Tamaqua Area School District K-12 Handbook Table of Contents Introduction Letter to Parents Alma Mater School Calendar Daily Time Schedules Office Hours Emergency School Closing Information School Procedures Assemblies/Pep Rallies Before School Bookbags/Backpacks Breakfast Program Buses Cafeteria Cellular Phones Change of Address Computer Use and Internet Access Policy Dispensing of Medication Dress Code Electronic Devices Elevator Keys (MS and HS only) Emergency Drills/Evacuation Procedures/Fire Drills Emergency Passes (MS and HS only) Equal Opportunity Extracurricular Activities/Eligibility (MS and HS only) Field Trips Fundraising Grading/Honor Roll/Incompletes/Progress Reports/Report Cards Guidance Department Hall Lockers (MS and HS only) Health Services HIV Policy Homework Honors Card (HS only) Insurance Kindergarten Enrollment Late to Class (MS and HS only) Lavatory Procedures (MS and HS only) Library Media Center Lost and Found Physical Education (MS and HS only) PSSA Senior Prom (HS only) Special Education Services Student Assistance Program (SAP) (MS and HS only) Student Debt Student Drivers/Parking (HS only) Student Records/FERPA Study Hall (MS and HS only) Summer School/Summer Tutoring (MS and HS only) Telephones Textbooks Transfers/Withdrawals Tutoring (MS and HS only) Vo-Tech (HS only) Working Papers (HS only) Attendance Absence Procedures Attendance Laws Doctor Requirement Excusal for Appointments Extended Illness Absence/Homebound Instruction Tardiness Unexcused/Unlawful Absence Vacations/Educational Trips
Discipline Code Academic Detentions Alternative Education Program (Grades 7-12) Bullying and Harassment Detention Drug and Alcohol Policy Drug and Alcohol Testing Hazing Reasonable Force/Student Safety Search Procedures Smoking Policy Threats to Student Safety or Building Security Video Surveillance Weapons Dear Parents, As the parent of a Tamaqua Area student, you are a very important person in the success of this school district and especially the educational success of your son or daughter. Students achieve best when parent and school work together. This entire handbook is filled with useful information. However, the following are points of information specifically for parents. SHOW YOUR SUPPORT: Demonstrate that education is important by taking an interest in your child’s education. Attend Open House. Attend some extracurricular activities such as plays, concerts, or sporting events. Be sure you see your student’s report card when it is distributed. EMPHASIZE GOOD ATTENDANCE: Students should try to attend every day. SUPPORT GOOD STUDY HABITS: Students need to learn good study habits. Not only do they need to complete assignments but they also need to study the material. Students should spend time studying every night. In addition, here are some hints to help your son or daughter make the most of his or her education. 1. See that he or she gets sufficient sleep each night – 8 to 10 hours. 2. Be sure he or she has a balanced diet, starting each day with a good breakfast. 3. Instill habits of neatness and cleanliness. 4. Make your home a healthy and stable environment. 5. Provide a place in the home where he or she can work without distraction. 6. Respect your child as an individual. FAQS: Following are frequently asked questions and who can help. Attendance – If a student is sick, call the building office before 9:00 a.m. If a student is absent more than three (3) days, the office can get assignments. For absences of one week or more, please call the guidance office to explain the problem. Teachers – To contact a teacher, call the school office and ask that the teacher call you back when he or she is free. The best time to reach a teacher may be after dismissal time. Teacher email addresses are available on each building web page. You may send an email at any time. Grades – For questions about grades, first contact the individual teacher. If you have additional questions, contact the guidance counselor. For questions about student schedules, promotion, or graduation, contact the guidance counselor. Messages – Students will not be called to the office for phone messages except in an extreme emergency. The office secretary will relay a message to a student when necessary. Special Education – Contact Mrs. Gardiner, Director of Special Education at 570-668-2566. Colleges/Financial Aid – Contact the high school guidance office at 570-668-0155. Vocational Technical School – North Center in Frackville – 570-874-1034 South Center in MarLin – 570-544-4748
“Alma Mater” (To the tune of “Old Heidelberg” from the operetta “Prince and Pilsere”)
Here’s to the school we love so well. Here’s to Tamaqua High. Here’s to the school of Blue and White, Whose colors will always fly. Here’s to her sons, the best on earth, True as the stars above. Here’s to the school that fosters us. Here’s to the school we love. (Chorus) Tamaqua High! Tamaqua High! Thy praise to thee we sing. Your sons so true, and daughters, too Will glory to you bring. Our alma mater, true you are, And though we journey far, The thoughts of you, so good, so true, Our best will help us do. And as the years shall roll along, Still will we bring to thee Stories of glory and honor won, Though scattered from sea to sea. Your sons who already have reached the goal And those in the years to come Will strive to for honors to bring to you. Success will mean work well done.
Mr. Raymond Kinder, Superintendent Mr. Thomas McCabe, High School Principal Mr. Christopher Czapla, Middle School Principal Mr. James Fasnacht, Elementary Principal
Mr. Stephen P. Toth, Assistant Superintendent Mr. Ray E. Lenhart, Assistant High School Principal Mrs. RuthAnn Gardiner, Director of Special Education Mrs. Laura Shook, Assistant Elementary Principal
Tamaqua Area School District Mission Statement: "The Tamaqua Area School District, in partnership with home and community, is committed to empowering students by providing opportunities to achieve their maximum potentials as responsible citizens and productive lifelong learners competing in an ever changing global community."
2017-2018 School Calendar July 3 & 4, 2017 August 16 & 17, 2017 August 21 & 22, 2017 August 28, 2017 September 4, 2017 September 5, 2017 October 9, 2017 October 10, 2017 November 23, 24, and 27, 2017 November 28, 2017 December 25, 2017 - January 1, 2018 January 2, 2018 January 15, 2018 January 16, 2018 February 19, 2018 February 20, 2018 March 29 & 30, April 2 & 3, 2018 April 4, 2018 May 28, 2018 May 29, 2018 May 30, 2018 May 30, 2018 May 31, 2018
Independence Day Holiday – Schools Closed IU Induction Program – New Teachers/Mentors Teacher In-Service Days First Day of School Labor Day, Schools closed Schools Re-open
Teacher In-Service Day Schools Re-open Thanksgiving Holiday – Schools Closed Schools Re-open Christmas Holiday Schools Re-open Teacher In-Service Day Schools Re-open President’s Day Holiday – Schools Closed Schools Re-open Easter Holiday Schools Re-open Memorial Day Holiday – Schools Closed Schools Re-open Last Student Day Graduation Teacher In-Service Day
Go Raider Nation! Adjustments to the calendar can be made with school board approval.
MONTH August September October November December January February March April May TOTAL
Weather Emergency Make-Up Days October 9, 2017 January 15, 2018 February 19, 2018 April 3, 2018 March 29, 2018 April 2, 2018
TEACHER INSERVICE DAYS 2 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 5
4 20 21 19 16 21 19 20 19 21 180
6 20 22 19 16 22 19 20 19 22 185
SCHOOL PROCEDURES DAILY TIME SCHEDULE KINDERGARTEN 8:45 A.M. -11:35 A.M. 12:30 P.M.-3:20 P.M. ELEMENTARY 8:45-3:20 MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOLS Doors Open 7:00 Homeroom 7:35-7:40 Period 1 7:43-8:25 Period 2 8:28-9:10 Period 3 9:13-9:55 Period 4 9:58-10:40 Period 5 10:43-11:25 Period 6 11:28-12:10 Period 7 12:13-12:55 Period 8 12:58-1:40 Period 9 1:43-2:25 OFFICE HOURS School Days Elementary School Office – 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Middle and High School Office – 7:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Middle School Guidance Office – 7:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m. High School Guidance Office – 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Summer Hours Elementary Office – 7:00 a.m.-3:45 p.m. (Monday through Thursday) Middle and High School Office – 7:00 a.m.-3:45 p.m. (Monday through Thursday) High School Guidance Office – 7:00 a.m.-3:45 p.m. (Monday through Thursday) EMERGENCY SCHOOL CLOSING In weather emergencies, for information on late starts and school cancellations, the following stations will be notified: TV WNEP Channel 16 WBRE Channel 28 WYOU Channel 22 Radio WMGH 105 FM WLSH 1410 AM WPPA 1360 AM WAZL/ZMT 1490 AM WAEB 790 AM WFMZ 100.7 FM
ASSEMBLIES At various times throughout the year, special assemblies may be held. Assemblies may be arranged by various groups, but must have the approval of the principal. Students are expected to sit in assigned seats and behave properly during an assembly. Pep Rallies may be held at various times throughout the year to support the school’s athletic teams. As with any assembly, students will be expected to sit in assigned areas and demonstrate appropriate behavior for the event. At a pep rally students are encouraged to show spirit and actively participate. Students who fail to behave appropriately (i.e., throwing objects, using inappropriate language, disrupting the pep rally, showing poor sportsmanship, etc.) will be removed from the pep rally and disciplined according to the school code.
BEFORE SCHOOL Students arriving before the official start of the school day will report to areas designated by each school building. Areas not designated will be off limits to students. BOOK BAGS/BACKPACKS Students may carry clear backpacks to and from school. At the middle and high schools, book bags or backpacks may only be used to transport physical education clothing from the student’s locker to physical education class or to transport a student’s books to and from home to his/her locker. At all other times, book bags or backpacks must remain in the student’s locker. Any educational item or athletic gear brought to and from school will remain in the student's locker during the school day, except to carry items to a designated classroom or to carry gear to a practice or game. If an item requires a cover, a clear bag or a clear utility bag must be used. Advisers, coaches, and/or teachers will provide specific instructions regarding these items and gear. Golf bags, ski gear, band uniforms and musical instruments may be brought to a designated area in the school for inspection and storage. These items must have visible identification labels and will not be accessed during the school day. Advisors/coaches/music teachers will provide directions for specific items. BREAKFAST PROGRAM Breakfast is available for all students daily from 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. in the middle and high school cafeterias, and from 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. in the elementary cafeterias. Students who qualify for a free/reduced lunch will already qualify for a free/reduced breakfast. No additional paperwork is necessary. Breakfast will consist of a bread (ex. bagel, Danish, cereal), fruit and milk. Breakfast prices will be published. BUSES Students who ride bus transportation to and from school are expected to behave properly. It is the concern of the Tamaqua Area School District that all bus-transported students arrive to and from school in a safe and efficient manner. Bus riding is a privilege and students may be suspended from riding the buses. Infractions of the rules will result in disciplinary action, which may include but is not limited to detention. These infractions include, but are not limited to: disrespecting the driver, harassing the driver or other students, moving from seat to seat, using portable music devices, MP3, CD players, throwing objects, and using tobacco. Students will ride their assigned bus and leave the bus only at their designated stops. Students will be picked up at the same morning stop and dropped off at the same afternoon stop for the entire year. Morning and afternoon stops do not need to be the same. Parents/Students may not request alternate pick up or drop off points. It is important to the district that all students arrive to and from school safely. In the event that a student would miss the p.m. bus, the parent should immediately contact the child’s school building office. If there is no answer at the building office, please contact the district transportation coordinator at 668-2570. CAFETERIA A hot lunch program is offered in the school. Lunch menus are provided via the announcements at the middle and high schools and the district website. Menus will be sent home each month with elementary students. Students will eat in an assigned lunch period. Students will report to the cafeteria, sit at their assigned seats, and wait for their table to be called. After all students have been served a lunch and if time allows, students will be permitted to purchase a snack. No food or drinks may be taken from the cafeteria. Students may not have commercially prepared foods delivered to the school. Students are responsible for keeping their table areas clean. Upon completing their meal, students should return their trays, dirty dishes, and silverware to the appropriate area, and dispose of garbage in the receptacles provided. At the conclusion of the lunch period, students will be dismissed by the cafeteria monitor. Appropriate conduct will be expected at all times. Students engaging in inappropriate conduct in the cafeteria, as determined by the cafeteria monitor and/or teacher on duty, will be subject to disciplinary action, which may include but is not limited to detention and/or lunch detention. CELLULAR PHONES Students will be permitted to keep a cellular phone. In the middle and high schools, cellular phones should be secured in the student’s locker, provided that the cellular phone is kept turned off during the school day. Elementary students carrying cellular phones will keep them in their book bags and turned off. Students will not be permitted to carry cellular phones to classes for any reason. Violation of this policy will result in the confiscation of the cellular phone and other related disciplinary action. At the middle and high schools, the consequence for a first offense violation of this policy will include a detention. CHANGE OF ADDRESS It is very important for the school to have correct addresses and phone numbers on file in the office. If a student moves to a new location in the district, his or her parent/guardian should provide the office secretaries with the new address and telephone number. COMPUTER USE AND INTERNET ACCESS POLICY Use of computers in the school is a privilege, not a right. Computers are available for student use during the school day and after school. Internet access will be provided for students with parental consent, in conjunction with the school district’s
Internet Access Policy #815, adopted in 2001. In accordance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), the school district utilizes technology protection measures to block and filter inappropriate materials. Parents and students should familiarize themselves with the district’s Internet Access Policy, which is given to all students on the first day of school. Students engaging in computer activities, which violate the Internet Access Policy, will be subject to the appropriate discipline as defined in the school’s discipline code and school board policy. See District web page for complete policy. DISPENSING OF MEDICATION Students are not permitted to possess prescription or over-the-counter medications while in school. If a student must use medication at school, that student shall report to the nurse’s office immediately upon arrival to school and present the medication to the nurse with written parent and physician permission. Failure to do so would render the student in violation of the school district’s drug and alcohol policy. That student would be subject to discipline in accordance with the school’s discipline code and school board policy. DRESS CODE This is a condensed version of the Tamaqua Area School District’s Dress and Grooming Policy. A copy of the entire policy is available in each building office and online at www.tamaqua.k12.pa.us. All students are required to abide by the most recently adopted Dress and Grooming policy. According to the Tamaqua Area School District’s Discipline Code, subsection “Standards of Conduct,” students should “dress and groom to meet fair standards of safety and health and not to cause a disruption to the educational process.” Simply stated, student dress should be such that decency and safety are not compromised for comfort or social impact. Below are some guidelines to which students should adhere: All students in grades K-12 shall be subject to a uniform dress code consisting of navy or tan pants, a navy or white shirt, and brown, black or burgundy shoes. Students may wear white, brown, black, tan or navy sneakers. Shirts will be long or short sleeved, pullover, golf-style shirts with a collar. Students may opt to wear a white dress shirt, buttoned to the base of the neck and tucked in. Students may opt to wear a navy or white turtleneck or t-shirt under the regulation golf-style shirt. Undershirts/undergarments may only be white or navy in color and must be tucked into the pants or skirt. Pants must be straight-legged dress or casual pants. Pants may not be of the cargo or carpenter style with pockets below the hips, loops, straps, elastic ankles, or other comparable adornments. Denim pants, jeans, capris pants or shorts may not be worn. Students may wear knee-length skirts or jumpers in tan or navy. Appropriate footwear must be worn at all times. Sneakers must be white, brown, black, grey, tan or navy with minimal variation. (Example: A pink Nike Swoosh on a white sneaker is acceptable.) Shoelaces must be the same color as the sneaker. No pictures, patterns or words are permitted. Laces must be solid and match the primary sneaker color. Shoes and sneakers may not light up or have wheels. Shoes must have matching laces and must be close-toed. Shoes with excessive heels, boots and sandals are prohibited. All footwear must have a back that secures the shoe to the foot. Socks may be navy, black, brown, tan or white. For physical education, students in the middle and high school are expected to wear a t-shirt that covers the waistline and has sleeves, knee length shorts, wind pants or jogging pants worn at the waistline, and socks and sneakers. All shirts must have sleeves, which cover the shoulders. Tank tops, sleeveless tops, shells, mesh tops, sheer tops, bare midriffs or any other garments that expose the upper torso will not be permitted. Due to the educational environment at the elementary level and requirements for physical education and other activities such as recess, students in grades k-5 will be permitted the following accommodations: tan or navy, kneelength shorts will be permitted; and boots will be permitted in inclement weather. Regulation shirts will not contain insignias or logos. No messages, written or symbolic will be permitted, including but not limited to drug, alcohol or tobacco messages, references to illegal substances, implications of an obscene or sexual nature, negative comments about another’s culture, references to racist, hate groups, or violence. Jewelry, which may be inappropriate or pose a danger to the safety and welfare of the student or others students or staff or causes an interruption of the educational process, will be prohibited. Earrings and body rings worn at locations other than the ears are not allowed. Chains not designed as jewelry are not permitted. Hair coloring of a fluorescent or non-typical color shall not be permitted. Hats, handkerchiefs or other similar headwear may not be worn in the school building during regular hours except for religious or health reasons. Sunglasses are not permitted indoors. Accessories deemed to be distractive, disruptive, or offensive in nature will not be permitted. Purses may not exceed 8” by 11” in size. Students or their parents who wish to apply for an exemption from this policy or who would like to request financial assistance may pick up the appropriate forms in the building or district offices. See District web page for complete policy. ELECTRONIC DEVICES MP3 players, radios, cameras, audio and video recorders, pagers, etc. are not permitted to be used except when permitted by a teacher or principal for class projects or special circumstances. There is no reason to have these devices in school, but if brought to school, these items should be kept in a locker. ELEVATOR KEYS Elevator keys are available for students in the middle and high school who have valid medical reasons. Keys may be borrowed from the school office and are to be returned at the end of every day. A student with a key may allow one other student on the elevator if that student is needed to carry books. Students not returning elevator keys may not have further keys issued. Such student may be assigned to a teacher for use of the elevator. A fee of $5.00 will be charged for lost keys.
EMERGENCY DRILLS/EVACUATIONS PROCEDURES/FIRE DRILLS Emergency drills will be conducted for various reasons during the school year. Evacuations may occur to various areas of school district grounds. Procedures are displayed in each classroom and will be practiced during the school year. Students should become familiar with these procedures. In conjunction with Tamaqua Area School District’s Safe Schools Program and in an effort to facilitate access to the high school and middle school complex by emergency personnel in the event of a crisis situation, all public entranceways/exits have been clearly identified and marked as indicated below. During an evacuation, all bags with the student should be taken, but students should not retrieve any materials from lockers. A. B. C. D. E. F. G. H. I. J.
Main entrance to high school Guidance entrance at high school Cafeteria entrance at high school Back lobby of high school/handicap entrance Entrance between middle and high school/handicap entrance Cafeteria entrance at middle school Main entrance to middle school TASD auditorium TASD athletic center Entrance between athletic center and high school gymnasium
Fire drills are conducted regularly throughout the year. Directions for fire drills are posted in each room. Students must leave the building quietly and quickly and keep moving until every pupil has reached the designated spot. Each teacher will accompany his students to safety. No one may re-enter the building until the return signal is given. EMERGENCY PASSES (HS & MS ONLY) In an effort to ensure student safety and to maximize academic time, students will not be permitted to leave an assigned classroom during a class period except for emergencies. Such emergencies may include, but are not limited to, visiting the nurse, guidance counselor or principal, or using the lavatory when the regular three-minute pass time is not sufficient to meet the student’s need. Students in the hallways during class time must be in possession of an approved emergency pass.
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY Tamaqua Area School District is an equal opportunity education institution and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, or handicap in its activities, programs, or employment practices as required by Title VI, Title IX, and Section 504. For information regarding civil rights, grievance procedures, or services, activities and facilities that are accessible to and useable by handicapped persons, contact Mrs. Carol Makuta, Superintendent, Tamaqua Area School District. EXTRACURRICULAR/ATHLETIC ACTIVITIES (MS AND HS ONLY) For students wanting to become involved in school life outside of the classroom, extracurricular activities may be just what you are looking for. Most activities are open to boys and girls. Some may require an audition or try out as a prerequisite. Clubs may be offered during period 9 or after school. The middle school and high school offer a number of athletic opportunities that will appeal to varied athletic levels and preferences. Equal attention is devoted to girls’ and boys’ athletics programs. For more information and a listing of extracurricular offerings and athletic programs, see the District web site. ELIGIBILITY Tamaqua Area School District follows the PIAA regulations for eligibility for all after school extracurricular activities and athletics. For students involved in a sport or after school activity, ineligibility to participate will occur if the student is failing a minimum of two major subjects or one major and two minor subjects during the eligible period. Students failing as per the aforementioned guidelines at the end of a marking period will be rendered ineligible for a period of 15 days. Ineligible students may participate in a practice or rehearsal during an ineligible period, but may not participate in an athletic or extracurricular competition or performance. EXTRACURRICULAR DRUG AND ALCOHOL POLICY Participation in athletics and extracurricular activities is a privilege at Tamaqua and not a right. Participants are expected to uphold the highest of standards at all times, because they will be looked up to by peers, siblings, youngsters, and the community. Thus, the following rules and regulations have been established by the Tamaqua Area School District for all extracurricular/athletic activities. The Tamaqua Area School District does not condone the use of any of the following substances at any time; however, the rules which have been established will be in effect from the first day of the activity until the final day of the activity as set forth by the school calendar.
RULES 1. The possession or use of tobacco in any way is prohibited at all times. 2. The possession and/or consumption of alcoholic beverages and the possession, usage, or dealing of drugs are prohibited at all times. 3. The use of anabolic steroids by any students involved in any school-related activity is prohibited at all times. For a violation of Rule 1 regarding tobacco, the student will be dealt with in the following manner: 1st Offense: 1. Parents will be contacted. 2. Student will be suspended for one game. 2nd Offense: 1. Parents will be contacted 2. Student will be suspended from three games. 3rd Offense: 1. Student will be dismissed from the team. For a violation of Rule 2 regarding alcohol or drugs, the student will be dealt with in the following manner: 1st Offense: 1. Parents will be contacted. 2. Student must obtain a D&A assessment and submit to its findings. 3. Student will be suspended from the activity in which the student participates for fifteen consecutive practice or game days, and cannot attend practice. 2nd Offense: 1. Parents will be contacted. 2. Student will be dismissed from the team. 3rd Offense: 1. Student will be suspended from all athletics for a period of one year from the date of the offense. For a violation of Rule 3 regarding anabolic steroids or performance enhancing drugs, the student will be dealt with in the following manner: 1st Offense: 1. Parents will be contacted. 2. Student will be suspended from participating in school athletics for the remainder of the school year. 2nd Offense: 3rd Offense:
1. Parents will be contacted. 2. Student will be suspended from participating in school athletics for the remainder of the school year and the following school year. 1. Parents will be contacted. 2. Student will be permanently suspended from participating in all school activities.
No student shall be eligible to resume participation in school extracurricular/athletic activities unless there has been a medical determination that no residual evidence of steroids exists. The student must participate in counseling, rehabilitation, testing or other program as a condition of reinstatement into any school extracurricular/athletic activities.
PROCEDURE When a coach or advisor has reason to believe that a student has committed a drug or alcohol infraction, the coach or advisor should meet with the athletic director and principal to inform them of the evidence. If the evidence is determined to be sufficient to proceed, the following steps will be taken: 1. A meeting with the student, coach or advisor, and the athletic director or principal will occur. At this meeting the student will be confronted with the charges and the evidence. The student will be informed of the penalty and then be given an opportunity to respond to the charges. 2. The student will receive a letter after the hearing to inform him/her of the action to be taken. A letter will also be mailed to parents, the coach or advisor, the athletic director, the superintendent, the secretary of the school board, and the principal. A copy of the letter will be placed in the student’s discipline file. 3.Parents have a right to meet with the principal, coach or advisor, and athletic director to discuss this matter within five days of the student meeting. PHYSICAL EXAMINATIONS FOR ATHLETICS According to Article V, Section 1 of the PIAA bylaws, no pupil shall be eligible to represent his/her school in any interscholastic athletic contest unless that pupil has been examined by a licensed physician of medicine or a certified school nurse practitioner. Physical exams will be available annually each summer through the school district at a minimal cost to parents. SPECTATOR RESPONSIBILITY Spectators are encouraged to attend athletic events and support the students who are participating on school teams. The Tamaqua Area School District expects the best decorum and sportsmanship of their athletes and spectators. Spectators should refrain from foul language, booing, whistling, shouting, or showing any poor behavior toward the athletes, cheerleaders, coaches or the referees. Spectators are reminded that the purpose of school athletics is for young people to enjoy themselves and their sport. TRANSPORTATION FOR ATHLETICS Members of athletic teams must travel to and from contests with their respective teams on the bus. Exceptions to this rule are made only when a student fills out an “Alternate Disembarkment” form signed by the parent and head coach. This form will notify school personnel of the change in transportation arrangements.
DRUG/ALCOHOL TESTING POLICY The design of this policy is to create and maintain a safe environment for students, to prevent hazards, and to provide access for student assistance who participate in the many extra-curricular and privileges offered at Tamaqua Area. This policy also presents parents the opportunity to monitor their child on a voluntary basis. There are four types of testing comprised in this policy. Random Testing, Voluntary Testing, Reasonable-Suspicion Testing, and Return to Activity Testing. Students MUST be part of the testing pool in order to be tested. Parental signatures are required prior to testing and are required for any student to become part of a team, club, activity, or have any privilege. If a student/parent does not wish to take part in testing, that student will NOT be able to participate with a team, club, activity, or have any privilege allowed by Tamaqua Area. Testing procedures are as follows: All participants are required to attend the initial mandatory registration dates for random drug testing. Participants who meet the criteria to be tested will be placed in a random testing pool prior to becoming part of a team, club, activity, or have any privilege. Students in the testing pool will then be put into a monthly lottery system. A designated number of students (ex. 20) who are part of the lottery pool will be tested on a monthly basis. Students who are tested will be identified by photo ID or by building administrator/testing administrator. Violations, if students are in the testing pool, will be remediated at three levels. The first violation for a student will result in suspension from a team, club, activity, or have any privilege for 45 calendar days. A SAP recommendation will also accompany this first violation. A second violation will result in suspension from a team, club, activity, or have any privilege for 1 calendar year (Ex. Aug. 30, 2010-Aug. 29, 2011.) Students will be automatically referred to the SAP team following a second violation. A third violation will result in a full suspension from any team, club, activity, or have any privilege for the duration of time as a student at Tamaqua Area. FIELD TRIPS Students going on school-sponsored field trips are required to turn in a signed permission slip to the teacher, advisor or sponsor of the trip prior to the time of the trip. Students are responsible for any work missed. Students are expected to conduct themselves properly and dress properly. Students should be in dress code, unless alternate dress is approved by the building principal. The discipline code is in effect while students are on a school -sponsored field trip. Generally, no field trips will be conducted during the final two weeks of school. FUNDRAISING There are times when certain organizations will need funds to operate. Fundraisers are a popular and effective means to accomplish this end. The superintendent reserves the right to approve or reject requests for raising money. Any club, sport, or organization in the school that wishes to initiate one of these selling projects must have their advisor submit a request form to the building principal. At no time can a student or group sell anything in the school without first following these procedures. Students may not sell things in the school for non-school organizations without the permission of the principal. GRADING/HONOR ROLL/INCOMPLETES/PROGRESS REPORTS/REPORT CARDS All students will be graded using a numerical system. Report cards will report a numerical average in each course according to the following schedule: A – Excellent 93-100 B – Good 86-92 C – Fair 78-85 D – Poor 70-77 F – Failing 0-69 Comments explain why a student received the grade recorded. Student averages for the quarter and overall average are determined by multiplying the numerical grade by the number of credits to determine quality points. The total quality points are then divided by the total credits to determine the overall average. Parents having questions regarding a student’s grades may contact the student’s teacher through the building secretary or via the district’s website, which can be accessed at www.tamaqua.k12.pa.us
Weighted Grades (H.S. Only)
Grades are weighted in designated courses by multiplying the final quarter average by an assigned multiplier based on the course. Below are designated course weights determined by identification as: Regular, Honors, Dual Enrollment, or Advanced Placement (A.P.). Course
Dual Enrollment 1.02
Advanced Placement 1.03
Example: A.P. U.S. History 94% Qtr. 3 * 1.03 = 96.82%
Class ranking and selection of salutatorian and valedictorian from a student with either honors’ or high honors’ distinction with the highest weighted G.P.A. This selection will begin with the graduating class of 2016. HONOR ROLL Tamaqua Area Middle and High Schools have a three-tiered honor roll: Highest Honors – an average of 95% or above with no grade below a 93% High Honors – an average of 90% or above with no grade lower than an 86% Honors – an average of 86% or above with no grade lower than a 78% Tamaqua Area Elementary Schools have a two-tiered honor roll: Straight A’s – an elementary student in 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade earns a 93% or higher in all subject areas. Students must also achieve an S- (Satisfactory minus rating) or higher in all specials. Honors – an elementary student in 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade earns at least four A’s (93-100%) and up to two B’s (86-92%) in all subject areas. Students must also achieve an S-(Satisfactory minus rating) or higher in all specials. INCOMPLETES Incomplete grades are generally given only for unusual circumstances such as a long-term illness. Students who receive an incomplete grade in a course should immediately see the teacher assigning that grade and make arrangements to complete missing work as soon as possible. Incompletes should be made up within three weeks of the time that report cards are issued. PROGRESS REPORTS Progress reports are sent home midway through each marking period to inform parents when a student is doing poorly in a class. Some teachers may also send home progress reports for improvement and exceptional work. Parents are encouraged to contact their child’s teacher should they receive notification of a failing grade or poor effort. REPORT CARDS Tamaqua Area School District students receive grade reports four times a year. These reports are given to the students at the end of the day, and students are expected to take them home to their parents. Elementary and middle school students should return a signed report card within three school days. GUIDANCE DEPARTMENT Counselors are available for students and parents throughout the school day. Students may stop in to the guidance office and request an appointment with the counselor. It is best to stop after school or during a study hall. Parents are advised to call ahead to arrange an appointment to guarantee that the counselor will be available at that time. For specific information regarding curriculum, please see the individual building web page. HIGH SCHOOL GUIDANCE Information regarding the following topics is available online through the district website at www.tamaqua.k12.pa.us select high school and guidance: Achievement Dinner Final Exams Appointments Report Cards/Schedules Class Rank Midterm Progress Reports College Information Incompletes College Testing Honor Roll
College Visitation/Job Shadowing Financial Aid/Scholarships Course Dropping Procedures Curriculum Dual Enrollment
Makeup Credits Promotion Policy/Graduation Requirements Standardized Testing Transcripts Vo-Tech School
HALL LOCKERS (MS AND HS ONLY) Each student will be assigned a locker on the first day of school and will be given the combination for that locker. Students are responsible for keeping their lockers clean and organized. Improper displays on the inside or outside of the locker, such as graffiti, is a Level I offense requiring disciplinary action. Deliberate damage to the locker itself is a Level III offense, vandalism, requiring restitution for damage and disciplinary action. To ensure the safety of private belongings, students should not share lockers. Hall lockers are school property. Students/parents must realize that school officials can randomly inspect school lockers without announcement. These inspections can include random, periodic, or sweeping searches; thus, privacy in school lockers is limited. HEALTH SERVICES The health services of this school system are designed to examine students and make recommendations for treatment of any gross physical fault found. State mandated screenings for vision and growth are done annually. Hearing screenings are conducted in grades K, 1, 2, 3, 7, and 11 and as needed should a concern arise. Physical exams are provided in grades K, 6 and 11. Dental exams are provided in grades 1, 3, and 7. Immunizations should be up to date at the time of kindergarten enrollment. Varicella and Hepititis B are required in grade 7. In the event that a student’s illness or injury should prevent him from attending school, it is suggested that you seek the services of your family physician in treating such conditions. The school nurse does provide first aid and stands ready to help in an emergency. Students who need to see the school nurse should report to class first and request a pass to the nurse’s office. Only in an emergency should a student report to the nurse without first reporting to a scheduled class. The school does not provide any medications, including pain relievers such as Tylenol. Prescriptions and over-the-counter medications brought to the school by students will be administered if they are in the original container and written parental and physician permission is provided. Any student who is required to carry and self-administer an inhaler or sting kit, also requires written parental and physician permission. Otherwise, students are not permitted to carry medications with them. HIV POLICY Board Policy 203.1 addresses HIV infection, including dissemination of information, rights of infected students, infection control procedures, confidentiality, staff development, and prevention education, and is available upon request. See District web page for complete policy. HOMEWORK Homework is an important part of the school curriculum. Students are expected to complete their assigned work. Students who continually fail to complete assignments may be subject to an academic detention assigned by the appropriate teacher and a grade deduction. Teachers and parents should be in contact to discuss homework problems. Parents are welcome to come to the school or call to discuss homework problems. Parents may be asked to come to school if homework is not completed or is habitually incomplete. HONORS CARD (HS ONLY) The honors privilege program is sponsored by the student government (TASGA) and is a program for eligible juniors and seniors. Students must meet the standards set forth by TASGA. Students who meet the criteria for an honors card will have their application reviewed by an honors card committee appointed by the student government. The privileges accorded these students include being allowed to leave the building during free time. Students who have a study hall in the beginning of the day are also allowed to arrive late. Honors card students are not required to attend study hall but may report directly to the library or a classroom with permission and remain there the entire period or may report to the lobby. More specific information is available from student government. TAMAQUA AREA HIGH SCHOOL ARTICLE I: ELIGIBILITY FOR HONOR CARDS A. B.
The Program is for all juniors and all seniors. Honor Cards are distributed on a quarterly basis and the Tamaqua Area Student Government Association (TASGA) maintains the program. The TASGA advisor oversees the honor card program. Academic eligibility is determined by the following: 1. Students must carry 5 FULL TIME CLASSES (classes that meet 5 times a week) AND Physical Education during every quarter that they hold an honor card AND earned the quarterly grade being utilized. 2. A student must have a 92% quarterly GPA to be eligible for their honor card and no more than one “C” (grade between a 78% and 85%) on their report card. Report cards that contain one or more “Ds” (grades of 70%77%) will be denied application. 3. Students who are taking one or more Advanced Placement or Dual Enrollment (college credit) classes must have a 90% quarterly GPA and nor more than one “C” and no “Ds.” 4. Students must maintain a 78% average on midterms and finals to be eligible Acceptance into the Program 1. Students who meet the academic requirements must have a “clean” discipline record. The Honor Card Review Committee (HCRC) reserves the right to withhold honor cards on the recommendation of faculty and
2. 3. 4.
administration for disciplinary issues in any quarter of the present school year or the final quarter of the preceding school year (See Article V). Students who meet the academic requirements are required to be actively involved in a school activity. School activities are defined as non-graded, extracurricular activities that do not meet during the regular school day. Study halls are not defined as part of the regular school day. Any act, either in school or out of school, that causes dishonor to the program will be reviewed by the HCRC. The character and academic progress of all honor card students will continue to be reviewed during the time the student has the privilege. Any student who receives an honor card but has not scored proficient or advanced on their Keystone Exams must attend scheduled remediation. ARTICLE II: Procedure for Application
Students applying for their quarterly honor card will submit their report card for the preceding quarter to the TASGA executive board and advisor for verification during the time determined by the TASGA advisor. HONOR CARD APPLICATIONS THAT ARE TUNRED IN LATE SHALL NOT BE ACCEPTED. Grades are kept strictly confidential. B. Honor card applicants must fill out a parental permission form during the 1st quarter that they hold their honor card for that year. C. Honor card applicants must have TWO teacher signatures on their initial application for that year. D. Honor Card students must have the signature of the club advisor for the extracurricular activity they are involved in for that quarter. If activities for quarters change with each new honor card application so must the signature of the respective advisor. E. Report cards and permission slips will be filed and maintained by the Secretary of TASGA. F. Honor Card privileges go into effect after the quarterly meeting of all honor card applicants. All applicants MUST be present at the quarterly meeting. Failure to attend the quarterly meeting without a legitimate excuse will result in denial of the honor card for that quarter.
ARTICLE III: The Honor Card Review Committee (HCRC) A.
Composition: 1. The Chairperson of the HCRC will be the advisor of TASGA. The Chair is responsible for setting, chairing, and running meetings. The Chair has no vote except in the case of a tie. The Chairperson is responsible for carrying out the decisions of the HCRC. 2. There will be 16 members of the HCRC: a. Permanent faculty members are selected by the respective departments of the high school faculty. There are 8 permanent members: Business, Fine Arts, Foreign Language, Guidance/Support Staff, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. Members shall be replaced by departments as needed and shall have one vote each. b. There will be 4 junior members of the HCRC. The junior members will be nominated by the existing 4 senior members of the HCRC and approved by the permanent faculty members by a simple majority vote. The 4 junior members will be the senior members the following year. If a student member resigns the HCRC a new member from that grade will be nominated by the grade-level members of the HCRC and approved by simple majority of the permanent faculty members. Student members should have had their honor card at some point and be students who exemplify the characteristics of an honor card student. Each student member has one vote. Procedure: 1. Meetings will be held in accordance with basic parliamentary procedure/ Robert’s Rules. 2. Votes that need to be taken will be decided by simple majority. 3. Minutes of each meeting will be taken by a rotating student member. Meetings are NOT public and discussion will remain strictly confidential amongst the members of the HCRC. Responsibilities: 1. It is the responsibility of the HCRC to uphold the academic and character requirements needed to attain an honor card. 2. Issues or violations in honor card requirements will be brought before the committee by the advisor or members at the bequest of faculty, staff, administration, TASGA, or members of the student body. ARTCILE IV: Privileges/Restrictions
A. Privileges of an Honor Card Honor card students may: 1. Report to the lobby in lieu of study hall or lunch after the study hall monitor and/or lunch monitor is aware that the student has an honor card. 2. Use the computer lab in lieu of a study hall as long as other students with passes are not denied using a computer. 3. Leave the building during a study hall. 4. Leave the building during a lunch period or eat their lunch in the lobby. 5. Bring in food for other honor card students who are eating lunch the same period as them in the lobby.
Leave the building early if their last period(s) of the day are study halls. Come into the building for their first scheduled class of the day. For example, if an honor card student has a 1st period study hall they do not have to come to school until the beginning of 2nd period. However, late arrival students MUST make their homeroom teachers aware of their status. Late arrivals are responsible for communicating with the school when they are going o be absent. Late arrivals MUST sign into the office upon arrival to prove their attendance. All late arrivals must sign a list at the quarterly honor card meeting. B. Restrictions of an Honor Card Honor Card students may NOT: 1. Wander the halls. Honor card students who are in the building are either in the lobby or in the computer lab. 2. Interrupt classes. 3. Bring in food for non-honor card students. 4. Take food out of the cafeteria. 5. Leave the cafeteria or a study hall early if they reported to that area initially. 6. Bring food into the cafeteria for anyone other than themselves. 7. Enable non-honor card students to take part in the privileges of the honor card. ARTICLE V: Loss of Privileges A.
Students can lose their honor card for the following: 1. Any academic behavior brought to the HCRC deemed unbecoming an honor cards student will be reviewed. This includes failing or below average performance as determined by the instructor of that course. 2. Detentions by administration will be reviewed and discussed by the HCRC. Decisions on detentions will be based on past practice and other statutes formerly set in the minutes by the HCRC. 3. Saturday Detentions/In-School Suspensions will result in immediate loss of privileges for the remaining quarter and next eligible quarter. 4. Out-of-School Suspension will result in the loss of privileges for the remainder of the year and possibly the next year as determined by the HCRC. 5. No longer being involved in an extracurricular activity (i.e. quitting a club or sport). 6. Out of school behavior brought to the attention of the HCRC deemed unbecoming an honor card student will be reviewed. 7. Parents can request loss or suspension of privileges. 8. Any disciplinary problem brought to the HCRC by faculty and staff will be reviewed. Student Appeals/Rights 1. The student has the right to appear before the committee while under review. 2. The student has the right to hear the offense(s) in question and the right to know their accuser. 3. The student has the right to respond to accusations and bring witnesses while under review. 4. The student has the right to appeal the decision of the HCRC. ARTICLE VII: Amendments/Changes
Any changes or amendments to the Honor Card Program of Tamaqua Area High School will be instituted by TASGA, approved by the HCRC (or vice versa), and pass administrative approval. INSURANCE Student accident insurance may be purchased through the school. Every student will be given information about this program in the beginning of the school year. The school has insurance, which will cover any student injured while participating in an extracurricular activity. If a student is injured, he/she should come to the main office to pick up a student insurance form. KINDERGARTEN ENROLLMENT All persons between the ages of five and twenty-one years of age whose legal residence is within the Tamaqua Area School District are entitled to the privilege of kindergarten, elementary, and secondary schools free of tuition. Children who are legal residents of the Tamaqua Area School District and who will have attained the age of five years before September 1st may be admitted to kindergarten and children who have attained the age of six years before September 1st may be admitted to first grade at the beginning of such school year unless admission is postponed by the school psychologist. Parents are not required to send children to school until they are eight years old. At the age of eight, school attendance is compulsory. Each student must provide proof of age, such as a birth certificate, at the time of registration in the public schools. Registration is held each spring. The exact dates and locations will be announced in the local newspaper along with age and eligibility requirements. Children who attend the Tamaqua Area kindergarten need not register for first grade. Parents must present a birth or baptismal certificate, immunization record, and proof of residence as part of a child’s eligibility to enroll. LATE TO CLASS (MS AND HS ONLY) Students are given three minutes to pass from one class to the next, and students are expected to be in the classroom before the bell rings to start the class. Students who are late to class are subject to disciplinary action. LAVATORY PROCEDURES (MS AND HS ONLY) Students are required to use the lavatories between class periods. Students will only use the lavatory during a class period in an emergency, when the regular three-minute pass time is not sufficient to meet the student’s needs. In the middle and high school,
if signing out from a class, the student must gain permission from the teacher and then sign out of the classroom, using the emergency pass. Students should always use the lavatory in closest proximity to their assigned classroom. High school students who need to use the restrooms during class periods must sign out and use the restrooms located on the second floor. LIBRARY MEDIA CENTER A library is a reservoir of information giving opportunity to those who would draw on its supply. Students should acquire the habit of visiting the library regularly and develop skills in the use of its resources. The library media center is open to students at the middle and high school each school day from 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Using the library is a privilege and not a right. As such, proper behavior must be exhibited at all times or this privilege may be revoked. Additional information regarding library procedures can be found on the individual building web pages. LOST AND FOUND Each building has a designated area for Lost and Found. Students should check with a secretary for a missing item. Missing items should be brought to the office to be placed in the lost and found.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION (MS AND HS ONLY) All students will be scheduled to take physical education. In the high school, physical education is a requirement for graduation. Students in 9th and 10th grade must take swimming. Students are to wear shorts or sweat pants and a t-shirt for most activities. Sneakers are required in the gymnasium. Students who fail to dress for physical education class will receive a zero for that period. An accumulation of three zeros may result in an academic detention to make up the missed class. Additional detentions may be assigned for each successive zero accumulated. Physical education cannot be made up by doing homework; therefore, students are required to make up missed classes during study hall or after school. Classes not made up will result in a grade deduction. Middle school students who fail academic subjects may be assigned to supplemental coursework in lieu of specials. ADAPTIVE PHYSICAL EDUCATION All students are required to take physical education. Students who cannot participate in normal activities must have a physician’s request to participate in alternative activities. The school will adapt the physical education program to the student’s needs. A student with a health or injury problem should pick up an adaptive physical education form in the main office, the nurse’s office, or from the physical education teacher. This form must be filled out by a physician and returned to school before an adaptive physical education program will be considered. GYM LOCKERS Lockers are available in the gym for student use. The lockers do not have locks on them. It is suggested that valuables be left at home; however, students who have valuables should give them to the gym teacher to secure in the gym office or bring in a combination lock, which can be used to secure a gym locker. The school is not responsible for stolen items. Gym lockers are school property. Students and parents must realize that school officials can randomly inspect school lockers, including gym lockers. THE PSSA The PSSA, Pennsylvania System of Standardized Assessment, is a standards-based assessment administered in all Pennsylvania public schools. There are four content-specific assessments including reading, math, science and writing. Students are identified as performing in one of four levels: advanced, proficient, basic and below basic. The goal is for all students to be proficient or advanced – meaning that they have mastered Pennsylvania’s assessment anchor content standards at their grade level. Individual student scores, provided only to their respective schools and to their families, can be used to assist teachers in identifying students who may be in need of additional educational opportunities, and school scores provide information to schools and districts for curriculum and instruction improvement discussions and planning. TESTING SCHEDULE: Spring Reading – Grades 3 through 8 Math – Grades 3 through 8 Science – Grades 4, 8 Writing – Grades 5, 8
The Keystone Exams The Keystone Exams, Pennsylvania System of Standardized Assessment, is a standards-based assessment administered in all Pennsylvania public schools (Grades 8-12). There are three content-specific assessments including: Algebra 1, Biology and Literature. All students will take the Keystone Exams as they complete Algebra 1, Biology, or Literature 10. Students are eligible to take the Keystone Exam multiple times. Students are identified as performing in one of four levels: advanced, proficient, basic and below basic. The goal is for all students to be proficient or advanced – meaning that they have mastered Pennsylvania’s assessment anchor content standards at their grade level. Individual student scores, provided only to their respective schools and to their families, can be used to assist teachers in identifying students who may be in need of additional educational opportunities, and school scores provide information to schools and districts for curriculum and instruction improvement discussions and planning. Remediation in specific subject areas will be mandatory for all students who are not advanced or proficient in any test. Remediation may include individual courses, tutoring, and progress monitoring. KEYSTONE TESTING SCHDULE
Fall: Algebra 1, Biology and Literature Spring: Algebra 1, Biology and Literature SENIOR PROM (HS ONLY) The senior prom is the culminating social event of your high school career. It is the last time the entire senior class is together for a formal dance. This experience should be a special one unmarred by tasteless or crude behavior. We want your prom to be the best it can be. Students must be in a senior homeroom and carry the required amount of credits to be considered a senior to attend the prom. No one 21 or older is permitted to attend the Prom, unless approved by the HS Principal. Behavior that may endanger the safety or detract from the enjoyment of those attending the prom will not be tolerated. Please remember that the senior prom is a school sponsored function and misconduct is subject to punishment under the discipline code of the Tamaqua Area School District. SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES The Tamaqua Area School District, in conjunction with Schuylkill Intermediate Unit 29, provides a free appropriate education to students identified with special education needs. The comprehensive programs and services provided include the following, all at no cost to the parent or guardian. 1. Identification procedures, which include screening as well as in depth, comprehensive, educational evaluations. 2. Provision of Individual Education Plans (IEP), based on a student’s eligibility, designed to yield educational benefit and progress for the individual student within the school’s curriculum. 3. Related services, such as occupational and physical therapy, based on an identified need in order for the student to make meaningful progress in his/her individual education plan. 4. Related aids, services, or accommodations for students identified as “Protected Handicapped” in order for them to participate in and obtain benefits from the school’s educational program. 5. Preschool programs and services for children, ages 3 through 5, which include screening evaluations, programs, related services, parent consultation, and referral to community agencies. Anyone with questions regarding programs and/or services for eligible students with special needs or thought to be exceptional may contact Mrs. RuthAnn Gardiner, Director of Special Education at 570-668-2566 or Mrs. Carol Makuta, Superintendent at 570-668-2570. STUDENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS (SAP) (MS AND HIS ONLY) The Student Assistance Program (SAP) is designed to help students and families overcome problems, which inhibit learning. SAP trained faculty members participate on the SAP team along with the school principal, counselors and nurse. The team meets weekly with representatives from county agencies to discuss students with problems. The team remains in contact with parents, offering assistance when recommended. Students may be referred to the team by faculty, parents, other students, or themselves. STUDENT DEBTS Student bills for lost or damaged books, library fines, shop fees, etc. are expected to be paid promptly. Students will not receive year-end report cards until all debts are paid. Middle and high school shop fees should be paid directly to the teacher prior to beginning a project. STUDENT DRIVERS /PARKING (HS ONLY) All students who drive to school are expected to register their cars with the office. When students register their cars, they may be given a parking tag, which is to be hung on the front mirror. The parking lot is Tamaqua School District property. Proper parking and driving are expected. There will be a ten- dollar ($10) fee for the parking tag. This fee will not be refunded when the tag is returned. Any vehicle parked on school district property must have a tag. The tags are not to be sold or transferred to any other student. The tag may only be used on the registered vehicle. Students registering to park on school property will be assigned a number slot in either the main or dirt student lots. Due to limited space, only seniors may register to park at the start of any school year. All vehicles parked on school district property are subject to inspection and search according to district policy. In the event someone takes your parking place, report immediately to the office, in order to have the responsible party remove his or her vehicle. DO NOT PARK IN ANY OTHER ASSIGNED PARKING PLACE AT ANY TIME. Students may not park in front of the school. Students who do not park on school property also must register their vehicles. They do not need a parking tag if they park off school property; however, the make, model, and license must be registered. Students who drive to school should immediately park their cars either in the lot or on the street. Students should not cruise around the school and especially have no reason to be on the road behind the school. Violators are subject to disciplinary action and/or arrest. Students violating this policy can lose their driving privileges and face other disciplinary actions. Cars parked on school property that do not have tags are subject to towing STUDENT RECORDS The school district will maintain educational records for all students for legitimate educational purposes. Board Policy 216 addresses the rights of parents, guardians and eligible students to inspect and review student records. This policy is available on the District website. Information regarding FERPA will be provided to students on the first day of school. STUDY HALLS (MS AND HS ONLY) Students who are not assigned to a regularly scheduled class may be assigned to a study hall in the cafeteria, LGI (MS Only) or a classroom. Students are expected to report to study hall with schoolwork or other related assignments. Students may also be scheduled for academic tutoring during a study hall. Students desiring to leave study hall for another area must present a pass to the study hall teacher at the beginning of the period. Study halls should be quiet and orderly. At the beginning of each marking period in the middle school, students will be required to utilize study halls to read AR books until reaching the required marking period points. Students will then be permitted to use the study hall for other work.
SUMMER SCHOOL/SUMMER TUTORING (MS AND HS ONLY) Summer school is offered each year through the Schuylkill Intermediate Unit. Students wishing to participate must first receive approval from the principal and must have earned a minimum grade of 50% in the course they wish to make up. Information about summer school is available in the guidance office. There is a fee for summer school and transportation is not provided. From time to time summer tutoring is offered at the middle and high school. This program is independent of the school district. Tutoring may be provided by faculty members at a set cost to parents. Schedules and fees are set by the individual teacher. Students wishing to enroll must have permission from the principal and have earned a minimum grade of 60% in the course they wish to make up. Transportation is not provided. STUDENT WELLNESS POLICY Students and parents should familiarize themselves with the Student Wellness Policy. This policy is available online at www.tamaqua.k12.pa.us, as well as in each building office. As part of the Tamaqua Area School District’s Student Wellness initiative, parents and students will not be permitted to provide foods and snacks for the classroom from home, other than for an individual student lunch. Should the parent of an elementary student wish to provide a snack for a birthday celebration, it is recommended that the parent contact the district’s nutritional services supervisor, Kristen Melnick, at 668-0979. Arrangements can be made to purchase an approved snack through the district’s nutrition services. Certain curricular projects may involve food. In such cases, projects must be pre-approved by the building administration and the nutritional services department. TELEPHONES The phones in the school office are for office use only and not for student use. Students may only use the office phones for emergencies. The office secretaries will not accept personal calls for students or deliver messages to students except in the case of an emergency. TEXTBOOKS Textbooks are issued free of charge to pupils. When textbooks are issued, each teacher makes a record of the number of books in good condition. If a book is damaged or lost, the pupil responsible for the book must pay to replace the book before receiving a replacement book or credit for the subject. Textbooks should be covered at all times throughout the year. TRANSFER OR WITHDRAWAL Parents of students who are leaving the Tamaqua Area School District to transfer to another district are required to fill out a withdrawal form. This form requires the return of books to all teachers. A conference with the guidance counselor is generally requested. The withdrawal process concludes at the district office. TUTORING (MS AND HS ONLY) Students may receive academic assistance daily from 2:30 to 3:00. Teachers are available for help and students need to contact teachers to make necessary arrangements. Teachers may require students to attend tutoring sessions at this time. Peer tutoring is sometimes available through the guidance office. Parents or students should contact the guidance counselor for information regarding peer tutoring. VO-TECH (HS ONLY) Tamaqua Area High School students are eligible to attend the Schuylkill County Area Vocational Technical School. There are two vo-tech schools, one in Frackville and one in MarLin. Students who enroll in the vo-tech school will attend Tamaqua High School for one semester and the vo-tech school for the other semester. All vo-tech students are required to take mathematics at Tamaqua for the entire year. Students who are interested in applying should contact their counselor and get a vo-tech handbook. Additional information is available in the high school program of studies. WORKING PAPERS (HS ONLY) The Pennsylvania Child Labor Law does not permit children under fourteen years of age to be employed at any time, either when the schools are in session or during vacation. No person under sixteen years of age may engage in any occupation when schools are in session, except farm work or domestic services in a private home. Persons between the ages of sixteen and eighteen years may secure general employment certificates (working papers) when schools are in session. For information regarding working papers, see the guidance department
ATTENDANCE ABSENCE PROCEDURES School district policy states, “The maximum allowable days for absences will be ten (10) days, after which a doctor’s note will be required for all further absences.” As regards pre-approved educational trips, “the absence may not cause the student to exceed the ten (10) day limit.” Parents should call the school before 9:00 a.m. (h.s. and m.s.) 10:00 a.m. (elementary) when a student will be absent. If a parent does not call, the school will usually attempt to contact the home to check on the absence. All students are required to submit a written excuse from a doctor or signed by a parent or guardian, even if a phone call has been received. Receiving a written excuse from a parent does not in itself qualify the absence as excused. The absence must be for a legal reason according to the school code or school policy. A doctor’s excuse is required for admission to school any time the school authorities deem it necessary. Doctor’s notes will always be required for an absence of five consecutive days or more. School authorities reserve the right to refuse doctor’s notes when a student is prone to excessive absenteeism.
All excuses must be turned in within two days of being absent (example: if you are absent Monday and return to school on Tuesday, the absence note must be handed in no later than Wednesday). This includes parental or doctor’s notes. Failure to turn in a written absence excuse will result in an illegal/unexcused absence and/or Saturday detention. Students are expected to make up class work promptly upon returning from their absences and should make the necessary arrangements with their teachers immediately. Teachers may determine the length of time, which a student may have in making up work missed due to absence. This may range from one to five days and generally is based upon the length of the absence. The following system will be utilized at the middle school and high school to determine student attendance: Student arrives before 9:15 a.m. = Tardy Student arrives 9:15 a.m.-12:45 p.m. = ½ Day Absent Student arrives after 12:45 p.m. = Full Day Absent Student departs before 9:15 a.m. = Full Day Absent Student departs 9:15 a.m.-12:45 p.m. = ½ Day Absent Student departs after 12:45 p.m. = Full Day Present Students are generally expected to be in school by 8:30 a.m. in order to participate in an extracurricular activity or practice on that day. Exceptions can be made in accordance with school policy. The following system will be utilized at the elementary school to determine student attendance: Student arrives before 10:00 a.m. = Tardy Student arrives 10:00a.m.-2:00 p.m. = ½ Day Absent Student arrives after 2:00 p.m. = Full Day Absent Student departs before 10:00 a.m. = Full Day Absent Student departs 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. = ½ Day Absent Student departs after 2:00 p.m. = Full Day Present ATTENDANCE LAWS Regular attendance at school is imperative to academic success. Absence sometimes is unavoidable. In those cases when illness or other extreme emergency makes it impossible to attend school, the law requires an excuse from a parent/guardian and/or physician. The only reasons (as stated by the Pennsylvania School Code’s Compulsory Attendance Laws) for being absent from school are: 1)illness, 2)family emergency, 3)prearranged doctor or dentist appointment, 4)educational trip with prior school approval, 5)religious holiday, 6)death in the family, 7)court appearance. Absences for reasons other than those mentioned above are considered illegal. See UNEXCUSED/ILLEGAL ABSENCES. DOCTOR REQUIREMENT School district policy states, “The maximum allowable days for absences will be ten (10) days, after which a doctor’s note will be required for all further absences.” A student who is excessively absent may be required to submit a physician’s note for every day of absence. A warning letter will be issued once a student has accumulated ten (10) absences (see “reasons for being absent” above). After these ten (10) absences, the student will be required to bring a doctor’s note for every absence thereafter. This applies even when any or all of the initial days have been excused with doctor’s notes. In addition, due to excessive absenteeism, administration reserves the right to require a doctor’s note for absences at any time. Once a student is required to bring a doctor’s note, every day of absence and every tardy will be considered illegal/unexcused unless a physician verifies the reason for the absence. When a student is required to bring a doctor’s note for absences, parents should contact the principal when/if the need arises for that student to miss school for reasons other than illness. This contact should be made prior to the absence. School authorities reserve the right to refuse doctor’s notes when a student is prone to excessive absenteeism. EXCUSAL FOR APPOINTMENTS As much as possible, appointments should be scheduled for after school. However, if this is not possible, the following procedures must be followed: 1. A note from the parent/guardian or appointment card stating the reason for the absence must be submitted to the office before 8:05 a.m. (m.s. and h.s.) 9:05 a.m. (elementary). A phone number indicating where the appointment can be verified should be included. If the appointment should occur before or during this time period, a phone call should be made to the office before 8:30 a.m. (m.s. and h.s.) 9:30 a.m. (elementary) notifying the school of the absence. A student returning to school from an appointment should report directly to the office and present a note or appointment card to the office secretary verifying the appointment. The student will be issued a pass to enter his/her scheduled class (m.s. and h.s.). 2. Record will be kept of the time, date, and purpose of the student’s absence (tardy or early dismissal). Faculty will be notified of the absence. 3. Failure to return to school after an appointment is considered truancy and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken. EXTENDED ILLNESS ABSENCE In the event of an extended illness where school attendance is not possible but the student is capable of doing work at home, homebound instruction will be provided by the school district at no expense to the parent/guardian. The following procedure must be adhered to: 1. If it is known that the absence will be four weeks or more in length, the principal or guidance counselor must be notified immediately. This will help to initiate the homebound instruction process. 2. A doctor’s note must be provided to satisfy the attendance laws. The note must include the nature of the illness, a request by the physician for homebound instruction, and the duration required for homebound instruction. 3. Approval must be granted by the superintendent.
4. Teachers will be appointed to provide homebound instruction, and a schedule will be set up by the teacher(s) and parent/guardian, not to exceed five hours per week. Homebound instruction is a temporary measure, not intended to replace regular school attendance. If the absence is not of great length, but of at least three days in length, arrangements can be made to send homework home. Parents/Guardians should contact the office secretary to make these arrangements. TAKE YOUR CHILD TO WORK DAY Each spring, requests are received for students to participate in Take Your Child to Work Day. Students who intend to participate in this activity must receive prior approval from the principal to participate. Students who do not have prior approval will not be excused for this activity. Students who are approved to participate will be required to provide the office with an agenda and an essay on the educational benefit of the activity upon returning to school. For attendance purposes, this will be reported as an excused absence. TARDINESS Illness, health-related appointments, extreme family emergencies, and impassable roads due to weather conditions are the only legal excuses for tardiness. Students arriving to school/homeroom after 7:35 a.m. (m.s. and h.s.) will be admitted as excused only with a parental note or a note from a doctor or dentist for a legal reason. For all other reasons, a student will receive an illegal tardy. A student may accumulate three (3) illegal tardies without consequence. This allows for the occasional power outage, oversleeping, traffic, flat tire, etc., which are not legal reasons for tardiness. The fourth and all subsequent tardies will result in disciplinary action. Students with excessive tardiness (10 or more), whether excused or illegal, will be required to present a doctor’s note upon arrival to school or be marked illegally tardy and receive disciplinary consequences. Students who come late to school illegally may be in violation of the Pennsylvania School Code which requires students to attend school and establishes regulations regarding the amount of time a student must attend school and the required subjects a student must take. Consequences for illegal tardiness may include, but are not limited to detention, out of school suspension, arrest for truancy. UNEXCUSED/ILLEGAL ABSENCES For a student to receive maximum benefit from his education, it is important for that student to attend school. Although some work may be made up outside of school, one can never replace the lectures, demonstrations, and classroom discussions, which take place during the school day. Participating in this process is essential in being a good student. For this reason, attendance is a priority and attendance laws will be strictly enforced. The school district will follow the state guidelines for illegal absences as follows: 1. First offense: A warning letter will be sent home following the first illegal absences. The building principal will issue appropriate consequences (H.S. Saturday Detention) as outlined in the student discipline code. 2. Second offense: A second warning letter will be sent home following the second illegal absence. The building principal will issue appropriate consequences (H.S. Saturday Detention) as per the student discipline code. 3. Third offense: A third warning letter will be sent home following the third illegal absence. The building principal will issue appropriate consequences (H.S. Saturday Detention) as outlined in the student discipline code. A Truancy Elimination Meeting will be scheduled with the parent or guardian. 4. Subsequent offenses: Subsequent offenses will result in a disciplinary action as outlined in the student handbook, a referral to the local magistrate for a truancy citation, a referral to juvenile probation and Children and Youth. Parents should work with the school to ensure good attendance. High School Only: Since a student who is frequently absent from class cannot gain the same educational value as the one who attends regularly, illegal/unexcused absences can result in a deduction of the numerical averages on the student’s report card. This deduction will compensate for class discussion, lecture, and demonstrations missed when the absence could have been avoided. After 3 days of illegal/unexcused absence in the school year, the student will receive a grade deduction of 3 percentage points for each day of illegal absence thereafter in each subject missed on that day. The student will still be required to make up work missed. For example, if student A was illegally absent three times from September to January, every illegal day after that would result in a 3 point deduction for the quarter grade. If that student would be accumulate two illegal absences in February, 6 points would be deducted from the third quarter grade in each subject. If the student’s quarter grade was a 90 %, he would receive an 84% (90-6). Portions of the school day can accumulate into half and full illegal days and students will be subject to point deductions for classes missed when a portion of the school day is deemed illegal. VACATIONS Even though attendance is required, there are times when students may benefit from experiences they may have on vacation. The Board directs that any parent or guardian planning to take their child on a trip, which necessitates missing regular school days, must submit a request in writing to the superintendent at least ten days before the date of the departure. An itinerary of the trip’s events should be included with the request to aid in decision-making. The superintendent reserves the right to reject any request. School district policy states, “The maximum allowable days for absences will be ten (10) days, after which a doctor’s note will be required for all further absences.” As regards pre-approved educational trips, “the absence may not cause the student to exceed the ten (10) day limit.” Please refer to the attendance policy on the district web page for further detail and clarification regarding educational trips. Please see the above section on Unexcused/Illegal Absences. If the vacation is not approved, the student may go, but all of the days of absence will be considered unexcused/illegal.
Upon return to school from a vacation, students must submit a one page, typed summary explaining the educational merit of the trip to the principal. Failure to do so will result in the declaration of the days missed as unexcused/illegal and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.
DISCIPLINE CODE PHILOSOPHY OF DISCIPLINE Tamaqua schools have traditionally emphasized good student discipline. It is our belief that discipline is the positive direction of behavior toward established standards of conduct, based upon reason, good judgment, rights and responsibilities. It is understood that educational goals cannot be achieved in an environment that is less than orderly and that discipline is necessary to ensure an environment in which each person may live and learn to his full capacity and in harmony with others. Ideally, discipline is self-directed and self-controlled. Schools, communities, and parents share the responsibility for helping students develop self-discipline. When self-control falters and self-discipline fails, disciplinary forces outside the individual must be imposed in an effort to uphold the law, to protect the rights of others, and for the individual’s benefit. In the Tamaqua schools, as in the community at large, certain rules, procedures and standards of conduct are established to guide students through constructive growth into mature adulthood. These rules, procedures and standards are presented in this document so that all members of the school community – students, parents, teachers, and administrators – know what is required. By working together under clearly stated and consistently enforced regulations, we can continue Tamaqua’s tradition of firm and fair discipline.
STANDARDS OF CONDUCT Attend school regularly and punctually. Be self-controlled and non-disruptive while attending school activities and while being transported to and from school and school activities. Dress and groom to meet fair standards of safety and health and not to cause disruption to the educational process. Be reasonable, modest, self-controlled, and considerate in your relationship with peers. Maintain relationships with those who are in a position of responsibility or authority that are mutually respectful. Use language and gestures that are respectful and free of profanity or obscenities. Respect private, public, and school property. Be aware of, and cooperate with, the school rules, procedures, and standards of conduct herein outlined.
STUDENT RIGHTS The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s regulations and guidelines on student rights and responsibilities are contained in Pennsylvania Code Title 22, Chapter 12 and subsequent versions thereof. Many teachers have copies and a copy is available in the Principal’s office. Tamaqua school procedures, rules, and standards of conduct are based upon and are in accordance with that document. Regarding student rights to free speech and free expression, these freedoms may be limited in the schools when such speech or actions infringe upon the rights of others or cause a disruption of the educational process. FORMAL HEARING PROCEDURE Education is a fundamental right and students are afforded all appropriate elements of due process if they are to be excluded from school. In a case involving a possible expulsion, the student is entitled to a formal hearing, which is a fundamental element of due process. A formal hearing may be held before the board of school directors or a duly authorized committee of the board, preferably composed of no fewer than three members of the school board. The hearing committee’s decision is advisory to the school board where expulsion is recommended. A majority vote of the entire school board is required to expel a student. At the formal hearing, the following due process requirements are to be observed. Notification of the charges in writing, sent to the parents or guardian by certified mail, and to the student. Sufficient notice of the time and place of the hearing. The right to an impartial tribunal. The right to be represented by counsel. The right to be presented with the names of witnesses against the student, and copies of the statements and affidavits of those witnesses. The right to demand that any such witnesses appear in person and answer questions or be cross-examined. The student’s right to testify and produce witnesses on his own behalf. A record must be kept of the hearing, either by a stenographer or tape recorder. The student is entitled, at the student’s expense, to a copy of the transcript. The proceeding must be held with all reasonable speed. If requested by the student or the student’s parent, the hearing shall be held in public. Where the student is dissatisfied with the result of the hearing, recourse can be had to the appropriate state court. If it is alleged that a constitutional issue is involved, the student may file a claim for relief in the appropriate federal district court. DUE PROCESS REQUIREMENTS FOR SUSPENSIONS For out-of-school suspensions exceeding three days or in-school suspensions exceeding ten days, the minimum procedural requirements are: The student is informed orally of the reason for the suspension and is given a chance to respond. The parents or guardians, the student, and the superintendent or the secretary of the board of school directors are notified immediately in writing of the reasons for the suspension.
Sufficient notice of the time and place of the informal hearing must be given. There is a right to question any witnesses present at the hearing. There is a right of the student to speak and to produce witnesses on his own behalf. The district must offer to hold the informal hearing within the first five days of the suspension. The informal hearing is meant to encourage the student’s parents or guardian to meet with the principal to discuss the circumstances surrounding the events for which the student is being suspended or to show why the student should not be suspended. Another purpose of this hearing is to discuss ways by which future offenses can be avoided. In all suspension cases, the student has the responsibility to make up exams and work missed and must be permitted the right to complete the assignments under the guidelines set by the district. Also, students on in-school suspension must receive some type of instruction.
BULLYING AND HARASSMENT Acts of bullying or harassment directed toward a student by another student or group of students will not be tolerated. Such acts may be physical, verbal, emotional, racist, or sexual. Examples of bullying may include, but are not limited to, name-calling, using racial slurs, saying or writing malicious things about another individual, making threatening remarks, making another feel uncomfortable or scared, taking or damaging personal possessions, hitting, tripping, kicking, shoving, persistent staring, or making someone do something he or she does not want to do. All acts of bullying and/or harassment will be taken seriously and will be subject to the school’s discipline code. Persistent acts of bullying and/or harassment will be prosecuted to the fullest extent and may lead to expulsion. A sexual harassment policy is provided to all students on the first day of school. CORPORAL PUNISHMENT Corporal punishment is prohibited by law. However, even as corporal punishment is prohibited, reasonable force may be used by a teacher or school authority to quell a disturbance, to obtain possession of weapons or other dangerous objects, for the purpose of self defense, or for the protection of persons and property. Under no circumstance should reasonable force be used in such a manner as to cause bodily injury. When such measures are necessary, school authorities will notify parents. DETENTION/ACADEMIC DETENTION The principal assigns detentions for violations of the student discipline code. Detentions may last 30 minutes to 90 minutes, depending on the nature of the infraction. Students will be expected to report to the detention room immediately after school on the day of the assigned detention. Saturday detentions may be assigned for three hours, from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Parents will have 24 hours notice prior to a detention and are responsible for providing transportation. When serving a detention, students will follow these rules: 1. Arrive promptly to detention. 2. Work the entire period on homework. 3. Leave the building immediately at the conclusion of detention. Students will be permitted to visit lockers to retrieve items if necessary, but must then exit immediately and may not roam the halls. 4. Failure to attend a detention without previous consultation with the school principal will result in further disciplinary action. 5. A missed detention will automatically be rescheduled for the next available detention time. Teachers may assign their own after-school detentions in their classrooms. These academic detentions generally occur when a student fails to complete homework assignments or is falling behind in a subject. These ½ hour to hour long sessions allow the teacher to work with the student in a tutoring session or for the student to complete missing assignments. Students will receive 24 hours notice of an academic detention. DRUG AND ALCOHOL POLICY This is a condensed version of the Tamaqua Area School District’s Drug and Alcohol policy adopted in August 1988. A copy of the entire policy is available in the middle school office. Health problems of youth are primarily the responsibility of the home and the community; however, schools share in that responsibility because chemical dependency problems interfere with appropriate school behavior, student learning, and the fullest possible development of each student. The district holds the position that students must be chemically free in order that they develop in the most productive and healthy manner. A student who, while under the school’s jurisdiction, is found in possession of, under the influence of, has used or abused, is found to transfer, or intends to transfer, alcohol, drugs, narcotics, or other health endangering compounds, including look-alike drugs or substances believed by the student to be a drug, or drug paraphernalia is subject to the following actions. Parents or guardians shall be immediately contacted by the building administrator. The student shall be sent home or removed from school for medical attention if necessary. If a parent or guardian cannot be reached, the school administration will decide if medical attention is needed and will isolate the student. The police will be notified and the student referred for appropriate action. The student will be suspended for up to ten days during which time an informal hearing will be held. This meeting will include the student, his parents/guardians, local police, the school administration and any other person whom the administration feels will contribute in determining an action. As a result of the meeting, the district shall do any or all of the following: 1. The student will be referred to district personnel for counseling. 2. The student will be directed to obtain an assessment from an outside professional resource. Failure to comply will be cause for the student to fulfill the full suspension and possible expulsion. The length of the additional suspension is at the discretion of the school principal. 3. Full suspension for up to 10 days. 4. Referral to the district hearing committee for an expulsion hearing. 5. Any other action deemed appropriate by the situation. Any student who is found, while under the school’s jurisdiction, to transfer or intend to transfer alcohol or any other drug, narcotics or other health endangering compounds as a repeated offense will be dealt with in a similar manner, generally more severely than a first-time offender.
HAZING Hazing activities for the purpose of initiation or membership into a board-recognized organization, as well as any organization, which may not be recognized by the board, are strictly prohibited. Hazing is defined as any activity that recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental health, physical health, or safety of a student for the purpose of initiation or membership in or affiliation with any organization. Any person involved in the act of hazing will be disciplined in accordance with school board policy and the school’s discipline code. SEARCH PROCEDURES School authorities have the right to inspect lockers and their contents and a student’s personal belongings at appropriate intervals throughout the school year. School authorities may search a student’s locker, its contents, and a student’s personal belongings and seize any illegal materials. Such materials may be used as evidence against the student in disciplinary proceedings. Prior to a locker search, students shall be notified and given an opportunity to be present. However, where authorities have a reasonable suspicion that the locker contains materials, which pose a threat to the health, welfare, and safety of students in the school, student lockers may be searched without prior warning and without the student’s presence. A search of student’s lockers using a dog can be requested by the principal or the police. If the police are invited into the school by school officials to search lockers using a dog, the school officials maintain authority. Search procedures listed above will be followed. SMOKING POLICIES Tobacco use by pupils is prohibited in school buildings and school buses and on school property owned by, leased by, or under the control of the Tamaqua Area School District. Any pupil in possession of tobacco, a cigarette, cigar, pipe, other smoking equipment, or using smokeless tobacco in any form will be cited before the local magistrate. If guilty, a fine will be imposed. See SCHOOL DISCIPLINE CODE for disciplinary action to be imposed by the school principal as a consequence for the above actions. (Immediate removal from school property ) Each principal is empowered by the Tamaqua Area School Board to cite students who violate the “No Smoking” law. THREATS TO STUDENT SAFETY OR BUILDING SECURITY In accordance with federal mandates, Tamaqua Area School District maintains a zero tolerance policy regarding threats relative to school safety. Hoaxes, pranks, or threats of this nature will be treated as serious offenses, will be prosecuted to the fullest extent, and may lead to an expulsion. VIDEO SURVEILLANCE As part of the Tamaqua Area School District’s Safe Schools Initiative, all buildings in the district are equipped with video cameras and recording devices for added security. All visitors who enter the middle and high school acknowledge that they are subject to video surveillance upon entering the building. WEAPONS A student is forbidden to possess, handle, or transfer in school, or on school property, any object, which can reasonably be considered a weapon. Such objects include, but are not limited to: knives, cutting instruments, martial arts devices, firearms, air rifles and pistols, sling shot devices, explosive devices, and any other tools, instruments, or implements capable of inflicting bodily injury. Also included are “look-alikes” of those items mentioned above. If a student is found to have a weapon in school, the following procedures will be followed: If the principal or school officials suspect that the offense is a violation of criminal law, the appropriate law enforcement agencies will be notified. The building principal or school official will immediately notify the Superintendent of the incident. The parents/guardians will be notified. The student will be removed from the premises as soon as possible. The student will be subject to a Level IV disciplinary action. If the weapon is a firearm, the prevailing state and federal regulations will be followed. The Federal Gun-Free School Act of 1994 mandates a policy requiring the expulsion from school for a period of not less than one year for any student who brings a firearm to school. A detailed description of the Tamaqua Area School District Weapons Policy will be distributed to all students on the first day of school. DISCIPLINE CODE This section describes various offenses of the school’s discipline policy and the actions which will take place when they occur. No code or policy can hope to cover every variation of circumstances. However it is expected that a consistent administration of this policy will be a fair and reasonable deterrent to misconduct. Misconduct is divided into four (4) levels. The levels progress from minor teacher-corrected misbehaviors to the intervention of school administrators or local law enforcement officers (police) for more serious offenses. Each level is of greater severity than the previous level or reflects the habitual repetition of a lower level offense. When students continually violate portions of the discipline code, the penalty will escalate. A minor infraction may result in a detention. For the habitual repetition of the same offense, the consequence may escalate to an in-school suspension, and out-ofschool suspension, and even an expulsion.
LEVEL I DESCRIPTION: Misbehavior on the part of the student, which impedes orderly classroom procedures or interferes with the orderly operation of the school. PROCEDURE: Immediate and consistent intervention by the teacher who is supervising the student or observes the misbehavior will include an anecdotal record of the offense(s) and immediate disciplinary action. The teacher may wish to relate/refer the incident to the school principal, guidance counselor, other school personnel or parent/guardian. EXAMPLES OF LEVEL I INFRACTIONS: -Eating or drinking in unauthorized areas -Horseplay or scuffling -Dress Code violation -Loud boisterous noise -Minor defacing of school property -Possession/use of non-instructional item (portable or personal stereo, games, playing card, squirt gun, cellular phones, pagers, laser pointers, etc.) -Public display of affection -Running in the classroom, halls, cafeteria, locker rooms, etc. -Tardiness to school, class, study hall, P.E., lunch, etc. -Sleeping in class or study hall -Violation of classroom procedures established by teacher LEVEL II DESCRIPTION: Misbehaviors on the part of the student, which result from the continuation of Level I misbehaviors and require the intervention of the school administration to correct the misbehavior, and/or misbehaviors which tend to disrupt the orderly climate and conduct of the school, serious enough to require corrective action on the part of school administration. PROCEDURE: Immediate referral to the school principal for disciplinary action. Teachers and parents/guardians will be informed of the consequence of the action(s). A record will be kept in the middle school office of the offense(s) and the disciplinary action(s) taken. EXAMPLES OF LEVEL II INFRACTIONS: -Continuation of unmodified Level I behaviors -Cutting an assigned area -Leaving school grounds without administrative permission -Unexcused/illegal absence -Excessive/illegal tardiness -Bus disturbance -Cafeteria disturbance -Dressing in such a manner as to cause a disruption in the educational process -Pushing and shoving -Disrespect/defiance toward faculty, staff, or administration -Insubordination -Cutting detention -Unsuccessful in-school suspension -Cheating or lying -Gambling -Throwing objects (pencils, books, snowballs, etc.) -Loitering around or in other school buildings -Falsification of record, passes, excuses, schedules, etc. -Bullying/harassment -Violation of the Internet Access Policy -Possession of obscene materials or use of obscene language or gestures -Use of inappropriate references to drug/alcohol use/possession -Misbehavior at a school-sponsored activity/event -Smoking or possession/use of tobacco products and/or paraphernalia LEVEL III DESCRIPTION: Misbehaviors on the part of the student, which result from the continuation of Level I and Level II misbehaviors and require the intervention of the school administration to correct the misbehavior, and/or misbehaviors, which tend to disrupt the orderly climate and conduct of the school, serious enough to require corrective action on the part of school administration. Such behaviors also include acts against persons and property, as well as those, which might endanger the health or safety of others in the school. These acts might be considered criminal but most frequently can be handled by the disciplinary mechanism
in the school. Corrective measures which the school should undertake; however, depend on the extent of the school’s resources for correcting the situation in the best interest of all students and personnel. PROCEDURE: Upon receiving report of a Level III violation, the school administrator immediately initiates disciplinary action by conducting an investigation and, if necessary, conferring with the teacher who made the report or other witnesses. Following the investigation, the school administrator will contact the parents/guardians of the student to make a report of the findings and consequences should they be necessary. A record will be kept in the middle school office of the offense(s) and the disciplinary action(s) taken. EXAMPLES OF LEVEL III INFRACTIONS: -Continuation of unmodified Level I and/or Level II behaviors -Attempting to or actually breaking into another student’s locker -Assault and/or battery of another student or school personnel -Fighting -Sexual harassment -Indecent exposure -Extortion -Theft/possession/sale of another’s property -Intimidation or threatening behavior toward a student and/or school personnel -Hazing -Leading or participating in a walkout -Vandalism LEVEL IV DESCRIPTION: Misbehaviors on the part of the student, which result from the continuation of Levels I, II, or III misbehaviors and which require the intervention of the school administration to correct the misbehavior. Such behaviors also include acts, which result in violence to another person(s) or property and which pose a direct threat to the safety of others in the school. These acts are clearly criminal in nature and are so serious that they always require administrative action resulting in the immediate removal of the student from school. The intervention of law enforcement authorities and/or action by the School Board may also be required. PROCEDURE: Upon verification of the offense, the school administrator will meet with the student. The student will be immediately suspended after due process requirements are met. (See section “Due Process Requirements for Suspension) Parents will be notified and law enforcement officials may also be contacted. Investigations and punishment by these officials is independent of the school’s enforcement of its discipline code and does not constitute a double jeopardy. A complete and accurate report is submitted to the superintendent for possible action by the Board of Directors. A report will be kept on file in the middle school office. EXAMPLES OF LEVEL IV INFRACTIONS: -Continuation of Levels I, II, II misbehaviors -Assault and/or battery -Arson -Being under the influence of a controlled substance -Bomb threat -Engaging in any other conduct contrary to the criminal code or ordinances, the school code, or which create a clear and present danger to the health and welfare of the school community -Harassment of school personnel -Leading or participating in a riot -Possession/use/furnishing/selling of a controlled prescription or over-the-counter substances (alcohol or drugs) -Possession/use/transfer of dangerous weapons or explosives -Setting off incendiary devices (firecrackers, smoke bombs, etc. -Unwarranted pulling of a fire alarm -Vandalism of school property or personal property belonging to school personnel DISCIPLINARY OPTIONS/RESPONSES Violations of the school discipline code may result in one or more of the following disciplinary options/responses at the discretion of the building level administrator. A. Conference with school administrator B. Verbal reprimand C. Written warning D. Withdrawal of Privilege E. Detention F. Parental Contact G. Guidance Referral H. Lunch detention I. In-school suspension
J. Out-of-school suspension (1-10 days) K. School board policy L. Restitution M. Police Referral N. Referral to outside agency O. Temporary removal from class P. Charges under the criminal code Q. Referral to appropriate law enforcement agencies R. 10-day full suspension with an informal hearing S. Referral for psychological services T. Drug and alcohol policy U. BOCA Basic Fire Prevention Code V. Formal hearing with a committee of the school board W. Expulsion NOTE: Level I, II, III and IV examples and disciplinary options are not limited to those provided.