Student Handbook 


School Colors:  Orange and Black

Mascot:  Panthers

Building Hours:  8:30-4:30 pm

Class Hours:  8:50-4:15 pm

“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.”

M-CMS Code:  Our Expectations

Hallway Expectations



Be Safe          

  • Hands, feet and objects to self
  • Walk in an organized fashion

Be Safe

  • Hands, feet and objects to self
  • Treat tables, chairs, and computers carefully

Be Respectful

  • Voice level 0-1
  • Follow staff directions promptly
  • Be polite in language and actions

Be Respectful

  • Voice level 0-1
  • Follow staff directions promptly
  • Be polite in language and actions

Be Responsible

  • Be prompt
  • Be where you are supposed to be

Be Responsible

  • Follow all Library guidelines
  • Return books on time
  • Pay fines on time

Cafeteria Expectations

Pod Area


Be Safe

  • Hands, feet and objects to self
  • Walk in an organized fashion

Be Safe

  • Hands, feet and objects to self

Be Respectful

  • Voice level 0-3
  • Follow staff directions promptly
  • Be polite in language and actions

Be Respectful

  • Voice level 0-3
  • Follow staff directions promptly
  • Be polite in language and actions

Be Responsible

  • Clean up messes and empty your tray
  • Enjoy your food but NOT your neighbor’s

Be Responsible

  • Be prompt
  • Be where you are supposed to be

Playground Expectations



Be Safe

  • Hands, feet, objects to self
  • Use equipment correctly

Be Safe

  • Hands, feet, objects to self
  • Use equipment correctly

Be Respectful

  • Voice level 0-3
  • Follow staff directions promptly
  • Be polite in language and actions

Be Respectful

  • Voice level 0-3
  • Follow staff directions promptly
  • Be polite in language and actions

Be Responsible

  • Take care of area and equipment
  • Report problems!

Be Responsible

  • Flush and wash
  • Be quick and clean
  • Have a pass with you



Before/After School


Be Safe

  • Hands, feet, and objects to self
  • Sit on chairs correctly

Be Safe

  • Hands, feet and objects to self
  • Stay in view of staff

Be Respectful

  • Voice level as directed
  • Follow staff directions promptly
  • Be polite in language and actions

Be Respectful

  • Voice level 0-2
  • Follow staff directions promptly
  • Be polite in language and actions

Be Responsible

  • Be on time
  • Be prepared
  • Stay on task
  • Complete work

Be Responsible

  • Be where you are supposed to be
  • Stay within designated lines

Bus Zone




Be Safe

  • Hands, feet and objects to self
  • Walk as you leave
  • Stay on sidewalks

Be Safe

  • Hands, feet and objects to self
  • Walk in an organized fashion
  • Sit on pockets, feet on floor

Be Respectful

  • Voice level 0-3
  • Follow staff directions promptly
  • Be polite in language and actions

Be Respectful

  • Voice level 0-1
  • Follow staff directions promptly
  • Be polite in language and actions

Be Responsible

  • Be at the Bus Zone on time
  • Wait where you are you supposed to

Be Responsible

  • Give eyes to the speaker
  • Give attention to what is going on


Considerable effort has been spent in developing an educational setting at M-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.

Montezuma-Cortez Middle School Core 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.


M-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.  M-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:


The core of any successful organization comes from the positive outlook of all participants. Here at M-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 M-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)-

M-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:  

  1. Analyze the situation.
  2. Brainstorm options.
  3. Consider each option.
  4. Decide and Do the best option.  (What might happen if I do this?  Is it safe? How might people feel about it?  Is is ethical?)
  5. Evaluate if it works.
  6. If necessary: Figure out another way.

 Montezuma-Cortez Middle School is committed to developing the “whole child” emotionally as well as academically.



  1. Students read and understand a variety of materials. 
  2. Students write and speak for a variety of purposes and audiences. 
  3. Students write and speak using conventional grammar, usage, sentence structure, punctuation, capitalization, and spelling. 
  4. Students apply thinking skills to their reading, writing, speaking, listening, and viewing. 
  5. Students read to locate, select, and make use of relevant information from a variety of media, reference, and technological sources. 
  6. Students read and recognize literature as a record of human experience.


  1. Students develop number sense and use numbers and number relationships in problem-solving situations and communicate the reasoning used in solving these problems.
  2. Students use algebraic methods to explore, model, and describe patterns and functions involving numbers, shapes, data, and graphs in problem-solving situations and communicate the reasoning used in solving these problems.
  3. Students use data collection and analysis, statistics, and probability in problem-solving situations and communicate the reasoning used in solving these problems.
  4. Students use geometric concepts, properties, and relationships in problem-solving situations and communicate the reasoning used in solving these problems.
  5. Students use a variety of tools and techniques to measure, apply the results in problem-solving situations, and communicate the reasoning used in solving these problems.
  6. Students link concepts and procedures as they develop and use computational techniques, including estimation, mental arithmetic, paper-and-pencil, calculators, and computers, in problem-solving situations and communicate the reasoning used in solving these problems.


  1. Students understand the processes of scientific investigation and design, conduct, communicate about, and evaluate such investigations. 
  2. Physical Science: Students know and understand common properties, forms, and changes in matter and energy. 
  3. Life Science: Students know and understand the characteristics and structure of living things, the processes of life, and how living things interact with each other and their environment. 
  4. Earth and Space Science: Students know and understand the processes and interactions of Earth's systems and the structure and dynamics of Earth and other objects in space. 
  5. Students know and understand interrelationships among science, technology, and human activity and how they can affect the world. 


  1. Students understand the chronological organization of history and know how to organize events and people into major eras to identify and explain historical relationships.
  2. Students know how to use the processes and resources of historical inquiry*.
  3. Students understand that societies* are diverse* and have changed over time.
  4. Students understand how science, technology, and economic activity have developed, changed, and affected societies throughout history.
  5. Students understand political institutions and theories that have developed and changed over time.
  6. Students know that religious and philosophical ideas have been powerful forces throughout history.


  1. Students know how to use and construct maps, globes, and other geographic tools to locate and derive information about people, places, and environments.
  2. Students know the physical and human characteristics of places, and use this knowledge to define and study regions and their patterns of change.
  3. Students understand how physical processes shape Earth's surface patterns and systems.
  4. Students understand how economic, political, cultural, and social processes interact to shape patterns of human populations, interdependence, cooperation, and conflict.
  5. Students understand the effects of interactions between human and physical systems and the changes in meaning, use, distribution, and importance of resources.
  6. Students apply knowledge of people, places, and environments to understand the past and present and to plan for the future.



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.


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:



     To keep everyone in the building safe, M-CMS is a single point entry school during regular school operating hours.  When checking students out, you must come to the school in person with a photo ID and use the doors at the Rotunda Entrance.  Only those individuals whose names are listed in PowerSchool will be allowed to check your child out of school.  Students are not allowed off campus without an adult between the hours of 8:40 - 4:15 pm.


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 M-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 M-CMS.



Montezuma-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 M-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.


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.


         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.


Students are continuously encouraged to demonstrate positive behavior at M-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 M-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 Montezuma-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’. 


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 M-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 M-CMS.  


This room is used in many ways to help support the learning environment here at M-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.


The standard reasons for excused absences as defined by the M-CMS attendance policy are in effect.  This policy includes personal illness, professional appointments and the death of an immediate family member.



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:

  1. Absences for the above reasons, if verified, will result in a makeup day only.  A student may be verified for this type of absence ONLY TWICE.  Further absences for these reasons may only be allowed at the discretion of the administration.
  2. Unverified absences will result in a makeup of the original penalty plus an additional penalty period.
  3. Students with verified school activities may choose to postpone their Supervised Lunch under the agreement that they make up the day plus one additional penalty day.
  4. After a second unverified “no show” to Supervised Lunch, the student is assigned one day Out-of-Class Detention. Further infractions are handled at the discretion of administration.


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).



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.


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.



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.


*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. Electronic devices will be allowed during lunch/recess only. speakers will not be allowed.

 M-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 M-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. 


*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.


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.


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. M-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.


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 Montezuma-Cortez Middle School.

Prohibitions:  No student on school property or at any school-sponsored activity shall:

  1. Wear, possess, use, distribute, display, or sell any clothing, jewelry, emblem, badge, symbol, sign or other items that evidences or reflects membership in, or affiliation with any gang and/or is representative of any gang.
  2. Engage in any act, either verbal or nonverbal, including gestures or handshakes, showing membership or affiliation in any gang and/or is representative of any gang.
  3. Engage in any act in furtherance of the interests of any gang or gang activity, including, but not limited to:
  1. Soliciting membership in, or affiliation with any gang.
  2. Soliciting any person to pay for “protection,” or threatening any person, explicitly or implicitly, with violence or with any other illegal or prohibited act.
  3. Painting, writing, or otherwise inscribing gang-related graffiti, messages, symbols, or signs on school grounds. This may also include wearing of clothing and accessories that promote groups that have gang affiliation.
  4. Engaging in violence, extortion, or any other illegal act or violation of school policy.
  5. Soliciting any person to engage in physical violence against any other person.  

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 M-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 M-CMS student to be bullied or harassed.  THE STAFF CAN DO NOTHING IF THEY DON’T KNOW!!

Sexual harassment: 

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.

Physical bullying:

Includes hitting, pinching, or kicking the victim. It can also involve taking or damaging the victim’s property.

Verbal bullying: 

Includes using words to hurt or humiliate another. It can involve name-calling, insulting, making social comments or constant teasing.

Cyber bullying:

    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 M-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.

Relational bullying: 

Includes excluding or rejecting another from social activities or connections, and purposely leaving others out at the encouragement of another student.

Reactive victims: 

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 Montezuma-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.



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.


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


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 M-CMS.        

Gum Chewing

Students are allowed to chew gum at M-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

M-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                                Mr. Colin Noel                        565-7824 ext. 3140

Counselor 7th                                Ms. Carrie Schneider-Lemay                565-7824 ext. 3118

Counselor 8th                                 Ms. Robyne Cote                            565-7824 ext. 3115

Guidance Secretary/Registrar         Mrs. Jamie Johnson                        565-7824 ext. 3114

Nurse                                        Mrs. Jill Dunsten                        5657-824 ext. 3116

Media Specialist                        Ms. Kathryn Freeman                        565-7824 ext. 3232 

School Resource Officer                Officer Jerry Sam                        565-7824 ext. 3129

M-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, Parents and Guardians will need an individual username and password, which can be obtained through M-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.


M-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 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.  M-CMS is not responsible for lost or stolen property.


Montezuma-Cortez Middle School has many surveillance cameras throughout the campus. They are used to ensure the safety of Montezuma-Cortez Middle School’s staff and students.  


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.


Montezuma-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.  


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.


Periodically, M-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.  


Food and/or drinks in the classroom or hallway are not allowed unless tied to an educational objective. 


Montezuma-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.


Students will remain in seats quietly listening for a report on the School Safe radios, then everone will exit building in an orderly fashion.


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 Montezuma-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.


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.


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.


Montezuma-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.


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 M-CMS.


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.


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. Montezuma-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.


     Parents should expect approximately 60 minutes of homework per evening on most school days.


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 Montezuma-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.


At no time are students permitted to solicit support or donations for non-school fundraising.


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:

  1. The student and his/her parent or guardian will first discuss the problem with the staff member involved.
  2. If an acceptable solution cannot be reached, the student and his/her parent or guardian may discuss the problem with the school principal, who may involve other individuals as he/she deems necessary.
  3. If the matter is not resolved, the student and his/her parent or guardian may appeal the matter to the Assistant Superintendent, who may involve other individuals as he/she deems necessary.
  4. If the matter is not resolved, the student and his/her parent or guardian may appeal the matter to the Superintendent who may involve other individuals as he/she deems necessary.
  5. If this conference fails to result in a satisfactory solution, the matter may then be appealed through the Superintendent of Schools and the Board of Education to be discussed in an executive session.

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.        


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 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 Montezuma-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.


Completion of the withdrawal process of a student from M-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.  Montezuma-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.


Montezuma-Montezuma-Cortez Middle School will choose to check academic eligibility weekly.

  1. Beginning on the first Thursday of each season, and every Thursday subsequently, grades for each student involved in an activity or athletic program will be printed and given to each activity sponsor and/or coach. These grades will serve as a warning to coaches which students are failing 1 or more classes. It is the responsibility of the sponsor/coach to inform their students about each of their grades.
  2. On the second Monday of each semester and every Monday subsequently, the grades of each student involved in an activity or athletic program will again be printed, and given to each activity sponsor and/or coach. If, on this grade report, a student has 1 or more F’s, that student will be ineligible to participate in any school sponsored extra-curricular activity or athletic event until grades are checked again on the following Monday. There will be no exceptions to this requirement, unless a valid human error or unforeseen circumstance takes place, which will be considered on a case by case basis.
  3. If the F(s) is removed from the student’s grade report by the following Wednesday grade report, that student will once again be eligible to participate; however, if said student still has an F on their report card, they will continue to be ineligible.
  4. Attendance guidelines are still applicable for school and practice for ineligible students.

Notable change to previous policy:

  1. Warning week is no longer applicable. This is replaced by the coach’s grade check on Thursdays. Sponsors/coaches will provide students their grades on Thursdays, and it will be the responsibility of the student to fix any F’s on their report card, before the following Monday report.
  2. The 2.0 G.P.A. policy is no longer applicable. Students with 1 F while maintaining a G.P.A. of 2.0 or greater are no longer eligible. Any grade of F is considered ineligible regardless of G.P.A.


Montezuma-Montezuma-Cortez Middle School will monitor behavioral eligibility daily.

  1. Students are expected to maintain behavioral standards as outlined in the students handbook at all times while participating in school activities or athletics. This includes, before during and after practices or games while on school property, on the bus to and from practices or games, and at all points while on trips for school events or competitions.
  2. Students assigned to a half day (4 periods) or more of Out-of-Class Detention (OCD) during the season will be ineligible to participate in the next event or competition following the infraction.
  3. Students who are assigned Out-of-School Suspension (OSS) during the season will miss the next 40% of the season (total number of regular season games multiplied by 0.4) following the infraction. This includes post season play (ie. if there are 10 games in the season and the student is suspended with only two games left in the regular season, they will miss the last two games, and if the team qualifies for post-season play, they would not be eligible to play in the first two games.


The following sports and activities are included during the school year at Montezuma-Cortez Middle School.  These sports and activities are available to students enrolled at Montezuma-Cortez Middle School.  Some programs require fees and/or sports physicals.


                        Basketball (Boys and Girls)                                                         

                        Football                                                 Basketball

                        Volleyball                                                 Volleyball

                        Wrestling                                                 Wrestling

                        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

Health Fair                                                Rainbow Alliance Group



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 M-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 Montezuma-Cortez Middle School’s administration reserves the right to use a metal detecting wand for school safety.


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 M-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.


RE-1 Health Services information is available electronically at


First Aid/Illness:  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. Students with fever, vomiting or diarrhea should stay home until they are symptom-free for 24 hours.

Accidents at School: Anyone involved in or witnessing an accident in which injury or potential injury has occurred should seek the nurse’s assistance immediately. If there is any question regarding the condition of an accident victim, those present should leave the person stationary, stay with him or her and send someone to get the nurse.



Medications at School:


When possible, please administer medication at home. Medication administration in the school setting is under the direction of the school registered nurse.

Prescription Medication:  Students requiring prescription medication administration in the school setting must have a Medication Authorization Form signed by the physician and parent.   The medication must be in its original pharmacy issued container.

                    Over-The-Counter Medication:  Comfort medicine (Tylenol, ibuprofen, antacid tablets, calamine lotion, bacitracin, and cough drops may be given if parents have signed the “medicine permission consent” on the Health Screening Questionnaire 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.


Immunization Requirements:  Colorado State Immunization Requirements for School Enrollment are provided to parents annually. Non-medical (religious/personal) exemptions must be updated annually. Forms are available on-line or from your school. This school utilizes the Colorado Immunization Information System (CIIS), a confidential, secure, statewide immunization registry. You may choose to exclude your child’s shot information from CIIS at any time. Please contact your school nurse for further information.


Permission for Health Advisory/Need to Know:  School nurses develop a Student Health List and/or a Health Care Action Plan from the Health Screening Questionnaire 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.


Screenings/Physical Exams:  Parents/guardians may opt out of routine, non-emergency screenings provided by the district.  Current screenings might include: hearing, vision, dental, 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.


Lice: We do not exclude students from school if lice or nits are found. We do educate and support parents as they work to remove lice and nits from their student. Please contact your school nurse if you suspect your student has a lice infestation so we can help. Teach your child to use only his/own comb, brush, hair ornaments, hats and coats. Sharing these items is a common way for lice to move from one person to another. For sleep-overs, send your child with their own pillow and sleeping bag.

Accident Insurance: Student accident insurance information forms are available in the front office and should be mailed directly to the insurance company. Any student who misses the initial application period, may apply at any time during the school year. These forms are available in the front office. All students involved with M-CHS sponsored athletics must have appropriate insurance coverage.


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.  


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.

  1. The teacher or employee shall file a complaint with the building principal, the superintendent’s office and the Board of Education.

  1. The principal, after receipt both of the complaint and adequate proof of the charges, shall suspend the student for three days in accordance with established procedures.

  1. The superintendent shall initiate procedures for the further suspension or expulsion of the student when injury or property damage has occurred.

  1. The superintendent or his designee shall report the incident to the county’s district attorney or the appropriate local law enforcement agency or officer who shall then investigate the incident to determine the appropriateness of filing the criminal charges or initiating delinquency proceedings.

  1. A copy of this policy shall be distributed to each student and posted in each school building.

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          Athletic Director/Assistant Principal


Lindi New                  Math/Science

Emily Mohr               Math/Science

Rita Tripp                  Language Arts/World Studies

Josie Rose                  Language Arts/World Studies

Lisa Baer                   Spanish/Building Resource Teacher


Cathy Cowan              Math/Science

Shandi Costen             Language Arts/World Studies

Kayla Watkins            Language Arts/World Studies

Don Mitchell               Math/Science


Carrie Hughes            Math

Lissa Lycan                 Language Arts

Tyson Wood                World Studies

Amanda Robinson     Science


Isabel Stoker              Science

Kathy Clark               Math

Conner McCue          World Studies

Jeff Sand                     Language Arts    


Kelly Gregory                                              Science

Melanee Cullinane/Matthew Johnson      Math

Bobby Sitton                                               World Studies

Cody Childers                                              Language Arts


Michael Olson            World Studies

Candie Lanyon          Math

Tonya Carver             Language Arts

Toni Broughton          Science


Colin Noel  6th        Counselor

Carrie Schneider-LeMay  7th        Counselor

Robyne Cote  8th        Counselor

Monica Slabodnick                       Check/Connect                                                                                  

Jamie Johnson        Registrar



Jill Dunsten, R.N.           Nurse


Jerry Sam                      School Resource Officer

Vern Rucker                  School Resource Officer


Sabrina Blanton          New Pathways

Jade Neighbors            New Pathways Paraprofessional

Anna McArthur          New Pathways Paraprofessional

Maggie Ikenouye         Life Skills II (6,7,8)                    

Chase Wesley               Life Skills I (6,7,8)

Desiree Lipe,                ESS Paraprofessional

Michelle Battle            ESS Paraprofessional

Dorothena Padilla       ESS Paraprofessional

Tracy Witowski           ESS Paraprofessional

Laurie McGuire          ESS Paraprofessional

Laurie Austin              Resource (6, 7)

Kodie Sirois                 Resource  (6, 7) Paraprofessional

Crystal Faust               Resource (7, 8)

Christy Franiak           Resource (7, 8) Paraprofessional

Cindee Gapp                Instructional Support Room


Melinda Martinez        Family & Consumer Science

Ellen Butler                   Girls Physical Education

Tanner Small                 Boys Physical Education

Marla Sitton                  Vocal Music

Andrew Campo             Band

Alexander Mohr           Assistant Band

Michael McMillan       AG/SW Studies/Farm to School

Angela Gabardi            Computer

Angela Gabardi            Drama/Theater

Keri Mustoe                 Keyboarding, Computers,  Robotics                                                  

Catelyn Englehart       Art

Kathryn Freeman        Media Center

Cory Madsen                AVID

Lisa Baer                      Spanish/Building Resource

Brittany Lang              Gifted Talented/Building Resource

Pam Cox                       Math Interventionist

Nyssa Thomassen        Reading Interventionist        


Terri McConville        Principal’s Secretary

Penny Stevens             Athletic Secretary

Joni Anderson            Asst.  Prin. Secretary                              

Caleb Maes                 Security Secretary                      


Rick Jones                                

Glen Kyle                  

Ray Vialpando

Vanessa Leon


Misty Cornett                              

Christina Borgen                    

Juanita Kee                    

Grayce Frohock

Crystal McNutt

Clairlene Filfred

Montezuma-Cortez Middle School

Lower Floors

Montezuma-Cortez Middle School

Upper Floors


Student’s Name_______________________________________ Grade_____________

Parent’s Name_____________________________________________________________

                                        (Please Print)

Email address (Vital Information)


I have reviewed the Montezuma-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  Going to the district website will also allow you to access this handbook.  Once on the website, click on schools and go to the M-CMS webpage.

Signature of M-CMS Student __________________________ Date____________________

Signature of Parent ________________________________ Date____________________