|NISSITISSIST Middle School
“Home of the Falcons”
|Student Handbook 2018/2019|
|33 Chace Avenue
Pepperell, MA 01463
Fax: (978) 433-0118
Absent Line: (978) 433-0119
Should you need this information translated, please contact the principal of your child’s school.
En caso de necesitar esta información traducida, por favor comuníquese con el director de la escuela de su hijo.
Rúguǒ nín xūyào zhèxiē xìnxī fānyì, qǐng liánxì nín háizi de xuéxiào de xiàozhǎng.
The North Middlesex Regional School District does not discriminate in admission to, access to, treatment in, or employment in, its services, programs, and activities, on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, homelessness, or age.
Welcome to Nissitissit Middle School! As principal, I am very enthusiastic about beginning a new school year. I will continue to work with staff, parents, and students in creating the most positive and productive learning experiences at NMS.
The mission of Nissitissit Middle School is to recognize the unique needs of the middle school student while providing a safe and respectful learning environment that inspires the students to exhibit the core values of G.R.E.A.T.: Grit, Resilience, Effort, Attitude, and Try, Try Again.
We must all work diligently to forge a vision of excellence at Nissitissit Middle School. Our partnership with you and the community will help us strive towards creating a “School of Excellence” here in Pepperell. The NMS staff shares this vision and will be committed to providing your children with the best possible educational experiences. Your support to this end is always appreciated. Together, we can make a difference for children, remembering that it takes an entire community to educate every one of them.
I look forward to sharing many exciting and memorable school experiences with you and your families. Best wishes to each of you as we work together in creating a vision of excellence for Nissitissit Middle School.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Smoke Free Policy 14
Major Infractions 14
NISSITISSIT MIDDLE SCHOOL
GRIT, RESILIENCE, EFFORT, ATTITUDE, TRY AGAIN
Grit– Show determination and courage
Resilience– Recover quickly from difficulties
Effort– A vigorous or determined attempt
Attitude– Perspective or approach that can lead to success
Try Again– Don’t give up, Stick with it
These core values can be integrated into many facets of Nissitissit Middle School life for students, parents, guardians and faculty.
CENTRAL OFFICE ADMINISTRATION
Superintendent of Schools
Mr. Brad Morgan
Assistant Superintendent of Schools
Mrs. Nancy Milligan
Director of Special Education
Mr. Brad Brooks
Director of Technology
Mr. Jeremy Hamond
Director of Special Education
(978) 597-8713 X 1501
Director of Special Education
(978) 597-8713 X 1501
Title VI and Title IX:
(978) 597-8713 X 1301
SCHOOL COMMITTEE MEMBERS 2018-2019
|Randee Rusch, Chairperson
William D. Hackler, Vice Chairperson
John E. Page
SCHOOL COMMITTEE MEETING SCHEDULE
All meetings will be held at North Middlesex Regional High School and will begin at 7:00 p.m. unless otherwise posted. The North Middlesex Regional School Committee reserves the right to schedule additional meetings as needed. In the event of cancellation due to inclement weather, the snow date will be the following day (Tuesdays.)
|Date||Type of Meeting||Date||Type of Meeting|
|August 6||Regular Meeting||January 7||Regular Meeting|
|August 20||Regular Meeting||January 28||Regular Meeting|
|September 10||Regular Meeting||February 11||Regular Meeting/ Budget Hearing|
|October 1||Regular Meeting||February 12||Snow Date Budget Hearing|
|October 22||Regular Meeting||March 4||Regular Meeting/ Budget Adoption|
|November 5||Regular Meeting||March 5||Snow Date Budget Adoption|
|December 3||Regular Meeting||March 25||Regular Meeting|
|December 17||Regular Meeting||April 8||Regular Meeting|
|April 22||Regular Meeting|
|May 6||Organizational Meeting|
|May 20||Regular Meeting|
|June 10||Regular Meeting|
|June 24||Regular Meeting|
NISSITISSIT MIDDLE SCHOOL STAFF DIRECTORY 2018-2019
|Mrs. Diane Gleason, Principal
Mrs. Lauren Young, Assistant Principal
Mrs. Michelle Nee, School Secretary
|Mrs. Melissa Thomas, Guidance
Ms. Santiago, Social Worker
Mrs. Linda Friend, School Nurse
Mrs. Kimberly Simonich, Reading Specialist
|Grade 5 Teachers||Grade 6 Teachers||Grade 7 Teachers||Grade 7/8 Teachers||Grade 8 Teachers|
|UNIFIED ARTS TEAM|
|Mr. Wrobel, Unified Media Specialist
Ms. Stanton, Physical Education
Mr. Savard, Physical Education
Mrs. Larochelle, Health
Mr. Lanctot, Instrumental Music
|Mrs. Gosselin, Art Teacher
Mrs. McLeod, World Language
Mr. Robinson, World Language
Mr. Worth, Technology
Mrs. Wilson, General Music/Chorus
|SPECIAL EDUCATION TEAM|
|Mr. D’Elia Mr. Root
Mrs. Daniels Mrs. Dziekpor
Mr. Crogan Ms. Plausse
Mrs. Harrington Ms. Corbett
|TEACHING ASSISTANT TEAM||GENERAL ASSISTANT TEAM|
|CUSTODIAL TEAM||FOOD SERVICE TEAM|
|Mr. Hills, B&G Supervisor
Mr. Lamoureux, Day Lead
Whitsons Culinary Group
It is the policy of the North Middlesex Regional School District not to discriminate against students, parents/guardians, employees, or the general public on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, homelessness, or age in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (race, color, national origin, sex, religion); Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (sex); Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (disability); M.G.L. c. 76, § 5 (race, color, sex, gender identity, religion, national origin, or sexual orientation); the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (homelessness); and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (age).
Inquiries regarding compliance with these laws may be directed to the Superintendent of Schools, North Middlesex Regional School District (978) 597-8713, or to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, 75 Pleasant Street, Malden, Massachusetts 02148 (state laws) or to the United States Department of Education, Region 1, Office of Civil Rights, John W. McCormack Post Office and Courthouse, Room 222, Post Office Square, Boston, Massachusetts 02109 (federal laws).
“The North Middlesex Regional School District does not discriminate in admission to, access to, treatment in, or employment in, its services, programs, and activities, on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, homelessness, or age.”
See the Nondiscrimination Grievance Procedures in the Relevant Laws Appendix for further information.
As there is no supervision of students outside our school before 8:00 a.m., the school requests that walkers and bicycle riders not arrive before 8:00 a.m. Students will go to lockers and homerooms at 8:00 a.m. First-period class begins at 8:05 a.m. The morning breakfast program serves students from 7:30-7:55 a.m. in the cafeteria.
AFTER SCHOOL INFORMATION
School ends at approximately 2:30 pm. For safety reasons, car riders are dismissed first, followed by bus children, and finally by walkers. Parents/guardians picking up children need to wait in cars. Students may enter vehicles only in the designated pickup lane. Please do not block our bus access to the circular driveway.
There may be times during the school year when a student is asked (or arranges) to remain after dismissal for any number of reasons. If we do request that a student stay after school for detention, extra help, rehearsals, basketball practice, etc., we will make every effort to give 24 hours notice. If you, as a parent/guardian, have transportation problems or concerns, please call your child’s teacher.
There are specific dates when students have only half days and are dismissed at approximately 11:10 a.m. Half Day Dates:
September 26, October 18, November 19, 20, 21, March 13, March 14, May 17, June 12 (the last day of school)
If a parent/guardian wishes to dismiss a student early (before 2:30 pm), a note from the parent/guardian should accompany the student to school. The parent/guardian should state the time of dismissal and come into the school office to pick up the student. For safety reasons, students are not permitted to wait outside for rides during the school day. Anyone dismissing a child must be prepared to show proper identification and must be listed on a student’s emergency card. We urge parents/guardians to not dismiss their children within 15 minutes of the close of school.
If a bus change at 2:30 pm is requested, a note from a parent/guardian must come to school with a child. Please bring this note to the office in the morning. We cannot permit a child to change buses at 2:30 pm. If the bus requested is at capacity, the student may not be granted permission. Students may not call home during the school day to make social arrangements for after school. Social arrangements need to be made prior to the start of the school day.
PRIDE IN AND CARE OF PERSONAL & SCHOOL PROPERTY
We encourage students to take pride in their classrooms and the physical plant as a matter of respect for the school. Students are responsible for damage done to school property, books, and other materials issued to them. Respect for property also means not being careless about one’s own school material, personal property, and belongings. We discourage students from bringing to school large sums of money. Only teacher-approved learning devices (such as calculators) are permitted on school property.
Electronic devices of any sort (cell phones, ipods, video games, pagers, etc.) are prohibited during the school day. Unauthorized use of items will lead to confiscation. Upon the first offense, items may be returned to the student at the end of the school day. A second offense will result in confiscation and the item will only be released to the parent/guardian.
CELLULAR PHONES/ELECTRONIC DEVICES
Cell phones are not allowed in the building. Any use of these phones during the school day by a student will result in the loss of the phone and disciplinary action (Office detention). Cell phones that are confiscated from students must be picked up by a parent/guardian from the office. Cell phones will not be returned directly to students. We will use progressive discipline for repeat offenders. Cellular phones, cameras, or other electronic devices are not to be used to capture pictures or take video while at school or on the bus.
The appearance and good care of our building are everyone’s job and concern. A clean and safe school is conducive to good education. Students are not allowed to chew gum or to eat candy or snacks outside the cafeteria in order to prevent problems with insects, damage to carpets, etc. Students are not to litter or mark walls. We ask all students and staff to pick up litter and report instances of graffiti to teachers, aides, or the administration.
LOST AND FOUND
If a student finds school material or personal property belonging to someone else, please return it to the secretary or teachers. Lost clothes are placed in the cafeteria lost and found for two weeks. We also have a lost and found area in the music hallway.
During the first few days of school a student may be given a locker. Our lockers do not use locks. We believe that this practice supports our core value of Integrity. All locks are prohibited from use at NMS. No student is allowed to open another student’s locker or to take anything from it. Students are expected to keep their locker neat and clean. Writing on lockers is not permitted. Lockers are to store coats, jackets, hats, and your articles of clothing. They are for books, papers, pens, pencils, and other items. Students should keep book bags in lockers during the school day, using scheduled locker times to get their necessary materials. Please do not attach stickers or glue or paste items inside of lockers, and we ask that you do not store food in your locker for extended periods of time. Aerosol cans are prohibited because their contents are flammable and may be hazardous to your health. Please refer to page 29 for more information about lockers and student searches.
Students riding bicycles, scooters, and unicycles to and from school must park and should lock them in designated areas. We cannot be responsible for stolen items. Students are not allowed to ride on school property during the time when the school office is open (7:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.). Students who skateboard or rollerblade to school must be considerate of students and staff. These items may not be stored in the building. Skateboarding or rollerblading in front of the school’s entrances or on school property is not allowed at any time. Failure to follow these rules may result in a student’s loss of privileges to ride bikes, etc. to school.
DRESS AND APPEARANCE
Students should dress appropriately, adding to a positive and productive school environment. Student dress is unacceptable if it is a distraction to the learning process, does not fit appropriately, is considered to be offensive, or affects the health, rights, and/or safety of the person or others. For health and safety reasons all students must wear foot apparel at all times while on school property except when removal is required for physical examination. The school reserves the right to contact parents/guardians about inappropriate school dress that could become a distraction to the education process.
Unacceptable items may include:
- Camisole style tops
- Halter tops
- Exposed undergarments i.e., bra straps, half shirts, etc.
- Extremely short skirts or shorts, or clothing that doesn’t appropriately cover students during normal movement
- Clothing that reveals bare shoulders or open backs
- Pajama style clothing
- Clothing, jewelry, bandanas, chokers, chains-to include chains on clothing, or related apparel, which refers to alcohol, drugs, tobacco, profanity, sexual connotations, possibly causing damage/safety/injury or suggestive double meaning
- Wearing hats in the building is not allowed.
During the course of the school day, students travel the halls during class time alone or with others. At Nissitissit, Hall Passes are required when students are running errands, visiting the nurse, going to the bathroom, etc. They are provided by teachers whenever a student leaves a class. Students traveling in the hallways are to walk, not run and speak in a reasonable voice so as not to disturb any classes in progress. Students are expected to return to class promptly after they have completed the business for which the pass has been issued. Students out of class without a valid hallway pass will be sent back to their class and may be assigned a detention at the discretion of the teacher.
At Nissitissit, in accordance with Massachusetts State Law, fire drills are conducted eight times a year on a random basis. Fire drill procedures are clearly posted in each classroom. Drills must be taken seriously for the primary reason that drills familiarize our students and faculty with emergency procedures in case of a fire. During a fire drill, it is important to listen to and obey the teacher, to remain calm, and to file out of the building in an orderly manner. Once safely outside, students are expected to quietly line up in single file in the area designated for their classroom. Bus evacuation drills will take place at least twice a year. Students are expected to listen to instructions and to leave the bus through the emergency exit in an organized and controlled fashion. We now use the A.L.I.C.E. School Safety Plan, in response to an Active Shooter/Violent Intruder. Students and staff will take part in practice drills throughout the school year.
At Nissitissit, our lunch period is 30 minutes in length. In our cafeteria, students may purchase a complete school lunch. A student may purchase milk or juice to supplement lunch brought from home. If necessary, parents/guardians may drop off lunch for their child at the main office. Lunches should not be delivered directly to the cafeteria.Pizza deliveries or deliveries from fast food establishments are not allowed. In emergencies, children can charge lunches.
The following are the cafeteria rules for Nissitissit Middle School:
- Conversations are to be carried on in a quiet, pleasant manner.
- Respect the rights of others.
- Treat food properly.
- Return all trays, silverware, and other items to appropriate areas.
- Leave a clean table and floor area when finished eating.
Students are to abide by the decisions of our cafeteria supervisors regarding seating, permission to leave the cafeteria, and all other cafeteria concerns. Failure to behave properly in the cafeteria may result in disciplinary actions.
LUNCH: $3.25 MILK: $0.60 BREAKFAST: $ 1.35 (7:30 a.m. – 7:55 a.m.)
Free and reduced lunch forms are placed in the opening day packet. They are also available in the office. Children who receive free or reduced lunches are treated with dignity and privacy. (Only school administration are aware of students receiving free or reduced lunch.) Please complete an application if you believe that your child qualifies. The process is very confidential. (See MEAL CHARGE POLICY)
Students may be given permission by their teachers to use the office telephone to make important phone calls. The telephone should not be used to make after school plans. The most convenient times for students to call are from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Students may be given permission to make emergency calls out of the building any time during the day. For safety reasons, an adult should always be aware and give permission for a student to call out of the building.
Textbooks are provided by the North Middlesex Regional School Department. The money for the books comes from the property taxes paid by parents/guardians and other citizens of Pepperell. Students are responsible for all books issued to them. It is expected that students will exercise proper care of their books. Multiple copies of a text will not be distributed to a student. Students should follow these guidelines:
- Books should be kept in a student’s direct possession or their locker.
- Books including paperbacks should be covered either by a store bought book cover or a cover made from a brown paper bag. Clear adhesive covers should not be used.
- All books issued to a student must be returned at the end of the school year in acceptable condition.
- Books damaged by a student’s abuse or carelessness will be repaired or replaced at the student’s expense. Textbook replacement cost ranges upwards from – $75. If a book is lost during the school year, the student must pay for it before another is issued.
There is a variety of student activities throughout the school year in which children can become involved. Activities such as student council, yearbook, band, drama, and interscholastic sports are available. After school enrichment courses/activities are available for all students through our CLASP program. This program offers classes for up to 4 cycles each year. Students will bring home information as the program is developed each year.
At NMS we have a student council for grades 5, 6, 7, and 8. During the course of the year, the council communicates information to classroom members and pursues activities to promote school spirit and a sense of community at NMS.
Student assemblies are held at the end of each marking term for the purpose of recognizing student success. Nissitissit GREAT cards are also distributed at this time. These cards are given by the staff in recognition for demonstrating one of our core values. Additional recognition of student achievement often occurs during these assemblies. Students who achieve the honor roll receive certificates. High honor students are invited to our quarterly scholar brunches.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION GUIDELINES AND INFORMATION
Students are required to wear sneakers to physical education classes. Sneakers must fully tie in a manner that they will not come off during vigorous activity. Sneakers must have heel support and a closed back. Open back clog-type sneakers are not allowed. Hiking boots and roller skate sneakers are also not permitted in class. Students without sneakers will not be permitted to participate in class. They will be required to complete an alternative written assignment. Parents/guardians will be contacted if a student fails to participate in classes.
Students are encouraged to wear shorts, sweatpants, wind pants or any other appropriate athletic clothing. Students should bring a change of clothing to PE class since vigorous participation will occur. Time is provided at the beginning and end of classes for students to change clothing. Students are not excused from PE classes unless a doctor’s or nurse’s note is provided. The school nurse must endorse all parent/guardian notes. Students may not have boxers or undergarments visible during PE class. Pants, jeans, and shorts must be worn above all undergarments. The lowering of pants, jeans or shorts is not acceptable in class.
All visitors must report to the office upon entering the building. They must sign in and wear an appropriate identification badge. Students are not permitted to have student guests attend regularly scheduled classes. For security purposes, all exterior doors other than the main entrance remain secured from the outside. Any unauthorized visitor should be report to the office.
Positive student behavior is the joint responsibility of students, parents/guardians, and the school. We request that parents/guardians discuss the following behavior guidelines with their children. The goal of the North Middlesex Regional School District is to assure the best possible learning environment for all students. Parents/guardians play a vital role in attaining this goal. These core values can be integrated into many facets of Nissitissit Middle School life for students, parents/guardians, and faculty.
BEHAVIOR AND COURTESY
We expect our students to be polite and respectful at all times. Positive behavior contributes a great deal to the overall success of our school. All students are entitled to attend a school that is both safe and free of negative behaviors and disruptions. The staff at Nissitissit works diligently to maintain such an environment.
HONESTY AND INTEGRITY
Good scholarship must be founded upon integrity. Students will be held responsible for standards of honesty and integrity in their academic work. Tests or written assignments, for example, must be unquestionably their own. Plagiarizing from sources such as the Internet is unacceptable.
Corporal punishment is never used in the North Middlesex Regional School District. However, reasonable force may be used if there is a clear and present danger of serious harm to a student or adult. The staff at NMS annually reviews Massachusetts state guidelines for child restraint. The school maintains a restraint team should this ever become necessary.
Students have the right to discuss, protest, debate, or appeal issues with which they are concerned. However, such actions must take place by arrangement through normal school channels and must not disrupt the educational process.
See: Anti-Bullying Policy.
Bullying/hazing/harassment of any kind, verbal, physical or emotional directed toward any student or staff member by any student or staff member will not be tolerated.
Harassment, as defined here, is a violation of Title VI and Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972. Harassment is defined at the following:
Harassment is unwanted nonverbal, verbal, written, graphic, or physical behavior directed at an individual on the basis of race, color, or sex, or unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature.
Email, text messaging, instant messaging, and other technological communications have become vehicles of harassment and are subject to the same penalties.
Individuals, who feel that they have been subjected to bullying/hazing/harassment, whether verbal, physical or emotional, should report these incidents to an adult in the building (teacher, guidance counselor, or principal).
SMOKE-FREE SCHOOL POLICY
The Massachusetts Clean Indoor Air Law, effective April 13, 1988, “prohibits smoking in public and private schools.” This law was expanded by the Educational Reform Act of 1993, Section 36 of Chapter 71 which calls for the prohibition of tobacco products within school buildings, facilities, on school grounds, and on school buses. Tobacco products include cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and/or their packages, cigarette lighters, or matches. No person is allowed to possess these products in part of the school facility, grounds, or school buses including before school, during school, or after school hours.
Students caught smoking in the building or on school grounds will be subject to up to a five (5) day external suspension. North Middlesex Regional High School partners with the Townsend Board of Health and the Massachusetts Tobacco Control Alliance to further enforce our current tobacco use procedure and town ordinances. According to Smoke-Free Workplace Law (M.G.L. c. 270, § 22) and the Massachusetts Education Reform Act, the penalty for smoking or use of any tobacco product is a $100 civil fine that applies to everyone, including students, staff, and visitors. The fine is payable to the city or town clerk, similar to a parking ticket. School administrators have been designated as agents to issue these citations for the purposes of enforcing this law in school buildings and school buses. Students will receive these citations via certified mail and fines must be paid or appealed within 21 days. If the fine is not paid, the citation becomes a civil offense and the student will receive a summons to appear before the Court Magistrate in Ayer District Court. If the fine is still not paid, the civil citation becomes a criminal offense.
North Middlesex also prohibits the possession of any tobacco products or non-FDA approved nicotine delivery devices (e.g., e-cigarettes, hookah pens, or vape paraphernalia), or other tobacco products in school, on school grounds, on school buses, or in school facilities.
NOTE: This policy applies to both students and adults at all events including inside the facilities and any exterior location on campus.
GROUP A MAJOR INFRACTIONS
All school, bus and evening sponsored activities are subject to the relevant rules and regulations stated herein. The following major infractions will be referred to and handled by an administrator or designee.
In order to reinforce this standard of conduct, the types of behavior, which will not be permitted in Nissitissit Middle School, are identified below. Some of these behaviors can warrant suspension of the student from school for 1 to 10 days. In certain cases, additional disciplinary action may be taken. Criteria to determine whether additional punishment is warranted includes such considerations as whether the behavior has been repeated; the severity of the reported violation; and the perceived danger to self, others, and the school in general.
These offenses cause serious disruption to the learning process and may result in an immediate suspension for a period up to 1 to 10 days. Due process guidelines will be followed. The student will be informed of the charges and the evidence against him/her. A discussion will be held between the administrators, giving the student the opportunity to tell his/her side of the story. Every effort will be made to telephone and inform the parent/guardian of the suspension. A written communication will be given to the parent/guardian. Each suspension may require a student, parent/guardian, and administrator conference prior to reinstatement. Students will be responsible for class work missed during the suspension. A reasonable timeframe will be given to complete missed work. Those assignments not turned in will be recorded as a zero. A student suspended for more than five separate instances during the school year may have his/her disciplinary record forwarded to the Superintendent by the Principal for the purpose of an administrative conference.
EXAMPLES OF MAJOR INFRACTIONS (Does not represent an inclusive list):
- Using or possessing weapons, explosive devices, or fireworks (any form of knives, brass knuckles “Lady Fingers”, etc.). [SECTION 37H]
- Possession of or under the influence of a controlled substance, possession of, consumption of, and/or under the influence of alcoholic beverages on school premises.
- Smoking on school premises, school grounds, school buses, before, during, or after school. Students are not to bring cigarettes to school, have them in their possession, or in their lockers. Doing so may result in suspension and notification to the police department regarding which business sold them.
- Profane, obscene, abusive language or gestures directed to school personnel. Verbal or physical abuse to staff may result in up to a 10-day suspension with possible recommendation for expulsion. [SECTION 37H]
- Willful destruction of school property. Arrangements for some form of restitution are to be made with the parent/guardian and/or child as soon as possible.
- Any form of serious fighting on school grounds or during a school sponsored activity.
- Physical retaliations as a response to verbal confrontation are not an appropriate means to resolving difficulties between students and will not be tolerated. Failure to stop fighting when ordered to do so by school personnel may lead to further consequences.
- Any type of willful behavior that would pose a threat to another individual. This includes, but is not limited to, comments or threats directed toward others, which may compromise safety.
- Pulling fire alarms or using fire extinguishers.
- Leaving school property during school hours.
- Stealing of school equipment, personal property, money, sports equipment, etc. Arrangements for some form of restitution are to be made with the parent/guardian and/or child as soon as possible.
- Gambling is not permitted.
- Possessing or distributing pornographic, slanderous, or libelous material.
- Any act of sexual/physical harassment. (See SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICY)
- Any act of hazing. (See HAZING POLICY)
- No person shall intentionally smell or inhale the fumes of any substance having the property of releasing toxic vapors, for the purpose of causing a condition of intoxication, euphoria, excitement, exhilaration, stupefaction, or dulled senses or nervous system, nor possess, buy or sell any such substance for the purpose of violating or aiding another to violate this section
- Furnishing, selling, possession of drugs, alcohol, e-cigarettes, vaping paraphernalia or any products containing tobacco or nicotine.
- Inappropriate use of technology (See TECHNOLOGY USE POLICY)
In cases of violations within Group A, the school may also report the incidence to the Pepperell Police Department and/or Department of Social Services.
GROUP B SERIOUS MISCONDUCT
The following serious misconduct will be referred to and handled by the teacher with notification to the administration. Immediate one-hour detention, with a 24-hr notification, may be assigned for infractions in this category. Misbehavior during detention will not be tolerated. After two infractions, parents/guardians will be notified in writing or by phone. Following three infractions, a parent/guardian conference will be held, and any further violations of these regulations may result in suspension. Students who skip detention will be assigned an additional detention or possible suspension. For the students whose conduct in the classroom has not improved and his/her behavior distracts from learning, he/she will be removed and referred to the office.
EXAMPLES OF SERIOUS MISCONDUCT:
- Disrespectful or defiant behavior toward any school personnel.
- Physical misconduct toward another student (tripping, pinching, pushing, etc.)
- Verbal abuse, bullying, harassment, profanity and/or obscene gestures toward another student.
- Malicious destruction of personal property.
- Throwing or propelling any inappropriate objects.
- Cutting a class or coming to class late without a valid pass or permission.
- Failure to follow cafeteria rules.
- Failure to report to designated area or being in an unauthorized area without a pass from a teacher.
- Repeated and excessive tardiness to school.
- Repeated and excessive absences from school.
- Selling or trading of any items not sanctioned by the school.
- Cheating, plagiarism, forging parental signatures on school forms.
GROUP C MINOR INFRACTIONS
Teachers are responsible for ensuring that reasonable classroom rules are established and followed, which ensures proper classroom management, productivity, and protection of school and personal property. The classroom teacher usually handles minor infractions.
- Verbal correction, and if a student will not comply after a verbal correction, additional action may be taken at the teacher’s discretion in the form of a teacher detention and notification of parents/guardians as outlined in Group B/serious misconduct.
- Overdue notes, absences slips, progress reports, detention slips, etc. will result in a call to parents/guardians.
- A second offense of any minor infractions will result in notification of parents/guardians by letter or phone.
- Third offenses will be considered defiant behavior and fall into the category of Group B/serious misconduct offenses.
NORTH MIDDLESEX REGIONAL SCHOOL DISTRICT
SCHOOL BUS USE PROCEDURES
By law, all public schools are required to review school bus riding practices three times per year. Two of these times coincide with scheduled bus evacuation drills. The third is reviewed by the classroom teachers in January.
The regulations for school bus use for all students Grades K-12 in the North Middlesex Regional Schools are:
Prior to Loading: (on the road and at the school)
- Be on time at the designated bus stop.
- Stay off the road at all times while waiting for the bus. Bus riders should conduct themselves in a safe manner while waiting.
- Wait until the bus comes to a complete stop before attempting to step onto the bus.
- Do not crowd and push getting on the bus.
- Respectfully follow the instructions of school staff members on duty.
While on the Bus:
- Keep hands and head inside the bus.
- Keep your hands to yourself and don’t touch others inappropriately.
- Horseplay and fighting are not permitted on or around the school bus at any time.
- Assist in keeping the bus safe and sanitary. (DO NOT throw things on the bus, spit or litter the bus.)
- Keep voice tone at a moderate level.
- Do not swear, use vulgar or derogatory language.
- As written in the school district’s sexual harassment policy, sexual harassment or assault will not be tolerated on the bus and will result in disciplinary action.
- Treat bus equipment/property as you would the furniture in your own home. Damage to bus equipment/property will be paid for by the offender.
- DO NOT leave books, lunches, or other articles on the bus.
- Keep books, packages, coats, and all other objects out of aisles.
- Help look after the safety and comfort of small children.
- DO NOT throw objects inside the bus or out the bus window.
- DO NOT leave or change your seat while the bus is in motion.
- Be courteous to fellow pupils and the bus driver.
- Remain quiet when approaching a railroad crossing.
- Remain on the bus unless requested to leave by the bus driver in an emergency situation.
- Sit where you are told.
A written permission slip from the parent/guardian is necessary in order for a student to get on/
off the bus at a place other than his/her regular bus stop. Students must get on or off the bus at
their assigned stop. Continued refusal to promptly obey the directions of the driver or refusal to obey bus regulation may cause a student to be referred to the principal for disciplinary action.
Possessing a weapon, lighting matches, smoking, alcohol and drug use on the bus are prohibited
and will result in disciplinary action as is outlined in this handbook.
After Leaving Bus:
Cross the road, when necessary, immediately after getting off the bus, at least ten feet in front of
the bus, and only after looking to be sure that no traffic is approaching from either direction.
Extra-Curricular and Field Trips:
Bus rules and regulations will apply to any trip under school sponsorship. Pupils shall respect the wishes of teachers and chaperones appointed by the school.
Dee Bus Service, Townsend 978-597-2860
Bus Disciplinary Actions– See Page 29 for the NMRSD policy.
In an effort to assist the parents/guardians and support student safety, the administration of the North Middlesex Regional School District offers the following important information about emergency school closing during the school year.
First, the towns of Ashby, Pepperell and Townsend are part of one school district called “The North Middlesex Regional School District”. When listening to school closing lists on the radio, you will hear that The North Middlesex Regional School District is closed. There are six schools in the district. They are: Ashby Elementary, Hawthorne Brook Middle, Squannacook Early Childhood Center, Varnum Brook Elementary, Spaulding Memorial School, Nissitissit Middle and the Regional High School in Townsend.
North Middlesex Regional School District would generally close schools during the following emergencies:
- Excessive snowfall
- Flood conditions
- Dangerous road conditions
- Severe weather i.e., hurricane
- Problem within school building
The School District notifies parents of closures by using the telephone system, Connect Ed.
In the N.M.R.S.D., the decision to close schools is usually made during the early morning hours by the school’s administrators. Please note the following about these early morning decisions:
- Emergency closings are planned between 5:30 a.m. and 6:00 a.m.
- 2. Parents should listen to the following stations during these mornings:
T.V. stations: WHDH (CH. 7), WCVB (CH. 5), WBZ (CH. 4)
Radio WBZ (AM 1030) Boston WEIM (AM 1280) Fitchburg
WTAG (AM 580) Worcester WRKO (AM 68) Boston
WSRS (FM 96.1) Boston WXLO (FM 104.5) Worcester
- In Pepperell and Townsend, fire signals will sound at 6:30 a.m. signaling the close of schools. Pepperell signals three blasts three times for a total of nine. Townsend conducts ten consecutive blasts; Ashby conducts three long blasts at 6:00 a.m.
- Unexpected early dismissals may occur especially related to weather. Parents/guardians should prepare and discuss with their child what to do in case of early dismissals.
In summary, please remember that only school officials close school on emergency closing days. You should assume a school is open unless you hear otherwise on local radio, TV or have received a phone call from the district. If you have any specific questions, please feel free to call your school office. Parents/guardians are encouraged not to call local communication centers at the police/fire departments.
The school council is made up of the principal, parents/guardians, teachers, and appointed community members. Parents/guardians interested in becoming members of the council should send a letter to Mrs. Gleason’s attention at NMS.
We send report cards home to parents three times each year. This year report cards are issued on the following dates: December 7, 2018, March 22, 2019, June 12, 2019, or the last day of school in June.
Our school district’s guidelines for grading are listed below:
A+ 98-100 C+ 78-79
A 93-97 C 73-77
A- 90-92 C- 70-72
B+ 88-89 D+ 68-69
B 83-87 D 63-67
B- 80-82 D- 60-62 F – below 60
At Nissitissit Middle School progress reports will be issued to all students on the following dates: Term 1: October 19, 2018. Term 2: February 1, 2019. Term 3: May 10, 2019. Progress reports must be signed and returned to school. When you receive a progress report or other communication from a teacher, please respond quickly by writing or phoning the teacher. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and get involved in your child’s future progress. The sooner positive action is taken the less likely the child will experience a failure in a subject.
HONOR ROLL GUIDELINES:
No less than A’s in all academic subjects
No less than B’s in special area subjects
No less than satisfactory in conduct in any subject.
No less than all A’s and B’s in all subjects
No less than satisfactory in conduct in any subject.
A student may be retained if he/she fails two or more core academic subjects for the school year with an average of less than 60 in these subjects unless the retention is not deemed to be warranted or beneficial by the administration. Academic subjects include Language Arts, Reading/Literature, Mathematics, World Language, Social Studies, and Science. Please contact our school guidance office for more information.
Eighth-grade students must successfully complete their academic requirements, must have returned all school property, and must have paid any debts incurred in order to participate in the end of the year celebration activities. Any 8th grader who fails 2 or more subjects for the year will not be allowed to participate in the end of the year celebration.
At midyear, parents or guardians will be notified of any child who is at risk of failure for the year.
The North Middlesex Regional School District follows the eligibility standards set forth by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA). A student who is participating in cross-country, track, field hockey, basketball, or any other NMS athletic team at the interscholastic level, must have a passing grade in the equivalent of four out of five major subjects in the prior quarter grades. Cross-country participants will need to have passed the four out of five major subjects the previous year. Academic eligibility will become official on the day the report card is issued. Incomplete grades may not be counted toward eligibility. A student receiving services under Chapter 766, whose individualized education plan is a 502.4 or more restrictive prototype, may be declared academically eligible by the principal provided that all other eligibility requirements are met. Any student on academic probation is not eligible to participate in interscholastic sports. This includes all practices and game situations.
SCHOOL ATTENDANCE & TARDINESS GUIDELINES
We all acknowledge that regular attendance at school is important and necessary for academic and social success. We ask parents/guardians to make every effort to have children at school on time each day that they are in good health. If your child is absent, please send a note stating you were aware of the absence when your child returns to school after an illness, or call the absentee line. If your child comes to school late (tardy), please provide us with a note acknowledging that you are aware your child is late. Excessive tardiness will result in either a conference, a letter being sent home to the parents or student detention. Children are marked tardy after 8:05 a.m.
It is important that you know that Nissitissit has an Absentee Line. This line operates 24 hours/day. If your child is going to be absent, call 978-433-0119 during the evening preceding the absence or before 9:00 a.m. on the morning of the absence. State your name, your child’s name, and his/her homeroom teacher. If your child is absent and we do not receive your message, we will call you later in the morning to verify their absence.
If children are frequently absent without a reasonably acceptable medical excuse, (from parents, guardians, or doctors) we will report the absences to our District Attendance Resource Officer. In this case, our attendance officer will contact the family. If students continue to be absent for no explainable reason, the school may file a truancy petition with the District Court of Lowell.
Nissitissit Middle School does not support student absences as a result of vacation trips that occur during the required 180 day school year.
North Middlesex Regional School District Attendance Definitions
Excused Absence: The following types of absences are considered to be excused as long as proper documentation is submitted:
- Death in the family (parent/guardian, sibling, grandparent, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, cousin) (documented either verbally or parent letter)
- Professional health appointment (with note from practitioner)
- Chronic Illness (documented by a physician)
- Dismissal from school nurse prior day with illness requiring 24 hours at home
- Religious holiday (with a note from parent/guardian specifying the holiday)
- Legal appointment or court proceeding (must provide proof of appointment/proceeding signed by legal/court representative)
- Two (2) college visits per year with verification from the college (for high school students only)
- Extenuating circumstances as determined by the principal or their designee
Excused Tardy/Early Dismissal: The following types of tardy/early dismissal are considered to be excused as long as proper documentation is submitted:
- Death in the family (parent/guardian, sibling, grandparent, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, cousin) (documented either verbally or parent letter)
- Professional health appointment (with note from practitioner)
- Religious holiday (with a note from parent/guardian specifying the holiday)
- Legal appointment or court proceeding (must provide proof of appointment/proceeding signed by legal/court representative)
- Extenuating circumstances as determined by the principal or their designee
DISTRICT POLICY MANUAL
The NMRSD School Committee policy manual is maintained in the school library and the principal’s office.
School information will be posted on our Blog and the school’s website. Families can sign up to have the information emailed using the following link: https://nissitissitmiddle.wordpress.com/ Paper copies of the newsletter will be made available at the office for families who do not have access to the Internet.
COMMUNICATION BETWEEN PARENTS/GUARDIANS AND THE SCHOOL
It is our goal to create and maintain the highest level of communication between parents/guardians and the school. Teachers are the first line of contact in the sequence of communication at Nissitissit. If parents/guardians have a concern or question for their child’s teacher or liaison, they should initiate a phone call or send a note to that person. Teachers or liaisons also share the responsibility of contacting you if they have a concern or question. This form of contact generally resolves the vast majority of questions or concerns. If a parent/guardian and teacher feel a resolution to a problem needs further attention, either parent/guardians or teacher should contact the Assistant Principal. If necessary, the Assistant Principal may involve the Principal. In the event that a problem cannot be solved at this level, your next contacts should be the Superintendent of Schools and then the N.M.R.S.D. School Committee. Please remember that teachers are working with children during the day. Unless an emergency, all meetings should be mutually scheduled between the parents/guardians and teachers. Teachers are available for parent/guardian conferences after school and during team meeting time. To contact a teacher, call 433-0114 and leave a message with the school secretary. When calling a teacher, please state the nature of the call and if a reply is requested. Teachers will make every effort to return your call within 24 hours. If you make an emergency call to a teacher, please specify that it is an emergency! Nissitissit continues to expand its use of the Internet as a vehicle to communicate with parents/guardians and the community. Please visit our website at http://www.nmrsd.org. and sign up for access to Aspen to view your child’s homework.
Parents/guardians are encouraged to attend parent/guardian-teacher conferences and to contact teachers when questions arise. Parent teacher conference are November 19 & 20, and March 13 & 14. Other conferences may be set up at any time during the year by phoning the teacher at the school or sending a note with your child.
Students who are absent for one or two days are requested to contact a classmate for assignments. If the absence is for three or more consecutive days, parents/guardians may call the school for assignments. However, if a parent/guardian is certain that their child will be absent from school due to illness or injury, they may request assignments earlier. Requests received by 8:30 a.m. should be available at 3:00 p.m. that day. Parents must pick these up at the office.
Nissitissit Middle School does not support the use of school days for the purpose of family vacations. Each school day is vital to the progress and development of every child. Homework and class assignments will not be provided in advance of family vacations. Students are required to follow-up on assignments, missed quizzes, and/or tests by speaking with their teachers upon returning from their school absences.The teacher will use appropriate discretion for when assignments are due.
In the North Middlesex Regional School District, we value study that occurs beyond the classroom and school day largely because we have learned through research and practice that good homework accelerates achievement and establishes a positive work ethic invaluable in later pursuits. To this end, the assignment of homework aligns with what educators and others believe to be the primary purposes of homework: the reinforcement of skills and knowledge learned in the classroom, the application of learning to a new situation, and the independent acquisition of skills and knowledge. Additionally, educators offer these justifications for the assignment of homework.
- To provide opportunity for parents/guardians and children to work together on academic pursuits
- To keep parents/guardians abreast of the curriculum
- To serve as a guide to the teacher in planning instruction
- To develop study habits and a work ethic among students
- To provide activities that support other learning styles
With these thoughts in mind, the following guidelines for homework have been established:
- All projects assigned will reflect the primary purpose(s) of homework, will be given sufficient time for completion, and will not be due immediately upon return from vacation. Recognizing the difficulties associated with determining individual student contributions and equitable grading, teachers are discouraged from assigning out-of-school group projects unless these issues can be assessed with certainty.
- Daily homework at the elementary level will generally be assigned for 10 minutes of study per grade level.
- At the middle school level students can generally expect up to 90 minutes of nightly homework. Communication among middle school teachers is essential to ensure compliance with the guideline.
- At the secondary level students can generally expect two hours of nightly homework. For students in advanced level classes, more time will be required.
- The teacher and the student will assess all homework assignments. Collected homework will be returned to the student in a timely fashion.
- Homework generally should not count for more than 20% of a student’s grade. There will be consistency regarding this guideline.
- Parents/guardians will communicate with teachers if their children are experiencing difficulty with assignments.
- When assigning homework at the middle school levels, teachers need to be aware of extra-curricular school events in which many students are involved.
- Parents/guardians are encouraged to utilize the resources available through the school to assist students with the successful completion of assignments
A NOTE TO PARENTS REGARDING HOMEWORK
We ask all parents/guardians to assist students by setting aside a quiet place and a time for students to do homework. They should contact the teacher if they have any questions. Encourage your child to devote regular hours to study and homework. This practice will develop in the child a sense for the budgeting of time. The interest you show in your child’s work (asking what the child is studying, occasionally helping or making suggestions) is the best way to encourage your child. Teachers will individually make arrangements for extra help.
If you don’t see work being brought home, ask your child about it. Homework is regularly assigned. All students are given and required to use an assignment notebook. Ask your child to bring their assignment notebook home to verify their homework. Loss of their assignment notebook will result in a replacement charge. If you are not satisfied with your child’s response, call the school and talk to either your child’s teacher or call the school counselor for assistance. Meaningful homework will continue to be an integral part of our school philosophy. Homework is a valuable study skill that all learners need to develop. Homework is posted on our Homework Zone website. You may sign up for this on our NMS homepage.
Students are encouraged to participate in the various field trips that or which serve as an extension of the classroom program. These enrichment trips are funded through grants, student fees, school budgeting, private donations and the PTSG. If participation causes a financial hardship for a family, the student is encouraged to speak with his/her teacher. Funds are available to assist these students. Students and families will receive ample notification with the necessary permission slips and guidelines relative to the trip. Teachers and parent/guardian volunteers provide supervision.
All school rules apply to behavior standards while on field trips. Children are expected to show cooperation and self-control. Students who display poor academic effort and/or poor behaviors may find themselves excluded from future field trips during the same academic year. If an exclusion from a field trip is warranted, parents/guardians will be notified within a reasonable time before the trip. The school will provide an alternative educational program for those students not attending a class trip.
HUMAN SEXUALITY CURRICULUM
Parents/guardians have the right to inspect and review the program instruction materials and exempt their child from any curriculum involving human sexual education or human sexuality issues. To exempt a child, the parent/guardian should provide written notification to the principal, specifying the class they wish their child not to participate. The exempted student will not be penalized and will be provided with an alternative educational assignment or provided with a directed study period.
Because the Internet is an open system, some of the material that is available on the Internet may not be suitable for students. The school does provide a filter, which denies access to inappropriate Internet sites. Staff always monitors student use of the Internet.
Private e-mail is not allowed. Parents and students have the responsibility for discussing the appropriate usage of the Internet Access Network. An Internet Policy will go home with the opening packet. All students and parents/guardians must return this signed policy handout to school. (See District Acceptable Use Policy)
One of our goals is to make parents/guardians feel welcome at Nissitissit Middle School. We believe that through cooperation between home and school, we can maximize the educational experience for all. The following information may help parents/guardians decide what role to play when becoming involved in activities at school.
PARENT TEACHER SUPPORT GROUP (PTSG)
Our philosophy is that the best possible educational experience for our children can only be achieved through the combined efforts of parents/guardians, teachers, administration, and other school personnel. Working toward this goal, the PARENT TEACHER SUPPORT GROUP has been actively striving for better communication between parents/guardians and the school. Please keep in mind that YOU are urged to join our efforts, so that the educational changes and progress, which we all desire for our children, can evolve from groups such as this one. The NISSITISSIT PARENT TEACHER SUPPORT GROUP will announce a meeting/program schedule at the beginning of each school year. This information will go home in newsletters, and be available on our website.
NMRSD SPED PAC (SPECIAL EDUCATION PARENT ADVISORY COUNCIL)
The SEPAC is a group of parents and guardians whose mission is to offer support, resources, and information to those interested in enhancing the education of children with special needs. Throughout the academic year, SEPAC offers a variety of speakers and training sessions to parents, guardians, and educators alike. The SEPAC will generally meet at North Middlesex Regional High School unless otherwise advertised. To become involved or for more information, please contact Connie Menice, Chairperson at nmspedpac.org. or you can visit us on the web at http://www.nmspedpac.org
Parents/guardians are encouraged to help at Nissitissit Middle School. The staff at Nissitissit welcomes volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering, you need to fill out the volunteer form. This form must be brought to our office where you will be asked to present a valid MA ID for verification purposes. For the continuing safety of our students, all adults are screened by a CORI check. CORI forms are downloadable from our website. The NMS PTSG maintains a position of volunteer coordinator. You may contact the PTSG for further information.
The following items relate to our health office procedure. If you have any specific questions, please do not hesitate to contact the school directly.
- Emergency Contact Information: These cards/sheets are issued to every student at the beginning of each school year. These should be completed on both sides and signed by the parent or guardian. Our school nurse keeps the emergency cards in her office. Please update your card should your home, cell or work numbers change.
- Illness at School: When a student becomes ill at school, she/he is sent to the school nurse. If the nurse feels that the child should go home, she contacts the parents. If they are not available, she will notify the alternate name listed on the student’s emergency card.
- Health Exams: Every student in the eighth grade is required by state law to submit proof of a complete physical exam. This exam may be performed by a private physician or by the school physician on a designated date. Any student participating in an after school sport is required to have a current physical on file dated within 13 months of the beginning of the sport. All new students must have a current physical within one year of start date.
- Immunization: According to Massachusetts State Immunization Laws all students are required to have the following immunizations prior to entering seventh grade:
- Two doses of MMR vaccine
- Three doses of Hepatitis B Vaccine
- Two doses of varicella vaccine or physician certified proof of chickenpox disease
- One booster dose of Td or Tdap (new vaccine with pertussis component)
- Meningococcal vaccine is recommended for all 11-12 year olds
- Illness: Parents are asked to call the absent line (978) 433-0119 to report an illness.
- Prolonged Absence: Students are required to bring a written note explaining his/her absence regardless of the number of days absent. However, the school nurse or guidance will contact the family if a student has an unexplained absence of 3 days or longer. After an absence of 5 days or longer, a doctor’s note is required before the child can be readmitted to school.
- Hearing and Vision Screening: Parents of students who have their hearing and vision tested will be notified in writing if a student fails either of these tests. Vision is tested in 5th and 7th grade, hearing is tested in 7th grade.
- Height, Weight: Students in grades 5 and 7 will have this screening.
- Excuse Notes for Physical Education: If your child has a temporary or long term physical condition that may affect his/her participation in a Physical Education class, please send a note to the school nurse. If there is a problem, the school nurse will contact the parent for further clarification. The nurse will also forward a copy of the note to the child’s physical education teacher.
- Medication: Only emergency or long-term medications should be dispensed at school, such as those required for asthma, hyperactivity, bee sting allergies or diabetic reaction. Any medication that must be given at school should be brought to the school nurse in the original pharmacy container and cannot be transported back and forth each day. Medication must be brought to school by a parent or guardian. Tylenol and/or ibuprofen can be given only with parental/guardian written permission. Any child who needs medication at school (prescription or non-prescription) orally, injection, or inhalers (daily or as necessary) needs to provide a new doctor’s order at the beginning of each school year. This must also be accompanied by written permission from a parent or guardian. Medication is kept locked in the nurse’s office and is dispensed by the School Nurse. For their own safety and the safety of others, students are not allowed to carry medication around during school. When a physician deems it necessary for a student to have immediate access to medication (inhaler), the parent will provide documentation from the physician stipulating such necessity and confirmation that the student has been advised of cautions and proper use of the inhaler in school.
- Field trips: NMRSD has a waiver for medications for field trips. Any medications needed by a student during a field trip will be given to the teacher along with a health concerns list the day of the trip. The Nurse and teacher will review health concerns and proper medication administration prior to the trip. Students may self carry inhalers during the field trip if they have written parental permission. Proper administration of Epi-pens will be reviewed with teachers prior to field trips.
- Life threatening allergies: Documentation from a doctor of the allergy including signs, symptoms, and treatment must be renewed annually. All Epi-pens are kept unlocked in Nurse’s office. All staff members are trained annually on signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis and correct use of Epi-pen. The school nurse will work with the parents and primary care provider of the student with life threatening allergies to prepare an individual health care plan (IHCP).
- Scoliosis Screening: Scoliosis Screening or postural screening is an annual state mandated non-invasive exam conducted by the school nurse and the physical education teachers for all students in grade 5-8. Notices are sent home each year.
- Injuries: If a child is injured and sees a doctor for treatment, please send documentation from the doctor on what type of injury occurred, treatment being done, and any restrictions the child may have.
The responsibilities of the school nurse include various screenings, daily treatments, medication administration and participation in a host of activities in addition to emergency treatment of students who are injured or become ill in school. It is not their responsibility to provide parents with opinions about medically related issues. Parents must seek such opinion from other sources that have such responsibility — family physician, public health nurse, public health clinics, etc. Your cooperation with respect to this matter is greatly appreciated.
District Wide Policies and Information
DISTRICT POLICY BOOK
A copy of the North Middlesex Regional School District School Committee Policy Manual is available in the principal’s office for review.
ACCESS TO STUDENT RECORDS
(1) Log of Access. A log shall be kept as part of each student’s record. If parts of the student record are separately located, a separate log shall be kept with each part. The log shall indicate all persons who have obtained access to the student record, stating: the name, position and signature of the person releasing the information; the name, position and, if a third party, the affiliation if any, of the person who is to receive the information; the date of access; the parts of the record to which access was obtained; and the purpose of such access. Unless student record information is to be deleted or released, this log requirement shall not apply to:
(a) authorized school personnel under 603 CMR 23.02(9)(a) who inspect the student record;
(b) administrative office staff and clerical personnel under 603 CMR 23.02(9)(b), who add information to or obtain access to the student record; and
(c) school nurses who inspect the student health record.
(2) Access of Eligible Students and Parents. The eligible student or the parent, subject to the provisions of 603 CMR 23.07 (5), shall have access to the student record. Access shall be provided as soon as practicable and within ten days after the initial request, except in the case of non-custodial parents as provided in 603 CMR 23.07 (5). Upon request for access, the entire student record regardless of the physical location of its parts shall be made available.
(a) Upon request, copies of any information contained in the student record shall be furnished to the eligible student or the parent. A reasonable fee, not to exceed the cost of reproduction, may be charged. However, a fee may not be charged if to do so would effectively prevent the parents or eligible student from exercising their right, under federal law, to inspect and review the records.
(b) Any student, regardless of age, shall have the right pursuant to M.G.L. c. 71, section 34A to receive a copy of his/her transcript.
(c) The eligible student or the parent shall have the right upon request to meet with professionally qualified school personnel and to have any of the contents of the student record interpreted.
(d) The eligible student or the parent may have the student record inspected or interpreted by a third party of their choice. Such third party shall present specific written consent of the eligible student or parent, prior to gaining access to the student record.
(3) Access of Authorized School Personnel. Subject to 603 CMR 23.00, authorized school personnel shall have access to the student records of students to whom they are providing services, when such access is required in the performance of their official duties. The consent of the eligible student or parent shall not be necessary.
(4) Access of Third Parties. Except for the provisions of 603 CMR 23.07(4)(a) through 23.07(4)(h), no third party shall have access to information in or from a student record without the specific, informed written consent of the eligible student or the parent. When granting consent, the eligible student or parent shall have the right to designate which parts of the student record shall be released to the third party. A copy of such consent shall be retained by the eligible student or parent and a duplicate placed in the temporary record. Except for information described in 603 CMR 23.07(4)(a), personally identifiable information from a student record shall only be released to a third party on the condition that he/she will not permit any other third party to have access to such information without the written consent of the eligible student or parent.
(a) A school may release the following directory information: a student’s name, address, telephone listing, date and place of birth, major field of study, dates of attendance, weight and height of members of athletic teams, class, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, degrees, honors and awards, and post-high school plans without the consent of the eligible student or parent; provided that the school gives public notice of the types of information it may release under 603 CMR 23.07 and allows eligible students and parents a reasonable time after such notice to request that this information not be released without the prior consent of the eligible student or parent. Such notice may be included in the routine information letter required under 603 CMR 23.10.
(b) Upon receipt of a court order or lawfully issued subpoena the school shall comply, provided that the school makes a reasonable effort to notify the parent or eligible student of the order or subpoena in advance of compliance.
(c) A school may release information regarding a student upon receipt of a request from the Department of Social Services, a probation officer, a justice of any court, or the Department of Youth Services under the provisions of M.G.L. c. 119, sections 51B, 57, 69 and 69A respectively.
(d) Federal, state and local education officials, and their authorized agents shall have access to student records as necessary in connection with the audit, evaluation or enforcement of federal and state education laws, or programs; provided that except when collection of personally identifiable data is specifically authorized by law, any data collected by such officials shall be protected so that parties other than such officials and their authorized agents cannot personally identify such students and their parents; and such personally identifiable data shall be destroyed when no longer needed for the audit, evaluation or enforcement of federal and state education laws.
(e) A school may disclose information regarding a student to appropriate parties in connection with a health or safety emergency if knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals. This includes, but is not limited to, disclosures to the local police department and the Department of Social Services under the provisions of M.G.L. c. 71, section 37L and M.G.L. c. 119, section 51A.
(f) Upon notification by law enforcement authorities that a student, or former student, has been reported missing, a mark shall be placed in the student record of such student. The school shall report any request concerning the records of the such child to the appropriate law enforcement authority pursuant to the provisions of M.G.L. c. 22A, section 9.
(g) Authorized school personnel of the school to which a student seeks or intends to transfer may have access to such student’s record without the consent of the eligible student or parent, provided that the school the student is leaving, or has left, gives notice that it forwards student records to schools in which the student seeks or intends to enroll. Such notice may be included in the routine information letter required under 603 CMR 23.10.
(h) School health personnel and local and state health department personnel shall have access to student health records, including but not limited to immunization records, when such access is required in the performance of official duties, without the consent of the eligible student or parent.
(5) Access Procedures for Non-Custodial Parents. As required by M.G.L. c. 71, § 34H, a non-custodial parent may have access to the student record in accordance with the following provisions.
(a) A non-custodial parent is eligible to obtain access to the student record unless:
- the parent has been denied legal custody or has been ordered to supervised visitation, based on a threat to the safety of the student and the threat is specifically noted in the order pertaining to custody or supervised visitation, or
- the parent has been denied visitation, or
- the parent’s access to the student has been restricted by a temporary or permanent protective order, unless the protective order (or any subsequent order modifying the protective order) specifically allows access to the information contained in the student record, or
- there is an order of a probate and family court judge which prohibits the distribution of student records to the parent.
(b) The school shall place in the student’s record documents indicating that a non-custodial parent’s access to the student’s record is limited or restricted pursuant to 603 CMR 23.07(5)(a).
(c) In order to obtain access, the non-custodial parent must submit a written request for the student record to the school principal.
(d) Upon receipt of the request the school must immediately notify the custodial parent by certified and first class mail, in English and the primary language of the custodial parent, that it will provide the non-custodial parent with access after 21 days, unless the custodial parent provides the principal with documentation that the non-custodial parent is not eligible to obtain access as set forth in 603 CMR 23.07 (5)(a).
(e) The school must delete all electronic and postal address and telephone number information relating to either work or home locations of the custodial parent from student records provided to non-custodial parents. In addition, such records must be marked to indicate that they shall not be used to enroll the student in another school.
(f) Upon receipt of a court order that prohibits the distribution of information pursuant to G.L. c. 71, §34H, the school shall notify the non-custodial parent that it shall cease to provide access to the student record to the non-custodial parent.
603 CMR 23.00: M.G.L. c. 71, 34D, 34E.
Reporting, Investigation, and Notification of Bullying or Retaliation and Confidentiality of Student Record Information
Bullying, and retaliation against a person who reports bullying, provides information during an investigation about bullying, or witnesses or has reliable information about bullying is prohibited. North Middlesex Regional School District has a written Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan and School Committee policy to address the requirements of the Anti-Bullying Law. It may be accessed electronically, on the district and school websites, by hard copy in each school, at central office and in the public library in the towns of Ashby, Townsend and Pepperell.
- Definitions and Terms
“Bullying” means the repeated use by one or more students or by a member of a school staff including, but not limited to, an educator, administrator, school nurse, cafeteria worker, custodian, bus driver, athletic coach, advisor to an extracurricular activity or paraprofessional of a written, verbal or electronic expression or a physical act or gesture or any combination thereof, directed at a victim that: (i) causes physical or emotional harm to the victim or damage to the victim’s property; (ii) places the victim in reasonable fear of harm to himself or of damage to his property; (iii) creates a hostile environment at school for the victim; (iv) infringes on the rights of the victim at school; or (v) materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school. For the purposes of this section, bullying shall include cyber-bullying.
“Cyber-bullying” means bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication, which shall include, but shall not be limited to, any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photo electronic or photo optical system, including, but not limited to, electronic mail, internet communications, instant messages or facsimile communications. Cyber-bullying shall also include (i) the creation of a web page or blog in which the creator assumes the identity of another person or (ii) the knowing impersonation of another person as the author of posted content or messages, if the creation or impersonation creates any of the conditions enumerated in clauses (i) to (v), inclusive, of the definition of bullying. Cyber-bullying shall also include the distribution by electronic means of a communication to more than one person or the posting of material on an electronic medium that may be accessed by one or more persons, if the distribution or posting creates any of the conditions enumerated in clauses (i) to (v), inclusive, of the definition of bullying.
“Retaliation” means any form of intimidation, reprisal or harassment directed against a person in response to an action that person has taken or knowledge that the person has.
III. Reporting, Investigation and Notification
A staff member will report immediately to the principal or designee when he/she witnesses or becomes aware of conduct that may be bullying or retaliation. The requirement to report to the principal or designee does not limit the authority of the staff member to respond to behavioral or disciplinary incidents consistent with school or district policies and procedures for behavior management and discipline. Staff may use the Initial Referral Form to report this conduct.
Reporting by Students, Parents or Guardians, and Others
The District expects students, parents or guardians, and others who witness or become aware of an instance of bullying or retaliation involving a student to report it to the principal or designee. Reports may be made anonymously; however, no disciplinary action will be taken against an alleged aggressor solely on the basis of an anonymous report.
Reports may be made orally or in writing. Students, parents or guardians, and others may request assistance from a staff member to complete a written report. Reports may be made via the district confidential email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Students will be provided practical, safe, private and age-appropriate ways to report and discuss an incident of bullying with a staff member, or with the principal or designee.
When receiving a report of bullying or retaliation, the principal or their designee will promptly respond to the incident and carry out an investigation. The principal or designee will also consider whether the alleged bullying constitutes discrimination/harassment of a member of a protected class, and if so, will also investigate the matter as a potential civil rights violation under the relevant statute.
The principal or his/her designee will notify the parent/guardian of the alleged victim and the alleged perpetrator of a report of bullying or retaliation and of the school’s procedures for investigating the report; school officials will notify parents/guardians of a victim of bullying or retaliation of actions that school officials will take to prevent further acts of bullying or retaliation.
On reviewing the report of the investigation, the principal will decide whether to notify the police of the reported incident. The decision to notify the police is based on a reasonable belief that the incident may result in criminal charges against the alleged perpetrator. If the principal decides to notify the police, she/he will document the reasons and immediately make notification. If the principal decides not to notify the police, or the police determine that its involvement is not necessary under the circumstances, the principal shall respond to the incident of bullying or retaliation with appropriate disciplinary action. If the principal subsequently determines facts that cause him or her to believe that the perpetrator’s conduct may be criminal, the principal shall then notify the police.
In either case, nothing in the regulations shall prevent the principal from taking appropriate disciplinary or other action pursuant to school policy and state law related to the incident.
- Confidentiality of Records
A Principal may not disclose to a parent/guardian any student record information regarding an alleged victim or perpetrator who is a student and who is not the parent’s/guardian’s child.
A principal may disclose a report of bullying or retaliation to police without the consent of a student or his/her parent/guardian. The principal shall communicate with law enforcement officials in a manner that protects the privacy of the victims, student witnesses, and perpetrators to the extent practicable under the circumstances.
A principal may disclose student record information about a victim or perpetrator to appropriate parties in addition to law enforcement in connection with a health or safety emergency if knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals. This provision is limited to instances in which the principal has determined there is an immediate and significant threat to the health or safety of the student or other individuals. It is limited to the period of emergency and does not allow for blanket disclosure of student record information. The principal must document the disclosures and the reasons that the principal determined that a health or safety emergency exists.
BULLYING PREVENTION POLICY POLICY:JICFB
The North Middlesex Regional School District is committed to providing a safe, positive and productive educational environment where students can achieve the highest academic standards and strictly prohibits the bullying of students in any form. Bullying and cyberbullying may occur in and out of school, during and after school hours, at home and in locations outside of the home.
Bullying is strictly prohibited:
- on school grounds;
- on property immediately adjacent to school grounds;
- at school-sponsored or school-related activities;
- at functions or programs whether on or off school grounds;
- at school bus stops;
- on school buses or other vehicles owned, leased or used by the school district;
- through the use of technology or an electronic device owned, leased or used by the North Middlesex Regional School District; or,
- in rental facilities used by the school department.
Bullying is also prohibited at a location, activity, function or program that is not school-related or through the use of technology or an electronic device that is not owned, leased or used by the North Middlesex School District if the act or acts in question:
- creates a hostile environment at school for the target;
- infringes on the rights of the target at school; and/or
- materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school.
For the purpose of this policy, whenever the term bullying is used, it is to denote either bullying, or cyberbullying.
“Bullying” is the repeated use by one or more students, or by a member of a school staff, including, but not limited to, an educator, administrator, school nurse, cafeteria worker, custodian, bus driver, athletic coach, advisor to an extracurricular activity or paraprofessional, of a written, verbal, or electronic expression, or a physical act or gesture, or any combination thereof, directed at a target that:
- causes physical or emotional harm to the target or damage to the target’s property;
- places the target in reasonable fear of harm to him/herself, or of damage to his/her property;
- creates a hostile environment at school for the target;
- infringes on the rights of the target at school; or
- materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school.
“Cyberbullying” means bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication, which shall include, but shall not be limited to, any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a:
- photo-electronic or photo-optical system, including, but not limited to, electronic mail, internet communications, instant messages, or facsimile communications.
Cyberbullying also includes the creation of a web page or blog in which the creator assumes the identity of another person or knowingly impersonates another person as author of posted content or messages, if the creation or impersonation creates any of the conditions enumerated in the definition of bullying. Cyberbullying shall also include the distribution by electronic means of a communication to more than one person or the posting of material on an electronic medium that may be accessed by one or more persons, if the distribution or posting creates any of the conditions enumerated in the definition of bullying.
“Aggressor“ is a student or a member of a school staff, including, but not limited to, an educator, administrator, school nurse, cafeteria worker, custodian, bus driver, athletic coach, advisor to an extracurricular activity or paraprofessional, who engages in bullying, cyberbullying, or retaliation.
“Target” is a person against whom bullying, cyberbullying, or retaliation has been perpetrated.
“Hostile environment” is a situation in which bullying causes the school environment to be permeated with intimidation, ridicule or insult that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of the student’s education and staff’s workplace.
“Retaliation” is any form of intimidation, reprisal, or harassment directed against a student or staff member who reports bullying, provides information during an investigation of bullying, or witnesses or has reliable information about bullying.
Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan
The Superintendent and/or his/her designee shall oversee the development of a prevention and intervention plan, in consultation with all district stakeholders, which includes teachers, school staff, professional support personnel, school volunteers, administrators, community representatives, local law enforcement agencies, students, parents and guardians, consistent with the requirements of this policy, as well as state and federal laws. The plan shall recognize that certain students may be more vulnerable to becoming a target of bullying or harassment based on actual or perceived differentiating characteristics, including race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, socioeconomic status, homelessness, academic status, gender identity or expression, physical appearance, pregnant or parenting status, sexual orientation, mental, physical, developmental or sensory disability or by association with a person who has or is perceived to have one or more of these characteristics and shall include the specific steps that the school district shall take to support vulnerable students and to provide all students with the skills, knowledge and strategies needed to prevent or respond to bullying or harassment. The Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan shall be reviewed and updated at least biennially.
The Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan shall apply to students and members of a school staff, including, but not limited to, educators, administrators, school nurses, cafeteria workers, custodians, bus drivers, athletic coaches, advisors to an extracurricular activity or paraprofessionals. The principal is responsible for the implementation and oversight of the Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan within the school.
Students and staff, who believe that they are a target of bullying, observe an act of bullying, or who have reasonable grounds to believe that these behaviors are taking place, are obligated to report incidents to a member of the school staff. The target shall, however, not be subject to discipline for failing to report bullying. A member of a school staff shall immediately report any instance of bullying the staff member has witnessed or become aware of to the school principal or building equity coordinator who will promptly notify the building principal. Parents/guardians, students, or members of the community, are encouraged to report an incident of bullying as soon as possible.
Each school shall have a means for anonymous reporting by students of incidents of bullying although no formal disciplinary action shall be taken solely on the basis of an anonymous report.
Any student, or a member of a school staff, including, but not limited to, an educator, administrator, school nurse, cafeteria worker, custodian, bus driver, athletic coach, advisor to an extracurricular activity or paraprofessional, who knowingly makes a false accusation of bullying shall be subject to disciplinary action.
The school principal or principal’s designees shall promptly investigate the report of bullying which may include interviewing the alleged target, alleged aggressor, staff members, students and/or witnesses. Appropriate strategies will be implemented to protect the safety and privacy of the target and witnesses during the investigation. The principal shall also promptly assess an alleged target’s needs for protection and, if appropriate, shall develop and implement a safety plan that shall restore a sense of safety for that student. The principal shall also make a preliminary determination as to the need for referral to law enforcement authorities. The investigation shall be completed within fifteen (15) school days from the date of the report.
If the school principal or principal’s designee determines that bullying has occurred he/she shall promptly notify the parents or guardians of the student who has been the target and/or aggressor, of bullying consistent with the requirements of 603 CMR 49.00. Additionally, the school principal or equity coordinator shall take appropriate corrective and disciplinary action and if it is believed that criminal charges may be pursued against the aggressor, the principal shall consult with the school’s liaison to the police department and the Superintendent to determine if criminal charges are warranted. If it is determined that criminal charges are warranted, the local law enforcement agency shall be notified.
Disciplinary actions for students or staff members who have committed an act of bullying or retaliation shall be in accordance with district disciplinary policies.
Each school shall document any incident of bullying that is reported per this policy and a file shall be maintained by the principal.
Retaliation against a person who reports bullying, provides information during an investigation of bullying, witnesses or has reliable information about bullying shall be strictly prohibited. Retaliation in any form will result in disciplinary action including suspension from school or termination of employment.
Target Assistance/Aggressor Assistance
The North Middlesex Regional School District Regional School District shall provide counseling or referral to appropriate services, including guidance, academic intervention, and protection to students, families and staff members, affected by bullying, as necessary.
Training and Assessment
Ongoing training shall be provided for school employees and volunteers who have significant contact with students in preventing, identifying, responding to, and reporting incidents of bullying.
Age-appropriate, evidence-based instruction on bullying prevention shall be incorporated into the curriculum for all K to 12 students.
Publication and Notice
Annual written notice of the relevant sections of the Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan shall be provided to students and their parents or guardians, in age-appropriate terms.
Annual written notice of the Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan including the duties of faculty and staff shall be provided to all school staff. The faculty and staff at each school shall be trained annually on the Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan applicable to the school.
The Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan shall be posted on the North Middlesex Regional School District Regional School District’s website.
BUS DISCIPLINARY ACTION POLICY: 5419.02
All school rules are in effect on the school bus. Students who cause disciplinary problems on the bus may be denied the privilege of riding the bus. Severe disciplinary problems will result in immediate removal from the bus for safety reasons. If a bus contractor/driver refers a student to the principal for disciplinary actions, the following procedure will be followed:
Warning: The first time a student receives a written bus discipline form from a driver, the principal will meet with the student and the parent/guardian will be notified. Unless the offense is of a very serious nature, the disciplinary action will result in a warning being given.
Removal: A second written bus discipline complaint will result in loss of busing privileges for a period of from one to ten days except in the case of a very serious offense. Parents/guardians will be notified by telephone and written notice.
- The third offense will result in the loss of busing privileges for a period of from three to twenty school days. Parents/guardians will be notified by telephone and written notice and a parent conference will be held before a student can be reinstated on the bus.
- The fourth offense will result in the loss of busing privileges for a period of more than twenty school days. Parents/guardians will be notified by telephone and written notice and a parent/guardian conference will be held before a student can be reinstated on the bus.
- It should be noted that a student may lose his/her busing privilege after a very serious bus offense if, in the best interest of the safety and well-being of other bus students, his/her conduct so merits.
- The regulations and disciplinary action outlined herewith also apply to behavior at all bus stops.
Please keep in mind that according to state statute parents/guardians are responsible for transporting students to and from school if they are removed from a bus for disciplinary reasons. Parents/guardians are expected to cooperate with school administration and bus drivers in promoting safe and efficient bus transportation for their children. Unless a note written by a parent/guardian specifies another destination, all students will be transported from the school directly to their regular bus stop. When parents/guardians wish to take their child home from school, arrangements should be made before the bus leaves the school. In no case should parents/guardians stop the bus along the roadway at an undesignated stop to remove their children. The bus driver will not let children off the bus at any undesignated stop unless a parent/guardian note approved by the school office has been received by the bus driver or in an emergency situation.
CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT POLICY POLICY: 5704
The North Middlesex Regional School District affirms its responsibility to provide for the safety and well-being of students. School personnel, having custodial responsibility of school children are by law required to refer for investigation by the Department of Children and Families any school child suspected of having been abused or neglected.
CLASS DUES POLICY: 5506
At the beginning of each school year notice should be prominently placed in the student handbook that the payment of class dues is voluntary. Class dues are deposited in the class treasury of each class. Funds collected from class dues are used to subsidize class sponsored events.
Failure to pay class dues shall not be grounds for barring any student from participating in or attending a school event.
EMPOWERED DIGITAL USE POLICY POLICY:IJNDB
The North Middlesex Regional School Committee recognizes the need for students to be prepared to contribute to and excel in a connected, global community. To that end, the district provides ongoing student instruction that develops digital skill sets for using technology as a tool. Information and communication technology are integrated across subjects and grades in developmentally appropriate ways and are aligned with the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks and standards.
The Superintendent or designee shall implement, monitor, and evaluate the district’s system/network for instructional and administrative purposes.
All users shall acknowledge that using digital devices, whether personal or school-owned, in conjunction with the district network, including access to the Internet, is a privilege and must be in accordance with the school district guidelines.
The Superintendent or designee shall develop and implement administrative guidelines, regulations, procedures, and user agreements, consistent with law and policy, which shall include but not be limited to the following:
- Digital devices, software, and networks shall be used in school for educational purposes and activities.
- Every individual’s personal information (including home/mobile phone numbers, mailing addresses, and passwords) shall be kept private.
- Individuals will show respect for themselves and others when using technology, including social media.
- Users shall give acknowledgement to others for their ideas and work.
- Users shall report use of technology that is in violation of law or district policy immediately.
These procedures shall be reviewed on an ongoing basis by district administration with input from students and teachers to provide a springboard for teaching and learning around topics such as internet safety, appropriate use of digital resources, and ethical use of technology.
EMPOWERED DIGITAL USE AGREEMENT POLICY: IJNDB-R
Access to the North Middlesex Regional School District (NMRSD) system/network, including the Internet, is a privilege granted to staff, students, and district guests to facilitate communications and access information in support of the district’s educational goals. The system/network will also be used for communication with staff, parents, students, and community members.
All users shall acknowledge that using digital devices, whether personal or school-owned, in conjunction with the district network, including access to the Internet, is a privilege and must be in accordance with the school district guidelines.
District User Accounts
The NMRSD utilizes several applications that are accessed through the Internet and require individual user accounts for access. Examples include a student information system, learning management systems, collaborative tools, authenticated resources, and email. District user accounts for access to these systems are only issued to students and staff after official completion of all registration or hiring procedures and paperwork including a signed Empowered Digital Use Agreement.
- Access to the NMRSD system/network will only be granted to staff and students with a signed Empowered Digital Use Policy Agreement.
- Temporary Internet-Only access to the internet may be granted to district guests following digital acceptance of the Empowered Digital Use Policy Agreement.
- All use of the NMRSD system/network must be in support of the district’s educational goals and will be in compliance with all applicable laws and district policies.
- All files stored, viewed, or distributed on the NMRSD system/network are expected to be in support of the district’s educational goals and will be in compliance with all applicable laws and district policies.
- No identifiable student data may be posted without principal and parent/guardian approval. Identifiable student data includes but is not limited to voice, picture, video, and any type of biographical data.
- Copyrighted software or data shall not be placed on the NMRSD system/network without a district-owned license or legal permission from the holder of the copyright.
- All hardware and software to be added to the NMRSD network must be approved by the Director of Technology.
- No user of the NMRSD system/network may deliberately access materials that are in violation of any applicable laws, district policies, or school rules and/or persuade or show others how to access such materials.
- Commercial use of the NMRSD system/network is prohibited.
- All district and school-related web pages are subject to the district Internet Publication Policy, IJNDC.
- All district and school-related email is subject to the district E-Mail Policy, IJNDA.
- Students will be taught about internet safety prior to integrating Internet resources and/or tools in the classroom. The Internet safety curriculum will include issues related to social networking, cyberbullying, Internet predators, acceptable content, information privacy, copyright, and internet etiquette.
- Students using interactive web tools and digital communications are expected to act safely by keeping ALL personal information out of public posts and communications. A student should NEVER post personal information on the web (including, but not limited to, last names, personal details including address or phone numbers, photographs, school or school team names, or class schedule). Students should not, under any circumstances, agree to meet anyone met over the Internet.
- Student digital communications and publications are not guaranteed to be private and may be read by the teacher before the student distributes or sends to others.
- Staff and students should never link to websites without reviewing the entire site to make sure it is acceptable for a school setting. If a student is unsure, they should ask a teacher, administrator, or parent/guardian first.
- Use of digital communication and social networking tools must be approved by the principal/supervisor before the link is made public. The principal/supervisor should be notified in writing of all significant changes made to digital communication and social networking tools, and the principal/supervisor reserves the right to request changes and/or removal of published content at any time.
- Passwords are confidential! All passwords shall be protected by the user and will not be shared or displayed.
- Individual users shall, at all times, be responsible for the proper use of accounts issued in their name.
- Revealing anybody’s personal information is prohibited unless specifically authorized by an administrator in compliance with law or district policy.
- Assuming another’s identity while using the NMRSD system/network is prohibited.
- Any activities designed to harass, bully, or defame others are prohibited.
- Any malicious attempts to harm, destroy, or vandalize equipment, materials, or data are prohibited.
- Deliberate attempts to degrade or disrupt system performance are prohibited.
- Deliberate attempts to bypass or turn off NMRSD security features are prohibited.
- All users should only access files and/or folders using the network accounts and network folders assigned to them by the district.
- All files must be saved to the user-assigned network folders if future access is desired.
- All information accessed through the NMRSD network/system is subject to the United States Copyright Law (Title 17, USC). Downloading, copying, duplicating and distributing software, music, audio files, videos, images or other copyrighted material without the specific written permission of the copyright owner is prohibited. Duplication and distribution of materials are only permitted when such duplication and distribution are within the Fair Use Doctrine of the United States Copyright Law (Title 17, USC) and content is cited appropriately.
- The North Middlesex Regional School District will not require any staff or students to supply personal technology in order to achieve any NMRSD-related educational goals, conduct NMRSD business, or participate in any NMRSD activities. All allowed use of personal technology is at the owner’s discretion, and the North Middlesex Regional School District shall not be liable for any loss, damage, or costs related to the use of personal technology.
- Any personal technology used on a NMRSD campus or in use for NMRSD business is subject to all guidelines in this document and is only to be used in support of educational goals.
- Staff and/or student provided internet access points are prohibited from use on all NMRSD campuses in order to ensure compliance with all applicable laws and policies.
- Internet access to personal technology will only be provided in schools with sufficient resources to support those devices without interrupting access to district-provided devices. Internet access to personal electronic devices must be approved by both the Director of Technology and the building principal and/or their designee.
- Access to NMRSD system/network specific resources from a personal electronic device is prohibited. This includes access to network folders and files, printers, network software, etc.
- The owner of any personal electronic device is responsible for all expenses and maintenance related to use of that device. Owner responsibilities include, but are not limited to, repairs and upgrades, software, drivers, cables, and other related supplies such as toner, paper, and bulbs.
- No technology donations will be accepted by the North Middlesex Regional School District unless specifically approved by the Director of Technology.
Digital Files and Communications
Electronic communications and all data including documents, messages, and information transmitted using the NMRSD system/network in any manner are the property of the North Middlesex Regional School District and are subject to all applicable laws. Copies of all information created, sent, or retrieved may be stored on the district’s backup systems. The district reserves the right to access and monitor all messages and files on the computer system as it deems necessary and appropriate in the ordinary course of its business. When legally required, communications and data may be disclosed to law enforcement officials or other third parties without prior consent of the sender or receiver.
The user’s electronic access to any remaining digital files, communications, and resources will be disabled on or shortly after the last official day of employment or student withdrawal. Requests to extend access must be submitted to the Director of Technology in writing prior to the student or employee’s last official day in the district and must include a specific date for the extension to end. Approval for such requests should not be considered granted unless approval has been given by the Director of Technology.
As required by law, the NMRSD has implemented an Internet filtering mechanism designed to protect minors from unlawful, obscene, or harmful material and situations. The filtering mechanism is in compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act, and the district Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan.
The NMRSD shall not be liable for users’ unapproved use of electronic resources, violations of copyright restrictions, users’ mistakes or negligence, or costs incurred by users. The NMRSD shall not be responsible for ensuring the accuracy or usability of any information found on networks, nor be liable for any loss, or corruption of data resulting while using the system/network.
Student Digital Publications
Publishing student work promotes learning and collaboration and provides an opportunity to share the achievement of students. With parent/guardian permission, products of grade PK -12 students may be posted on NMRSD websites, provided no identifying captions, locations, or last names are included.
Publishing student photos on the NMRSD websites allows the district to show its pride in its students and their accomplishments. With parent/guardian permission, photos of students may be posted on the NMRSD websites provided no identifying captions, locations, or last names are included.
Written parent/guardian permission must be verified PRIOR to use of any student work, photos, and/or other media in any NMRSD publications.
- The Superintendent or their designee shall be authorized to monitor or examine all data and system/network activities, including documents and electronic mail transmissions, as deemed appropriate, to ensure proper use of electronic resources.
- Principals/Supervisors or their designees will be notified of any violations of the NMRSD Empowered Digital Use Policy Agreement.
- Principals/Supervisors or their designees will be responsible for disseminating and enforcing policies and procedures in their respective building(s) and/or departments.
Access to information all over the world via technology brings with it an availability of material that may not be considered educationally valuable. Though the North Middlesex Regional School District will take all reasonable precautions, it is impossible to control access to all materials and a user may unintentionally discover objectionable information. NMRSD policy affirms that the educational value of access to information and interaction on the Internet far outweigh the possibility that users may be exposed to materials not consistent with the educational goals of the district. NMRSD makes no warranties of any kind for the service it provides. The North Middlesex Regional School District, associated towns, or any municipal employees will not be liable for damages or injuries resulting from violations of the Empowered Digital Use Policy Agreement or any misuse of the system/network.
Nothing contained herein shall be held or construed to supersede or conflict with or limit the jurisdiction of the United States Government or any of the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In the event that any provisions of these rules and regulations are legally found to be invalid, such decision, invalidity or voidance shall not affect the validity of the remaining provisions.
HAZING POLICY: JICFA-E
- 269, S.17. CRIME OF HAZING; DEFINITION; PENALTY
Whoever is a principal organizer or participant in the crime of hazing as defined herein shall be punished by a fine of not more than three thousand dollars or by imprisonment in a house of correction for not more than one year, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
The term “hazing” as used in this section and in sections eighteen and nineteen, shall mean any conductor method of initiation into any student organization, whether on public or private property, which willfully or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health of any student or other person. Such conduct shall include whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to the weather, forced consumption of any food, liquor, beverage, drug or other substance, or any other brutal treatment or forced physical activity which is likely to adversely affect the physical health or safety of any such student or other person, or which subjects such student or other person to extreme mental stress, including extended deprivation of sleep or rest or extended isolation. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section to be contrary, consent shall not be available as a defense to any prosecution under this action.
DUTY TO REPORT HAZING
- 269, S.18. Whoever knows that another person is the victim of hazing as defined in section seventeen and is at the scene of such crime shall, to the extent that such person can do so without danger or peril to himself or others, report such crime to an appropriate law enforcement official as soon as reasonably practicable. Whoever fails to report such crime shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars.
HAZING STATUTES TO BE PROVIDED; STATEMENT OF COMPLIANCE AND DISCIPLINE POLICY REQUIRED
- 269, S.19. Each secondary school and each public and private school or college shall issue to every group or organization under its authority or operating on or in conjunction with its campus or school, and to every member, plebe, pledge or applicant for membership in such group or organization, a copy of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen. An officer of each such group or organization, and each individual receiving a copy of said sections seventeen and eighteen shall sign an acknowledgment stating that such group, organization or individual has received a copy of said sections seventeen and eighteen.
Each secondary school and each public or private school or college shall file, at least annually, a report with the regents of higher education and in the case of secondary schools, the Board of Education, certifying that such institution has complied with the provisions of this section and also certifying that said school has adopted a disciplinary policy with regards to the organizers and participants of hazing.
The Board of Regents and, in the case of secondary schools, the Board of Education shall promulgate regulations governing the content and frequency of such reports, and shall forthwith report to the attorney general any such institution which fails to make such a report.
PROHIBITION OF HAZING POLICY: JICFA
In accordance with Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 536 of the Acts of 1985, the School Committee hereby deems that no student, employee or school organization under the control of the School Committee shall engage in the activity of hazing a student while on or off school property, or at a school sponsored event regardless of the location. No organization that uses the facilities or grounds under the control of the School Committee shall engage in the activity of hazing any person while on school property.
Any student who observes what appears to them to be the activity of hazing another student or person should report such information to the principal including the time, date, location, names of identifiable participants and the types of behavior exhibited. Students and employees of the district are obligated by law to report incidents of hazing to the police department.
Any student who is present at a hazing has the obligation to report such an incident. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action by the school against that student and could involve suspension from school for up to three days.
Any student who participates in the hazing of another student or other person may, upon the approval of the Superintendent of Schools, be suspended from school for up to ten (10) school days.
Any student determined by the principal to be the organizer of a hazing activity may be recommended for expulsion from school but will receive no less disciplinary action than that of a participant. In all cases relating to hazing, students will receive procedural due process.
MANAGING THE CARE OF STUDENTS WITH ATHLETIC CONCUSSIONS POLICY: JJIF
The North Middlesex Regional School District School Committee wishes to protect its students from the adverse effects of head injury and concussions, therefore, the Committee recommends that the School District comply with the requirements of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services that all schools subject to the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) rules adhere to the following law (Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 111, Section 222) and related regulations ( 105 CMR 201.000) set forth by the state.
The requirements shall apply to North Middlesex middle and high schools, serving grades six through 12. The requirements of 105 CMR 201.000 shall apply to students who participate in any extracurricular athletic activity.
Definition: A concussion is an alteration of mental status resulting from the brain being jolted inside of the skull due to a blow to the head or body. Among the many symptoms associated with concussion, headache, dizziness, confusion, amnesia, nausea, and disorientation are commonly reported. Loss of consciousness, however, occurs in less than 10% of all injuries and is not an indicator of concussion severity. Also, following the injury, the athlete may experience other difficulties such as sensitivity to light and sound, forgetfulness, fatigue and emotional changes such as anxiety or depression.
Any student-athlete who exhibits signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a concussion shall be removed from play immediately and shall not return to play until cleared by an appropriate health-care professional. Medical personnel and/or the coach on the scene will make the decision to activate the emergency medical system immediately if deemed necessary. The coach shall communicate the nature of the injury directly to the parent/guardian in person or by phone immediately if EMS is activated; and if not, do so after the practice or competition in which a student has been removed from play for a head injury, suspected concussion, signs and symptoms of a concussion, or loss of consciousness. The coach also must provide this information to the parent/guardian in writing, whether paper or electronic format, by the end of the next business day.
The athlete must adhere to the following Return to Play Protocol:
- The student-athlete shall not return to the practice or competition during which the student suffered, or suspected to have suffered, a concussion.
- The student-athlete shall not resume extracurricular athletic activity until they have written clearance from the school’s health care professional (this person must be a Medical Doctor, Certified Athletic Trainer or other appropriately trained or licensed healthcare professional), or the family’s health care professional.
- The clearance may not be on the same date on which the student was removed from play.
- “Away Contest Protocol”: If in the event that the Away team does not have an appropriately trained healthcare professional on staff any student who has sustained a possible concussion is “done for the day” and will not be cleared to re-enter play until seen by a healthcare professional.
- Once the student-athlete has been cleared by the appropriate health care professional they will follow the school’s 3 Day Return-To-Play protocol. Please note that if during any of these days signs and symptoms re-appear they will be deemed ineligible and require new clearance for return to play.
Day 1: The first day back to play will involve exertional activities and drills only.
Day 2: The second day back will involve light contact drills.
Day 3: The third day back will involve contact.
MEAL CHARGE POLICY POLICY:EFCD (also JS)
The North Middlesex Regional School District School Committee recognizes that a healthy, nutritious meal plays an important role in the readiness and ability of students to learn. The purpose of this policy is to establish consistent policy regarding meal account procedures while treating all students with dignity in the serving line.
Although the school food program is being managed by an outside company, all the money owed to this program is owed to the school district coming out of the general school budget.
Methods of Payment
The North Middlesex Regional School District can accept payment for meals upon purchase in the form of cash or check at the register, or via the school meal on-line payment system. Meals may be prepaid using any of these methods. Parents/guardians are strongly encouraged to make payments on-line and to register for low balance alerts. A minimum balance equivalent to five (5) school meals is recommended for those who participate in the food service program.
Administration of Policy
The school district is responsible for ensuring that all accounts, including the food service revolving account, are properly managed and accurately reported. The school district works closely with the Food Service Management Company to monitor student’s meal accounts with the goal of eliminating negative balances. Parents/guardians who have signed up on-line for low balance alerts are notified when the account is running low and needs to be replenished.
Any student whose account has a zero balance will be allowed to charge a reimbursable meal. This will result in a negative balance on the account until the balance is resolved. In no event will students at any grade level whose account is delinquent be allowed to charge a la carte items or second meal until the account is in good standing. Cash purchases will be unrestricted.
On a weekly basis, the Food Service Director will generate a charge balance report from the POS system. The Director will flag all accounts that are nearing a zero balance or have gone into the negative. A student list, sorted by school, will be sent to the principals.
After the charge amount exceeds $10.00, the Food Service Provider will generate a letter or email to be sent home to the parent/guardian. If there are mitigating factors that affect a family’s ability to pay, the school district will assist the family in applying for free/reduced meal status, if applicable. If there are no mitigating factors and the family has not made any payments in an effort to reduce the balance due and continues to fail to bring the account back into good standing within one month (or before May 1st in the year of graduation), the school district will advise the family that the matter will be referred to small claims court, collections, and/or other appropriate state agency.
If the balance exceeds fifty dollars ($50.00), then the following action may be taken (unless prohibited by state law or regulation):
- Prohibited participation of the student in any future fee-based program (field trips, user-fee based programs, etc.) until or unless outstanding balances are resolved.
For students who qualify for free or reduced lunch, accounts will be processed in accordance with federal regulations.
A positive balance will remain on account to be used in the following school year unless the account holder requests that the positive balance be moved to a sibling’s account or returned to account holder.
Upon account holder departing the district, the Business Office or their designee will notify the account holder of their end-of-year balance and all reasonable efforts will be made by the district to return the money to the account holder.
PHYSICAL RESTRAINT OF STUDENTS POLICY: JKAA
Maintaining an orderly, safe environment conducive to learning is an expectation of all staff members of the North Middlesex Regional School District. Further, students of the district are protected by law from the unreasonable use of physical restraint. Such restraint shall be used only of last resort after other lawful, and less intrusive alternatives have failed or been deemed inappropriate, and with extreme caution.
Nothing in this policy or 603 CMR 46.00 prohibits a teacher, employee or agent of the school district from using reasonable force to protect students, other persons or themselves from assault or imminent, serious, physical harm.
The definitions of forms of restraint shall be as defined in 603 CMR 46.02.
The use of mechanical restraint, medical restraint, and seclusion is prohibited.
Physical restraint, including prone restraint where permitted under 603 CMR 46.03, shall be considered an emergency procedure of last resort. It shall be prohibited except when a student’s behavior poses a threat of assault or imminent, serious, physical harm to themselves and/or others, and the student is not responsive to verbal directives or other lawful and less intrusive behavior interventions are deemed inappropriate.
The superintendent will develop procedures identifying:
- Appropriate responses to student behavior that may require immediate intervention;
- Methods of preventing student violence, self-injurious behavior, and suicide, including crisis planning and de-escalation of potentially dangerous behaviors among groups of students or individuals;
- Descriptions and explanations of alternatives to physical restraint, as well as the school’s method of physical restraint for use in emergency situations;
- Descriptions of the school’s training and procedures to comply with reporting requirements, including, but not limited to: making reasonable efforts to orally notify the parent/guardian of the use of restraint within 24 hours of its imposition; and sending written notification to the parent/guardian by e-mail or regular mail within three (3) school working days of the restraint;
- Procedures for receiving and investigating complaints;
- Methods for engaging parents/guardians in discussions about restraint prevention and use of restraint solely as an emergency procedure;
- A statement prohibiting: medication restraint, mechanical restraint, prone restraint unless permitted by 603 CMR 46.03(1)(b), seclusion, and the use of physical restraint in a manner inconsistent with 603 CMR 46.00;
- Procedures for conducting periodic reviews of physical restraint as required by 603 CMR 46.06 (5) and (6); and
- A process for obtaining principal approval for a time-out exceeding 30 minutes.
Each building principal will identify staff members who will serve as a school-wide resource to assist in ensuring proper administration of physical restraint. These staff members will participate in an in-depth training program in the use of physical restraint.
In addition, each staff member will be trained, in accordance with 603 CMR 46.04 (2), regarding the school’s physical restraint policy and accompanying procedures. The principal will arrange training to occur in the first month of each school year, or for staff hired after the beginning of the school year, within a month of their employment.
Physical restraint is prohibited as a means of punishment, or as a response to the destruction of property, disruption of school order, a student’s refusal to comply with a school rule or staff directive, or verbal threats that do not constitute a threat of imminent, serious physical harm to the student or others.
Physical restraint is prohibited when it is medically contraindicated for reasons including, but not limited to, asthma, seizures, a cardiac condition, obesity, bronchitis, communication-related disabilities, or risk of vomiting.
The use of “exclusionary time out” procedures, during which a staff member continuously observes and remains accessible to the student in an unlocked area, shall not be considered seclusion.
This policy and its accompanying procedures shall be reviewed and disseminated to staff annually and made available to parents/guardians of enrolled students. The superintendent shall provide a copy of the Physical Restraint regulations to each principal, who shall sign a form acknowledging receipt thereof.
SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICY POLICY:ACAB
It is the policy of the North Middlesex School District to promote and maintain a working environment and educational atmosphere for students, which is free from sexual harassment. It is illegal and against the policies of the district for any student, male or female, to sexually harass another student. Administrators and supervisory personnel have a duty to maintain the school environment free of sexual harassment or intimidation. Sexual harassment may include, but is not limited to:
- Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal and physical conduct of a sexual nature.
- Gestures or unwarranted written communication of a suggestive or derogatory nature.
- Continuing to express sexual interest after being informed the interest is unwelcome.
Sexual assault is the most serious form of sexual harassment and assault will be treated with the utmost severity. Sexual assault may include, but is not limited to, inappropriate touching or intentionally impeding movement. An assault is punishable by suspension, possible expulsion, and a report to the police department will be filed. The victim of a sexual assault or harassment is encouraged to express dissatisfaction with the other party immediately. The victim is to promptly inform an administrator. Sexual harassment between students may be punishable by suspension, possible police intervention, and possible expulsion. This policy extends to all school-sponsored activities and functions whether or not they occur on school grounds.
STUDENT FEES, FINES, AND CHARGES POLICY:JQ
The School Committee recognizes the need for student fees to fund certain school activities. It also recognizes that some students may not be able to pay these fees. No student will be denied access into any program because of inability to pay these supplementary charges.
A school may exact a fee or charge only upon committee approval. The schools, however, may:
- Charge students enrolled in certain courses for the cost of materials used in projects that will become the property of the student.
- Charge for lost and damaged books, materials, supplies, and equipment.
Students who are indigent or eligible for free lunch are exempt from paying fees.*
However, indigent students and/or students who qualify for free lunch are not exempt from charges for lost and damaged books, locks, materials, supplies, and equipment.
All student fees and charges, both optional and required, will be listed and described annually in each school’s student handbook or in some other written form and distributed to each student. The notice will advise students that fees are to be paid and penalties imposed for their failure to pay them.
Permissible penalties include withholding report cards until payment is made or denial of participation in extra class activities while the student is enrolled in this district. Any fee or charge due to any school in the District and not paid at the end of the school year will be carried forward to the next succeeding school year as such debts are considered to be debts of the student to the district and not to a particular school. A notice of unpaid fees and/or charges will be sent home to parent/guardian on an annual basis.
* Students who qualify for reduced lunch may be required to pay a portion of fees.
STUDENT FUNDRAISING ACTIVITIES POLICY:JJE
This policy governs fundraising activities in which students, coaches, parent/guardians, teachers, individuals and school facilities or the name of the NMRSD are involved.
Types of Fundraising Activities
- Fundraisers which are community based (e.g. spaghetti suppers, movie nights, etc.) are highly
- Sale of advertising space in school publications is permitted.
- Sale of tickets to scheduled events is permitted.
- Proposals to raise funds for charitable purposes or for the benefit of the school or community (e.g. scholarship funds, disaster relief or humane causes, local food banks is permitted provided they are properly approved.
- The sale of products directly provided by institutional vendors is permissible so long as the majority of the profits, beyond the basic costs of producing the product, go to the benefit of the fundraiser.
- The sale of products purchased by a school‐related organization is permitted.
Fundraising Activity Parameters
- Safety is of utmost concern for all involved in any fundraising activity.
- All door to door sales are prohibited.
- All canning is prohibited at the elementary school level. Canning is discouraged at the middle
and high school level for safety as well as the NMRSD image within the community.
- All fundraising activities shall follow applicable local and state laws.
- All fundraising shall follow district policies (i.e. wellness policy for food related activities).
- Student participation in any approved fundraising activity shall be voluntary.
- Monetary contributions to class funds (i.e. class dues) are voluntary.
- All requests for fundraising and/or the use of letters, telephone and other communiqués requesting gifts of money or donations of materials from businesses and companies shall be presented to the building principal for approval.
- Any event that uses the name of the NMRSD in their fundraising literature must receive prior written approval from the Superintendent’s office. Those events using the name of a specific school must receive prior written approval from the building principal.
- All requests that require a physical location are to be entered into the facilities use calendar, including outdoor space needed.
STUDENT ABSENCES AND EXCUSES POLICY: JH
Regular and punctual school attendance is essential for success in school. The Committee does recognize that parents of children attending our schools have special rights as well as responsibilities, one of which is to ensure that their children attend school regularly, in accordance with state law.
The NMRSD School Committee believes that each school administration has the responsibility to monitor attendance and intervene when there is concern for the student’s well-being and/or academics. We also believe that there are circumstances where an absence should not count against the student.
Therefore, students will be exempt from the attendance requirements for the following reasons:
- Legal or court appointment (documentation required).
- School-sponsored activities such as field trips.
- Observance of major religious holidays.
A child may also be excused for other exceptional reasons with approval of the school administrator.
A student’s understanding of the importance of day-to-day schoolwork is an important factor in the shaping of his character. Parents/guardians can help their children by refusing to allow them to miss school needlessly.
Accordingly, parents/guardians will provide a written explanation for the absence and tardiness of a child. This will be required in advance for types of absences where advance notice is possible.
In instances of chronic or irregular absence reportedly due to illness, the school administration may request a physician’s statement certifying such absences to be justifiable.
All school handbooks shall contain procedures that give specifics on attendance requirements and definitions of exempt, excused, unexcused, and truancies.
In all cases the schools are to adhere to and uphold any local, state or federal laws pertaining to attendance.
STUDENT-TO-STUDENT HARASSMENT POLICY: JBA
Harassment of students by other students will not be tolerated in the North Middlesex Regional Schools. This policy is in effect while students are on school grounds, school district property or property within the jurisdiction of the school district, school buses, or attending or engaging in school activities.
Harassment prohibited by the district includes, but is not limited to, harassment on the basis of race, sex, gender identity, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, marital status or disability. Students whose behavior is found to be in violation of this policy will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including suspension or expulsion.
Harassment means conduct of a verbal or physical nature that is designed to embarrass distress, agitate, disturb or trouble students when:
- Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of a student’s education or of a student’s participation in school programs or activities;
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by a student is used as the basis for decisions affecting the student; or,
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with a student’s performance or creating an intimidating or hostile learning environment.
Harassment as described above may include, but is not limited to:
- Verbal, physical or written (including texting, blogging, or other technological methods) harassment or abuse;
- Repeated remarks of a demeaning nature;
- Implied or explicit threats concerning one’s grades, achievements, or other school matter;
- Demeaning jokes, stories, or activities directed at the student.
The district will promptly and reasonably investigate allegations of harassment. The principal of each building will be responsible for handling all complaints by students alleging harassment.
Retaliation against a student, because a student has filed a harassment complaint or assisted or participated in a harassment investigation or proceeding, is also prohibited. A student who is found to have retaliated against another in violation of this policy will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including suspension and expulsion.
The Superintendent will develop administrative guidelines and procedures for the implementation of this policy.
AGE OF MAJORITY POLICY: 5105
Any student reaching the age of 18 may apply for age majority status. Parents/guardians must sign a form of consent. Before consent is granted, a telephone conference with the administrator must take place. Age majority, in effect, allows the student to be recognized by the school as an adult so that they may be accorded the privileges of an adult, signing of attendance records to include dismissal notes, requesting records, and/or other similar type activities. However, the student must have any dismissals, tardies, and absences approved by administration. A student with age majority must call themselves in sick as early as possible on the day absent.
The administration will, however, take corrective measures if the age majority student is using this status to abuse the rules and regulations of the school which have been set up to instill consistency and a sense of orderliness within the building. Age majority status may be revoked if the student abuses this right.
The school reserves the right to inform the parent/guardian of the use of age majority of the students for each tardy, dismissal, or absence.
NMRSD SCHOOL COMMITTEE ORDER OF BUSINESS
At regular meetings of the District School Committee the following shall be the order of business:
- Roll Call
- Approval of the Minutes of the previous regular Meeting and any Intervening Special Meetings.
- Information Items/Superintendent’s Report*
- Old Business.
- New Business.
- Adjournment/End of Meeting
*At this point in the meeting, the Chair may recognize any member of the public who wishes to address the Committee. Committee members may ask to have a member of the public recognized. In the event a member of the public does wish to speak, they should receive a copy of the procedures they are expected to follow. In the event a printed copy is unavailable, the Chair shall clearly explain the rules for addressing the Committee.
- The Committee must be informed of the topic to be addressed. Whenever possible, advance notice of the topic to be addressed should be given to the Chair or a member of the Committee. It should be determined that an individual has followed the appropriate chain of authority. Any written statement should be presented to the Committee and summarized when speaking.
- Persons addressing the Committee may address only issues over which the Committee has direct control. The topic should deal only with agenda items.
- A member of the public may have two minutes to address the Committee, unless the majority of the Committee wishes to grant more time to an individual.
- No motions or actions should be made or taken by the Committee during this portion of the meeting. The Chair may recognize the Superintendent, other administrators or members of the Committee if they wish to ask questions or address comments specific to the topic that has been raised. No one shall be recognized until the speaker has finished addressing the Committee or has used the allotted time.
- The Committee must insure that the rights of district employees and students are protected.
- Persons should avail themselves of NMRSD policy books available in all public libraries in the district and in each school in the district.
- This policy will be included in each school handbook.
LAWS & REGULATIONS PERTAINING TO STUDENT CONDUCT AND BEHAVIOR
M.G.L. c.71, §37H
In accordance with Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 71, Section 37H:
(A) Any student who is found on school premises or at school-sponsored or school-related events, including athletic games, in possession of a dangerous weapon, including, but not limited to, a gun or a knife; or a controlled substance as defined in chapter ninety-four C, including, but not limited to, marijuana, cocaine, and heroin, may be subject to expulsion from the school or school district by the principal.
(B) Any student who assaults a principal, assistant principal, teacher, teacher’s aide, or other educational staff on school premises or school-sponsored or school-related events, including athletic games, may be subject to expulsion from the school or school district by the principal.
(C) Any student who is charged with a violation of either paragraph (a) or (b) shall be notified in writing of an opportunity for a hearing provided, however, that the student may have representation, along with the opportunity to present evidence and witnesses at said hearing before the principal. After said hearing, a principal may, in his discretion, decide to suspend rather than expel a student who has been determined by the principal to have violated either paragraph (a) or (b).
(D) Any student who has been expelled from a school district pursuant to these provisions shall have the right to appeal to the superintendent. The expelled student shall have ten days from the date of the expulsion in which to notify the superintendent of his appeal. The student has the right to counsel at a hearing before the superintendent. The subject matter of the appeal shall not be limited solely to a factual determination of whether the student has violated any provisions of this section.
(E) When a student is expelled under the provisions of this section, no school or school district within the commonwealth shall be required to admit such student or to provide educational services to said student. If said student does apply for admission to another school or school district, the superintendent of the school district to which the application is made may request and shall receive from the superintendent of the school expelling said student a written statement of the reasons for said expulsion.
M.G.L. c.71, §37H1/2
(1) Upon the issuance of a criminal complaint charging a student with a felony or upon the issuance of a felony delinquency complaint against a student, the principal or headmaster of a school in which the student is enrolled may suspend such student for a period of time determined appropriate by said principal or headmaster if said principal or headmaster determines that the student’s continued presence in school would have a substantial detrimental effect on the general welfare of the school. The student shall receive written notification of the charges and the reasons for such suspension prior to such suspension taking effect. The student shall also receive written notification of his right to appeal and the process for appealing such suspension; provided, however, that such suspension shall remain in effect prior to any appeal hearing conducted by the superintendent.
The student shall have the right to appeal the suspension to the superintendent. The student shall notify the superintendent in writing of his request for an appeal no later than five calendar days following the effective date of the suspension. The superintendent shall hold a hearing with the student and the student’s parent or guardian within three calendar days of the student’s request for an appeal. At the hearing, the student shall have the right to present oral and written testimony on his behalf, and shall have the right to counsel. The superintendent shall have the authority to overturn or alter the decision of the principal or headmaster, including recommending an alternate educational program for the student. The superintendent shall render a decision on the appeal within five calendar days of the hearing. Such decision shall be the final decision of the city, town or regional school district with regard to the suspension.
(2) Upon a student being convicted of a felony or upon an adjudication or admission in court of guilt with respect to such a felony or felony delinquency, the principal or headmaster of a school in which the student is enrolled may expel said student if such principal or headmaster determines that the student’s continued presence in school would have a substantial detrimental effect on the general welfare of the school. The student shall receive written notification of the charges and reasons for such expulsion prior to such expulsion taking effect. The student shall also receive written notification of his right to appeal and the process for appealing such expulsion; provided, however, that the expulsion shall remain in effect prior to any appeal hearing conducted by the superintendent.
The student shall have the right to appeal the expulsion to the superintendent. The student shall notify the superintendent, in writing, of his request for an appeal no later than five calendar days following the effective date of the expulsion. The superintendent shall hold a hearing with the student and the student’s parent or guardian within three calendar days of the expulsion. At the hearing, the student shall have the right to present oral and written testimony on his behalf, and shall have the right to counsel. The superintendent shall have the authority to overturn or alter the decision of the principal or headmaster, including recommending an alternate educational program for the student. The superintendent shall render a decision on the appeal within five calendar days of the hearing. Such decision shall be the final decision of the city, town or regional school district with regard to the expulsion.
Any school district that suspends or expels a student under this section shall continue to provide educational services to the student during the period of suspension or expulsion, under section 21 of chapter 76. If the student moves to another district during the period of suspension or expulsion, the new district of residence shall either admit the student to its schools or provide educational services to the student under an education service plan, under section 21 of chapter 76.
M.G.L. c.71, §37H3/4.
(a) This section shall govern the suspension and expulsion of students enrolled in a public school in the commonwealth who are not charged with a violation of subsections (a) or (b) of section 37H or with a felony under section 37H1/2.
(b) Any principal, headmaster, superintendent or other person acting as a decision-maker at a student meeting or hearing, when deciding the consequences for the student, shall exercise discretion; consider ways to re-engage the student in the learning process; and avoid using expulsion as a consequence until other remedies and consequences have been employed.
(c) For any suspension or expulsion under this section, the principal or headmaster of a school in which the student is enrolled, or a designee, shall provide, to the student and to the parent or guardian of the student, notice of the charges and the reason for the suspension or expulsion in English and in the primary language spoken in the home of the student. The student shall receive the written notification and shall have the opportunity to meet with the principal or headmaster, or a designee, to discuss the charges and reasons for the suspension or expulsion prior to the suspension or expulsion taking effect. The principal or headmaster, or a designee, shall ensure that the parent or guardian of the student is included in the meeting, provided that such meeting may take place without the parent or guardian only if the principal or headmaster, or a designee, can document reasonable efforts to include the parent or guardian in that meeting. The department shall promulgate rules and regulations that address a principal’s duties under this subsection and procedures for including parents in student exclusion meetings, hearings or interviews under this subsection.
(d) If a decision is made to suspend or expel the student after the meeting, the principal or headmaster, or a designee, shall update the notification for the suspension or expulsion to reflect the meeting with the student. If a student has been suspended or expelled for more than 10 school days for a single infraction or for more than 10 school days cumulatively for multiple infractions in any school year, the student and the parent or guardian of the student shall also receive, at the time of the suspension or expulsion decision, written notification of a right to appeal and the process for appealing the suspension or expulsion in English and in the primary language spoken in the home of the student; provided, however, that the suspension or expulsion shall remain in effect prior to any appeal hearing. The principal or headmaster or a designee shall notify the superintendent in writing, including, but not limited to, by electronic means, of any out-of-school suspension imposed on a student enrolled in kindergarten through grade 3 prior to such suspension taking effect. That notification shall describe the student’s alleged misconduct and the reasons for suspending the student out-of-school. For the purposes of this section, the term “out-of-school suspension” shall mean a disciplinary action imposed by school officials to remove a student from participation in school activities for 1 day or more.
(e) A student who has been suspended or expelled from school for more than 10 school days for a single infraction or for more than 10 school days cumulatively for multiple infractions in any school year shall have the right to appeal the suspension or expulsion to the superintendent. The student or a parent or guardian of the student shall notify the superintendent in writing of a request for an appeal not later than 5 calendar days following the effective date of the suspension or expulsion; provided, that a student and a parent or guardian of the student may request, and if so requested, shall be granted an extension of up to 7 calendar days. The superintendent or a designee shall hold a hearing with the student and the parent or guardian of the student within 3 school days of the student’s request for an appeal; provided that a student or a parent or guardian of the student may request and, if so requested, shall be granted an extension of up to 7 calendar days; provided further, that the superintendent, or a designee, may proceed with a hearing without a parent or guardian of the student if the superintendent, or a designee, makes a good faith effort to include the parent or guardian. At the hearing, the student shall have the right to present oral and written testimony, cross-examine witnesses and shall have the right to counsel. The superintendent shall render a decision on the appeal in writing within 5 calendar days of the hearing. That decision shall be the final decision of the school district with regard to the suspension or expulsion.
(f) No student shall be suspended or expelled from a school or school district for a time period that exceeds 90 school days, beginning the first day the student is removed from an assigned school building.
M.G.L. c.76, §21
Principals and headmasters shall ensure that students who are suspended from school for 10 or fewer consecutive days, whether in or out of school, shall have an opportunity to make academic progress during the period of suspension, to make up assignments and earn credits missed including, but not limited to, homework, quizzes, exams, papers and projects missed. Principals shall develop a school-wide education service plan for all students who are expelled or suspended from school for more than 10 consecutive school days, whether in or out of school.
Principals shall ensure these students have an opportunity to make academic progress during the period of suspension or expulsion, to make up assignments and earn credits missed, including, but not limited to, homework, quizzes, exams, papers and projects missed. Education service plans may include, but are not limited to, tutoring, alternative placement, Saturday school, and online or distance learning. In developing the education service plan, principals may seek the cooperation or input of relevant health and human service, housing and nonprofit agencies education collaboratives, and other service providers. Any school or school district that expels a student or suspends a student for more than 10 consecutive school days shall provide the student and the parent or guardian of the student with a list of alternative educational services. Upon selection of an alternative educational service by the student and the student’s parent or guardian, the school or school district shall facilitate and verify enrollment in the service.
Students exempt from attending school under section 1 of chapter 76 shall not be subject to this section.
M.G.L. c.71, §37L
Section 37L. The school committee of each city, town or regional school district shall inform teachers, administrators, and other professional staff of reporting requirements for child abuse and neglect under section 51A of chapter 119 and the reporting requirements for fires under section 2A of chapter 148.
In addition, any school department personnel shall report in writing to their immediate supervisor an incident involving a student’s possession or use of a dangerous weapon on school premises at any time.
Supervisors who receive such a weapon report shall file it with the superintendent of said school, who shall file copies of said weapon report with the local chief of police, the department of children and families, the office of student services or its equivalent in any school district, and the local school committee. Said superintendent, police chief, and representative from the department of children and families, together with a representative from the office of student services or its equivalent, shall arrange an assessment of the student involved in said weapon report. Said student shall be referred to a counseling program; provided, however, that said counseling shall be in accordance with acceptable standards as set forth by the board of education. Upon completion of a counseling session, a follow-up assessment shall be made of said student by those involved in the initial assessment.
A student transferring into a local system must provide the new school system with a complete school record of the entering student. Said record shall include, but not be limited to, any incidents involving suspension or violation of criminal acts or any incident reports in which such student was charged with any suspended act.
M.G.L. c. 269, § 17. Crime of Hazing: Definition: Penalty
Whoever is a principal organizer or participant in the crime of hazing, as defined herein, shall be punished by a fine of not more than three thousand dollars or by imprisonment in a house of correction for not more than one year, or both such fine and imprisonment.
The term “hazing as used in this section and in sections eighteen and nineteen, shall mean any conduct or method of initiation into any student organization, whether on public or private property, which willfully or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health of any student or other person. Such conduct shall include whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to the weather, forced consumption of any food, liquor, beverage, drug or other substance, or any other brutal treatment or forced physical activity which is likely to adversely affect the physical health or safety of any such student or other person, or which subjects such student or other person to extreme mental stress, including extended deprivation of sleep or rest or extended isolation.
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section to the contrary, consent shall not be available as a defense to any prosecution under this action. Added by St. 1985, c. 536; amended by St. 1987, c. 665.
M.G.L. c. 269, § 18. Duty to Report Hazing
Whoever knows that another person is the victim of hazing as defined in section seventeen and is at the scene of such crime shall, to the extent that such person can do so without danger or peril to himself or others, report such crime to an appropriate law enforcement official as soon as reasonably practicable. Whoever fails to report such crime shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars. Added by St. 1985, c. 536; amended by St. 1987, c. 665.
M.G.L. c. 269, § 19. Hazing Statutes to Be Provided;
Each institution of secondary education and each public and private institution of post-secondary education shall issue to every student group, student team or student organization which is part of such institution or is recognized by the institution or permitted by the institution to use its name or facilities or is known by the institution to exist as an unaffiliated student group, student team or student organization, a copy of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen; provided, however, that an institution’s compliance with this section’s requirements that an institution issue copies of this section and section seventeen and eighteen to unaffiliated student groups, teams or organizations shall not constitute evidence of the institution’s recognition or endorsement of said unaffiliated student groups, teams or organizations.
Each such group, team or organization shall distribute a copy of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen to each of its members, plebes, pledges or applicants for membership. It shall be the duty of each such group, team or organization, acting through its designated officer, to deliver annually, to the institution an attested acknowledgement stating that such group, team or organization has received a copy of this section and said sections seventeen and eighteen, that each of its members, plebes, pledges, or applicants has received a copy of sections seventeen and eighteen, and that such group, team or organization understands and agrees to comply with the provisions of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen.
Each institution of secondary education and each public or private institution of post-secondary education shall, at least annually, before or at the start of enrollment, deliver to each person who enrolls as a full time student in such institution a copy of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen.
Each institution of secondary education and each public or private institution of post-secondary education shall file, at least annually, a report with the regents of higher education and in the case of secondary schools, the board of education, certifying that such institution has complied with its responsibility to inform student groups, teams or organizations and to notify each full time student enrolled by it of the provisions of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen and also certifying that said institution has adopted a disciplinary policy with regard to the organizers and participants of hazing, and that such policy has been set forth with appropriate emphasis in the student handbook or similar means of communicating the institution’s policies to its students. The board of regents and, in the case of secondary institutions, the board of education shall promulgate regulations governing the content and frequency of such reports, and shall forthwith report to the attorney general any such institution, which fails to make such report.
Added by St. 1985, c. 536; amended by St. 1987, c. 665.
NOTIFICATION OF RIGHTS UNDER FERPA
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords parents and students over 18 years of age (“eligible students”) certain rights with respect to the student’s education records. These rights are:
(1) The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the School receives a request for access.
(2) The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.
(3) The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
(4) The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the School District to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA are:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-5920
SUMMARY OF MASSACHUSETTS LAWS AND REGULATIONS
PERTAINING TO STUDENT RECORDS
- Inspection of the Student Record
A parent, or a student who has entered the ninth grade or is at least 14 years old (eligible student), has the right to inspect all portions of the student record upon request. The parent and/or eligible student have the right to receive copies of any part of the record, although a reasonable fee may be charged for the cost of duplicating materials. The record must be made available to the parent or eligible student no later than ten (10) calendar days after the request, unless the parent or student consents to a delay. The parent and/or eligible student may request to have parts of the record interpreted by a qualified professional of the school, or may invite anyone else of their choosing to inspect or interpret the record with them.
- Rights of Non-Custodial Parents
Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 71, Section 34H and 603 CMR 23.07 specify detailed procedures that govern access to student records by parents
who do not have physical custody of their children. For more information,
please see ‘ACCESS FOR NON-CUSTODIAL PARENTS’ below.
III. Confidentiality of Student Records
With a few exceptions, no individuals or organizations but the parent(s), student, and authorized school personnel are eligible to access information in or from a student record without the specific, informed written consent of the parent or the student. One such exception is the authority of the school district to forward, without consent, the complete student record to schools or school districts to which a student transfer or enrolls..
- Amendment of the Student Record
Eligible students and/or parents have the right to add additional information, comments, data, and/or other relevant material to the student record. Eligible students and/or parents also have the right to request in writing that the student record be amended. Any such request should be directed to the principal. The building principal will render a written decision on such a request within one week. A denial of a request to amend a student record may be appealed to the Superintendent.
- Destruction of Student Records
The regulations require that certain parts of the student record, such as the temporary record, be destroyed within seven (7) years of a student’s transfer or graduation. School authorities are also allowed to destroy misleading, outdated, or irrelevant information in the record from time to time while the student is enrolled in the school system. Before any such information may be destroyed, the parent and eligible student must be notified, and provided with the opportunity to obtain a copy of any records to be destroyed.
- Directory Information
Federal and state regulations authorize school districts to disclose appropriately designated “directory information” without written consent, unless you have advised the district to the contrary in accordance with district procedures. The primary purpose of directory information is to allow the North Middlesex Regional Schools to include this type of information from your child’s education records in certain school publications. Examples include but are not limited to:
. A playbill, showing your student’s role in a drama production;
. The annual yearbook;
. Honor roll or other recognition lists;
. Graduation programs; and
. Sports activity sheets, such as for wrestling, showing weight and height of team members
Directory information, which is information that is generally not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy, if released, can also be disclosed to outside organizations without a parent’s prior written consent.
If you do not want directory information from your child’s education records disclosed without your prior written consent, please notify the Principal in writing. The North Middlesex Regional School District has designated the following information as directory information:
. Student’s name
. Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
. Telephone listing
. Weight and height of members of athletic teams
. Email address
. Degrees, honors, and awards received
. Date and place of birth
. Major field of study
. Dates of attendance
. Grade level
. The most recent educational agency or institution attended
The above is only a summary of some of the more significant provisions of the laws and regulations pertaining to student records. If more detailed information is desired, a copy of the regulations may be obtained from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. These state regulations are designed to insure parent and student rights of confidentiality, inspection, amendment, and destruction of student records, and to assist school authorities in their responsibilities for the maintenance of student records. The regulations apply to all information kept by a school committee on a student in a manner such that the student may be individually identified. The applicable regulations may be found at 603 CMR 23.00.