Disciplinary penalties, procedures and referrals, Middle School: Policy 5300.40

Disciplinary penalties, procedures and referrals, Middle School: Policy 5300.40

Strategies and Procedures – Middle School

Students are subject to the rules and regulations cited in the discipline code while appearing at or attending any school-sponsored activity even when that activity is not taking place during normal school hours or on school premises (e.g., athletic contests, field trips, co-curricular activities, student events, etc.). The referrals (penalties, consequences) set forth are only guidelines for the determinations of each case by the Administration. As it is the desire of the Board of Education, all relevant factors are to be taken into consideration in determining an appropriate consequence or penalty. Thus, the Administration, when supported by relevant facts, reserves the right to modify the consequences or penalty of the infraction. Infractions are documented using a disciplinary referral form and/or a bus conduct report which the student is expected to give to his/her parent/guardian. This is in addition to written notification to parent/guardian regarding out-of-school suspension.

Student Behavior

  1. Citizenship and Discipline

    We, in the Warwick Valley Middle School, recognize the importance of the role that discipline plays in our schools and our lives.  We believe that good citizenship and discipline cannot be separated.  To guarantee a good social and educational climate, it is important that students, in keeping with the level of their maturity, understand that acceptable standards of behavior are expected at all times. Warwick Valley Middle School teachers and staff want and expect students to become good citizens.  It is each student’s responsibility to display qualities of good citizenship.  Good conduct is expected in the classroom, in the halls, in the cafeteria, on the playground, when leaving school grounds, and on buses.  Discipline will be administered for misconduct and when any individual’s actions interfere with the right of teachers to teach and students to learn.

  2. Disciplinary Philosophy

    We, in the Warwick Valley Middle School, believe that a preventive discipline approach facilitates and nurtures self-direction and self-control. Self-direction and self-control are an integral part of our Middle School mission. We believe that the maintenance of discipline is an ongoing process which involves more than just the establishment and execution of a series of policies and punishments. Ideally, the home, the community and the school work together to instill a network of positive, socially accepted values within each child that promotes self-direction and self-control. Pursuant to this, we believe a sound disciplinary code and process incorporates the following components:

    1.  Well-defined and understood rules in terms of what:
      1. the school expects of that student;
      2. the student expects of the school;
      3. the parent expects of both the student and the school.
    2. Well-defined and understood disciplinary procedures based upon:
      1. recognition of levels and degrees of seriousness of student’s behavior;
      2. recommended actions to be taken at each level; and
      3. identification of specific personnel to be involved at each step of the disciplinary process.
    3. Fair, firm, and consistent enforcement and follow-through with discipline.
    4. A belief that student discipline should be treated as a positive learning experience from which students learn to accept responsibility for their action.
    5. A staff commitment to promote dignity, fairness and honesty in the disciplinary process.

Disciplinary Options

Students in the Middle School are given every opportunity to make behavioral choices and decisions. Further, they are to be held accountable for their actions commensurate with their age and other factors.

Teachers, parents, students, administrators, and support personnel are to be aware of the total referral process and the scope of individual actions and responsibilities at each level. The process is progressive and the disciplinary entry level depends upon the seriousness of the offense, the habitual behavior of the student, and actions taken and results attained at previous levels.

For those students having difficulty in choosing acceptable modes of behavior, the following measures have been identified as appropriate:

  1. Warnings (oral or written)
  2. Parental contact (oral or written)
  3. Detention during or after school (teacher detention and office detention)
  4. In-school detention
  5. Suspension from school for 1-3 days
  6. Suspension from school for up to 5 days
  7. Extracurricular ineligibility
  8. Suspension from athletic participation
  9. Loss of social activities (e.g., attendance at a dance)
  10. Loss of field trip privileges
  11. Suspension from transportation
  12. Permanent suspension

The Student Suspension Process as it relates to pre-suspension, short-term suspension, long-term suspension, hearing procedures and the appeals process is in Policy 5300.30 and is referenced and incorporated herein as part of this Policy.

The following are examples of student behavior(s) that will result in disciplinary actions when they occur at school or during school-sponsored activities. The penalties and consequences set forth below are only guidelines for the determinations of each case by the Administration. As it is the desire of the Board of Education, all relevant factors are to be taken into consideration in determining an appropriate consequence or penalty. Thus, the Administration, when supported by relevant facts, reserves the right to modify the consequence or penalty of the infraction and to notify local authorities.

Once it is determined that a student will receive an out-of-school suspension, the student will remain in the main office (and be assigned school work) until such time as the suspension takes effect.

The student and his/her parent also have the right to question complaining witnesses. If the complaining witness is a student, that student has the right to have a parent or guardian present.
It is important to note that the Middle School employs a progressive model of discipline. This means a consequence may reflect the number and severity of previous infractions.

Level One Infractions

Should be handled within the framework of class or school rules by effective action.  Appropriate disciplinary responses include counseling, warning and detention.

  1. Minor class disturbances
  2. Pass misuse
  3. Lateness to class
  4. Littering
  5. Inappropriate displays of affection
  6. Carelessness in following class rules, school rules and/or staff directions
  7. Pushing, running
  8. Inappropriate dress: e.g., dress affecting health or safety
  9. Violation of general classroom rules
  10. Minor lunchroom/recess misbehavior
  11. Unauthorized buying or selling of candy and/or other items on school property
  12. Behavior disruptive of learning environment
  13. Possession, display or use of laser pointers or other disruptive items such as (but not limited to) skateboards or heelys during the school day.
  14. Display or use of cell phones, digital cameras, digital phones, personal imaging equipment, radios, personal audio, mp3 players, or electronic games during the school day.

Consequence for Level One Infraction #13 and 14:

First Offense/Violation – The item will be confiscated, and the students will not have the item returned until the end of the school day.

Second/Third Offense/Violation – The item will be confiscated. The student will not have the item returned until his/her parent/guardian comes to the office to claim it.

Level Two Infractions

Parents or guardians may be contacted. The student is to be referred to an administrator or counselor. Appropriate disciplinary responses include counseling, after-school administrative detention and in-school detention (ISD).Consequence for Level Two (2) Infractions may involve support staff intervention.

Referral of student for parent conference, possible superintendent hearing, counseling and/or family court may result from any offense/violation listed below.
Offense/Violation First Second Third
1. Repeated Level One Infractions 1-2 DET 2-3 DET 1-3 ISD
2. Staying after school without permission 1-2 DET 2-3 DET 1/2-1 ISD
3. Skipping detention 2-3 DET 1-2 ISD 2-3 ISD
4. Disruptive or inappropriate behavior 1-2 DET 2-3 DET 1-3 ISD
5. Forgery 1 ISD, Parent notification 1 ISD, Parent notification
6. Chronic lateness to school (5 unexcused in a marking period or 10 cumulative) 1-2 DET 2-3 DET, Parent letter 1-2 ISD
7. Chronic lateness to class (5 unexcused in a marking period or 10 cumulative) 1-2 DET 2-3 DET, Parent letter 1-2 ISD
8. Profanity directed/undirected 1-2ISD, 1-2 DET 2-3 ISD 1-2 OSS
9. Minor vandalism 1-2 DET 2-3 DET 1-3 ISD
10. Gambling 1-2 DET 2-3 DET 1-3 ISD
11. Skipping class 1-2 DET 1-2 ISD 2-3 ISD
12. Leaving school property without permission 1 ISD, Possible police referral 2 ISD, Possible police referral 1 OSS, Possible police referral
13. Cheating/plagiarism, copying or allowing homework (credit without for assignment) Teacher calls parents, Referral/reprimand 1-2 ISD 2-3 ISD
14. Possession of provocative material 2-3 DETS 1-2 ISD 1 OSS
15. Cafeteria misconduct 2 DETS/1 ISD 1-2 ISD 1 OSS
16. Taunting and teasing (Nonverbal, verbal, written, cyber or physical) 2 DETS/1 ISD 1-2 ISD 1 OSS

 

Level Three Infractions

Are more serious in nature, require parental contact, may involve school counseling, and will result in suspension from school and/or in-school detention and possible referral to an alternative educational placement.  In addition, the following referrals may be made: Referral to Superintendent to consider a suspension in excess of five school days, referral to Family Court, PINS Petition, or notification of appropriate police agency. Repeated Level Three infractions may result in referral for a Superintendent’s Hearing.

Referral of student for parent conference, possible superintendent hearing, counseling and/or family court may result from any offense/violation listed below.
Offense/Violation First Second Third
1. Repeated Level Two Infractions OSS 1 day OSS 2-3 days OSS 3-5+ days
2. Possession, transmission, and/or use of tobacco/vaping products on school property or at school activities (Footnote: May also result in a referral to County Health Department for use of tobacco.) ISD/OSS 1-2 days OSS 2-3 days OSS 3-5+ days
3. Intimidation, threats, bullying** ISD/OSS 1 day OSS 1-3 days 5 SUSP, Superintendent’s hearing
a. Bias/discrimination: acts of bias and/or inappropriate comments including and not limited to race, religion, and gender will not be tolerated.

Counseling

1-3 ISD

DASA Report

1-5 ISS

Counseling

1-5 OSS

DASA Report

1-5 OSS 

Counseling

5 OSS+
Supt. Hearing

DASA Report

5 OSS + Supt.
Hearing

b. Bullying: intimidation or bullying: threatening, stalking or seeking to coerce or compel a person to do something; engaging in the nonverbal, verbal, written, cyber or physical gestures and/or conduct that threatens another with harm, including intimidation through use of epithets, natural origin, religion, religious practices, gender, sexual orientation, age or disabilitity that substantially disrupts the educational process. DASA Report

Counseling
DASA Report

Counseling
DASA Report

Counseling
4. Instigating a physical confrontation OSS 1 day OSS 2-3 days OSS 4-5 days
5. Participating in a fight ISD/OSS 1 day OSS 1-2 days OSS 3-5 days
6. Vandalizing, damaging, or stealing school or private property ISD/OSS 1 day OSS 2 days OSS 3-5 days
7. Possession, transmission and/or use of matches, lighters, or other flammable material ISD/OSS 1 day OSS 2 days OSS 3-5 days
8. Brandishing any object in a confrontational manner ISD/OSS 1 day OSS 2 days OSS 3-5 days
9. Insolence, disrespect, insubordination or intentionally misrepresenting fact or truth to a staff member 1-2 DET ISD 1/2-1 day OSS 1-5 days
10. Profanity directed to staff 1-2 ISD OSS 1-2 days OSS 3-5 days
11. Any behavior which results in the humiliation or embarrassment of another ISD/OSS 1 day OSS 2 days OSS 3-5 days
12. Any behavior which endangers the health, safety and welfare of another or him/herself ISD/OSS 1 day OSS 2 days OSS 3-5 days
13. Sexual harrassment

OSS 1-2 days

DASA Report
Title IX
Report

OSS 2-3 days

DASA Report
Title IX
Report

OSS 3-5+ days

DASA Report
Title IX
Report

14a. Misuse of technology I ISD 1-3 days, 1-3 SUSP OSS 1 day, 1-5 SUSP OSS 3-5 days, 1-5 SUSP
14b. Misuse of technology with intent to cause embarrassment/humiliation

1-3 SUSP

DASA Report
Title IX
Report

1-5 SUSP

DASA Report
Title IX
Report

1-5 SUSP

DASA Report
Title IX
Report

14c.  Sexting: the act of sending sexual explicit or sexually provocative photos or videos electronically, primarily between cell phones, using the cell phone carrier’s multimedia service

1-3 OSS 

DASA Report

Title IX
Report

Counseling

1-5 OSS

DASA Report

Title IX Report

Counseling
5 OSS+
Supt. Hearing

DASA Report

Title IX Report

Counseling
15. Truancy (partial or full day) ISD 1/2-1 day ISD 2 days ISD 3-5 days

** Definition of bullying: threatening, stalking or seeking to coerce or compel a person to do something; engaging in the nonverbal, verbal, written, cyber or physical gestures and/or conduct that threatens another with harm, including intimidation through the use of epithets or slurs involving race, ethnicity, natural origin, religion, religious practices, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability that substantially disrupts the educational process.

Level Four Infractions

Up to five-days out-of-school suspension and possible police notification. The following referrals may be made: Superintendent’s hearing (to consider a suspension in excess of five school days), counseling and Family Court.

  1. Possession, transmission, use and/or intent to buy, sell or use alcohol or drugs, or a substance which the individual believes or represents to be such alcohol or drugs, on school property, at school-sponsored events (on or off campus), or is found to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol on school grounds.
  2. Possession, transmission and/or use of fireworks or other explosive materials.
  3. Possesses or displays or threatens the use of a weapon, bomb, dangerous instrument capable of inflicting physical injury or death.
  4. False alarms
  5. Assault and/or intent to cause bodily harm
  6. Possession or transmission of drug paraphernalia or any apparatus which the individual believes or represents to be such paraphernalia on school property or at school activities.
  7. Any type of sexual misconduct/sexual harassment.

Specific Policies

  1. Attendance Violations

    1. All students are required to report to school on time and be ready for a full day of learning unless they have excused reasons for being late.  Students arriving late will report to the attendance office where an admit slip will be issued.  If an excuse from a parent is not presented, the tardiness will be shown as unexcused.  An admit slip must be shown to the teacher upon entering class or the absence is recorded as unexcused.
    2. All students are to report on time to all classes as assigned unless there are excused reasons.  Students reporting to class late should present a pass from the person who detained them, or an admit slip. A student who is late to class without an excuse will be reprimanded and referred to the office for disciplinary action after five unexcused latenesses in a single marking period or ten unexcused latenesses cumulative.
    3. Attendance in class throughout the day is the responsibility of the student.  If a student is absent, it is his or her responsibility to establish that this absence was legitimate and to request and complete required work that was missed.
    4. When a teacher has established that a student has cut a class, the office must be notified immediately.
    5. Students who are absent from school on the day of an activity, in the judgment of an administrator, may not participate in a school event that evening unless the reason for the absence is a funeral, court appearance, etc.
    6. Students are to have a pass when leaving their assigned area.  Staff should not excuse students from class except for emergencies or to perform special study assignments in the library.
    7. Footnote:  See page 74 (5300.45): School Attendance and Participation for further clarification.
  2. Transportation Services

    The bus driver is in charge of the vehicle.  Student conduct is expected to be orderly and not impair the safety of a moving vehicle.  All school rules and regulations on behavior, safety and courtesy apply on the bus, as well as in the school building.  Students refusing to adhere to the ten-foot crossing rule when boarding a bus or after leaving the bus may be charged with misconduct.  Articles which pose a danger cannot be taken on the bus.  The general rule is the item should not be larger than may be safely carried on the student’s lap or held between their legs so as not to obstruct the aisles or interfere with passenger seating space, safety or comfort.Riding the school bus is a privilege, not a right.  The privilege may be removed or disciplinary action taken if the individual’s conduct is abusive, dangerous to oneself or others, or destructive to the vehicle.  Bus drivers will report the misconduct of students to the Building Principal or Associate Principal and Director of Transportation by submitting a bus conduct report.  After students receive a bus conduct report, they are interviewed by the Building Principal or Associate Principal, the parents are contacted and appropriate action taken.  If the student’s behavior warrants, the privilege of riding the bus may be taken away.

    The suggested discipline guideline to be followed is not to be considered as minimum or maximum penalties, but rather to be used at the Principal’s or Associate Principal’s discretion based on the individual circumstances.

    For all grade levels, a student may be removed from a school bus prior to a first report if his/her behavior is such that it endangers the health or safety of himself/herself as well as other students; e.g., striking or cursing a bus driver, or fighting on the bus or causing a delay in the timely transport of other students.

    Students will board and depart only their assigned bus at their established stop. The boarding stop and departure stop may be different for the assigned bus but must remain the same stop for five days a week. Exceptions will be made only in cases of emergencies or extenuating circumstances in which the student must obtain a special pass from his/her Principal.  An emergency change is for a given period, usually less than a week, and may include such items as hospitalization, death, etc.

    When late buses are provided for after-school activities, proper behavior is expected.  Students must have approval from a supervising teacher or coach in order to get on the bus.

    Late buses may not drop students off at the normal bus stop.  Late bus stops are assigned to service general areas.  Students may have to walk home from the nearest late bus stop.

  3.  Appropriate Dress

    It is expected that you will dress appropriately for school.  Clothing that is distracting or a health concern is unacceptable.

    Pants with revealing holes, pajama/lounge pants and low-riding pants are considered inappropriate clothing for school.  Undergarments should not be visible.  Extremely brief or revealing garments such as tube tops, net tops, plunging necklines (front and/or back), see through garments, etc. are not appropriate.  Male students must have sleeves that cover the shoulders, for hygienic reasons.

    Hats and coats are a distraction and may not be worn in class.  Leave your coats and jackets in your cubby or locked in your hall lockers.  If you have a medical reason that requires you to wear a coat in class, please see an administrator for permission.

    Any dress or appearance which constitutes a threat or danger to the health and safety of students (e.g., heavy jewelry or jewelry with spikes which can injure the student or others);

    Any dress or appearance which is vulgar, lewd, obscene or indecent or profane or which exposes to sight the private parts of the body (e.g., t-shirts with a phallic symbol and message consisting of sexual metaphors);

    Any dress or appearance which encourages or advocates in favor of illegal activities, the use of illegal drugs, alcohol and/or tobacco, and/or other conduct prohibited by the Code of Conduct;

    Any dress or appearance which advocates discrimination or denigrates others based upon race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or disability;

    See also 5300.25 – Student Dress Code.

    Students who violate the student dress code shall be asked to modify their appearance by covering or removing the offending item and, if possible or practical, replacing it with an acceptable item.

  4. Hall Behavior

    Rowdy behaviors such as running, pushing, shoving, whistling, kicking and throwing objects are prohibited.  Students are expected to walk in the halls at all times.  There is to be no loitering or boisterous conduct.

  5. Lockers

    1. Students are expected to use their lockers wisely and not spend much time there.  It is especially important not to be late to class because of standing around lockers.
    2. Each student must use an approved Master Lock (V54) with a key slot in the back.
    3. Students should not let anyone know their combination and/or use their locker.
    4. As necessary, locker usage will be restricted.
    5. The locker area is restricted after school. Students are expected to go to lockers at the end of the school day prior to reporting to activities. Students involved in sports are expected to take all necessary books and personal items to place in gym lockers.
    6. Students are expected to keep their lockers clean and will pick up any trash they are responsible for on the floor. Lockers are school district property and are subject to District search at any time.
  6. School Dances

    1. Attendance at dances shall be limited to students in the Warwick Valley Middle School only, Grades 7 and 8.
    2. Students are expected to abide by all school rules while at dances. A student may be removed from the dance for misconduct. Students may not leave a dance early without parental consent and notification of school officials.
    3. Any student who has had multiple discipline referrals and has served a day of ISD or OSS ten school days prior to the day of a dance or absent the day of the dance will be excluded from attending that dance as determined by the principal.
    4. Students must be picked up immediately after the dance is over. Any student still waiting to be picked up thirty minutes or longer after the dance ended will require a parent or guardian chaperone to attend the next dance.
  7. Cafeteria and Recess

    1. During lunch and recess, the following rules are expected to be followed:
      1.  go to lockers before and/or after lunch/recess.  The locker area is off limits during lunch;
      2. going to lunch is like changing classes.  Students have 3 minutes to arrive in the assigned lunch area or to arrive back to class from the cafeteria; and
      3. follow all school rules while in the assigned lunch area pertaining to courtesy, safety, and cleanliness.
      4. Students must adhere to their lunch and recess assignments which can only be changed by an administrator.
    2. During recess, students are expected to behave in a safe manner and follow all instructions issued by monitors.
    3. Cafeteria and recess privileges will be restricted for those students not behaving and may also be subject to discipline in accordance with the Code of Conduct.
  8. Bicycles

    Students may ride bikes to school if they follow the following rules:

    1. written permission from parents;
    2. a sturdy lock for the bike. The school is not responsible for bike security;
    3. do not ride near school buses; and
    4. do not ride on the grass on school property.
    5. behavior that is a danger to the rider or others will result in the loss or riding privileges.
  9. Concerts and Assemblies

    When students go to an assembly, the following rules will be enforced:

    1. being orderly when entering the program;
    2. finding a seat quietly and quickly;
    3. showing good manners at all times;
    4. being orderly when leaving.

Academic Eligibility

The guidelines that will be followed for academic eligibility in the Middle School are as follows:

Students failing two or more subjects will be ineligible for the ten-week marking period that follows. There will be no appeals of this ineligibility to the committee.
Students who have two or more failing fourth quarter grades in June will be ineligible for the first ten weeks of the next school year.  Students with failing final grades will have the opportunity to attend summer school.  Upon receiving passing grades in one or more subjects during the summer session, their eligibility will be reviewed to determine if they failed two or more courses for the year.

All State and Federal regulations that apply to students with IEP’s will be adhered to.

Behavior Eligibility

Behavioral eligibility is based upon the student’s ability to adhere to school rules and regulations. Students who get an out-of-school suspension or two (2) or more in-school detentions will be placed on the BEHAVIORAL INELIGIBILITY LIST. A behaviorally ineligible student MUST request a meeting with Administration.

Ineligibility Status Review — The Process

Behaviorally ineligible students are ineligible from the date of the first out-of-school suspension or from the date of the second in-school detention (or within 5 days of the offense pending disciplinary action). Students must make application to Administration within ten (10) days of becoming ineligible. Students will remain ineligible until a meeting is held. When a request is made beyond ten (10) days of the offense, the student will remain ineligible for a period of 30 days from the date of the meeting. The student may be placed on probation according to the following:

  • 1st offense:  30 days of probation
  • 2nd offense:  40 days of probation
  • 3rd offense:  50 days of probation

If a student is placed on active probation, he/she will be allowed to fully participate in all school activities. The student may not receive additional referrals or violate the Code of Conduct in any manner. If a student fails to adhere to the school rules and regulations listed in the Code of Conduct, he/she will lose his/her probationary status and become immediately ineligible. A student will remain ineligible for 30 days from the date of the last offense. If a student becomes ineligible subsequent times, Administration may extend the period of ineligibility or probation.

Probation for Academic and Behavioral Eligibility

There are three types of probation.  In each case, students may appeal the recommendation of the committee directly to the Principal.  The decision of the Principal shall be considered final.

  • ACTIVE PROBATION – The student is allowed to fully participate but must meet all specified conditions of the committee while participating.  Failure to satisfy each and every condition of the probation will result in loss of active probation (such as being placed on modified or inactive probation).
  • INACTIVE PROBATION – The student is not allowed to participate in any way with the team, group, etc. until all conditions of the probation are met.  This category differs from the straight declaration of ineligibility because it is used for only a limited period of time.  Further, this category will often be used in conjunction with other probationary categories.  Failure to comply with all of the requirements of this category will result in reclassifying the student as ineligible.
  • MODIFIED PROBATION – The student is allowed to practice with the team, group, etc. while continuing to satisfy the terms and conditions of the probation but may not participate in competition or otherwise perform in public with the team or group.  This category may or may not be used in conjunction with other measures which may provide a structure to help the student improve.