CONTACTS & CALENDARS
TEAMING & TIMING
- Course Grades
- Program of Studies
- Honor Roll
- Marking Periods & Report Cards
- Aim High Literacy Strategies
SCHOOL DISCIPLINE CODE
- Student Bill of Rights & Responsibilities
- Student Due Process Rights
- Student Rights & Responsibilities
- Essential Community Partners
- Examples of Inappropriate Behavior
- Summary of Disciplinary Responses
- Academic Restricted List
- Annual Review
- Annual Implementation Procedure
THIS & THAT
- Book Bags/Knapsacks
- Change of Address or Telephone Number
- Computer/Equipment Acceptable Use Policies
- Drugs, Alcohol, Cigarettes, Chewing Tobacco
- Field Trips
- Fire Alarms & Drills
- Food & Beverages
- iPad Loan Agreement
- Prohibition of Corporal Punishment
- Protecting Valuables
- Salute to the Flag
- Study Hall Guidelines
- Video/Audio Recording by Students
- Weapons in School
- Working Papers
- Title IX & 504 Compliance
MEALS & WHEELS
BULLYING: BACK OFF…STEP UP!
- Bystanders: The Third Party to Bullying
- Helping Your Child Take a Stand
- Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) Plain Language Summary
Welcome to Schuylerville Middle School!
We’d like to welcome you on this journey into the realm of exciting opportunities that await at Schuylerville Middle School. And, of course, as an integral part of the Middle School community, we invite you to provide feedback, suggestions and ideas for improving our school.
Middle School Mission Statement
Schuylerville Middle School is dedicated to creating independent, confident and well-prepared adolescents by meeting their physical, social, emotional and intellectual needs.
With collaboration among administration, faculty and staff, students, parents and the Schuylerville community, we will foster independence for students to become problem-solvers, critical thinkers and respectful individuals with a strong work ethic.
We value a commitment to a rich, challenging and purposeful educational experience. We believe a team-oriented approach in a safe, supportive environment provides opportunities for students to achieve goals as life-long learners while successfully transitioning to high school.
Whether it’s the “Golden Rule” or another set of standards that may not be as well-defined, everyone typically makes decisions and acts in ways that align with their values and beliefs. With this in mind, community members, students, parents and staff members identified a set of core values that would become the driving force for decisions, behaviors and activities in the Middle School; the values also were used as a code of conduct was developed.
The common values were collected using a survey and the results were certainly interesting. Students felt that fun, kindness, fairness, trust and challenge (pushing kids to be their best) were most important. Parents, staff and community members identified the following values as top priorities: respect, accountability/ responsibility, honesty/ integrity, self-discipline/hard work and achievement. The ideas were merged and Schuylerville Middle School now has the following core values:
- Be Kind
- Be Respectful
- Be Responsible
- Work Hard
- Have Fun
Faculty & Staff by Department
All teachers have voicemail. Parents who wish to contact a teacher should call the school’s main number (695-3255) and ask to be connected with the teacher’s voice mail.
Grade 6 Teachers
Amy Barthelmas (Special Ed.)
Home & Careers
Sandy Berger, Librarian
Jen Schroll, Head Custodian
Mary Kate Elsworth, Principal
Melinda Carr, Administrative Assistant
Stacey Dooley, Administrative Assistant
Yvette Grimes, School Nurse
Gregg Barthelmas, Director of Pupil Personnel Services
Karen Maciariello, School Psychologist
Leigh O’Connor, 6-8 School Counselor
Erin Welch, Grades 6-8 School Counselor
Advantages of the Team Approach
The Middle School’s team approach to teaching and learning has many advantages, including:
- A focus on teamwork and collaboration;
- Attention to students’ social and emotional well-being;
- A common planning period each day for core teachers to work together and discuss student achievement and growth;
- Commitment to providing a safe and supportive environment;
- Opportunities to build trusting and respectful relationships;
- Interdisciplinary teaching;
- A shared vision of goals.
Schedule: Daily & Lunch
Period 1 …………………….8-8:42 a.m. (including homeroom)
Period 2…………………………………………………8:45-9:24 a.m.
Period 3……………………………………………….9:27-10:06 a.m.
Period 4……………………………………………..10:09-10:48 a.m.
Period 5……………………………………………..10:51-11:30 a.m.
Period 6…………………………………….. 11:33 a.m.-12:12 p.m.
Period 7……………………………………………. 12:15-12:54 p.m.
Period 8……………………………………………… 12:57-1:36 p.m.
Period 9……………………………………………….. 1:39-2:18 p.m.
Period 10………………………………………………….. 2:21-3 p.m.
Challenging, supporting and preparing out students
Schuylerville Middle School offers an educational program designed to promote the academic success and personal development of all students. We’re dedicated to preparing students to meet the rigorous demands of state and local academic standards and the needs of future employers. And equally as important, we’re focused on addressing the needs of the “whole child” so our students go on to become caring, contributing members of society.
The final grades for one-semester and full-year courses will be calculated according to the following formulas:
Quarter number one = 25%
Quarter number two = 25%
Quarter number three = 25%
Quarter number four = 25%
Home study is a necessary part of each student’s educational program. Each student must be expected to spend some time in addition to scheduled class instruction to achieve satisfactory work.
It is the responsibility of the student to find out and complete homework assignments even when he/she is absent from school. In some cases the student may have to remain after school with the teacher to meet overdue homework responsibilities. In most subjects, homework assignments are calculated as part of the quarterly grades.
Some assignments are long-range in nature and require planned study time for their completion. Planned study eliminates the necessity of spending too much time in trying to rush through assignments at the last minute. Plan your at-school and at-home time carefully.
Program of Studies
Special Education Program:
Direct & Indirect 8:1:2 Special Class
Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, English Language Arts, Reading
Math Lab and ELA Lab
Physical Education, Art, Home & Careers
Special Education Program:
Direct & Indirect 8:1:2 Special Class
Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, English, Academic Intervention Services (AIS)
Art (1/2 unit)
Computer (1/2 unit)
Home & Careers (1/2 unit)
Technology (1/2 unit)
Physical Education (1/2 unit)
Band/Chorus/General Music (1/2 unit)
Special Education Program:
Direct & Indirect 8:1:2 Special Class
Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, English, Academic Intervention Services (AIS)
Foreign Language (French I or Spanish I – 1 High School Credit)
Art (1/4 unit)
Technology (1/2 unit)
Physical Education (1/2 unit)
Band/Chorus (1/2 unit)
Computer (1/4 unit)
Honor Roll is computed by students’ grade point averages. Any failing grade or incomplete that is not made up will disqualify a student from the honor roll. The three categories are:
High Honors……. 95-100 average
Honor Roll is computed each of the four quarters and will be posted on the window of the Student Services Center. It also will be sent to local newspapers. The Honor Roll will be posted for two days prior to release to the newspapers. If a student thinks an error has been made, he or she should report that fact to the main office within that period of time.
Marking Periods & Report Cards
The Middle School operates on a quarterly basis throughout the school year. The end of the four quarters will be as follows:
First Quarter ends: November 1, 2019
Second Quarter ends: January 24, 2020
Third Quarter ends: April 3, 2020
Fourth Quarter ends: June 19, 2020
At the mid-point of each quarter, progress reports will be posted on Parent Portal. The purpose of the progress report is to inform parents of the student’s general standing in each course. Progress report grades are approximate and subject to rapid change based on subsequent assignments. The end of the progress reporting periods are as follows:
First Quarter: October 4, 2019
Second Quarter: December 6, 2019
Third Quarter: March 6, 2020
Fourth Quarter: May 15, 2020
Report cards will be posted on Parent Portal seven to 10 days after the end of each marking period. Our report cards are computerized. The key we use for marking is as follows:
A grade of “Incomplete” is given when a student is absent for a prolonged period of time due to illness or other extenuating circumstances. All “Incompletes” must be made up within two weeks of returning to school.
Aim High Literacy Standards
Content literacy is defined as the ability to comprehend the instructional materials used in a subject area classroom. To help develop literacy in students, teachers must show students how to think and learn with text. Elementary reading instruction focuses on learning to read; secondary reading instruction focuses on reading to learn. This is a difficult transition for many students. However, teachers can guide students successfully by implementing literacy strategies and modeling their use in our classrooms with common language and committed consistency. Most students do not naturally develop the skills and strategies required to read and comprehend the various texts they will interact with in a secondary education setting.
Schuylerville Middle School teachers will teach effective literacy strategies that can be implemented in all of the core subject areas. These five “Aim High Literacy Strategies” address the areas of pre-reading, during-reading and post-reading activities. They include vocabulary development, note-taking strategies and reading strategies. The more we use similar language regarding literacy and the learning process, the more successful the students will be at incorporating the strategies into their daily lives. The consistent modeling and use of these five strategies in the content area classrooms will provide both students and teachers with proven tools to enhance student learning, even in the face of adversity. As educators, we will deepen our students’ experience in the course if we encourage them to think about how they learn. As learners, if we understand and analyze our own learning process, we are better invested in the experience and more open to learning how to learn.
Parental Involvement During these Transitional Years
For many kids, preadolescence can be a time of upheaval. Puberty kicks in, peer pressure becomes a significant factor and new relationships take on major importance as children pull farther away from their families. With all this going on for preteens, is it any wonder that their desire to focus on academics might wane?
Studies show that many children’s grades drop during the first year of middle school. It’s at this point that students sometimes become less interested in studying and less self-assured about their abilities. Yet today’s students are facing more rigorous academic standards and tougher high school graduation requirements than ever before. Sixth- and seventh-grade students take yearly assessments to measure progress toward meeting the eighth-grade New York State Standards. All eighth-graders must take state exams in English, math, science and foreign language to test how well they are doing at mastering state learning standards. Poor performance on any of these exams is a red flag for more serious problems in high school. Parents should get involved immediately if their child is doing poorly in middle school.
According to the New York State Education Department’s Middle-Level Education Program’s Essential Elements of Standards-Focused Middle-Level Schools and Programs, a quality middle school program should offer academics that are comprehensive, challenging, purposeful, integrated, relevant and standards-based. Additionally, middle schools should have a mission that reflects the intellectual and developmental needs and characteristics of children who are 10 to 14 years old. This is what we try to do at Schuylerville Middle School and we hope that all parents will assist us in our efforts.
So how do you, as a parent, spark an interest in academics when Sponge Bob Square Pants is your child’s guru? Or the lure of hanging out with friends dwarfs all interest in school work? The ideas below take time but they’ve worked for many parents––and they can work for you, too!
- Be a positive role model.
When talking about your own work, emphasize not only the frustrations, but also the satisfactions that go along with reaching a goal or finishing a tough job. This is a great way to show your children that achievement has its rewards. Too many kids think school success comes from being “born smart”–– instead of from hard work.
- Give your children lots of support.
Although the middle years are a time when children crave more independence, they still need daily encouragement and clear expectations from their parents. Let them know that struggling with a task is not necessarily a bad thing.
- Tap into your child’s interests.
Subscribe to a preteen or sports magazine to promote reading. Build research skills by using the Internet together to plan a vacation or learn more about a favorite musician. Visit museums, bookstores, theaters, etc. Enjoy cooking? Do some research and host ethnic theme dinners with family or friends. Be creative; show your kids that learning can be fun!
- Make school the topic of daily conversations.
Ask questions of your children and their teachers, participate in school activities and check on homework, test grades, etc.
Make Homework Expectations Clear & Consistent
Parents are the key to making homework a positive experience for their child at home. But, where do parents begin?
- Schedule a structured time period for homework and keep this time consistent. Designate a quiet place without distractions or interruptions like phone calls.
- Look at your child’s planner every night.
- Do not accept excuses. (i.e., “I have no homework.”) Your child will always have something he or she can work on during scheduled homework time: written homework, free reading, studying for tests, reviewing notes, organizing notebooks, etc. Insist that if “they did it in school,” they still have to bring it home to show you.
- Help your child get organized and stay organized. Take 10 minutes each night to clean out notebooks and loose papers, three-hole-punch papers and insert them where they belong in a binder.
- Establish a place at home to store backpacks, packed before bed with completed homework and all necessary supplies for the next day. In the morning it will be easy to grab on the way out.
- Discipline the negative and reward the positive!
Attendance, Absences and Tardiness
As academic standards are raised, students really can’t afford to miss school. Even the best students will quickly fall behind when attendance drops or there is chronic tardiness. Parent support on this is essential.
Toward that end, a new attendance policy went into effect September 6, 2012 with regulations that get tougher on students who repeatedly arrive to school late or have a record of chronic unexcused absences.
It is the responsibility of parents/ guardians to report any absence, tardiness or early departure by notifying the attendance office by phone on the morning of the absence or tardiness or at the time of early departure and the reason for such. As a follow-up, parents/guardians may be required to provide a written excuse within three days that includes the date of and reason for the absence, tardiness or early departure.
Excused vs. Unexcused Absences
Absences, tardiness and early departures will be considered excused or unexcused according to the following standards:
- Excused: absences due to personal illness; illness or death in the family; unsafe travel conditions; medical appointments; religious observances; quarantine; required court appearance; approved college visit; approved cooperative work program; and participation in a school-sponsored activity.
- Unexcused: any absence that does not fit the above categories (e.g., family vacation, hunting, babysitting, hair cut, obtaining a learner’s permit, oversleeping, etc.)
School officials will take legal action when students are chronically late and/ or absent. That said, guidance counselors at Schuylerville Middle School are more than happy to work with parents of children with serious attendance problems. Don’t hesitate to call for ideas or assistance!
Communication tools for parents
Parent Portal/Homework Web Page
Middle School parents can take advantage of the online tool, Parent Portal, to view their child’s attendance, academic and discipline records from their home or office computers. Report cards and progress reports for all Middle School and High School students will be posted on Parent Portal, as well.
On the Middle School website there is a link for homework. This page is updated twice daily and then posted to the website at the end of the school day. This is an excellent way for parents to know what’s for homework!
Schuylerville uses the messaging system, Global Connect, to send e-mails and text messages to district parents. This tool is used to send a variety of messages, including information about school closings and emergency notifications, as well as student absences. Middle and High School parents will receive Global Connect messages when progress reports and report cards are available on Parent Portal.
Parents may make appointments for conferences with teachers, the guidance counselor, Student Services staff or the principal by telephoning the school office. There may also be times when the school will contact the parents to ask them to come to school for a conference. Conferences are an effective means to promote cooperation in the learning process. If parents have any problems or questions on the school program, they are encouraged to contact the school.
Parents and community members are also encouraged to visit the district website and download the district app to keep up on all the news and events happening in the district. The address for the site is schuylervilleschools.org. The district app is available free for download in the App Store and on Google Play by searching for “Schuylerville Central Schools.”
Student Use of Middle School’s 10th Period
Tenth period, which runs from 2:18 to 3 p.m., is provided for students desiring additional help or supervised study times. Teachers may also request students to remain 10th period for additional instruction or for disciplinary reasons. Any student requested to stay 10th period for a teacher must do so. All students staying 10th period must remain until 3 p.m., at which time they may board the bus run, find other transportation home or go to athletic practice.
Students should contact individual teachers to find out the days they are offering special help.
School discipline code
The Schuylerville educational community firmly believes in the importance of the involvement of students, parents, teachers, school service professionals and members of the community in contributing to the School Discipline Code.
Appropriate school conduct and discipline contributes to our mission of education and is in itself an aspect of learning. It is essential for everyone––students, parents, and educators–– to understand what students’ rights and responsibilities are, what is expected of students and what students can expect if they fall short of these expectations.
Promoting proper conduct is a responsibility of every staff member. All play essential roles in a combined effort to achieve the best educational climate for all students. The code applies to conduct on school premises, school buses, field trips, and at any function where Schuylerville students represent the school. The code also applies to any action on or off school property when the action creates or would foreseeably create a risk of substantial disruption within the school environment or where it is foreseeable that the conduct might reach school property. For students who cannot function within these expectations, an alternative educational plan or suspension may be necessary. For detailed information on the district’s discipline code, please refer to the Code of Conduct publication, which is available in the main office.
STUDENT BILL OF RESPONSIBILITIES & RIGHTS
In order to establish a unified code of responsibilities and rights, we, the students, acknowledge the following bill. We believe these responsibilities and rights are inherently human and not dependent on age, sex, creed, or any other method of categorizing mankind. We also acknowledge the primary responsibilities of the school to provide quality education and to safeguard the safety, health and moral well-being of all students.
Pledge of Allegiance
- Students have the responsibility to respect the rights and interests of others who wish to participate.
- Students have the responsibility not to belittle students acting out of conscience.
- A student has the right to salute the flag and recite the pledge.
- Students may decline to recite the pledge and salute the flag without securing parental permission.
Rules and Regulations
- Students have the responsibility to adhere to rules and regulations that govern them and to follow specific directions of faculty and staff.
- The school will define and document rules and disciplinary measures.
- Students have the right to work toward changing rules with which they disagree by cooperating with the student councils.
- Students have the responsibility to follow administrative procedures when requesting information based on their student record file.
- A student’s files are accessible only to authorized school personnel, his or her parents and the student. The student and/or parent/legal guardian are entitled to inspect the student’s permanent record file.
- Students have the responsibility for proper maintenance of their set meeting place.
- Students have the responsibility to obtain supervision while within the building.
- Students have the responsibility to maintain accurate financial records of their organization.
- Student organizations have the right to meet in a place approved by the school and abide by rules and regulations set forth by the district.
Counseling & Career Planning
- Students have the responsibility to consider the possibility of using district resources in career planning and to seek information as to where supplemental services can be obtained.
- Students have the right to counseling services provided by the school and to be provided information as to where supplemental services can be obtained.
Diploma & Attendance
- It is the responsibility of each student to work toward the completion of his or her program.
- It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of the requirements necessary for successful completion of the student’s program.
- Students have the right to a free public education and the student has a right to a diploma or certificate upon the successful completion of the required academic program.
- Students have a right to an explanation of the education program alternatives available and the requirements for the successful completion of each program.
School Communication & Facilities
- Students have the responsibility to present the appropriate application to the proper school officials before using school facilities.
- Students have the responsibility to use discretion while designing materials for school facilities.
- Students have the responsibility to remove dated material.
- Students have the responsibility not to interrupt classes while using school communication facilities.
- Students have the right to use the school’s public address system to communicate approved announcements of interest to students.
- Students have the right to post approved material in areas that the school will provide.
Student Dress Code and/or Grooming
- All students are expected to give proper attention to personal cleanliness and to dress appropriately for school and school functions. Students and their parents have the primary responsibility for acceptable student dress and appearance provided such dress and grooming does not disrupt the educational process of the school or endanger the health or safety of the individual student or others. Teachers and all other district personnel should exemplify and reinforce acceptable student dress and help students develop an understanding of appropriate appearance in the school setting. A student’s dress, grooming and appearance, including hair style/color, jewelry, make-up and nails shall:
- Be safe and appropriate and not disrupt or interfere with the educational process.
- Include footwear at all times. Footwear that is a safety hazard will not be allowed.
- Recognize that brief garments such as, but not limited to, tube tops, short shirts/shorts, net tops, halter tops, plunging necklines (front and/or back) and see-through garments, are not appropriate.
- Not include wearing garments, jewelry or other forms of symbolism associated with gangs or gang membership.
- Not include items that are vulgar, obscene and libelous or denigrate others on account of race, color, religion, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or disability.
- Not promote and/or endorse the use of alcohol, tobacco or illegal drugs and/or encourage other illegal or violent activities.
- Not cause injury to themselves or others.
Each building principal shall be responsible for informing all students and their parents of the student dress code at the beginning of the school year and any revisions to the dress code made during the school year.
Students who violate the student dress code shall be required to modify their appearance by covering or removing the offending item and, if necessary or practical, replacing it with an acceptable item. Parents shall be notified when their child refuses to do so. The student shall be subject to discipline, up to and including in-school suspension for the day. Any student who repeatedly fails to comply with the dress code shall be subject to further discipline, up to and including out-of-school suspension.
- Student Government has the responsibility to represent the student body to the teachers, administrators and public.
- Students have the responsibility to shape the Student Government into a positive instrument of student involvement within the school and the community when pertaining to school activities.
- Students have the right to an organized Student Government elected by the students.
- Students have the right to openly and publicly question the actions of the Student Government.
- Students have the responsibility to present authorized material to the proper officials for approval before distribution.
- Students have the responsibility not to distribute materials that would materially and substantially interrupt the educational process or intrude on the rights of others.
- Students have the responsibility to make the student press a valuable learning device and an important educational resource.
- Student editors have the responsibility to present both sides of issues in the authorized press.
- Student editors have the responsibility to consider public opinion in developing policy.
- Students have the right to a school authorized newspaper or free student press.
- Students do not have a right to use school facilities or materials to publish unauthorized material.
- Student editors have the right to express their opinions in the student press.
- Students have the responsibility to politely listen to speakers.
- Students have the responsibility to consider public opinion when developing programs.
- Students groups have the right to invite or hear speakers of their choice with administrative approval.
- The school will not require students to hear all sides of an issue as condition for use of school facilities.
- Students have the responsibility to respect the property of others, as well as school property.
- Students have the responsibility to maintain their lockers.
- Students have the responsibility to cooperate in any school investigation involving stolen or vandalized property.
- Students have the responsibility of keeping their locker combination secure.
- Students have the right to an inquiry of stolen or vandalized property.
- Students have the responsibility to listen to faculty and administration opinion.
- Students have the responsibility to obey reasonable requests by staff members if staff members believe any infractions of school rules or regulations have taken place.
- Students have the right to discuss with the faculty and/ or administration controversial matters.
- Students have the right to personal privacy until or unless they are under suspicion of violating school rules or regulations.
Student Due Process Rights
The building principal has the right to suspend a student for a period of up to five days. If the student is suspended for a period of time in excess of five days, the student will be given a notice of the rights and procedures afforded by the education law.
Student Rights and Responsibilities
The primary goal of public education is to give students equal opportunities to become worthwhile contributing members of society. Included in this goal are:
- To educate students to know their rights of citizenship granted by the Constitution of the United States and by the State of New York;
- To live within the rules and limits of society; and
- To develop good habits of self discipline.
In addition, to promote a safe, healthy, orderly and civil school environment, all district students have the right to:
- Take part in all district activities on an equal basis, regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability.
- Present their version of the relevant events to school personnel authorized to impose a disciplinary penalty in connection with the imposition of the penalty.
- Access school rules and, when necessary, receive an explanation of those rules from school personnel.
- Freedom of expression:
- Students are entitled to express their opinions verbally. The expression of such opinions, however, should not interfere with the freedom of others to express themselves or to impede the educational process. The use of obscenities and personal attacks is prohibited.
- All student meetings in the school buildings or on school grounds must function only as part of the formal educational process or as authorized by the school principal.
- Students are entitled to express, in writing, their personal opinions. Such written opinions must be signed by the author(s). Libel, racism, sexism, obscenity and personal attacks are prohibited in all publications.
- Student participation and opinions are encouraged through the publication of student newspapers, yearbooks and literary magazines. These publications have qualified faculty advisors.
- Privacy: It is the responsibility of the school to protect a student’s privacy. The school will not disclose any information from the student’s permanent records except when such disclosures are authorized by a parent, guardian, or when directed by legal authorities. Parents will be contacted in the event that they find themselves subject to school discipline or for other valid reasons subject to administrative approval.
It shall be the responsibility of students to:
- Contribute to maintaining a safe and orderly school environment that is conducive to learning and to show respect to other persons and to property.
- Be familiar with and abide by all district policies, rules and regulations dealing with student conduct.
- Attend school every day unless they are legally excused and be in class, on time and prepared to learn.
- Work to the best of their ability in all academic and extracurricular pursuits and strive toward their highest level of achievement possible.
- React to direction given by teachers, administrators and other school personnel in a respectful, positive manner.
- Work to the develop mechanisms to control their anger.
- Ask questions when they do not understand.
- Accept responsibility for their actions.
- Seek help in solving problems that might lead to discipline.
- Dress appropriately for school functions.
- Conduct themselves as representatives of the district when participating in or attending school sponsored extracurricular events and to hold themselves to the highest standards of conduct, demeanor and sportsmanship.
- To secure all personal belongings. The school district will not be held responsible for the loss and/or theft of any personal property, including, but not limited to, electronic devices.
- All students are expected to promptly report violations of the District’s Code of Conduct to a teacher, school personnel, building principal or his or her designee.
Essential Community Partners
To achieve a cooperative, wholesome relationship between home and school that is essential to each student’s successful development and achievement, parents/guardians are encouraged to:
- Recognize that the education of their child(ren) is a joint responsibility of the parents and the school community.
- Promote prompt and regular school attendance and make certain that all absences and tardiness are properly excused in writing or by phone.
- Promote in their child a desire to learn and encourage good study habits.
- Help their child to give proper attention to health, safety, personal cleanliness, acceptable dress and grooming in a manner consistent with the student dress code.
- Support their child’s participation in school activities.
- Convey to their child a supportive attitude toward education and the district.
- Know and understand the rules their child is expected to observe at school, be aware of the consequences for any violation of these rules and accept legal responsibility for their child’s actions.
- Recognize that school personnel deserve the same consideration and respect that parents expect from their child in order to build good relationships.
- Help their child deal effectively with peer pressure.
- Inform school officials of changes in the home situation that may affect student conduct or performance.
- Help their children understand that in a democratic society appropriate rules are required to maintain a safe, orderly environment.
- Obey school rules and procedures when visiting school or attending school functions.
Teachers and Support Personnel
In recognition of their charge in educating children, it shall be the responsibility of the teachers and support personnel to:
- Reflect a personal enthusiasm for teaching, learning and a genuine concern for each student and colleague.
- Maintain a climate of mutual respect and dignity, which will strengthen students’ self-concept and promote confidence to learn.
- Know school policies and rules and enforce them in a fair and consistent manner.
- Enable students to discuss their problems by listening, remaining open-minded, consulting and acting on student recommendations in the decision-making process.
- Establish and maintain positive, effective and consistent classroom management techniques that result in involving and motivating students.
- Demonstrate, by work and personal example, respectful, responsible and caring behaviors.
- Refer to a parent, counselor or administrator any student whose behavior requires special attention.
- Be prepared to carry out their professional responsibilities.
- Communicate to students and parents:
- Class objectives and requirements;
- Marking/grading procedures;
- Assignment deadlines;
- Expectations for students;
- Classroom discipline plan.
- Communicate regularly with students, parents and other teachers concerning growth and achievement.
- Assist students in coping with peer pressure and emerging personal, social and emotional problems.
- Encourage students to benefit from the curriculum and extracurricular programs.
- Initiate and participate in teacher/student counselor conferences and parent/teacher/student counselor conferences, as necessary.
Board of Education
A primary task of the Board of Education is to establish district policy. It shall be the responsibility of the Board of Education to:
- Collaborate with student, teacher, administrator and parent organizations, school safety personnel and other school personnel to develop a code of conduct that clearly defines expectations for the conduct of students, district personnel and visitors on school property and at school functions.
- Adopt and review, at least annually, the district’s Code of Conduct to evaluate the code’s effectiveness and the fairness and consistency of its implementation.
- Employ and retain high-quality, qualified personnel.
- Support high quality in-service programs for all school employees.
- Lead by example by conducting Board of Education meetings in a professional, respectful and courteous manner.
As the schools’ educational leaders who set the educational climate, principals are responsible to:
- Promote a sound and healthy atmosphere of mutual trust and respect within their schools.
- Promote a safe, orderly and stimulating school environment, supporting active teaching.
- Evaluate the staff and program of instruction to achieve a meaningful educational program.
- Assist the staff in evaluating their own procedures in relation to the interactions within their classrooms.
- Attend to referrals of students.
- Promote communication with students, staff and parents.
- Maintain a wholesome relationship between home and school.
- Ensure fairness, reasonableness and consistency in all decisions affecting students, parents and staff.
- Utilize all appropriate auxiliary staff and outside agencies when necessary.
- Coordinate staff and/or other agencies and services on behalf of the student.
- Assume responsibility for the dissemination and enforcement of the District’s Code of Conduct and ensuring that all cases are resolved promptly and fairly.
- Comply with pertinent state laws governing hearings, suspension and student rights.
- Assist in developing in-service programs for staff members.
- Ensure that students and staff have the opportunity to communicate regularly with the principal.
- Support the development of and student participation in appropriate extracurricular activities.
As the Chief Executive Officer, the Superintendent has the responsibility to:
- Promote a safe, orderly and stimulating school environment, supporting active teaching and learning.
- Encourage and provide for the development of innovative, educational programs.
- Review with the administrators the policies of the Board of Education and state and federal laws relating to school operations, management and discipline.
- Work to create instructional programs that minimize problems of misconduct and are sensitive to student and teacher needs.
- Work with district administrators in enforcing the Code of Conduct and ensure that all cases are resolved promptly and fairly.
Guidance Counselors and School Psychologists
As members of the Student Services team charged with promoting the academic, social and emotional needs of a student, counselors and psychologists will:
- Assist students in coping with peer pressure and emerging personal, social and emotional concerns.
- Initiate teacher/student/counselor-psychologist conferences and parents/teacher/student/counselor-psychologist conferences, as necessary, as a way to resolve problems.
- Regularly review with students their educational progress and career plans.
- Provide information to assist students with career planning.
- Encourage students to benefit from the curriculum and extracurricular programs.
- Be aware of current educational practices, laws and responsibilities they need to follow as they relate to Committee on Special Education (CSE).
- Willingly promote and support teachers that refer students to the Instructional Support Team (IST) and effectively track and define interventions as appropriate.
Examples of Inappropriate Behavior
- Truancy – All Day
- Unexcused Tardiness to School/Class
- Skipping a Class (full or partial class period)/Leaving class without permission
- Violation of Pass Privileges
- Off Campus Without Permission of Main Office
- Inappropriate Use of 10th Period
- Disruptive at Extracurricular Activities (dances, club meetings, athletic contests, etc.)
- Bus Misconduct
- Parking/Driving Infractions
- Attire that is Disruptive, Excessively Revealing, Represents a Safety Hazard or Promotes Engagement in Illegal Activities (for more detailed information, refer to the Code of Conduct publication, which is available in the main office)
- Public Displays of Affection
- Disruptive Behavior
- Disruptive Behavior During Assigned Lunch Period
- Inappropriate Library Behavior
- Unauthorized Use of Electronic Devices
- Student Violations of Computer Room Use Policies
- Making unwanted aggressive physical contact with another student (pushing, punching, slapping, spitting, etc.)
- Fighting (physically)
- Lying and other Disrespectful Behavior
- Profanity, Vulgarity and Offensive Language or Materials
- Insubordination (challenge of authority)
- Vulgarity Directed at a Staff Member
- Impeding/Interfering with an Administrative Investigation
- Possession or Use of Tobacco Products and/or Electronic Cigarettes
- Possession or Use of Drugs, Alcohol, Synthetic/Designer Drugs and/or Drug Paraphernalia
- Possession of a Weapon on School Premises
- Pulling of Fire Alarm (Falsely)/Threat Against the School
- Vandalism: Deliberately damaging or defacing school property
Summary of Disciplinary Responses
The list of offenses is by no means all-inclusive. For those situations that arise and are not listed, the administration will have the complete authority to deal with the problem as deemed necessary. Violations beyond the number of instances stated will result in further, more severe disciplinary action.
The administration also reserves the right to amend the penalties for any of the offenses based on a review of the circumstances. The code/schedule of responses outlined here are advisory only.
- 10th Period Detention
- Detention will take place from 2:18 to 3 p.m. Students are allowed to receive remedial help from teachers during 10th period detention. They must present a pre-signed pass from the teacher who is providing remedial services in order to be released from detention.
- Failure to report to 10th-period detention will result in two assignments of detention for every one detention missed.
- In 10th-period detention, students will not:
- Talk to other students;
- Put his/her head on desk;
- Draw or scribble;
- Pass notes to other students;
- Make unnecessary noises;
- Use electronic devices;
- Use the bathroom (bathroom will be used prior to serving detention).
- Students who fail to meet the expectations of the detention aide and/or building administration may be required to extend their 10th-period detention through extended detention (until 5 p.m.).
- Extended Detention: The purpose of extended detention is to provide students a place to serve out a disciplinary action without disturbing others. Extended detention is a serious step. Guidelines are as follows:
- Extended detention will take place from 2:18 to 5 p.m.
- Failure to attend extended detention will result in two assignments for every one missed.
- Students who fail to meet the expectations of the detention aide and/or building administration for extended detention will be given additional days of extended detention.
- Alternative Learning Environment: The purpose of Alternative Learning Environment is to provide students who fail to meet the expectations for all students a place for supervised academic work. Assignment to Alternative Learning Environment is a serious step. Parents and students should realize that students who fail to meet the following expectations will face severe disciplinary action.
- Assignment will be scheduled by the administration.
- It is the responsibility of the student to:
- Get enough work from teachers to keep busy the entire day;
- Report to the main office with all his/her work by 8 a.m.
- If absent, assignment will be advanced to the next school day.
- While in the Alternative Learning Environment room, the student will follow all directives of the building administration and the Alternative Learning Environment aide.
- Students who fail to meet expectations for Alternative Learning Environment will be treated as follows:
- Failure to cooperate with ALE aide––10th-period detention or extended detention
- Insubordinate or disruptive behavior––Out-of-school suspension as determined by administration.
- The Alternative Learning Environment day is 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Out-of-School Suspension (OSS): Students who are suspended out of school:
- Will not be readmitted without a conference between a parent and an administrator, either in person or via the telephone.
- Students who are suspended from school will be given access to tutoring during the period of suspension.Administration reserves the right to restrict students who are assigned out-of-school suspension from participation in or attendance at any school activities and the student may be placed on the disciplinary restricted list.
- Students Who Are on the Disciplinary Restricted List:
- Cannot leave study hall for any reason unless the student has a pre-signed pass from a teacher he/she is doing work for.
- Assignment to the restricted list will begin immediately after the offense.
- Administration reserves the right to restrict attendance at school dances, interscholastic sporting events or any other school activity for students placed on the restricted list.
- Referral to student services for counseling support, including peer mediation.
Academic Restricted List
Any student in grades 6 through 8 who has a failing grade during any marking period will be placed on the academic restricted list. Students who are on the list:
- Cannot leave study hall for any reason unless the student has a presigned pass from a teacher he/she is doing work for.
- Will remain on the restricted list for the five-week period following the marking period in which they received the failing grade.
- Students will only be removed at the beginning of a new marking period providing all grades are passing.
Students and parents are encouraged to provide input to the Administration, Student Services Office or Student Government if they have recommendations for improving the School Conduct and Discipline Code. The annual review of the School Conduct and Discipline Code and all suggestions for improving it are presented to the Board of Education before August 1 of each year.
Annual Implementation Procedure
Prior to the beginning of school each year, the principal will provide every teacher with an up-to-date copy of the School Discipline Code. The code will be reviewed giving particular attention to its implementation.
A summary of the code will be included in the parent/ student handbook. This summary will be reviewed in class during the first week of school. Detailed copies of the code will be available in the main office, Student Services Center and the library. If a student does not understand any portion of the plan, the individual should seek answers from teachers and principals.
Parents will receive information concerning the School Discipline Code at the beginning of the school year. Parents are encouraged to discuss the code with their children. Extra copies of the plan are available.
This & That
The district offers numerous athletic options for students. All athletes must follow the policies outlined in the district’s Student Athlete Code of Conduct, available on the district website (www.schuylervilleschools.org) and in the main office. Similarly, spectators will be expected to follow guidelines detailed in this document. The Code of Conduct outlines the specific academic, attendance and behavioral expectations of the athletic program. It is the responsibility of the student athlete to make him/herself aware of these expectations and the corresponding consequences in order to maintain athletic eligibility.
Students are not permitted to use book bags during school. Upon arrival, students’ book bags are to be placed in the students’ lockers and may not be removed until dismissal or until students leave for the day.
Cell Phone or Other Electronic, Communication or Recreational Devices
Students are NOT allowed to display or use cell phones or other electronic devices in school. When such items are brought to school, they will be confiscated and returned to the student’s parent upon visitation to the building. iPads supplied by the district should be used as an educational tool only. Students will be subject to loss of iPad privileges if they do not abide by teacher expectations. iPads are to be used for educational purposes only.
Change of Address or Telephone Number
Any change of address or telephone number must be reported to both the Health Office and the Student Services Center. The school must also have a phone number where parents can be reached during the day for emergencies.
Computer/Equipment Acceptable Use Policies
All students will be required to sign and submit an Acceptable Use form, acknowledging and agreeing to the rules associated with the district’s computer network and equipment. Students who fail to submit this form will have their network account and computer privileges suspended. Students who are caught using someone else’s network account will be subject to disciplinary consequences.
Drugs, Alcohol, Cigarettes, Chewing Tobacco
There is to be no smoking, drinking, using drugs, using chewing tobacco or the possession of such items by students enrolled in our school, in school buildings, on school buses and on school property, whether school is in session or not. We emphasize the term “possession.” Students are not to bring drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, chewing tobacco or other objectionable items, such as drug paraphernalia, to school. Attendance at school or school activities while under the influence of alcoholic beverages or drugs is also prohibited.
This provision is being implemented in the interest of students’ health and welfare. By prohibiting all students from carrying and/or distributing drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, chewing tobacco, drug paraphernalia and other harmful items, we hope to discourage use of these products. Violation of this provision will result in severe disciplinary action. The provision also will be in effect at extracurricular activities, on school-sponsored trips and on school property at all times.
Students must have prior written approval from a parent or guardian for all school-sponsored field trips. A permission slip must be obtained from the teacher coordinating the trip, signed and returned to the school prior to the trip.
Students are representatives of the school when on field trips and should act accordingly. Students should follow all regular school rules. If students violate any rule, they will be subject to disciplinary procedures and may be prevented from attending field trips in the future.
Fire Alarms & Drills
The New York State Board of Regents Adopted New Guidelines beginning 7/1/2016. Districts are now required to conduct 12 safety drills, with four of those drills being lockdown drills and eight being fire drills. It is essential that every student:
- Follow directions from staff;
- Be familiar with the exit route from each room he/she uses;
- Leave the building as promptly as possible after an alarm has sounded and report to the designated safety area;
- Stay clear of roadways once out of the building and remain at least 150 feet from the building;
- Return to the building only when instructed. At that time, students should return quickly and orderly.
Food & Beverages
Food and beverages are permitted in the cafeteria areas of the Middle School. Students are not permitted to have food and/or drink at their lockers or in hallways and classrooms.
Our Board of Education recognizes the right of every student to attend classes in an atmosphere that is free from threatening behavior. Students who engage in threatening behavior (harassment, hazing, intimidation, bullying and defamation) will be subject to the provisions of the Board of Education’s Harassment Policy, which prohibits this conduct on our campus.
Since the resources of the library are the focal point for expanding knowledge, students are encouraged to utilize full library services for reference work or for leisure reading of books, magazines or newspapers.
In their use of the library, students should be considerate of the rights of others and the rules of that facility. Books may be borrowed for a two-week period and renewed. There is no fine for overdue books. However, students will be held responsible for making restitution for books that are lost or damaged. Borrowing privileges also will be suspended for those students who have overdue books until those books are returned. Due to the size of the library, there may be limits placed on the number of times per day students visit or the number of students using the library at one time.
It is suggested, though not required, that students purchase a lock from the main office to ensure locker security. If a lock is used, it must be a school lock. Students are reminded that lockers remain the exclusive property of the school and that students have no expectation of privacy with respect to their lockers. To ensure student health and safety, the school reserves the right to inspect locker contents. This inspection may include, but is not limited to, locker clean-out days, the use of trained drug dogs and individual locker examination.
Students must be sure there are no valuables left in lockers and that where there are locks, they are locked securely. Students are to use only lockers assigned to them and are to keep lockers clean and undamaged. Lockers should not have stickers placed on them, or have any permanent marker used. Failure to comply will result in a minimum fine of $3 at the end of the school year. The school district is not responsible for items reported missing from student lockers.
To maintain a quiet atmosphere and ensure promptness, students should visit lockers a minimum number of times daily.
Locks for gym lockers will be loaned to students for the year, since students might need to share a locker. Because the security of lockers cannot be guaranteed, nothing of value should be permanently stored in them. Failure to return these locks to the PE teacher at the end of the year will result in a $4 fine per student. (Students who share a locker will be assessed a $2 fine for failure to return a lock.)
No student shall bring, carry or use ANY medicines or similar matter in the school building, on school grounds or on a school bus without the material being labeled for the student’s use or prescribed by a medical doctor for his/her use. A note signed by the student’s parent is sufficient evidence of this fact. All medicine usage must be reported to the school nurse, who will administer it.
Any student in the hall during classes must have the proper pass issued by a staff member. It is the student’s responsibility to obtain a pass from the staff member if passage in the hall during classes is required.
If a staff member asks a student for a pass, the student must present the pass to the staff member. If a student fails to comply with the staff member’s request, the student will be directed to the office.
Prohibition of Corporal Punishment
The use of corporal punishment, defined as any act of physical force upon a student for the purpose of punishing that student, is not acceptable in this district and will not be tolerated as a disciplinary measure. The term shall not apply, however, to use of reasonable physical force in the following situations:
- For the purpose of self-defense;
- To protect other persons from physical injury;
- To protect property of the school or others;
- To remove a student if the student has refused to comply with requests to refrain from disruptive behavior.
The school is not responsible for valuables that are lost or stolen while a student is attending school. Students wishing to have valuables protected while they are in attendance should deposit them in the school office with a secretary at the beginning of school and collect them at the close of school.
Students who bring money or valuable items to school and leave them in their lockers risk having them stolen. The school is not responsible for valuables left in lockers.
Salute to the Flag
The Commissioner of Education’s regulation requires that opening exercises each day school is in session shall be the salute to our flag. Individual students who choose not to participate may either stand and remain respectfully silent or leave the classroom during the rendering of the salute and pledge.
Study Hall Guidelines
- Students are to be quiet and orderly in study halls. Accurate records must be maintained concerning student attendance and sign-outs on a daily basis.
- Each study hall teacher will prepare an accurate seating chart. The charts are constantly kept updated as new students enter and others change their schedules and leave school.
- Upon entering study hall, students will take their assigned seats and start to work.
- Students are to be in seats when the class bell rings.
- Students must have textbooks, library books or approved materials to study. Card playing and recreational electronics are not permitted.
- Students who have a definite need are permitted to leave study hall with a valid pass. Three minutes is plenty of time for a bathroom pass.
- Students are not to be excused from study hall to work with some other teacher unless they possess a pre-signed pass made out by that teacher. No student should leave his/her seat until roll call has been taken; until then, no passes will be honored.
- A student will not be permitted to leave the study hall to get a pass.
- Only official school passes will be honored.
- Daily sign-out sheets will be maintained by the study hall teachers.
Video/Audio Recording by Students
Students are not permitted to use any electronic device to record audio or video media or take pictures of any student or staff member without their permission. Taking photographs, recording, or videotaping without an individual’s consent can be considered an invasion of privacy. The distribution of any unauthorized photos, media, or recordings may result in discipline including, but not limited to, suspension, criminal charges, and expulsion. The District reserves the right to inspect a student’s personal device if there is a reason to believe that the student has violated District policies, school rules, or engaged in other misconduct while using his or her personal device. Students may not utilize any technology to harass, threaten, bully, demean, humiliate, intimidate, embarrass, or annoy their classmates or others in their community. This behavior is subject to disciplinary action and will be reported to the state as part of the Dignity for All Students Act.
All visitors (including parents) to Schuylerville Middle School are required to sign in and get a visitor’s pass, issued by the office. This regulation complies with state law.
If you wish to have a friend visit with you for a day, please make arrangements with your teachers and the school office at least one day prior to the visit. The visitor must be a secondary school student. No visitors will be approved during exam periods, the day following a vacation or the last school day before a vacation. Visitors will be expected to abide by all school regulations. The administration reserves the right to restrict access to visitors who fail to comply with district policies.
Visitors of school age will only be allowed to visit during their home school vacation periods.
Weapons in School
No student shall have in his/her possession upon school premises any rifle, shotgun, pistol, revolver, other firearm, knives, dangerous chemicals, explosives, or any object that is not necessary for school activities and that could be used as a weapon. A weapon is defined as any instrument capable of firing a projectile, the frame or receiver of any such weapon, a firearm muffler or silencer, any explosive device or any other instrument capable of inflicting bodily harm.
In accordance with the Gun Free Schools Act of 1994, a student found guilty of bringing a firearm (as defined in federal law) onto school property, after a hearing has been provided pursuant to section 3214 of the Education law, will be subject to at least one year suspension from school.* However, after this penalty has been determined, the superintendent of schools will review the penalty following an immediate five-day suspension and may modify the one-year suspension on a case-by-case basis. If the superintendent believes a one-year suspension penalty to be excessive, he/she may modify the penalty based on criteria including but not limited to:
- The age of the student and the student’s grade level;
- The student’s prior disciplinary record;
- The superintendent’s belief that other forms of discipline may be more effective;
- Input from parents, teachers and/or other;
- Other extenuating circumstances.
New York State peace officers and police officers are the only people permitted on school property to have a weapon in their possession.
*Federal law requires at least a one-year suspension from school for any student who is found to have brought a firearm to school. However, the law permits that the superintendent of schools review each such case to determine if the penalty should be modified. This determination must be made on a case-by-case basis.
Students ages 11 to 17 who intend to work during vacations or after school must have working papers issued by the school. You must have a physical in order to be eligible for working papers. Working papers will be issued by the Student Services Center upon student request. All regulations regarding the employment of minors will be explained when the papers are issued.
Meals & Wheels
It’s a fact. Students who are wellnourished are shown to have increase problem-solving abilities, memory, verbal fluency and creativity. With that in mind, Schuylerville offers a food service program to Middle School students that is designed to fuel learning and offer a variety of choices that appeal to adolescents.
The services of the cafeteria are available to all students. Middle School students are offered a full breakfast for $1.10. Middle School lunches are $1.90. School children from families whose income is within the preset income scale, set by the state, are eligible for a free lunch and one half-pint of milk or a reduced-price lunch each school day. To apply for lunch assistance, parents should complete the free or reduced-price lunch application available in the main office. Eligible students are given a PIN (Personal Identification Number)–– just like everyone else––so their peers and food service workers are not aware which students are receiving free or discounted meals.
Food may not be charged in the cafeteria except in case of emergency. All food is to be consumed in the cafeteria, not in the halls. Upon finishing lunches, students are expected to clean their places of debris and to properly return trays and dishes. Since the cafeteria is a dining area, students are to behave in an appropriate manner.
- Students will not be allowed to go to their lockers during lunch periods.
- Be courteous to the cafeteria staff and the hall monitors.
- Use appropriate language and behavior.
- Wait patiently for service at the end of lunch lines.
- Do not wander through the halls and the lobby.
- Do not throw food or other debris.
- Keep all food, beverages and snacks in the cafeteria at all times.
- After eating, pick up after yourself.
- Stay in the designated area or in the cafeteria until the lunch period ends. Do not crowd the cafeteria exits and/ or lobby.
Students who choose not to follow the guidelines will receive consequences from the lunch monitor and/or building administration.
Schuylerville safely transports students thousands of miles each year. Letters are mailed home notifying students of their assigned bus stop before classes begin in the fall. Students are asked only to report to this bus stop. Please be patient the first few weeks of school to allow drivers to adjust bus routes and times. Pick-up and drop-off times may vary 5-10 minutes either way.
The primary aim of our transportation department is to transport all of our students safely to and from school. Drivers have been asked not to permit any disorderly behavior on buses and send “disciplinary notices” to the building administrators. While passengers on school buses, students should behave in an orderly manner and should obey the directives of the school bus drivers.
- Be at your assigned bus stop five minutes before the bus arrives in the morning.
- Board or leave the bus only when it is stopped.
- Remain seated while the bus is in motion.
- Loud, boisterous or other distracting noises should not be made.
- Articles should not be thrown on the bus.
- Neighbor quarreling, fighting or rough play will not be tolerated.
- Swearing or other vile language must not be used.
- The use of tobacco, drugs and/or alcohol is forbidden.
- Food and drinks should not be consumed on the bus. Many students have food allergies, so consuming food or drink can cause a medical emergency.
- Obey the bus drivers gladly; they are doing their best for you.
- Head or arms must not be extended out windows.
- Students will be held responsible for any damage to the bus or its equipment.
- Articles of an injurious or objectionable nature are not to be brought on the bus.
Students remaining after school for assigned purposes must obtain a proper bus pass to be presented to the bus driver when boarding a later run bus. Students must turn in to the main office written permission from a parent or guardian to ride any bus other than their assigned bus.
REMEMBER: Riding school buses is a privilege that will be suspended if rules are violated or behavior threatens the safety or rights of others.
Bullying…Back Off… Step Up!
Bullying has become a problem virtually everywhere. News reports tell of children who have been bullied in the school yard and on the Internet. National magazines and talk show guests focus on topics like cliques and how truly mean girls can be to each other. And no doubt your own children have seen, heard about or experienced bullying.
School officials understand the impact this problem can have on a school environment. More than a physical threat, bullying creates a climate of fear and makes learning difficult for all students.
Bystanders: The Third Party to Bullying
Traditionally, bullying prevention programs focused on the two most obvious parties to the crime––the bully and the victim. However, new approaches now highlight the important role the witness or bystander can play in stopping bullies in their tracks.
In their book, Bullies and Victims: Helping Your Child Through the Schoolyard Battlefield, authors Suellen Fried and Paula Fried write, “Though there is conflicting data about the percentage of children who are identified as victims, the majority of students…are neither bullies nor victims, they are witnesses to the bullying.” Harnessing the strength of these numbers may be the best hope for turning the bullying trend around. Consider the following:
- BYSTANDERS ARE HARMED BY BULLYING. If students feel powerless to put an end to bullying, they may experience fear, sadness, anger, guilt or shame. All these can make learning difficult.
- BYSTANDERS OFTEN BECOME PART OF THE PROBLEM. With preadolescents, peer pressure and a desire to fit in will color most of the decisions they make. When confronted with the ominous question, “Whose side are you on?” many will side with the bully, which makes the problem worse.
- THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AN INNOCENT BYSTANDER. Simply knowing that bullying is taking place and yet not taking action makes the witness as much a part of the problem as the bully. However, standing up for others can take a lot of courage.
Helping Your Children Take a Stand
Encouraging your children to help prevent bullying may seem like a good idea in theory, but there are a lot of factors––fear of retaliation being foremost––that can discourage them from taking a stand. Here are some ways you can help:
- TALK WITH YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT BULLYING. Ask them about what they witness at school. Keep the lines of communication open so that you will likely be the one they confide in.
- LET KIDS KNOW IT IS OKAY TO REPORT BULLYING. Make it safe for your children to tell you about the things they have seen and what bothers them. Although your first instinct might be to tell your children how to respond or, even worse, to downplay bullying as a natural rite of passage, try to listen and keep your responses neutral.
- HELP YOUR CHILD EMPATHIZE WITH THE VICTIM. It is much easier for kids to turn a blind eye if the person being wronged is not a friend or is an unpopular student. Talk with your children about how they would feel if they or one of their close friends were in the victim’s shoes.
- WORK WITH YOUR CHILD TO DEVELOP STRATEGIES TO HELP THOSE WHO ARE BEING BULLIED. For example, if gossip is being spread about someone they know, you can counsel your children to counter it with the truth. The book, Cliques: 8 Ways to Help Your Child Survive the Social Jungle by Charlene C. Giannetti and Margaret Sagarese includes suggestions for discouraging different types of bullying.
- ENLIST THE HELP OF OTHERS. Bystanders far outnumber the bullies. With children who are hesitant to help stop bullying, the aid of a sympathetic friend or two might make the difference.
Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) Plain Language Summary
In accordance with the Dignity for All Students Act, the Schuylerville Board of Education recognizes that a safe and supportive learning environment is essential for promoting student attendance and academic achievement. Incidents of discrimination, harassment and bullying, including but not limited to taunting, intimidation and cyberbullying (harassment or bullying that occurs through any form of electronic communication) can interfere with a student’s ability to learn and the district’s ability to educate its students. Therefore, the district is committed to creating an environment that is free of discrimination, harassment, bullying and cyberbullying and will promote civility throughout the school to prevent and prohibit conduct that is inconsistent with that goal.
The district prohibits any action on or off school property that creates or foreseeably creates a risk of substantial disruption within the school environment or where it is foreseeable that the conduct might reach school property. This includes all forms of discrimination, harassment, bullying and cyberbullying of students by school employees or other students. The district prohibits all forms of discrimination, harassment, bullying or cyberbullying based on actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion or religious practice, disability, sexual orientation or gender. Section 292 of the Human Rights Law and Section 11 of the Education Law, the term “race” shall include traits historically associated with race, including but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles. Under Section 292 of the Human Rights Law and Section 11 of the Education Law, the term “protective hairstyles” shall include, but not be limited to, hairstyles such as braids, locks, and twists. In addition to the examples provided in the new definition, hairstyles such as cornrows, dreadlocks, Bantu knots, fades, and afros would be protected under the new law.
Students who fail to act in a respectful, dignified, and civil manner toward others while on school property or at a school sponsored function, may be subject to formal disciplinary action, including a referral, detention, in-school suspension, short term out-of-school suspension or long term out-of-school suspension. These consequences may also apply to students who engage in discrimination, harassment, bullying or cyberbullying off school property when the behavior creates or foreseeably creates a risk of substantial disruption within the school environment or where it is foreseeable that the conduct might reach school property.
The district will investigate and document every reported incident of discrimination, harassment, bullying or cyberbullying. Incidents may be reported to a building administrator or Dignity Act Coordinator by students, parents, school employees or concerned community members. The building administrator and/or the Dignity Act Coordinator will interview alleged victims, witnesses, and other relevant individuals. Disciplinary consequences will be assigned as appropriate according to the District Code of Conduct.
Student Rights and Responsibilities
- Students have the right to take part in all district activities on an equal basis, regardless of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion or religious practice, disability, sexual orientation or gender.
- Students have the right to be protected from intimidation, harassment, discrimination, bullying or cyberbullying based on actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion or religious practice, disability, sexual orientation or gender, by school employees or other students.
- Students have the responsibility to respect one another and treat each other fairly, civilly, and with dignity according to the Student Code of Conduct, other district policies and the Dignity for All Students Act.
- Students have the responsibility to promote an environment that is free from intimidation, harassment, discrimination, bullying or cyberbullying.
- Students have the responsibility to report incidents of discrimination, harassment, bullying or cyberbullying that are experienced, witnessed, or otherwise brought to their attention. Incidents are to be reported in a timely manner to the building administrator and/or Dignity Act Coordinator.
Parent/Guardian Rights and Responsibilities
- Parents/guardians have the responsibility to teach their children respect and dignity toward themselves and others, regardless of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion or religious practice, disability, sexual orientation or gender.
- Parents have the responsibility to report incidents of discrimination, harassment, bullying and cyberbullying that are witnessed or otherwise brought to their attention. Incidents are to be reported in a timely manner to the building administrator and/or Dignity Act Coordinator.
School Employee Responsibilities
- School employees have the responsibility to maintain a climate of mutual respect and dignity.
- School employees have the responsibility to confront issues of discrimination, harassment, bullying or cyberbullying or any situation that threatens the emotional or physical health or safety of any student, school employee or any person who is lawfully on school grounds or at a school-sponsored event.
- School employees have the responsibility to address personal biases that may prevent equal treatment of all students in the school or classroom setting.
- School employees have the responsibility to report incidents of discrimination, harassment, bullying or cyberbullying that are witnessed or otherwise brought to their attention. School employees must orally report incidents to the principal or Dignity Act Coordinator within one school day after witnessing or receiving a report of such incident. School employees must also file a written report within two school days after making the oral report.
Dignity Act Coordinator
At least one staff member in each school will be thoroughly trained to handle human relations in the areas of race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion or religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, or gender. The Dignity Act Coordinator will be accessible to students and staff members for consultation and advice regarding the expectations of the Dignity for All Students Act.
Co-Curricular Activities at the Middle School
The Middle School offers several co-curricular activities for students in grades 6-8. Students are encouraged to become involved in as many activities as possible to encourage the development of social and leadership skills. It is important for students to remember that when they join an organization they represent it at all times and should behave properly. Every group wants its members to be a credit to the organization. Here’s information about activities sponsored at the Middle School:
Open to students in grades 7-12
Advisor: Ms. DeJoseph
Art Club is open to any students interested in creating artwork. Work can be independent, group-oriented (as in collaborations) or specific projects, such as pottery, digital photography, murals, fundraisers, etc. Students will have an opportunity to experience art mediums they might not have a chance to use in regular school day classes and to bring art to the school and community. The Art Club maintains a permanent art collection of student work. Each year there is a competition with members of the school community voting on favorite art pieces. The winning art works are framed by the Art Club and displayed throughout the district.
Open to students in grades 6-8
Advisor: Mrs. Dunbar
Book Club is devoted to connecting students to books in an effort to expose middle school-level readers to a wide variety of literature and to create lifelong readers. Students, the advisor and guest readers will discuss literary plots, themes and conflicts. An emphasis will be placed on learning to analyze content for the deeper meaning in selected works. In addition to lively book discussions, members create and participate in activities that promote reading and literacy within the Middle School and the community.
Open to students in grades 6-12
Drama Club provides theatrical experiences in an exciting, challenging and fun atmosphere. Students are encouraged to participate in roles on stage and behind the scenes. The Middle School (6-8) Drama Production will take place in March.
Open to students in grades 6-8
Advisors: Mr. Whalen
The Middle School Green Team (MSGT) is for students who have an interest in working on projects that fit into the four cornerstones of the Green Ribbon School initiatives. Some of the topics GRS works on are recycling, outdoor play, healthy habits, physical fitness and learning in the outdoors.
FFA (Future Farmers of America)
Open to students in grades 7-12
Advisors: Ms. Foote
Future Farmers of America members compete in contests such as speech, FFA creed, parliamentary procedures, Ag communications, Ag sales and talent. Each year, participants attend the National FFA Convention in October. A chapter banquet is held the first Wednesday in June to culminate the year’s activities.
FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America)
Open to students in grades 6-8
Advisor: Mrs. Depoy
Future Business Leaders of America club gives students an opportunity to work with peers on various activities that benefit the school community as well as our district community. Students explore the skills that all good business leaders need while running a school-based business. FBLA also sponsors the Ronald McDonald snack replenishment drive, the Holiday Bash, flower bulb sale/ fundraiser and an annual trip to Great Escape.
Individual Class Representation
Open to students in grades 6, 7 & 8
Advisor: Mr. Jorgenson
The Middle School class officers are elected by their peers as representatives for the 6th, 7th- and 8th-grade student body. The officers organize three school events throughout the year in efforts to encourage social interaction among the Middle School classes. All 6th-, 7th- and 8th-grade students are welcome to attend the monthly meetings.
Open to students in grades 7 & 8
Advisors: Mrs. Koch
7th & 8th Grade Jazz Band is a performing ensemble that rehearses during 10th period on Thursdays. This group will learn about various styles of music within the jazz tradition, develop improvisation skills and practice pieces for their spring concert. Interested students should either be in band class or currently taking private lessons for their instrument outside of school. Students must also attend the interest meeting with Mrs. Koch in September (date TBA).
Open to students in grades 6-8
Advisor: Mr. Leonard
MathCounts is a national non-profit organization that strives to engage middle school students of all ability and interest levels in fun, challenging math programs in order to expand their academic and professional opportunities. At Schuylerville, members generally meet once a week during 10th period starting early in the school year until the members compete in the local competition and possibly the state competition. During these meetings, we work on math problems that are not typical of a standard math curriculum. Members are taught new material, provided insight and shortcuts to become better problem-solvers. Overall, it’s a time for students to get together to share a common interest in math at a level not seen on a daily basis.
National Jr. Honor Society
Open to students in grades 8 & 9
Advisor: Mrs. McKinley
NJHS is an organization that recognizes outstanding students in grades 8-9. It honors those students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, leadership, service and character.
Our Space Art & Literary Journal
Open to students in grades 7 & 8
Advisors: Mrs. Brennan & Mrs. Reville
Our Space creates a middle school literary and art magazine and organizes the Java Jive coffee house experience. The magazine is a compilation of original artwork and literature that middle school students submit to the club. Students are encouraged to present their work at Java Jive, which is a live “coffee house” where students read and share their work with peers. Content must be appropriate for a middle school audience.
SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions)
Open to students in grades 7-12
Advisor: Ms. Kline
Students Against Destructive Decisions participants plan activities to send positive messages. Activities include red ribbons at Christmas, signing of the prom promise, letters to prom attendees from elementary students encouraging them to have a safe time, Make-A-Wish, Safe Spring at Skidmore speakers to students from MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving).
Ski & Snowboard Club
Open to students in grades 6-12
Advisors: Mr. Whalen & Mr. Jorgensen (Grade 6), Mrs. Vallee (Grades 7 & 8)
Ski and Snowboard Club is an exciting opportunity for people of all abilities. The club makes six trips to Willard Mountain, leaving school at 3 p.m. and returning by 7:30 p.m. The first organizational meeting is held at the end of November. Sixth grade students attend with the elementary ski club.
Modified Sports for Grades 7 & 8
Schuylerville students in grades 7-8 are invited to participate in the district’s modified sports program. Modified sports serve as a developmental process that emphasizes basic skills, creates school pride and enthusiasm and indoctrinates players to the varsity program philosophy. Participation in the program will be based on coaches’ discretion, skill level, attendance, work ethic and a positive attitude. Development of the athletic program is a major determining factor in deciding participation by modified student athletes, rather than winning or losing. All student athletes will have an opportunity to participate in every athletic contest.
Tryouts will be conducted at the modified level and an attempt will be made for all participants to become team members whenever possible. The number of participants will be determined at the coaches’ discretion and the following factors:
- Athletes’ safety;
- Demonstration of skills;
- Attendance and effort at practice;
- Attitude and compliance with team and school rules;
- Maintenance of productive practices;
- Completion of necessary paperwork;
- Knowledge of the game.
Athletic Code of Conduct
All student athletes will be responsible for understanding the code and following it. Copies are available from coaches, in the main offices at each building and in the Athletic Department office. A copy is also available by clicking here.
- Cross Country
- Field Hockey
- Outdoor Track
TITLE IX & 504 COMPLIANCE
Schuylerville Central School District hereby advises students, parents, employees and the general public that it offers employment and educational opportunities, including vocational educational opportunities, without regard to sex, race, color, national origin or handicap. Secondary vocational education opportunities available to district residents under the age of 21 are courses in business education, home economics and technology industrial arts programs. Inquiries regarding this non-discriminatory policy may be directed to the superintendent of schools or his/her designee. These officials will provide information, including complaint procedures, to any citizen, student or employee who feels that his/her Title IX or section 504 have been violated by the district or its officials.