98 – 12th St
Apalachicola, Florida 32320
FAX (850) 653-1857
Parent/Student Middle School Handbook
Believe, Achieve, and Soar High!
Student Name: ____________________________
This handbook is in addition to Franklin County Code of Conduct.
Learn the ABCs of the ABC School
It is the mission of the Apalachicola Bay Charter School that each child will achieve his or her social and academic potential.
The goals of the Apalachicola Bay Charter School are to provide:
In pursuing our mission and goals, the ABC School offers a supportive, small-school environment and a performance-based curriculum. This curriculum is focused on uncompromising academic excellence that meets and exceeds the Florida Sunshine State Standards for educational excellence.
Enclosed in this handbook a student and parent/guardian will find general information regarding Apalachicola Bay Charter School. Please read it carefully in order to become familiar with school policies and procedures.
Always remember that cooperation and communication between home and school are vital if we are to provide a quality education for students. Education will be much more effective and enjoyable when dedicated staff, concerned parents and conscientious students work together to reach common goals.
Note: All school rules are in effect at all times on campus and at all school sponsored events. All Apalachicola Bay Charter School students are students of the Franklin County Public School system and therefore are expected to be familiar with and follow the Franklin County Code of Conduct as well as the guidelines established in this handbook. Apalachicola Bay Charter School uses the Franklin County Pupil Progression Plan and Franklin County Code of Conduct as a guide when making decisions regarding students.
Stay up to date on your child’s progress with FOCUS at https://franklin.focusschoolsoftware.com/focus/auth/. You will receive graded papers throughout the year, progress reports of all grades and assignments every four and a half weeks, and a report card each nine weeks. Progress reports and Report Cards need to be signed and returned to your child’s homeroom teacher the next day. Teachers will also contact parents when a child is not progressing at an acceptable rate in attempt to intervene and promote success. If you have concerns about grades, please contact your child’s teacher. Additionally, you check each Thursday night and sign your if your child lost dress down. To encourage organization and responsibility, students are given time to daily to write in their planners, which can give you insight to your child’s classes, including upcoming assignments.
In the middle school, we focus on respect. The students will treat themselves, each other, their teachers, and other school officials or visitors with respect and a positive attitude. It is our expectation that all students behave in a way appropriate to a school setting. It is our responsibility as the teacher to ensure that we provide and maintain a classroom environment that is conducive to learning for all students. Therefore, any behavior that disrupts the learning process for other students will have consequences in order to maintain a positive and successful classroom environment for all students. We believe that children should be responsible for their actions so we have a uniform set of middle school rules that will be followed with consequences if they are broken. Additionally, students will be recognized and rewarded for positive appropriate behaviors. Look for notes regarding behavior in your child’s planner.
Middle School Rules:
The consequences for not following the rules will be the same across the middle school. Infractions will be recorded daily in student planners.
Middle School Behavior Plan
The Middle School Behavior Plan is an incentive plan created to encourage weekly, monthly, and long-term positive behavior. Please note, both weekly and monthly incentives will be rewarded throughout the entire year. In order to qualify for incentives the following guidelines must be followed:
1. Students MUST bring their planners to every class, every day. NO EXCEPTIONS.
2. After copying down homework/assignments, students will leave their planners open at the corner of their desks/tables for the ENTIRE class period. Teachers will check planners at their discretion.
4. If a student loses his or her planner, it must be reported to a teacher immediately, and a replacement planner will need to be purchased within a week. If no planner within a week, student will be assigned lunch detention.
Students will receive a check for the following list of offenses. Please note that a verbal and nonverbal warning will be given prior to receiving a check.
1. Excessive talking
2. Unprepared (no book, planner, composition book)
3. Disrespect of teacher, classmate, visitor, administrator, or school property
4. Out of dress code
5. Using cell phone and/or technology without permission or inappropriately
6. Not following directions, school rules or classroom expectations
If a student receives a check in a class, the teacher will initial the check, and make a brief note as to why the check was given. Teachers will keep an electronic record of checks earned, which is the official documentation.
Homeroom teachers will check planners on Thursday and make note of students who do not qualify for Friday rewards. Additionally, parents must check and sign planners Thursday if student loses dress down.
FRIDAY REWARDS (LESS THAN 3 CHECKS: FRIDAY-THURSDAY)
1. Dress down pass (see MS Handbook for dress code for dress-down shirts)
2. Wear a hat
3. Friday Recess
4. Wear flip flops (MUST bring tennis shoes for PE)
Students who do not qualify for Friday Reward, will remain in class for study hall.
Weekly and Monthly Rewards:
Other detentions will be given by the administration at their discretion for bus referrals, inappropriate lunch behaviors, tardiness, cell phone use, etc.
“Fast Track to the Office” offenses that will result in immediate office referral include but are not limited to:
1. Three checks in one day
5. Possession of weapon or illegal substance
7. Viewing inappropriate internet sites
Severe and/or repeated behavior issues will result in a meeting with the MTSS team and could result in loss of privileges, including field trips for part of or the entire year.
Lunch Room Expectations
Students will be required to sit by grade level for the first two weeks of school until lunchroom expectations are demonstrated. Once students consistently demonstrate appropriate lunchroom behavior, the middle school will earn GREEN STATUS and will be permitted free choice seating. If middle school students fail to demonstrate appropriate lunchroom expectations, the entire middle school will move to RED STATUS and will be required to sit by grade level until appropriate lunchroom behaviors are consistently demonstrated. A return to GREEN STATUS indicates consistent appropriate lunchroom behavior and free choice seating in the lunchroom is permitted.
Visits to individual classrooms during instructional time shall be permitted only with administrative approval. Such visits shall not be permitted if their duration or frequency interferes with the delivery of instruction or disrupts the normal school environment.
At Apalachicola Bay Charter School parents are always welcome to visit their child’s classroom within the guidelines of school policy. Parents (i.e. legal guardians) are required to adhere to the following rules when requesting classroom observations.
1. Parents must request (in writing) to observe their child’s classroom at least two days in advance for administrative approval.
2. Classroom observations are limited to a maximum of 30 minutes per teacher, per visit and will be accompanied by an administrative staff.
3. Parents may only observe classrooms while their child is in attendance in that class.
If your child has left something at home such as a practice bag, book, jacket, etc., please drop these items off in the office and your child can pick them up during a transition time.
Everyone, including parents and volunteers, must sign in at the office and have a visitor’s badge to be allowed on the campus.
Homework will be assigned nightly, except on Fridays. However, from time to time, the student will be asked to complete a project, paper, or report that will require work at home, possibly even on the weekends. Homework is assigned as an extension of the class and it is important that each child completes it. Homework counts as 10% of the report card grade. Students will receive a grade of zero for missing/late homework! It is expected for the parents to assist the student with homework, if he or she is having difficulty, not to complete the assignment for him/her.
ATTENDANCE Keep Absences and tardies and early checkouts to a minimum and in emergency situations only. Students must attend school regularly. They should arrive on time and attend all scheduled classes and activities. Parents and guardians are responsible for sending their children to school and notifying the school with the reason for the absence.
Attendance in middle school is taken every class period, including specials. State law mandates that education minutes are recorded for each child. Students will be assigned detention after four (4) tardies per nine weeks. It also states that if a child misses 20 minutes of a class period he/she is considered absent for that period. This means if your child is more than 20 minutes late for school, he/she will be marked absent for 1st period. The school day begins at 8:00AM. Please remember that state law mandates excessive absences result in the failure of the class.
Remember that there are 180 school days out of 365 total days in the year. Schedule appointments during breaks or in the afternoon afterschool. Take vacations during the summer vacation, holidays, or spring break. Shopping trips, vacations, hunting, etc. is an unexcused absence during the school year.
Lunch and Snacks
No food or snacks will be allowed in the classrooms unless it is a medical necessity so be sure your child eats breakfast. Breakfast is available for the students at school beginning at 7:30am. Students will not be allowed to go to breakfast after the morning bell rings. The student has a lunch choice of a hot entrée or a salad. Both come with milk, fruit, and dessert. Snack items will be sold as a supplement, NOT as a replacement for a balanced meal. Students must eat lunch either served from school or brought from home. No energy drinks will be allowed. See through containers only. No glass bottles or glass containers allowed. Also, students are not permitted to use refrigerators or microwaves and we are not allowed to microwave food for them. Only water is permitted in the classroom.
The students are allowed to be on an assigned computer with teacher permission only and teacher directed sites or programs. Downloading and/or listening to music are strictly forbidden. If a child is found on an adult website, chat room, or social website it will result in suspension and loss of privilege. Changing computer settings (moving icons, changing backgrounds, passwords, etc.) on any computer is prohibited and will result in consequences. Students may print with teacher permission only. These rules apply to all computers, laptops, and netbooks.
Students may not use their phones during instruction time. This means cell phones must be turned off or placed on silent and put away before entering the classroom. Cell phones may not be visible during instructional time. Also, phones may not be used outside of the classroom during instruction time. For example, leaving for the restroom, locker, library, or any other location outside of the classroom. Cell phones must be left in class to receive a pass outside of the classroom. If a student is referred to the office, cell phones must be checked in with administration.
Teachers may permit use of cell phones for academic activities related to curriculum and will notify students when this type of use is authorized.
When a device is in use in the classroom, students WILL NOT:
Due to the evolving nature of emerging technologies, additional rules and regulations may be amended throughout the school year.
Phones will be confiscated by the classroom teacher/staff member and turned into the main office if student:
Consequences if phones are confiscated:
Equipment may be used on school grounds as long as it is being used during designated times and for teaching and learning purposes or school-authorized activities. These devices include, but are not limited to, the following:
Any technology that students bring to Apalachicola Bay Charter School are considered as released from liability by ABC School.
This equipment, along with any additional technology brought to school by the student is not the property of ABC School, but is owned and used by the single student named above. This device may only be used at school during designated times and to support specific teaching and learning processes.
Students may not connect their devices to ABC School networks in an unapproved way. Students and parents must be aware that accessing inappropriate materials while at school is subject to local school procedures for disciplinary action, including confiscation of the device.
ABC School is not responsible for any maintenance, damage, theft, usage or usage charges, or loss of this non-school-district equipment. Students using these devices are responsible for the maintenance, care, and protection of their personal equipment that they choose to bring to school. Through this document, parents and students agree that their technology, regardless of ownership, will be used in a manner consistent with the school policies.
Students bringing cellular telephones or electronic devices and accessories to school do so at their own risk. Apalachicola Bay Charter School, its employees, and designees will not assume any liability for any lost, stolen or damaged cellular telephone and/or any other electronic devices either in school or in their possession.
This permission is valid for the current school year only, and may be revoked by school officials at any time for improper use of the device, or other reasons.
NOTE: Violations will result in serious disciplinary action, which may include an arrest if any law is broken. Examples of such violations that may lead to an arrest would be computer hacking or trespass, harassment or threats via social media and messaging and computer fraud.
Field trips are privileges, which are earned through behavior, effort, and attendance. Students who have difficulties complying with school rules and behavior plans may not have eligibility to attend school field trips. A final decision will be made by the Principal after parent - teacher conferences.
Students must travel to the field trip on the bus and may only travel home on the bus or with parent/legal guardian. In order to travel home with a parent/legal guardian, students must be signed out with by parent/legal guardian with their classroom teacher. If a parent/legal guardian would like someone other than themselves to check a student out at the end of a field a trip, this must be preapproved by administration in writing by both parent and person checking out student. Siblings are not allowed to attend field trips.
We will have occasional fundraisers to raise money for field trips, class supplies, and special events. We will also do other fundraising activities throughout the school year and parent/student participation is essential.
It is our goal to take several field trips this year. They make the learning experience real for our students. We do expect that the students behave in the same way on a field trip as they would in school. If a student has a repeated pattern of poor choices in school, a parent may be asked to attend a field trip with the student. You will be informed of all in-town field trips, however, you will not have to sign a permission slip every time, you should have filled out a universal local permission slip. Students must have parent permission slips to attend out-of-town field trips.
There will be additional expectations and requirements for participation in the 8th Grade End of Year field trip. These additional requirements will be discussed during the field trip organizational meetings. Student will have the potential to raise money for their field trip.
All student medication, both prescription and over the counter, must be registered with the school nurse.
Report Card Grades
Report card grades will come from homework, classwork, and assessments. Incomplete or missing assignments must be completed in a timely manner during specials. If work is not completed, students will be required to complete work during wheel and specials.
Semester Exam 20% of semester grade
Students will have a week to make up work but will be reduced by 20 points for late work. There will be several projects, activities, presentations, and experiments that will count either for classwork or a test grade. This will be specified to students on an individual assignment basis.
Semester finals will be given to all middle school students. These will be cumulative and count for 20% of the semester grade. Students should expect to take an exam at the end of each semester.
Living in Florida often results in severe weather. For typical weather events ABC School will close if Franklin County School System is closed. The ABC School uses Oyster Radio 100.5 FM and One Call and Facebook to notify the public of any closings. In case of an emergency, school may close early. In these cases, your child will only be released to people on his/her emergency pick up list. It might be also required that each child is signed out either with the office staff or the homeroom teacher before he/she is released. This is for each child’s safety and accountability.
In the case of an emergency, it is necessary for students to follow all procedures as directed by their teacher. Silence during an emergency is required as is powering off all cell phones (per administration). A fire emergency requires evacuating the building silently and in a single file line; whereas, a tornado emergency might require seeking shelter in the classroom closet. Other emergencies, might require evacuation. Whatever the emergency, it is important that students remain calm and alert. Therefore, they must wait silently, listen, and NOT use their cell phones. Cell phone use during an emergency will result in suspension by administration.
Tornado Warning: Students will not be dismissed during tornado warnings.
Lock Downs: No one other than law enforcement will be permitted to enter the school during a lockdown.
School administration will notify parents as soon as possible about emergency situations through phone messages, emails, as well as the school website or social media pages. It is vitally important to keep your contact information up-to-date.
Communication between teachers, students, and parents is a vital part of the education process. There are appropriate steps to take when you are unsure of something in our classroom. The first step you should take is to contact us directly. We want to be able to answer all of your questions and clarify any misunderstandings, but it is not possible unless you share your concerns with us. We will be more than happy to meet with you any time you feel a need. We can be reached at the school, Monday through Friday, from 7:50am – 3:15pm on a regular basis. However, we may be teaching, so please leave a message with the office staff and we will contact you as soon as possible. You may write us a note and send it to school with your child. Because we have very limited time before school starts to prepare our classrooms and we are busy after school completing our daily duties, we request that conferences be scheduled at least 24 hours in advance. If you are not on the middle school email list, please send an email request to firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the list.
Bus transportation is provided by ABC School for students living outside of 2+ miles. All bus riders will follow all guidelines for student public safety transportation. Student safety is the primary goal so student transportation behavior guidelines will be strictly enforced. Should a student be unable to follow these guidelines, it will be the parent’s or guardian’s responsibility to provide transportation to and from school for the child.
BUS RULES FOR YOUR SAFETY
*Students should sign up to ride the bus if they live outside the 2+/- mile radius of the school. Parents must indicate if their child will be riding mornings, afternoons, or both at the beginning of the year. Any deviation to the regular schedule should come in writing by the parent that morning so that arrangements can be made. Only in rare emergency cases should parents call to make bus changes.
UNIFORM DRESS CODE POLICY
To ensure an environment that will not distract from the school’s mission of learning, ABC School has and enforces a uniform dress code. All uniform shirts must be/have been purchased from ABC School. ABC School will assist any student with regard to purchasing t-shirts, if finances are needed. Please contact the school for confidential assistance.
By enrolling at ABC School, students and parents agree to comply with the following dress codes:
Since all school uniforms are alike, we recommend that parents label all clothing with the child’s name or initials. Violations of dress code will result in consequences as found in the Franklin County Code of Conduct.
Dress up days will include Pictures and Awards Days, as well as special grade level programs.
Dress Down Fridays are earned as positive behavior incentives. This pass will be awarded by the classroom teacher. If a student has been sent to the office or have more than one tardy in a week this privilege will be lost for that week. Students are expected to adhere to dress code criteria on these days.
Friday Reward and Field Trip “Dress-Down Shirts” Dress-code:
Lockers are property of the school and should be kept clean and organized. Students may not permanently attach any item to the inside or outside of lockers (ie. Stickers, writing with markers, etc). Vandalism of lockers will result in disciplinary actions. This includes altering the lock for ease of opening. Furthermore, students should keep their combinations confidential. Do not leave any food or drinks in lockers overnight. Backpacks should be stored in lockers, as backpacks are not allowed anywhere other than the hallway. Per code of conduct, lockers may be searched at any time.
ABC SCHOOL STUDENT DISMISSAL POLICY
This dismissal policy is developed and established by the Apalachicola Bay Charter School (ABC) Board of Directors. It will be the responsibility of the ABC School Principal/CEO and his/her designees to administer this policy in as fair of manner as possible. Any dismissal hearings or other matters relating to the implementation of this policy shall be conducted by the ABC School Board of Directors or its designee. The Chairman of the ABC School Board shall be notified of any student violation that may result in a student dismissal. In a situation where a student may be dismissed because of repeated violations the chairman should be notified, at the same time as the student's parent that the child is heading toward a possible dismissal.
The rules and procedure by which students may be disciplined, including but not limited to dismissal or suspension from school shall be consistent with the requirements of due process and with the federal laws and regulations governing the placement of students with disabilities.
Expulsion of a student from all public schools is a decision of the Franklin County School Board (FCSB). If a child is dismissed from the ABC School the Superintendent of the FCSB will be notified to see if he/she wishes to proceed with an expulsion of the student. The ABC School Principal/CEO will assist the superintendent with any needed information.
Rationale for Dismissal It is the desire of the ABC School Board to give students every reasonable opportunity to receive an education at the ABC School. However, when as a result of the student’s actions or lack of cooperation it becomes infeasible to continue to work with the child because of the child's obstinacies, defiance or disrespect for school policy and procedure; then the child should be removed. Also, if a child is disruptive to the degree that he/she regularly interferes with the ability of the teacher to teach or other students to learn or endangers himself or others he/she needs to be dismissed. This applies whether the harm caused is emotional or physical.
Reasons for Dismissal The following three areas tend to be the areas where students most often commit offenses that could result in dismissal. However, the Board in listing them does in no way limit their right to dismiss a student for any other reasons. The three areas are attendance/ tardies, uniform or dress code violations and behavior.
Attendance - if a child has 10 unexcused absences or tardies in a 90 calendar day period and interventions by the child study team have not been successful.
Uniforms - if a child refuses to properly wear a school approved uniform or has 5 or more documented violations in a 90 school days.
Behavior - if a student has one or more level 4 violations or repeated level 2 or 3 violations as defined by the FCSB Code of Conduct.
Steps Taken Prior to Dismissal:
Board Approved 09/15/2010
If there are any questions regarding the details of any school policies or procedures, please contact Mrs. Johnson, Mrs. Kirvin, or Mrs. Taranto at the ABC School, (850) 653-1222