WHITFIELD COUNTY SCHOOLS
HIGH SCHOOL HANDBOOK
1306 South Thornton Avenue
Dalton, Georgia 30720
Table of Contents
Section One 4
Whitfield County Schools' Vision Mission and Beliefs 5
Non-Negotiable Practices 6
Whitfield County Schools' Five year Strategic Plan 7
Whitfield County Schools Calendar 8
Whitfield County Schools Directory 9
Section Two _ 13
ABSENCES FROM SCHOOL SPONSORED EVENTS & COLLEGE VISITS 14
ACADEMIC ORGANIZATIONAL PATTERN 14
AFTER SCHOOL WORKERS/NON EMPLOYEES 14
ATTENDANCE (Staff) 16
ATTENDANCE (Students) 17
CENTRAL ENROLLMENT 22
CHILD ABUSE 22
CLUBS AND ORGANIZATIONS 23
CODE OF ETHICS 23
COMMUNICATION WITH PARENTS 24
COMMUNITY COACHES 25
CREDIT RECOVERY 26
DRESS CODE (Student) 26
DRESS CODE (Teacher) 29
DRIVERS LICENSE RULES 31
DUAL ENROLLMENT 32
EMERGENCY PLANS 32
ENGLISH TO SPEAKERS OF OTHER LANGUAGES (ESOL) 33
EXCEPTIONAL STUDENT SERVICES (ESS) 35
FAMILY EDUCATIONAL RIGHTS AND PRIVACY ACT 36
FIELD TRIPS 37
FINAL EXAMS 37
FINES AND FEES 38
FLAG DISPLAYS & PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE 38
GEORGIA MILESTONE (EOC) TEST OUT POLICY 39
GEORGIA VIRTUAL SCHOOL/ONLINE COURSES 40
GIFTED SERVICES 41
GRADING POLICIES 42
GRADUATION EXERCISES 43
GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS 44
GUEST SPEAKERS 44
HEALTH & IMMUNIZATIONS 45
HONORS SCHOLARSHIPS AND AWARDS 45
HOSPITAL/HOMEBOUND SERVICES 49
INFINITE CAMPUS 49
INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS 50
INSTRUCTIONAL MINUTES 50
INTERNET POLICY 50
LESSON PLANS 51
LICE PROCEDURES 51
MAKEUP WORK 52
MEDIA CENTER 53
MONEY COLLECTION 54
PARKING (STUDENT) 55
PROFESSIONAL LEARNING 56
PROMOTION REQUIREMENTS 56
PROTECTION OF PUPILRIGHTS AMENDMENT 57
PYRAMID OF INTERVENTION/RTI 58
REPEATING COURSES 59
REPORT CARDS 59
SCHOOL CLOSINGS 59
SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT PLANS 59
SECTION 504 60
SEX EDUCATION 60
STUDENT LEARNING OBJECTIVES 61
SMOKING/USE OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS 62
STUDENT RECORDS 62
TEACHER EVALUATIONS 62
TESTING (STANDARDIZED) 62
TRANSFERRING CREDITS 64
TRANSCRIPT GRADES FOR A VERIFIED COURSE 65
TRANSFER OF RECORDS 65
TRANSITIONAL ACTIVITIES 66
TRANSPORTING STUDENTS 66
WITHDRAWAL FROM SCHOOL 67
WORKBASED LEARNING 67
Vision, Mission & Beliefs
2015-2016 Assessment Calendars
Whitfield County School Directory
Vision, Mission, and Beliefs
We envision a valued and dynamic school district that prepares students for success in a global community.
Our mission is to maximize student learning by providing challenging and engaging educational experiences in a safe and supportive environment.
We believe the needs of students, personnel, families, and the community are best met with a unified direction.
We believe our purpose is to lead students to success by engaging them in challenging and meaningful work.
We believe teachers are leaders who design learning experiences for students.
We believe our personnel, families, and community members are vital to the education of our students.
We believe in creating and maintaining a safe, inviting, and inclusive learning environment where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.
Non-Negotiable Practices for High Student Performance
The faculty and staff of the Whitfield County School District are committed to using effective instructional practices that are non-negotiable in every classroom. Our goal is that all students in the Whitfield County School District will be successful because they will achieve at their highest level. To meet this goal:
We will teach the Georgia Standards of Excellence (GSE) with fidelity by:
We will monitor the progress of our students while working collaboratively using the Data Team Process by:
All teaching and learning activities will reflect a shared understanding of what students should know, do, and understand and will be built around a common framework for instruction that consists of:
Our classroom environment will be built on:
Our communication with parents will be:
Five Year Strategic Plan
2015 - 2020
Goal 1 – Instruction & Assessment: Provide the educational foundation and opportunities to accelerate all students to achieve expected or high academic growth.
Goal 2 – Highly Qualified Personnel: Recruit, retain, and develop highly qualified personnel.
Goal 3 – Finance: Ensure fiscal stability and increase reserves through sound financial practices.
Goal 4 – Community Involvement: Strengthen school, family, and community partnerships.
Goal 5 – Operations: Provide safe and efficient facilities, maintenance, and transportation services.
Goal 6 – Technology: Improve student academic achievement by strengthening technology integration.
Whitfield County Schools Directory
Whitfield County Board of Education
Louis Fordham Chairman
Bill Worley Vice-Chairman
Whitfield County Schools Central Level Administration
Judy Gilreath Superintendent
Karey Williams Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, Professional
Development, and Federal Programs
Wanda Phillips Chief Officer of Student Support Services
Rhonda Yim Chief Officer of Human Resources
Richard Hill Interim Chief Officer of Human Resources
Audrey Williams Assistant Superintendent of Assessment/Accountability
Kelly Coons Johnson Director of Finance
Mike Ewton Assistant Superintendent of Operations, School Nutrition, and Technology
Whitfield County Schools Central Office
1306 S. Thornton Ave.
Dalton, GA 30720
Phone (706) 217 – 6780
Fax (706) 217-6755
Carolyn Weaver Administrative Assistant
Teaching and Learning
Kathy Mashburn Administrative Assistant
Michelle Caldwell Elementary Curriculum Director
David Thacker Middle School Curriculum Director
Tom Appelman High School Curriculum Director
Richard Knox Title III - ESOL Coordinator
Cheri Mahan Title II A – Professional Development Coordinator
Lorijo Calhoun Title I Director
Freida Talley Federal Programs Secretary
Marrene Gentry Elementary Instructional Specialist
Selena Weed Elementary Instructional Specialist
Amy Smith Middle School Instructional Specialist
Pam Pettyjohn Instructional Technology Coordinator
Shanda Hickman Gifted Coordinator
Tina Sheppard Administrative Assistant
Chris Parker Student Support Services Director
Sarah Hoskins Exceptional Student Services Director
Ruthie Rule Exceptional Student Services Coordinator
Kathy Reed Exceptional Student Services Coordinator
Lynn Keener Secretary
Tena Ewton Infinite Vision Specialist
Ginger Stafford Benefits Specialist
Benita Johnson Administrative Assistant
Laura Goins Data Clerk
Testing and Assessment
Amy Parker Administrative Assistant
Kelly Johnson Coon Finance Director
Manda Clark Payroll Supervisor
Suzanne Lentych Payroll Specialist
Sherrie Mullinax Finance Specialist
Lynn Hardin Accounts Payable Specialist
Angie Brown School Nutrition Director
Randy Jones Maintenance Director
Eric Patterson Facilities and Safety Manager
Rick Holsomback Transportation Director
Karen Mitchell Assistant Director of Transportation
Jim Fugate Director of Procurement
Tim Shaver Director of Technology
Betsy Clem Instructional Technology Coach
Rose Miller Technology Secretary
Antioch Elementary – Tracie Dempsey, Principal
1819 Riverbend Rd.
Dalton, GA 30721
Phone: (706) 278 – 7550 / Fax: (706) 226 – 9674
Beaverdale Elementary – Robb Kittle, Principal
1350 Praters Mill Rd.
Dalton, GA 30721
Phone: (706) 275 – 4414 / Fax: (706) 259 – 2562
Cedar Ridge Elementary – Cindy Dobbins, Principal
285 Cedar Ridge Rd.
Dalton, GA 30721
Phone: (706) 712-8400 / Fax: (706) 277-7249
Cohutta Elementary – Larry Farner, Principal
254 Wolfe St.
Cohutta, GA 30710
Phone: (706) 694 – 8812 / Fax: (706) 694 – 8390
Dawnville Elementary – Sherry Travisano, Principal
1380 Dawnville Rd.
Dalton, GA 30721
Phone: (706) 259 – 3914 / Fax: (706) 259 – 7462
Dug Gap Elementary – Mandy Locke, Principal
2032 Dug Gap Rd.
Dalton, GA 30720
Phone: (706) 226 – 3919 / Fax: (706) 226 - 9753
Eastside Elementary – Ben Hunt, Principal
102 Hill Rd.
Dalton, GA 30721
Phone: (706) 278 – 3074 / Fax: (706) 226 - 9951
New Hope Elementary – Carla Maret, Principal
1175 New Hope Rd.
Dalton, GA 30720
Phone: (706) 673 – 3180 / Fax: (706) 673 – 3182
Pleasant Grove Elementary – Laurie Grant, Principal
2725 Cleveland Rd.
Dalton, GA 30721
Phone: (706) 259 – 3920 / Fax: (706) 259 – 6271
Tunnel Hill Elementary – Principal Connie Kopcsak
203 East School St.
Tunnel Hill, GA 30755
Phone: (706) 673 – 4550 / Fax: (706) 673 – 4956
Valley Point Elementary – Doris McLemore, Principal
3798 S. Dixie Rd, SE
Dalton, GA 30720
Phone: (706) 277 – 3259 / Fax: (706) 277 - 7721
Varnell Elementary – Lisa Jones, Principal
3900 Cleveland Rd.
Dalton, GA 30721
Phone: (706) 694 – 3471 / Fax: (706) 694 - 3289
Westside Elementary – Tami Dodd, Principal
1815 Utility Rd.
Rocky Face, GA
Phone: (706) 673 – 6531 / Fax: (706) 673 – 5556
Eastbrook Middle –Greg Bailey, Principal
700 Hill Rd.
Dalton, GA 30721
Phone: (706) 278 – 6135 / Fax: (706) 226 – 9859
New Hope Middle – Joe Barnett, Principal
1325 New Hope Rd.
Dalton, GA 30720
Phone: (706) 673 – 2295 / Fax: (706) 673 – 2086
North Whitfield Middle – Andrea Bradley, Principal
3264 Cleveland Rd.
Dalton, GA 30721
Phone: (706) 259 – 3381 / Fax: (706) 259 – 8168
Valley Point Middle – Stephanie Hungerpillar, Principal
3796 S. Dixie Rd., SE
Dalton, GA 30721
Phone: (706) 277 – 9662 / Fax: (706) 277 – 7035
Westside Middle – Angela Hargis, Principal
580 LaFayette Rd., SW
Rocky Face, GA 30740
Phone: (706) 673 – 2611 / Fax: (706) 673 – 5349
Coahulla Creek High – Tracy Mardis, Principal
3361 Crow Road
Dalton, GA 30721
Phone: 706-694-4900 Fax: 694-5033
Crossroads – Donna Thornton Harris, Director
2818 Airport Road
Dalton, GA 30720
Phone: (706) 271-2495 / Fax: (706) 271-2496
Northwest High – Britt Adams, Principal
1651 Tunnel Hill – Varnell Rd.
Tunnel Hill, GA 30755
Phone: (706) 516 – 2200 / Fax: (706) 673-7098
Northwest Georgia College & Career Academy –
David Moeller, CEO
Jay Williams, Principal
2300 Maddox Chapel Rd.
Dalton, GA 30721
Phone: (706) 876 – 3600 / Fax: (706) 876-3602
Phoenix Center – Fred Toney, Principal
2300 Maddox Chapel Road
Dalton, GA 30721
Phone: (706) 876-3600 / Fax: (706) 876-3602
Southeast High –Deni Pendley, Principal
1954 Riverbend Rd.
Dalton, GA 30721
Phone: (706) 226 – 2753 / Fax: (706) 278 - 3433
Absences from School Sponsored Events & College Visits
Students may be excused during the school year for school-sponsored events they attend at the request of the school. Class work for these days should be completed prior to the absence. In addition, seniors are allowed two visits to a college during the school year (taken before April 1), which are not counted as absences. Again, class work should be completed prior to the absence. Approval by the principal is required prior to the date of absence.
Academic Organizational Pattern for High School
Whitfield County high schools will contain grades nine through twelve. Each school will have minimum of a full time principal, at least one assistant principal and guidance counselor. Students will be in class for a minimum of 330 minutes. The majority of students will have a seven period day. Special education services will be delivered according to the individual student's IEP.
All accidents involving staff that occurs on a Whitfield County School campus should be reported to the school or building administrator. Staff will be advised of the proper procedure if it is necessary to seek medical attention.
An accident form must be completed immediately online by the teacher or the principal’s designee via the Electronic Forms Manager each time a student is hurt on school property. When an accident occurs, the teacher should seek assistance from the school nurse or notify the front office of the accident. If the school nurse is not available, the teacher should seek assistance from an administrator.
Accidents that require an injury report using an emergency vehicle should be reported to the Director of Safety and Security and the Assistant Superintendent of Student Services (706-876-3907).
After School Workers Who Are Not Current WCS Employees:
**After five years, they would need to be fingerprinted again.
The athletic program consists of varsity, junior varsity, and ninth grade competition. The sports program includes cross-country, football, basketball, wrestling, track, baseball, softball, swimming, tennis, golf, soccer, volleyball, and cheerleading. Any student with an interest in athletics is urged to participate in one or more sports.
The success of any sports program depends upon the total support of the student body and its attendance at the sporting events. All students and their parents are encouraged to support the athletic, band, and cheerleading programs by attending as many school events as possible.
State rules and forms for eligibility can be found at the following webpage: http://www.ghsa.net/student-and-eligibility-information
The Whitfield County Athletic Handbook can be found here: https://sharepoint.whitfield.k12.ga.us/studentservices/Athletics/Forms/AllItems.aspx
GENDER EQUITY IN SPORTS
In compliance with the Equity in Sports Act, O.C.G.A. § 20-2-315, no student in the Whitfield County School System shall, on the basis of gender, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, be treated differently from another student, or otherwise be discriminated against in any interscholastic or intramural athletics offered by the school system, nor shall the school system provide any such athletics separately on such basis, except as specifically authorized by the Act itself.
As a part of achieving this goal, the School System annually shall notify all of its students of the name, office address, and office telephone number of the equity in sports coordinator. This notification shall be included in a student handbook containing the code of conduct and distributed to all students.
An equity in sports grievance procedure will be developed by the superintendent, consistent with the requirements of state law and designed to implement the purposes of this policy. The grievance procedure will provide for prompt and equitable resolution of written student complaints, including those brought by a parent or guardian on behalf of his or her minor child who is a student, alleging any action which would be a violation of the Act.
The school system shall comply with all the requirements of state board rules concerning gender equity in sports, including records retention and the filing of any and all reports.
All donations of services or items, including booster club support, to any athletic program, shall be accepted or rejected in accordance with Whitfield County Board of Education Policy DFK concerning donations to the school system.
PHYSICALS and INSURANCE
Before a player can play or practice in a sport, he or she must have had a physical during that school year with a Georgia High School Association form filled out and signed by a doctor and on file with the Athletic Director. Students must provide verification of insurance before they practice or participate in athletic events. A player may get a physical with their team at a reduced cost or go to their physician for a physical in accordance with their insurance coverage.
It is the personal responsibility of every Whitfield County Schools employee to maintain good attendance. When a staff member will not be at work as scheduled, it is his/her responsibility to notify the immediate supervisor (principal or designee in the case of teachers and paraprofessionals) and enter the absence in AESOP.
Certified employees and eligible non-certified employees may take three (3) days of personal leave if prior approval of the absence has been given by the employee's immediate supervisor and if the presence of the employee requesting absence is not essential for effective school operation. A non-certified employee is eligible for such leave if he/she works full-time and has established one year of service with the school system. A leave form must be filed and approved by the supervisor or principal at least three (3) days prior to leave. Unless otherwise approved by the Superintendent, personal and professional leave will not be granted during pre-planning, post-planning, in-service days or on the day before or day after holidays. In addition, personal leave will not be granted during the first week of the student school year or during the last week of the student school year, unless the Superintendent, in his or her discretion, determines that such leave should be granted due to an emergency or extenuating circumstance beyond the employee's control. The Superintendent may refuse to allow an employee to take personal or professional leave if qualified substitutes are not available. The Personal Leave Request Form (on forms manager) should be filled out and submitted electronically for principal approval. The request should be filed at Central Office at least three days prior to leave. Emergency personal leave may be requested in a shorter time period.
Each employee of the Whitfield County Board of Education who is employed at least half-time shall be entitled to sick leave, with pay, computed on the basis of one and one-fourth (1 1/4) working days for each completed month (20 school days of service). All unused sick leave shall be accumulated from one fiscal year to the next up to a maximum of ninety (90) days. Sick leave accumulated by a certified employee is transferable from one school system to another school system, up to a maximum of 45 days.
It is the practice of the Whitfield County School District to allow employees to earn sick leave benefits at the following rate:
Sick leave days (for any year) are earned, not allocated, based on the number of days worked from the start date through the remainder of the year.
For any absence in which sick leave is used, the Superintendent or his/her designees (Chief Officer of Human Resources or the Principal) shall have the right to require a physician's certificate stating that the employee is ill and is unable to perform his or her duties. In the event that sick leave is used to care for a member of the immediate family, the Superintendent or designees shall have the right to require a physician's certificate stating that the employee is needed to care for the sick family member.
For the purposes of absences for medical and related reasons, members of the immediate family are defined as spouse, children, father, mother, sisters, brothers, grandparents, grandchildren, father-in-law, mother-in-law, or other relatives living in the household.
Judicious use of sick leave days builds a good attendance record which is always an asset to an employee.
For additional information regarding sick leave for family illness, see Policy GBRI – Professional Personnel Personal Leaves and Absences (for certified employees); or GCRG – Classified Personnel Leaves and Absences (for classified employees).
Teachers can request a professional leave day if attending a conference, workshop, or training. An electronic professional leave form (located on Electronic Forms Manager) should be completed, and then sent to the appropriate central level employee for approval. If requesting reimbursement for the professional leave day (travel, food, lodging, etc.), a copy of the form is turned in after the conference along with the appropriate expense statement form. Meals are not reimbursed for local professional learning. All forms for reimbursement are located on Sharepoint.
Before leaving campus during regular school hours, all staff members should check with an administrator and sign out. At no time should a staff member take a student off campus without the written consent of a parent or an administrator.
For additional information regarding leaves and absences, see Policy GBRI – Professional Personnel Personal Leaves and Absences (for certified employees); or GCRG – Classified Personnel Leaves and Absences (for classified employees).
Students are expected to be in school each day unless excused for one of the reasons listed below.
Parent notes may be accepted for up to 10 absences in a school year and must be turned in 5 days after the absence. After 10 absences, parents will be required to provide written medical excuses or documentation. However, in cases when a student’s absences become excessive and are addressed through an attendance intervention (i.e. Attendance Review Team, Educational Improvement Team or School Social Work Referral) absences will only be excused by written medical documentation.
Students shall be counted present when they are serving as pages of the Georgia General Assembly and/or while representing the school in an activity approved by the school and/or Board of Education. Students in foster care shall be counted present when they attend court proceedings relating to their foster care.
A student whose parent or legal guardian is in military service in the U. S. armed forces or National Guard, and such parent has been called to duty for or is on leave from overseas deployment to a combat zone or combat support posting will be granted up to 5 days of excused absences per school year to visit with his or her parent prior to the parent's deployment or during the parent's leave.
Individual students who have emergencies to arise that necessitate their absence from school for a portion of the school day must have been present for one half of the instructional day in order to be included in attendance counts.
An unlawful (unexcused) absence is one not permitted under the Compulsory School Attendance Law (20-2-690) and policies of the Whitfield County School Board.
Any combination of (5) five unexcused tardies / late check-ins or unexcused early checkouts will be considered one (1) unexcused absence. If a student has excessive absences or tardies, the school social worker may refer the student and parent(s) to the Department of Family and Children Services, Educational Improvement Team (EIT) or the appropriate court when sufficient legal causes for these absences or tardies do not exist. Corrective measures may be taken against the student and/or parent(s).
When a high school student has more than (6) six unexcused absences per semester in a class meeting fewer than 90 days (6 block days), the student will not receive credit for that course. If a high school student has more than (10) ten unexcused absences a class meeting more than 90 days (year-long courses) the student will not receive credit for that course. Any student who is absent one half day is considered absent the full day. The student must be present for at least l/2 of the high school class period to be considered present for the class. The student and/or parent/guardian may request the school principal or designee to review the case if there are extenuating circumstances. Upon denial, it can be appealed to the Superintendent or the Superintendent’s designee.
According to the State Board of Education rules, a student is truant who during the school calendar year has more than five unexcused absences.
Georgia Compulsory School Attendance Law
CODE SECTION --20-2-690-1.
Every parent, guardian, or other person residing within this state having control or charge of any child or children between their sixth and sixteenth birthdays shall enroll and send such child or children to a public school, a private school, or a home study program that meets the requirements for a public school, a private school, or a home study program;
Any parent, guardian, or other person residing in this state who has control or charge of a child or children and who shall violate this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof, shall be subject to a fine not to exceed $100.00 or imprisonment not to exceed 30 days, or both, at the discretion of the court having jurisdiction. Each day’s absence from school in violation of this part shall constitute a separate offense.
The Board of Education believes that all students can learn better in a safe school
environment. Behavior that infringes on the safety of students will not be tolerated. Bullying, as the term is defined in Georgia law, of a student by another student is strictly prohibited. Such prohibition shall be included in the Student Code of Conduct for all schools within the school system.
Bullying is defined as follows: An act that is any willful attempt or threat to inflict injury on another person, when accompanied by an apparent present ability to do so; (2) any intentional display of force such as would give the victim reason to fear or expect immediate bodily harm; or (3) any intentional written, verbal, or physical act, which a reasonable person would perceive as being intended to threaten, harass, or intimidate, that: (a) causes another person substantial physical harm within the meaning of Code Section 16-5-23.1 or visible bodily harm as such term is defined in Code Section 16-5-23.1; (b) has the effect of substantially interfering with a student’s education; (c) is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating or threatening educational environment; or (d) has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school. The term applies to acts which occur on school property, on school vehicles, at designated school bus stops, or at school related functions or activities or by use of data or software that is accessed through a computer, computer system, computer network, or other electronic technology of a local school system. The term also applies to acts of cyberbullying which occur through the use of electronic communication, whether or not such electronic act originated on school property or with school equipment, if the electronic communication (1) is directed specifically at students or school personnel, (2) is maliciously intended for the purpose of threatening the safety of those specified or substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school, and (3) creates a reasonable fear of harm to the students’ or school personnel’s person or property or has a high likelihood of succeeding in that purpose. For purposes of this Code Section, electronic communication includes but is not limited to any transfer of signs, signals, writings, 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.
Procedures may be developed at each school encouraging a teacher or other school employee, student, parent, guardian, or other person who has control or charge of a student, either anonymously or in the person’s name, at the person’s option, to report or otherwise provide information on bullying activity. Any teacher or other school employee who, in the exercise of his or her personal judgment and discretion, believes he or she has reliable information that would lead a reasonable person to suspect that someone is a target of bullying is encouraged to immediately report it to the school principal. Any report will be appropriately investigated by the administration based on the nature of the complaint in a timely manner to determine whether bullying has occurred, whether there are other procedures related to illegal harassment or discrimination that should be implemented and what other steps should be taken. Any report of retaliation for reporting bullying will also be investigated and addressed as called for in this policy and in accordance with school procedures.
Acts of bullying shall be punished by a range of consequences through the progressive discipline process, as stated in the Code of Conduct. However, upon a finding by the disciplinary hearing officer, panel or tribunal that a student in grades 6-12 has committed the offense of bullying for the third time in a school year, the student shall be assigned to an alternative school.
Upon a finding by a school administrator that a student has committed an act of bullying or is a victim of bullying, the administrator or designee shall notify the parent, guardian, or other person having control or charge of the student by telephone call or through written notice, which may be done electronically.
Students and parents will be notified of the prohibition against bullying and the penalties for violating the prohibition by posting information at each school and by including such information in the student/parent handbooks.
Bus transportation is provided by the Whitfield County School System for every student. The safety of all students is the primary goal in bus transportation. Students are expected to care for the buses, exhibit respect, courtesy, and consideration for bus drivers and other bus riders, and behave appropriately on the buses. Abuse of any of these may result in the loss of the privilege of participation in the bus transportation program. No consumption of food, drinks, or candy is permitted on school buses.
Free and Reduced Meal Applications
Free and Reduced Meal Applications are available on-line. Go to the Whitfield County School website at http://wcs.whitfield.k12.ga.us/ or www.lunchapplication.com to access the on-line application. Paper copies will be available at the beginning of school. You are encouraged to complete an application if you think your children may qualify. ONLY ONE APPLICATION PER HOUSEHOLD needs to be completed, listing all school age children on the form.
2015/2016 Meal Prices
Elementary Breakfast Free $1.75
Elementary Lunch $2.00 $3.00
Middle/High Breakfast $1.25 $1.75
Middle/High Lunch $2.25 $3.00
Extra Milk .50
Reduced Breakfast .30
Reduced Lunch .40
On-Line Payment Option
Parents are able to pay for student meals with cash, money order, or check. Beginning SY2015-2016, Whitfield County Schools Nutrition Department is excited to offer a new On-Line Prepay system.
This new payment option will not replace cash and check payments, but is an additional payment option for your convenience. Features offered by the on-line solution are:
Go to: www.K12PaymentCenter.com to setup your child's account. You will need your child's Student ID number to setup an account. If you do not know your child's Student ID number you may contact your child's cafeteria manager.
Students have a limited charge privilege. If a student arrives at school without money, they are allowed up to 5 days of charges. If a child arrives at school without money for lunch and has reached the charge limit, he/she will be provided an alternate meal (such as a cheese sandwich and milk). Charge letters will be sent home with the students to notify parents of charges at the first negative balance and the alternative meal policy. Charges are not allowed for extras or ala carte items. Parents will be able to pay for student meals with cash, money order, check or online at www.k12paymentcenter.com.
Monthly lunch menus can be viewed on the Whitfield County Schools website at http://wcs.whitfield.k12.ga.us/ under District Info and clicking District Download on the left side of the page.
Students are encouraged to eat school prepared meals. Food items brought from home to be consumed in the school cafeteria should be in appropriate containers such as paper bags or lunch boxes. Containers with advertising (such as Wendy’s, McDonald’s, etc.) should not be brought into the school cafeteria. Carbonated beverages should not be brought to school.
The Whitfield County Schools Enrollment Center is located at 201 East Tyler Street. The enrollment center is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m.– 4:00 p.m. For more information and required paperwork please visit our webpage at http://www.whitfield.k12.ga.us/
Child Abuse Reporting
According to Georgia statutes, any disclosure or reasonable suspension that appears to indicate a child is being physically, sexually or emotionally abused or neglected must be reported as soon as possible. The proper procedure is to notify the administration, or school counselor of the concern as soon as possible. Once the staff member has made the administration and/or school counselor aware of the concerns he/she has compiled with the Mandated Reporter Law. No investigation or extended questioning of the child, beyond determining the concern, is to be engaged in by any staff member. Staff members are to respect the child’s need and legal right to confidentiality on this matter and only discuss with the appropriate school staff directly involved with child such as the administration, school counselor, school social worker, etc. If appropriate Law Enforcement or Department of Family and Children Services (DFACS) will provide any information they determine will assist the school system with the education of the child.
School volunteers are also considered mandatory reporters and they must adhere to the same reporting guidelines mentioned above. In order to volunteer in WCS, school volunteers must complete the mandated reporter training and must provide the school with a copy of the online training (www.preventchildabusega.org) or school conducted training certificate plus sign the WCS forms (Mandated Reporter & No Compensation Agreement). These forms must be on file with each school he/she volunteers. Additional volunteer requirements must be completed if volunteer is supervising over-night field trips and/or students outside of teacher’s supervision and would need to be discussed with building administrator.
Clubs and Organizations
School sponsored clubs (excluding competitive interscholastic activities or events) are those under the sponsorship, direction and control of the school that organize and meet for common goals, objectives, and purposes. State law requires that parents have the right to withhold permission for their students to participate in any school sponsored club or organization designated by them. School sponsored clubs will vary according to school and student need. Each school should create a tab on their school web page regarding the clubs in their respective schools. The name of each club, its purpose, faculty sponsor and a description of past or planned activities should be included in the document. Parent/guardians have the right to withhold in writing permission for students to participate in any club or organization.
Code of Ethics
outside the classroom;
All Whitfield County employees must view the PSC Code of Ethics PowerPoint. Documentation that this has occurred should be on file.
Communication with Parents
Whitfield County Schools has early release days set aside each year for parent conferences. However, conferences may be scheduled at any time. Teachers are encouraged to maintain contact with parents on a regular basis. If a student’s performance declines, the teacher should make every attempt to contact the parent either in writing or via phone. In no instance should a student receive a failing grade without the parent being notified of the student’s poor academic performance.
According to Office of Civil Rights Guidelines, parents must receive critical communications regarding their children’s education in the home language to the extent practicable. The district employs bilingual Translators/Interpretors who assist with the interpretation of parent conferences/sessions and the translation of written documents.
Communication techniques with parents may include:
Office of Civil Rights
In order to comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964, OCR has stated that, in addition to communications regarding a student’s language assistance services, “school districts have the responsibility to adequately notify national origin-minority group parents of school activities which are called to the attention of other parents. Such notice in order to be adequate may have to be provided in a language other than English.” In practice, this is interpreted to mean that school districts have the responsibility to adequately notify EL parents of school activities which are called to the attention of other parents, and in order to be “adequate” this may require translation or interpretation.
Whitfield County Schools is pleased to provide the Infinite Campus Parent Portal communication tool. The Portal connects parents/guardians to students’ data online, anytime, from anywhere there is internet access. Once the Portal is accessed, information about only their child’s progress can be viewed.
Whitfield County Schools Automated Call System
Blackboard Connect, a student/parent calling system will also be employed to inform parents of pertinent school information.
The procedures for acquiring community coaches is below
COMMUNITY COACHES TO BE PAID:
After the initial approval, if they coach the following year of another sport, we will only need the Community Coach Request for Payment Form completed. After five years, they would need to be fingerprinted again.
COMMUNITY COACHES NOT TO BE PAID:
After five years, they would need to be fingerprinted again.
In addition to their regular duties, the high school counselors spend some time working directly with classes and small groups of students. These times present opportunities to address common needs of all students.
Subject matter may include the following:
Grades are not given for these sessions.
Edgenuity helps schools provide core instruction in a virtual school setting for students in grades 6-12. The courseware is aligned to state and national standards and has helped students recover and accrue credits for graduation and prepare for state and end-of-course tests. The instruction is a web-based model with teacher-led video delivery. A certified teacher is available for assistance during school hours for clarification of concepts.
The high school curriculum is varied to meet the needs of students. Annually each high school determines the courses taught based on student interest. All courses must be approved by the state of Georgia and can be found on the links below.
The discipline code will be explained to each student and a copy sent home for parents' records at the beginning of each new school year. Each student will sign a form indicating an understanding of the code. The discipline code will be strictly followed.
A copy of the Whitfield County School Discipline Code may be found at:
Dress Code (Student)
The Whitfield County Board of Education believes that an appropriate dress code will support a safe school environment that is conducive to learning. A committee of board members, administrators, teachers, parents, and students will review this student dress code each year. The Board of Education intends for this dress code to continually adapt to changing styles, reflecting the needs and opinions of our schools and our community.
The following fads, styles, types of clothing, accessories, and appearances are deemed inappropriate:
The administrator’s decision will stand as to the accepted judgment in the preceding examples of inappropriate dress.
SECTION C: ADHERENCE TO THE DRESS CODE
In order to qualify for an exemption, the following procedure must be followed:
Receive formal approval/disapproval by the designated district administrator.
Dress Code (Teacher)
While on duty, all teachers, school administrators, and all staff members shall dress in a professional manner and style in accordance with the dress of other professionals within this community
ACCEPTABLE STANDARDS FOR PROPER ATTIRE
The following fads, styles, types of clothing, accessories, and appearances are deemed inappropriate:
The board recognizes that activities planned for the day will dictate, to a degree, the style of dress considered appropriate. Each school principal, in his or her discretion, may periodically designate spirit, casual or similar days on which the dress code may be modified.
Consistent and uniform enforcement of this dress code is essential and is required of all schools and all District and school officials. Any employee whose attire or dress is not professional in the opinion of the building principal or WCS Superintendent shall be directed to conform to this dress code.
Driver’s License Rules
The following are rules for obtaining a driver’s license in the State of Georgia per Georgia Code 40 - 5 -20: (For more information see http://www.dds.ga.gov/drivers/index.aspx and Joshua’s law at http://www.gateendrivereducation.dds.ga.gov/
Governor Nathan Deal signed SB 100 (http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/20152016/154057.pdf ) into law on April 16, 2015. SB 100 makes significant changes to the Teenage and Adult Driver Responsibility Act (TAADRA) by eliminating the requirement for schools to submit noncompliance data for students with excessive unexcused absences and certain discipline infractions.
Effective July 1, 2015, schools will simply have to certify that a student is enrolled in and not under expulsion from a public or private school to be eligible for a driver’s license or learner’s permit. A new Certificate of Enrollment form will soon be available for schools to certify that a student is eligible for a driver’s license or learner’s permit. The new Certificate of Enrollment form will replace the Certificate of Attendance and the Certificate of Eligibility for Restoration of Driving Privileges form that schools are currently using. The new Certificate of Enrollment form is still under development by the Georgia Department of Driver Services and will be posted on the GaDOE website by June 1, 2015.
In addition, please note that the electronic database for reporting TAADRA noncompliance data will be deactivated. After July 1, 2015 students will no longer have their driver’s license or learner’s permit suspended for excessive unexcused absences or discipline infractions. However, driver’s license suspensions that occurred prior to July 1, 2015, will continue to be effective through the one-year suspension period. This means that the new provisions under SB 100 are not effective until July 1, 2015: therefore, schools should continue submitting student noncompliance data using the electronic database under the current provisions through June 30, 2015.
Effective January 1, 2007 there will be new requirements for class D driver's licenses
Are you familiar with Joshua's Law? It is a bill that changes the requirements that teen drivers must meet in order to obtain a Class D driver's license starting on January 1, 2007.
To get a Class D driver's license at age sixteen (16):
If you have not completed an approved driver's education course, you cannot get your Class D driver's license until you reach age seventeen (17). Remember, forty (40) hours of driving experience, including six (6) hours of driving at night, is always required for a Class D driver's license.
The Move On When Ready (MOWR) Program is a component of ACCEL and provides for participation in Dual Credit Enrollment for Eligible High School and Home Study students. These students earn postsecondary credit hours and simultaneously meet their high school graduation or Home Study completion requirements as Dual Credit Enrollment students. State revenues provide funding for this program. The award amount received by eligible students and the total amount of funds appropriated for the program is established each year by the Georgia General Assembly during the prior legislative session and is subject to change during the Award Year. The MOWR Program is created in accordance with the MOWR Act, Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.) §20-2-161, et seq. For more information, go to:
Emergency Operations Plan
Each Whitfield County School is responsible for creating an Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) based on the district’s EOP template. An electronic copy of this plan is sent to the Whitfield County Schools Chief Operations Officer and additional copies are kept at the school. Included in this plan are procedures to be followed in various emergency situations, an outline of which staff members will be responsible for each part of the plan, a school map, and additional emergency information. At the beginning of the school year, the plan should be reviewed and discussed with all staff members. A copy of the sign-in sheet for EOP training should be sent to the Operations Department. Emergency drills are an important part of each school’s Emergency Operations Plan. The following drills are conducted at each school: fire drills (twice during the first month of school and monthly thereafter), tornado drills (once in September and again during the statewide tornado drill in February), bus evacuation drills (twice yearly), and lock down drills (twice annually: once in August and again in January).
The following is a description of the lock down procedures. Detailed information is included in the EOP.
Prevention / Preparedness
Only authorized entry doors are to be unlocked during the school day. Blocking doors open with rocks or other items is a serious security issue. Coaches or teachers who take students outside during the school day should have a portable radio with them at all times. Aside from administrative use, radios provide instant notification of lockdowns or other emergencies. All staff members should wear their ID badges at all times. Aside from providing instant accountability for the key to the building, wearing ID badges shows visitors or emergency responders who belongs in the building. Visitors should wear temporary visitor passes while inside the school.
SECURE (formerly known as “Code Red”): lock down. Threat is present. Doors locked, windows covered, classroom lights turned off, and students moved away from the potential threat area within the classroom. Lockdown email message sent if possible.
GENERAL (formerly known as “Code Yellow” or “Code Yellow- Medical”): lock down. No threat present. Students remain in classrooms and instruction continues as usual. Students may be brought in from outside activities as necessary given the circumstances.
PERIMETER (formerly known as “Code Yellow – Perimeter”): Known or suspected threat in the area, but not believed to yet be on campus. Classroom instruction continues as normal. All doors and windows are checked to be secure and all entry points are monitored throughout. Students are brought inside during a perimeter lockdown.
SHELTERING IN PLACE: Chemical release or other environmental contaminants may be present in the atmosphere outside the building. All staff, students, and visitors will be moved to the most interior part of the building. All windows and doors should be closed and HVAC system turned off to prevent contaminated air coming in from the outside.
Instructions for various types of evacuations will be given over the intercom, by bullhorn, runner, email, etc.
ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages) is a state-funded instructional program for eligible English Learners (ELs) in grades K-12.The program is designed to help ELs develop academic and social English language proficiency. Given that GA is a member state of the World-Class Instruction Design & Assessment (WIDA) Consortium, ESOL teachers integrate the WIDA English Language Development Standards (ELDs) with the ELA and Math Common Core Georgia Performance Standards (CCGPS) as well as with the Science & Social Studies GPS. Using state-approved ESOL delivery models (Push-in, Pull-out, & Sheltered Courses) ESOL teachers collaborate with regular education teachers to differentiate standards-based instruction and provide proficiency-appropriate scaffolding and language supports that will help ELs develop communicative confidence and skills in each of the four language domains: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Regular education teachers also accommodate these student’s instructional and assessment needs, providing a culturally-responsive classroom environment where ELs first language and culture are valued and where they feel safe to participate in and can take full advantage of all learning opportunities.
Criteria for Program Eligibility:
The WIDA-ACCESS Placement Test (W-APT) is administered to students who meet the following criteria on a Home Language Survey:
The W-APT score determines if a student qualifies for ESOL services (See detailed eligibility flowchart on website).
From January to February, all English Learners take the WIDA ACCESS for ELLs® test to measure their academic listening, speaking, reading, and writing proficiency levels and growth. A student’s ACCESS Composite Proficiency Level and Literacy Level together determine continuation or termination of ESOL services. ACCESS proficiency levels are also used to assist schools leaders and teachers in grouping ELs for instruction, scheduling ESOL services, informing RTI determinations, and guiding the Testing Participation Committee (TPC) in the choice of accommodations.
ESOL Program Beliefs & Goals:
The mission of Whitfield County Schools is to increase student learning by providing students and staff with meaningful, challenging, and engaging educational experiences in a safe and supportive environment. We believe that staff should have a unified focus and that our students are the ultimate beneficiaries of our common effort. We also believe that teachers are instructional leaders and designers of learning experiences which are tailored to the unique learning and motivational needs of our particular group of students. Parents and community personnel also are a vital part of our work and we believe that all students deserve a safe, non-threatening learning environment where they are treated with dignity and respect. English Learners are certainly among the beneficiaries of this conceptual framework.
The education of ELs is a shared responsibility among the regular education teacher and ESOL teachers. Collaboration among teachers and administrative support/leadership are all necessary ingredients for student success. In order to provide high quality and effective instruction to English Learners, we believe that both their English development needs and academic content needs must be considered by effectively scaffolding instruction. Program effectiveness is based on a continual improvement model where current practices are evaluated in response to student achievement data. Program improvements incorporate those practices deemed most effective in the professional body of research. For this reason, on-going professional learning opportunities are essential for all educators who interact with ELs. Since 2008, WCS teachers have received training in the SIOP Model, a three-year professional learning and job-embedded coaching program focused on increasing teachers’ pedagogical skills to strategically target students’ academic language learning needs.
The district complies with all state and federal guidelines related to the education of ELs. While we understand that compliance is a necessary factor, we consider such compliance to be the minimum expectation. We seek continual improvement because we invest in the lives of students and wish to offer the best practices available to ELs because we believe that their education leads to increased opportunities in the future.
While it is possible that some districts might view English Learners as being deficient in language skills, we take the additive view that ELs enrich the curriculum for all students by adding a global perspective to classroom discussions and learning tasks. Though ELs sometimes lack the prior knowledge that we expect based on our own cultural perspectives, they offer a rich dialogue regarding experiences that bring our curriculum to life. The presence of ELs also challenges our teachers to continually improve their instructional methodology and by doing so, all students benefit from the research-based methods in place.
The goals of the ESOL Program are to value and build upon students’ academic, linguistic and cultural backgrounds; provide a supportive learning environment; assist students in reaching their full academic potential; build connections between ESOL and school-wide instructional programs; encourage participation of students and their families within the school and community; and to foster understanding and appreciation of diverse populations within the school and the community.
Additional ESOL information is available at the GA Department of Education website: http://www.doe.k12.ga.us/Curriculum-Instruction-and-Assessment/Curriculum-and-Instruction/Pages/English-to-Speakers-of-Other-Languages-(ESOL)-and-Title-III.aspx
and on the “ESOL Program” tab at the Whitfield County website http://wcschools.drupalgardens.com/
Exceptional Student Services (ESS)
Based at the Whitfield County Student Services Center, the Department for Exceptional Student Services includes Children’s Assessment and Preschool Services (CAPS), school psychologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech-language pathologists, interpreters for the deaf and hard of hearing, assistive technology specialists, highly qualified teachers serving all exceptionalities, paraprofessionals, special needs transportation staff, due process facilitators, clerical staff, Coordinators for Exceptional Students, and the Director.
All students with disabilities, ages three through 22, residing in Whitfield County, are offered a free and appropriate public education designed to meet their unique educational needs. While the entire continuum of services outlined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is offered to students with disabilities in Whitfield County, services are delivered in the general education setting to the maximum possible extent. This requires general and special education teachers to work closely together, using effective co-teaching models. Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) with goals to address areas of weakness are developed for each eligible child and require the participation of the entire IEP team in order to help students make progress and ultimately be prepared for graduation, employment, post-secondary education, and independent living.
Local procedures developed in accordance with state rules and the IDEA may be accessed in the Special Education Handbook found on Sharepoint under the Special Programs tab. Additional information can be provided by the Coordinators for Exceptional Students assigned to each school.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) afford parents and students over 18 years of age (“eligible students”) certain rights with respect to the student’s education records. These rights are:
Parents or eligible students should submit to the School principal (or appropriate school official) a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. The School official will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
Parents or eligible students who wish to ask the School to amend a record should write the School principal (or appropriate school official), clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it should be changed. If the School decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent or eligible student, the School will notify the parent or eligible student of the decision and advise them of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the parent or eligible student when notified of the right to a hearing.
One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the School as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel); a person serving on the School Board; a person or company with whom the School has contracted as its agent to provide a service instead of using its own employees or officials (such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist); or a parent or student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.
A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
(Optional) Upon request, the School discloses education records without consent to officials of another school district in which a student seeks or intends to enroll. (NOTE: FERPA requires a school district to make a reasonable attempt to notify the parent or student of the records request unless it states in its annual notification that it intends to forward records on request.)
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington DC 20202-5920
(NOTE: In addition, a school may want to include its directory information public notice, as required by § 99.37 of the regulations, with its annual notification of rights under FERPA.)
All students should have the opportunity of attending field trips during the school year. Field trips are an extension of the educational experience the students receive at school. Therefore, all field trips should be directly related to the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards. Donations may be requested from parents to help defray cost; however, no fees may be required and no student may be denied the opportunity to participate due to not paying.
Teachers are responsible for the organization of the field trip. Steps include informing the principal of the logistics of the trip, completing the bus request and student permission forms, making arrangements with the facility to be visited, and obtaining permission from parents for their children to participate. Field trips should generally be planned two weeks in advance to allow scheduling of buses and proper notification to the cafeteria if lunches are going to be needed. Overnight field trips require board approval---timing of Board Meetings are crucial to submitting paperwork.
Only Whitfield County employees are allowed to ride on the buses with students. Parents may attend as chaperones as long as they have been approved by the principal prior to the trip. If parents are supervising students they must be fingerprinted. Parents attending the field trip do not need to be finger printed as long as they are NOT chaperoning or in charge of students on the trip. For safety reasons, one list of the students and adults on each bus should be left in the office, and a copy taken on the bus. Also, a cell phone and first aid kit should be on each bus.
Students who have enrolled as freshmen in high school in the Fall of 2011 or after will have final assessments. A final assessment must be given in every class. The majority of the final assessment must cover the second half of the course. The Final Assessment must count as 20% of the course grade excluding classes that have state mandated Georgia Milestones (EOC). In classes that have a Georgia Milestones (EOC), the Georgia Milestone grade will count as 20% of the course grade. (There is an exception for the 2014 – 2015 school year. EOC scores in the 2014 – 2015 school year cannot be used to determine the student’s grade). If an additional Final Assessment is given in a Georgia Milestones course, the Final Exam is to be counted as a Regular Test grade. (During the 2014 – 2015 school year, an additional Final Assessment must be given in Georgia Milestones/EOC classes and will count as 20% of the course grade.).
Students who have enrolled as freshmen in high school BEFORE Fall of 2011 will have final examinations. The majority of the final assessment must cover the second half of the course. It must count 15% of the semester grade, except in courses that have state mandated Georgia Milestone EOC. Courses with an EOC should count the test as 20% of the student’s final grade. (There is an exception for the 2014 – 2015 school year. EOC scores in the 2014 – 2015 school year cannot be used to determine the student’s grade). All teachers will give an assessment regardless of Georgia Milestone EOC.
No exams are to be given prior to the assigned time or date unless prior written permission is given by the principal. Students need a doctor’s excuse for illnesses during exam days in order to be allowed to make up their exams. Any absences on exam days for any reason need to be approved through the principal in order to make up the exams.
Fines and Fees
Student fees may be charged for extracurricular activities as long as these activities are not made a condition of attendance or credit in the normal academic program. Fees may be charged for performances, publications, club membership, etc. Fines may be assessed for overdue library books. Students may be required to pay for lost or damaged textbooks and library books.
Students and/or parents must be notified in writing of any outstanding charges and that failure to pay these charges may result in sanctions such as withholding report cards, diplomas, certificates, etc. until restitution is made. When a student transfers to another school, student records may not be withheld due to non-payment of fines or fees.
The Whitfield County Schools Board policy on student fines, fees, and charges may be found at:
Flag Displays and Pledge of Allegiance
Each school in the Whitfield County School System is to display the flag of the United States and the flag of Georgia on appropriate occasions. (Legal Reference O.C.G.A. § 50- 3-3). In accordance with Georgia law (O.C.G.A. § 20-2-3 10) every student in the Whitfield County Schools will be given the opportunity to recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America during each school day. The principal of each school shall schedule the time and manner for recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. Each teacher shall be informed of this policy and shall adhere to the same.
Georgia Milestone (EOC) Test Out Policy
Under NCAA requirements, units of credit earned through testing‐out using the EOCT will not count as a core course credit for athletic aid for any student seeking NCAA Division I or II athletic scholarships.
Georgia Virtual School
The Whitfield County School System recognizes the importance of putting technology into the hands of students, and one aspect of this goal is allowing students to work through classes in the online forum of Georgia Virtual School. Recognizing that our students are technological learners with a growing need for flexibility, and that the business community, colleges, and universities seek graduates whose high level digital skills match their ongoing professional and learning needs, the school system offers Georgia Virtual classes as an option for students who desire this technological platform for learning. The rigor of the Georgia Virtual School courses mirrors the high level of expectation and quality that students are held to within the Whitfield County School System.
In compliance with Senate Bill 289, online Whitfield County courses can be accessed through Georgia Virtual School. Interested parents or students should see a guidance counselor for more information.
Recognizing the need for students to be ready for this type of learning, students interested in taking a course through Georgia Virtual should adhere to these procedures:
1 – Read the information on the Georgia Virtual website, www.gavirtualschool.org. Pay close attention to deadlines in the Georgia Virtual process as well as the list of courses offered. Check this website often, as the information may change as semester’s progress.
2 – A technology survey must be completed. If you participated in the Grade 8 Technology Assessment, you may use that score. If you have not yet completed a Grade 8 Technology Assessment, please see your school counselor for more information.
3 – Make an appointment for a meeting with the school counselor. Parent attendance at this meeting is encouraged.
4 – In order to remain enrolled in Whitfield County Schools, a student must take at least one WCS course on a WCS campus. Any student who chooses to take 100% of the course work through Georgia Virtual Schools, cannot remain enrolled in Whitfield County Schools.
5 – If all parties agree to the Georgia Virtual setting, the Enrollment Agreement is signed, and the student then registers for the Georgia Virtual class.
The Georgia Virtual class can be taken at home through the timeframe of first or last period. In addition, there may be a limited number of seats available at each high school for students to take a Georgia Virtual class at school during the school day, and students may need to bring their own technology in order to take the course on the high school campus.
Other Important Details
Requests for courses through other online vendors must be evaluated on an individual basis. A list of approved Georgia Online Clearinghouse providers can be found at http://www.gadoe.org/Technology-Services/Pages/ClearinghouseProviders.aspx . See your guidance counselor prior to registering for consideration of credit. Courses taken through vendors other than Georgia Virtual School will not be funded by Whitfield County Schools and must be paid by the parent.
Students in grades K – 12 in Whitfield County Schools are eligible for consideration for the gifted program, ALPHA (Advanced Learning Program for High Achievers). Students in grades K – 12 who demonstrate a high degree of intellectual, motivational, academic, and/or creative abilities may be nominated for evaluation to determine eligibility to participate in ALPHA. The referral may be made by a teacher, administrator, counselor, peer, or self-nomination. To be eligible for gifted services, a student must meet the criteria in three of the four areas: mental ability, achievement, creativity, and/or motivation. Information shall be collected in each area for students who are nominated and accepted as referrals to the gifted program. Any data used in one area to establish a student’s eligibility in one area may not be used as data in another category. Any test score used to establish eligibility shall be current within two calendar years. Detailed information can be viewed in Sharepoint:
The Whitfield County Board of Education recognizes that it is both the right and the responsibility of the teacher to assign grades to students for work completed as required by the teacher in connection with a specific educational setting, activity, and/or course. The Board further recognizes no justification for reducing a student's grades to penalize the student for misbehavior or for upgrading for non-academic reasons. The misrepresentation of achievement by upgrading or downgrading is improper and unethical.
The Whitfield County Board of Education recognizes that the responsibility to make grade corrections for clerical errors rests with the teacher. The written request by a teacher to correct a previously assigned numerical grade requires the written approval to the school-level administrator.
Exceptions exist when the teacher is unavailable to request needed grade corrections due to extenuating circumstances. When such conditions exist, the school-level administrator is responsible for authorizing in writing needed grade corrections. Any grade corrections after one year from the date the grade report was issued will require the written approval of the Superintendent.
All Courses Fourth through Twelfth Grade will receive a Numeric Score as a Final Grade
The letter grade equivalent is shown below
90 - 100
80 - 89
70 - 79
High School Calculation
When determining which students will be named Valedictorian and Salutatorian, the numeric average used is calculated differently. See Honors and Scholarships
Students may complete requirements for graduation at the end of any semester. Formal graduation exercises are held at the end of spring semester and students who have completed requirements any time during the previous year may participate.
Any students who have met graduation requirements at any time during the school year are encouraged to participate in graduation exercises, but are not required to do so. If they do choose to participate, they are required to attend the graduation practice sessions. All financial obligations should be cleared by each graduating senior by the final day of school.
Grade Point Averages (GPA) for senior awards are calculated at the end of the 1st semester of the senior year using the same criteria as Valedictorian/Salutatorian. (See Valedictorian)
Highest Honor Graduates: Students who have an overall numerical average greater than or equal to 95 using the above criteria.
High Honor Graduates: Students who have a numerical average greater than or equal to 90 but less than 95 using the above criteria.
Honor Graduates: Students who have a numerical average greater than or equal to 85 but less than 90 using the above criteria.
Honor Roll: There will be two Honor Rolls – All A’s and all A’s and B’s.
Freshmen entering the 2014/2015 and subsequent school years
(Freshmen and sophomores for the 2015/2016 school year)
A numeric average for senior awards is calculated at the end of the 1st semester of the senior year using the same criteria as Valedictorian/Salutatorian (See Valedictorian). Only numerical grades from academic classes, in the content areas of Mathematics, Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, and World Languages in grades 9-12, will be used to find the numeric average.
Honor with Distinction Graduates: Students who have a numeric average for senior awards greater than or equal to 94.5 and have taken at least three AP or Dual Enrollment classes. Final grades are not to be rounded.
Honor Graduates: Students who have a numerical average greater than or equal to 89.5. Final grades are not to be rounded.
Graduation requirements can be found at the links below
Any student who enrolls in Phoenix High School before the fourth mini-mester will graduate from Phoenix High School.
All guest speakers must be approved in advance by the principal or his/her designee. Just as with any visitor in the school, the guest speaker must sign in at the main office. The classroom teacher is responsible for the content of the guest speaker’s program. Caution should be exercised when utilizing the services of a guest speaker.
It is the policy of this School District to prohibit any act of harassment of students by other students or employees based upon race, color, national origin, sex, or disability at all times and during all occasions while at school, in the workplace or at any school event or activity. Any such act by a student or employee shall result in prompt and appropriate discipline, including the possible termination of employment or suspension or expulsion of the student.
Sexual harassment may include conduct or speech which entails unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, taunts, threats, comments of a vulgar or demeaning nature, demands or physical contact which creates a hostile environment. There may be other speech or conduct which students or employees experience as inappropriate or illegal harassment which should also be reported; harassment can take many forms and it is not possible to itemize every aspect of the harassment forbidden by this policy.
Any student, employee, parent or other individual who believes that a student has been subjected to harassment or discrimination by other students or employees of the School District as prohibited by this policy should promptly report the same to the principal of their school or to the appropriate coordinator designated in policy JAA, who will implement the board's discriminatory complaints procedures as specified in that policy. Students may also report harassment or discrimination to their school counselor or any administrator. Students and employees will not be subjected to retaliation for reporting such harassment or discrimination. If at any point in the investigation of reported sexual harassment of a student, the coordinator or designee determines that the reported harassment should more properly be termed abuse, the reported incident or situation shall be referred pursuant to the established protocol for child abuse investigation.
It is the duty of all employees to promptly report harassment forbidden by this policy. All supervisors will instruct their subordinates as to the content of this policy and, through appropriate professional learning activities, enlighten employees as to the varied forms or expression of prohibited harassment. The principals of all schools shall ensure that students and parents are informed through student handbooks and verbally that such harassment is strictly forbidden, how it is to be reported and the consequences for violating this policy.
Health & Immunizations
All students must have a current certificate of immunization on file in the main office.
Homework should reinforce a skill or concept previously taught in class. It could also consist of an independent project that involves family participation. At no time should homework cover material that has not been previously taught in class with the exception of reading of literature. It is very important that in grade levels where subjects are taught by different teachers, the teachers collaborate so that students are not overloaded with homework on any given evening.
Honors Scholarships and Awards
Georgia Scholar Requirements
The Georgia Scholar Program is an effort by the Georgia Department of Education to identify and recognize high school seniors who have achieved excellence in school and community life. The program is coordinated by the Office of Student Learning and Assessment of the Georgia Department of Education through local coordinators in each public school system and private schools in the state. The Georgia Scholar is: a graduating high school senior who exhibits excellence in all phases of school life, in community activities, and in the home.
The Georgia Scholar has:
Details can be gleaned from:
The Hope Scholarship
HOPE - Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally - is Georgia's unique scholarship program that rewards students with financial assistance in degree, diploma, and certificate programs at eligible Georgia public and private colleges and universities, and public technical colleges. Since the HOPE Program began in 1993, more than $3 billion in HOPE funds has been awarded to more than 900,000 students attending Georgia's colleges, universities, and technical colleges.
National Honor Society
To be eligible for membership in National Honor Society, juniors must have a cumulative grade average of 90. Members must meet standards of leadership, service, and character.
Grade point averages used to determine valedictorian and salutatorian are calculated at the end of the first semester of the senior year
Guidelines for Selection of Valedictorians and Salutatorians
Freshmen entering the 2014/2015 and subsequent school years
(Freshmen and sophomores for the 2015/2016 school year)
Grade point averages used to determine valedictorian and salutatorian are calculated at the end of the first semester of the senior year.
Guidelines for Selection of Valedictorians and Salutatorians
Whitfield County Scholar Requirements
- 4 units in science, including 1 unit in chemistry or physics.
Whitfield County Schools offers a Hospital/Homebound Program to students who have extended absences from school due to medical reasons. A student is eligible for hospital/homebound educational services when his or her parents submit a completed medical referral form to the system. Students eligible for hospital/homebound instruction shall be absent for a minimum of ten (10) consecutive days unless a licensed physician certifies that the child has a chronic health condition causing him/her to be absent for intermittent periods of time during the school year.
Student data are maintained using the web-based program Infinite Campus. The system provides teachers with this tool for lesson planning, classroom management, attendance taking, and grading. Teachers may work anywhere they have internet access. The Infinite Campus Parent Portal allows parents to login and view information relative to their student(s). Attendance, assignments, and grades may be viewed. This system is not intended to replace face-to-face communication between school and parents, but to assist parents in knowing the progress of their child.
Funding for basic instructional materials required to complete each state-funded course will be provided by the school system. Students may be asked to supply materials basic to all courses, such as paper, pencils, crayons, and pens, as long as specific types or brands of materials are not required. Any materials above and beyond these kinds of materials shall be provided by the school system.
Textbooks may or may not be issued on an individual student basis. However, students will have access to textbooks in the classroom when necessary and a book will be issued to a student upon the request of a parent. Teachers should maintain accurate records both when issuing individual textbooks and when using a class set of textbooks. Any book issued to a student and not returned should be paid for by the student. Charges may be assessed for damages to any textbook.
Teachers should use caution when designing work that involves sensitive subjects such as sex, drugs, and violence. Teachers should confer with their principal about the appropriateness of questionable books, videos or other materials. Concerning resources that are controversial, parents should be notified before instruction is delivered. It is suggested parent signatures are on file before materials are utilized in class. “R” rated movies are STRONGLY discouraged and must have the prior approval of principal, parent, and the Director of Teaching and Learning
According to Whitfield County Board Policy, instructional time is defined as “all portions of the day when instruction or instruction-related activities based on the Georgia Performance Standards (GPS) are provided by or coordinated by a certified teacher or substitute teacher.”
Grades 6 through 12 shall not have less than a daily average of 5.5 hours (330 minutes) of instructional time based on the 175-day school year.
For students in any grade 1-12, only days in which students are present for at
least half of the instructional time required at each grade level (grades 1-3, 135 minutes of 270; grades 4-5, 150 minutes of 300; grades 6-12, 165 minutes of 330) shall be counted in the 175 days of school as specified by law.
It is the belief of the Whitfield County School System that the use of telecommunications, including the Internet, in instructional programs is an educational strategy which facilitates communication, innovation, resource sharing, and access to information. Use of the Internet must be in support of education and research and consistent with the educational mission, goals, and objectives of the school system.
It shall be the policy of the Whitfield County Board of Education that the school system shall have in continuous operation, with respect to any computers belonging to the school having access to the Internet:
The success of the instructional program depends to a large extent on the designing that goes into the lessons. Emphasis should be placed on designing lessons that utilize the instructional model from the WCS Non-Negotiable Practices for High Student Performance and the state TKES requirements. It is suggested that lesson plans include the specific Georgia Standards of Excellence being taught, as well as activating strategies, activities, summary techniques, methods of differentiating instruction, and methods of evaluation. Each elementary principal is responsible for determining the specifics of the lesson plans completed by the teachers at his/her school. The principal will also determine when lesson plans are to be completed and submitted. Teachers should have a lesson plan folder set aside in their classroom or a designated area in the school for the substitute teacher in case they need to be absent from school unexpectedly.
“Georgia Archives guidelines require that lesson plans are retained for two years. To comply with this requirement, teachers are to keep a digital copy of their lesson plans on their WCS computer for the time period specified according to the Georgia Archives requirements.”
The following recommendations are taken from the Georgia Head Lice Manual, DHR.
An infestation of head lice is generally a minor and temporary annoyance to the child. Head lice are not caused by, or associated with, poor hygiene or parental neglect. The American Academy of Pediatrics says no healthy child should be excluded from, or allowed to miss school because of head lice. Children will not be excluded from school because of the presence of nits. The Georgia DHR recommended procedures are to notify parent/guardian at the end of the day of the suspected infestation, which includes the presence of live bugs and live nits. Schools are encouraged not to send a child home if live nits or bugs are detected. State guidelines report that transmission of head lice most often occurs with direct head to head contact so exclusion or isolation of the child is not necessary.
The following guidelines are suggested:
Rarely should a child miss more than ONE day of school due to treatment. One day only will be excused for treatment. The parent will be asked to sign and send a confirmation of head lice treatment which will be kept on file at school. The child should be checked again before readmission by the school nurse or designated person. Please note that the presence of nits or even a slow moving bug may still be present. This does not necessarily indicate lack of treatment or communicability.
We will still hold parents accountable for treating and clearing the child, but we will try to prevent the child from missing additional school after initial detection and treatment. School nurses can be of assistance in the detection of head lice, treatment guidelines and education of parents and staff. School wide screenings are also not recommended state guidelines. Staff should be aware of outward symptoms. Staff and parent education may be a more appropriate lice management tool.
It is the student’s responsibility to obtain all makeup work from his/her teachers immediately upon returning to school after an absence. If a student is suspended from school more than three days, they are allowed to make up work beginning on the fourth day. It must be completed within three days of their return to school. School work is completed during the ISS placement. Failure to obtain makeup work is no excuse for not doing work missed.
Each elementary, middle, and high school has a media center staffed by a certified media specialist. The media center is open to teachers and students throughout the instructional day. A combination of both flexible and fixed scheduling are utilized to schedule a classroom or individual students for planned activities. In keeping with Georgia standards, class visits to the media center are for instructional purposes and are based on cooperative planning between the media specialist and the classroom teacher. In addition, the services of the media specialist are available to assist the classroom teacher with technology and locating available instructional materials, as well as being available to individual students and small groups throughout the instructional day.
Videos should be shown for instructional purposes and should have a direct connection to the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards. Videos that are personally owned or that have been rented must have the Whitfield County form “USE OF NON-SCHOOL OWNED RESOURCES’ completed, approved by the principal, and returned to the media specialist before viewing. This form may be obtained through the WCS Forms Manager located on the district website http://www.whitfield.k12.ga.us under the Employees tab.
Copyright: A guide to Information and Resources by Gary Becker, has been identified by the Whitfield County Board of Education as the procedural guide to be followed by system employees in complying with the federal copyright law. A copy of this book may be obtained from the media center
All medications other than the exceptions listed in this policy, whether prescription or over-the-counter, may be administered only in accordance with the guidelines set forth by the principal of each school. All medications must be taken by the student, parent or guardian to the school office immediately upon arrival at school and must be in original pharmaceutical containers, clearly labeled as to the name of the student, the name of the medication, the appropriate dosage, and the times for dosage. Any student possessing prescription or over-the-counter medication not in accordance with these guidelines will be considered in violation of the School District's drug policy and shall be subject to the discipline set forth in the student code of conduct and/or the student/parent handbook.
A student for whom the school has on file supporting medical documentation may carry at all times with parental/guardian permission inhalers for asthma, auto-injectable epinephrine (epi-pens) for allergic reactions and medical needs for diabetes. Students authorized to self-administer such medications shall be instructed not to permit any other student to handle, possess, or otherwise attempt to use his/her medication and shall be informed that violations of such instructions will be dealt with in accordance with the student code of conduct. Use of the prescribed medication by an unauthorized student could result in charges of distribution of drugs under Whitfield County Discipline Code 3d Sale of or distribution of drugs or alcohol on school property or at a school function.
In order for the student to carry and self-administer such medications, or in order for the school to store and administer the medication for students who are unable to self-administer because of age or any other reason, parents must provide a written statement from a licensed physician confirming that the student is able to self-administer the medication and written permission from the parent for the nurse or designated employee to consult with the doctor regarding any questions that may arise concerning the medication. Such permission shall release the school district and its employees and agents from civil liability if the self-administering student suffers an adverse reaction as a result of self-administration of such medication. Parents are encouraged to provide to the schools duplicate medication and supplies in the event a student is unable to self-administer or fails to bring the medication or equipment to school.
Nurses or other school employees are authorized to administer an auto-injectable epinephrine, if available, to a student who is having an actual or perceived anaphylactic adverse (allergic) reaction, regardless of whether the student has a prescription for epinephrine. Any school employee who in good faith administers or chooses not to administer an auto-injectable epinephrine to a student in such circumstances shall be immune from civil liability.
Under Section 9528 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) and amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, secondary schools are required to provide military recruiters, upon request, with the names, addresses and telephone numbers of junior and seniors. Parents are advised that if they do not want their student’s information disclosed without their prior written consent, they are to notify their student’s high school in writing by August 31 of each year.
It is important that procedures for the collection of money be followed at each high school. General procedures for money collecting include the following:
It is the policy of the Whitfield County School District that racial, sexual, or other forms of harassment are strictly forbidden. Any student, employee, applicant for employment, parent or other individual who believes he or she has been subjected to harassment or discrimination by other students or employees of the school district based upon his or her race, color, religion, national origin, disability or sex should promptly report the same to the principal of their school or the appropriate coordinator, who will implement the board’s discriminatory complaints or harassment procedures. Students may also report harassment or discrimination to their school counselor. Students and employees will not be subjected to retaliation for reporting such harassment or discrimination. A copy of the discriminatory complaint procedure of the Whitfield County School District (GAAA/JAA) is located online in the board of education policy manual at www.whitfield.k12.ga.us and is available in all school offices and the central office. State law prohibits discrimination based on gender in athletic programs of local school systems (Equity in Sports Act, O.C.G.A. 20-2-315). Students are hereby notified that the Whitfield County School System does not discriminate on the basis of gender in its athletic programs. Inquiries or complaints concerning sports equity in this school system may be submitted to the sports equity coordinator.
The Operations Division is responsible for Transportation, Facilities, Maintenance, School Nutrition, Logistics, and Technology. The main number and 24 hour Emergency Maintenance number for Operations is (706) 876-7280.
Transportation: Information regarding field trips, charter bus services, CDL training for staff members, and general pupil transportation information can be found on Share Point under Operations – Transportation.
Maintenance: Facilities Maintenance work orders must be submitted electronically. A quick-step guide for requesters is included on Share Point under Operations – Maintenance.
School Nutrition: Information regarding meal prices, free and reduced meal regulations and applications, as well as other school nutrition content can be found on Share Point under Operations – School Nutrition
Technology: Field technicians are assigned to every school and administrative building throughout the district. To request technical assistance, please submit a request to your school technician through your school’s helpdesk email address. More information can be found on Share Point under Operations – Technology.
Driving personal automobiles or motorcycles to school is a privilege extended to students.
Students who choose to drive must have a valid driver’s license, valid license plates, register their cars with the school authorities, have proof of liability insurance, and obtain a school parking permit. Vehicles illegally parked will be ticketed or towed at driver’s expense.
Parking spaces are not assigned and will be on a first come basis. Students are expected to park in marked spaces only. Students should park in student designated parking areas only.
See Principal for office to find Forms to apply for student parking. Each student who qualifies will be given a parking sticker which is to be placed on the front of the driver’s side at the bottom of the windshield. The decal number must be visible. The parking sticker is valid only for the approved vehicle and for the student whose name appears on the application. The parking permit cost is determined by each school. If a student drives a vehicle with no decal visible, he/she will be ticketed, even if a current decal has been purchased.
A deputy with the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Department is assigned to high schools. Students are encouraged to see the officer or an administrator regarding any problem involving a vehicle.
Students must leave their cars immediately upon arrival at school. Students are not allowed to return to the parking lot during the school day without the express written permission of the principal or an assistant principal.
Students are to obey all parking and driving regulations to ensure safety and care of other persons and of property. All drivers must observe a maximum speed of 15 m.p.h.
Noisy mufflers or radios, reckless driving, and any other procedures which may affect the safety or well-being of the student body are prohibited. All rules are in effect for 24 hours - not just during the school day.
Failure to abide by rules regarding use of the automobile or abuse of the driving privilege may result in a loss of the privilege or other penalty. Fines for illegal parking: 1st Offense - $10; 2nd Offense $10.00 and loss of driving privileges. It is the responsibility of the student to lock his/her car and remove valuable possessions. The school is not responsible for personal property. Cars are subject to be searched. Cars may not contain alcohol, tobacco, drugs, or weapons, including pocket knives or any other weapons described in Whitfield County Discipline Code, Section 1.
Professional learning is the means by which teachers acquire, enhance, and refine the knowledge and skills necessary to create and support high levels of learning for all students. The focus of professional learning within a school should be determined by the school improvement plan and the identified targeted areas contained in the plan. Teachers should participate in professional learning that is specific to the needs of their students and the overall focus of the school. In Whitfield County, teachers are expected to accumulate 10 PLU’s (professional learning units) every five years. One PLU is equivalent to 10 contact hours. Teachers need to complete the Prior Approval Form before attending a Professional Learning opportunity.
Students are assigned to a grade level based on accrued units at the beginning of each school year. Summer school credits are included. Students may be moved to the next grade level after the first semester provided they meet the requirements for promotion.
For those 9th grade students who enter high school in the 2010-2011 school year or later, promotion shall be made on the following basis:
To be promoted to the 10th grade - 5 units to include 1 unit in English and 1 unit in math
To be promoted to the 11th grade - 11 units to include 2 units of English plus 2 units of math, 2 units of science, and 1 social studies credit.
To be promoted to the 12th grade - 17 units required to include 3 units of English, 3 units of math, 3 units of science, and 2 units of social studies.
Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA)
PPRA affords parents certain rights regarding our conduct of surveys, collection and use of information for marketing purposes, and certain physical exams. These include the right to:
These rights transfer from the parents to a student who is 18 years old or an emancipated minor under State law.
Whitfield County School District has developed and adopted policies, in consultation with parents, regarding these rights, as well as arrangements to protect student privacy in the administration of protected information surveys and the collection, disclosure, or use of personal information for marketing, sales, or other distribution purposes. Whitfield County School District will directly notify parents of these policies at least annually at the start of each school year and after any substantive changes. Whitfield County School District will also directly notify, such as through U.S. Mail or email, parents of students who are scheduled to participate in the specific activities or surveys noted below and will provide an opportunity for the parent to opt his or her child out of participation of the specific activity or survey. Whitfield County School District will make this notification to parents at the beginning of the school year if the District has identified the specific or approximate dates of the activities or surveys at that time. For surveys and activities scheduled after the school year starts, parents will be provided reasonable notification of the planned activities and surveys listed below and be provided an opportunity to opt their child out of such activities and surveys. Parents will also be provided an opportunity to review any pertinent surveys. Following is a list of the specific activities and surveys covered under this requirement:
Pyramid of Intervention/RTI
The Pyramid of Interventions is a conceptual framework that involves layers of instructional efforts provided to students according to their individual needs. It represents the process of regular progress monitoring and data review and then providing layers of more and more intensive research-based interventions so that students can be successful and progress in their learning. This approach focuses on determining when students are struggling and then through a Response to Intervention (RtI) process providing strategic research-based interventions to assist them in progressing in their areas of need. It also documents students’ areas of strength and provides additional challenge in a variety of ways.
In Whitfield County schools, a Pyramid of Interventions/RtI process is implemented at each individual school. This process outlines the strategies and research-based interventions that each school utilizes to address the specific needs of students. Each school implements interventions during the school day (either through scheduled periods/blocks or within the regular classroom), and students are grouped based according to their specific needs. Interventions are prescriptive and focused in nature, and students may move between the individual tiers based on levels of progress. District school psychologists work closely with school-based teams in ongoing data analysis and implementation and monitoring of the Pyramid of Intervention/Response to Intervention process along with assisting teams in selecting specific interventions based on individual student needs.
Tier 1 includes classroom instruction based on State Standards that all students will receive.
Tier 2 includes research-based interventions for at-risk students who will benefit from instruction that is additional and different from instruction that all students will receive. EIP and ESOL may fall in Tier 2.
Tier 3 includes the Student Support Team (SST) with research-based interventions provided at greater intensity and frequency for at-risk students based on specific and individual analysis of the student’s needs.
Tier 4 is developed specifically for students who meet the respective eligibility criteria for special program placement. ALPHA and Special Education services fall under Tier 4.
Credit may not be earned by taking the same course twice. A student may be given permission to retake a course in order to gain a higher grade in that course, although additional credit will not be earned. Students should be aware that state guidelines make it mandatory to average in the lower grade even when a higher grade is earned. More information may be obtained on this subject from the guidance counselor.
At the end of each grading period, grades are reported to parents to indicate student performance. Report cards have been designed to communicate to parents the progress of the student during each grading period. They are designed to reflect academic achievement, conduct, and attendance. Numerical averages will be used to report achievement. High school grades are cumulative.
Four and one half week progress reports will be available and sent home with students. The dates that report cards are issued can be located on the school calendar link on the Whitfield County web page. The final report card will be mailed to parents.
In the event of severe inclement weather or mechanical breakdown, Whitfield County Schools may be closed, may delay starting time, or may advance dismissal time. Decisions regarding school closings will be made by Central Office personnel and will be announced over radio stations WBLJ, WTTI, and WRCD, as well as Chattanooga television stations. Whitfield County Schools webpage and other avenues of social media will contain closure information. Parent Link, a student/parent calling system will also be employed to inform parents of school closings. If no announcement is made by approximately 6:30 a.m., it should be assumed that school will be in session. Please do not call the school or Central Office, as lines need to be left open for emergencies.
School Improvement Plans
Each school develops a School Improvement Plan, which serves as a blueprint for guiding the school’s continuous improvement and progress toward identified student achievement objectives. Test data from the school year is used to analyze strengths and weaknesses within the core academic areas. The plan identifies the current level of student performance and sets measurable goals for improvement. The plan also outlines the actions, strategies, interventions, and means of evaluation that will be implemented during the following school year. Specific professional learning that the school determines is needed based on test data is listed in the plan, along with a timeline and estimated cost for any training or materials involved. The plan is usually developed by a committee designated by the principal, including parents or community stakeholders. It is then reviewed and discussed periodically by the entire staff. Working copies are maintained electronically on Document Tracking Services (DTS). A copy of the plan signed by the principal is sent to the Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning at Central Office. The Superintendent and the Title I Director sign and maintain a file copy at the Central Office.
Desks, lockers, and storage spaces provided to students and teachers are the property of the school district. The principal or designee may have general inspections on a periodic basis, including unannounced searches, and may open desks, lockers, and storage spaces and examine the contents. Other searches will occur when there is reasonable suspicion to believe there has been a violation of state or federal laws, local codes, or School Board Policy. Searches may include personal belongings of students. Additionally, law enforcement officials may randomly conduct unannounced canine searches.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, commonly referred to as "Section 504," is a nondiscrimination statute enacted by the United States Congress. The purpose of Section 504 is to prohibit discrimination and to assure that disabled students have educational opportunities and benefits equal to those provided to non-disabled students.
For more information regarding Section 504, or if you have questions or need additional assistance, please contact your local system’s Section 504 Coordinator at the following address:
201 East Tyler St.
Dalton, GA 30721
The medical exam report can be found at:
Written permission will be obtained from parents to allow their students to participate in sex education classes. This permission will remain on file throughout the school year. Each school has representation on a sex education committee. This committee reviews materials to be used in sex education classes. The WCS Board Policy regarding sex education may be found at:
A sex education curriculum may not be used if it is not on the approved list of materials.
If a school has any new curriculum or any new media that needs to be approved, the procedures below should be followed:
Student Learning Objective
A vital component of the Teacher Keys Effectiveness System is Student Growth and Academic Achievement. For teachers of tested subjects, this component consists of a student growth percentile measure. Tested subjects include those assessed by Georgia Milestones in grades 4-8, and all high school courses for which there is an End-of-Course Test (EOCT).
Non-tested subjects include all courses not listed as tested subjects. Approximately 70-75% of all teachers teach non-tested subjects for at least some portion of the instructional day. For teachers of non-tested subjects, this component consists of the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE)-approved) “Student Learning Objective Assessments (Pre and Post-Tests for all non-state assessed courses.)” utilizing district-identified achievement growth measures.
District developed Course Pre-Tests and Course Post-Tests are content-specific, and comprised of grade level learning objectives that are measureable, focused on growth in student learning, and aligned to prioritized curriculum standards. As a measure of teachers’ impact on student learning, these measures give educators, school systems, and state leaders an additional means by which to understand, value, and recognize success in the classroom.
Purpose of Student Learning Objectives (Course-Pre and Post Tests)
The primary purpose of Student Learning Objectives is to improve student achievement at the classroom level. An equally important purpose is to provide evidence of each teacher’s instructional impact on student learning. The process of setting and using Course-Pre-Tests and Course-Post- Tests requires teachers to use assessments to measure student growth. This allows teachers to plan for student success by ensuring that every minute of instruction is moving students, teachers, and schools toward the common vision of exemplary instruction and high levels of student academic growth.
Smoking/Use of Tobacco Products
Smoking and the use of tobacco products in the school building or anywhere on school grounds is a violation of Whitfield County School Board of Education policy. This rule applies to field trips and all extracurricular activities which are an extension of the school. All persons on school property must follow this rule.
Permanent Records: A permanent record file is maintained on each student. This is initiated in elementary and continues through middle and high school. Only professional staff members should have access to these files.
At the high school level, teachers and paraprofessionals must inform their school office as soon as they know they will need to be absent for the day. Personal and professional leave may be taken with prior approval.
It is each teacher’s responsibility to secure a substitute from the approved system list posted on the ASEOP program. It is also the responsibility of the teacher to have an updated substitute teacher’s folder with instructional plans, schedule(s), and other important information available in the classroom or office.
Assessing teacher effectiveness is an integral part of the teaching and learning process. House Bill 244 stipulates that a single, state-wide evaluation system be used for teachers of record. The instrument used for this purpose is the Teacher Keys Effectiveness System (TKES). Media Specialists and Counselors will continue to be evaluated on the Georgia Media Specialist Evaluation Instrument and the Georgia School Counselor Evaluation Instrument. Personnel who are not indicated as teachers of record will be evaluated by an instrument as selected by the district.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT (AP)
Advanced Placement courses are college-level courses offered by specially-trained high school teachers in the regular high school setting. AP courses promote increased rigor in our classrooms. AP students take the AP exams in May of each year. Successful scores on AP exams can result in credit for course work in colleges and universities. Additional information about Advanced Placement can be located at: http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/ap/about.html
The ACT® assesses high school students' general educational development and their ability to complete college level work.
For more info on The ACT: http://www.act.org/aap/ All colleges and universities in Georgia accept scores from both/either of these college entrance exams.
ARMED SERVICES VOCATIONAL APTITUDE BATTERY (ASVAB)
Students who are interested in joining the Armed Services will be required to take the Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). The ASVAB is a timed multi-aptitude test, which is given at over 14,000 schools and Military Entrance Processing Stations (MEPS) nationwide and is developed and maintained by the Department of Defense. The results provide valuable information for all students regardless of military interest. For more info on the ASVAB: http://www.military.com/ASVAB
CAREER INTEREST SURVEY (CIS)
As students begin planning for future careers, they may take CIS to determine the career clusters that may be a good match for their personality and interests.
Georgia Milestone (EOC)
The A+ Educational Reform Act of 2000, O.C.G.A. §20-2-281, mandates that the State Board of Education adopt end-of-course assessments in grades nine through twelve for core subjects to be determined by the State Board of Education. With educator input, and State Board approval, the Georgia Milestone Testing program is therefore comprised of the following eight content area assessments:
United States History
English Language Arts
Ninth Grade Literature and Composition
American Literature and Composition
The Georgia Milestone is administered upon completion of one of the above courses. EOC will count 20% of the final grade.
PRELIMINARY SAT (PSAT)
The Preliminary SAT®/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test is a co-sponsored program by the College Board and National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC).
PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) is a standardized test that provides firsthand practice for the SAT Reasoning TestTM. It also gives students a chance to enter National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) scholarship programs.
The PSAT/NMSQT measures:
The SAT reasoning test is a measure of the critical thinking skills needed for academic success in college. The SAT assesses how well a student analyzes and solves problems.
For more info on The SAT: http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/sat/about.html
Transferring Credits from Accredited, Non-accredited, or Home Study
Course credit earned through traditional sources (public or private schools) that are accredited as defined in Board Policy will be accepted without further validation.
Course credit for all Non-accredited or Home Study will be validated using the following: The Milestones EOC will be given to validate all courses that have EOC’s. For courses with district SLO assessments, the SLO assessment will be used to validate the credit. For all other courses, a teacher-developed final exam for the course will be used to validate the credit. Students must score a 70% or above on the assessment in order to validate the credit.
Transcripts are mailed to colleges upon written request to the school counseling office. Students desiring transcripts sent to colleges or other post-secondary schools should fill out a form in the guidance counselor’s office.
Transcript Grades for a verified Home School or Non Accredited High School
Course grade course will be assigned by using the following process:
Schools will use the score from the test used to verify the credit for a course. The grade on the transcript will be assigned using the chart below:
Transfer of Records
When students transfer to another Whitfield County school, essential records will be forwarded. When students transfer to a school in another system, a copy of essential records will be forwarded upon written request from the school the student is entering.
The Georgia Department of Education subscribes to a website, transact.com, which provides online translations of many school documents. As a Georgia school district, our employees can utilize this website at no cost. It is a federal requirement that we communicate all critical information to parents in their home language to the extent practicable. This includes all language groups. This does not mean that all information must be translated, but critical information about program placement, test scores, etc. should be sent home in the native language.
When sending home information in Spanish, use Whitfield County forms rather than those on TransAct. If you have questions regarding the process, please contact Wanda Phillips at Student Services Center (firstname.lastname@example.org). At the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year, Assistant Principals will be trained on accessing and using TransAct to facilitate the district’s translation responsibilities.
In order to help students feel more secure and informed, schools are encouraged to plan positive transition activities which will help both the emotional and academic adjustment of the students. The following are recommendations; however, individual schools should add their own ideas and develop transition plans to best serve their students.
9th grade orientations
Whitfield County School Employees should not transport students in their personal vehicles at any time. If students are not picked up by parents after a school function or event, all attempts should be made to contact the parents or school administrator. If attempts to locate a parent or guardian fail, contact a Transportation supervisor or the Director of Transportation. A bus will be dispatched to transport the student home. School staff or administrators must either ride the bus with the student or remain at the school available by radio until the student has been delivered safely home to a parent or guardian. Contact information for Transportation supervisors and director is located on the district web site and on Share Point under Operations – Transportation.
For security reasons, all persons visiting the school must report to the office to sign in and receive a visitor’s sticker. All visitors must have a visible, affixed visitor’s sticker if they are outside of the office area. If a visitor appears unannounced, the teacher should instruct the person to go to the office to sign in before any other business can be conducted. Parents may visit classrooms after making an appointment with the teacher. Students from other schools may not visit during the instructional day unless they are participating in a specific program.
Volunteers are an essential and important part of school life. Recruited by teachers or the PTO, these people can be of assistance to the school and are valuable to the school’s public relations. To ensure school safety, volunteers sign in/out in the office and wear a name tag or visitor’s sticker while working in the building. Volunteers should be approved by the principal or assistant principal prior to working with students. Volunteers are mandated reporters. There are procedures for using volunteers in the school building and listed below.
Volunteer Procedure Approval:
Withdrawal from School
When a student withdraws from school, he must have the permission of his parents/guardian if under the age of eighteen prior to withdrawing. Prior to accepting such permission, a school administrator/counselor will have a conference with the student and parent/legal guardian within two school days of receiving a withdrawal notice. The purpose of the conference is to share with the student and parent/guardian educational options available and the consequences of not earning a high school diploma. At the conclusion of the meeting, it is necessary to complete a withdrawal form obtained from the school Registrar.
Youth Apprenticeship is a structured combination of school-based and work-based learning. Through a coordinated effort involving business and industry, Youth Apprenticeship addresses the dual of preparing students for the world of work and providing Georgia with a highly skilled, technologically competitive workforce. A student participating in the Youth Apprenticeship Program receives an education that is both academically challenging and relevant to employment in today’s economy. The program enables a student to receive a high school diploma, a post-secondary certificate or degree, and certification of industry-recognized competencies applicable to employment in a high-skilled occupation.