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423-568-2247 phone 423-568-2687 fax
Principal Melasawn Knight-Saffels Assistant Principal Ron Morris Administrative Assistants Theresa Reed Dee Holcomb

Dear Parents/Guardians, Your student handbook has important school policies and procedures. Read it carefully, sign and return the last 2 pages to your childs teacher. Please know the faculty, staff and administration look forward to working with you this school year. Our goal is to provide a safe, caring and engaging learning environment while we focus on striving for SUCCESS and nothing less! If you have any questions concerning our policies or procedures, please call my office at 568-2247 or come by the school. Sincerely, Melasawn Knight-Saffels Principal MISSION STATEMENT The mission of Niota Elementary School, where diversity is recognized and respected, is to develop life-long learners that possess the knowledge and skills to be productive citizens by effectively providing challenging learning opportunities in a safe, familyfriendly environment. OBJECTIVES
11. To create an atmosphere of concern, support and respect. 12. To teach basic academic skills and knowledge, also including patriotism and good citizenship. 13. To foster appropriate interpersonal communication skills. 14. To enhance students self-esteem and foster personal growth. 15. To reward consistently the positive behaviors of students. 16. To encourage partnership with home and community through effective communications and public relations. 17. To provide experiences that prepare students for living successfully and productively in a rapidly changing world. 18. To design experiences which develop creativity and critical thinking skills. 19. To present opportunities by which the individual child may reach full mental, physical, social and creative potential. 10. To develop student awareness of global issues. 11. To increase student awareness of conservation and ecology. 12. To encourage a lifetime commitment to learning.

7:15 a.m. 7:15-7:55 a.m. 7:55 a.m. 2:50 p.m. 2:55 p.m. 3:40 p.m. School building opens. Students who arrive before 7:55 a.m. report to the gym. School begins. Bus riders are dismissed. School dismissed. Parent pickup begins at the entrance by the tennis courts. All students must be picked up. Building closes.

Student accident insurance is available.

It is extremely important for students to be in their room by 7:55 a.m. to begin the day. Students who arrive after 8:00 a.m., for any reason, must report to the office to sign in before going to class. If tardiness becomes a problem, the student will be referred to the attendance supervisor and juvenile court for appropriate action.

When it is necessary for students to leave during school, a parent/guardian must come to the office and sign them out. If a student is checked out before 2:55 p.m., for any reason other than a doctor or dentist appointment, this will be counted against his/her attendance. WE WILL BE HAVING CLASSES UNTIL 2:50 P.M. PARENTS SHOULD NOT COME IN TO CHECK THEIR CHILD OUT BEFORE 3:00 P.M. UNLESS HE/SHE HAS A DOCTOR APPOINTMENT, ETC. All Car Riders must be picked up at the entrance near the tennis courts.

Bus transportation is a privilege granted to the students in our zone. If a student should act unsafely, impair the safety of others, or distract the drivers attention from his/her driving responsibilities, bus privileges will be revoked. 1

Parents will receive progress reports every four and one half weeks and grade cards every nine weeks during the school year. Provisions will be made for parent conferences as the need arises. Progress Report (grade card) for grades K-3 reports progress in a standards based format. Grade Card for grades 4-8 reports progress in a traditional format posting grades AF.

School telephones are for emergency use only. Telephone passes are given at the discretion of the classroom teacher.

Guests, especially parents, are welcomed at Niota Elementary. If you wish to consult with a teacher, an appointment is necessary to avoid interrupting instruction. Parents who plan to eat with their child should notify the office before 9:00 a.m. (Written intention is appropriate.) ALL VISITORS MUST CHECK-IN AT THE OFFICE BEFORE GOING TO A CLASSROOM.


October 3rd and February 20th, 12:00 noon6:00 p.m. More information regarding these days will be sent at a later date.

Remember: traffic is "one way" and parking is limited. Buses use the front drive-through for loading and unloading. Parking is not permitted in this area at any time.

Proper hygiene is always expected. Talking should be kept to a whisper. Shouting and horseplay are never permitted. Hands should be washed before leaving the restroom.


The Niota Elementary School PTO is an active, concerned group that works with the school staff for the continued improvement of the school. Notification of monthly PTO meetings will be provided by School Cast and/or the school newsletter.


Parent volunteers assist with clerical duties, record keeping and tutoring. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the office. 2

2011-2012 MEAL PRICES

Category PreK-12 PreK-6 Full Pay Student 7-12 Reduced Pay Student School Personnel Guest Breakfast $1.25 $0.30 $1.75 $1.75 Lunch $2.25 $2.50 $0.40 $3.00 $4.00 ($5.00 Holiday Meals)

Meal Charges Students may accrue a maximum of five (5) lunch charges. When the maximum is reached, an alternative meal will be provided until a parent/guardian is contacted and other arrangements made. Students may not charge breakfast or a la carte items. Cafeteria Accounts Parents have the option of depositing money in advance in student cafeteria accounts to cover emergency situations. Cafeteria Refunds Parents may request a refund of monies from their student's cafeteria account. Per state requirements, refunds greater than $2 must be made in the form of a check from the McMinn County/Office of the Finance Director and may be requested via the Cafeteria Refund Request Form that is available from the school cafeteria manager. Monies left in student accounts at the close of the school year will be carried over to the next school year provided that student attends the same school.


The parent and child assume the responsibility for proper use and return of all text and library books. Reimbursement will be required for lost or damaged books.

Educational field trips are allowed when approved by the principal. Written approval must be granted by the parent before a student may participate in any field trip. * Traveling to any field trip: all students are required to ride the bus. Returning from any field trip: all students are required to have written parental permission if not riding the bus or with their parent/parents.


The principal's office will be in constant contact with the Civil Defense via emergency weather radios, so that early warning can be received concerning possible severe weather. Pupils will be sent home only if we are sure there is sufficient time for them to arrive home before severe weather strikes. Parents are urged not to come to the school for children, if the severe weather is already in the immediate area, since students would most likely be safer at school than traveling under these conditions. Disaster drills will be held regularly at the school so that the children will be familiar with safety areas and procedures. If it becomes necessary to send students 3

home, that decision will be made by the Director of Schools and not the school principal. Parents are advised to listen to local radio stations in these situations. Also a School Cast message will be sent to your phone system. Please make plans with your children for early dismissal due to inclement weather.

Students may not walk home from school without written permission from parents. Chewing gum is not permitted. Knives, guns, and other dangerous objects are not permitted on the campus or the buses. Students who vandalize or destroy school property will be required to pay for any damages incurred. The use or possession of drugs, alcohol or tobacco is strictly forbidden. Students are expected to walk courteously in the halls at all times. Running and shouting in the halls are never permitted. Students should respect the property of others. Keep hands to yourself. Cell phones, CD players, radios, etc. are not allowed on school buses or school property. The writing, passing and possession of personal notes are not allowed on school property. Items found in or around the school should be turned in to the office. Students may claim lost items at the office. Food is not allowed in classroom area unless permitted by teacher. Subjects of concern not mentioned in this handbook can be discussed by making an appointment with your childs teacher or the principal.

1. Students should be well groomed and appropriately dressed to promote an orderly educational atmosphere. 2. Any apparel, dress or grooming that is potentially disruptive to the educational process will not be permitted. Examples of this include: professional wrestling, drugs, tobacco, alcohol, violence, the occult, death or gang-related messages. Clothing must not be sagging, and no holes, rips, tears, cuts, purposely frayed edges, or see-through clothing of any kind will be permitted. All pants must be length appropriate. Gym class students may wear course appropriate dress while in that class. Skirts with shorts may be worn. No flags other than the American flag may be worn. 3. Skirts, skorts, shorts, dresses, etc. must be at least knee level. Dresses, shirts and tops must have sleeves. No bare midriff will be allowed. No spandex will be allowed. 4

4. Shoes must be worn at all times. 5. Students are to wear clothing in the manner in which it was intended to be worn. No clothing shall be worn backward, inside out, suspenders undone, etc. 6. No head coverings, sunglasses, or gloves will be worn in the building during the instructional day. No body-piercing jewelry other than earrings will be allowed. No accessory that is studded, spiked, contains chains or metal tabs, or in any way presents potential danger or harm to self or others will be permitted. Make-up, buttons, pins, jewelry or other accessories must not disrupt the educational process or draw attention to the individual. 7. Hair should be well groomed. It must not be sprayed or dyed unnatural colors (pink, orange, etc.), nor in any other way disrupt the educational process or draw undue attention to the individual.


PLAYGROUND 1. Do not throw objects. 2. No inappropriate physical contact. 3. Stay in view of teacher in assigned areas at all times. 4. Do not leave playground without permission. 5. Keep your area clean. BUS DUTY 1. Remain seated quietly in designated area. 2. Keep hands, feet, and objects to yourself. 3. Do not tease, swear, or use obscene gestures. 4. Do not leave without permission. 5. Go straight to and from your bus duty area. HALLWAYS AND RESTROOMS 1. Go from area to area quietly and orderly. 2. Keep hands, feet, and objects to yourself. 3. Stay with your group in assigned areas. 4. Do not run, trip, or horseplay in hallway or bathroom. 5. Walk on the right side of the hallway. CAFETERIA 1. Follow directions the first time. 2. Talk quietly while in the cafeteria. 3. Use appropriate cafeteria manners. 4. Clean up your eating area before you leave, and place all trash into proper containers. 5. Keep hands, feet, and objects to yourself. 5

Students who arrive at school on early buses in the morning or who return home on late buses in the afternoon will remain in the gym and/or cafeteria. Students remaining in these areas should be orderly, refrain from loud talking and avoid unnecessary movement. Students will be informed when their buses have arrived, and should listen to the teachers on duty for bus loading instructions.

Bus transportation is a PRIVILEGE granted to the students in our zone. Should a student act unsafely, impair the safety of others, or distract the driver's attention from his/her driving responsibilities, bus privileges will be revoked. 11. Students are under the supervision and control of bus drivers. All reasonable directions given by the driver shall be followed. 12. Students must be seated, facing front of bus and quiet while bus is in motion. 13. Once a student is seated, he is not allowed to change seats, climb over or around seats, or put feet on seats. 14. Keep "aisle" clear at all times. 15. Students may not eat or drink on bus. 16. Keep hands, head, hair and other objects inside the bus at all times. 17. Throwing objects on the bus is prohibited. 18. Cross road in front of bus at least 10 feet away, only after looking in both directions to make sure oncoming vehicles are stopped. 19. A student will exit his bus ONLY at his designated stop area (unless he has an authorized note from parent and signed by a principal). 10. School policies contained in students STUDENT HANDBOOK pertaining to conduct and behavior will be enforced on buses. 11. Student complaints should be made to the bus driver. 12. While student is suspended, parent/guardian is responsible for transportation to and from school. SUSPENSIONS WILL BE GIVEN AS FOLLOWS: 1st Offense 3 days suspension or paddle 2nd Offense 5 days suspension 3rd Offense 10 days suspension 4th Offense Permanent suspension Niota Elementary administration reserves the right to address any situation not described in this handbook. 6


August 3 August 4 August 5, 8 & 9 August 10 September 5 September 7 September 8 October 3 October 6 October 7 October 24 - 25 October 26 October 27 - 28 November 10 November 11 November 23 - 25 December 13 December 14 December 19 - Jan. 1 January 2 January 3 January 16 January 26 January 27 February 20 February 24 February 27 March 6 March 26 March 27 April 2 - 6 April 30 May 1 May 23 May 24 Work Day Registration Day In-Service First Month Begins Labor Day (Schools Closed) First Month Ends Second Month Begins Parent Conference (Schools Closed) Second Month Ends Third Month Begins Staff Development (Schools Closed) In-Service Optional (Schools Closed) Fall Break (Schools Closed) Third Month Ends Fourth Month Begins Thanksgiving Holidays (Schools Closed) Fourth Month Ends Fifth Month Begins Christmas & New Years Holiday (Schools Closed) Staff Development (Schools Closed) Students Return To School In-Service Optional (Schools Closed) Fifth Month Ends Sixth Month Begins Parent Conference (Schools Closed) Sixth Month Ends Seventh Month Begins Presidential Primary (Schools Closed) Seventh Month Ends Eighth Month Begins Spring Break (Schools Closed) Eighth Month Ends Ninth Month Begins Ninth Month Ends Work Day Required 10 Vacation Days 5 Days In-Service 1 Day Registration 2 Parent Conference Days 2 Work Days = 200 Total Days

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Niota Elementary School (NES) is taking part in the countywide Family Friendly program, which is designed to make our schools more inviting to parents and guardians. It is our hope that the student success will increase as parents become more involved in their childrens school life and academics. In an ongoing effort to increase communication and parent involvement, the family engagement team will plan to initiate the following practices for this school term:
NES will have Family Friendly meetings at least once per semester to discuss ways we can get more parents involved with the school and their children's education. NES keeps signed School-Parent-Student Contracts on file in the classrooms for one year. These were created by parents and teachers, and they outline how the different parties share the responsibility for improving student academic achievement and develop a partnership to help children achieve the States high standards. NES will plan and carry-out activities for parent involvement through PTO, Open House Cookout, Pastries for Parents, Goodies for Grandparents, Fall Carnival, Easter Egg Hunts, AR Saturdays, Monday reading nights, Musicals and Art Shows. These activities will be offered at varying times so more parents will have opportunities to participate. Sign-in sheets will be kept in the schools manual. NES will provide parents timely information pertaining to parent involvement programs via newsletters, calendars, the website, emails, Progress Reports, Report Cards, Channel 95, text information and School Cast. NES will hold two Parent-Teacher Conferences each year. Flexible (12-6 P.M.) scheduling will allow family members to attend so they can partner with teachers to encourage academic improvement, promote attendance, reinforce good behavior. Teachers will keep parent sign-in sheets and/or conference notes indicating what useful information was shared. NES will provide assistance to parents in understanding the State standards, local assessments, T-CAP scores and how to work with students toward improving achievement. This will be done through Scantron reports, Curriculum Maps, discussion of proficiency levels, progress reports, grade cards, the website, and the Parent Institute. NES will provide worksheets from Scantron, workbooks, books, videos, and games for families to use at home as needed or at parent request. NES will designate someone to maintain an updated website from which parents can access information about events, curriculum standards, and links to online tutoring or activities for students. NES will invite community groups to speak, host, and/or participate in PTO meetings, family events, and student organizations. These groups include but are not limited to church groups, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Athens Optimist Club, local businesses, and Niotas Lions Club.

Our Parent Involvement Plan will be reviewed annually and appropriate changes will be made to promote more parent involvement as the Family Friendly Committee deems necessary. Any disagreement regarding the Parent Involvement Plan should be directed to the principal, then to the School Board and finally the comment is submitted to the State Department. 8

McMinn County Board of Education Policies

It is the Policy of the McMinn County School System not to discriminate on the basis of sex, race, national origin, or handicap in its educational programs, activities, or employment as required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1984, Title IX of the 1972 Educational Amendments and Section of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Vant Hardaway has been appointed as the Title IX Coordinator for the McMinn County School System. Any inquiry regarding compliance with Title IX or Title VI may be directed to him at the McMinn County Board of Education, 216 North Jackson, Athens, Tennessee 37303, telephone number 423-745-1612. Ronnie Creasman has been appointed as the Section 504 Coordinator for the McMinn County School System. Any inquiry regarding compliance with Section 504 may be directed to him at the McMinn County Board of Education, 216 North Jackson, Athens, Tennessee 37303, telephone number 423-745-1612, or to the Director of the Office of Civil Rights Department, Washington, D.C.

Complaints will be handled in the following manner: A. At the local school level the complainant will have a conference with the principal. B. If the complaint is from a parent concerning a child, a conference may be held with the teacher, principal, and parent. If the complaint is from an employee, a conference will be held with his/her immediate supervisor. If a complaint is from a student, a student-principal-teacher conference will be held. C. If agreement is not reached, the complainants may take the problem to the Director of Schools. D. When an agreement cannot be reached after a conference with the Director of Schools, the Board of Education will hear the complaint and render a decision. Complaints made to the Board shall be submitted to the Director of Schools in writing at least seven (7) days prior to Board meeting, and may include a request to be heard by the Board. Upon a majority vote of the Board, permission to be heard and/or a waiver of the time requirement may be granted. E. Teachers shall follow complaint procedures as adopted by the current negotiated contract.


The Operations & Maintenance (O&M) program discussed in detail in TAHERA 7.0 is a site-specific set of procedures and practices designed to guide the LEA in building cleaning, maintenance, repair and general operation of the building 9

to maintain the facility as free of asbestos contamination as possible. O&M procedures will include notification to building occupants, training of custodial and maintenance personnel, and specific work procedures to control potential fiber releases. The asbestos-containing materials in the school include 1,000 linear feet of baseboard mastic, 20 square feet of water tank insulative covering and 10,000 square feet of floor tile. All materials with the exception of the water tank covering are nonfriable. The thermal system insulation is accessible only to maintenance personnel. The operations and maintenance program will remain in effect until all ACBM is removed from the facility.

Attendance is a key factor in student achievement; students are expected to be present each day that school is in session. The attendance supervisor shall oversee the entire attendance program which shall include:1 1. All accounting and reporting procedures and their dissemination; 2. Alternative program options for students who severely fail to meet minimum attendance requirements; 3. Ensuring that all school age children attend school; 4. Providing documentation of enrollment status upon request for students applying for new or reinstatement of driver's permit or license; and 5. Notifying the Department of Safety whenever a student with a driver's permit or license drops out of school.2 Student attendance records shall be given the same level of confidentiality as other student records. Only authorized school officials with legitimate educational purposes may have access to student information without the consent of the student or parent/guardian.3 Absences shall be classified as either excused or unexcused as determined by the principal or his/her designee. Excused absences shall include: 1. Personal illness; 2. Illness of immediate family member; 3. Death in the family; 4. Extreme weather conditions; 5. Religious observances;4 or 6. Circumstances which in the judgment of the principal create emergencies over which the student has no control. 7. A one-day absence is provided for students when their parent or custodian is deployed into active military service. A one-day excused absence is also provided for students when the parent or custodian returns from military service.5 8. Each student will be allowed five (5) excused days per school year with a parent note. A doctors note will be required for absences beyond five (5) days. 10

The principal shall be responsible for ensuring that:6 1. Attendance is checked and reported daily for each class; 2. Daily absentee sheets contain sign-in/sign-out sheets and indicate students present or absent for the majority of the day; 3. All student (K-12) absences are verified; 4. Written excuses are submitted for absences and tardiness; 5. System-wide procedures for accounting and reporting are followed.

Truancy is defined as an absence for an entire school day, a major portion of the school day or the major portion of any class, study hall or activity during the school day for which the student is scheduled. Students who are absent five (5) days without adequate excuse will be reported to the director of schools who will, in turn, provide written notice to the parents/guardians of the student's absence.7 The Board shall determine annually and include in the school calendar a plan for using three (3) abbreviated school days and the procedures for making up missed instructional days. In addition, the Board shall determine annually whether to use flexible scheduling for kindergarten students. Students participating in school-sponsored activities whether on- or off-campus shall not be counted absent. In order to qualify as "school-sponsored," the activity must be school-planned, school-directed, and teacher-supervised.

All missed class work or tests from excused absences may be made up provided the student makes the request immediately upon returning to school. Class time should not be taken from other students.


More than ten (10) consecutive or fifteen (15) reported unexcused absences by a student during any semester renders a student ineligible to retain a driver's permit or license or to obtain such if of age. A student must also make "Satisfactory Academic Progress" by making a passing grade in at least three (3) full unit subjects or their equivalency per semester.

Any administrative decision regarding attendance may be appealed to the director of schools. The appeal shall be made in writing to the director of schools within five (5) days following the action or the report of the action, whichever is later. 11

Legal References: Cross References: 1. TRR/MS 0520-1-3-.08(1)(a); TCA 49-6-3006 Extracurricular Activities 4.300 2. TCA 49-6-3107 Reporting Student Progress 4.601 3. TCA 10-7-504; 20 U.S.C. 1232g Promotion and Retention 4.603 4. TRR/MS 0520-1-3-.03(15); TCA 49-6-2904 Recognition of Religious Beliefs 4.803 5. Public Acts 2006, Chapter No. 552 Student Records 6.600 6. TCA 49-6-3007 7. Attendance Accounting Procedural Manual, Minimum Standards and Guidelines, State Department of Education


Students residing outside the boundaries of the school system may attend schools within the school system under the following conditions: 1. They must be approved by the director of schools.1 2. Non-resident students make application at least two weeks prior to the first day of school. After two (2) weeks prior to the beginning of school and thereafter during the remainder of the school year, students wishing to transfer into the system must also have the approval of the sending system.2 3. When accepted at a specific school, enrollment at that school will be guaranteed until the student leaves the last grade in that school. During this period of time, brothers and sisters will be assured of enrollment at the same school. 4. Non resident students will be considered if space is available and EIA mandated pupil/teacher ratios are not affected.
Legal References: 1. TCA 49-6-3104; TCA 49-6-3105 2. TCA 49-6-3113; TCA 49-6-3103 Cross References: Foreign Exchange Students 6.502


Transfer students will meet the same enrollment requirements as new students. Up to two (2) weeks prior to the beginning of the school year, a student may choose to attend a school within the system other than the one to which he/she is zoned.** However, the student must provide his/her own transportation to and from the school. After a student has enrolled in one (1) school within the system, he/she will not be permitted to transfer to another unless there is a change in residence of the student's parents or guardian outside the area in which the student enrolled. Any exception to this policy must be brought before the director of schools for evaluation and decision. Students whose families transfer their residence to another school area after the first month of school may complete the school year at their former school. Students who present evidence that they will move during the school year and who desire to enroll in a new school in the new area may do so with prior written request for a change of school area. The director of schools may grant other exceptions to this policy for good and sufficient reasons. 12

Principals shall allow credit for work transferred from other schools only when substantiated by official transcripts or successful completion of comprehensive written examinations approved, administered and graded by the principal or his/her designated representative.1
Legal References: 1. TRR/MS 0520-1-3-03 (11)(b) ** Not effective in event of federally-mandated desegregation order.


The director of schools shall be responsible for the overall implementation and supervision of the Board's Code of Behavior and Discipline and shall ensure that students at all schools are subject to a uniform and fair application of the Code. The principal of each school shall be responsible for implementation and administration in his/her school and shall apply the Code uniformly and fairly to each student at the school without partiality and discrimination. The Board delegates to the director of schools the responsibility of developing more specific codes of behavior and discipline which are appropriate for each level of school, namely, elementary, middle, junior high and senior high. The development of each code shall involve principals and faculty members of each level of school and shall be consistent with the content of the Board's Code. A copy of the Code shall be posted at each school and guidance counselors shall be supplied copies for discussion with students. The code shall be referenced in all school handbooks. All teachers, administrative staff and parents shall be provided copies of the Code.1
Legal References: 1. Student and Employee State Environment Act of 1996; TCA 49 6 4011, et. al.


Personal Communication and/or Electronic Devices
A personal communication device (PCD) such as a cell phone, is a device that emits an audible signal, vibrates, displays a message or otherwise summons or delivers a communication to the possessor. A personal electronic device is a device that can be used as a camera, a recorder, a player, or any such item that electronically transmits or receives a signal, image, sound file, data file or message.

Use By Students In Grades: Pre-K - 8

Students shall not possess personal communication devices while on school property or while attending a school-sponsored activity on or off school property during school hours. Personal communication devices will not be permitted in school buildings during regular school hours. 13

A person who discovers a student in possession of a personal communication device shall report the violation to the principal. The device will be confiscated and will be returned only to the parent/guardian of the student. Students, who possess an electronic communication device, are in violation of this policy and school rules and are subject to the related disciplinary action.

Inappropriate Use of PCD and/or Electronic Devices: Pre-K - 12

In addition to the parameters established above, use of a PCD or other electronic device to bully, harass or intimidate others will be subject to related disciplinary action. Using a PCD or other electronic device for any illicit activity including but not limited to take, disseminate, transfer, or share obscene, pornographic, lewd, or otherwise illegal images, photographs, or similar material whether by electronic data transfer or otherwise may constitute a crime under State and/or Federal law. Any student taking, disseminating, transferring, possessing or sharing obscene, pornographic, lewd, illegal, or otherwise inappropriate images or photographs of other students or any other under age individual at school, on a school bus or while attending any school event or activity will be subject to the disciplinary procedures of the school district and reported to law enforcement and other appropriate State or Federal agencies.


Discrimination/Harassment (Sexual, Racial, Ethnic, Religious)
Students shall be provided a learning environment free from sexual, racial, ethnic and religious discrimination/harassment.1 It shall be a violation of this policy for any employee or any student to discriminate against or harass a student through disparaging conduct or communication that is sexual, racial, ethnic or religious in nature. The following guidelines are set forth to protect students from discrimination/harassment. Student discrimination/harassment will not be tolerated.2 Discrimination /harassment is defined as conduct, advances, gestures or words either written or spoken of a sexual, racial, ethnic or religious nature which: 1. Unreasonably interfere with the student's work or educational opportunities; or 2. Create an intimidating, hostile or offensive learning environment; or 3. Imply that submission to such conduct is made an explicit or implicit term of receiving grades or credit; or 4. Imply that submission to or rejection of such conduct will be used as a basis for determining the student's grades and/or participation in a student activity. 14

Students shall be provided a safe learning environment. It shall be a violation of this policy for any student to bully, intimidate or create a hostile educational environment for another student. Bullying and intimidation are defined as either physically harming a student, or damaging his/her property, or knowingly placing the student in reasonable fear of such, or creating a hostile educational environment. The policy addresses conduct taking place on school grounds, at any schoolsponsored activity, on school-provided transportation, or at any official school bus stop immediately before boarding and immediately following deboarding.3 Alleged victims of the above-referenced offenses shall report these incidents immediately to a teacher, counselor or building administrator.4 Any allegations shall be fully investigated by a complaint manager (as set forth in Student Concerns, Complaints and Grievances 6.305). The privacy and anonymity of all parties and witnesses to complaints will be respected. However, because an individual's need for confidentiality must be balanced with obligations to cooperate with police investigations or legal proceedings, to provide due process to the accused, to conduct a thorough investigation or to take necessary action to resolve a complaint, the identity of parties and witnesses may be disclosed in appropriate circumstances to individuals with a need to know. A substantiated charge against an employee shall result in disciplinary action up to and including termination. A substantiated charge against a student may result in corrective or disciplinary action up to and including expulsion. There will be no retaliation against any person who reports harassment or participates in an investigation. However, any employee who refuses to cooperate or gives false information during the course of any investigation may be subject to disciplinary action. The willful filing of a false report will itself be considered harassment and will be treated as such. An employee disciplined for violation of this policy may appeal the decision by contacting the federal rights coordinator. Any student disciplined for violation of this policy may appeal the decision in accordance with disciplinary policies and procedures. This policy shall be published in the parent/student handbook distributed annually to every student. Building administrations are responsible for educating and training their respective staff and students as to the definition and recognition of discrimination/harassment. Coaches and other employees of the school district shall not encourage, permit, condone or tolerate hazing activities.5
Legal References: 1. TCA 49-6-3109 2. Title VII; 29 CFR 1604.11; Davis vs Monroe Co. Board of Education, No. 97-843 3. TCA 49-6-1014-1019 4. Title IX (20 U.S.C. 1681-1686) 5. TCA 49-2-120 Cross References: Appeals To & Appearances Before the Board 1.404 Staff-Student Relations 5.610 Student Complaints and Grievances 6.305



Students shall be provided a learning environment free from racial discrimination/harassment. It shall be a violation of this policy for any employee or any student to discriminate against or harass a student through disparaging conduct or communication that is racial in nature. The following guidelines are set forth to protect students from discrimination/harassment. Racial discrimination/harassment will not be tolerated. Discrimination /harassment is defined as conduct, advances, gestures or words either written or spoken of a racial nature which: 1. Unreasonably interfere with the student's work or educational opportunities; or 2. Create an intimidating, hostile or offensive learning environment. Examples of such conduct are: racial slurs, remarks of an offensive racial nature, racial jokes, mocking, intimidating dress, battery, graffiti, or nonverbal actions with implied threats. Alleged victims of racial discrimination/harassment shall report these incidents immediately to a teacher, counselor or building administrator. Allegations of racial discrimination/harassment shall be fully investigated by a complaint manager (as set forth in Student Concerns, Complaints and Grievances 6.3041). A substantiated charge against an employee shall result in disciplinary action up to and including termination. A substantiated charge against a student may result in corrective or disciplinary action up to and including expulsion. There will be no retaliation against any person who reports harassment or participates in an investigation. An employee disciplined for violation of this policy may appeal the decision by contacting the Federal Rights Coordinator or the State's Rights Coordinator. Any student disciplined for violation of this policy may appeal the decision in accordance with disciplinary policies and procedures. This policy shall be published in the parent/student handbook distributed annually to every student. Building administrators are responsible for educating and training their respective staff and students as to the definition and recognition of discrimination/harassment.


Decisions made by school personnel such as aides, teachers, or assistant principals which students believe are unfair or in violation of pertinent policies of the Board or individual school rules may be appealed to the school principal or a designated representative. Each principal needs a complaint committee comprised of both male and female. To appeal, students will contact the principal's office in their school and provide their name, the issue and the reason for their appeal on a printed form available at the school office within two days. The appeal will usually be decided confidentially and promptly, preferably within four (4) school days. However, if the principal does not make a decision within ten (10) school days following the date of complaint, students or parents may appeal at that time by 16

contacting the director of schools/designee at the central office. The information provided should include the student's name, the school and the description of the problem. An investigation and decision will be made within two (2) school days and communicated to the school principal and student by telephone. A written copy of the decision also will be sent to the student and the principal.


Filing a Complaint Any student of this school district who wishes to file a discrimination/harassment grievance against another student or an employee of the district may file a written or oral (recorded, if possible) complaint with the building level administrator.1 Students may also report an allegation of discrimination /harassment to any teacher or other adult employed in the school who shall inform the building level administrator of the allegation. The complaint should include the following information: Identity of the alleged victim and person accused; Location, date, time and circumstances surrounding the alleged incident; Description of what happened; Identity of witnesses; and Any other evidence available Investigation Within twenty-four hours of receiving the student's complaint, the complaint manager shall notify the complaining student's parent/guardian and the principal who shall inform the director of schools. The parent/guardian shall be given notice of the right to attend an interview of the student in a non-intimidating environment in order to elicit full disclosure of the student's allegations. This interview shall take place within five (5) days from the time the complaint was first made. After a complete investigation, if the allegations are substantiated, immediate and appropriate corrective or disciplinary action shall be initiated. The complaint (2) as necessary to fully investigate the complaint; or (3) as authorized by the complainant. A school representative will meet with and advise the complainant regarding the findings, and whether corrective measures and/or disciplinary action were taken. The investigation and response to the complainant will be completed within thirty (30) school days. Copies of the report will be sent to the student, principal, Federal Rights Coordinator and the director of schools. One copy shall be kept in the complaint manager's file for one (1) year beyond the student's eighteenth (18th) birthday. The director of schools shall keep the Board informed of all complaints. Decision and Appeal If the complainant is not in agreement with the findings of fact as reported by the complaint manager, an appeal may be made, within five (5) work days to the director of schools. The director of schools will review the investigation, make any corrective action deemed necessary and provide a written response to the complainant. If the complainant is not in agreement with the director of schools' findings of fact, appeal may be made to the Board of Education 17

within five (5) work days. The Board shall, within (30) days from the date the appeal was received, review the investigation and the actions of the director of schools and may support, amend or overturn the actions based upon review and report their decision in writing to the complainant.


The director of schools shall appoint at least two complaint managers, one of each gender for each school. The Federal Rights Coordinator may serve as a complaint manager. The director of schools shall insert into this policy the names, address and telephone numbers of current complaint managers. (see note) This policy shall be published in the parent/student handbook distributed annually to every student. Building administrators are responsible for educating and training their respective staff and students as to the definition and recognition of discrimination/harassment. Vant Hardaway, Title VI and Title IX Coordinator 216 North Jackson Street, Athens, TN 37303 Phone (423) 744-1658 (Note: Title IX regulations require districts to identify the name, address and telephone number of the person who is responsible for coordinating the district's compliance efforts. A policy should not be adopted with a person's name in it; rather, the identifying information can be added and amended as necessary.)
Legal References: 1. Title IX, Education Amendment of 1972, 20 U.S.C. 1681.et seq. Cross References: Appeals To and Appearances Before the Board 1.404 Section 504/ADA Grievance Procedures 1.802 Discrimination/Harassment of Students 6.304

The staff is authorized to take reasonable measures to establish appropriate school behavior. Any professional employee shall have the authority to control the conduct of any student while under the supervision of the school system.1 This authority shall extend to all activities of the school, including all games and public performances of athletic teams and other school groups, trips, excursions and all other activities under school sponsorship and direction. Such measures may include the use of reasonable force to restrain or correct students and maintain order. A student shall not use violence, force, noise, coercion, threat, intimidation, fear, passive resistance or any other conduct which causes the disruption, interference or obstruction of any school purpose while on school property, in school vehicles or buses, or at any school-sponsored activity, function or event, whether on or off campus. Neither shall he/she urge other students to engage in such conduct. Harassment, intimidation and other conduct that may be considered "bullying" will not be tolerated. Students shall not engage in conduct that has the effect of unreasonably interfering with another student's academic development or that creates a hostile or offensive learning environment. 18

A student found guilty of misbehavior may receive punishment ranging from verbal reprimand to suspension and/or expulsion dependent on the severity of the offense and the offender's prior record. 2
Legal References: 1. TCA 49-6-4102 2. TCA 49-6-3401


In order to ensure a safe and secure learning environment, the following offenses will not be tolerated:


Students shall not possess, handle, transmit, use or attempt to use any dangerous weapon in school buildings or on school grounds at any time, or in school vehicles and/or buses or off the school grounds at a school-sponsored activity, function or event.1 Dangerous weapons for the purposes of this policy shall include, but are not limited to, a firearm or anything manifestly designed, made or adapted for the purpose of inflicting death or serious bodily injury or anything that in the manner of its use or intended use is intended use is capable of causing death or serious bodily injury.2 Violators of this section shall be subject to suspension and/or expulsion from school.

Any student who commits a hate crime at school, on a school bus, or while attending any school event or activity will be subject to suspension and/or expulsion from school.

FIREARMS (As Defined In 18 U.S.C. 921)3

In accordance with state law, any student who brings or possesses a firearm on school property shall be expelled for a period of not less than one (1) calendar year. The director of schools shall have the authority to modify this expulsion requirement on a case-by-case basis.4

In accordance with state law, any student who unlawfully possesses any drug including any controlled substance or legend drug shall be expelled for a period of not less than one (1) calendar year. The director of schools shall have the authority to modify this expulsion requirement on a case-by-case basis.5

In accordance with state law, any student who commits battery upon any teacher, principal administrator, any other employee of the school or school resource officer shall be expelled for a period of not less than one (1) calendar year. The director of schools shall have the authority to modify this expulsion requirement on a case-by-case basis.6 19

When it is determined that a student has violated this policy, the principal of the school shall notify the student's parent or guardian and the criminal justice or juvenile delinquency system as required by law.7
Legal References: 1. TCA 39-17-1309 2. TCA 39-11-106(a)(5)(A)(B) 3. 18 U.S.C. 921 4. 20 U.S.C. 8921; TCA 49-6-4216(b); TCA 49-6-3401(g) 5. TCA 49-6-3401(g); TCA 49-6-4216(b) 6. TCA 49-6-4209; TCA 39-17-1312 Cross References: Discipline Procedures 6.313 Suspension/Expulsion/Remand 6.316

If under exceptional circumstances a child is required to take non-prescription or prescription medication during school hours and the parent cannot be at school to administer the medication, only the principal or the principal's designee will assist in self-administration of the medication if the student is competent to selfadminister medicine with assistance in compliance with the following regulations.1 Written instructions signed by the parent will be required and will include: 1. Child's name; 2. Name of medication; 3. Name of physician; 4. Time to be self-administered; 5. Dosage and directions for self-administration; 6. Possible side effects, if known; and 7. Termination date for self-administration of the medication. The medication must be delivered to the principal's office in person in original container by the parent or guardian of the student unless the medication must be retained by the student for immediate self-administration. (i.e. students with asthma). Volunteer personnel, trained by a registered nurse, may administer glucagon in emergency situations to a student based on that student's Individual Health Plan (IMP). The administrator/designee will: 1. Inform appropriate school personnel of the medication to be selfadministered; 2. Keep written instructions from parent in student's record; 3. Keep an accurate record of the self-administration of the medication; 4. Keep all medication in a locked cabinet except medication retained by a student per physician's order; 5. Return unused prescription to the parent or guardian only; and 6. Ensure that all guidelines developed by the Department of Health and the Department of Education are followed. The parent or guardian is responsible for informing the designated official of any change in the student's health or change in medication. 20

A copy of this policy shall be provided to the parent or guardian upon receipt of a request for long-term administration of medication.
Legal References: 1. TCA 49-5-415 2. TCA 49-5-415(d)(7), Public Acts 2006, Chapter No. 54 Cross References: Student Health Services 6.401


The Board encourages the involvement of parents, both as individuals and as groups, to act as advisors and resource people in the following ways: 1. With specific talents to complement and extend the instructional services of the classroom teacher; 2. To serve as advisors on curriculum development projects; 3. To express ideas and concerns by responding to surveys and other information-gathering devices; 4. To be actively involved in parent-teacher groups; and 5. To serve on citizens advisory committees.


Answers to many questions and much helpful information may be obtained from the State Department of Education by calling 1-888-212-3162 or visiting http://www.state.tn.us/education/speced/index.htm. Legal Services Division Division of Special Education, Tennessee Department of Education 710 James Robertson Parkway, 7th Floor, Andrew Johnson Tower Nashville, Tennessee 37243-0380 Phone: 615-532-8228 Fax: 615-532-9412 West Tennessee Regional Resource Center 100 Berryhill Drive, Jackson, Tennessee 38301 Phone: 731-421-5074 Fax: 731-421-5077 East Tennessee Regional Resource Center 2763 Island Home Blvd., Knoxville, Tennessee 37290 Phone: 865-594-5691 Fax: 865-594-8909


In addition to the state and local resources available to parents and children, there are many agencies and organizations that offer support, information, training, and help in advocating for persons with disabilities in Tennessee. 21

A few of these organizations are listed below: The ARC of Tennessee is on the Internet at http://www.thearctn.org/ 44 Vantage Way, Suite 550, Nashville, TN 37228 Phone: 615-248-5878 Toll Free: 1-800-835-7077 Fax: 615-248-5879 Email: pcooper@athearctn.org Support and Training for Exceptional Parents (STEP) is on the Internet at http://tnstep.org/ 712 Professional Plaza Greenville, Tennessee 37745 West Tennessee: 901-726-4334 jenness.roth@tnstep.org East Tennessee: 423-639-2464 karen.harrison@tnstep.org

Middle Tennessee: 615-463-2310 information@tnstep.org Disability Law and Advocacy Center of Tennessee is on the Internet at http://tpainc.org/ 416 21st Avenue South Nashville, Tennessee 37212 1-800-287-9636 (Toll Free) or 615-298-1080 615-298-2471 (TTY) 615-298-2046 (Fax) Tennessee Voices for Children is on the Internet at http://www.tnvoices.org/main.htm West Tennessee (Jackson Area): 731-660-6365, Fax: 731-660-6372 East Tennessee (Knoxville Area): 865-609-2490, Fax: 865-609-2543

Middle Tennessee: 1315 8th Avenue South Nashville, Tennessee 37203 615-269-7751 or TN Toll Free: 800-670-9882 Fax: 615-269-8914 Email: TVC@tnvoices.org
These are but a few of the organizations available to help with information, training and advocacy. For a more extensive list visit the Tennessee Disability Services - Disability Pathfinder Database: http://mingus.kc.vanderbilt.edu/tdir/dbsearch.asp On the web page, select your "county" and the "service" you desire from the drop-down lists and click "Submit."

This information is provided as a service to individuals seeking additional avenues for help and information. The Department of Education does not intend this as an endorsement or recommendation for any individual, organization, or service represented on this page.


Under the Federal Projects Director, the school system shall provide the coordination and technical assistance, plan and implement the Program according to the guidelines set forth in law which includes, but is not limited to, the following: 11. Parent input into the planning, design and implementation of the School Program; 12. Meaningful consultation of parents of participating children in the planning, design and implementation of the School Program; 13. Organized, systematic, ongoing, informed and timely consultation in relation to decisions about the program; and 14. The involvement of parents through activities and procedures which are of sufficient size, scope and quality to give reasonable promise of substantial progress toward achieving the required goals. To ensure that parents of children have an adequate opportunity to participate in the planning, designing and implementing of the School Program, the school system shall: 11. Convene an annual meeting, to which all parents of participating children, including migrant students and limited English Proficiency students, must be invited, to explain the programs, activities and curriculum available under the School Program; 12. Provide parents of participating children, including migrant students and limited English Proficiency students, with reports and explanations of their childs progress; 13. To the extent practical, conduct a parent/teacher conference with the parents of each participating child to discuss the childs progress, placement, and training in methods the parents can use to complement the childs instruction; 14. Make educational personnel under the Program, including student services personnel, readily accessible to parents; 15. Permit parents of participating children to observe Program activities; 16. 17. Provide opportunities for regular meetings with parents to formulate parental input into the program; Provide parents of participating children with a copy of the parental involvement policy as well as timely information about the program;

18. Make parents aware of parental involvement requirements and other relevant provisions of the program. 19. Provide reasonable support for parental involvement activities as parents may request; 10. Coordinate, to the extent possible, parental involvement activities and strategies under other programs; 23

11. Develop a school-parent compact that outlines how parents, the entire school staff and students will share the responsibility for improved student achievement and the means by which the school and parents will build and develop a partnership to help children achieve high standards; 12. Provide information, to the extent practicable, on programs and activities in a language and form that parents understand; and 13. Annually assess, through consultation with parents, the effectiveness of the parental involvement program and determine what action needs to be taken, if any, to increase parental participation.


This is to inform you that under the provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act, you have a right to request information regarding the professional qualification of your childs classroom teacher. This provision also applies to the qualification of any instructional aide, which may be working with your child. Any request should be made to the Principal of the school. The school system will respond to any request in a timely manner.


Pursuant to The No Child Left Behind Act you as a parent or guardian have the right to refuse the release of directory information of your child to the military. Please check and sign one of the following: Yes, the military may have directory information concerning my child. ___________________________________________ Date ___________________
Parent Signature

No, the military may not have directory information concerning my child. ___________________________________________ Date ___________________
Parent Signature


Homeless children have a right to attend school. You do not need a permanent address to enroll your child in school. Homeless children have the right to stay in their home school if the parents choose. Your child cannot be denied school enrollment just because school records or other documentation are not immediately available. Your child has the right to transportation services to and from the school of origin. Your child has the right to participate in extracurricular activities and all federal, state, or local programs for which he/she is eligible. 24

When action is desired toward a student or a McMinn County Board of Education employee, the following OFFICIAL COMPLAINT FORM must be filed with the building Principal or the Director of Schools. Each complaint will be investigated. Complaint forms will be shared with the person the complaint is directed against. Forms may be picked up in the Office of any school or at the office of the Director of Schools.


Person making complaint _______________________________________________ Date ______________ Phone number ____________________________________ What is your complaint? _______________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ Specific documentation to support your complaint: __________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ Witnesses or other necessary information: __________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ Action desired: _______________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________


Action taken: ________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________

Date ________________________ 25

McMinn County School System affirms that it will comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VI states: No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

Anyone who believes that the school system has discriminated against them or another individual may file a complaint. The complaint can be sent to:

Vant Hardaway, Title VI Coordinator for McMinn County School System and/or Lesley D. Farmer, Director Office of the Civil Rights Tennessee Department of Education and/or Atlanta Office The Office of Civil Rights U.S. Department of Education 61 Forsyth Street S.W., Suite 19T70 Atlanta, Georgia 30303-3104



It is our goal to work closely with parents to ensure that your child is provided the best education possible. Children will accomplish all that they are capable of when there is strong support at home and a close partnership with the school. In order to achieve this, the home and school must recognize and agree upon the responsibilities of each party in the learning process. I. AS A STUDENT, I WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR... 1. Showing respect and cooperating with all adults at school. 2. Being on time and attending school regularly. 3. Respecting the rights of others to learn without distraction or disruption. 4. Completing all assignments to the best of my ability. 5. Spending quiet time at home daily studying or reading. Comments: ______________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ Students Signature: ____________________________________

II. AS A PARENT, I WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR... 1. Providing adequate food and rest so that my child is ready to learn. 2. Seeing that my child is punctual and attends school regularly. 3. Providing a time and place each evening for quiet study and reading with out TV. 4. Encouraging my child and being available for questions or help. 5. Staying aware of what my child is learning. 6. Reading with my child and letting my child read to me. 7. Meeting with my childs teacher to discuss my childs needs and performances in school. Comments: ______________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ Parents Signature: ____________________________________ III. AS A TEACHER, I WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR... 1.. Providing high quality curriculum and instruction in a supportive and effective environment. 2. Encouraging students and parents by supplying frequent evaluations of students achievement on Progress Reports-Parent Conferences. 3. Explaining requirements such as the School-Parent Compact as part of the Parent Involvement Policy at the Annual Meeting, etc. 4. Being accessible for Parent Conference, parent observations in the classroom, messages, opportunities for parents to volunteer, etc. 5. Providing assistance and support for parents to tutor at home. Comments: ______________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ Teachers Signature: ____________________________________ 27


Parents, Please sign and return this form stating you and your child have read and understand the policies set forth in this student handbook. Our school is being held responsible for the return of this form and it will be kept on file in our office. Thank You, Melasawn Knight-Saffels Principal

________________________________________________________ Parent Signature

________________________________________________________ Student Signature

____________________ Date