p.m.
  • If you do not pick up your child prior to 2:15 p.m., you will be required to wait for the school to perform its normal dismissal procedures.
  • If it will be necessary to check out during the day, we ask that a parent or legal guardian send a written request to be taken to the office as the student enters the building. The note must contain the student’s full name, the date, the reason for leaving early, and the time the student should report to the office for pickup.
  • No one other than a parent or guardian (who is listed in the school’s Infinite Campus system) is allowed to request that a student checkout of school during the day. Parents and guardians who wish for other responsible adults to pick up a child should include that information in a written request. The adult must come into the office to present identification and to sign the student out.
Flower or Gift Delivery and Outside Food
Policy JLB of the Walton County Board of Education states that the delivery of flowers, balloons, teddy bears or other gifts for Valentine’s Day, a student’s birthday or for any other reason is not permitted in any Walton County School. The office will NOT accept these deliveries. *No outside restaurant food is allowed.
 
Grading System
The grading system for Walton County Public Schools is as follows:
 Letter Grade Percentage 4.0 Scale
 A Excellent 90-100 4.0
 B Satisfactory 80-89 3.0
 C Improving70-79 2.0
 F Needs Improvement Below 70 0.0
 
Guidance Services
Guidance counselors are available for every student, not just for those who have experienced or are having trouble. Our teaching staff works closely with the counselors to help students succeed in school and reach their fullest potential. Any student desiring an appointment with a counselor must have a pass from the teacher or counselor. Parents are invited to contact their child’s guidance counselor at
any time for assistance or to share concerns. Counselors will help with bullying. We encourage parents and students to report this quickly!
 
Hall Passes
Any time a student is out of class that student must have a HALL PASS by the issuing teacher stating their destination.
 
Honor, Merit & Principal's List
At the end of each grading period, students who have maintained high scholastic averages will be listed on the Honor Lists. Selection will be based on the following criteria:
Principal’s ListAll A’s
Honor Roll Avg.90 & above
Merit List Avg.85-89
 
Insurance
The Walton County Board of Education offers a choice of school day or twenty-four-hour accidental insurance program for students. Athletes, cheerleaders, and band members are strongly encouraged to participate in the program. This policy is secondary insurance and pays only after other individual or group insurance covering the student has paid. A brochure is given to each student to take home at the beginning of school. ALL students are encouraged to have medical insurance! Accidents can
happen at any time. The school is not responsible in regards to an accident.
 
Lockers
Lockers are issued to students as a service and a privilege. They provide for the safekeeping of personal property. The student to whom the locker is assigned is responsible at all times for the contents of his/her locker. Students are fully responsible to lock their lockers and NOT to share their combinations with others. Students may lose their locker privilege for a period of time designated by teachers or administrators. Lockers are considered school property and may be searched at any time by the administration without the consent of student or parent. *SPECIAL NOTE: The school is NOT responsible for lost or stolen personal items of value. Locker fee will be paid on mypaymentsplus.com. A school computer is available for use if needed for payments.
 
Lunches
Students are not allowed to bring carbonated drinks (Coke, Pepsi, Sprite, etc.) in their lunches. Energy drinks (i.e. Red Bull) are also not allowed as part of students’ lunches from home. Lunches from outside restaurants are not permitted in the school cafeteria. Youth Middle School welcomes parents to eat with their children; however, please be mindful that you must sit only with your child at a booth.
 
Make-Up Work
A student with excused absences is allowed three (3) school days from the day of his/her return to make arrangements with the classroom teacher to make up the work missed. The teacher and student will decide upon a reasonable time for completing and handing in make-up work. It is the student’s responsibility to request make-up work and to return it as arranged. Students may make up final exams missed due to unexcused absences with prior permission of the school principal.
 
If you are absent for one day, please check your teacher's webpage, and or Schoology for missing assignments. For three or more days absent, a parent should call the office and request your assignments. Please allow 24 hours for teachers to get assignments ready. These assignments can be picked up in the front office. Make up work for a one-day absence must be turned in within three days of returning to school. (Board Policy JBD)
 
Medication
All medications that are to be administered at school must be accompanied by the “Administration of Medication Request Form”. All medications, both prescription and non-prescription, must be brought into the school and signed in through the clinic by the parent/guardian, or by a responsible adult designated by the parent/guardian. Students are NOT allowed to transport medications to and from school. No medications sent in a plastic bag will be given.
 
All medications, which are to be given for a period greater than two weeks, will require the form to be completed and signed by the student’s physician.
 
Administration of prescription and non-prescription medications, even for a short period of time is discouraged. Parents/guardians should check with the student’s physician regarding the need for medication to be administered during school hours. Medications prescribed three times daily often can be administered before school, after school and at bedtime.
 
Prohibited Items
A. The following items are expressly forbidden at all times on buses and at school and will be confiscated immediately with possible legal action taken against the person(s) found to be in possession:
firearms of any kind (to include ammunition)
hacking software
drugs, alcohol, or other controlled substances
fireworks or explosives
gang related objects, symbols, clothing, drawings, etc
knives, box cutters, razors, or other sharp objects
laser lights/pointers
fidget spinners
obscene materials, including but not limited to, books, magazines, pictures, electronic media
skateboards, playing cards, dice, trading cards, yo-yo’s, and other toys
tobacco products, lighters, matches or associated paraphernalia
water pistols, balloons, stink or paint bombs
animals/pets (unless approved by administration for specific classes)
energy drinks
soft drinks (clear water bottles allowed with water only)
B. Students are to notify school staff immediately when prohibited items are found in the school or on the school grounds. Students are advised not to handle these items.
C. Any prohibited items that are confiscated from a student will be returned to the parent unless the item is turned over to local law enforcement in accordance with state and local mandates.
D. Students are not allowed to sell any items, food or non-food, at school during the school day without prior approval from an administrator.
E. Students are advised that the administration has the legal authority to conduct a search of students, their lockers and their possessions when on school grounds. The administration is required to have only a “reasonable suspicion” to conduct such searches and question students. Students failing to comply with school officials in conducting such searches will be turned over to law enforcement authorities.
F. Students are advised that any adult employee of the Walton County School System, including bus drivers, paraprofessionals, school secretaries, substitute teachers, as well as regularteachers and administrators, has the right to give reasonable instructions to students and expectthese instructions to be carried out. Failure to carry out reasonable instructions will result in serious disciplinary action.
G. In a continuing effort to maintain drug-free schools, school officials will work cooperatively withlocal police in soliciting and allowing drug dogs to search lockers.
 
Parent Teacher Organization
Membership in the PTO helps to support our school and provides for better communication between parents and school. Membership fees are set by each school
organization.
 
Tardies
Students will be considered tardy if not in homeroom when the bell rings. When tardy, students must report to the office to sign in. Students with excessive unexcused tardies will be subject to further disciplinary action.
 
Telephone
Use of the office phone is limited to emergency calls. Parents should not call the school to speak to their child. Students may use the phone in the front office as long as the student has a proper hall pass from their teacher. Office personnel or the school nurse will determine whether it is necessary for a student to call home due to illness.
 
Textbooks
Each teacher will have a classroom set of textbooks. Students and parents will have access to online textbooks and directions will be given by teacher via a letter. Students are to take care of textbooks used daily.
 
Transportation Requests
The school secretaries may not take messages regarding checkout or afternoon
transportation for students. It is impossible for us to be certain with whom we are
speaking. Our primary concern is each child’s safety. Your cooperation is appreciated
in this effort.
  • We require that all students come to school in the morning clearly knowing whether their parents expect them to ride the bus, walk, or be picked up by car in the afternoon. We also ask that parents clearly know whether or not their children are planning to stay for an after-school activity. If you have questions or concerns regarding transportation (bus schedules), please call our transportation department at (770) 207-3200.
  • Requests for special permission to ride a bus (ex: going home with a friend) must be in writing from a parent and given to the front office IN THE MORNING. The note must include the student’s first and last name, a contact number for the parent, the street address (house number and street name) of the location the student will be transported to, and the name and bus number of the student your child is going home with. Requests will be reviewed and initialed once they have been approved. Students may retrieve them from the front office during their lunch.
  • Bus passes cannot be issued for students to get off the bus at another Walton County school unless a student is a member of an athletic team at that school or parent is a school employee at that location. Coaches for athletic teams are responsible for providing bus note requests to the school for their athletes. Students cannot ride to an address that does not lie within the YMS school attendance zone.
Withdrawal from School
If it becomes necessary to withdraw a student from school, a withdrawal form must be obtained from the attendance office and taken to the persons indicated on the form for signatures. All textbooks and library books must be turned in, and all money due for lost/damaged books or unpaid fees, etc. must be paid.
 
A parent may call or send notice of a student’s withdrawal. 24 hours notice is preferred. If prior notice is not given, please understand that the process may take up to an hour to complete while you wait. A parent’s signature is required for the withdrawal process to be complete.
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