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Elementary Student Handbook & Code of Student Conduct

Mechanicsburg Area School District Elementary Schools

2017-2018

 

To the Parents/Guardians:

 

This handbook/code of conduct for students and parents provides general information concerning the Mechanicsburg elementary schools’ programs and procedures. It is designed to give both parents and students answers to questions and to serve as a reference throughout the year.

 

We want your child’s school experience to be a productive and joyful one. Our teachers will do everything possible to make school meaningful and worthwhile. We know that teachers cannot do this alone.  Your cooperation is important to the successful educational growth and development of your son or daughter. We hope this handbook will be helpful in developing this cooperation.

 

Kindergarten Academy                                         

Broad Street Elementary

Elmwood Elementary

Northside Elementary

Shepherdstown Elementary

Upper Allen Elementary

 

Elements of a Positive Learning Environment

The maintenance of a positive learning climate in the schools of the district is critical. In an effort to accomplish this, the following rules have been established:

 

  • STUDENTS WILL TREAT OTHERS THE WAY THEY WOULD LIKE TO BE TREATED (Students will use kind words and actions)
  • Students will follow adult directions the first time.
  • Students will treat people, places and property with respect.
  • Students will keep hands, feet, and objects to themselves.

                                             GENERAL INFORMATION                                                        

 

MISSION STATEMENT

The mission of the Mechanicsburg Area School District is to develop:

  • Resilient, self-directed learners able to achieve personal goals
  • Critical and creative thinkers capable of transferring knowledge to new situations
  • Collaborative team players with effective communication skills
  • Productive, responsible citizens in a diverse and ever-changing global society

 

PRINCIPALS’ MESSAGE

To all of our new and returning students, we welcome you for the 2017-2018 school year and hope it will be a prosperous one. Our schools are extremely proud of our teachers and the programs which we offer. Our hope is everyone will start the year with a good attitude, an open mind and the enthusiasm to be successful.

 

NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY

Mechanicsburg Area School District is an equal opportunity education institution and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, handicap, or age in its activities, programs, or employment practices, as required by Title VI, Title IX, Section 504 and ADA.

 

For information regarding civil rights or grievances procedures contact The Superintendent’s Office, 100 East Elmwood Avenue, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055 (717-691-4500).


BOARD OF SCHOOL DIRECTORS

A nine-member Board of School Directors is responsible for the operation of Mechanicsburg Area Schools. The School Board delegates administrative responsibilities as the proper performance of their duty may require.

 

Members of the Board of School Directors

Mrs. Dawn Merris, President

Mr. John Rupp, Vice President

Mrs. Tracy L. Morgan, Treasurer

Mr. Richard J. Bradley

Mr. Dennis P. Burkhard

Mrs. Lynda A. Hambright

Dr. Layne Lebo

Mr. Nathan McWilliams

Mrs. Judy Quigley

 

Non-Voting Members

Dr. Mark K. Leidy, Superintendent

Mr. Gregory Longwell, Secretary

Mr. Gareth D. Pahowka, Solicitor

 

DISTRICT ADMINISTRATORS

Dr. Mark K. Leidy, Superintendent 

Mrs. Julie Huff, Assistant Superintendent

Dr. Alan Vandrew, Assistant Superintendent, Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Paul Bigham, Director of Student Services

Mr. Jason Baker, Director of Curriculum and Instructional Technology

Mrs. Jaime Bott, Supervisor of Special Education

 

SCHOOL HOURS

School hours for Broad Street, Elmwood, Northside, Shepherdstown and Upper Allen Elementary Schools are from 7:45 am until 2:25 pm each day. The Kindergarten Academy hours are from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm.  Children should arrive no earlier than 10 minutes prior to start time.

 

SCHOOL CANCELLATIONS OR DELAYS

On days of inclement weather, any cancellation or delay will be announced on the local radio stations. The following plans may be in effect:

 

One-hour delay – bus schedules and start of school set back one hour. Breakfast will not be served.

Two-hour delay – bus schedules and start of school set back two hours. Breakfast will not be served.

School canceled – school will not be held that day. Make-up days are listed on the school calendar.

 

 

EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION SYSTEM

In an effort to improve school to home communication, the district has implemented a system called Blackboard Connect. This system is a dynamic communication tool that allows schools to communicate information that is either of a routine or emergency nature.  Principals are able to communicate with the parents in their school community, and the district can send messages to the entire school community. Blackboard Connect is used for both emergency and routine communications such as weather delays, building and PTO newsletters. Blackboard Connect is Internet based, allowing each family to maintain a secure, password protected online profile. Parents can log into their profile at any time to update contact information. Maintaining profile accuracy will increase the ability of the school to keep you informed. A link to the Blackboard Connect website can be found on the district website: www.mbgsd.org – under Quick Links click on Blackboard Connect Emergency Notification System sign up. If you do not have home Internet access, you may sign up for Blackboard Connect in your child’s home school. You may also sign up at the public library. If you have any questions, please contact the Technology Department at connect@mbgsd.org.

 

2017-2018 IMPORTANT MEETINGS AND EVENTS

 

DATE

EVENT

August 21
First Day of School
September 1
No School (Labor Day Recess)
September 4
No School (Labor Day Recess)
September 22
No School (Act 80 Day)
October 6
No School (Professional Activities Day)
October 9
No School (Columbus Day Recess)
October 26
End of 1st Marking Period
November 14 & 16

 Parent/Teacher Conferences

November 16

Early Dismissal (10:45)

November 22-November 27 

No School (Thanksgiving Recess)

December 22-January 1   

No School (Winter Recess)

January 2      

 No School (Professional Development Day)

January 15      

No School (MLK Day)

January 16     

End of 2nd Marking Period

February 8-9  

Parent/Teacher Conferences (10:45 dismissal)

February 16   

No School (Professional Development Day)

 

February 19  

No School (President’s Day)

March 9     

No School (In-Service Day)

March 23       

End of 3rd Marking Period

March 29-30  

Spring Recess

April 2   

No School (In-Service Day)

April 9-13 

PSSA Testing –English Language Arts

April 16-20   

PSSA Testing – Mathematics

April 23-27   

PSSA Testing – Science

April 30-May 4    

PSSA Testing – Make-up

May 28       

No School (Memorial Day)

May 31 

Last day of school (10:45 dismissal)

 

 

 

WEDNESDAY COLLABORATIVE PLANNING

Teachers are committed to professional activities from 3:00-4:00 PM on Wednesdays and will not be available to meet with students and parents at that time.

 

INCLEMENT WEATHER MAKE-UP DAYS

1st                    February 19

2nd                   March 29

3rd                    June 1

4th                    June 4

5th                    June 5

 

KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION

Kindergarten registration is held in March to identify all children who will enter kindergarten the next fall. Children must be five years of age on or before September 30th of the school year in which they will enter. Verification of the child’s birth date is required and immunization records must be presented at the time of registration. Residency verification is also required at the time of registration.

 

PSSA

The Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) requires the school district to test the English and Language Arts: which includes tests for reading, writing, and language, and math and science skills of all students.  The results of this test provide comparative data to the school district for use in monitoring the curriculum, planning for appropriate changes in the curriculum and for informing the public about the status of the school district’s educational programs. ELA and Math skills are tested in grades 3-8, Science in grades 4 and 8.

 

A students performance on the PSSA test will result in one of the following performance level ratings in each area tested:

 

Advanced:    Superior academic performance indicating an in-depth understanding and exemplary display of the skills included in Pennsylvania’s Academic Standards.

 

Proficient:     Satisfactory academic performance indicating a solid understanding and adequate display of the skills included in Pennsylvania’s Academic Standards.

 

Basic:            Marginal academic performance, work approaching, but not yet reaching satisfactory performance. Performance indicates a partial understanding and limited display of the skills included in Pennsylvania’s Academic Standards.

 

Below Basic: Inadequate academic performance that indicates little understanding and minimal display of the skills included in Pennsylvania’s Academic Standards.

 

****PLEASE NOTE - Educational Trip requests will not be granted for students requesting to be absent on dates testing is scheduled to occur.

 

PSSA Dates – Testing Windows:

 

3rd-8th Grade PSSA English Language Arts Testing         April 9-13, 2018

3rd-8th Grade PSSA Mathematics Testing                         April 16-20, 2018

4th and 8th Grade PSSA Science Testing                          April 23-27, 2018

PSSA Make-up Testing                                                       April 30-May 4, 2018


                                                                 PROCEDURES                                                                

 

SCHOOL VISITORS

Parents may request to visit their child’s classroom, but the request must be made to the building principal prior to the visit in accordance with established administrative regulation (Board Policy 907-2). All visitors must sign in at the school office where they will receive a visitor’s badge. Parents may not bring other children or guests with them on classroom visits without prior permission of the building principal.

 

VOLUNTEERS (MASD Board Policy 916)

Volunteers serve at the pleasure of the building principal and their services may be discontinued without any reason or cause. Volunteers may not bring other children or guests with them when serving as a volunteer without prior permission of the building principal.

 

Volunteer – An adult individual in an unpaid position with a program, activity or service who is individually responsible for the welfare of one or more children or has direct contact with children.

 

The Board requires that all volunteers complete the following:

- A tuberculosis examination in accordance with the regulations of the Advisory Health Board

- Pennsylvania State Police Request for Criminal Check

- FBI background check (Act 34 of 1985, 24 P.S. 1-111(e)

- Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance (Act 151 of 1994, 23 Pa. C.S. 6355)

 

These shall be renewed every three (3) years. The FBI background check is not required if the volunteer has been a resident of PA for the entirety of the previous 10 years and completes a volunteer verification form.

 

Reimbursement for clearances for volunteers may be approved by the Superintendent or designee based on financial need or extenuating circumstances.

 

SAFETY PATROLS

Students from grades four and five are chosen to be safety patrols in some of the elementary schools for one school year. There are also adult patrols on various walking routes. They have a great responsibility in maintaining the safety of the children. Parents should insist that their children obey the patrols and cross the streets only where there is a patrol on duty.

 

PARENT COMMUNICATION / MAILINGS

A non-custodial parent who would like to receive a copy of their child’s report card must make their request in writing.  The school district will provide postage for mailing of report cards.

 

If a non-custodial parent would like to receive a copy of any other correspondence such as picture day, classroom newsletters, etc. they must provide a self-addressed stamped envelope.

 

BIRTHDAY INVITATIONS

Invitations to birthday parties or other gatherings may not be passed out in school, unless the entire class is invited. The PTO’s in each building create student directories that include information that parents have provided. Addresses and phone numbers can be retrieved from the directories. Teachers cannot distribute contact information.

 

SCHOOL DIRECTORY

All of the information contained within the directory is supplied on a voluntary basis by the parents/guardians of the student attending the school. This information is intended to be used to facilitate communication between the families of our student population. It is not to be used for solicitation purposes or shared with anyone other than the school families and staff.

 

PARENT DROP-OFF AND PICK-UP

If students are transported to school by parents, they are to be dropped-off in the designated drop-off area of each individual school. At no time are parents to drop-off or pick-up students in the bus zone.

 

BUS CONDUCT

Proper student conduct on school buses is essential to the health and safety of all students. Persistent misbehavior on the part of any student may result in the revocation of the privilege to ride the school bus. Should a student lose the privilege, it becomes the responsibility of the parent or guardian to provide transportation.

 

The driver of the bus has the authority to direct students with regard to bus behavior and to assign seats where appropriate. Behavior infractions will be reported to the appropriate administrator. In the event that behavior is such that it is, in the judgment of the driver, unsafe to proceed, the driver can stop the bus in a safe area and request assistance from the police and/or the appropriate school administrator.

 

The following rules regarding bus behavior will apply:

  • Students must be loaded and unloaded only at school loading stations and designated bus stops approved by the school board.
  • Students should proceed quickly and in an orderly fashion when boarding/disembarking the bus.
  • Students must maintain an acceptable level of noise and refrain from singing, shouting, or cheering so as not to distract the driver.
  • Students must remain seated while the bus is in motion.
  • Students must not extend arms or other body parts out the windows.
  • Students must not throw objects inside the bus or out the windows.
  • The aisle must be kept clear, books and other belongings should be held by the students, or properly stowed out of the way.
  • Students must be on time at bus stop locations at home and school. They should leave home in time to reach the bus stop FIVE minutes before scheduled pick-ups and avoid playing or loitering on the highway when waiting for the bus.
  • Students are not permitted to leave the bus except at their regularly assigned stops unless they have written permission from a school administrator.
  • After arriving at school either by school bus or by private transportation, students must remain on school property until dismissed.
  • Students may only ride their assigned bus. Requests for bus passes for visitors or to ride alternate busses will not be granted.
  • Students may not eat, drink or chew gum on the bus.
  • Animals may not be transported on the bus.
  • Skateboards may not be transported on the bus.

 

Pursuant to Board Policy 810.3, students are subject to audio and video recording on school buses and/or vehicles to monitor behavior for security and disciplinary reasons. Recordings may be used as evidence in student discipline hearings and may be turned over to law enforcement officials when appropriate.

 

In the event misconduct occurs, these disciplinary actions may take effect dependent upon administrative and/or team judgment

  • 1st offense – Warning, parent notified
  • 2nd offense – Letter sent to parent/guardian, detention possible or loss of school privileges.
  • 3rd offense – Letter sent to parent/guardian, one (1) week suspension of riding privileges.
  • 4th offense – Letter sent to parent/guardian, two (2) week suspension of riding privileges. 
  • 5th offense – Indefinite suspension of bus riding privileges.

 

BICYCLES (this policy does not apply to Broad Street or Upper Allen students)

Children in grades 3-5 may ride bicycles to and from school if parental permission is requested in writing. Students riding bicycles must live in a “walking” area and cannot live in an area serviced by a school bus. Bikers may need to cross some intersections without safety patrol supervision. Bikers must follow all bicycle safety rules to keep bicycle riding privileges. If it is your desire to have your child ride a bike to/from school, please pick up a bicycle permission at the school office.

 

*Note:  Rollerblades, skateboards and scooters are not permitted on school property.

 

EMERGENCY DRILLS / SITUATIONS

Fire Alarm Bell: Upon the sounding of the fire alarm bell, all occupants should remain in place until instructions are provided via the public address system. If instructed to exit the building, occupants should exit the classroom in a single file, quiet orderly fashion.

 

Code Blue: In the event of a medical emergency, an announcement will be made for a “Code Blue” in a given location.  All students should remain in place until instructed otherwise.

 

Secure in Place: In the event of a secure in place, students should remain in their locations until instructed otherwise. Teachers will continue with instruction to the fullest extent possible. Students are not permitted to leave without administrative permission. Students will be kept away from doors and windows – students should not be out of their seats attempting to see what is going on in the hallways.

 

Lockdown: In the event of a lockdown, all students will be moved out of sight from the viewpoint of the hallway. Students are to remain quiet and still. Students will remain in a secured position until a school official or police informs them otherwise. If the fire alarm sounds, students are to stay put and not leave the room.

 

Severe Weather Emergencies:  Weather emergencies will be announced via the public address system. In the event of severe weather, students and staff will be instructed to report to areas of the building on the first floor that are relatively safe and free from glass.  Students and staff may be instructed to get into a take cover position – kneeling facing down and head covered with hands behind.

 

All of the above drills are practiced throughout the school year.

 

SCHOOL BREAKFAST AND LUNCH PROGRAMS

The Mechanicsburg Area School District participates in the National School Breakfast and Lunch Programs. Since your child attends Mechanicsburg Area School District which is a public school district, you can apply for free or reduced school meals online by logging into www.paschoolmeals.com

 

A hot lunch, a deli sandwich, a wildcat lunch, and a Go-Yo (yogurt) lunch will be offered each day. The price for lunch is $2.15 for elementary students and $3.60 for adults. Breakfast is offered daily for $1.25. Milk and water are offered for $.50 each. Menus will be sent home monthly and can also be viewed on the District’s website at www.mbgsd.org.

 

The Food Service Department utilizes a meal accounting system that allows you to prepay for your child’s meals or milk and reduces the chances of lost or misplaced money. Parents or guardians prepay (deposit) money into their child’s individual account, which can be accessed only by the Food Service staff. Students at the Kindergarten Academy must have money in their pre-paid meal account. Cash will not be accepted on a daily basis for meal payments.

 

When it is time to replenish the account you may make an online payment into your child’s mySchoolbucks.com account or send a check made to MASD food service in a sealed envelope. (Please include child’s name, teacher, and words “lunch money”)

 

Any unused meal account money will carry over from year-to-year. If you move out of the district, you may request a refund in writing within 30 days of your child’s withdrawal date but no later than June 30th of that school year. All refunds will be issued by check. Students cannot receive a cash refund.

 

Any food or beverage item consumed in the food service area from the beginning of the school day until the end of the last lunch period will be limited to items sold by the food service department, except items brought from home and normally considered a “bag” lunch.

 

Any food or beverage item purchased or ordered from outside school premises by students, parents or staff member will not be allowed from the beginning of the school day until the end of the last lunch period. The scheduling of “birthday” parties and the delivery of food prepared outside the food service department by parents or others will not be allowed during lunch periods.

 

CAFETERIA GUIDELINES

In order to provide a safe environment in the cafeteria, the following guidelines will apply:

  • Normal conversation are permitted – no shouting
  • Students should remain seated unless they are purchasing food or returning trays – all at the direction of the cafeteria aide.
  • Restrooms should be used only in emergencies.
  • There will be a “lights out” procedure when the noise level remains too high after the students are reminded to be quiet.
  • Students are responsible for keeping their area of the cafeteria clean and orderly.
  • Students should not share food with others.
 

PERSONAL PROPERTY/LOST AND FOUND

Students are discouraged from bringing items of value to school (personal value or monetary value). Lost and found items turned in are placed in the lost and found bins. Valuable items are kept in the office. Students who find they are missing an item should report it to the office. The school district is not responsible for personal property that is damaged, lost or stolen.

 

CELL PHONES

Students are not permitted to possess cell phones on their persons at any time during school hours. Cell phones are to be turned off and put away in their backpacks during that time. If the cell phone is visible, turned on or is being used during the school day or when otherwise contrary to the directives of school staff, it will be confiscated by school personnel and disciplinary consequences will be given. Refusal to submit the phone to school personnel is an issue of insubordination and will result in additional consequences (not excluding suspension from school). The phone will be returned ONLY to a parent or guardian after disciplinary consequences have been served.

 

Any student who needs to use a telephone during school hours should ask to use the phone in the main office. Parents needing to contact their child must call the school office. Students will not be called out of class to respond to a telephone call.

 

AUDIO-VISUAL/RECORDING AND LISTENING DEVICES (MASD Board Policy #237)

Students are not permitted to use audio-visual or recording devices at any point during the school day or during school sponsored activities. Audio-visual/recording devices include: digital cameras, camcorders, audio recorders, cell/picture phone, and other devices deemed inappropriate by the administration. Furthermore, students are not permitted to use ipods, MP3 players or other music listening devices during the school day. Students are discouraged from bringing these items to school and the school is not responsible for theft, loss or damage of such items.

 

CHANGE OF ADDRESS OR TELEPHONE NUMBER

Please notify the district registrar at (717)691-3431 immediately of any change in home address, home telephone number, work telephone number, cell phone number, e-mail address or day care provider. Please be reminded to change your contact numbers for Blackboard Connect TM notifications by accessing your account at www.mbgsd.org.

 

SOLICITATIONS

Students are not permitted to sell merchandise for any non-school organization or to solicit monies for any charities during school hours, except with the permission of the principal.

 

DISTRIBUTION OF MATERIALS

Students are not permitted to distribute literature at any time on school property unless they have the consent of the building principal. If consent to distribute is given, the materials must contain the following statement: “This event, program, or group is not sponsored or endorsed by the Mechanicsburg Area School District”.

 

The Board offers electronic resources at its disposal to enable community organizations to share communications through the district through one or more of the following processes in order of preference.

  • Posting electronic links on the district’s website “Community Notices” page to an organizations website, blog or wiki
  • Providing space within the district’s website to post the organization’s communication
  • Allowing the use of Blackboard Connect TM to distribute emails to Blackboard Connect subscribers or
  • In case of emergencies (as determined by the Superintendent) allowing the use of Blackboard Connect to send phone messages to Blackboard Connect subscribers.

 

 

ANIMALS

With the exception of authorized service animals, animals are not permitted in the building. Students who wish to bring an animal into the building must have administrative approval. The request will only be granted if doing so serves a worthwhile educational purpose and there are no allergies in the building.

 

                                   CURRICULUM AND GRADING SYSTEM                                         

GRADING PROCEDURES

The following are used to determine grades for major subject areas in grades 1-5:

  • Assessments – Unit tests and/or end of marking period tests.
  • Classwork – Recitation, reports, projects, quizzes and general class participation.
  • Homework – Based on completion, effort, willingness and ability to follow instructions.

 

HOMEWORK

Homework is an essential part of a student’s education. It provides the opportunity for students to: (1) practice, apply, integrate, extend, or prepare for school learning; (2) reinforce independent work and study skills; (3) use school and community resources; and (4) develop self-discipline.

 

Parents and students have a shared responsibility for insuring the success of homework assignments. Students are responsible for completing assignments according to the criteria established by the teacher, and the parent is responsible for providing the work area, time and conditions necessary for the student to complete the assignments.

 

The following time guidelines have been established for homework assignments:

 

  • Grades K-1: 5 to 10 minutes per day
  • Grade 2: 15 to 20 minutes per day
  • Grade 3: 20 to 30 minutes per day
  • Grade 4: 30 to 45 minutes per day
  • Grade 5: 45 to 60 minutes per day

 

PROMOTION POLICY

Non-promotion is a serious matter and will be considered on a case by case basis. If non-promotion is necessary, it should occur early in the student’s school experience. Items considered in non-promotion cases:

  • The social adjustment of the child as determined by age, in addition to, physical, mental and emotional development,
  • Teacher evaluation of the child’s growth and development measured against grade level standards, mental ability score and achievement
  • Teachers will keep parents abreast of child’s progress on a continuous
  • The non-promotion of a child will be reviewed by the Building Intervention
  • The decision to approve the recommendation is approved by the
  • Grades and documentation will be available to justify the non-promotion of a
  • Retention is of the most benefit to students in K through 3rd

 

ELEMENTARY PHYSICAL EDUCATION GUIDELINES

 

Physical Education is an important part of your child’s educational experience. The goal of the Physical Education program is to allow students to engage in a variety of physical activities which are developmentally appropriate and contribute to health and physical fitness of our students.  Our program is based on the state standards, which allows students enough time to become proficient in these areas. Hopefully students will gain an appreciation of physical activity and fitness and include it as an integral part of their lives.

 

All students are to participate in physical education. They are to be prepared by wearing appropriate footwear (tennis shoes).

 

 

Excuses for Physical Education:

  1. A doctor’s excuse is necessary to excuse a student from participation in class for more than 2 classes (1 cycle). A parent note will be accepted for 1 class in the event of illness or
  2. Any student in a cast, splint, or using orthopedic devices must have a doctor’s note stating limitations.
  3. A student returning to class after cast or splint removal must have a doctor’s note stating when they may return to normal
  4. If a child is excused from physical education, the same restrictions apply for all recesses. They may go outside, but may only participate in a quiet activity at a designated


ARRIVAL/DISMISSAL

 

Arrival: Students arriving after the late bell must be signed in by a parent or guardian at the office.

 

Dismissal: Parents who pick up students by private automobile are asked to obey school bus stop signs. Please be reminded that it is illegal to go around a bus when loading or unloading students. Thank you for your understanding.  This is for the safety of our students.

 

Students who need to be excused early for such things as unavoidable medical appointments should send a written request to the office. Elementary students may only be released to parents or legal guardians; or to a person designated by the parent/guardian. An adult must report to the office and sign the student out of school before they are permitted to leave the building.

 

ABSENCE FROM SCHOOL

 

Any day that a student is unable to attend school, the student’s parent or guardian is expected to phone the school’s administrative assistant before 8:00 am.  to provide the reason for the absence.  If the school does not receive a call when your child is absent, you will receive a phone call from the school.

 

Students are encouraged to use the standard excuse blanks that are provided by the school (available on the school district’s website at www.mbgsd.org). If students do not use the standard form, the excuse must include:

 

  • student’s name
  • the date(s) of absence(s)
  • the reason for the absence(s)
  • signature and contact number of the parent or guardian

 

According to Pennsylvania Law, the only excusable reasons for absences from school are: illness, quarantine of the home, death in the immediate family or urgent and unavoidable family emergency. The following reasons for absence from school are excusable, but must be requested in advance and approved by an administrator: observance of religious holiday, religious instruction, college visits and educational trips, if the trip meets school district criteria.

 

Students arriving after the start of school and within the first two (2) hours of the school day will be marked as tardy to school. A half day absence is from two (2) hours to four and one-half (4 ½) hours. Students who are absent more than four and one-half (4 ½ ) hours will be reported as absent for the day.


UNLAWFUL ABSENCES

Any absence from school that does not conform to the state law and school district policy will be marked unlawful.

 

An unlawful absence of a student who is less than 17 years old is illegal as dictated by Pennsylvania’s Mandatory Attendance Law. If a student accumulates three or more illegal absences, his/her parents will be notified – and will possibly be issued an official attendance warning notice, which would advise them that any additional illegal absence(s) would result in the issuance of a citation.

 

DOCTOR’S EXCUSE REQUIREMENT

Any student who is absent from school for three or more consecutive days is required to submit a doctor’s excuse to confirm the illness. In addition, any student who develops a pattern of poor attendance – for any reason - may be required to submit a doctor’s excuse for all absences and tardies. Failure to submit the required doctor’s excuse will result in the absence/tardy being marked unlawful and credit for work missed may be denied.

 

ANTICIPATED ABSENCES

Permission to be absent from school for any reason other than illness or immediate family emergency must be requested in advance. Any such absence that is not pre-approved by the administration will be marked unlawful and credit for work missed may be denied.

 

The maximum number of pre-approved days that a student may miss in one school year for the purpose of college visits and educational trips is ten (10).

 

We strongly recommend that educational trips do not occur within the first cycle of the school year and during the last two cycles of the school year.  Please be advised that the administration reserves the right to deny requests for extended absence during these times. Educational trips will not be approved for students that are scheduled to take state assessments on the date(s) of the requested trip.

 

A parent or guardian must complete an Educational Trip Request form if they wish to have their child participate in an educational trip. In order for the absence to be “excused” the trip itinerary must contain significant educational opportunities that could not otherwise be experienced in the school setting or during a time when school is not in session. In other words, the educational benefits of the trip must outweigh the negative effects of a disrupted educational program. For trips with a limited number of educational experiences and/or trips that could be taken on non-school time, the absence will be classified as “unexcused”.

 

Students must be present during standardized test dates as identified on the district calendar. No trips will be approved during this time period for students who are required to take standardized tests.

 

RESPONSIBILITY FOR CLASS WORK

Students who will miss any class(es) as a result of an anticipated absence such as a medical/dental appointment, educational trip, etc. are responsible for (1) submitting any assignments that are due prior to leaving, (2) acquiring the information which was presented in class, (3) completing any assignments that were done in class or assigned for homework, and (4) being prepared to participate in activities which are scheduled for the next day (including quizzes, tests, projects, etc.)

 

TRUANCY ELIMINATION PLAN (TEP)

A Truancy Elimination Plan (TEP) may be initiated when a student has accumulated three (3) or more days without a lawful excuse within one academic year, a student has accumulated fifteen (15) or more absences (excused and/or unlawful) within one academic year, or a student has demonstrated a pattern of habitual truancy (6 or more unlawful absences) or excessive absences (20 or more absences) in the previous academic year.

 

MAXIMUM NUMBER OF DAYS ABSENT

If regular attendance becomes an issue, the administration may schedule an attendance review hearing. If a student is absent from school 25 times or more, the potential outcome of the hearing could be retention.

 

ELEMENTARY CODE OF STUDENT CONDUCT

Mechanicsburg Area School District is an equal opportunity education institution and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex and handicap in its activities, programs or employment practices as required by Title VI, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Access to educational programs shall be provided without discrimination on the basis of a student’s race, sex, color, religion, disability, sexual orientation or national origin as required by academic standards and assessment of the State Board of Education.

 

For information regarding civil rights or grievance procedures, contact the office of the Superintendent. For information regarding services, activities and facilities that are accessible to and usable by handicapped persons and for information regarding confidentiality of and the types of education records, contact the Director of Student Services. Both can be reached at 100 E. Elmwood Avenue, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania 17055, 717-691-4500.

 

This Code is printed in English, the predominant language of the majority of the students of the Mechanicsburg Area School District. If English is not your predominant language and you need assistance in translating this document, please contact the Chief Academic Officer at 691-4500. Upon request, the document will be translated to your predominant language.

 

The Mechanicsburg Area School District Code of Student Conduct was developed to inform you of the crucial nature of a positive learning environment that includes clearly defined expectations for student attendance and behavior. The Board of School Directors has approved numerous policies to address areas relating to pupils within the Board’s policy manual. The Code of Student Conduct includes reference to each of these applicable Board approved policies. Copies of these policies are available in the district office, school offices, school libraries and the district web site at http://www.mbgsd.org.

 

These policies contain within them, the legal citations from which they were developed. When student behaviors are inappropriate and impact negatively on a positive learning environment, the disciplinary options that are identified in the Code of Student Conduct will be utilized by the School’s Administrators.

 

This publication meets the federal requirements of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), Section 4114 (7)(e) by establishing a code of student conduct that clearly states the responsibilities of students, teachers, and administrators in maintaining a classroom environment that –

  • allows a teacher to communicate effectively with all students in the class;
  • allows all students in the class to learn;
  • has consequences that are fair and developmentally appropriate;
  • considers the student and the circumstances of the situation; and
  • is enforced

This Code of Student Conduct also:

  • Meets the legal requirements of Section 12.3(c) of the Pennsylvania Code, which requires that the District adopt these provisions and distribute copies to both students and parents/guardians.
  • Meets the requirements of Act 26 of 1995 as it relates to possession of weapons and the Safe Schools Initiative.
  • Establishes a rational standard of behavior that is expected of all students in achieving the objective of providing a safe environment for the pursuit of knowledge.
  • Helps prepare students for life in a democratic society where adopted laws govern and maintain a measure of protection and security for all citizens within the framework of freedom.
  • Supports our Mission Statement.

 

This Code of Student Conduct was designed to help to provide a safe school environment that is conducive to learning. The Code outlines the cooperative effort among students, parents and school personnel and defines the essential role of each participant in the process.

 

Please review this Code of Student Conduct to ensure your understanding in this vital approach toward guiding our young people and providing a safe school environment.

Thank you for your continuing interest in the educational process. Yours in Education,

Mark K. Leidy, Ed.D.

Superintendent

 

 

STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES (from 22 PA Code 12.2)

 

Student responsibilities include regular attendance, conscientious effort in classroom work, and conformance to school rules and regulations. Most of all, students share with the administration and faculty a responsibility to develop a climate within the school that is conducive to wholesome learning and living. No student has the right to interfere with the education of his or her fellow students. It is the responsibility of each student to respect the rights of teachers, students, administrators, and all students who are involved in the educational process. Students should express their ideas and opinions in a respectful manner. It is the responsibility of the students to conform to the following:

  1. Be aware of all rules and regulations for student behavior and conduct themselves in accordance with them. Students should assume that until a rule is waived, altered, or repealed in writing, it is in effect.
  2. Volunteer information in matters relating to the health, safety, and welfare of the school community and the protection of school property.
  3. Dress and groom to meet fair standards of safety and health, and not to cause substantial disruption to the educational processes.
  4. Assist the school staff in operating a safe school for all students enrolled therein.
  5. Comply with Commonwealth and local laws and regulations.
  6. Exercise proper care when using public facilities and equipment.
  7. Attend school daily and arrive on time to all classes and other school functions.
  8. Make up work when absent from school.
  9. Pursue and attempt to complete satisfactorily the courses of study prescribed by Commonwealth and Mechanicsburg Area School District authorities.
  10. Report accurately and do not use indecent or obscene language in student newspapers or publications.
  11. Not use obscene language in student media or on school premises

STUDENTS’ RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS

Education is a statutory right, and students shall be afforded due process consistent with Board Policy and state regulations if they are to be excluded from school.

 

  1. When a report is received that a student may have violated the Code of Student Conduct, the student will be informed of the allegations and offered an opportunity to respond.
  2. During the course of an investigation, information may be gathered via student interviews and other means. Statements and evidence gathered by school officials during the course of an investigation may be provided to appropriate law enforcement authorities.
  3. If a student refuses to speak to school officials without their parents or guardians present and requests the presence of his/her parent/guardian, an attempt will be made to contact the parent/guardian. If the parent/guardian is unavailable or unable to meet with the investigating official within a reasonable amount of time, the administration will proceed with the investigation. If the student refuses to speak to the administration, with or without the presence of parents/guardians, this behavior shall be considered uncooperative in nature.
  4. If the determination is made that a student has violated this Code, the principal or in his/her absence, the assistant principal, will notify the student, parents and/or guardians of the violation and afford the student the opportunity to respond if he/she so chooses. Also at that time, the administrator shall notify the student, parents, and/or guardians of the type of discipline that will be administered, consistent with this Code.
  5. In the case that a student and the student’s parent/guardian disagree that a violation of the Code of Student Conduct has occurred, the student and parent/guardian may appeal the punishment to the Superintendent. The right to appeal to the Superintendent is limited to factual disagreements about whether a violation occurred; there is no right to appeal the level or nature of the disciplinary action imposed. The Superintendent shall review the matter as he/she sees fit, with or without meeting with the student and parent/guardian, and notify the student and parent/guardian of his/her decision. There is no right to a formal hearing before the board of school directors. Review by the Superintendent shall be the final and exclusive form of appeal.

 

 GENERAL RULES

The general rules stated below are not intended to address all behaviors that may result in disciplinary action; however, they are exemplary of the kind of conduct that is subject to punishment under the MASD Board Policy #218. These rules apply to students while at school, while attending school- sponsored activities, while traveling to and from school or traveling to and from school-sponsored activities, regardless of whether students are traveling via school district furnished transportation and while otherwise under the supervision and control of the school.

  1. Students shall refrain from: (a) using profane or obscene language; (b) openly defying school authorities; (c) endangering the health, safety, or welfare of other students, school district employees, or visitors.
  2. Students shall refrain from any conduct that will interfere with the rights of other students to learn or to participate in other curricular, co-curricular, or extracurricular activities.
  3. Students may not possess any contraband material that could threaten the health, safety, or welfare of any member of the school community (examples: weapons, controlled substances, alcoholic beverages, etc.).
  4. Students shall refrain from illegal conduct.
  5. Students shall refrain from circulating gossip with malicious intent.
  6. Secret societies shall not be organized.
  7. Hazing or equivalent initiation rites shall not be permitted (see MASD Board Policy 247).
  8. Students shall refrain from damaging, defacing, or stealing school or personal property (MASD Board Policy #224).
  9. Personal music devices may not be used during school hours.
  10. Playing cards and electronic and board games are not permitted during regular school hours – unless it is being done as a teacher-directed instructional activity.
  11. Parties are not permitted during regular school hours.
  12. Students shall refrain from exhibiting inappropriate public displays of affection.
  13. Skateboarding on school property is prohibited – at all times.
  14. Hackey-sac is not to be played in the school building.
  15. Students shall not loiter on any neighborhood private property or sidewalks before or after school. Students shall not leave school property while awaiting the arrival of their buses; nor shall they leave school property once they have arrived unless permission to do so is granted by a school official.
  16. Gambling by students is prohibited.
  17. Students may not possess, use, or duplicate school keys.

 

DRESS CODE (MASD Board Policy #221)

 

The Board of School Directors in any school entity may impose limitations on dress and may require students to wear standard dress or uniforms. Dress policies may be applicable throughout the school entity or may be applicable to one or more school buildings within the school entity (Section 1317.3 of the School Code).

 

Aspects of personal appearance require one’s attire to be neat and not create a health or safety hazard or disrupt the educational process. Students have the responsibility to keep themselves, their hair, and their clothing clean. For the safety and welfare of students, teachers in specific areas – i.e. labs and physical education classes – may require particular modes of dress. Also, teachers or administrators may require or exclude a more specific type of dress for special events such as field trips, concerts, etc.

 

It is the sincere hope of the school community that a student’s dress will always be within reasonable limits of decency, morality, and propriety, and will reflect pride in the individual student, his/her family, and the Mechanicsburg Area School District. Part of the District’s educational process is to prepare students for eventual employment and to teach that expectations in attire differ between school/work



and recreation. Students who require exemptions to the dress code due to religious or medical reasons should see a building administrator.

 

Appropriate disciplinary measures will be taken with students not complying with the dress code; students will not be permitted to attend class until acceptable adjustments are made to their appearance. Although students with dress code violations will be initially asked to make adjustments and may be assigned detention or other outcomes flagrant or repeated violations of the dress code will result in the assignment of more serious discipline.

 

The rules outlined below are provided to help students comply with appropriate dress during the school hours. The limitations have been described in order to result in uniform enforcement and to minimize subjective determinations.

 

  1. Transparent or immodest clothing which attracts undue attention may not be worn.
  2. No midriff or underwear may be visible.
  3. Small headbands and barrettes may be worn for the purpose of restraining hair. Hats, sunglasses, bandannas, or head coverings of any type are not permitted. (Hats will be permitted on administratively sanctioned “Hat Days”.)
  4. Shoes must be worn at all times. (Clogs, flip flops and platform shoes are discouraged due to the potential for injury during recess.)
  5. Any clothing that presents a safety hazard or interferes with the educational process will not be allowed.
  6. Coats, gloves and jackets must be kept in coat rack areas during instructional time. Exceptions to this rule may be made by the administration.
  7. Clothing with slogans/pictures displaying or suggesting the use of tobacco , weapons, alcohol, drugs, obscene language, sexual innuendos, lewd or illegal behavior or which is derogatory to any person/group for reasons of race, religion, disability, age, gender, national origin or sexual orientation in violation of civil rights laws prohibiting harassment or discrimination is not permitted.
  8. Clothing with ornamentation that will scratch or mark furniture or presents possible danger of injury to the wearer or others (chains, spiked wrist bands, studded bracelets or belts) may not be worn.

 

FLAG SALUTE

It is a daily practice that we pledge our allegiance to our country’s flag. Recent court rulings have dictated, however, that the flag salute cannot be mandated. A student who chooses not to participate in the pledge ceremony may remain quietly seated or may stand and face forward. Students that choose to turn and talk, put their head down, or otherwise be disruptive/disrespectful are subject to disciplinary consequences.

 

STUDENT EXPRESSION (MASD Board Policy #220)

The Board respects the rights of students to express themselves in word or symbol and to distribute materials as a part of that expression, but it also recognizes that the exercise of that right must be limited by the district's responsibility to maintain an orderly school environment and to protect the rights of all members of the school community.

 

The Board reserves the right to designate and prohibit manifestations of student expression which are not protected by the right of free expression because they violate the rights of others. Such expressions are those which: 

  1. Label any specific person or persons.
  2. Seek to establish the supremacy of a particular religious denomination, sect or point of view.
  3. Advocate the use or advertise the availability of any substance or material which is illegal or may reasonably be believed to constitute a direct and substantial danger to the health of students.
  4. Are lewd, vulgar or obscene or contain material deemed to be harmful to impressionable students who may receive them.
  5. Incite violence, advocate use of force, or urge violation of law or school regulations.
  6. Solicit funds for non-school organizations or institutions when such solicitations have not been approved by the Board.
  7. Cause substantial disruption or a well-placed fear of substantive disruption to the school environment.

 

BULLYING/CYBERBULLYING POLICY (MASD Board Policy #249)

 

The MASD is committed to providing a safe, positive learning environment for district students. As such, it recognizes that bullying creates an atmosphere of fear

and intimidation, detracts from the safe environment necessary for student learning, and may lead to more serious violence. Therefore, bullying by district students is prohibited. Each student shall be responsible to respect the rights of others and to ensure an atmosphere free from bullying.

 

Bullying means an intentional electronic, written, verbal or physical act or series of acts directed at another student or students, which occurs in a school setting and/or outside a school setting, that is severe, persistent or pervasive and has the effect of doing any of the following:

 

  1. Substantial interference with a student’s education
  2. Creation of a threatening environment
  3. Substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the school 
  • Bullying, as defined in this policy, includes cyberbullying and extortion. For more information, see Policy 249.
  • School setting means in the school, on school grounds, in school vehicles, at a designated bus stop or at any activity sponsored, supervised or sanctioned by the school.
  • Students who have been bullied are encouraged to promptly report such incidents to the building administration.

 

A student who violates this policy shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action consistent with the Code of Student Conduct, which may include counseling with the school, parental conference, reprimand, loss of school privileges, transfer to another educational setting, classroom or school bus, exclusion from school-sponsored activities, detention, suspension, expulsion, counseling/therapy outside of school, referral to law enforcement officials.


HARASSMENT POLICY (MASD Board Policy #248)

It is the policy of the Mechanicsburg Area School District and a provision of the law that all students and employees should enjoy a learning/work environment free from all forms of harassment. No student or employee should be subject to oral, written, graphic, or physical conduct that is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent so as to interfere with or limit the person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the district’s educational programs or activities.

 

If a student believes that he/she is being harassed, the student should immediately report the situation to an administrator.  The administrator will act positively to investigate alleged harassment claims and to take corrective action when an allegation is determined to be valid. Disciplinary action will be taken against offending student(s), especially if the behavior is repeated and/or continuous after the offending student is informed of the objectionable and/or inappropriate nature of the behavior.

 

Given the nature of the type of discrimination, the district also recognizes that false accusations of harassment can have serious effects on innocent young men and women. Therefore, false accusations will result in the same severe disciplinary action applicable to one found guilty of harassment.

 

Harassment of Faculty/Staff

A student commits a violation of this policy when, with the intent to harass, annoy, or alarm a member of the school district faculty or staff, whether or not during school hours, when:

  • A student threatens to strike, shove, kick, or otherwise subject a member of the faculty or staff to physical contact; or
  • A student engages in a course of conduct or repeatedly commits acts which alarm or seriously annoy a member of the faculty or staff and which serve no legitimate
 
A student who violates this policy shall be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion from school. Additionally, the district will support criminal prosecution of any student violating this policy who may be charged with the crime of harassment under the Pennsylvania Crimes Code.
 
Student-to-Student Harassment
It is against the policies of this district for any student, male or female, to:
  1. Make unwelcome sexual advances or request sexual favors or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature; or create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive learning environment by such conduct.
  2. Make implied or overt threats of violence toward another student.
  3. Damage property belonging to another student.
  4. Act aggressively toward another student.
  5. In either written, oral or electronic communication make demeaning jokes, taunts, slurs, nicknames, innuendoes, or other negative or derogatory remarks to any person or group or persons for reasons of race, religion, disability, age, gender, or ethnicity, or sexual orientation.
  6. Create graffiti or other visual displays such as cartoons or posters depicting slurs or derogatory sentiments.
  7. Use “fighting words” intended to incite individuals to violent action.
  8. Conduct or participate in hazing activities.
  9. Commit a criminal offense directed at an individual.
SMOKING & USE OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS (MASD Board Policy #222)
Act 145 of the 1996 session of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania specifically prohibits the use and/or possession of tobacco by students in school building, on school buses, and on school property owned by, leased by, and under the control of the Mechanicsburg Area School District. This includes outdoor school activities and events. To protect the health of the future citizens and to provide role models for the youth of the district, the Mechanicsburg Area School District has enacted by resolution a smoke-free environment in all enclosed areas of the district, and has prohibited smoking by all persons on school property. Portions of this Act and policy are enforceable under civil penalty with a fine not to exceed fifty ($50.00) dollars plus court costs. The consequences for violation of Policy 222  and this Act are outlined under Level III Violations in Appendices of this document.
 
OPEN FLAME
The production of an open flame (igniting a match or lighter, etc.) produces a safety hazard and is therefore prohibited in a school building, on a school bus, or on property owned by, leased by, or under the control of the school district and at school-sponsored events and activities. It is also a violation of the borough ordinance known as the Basic Fire Prevention Code (BOCA), Section F-310.
 
Items that are capable of producing an open flame, such as matches and lighters, are prohibited on school property, on school-provided transportation, and during school-sponsored activities. Violation of this policy will result in school disciplinary action and referral to the local district justice—for the issuance of a fine and court costs up to $300.
 
SEARCHES (Pursuant to MASD Board Policy No.226)
Students or their belongings, including lockers, automobiles, electronic devices, purses, backpacks, clothing and other possessions, may be searched without a warrant when in school, on school grounds or when otherwise under school supervision if there is a reasonable suspicion that the place or thing to be searched contains prohibited contraband, material that would pose a threat to the health, safety and welfare of the school population, or evidence that there has been a violation of the law, Board policy, or school rules. The scope and extent of searches must be reasonable in relation to the nature of the suspected evidence, contraband or dangerous material and to the grounds for suspecting that it may be found in the place or thing being searched and the age and gender of the student being searched.
 
WEAPONS (MASD Board Policy #218.1)
Students are not permitted to have weapons or other hazardous instruments or materials in their possession in school, on school property, at a school-sponsored event, or on school transportation. Violations of the Weapons Act, explained below, are a serious matter and carry a mandatory consideration of expulsion from school for a period of a full year.
 
Act 26 of 1995 of the Pennsylvania Legislature provided additional requirements for reporting and required the development of a Memorandum of Understanding between the School District and the police departments of jurisdiction. This Memorandum was developed and is available for review upon request.
 
As used in this statement, the term “weapon” shall be identical to the provisions of Section 1317.2 of  the Public School Code which reads: “The term ‘weapon’ shall include, but not be limited to, any knife, cutting instrument, cutting tool, nunchaku, firearm, shotgun, rifle, and any other tool, instrument, or implement capable of inflicting serious bodily injury” (this includes paintball guns, air guns and similar devices).  This includes replicas and look-alike weapons.
 
DRUG USE/ABUSE (MASD Board Policy #227)
The school board finds that the possession, use, sale, distribution, or delivery of controlled substances, "look-alike" drugs, and alcoholic beverages at school, in lockers, in student vehicles parked on school property or while engaged in activities subject to the control by the school district is a matter of great concern and potentially injurious to the health, safety, and welfare of students. Students are prohibited from possessing, using, selling, transmitting, manufacturing, or showing evidence of recent consumption of any controlled substance, "look-alike" drug, or alcoholic beverage. Students are also prohibited from having drug-related paraphernalia in their possession.
 
For the purpose of this section, the following definitions will apply:

 

Controlled Substance - A controlled substance is any substance the possession, use, or delivery of which is regulated by the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

 

"Look-alike" Drug – A "look-alike" drug is a non-controlled substance that has a stimulant or depressant effect on human beings and/or substantially resembles a controlled substance in appearance.  The term “look-alike” means any substance not listed in above-referenced federal or state statute, is not a prescription drug, but which has a stimulant, depressant or mind altering effect on humans, other than a prescription drug, which substantially resembles a controlled substance, or is or has been represented to be a controlled substance, stimulant, depressant or mind altering drug.

 

Alcoholic Beverage – An alcoholic beverage is any intoxicating liquor, wine, or brewed or malt beverage regulated under the Liquor Code of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

 

Mood-Altering Substance – Any substance inappropriately used by a student that is intended to alter mood or is a health-endangering compound. Any volatile solvents or inhalants, such as but not limited to glue and aerosol products.  Substances that when ingested cause a physiological effect similar to the effect of a controlled substance as defined by state or federal law, such as but not limited to herbal incense or other products containing synthetic cannabinoids.

 

Anabolic Steroids – Prohibited controlled substances except for a valid medical purpose as prescribed by a PA licensed physician.

 

Transfer – to deliver, sell, pass, give, or share from one person to another or to aid therein.

 

Drug paraphernalia all equipment, products and materials of any kind which are used, intended for use or designed for use in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, roducing,    processing, preparing, testing, analyzing, packaging, repackaging, storing, containing, concealing, injecting, ingesting, inhaling or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled substance.

 

First offense violation of use and/or possession of any of the above substances will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and will result in an out-of-school suspension of up to 10 days. Additionally, Level IV violations involving substance abuse at the secondary level require the student to participate in and successfully complete the Student Assistance Program assessment and any recommended counseling and/or interventions.

Evaluation of the offense by the administration will determine if referral to the School Board is appropriate on the first offense.

 

Transfer of a controlled substance and/or the second and subsequent offenses of drug involvement will result in a referral to the Board of School Directors with consideration for expulsion.

 

Mechanicsburg Area School District considers the possession, use and/or transmission of any of the above substances on school property or during school-sponsored activities a serious offense. All violations will be referred to the appropriate police departments for their disposition.

 

None of the provisions of this policy shall be construed to prohibit or regulate student's use, possession, or transportation of medication prescribed for the student by a licensed physician. Students using over the counter and prescription medications are required to follow the MASD Medication Policy #210.

Procedure - When a student is suspected of being in possession of or under the influence of a drug/mood altering substance/alcohol, that suspicion should be reported to an administrator. The administrator may then: (a) interview the student, (b) search the student, his/her possessions, and his/her locker consistent with the Student Searches policy, (c) Ask the Nurse to perform a basic medical evaluation.  Subsequent action will be dictated by the applicable situation.

 

USE OF COMPUTERS

Students are required to acknowledge that they received, read, understand and agree to abide by the Acceptable Use of Communications and Information Systems (CIS) Policy # 815, and will comply with it and related administrative regulations. This policy is available for review in its entirety on the MASD website. Students are also required to acknowledge that if they violate this Policy, other School District policies, regulations, rules, or procedures they are subject to the School District’s discipline, and could be subject to Internet Service Providers rules, as well as local, state and federal rules and procedures.

 

DISCIPLINARY GUIDELINES AND POTENTIAL CONSEQUENCES

Improper conduct that disrupts the normal educational process is classified into four categories: Level I Violations, Level II Violations, Level III Violations, and Level IV Violations. To provide consistency in the application of penalties, a guide to the classifications of misbehavior follows. It should be understood that the information in Levels I through IV is intended to serve as a guide and is subject to modification on a case-by-case basis. Administration will determine the appropriate corresponding disciplinary action.

 

Any violation of this Code may also violate the Extracurricular Conduct Code and be subject to the penalties contained therein.

 

Code of Student Conduct

 

Misconduct may fit into Level I, II, III or IV violations depending on the seriousness of the offense. Level I violations are those that are considered to be minor discipline infractions and are routinely handled by the classroom teacher.

 

Level II violations are of a less serious nature than those outlined in Level III. Level II includes persistent violations within the Level I category as well as violations that are defined as Violations of the Attendance Policies of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Mechanicsburg Area School District. Level II violations are handled by an administrator.

 

Level III violations are those that are serious in nature and may result in discipline that includes an alternative education assignment, suspension and/or expulsion from school. Level III violations are handled by an administrator. Police may be notified depending upon the seriousness of the violation.

 

Level IV Violations are defined as follows:

  • Any acts whose consequences seriously endanger the health or safety of the individual or others in the school.
  • Acts which result in violence to another person or his/her property or the property of the school district. Such acts are usually malicious in their motivation or intention and pose a direct threat to the safety of others in the school.
  • Possession or use of substances banned by school policy.
  • Persistent disregard of school rules.

 

Level IV violations are handled by an administrator. Police may be involved depending upon the seriousness of the violation.

 

GRADES K-12 LEVEL I VIOLATIONS

Seriousness or frequency of the violation may require initiation of discipline at a higher level.

 

Examples of Violations

Procedure

Disciplinary Options

·         Running, throwing items, littering

·         Excessive talking

·         Minor horseplay/teasing

·         Dress Code violation

·         Consumption of food outside the cafeteria

·         Late to class

·         Possession of an unauthorized electronic device

·         Cafeteria or hall misbehavior

·         Inappropriate language

 

·         Incomplete academic work

Procedure carried out by classroom teacher

·         Warning

·         Parent contact

·         Loss of privileges

·         Change in seating assignment

·         Referral to Guidance Counselor

·         Behavior contract

·         Teacher detention/ loss of recess

 

 GRADES K-5 LEVEL II VIOLATIONS

 Seriousness or frequency of the violation may require initiation of discipline at a higher level.

 

Examples of Violations

Procedure

Disciplinary Options

Illegal absence, full or partial day.

The administrator will evaluate the violation and determine the appropriate disciplinary option(s).

·         Appropriate aspects of state law shall be enforced.

 

No credit is given for work missed.

Truancy, full or partial day…any absence for a student of any age that is either illegal or unexcused and occurs without the consent of the parent or guardian.

The administrator will evaluate the violation and determine the appropriate disciplinary option(s).

·         Appropriate aspects of state law shall be enforced.

·         No credit is given for work missed.

·         Alternative Education Assignment

Unexcused or illegal tardiness to school.

The administrator will evaluate the violation and determine the appropriate disciplinary option(s).

·         Appropriate aspects of state law shall be enforced.

·         No credit given for work missed.

·         Parent contact

·         Persistent violations will result in withdrawal of privileges.

·         Classroom disruption

·         Gambling

·         Improper hall behavior

·         Loitering in lavatories

·         Minor insubordination/defiance

·         Dress code violation

·         Possession of an unauthorized electronic device

·         Inappropriate language

·         Cafeteria misbehavior

·         Minor theft

·         Verbal Harassment: first offense

·         Unauthorized solicitation

·         Rough horseplay

·         Misuse of pass

·         Misrepresentation of the truth

The administrator will evaluate the violation and determine the appropriate disciplinary option(s).

·         Parent contact

·         Verbal warning

·         Social skills instruction

·         Guidance Counselor/EST referral

·         Behavior contract

·         Loss of recess

·         Withdraw privileges

·         Stay after school (detention)

·         Change or alter clothing to comply with dress code

·         Restitution for all damage or loss if appropriate.


·         Minor misbehavior on the bus.

·         Not following assigned route to school (walkers/bikers)

The administrator will evaluate the violation and determine the appropriate disciplinary option(s).

·         Parental contact

·         Bus Conduct Report

·         Warning

·         Assigned seat

·         Social skills instruction

·         Behavior contract

·         Loss of recess

·         Withdraw privileges

·         Stay after school (detention)

 

GRADES K-5 LEVEL III VIOLATIONS

 Seriousness or frequency of the violation may require initiation of discipline at a higher level.

 

Examples of Violations

Procedure

Disciplinary Options

·         Using profane or obscene language/gestures

·         Repeated or more serious misbehavior in hall

·         Loitering in lavatories

·         Being in an unauthorized area of the building

·         Chronic disruption to the learning environment

The administrator will evaluate the violation and determine the appropriate disciplinary option(s).

·         Parent contact

·         Social skills instruction

·         Guidance Counselor/EST referral

·         Behavior contract

·         Loss of recess

·         Withdraw privileges

·         Stay after school

·         Alternative Education Assignment

·         Suspension

·         Insubordination, defiance, verbal disrespect (including obscene language and/or gestures) toward any school employee.

·         Theft

·         Harassment: including physical, repeated verbal harassment of protected categories

·         Hazing

·         Threatening another student

·         Possession of lighters or other incendiary devices

·         Bullying or Extortion

·         Persistent violation of Level II or III violations

·         Leaving school (building and/or grounds) without permission

·         Disorderly, vicious, or immoral conduct

·         Aiding or abetting in the delinquency of a student

·         Unlawful trespass

The administrator will evaluate the violation and determine the appropriate disciplinary option(s).

·         Parent contact

·         Guidance Counselor/EST referral

·         Alternative Education Assignment

·         Suspension

·         Police notification

·         Restitution for all damages or loss if appropriate


Hitting, fighting, assaulting, biting

The administrator will evaluate the violation and determine the appropriate disciplinary option(s).

·         Parent contact

·         Social skills instruction

·         Behavior contract

·         Guidance Counselor/EST referral

·         Loss of recess

·         Withdraw privileges

·         Stay after school (detention)

·         Suspension

·         Police notification

 

GRADES K-5 LEVEL IV VIOLATIONS

 

Examples of Violations

Procedure

Disciplinary Options

Behavior on the bus that poses a threat to the health and safety of others by causing a distraction or undermining the authority of the driver.

The administrator will evaluate the violation and determine the appropriate disciplinary option(s).

·         Parent contact

·         Guidance Counselor/EST referral

·         Stay after school (detention)

·         Alternative Education Assignment

·         Suspension

·         One or more days of bus suspension

·         Police notification

Violation of computer, internet access, filtering policy.

The administrator will evaluate the violation and determine the appropriate disciplinary option(s).

·         Guidance Counselor/EST referral

·         Denied computer/internet privileges.

·         Detention

·         Alternative Education Assignment

·         Suspension

·         Police notification

Possession or use of tobacco

The administrator will evaluate the violation and determine the appropriate disciplinary option(s).

·         Guidance Counselor/EST referral

·         Citation to the District Magistrate for a civil offense carrying a penalty of up to

$50 plus costs (third offense).

·         Alternative Education Assignment

·         Suspension

Violation of the District Medication Policy

The administrator will evaluate the violation and determine the appropriate disciplinary option(s).

·         Parent contact

·         Guidance Counselor/EST referral

·         Alternative Education Assignment

·         Suspension



Use, possession, or being under the influence of a non-prescribed controlled substance, alcohol, or “look-alike drugs”. Use or possession of drug paraphernalia.

The administrator will evaluate the violation and determine the appropriate disciplinary option(s). Evaluation of offense will determine if referral to the School Board is appropriate on the first offense.

Second and subsequent offense – referral for hearing before the School Board.

·         Parent contact

·         Suspension

·         Expulsion

·         Police notification

·         Guidance Counselor/EST referral

 

 

LEVEL IV VIOLATIONS

 

Examples of Violations

Procedure

Disciplinary Options

Sale or distribution of a controlled substance, “look-alike drugs,” alcohol, or dangerous drugs or drug related paraphernalia as defined in the “Dangerous Drugs, Device and Cosmetic Act.”

The administrator will evaluate the violation and determine the appropriate disciplinary option(s). Referral for hearing before the School Board.

·         Parent contact

·         Suspension

·         Expulsion

·         Police notification

·         Guidance Counselor/EST referral

Possession, use or distribution of a weapon or fireworks.

The administrator will evaluate the violation and determine the appropriate disciplinary option(s). Evaluation by the Superintendent with possible Hearing before the School Board.

·         Parent contact

·         Suspension

·         Expulsion

·         Police notification

·         Guidance Counselor/EST referral

·         Physical assault directed toward a district employee.

·         Participation in or responsibility for causing willful defacing, damage destruction, or vandalism of school property or of personal property of district employees.

·         Terrorist or bomb threat

The administrator will evaluate the violation and determine the appropriate disciplinary option(s). Evaluation by the Superintendent with possible Hearing before the School Board.

·         Parent contact

·         Suspension

·         Expulsion

·         Police notification

·         Guidance Counselor/EST referral

Violation of any federal, state, or local law while on school property or at any school event.

The administrator will evaluate the violation and determine the appropriate disciplinary option(s). Evaluation by the Superintendent with possible Hearing before the School Board.

·         Parent contact

·         Suspension

·         Expulsion

·         Restitution for all damage or loss if appropriate.

·         Police notification

·         Guidance Counselor/EST referral



SUSPENSION (out of school) – pursuant to MASD Board Policy #233 and 22 Pa. Code 12.6

 

Philosophy. Suspension is a severe administrative disciplinary action that is taken only when: (1) milder forms of disciplinary action have been ineffective in correcting the student’s behavior, or (2) the offense is severe enough to warrant this action.

 

Responsibilities.  During a period of suspension:

  1. The student may not enter upon school property – at any hour of the day or night, except with prior approval of a school administrator. The student may not enter the building in order to get assignments, books, etc. Assignments must be picked up by the parent or guardian at the Counseling & Career Center.
  2. The student must stay at home during regular school hours. The student may not come to school, go to work, or do community service through a school program.
  3. The student may not attend or participate in any school-sponsored activity – either curricular or extra-curricular. Exclusions from curricular or extracurricular activities may extend beyond the last day of the OSS as determined by the student’s administrator.
  4. The student is expected to complete all assignments to the best of his/her ability. Completed assignments are to be submitted to teachers upon the student’s return to school. Zeroes will be given for any work that is not done.
  5. Suspension restrictions are reinstated the morning following the last day of the suspension.

EXPULSION – pursuant to MASD Board Policy #233 and Pa. Code 12.6, 12.8

The Board of School Directors may, upon the recommendation of the principal and the superintendent, expel a student; thereby, prohibiting the student from attending MASH for a prescribed period of time.

 

In cases of expulsion, the student and his/her parent or guardian shall have the right to a formal hearing before a committee of the Board of School Directors.  At the formal hearing, the student shall be entitled to the due process requirements outlined in Board Policy 233 and 22 Pa. Code 12.8

 

A student’s complete school record (grades K through 12) may be considered during an expulsion hearing – including, his/her records from a different school district.

 

CONTACT WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES (MASD Board Policy #805)

The Board of School Directors has established a policy with regard to contact with law enforcement agencies involving discipline as a result of activities occurring on school property or at a school event. Some, but not all examples of law enforcement contact are as follows: Police assistance will be requested when a trespasser fails to respond to a request to leave the premises, when any person is creating a disturbance and fails to respond to requests to cease and desist, or when any action threatens the health, safety, or welfare of any person. The police will also be contacted when any person other than police officers are in possession of a weapon. Police will also be contacted for identification of substances and assistance in the investigation of all violations of the Dangerous Drugs, Device, and Cosmetics Act (Purdon’s Pennsylvania Statutes, 35 P.S. sections 780-101 through 780-144) or drugs which fall under the "look alike" category. Police may also be contacted for cases of verbal or physical assault or violation of local, state, or federal law depending on the seriousness of the incident.  Victims of violations of local, state, and federal law may choose to file charges under these statutes independent of school disciplinary actions. The school is often asked why they do not file charges in a student disciplinary incident.  While the school has broad discretion in student discipline matters, the school does not have jurisdiction to file charges in some incidents.  The police and/or the District Attorney make that decision after a report by the school. District contact with law enforcement agencies shall be consistent with the District’s Safe Schools Memorandum of Understanding with local law enforcement.  

 

SECTION 504/CHAPTER 15 STUDENT NOTIFICATION

In compliance with the state and federal law, the Mechanicsburg Area School District will provide to each protected handicapped student, without discrimination or cost to the student or family, those related aids, services, or accommodations which are needed to provide equal opportunity to participate in and obtain the benefits of the school program and extracurricular activities to the extent appropriate to the student’s abilities. In order to qualify as a protected handicapped student, the child must be of school age with a physical or mental disability, which substantially limits or prohibits participation in or access to an aspect of the school program.

 

These services and protections for “protected handicapped students” are distinct from those applicable to all eligible or exceptional students enrolled (or seeking enrollment) in special education programs.

 

For further information on the evaluation procedures and provision of services to protected handicapped students, contact the Director of Special Education Services.

 

MEDICATION POLICY

Any medication, prescription or over-the counter, will only be administered by order of a licensed prescriber (doctor or medical care provider). An adult should bring the medication to the school nurse. If this is not possible, the parent must notify the school nurse and send the medication in the original package in a sealed envelope accompanied by a note from the parent or guardian giving permission for the medication to be taken in school. The note must have the following information: Student name, name of medication, dosage of medication, time medication is to be taken, name of physician prescribing medication, date medication is to be given, and the number of pills sent.

 

All medication, prescription or over-the-counter, that is brought to school must be taken to the nurse’s office immediately upon arrival to school. If the nurse is not available, the medication is to be taken to the main office. Medication may not be kept in the student’s desk or backpack, or on the student’s person. Inhalers and Epinephrine auto-injectors may be carried with permission of the nurse, parent and a licensed prescriber order (see MASD Board Policy 210.1). Students may obtain a note from the nurse allowing them to use cough drops during the day.

 

All students are responsible for reporting to the nurse at their designated times to take their medication.

 

Non-prescription or prescription nutritional or herbal supplements, including homeopathic preparations, will not be given in the school or on any school sponsored activity. There are not exceptions to this rule.

 

Any student who possesses, uses, or distributes any medication is in violation of this policy and is subject to disciplinary action. A violation of the Medication Policy will result in a minimum of a one-day assignment to AEA (alternative education assignment).

 

HEALTH SUITE

The Health Suite provides facilities for all health services rendered by the school nurse. Books and pamphlets about health and health careers are available here. For further information refer to the Mechanicsburg Area School District website under “Student Services – Health Services”. If you are in need of forms for dental exams, physical exams, medication use in school, and/or care plans for asthma, seizures, or allergies, then go to “Parents” on the district website.

 

SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS

Students are not to wear strong fragrances that can be distracting or create ill effects for others in proximity due to allergies or other health conditions.

 

MEDICAL PERSONNEL

The school physician directs the school medical program as specified by the Pennsylvania Department of Health. The school nurse is responsible for all health services. In addition to routine nursing care, she administers hearing tests for 1st through 5th graders, and annual height, weight and vision  measurements for all students. Students may request hearing tests, vision tests, growth measurement and blood pressure tests if they feel they need them.

 

INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT

Mechanicsburg Area School District uses an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach for managing insects, rodents and weeds. Our goal is to protect every student from pesticide exposure by using an IPM approach to pest management. Our IPM approach focuses on making the school building and grounds an unfavorable habitat for these pests by removing food and water sources and eliminating their hiding and breeding places. We accomplish this through routine cleaning and maintenance. We routinely monitor the school building and grounds to detect any pests that are present. The pest monitoring team consists of our building maintenance, office and teaching staff and includes our students. Pest sightings are reported to our IPM coordinator who evaluates the “pest problem” and determines the appropriate pest management techniques to address the problem. The techniques can include increased sanitation, modifying storage practices, sealing entry points, physically removing the pest, etc.

 

From time to time, it may be necessary to use pesticides registered by the Environmental Protection Agency to manage a pest problem. A pesticide will only be used when necessary, and will not be routinely applied. When a pesticide is necessary, the school will try to use the least toxic product that is effective. Applications will be made only when unauthorized persons do not have access to the area(s) being treated. Notices will be posted in these areas 72 hours prior to application and for two days following the application.

 

Parents or guardians of students enrolled in the school may request prior notification of specific pesticide applications made at the school. To receive notification, you must be placed on the school’s notification registry, please notify the district in writing. Please include your email address if you would like to be notified electronically.

 

If a pesticide application must be made to control an emergency pest problem, notice will be provided by telephone to any parent or guardian who has requested such notification in writing. Exemptions to this notification include disinfectants and anti-microbial products; self-containerized baits placed in areas not accessible to students; gel type baits placed in cracks, crevices or voids; and swimming pool maintenance chemicals.

 

Each year the district will prepare a new notification registry.

 

If you have any questions, please contact Erick Hoffman, Supervisor of Buildings and Grounds at (717) 691-3224.

 

SCHOOL ATTENDANCE AND PARTICIPATION IN EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES 

Extracurricular activities are a valuable component of the school’s educational program and provide opportunities for students to grow and excel beyond the classroom. Although these experiences are valuable, it is essential that the student recognizes the importance of regular daily attendance and academic achievement.  With this in mind, the school district has instituted the following daily attendance regulations for all students participating in extracurricular activities. Students participating in any school-sponsored activity (practice, game, competition, concert, production, etc.) occurring on a school day must be in school. Students who arrive tardy to school or are absent from school are subject to consequences limiting their participation in an extracurricular activity.

 

Tardy to School – If a student arrives to school after the tardy bell and within the first two (2) hours of the school day the following actions will result:

 

First Offense: The student will receive a written warning from the coach/advisor with a copy also forwarded to the athletic director or principal’s office that will be mailed to the parents and/or guardians.
 
Second Offense and Subsequent Offenses: The student will not participate in his/her scheduled school sponsored activity that day or

 

Absence, Half Day or Full Day - If a student is absent a half day or the entire day, the student will not be allowed to participate in his/her scheduled school-sponsored activity that day or evening (no warnings). If a student is absent from school or sent home by the nurse on a given day, he/she cannot return to participate in his/her activity that day or evening or be a spectator at a school event on that day.

 

Exceptions to this regulation must be approved by an administrator and include a student who has a signed excuse from a doctor stating that he/she is fit to participate that day, school district transportation problems, an unavoidable family emergency or a pre-approved absence for a doctor’s appointment, field trip, job shadowing, post-secondary institution visit, funeral, or religious observance.