Cortez Middle School
Home of the Jaguars
“We believe optimal student achievement (academic and behavior) can be attained by utilizing a proactive systems approach for creating and maintaining a safe and effective learning environment.”
CMS Code: Our Expectations
WELCOME TO CMS
Considerable effort has been spent in developing an educational setting at CMS that both nurtures and challenges students to achieve at a high level. Much of what each student needs to know and do is contained within the student handbook. Consequently, each student is required to sign and return the form acknowledging the contents of the handbook.
Cortez Middle School Core Beliefs
BOARD OF EDUCATION MISSION STATEMENT AND BELIEFS
The mission of the Montezuma-Cortez School District is to prepare and motivate students to discover their abilities and become self-directed, responsible, thinking, contributing members of our modern multicultural society. The Board of Education believes that: (1) All students can learn and succeed, (2) Success breeds success, (3) Schools control the conditions for success, (4) The role of the school, along with parents and the community is to establish a commitment of excellence in education for our children.
ACCOUNTABILITY OF STUDENT PERFORMANCE FOR PROMOTION
CMS students are expected to apply themselves in their educational experiences as part of the process of becoming successful and competent citizens in our multicultural society. CMS staff closely monitors student performance and makes recommendations for summer school and academic placement based on what is best for each student.
Students must come to class prepared to learn and to participate in the day’s activities in order to perform at their best and to minimize class disruptions. This means that each student shall:
POSITIVE BEHAVIOR INTERVENTION SUPPORT (PBIS): CMS CORE
The core of any successful organization comes from the positive outlook of all participants. Here at CMS, we believe that celebrating the positive is much better than focusing on poor choices. Look at the first three pages of the handbook for CMS’ Core Expectations. These expectations let our students know what is necessary for ultimate success. Take a moment to learn our expectations. It will be required for every student and staff member to know these by heart.
Social Emotional Learning (SEL)-
CMS is guided by the Second Step curriculum principles of Social Emotional Learning. Restorative Justice encourages students to assess how their choices impact others. SEL schools teach character education and use these practices in real situations at school and in the community. We will encourage students to use these “Action Steps” when working through a situation:
Cortez Middle School is committed to developing the “whole child” emotionally as well as academically.
DISTRICT AND STATE STANDARDS – WHAT DRIVES OUR DIRECTION
READING AND WRITING
CMS’ STUDENT ATTENDANCE STANDARDS
CMS’ ATTENDANCE BELIEFS
Continuity in the learning process, performing well on assessments and social adaptation are disrupted by excessive absences. Excused absences that are excessive jeopardize a student’s status and may lead to administrative intervention. In most situations the work missed cannot be made up adequately. Students having good attendance generally achieve higher grades, enjoy school more and tend to be more successful as they continue their education.
**NOTE**: If a student is absent during the school day, attendance, as a spectator, at extracurricular activities is not permitted without prior consent of an administrator.
ATTENDANCE COMPULSORY LAW
Parents must ensure that every child under their care and supervision, when of compulsory attendance age, receives adequate educational training and attends school regularly.
...“Every child who has attained the age of six years on or before August 1 of each year and is under the age of seventeen years, shall attend public school”... C.R.S. 22-33-104
Unexcused absences and truancies are counted toward the four (4) and ten (10) day absence rules as defined in C.R.S. 2233104 and C.R.S. 2233.107. A “habitually truant student” is any student of compulsory attendance age with four (4) unexcused absences in any one (1) month or ten (10) unexcused absences in any school year. Absence due to suspension is not counted toward this total.
Parents need to verify a student's absence by telephone the day the student is absent. If that is not possible, the absence must be verified within 24 hours of the student's return to school or the absence will be considered unexcused.
Parent notification will be made nightly for any unverified absences. Along with the nightly communication, parents will be notified of excessive unexcused absences via mail:
ABSENCES - EXCESSIVE EXCUSED
Colorado state attendance law requires that students of school age attend school to receive their education. It is known that students must be in the educational setting in order to acquire the knowledge that is necessary to be educationally competent; however, the Montezuma-Cortez RE-1 School District recognizes that there are situations that arise when the student must be absent, more specifically Illness, Death in the Immediate Family, Emergency Professional Appointment, and Religious Ceremonies.
The importance of attendance is shown through its use as a factor in a student’s promotion to the next grade. A student having an exceedingly high number of excused absences should provide written verification as to any reason these absences would reasonably interfere with his/her ability to attend school (within 24 hours of the absence). Examples might include a doctor’s excuse, professional appointment excuse, or death in the immediate family. All assignments missed due to excused absences must be made up at the rate of one day for each day missed. Absences for other reasons may be recorded as unexcused.
Student success at CMS is taken seriously and our staff utilizes every means necessary to ensure students attend school. This may include telephone calls, home visits, and use of the courts. We realize that each case is different. Appeals may be submitted to a principal requesting permission for absences to be excused; whenever possible, this request needs to be done before the absence(s) occur. The administration’s decision takes into account attendance, grades, and general performance at CMS.
CMS’ STUDENT BEHAVIOR STANDARDS
STUDENT BEHAVIOR BELIEFS
Cortez Middle School beliefs originate with the idea that our entire staff is here to support our students. In doing so we ensure that we are providing a safe learning environment for all of our students. We make this happen through teaching and modeling the behaviors we expect our students to reflect. This approach creates a positive pro-active environment identifying areas needing more support and focuses resources to provide all students with the best chance of academic and social growth. At CMS we have high academic and behavioral expectations for our students and by helping them develop more self-control we then see success in both areas. Expectations and consequences are clearly outlined in this handbook. Behavior is the responsibility of everyone in our building because when our students exhibit good behaviors, quality learning can take place. Therefore, our students are always expected to conduct themselves with regard to both their personal goals and with concern for others.
BEHAVIOR ON OR OFF SCHOOL GROUNDS
To insure the safety, welfare and morals of students and school personnel, student behavior both on and off campus will follow the disciplinary standards stated in this handbook or Colorado school law. Students who threaten the safety of staff members, students, and the security of the school will be subject to disciplinary action and may include referral to the proper authorities and/or to the superintendent for possible expulsion.
BEHAVIOR AT EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES
Students should attend and enjoy extracurricular activities such as games/concerts/plays, etc. and are expected to be in the gyms watching or participating in the activity (not in the hallways and bathrooms). Being outside during events leaves students unsupervised so students should be in the building when events are happening. If this is not happening, students may be asked to leave the school grounds and if misconduct becomes habitual, the students will not be allowed to attend extracurricular activities for the remainder of the school year.
BEHAVIORAL REWARD ACTIVITIES
Students are continuously encouraged to demonstrate positive behavior at CMS and reward activities are scheduled periodically to recognize students who show this behavior consistently. Students who show consistent positive behavior will participate in special school activities, assemblies, reward days or dances. Positive school culture is not only developed through large group activities, but also with many positive supports that will celebrate individual student success. Programs will be in place to celebrate student’s grades, attendance, and quality choices.
For students to be eligible for any of the above programs at CMS students must meet certain academic and behavioral guidelines, which will be communicated to parents and students. Students must not have the following:
Academic Teams may choose to include other criteria to determine student eligibility, i.e., grades.
After School Detention (ASD)/Supervised Lunch:
Parents/guardians will be notified. Students may be delayed during lunch break. The student will be supervised by a staff member. A student refusing to serve detention shall be subject to an alternative consequence (which could be more severe). After School Detention will run on Tuesday and Thursday from 4:15-5:15 pm in the Support Room.
Out of Class Detention (OCD):
Parents/guardians will be notified. Teachers shall be notified of a student receiving Out of Class Detention and will have one day’s notice to prepare and collect materials to be completed by the student. A student assigned to Out of Class Detention shall report to the Detention Room at 8:50am with all necessary materials and textbooks for the day. He/She shall be assigned a designated location in the support room and will be expected to stay on task and complete all assignments provided by the teachers. Throughout the day, students may be expected to complete community/school service projects which enhance student growth and strengthen the school’s climate. Based on research, students need to be in their classrooms for the best chance of student success, and Out of Class Detention provides an alternative to out of school suspension. Note: A minimum of one day of OCD will be assigned with each OSS
Out-of-School Suspension (OSS):
Parents/guardians will be notified. A student serving an Out-of-School Suspension shall be barred from the school grounds or attendance at any sponsored activity at Cortez Middle School. The student may be allowed to make-up any missed class work. He/She may receive a maximum of 50% credit, per Board policy, for all class work assigned during the suspension. It is the student’s responsibility to request all class work missed during the suspension. Teachers shall be notified of a student receiving Out-of-School Suspension and shall have one day’s notice to prepare and collect materials to be completed by the student. The principal may assign Out-of-School Suspension from one to five days for violation of specific expectations. One day minimum of OCD will be assigned for each OSS. The purpose for this will be to allow the student time to make up any work missed and to give administration time to assess the student’s ability to return to class successfully. A re-entry meeting with administration, parent/guardian and student will be required before the student is allowed back in school.
At Administration’s discretion, a parent may accompany their student to school in lieu of out of school suspension. This is referred to as a “reverse suspension’.
EXPULSION INTERVENTION MEETING
After a student has had two suspensions, an Expulsion Intervention Meeting (EIM) may be scheduled with the Superintendent or their designee. This is an informal meeting held at CMS with parent, student, and school/district administration. The purpose of this meeting is to inform the parent and student that a Discipline Review Hearing (DRH) may be scheduled if another suspension occurs as per the Habitually Disruptive Student Law and to review interventions that are in place to help support the student in being successful behaviorally at CMS.
INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT ROOM (ISR)
This room is used in many ways to help support the learning environment here at CMS. It is a temporary place for disruptive students to “chill” and collect themselves so they can return to class and contribute positively. It can be used to allow administration time to investigate a situation so that an informed response to students’ behaviors can be made. This room may also become a long term placement (two to ten days) for a student who needs time to improve their social emotional learning skills in order for them to be successful in a regular classroom. For students with repeated behavioral issues, a referral may be made to the Child Study Team (CST) which consists of the Vice Principal, Counseling, RtI Coordinator, Check and Connect, and School Psychologist.
ABSENCES FROM ASD/ OCD
The standard reasons for excused absences as defined by the CMS attendance policy are in effect. This policy includes personal illness, professional appointments and the death of an immediate family member.
IT IS THE STUDENT’S RESPONSIBILITY TO ATTEND THE ASSIGNED CONSEQUENCE
If a student is absent, the reason for their absence must be verified in writing immediately upon their return to school. If the student is not in compliance with these guidelines, the following penalties are assessed:
HABITUALLY DISRUPTIVE STUDENTS
Colorado State Law defines a "Habitually Disruptive Student" as a student who is suspended three (3) times during a school year. The law requires that notice of each suspension is counted toward defining the student as "habitually disruptive" and a notice is given to the student's parent or legal guardian. The school is required, in cooperation with the student's parent or legal guardian, to develop a remedial discipline plan for a student after the first suspension and to review and modify the plan after the second suspension. (H.B. 961203).
Students suspended three (3) times for causing a material and substantial disruption in the classroom, on school grounds, in school vehicles, or at school activities or events during the school year, in violation of their individual remedial discipline plans, shall be declared habitually disruptive students. A disciplinary review hearing with the Review Board is mandatory for habitually disruptive students (File: JK Montezuma-Cortez School District Policy).
OUTCOMES FOR SPECIFIC VIOLATIONS OF EXPECTED BEHAVIOR
Possession of obscene materials, name-calling, or derogatory and/or obscene statements addressed to any person that may precipitate a disruption of the educational process or incite violence is not tolerated. Depending on the severity of the statement and how it disrupted students’ ability to learn, consequences could range from ASD to OSS.
ACADEMIC DISHONESTY OR PLAGIARISM
Dishonesty and plagiarism are shown through students not doing the appropriate level of work through stealing others’ work, cheating on tests, or gaining an unfair advantage to the students’ peers. Consequences for this offense are at the teacher’s discretion and may include parent contact as well as loss of credit for the assignment.
A dangerous weapon is any object readily capable of causing injury or death. This definition includes items designed to represent or imitate an object or substance perceived by a reasonable person to be capable of causing injury or death, given the manner in which it is possessed, controlled, or used. Violation of the District's policy on dangerous weapons in the schools may result in OSS and/or recommendation for expulsion.
In accordance with Colorado State Law, expulsion will be mandatory for carrying, bringing, using and/or possessing a deadly weapon without the authorization of the school or school district.
Any threat made directly or indirectly to or about a staff member or another student will require, at the minimum, a Threat Assessment Screening conducted by the TA team must be done before student returns to school.
1st Offense - up to 3 days OSS/2 days OCD as deemed appropriate by an administrator based on the severity of the threat.
DRESS CODE (DC) & DC VIOLATIONS
The Board of Education and administration feel that student dress is directly related to success and safety in the schools. The dress code is an effort to provide the most conducive atmosphere to further the educational process. It is our hope that parents will join us in our efforts and assist us by ensuring that their student is properly dressed for success. Please review the following dress code guidelines.
THE FOLLOWING WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED:
*See Gangs and Gang Activity for specific guidelines in this area.
The primary reason for the dress code is for safety; however, we wish to minimize disruptions to the educational process.
Students in violation of the dress code will be sent to the office. The parent will be contacted to bring appropriate replacement clothing. The student is not allowed to return to class until he/she has fixed the problem. The administration may have other clothing available if the parent is unable to bring clothing to school.
Students are allowed to bring electronic devices to school (cell phones, audio/video, ear buds, headphones) but they must not be a distraction to the learning environment. For that reason, Cell Phones will be placed in a pocket holder inside the classroom for each period and will remain there for the entirety of the period. They are only to be removed if instructed by the teacher for educational use. Students are allowed to use their cellphones during passing periods only while on pod. Electronic devices will be allowed during lunch/recess only. speakers will not be allowed.
CMS is not responsible for any lost or stolen devices.
Level 1 (1st Offense) – Warning by teacher given
Level 2 (2nd Offense) – Item is confiscated, item must be picked up in the office by the parent
Level 3 (3rd Offense) – Item is confiscated; item may be picked up in the office by the parent; student will be assigned ASD. The length of the ASD will double after the third infraction.
Students who are found using an electronic device within the restricted time, depending on the situation, will receive an immediate consequence. Students’ privacy and safety is vital to the culture we are developing at CMS, so we will do whatever it takes to make sure this happens. Teachers may, at their discretion, require the use of electronic devices in their individual classrooms to meet specific district and state academic standards.
**Note** IF A STUDENT IS SENT OUT OF THE CLASSROOM FOR ANY BEHAVIORAL REASON, THE STUDENT WILL COME IMMEDIATELY TO THE OFFICE AND BE REQUIRED TO TURN OFF ANY ELECTRONIC DEVICE THEY MAY BE CARRYING AND PLACE IN THE POCKET HOLDER IN THE OFFICE TO BE HELD UNTIL THE STUDENT CAN SUCCESSFULLY RETURN TO CLASS. THIS EXPECTATION WILL ALSO BE IN EFFECT IN THE SUPPORT ROOM.
*Laser pointers - because of the danger surrounding these devices, laser pointers will be confiscated and will not be returned. This will be considered a Level 1 infraction; any additional infractions will result in an immediate consequence.
EXTORTION, COERCION, OR BLACKMAIL
These are defined as obtaining money (or other objects of value) from an unwilling person through the use of force or intimidation. Parents are notified, as well as the proper authorities, and the student will receive an appropriate consequence.
FALSE ALARM/DIALING 911
Students willfully setting off a fire alarm, creating an emergency situation, or falsely calling “911”, are not only disciplined at school, but are also reported to the proper authorities. In all cases, parents are notified and assigned one day of OSS.
Any student giving false identification or misinformation to any school personnel is assigned a consequence as determined by the administration.
Physical violence (fighting) is an extremely severe act. It destroys an atmosphere of safety and security. CMS believes that there are many ways, outside of violence, to solve problems. We expect students to utilize them. A proactive approach is stressed and our staff works very hard to keep our students safe.
First Offense – results in two days of Out-of-School Suspension (OSS) and one day OCD. Parent meeting with administration on student return.
Second Offense – results in four days of Out-of-School Suspension (OSS) and one day OCD. Parent meeting with administration on student return is mandatory.
Third Offense – results a four day OSS and a request for a disciplinary review hearing in front of the Discipline Review Board.
FIRECRACKERS AND EXPLOSIVE OR INCENDIARY DEVICES
Students possessing, distributing, selling, or discharging fireworks are subject to disciplinary action including detention, suspension, or recommendation for expulsion. Restitution for damages is sought when appropriate and the student may be referred to the authorities along with school wide consequences.
First Offense- 1 day OCD
For obvious safety reasons, matches and lighters are also prohibited, consequences may apply.
Gambling in any form is not allowed on school grounds at any time. Students will be assigned detention for the first offense; each subsequent time the severity of the consequence will get more severe.
Definition: For the purpose of this policy a “gang” is any group of two or more persons whose purpose includes the commission of illegal acts or acts in violation of disciplinary rules of the Cortez Middle School.
Prohibitions: No student on school property or at any school-sponsored activity shall:
Violation of Policy: Students who violate this policy shall be subject to the full range of school disciplinary measures in addition to applicable criminal and civil penalties.
This offense is defined as any willful act causing another student to be distressed (mentally or physically) while on or off school grounds. (Types of harassment are outlined below.)
Any student who feels that he/she is a victim of any harassment should immediately report the incident to any teacher or administrator of CMS. Allegations of harassment are investigated and appropriate measures are taken for both the victim and the offender. It will never be tolerated for a CMS student to be bullied or harassed. THE STAFF CAN DO NOTHING IF THEY DON’T KNOW!!
Any unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, requests for sexual favors, or other unwelcome sexual advances is considered sexual harassment. Sexual harassment can be as blatant as rape, as obvious as telling dirty jokes or using vulgar language, or as subtle as a look. It can occur with opposite or same sex persons. It can occur from adult to student, student to student, or student to adult.
When intentionally cruel verbal, social, or physical abuse happens from one student to another student or to an adult it is considered bullying. Bullying usually consists of repeated offenses but can also consist of one incident.
Includes hitting, pinching, or kicking the victim. It can also involve taking or damaging the victim’s property.
Includes using words to hurt or humiliate another. It can involve name-calling, insulting, making social comments or constant teasing.
Includes the use of social media sites, email and texting to threaten, intimidate or humiliate another student or group of students. Videotaping fights is also another form of this type of bullying. If these incidents happen off campus or after hours but directly impact the educational environment in anyway CMS administration has the ability to investigate and assign disciplinary consequences. If proven, cell phone privileges will be suspended for the remainder of the year as well as the standard harassment consequence.
Includes excluding or rejecting another from social activities or connections, and purposely leaving others out at the encouragement of another student.
Includes those who intentionally encourage a bully to harass them so as to provoke the bully into action, fight back, and claim self-defense.
Intimidation: Bullying or any action from another that causes the student to feel threatened or fearful; physical or verbal abuse is intimidation.
Any physical or verbal action, from another that causes emotional or physical pain is considered abuse. Behavior can be blatantly cruel or subtly unkind.
Any participation in the persecution of others by rough practical jokes, forced or demeaning acts or tasks, physical or verbal abuse for the entertainment of others will be considered hazing.
The Cortez Middle School takes a strong stand on the issue of bullying. Students who are found to be engaging in this behavior shall be assigned the following consequences.
1st Offense: 1 day of Out of Class Detention
2nd Offense: 1 day Out of School Suspension, 1 day OCD
3rd Offense: 2 days Out of School Suspension, 1 Day OCD
4th Offense: 4 days Out of School Suspension, 1 day OCD and mandatory discipline review hearing.
Students who willfully fail to respond to reasonable requests made by any adult employed in the school are considered insubordinate. These students will be sent to the principal immediately. Direct disrespect will result in an immediate and reasonable consequence.
Any behavior done with the intent to harm or with a malicious intent will be considered physical aggression. Consequences may vary, depending on the incident, from 1 day OCD to 3 days OSS. A possible Discipline Review Hearing (DRH) could result based on the circumstances of the incident.
PUBLIC DISPLAY OF AFFECTION
Students are not to hold hands, kiss, passionately embrace, or display any other inappropriate physical contact with one another at school or on school grounds. As this behavior is not appropriate in the educational setting, we insist that students please keep all interaction appropriate and respectful.
ROUGH PLAY, INCLUDING SHOVING, SLAPPING, KICKING
Students need to understand that when they play around in a rough manner, it can do nothing but cause difficulty for all participants. This behavior easily can turn into more than students playing around. Our goal would be for students to play in ways where there is no physical contact; we encourage students to have fun and treat each other with respect and dignity. If a student does choose to play rough (without malicious intent) he/she will have consequences.
1st Offense: Parent notified; 1 day of Out of Class Detention
2nd Offense: Parent Notified; 2 days of Out of Class Detention
3rd Offense: Parent Notified; 1 day Out of School Suspension, 1 day OCD
4th Offense: Parent Notified; 2 Days Out of School Suspension, 1 day OCD
ROUGH PLAY, INCLUDING SHOVING, SLAPPING, OR KICKING RESULTING IN INJURY
Students need to understand that when they play around in a rough manner, it can do nothing but cause difficulty for all participants. When an injury takes place administration takes this very serious. Rough play can turn easily into fights, so self control is vital to a safe environment for everyone. The potential for major issues to occur is high with this type of behavior so the consequences will be relative to the severity of the injury and history of the student’s behavior.
Theft of personal or school property will not be tolerated. Students who are caught stealing are subject to Lunch Detention, Suspension, or Expulsion and charges may be filed with the police.
Expulsion is mandatory for the distribution of drugs or controlled substances in accordance with state law. Montezuma-Cortez School District RE-1 shall promote a healthy environment for students by providing education, support, and decision making skills, in regard to alcohol, drugs and other controlled substances and their abuse. In order to accomplish this goal, a cooperative effort must be made among the schools, parents, community and its agencies. It shall be a violation of Board policy and considered to be behavior that is detrimental to the welfare, safety, or morals of other students or school personnel for any student to possess, use, sell, distribute, procure, or to be under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other controlled substances. For purposes of this policy, controlled substances include, but are not limited to: narcotic drugs, hallucinogenic or mind-altering drugs or other substances, amphetamines, barbiturates, stimulants, depressants, marijuana, anabolic steroids, any other controlled substances as defined by law, or any prescription or nonprescription drug, medicine, vitamins or other chemical substances not taken in accordance with Board policy and regulations on administering medicines to students. This policy also includes substances that are represented by or to the student to be any such controlled substance or what the student believes to be any such substances. This policy shall apply to any student who is on school property, in attendance at school, in a school vehicle, or taking part in any school sponsored or sanctioned activity, or whose conduct at any time or place interferes with the operations of the district or the safety or welfare of students or employees.
Students violating this policy shall be subject to disciplinary sanctions including suspension and/or expulsion from school. In all cases the student is referred to law enforcement. Situations in which a student seeks counseling or information from a professional staff member for the purpose of overcoming substance abuse shall be handled on an individual basis depending upon the nature and specifics of the case. When appropriate, parents are involved and every effort is made to direct the substance abuser to sources of help.
First Offense - 2 days of Out-of-School Suspension (OSS), 1 day OCD and mandatory discipline review hearing.
Second Offense - 4 day OSS, 1 day OCD and mandatory discipline review hearing. (Distribution, also)
It is recommended that students who have difficulties with possible substance abuse be evaluated, at the parents’ expense, by a qualified individual to determine the best intervention moving forward. The following are entities that may help: Cortez Addiction Recovery Service (CARS), 970-565-4109, and TOWAOC Treatment Services, 970-564-5701.
Consequences for throwing rocks, snowballs, dirt clods, and so forth include Detention, Out-of-Class Detention (OCD), or even Out-of -School Suspension (OSS) depending on the magnitude of the outcome of the behavior.
When a student is found using, possessing, or distributing any tobacco product (this includes vape pens), he/she receives the following consequences:
First offense - One day of Out-of-Class Detention
Second offense – Two days Out-of-Class Detention
Third offense – One day Out-of-School Suspension, 1 day OCD
Truancy is defined as being absent from class. In order for learning to take place students need to be in class. Truancy is very serious and is handled with that level of importance. The school and parents have expectations of student’s whereabouts and when a student endangers themselves by not being in school or class it must be handled accordingly. Consequences for off-campus truancy will start at step three. On campus truancy will be handled as stated below:
First Offense – ASD or parent may attend class with their child.
Second Offense - 2 ASDs or parent may attend class with their child for two days.
Third Offense – 1 day OCD
Fourth Offense – 2 days OCD
Fifth Offense - Administrative action with parent involvement and possible Out-of-School Suspension (OSS)
Tardiness is defined as the appearance of a student without a proper excuse after the scheduled time that a class/home-room begins. STUDENTS ARE TARDY IF THEY ARE NOT IN THEIR SEATS OR ASSIGNED WORK AREA WHEN CLASS IS SCHEDULED TO BEGIN. 3 tardies in a class will result in 1 ASD.
Unprepared is defined as a student not having the required materials to successively engage in classroom work. Teachers will attempt to help students when appropriate; however, it is the student’s ultimate responsibility to be ready to succeed at CMS.
Students are allowed to chew gum at CMS. Gum is to be chewed and disposed of appropriately. Inappropriate use will result in consequences.
Any student willfully marking, defacing, damaging, or destroying property belonging to another person or the school district is referred to the proper authorities. Depending on the severity and circumstances the student may also face disciplinary and legal actions and be required to make restitution. For this reason all staff shall confiscate permanent markers. PERMANENT MARKERS (SHARPIES, ETC.) ARE NOT ALLOWED FOR ANY REASON! The consequence for having a permanent marker can range from Lunch Detention or other more severe consequences.
Important Student and Family Information
Superintendent of Schools Mrs. Lori Haukeness 565-7282 ext. 1115
CMS Principal Mrs. Kate Ott 565-7824 ext. 3113
Secretary to the Principal Mrs. Terri McConville 565-7824 ext. 3112
Assistant Principal Ms. Beth Benavidez 565-7824 ext. 3111
Secretary to the Assistant Principal Ms. Joni Anderson 565-7824 ext. 3142
Assistant Principal/Athletic Director Mr. Drew Pearson 565-7824 ext. 3126
Secretary to the Athletic Director Mrs. Penny Stevens 565-7824 ext. 3127
Counselor 6th Mrs. Carrie Schneider-LeMay 565-7824 ext. 3118
Counselor 8th Ms. Robyne Cote 565-7824 ext. 3115
Counselor 7th Mrs. Sally Brown 565-7824 ext. 3140
Guidance Secretary/Registrar Mrs. Jamie Johnson 565-7824 ext. 3114
Nurse Mrs. Jill Dunsten 5657-824 ext. 3116
Media Specialist Ms. Cathy Cowan 565-7824 ext. 3122
School Resource Officer Officer Jerry Sam 565-7824 ext. 3129
CMS Fax 565-5120
In accordance with Colorado state law parents/guardians are guaranteed the right to access their student’s school records and may do so by contacting the counseling office or administration. Montezuma-Cortez School District RE-1 utilizes PowerSchool to collect and organize student’s academic, attendance, and discipline data. This program can be accessed by parents and guardians via our school district’s website, www.cortez.k12.co.us. Parents and Guardians will need an individual username and password, which can be obtained through CMS’s main office.
Animals are not allowed at school. An administrator may approve exceptions for special projects.
Morning announcements will be made each morning; students will be informed of upcoming events along with other important information.
AREAS OFF LIMITS
CMS is a closed campus. Students shall not be on school grounds until 15 minutes before the first bell unless they are enrolled is a sports program or before-school activity. If a teacher requests that a student come to his/her classroom prior to this time, the student must have a pass signed by the teacher. Students are asked to leave the campus by 4:15pm unless involved in sports or other activities. No students are allowed into the pod areas after 4:15pm unless supervised by a staff member. The campus is not supervised before 8:40am and after 4:15pm.
Students may purchase drinks from the machines in the cafeteria after school hours. The machines may be turned off at any time. CMS is not responsible for money lost in the vending machines.
BICYCLES, SKATEBOARDS, HOVERBOARDS, ETC,
Students are not permitted to ride skateboards, hoverboards, roller skates, roller blades, or bicycles in the recess area at any time. This is the area designated by the white lines. Student Bicycle racks are located on the southwest side of the building for securing bicycles during school hours. No shoes containing wheels may be worn to school. CMS is not responsible for lost or stolen property.
Cortez Middle School has many surveillance cameras throughout the campus. They are used to ensure the safety of Cortez Middle School’s staff and students.
CHECK IN/CHECK OUT PROCEDURES
Students and/or parents must check-in at the security office when a student arrives late to school. Students are expected to be in their classrooms before class begins at 8:55am. The student checkout sheet is located in the security office. Any parent coming to visit for any reason must sign in at the security office and have a valid pass displayed at all times as they move through school. Only parents, legal guardians or emergency contact individuals may remove students from campus and MUST PERSONALLY SIGN THE STUDENT OUT OF SCHOOL. Students may not get verbal permission over the phone to leave campus or be excused from classes to attend other activities at the middle school.
Cortez Middle School is a closed campus. Students are not to leave campus unless checked out through the security office by a parent, legal guardian, or emergency contact individuals. Students who ride the bus may not leave campus after exiting the bus or before getting on the bus before returning home. Any student who is off campus during the school day without being properly checked out will be considered truant.
DELIVERIES TO STUDENTS
Flowers or packages will not be delivered to students during class. The student will be notified when there is an item in the office and can be retrieved after school. NO OUTSIDE FOOD OR BEVERAGES (SONIC, McDONALD’S, ETC.) WILL BE ACCEPTED FOR DELIVERY TO STUDENTS.
DRUG ALERT DOGS
Periodically, CMS will utilize drug/contraband sniffing dogs to ensure a safe and a drug free school zone. The dog's handlers access any and all school areas including student lockers and classrooms. If contraband is found parents and police are notified and charges are filed.
EATING/DRINKING IN CLASSROOMS
Food and/or drinks in the classroom or hallway are only allowed when approved by the teacher/administrator.
Cortez Middle School has developed an emergency preparedness plan that is executed in a sequential manner according to the type of emergency. This emergency plan contains two levels of alert in the event that emergency situations arise at school, Lock Down and Lock Out. During this level of alert, classrooms, inside doors and outside doors are secured. The second level of alert dictates those students are held in classrooms with no interruption to the educational process. Staff and administration are assigned specific responsibilities for the purpose of maintaining the safety of all students. Students are trained on the procedures and drills take place during the school year to practice them.
There is one fire drill per month of the year. Upon hearing the fire drill signal all ongoing work is to be suspended. All windows and doors are closed and the last person leaving the room turns off lights and closes the door. Following teacher instructions all students are to leave the building as quickly as possible without running. Once outside teachers then assemble their students in lines in a pre-determined area and take roll. An “All Clear” signal will be sounded to end the fire/emergency drill and all may return to their classes.
All students not in their regular assigned classroom MUST have either a student planner or hall pass indicating day, time of departure, destination, and a teacher's signature.
The Honor Roll at Cortez Middle School is made up of students maintaining a 3.0 or higher grade point average during each nine-week grading period. This list is submitted to the Cortez newspaper for publication and is available in the counseling office. Any student making a 4.0 or higher grade point average is considered a "Straight A” student.
IMMUNIZATION/STUDENT HEALTH _
Students transferring either to or from another school district must have a copy of their immunization record in order to enroll. Providing written verification of immunization to school officials prior to enrolling is a Colorado State Law and no exceptions are permissible. Also, parents are encouraged to have physical and dental examinations for their school-aged child before entering school and again before the 4th, 7th, and 10th grades. Parents/guardians may opt out of routine, non-emergency screenings provided by the district. Current screenings may include: hearing, vision, dental, height, and weight. Please contact your school nurse if you do not want your child to participate in these screenings.
JURISDICTION OVER STUDENTS
All officials, employees, and authorized agents of the school with responsibilities involving the supervision of students, shall stand "in loco parentis" (in place of the parent) with regard to students they are required to supervise at any time the responsibility of supervision exists. This authority applies whenever students are lawfully subject to the school's control, regardless of place. During such periods students shall have the duty to submit to the school's authority.
Lockers and locks are provided for each student during registration. It is the student’s responsibility to keep his/her locker neat, clean, and locked when unattended. Since lockers are school property the administration reserves the right to inspect the locker at any time. Students are not allowed to use lockers that are not assigned to them. They are responsible for the replacement cost ($5.50) of lost, stolen, or damaged locks.
Cortez Middle School is not responsible for lost or stolen property. This includes personal property (i.e., electronic devices) as well as books or materials either assigned to or checked out by the student.
NAME/ADDRESS/PHONE NUMBER OF STUDENT
Students must use their legal name for school records. Students may not use nicknames or assumed names. Students with hyphenated last names MUST use all parts of the hyphenated name. For any name changes, a legal document indicating the same must be presented to the counseling office. We must have a current and valid mailing address (and residence if P.O. Box) and a valid working phone number for contacting parents and guardians. We also must have names and phone numbers for any other contact persons in case of an emergency. Parent(s) or guardian(s) must provide the school with the names and phone numbers of any other persons who might be asked to pick up their child from CMS.
PASSING BETWEEN CLASSES
Since most academic classes are located close together very little time is needed in passing from one class to the next. Students should only need to use their lockers before school begins, before and after lunch, and at the end of the school day.
PARENT/ TEACHER CONFERENCE DATES
A Parent/Teacher or Student-led Conference is the bridge of communication between teachers and parents. It is extremely important we have this component to ensure the success of the student. Cortez Middle School schedules two (2) (See District Calendar) Parent/Teacher Conferences each year. Notification to the parent is made well in advance so parents are aware of dates and times and can make plans to attend.
Within several weeks after the start of each quarter teachers will distribute Progress Grade reports to all students. Due to the high cost of mailing, these reports are not mailed home. Students are responsible for taking their progress report home to their parents and having the bottom portion signed and returning it to the team. Progress reports may be sent more frequently when requested by parents. Additionally, parents are encouraged to contact teachers regularly about student progress.
REQUEST FOR HOMEWORK
On occasions when a student has been or will be absent, parents are encouraged to request homework from school officials by 10:00am. Homework requests received after 10:00am may not be ready until the following day. Requested homework should be picked up in the office between 3:30-4:00pm.
A student is scheduled into classes after school officials have thoroughly checked a student's records and previous school performances. A student's welfare is the first consideration in the event that a schedule change is requested or needed. There are no schedule changes after the quarter/semester begins except in rare cases at the discretion of the administration.
The following student guidelines pertain to attendance at school-sponsored dances:
1. Students who have been suspended, have accumulated four or more hours of detention per nine weeks, or have been placed on a Remedial Behavior Contract may not attend dances.
2. Individuals not enrolled at Cortez Middle School will not be admitted to any dance.
3. Clothes exhibiting good taste and in accordance with the school dress code are to be worn unless otherwise specified by the sponsoring organization.
4. No beverages are brought inside.
5. Unruly or disrespectful students are sent out of the building if the dance is in the evening.
6. Parents are always encouraged to attend school dances.
School phones are business phones and are to be used for business only. Students may bring cellphones to school but they are not to be used freely except at lunch and recess. Students may use the office phone before and after school as well as during lunch. They may also use the phone if they have a pass from their teacher.
All students are photographed in the fall of the year. These photos are used for the school yearbook. Parents are given the opportunity to order a photo package (with payment made in advance) at that time.
SOLICITATION FOR DONATIONS
At no time are students permitted to solicit support or donations for non-school fundraising.
STUDENT GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE
The constitutional rights of individuals assure their protection by due process of law; therefore, this system of constitutionally and legally sound procedures is developed with regard to the administration of discipline in the Montezuma-Cortez School District. The student will be given an opportunity to contest the facts which may lead to disciplinary action, to contest the appropriateness of the sanction imposed by a disciplinary authority, or to allege prejudice or unfairness on the part of the school district employees responsible for a disciplinary action. The following procedure will govern such grievances:
The Board of Education is the final authority in all cases. Any hearing before the School Board will observe all the rights of the student and his/her parent or guardian to present the problem to the Board of Education. Notice of the hearing will be given to the student.
Parents should maintain private health insurance for their child. The School District does not insure students injured on the school grounds. Every student is given an application for student accident insurance at registration. If a child is involved in an accident, and if he/she is covered by the student accident insurance, a claim form may be requested from office personnel and must be filled out and mailed to the insurance office immediately following the accident. Students involved in extra-curricular activities must show proof of having accident insurance (specifically, a policy number must be on record) prior to participation in that activity.
SUSPENDED/EXPELLED AND TRUANT STUDENTS
Truant, suspended, and expelled students may not attend school activities. Additionally, suspended and expelled students are not allowed on district property. Suspended students may return to school only after their parents have reviewed and signed the required remedial discipline plan with their child. Students who have been expelled or alternatively placed are not allowed on campus and may not attend any activities.
TEXTBOOKS AND LIBRARY BOOKS
Textbooks are provided free of charge for student use. All textbooks are the property of the district and must be kept in good condition. Students are responsible for all textbooks issued to them. If a textbook is lost or excessively damaged during the school year the student will be required to pay the price of the book before being issued another one, the cost of individual textbooks range from $20.00 to $65.00.
Library books are the property of Cortez Middle School. Students have the privilege of checking out books for their own use but are then responsible for their maintenance and return. Fees assessed for damaged or lost library books must be paid before a student is permitted to check out other materials. State law provides that educational records may be withheld until textbook and library fines have been collected.
WITHDRAWAL FROM SCHOOL
Completion of the withdrawal process of a student from CMS is necessary before a student can enroll in another school. Parents must initiate a withdrawal request in the Counseling Office. The parent/student obtains a withdrawal form and takes it to all teachers and departments as indicated on the form. Teachers and staff record current grades and whether textbooks, library books, and other supplies have been returned. This form also requires signatures from the parent, registrar, and a principal. This form then returns to the Counseling Office where all costs for lost, stolen, or damaged books, or other supplies, or any remaining fees and fines must be paid. Records of transferring students are released to receiving schools as a matter of normal practice. Cortez Middle School will not release records to other schools without written consent from the student’s parent. School transcripts and grades will not be released until all fines, fees, and/or costs are paid. In the last two weeks of school we will not withdraw students due to the school’s responsibility to assess student growth and make sure all information is available for the family and the next school district the student attends.
Extracurricular Activities are an important part of helping students become well rounded and productive in the community. There are many different opportunities for all students from chess club to football and to volleyball. Some of these activities have little or no cost; however, many of our varsity sports will have an activity fee of $50.00 with football having an additional cost of $10.00. Please check with the Activities Department to determine the activity fee for each activity. The number of participants will be limited in varsity sports, i.e. volleyball, three teams, football, two teams, basketball, three teams.
Students must meet eligibility requirements to participate in athletics. Eligibility is based both on academic performance and behavior.
2016-2017 ACTIVITIES AND SPORTS PROGRAM
The following sports and activities are included during the school year at Cortez Middle School. These sports and activities are available to students enrolled at Cortez Middle School. Some programs require fees and/or sports physicals.
VARSITY SPORTS (7th & 8th Grade) INTRAMURAL CO-ED SPORTS
Basketball (Boys and Girls)
Track (Boys & Girls) Track
Cross Country (Boys & Girls)
YearBook Jazz Band
Tutoring Knowledge Bowl
Blood Drives Mentorship Program
Dances Culture Club
Computers Science Fair
Enrichment Classes Student Council
Food Drives Youth Art Month
Geography and Spelling Bee Technology
USE OF VIDEO RECORDERS ON SCHOOL BUSES
The district has installed recording equipment on some school buses to monitor school transportation and will be videotaping on bus routes randomly during the school year. These buses are equipped with a video monitor box in which a video-recording device may be installed. Students are not notified when a recording device has been installed on their bus. The Transportation Director views the tapes routinely and documents evidence of student misconduct. Students found violating the district's bus conduct rules are notified and disciplinary action are initiated under RE-1 Board’s “Code of Conduct and Discipline”. Videotapes are treated as protected student records under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and the following guidelines apply:
Students may bring their own lunch from home and keep it in their locker until lunchtime. Ala-carte items are available and there is an accounting system allowing students to prepay for school lunches. Forms for free or reduced meals may be picked up in the cafeteria or from the counseling office. The ala-carte items range from $.35 to $1.50 in price whether the student qualifies for free or reduced lunch or not. Ala-carte items must be purchased with cash or from the students’ lunch account. The lunch staff is not responsible for how students spend their money. There is no federal or state law mandating that a district serves a meal to a child not having sufficient funds to purchase a meal. RE-1 District policy for paid and reduced lunches allows a student to charge up to three (3) meals.
The RE-1 School Board in conjunction with the Cortez Police Department provides a full-time School Resource Officer (SRO) for CMS/MCHS throughout the school year. This officer can be reached at 565-7824. Additionally, both indoor and outdoor surveillance cameras are installed to aid in monitoring the campus. In specific situations Cortez Middle School’s administration reserves the right to use a metal detecting wand for school safety.
GUIDANCE OFFICE AND COUNSELING PROGRAM
The Guidance Department includes counselors and a registrar and handles all record keeping, such as student enrollment, withdrawal, scheduling, emergency contact information, cumulative educational records, immunizations, grades, fines, and coordination of standardized testing.
The CMS counseling program is intended to benefit all students by working with students in a variety of ways, both individually and in groups*. Counselors present classroom guidance lessons for all students on topics related to academic achievement, personal/social development, and career development. Required curriculum on bully prevention and character education is incorporated into classroom presentations.
Counselors may help students with scheduling and academic issues, problem-solving skills, conflict resolution, or crisis intervention. Students may be referred to a counselor by parents, teachers, administrators, or may come in on their own. Unless it is an emergency students must arrange with a classroom teacher if needing to come to the guidance office during class time. Students violating the school’s discipline policy may be referred to the guidance office for follow-up, such as mediation, assignment to a counseling group, development of individual plan, or referral to other resources. Follow-up is based on student need.
*Signed parent permission is required for group counseling or for any on-going personal counseling. It is not required for one-time contacts or interventions such as mediation, crisis response, or academic consultation. Please contact the Guidance Department for more information about counseling services or to request a parent permission form.
Students needing medical attention shall report to the health room or main office. Health service personnel are not always available in the building. Keep contact information up to date so we can reach you quickly if your child becomes sick or injured. When determining if your child is too sick for school, refer to the “Sick Child: Home or School” guidelines in the registration packet.
Medications at School:
Students requiring prescription medications to be administered by school personnel must have a “permission for medication” form signed by the physician and parent. The medication must be in its original pharmacy issued container.
ALL MEDICATION SHALL BE SECURELY STORED IN THE MAIN OR HEALTH OFFICE.
Over-The-Counter Medication: Comfort medicine may be given during select health room hours when parents have signed the “medicine permission consent” on the Health History form in the registration packet.
Emergency Medication: Students who need to carry asthma inhalers, epi-pens, or diabetic supplies at school may do so as long as there is a Health Care Action Plan signed by a health care provider on file in the health office. Health Care Plans for Severe Allergies, Diabetes, Asthma, and Seizures are available from the school nurse, or on the district website below.
If a parent determines that a student is capable of taking his/her own medicine, they may bring one daily dose with them in a clearly marked container with student name, medication name, time to be taken, date, & parent signature. These medications must be housed in the health/main office. Any student carrying medication, including over-the-counter, or who shares medication with another student will be subject to discipline under the “Drugs at School” Policy.
Colorado State Immunization Requirements for School Enrollment were provided in the registration packet.
Permission for Health Advisory/Need to Know:
School nurses develop a Student Health List and/or a Health Care Action Plan from the Health History form in the registration packet. All information is confidential and is shared only on a need-to-know basis. Alert your school nurse if you do not want your student’s medical information shared with appropriate school personnel.
Permission for Emergency Care:
In the event of a medical emergency, the Montezuma-Cortez School Department will render emergency aid and/or transportation to a medical facility as needed. Costs incurred are at the expense of the family. Every effort will be made to contact the family in such a situation. If this practice concerns you, contact the school administrator. Please keep emergency contact information current with the school.
Parents/guardians may opt out of routine, non-emergency screenings provided by the district. Current screenings might include: hearing, vision, lice, height and weight. Contact your school if you do not want your child to participate in these screenings. Parents are encouraged to have physical and dental examinations for their school-aged child before entering school and again before the 4th, 7th and 10th grades. Contact your school nurse if you do not have a health care provider and would like to arrange a physical exam for your child.
Asbestos Management plans have been formulated for every RE: 1 building. Those plans are available for review by staff, parents, and the general public at the Administration Building, 400 N Elm St, Cortez, CO, or at any of the occupied buildings.
STAFF PERSONAL SECURITY AND SAFETY
The following procedures shall be followed in instances of assault, disorderly conduct, harassment, knowingly false allegation of child abuse, or alleged criminal offense by a student directed towards a teacher or school employee. An act of a teacher or other employee shall not be considered child abuse if the act was an appropriate expression of affection or emotional support.
These same procedures shall be followed in instances of damage by a student to the personal property of a teacher of school employee occurring on school district premises.
Communication of disciplinary information
The principal or designee shall communicate discipline information concerning any student enrolled in the district to all teachers and counselors who have direct contact with the student. Any employee who is assigned a student with known serious behavior problems will be informed of the student’s behavior record. Any teacher or counselor who is provided this information shall maintain its confidentiality and shall not communicate it to any other person.
LEGAL REFS: C.R.S. 19-3-304 (3.5), (4)
Kate Ott Principal
Beth Benavidez Assistant Principal
Drew Pearson Activities Director/AP
Jerry Sam School Resource Officer
Karen Ragland Math
Rita Tripp Social Studies
Shandi Williford Language Arts
Don Story Science
Melanee Cullinane Math
Don Mitchell Science
James Lewis Language Arts
Tyson Wood Social Studies
Michael Seitz Science
Krystle Stembridge Language Arts
Carrie Hughes Math
Robert Pokryzwa Social Studies
Candie Lanyon Math
Tonya Carver Language Arts
Toni Broughton Science
Conner McCue Social Studies
Michelle Russell Science
Lissa Lycan Language Arts
Pam Cox Math
Michael Olson Social Studies
Henk Huetink Math
Katherine Freeman Language Arts
Brittany Lang Science
Robert Sitton 6-8 World Studies
Kelly Gregory 6-8 Science
Lisa Baer 6-8 Language Arts
Bobby Michaels 6-8 Math
Sally Brown Counselor 7th
Robyne Cote Counselor 8th
Carrie Schneider-LeMay Counselor 6th
Cory Madsen Check/Connect
Monica Slabodinick Check/Connect
Jamie Johnson Registrar
Jill Dunsten R.N. Nurse
Margie Puls Nurses’ Secretary
EXCEPTIONAL STUDENT SERVICES
Chase Wesley Learning Center
Maggie Ikenouye Learning Center
Katrena Goodman Gifted Education/RtI
Laurie Austin ESS Resource
Crystal Faust ESS Resource
Kathleen Nelson ESS Resource
Michelle Battle ESS Paraprofessional
Rachelle Tulio ESS Paraprofessional
Laurie McGuire ESS Paraprofessional
TracyWitowski ESS Paraprofessional
Dorthena Padilla ESS Paraprofessional
Nancy Comacho Paraprofessional
Monica Slabodinick Paraprofessional
Kaitlin Mihane New Pathways Teacher
Veronia Durall NP Paraprofessional
Amanda Spurgeon NP Paraprofessional
Cindy Gapp Support Room
Carrie Teal ISR/RtI
Keri Mustoe Industrial Technology
Catelyn Englehart Art
Marla Sitton Choir
Andrew Campo Band Director
Alex Mohr Choir/Asst. Ban Director
Tanner Small Physical Education
Ellen Butler Physical Education
Angela Gabardi Computers/Drama
Melinda Martinez Family & Consumer Sci
Cathy Cowan Library /Interventionist
Renee Nall Environmental Sci/Garden
Terri McConville Principal’s Secretary
Penny Stevens Athletic Secretary
Joni Anderson Asst. Principal’s Secretary
Tamis Sapp Security Secretary
Rick Jones Ray Vialpando
Glen Kyle Vanessa Leon
Misty Cornett Grayce Frohock
Christine Borgen Crystal McNutt
Juanita Kee Clarilene Filfred
Cortez Middle School
Cortez Middle School
Student’s Name_______________________________________ Grade_____________
Email address (Vital Information)
I have reviewed the Cortez Middle School Student Handbook including the school’s attendance, behavior, and promotion policy. I understand that it is my responsibility to read and understand this handbook and the policies as outlined and then accept the provisions therein. A complete copy of Montezuma-Cortez RE-1 district policies is available at the central office and online at www.cortez.k12.co.us Going to the district website will also allow you to access this handbook. Once on the website, click on schools and go to the CMS webpage.
Signature of CMS Student __________________________ Date____________________
Signature of Parent ________________________________ Date____________________