BMS Student Handbook

The school day for students begins at 7:50 a.m. and ends at 3:00 p.m. Students should arrive no earlier than 7:15 a.m. or no later than 7:50 a.m. Neither rooms nor school buildings will be open before 7:15 a.m., thus proper supervision will not be available. Students will not be permitted to loiter near buildings, cars or streets after arriving on campus before or after school.

Student Responsibilities

  • Participate fully in the learning process.
    Students must be at school and class on time with needed supplies. Students must pay attention to instruction, complete assignments to the best of their abilities, and ask for help when needed.
  • Avoid behaviors that impair the educational achievement of themselves or others.
    Students must follow school rules, maintain school property, and cooperate with others.
  • Show respect for the knowledge and authority of teachers, administrators, and other school employees.
    Students must obey reasonable directions, use acceptable and courteous language and behavior, and follow school rules and procedures.
  • Recognize and respect the rights of other students.
    All students should show concern for and encourage the educational achievements of others.

Parent/Guardian Responsibilities

The residential parent is considered the primary parent contact by the school.

  • Read both the student handbook and the Code of Conduct with your child.
  • Have children at school on time and prepared for a full day.
  • Provide a time and place for homework.
  • Report to the front office with proper identification when coming on campus.
  • Follow traffic flow patterns when driving on campus.
  • Pick-up and drop-off students in the car rider line only.
  • Join the Booster Club.
  • Be a volunteer.
  • Accept major responsibility for the proper conduct of your child at school and take appropriate action.
  • Work together with the school to assist in your child’s success here at South Panola Schools.

All statements in this publication are announcements of present policies only and are subject to change at any time by proper authority without prior notice.


Attendance: STUDENTS MUST COME TO SCHOOL EVERY DAY!

While we know that there are times that our students are absent, every opportunity must be taken to come to school every day. If our students are not in our classrooms, they cannot benefit and learn from our teachers. Regular and punctual attendance of all classes is required in compliance with Mississippi law and district policy. South Panola Schools recognizes excused absences in the following categories:

  1. Doctor’s excuse
  2. Court proceedings
  3. Death of family member (must have published obituary)
  4. The discretion of the principal
  5. Head lice will be excused for 1 day with a maximum of 3 days per school year.

** Absences not included in the excuses listed above shall be unexcused. **

When students return to school after an absence, they will bring a parent note (only three [3] parent notes for excused absences per school year) or a doctor’s note to the office within five (5) days. Absences are recorded on the report card and on permanent records. Students who skip school or skip classes are subject to disciplinary action. Absences while on bus suspension will be unexcused.

Attendance

The School Attendance Law requires that the school report to the School Attendance Officer all unexcused absences. The Compulsory Attendance Officer will contact the parent by telephone, letter or home visit after five (5) unexcused absences to encourage attendance and to help with the problem of nonattendance.

Parents found in non-compliance with the law, which allows for no more than twelve (12) unexcused absences for the year, are subject to having a petition filed with the appropriate court for child educational neglect and subject to a fine of up to $1,000 or up to one year in jail or both and/or the student may fail for the year. A child over ten years of age can be declared a delinquent if he/she refuses to attend school.

If there are any questions contact Mr. James Wright, Compulsory Attendance Officer at 662-563-6029.

Consequences for excessive absences, tardies, and/or early sign-out

Attendance is part of the criteria for promotion; a student with excessive absences may be in jeopardy of being retained for nonattendance.

  • A child is considered “excessively absent” if the student has five (5) days or more unexcused absences.
  • A child is considered “habitually truant” if the student has twelve (12) or more unexcused absences in a 90-day calendar period and will be reported to the attendance officer.

Tardy/Early Sign-Out

  • When students arrive tardy to school (7:51 a.m. or later), they must sign in at the main office.
  • Once students arrive on school grounds, they are under school supervision. No student will leave school grounds without a parent/guardian checking them out in the main office.
  • When parents pick up students at anytime during the school day, they must sign the child out in the main office, and proper identification may be required.
  • Signing out a student early will count as a “tardy”. When possible, medical and dental appointments should be made outside of school hours.
  • A child is considered “excessively tardy” when the child has been signed out early or is late to school more than three (3) times, and the student may receive an unexcused absence.
  • Tardies will be excused for the same reasons as absences, with the same required documentation. All other reasons (i.e. car problems, lost keys, overslept, ran out of gas, etc.) will be unexcused.

School Make-up Work Policy

Make-up work should be requested by the student on the day he/she returns to school. The student will have the same number of days to complete the make-up work as the number of excused absences. e.g. – If a student has three (3) excused days then he/she has three (3) days to complete missed assignments. If the absences are unexcused, the student will have one (1) day to complete missed assignments.


Student Drop-Off/Pick-Up

  • In order to reduce distractions to our students, we ask parents or other persons dropping off or picking up students please do so outside the buildings and not proceed into the hallways or classrooms. Please remain in your car if you are waiting in the traffic line. It is also very important that you AVOID picking up your children before the dismissal bell. Often their homework assignment is given at the end of the day and by having to leave early they miss this crucial information.
  • There will be NO PARKING IN FRONT OF THE SCHOOL BETWEEN ARRIVAL TIME - 7:15 a.m. - AND DISMISSAL TIMES - 3:10 p.m. (M, W, Th, & F) 1:00 p.m. (Tuesday)
  • Dropping off students on the street or in designated no parking/standing zones is NOT permitted.
  • Students may NOT be dropped off at school earlier than 7:15 a.m.

Traffic Pattern for Student Pickup/Drop-off

  1. Parents may not, under any circumstances, park and get out of their vehicle to wait for their children at dismissal. An adult staff member will direct your child to your vehicle during dismissal.
  2. Students may be given a car rider sign to place in your window or a walker card to present when picking up your child.
  3. Please observe safe speeds while on campus (5 mph).
  4. Pull up behind the last car in line. 5. Stay in one lane. NEVER CROSS OVER LANES OR GET OUT OF LINE. NEVER CALL STUDENTS TO YOUR CAR.

Enrollment / Withdrawal

Enrollment Requirements

Terminology:

Parent – Biological or adoptive parent
Guardian – Legal guardian as documented through court proceeding
Custodian – Appointed by a court or governmental agency

A biological or adoptive parent may enroll a child with two (2) proofs of residency for the SPSD. If a custody agreement exists from a divorce, only the custodial parent may enroll the student. In the case of parenthood with no marriage or custody agreement in which both parents are listed on the birth certificate, each has parental rights to enroll a child.

A legal guardian of a child is only recognized when a court order exists naming the guardian for the minor child. Notarized personal statements are not legal guardian documents.

A person may register a child if they have been appointed the custodian of a child by a court or governmental agency. Custodial arrangements will be considered involving parent(s) who are deployed for military service.

The overlying goal is to make sure that there is a responsible adult with authority concerning the welfare of children in the South Panola School District.

Any questions regarding residency situations should be forwarded to the Department of Personnel and Pupil Services at the district office.

Withdrawing a Student

If parents decide that their child will withdraw from South Panola Schools, the following things should be done:

  • Student must return all books
  • Student must clear any debts
  • Notify the guidance office of the withdrawal and the new school’s name and location
  • Parents may pick up copies of medical documentation, etc., with 24-hour prior notice.

Residency Policy

Proofs of residence must be presented to your child’s school in order to finalize the registration process.

  1. Parents of students who attended a school in the district during the 2009-2010 session are required to provide only the following if a Mortgage/Lease/Rental Agreement is already in the student's Cumulative Folder:
    1. Current utility bill reflecting the stated address
    2. Up-to-date lease/rental agreement is needed only if changes were made on the original lease/rental agreement
  2. Parents/guardians of students new to South Panola Schools are required to provide, where applicable:
    1. First Proof - Current lease/mortgage/rental agreement at the stated address
    2. Second Proof - Current utility bill/driver’s license/check stub/etc. reflecting the stated address

    In addition to the residency proofs, Parents/Legal Guardians of students entering South Panola Schools for the first time will have to provide:

    1. Student's final report card and a transcript of courses completed if the student is in high school
    2. Certified Birth Certificate
    3. Record of Immunizations transferred to a Mississippi 121 Form (Can be obtained from the Health Department)
    4. Students from schools or programs (including correspondence, tutorial, or home study) that are not accredited by a state or regional agency must undergo standardized achievement tests and/or teacher-made special tests to determine;
      (1) the grade level to which the elementary transfer student should be assigned or
      (2) the number and validity of the Carnegie units the secondary transfer student has earned.

PLEASE NOTE: If any of the requested proofs of residency are not available for any reason, a separate affidavit must be completed, notarize, and presented to the school. The affidavit must be accompanied by separate alternative proofs deemed acceptable. Failure to complete these requirements prior to the date assigned by the administration of the district will result in your child not being issued a schedule or assigned a teacher.

THE SCHOOL WILL NOT ACCEPT INCOMPLETE PACKETS OF PROOFS.


Bus Transportation

School bus riders shall conduct themselves in a respectful manner at all times. The safety and security of our students is of utmost importance to South Panola Schools; therefore, video cameras (with audio) are utilized to ensure the safety of this environment. Because school bus passengers’ behavior can directly affect their safety and the safety of others, the following regulations apply at all times when students are riding a school bus, including school activity trips.

  1. Bus riders are expected to be respectful, responsible, and peaceful at all times.
  2. The bus driver is responsible for safety of his/her passengers.
  3. The student shall be at the designated loading point nearest his/her home before the school bus arrives. Students will be notified of the approximate pick-up time.
  4. Eating and drinking are prohibited on the bus.
  5. Respectful communications among and between riders shall be observed at all times.
  6. Riders shall remain silent when the bus is approaching and crossing railroad tracks.
  7. Students must wait for the bus on the shoulder of the road or in the space designated as the pickup area.
  8. Any student who must cross the roadway to board or depart from the bus shall pass in front of the bus (no closer than 10 feet), look in both directions, and proceed to cross the highway only upon signal from the driver.
  9. All students shall be received and discharged through the right front entrance door of the school bus. The EMERGENCY door will be used for EMERGENCY SITUATIONS ONLY.
  10. A student will depart from the bus at the designated point nearest his/her home.
  11. The bus driver can assign each student to a seat.
  12. Riders shall remain in a normal, seated position while the bus is in motion. Books and other belongings shall be kept out of the aisles.
  13. Students must properly identify themselves when asked to do so.
  14. Permission to open windows must be obtained from the driver. All articles and objects shall remain within the bus until the student departs.
  15. Waste containers are provided on all buses and are to be used.
  16. Quiet talk and subdued laughter at all times will help prevent the diversion of the driver’s attention, thereby averting the possibility of a serious accident.
  17. A student who damages seats or other equipment on the school bus will be expected to pay the cost for the repairs or replacement.
  18. Gang-related actions that take place while students are riding the bus will be reported to the building administration and will be dealt with appropriately.
  19. Any personal items left on the bus are not the responsibility of the district.
  20. Students must travel to and from school on the bus to which they are assigned. In order to ride an alternate bus, or go to an alternate location, student must have a signed note with approval from the principal or his/her designee.

Authority of the Driver

Pupils transported in a school bus or in a school pupil activity bus shall be under the authority of and responsible directly to the driver of the bus, and the driver shall be held responsible for the orderly conduct of the pupils while they are on the bus or being escorted across a street, highway, or road. Continued disorderly conduct or persistent refusal to submit to the authority of the driver shall be sufficient reason for a pupil to be denied transportation. A bus driver shall not require any pupil to leave the bus en-route between home and school or other destinations. Rules shall include, but not be limited to, specific administration procedures relating to suspension of riding privileges and shall be made available to parents, pupils, teachers, and other interested parties.

Written Bus Referrals

Bus referrals can be written by the bus driver when any of the above rules or regulations is broken. This referral is sent to the student school administration for disciplinary action. Disciplinary action could result in assigned seating, suspension from school and/or bus, or permanent removal from bus riding privileges.

Disciplinary Actions

1st violation – Warning
2nd violation – Bus suspension until parent conference
3rd violation – Suspended three (3) days from the bus
4th violation – Suspended five (5) days from the bus
5th violation – Suspended fifteen (15) days from the bus
6th violation – May result in bus riding privileges being taken away.


Cafeteria Policies

  • Students are asked to pay for meals in advance. Students are asked to pay before school in the cafeteria. It is encouraged that students pay for their meals a week or a month at a time.
  • At any time parents may complete a new lunch form. Call the main office or the cafeteria for a form, and it will be sent home the next day.
  • Parents are responsible for all charges that occur before a student’s status is changed to free or reduced.
  • Students are able to carry over their lunch status from last year for 30 days into the new school year. It is important that the new lunch form be completed as quickly as possible.
  • It is expected that students will utilize good manners.
  • Students will not be allowed to share food for health reasons.
  • Breakfast and lunch must be eaten in the cafeteria, whether it is purchased at school or brought from home. All food and drinks bought in the cafeteria must be consumed there before leaving the cafeteria.
  • It is important that students bring their lunch cards and/or memorize their student number. They will use this number to get their lunch and breakfast daily.
  • Bringing food from outside of the cafeteria is discouraged. If it is brought to school, it should be placed in a plain container. No local commercial restaurant meals are allowed.

Meal Prices

Breakfast = $1.00
Reduced Breakfast = $0.30
Lunch = $1.75
Reduced Lunch = $0.40
Extra Milk = $0.50


Conduct

Classroom, Building, and Campus Conduct

It is the parent’s responsibility to send their child to school prepared to learn and act respectably. Parents must accept the major responsibility for the proper conduct of their child at school and take appropriate action for any misbehavior. It is the student’s responsibility to know and follow school rules. Successful students will come to class prepared, actively participate, and exhibit good behavior. Those who cannot abide by the simple rules of good behavior should expect to receive appropriate disciplinary action. It is the school’s responsibility to provide a safe environment with a sound curriculum. The teachers and/or school administrators determine consequences of inappropriate behaviors.

STUDENTS MUST BEHAVE!

  1. Students are expected to obey the rules of the classroom as set forth by the teacher.
  2. Students are expected to be respectful of adults and to those who are in authority.
  3. Students are expected to assume an individual responsibility for their behavior, conduct, and classroom performance.
  4. Students are not permitted to fight or engage in scuffles or horseplay while on campus.
  5. Students are expected to refrain from making loud and excessive noise whenever on campus.
  6. Students (for safety reasons) are expected to walk at all times while moving throughout the building.

The school is not responsible for lost or stolen items that are prohibited from school. Aside from money needed for lunches or school supplies, do not bring cash to school. The school is not responsible for lost or stolen items. Students may not buy, sell, or trade any items at school or on the bus.

South Panola Schools does not tolerate violent acts. Fighting will result in an out of school suspension and referral to the Batesville Police Department/Panola County Sheriff. If involved in a confrontation, students should seek help from an adult immediately.

South Panola Schools’ students know how to behave properly at school. It is important to show courtesy and respect to classmates and adults at all times. Everyone at a South Panola school is expected to show pride in themselves, fellow students, teachers, and school buildings and grounds. Appropriate conduct will be enforced at school and at all school-sponsored activities. Disrupting the educational process, extreme noise, running, pushing, shoving, fighting, threatening to harm, or infringing on the rights of others by inappropriate language or actions are not acceptable behaviors at a South Panola school. Remember to tell an adult if there is a problem before you do something that may make the situation worse. Teachers, guidance counselors, the Assistant Principal, or the Principal can all help you if you have a problem with someone.

Cell phones, radios, compact disc players, electronic games or devices, tape players, tapes, cameras, toys, laser pointers, trading cards are not allowed at school and will be confiscated by staff members. The school is not responsible for lost or stolen items that are prohibited from school. Aside from money needed for lunches or school supplies, do not bring cash to school. The school is not responsible for lost or stolen items. Students may not buy, sell, or trade any items at school or on the bus.

Office Referrals

When a student’s behavior dictates the need for an office referral, the administration will refer to the following procedures. Be aware that where appropriate and/or allowable per district and state policies, alternative consequences or other behavior modification methods may/and can be applied.

Level I Violations

  • Talking without permission
  • Out of seat without permission
  • Not following directions of teacher
  • Running and playing in the building
  • Breaking established classroom rules

Consequences

  • Student/teacher conference
  • Classroom discipline (i.e. moving student, writing, parent conference)
  • Corporal punishment
  • In-school suspension
  • Conditional suspension

Level II Violations

  • Electronic equipment
  • Abusing the rights of others
  • Open defiance and extreme disrespectfulness
  • Inappropriate dress
  • Cheating

Consequences

  • Administrator/student conference
  • In-school suspension
  • Corporal punishment
  • Out-of-school suspension
  • Repetitive violations will result in recommendation for expulsion

Level III Violations

  • See Student Conduct Code

In-School Suspension (ISS)

Students may be assigned to in-school suspension for a period of time depending on the infraction. Parents will be notified if a student is placed in ISS. All classwork completed and turned in on time while a student is assigned to in-school suspension will receive full credit. Any disciplinary action necessary beyond five (5) days will constitute out-of-school suspension (OSS) for any one (1) violation. Depending on staffing all South Panola schools may not have an in-school suspension program.

Conditional Suspension/Required Parent Conference (RPC)

When necessary, students will be suspended from school until parents come in for a conference to discuss the student’s misconduct.

Suspension (OSS)

A student may be suspended from school by the Assistant Principal or Principal for up to ten (10) consecutive days for conduct violations, and the Superintendent and the student’s parents will be notified of the suspension. A conference may be requested. Suspension out of school is an unexcused absence. While suspended out of school a student may receive classwork at the sole discretion of the principal.

Expulsion

Upon the recommendation of the school and the superintendent, a student may be expelled by resolution of the Board for any serious breach of conduct including, but not limited to, willful disobedience, open defiance of authority, violence against persons or property, or any other act which substantially disrupts the orderly conduct of the school.

Corporal Punishment (CP)

The South Panola School District policy allows corporal punishment under certain conditions. Corporal punishment will be administered by certified personnel with certified personnel as a witness. No more than three (3) swats will be administered. If parents wish to not have corporal punishment administered, they must complete the proper documentation in the main office.

Consequences for violation of student conduct code will be administered at the discretion of the administrator.


South Panola Student Conduct Code

This policy is adopted for the purpose of setting disciplinary guidelines for conduct of students of the South Panola School District and administrative punishment for the violation of conduct requirements stated.

Section 1: WEAPONS

No student will enter the educational property of South Panola School District or will attend any function sponsored by the said school district that has on his/her person or in his/her possession any item which could reasonably be expected to be to be used to inflict harm on others. Prohibited items include but are not limited to knives of any kind, guns, rifles, pistols, blackjacks, slapjacks, razors, explosive devices (including firecrackers), and all other items which are not normally used in connection with school work and school activities which might reasonably be expected to be used to inflict harm on others.
Toy guns of any kind are prohibited. Students found with toy guns will be disciplined as appropriate by the administration.
Any student found to be in violation of this Section of the Student Code shall be expelled for not more than twelve (12) calendar months and will be subject to disposition according to the Mississippi Code – Section 37-11-18 and 97-37-17.

Section 2: FIGHTING OR PROVOKING A FIGHT

No student will fight or will provoke a fight. Any student found to be in violation of this Section of the Student Code will be suspended for not less than three (3) school days and may be expelled for up to twelve (12) calendar months. Appropriate authorities shall be notified in accordance with state laws. This applies to all SPSD grounds, property, and events. Videoing a fight may be treated as provoking a fight.

Section 3: STEALING

No student will steal property of another or public property. Any student found to be in violation of this Section of the Student Code will be suspended for not less than three (3) school days and may be expelled for up to twelve (12) calendar months. Authorities shall be notified in appropriate instances.

Section 4A: ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES

No student will possess, consume, or in any way use any alcoholic beverage. No student will attend any school function or enter on school property while under the influence of any alcoholic beverage. Any student found to be in violation of this Section of the Student Code may be expelled for up to twelve (12) calendar months and local, state, and federal alcohol and drug control agents will be notified.

Section 4B: UNLAWFUL DRUGS

No student will posses or in any way use an unlawful drug. No student will attend any school function or enter school property while under the influence of any unlawful drug. Any student found in violation of this Section of the Student Code may be expelled for up to twelve (12) calendar months and local, state, and federal alcohol and drug control agents will be notified. Any material possessed, consumed, or in any way used that is represented as drugs or suspected to be drugs will be treated in the same way as stated above.

Section 5: TOBACCO

No student will use or have in his or her possession tobacco in any form. Any student found to be in violation of this Section of the Student Code will be suspended for one (1) to ten (10) school days and may be expelled for up to twelve (12) calendar months.

Section 6: VULGARITY, PROFANITY AND OBSCENITY

No student will speak or write words that are vulgar, profane, or obscene; no student will act in a vulgar, profane, or obscene manner, and no student will use vulgar or obscene signs, or possess materials that are vulgar. Any student found to be in violation of the Section of the Student Code will be suspended for not less than three (3) school days and may be expelled for up to twelve (12) calendar months.

Section 7: WILLFUL DEFACING OR DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY

No student will willfully destroy, cut, deface, damage, or injure any property belonging to another person or to the school district. Any student found to be in violation of this Section of the Student Code will be suspended for not less than three (3) school days and may be expelled for up to twelve (12) calendar months. In the event said property is school property, the parents or guardian shall be liable for all damages according to Mississippi Code – Section 37-11-19.

Section 8: BREAKING AND ENTERING SCHOOL PROPERTY

No student will break and enter any school property. Any student found to be in violation of this Section of the Student Code may be expelled for up to twelve (12) calendar months and appropriate authorities will be notified.

Section 9: DISRUPTION OF THE NORMAL OPERATION OF THE SCHOOL

No student will by his /her conduct disrupt the normal operation of the school or any activity of the school. No student will incite others to disrupt the normal operation of the school; furthermore, any indicated gang activity is considered disruptive. Any student found to be in violation of this Section of the Student Code will be suspended for one (1) to five (5) school days and may be expelled for up to twelve (12) calendar months.

Section 10: GAMBLING

No student will conduct or participate in any gambling game or device. Any student found to be in violation of this Section of the Student Code will be suspended for not less then five (5) school days and may be expelled for up to twelve (12) calendar months.

Section 11:  SCHOOL ATTENDANCE

If a student misses a school day or any portion of a school day without an excuse for more than twelve (12) days or twelve (12) classes, he/she will not receive credit for the day or portion of the day missed.  In cases where the student receives eight (8) unexcused absences before the completion of the first semester, the student will be allowed to enter a three-way written contract including the student, the principal, and a parent or legal guardian.  The contract will allow the student to complete the school year with no more that four (4) additional unexcused absences.  The same policy applies for a half-credit course (one that is one semester in length).  The student will be allowed no more that six (6) unexcused absences per semester.
Note:  Regular school attendance is required on a weekly basis.  More than twelve (12) unexcused absences in any course will result in loss of credit for all courses taken.  Any student who returns to school after being absent will have a time period of five (5) days beginning the day the student returns to present documentation that the absences(s) qualify to be excused.  A student who is tardy from a class for more that three (3) times will receive (1) unexcused absence.  A principal or designee may choose to administer either corporal or suitable punishment for any unexcused tardy.

Section 12:  CLASS ABSENCE WITHOUT PERMISSION

No student will leave a school activity without permission.  Any student found to be in violation of this section of the Student Conduct Code will be suspended for one (1) to five (5) days.

Section 13:  EARLY DISMISSALS

Except for school sanctioned activities, early dismissals will be permitted only when a parent comes to the school office to pick up the student.  Dismissal of the student will be considered unexcused unless the student is being checked out for a doctor’s appointment, funeral, or court appearance.  Any student found to be in violation of this Section of the Student Code will be suspended for one (1) to five (5) days.

Section 14:  STUDENT OPERATED VEHICLES

Not Applicable to Elementary Students

Section 15:  FALSE INFORMATION

No student will give to any school official false information concerning any school-related matter.  Any student found to be in violation of this Section of the Student Code will be suspended for one (1) to five (5) days and may be expelled for up to twelve (12) calendar months.

Section 16: STUDENT DRESS

Students will dress in conformity with accepted community standards, and no student will dress in a manner which will cause other students to be distracted from normal school activities.  Any student found to be in violation of this Section of the Student Code will be suspended up to two (2) school days.

Section 17: SPECIAL RULES AND REGULATIONS

No student will violate any rule, regulation, or directive of any principal or teacher of the District.  Any student found to be in violation of this Section of the Student Code will be suspended for one (1) to five (5) school days.

Section 18: REPETITIVE VIOLATIONS

Any student who is found to be guilty of two (2) or more violations to this code, said violations not arising out of same incidence, will receive additional punishment for repetitive violations.  Each violation in excess of one (1) will be punished by three (3) school days’ suspension in addition to that set forth by the section violated.  A student found to be a chronic violator of the provisions of this Code may be expelled for the remainder of the academic year.  Any student found guilty of more than three (3) non-related violations of the Student Code may be expelled for the remainder of the academic year.

Section 19: EFFECT OF SUSPENSION

Suspension or expulsions imposed under the provisions of this Code will be considered an unexcused absence, and no credit or make-up work may be allowed.

Section 20:  JURISDICTION

Students will be subject to the provisions of this Code at all times they are on school property or are in any way participating in school-related activities sponsored by the South Panola School District or any other public school in the State of Mississippi.

Section 21: ENFORCEMENT

The duly elected and serving principals and their designated representatives are delegated and charged with the enforcement of the provisions of this Code.

Section 22: SUMMARY PUNISHMENT

At the principal’s discretion, any student who has attained a level of maturity which enables the student to understand the charges against him/her and the consequences of possible punishment may elect not to be punished under the provisions of this Code and elect to be summarily punished.

Section 23: FAIR HEARING

Any student who is accused of a violation of this Code and who does not elect summary punishment will be disciplined subject to this Code and will be fully informed of the rights afforded the student by the law and by the policies of the South Panola School District.

Section 24:  SEXUAL HARASSMENT

Students in the South Panola School District are protected from sexual discrimination, including sexual harassment, under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 to the Civil Rights Act.  Student complaints in regard to sexual harassment shall be handled in compliance with district policy JBPA.

THINGS TO LEAVE AT HOME

  1. Knives or any other weapons as described in School Board Policy. Violation may result in expulsion.
  2. Tobacco products
  3. Dolls and toys (including computerized toys, trading cards, games)
  4. Pets or any live animal
  5. Large amounts of money
  6. Sports equipment is provided for activities planned by the school. For safety and accounting reasons, it is recommended that students not bring their personal equipment.
  7. Tapes, CDs, DVDs, computer games, cameras, beepers, radios, I-Pods, MP3 players, or cell phones
  8. Excessive amounts of jewelry or clothing accessories (Tommy key chain necklaces, sunglasses, etc.) that detract students’ attention.
  9. Candy and gum

Dress Code

The board believes that proper etiquette, social customs, and good grooming are a definite part of the educational process. It is expected that students wear to school or school functions neat and clean appropriate clothing that meets the standards of this educational environment. Any extreme in clothing, hair, cosmetics, jewelry, or appearance that may disrupt the normal operation of the school will not be acceptable. It is not the intention of these guidelines to usurp the authority of parents by determining what is appropriate attire and grooming for their children in accordance with the age and grade of students. The school will work with parents in encouraging our young people to assume this responsibility and to execute it sensibly as they mature. The purpose of the home and school working together should be to help students accept and cooperate with the guidelines. In view of this statement, the following acceptable clothing will be in effect in all elementary, intermediate, and/or middle schools:

  • Gender specific clothing
  • Undergarments must be covered at all times
  • Appropriately groomed hair
  • Garments with appropriate and acceptable graphics
  • Tops should have sleeves and cover the midriff 
  • Clothing should be appropriately sized and worn appropriately as determined by the administration.
  • Shorts and skirts of an appropriate length
  • Appropriate shoes must be worn (NO Heelies)
  • Garments must be secured at the waist
  • Head gear only by permission of school administration

Regulations in reference to grooming and dress for special activities such as athletics and physical education will be governed by the immediate person in charge of these activities under the direction of the principal. The individual schools will assume responsibility for ruling on specific items of clothing and general appearance for reasons of safety and health, or for the order, well-being, and general welfare of students. Styles and fads are forever changing, therefore the principal or his/her designee shall reserve the right to alter this code at any time throughout the year. The Board authorizes school administrators to employ appropriate disciplinary procedures to carry out and enforce this policy.

These are minimum standards that will be enforced at each school. Schools have the right to set higher standards based on administrative procedures. Certain events require special dress. Teachers will recommend appropriate clothing for field trips, special events or campus dances. The administration may set other dress standards as the need arises.


Fire Drills / Other Safety Drills

  • Fire drill instructions will be posted in each room for direction to fire exit routes. When the fire alarm is heard, everyone must leave the building. Follow the teacher’s instructions immediately. Walk in single file and do not run. There must not be any talking. All persons will remain outside, a safe distance from the building, until the bell sounds for returning to the building.
  • There are particular instructions for other drills that occur during the school year. Those drills are Tornado, Earthquake, and Lock-down procedures. Students must follow instructions during drills.
  • Emergency Closings: Announcements about the closing will broadcast on WBLE 100.5 FM and local television. You are asked not to call the station or the school, but rather to listen to the station for information during inclement weather.

Guidance / Counseling Services

Through a comprehensive developmental school counseling program, the school counselor uses a team approach with the school staff, parents, students, and community to help all children achieve success within their academic, personal/social, and career development. Referrals to the school counselor can be made by students, parents, and staff members. Services available through school counselors include:

  1. Classroom guidance lessons on a variety of academic, social, and career topics.
  2. Individual, solution-focused, grief counseling service
  3. Small group counseling services
  4. Coordination and explanation of state testing
  5. Assistance with family guidance, resources, and support for behavior and academic concerns
  6. School-wide programs and activities to enhance school climate
  7. Conference with families and teachers to assist in meeting student needs
  8. Crisis intervention services
  9. Coordination of the academic and behavior intervention process

Health Concerns

Student Health

The school district employs school nurses to assist with the health needs of our students. Parents are required to complete a health card at the beginning of the school year that provides a health history, emergency contact information, and signed consent for the school nurse to carry out first aid and administer medications as listed in the School Health Nurse Standing Orders (standing orders located in handbook). The health card will be kept in the nurse’s station. No child will be given medication for headache or other minor ailments without signed consent from parent/guardian. A student should be free of fever (fever is considered 100 degrees or greater), without the use of fever reducing medications such as Tylenol/Motrin and/or exhibit no vomiting or diarrhea for 24 hours before returning to school.

Medication

If it becomes necessary for the student to take any form of medication on a routine basis at school, a Permission for Medication Form must be completed by a parent/guardian at the time the medication is brought in. This form can be obtained in the school office. Medication must be provided in the labeled bottle obtained at the pharmacy with the prescribing information. No medication will be administered if not in labeled bottle with correct student information. Medication that is prescribed three times a day (such as antibiotics) should be given at home unless otherwise stated by physician. Any student requiring the use of inhalers or Epi-pens will be allowed to have access to these based on doctor’s orders. If your child requires an inhaler or other asthma medication, please notify the school nurse to obtain the appropriate forms to be completed. It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to notify the school of any medication changes and submit a doctor’s order for such changes.

Possession and/or administration of any drugs or other controlled substance(s) on school grounds by students or others may constitute violation of the law.

School Health Nurse Standing Orders

 

Illness and First Aid During the School Day

  • In case of illness during the school day, a student should explain to the teacher that he/she is ill. If necessary, the teacher will refer the child to the nurse for further action. Upon students being referred to the nurse, children will be returned to class unless they have a fever or show visible signs of illness. In such cases, parents/guardians will be contacted.
  • Care of any injury may be obtained in the school clinic. In case of an emergency, the school should have alternate phone numbers and preference of hospital. Please keep contact cards up to date.

Parent Conferences

Parents are required to make appointments by writing the teacher a note or telephoning the school office for conferences with teachers, counselors, or the principal. Unscheduled conferences are an interruption and cause the loss of valuable instructional time. Conferences may be scheduled either before/after school or during the teacher’s planning time. When a conference is scheduled please make every effort to meet on the scheduled day and time. Teachers may not conference with parents/guardians when other students are present.


Visitors

ALL VISITORS MUST:

  • ENTER AND EXIT THROUGH THE MAIN OFFICE
  • SIGN IN (PHOTO I.D. REQUIRED)
  • WEAR A VISITOR’S BADGE

For safety purposes, if you need to go into the classroom buildings, office area, cafeteria, or clinic we will give you a visitor’s badge to wear as long as you are on the campus. Please do not go anywhere else on the campus other than your specified visit location. Classroom instruction cannot be interrupted during the school day. If a parent wishes to have an official conference with the teacher, arrangements must be made with the teacher prior to the visit.


Parties and Gifts

Birthday parties, and/or surprise parties are generally prohibited in order to prevent disruption of other classes and daily activities. Special events, holidays, and activities that correlate with subject material may be held at the discretion of the staff. Classroom parties are provided on a scheduled basis.  Gifts of any kind are prohibited.


Physical Education

Physical education is a required program in Mississippi. Students may be excused from participating in P.E. with a signed note from the parent/guardian; however, missing extended periods shall require a note from a doctor. Students shall wear clothing and footwear appropriate to the physical education activities. Shoes should be closed with rubber soles and should allow children to perform to the best of their physical ability. This policy will be enforced due to safety concerns.


Pledge of Allegiance

Mississippi statute requires that the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag be recited at the beginning of each day in every public elementary and secondary school in the state. Exemption from participation may be granted upon written request of the parent or guardian.


Booster Club

Becoming involved in our active Booster Club provides an opportunity to contribute to your child’s school. Throughout the year many educational, fun-filled, and money-raising events take place. We look forward to working with you this year!


Records and Transfers

Your child’s records are available for you to review at any time. Parents/guardians may wish to set up an appointment to review the files so adequate time can be given to explain test data or other pertinent information. When transferring to another school, the child’s records will be sent as soon as the request is received from the school in which the child is enrolling. Early notification of plans to transfer is always appreciated.


Report Cards, Progress Reports, and Promotion

Report Cards / Progress Reports

Progress Reports will be sent home midway through each grading period. These reports will be issued to each student in order to report academic progress. Parents should carefully review these reports so that they may assist their children. Report cards will be sent home approximately one week after the end of the nine weeks period.

Nine Weeks Dates

First Nine Weeks October 8, 2010
Second Nine Weeks December 17, 2010
Third Nine Weeks March 11, 2011
Fourth Nine Weeks May 20, 2010

The following GRADING SCALE is used, and is in compliance with our district’s Student Progression Plan:

Grades K-5
S Satisfactory
I Still Developing
U Unsatisifactory
P Participation
1st-5th Grade
A 90-100 (Excellent)
B 80-89 (Above Average)
C 70-79 (Average)
D 65-69 (Below Average)
F Below 65 (Failure)

Promotion Policy:

The following requirements must be met before a student is to be promoted to the next grade:

  • Kindergarten:
    Promotional decisions will be agreed upon by the teacher and the parent. If the teacher feels that the child is not prepared for first grade, he/she will recommend retention. If the parent is not in agreement, a waiver must be signed by the parent saying the child is to be placed in the next grade. However, the state attorney general has issued an official opinion which states, “the school board has the authority to retain a student in kindergarten for an additional year if the district deems that placement of the student in the first grade would not be the most appropriate educational level.”
  • 1st – 2nd:
    An average of 65 must be attained in two of three major subjects. One of the major subjects passed must be reading. Major subjects are reading, math, and English.
  • 3rd – 5th:
    An average grade of 65 must be attained in all major subjects. All academic subjects are major subjects.

Special Events/Educational Opportunities (Field Trips)

During the school year, special events/educational opportunities may be offered for student participation. These events may be during the school day or during non-school hours, on or off campus. Examples may include, but not be limited to, all extracurricular activities (i.e. clubs), educational tours/visitations, speakers, assembly programs, field trips, etc. Please make sure that you submit all of your child’s paperwork and any fees in a timely manner to ensure their attendance. Please contact your child’s teacher if there are any extenuating circumstances. It is at the discretion of the administration and classroom teacher to revoke the privilege of attending field trips.


Student Information

It is essential that the school always have current information regarding students. If you change your address, home telephone number, work number, or any other information, please inform the school office personnel at once or send written notification. This is especially important in case of student emergencies.


Telephone

The office may take messages for students when deemed an emergency or essential. Parents wishing to confer with teachers are invited to call the office and every effort will be made to have the teacher call back when feasible. Let your child know before they come to school what they are to do at the end of each day. Children participating in after hours’ programs, such as P.E. events or chorus should make arrangements with parents before arriving to school.


Textbooks

The State of Mississippi provides textbooks that are issued by the teachers. Students must take care of all textbooks issued to them. They are the responsibility of the student. Textbooks are very expensive to replace or repair. A fee for excessive wear or damage to textbooks will be charged to students who fail to take proper care of the books. A fee will also be charged for lost textbooks and lost library books. All books must be returned when students are withdrawing from school. Students who find lost textbooks should return them to the office.


Volunteers

Plan to chaperone a field trip or to become a school volunteer? There are many ways that you can help our school and students. Watch for information coming home. Parents and other interested persons may not volunteer until they have completed all requirements from the school in which they wish to volunteer.


South Panola School District Definition of Bullying

The South Panola School District does not condone and will not tolerate bullying or harassing behavior. Bullying or harassing behavior is any pattern of gestures or written, electronic or verbal communications, or any physical act or any threatening communication, or any act reasonably perceived as being motivated by any actual or perceived differentiating characteristic that (a) places a student, school employee or volunteer in actual and reasonable fear of harm to his/her person or damage to his/her property, or (b) creates or is certain to create a hostile environment by substantially interfering with or impairing a student’s educational performance, opportunities, or benefits. A “hostile environment” means that the victim subjectively views the conduct as bullying or harassing behavior and the conduct is objectively severe or pervasive enough that a reasonable person would agree that it is bullying or harassing behavior. Bullying or harassing behavior will not be condoned or tolerated when it takes place on school property when such conduct, in the determination of the school superintendent or principal, renders the offending person’s presence in the classroom a disruption to the educational environment of the school or a detriment to the best interest and welfare of the pupils and teacher of such class as a whole.

The South Panola School District will make every reasonable effort to ensure that no student, school employee, or volunteer is subjected to bullying or harassing behavior by other school employees or students. Likewise, the district will make every reasonable effort to ensure that no person engages in any act of reprisal or retaliation against a victim, witness, or a person with reliable information about an act of bullying or harassing behavior. The district encourages anyone who has witnessed or has reliable information that a student or school employee has been subject to any act of bullying or harassing behavior to report the incident to the appropriate school official.

The school board directs the superintendent or designee to design and implement procedures for reporting, investigating and addressing bullying and harassing behaviors. The procedures should be appropriately placed in district personnel policy handbooks, school handbooks that include discipline policies and procedures and any other policy or procedure that deals with student or employee behavior. The discipline policies and procedures must recognize the fundamental right of every student to take “reasonable actions” as may be necessary to defend himself/herself form an attack by another student who has evidenced menacing or threatening behavior through bullying or harassing. Furthermore, the South Panola School District defines “reasonable action” as promptly reporting the behavior to a teacher, principal, counselor or other school employee when subjected to bullying or harassing behavior. Ref: SB 2015; Miss. Code Ann. § 37-7-301(e)

Procedures for Complaints of Bullying or Harassing Behavior

Any student, school employee or volunteer who feels he/she has been a victim of bullying or harassing behavior, or has witnessed or who has reliable information that a student, school employee or volunteer has been subject to bullying or harassing behavior shall report such conduct to a teacher, principal, counselor or other school official.  The report shall be made promptly but no later no later that five (5) calendar days after the alleged act or acts occurred.  The school official shall complete a “Bullying/Harassing Behavior” complaint form which shall include that name of the reporting person, the specific nature and date of the misconduct, the names of the victim of the misconduct, the names of any witnesses and any other information that would assist in the investigation of the complaint.  The report shall be given promptly to the principal or superintendent who shall institute an immediate investigation.  Complaints against the principal shall be made to the superintendent and complaints against the superintendent shall be made to the Board chairman.

The complaint shall be investigated promptly.  Parents will be notified of the nature of any complaint involving their student.  The District official will arrange such meeting as may be necessary with all concerned parties within five (5) working days after initial receipt of the complaint by the District.  The parties will have an opportunity to submit evidence and a list of witnesses.  All findings related to the complaint will be reduced to writing.  The District official conducting the investigation shall notify the victim and parents as appropriate when the investigation is completed and a decision regarding disciplinary action, as warranted, is determined. 

If the victim is not satisfied with the decision of the District official, he/she may submit a written appeal to the superintendent.  Such an appeal shall be filed within ten (10) working days after receipt of the results of the initial decision.  The superintendent will arrange such meetings with the victim and other affected parties as deemed necessary to discuss the victim’s appeal within ten (10) working days.

If the victim is not satisfied with the decision of the superintendent, a written an appeal may be filed with the Board.  Such an appeal shall be filed within ten (10) working days after the receipt of the decision of the superintendents.  The Board shall, within twenty (20) working days, allow the victim and parents as appropriate to appear before the Board to present reasons for dissatisfaction with the decision of the superintendent.  The Board shall provide a written decision within ten (10) working days following the victim’s appearance before the Board.

Title IX

It is the policy of the South Panola Public School District to provide equal opportunity without regard to race, national origin, religion, sex, age, qualified person with disabilities or Veteran, in the educational program and activities.  This includes, but is not limited to, admissions, educational services, financial aid and employment.  Inquiries concerning application of this policy may be referred to the central office.

LEGAL REF.: Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964;  Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972; Section 504 of the Rehabilitations Act of 1973;  Title II Americans with Disabilities Act.

As provided under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, no person in the U.S. shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.  Standard 2 is as follows: School board policies that comply with state and federal statutes, rules, and regulations serve as the basis of operation for the district, and current copies of school board policies are published and available for public review.

Harassment Prohibited

This school district affirms the employee rights under Title VI and therefore "shall not tolerate verbal or physical conduct by any employee, male or female, which harasses, disrupts, or interferes with another's work performance or which creates an intimidating, offensive, or hostile environment.”

LEGAL REF.: 1964 Civil Rights Act, Title VI; 1964 Civil Rights Act, Title VII; Executive Order 11246, as amended; 1972 Education Amendments, Title IX; 45 CFR, Part 86; 1973 Rehabilitation Act, Section 503; 1973 Rehabilitation Act, Section 504; 45 CFR, Part 84; 29 U.S.C.A. 621, et seq.

CROSS REF.: Policies GACN – Sexual Harassment GBD – Professional Personnel Hiring GBR-P – Employees Complaints of Sexual Discrimination/Harassment Procedures GCRAA – Fair Labor Standards Policy


Title I Policy

It shall be the policy of this school district to provide Title I services to eligible students in accordance with the provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act.

The school district shall meet the requirements and comply with all applicable statutory and regulatory provisions under the law. Such assurances shall remain in effect for the duration of participation under Title I of the No Child Left Behind Act of 1994 (P.L. 103-382).

Title I Parent Involvement

The School District will administer the Title I IASA Program in accordance with Federal Regulations of the No Child Left Behind Act. The School District will enable schools to provide opportunities for children served to acquire the knowledge and skills contained in the challenging State content standards and to meet the challenging State performance standards developed for all children. This shall be accomplished by:

  1. ensuring high standards for all children and aligning the efforts of state, local educational agencies, and school to help children served under Title I to reach such standards;
  2. providing children an enriched and accelerated educational program, including, when appropriate, the use of the arts, through school-wide programs or through additional services that increase the amount and quality of instructional time so that children served under Title I receive at least the classroom instruction that other children receive;
  3. promoting school-wide reform and ensuring access of children (from earliest grades) to effective instructional strategies and challenging academic content that includes intensive complex thinking and problem-solving experiences;
  4. significantly upgrading the quality of instruction by providing staff in all schools with substantial opportunities for professional development;
  5. coordinating services under all parts of Title I with each other, with other educational services, and social programs funded from other sources.
  6. distributing resources, in amounts sufficient to make a difference, to areas and schools where needs are greatest;
  7. improving accountability, as well as teaching and learning by using State assessment systems designed to measure how well children served under Title I are achieving challenging State student performance standards expected of all children;
  8. providing greater decision making authority and flexibility to schools and teachers in exchange for greater responsibility for student performance.

The School District will include parents of the District's Title I program, following all requirements of the Title I regulations. The responsibility and accountability for implementing the District-Wide Title I parent involvement procedures will be shared among the District-Wide Title I Office, the local Title I schools, the parents and the community. Activities and procedures shall be planned and implemented using meaningful consultation with parents of the Title I children.

The School District Title I Staff and the Title I Schools will work jointly to ensure effective involvement of parents. They will support partnerships among schools, parents and the communities to improve student achievement. A variety of strategies will be used. Those strategies include School/Parent Involvement Policy, an annual meeting with flexible times and locations, staff and parent training; consultation, communication in a form and language that can be understood, school/parent compacts, parent literacy opportunities, workshops on parenting skills, community and business involvement, surveys, evaluation and other ideas as stated in the School District's Title I Program Plan.

The school district shall be in compliance with Title I regulations requiring parental involvement in the school system’s planning and implementation of the Title I compensatory education programs that affect children enrolled in the school district.

Such parental involvement shall include, but is not limited to, conferences between parents and teachers and assisting parents in home training and direct work with their children. A public meeting of the parents involved in Title I shall be held annually and shall meet federal regulations affecting parent participation. In addition, the school shall provide proper information to parents concerning their children and shall keep these parents adequately informed of their children’s progress, needs, and individual objectives.


Asbesetos & Lead Paint Inspections of Buildings

Please be informed by this notice that during the 2009-2010 school year all of the school buildings of the South Panola School District were re-inspected for asbestos and lead paint for a 3 year period. Management plans were updated and copies stating that the buildings met all requirements were forwarded to the Mississippi State Department of Education where they are on file. The Management Plans will be updated from time to time as the need arises. A copy of the results of the inspection is contained in a Management Plan Document that is on file in the office of the Director of Maintenance and in the office of the superintendent of schools located at 209 Boothe Street. Any interested party should feel free to go by any of these locations to read these reports.