Middle School Student Handbook

CONTENTS

Academic Eligibility | Appointments | Assemblies | Backpacks | Belief Statement | Books, Calculators, and other School Materials | Bullying | Bus Conduct/Transportation | Cafeteria | Care of School Property | Citizenship | Closed Campus | Co-Curricular Activities | BOE Policy | Conduct | Dress | Drugs and Alcohol | Early Dismissal | Grade 8 Year-End ActivitiesElectronic Devices | Emergency Forms | Extra-Curricular Activity Participation | Field Trips | Fighting | Fire and Safety Drills | Health Office and Immunizations | Homework | Library | Lockers | Loitering | Lost and Found | Marking Policy | Medication | National Junior Honor Society | Non-Disclosure Policy | Parent Groups | Parent Portal | Passes | Physical Education | Post Session | School Emergencies (Delays and Closings) | School Socials | Sexual Harassment Policy | Skipping Class | Smoking | Sports Physicals | Student Disciplinary Referrals | Student Rights | Student Searches | Study Hall | Suspension | Tardiness | Telephones/Cell Phones | Transportation (School Sponsored Activities) | Truancy | Tutoring | Valuables | Video Surveillance | Violation of Test Procedures | VisitorsWeapons | Yearbook

MISSION STATEMENT

The mission of the Valley Central Middle School is to create an atmosphere of educational excellence that motivates students for a lifetime of service to family and community.

ACADEMIC ELIGIBILITY

In order to implement Board of Education policies #5200 and #5280, the following are the procedures that will guide our secondary schools with establishing Academic Eligibility.

  1. All extra-curricular and co-curricular activities affected by the Academic Eligibility Policies of the Board of Education are listed in this report under the heading of “Student Activity Programs”. New extra-curricular or co-curricular activities added during the school year will also be subject to this policy. Any activity that normally originates from a subject class is NOT included under the Academic Eligibility policies.  School functions that are considered social activities (dances, spectators at school events, 8th grade Trip, etc.) are not included in the Academic Activity procedures.
  2. A student who fails two or more subjects on a report card or five week progress report shall be considered ineligible for participation in all extra-curricular or co-curricular activities. Each five week progress report or quarterly report card will be used to establish the eligibility status for students.  A student who is currently failing or fails two or more subjects may practice or take part in extra-curricular meetings, but cannot participate in any games, trips, or events related to that activity.  This includes traveling to any event or competition away from the Valley Central campus as part of a group or interscholastic team.
  3. After a list of ineligible students is produced by the Academic Advisor, a copy of the list will be distributed to all coaches and advisors.  An academically ineligible student will be informed by his/her coach or advisor. This list will become effective upon distribution.
  4. When a student has failed two or more classes, he/she must wait two (2) weeks, after the ineligible list is distributed, to regain eligibility.  When the two-week period falls within a lengthy vacation (Winter/Spring holiday), the ineligibility period may be extended up to five days.  Incomplete grades will be considered a failing grade until the student makes up the work. An incomplete grade can be converted to a passing grade prior to the end of the two-week probationary period.  If a student drops a course of study and is failing, the student will have to wait until the end of the next grading period to regain eligibility. When a student moves to a lower level of course of study, the grade of the initial class will establish eligibility status.  The teacher of the new level class will have two weeks to evaluate the student for eligibility.
  5. At the end of the two-week period, the student must be evaluated by his/her subject teacher to regain eligibility.  The teacher will establish, at his/her discretion, the appropriate criteria for each individual student to regain eligibility.  Teacher should evaluate the student for the two-week period only.  Said teachers will use a check-off form, provided by the Academic Advisor, indicating satisfactory or unsatisfactory progress for the two-week period only.  Stating the student is making satisfactory progress during the two-week period does not infer that a student is passing the quarter or the subject class. Students must continue to do satisfactory work for the remainder of the report period or find themselves on the ineligibility list.   The student is responsible for picking up and delivering the form to the subject teacher of his/her failing class. This form will be returned by the subject teacher to the Academic Advisor or a designated representative, at the end of the two-week probationary period. It will be the responsibility of the Academic Advisor to inform the coach or advisor of any change in the student’s eligibility status. 
  6. If this student is still failing after the subsequent reporting period, he/she must wait until the next report period five weeks) to regain eligibility.  Practice or participation in all extracurricular/co-curricular activities will be prohibited until the student regains eligibility.
  7. A student who fails two or more full or half-year courses, at the conclusion of a marking period, will be declared academically ineligible.  In order to regain eligibility after failing two or more courses in January or June, a student must demonstrate that he/she is meeting eligibility requirements after a two-week probationary period.  Each teacher must sign a form indicating satisfactory progress after the two-week period. A course of study, failed in June, may be made up by passing an equivalent summer school course at Valley Central or any valid summer program.  If a course of study is not available at an accredited summer school, the student will be declared ineligible until meeting the above-described procedures. Students returning in the fall will be able to practice and participate without restrictions but are subject to review by the Academic Advisor after two weeks of the new school year (September).

Cross-ref: 5280-R, Interscholastic Athletics Regulation Adoption date:  March 11, 2002 

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY 

The Valley Central School District wants to be very clear on the expectations and standards we have for students concerning academic integrity. Specifically, we want to define those inappropriate activities in regard to written assignments, examinations, and reports.

Valley Central School District has developed the following guidelines in this area:  Students are expected to maintain the highest standards of honesty in their school work.  Cheating, forgery and plagiarism are serious offenses. Students found guilty of any form of academic dishonestly are subject to disciplinary action and/or academic penalties. This includes inappropriate use of technology resources.

  • Cheating is defined as giving or obtaining information by improper means to meet academic requirements.
  • Plagiarism is the intentional representation of   someone else’s words or ideas as one’s own. Words in print are the property of an author or publication. Plagiarism constitutes a theft of such words or ideas. Proper recognition of someone else’s work is necessary. Term papers, research papers, and other course requirements are to contain material not previously submitted. It is expected that students will initiate new research for each paper and that each paper must be the student’s own work. Students are cautioned that submitting work from an internet source can and will be checked.  Plagiarism will not be accepted or tolerated and may result in an F for the assignment, and/or in the course, and potentially suspension from the school, depending on the severity and/or intentions. Disciplinary action will be taken by the student’s teacher and/or the administrator.

APPOINTMENTS

 A student may be released early (upon written request from parents with an administrative approval) or attend school after an appointment (also with a note from a parent or guardian).  Partial instruction is better than none. A student being dismissed during the school day must be signed out in the main office by the parent or guardian.

ASSEMBLIES

Assemblies and class meetings are presented to the student body at various times during the school year.  These programs are scheduled and planned to minimize loss of instructional time. They adopt an educational pattern, helping to build school morale and spirit.  Attendance at these programs is compulsory for students and teachers. Students must remain with their classroom teachers.

All students are expected to:

  1. Maintain proper decorum on the way to and during assemblies.
  2. Move to the front of the cafeteria and be seated as quickly and quietly as possible.
  3. Show respect and attention until the termination of the assembly program.
  4. Refrain from eating candy or gum while in attendance at assembly programs.
  5. Refrain from inappropriate noise.
  6. Leave cafeteria as directed by the staff.  Students who do not abide by these rules will be subject to disciplinary action.

ATTENDANCE POLICY

It is the goal of the Valley Central School District to ensure that each student attend school the maximum number of days possible and to afford each student the opportunity to meet his-her potential.  We, therefore, institute this policy.

Good attendance and class participation are essential ingredients for academic success.  Any absence from class is detrimental to the learning process. Classroom lessons foster and require social interaction, development of effective communication skills, and critical thinking in addition to subject mastery.  Textbook or make-up assignments are not an adequate substitute for classroom attendance and participation.

ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS (SEE SKIPPING AND TARDINESS)

  • All students must attend school daily and arrive on time.
  • All absences, lateness, or early departures (excused or unexcused) are counted on a student’s attendance record.
  • If your child is going to be absent, late, or leave early during a school day, you must notify the school in writing beforehand or contact the school at (845) 457-2400 Ext. 16507 or 16508.
  • When your child returns to school, you must provide a written explanation for his/her absence, lateness, or early departure.
  • Reasonable make-up opportunities will be given to students with absences due to: personal illness, illness or death in the family; impassable roads or weather; military obligations; religious observances; attendance at health clinics; approved college visits; approved cooperative work programs; and such other reasons as may be approved by the Commissioner of Education.
  • All notices must be submitted to the school within three (3) school days otherwise it will be considered unexcused.

When your child is absent, late, or leaves early from school without an excuse, and it results in a written disciplinary referral, you will receive a copy of the written disciplinary referral.  If you have any questions about this policy, contact the school at (845) 457-2400.

The procedure for student dismissal requires that ALL STUDENTS, regardless of age, must have parent/guardian permission.

RESPONSIBILITIES

Successful implementation of any attendance policy requires cooperation among all members of the educational community, including parents, students, teachers, administration, and support staff.

STUDENTS’ RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Students must attend school daily and arrive on time.
  • Students must attend all classes and be on time.
  • Students who are absent must make arrangements to make up any work missed with the teacher within five (5) days of returning to school.

PARENTS’/GUARDIANS’ RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Contact school at 845-457-2400 ext. 16507 or 16508 or notify the school in writing beforehand if your child is absent, late, or must leave early.
  • Provide a written explanation of your child’s absence, lateness within 3 school days to be considered excused
  • Provide a written explanation of your child’s early departure the day of with contact information.
  • Make every effort to ensure that your child attends school the maximum number of days possible.

TEACHERS’ RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Provide make-up assignments when requested by a student.
  • Notify parent/guardian of attendance problems.  At the secondary level, comments on progress reports and on report cards will indicate student attendance.
  • Forward to Administration any required paperwork or notice indicating student absences.

ADMINISTRATIONS’ RESPONSIBILITIES

  • During September orientation meetings, administrators will explain the attendance policy to all students.  When a student cuts class or is otherwise absent without excuse, this action may result in a written disciplinary referral.
  • Notify the student and parent/guardian with a copy of the disciplinary referral from the teacher of the course.  Hold at least one meeting to explain the attendance policy to the student.
  • Quarterly notification of excessive absences (based upon the threshold established by New York State), both excused and unexcused will be mailed home.

Review of Attendance Records

  1. Each building Principal or designee must review attendance records and initiate appropriate action to address excessive absences, chronic tardiness, and habitual early departures.
  2. Attendance records will also be reviewed by the designated Attendance Officer.

GUIDANCE COUNSELORS’ RESPONSIBILITIES

Counsel students individually when they receive a notification of excessive absences in any subject area.  One meeting with the counselor will be sufficient for all subject areas.

BACKPACKS

Backpacks are not permitted in the hallways during the school day.  You may bring backpacks to and from school.

BELIEF STATEMENT

We believe our charge is to:

  • transition students from elementary to high school and beyond
  • provide a safe, positive environment
  • instill the ability to adapt to change
  • enable students to become life-long learners
  • instill the value of service to family and community

BOOKS, CALCULATORS, AND OTHER SCHOOL MATERIALS

Every student who is issued a book, chromebook, calculator or any other school material is expected to return the originally assigned item to the teacher.  The teacher will keep a record of said item including title, condition and identification number.  

Students should be certain that they exercise care in maintaining school property.  Hard-covered texts should be covered by the student immediately after they are issued.  A student is responsible for the particular numbered text issued to him/her; and it is this book which must be returned in good condition to the teacher.

The District is not responsible for student owned musical instruments that are damaged and/or stolen.

BULLYING

Refer to Code of Conduct/Plain Language Summary 

BUS CONDUCT/TRANSPORTATION

Valley Central believes that all students can behave appropriately and safely while riding the school bus.  No student should interfere with the job that the drivers have transporting the children to and from school.

In most instances, a warning will be given by the driver. Repeated infractions will result in a disciplinary referral and will be sent home. Repeated instances may result in a parent conference, and/or suspension from the school bus. Parents/guardians will be required to provide transportation.

In the event of unsafe behavior by a student, the following actions occur:

  • First offense: Principal notifies parent(s)/guardian(s) and may request an in-person conference with them.
  • Second offense: Principal notifies parent(s)/guardian(s) and may request an in-person conference with them, student may not be permitted to ride the school bus for a period of up to two weeks.
  • Third offense: Principal notifies parent(s)/guardian(s) and requests an in-person conference with them, student may not be permitted to ride on the school bus for the remainder of the school year.

More serious first, second, third offenses may result in suspension from school or from the school bus

Parent Information

  • For bus questions or concerns, please call the district office at ext. 18115 from 7:30am to 4:00pm.  After hours, please call the bus company at (845) 244-8660 or email them at vctransportation@vcsdny.org
  • It is normal for buses to run a little late the first few days of the school year.
  • A note is needed to change a bus stop or to take a different bus.   You must bring the note to the office before period 1 for approval.
  • If there are enough seats on the bus, you will be able to get a bus pass.
  • Please eliminate drawstrings on jackets or other clothing and items. These items are hazardous.

Parent Concerns

  •  Children experiencing trouble on the bus should first inform their bus driver or monitor. The driver can report the problem and     can keep an eye on the situation. If a child is uncomfortable talking to a driver because the bully might be watching, he or she should talk to their teacher or an administrator instead.
  •  Post-session and athletic bus runs have fewer buses, and therefore, fewer drop off points.  Please contact the bus company at (845-244-8660) for the closest location to your home for your student.  
  •  The Board of Education has approved the use of video cameras on buses to monitor student behavior.

Request for Temporary Transportation

When a student needs to ride a different bus to or from school, on a temporary basis, a parent needs to request a temporary transportation form. This form needs to be completed, with the reason and signature, and returned to the office. Students who are taking a different bus; for one day only, need written permission from a parent or guardian and must bring the note to the main office before period 1 for approval.                                          

CAFETERIA

Our lunch program is an important part of the school day.  This is a time for eating, socializing, and relaxing. It is expected that students will use good manners, keep their areas clean, and remember that other students are in class, therefore noise must be kept to a minimum level.

 Individual lunches may be purchased on a daily basis or by pre-paying on your child’s account. You can also register at Myschoolbucks.com.  Here you will need to fund their account via a credit card. There is a small fee. Middle School 

The following prices will be in effect for the 2019/2020 school year: Breakfast – $2.00 Lunch – $3.00

 Free and reduced price lunches will remain available to children eligible under federal government guidelines.  A new application must be completed by October 1.  Student eligibility is the same for breakfast and lunch.  

 The cafeteria staff presents attractive and tasty meals which meet Federal Nutrition Guidelines.   The Food Service Department realizes a hungry child cannot learn.

  •  The middle school offers breakfast to all students.  
  • Students must come directly to the cafeteria from their buses for breakfast and bring it to their first period class.
  • Students are responsible for taking care of and removing breakfast items.  In the cafeteria, students will be dismissed from their tables when the teacher in charge is satisfied that the area is clean.  

Since the lunch period is a scheduled time, students must be in their assigned area while they are eating in the cafeteria, and their assigned area during the lunch recess. Wandering or loitering, in other parts of the building is not permitted.

CARE OF SCHOOL PROPERTY

There are few students fortunate enough to attend schools as nice as ours at Valley Central.  Our buildings and equipment are provided and maintained by the taxpayers of our community at a great expense each year. The best way to show your appreciation is by treating school property with great care, just as students before you have done.

Acts of destruction including but not limited to writing, marking or carving on walls, desks, chairs or textbooks are strictly forbidden.  Textbooks issued by the school must be covered for protection at all times. Students and their parents are financially responsible for all damage, loss or unnecessary wear to books, equipment and other school property.

CITIZENSHIP

Students should act at all times like ladies and gentlemen. You should be courteous and respectful to your classmates, just as you are to adults.  Improper conduct such as swearing, arguing and fighting, running and pushing indicates lack of respect for others and are not acceptable. Under no circumstances will disrespect to any school employee be tolerated.

At athletic events, our students are expected to be courteous to players and fans from other schools.  At home games, our opponents are guests; at away games we represent Valley Central. Please help us maintain our good reputation by not booing or jeering opposing players, fans or game officials.

CLOSED CAMPUS

Students are not permitted to leave school during the school day unless a parent requests that you leave early. In this case, you must present a written request, at the office, before going to your first period class.

CO-CURRICULAR PARTICIPATION

The school experience reaches beyond textbooks and classrooms to activities that enable students to gain new skills, enhance particular talents and form new friendships.  Students can join a variety of clubs, teams and music organizations. Every student is encouraged to enrich his or her school experience by participating in at least one activity each year.

Participating in too many activities may overload schedules and result in less time and less commitment. We recommend that students choose one or two activities they can devote more time to without jeopardizing their studies.  In this way, they may find their experience to be more worthwhile and beneficial to the entire school community as well as to themselves. 

  • Modified Sports:  Boys’ Baseball; Boys’/Girls’ Basketball; Boys’/Girls’ Cross Country; Football; Boys’/Girls’ Lacrosse; Boys’/Girls’ Soccer; Girls’ Softball; Boys’/Girls’ Spring Track; Girls’ Volleyball; Wrestling. 
  • JV/Varsity Sports:  Baseball; Boys’/Girls’ Basketball; Cheerleading; Football; Boys’/Girls’ Lacrosse; Boy’s/Girls’ Soccer; Softball; Tennis; Volleyball; Wrestling.

Sport sign ups are for 8th graders going into 9th grade and for exceptional athletes who will be in the 7th and 8th grade in the fall who are trying out for high school level sports.  Advanced Athletic Placement is for middle school students who are invited and trying out for a high school sport. See Health page for more details.

  • Varsity Fall: Cheerleading; Boys’/Girls’ Cross Country; Football; Boys’/Girls’ Soccer; Girls’ Swimming; Tennis; Girls’ Volleyball
  • Varsity Winter: Cheerleading; Boys’/Girls’ Basketball; Boys’/Girls’ Indoor Track; Boys’  Swimming; Wrestling
  • Varsity Spring: Baseball; Boys’/Girls’ Golf; Boys’/Girls’ Lacrosse; Softball;  Boys’/Girls’ Track; Boys’ Tennis     

(Students may not attend or participate in any extracurricular activities on the same day as an absence.)

All sports registrations must be done online through FamilyID. Family ID may be accessed through the Valley Central School District Athletic webpage.

All sports require that the student has a current physical on file with the school nurse.

VCSD BOARD OF EDUCATION POLICY 

The Board of Education (Board) is committed to providing a safe and orderly school environment where students may receive, and District personnel may deliver, quality educational services without disruption or interference. Responsible behavior by students, parents, District personnel, and visitors is essential to achieving this goal. The complete Code of Conduct (Code) is available at all school sites, Central Office, and on the District webpage. Supporting Board of Education policies are available at all school sites and Central Office. Please also refer to each school’s handbook for specific details.

CODE OF CONDUCT

The Valley Central Code of Conduct can be found here.

CONDUCT OF STUDENTS

Students of Valley Central Middle School, whether in school, on school grounds, or at a school activity, are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that is appropriate and which reflects respect for themselves and others.  The main purpose of this middle school is to provide a quality education in a safe environment. Anyone who interferes with or hinders this process will be subject to disciplinary action. Fighting, destruction or theft of property or disruption of instruction will result in serious consequences.  It is the responsibility of each student to report threats of imminent danger to the appropriate school personnel and others. Respect for others is a fundamental responsibility of all persons in this building. If a student feels he/she has been treated unfairly, he/she should report such instances to the Administration.  Arguing, shouting, or creating a scene will do nothing to alleviate the problem. Every effort will be made to support and respect students’ rights. It must be remembered, however, that no student has the right to:

  1. Refuse to comply with any reasonable request by a staff member. (e.g. move when asked, report to the office, sit in a particular seat, stop horseplay, etc.)
  2. Refuse to give his/her full name when it is requested by a staff member
  3. Use language or engage in behavior which is seriously inappropriate

Such behavior may result in the student being disciplined or refused participation in extra-curricular and/or co-curricular activities.  Additionally, students who are repeatedly recalcitrant may be subject to in school or out of school suspension.

DISCIPLINE CODE FOR STUDENT CONDUCT

The Valley Central Middle School Discipline Code will be enforced in accordance with Education Law §3214, Project SAVE legislation, and the Valley Central School District Code of Conduct.

Discipline is most effective when it deals directly with the problem at the time and place it occurs.  Therefore, before seeking outside assistance, teachers will first use all their resources to create a change of behavior in the classroom.  When the teacher has made every effort to bring about positive behavioral change and has been unsuccessful, the student will be referred to the administration.  At that point, the administration will decide what further action will be taken.  

Disciplinary action, when necessary, will be firm, fair, and consistent so as to be the most effective in changing student behavior.  In determining the appropriate disciplinary action, school personnel authorized to impose disciplinary penalties will consider the following:

  • The nature of the offense and the circumstances that led to the offense
  • The student’s prior disciplinary record
  • Information from parents, teachers and/or others, as appropriate

In Valley Central Middle School, routine procedures exist for reporting and investigating violations of the Code of Conduct.  Depending upon the nature of the violation, it is the desire of the Board of Education that student discipline be progressive.  As part of an investigation, officials have the right to search a student when reasonable suspicion is present that a student has violated the Student Code of Conduct or the New York State Penal Law.  That is, a student’s first violation should merit a lighter penalty than subsequent violations. However, individual behavior management plans or severe infractions may preclude a gradual process. Minimum suspensions have been set in place for students that have exhibited “repeated substantially disruptive behavior” (i.e. engaging in conduct requiring the removal from a classroom on multiple separate occasions) or violent behavior.

The Valley Central School District cannot tolerate violence, threats, bullying, and substance abuse.  Students who break the law, use, possess, distribute or facilitate the distribution of illegal drugs, use vulgar language, or exhibit inappropriate behavior will be held accountable not only to the Disciplinary Code, but may also be referred to the appropriate law enforcement agencies.  Additionally, off-campus conduct that affects the health and safety of students or the learning environment of the Valley Central Middle School will be dealt with according to the Code of Conduct.  

The following lists of prohibited student behaviors have been established to clearly describe a Code of Conduct and to provide for a consistent level of discipline in the Valley Central District.

Under New York State Law Section 8:82, a student may be suspended for the following reasons:

  1. A pupil who is insubordinate or disorderly, or whose conduct otherwise endangers the safety, morals, health, or welfare of others will be considered to be involved in an act of misconduct.
  2. A pupil is considered violent if he/she commits a physical act that endangers the health and/or safety of another person.

Students will be informed at the beginning of each year of the regulations concerning the New York State Project SAVE legislation.  This law describes how a student may be removed from class by a teacher.

LEVEL 1 INFRACTIONS

These offenses will normally involve the teacher as a decision maker in respect to the severity of the offense and the appropriate penalty.

  • Classroom misconduct (annoying others, fooling around, lack of materials, lack of homework, failure to cooperate, violating testing procedures, tardiness, theft, etc.)
  • Hallway, bathroom, and cafeteria misconduct (excessive noise, rowdiness, running)
  • Inappropriate interaction between peers (including public display of affection, aggression (physical and/or verbal), taunting, harassment, profanity, and obscene gestures)
  • Use of skateboards on school property
  • Cutting class

Teachers will use judgment in determining the severity of the offense, the number of occurrences, and circumstances involved.  Depending upon those factors, any of the following penalties may apply:

  • Verbal reprimand • Parent notification
  • Loss of Privileges • Referral to Administrator
  • Detention • Consult Guidance Counselor

LEVEL 2 INFRACTIONS

These offenses will normally involve a school administrator as the decision maker in respect to the severity of the offense and the appropriate penalty.

  • Disrespectful behavior directed toward adults, including, but not limited to, use of profanity, abusive language, obscene gestures/materials
  • Fighting – refusing to stop when requested by an adult
  • Insubordination
  • Bus misbehavior
  • Excessive cutting class/truancy
  • Trespassing; loitering
  • Serious (and/or repeat) instances of Level I infractions
  • Use, possession, sale of tobacco/tobacco products/synthetic tobacco products/lighters/matches
  • Forgery/Plagiarism
  • Inappropriate use of computer technology/violation of district acceptable use policy
  • Disruption of classroom instruction

School administrators will use judgment in determining the severity of the offense, the number of occurrences, and the circumstances involved.  Depending upon these factors, any of the following penalties may apply:

  • Verbal and/or written reprimand  
  • Out-of-school suspension
  • Warning
  •  Superintendent’s hearing
  • Loss of privileges and/or detention
  • Removal from class by teacher pursuant to the Project SAVE legislation
  • Report to parents
  • Parent conference
  • Restitution    
  • Referral to outside agencies
  • In-school suspension 

LEVEL 3 INFRACTIONS

These infractions may involve the Superintendent of Schools in the decision-making process with respect to the appropriate penalties upon referral of Building Administrator:

  • Theft
  • Fighting (when serious injuries occur), and/or refusing to stop
  • Arson
  • Assault
  • Extortion, forging a staff member’s name
  • Use, possession or sale of alcohol and/or drugs and/or drug paraphernalia and/or synthetic drugs
  • Under the influence of alcohol/drugs
  • Use or possession of weapons/imitation or facsimile weapons
  • Use or possession of explosive devices
  • Vandalism (including setting off of fire alarms/AED alarm, fire extinguisher, graffiti)
  • Leaving school grounds without permission
  • Sexual misconduct/harassment
  • Use of racial slurs/epithets; derogatory or inflammatory remarks concerning gender, age, sexual orientation, ethnic or religious association
  • Any action that compromises the health/welfare or safety of another student or staff member.
  • Any other infractions that violate New York State Penal Law or behavior which may otherwise place in jeopardy the safety, morals, health and welfare of students or staff.

Teachers (or appropriate others) will notify the Building Administrator of above infractions. The Building Administrator may apprise the Superintendent of said incident(s) and determination of age-appropriate penalty(ies) including:

  • Loss of privileges and/or detention
  • Report to parent(s)
  • Parent conference
  • Restitution
  • In-school suspension
  • Out-of-school suspension
  • Superintendent’s hearing
  • Referral to appropriate police/authorities

DRESS

Students are expected to attend school in appropriate type apparel.  Halter tops, tube tops, bare midriffs, revealing sheer clothing, tight shorts, short-shorts, low-riding pants, tank tops, tight high-slit skirts, pajamas, tank tops with thin straps worn in a provocative or distracting manner may be considered to be inappropriate for males and females.  Chains of any kind, spiked collars, rivets, wrist bands, oversized rings, etc. are PROHIBITED and MAY be confiscated.  Students are also PROHIBITED from wearing clothing containing drugs, alcohol, sex-related topics, double meanings, profanity, vulgarity, inflammatory obscene language/ pictures/ symbols.  It is inappropriate to wear a hat/bandana of various colors, visor, or any other type of headwear in a public building. Our school would like to instill this courtesy in all our students.  Therefore, students may not wear hats or bandanas in this school other than for religious, cultural or safety purposes.  Students will be issued a warning and continued violations of said rule may be met with disciplinary action.  Various colored bandanas, worn on belts, pants, pockets, as headbands etc., are expressly forbidden, given their association with gang activity.

Students are PROHIBITED from wearing violence-inspired clothing on school grounds, specifically any dress or appearance which encourages and/or advocates violence and/or illegal and/or violent activities and/or violent crimes. No outer garments should be worn around school (i.e. jackets, coats, 3/4 coats, gloves, etc.) for health and safety reasons.  Due to safety concerns, all students are PROHIBITED from wearing the following items but not limited to: face paint, masks, wigs, helmets, full body costumes, and/or other materials or accessories that may prevent school personnel from properly identifying a student.

The standards of dress will prevail at all times including examination periods and other activities planned for inside the building.  Be advised that administration reserves the right to challenge any student’s dress or appearance which, in the judgment of a school administrator, may cause a material or substantial disruption to the educational process and/or create a health and safety hazard.  In such cases, students will be given an appropriate shirt issued by administrator or may be sent home to change their clothing.  A student who refuses to comply with a principal’s request or designee’s directive may be subject to disciplinary action.

DRUGS AND ALCOHOL

In order for the school to promote an environment conducive for learning and because of the serious threat that illicit drugs, including alcohol, constitute to a person’s physical and emotional well-being, the   possession, use, sale, or being under the influence of these substances in school, on school grounds, or at any school sponsored function is strictly prohibited. Students who are found to be under the influence of illicit drugs or alcohol will be referred to Administration and are subject to suspension and a Superintendent’s Hearing.  Over the counter and prescription medications must be registered with the School Nurse.

Students are urged to exercise sound judgment in their own conduct.  It is a student’s responsibility to remove himself/herself from an area in which drug or alcohol use is taking place.

Students’ who are involved in extracurricular and co-curricular activities including athletics, should be forewarned that attendance at parties or gatherings where drugs/alcohol is being consumed may jeopardize their participation in these school activities. THESE RULES APPLY TO ALL BOARD OF EDUCATION APPROVED TRIPS.

EARLY DISMISSAL

The Main Office must receive parental notification before any student is allowed to leave campus.  Students who must leave school prior to dismissal for doctor appointments, etc. must present a note explaining the specific reason for leaving.  This note must be presented to the office prior to the start of period 1 and include the reason for leaving and the telephone number of a parent or guardian with whom the information can be verified. Students must be present for four (4) periods of the school day in order to participate in the following activities which include but are not limited to sports, clubs, class activities, etc.  All other extenuating circumstances must be approved by the building principal. If a student does not follow procedure, he/she may face disciplinary action.

Students who leave school without parental notification and school approval or are found in places other than their assigned class or study hall will face disciplinary action. Parents/guardians who pick up their child must be able to provide proper identification to the personnel in the main office.

EIGHTH GRADE YEAR END ACTIVITIES

Normally we hold an eighth grade dance and field trip at the end of the year.  Eligibility to participate in these activities is a privilege, not a right. Each eighth grader’s disciplinary and attendance records will be reviewed in May to establish eligibility or disqualification from participation in these two events.  Suspensions may disqualify a student from participation.

ELECTRONIC DEVICES & SOCIAL MEDIA

It is recommended that students keep their electronic devices at home and not bring them to school, except when being utilized for classroom instruction.  At no time shall Valley Central Middle School be responsible for preventing theft, loss, or damage to communication devices brought onto school property.  Students who possess electronic devices shall assume responsibility for their care.

Electronic devices, including but not limited to cell phones, iPods, AirPods, laptops, smart watches, wearable technology and tablets, are valuable and sometimes necessary tools.  In light of the evolving technology and the ability to photograph and record video, it is our goal to not only foster and support learning, but also to protect the privacy of our students, staff, and the sanctity of the classroom environment.

Similarly, VCMS will continue to NOT TOLERATE any inappropriate electronic communication. Individuals whose behavior jeopardizes the safety and/or welfare of school staff and students and has a nexus to a disruption of the educational process will face disciplinary action in accordance with the Code of Conduct. For further information, refer to Board Policy #5312.

Under no circumstances, will students be allowed to use their personal electronic devices to make or take a phone call anywhere in the school building, video/audio record themselves or others, and to use FaceTime, Snapchat or any other video sharing/chatting.  Anyone observed not complying with these expectations will be subject to electronic device confiscation and/or disciplinary action. For further information, please refer to the Code of Conduct, specifically Board Policy 5312.

EMERGENCY FORMS

It is very important to have our students’ emergency forms accurate and up-to-date.  If you have any changes during the school year please send them in to the main office, in writing, so that we can make any appropriate changes necessary. This process will assure your child that we can get in touch with you for whatever needs they may have during the school day.

EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITY PARTICIPATION

The Valley Central School District recognizes the educational values inherent in the extra-curricular life of the school.  For the purposes of building social relationships, developing interests in an academic area, acquiring a sense for the importance of team play, and gaining an understanding of good citizenship, certain expectations must be met.  Students must be present for four (4) periods of the school day and/or their abbreviated schedule if less than four (4) periods in order to participate in the following activities which include but are not limited to sports, clubs, class activities, etc.

Students who are given special tutoring, post-session or practice time will show increases in academic and athletic performance.  Students should open the channels of communication with a coach in order to develop a positive mind set. A feeling of competence, whether on the playing or practice field or in the classroom, can develop positive educational outcomes.  Students must be present for four (4) periods of the school day and/or their abbreviated schedule if less than four (4) periods in order to participate in the following activities which include but are not limited to sports, clubs, class activities, etc.  If a student does not follow procedure, he/she may face disciplinary action.

STUDENTS INVOLVED IN EXTRA-CURRICULAR/CO-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES ARE ALERTED TO THE FOLLOWING:

A code of ethics exists that defines the appropriate behavior expected by students participating in extracurricular activities, including athletics.  Students are reminded that their behavior reflects on their particular extra-curricular activity, both during the activity as well as away from the spotlight.  Student will be held accountable for behavior that negatively reflects on their activity. After an appropriate review, students may be disciplined.

After the start of an athletic season or selection process for an activity, rosters will be printed and distributed to the teaching staff for their perusal upon request.  Students must remain academically eligible in order to participate in all extracurricular/co-curricular activities.

FIELD TRIPS

The Valley Central Middle School has established the following criteria that students must meet in order to be eligible to participate in field trips and activities. 

This policy can be reviewed on an individual student basis by the VCMS staff and administration.

  1. The student may not have been suspended on two or more incidents (full day ISS/ OSS).
  2. The student may not have been suspended long term on a Superintendent Hearing.
  3. The student may not be failing two or more subjects as reflected by the district Academic Eligibility Policy and/or must be demonstrating that he or she is working up to potential and/or making satisfactory progress. 
  4. The student must not have unexcused absences or missed more than 10% of instructional time without trying to make up the missed work. 
  5. 5.. The student must have shown acceptable behavior towards peers and staff and show appropriate behavior on school property including school related activities, including the bus. Students who have more than one referral per month will be reviewed.

FIGHTING

Fighting jeopardizes the safety, health, and welfare of our student body and is strictly prohibited anywhere within the school, campus, or at any school sponsored event/activity.   All students have an obligation to avoid physical confrontations. The school recognizes that provocative language and gestures may result in physical confrontation. These altercations will be considered the same as physical confrontation.  Students may be subject to suspension of up to five days out of school, with a minimum of two days, if involved in a physical confrontation. Repeated acts of aggressive behavior will be referred to the Superintendent.

Students engaged in a fight who refuse to cease the altercation after a directive from a staff member, will be considered insubordinate.  A 5 day suspension may be enforced. If any staff member is injured during an attempt to stop a physical altercation between students, these students will be referred to a Superintendent’s Hearing where they may be subject to additional Out of School Suspension.

FIRE EVACUATION AND SAFETY DRILLS

Students should familiarize themselves with the fire and evacuation exit route from each class.  These routes are displayed on the bulletin board of each room. If a student is not sure of the correct route to take, he/she is responsible to ask the instructor for details.

During the fire drill or evacuation, all students are to proceed quickly and quietly to his/her assigned exit.  Students are not to stop at lockers for any reason. Books, chromebooks, and notebooks are to remain in the classroom during fire drills.  Pocketbooks may be taken with you. Book bags may accompany students during an evacuation.

Students are to stay clear of all drives surrounding the building.  These areas are to remain open for emergency vehicles. Once in the designated parking area or grassy area, students are to stay together.  Proper behavior is to be maintained at all times.  Any student who does not comply immediately with the instructions of a supervising adult or engages in disruptive behavior will be subject to severe disciplinary action.

Safety drills (i.e. Lockdown, Lockout, Shelter-In-Place) will be practiced throughout the school year and due to its significance requires that all students adhere to the school’s Emergency Response procedures to ensure the well-being and safety of the entire school community. Failure to comply will necessitate appropriate disciplinary action.

HEALTH OFFICE AND IMMUNIZATIONS

The New York State Education Law mandates that all children entering and attending school must be properly immunized against Polio, Diphtheria, Measles, Rubella, Mumps, Hepatitis B, Varicella (Chicken Pox), and Pertussis.  All students must meet all immunization requirements and have a Pertussis Booster (Tdap) on their 11th birthday and (2) doses of Varicella vaccine, or documented Varicella disease, to enter the 6th grade. Exemptions from these requirements are for medical reasons only.

Students entering 7th grade are required to have one dose of the meningococcal vaccine, in addition to meeting all other vaccine requirements, prior to entry.

All students beginning grades K, 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 and all new entrants to the school district must have a physical exam per Education Law Article 19 and Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.   Please be reminded that all physical exams must be completed within the twelve months prior to the start of the school year in which the exam is required. If the exam is not returned to the school by September 30th or 15 days after registration, the school reserves the right to request that the school medical provider (MD or NP) conduct a medical appraisal of your child.   

School nurses are assigned to each building to implement the health service program through caring for chronic and acute illnesses, counseling, administering first aid, and conducting screening for hearing, vision problems, and scoliosis.  By helping to maintain the physical well-being of students, these staff members play an important role in our children’s school experience.

Students should get permission from their teacher to go to the health office if they are not feeling well.   It is the responsibility of the health office to call home if warranted due to illness.

HOMEWORK POLICY

Homework will count for 20% of the overall grade.  A student will be given one day to make up a homework assignment if they were in class when the assignment was given and they were in class when the assignment was due, but did not complete and turn in the homework assignment. Completed homework turned in late will count as 65% of the original value of that assignment. (Subject to change.  Any updates will be communicated to the students and parents as it will also be posted on the website.)

LIBRARY

The library is a place where you can enrich your learning, work on ideas connected with your school work and investigate areas of special interest to you.  It is also a place where you can discover worlds that you never knew existed. While some of your library work may be assigned, you can use the library during study halls or during part of your lunch period.  

Passes to the library may be obtained before first period from the library staff.  A library pass is always needed to use the library.

LOCKERS AND LOCKS

Students will be assigned a locker the first day of school.  All students will be responsible to provide a school approved lock for their lockers.  These locks may be purchased for $5.00 from your homeroom teacher or from the main office. Students are not allowed to share lockers or place their belongings in any locker other than their own. Lockers are the property of VCMS.  The school reserves the right to search a locker at any time without notification for the purpose of insuring the safety, morals, health, or welfare of our students. Students are to report any assigned locker that is not functioning properly or is being used by another student to the main office.  Since the school is not responsible for lost or stolen items, it is highly suggested that items of great value not be left in lockers. Unsecured belongings in lockers are subject to theft. The Administration recommends the use of a lock at all times. All coats and books should be stored in a hall locker, not a gym locker.

LOITERING ABOUT SCHOOL OR GROUNDS

Students are not to loiter in classrooms, hallways, or on Valley Central school grounds building or grounds before their first scheduled activity of the day or after their last scheduled activity.  The school may not be used as a social gathering place for students who are not scheduled to be here. Students who persist in loitering in the building or on school grounds at times when they are not scheduled to be here may face possible disciplinary action and/or arrest.

LOST AND FOUND

Please respect other students’ property and turn in all found articles to the main office.  If you are missing an item, please inquire about it as soon as possible. The school is not responsible for articles belonging to students, including musical instruments stored at school.  You are asked not to bring large sums of money, jewelry or other valuables to school. Electronic devices, trading cards, and toys are not permitted in school and will be taken from the student.

MARKING POLICY

Marks are a general indication of a student’s performance in relation to ability.  Our marking policy encourages you to do your best at homework, class work and studying for tests so that your achievement will be as high as possible.

Mark significance is as follows:

  • 90-100 (Excellent)
  • 80-89 (Very Good)
  • 70-79 (Average)
  • 65-69 (Immediate improvement necessary)
  • F (Failing)

Honor Roll

Being named on the honor roll indicates that you have done superior work for the marking period.  Every student is encouraged to make the honor roll by working hard. Students will be honored if they have an 85 or better average with no marks below 75.

MEDICATION

According to New York State Law, there is a procedure the school nurse must follow before any medication(s) can be given during school hours.    These legal requirements are as follows:

  1. The school nurse must have a written order by the health care provider stating: name of medication; reason for giving medication;   dosage to be given; time medication should be given; and number of days medication should be given.  
  2. All prescribed medication must have a pharmacy label and non-prescription medication must be in its original container.
  3. Medication must be brought to school by an adult in its original, labeled container and given to the school nurse.  Students are prohibited from bringing medication to school, unless that student has a medical order on file to carry his/her emergency medication. *
  4. The parent/guardian must submit the written request authorizing the school nurse to administer the medication as directed. 
  5. Medication will be destroyed seven days after the final dose is administered.  Unused medication may be picked up by the parent/guardian within this time.
  6.  Medication orders must be renewed annually or when there is a change in medication or dosage.

    * If this procedure is not followed, student will be subjected to disciplinary action.

FIELD TRIPS AND MEDICATIONS

Procedures for taking oral, topical or inhalant medications off school grounds or after school hours while participating in a school sponsored activity:

The school nursing personnel should assure:

Oversight of self-administration to:

  • Student who is self-directed
  • Voluntary staff member who has been appropriately instructed by the school nursing personnel to assist self-directed   student. (Note: Consistent with good practice, the employee’s willingness to perform the task should be considered in   making the assignment.)Preparation of medication. When medication is to be given to a self-directed student in the absence of a school nurse, the student’s medication must remain in a properly labeled pharmacy container, or original over the counter container, in the possession of a supervising adult; until it is handed to the self-directed student to self-administer on a field trip or other school event.  Children needing medication on extended trips must have their medication in a properly labeled pharmacy container.

Administration of oral, topical or inhalant medications to non-self-directed students and injectable medications to anyone must remain the responsibility of the school nurse, licensed practical nurse under the direction of a school nurse, health care provider,  physician, parent or parent designee.

Students who have an order to “use and carry independently”may take non-prescription and prescription medications in the original pharmacy bottle.  If there is concern about sharing, the accompanying adult should hold the meds.

For extended field trips, parents should provide the medication (prepared by student’s pharmacy) to the school nurse with all necessary forms.

Parents, whose students will require medications for the trip which they do not require on a daily basis at school, should obtain health care provider orders and provide the medication.  Chaperones should be notified of any controlled substance by the school nurse.

If a chaperone or school nurse is given a medication at the last minute, it becomes a judgment call on the part of the chaperone, the school nurse and school administration.  Each situation, medical condition, age of the child, kind of student, kind of parent, nature of the medication, nature of potential side effects, and likelihood of further difficulty from the medical condition must be considered.

NATIONAL JUNIOR HONOR SOCIETY

As of 2003/04, seventh and eighth grade students who maintain an average of 92.5 percent or higher during the first three marking periods will be candidates for membership in the Valley Central Middle School chapter of the National Junior Honor Society.  Students who qualify academically will be further considered for membership by a faculty committee who will consider the student’s CHARACTER, LEADERSHIP, SERVICE and CITIZENSHIP. Students are also required to submit an essay describing the five characteristics of the NJHS and submit a list of at least 2 community services & at least 2 extracurricular school activities. Selection into the Honor Society is not guaranteed. Students selected for membership will be inducted near the end of the seventh grade and will be active members of the Society for their eighth grade year.

NONDISCRIMINATION POLICY

The Valley Central School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, disability, religion, national origin, age, or marital status in access to programs and/or employment, provided by the District.

PARENT GROUPS

The PTA is the best way to be involved in your child’s education.  Your ideas and concerns can be voiced and heard by a dedicated group of parents, teachers and administrators who have all joined the PTA.  Your PTA membership allows you to contribute to your child’s growing years when they are most needed.

Membership dues are $10.00.  Member dues are used to help finance field trips, school activities, and special equipment for our students.  Your hard-earned money goes a long, long way. Your membership does not obligate you in anyway, but shows your support for our students.

PARENT PORTAL

The Valley Central School District has implemented a web-based communication tool which allows you to access your student’s academic profiles via the Internet anytime, anywhere. Please access the VCMS section of the district website and click on the link to sign up if you have not done so already. There will be a short delay between initial login and final access. This delay is due to the amount of time necessary for each account application to go through a comprehensive verification process. Parents or legal guardians MUST be the ones to enter contact and student information upon initial sign-up on the Parent Portal website. If parents wish to provide portal access to students after initial sign-up this is a decision that is left to the discretion of each individual family. Any account determined to be student created will be deleted and/or inactivated.  A step-by-step guide for Parents & Guardians about how to login and access student information through the Parent Portal is available via a link on the District website. Any questions/concerns do not hesitate to call (845) 457-2400 ext. 16502.

PASSES

Students should not be in the halls while classes are in session unless they possess a student permit pass signed by a staff member who indicates the student’s name, the time, date, and the destination.  Any student found in an area not designated on the pass will be considered cutting.  Passes will not be granted the first and last 5 minutes of the period.  Student may be placed on pass restriction for repeated violations of cutting, lateness, truancy, etc.

PHYSICAL EDUCATION

Physical education which is an important part of your school program will help you develop a healthy mind and body, physical skills, self-confidence, teamwork, sportsmanship and an interest in lifelong recreational activities.  You must be properly dressed for each physical education class, unless excused for approved medical reasons. All personal belongings, clothing, watches, cell phones etc. must be secured in a locked locker while you are participating in your physical education class.

POST SESSION

On Tuesday’s and Thursday’s a post-session period is part of the school day.  This period is for obtaining extra help, working on projects, participating in clubs and activities, or staying for detention.  Post-session ends at 3:30PM. You must be under a teacher’s supervision for the entire period. Students need permission from parents to stay post-session and may not leave the building.  STUDENTS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO STAY AFTER SCHOOL HOURS TO SOCIALIZE OR TO VIEW SPORTING EVENTS.  If you wish to attend an athletic event, you must go home and return with a parent or guardian.  Refer to the section, “Loitering” for further information.

SCHOOL EMERGENCIES (SCHOOL DELAYS AND CLOSINGS)

In the event that it is necessary to close the schools because of inclement weather or any other emergency, announcements will be made by the radio stations beginning at 6:00 AM or on the district website.

In emergency conditions your best source of information is the radio.  All closings, delayed openings, early dismissals, cancellations, or other changes from normal procedures will be carried on these stations.

  • WBNR, Newburgh Dial 1260AM/104.7FM
  • WGNY, Newburgh Dial 1220AM/103.1FM
  • WALL, Middletown Dial 1340AM/92.7FM

When school is closed because of inclement weather or some other emergency, the entire operation involving student programs shall be canceled until further notice. This includes play rehearsals, sports games, and/or practices, and other organized school activities.

Parents who are not at home during school days need to make alternative arrangements and instruct your children where to go and what to do in case of emergency.  Please update this information with your child periodically.

You can help us achieve an orderly and efficient early dismissal by keeping the phone lines open so that we may summon bus drivers and coordinate all other factors in our efforts to ensure your child’s safety.

SCHOOL SOCIALS

Socials/dances will be sponsored by grade teams and student organizations from September through March for fundraising purposes. A limited number of tickets (approximately 1/3 per grade) will be sold during lunch the week of the social.  Students who were unable to purchase a ticket may be placed on a waiting list and be given the opportunity to purchase at the next social event prior to the general sale. Only VCMS students may attend our socials.

Students must be in school the day of the social in order to participate. All socials end at 9:00 PM and students must have a ride waiting for them promptly at 9:00 PM.  Any student receiving a suspension the week of a dance/social will not be permitted to attend that dance/social.  (No refunds will be given.)  NOTE: All school rules apply for all school sponsored functions.

SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICY

Valley Central School District is committed to providing an educational and working environment that promotes respect, dignity and equality and that is free from all forms of sex-based harassment.  Sex-based harassment harms victims and negatively impacts the school culture by creating an environment of fear, distrust, intimidation and intolerance. It is the policy of the Valley Central School District to maintain a learning and working environment that is free from sex-based harassment.

Sex-based harassment can be comprised of two types of behavior:  sexual harassment and/or gender-based harassment. Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, which can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Gender-based harassment includes verbal, nonverbal or physical aggression, intimidation or hostility that is based on actual or perceived gender and sexual stereotypes.

Harassment of students and staff on the basis of sex, gender and/or sexual orientation is abusive and illegal.  The School District will act to investigate all complaints either formal or informal, verbal or written, of sexual harassment and to discipline any student, employee, or any and all related school personnel who sexually harasses a student, employee or any and all related school personnel of the School District.  For further information refer to the Board of Education Policy #0110. 

SEXTING

Refer to Code of Conduct – Plain Language Summary

SKIPPING CLASS

Students are expected to be present for all of their daily assignments.  Study halls, library assignments, post session, etc. are viewed in the same manner as classes.  Skipping any of your scheduled requirements may result in detention, assignment to In-School Suspension or Out of School Suspension (if the student is deemed to be insubordinate to previous Administrative directives.)  The penalty will be determined based upon the number of infractions. Disciplinary reports will be used to alert the Assistant Principal about students that are cutting.

SMOKING

Due to the health hazards associated with smoking, and in accordance with Federal and State Law, the Board of Education prohibits smoking, the use of e-cigarettes or any other device used to inhale any non-prescribed substance, or other tobacco use in all school buildings, on school property, or at school-sponsored activities.  We ask for students, parents and public cooperation in abiding by the policy which is also consistent with state and federal laws. Students who are found smoking on school grounds will receive disciplinary action; 2nd and 3rd offenses may necessitate out-of-school suspension.

SPORTS PHYSICALS

All 7th and 8th grade students trying out for high school or middle school sports must hand in their sports physical forms to the nurse prior to opening day of that particular sport. Forms can be obtained in the nurse’s office or on the health office webpage.   Registration for all sports is to be done online through FamilyID. FamilyID can be accessed on the District athletic page. Middle school students trying out for high school level sports must contact the athletic director at 457-2400, ext. 17885 or 17886, to receive information on the Advanced Athletic Placement Process.

STUDENT DISCIPLINE REFERRALS

Discipline referrals are written for students who commit infractions of the school’s code of conduct.  These referrals may be generated by teachers, hall monitors, bus drivers, or any adult given the responsibility of supervising students.  The referral is sent to the office of the Assistant Principal for deliberation. The Assistant Principal may then conduct an investigation and will determine the appropriate course of action.

STUDENT’S RIGHTS

It is each student’s right to attend school and gain an education as provided by law.  It is each student’s right to learn in an atmosphere free of discriminatory and threatening influence; an atmosphere that encourages students to discuss and debate their attitudes, ideas and opinions, thereby helping to eliminate prejudice and fostering the exercise of reason in forming, understanding and defending beliefs.

The student has responsibilities which are inseparable from his or her rights.  It is a necessary assumption that students will accept the responsibilities associated with their rights and that they will contribute in a positive way to the maintenance of an orderly environment in which learning is not jeopardized by disruption.  Therefore, each student must be responsible to act within the framework of the rules and regulations established by the school district. Such rules and regulations shall be fair, reasonable and for the good of the students and the schools. Our rules and regulations are in effect for all school-related and school-sponsored activities, including transportation and after-school extra-curricular activities.

STUDENT SEARCHES

Be advised that all students may be subject to search should the Administration have reasonable suspicion (New Jersey vs. TLO, 469 US 325, 1985).  These searches may include, but not be limited to, one’s person, locker, book bag, and other personal belongings. Finally, school authorities may confiscate dangerous and/or illegal items, as well as ill obtained items.  In these instances the School Resource Officer shall be notified. (Gun Free School Act 20 USC § 7151(b)(1))

STUDY HALL

Assigned study halls are considered a part of the student’s schedule and will be treated like any other class.  Students may use the library or make appointments for remedial work during study hall time. In order to leave study hall, students must procure a signed pass from the teacher they are seeing for remediation and sign out with the appropriate study hall teacher. In regard to bathroom passes, two (2) students will only be allowed to leave study hall at a time.  Guidance appointments may be made during study hall periods.

SUSPENSION

Suspension is an extreme form of discipline and will be reserved for serious and chronic situations.  Out of school suspensions will be utilized when other methods of discipline have proved unsuccessful or when a student’s presence in school constitutes a danger or disruption to himself/herself or others.  Holidays and examination days do not factor in when calculating suspension dates.

RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF SUSPENDED STUDENTS

  1. During the period of any out of school suspension, students may not remain on school grounds or in school buildings or participate in extracurricular activities. Students will be warned and may be subject to arrest.
  2. Upon return to school, suspended students may arrange to take exams which were administered during their suspension period.
  3. Suspended students may arrange to receive full credit for work completed during their suspension.
  4. Students suspended for more than 2 days and are of compulsory age will be entitled to tutoring (See tutoring).
  5. Students classified by Committee of Special Education regardless of age will be entitled to tutoring.

TARDINESS

If you arrive after period one begins, report to the office with your written excuse.  After signing in, you will be given a late pass for your teacher.  

All unexcused tardiness will be recorded.  If excessive tardiness is accumulated, an in-school parent conference will be held and/or detention will be served.

UNEXCUSED TARDINESS

All unexcused tardiness will be recorded.  If excessive tardiness is accumulated, detention may be assigned and/or an in-school parent conference may be held.   After signing in when you are late, you will be given a late pass for your teacher.

ACCEPTABLE REASONS FOR TARDINESS/ABSENCE

  1. Personal illness 6. Approved work program
  2. Critical illness or death in immediate family 7. Military obligation
  3. Impassable roads or weather making roads unsafe 8. Educational visitation
  4. Recognized religious holidays 9. School bus is delayed
  5. Required attendance in court

ALL ACCEPTABLE REASONS MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY A NOTE FROM A PARENT OR GUARDIAN WITHIN 3 SCHOOL DAYS. ANY STUDENT WHO FAILS TO SIGN IN WILL BE SUBJECT TO DISCIPLINARY ACTION.

TARDINESS TO CLASS

It is a student’s responsibility to be in each of their classes on time.  When detained, be sure to get a pass before going on to the next class. If you are unnecessarily late for class, you may be assigned detention.

TELEPHONES/CELL PHONES

Students will be allowed to use the phones in guidance or the main office for only important situations. Due to the limited instructional time for academic classes, incoming calls for students from their parent/guardian should be limited to important situations as well.  The entire class is interrupted when messages are left for the students.  

CELL PHONES are a distraction to the learning process and should not be part of a student’s school day.  Cell phone use during the school day is not allowed. Any cell phones brought to school must be turned off, concealed, and/or kept in a locker.   The following consequences may be implemented: 

  1. students found using electronic device during the school day , s/he will be given a warning.
  2. second offense, student(s) device will be confiscated. If student refuses to surrender the item, the matter will be directed to an assistant principal.
  3. confiscated items will only be returned to the parents.
  4. repeat offenders may face additional consequences.

TRANSPORTATION OF STUDENTS FOR SCHOOL SPONSORED ACTIVITIES

The school is responsible for the safety of its students both on school property and to and from all school-sponsored activities where transportation is provided.  The school will provide transportation to and from selected school-sponsored activities which are not held at Valley Central. Teachers, coaches, and chaperones are not to release any of the students under their supervision, except to ride with their own parents.  Requests for this permission must be made in person and in writing by the parent to the supervisor. Phone calls or notes will not be accepted in place of the personal request. Permission will not be given to ride with friends, relatives, or parents of other students.  Violation of this policy may result in a student’s loss of privileges, including team membership or participation in subsequent field trips or other activities held off school property.

TRUANCY

Students should realize that absence from class is perhaps the major reason for failure.  A student who is absent without the consent of his parents is truant. This is an unexcused illegal absence from school and the student will be automatically suspended from classes for a period not to exceed three school days or until such time as an in-school parent conference is arranged with the student’s guidance counselor.

Students will be considered truant if they:

  1. leave school grounds without permission and/or authorization from the school.
  2. are absent from school illegally without the knowledge and/or permission of the parent or  guardian.
  3. come to school and do not attend classes.

Students are illegally absent from class if they are:

  1. truant.
  2. skipping.
  3. go to a certain place with a pass, but do not report there.
  4. ill and stay in the lavatory or elsewhere instead of reporting to the nurse or main office.

Generally, students who are illegally absent from class may be dealt with as follows:

  1. The first illegal absence from a particular class will result in three pre-session assignments.
  2. The second illegal absence will result in suspension from that class for a period not to exceed two school days or until such a time as an in-school conference is held with the student’s guidance counselor.                    
  3. Three unexcused tardiness to one class will be counted as one illegal absence from that class.

If a student cuts class or is absent without an excuse, a designated staff person will review the attendance policy with the student and/or parent/guardian.

TUTORING

Tutoring will be provided to all students who were suspended for more than two (2) days out of school at Valley Central Middle School.

VALUABLES

Students are advised not to bring large amounts of money or other valuables to school.  In unusual circumstances, if it becomes necessary to bring such items, students may bring their property to the Main Office, and it will be placed in the school safe.  The school, however, can assume no responsibility for such items it holds for students. Under no circumstances should valuables be placed in student lockers.  

All students need to utilize a lock in both locker room and hall lockers to ensure the safety of their belongings.  Students are cautioned that clothing/valuables left outside the gym lockers are susceptible to theft. Hall lockers will be bolted if an appropriate lock is not placed on a locker.  Valley Central is not responsible for lost for stolen items.

VIDEO SURVEILLANCE

Security cameras exist in all district buildings for the protection of students, staff and property.  These cameras may be used for evidence and investigation of student misconduct.

VIOLATION OF TEST PROCEDURES

Any student who is observed talking, passing notes, utilizing prohibited electronic devices, looking at other students’ papers during a test, and or sharing/copying information/answers via technology may be considered in violation of test procedures.  This also applies to students who have received information prior to a test or who have forwarded information to other students prior to a test. Any violation may result in the student’s paper being confiscated by his/her instructor and a grade of zero being recorded for the test.  The student may also forfeit his/her right to make up the test and be subject to disciplinary action.

VISITORS

To ensure the safety of persons and to maintain an educational environment free from disruption, all visitors must show a valid photo and obtain a visitor’s pass from the main desk.  No student will be called out of their assigned period to pick up a delivery of any type including but not limited to food, drinks, clothing items, athletic equipment, etc. Exceptions will be made at the sole discretion of administration.  Moreover, Administration reserves the right to ask questions about any items being dropped off for students during the school day. If bringing medication for a student, individuals must follow the school procedures set forth in the section labeled “Medication”.  Due to insurance reasons, and lack of available space, students may not invite any guests to accompany them to school.  

No visitors are permitted during examination periods or when nearby schools are closed and Valley Central Middle School remains open.

WEAPONS:  GUN FREE SCHOOL ACT

According to Federal Statutes, students are prohibited from possessing weapons which includes, but not limited to, guns, knives of any length, razors, box cutters, explosive devices including fireworks and any object that a student may use to inflict harm on another person.  Students in possession of these objects will be suspended and referred to the Superintendent. The local law enforcement authorities will be informed.

YEARBOOK

The Valley Central Middle School has 100% color yearbook. All yearbooks must be purchased ONLINE only by visiting jostensyearbook.com.  Parents and students will have only until March to place an order.