White Oak Middle School

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Student Handbook 2017-2018

2017-2018

Student Handbook 

Table of Contents

PREFACE

SECTION I:  PARENTAL RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT - Working Together

PARENTAL RIGHTS - Obtaining Information and Protecting Student Rights

“Opting Out” of Surveys and Activities

Inspecting Surveys

Requesting Professional Qualifications of Teachers and Staff

Reviewing Instructional Materials

Displaying a Student’s Artwork and Projects

Accessing Student Records

Granting Permission to Video or Audio Record a Student

Removing a Student Temporarily from the Classroom

Excusing a Student from Reciting the Pledges to the U.S. and Texas Flags

Excusing a Student from Reciting a Portion of the Declaration of Independence

Requesting Limited or No Contact with a Student through Electronic Media

Requesting Notices of Certain Student Misconduct

Prohibiting the Use of Corporal Punishment

PARENTS OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES

Request the Use of a Service Animal

Options and Requirements for Providing Assistance to Students Who Have Learning Difficulties or Who Need or May Need Special Education Services

Students With Physical or Mental Impairments Protected under Section 504

Parents of Students Who Speak a Primary Language Other than English

Accommodations for Children of Military Families

Student Records

Directory Information

Directory Information for School-Sponsored Purposes

SECTION II:  OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR STUDENTS AND PARENTS

ABSENCES/ATTENDANCE

Compulsory Attendance

Exemptions to Compulsory Attendance

Failure to Comply with Compulsory Attendance

Attendance for Credit

Official Attendance Taking Time

Parent’s Note after an Absence

Doctor’s Note after an Absence for Illness

Driver License Attendance Verification

ACADEMIC PROGRAMS

AWARDS AND HONORS

BULLYING

CHEATING/PLAGIARISM/ACADEMIC DISHONESTY

CHECK ACCEPTANCE POLICY

CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE AND OTHER MALTREATMENT OF CHILDREN

CLASS RANK

CLASS SCHEDULES

CLOSED CAMPUS/RELEASE OF STUDENTS FROM SCHOOL

COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY ADMISSIONS

COMPLAINTS AND CONCERNS

CONDUCT

Applicability of School Rules

Campus Conduct Code

Disruptions of School Operations

Social Events

CONTAGIOUS DISEASES / CONDITIONS

COUNSELING

Academic Counseling

Personal Counseling

Psychological Exams, Tests, or Treatment

CREDIT BY EXAM

If a Student Has Taken the Course

If a Student Has Not Taken the Course

DATING VIOLENCE, DISCRIMINATION, HARASSMENT, AND RETALIATION

Dating Violence

Discrimination

Harassment

Sexual Harassment

Retaliation

Reporting Procedures

Investigation of Report

DETENTIONS

DISCRIMINATION

DISTRIBUTION OF PUBLISHED MATERIALS OR DOCUMENTS

School Materials

Non-school Materials...from students

Non-school Materials...from others

DRESS AND GROOMING

Clothing

General

Shirts and Tops

Pants, Dresses, Shorts, Skirts

Shoes

Grooming And Hygiene

Hair

Make-up

Tattoos

Hats, Caps, Sunglasses

Jewelry

ELECTRONIC DEVICES AND TECHNOLOGY RESOURCES

Possession and Use of Personal Telecommunications Devices, Including Mobile Telephones

Possession and Use of Other Personal Electronic Devices

Instructional Use of Personal Telecommunications and Other Electronic Devices

Acceptable Use of District Technology Resources

Unacceptable and Inappropriate Use of Technology Resources

EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES, CLUBS, AND ORGANIZATIONS

Standards of Behavior

Offices and Elections

FEES

FUND-RAISING

GAMBLING DEVICES AND GAMBLING

GANG-FREE ZONES

GIFTED AND TALENTED PROGRAM

GRADING GUIDELINES

GUM/CANDY/COLD DRINKS

HARASSMENT

HAZING

HEALTH-RELATED MATTERS

Bacterial Meningitis

Food Allergies

Physical Activity for Students in Middle School

SCHOOL HEALTH ADVISORY COUNCIL (SHAC)

Physical Fitness Assessment

Vending Machines

Tobacco Prohibited

Asbestos Management Plan

Pest Management Plan

HOMELESS STUDENTS

HOMEWORK

IMMUNIZATION

LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES

Questioning of Students

Students Taken Into Custody

Notification of Law Violations

LIMITED ENGLISH PROFICIENT STUDENTS

MAKEUP WORK

Makeup Work Because of Absence

DAEP Makeup Work

In-school Suspension/Special Assignment Center (SAC)

MEDICINE AT SCHOOL

Psychotropic Drugs

NONDISCRIMINATION STATEMENT

PHYSICAL EXAMINATIONS / HEALTH SCREENINGS

PLEDGES OF ALLEGIANCE AND A MINUTE OF SILENCE

PRAYER

PROMOTION AND RETENTION

RECIPROCAL AGREEMENT

RELEASE OF STUDENTS FROM SCHOOL

REPORT CARDS / PROGRESS REPORTS AND CONFERENCES

RETALIATION

SAFETY

Accident Insurance

Drills:  Fire, Tornado, and Other Emergencies

Emergency Medical Treatment and Information

Emergency School-Closing Information

SCHOOL FACILITIES

Use by Students Before and After School

Conduct Before and After School

Use of Hallways During Class Time

Cafeteria Services

Library

Meetings of Non-curriculum-Related Groups

SEARCHES

Students’ Desks and Lockers

Electronic Devices

Vehicles on Campus

Trained Dogs

Drug-Testing

SPECIAL PROGRAMS

Providing Assistance to Students Who Have Learning Difficulties or Need Special Education Services

Special Education Student Records

STANDARDIZED TESTING

STAAR (State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness)

Grades 3–8

End-of-Course (EOC) Assessments for Students in Grades 9–12

(8th grade:  Algebra only)

STEROIDS

STUDENTS IN PROTECTIVE CUSTODY OF THE STATE

STUDENT SPEAKERS

SUICIDE AWARENESS

SUMMER SCHOOL

TARDINESS

TELEPHONES

TEXTBOOKS, ELECTRONIC TEXTBOOKS, AND TECHNOLOGICAL EQUIPMENT

TOBACCO

TRANSPORTATION

School-Sponsored Trips

Buses and Other School Vehicles

Secondary Grade Level Disciplinary Guidelines

TUTORIALS

VANDALISM

VIDEO CAMERAS

VISITORS TO THE SCHOOL

General Visitors

WITHDRAWING FROM SCHOOL

NOTIFICATION OF PARENT AND STUDENT RIGHTS UNDER THE FAMILY EDUCATION RIGHTS AND PRIVACY ACT (FERPA)

NOTIFICATION OF RIGHTS UNDER THE PROTECTION OF PUPIL RIGHTS

AMENDMENT (PPRA)

Glossary


PREFACE

To Students and Parents:

Welcome to school year 2017-2018. Education is a team effort, and we know that students, parents, teachers, and other staff members all working together can make this a wonderfully successful year for our students.  The staff at White Oak Middle School, along with our students, would like to welcome you to our campus.   We believe all students can be successful and we will do everything possible to ensure that success.  It was once said that every job is a self-portrait of the person who does it.  We need to autograph our work with excellence.   George Bernard Shaw said, “Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time”.   A child’s education succeeds best when there is a strong partnership between home and school, a partnership that thrives on communication.   We welcome your comments, your applause as well as your concerns.   Life is like a band…we need not all play the same part or instrument, but we must play in harmony.  Again, welcome to White Oak Middle School. Our Student Handbook is designed to provide a resource for some of the basic information that you and your child will need during the school year.  In an effort to make it easier to use, the handbook is divided into two sections:

Section I—PARENTAL RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES— with information to assist you in responding to school-related issues.  We encourage you to take some time to closely review this section of the handbook.

Section II—OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR STUDENTS AND PARENTS—organized alphabetically by topic for quick access when searching for information on a specific issue.

Please be aware that the term “the student’s parent” is used to refer to the parent, legal guardian, or any other person who has agreed to assume school-related responsibility for a student.

Both students and parents should become familiar with the White Oak ISD Student Code of Conduct, which is a document adopted by the board and intended to promote school safety and an atmosphere for learning.  That document may be found posted on our district website at www.woisd.net or available in the principal’s office.

The Student Handbook is designed to be in harmony with board policy and the Student Code of Conduct.  Please be aware that the handbook is updated yearly, while policy adoption and revision may occur throughout the year.  Changes in policy or other rules that affect Student Handbook provisions will be made available to students and parents through newsletters or other communications.   The district reserves the right to modify provisions of the Student Handbook at any time, whenever it is deemed necessary. Notice of any revision or modification will be given as is reasonably practical under the circumstances.  

In case of conflict between board policy (including the Student Code of Conduct) and any provisions of the Student Handbook, the current provisions of board policy and the Student Code of Conduct are to be followed.

After reading through the entire handbook with your child, keep it as a reference during this school year.  If you or your child has questions about any of the material in this handbook, please contact a teacher, the counselor, or the principal.

TRADITIONS

The name White Oak was derived from the presence of two large oak trees standing in front of the first school building.  The two words, White and Oak, have been defined as purity and strength.   One example of this strength and tradition is the school bell on display in front of our campus.  This bell rang proud and true from 1914-1932.  It was presented to the school district by the Class of 1968, with Mrs. Lena Faye Tuttle and Mr. David Shopay names proudly displayed.

The traditional colors are maroon and white.  White represents purity; maroon represents valor.  

As White Oak grew and came of age, various customs and traditions came with it.  The foremost of these is the time-honored tradition of being a winner.  Never rating second best in any endeavor applies to athletics, the band, and all other activities where White Oak is represented.  

Another never-to-be-forgotten tradition is school spirit.  Backing by the student body can sometimes mean the difference between victory and defeat.  So make it a point to support the school and its representatives in contests.

A third and very important tradition is the Joe Roughneck award presented to White Oak High School athletes for outstanding athletic achievement and good sportsmanship.   You may see this award in trophy case in the high school corridor.

Although we use the term “Joe Roughneck” when speaking of our mascot, the true name is simply “Roughneck”.   Our athletic teams are known as “Roughnecks” and Ladynecks”, the yearbook is the “Roughneck”; the school paper, the “Gauger”.  These titles symbolize the strength and prestige of White Oak’s founders in the oil fields of East Texas.

Our school was founded on these traditions and they continue to be the sources of our pride in any endeavor which we, the students, undertake.

ALMA MATER

Firmly founded, Alma Mater,

Mother true is she;

Here beneath the towering oil wells,

Pledge we loyalty.

Sing her praises, speed them onward,

To the world proclaim,

That we’ll always shield and cherish

White Oak High School’s name!


SECTION I:  PARENTAL RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

This section of the White Oak Middle School Student Handbook includes information on topics of particular interest to you as a parents as specified in state or federal law.

PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT - Working Together

Both experience and research tell us that a child’s education succeeds best when there is good communication and a strong partnership between home and school.  Your involvement in this partnership may include:

PARENTAL RIGHTS - Obtaining Information and Protecting Student Rights

Your child will not be required to participate without parental consent in any survey, analysis, or evaluation—funded in whole or in part by the U.S. Department of Education—that concerns:

You will be able to inspect the survey or other instrument and any instructional materials used in connection with such a survey, analysis, or evaluation.  [For further information, see policy EF(LEGAL).]

“Opting Out” of Surveys and Activities

As a parent, you have a right to receive notice of and deny permission for your child’s participation in:

Inspecting Surveys

As a parent, you may inspect a survey created by a third party before the survey is administered or distributed to your child.

Requesting Professional Qualifications of Teachers and Staff

You may request information regarding the professional qualifications of your child’s teachers, including whether a teacher has met state qualification and licensing criteria for the grade levels and subject areas in which the teacher provides instruction; whether the teacher has an emergency permit or other provisional status for which state requirements have been waived; and undergraduate and graduate degree majors, graduate certifications, and the field of study of the certification or degree.  You also have the right to request information about the qualifications of any paraprofessional who may provide services to your child.

Reviewing Instructional Materials

As a parent, you have a right to review teaching materials, textbooks, and other teaching aids and instructional materials used in the curriculum, and to examine tests that have been administered to your child.

Displaying a Student’s Artwork and Projects

Teachers may display students’ work in classrooms or elsewhere on campus as recognition of student achievement.  However, the district will seek parental consent before displaying students’ artwork, special projects, photographs taken by students, and the like on the district’s Web site, in printed material, by video, or by any other method of mass communication.

Accessing Student Records

You may review your child’s student records.  These records include:

[See Student Records on page 14]

Granting Permission to Video or Audio Record a Student

As a parent, you may grant or deny any written request from the district to make a video or voice recording of your child.  State law, however, permits the school to make a video or voice recording without parental permission for the following circumstances:

Removing a Student Temporarily from the Classroom

You may remove your child temporarily from the classroom if an instructional activity in which your child is scheduled to participate conflicts with your religious or moral beliefs.  The removal cannot be for the purpose of avoiding a test and may not extend for an entire semester.  Further, your child must satisfy grade-level and graduation requirements as determined by the school and by the Texas Education Agency.

Excusing a Student from Reciting the Pledges to the U.S. and Texas Flags

As a parent, you may request that your child be excused from participation in the daily recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States flag and the Pledge of Allegiance to the Texas flag.  The request must be in writing.  State law does not allow your child to be excused from participation in the required minute of silence or silent activity that follows.  [See Pledges of Allegiance and a Minute of Silence on page 50 and policy EC(LEGAL).]

Excusing a Student from Reciting a Portion of the Declaration of Independence

You may request that your child be excused from recitation of a portion of the Declaration of Independence. State law requires students in social studies classes in grades 3–12 to recite a portion of the text of the Declaration of Independence during Celebrate Freedom Week unless (1) you provide a written statement requesting that your child be excused, (2) the district determines that your child has a conscientious objection to the recitation, or (3) you are a representative of a foreign government to whom the United States government extends diplomatic immunity.  [See policy EHBK(LEGAL).]

Requesting Limited or No Contact with a Student through Electronic Media

Teachers and other approved employees are permitted by the district to communicate with students through the use of electronic media within the scope of the individual’s professional responsibilities.  For example, a teacher may set up a social networking page for his or her class that has information related to class work, homework, and tests.  As a parent, you are welcome to join or become a member of such a page.

An employee described above may also contact a student individually through electronic media to communicate about items such as homework or upcoming tests.

However, instant or text messages sent to an individual student are only allowed if a district employee with responsibility for an extracurricular activity needs to communicate with a student participating in the extracurricular activity.  

If you prefer that your child not receive any one-to-one electronic communications from a district employee, please submit a written request to the campus principal stating this preference.

Requesting Notices of Certain Student Misconduct

A non-custodial parent may request in writing that he or she be provided, for the remainder of the school year, a copy of any written notice usually provided to a parent related to his or her child’s misconduct that may involve placement in a disciplinary alternative education program (DAEP) or expulsion.  [See policy FO(LEGAL) and the Student Code of Conduct.]

Prohibiting the Use of Corporal Punishment

Corporal punishment—spanking or paddling the student—may be used as a discipline management technique in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct and policy FO(LOCAL) in the district’s policy manual.  A form is included in the registration packet.

If you do not want corporal punishment to be administered to your child as a method of student discipline, please check the appropriate place and return the form included in the registration packet.   A signed statement must be provided each year.

You may choose to revoke this request at any time during the year by providing a signed statement to the campus principal.  However, district personnel may choose to use discipline methods other than corporal punishment even if the parent requests that this method be used on the student.

PARENTS OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES

Request the Use of a Service Animal

A parent of a student who uses a service animal because of the student’s disability must submit a request in writing to the principal at least ten district business days before bringing the service animal on campus.

Options and Requirements for Providing Assistance to Students Who Have Learning Difficulties or Who Need or May Need Special Education Services

If a child is experiencing learning difficulties, the parent may contact the person listed below to learn about the district’s overall general education referral or screening system for support services.  This system links students to a variety of support options, including referral for a special education evaluation.  Students having difficulty in the regular classroom should be considered for tutorial, compensatory, and other academic or behavior support services that are available to all students including a process based on Response to Intervention (RtI).  The implementation of RtI has the potential to have a positive impact on the ability of school districts to meet the needs of all struggling students.

At any time, a parent is entitled to request an evaluation for special education services.  Within a reasonable amount of time, the district must decide if the evaluation is needed.  If the evaluation is needed, the parent will be notified and asked to provide informed written consent for the evaluation.  The district must complete the evaluation and the report within 60 calendar days of the date the district receives the written consent.  The district must give a copy of the report to the parent.

If the district determines that the evaluation is not needed, the district will provide the parent with prior written notice that explains why the child will not be evaluated.  This written notice will include a statement that informs the parents of their rights, if they disagree with the district.  The district is required to give parents the Notice of Procedural Safeguards—Rights of Parents of Students with Disabilities.  Additional information regarding the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is available from the school district in a companion document, A Guide to the Admission, Review, and Dismissal Process.

The following Web sites provide information to those who are seeking information and resources specific to students with disabilities and their families:

The designated person to contact regarding options for a child experiencing learning difficulties or a referral for evaluation for special education services is Mr. Michael Higginbotham at 903-291-2057.

Students With Physical or Mental Impairments Protected under Section 504

A child determined to have physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity, as defined by law, and who does not otherwise qualify for special education services, may qualify for protection under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.  Section 504 is a federal law designed to prohibit discrimination against individuals with disabilities.  When an evaluation is requested, a committee will be formed to determine if the child is in need of services and supports under Section 504 to receive free appropriate public education (FAPE), as it is defined in federal law.  

The designated person to contact regarding a referral for evaluation applicable to Section 504 is Mr. Michael Higginbotham at 903-291-2057.

Parents of Students Who Speak a Primary Language Other than English

A student may be eligible to receive specialized support if his or her primary language is not English, and the student has difficulty performing ordinary class work in English.  If the student qualifies for these extra services, the Language Proficiency Assessment Committee (LPAC) will determine the types of services the student needs, including accommodations or modifications related to classroom instruction, local assessments, and state-mandated assessments.  The designated person on our campus to contact regarding the LPAC is Mr. Michael Higginbotham at 903-291-2057.

Accommodations for Children of Military Families

Children of military families will be provided flexibility regarding certain district requirements, including:

In addition, absences related to a student visiting with his or her parent related to leave or deployment activities may be excused by the district.  The district will permit no more than 10 excused absences per year for this purpose.

Additional information may be found at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index2.aspx?id=7995.

Student Records

Both federal and state laws safeguard student records from unauthorized inspection or use and provide parents and eligible students certain rights of privacy.  Before disclosing any personally identifiable information from a student’s records, the district must verify the identity of the person, including a parent or the student, requesting the information.  For purposes of student records, an “eligible” student is one who is 18 or older OR who is attending an institution of postsecondary education.

Virtually all information pertaining to student performance, including grades, test results, and disciplinary records, is considered confidential educational records.  Release is restricted to:

Federal law requires that, as soon as a student becomes 18, is emancipated by a court, or enrolls in a postsecondary institution, control of the records goes to the student.  The parents may continue to have access to the records, however, if the student is a dependent for tax purposes and under limited circumstances when there is a threat to the health and safety of the student or other individuals.

Release to any other person or agency—such as a prospective employer or for a scholarship application—will occur only with parental or student permission as appropriate.

The principal is custodian of all records for currently enrolled students at the assigned school.  The principal is the custodian of all records for students who have withdrawn or graduated.

Records may be inspected by a parent or eligible student during regular school hours.  The records custodian or designee will respond to reasonable requests for explanation and interpretation of the records.

A parent or eligible student who provides a written request and pays copying costs of ten cents per page may obtain copies.  If circumstances prevent inspection during regular school hours and the student qualifies for free or reduced-price meals, the district will either provide a copy of the records requested or make other arrangements for the parent or student to review these records.  The address of the superintendent’s office is 200 South White Oak Road, White Oak, Texas 75693

The address(es) of the principals’ offices are:  200 South White Oak Road, White Oak, Texas 75693

A parent (or eligible student) may inspect the student’s records and request a correction if the records are considered inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights.  A request to correct a student’s record should be submitted to the principal.   The request must clearly identify the part of the record that should be corrected and include an explanation of how the information in the record is inaccurate.  If the district denies the request to amend the records, the parent or eligible student has the right to request a hearing.  If the records are not amended as a result of the hearing, the parent or eligible student has 30 school days to exercise the right to place a statement commenting on the information in the student’s record.  Although improperly recorded grades may be challenged, contesting a student’s grade in a course is handled through the general complaint process found in policy FNG(LOCAL).  A grade issued by a classroom teacher can be changed only if, as determined by the board of trustees, the grade is arbitrary, erroneous, or inconsistent with the district’s grading policy.  [See FINALITY OF GRADES at FNG(LEGAL), Report Cards/Progress Reports and Conferences on page 52 and Student or Parent Complaints and Concerns on page 23 for an overview of the process.]  Copies of student records are available at a cost of ten cents per page, payable in advance.  If the student qualifies for free or reduced-price lunches and the parents are unable to view the records during regular school hours, one copy of the record will be provided at no charge upon written request of the parent.

The district’s policy regarding student records found at FL(LEGAL) and (LOCAL) is available from the principal’s or superintendent’s office or on the district’s Website at www.woisd.net.

The parent’s or eligible student’s right of access to and copies of student records do not extend to all records.  Materials that are not considered educational records—such as a teacher’s personal notes about a student that are shared only with a substitute teacher—do not have to be made available to the parents or student.

Parents or eligible students have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education if they believe the district is not in compliance with federal law regarding student records.  The complaint may be mailed to:

Family Policy Compliance Office U.S. Department of Education 400 Maryland Avenue, SW Washington, DC 20202-5901

Directory Information

The law permits the district to designate certain personal information about students as “directory information.”  This “directory information” will be released to anyone who follows procedures for requesting it.

However, release of a student’s directory information may be prevented by the parent or an eligible student.  This objection must be made in writing to the principal within ten school days of your child’s first day of instruction for this school year.   Forms are available in the registration packets. [See the “Notice Regarding Directory Information and Parent’s Response Regarding Release of Student Information” included in the forms packet.

Directory Information for School-Sponsored Purposes

The district often needs to use student information for school-sponsored purposes.  FL (LOCAL)

For these specific school-sponsored purposes, the district would like to use your child’s name, photograph, honors, awards, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, and weight and height as a member of an athletic team.    This information will not be used for other purposes without the consent of the parent or eligible student, Unless you object to the use of your child’s information for these limited purposes, the school will not need to ask your permission each time the district wishes to use this information for the school-sponsored purposes listed above.

SECTION II:  OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR STUDENTS AND PARENTS

Topics in this section of the handbook contain important information on attendance, academics, school activities, and school operations and requirements.  Take a moment with your child to become familiar with the various issues addressed in this section.  It is organized in alphabetical order to serve as a quick-reference when you or your child has a question about a specific school-related issue.  Should you be unable to find the information on a particular topic, please contact Mrs. Becky Balboa, Principal.

ABSENCES/ATTENDANCE

Regular school attendance is essential for a student to make the most of his or her education—to benefit from teacher-led and school activities, to build each day’s learning on the previous day’s, and to grow as an individual.  Absences from class may result in serious disruption of a student’s mastery of the instructional materials; therefore, the student and parent should make every effort to avoid unnecessary absences.  Two state laws—one dealing with compulsory attendance, the other with attendance for course credit—are of special interest to students and parents.  They are discussed below.

Compulsory Attendance

State law requires that a student between the ages of 6-18 attend school, as well as any applicable accelerated instruction program, extended year program, or tutorial session, unless the student is otherwise excused from attendance or legally exempt.

A student who voluntarily attends or enrolls after his or her 18th birthday is required to attend each school day until the end of the school year and is subject to compulsory attendance laws, if the student is under 19 years old.  In addition, if a student 18 or older has more than five unexcused absences in a semester the district may revoke the student’s enrollment.  The student’s presence on school property thereafter would be unauthorized and may be considered trespassing.  [See policy FEA.]

Students enrolled in prekindergarten or kindergarten are required to attend school.

State law requires attendance in an accelerated reading instruction program when kindergarten, first grade, or second grade students are assigned to such a program.  Parents will be notified in writing if their child is assigned to an accelerated reading instruction program as a result of a diagnostic reading instrument.

A student in grades 3–8 will be required to attend any assigned accelerated instruction program, which may occur before or after school or during the summer, if the student does not meet the passing standards on the state assessment for his or her grade level and applicable subject area.

Exemptions to Compulsory Attendance

State law allows exemptions to the compulsory attendance requirements for several types of absences if the student makes up all work.  These include the following activities and events:

Failure to Comply with Compulsory Attendance

School employees must investigate and report violations of the state compulsory attendance law.  A student absent without permission from school; from any class; from required special programs, such as additional special instruction, termed “accelerated instruction” by the state; or from required tutorials will be considered in violation of the compulsory attendance law and subject to disciplinary action.

A court of law may also impose penalties against the student’s parents/guardian if a school-aged student under 18 years of age is deliberately not attending school.  A complaint against the parent may be filed in court if the student:

The District accepts the following as extenuating circumstances for the purpose of granting credit for a class:

For a student younger than 12 years of age, the student’s parent could be charged with a civil offense based on the student’s failure to attend school.

Compulsory attendance: children ages 6-18 are required to attend school. Education Code 25.085

If the student is age 19 or older, the student, but not the student’s parents, would be subject to penalties as a result of the student’s violation of state compulsory attendance law.

The District may provide Saturday school or an extended day for a student to make up work or regain credit lost because of absences.  Because class time is important, doctor’s appointments should be scheduled, if possible, at times when the student will not miss instructional time.

A student absent for any reason must make up assignments missed and/or complete additional in-depth study assigned by the teacher to meet subject or course requirements.  Any student who does not make up assigned work within the time allotted by the teacher will be given a grade of zero for the assignment.

A student who will need to leave school during the day must be checked out by his or her parent/guardian, or by anyone listed on student’s Emergency Contact list in Skyward.  All must follow the campus sign-out procedures before leaving the campus.  Otherwise, a student will not be released from school at times other than at the end of the school day.  Unless the principal or designee has granted approval because of extenuating circumstances, a student will not regularly be released before the end of the instructional day.

If a student becomes ill during the school day, the student should receive permission from the teacher before reporting to the school nurse.  The nurse will decide whether or not the student should be sent home and will notify the student’s parent.

Tardies

Tardies will not be tolerated.   Students are required to be in their assigned classroom prior to the bell.   Excessive tardies (more than 3 per semester) may result in disciplinary action.  

To ensure that you will not be counted tardy, arrive to your class prior to the bell or, if you are conferencing with a teacher or are in the office for necessary business, obtain a note from the teacher or the office.

[See policy FEA(LEGAL).]

Attendance for Credit

To receive credit in a class, a student must attend at least 90 percent of the days the class is offered.  A student who attends at least 75 percent but fewer than 90 percent of the days the class is offered may receive credit for the class if he or she completes a plan, approved by the principal, which allows the student to fulfill the instructional requirements for the class.  If a student is involved in a criminal or juvenile court proceeding, the approval of the judge presiding over the case will also be required before the student receives credit for the class.

If a student attends less than 75 percent of the days a class is offered or has not completed a plan approved by the principal, then the student will be referred to the attendance review committee to determine whether there are extenuating circumstances for the absences and how the student can regain credit, if appropriate.  [See policies at FEC.]

In determining whether there were extenuating circumstances for the absences, the attendance committee will use the following guidelines:

The student or parent may appeal the committee’s decision to the board of trustees by filing a written request with the superintendent in accordance with policy FNG(LOCAL).

The actual number of days a student must be in attendance in order to receive credit will depend on whether the class is for a full semester or for a full year.                          

Official Attendance Taking Time

The district must submit attendance of its students to Texas Education Agency (TEA) reflecting attendance at a specific time each day. Official attendance is taken every day during second period at 8:55 a.m.

Parent’s Note after an Absence

When a student must be absent from school, the student—upon returning to school—must bring a note signed by the parent that describes the reason for the absence.  A note signed by the student, even with the parent’s permission, will not be accepted unless the student is 18 or older.  Your parent or guardian may also call the school office (903-291-2085) during the morning of the absence. Notes from parents/guardians will not be accepted as excused absences after three (3) school days on your return.   Our Skyward Parent Access Notification System will also notify you in the event your child is absent.

If you are uncertain of an illness, please bring the student into the front office for the nurse to determine if they may attend school for the day.  If the nurse determines that the student cannot remain at school, the absence will be excused for that day only.

Doctor’s Note after an Absence for Illness

Upon return to school, a student absent for more than 3 consecutive days because of a personal illness must bring a statement from a doctor or health clinic verifying the illness or condition that caused the student’s extended absence from school.

Should the student develop a questionable pattern of absences, the principal or attendance committee may require a statement from a doctor or health clinic verifying the illness or condition that caused the student’s absence from school in order to determine whether the absence or absences will be excused or unexcused.                         [See policy FEC(LOCAL).]

Driver License Attendance Verification

For a student between the ages of 16 and 18 to obtain a driver license, written parental permission must be provided for the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to access the student’s attendance records and, in certain circumstances, for a school administrator to provide the student’s attendance information to DPS.

ACADEMIC PROGRAMS

The school counselor provides students and parents’ information regarding academic programs to prepare for higher education and career choices.  [For more information, see Academic Counseling on page 27 of this handbook and policies at EIF.]

AWARDS AND HONORS

[For more information, see Class Rank on page 22 of this handbook]

BULLYING                                   

Bullying occurs when a student or group of students engages in written or verbal expression, expression through electronic methods, or physical conduct against another student on school property, at a school-sponsored or -related activity, or in a district operated vehicle, and the behavior:

This conduct is considered bullying if it exploits an imbalance of power between the student perpetrator(s) and the student victim and if it interferes with a student’s education or substantially disrupts the operation of the school.

Bullying is prohibited by the district and could include hazing, threats, taunting, teasing, assault, demands for money, confinement, destruction of property, theft of valued possessions, name-calling, rumor-spreading, and ostracism.  In some cases, bullying can occur through electronic methods, called “cyberbullying.”

If a student believes that he or she has experienced bullying or has witnessed bullying of another student, it is important for the student or parent to notify a teacher, counselor, principal, or another district employee as soon as possible.

The administration will investigate any allegations of bullying or other related misconduct.  If the results of an investigation indicate that bullying has occurred, the administration will take appropriate disciplinary action. Disciplinary or other action may be taken even if the conduct did not rise to the level of bullying. The district will also contact the parents of the victim and of the student who was found to have engaged in the bullying. Available counseling options will be provided to these individuals, as well as to any students who have been identified as witnesses to the bullying.

Any retaliation against a student who reports an incident of bullying is prohibited.

[Also see Hazing on page 41 and policy FFI(LOCAL).]

CHEATING/PLAGIARISM/ACADEMIC DISHONESTY

Plagiarism is the use of another person’s original ideas or writing as one’s own without giving credit to the true author.  Plagiarism will be considered cheating and the student will be subject to academic disciplinary action that may include loss of credit for the work in question.  Teachers who have reason to believe a student has engaged in cheating or other academic dishonesty will determine the academic penalty to be assessed.  The teacher will notify parents. The student may be subject to additional disciplinary action.

CHECK ACCEPTANCE POLICY

White Oak Independent School District has established the following policy for accepting checks and collecting returned checks:

For a check to be an acceptable form of payment it must include your full and accurate name, address and telephone number.  In the event your check is returned for non-payment, the face value will be recovered electronically along with the state allowed recovery fee.  Currently this fee is $30.00 however; it is subject to increases as set by the state of Texas.  

An alternative payment method has been established in the Child Nutrition Department.  Lunch Money Now allows parents access to their student’s individual accounts via the internet.  Using a debit or credit card parents can deposit funds directly into their student’s lunch account, view balances and see what their child is buying for lunch.  For more information on this program, please visit our website and click on the Lunch Money Now link found on our Homepage and the Nutrition and Menus link.

CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE AND OTHER MALTREATMENT OF CHILDREN

The district has established a plan for addressing child sexual abuse and other maltreatment of children, which may be accessed at www.woisd.net.    As a parent, it is important for you to be aware of warning signs that could indicate a child may have been or is being sexually abused.  Sexual abuse in the Texas Family Code is defined as any sexual conduct harmful to a child’s mental, emotional, or physical welfare as well as a failure to make a reasonable effort to prevent sexual conduct with a child.  Anyone who suspects that a child has been or may be abused or neglected has a legal responsibility, under state law, for reporting the suspected abuse or neglect to law enforcement or to Child Protective Services (CPS).

Possible physical warning signs of sexual abuse could be difficulty sitting or walking, pain in the genital areas, and claims of stomachaches and headaches.  Behavioral indicators may include verbal references or pretend games of sexual activity between adults and children, fear of being alone with adults of a particular gender, or sexually suggestive behavior.  Emotional warning signs to be aware of include withdrawal, depression, sleeping and eating disorders, and problems in school.

A child who has experienced sexual abuse or any other type of abuse or neglect should be encouraged to seek out a trusted adult.  Be aware as a parent or other trusted adult that disclosures of sexual abuse may be more indirect than disclosures of physical abuse and neglect, and it is important to be calm and comforting if your child, or another child, confides in you.  Reassure the child that he or she did the right thing by telling you.

As a parent, if your child is a victim of sexual abuse or other maltreatment, the campus counselor or principal will provide information regarding counseling options for you and your child available in your area.  The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (TDFPS) also manages early intervention counseling programs.  To find out what services may be available in your county, see http://www.dfps.state.tx.us/Prevention_and_Early_Intervention/Programs_Available_In_Your_County/default.asp.

The following Websites might help you become more aware of child abuse and neglect:

http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/factsheets/signs.cfm

http://sapn.nonprofitoffice.com/

http://www.taasa.org/member/materials2.php

http://www.oag.state.tx.us/AG_Publications/txts/childabuse1.shtml

http://www.oag.state.tx.us/AG_Publications/txts/childabuse2.shtml

Reports may be made to:

The Child Protective Services (CPS) division of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (1 800-252-5400 or on the Web at http://www.txabusehotline.org).

CLASS RANK

White Oak Middle School does not incorporate a system of ranking students.  We believe that school ranking should be left to the high school in regards to scholarships, Valedictorian and Salutatorians honors.   We do, however, acknowledge and celebrate student successes in the form of honoring students each nine week grading period who make the A/B Honor Roll and at the end of the year with the top ten percent listed in our end of the year celebration program.  Those recognitions are made in alphabetical order without grade percentages; posted on campus and in the local newspaper in accordance with Directory Information Requirements.  Also, at the end of the year students who have perfect discipline records will be given a citizenship award.   Transfer students may receive scholarship, citizenship and/or attendance awards by producing proper documentation from their former school(s).  Students who have perfect attendance will be given an attendance award.  Attendance will be determined during the 2nd period of each day.   Students who have been on the honor roll each six weeks will be given a scholarship award. Students who receive all three awards will be called “Perfect Roughnecks”.

CLASS SCHEDULES

Careful consideration and selection of their courses are of extreme importance to all White Oak Middle School students.   Courses lacking sufficient enrollment to justify their presence in the curriculum will not be offered. The number of students requesting the courses also determines the number of sections courses are offered, which may be limited to availability of qualified teaching personnel.   Changes in students’ schedules result in unbalanced classes’ therefore only elective courses may be added / dropped the first week of school. (athletics, band, choir, and student aide positions).  After the first week, students’ schedules are set.  Discipline and attendance will be taken into consideration on some elective courses such as Student Aides as well as athletics, band, choir.

CLOSED CAMPUS/RELEASE OF STUDENTS FROM SCHOOL

For the safety of our students and staff, students will not be allowed to leave the campus from the time that they arrive in the morning until they are dismissed at 3:32 p.m. each day without permission from the principal or designee.  A student will not be released from school at times other than at the end of the school day except with permission from the principal or designee and according to the campus sign-out procedures.  The middle school will have a pep rally each Thursday during football season, whereas the high school will have their pep rally each Friday.   The middle school will attend high school pep rallies.  We rearrange our class schedule to accommodate the times we attend pep rallies so not to take away from instruction.  Checking your child out for a high school pep rally is a choice that you, as a parent or guardian, have made.   However, please understand that your child will miss a major portion of a core class and he/she will be responsible for any lecture, notes, or assignments missed.  You must personally come into the office and check your child out.  Again, for the safety of our students and staff, you cannot check out other students at that time.   Because class time is important, doctor’s appointments should be scheduled, if possible, at times when the student will not miss instructional time. A student who will need to leave school during the day must be checked out by his or her parent and follow the campus sign-out procedures before leaving the campus. Otherwise, a student will not be released from school at times other than at the end of the school day. Unless the principal has granted approval because of extenuating circumstances, a student will not regularly be released before the end of the instructional day.

If a student becomes ill during the school day, the student should receive permission from the teacher before reporting to the school nurse. The nurse will decide whether or not the student should be sent home and will notify the student’s parent.

In all instances, parents/guardians must be in contact with the school.

COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY ADMISSIONS

Although your child may be five to seven years from graduation, it is never too early to plan for that time.   Study habits begin to be formed and nurtured during the formative years of middle school.  Talk to your child about their plans after high school and visit with our counselor to obtain more information to assist with positive study habits.

COMPLAINTS AND CONCERNS

Usually student or parent complaints or concerns can be addressed by a phone call or a conference with the teacher or principal.  For those complaints and concerns that cannot be handled so easily, the district has adopted a standard complaint policy at FNG(LOCAL) in the district’s policy manual.  A copy of this policy may be obtained in the principal’s or superintendent’s office or on the district’s Web site at www.woisd.net.

In general, the student or parent should submit a written complaint and request a conference with the campus principal.  If the concern is not resolved, a request for a conference should be sent to the superintendent.  If still unresolved, the district provides for the complaint to be presented to the board of trustees.

CONDUCT

Applicability of School Rules

As required by law, the board has adopted a Student Code of Conduct that prohibits certain behaviors and defines standards of acceptable behavior—both on and off campus—and consequences for violation of these standards.  The district has disciplinary authority over a student in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.  Students and parents should be familiar with the standards set out in the Student Code of Conduct, as well as campus and classroom rules.

Campus Conduct Code

As required by law, the board has adopted a Student Code of Conduct that prohibits certain behaviors and defines standards of acceptable behavior—both on and off campus—and consequences for violation of these standards. The district has disciplinary authority over a student in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct. Students and parents should be familiar with the standards set out in the Student Code of Conduct, as well as campus and classroom rules.

To achieve the best possible learning environment for all students, the Student Code of Conduct and other campus rules will apply whenever the interest of the district is involved, whether on or off school grounds, in conjunction with classes and school-sponsored activities.

Students are responsible for conducting themselves properly, in a manner appropriate to their age and level of maturity.

Student responsibilities for achieving a positive learning environment at school or school-related activities include:

To achieve the best possible learning environment for all our students, the following definition of violence will be in place.   Please discuss the term and definition with your student: Violence will be defined as any mean word, look, sign, or act that hurts a person’s body, dignity, or things.   Verbal violence includes, but not limited to, put-downs, name-calling, obscenities, arguing, making threats, yelling, or shouting.   Non-verbal violence includes, but not limited to, eye rolling, staring, ugly looks, glaring, gestures (hands on hips, fist, body language) and gang signs.   Physical violence includes, but not limited to spitting, shoving, hitting, tripping, pushing, punching, kicking, slapping, biting, fighting, maiming, and killing.

White Oak Middle School rules and discipline will apply whenever the interest of the District is involved, on or off school grounds, in conjunction with or independent of classes and school-sponsored activities.   The District has disciplinary authority over a student:

As required by law, the District has developed and adopted a Student Code of Conduct that prohibits certain behaviors and establishes standards of acceptable behavior—both on and off campus—and consequences for violation of the standards.  Students need to be familiar with the standards set out in the Student Code of Conduct, as well as campus and classroom rules.

To achieve the best possible learning environment for all students, the Student Code of Conduct and other campus rules of behavior will apply whenever the interest of the District is involved, on or off school grounds, in conjunction with or independent of classes and school-sponsored activities.  The District has disciplinary authority over a student in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.

Disruptions of School Operations

In order to protect student safety and sustain an educational program free from disruption, state law permits the District to take action against any person—student or nonstudent.   Disruptions of school operations are not tolerated and may constitute a misdemeanor offense.  As identified by law, disruptions include the following:

Social Events

School rules apply to all school events. (extracurricular and co-curricular)  Guests attending these events are expected to observe the same rules as students, and a student inviting a guest will share responsibility for the conduct of his or her guest.

For the safety of our students and staff, students from other schools are not allowed on campus during the school day nor are they allowed to eat lunch with our students.    When scheduled, school sponsored dances are only for current White Oak Middle School Students.   Students not currently enrolled at the middle school are not allowed to attend school sponsored dances.  

CONTAGIOUS DISEASES / CONDITIONS

To protect other students from contagious illnesses, students infected with certain diseases are not allowed to come to school while contagious.  If a parent suspects that his or her child has a contagious disease, the parent should contact the school nurse or principal so that other students who might have been exposed to the disease can be alerted.

The school nurse or the principal’s office can provide information from the Department of State Health Services regarding these diseases.

COUNSELING

Academic Counseling

Students and their parents are encouraged to talk with a school counselor, teacher, or principal to learn more about course offerings, graduation requirements, and early graduation procedures.  Each spring, students in grades 5 through 8 will be provided information on anticipated course offerings for the next school year and other information that will help them make the most of academic opportunities.

To plan for the future, each student should work closely with the counselor in order to enroll in the high school courses that best prepare him or her for attendance at a college, university, or training school, or for pursuit of some other type of advanced education.  

Personal Counseling

The school counselor is available to assist students with a wide range of personal concerns, including such areas as social, family, or emotional issues, or substance abuse.  The counselor may also make available information about community resources to address these concerns.  

Psychological Exams, Tests, or Treatment

The school will not conduct a psychological examination, test, or treatment without first obtaining the parent’s written consent.  Parental consent is not necessary when a psychological examination, test, or treatment is required by state or federal law for special education purposes or by the Texas Education Agency for child abuse investigations and reports.

[For more information, refer to policies EHBAA(LEGAL), FFE(LEGAL), and FFG(EXHIBIT).]

CREDIT BY EXAM

If a Student Has Taken the Course

A student who has previously taken a course or subject—but did not receive credit for it—may, in circumstances determined by the principal or attendance committee, be permitted to earn credit by passing an exam on the essential knowledge and skills defined for that course or subject.  Prior instruction may include, for example, incomplete coursework due to a failed course or excessive absences, homeschooling, or coursework by a student transferring from a non-accredited school.

The counselor or principal would determine if the student could take an exam for this purpose.  If approval is granted, the student must score at least 70 on the exam to receive credit for the course or subject.  In other instances, the District administration will determine whether any opportunity for credit by exam will be offered.   The parent/guardian is responsible for the cost of the test.

The attendance review committee may also offer a student with excessive absences an opportunity to earn credit for a course by passing an exam.  A student may not use this exam, however, to regain eligibility to participate in extracurricular activities.  [For further information, see the counselor and policy EEJA.]

[For further information, see the counselor and policy EHDB(LOCAL).]

If a Student Has Not Taken the Course

A student will be permitted to take an exam to earn credit for an academic course for which the student has had no prior instruction or to accelerate to the next grade level.  

A student will earn course credit with a passing score of at least 90 on the exam.  A student in elementary school will be eligible to accelerate to the next grade level if the student scores at least 90 on each exam in the subject areas of language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies.

If a student plans to take an exam, the student (or parent) must register with the principal no later than 30 days prior to the scheduled testing date.  The district  will not honor a request by a parent to administer a test on a date other than the published dates.  If the district agrees to administer a test other than the one chosen by the district, the student’s parent will be responsible for the cost of the exam.  [For further information, see policy EHDC(LOCAL).]

DATING VIOLENCE, DISCRIMINATION, HARASSMENT, AND RETALIATION

The district believes that all students learn best in an environment free from dating violence, discrimination, harassment, and retaliation and that their welfare is best served when they are free from this prohibited conduct while attending school.  Students are expected to treat other students and district employees with courtesy and respect, to avoid behaviors known to be offensive, and to stop those behaviors when asked or told to stop.  District employees are expected to treat students with courtesy and respect.

The board has established policies and procedures to prohibit and promptly respond to inappropriate and offensive behaviors that are based on a person’s race, color, religion, gender, national origin, disability, or any other basis prohibited by law.  [See policy FFH.]

Dating Violence

Dating violence occurs when a person in a current or past dating relationship uses physical, sexual, verbal, or emotional abuse to harm, threaten, intimidate, or control the other person in the relationship.  Dating violence also occurs when a person commits these acts against a person in a marriage or dating relationship with the individual who is or was once in a marriage or dating relationship with the person committing the offense.  This type of conduct is considered harassment if the conduct is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it affects the student’s ability to participate in or benefit from an educational program or activity; creates an intimidating, threatening, hostile, or offensive educational environment; or substantially interferes with the student’s academic performance.

Examples of dating violence against a student may include, but are not limited to, physical or sexual assaults, name-calling, put-downs, threats to hurt the student or the student’s family members or members of the student’s household, destroying property belonging to the student, threats to commit suicide or homicide if the student ends the relationship, attempts to isolate the student from friends and family, stalking, or encouraging others to engage in these behaviors.

Discrimination

Discrimination is defined as any conduct directed at a student on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, disability, or any other basis prohibited by law, that negatively affects the student.

Harassment

Harassment, in general terms, is conduct so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it affects the student’s ability to participate in or benefit from an educational program or activity; creates an intimidating, threatening, hostile, or offensive educational environment; or substantially interferes with the student’s academic performance.  A copy of the district’s policy is available in the principal’s office and in the superintendent’s office or on the district’s Website at www.woisd.net.

Examples of harassment may include, but are not limited to, offensive or derogatory language directed at a person’s religious beliefs or practices, accent, skin color, or need for accommodation; threatening or intimidating conduct; offensive jokes, name-calling, slurs, or rumors; physical aggression or assault; graffiti or printed material promoting racial, ethnic, or other negative stereotypes; or other kinds of aggressive conduct such as theft or damage to property.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment of a student by an employee, volunteer, or another student is prohibited.

Sexual harassment of a student by an employee or volunteer does not include necessary or permissible physical contact not reasonably construed as sexual in nature.  However, romantic and other inappropriate social relationships, as well as all sexual relationships, between students and district employees are prohibited, even if consensual.

Examples of prohibited sexual harassment may include, but not be limited to, touching private body parts or coercing physical contact that is sexual in nature; sexual advances; jokes or conversations of a sexual nature; and other sexually motivated conduct, communications, or contact.                                   

Gender-based harassment includes harassment based on a student’s gender, expression by the student of stereotypical characteristics associated with the student’s gender, or the student’s failure to conform to stereotypical behavior related to gender. Examples of gender-based harassment directed against a student, regardless of the student’s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity, may include, but not be limited to, offensive jokes, name-calling, slurs, or rumors; physical aggression or assault; threatening or intimidating conduct; or other kinds of aggressive conduct such as theft or damage to property.  

Retaliation

Retaliation against a person who makes a good faith report of discrimination or harassment, including dating violence, is prohibited.  Retaliation against a person who is participating in an investigation of alleged discrimination or harassment is also prohibited. A person who makes a false claim or offers false statements or refuses to cooperate with a district investigation, however, may be subject to appropriate discipline.

Retaliation against a student might occur when a student receives threats from another student or an employee or when an employee imposes an unjustified punishment or unwarranted grade reduction.  Retaliation does not include petty slights and annoyances from other students or negative comments from a teacher that are justified by a student’s poor academic performance in the classroom.

Reporting Procedures

Any student who believes that he or she has experienced dating violence, discrimination, harassment, or retaliation should immediately report the problem to a teacher, counselor, principal, or other district employee.  The report may be made by the student’s parent.  See policy FFH(LOCAL) for the appropriate district officials to whom to make a report.

Investigation of Report

To the extent possible, the district will respect the privacy of the student; however, limited disclosures may be necessary to conduct a thorough investigation and to comply with law.  Allegations of prohibited conduct, which includes dating violence, discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, will be promptly investigated.  The district will notify the parents of any student alleged to have experienced prohibited conduct involving an adult associated with the district.

In the event prohibited conduct involves another student, the district will notify the parents of the student alleged to have experienced the prohibited conduct when the allegations, if proven, would constitute a violation as defined by policy.                                     

When an investigation is initiated for alleged prohibited conduct, the district will determine whether the allegations, if proven, would constitute bullying, as defined by law. If so, an investigation of bullying will also be conducted. [See policy FFI.]

If the district’s investigation indicates that prohibited conduct occurred, appropriate disciplinary or corrective action will be taken to address the conduct.  The district may take disciplinary action even if the conduct that is the subject of the complaint was not unlawful.

A student or parent who is dissatisfied with the outcome of the investigation may appeal in accordance with policy FNG(LOCAL)

DETENTIONS

Detentions are one method of discipline used at White Oak Middle School and may be given by the teacher or the principal.  Teachers may assign classroom detention, morning detentions, and lunch detentions. Failure to attend detentions on the assigned date will result in extra days and may result in an assignment to SAC.

Disciplinary notices will be issued to students that miss tutorials.   Morning detentions are scheduled on Tuesday and Thursday only, from 7:15-7:55am.  Students must return the notice and report to the school office before 7:15am for the detention in order to serve the detention.  Students will not be allowed to serve if they arrive after 7:15 a.m.   Failure to return the notice will result in further disciplinary actions. Students will be released from morning detentions to attend tutorials if previously requested by the teacher and a note has been issued to the student.  Tutorials are a requirement, not an option, if assigned by the teacher/administrator.    

Detentions will be 40 minutes in duration.  Students must bring assignments, remain quiet, and must serve the entire time.  If a student does not serve the time satisfactorily it will not count and the student must serve again.  If a student is late (after 7:15 AM) or fails to attend an assigned detention without written permission from the office, he/she may be assigned a day in Special Assignment Center (SAC).  Assigned dates for detentions and SAC are non-negotiable.  All detentions will be recorded on the student’s record.

The teacher and/or principal will make reasonable effort through disciplinary notices to inform the parents or guardians when a student has been assigned to detentions.  Notices (yellow copy) will be sent to parents/guardians by the teacher assigning the detention.  

This copy must be signed and returned on the next school day.  Students must present the signed copy to the individual in charge of the detention.   Students who repeatedly fail to return the notice or refuse to get notices signed may be assigned additional detentions or SAC.   Parents are responsible for providing transportation to school detentions.  (7:15-7:55 AM)   Students choosing to ride the bus will not arrive in time for the assigned detention and will be assigned additional detentions or SAC.  

Excessive detentions will not be tolerated.  Students who repeatedly are assigned detentions during the semester will be assigned SAC, or may be removed to an Alternative Educational Placement setting. (DAEP) Subsequent offenses will be treated in a like manner.  Refer to the student’s Team Disciplinary Plan for additional information related to each individual grade.

DISCRIMINATION

[See Dating Violence, Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation on page 29]

DISTRIBUTION OF PUBLISHED MATERIALS OR DOCUMENTS

School Materials

Publications prepared by and for the school may be posted or distributed, with the prior approval of the principal, sponsor, or teacher.  Such items may include school posters, brochures, flyers, etc.  

The school newspaper, The Gauger, and the yearbook, The Roughneck are available to students.

All school publications are under the supervision of a teacher, sponsor, and the principal.

[See Directory Information for School-Sponsored Purposes on page 16.]

Non-school Materials...from students

Unless a student obtains specific prior approval from the principal, written materials, handbills, photographs, pictures, petitions, films, tapes, posters, or other visual or auditory materials over which the school does not exercise control may not be posted, sold, circulated, or distributed on any school campus. To be considered, any non-school material must include the name of the sponsoring organization or individual.  The decision regarding approval will be made in two school days.

The principal has designated the counter area in the foyer as the location for approved non-school materials to be placed for voluntary viewing by students.  [See policies at FNAA.]

A student may appeal a principal’s decision in accordance with policy FNG(LOCAL).  Any student who posts non-school material without prior approval will be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.  Materials displayed without the principal’s approval will be removed.

Non-school Materials...from others

Written or printed materials, handbills, photographs, pictures, films, tapes, or other visual or auditory materials not sponsored by the district or by a district-affiliated school-support organization will not be sold, circulated, distributed, or posted on any district premises by any district employee or by persons or groups not associated with the district, except as permitted by policy GKDA.  To be considered for distribution, any non-school material must meet the limitations on content established in the policy, include the name of the sponsoring person or organization, and be submitted to the principal for prior review.  The principal will approve or reject the materials within two school days of the time the materials are received.  The requestor may appeal a rejection in accordance with the appropriate district complaint policy.  [See policies at DGBA, FNG, or GF.]

Prior review will not be required for:

All non-school materials distributed under these circumstances must be removed from district property immediately following the event at which the materials are distributed.  

DRESS AND GROOMING

The district’s dress code is established to teach grooming and hygiene, prevent disruption, and minimize safety hazards.  Inasmuch as the aims and purposes of the White Oak Public Schools include the development of good work habits and good citizenship on the part of the students, and since there is a definite relationship between the attainment of such purposes and the effecting of a desirable manner of dress and personal appearance on the part of the students, the board of trustees, on the recommendation of the officers of the student council and faculty, directs the administrative officers of the respective schools of the White Oak system to place in effect the following regulations:

Clothing

Appropriate clothing shall be worn in order to prevent disruption or interference with normal school operations and to promote an appropriate non distracting atmosphere in the classroom.    It is the philosophy of the White Oak Schools that parents have a responsibility to send students to school neatly groomed and modestly dressed.   If the parent gives up this responsibility and permits the student to come to school dressed in an inappropriate manner, or if the student chooses to attend school dressed inappropriately, then the school officials have the right and responsibility to counsel with the student and subsequently with the parent, or take corrective action.  The district prohibits any clothing or grooming that, in the principal’s judgment, may reasonably be expected to cause disruption or interference with normal school operations.

If the principal determines that a student’s grooming or clothing violates the school’s dress code, the student will be given an opportunity to correct the problem at school.  If not corrected, the student will be assigned to in-school suspension for the remainder of the day, until the problem is corrected, or until a parent or designee brings an acceptable change of clothing to the school.  Repeated offenses may result in more serious disciplinary action in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.

General

-  are lewd, vulgar, slanderous, offensive, or depict violence.

-  advertise or exploit tobacco products, alcoholic beverages,

   drugs or other illegal substances and paraphernalia.

- are sarcastic, demeaning to an individual or group.

-  identify with or refer to satanic, cult, or gang activities.

Shirts and Tops

Pants, Dresses, Shorts, Skirts

Length of clothing                                                

   

Cut of clothing

Fit of clothing

Types of clothing

- Clothing with holes, intentionally torn or ripped clothing (shorts, pants, shirts) is inappropriate and will not be permitted   NOTE: Jeans designed with holes/frayed are not acceptable attire to wear to school and may not be worn.

-Cut-offs must have a neatly trimmed or finished hem.

-Boxer shorts or pajama bottoms (flannel or otherwise) are not permitted.

Shoes

Grooming And Hygiene

Students shall follow appropriate personal hygiene practices relative to cleanliness and grooming.

Hair

Hair will be neat, clean and well groomed.  Boys’ hair will not extend below the eyebrows, below the earlobes or below the top of a tee shirt.  A  variety of hairstyles is acceptable if the following extremes are avoided:

Make-up

Tattoos

Hats, Caps, Sunglasses

Jewelry

-  are lewd, vulgar, slanderous, offensive, or depict violence.

-  advertise or exploit tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, and

   drugs or other illegal substances and paraphernalia        

- are sarcastic, demeaning to an individual or group.

      -  identify with or refer to satanic, cult, or gang activities.

The administrators and teachers shall be responsible for the enforcement of the dress code.  Teachers/coaches/sponsors may define appropriate dress for school sponsored trips and extracurricular activities. Students who violate those standards may be removed or excluded from the activity for a period determined by the principal or sponsor and may be subject to other disciplinary action. Final decisions on the appropriateness of school dress rest with the campus administration. If the principal determines that a student’s grooming violates the dress code, the student shall be given an opportunity to correct the problem at school. If not corrected, the student shall be assigned to on-campus suspension for the remainder of the day or until the problem is corrected. An unexcused absence will be given for the classes missed. Appropriate disciplinary action will follow the tardy policy guidelines. The principal may suspend regulations of the dress code for special events, which are held as part of the academic or extracurricular programs for their respective campuses.

ELECTRONIC DEVICES AND TECHNOLOGY RESOURCES

Possession and Use of Personal Telecommunications Devices, Including Mobile Telephones

For safety purposes, the District permits students to possess personal mobile telephone.  The District prohibits students from using personal electronic devices (i.e. pagers, cell phones, CD players, DVD players, game devices, etc) while on school property during school hours except:    The devices shall be permitted in the mornings prior to the 1st period bell ringing or the beginning of the first class of the school day. At 7:55am, all devices must be turned OFF. Taking pictures of other students without prior consent of administration is not permitted.  During the school day, students carrying cell phones will not be allowed to use them under any circumstances for calls or text messaging from the time they are turned off at 7:55am in the morning until 3:32 p.m. If a student feels ill or sick, he or she is to go to the school nurse. The nurse will notify a parent/guardian on the student’s behalf when/if they deem it necessary. A student must have teacher approval to have turned on and/or use telecommunications devices such as cell phones, netbooks, laptops, tablets, or other portable computers for instructional purposes. Having the device out will be considered the same as using it.

The use of mobile telephones or any device capable of capturing images is strictly prohibited at all times in locker rooms or restroom areas while at school or at a school-related or school-sponsored event.

Any disciplinary action will be in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct. The district will not be responsible for damaged, lost, or stolen telecommunications devices. The District prohibits students from using personal electronic devices while on school property during school hours.   Students may only carry cell phones in backpacks or purses and will not be allowed to use them, under no circumstances, for calls or text messaging while at school.    Having the device out will be considered the same as using it.

Students are prohibited from sending or posting electronic messages that are abusive, obscene, sexually oriented, threatening, harassing, damaging to another’s reputation, or illegal. This prohibition applies to conduct off school property if it results in a substantial disruption to the educational environment. Any person taking, disseminating, transferring, or sharing obscene, sexually oriented, lewd, or otherwise illegal images or photographs will be disciplined according to the Student Code of Conduct and may, in certain circumstances, be reported to law enforcement.

Students are fully responsible for the safety of any/all electronic devices.   Students who violate this policy shall be subject to established disciplinary measures.  If a student uses a telecommunications device without authorization during the school day, the device will be confiscated.  The parent or student may pick up the confiscated telecommunications device from the principal’s office at the end of the school day. Every offense afterward will result in a fee of $15 being paid per occurrence, before the device can be picked up..

Confiscated telecommunications devices that are not retrieved by the student or the student’s parents will be disposed of after the notice required by law.  

White Oak ISD is not responsible for any charges incurred while devices are being held.

In limited circumstances and in accordance with law, a student’s personal telecommunications device may be searched by authorized personnel.  [See Searches on page 55 and policy FNF.]

Any disciplinary action will be in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.  The district will not be responsible for damaged, lost, or stolen telecommunications devices.  [See policy FNCE.]

Possession and Use of Other Personal Electronic Devices

Except as described below, students are not permitted to possess or use personal electronic devices such as MP3 players, video or audio recorders, DVD players, cameras, games, e-readers, or other electronic devices at school, unless prior permission has been obtained.  Without such permission, teachers will collect the items and turn them into the principal’s office.  The principal will determine whether to return items to students at the end of the day or to contact parents to pick up the items.

In limited circumstances and in accordance with law, a student’s personal electronic device may be searched by authorized personnel.  [See Searches on page 60 and policy FNF.]

Any disciplinary action will be in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.  The district will not be responsible for any damaged, lost, or stolen electronic device.

Instructional Use of Personal Telecommunications and Other Electronic Devices

In some cases, students may find it beneficial or might be encouraged to use personal telecommunications or other personal electronic devices for instructional purposes while on campus.   Students must obtain prior approval before using personal telecommunications or other personal electronic devices for instructional use.  Students must also sign a user agreement that contains applicable rules for use (separate from this handbook).  When students are not using the devices for approved instructional purposes, all devices must be turned off during the instructional day.  Violations of the user agreement may result in withdrawal of privileges and other disciplinary action.  Without such permission, having the device out will be considered the same as using it and in violation of the above user agreement.

Acceptable Use of District Technology Resources

To prepare students for an increasingly technological society, the district has made an investment in the use of district-owned technology resources for instructional purposes; specific resources may be issued individually to students.  Use of these technological resources, which include the district’s network systems and use of district equipment, is restricted to  approved purposes only.  Students and parents will be asked to sign a user agreement (separate from this handbook) regarding use of these district resources.  Violations of the user agreement may result in withdrawal of privileges and other disciplinary action.  Students and their parents should be aware that e-mail and other electronic communications using district computers are not private and will be monitored by district staff. [For additional information, see policies at CQ.]

Unacceptable and Inappropriate Use of Technology Resources

Students are prohibited from possessing, sending, forwarding, posting, accessing, or displaying electronic messages that are abusive, obscene, sexually oriented, threatening, harassing, damaging to another’s reputation, or illegal.  This prohibition also applies to conduct off school property, whether the equipment used to send such messages is district-owned or personally owned, if it results in a substantial disruption to the educational environment.  Any person taking, disseminating, transferring, possessing, or sharing obscene, sexually oriented, lewd, or otherwise illegal images or other content, commonly referred to as “sexting,” will be disciplined according to the Student Code of Conduct and may, in certain circumstances, be reported to law enforcement.         Because engaging in this type of behavior can lead to bullying or harassment, as well as possibly impede future endeavors of a student, we encourage you to review with your child http://beforeyoutext.com, a state-developed program that addresses the consequences of engaging in inappropriate behavior using technology.

In addition, any student who engages in conduct that results in a breach of the district’s computer security will be disciplined in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct, and, in some cases, the consequence may rise to the level of expulsion.

EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES, CLUBS, AND ORGANIZATIONS

There will be an extracurricular activity fee associated with participation in athletics and 6th, 7th, 8th grade band.  The board sets up this fee and the method of payment is due at registration.   Participation in school-sponsored activities is an excellent way for a student to develop talents, receive individual recognition, and build strong friendships with other students; participation, however, is a privilege, not a right.

Eligibility for initial and continuing participation in many of these activities is governed by state law and the rules of the University Interscholastic League (UIL)—a statewide association overseeing interdistrict competition.  If a student is involved in an academic, athletic, or music activity governed by UIL, the student and parent are expected to know and follow all rules of the UIL organization.  [See http://www.uiltexas.org for additional information.]

The following requirements apply to all students involved/non-involved in extracurricular activities:

Students involved in these activities are required to participate in all activities (games, concerts, UIL sponsored competition, contests, etc.)  associated with the organization.   When two or more school sponsored activities are scheduled at the same time, the sponsors will work closely together in attempt to enable the students to participate in those activities.   At no time will the sponsors ask students to choose one school sponsored event over another if prior arrangements have been made to accommodate both events.   Students should not be placed in a “no win” situation by sponsors. Level of performance (e.g. All Region vs. ball game; district meet vs. local performance) should also be taken into consideration.  Students not interested in fulfilling these  obligations should strongly consider not being involved in these activities.  At no time should activities outside of the school have precedent over school sponsored activities.   Communication between the parent/guardian/student and sponsor will help reduce the chances of conflict.  

Students promoted to the next grade will be eligible for participation in extracurricular activities for the first six weeks of school.  Eligibility for participation in many of these activities is governed by state law and the rules of the University Interscholastic League (UIL)—a statewide association overseeing interdistrict competition.  

Students retained in the same grade will be ineligible for the first three-week period.  Following the first three weeks, the eligibility for these students is the same as for all other students.  All White Oak Middle School students (whether in extracurricular activities or not) will be held accountable for their grades and will follow the same eligibility requirements as participants.   Eligibility can be maintained by making grades of 70 or above in all academic classes.  Beginning at the end of the first nine weeks, if a student’s average in one or more academic classes is below 70 for a nine weeks period, that student will be ineligible to participate in or attend any extracurricular activities (games, contests, dances,  etc)  for the next three-week period.  An ineligible student may practice or rehearse.  After the three-week period, eligibility will be determined.   Disciplinary action will be taken if the above policy is violated

Your actions as a spectator at any extracurricular or co-curricular activity require that you maintain a certain degree of respect and positive attitude toward the participants of the activity.  Negative actions such as vulgarity, taunting, obscene gestures, addressing particular individuals and distasteful signs are unacceptable and will result in disciplinary action.  The following actions will be taken for violations of related to the above code: First Violation – Warning or removal from activity and may be subject to additional discipline: Second  Violation- Student will be suspended from attending any related activity for six weeks and may be subject to additional discipline.  A conference will be scheduled with the student’s parent or guardian and the principal.   Third Violation- The student will be restricted from attending all activities for the remainder of the school year and may be subject to additional discipline.   Disciplinary actions may skip steps depending on the severity of the offense.

Standards of Behavior

Sponsors of student clubs and performing groups such as the band, choir, cheerleading and athletic teams may establish standards of behavior—including consequences for misbehavior—that are stricter than those for students in general.  If a violation is also a violation of school rules, the consequences specified by the Student Code of Conduct or by local policy will apply in addition to any consequences specified by the organization’s standards of behavior.   A student attending a school-sponsored dance may not leave early unless their parent or guardian has arrived to pick them up.  Anyone leaving before the official end will not be readmitted.  Students having repeated disciplinary problems, failing during a six-week period, assigned SAC, suspended from school, in DAEP are not allowed to attend school-sponsored activities. (athletic events, dances, programs)  [For further information, see policies FM and FO.]   [For further information, see policies at FM and FO.  

Offices and Elections

Officers for the student council are elected in the spring for the following year.  An officer must be an 8th grader at the time of service and must have at least an 85.0 average for the semester preceding the election.    Two student council members will be appointed from each grade level academic team at the beginning of the school year.  Students must maintain a passing grade average in order to serve on the council. Discipline and Attendance will be taken into consideration when nominating and electing student council officers and members.  Other groups will form as the school year begins.

Fees

Materials that are part of the basic educational program are provided with state and local funds at no charge to a student.  A student, however, is expected to provide his or her own pencils, paper, erasers, and notebooks and may be required to pay certain other fees or deposits, including:

Any required fee or deposit may be waived if the student and parent are unable to pay.  Application for such a waiver may be made to the principal’s office.  

FUND-RAISING

Student groups or classes and/or parent groups may be permitted to conduct fund-raising drives for approved school purposes. An application for permission must be made to the principal at least 7 days before the event.   Except as approved by the principal, fund-raising is not permitted on school property.  [For further information, see policies at FJ and GE.]

GAMBLING DEVICES AND GAMBLING

Dominoes, dice or any other devices used in games of chance are forbidden on campus. Gambling is a violation of the State laws under most circumstances and therefore, violators will be disciplined and subjected to prosecution under the Texas Penal Code.

GANG-FREE ZONES

Certain criminal offenses, including those involving organized criminal activity such as gang-related crimes, will be enhanced to the next highest category of offense if they are committed in a gang-free zone.  For purposes of the district, a gang-free zone includes a school bus and a location in, on, or within 1,000 feet of any district-owned or leased property or campus playground.

GIFTED AND TALENTED PROGRAM

The philosophy of White Oak Independent School District reflects an understanding of the uniqueness of individual students.  Because the learning characteristics of gifted and talented students dictate learning experiences that differentiate from those provided for them in the regular school program, the district recognizes that special provisions must be made for these students in order to stimulate and maximize their achievement.   White Oak Independent School District recognizes that gifted and talented students are found in all cultures, socio economic groups, geographic locales, and environments.   White Oak ISD will serve the needs of those students who demonstrate above average achievement through multiple and specific criteria.  Identification and selection for the gifted and talented program will be determined through a three-step process:  Nomination, Screening, and Selection.  Nominations of students will be accepted through the competition of the referral form by parent, guardian, grandparent, peer, district personnel, self, or other community member anytime during the school year.  Screening will be once a year in the second semester.  Contact the counselor for more information.

GRADING GUIDELINES

Grading guidelines for each grade level or course will be communicated and distributed to students and their parents by the classroom teacher.  These guidelines have been reviewed by each applicable curriculum department and have been approved by the campus principal.  These guidelines establish the minimum number of assignments, projects, and examinations required for each grading period.  In addition, these guidelines establish how the student’s mastery of concepts and achievement will be communicated (i.e., letter grades, numerical averages, checklist of required skills, etc.).  Grading guidelines also outline in what circumstances a student will be allowed to redo an assignment or retake an examination for which the student originally made a failing grade.

Also see Report Cards/Progress Reports and Conferences on page 52 for additional information on grading guidelines.  

GUM/CANDY/COLD DRINKS

For the safety of our students and staff, no food (candy, cookies, chips, etc.) or soft drinks are allowed to be consumed in the school building except in the cafeteria. This rule is also applicable for health purposes well as custodial care. Additionally, students should dispose of chewing gum in a proper manner before entering the academic portion of the building, as chewing gum in class will not be tolerated. Violations of these rules could subject the student to disciplinary actions.

HARASSMENT

[See Dating Violence, Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation on page 29.]

HAZING

Hazing is defined as any intentional, knowing, or reckless act occurring on or off campus directed against a student that endangers the mental or physical health or the safety of a student for the purpose of pledging, being initiated to, affiliating with, holding office in, or maintaining membership in any organization whose members are or include other students.

Hazing will not be tolerated by the district.  If an incident of hazing occurs, disciplinary consequences will be handled in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.  It is a criminal offense if a person engages in hazing; solicits, encourages, directs, aids, or attempts to aid another in hazing; or has firsthand knowledge of an incident of hazing being planned or having occurred and fails to report this to the principal or superintendent.

HEALTH-RELATED MATTERS                                   

When your child is ill, please contact the school to let us know he or she won’t be attending that day. It is important to remember that schools must exclude students with certain illnesses from school for periods of time as identified in state rules. For example, if your child has a fever over 100 degrees, he or she must stay out of school until fever free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medications. In addition, students with diarrheal illnesses must stay home until they are diarrhea free without diarrhea-suppressing medications for at least 24 hours. A full list of conditions for which the school must exclude children can be obtained from the school nurse.

If a student becomes ill during the school day, he or she must receive permission from the teacher before reporting to the school nurse. If the nurse determines that the child should go home, the nurse will contact the parent.

The district is also required to report certain contagious (communicable) diseases or illnesses to the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) or our local/regional health authority. The school nurse can provide information from TDSHS on these notifiable conditions.

Contact the school nurse if you have questions or if you are concerned about whether or not your child should stay home.

Bacterial Meningitis

State law specifically requires the district to provide the following information:

Meningitis is an inflammation of the covering of the brain and spinal cord.  It can be caused by viruses, parasites, fungi, and bacteria.  Viral meningitis is most common and the least serious.  Bacterial meningitis is a serious bacterial infection with the potential for serious, long-term complications.  It is an uncommon disease, but requires urgent treatment with antibiotics to prevent permanent damage or death.

Someone with meningitis will become very ill.  The illness may develop over one or two days, but it can also rapidly progress in a matter of hours.  Not everyone with meningitis will have the same symptoms.

Children (over 2 year old) and adults with meningitis may have a severe headache, high temperature, vomiting, sensitivity to bright lights, neck stiffness or joint pains, and drowsiness or confusion.  In both children and adults, there may be a rash of tiny, red-purple spots.  These can occur anywhere on the body.

The diagnosis of bacterial meningitis is based on a combination of symptoms and laboratory results.

If it is diagnosed early and treated promptly, the majority of people make a complete recovery.  In some cases it can be fatal or a person may be left with a permanent disability.

Fortunately, none of the bacteria that cause meningitis are as contagious as diseases like the common cold or the flu, and they are not spread by casual contact or by simply breathing the air where a person with meningitis has been.  The germs live naturally in the back of our noses and throats, but they do not live for long outside the body.  They are spread when people exchange saliva (such as by kissing, sharing drinking containers, utensils, or cigarettes).

The germ does not cause meningitis in most people.  Instead, most people become carriers of the germ for days, weeks, or even months.  The bacteria rarely overcome the body’s immune system and cause meningitis or another serious illness.

Do not share food, drinks, utensils, toothbrushes, or cigarettes.  Limit the number of persons you kiss.

While there are vaccines for some other strains of bacterial meningitis, they are used only in special circumstances.  These include when there is a disease outbreak in a community or for people traveling to a country where there is a high risk of getting the disease.  Also, a vaccine is recommended by some groups for college students, particularly freshmen living in dorms or residence halls.  The vaccine is safe and effective (85–90 percent).  It can cause mild side effects, such as redness and pain at the injection site lasting up to two days.  Immunity develops within seven to ten days after the vaccine is given and lasts for up to five years.

You should seek prompt medical attention.

Your school nurse, family doctor, and the staff at your local or regional health department office are excellent sources for information on all communicable diseases.  You may also call your local health department or Regional Department of State Health Services office to ask about a meningococcal vaccine.  Additional information may also be found at the Web sites for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, http://www.cdc.gov, and the Department of State Health Services, http://www.dshs.state.tx.us.

Food Allergies

The district requests to be notified when a student has been diagnosed with a food allergy, especially those allergies that could result in dangerous or possibly life-threatening reactions either by inhalation, ingestion, or skin contact with the particular food.  It is important to disclose the food to which the student is allergic, as well as the nature of the allergic reaction.  Please contact the school nurse or campus principal if your child has a known food allergy or as soon as possible after any diagnosis of a food allergy.

Physical Activity for Students in Middle School

In accordance with policies at EHAB, EHAC, EHBG, [and FFA], the district will ensure that students in middle school will engage in 30 minutes of moderate or vigorous physical activity per day for at least four semesters .

School Health Advisory Committee (SHAC)

Information regarding the District’s School Health Advisory Council, including the number of meetings scheduled or held during the year, and information regarding vending machines in District facilities and student access to the machines is available from the principal.  [See also policies BDF and EHAA.]

The duties of the SHAC range from recommending curriculum to developing strategies for integrating curriculum into a coordinated school health program encompassing school health services, counseling services, a safe and healthy school environment, recess recommendations, and employee wellness.  See policies at BDF and EHAA.

Physical Fitness Assessment

Annually, the district will conduct a physical fitness assessment of students in grades 3–12 who are enrolled in a physical education course or a course for which physical education credit is awarded.  

Vending Machines

The district has adopted policies and implemented procedures to comply with state and federal food service guidelines for restricting student access to vending machines.  For more information regarding these policies and guidelines see the principal.  [See policies at CO and FFA.]

Tobacco Prohibited

The district and its staff strictly enforce prohibitions against the use of tobacco products by students and others on school property and at school-sponsored and school-related activities.  [See the Student Code of Conduct and policies at FNCD and GKA.]

Asbestos Management Plan

The district works diligently to maintain compliance with federal and state law governing asbestos in school buildings.  A copy of the district’s Asbestos Management Plan is available in the superintendent’s office.  If you have any questions or would like to examine the district’s plan in more detail, please contact Mr. Kenny Corbell, the district’s designated asbestos coordinator, at 903-291-2207.

Pest Management Plan

The district is required to follow integrated pest management (IPM) procedures to control pests on school grounds.  Although the district strives to use the safest and most effective methods to manage pests, including a variety of non-chemical control measures, pesticide use is sometimes necessary to maintain adequate pest control and ensure a safe, pest-free school environment.

All pesticides used are registered for their intended use by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and are applied only by certified pesticide applicators.  Except in an emergency, signs will be posted 48 hours before indoor application.  All outdoor applications will be posted at the time of treatment, and signs will remain until it is safe to enter the area.  Parents who have further questions or who want to be notified prior to pesticide application inside their child’s school assignment area may contact Mr. Kenny Corbell, the district’s IPM coordinator, at 903-291-2207.

HOMELESS STUDENTS

For more information on services for homeless students, contact the district’s Liaison for Homeless Children and Youths, Mrs. Mitzi Neely at 903-291-2209.

HOMEWORK

Projects/ quizzes/ Benchmark tests/Semester tests are not eligible for redo.   Projects usually are given numerous days to complete and the teacher may give students time in class..  Quizzes are unannounced and therefore may not be eligible for redo.  This is an opportunity for students and the teacher to evaluate the lesson and make decisions on re-teach. Benchmark tests/Semester Tests are understood as not eligible for re-teach/re-test due to the nature of the test.

Daily Assignments- Teachers will allow students one day to submit late work or corrections for failing the assignment.  Assignments may be turned in the next school day for a maximum grade of a 70.  (A late assignment is an assignment not completed and turned in by the due date.)

Tests (Chapter, Unit Test, Etc) Teachers will use discretion to determine the type of retakes or failed tests to give reasonable opportunity to redo.   Provisions for re-teach and re-test must be outside of class time.  Students scheduled for re-teach (except in the event of an absence) will forfeit the opportunity to retest if they do not attend the reteach.  Students must attend scheduled re-teach prior to the re-test.  Maximum grade on a retest will be 70.

[Also Grading Guidelines on page 41 and Makeup Work on page 47]

IMMUNIZATION

White Oak ISD employs 2 full time registered nurses (RN) for grades K-5 and 6-12.  If a student becomes ill while at school, he/she must get permission from the teacher and the office to go to the nurse’s office.   The nurse will determine whether the student should be sent home and will contact the parent/guardian in those instances.  If cell phones are used during school hours,  District employees shall confiscate any electronic devices used and following policy outlined under Electronic Devices.

Communication with the nurse concerning a previous/on going illness would be beneficial. A student must be fully immunized against certain diseases or must present a certificate or statement that, for medical reasons or reasons of conscience, including a religious belief, the student will not be immunized.  For exemptions based on reasons of conscience, only official forms issued by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), Immunization Branch, can be honored by the district.  This form may be obtained by writing the DSHS Immunization Branch (MC 1946), P.O. Box 149347, Austin, Texas 78714-9347; or online at https://webds.dshs.state.tx.us/immco/affidavit.shtm.  The form must be notarized and submitted to the principal or school nurse within 90 days of notarization.  If the parent is seeking an exemption for more than one student in the family, a separate form must be provided for each student.

The immunizations required are: diphtheria, rubeola (measles), rubella (German measles), mumps, tetanus, pertussis, poliomyelitis (polio), hepatitis A, hepatitis B, varicella (chicken pox), and meningococcal.  The school nurse can provide information on age-appropriate doses or on an acceptable physician-validated history of illness required by the Department of State Health Services.  Proof of immunization may be established by personal records from a licensed physician or public health clinic with a signature or rubber-stamp validation.

If a student should not be immunized for medical reasons, the student or parent must present a certificate signed by a U.S. licensed physician stating that, in the doctor’s opinion, the immunization required poses a significant risk to the health and well-being of the student or a member of the student’s family or household.  This certificate must be renewed yearly unless the physician specifies a life-long condition.  [For further information, see policy FFAB(LEGAL) and the Department of State Health Services Web site: http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/immunize/school/default.shtm.]

If a student's religious beliefs conflict with the requirement that the student be immunized, the student must present a statement signed by the student (or by the parent, if the student is a minor) stating that immunization conflicts with the beliefs and practices of a recognized church or religious denomination of which the student is an adherent or member.  These statements must be renewed yearly.  

[For further information, see policies at FFAC.]

LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES

Questioning of Students

When law enforcement officers or other lawful authorities wish to question or interview a student at school, the principal will cooperate fully regarding the conditions of the interview, if the questioning or interview is part of a child abuse investigation.  In other circumstances:

Students Taken Into Custody

State law requires the district to permit a student to be taken into legal custody:

Before a student is released to a law enforcement officer or other legally authorized person, the principal will verify the officer’s identity and, to the best of his or her ability, will verify the official’s authority to take custody of the student.

The principal will immediately notify the superintendent and will ordinarily attempt to notify the parent unless the officer or other authorized person raises what the principal considers to be a valid objection to notifying the parents.  Because the principal does not have the authority to prevent or delay a student’s release to a law enforcement officer, any notification will most likely be after the fact.

Notification of Law Violations

The district is required by state law to notify:

[For further information, see policies FL(LEGAL) and GRA(LEGAL).]

LIMITED ENGLISH PROFICIENT STUDENTS

A student with limited English proficiency (LEP) is entitled to receive specialized services from the district.  To determine whether the student qualifies for services, a Language Proficiency Assessment Committee (LPAC) will be formed, which will consist of both district personnel and at least one parent representative.  The student’s parent must consent to any services recommended by the LPAC for a LEP student.

In order to determine a student’s level of proficiency in English, the LPAC will use information from a variety of assessments.  If the student qualifies for services and once a level of proficiency has been established, the LPAC will then designate instructional accommodations or additional special programs the student will require to eventually become proficient at grade level work in English.  Ongoing assessments will be conducted to determine a student’s continued eligibility for the program.

The LPAC will also determine whether certain accommodations are necessary for any state-mandated assessments.  The STAAR-L, as mentioned at Standardized Testing, below, may be administered to a LEP student.  The Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System (TELPAS) will also be administered to LEP students who qualify for services.

If a student is considered LEP and receives special education services because of a qualifying disability, the student’s ARD committee will make these decisions in conjunction with the LPAC.

MAKEUP WORK

Makeup Work Because of Absence

For any class missed, the teacher may assign the student makeup work based on the instructional objectives for the subject or course and the needs of the individual student in mastering the essential knowledge and skills or in meeting subject or course requirements.

A student will be responsible for obtaining and completing the makeup work in a satisfactory manner and within the time specified by the teacher.  A student who does not make up assigned work within the time allotted by the teacher will receive a grade of zero for the assignment.

Daily Assignments- A student who does not make up assigned work within the time allotted by the teacher will receive a grade of zero for the assignment. Teachers will allow students one day to submit late work or corrections for failing the assignment.  Assignments may be turned in the next school day for a maximum grade of a 70.  (A late assignment is an assignment not completed and turned in by the due date.)  

Tests (Chapter, Unit Test, Etc) Teachers will use discretion to determine the type of retakes or failed tests to give reasonable opportunity to redo.   Provisions for re-teach and re-test must be outside of class time.  No show of students scheduled for re-teach (except in the event of an absence) will forfeit the opportunity to retest.  Students must attend scheduled re-teach, tutoring prior to the re-test.   Maximum grade on a retest will be 70.

DAEP Makeup Work

A student removed to a disciplinary alternative education program (DAEP) during the school year will have an opportunity to complete, before the beginning of the next school year, a foundation curriculum course in which the student was enrolled at the time of removal.  In most cases, the student will still receive his/her assignments throughout their stay. Upon completion of of assignment, the assignments(s) will be returned the student’s respective teacher for correction, grading or redo. The district may provide the opportunity to complete the course through an alternative method, including a correspondence course, another distance learning option, or summer school.  The district will not charge the student for any method of completion provided by the district.  [See policy FOCA(LEGAL).]

In-school Suspension/Special Assignment Center (SAC)

The policy of the Special Assignment Center is to provide a controlled disciplinary center, which will isolate the students who violate school policies.   This center, located on the middle school campus, is an alternative to suspension or expulsion from White Oak Middle School.  

Their regular teachers will provide students assigned to SAC work.   Students will be required to complete all assignments and will receive credit for all work completed and turned in to the regular teacher.   Students will be given a list of rules to be observed during assigned time.   Violations of any of these rules may result in an extension of students’ assigned time in the center.   Before students are allowed back to the regular program, the following must be met:  

With the principal’s knowledge and approval, he may allow the SAC instructor to reduce the length by one day for perfect behavior and completing all assignments.  Also, with the principal’s knowledge and approval, the SAC teacher may assign day(s) for violations of SAC rules and procedures.

Continued violations may result in placement in an Alternative Education Program or expulsion.   Students assigned to AEP must provide their own transportation to and from the Center.  

Bus privileges may be denied during the time a student is in SAC if the offense is a result of a bus report.   SAC times are from 8:00-3:30 .   If students must be dropped off earlier than 8:00 AM, students must report directly to the office for instructions. The principal will make reasonable effort to notify the parents or guardians when a student has been assigned to SAC.  

MEDICINE AT SCHOOL

District employees will not give a student prescription medication, nonprescription medication, herbal substances, anabolic steroids, or dietary supplements, with the following exceptions:

A student with asthma or severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) may be permitted to possess and use prescribed asthma or anaphylaxis medication at school or school-related events only if he or she has written authorization from his or her parent and a physician or other licensed health-care provider.  The student must also demonstrate to his or her physician or health-care provider and to the school nurse the ability to use the prescribed medication, including any device required to administer the medication.

If the student has been prescribed asthma or anaphylaxis medication for use during the school day, the student and parents should discuss this with the school nurse.

In accordance with a student’s individual health plan for management of diabetes, a student with diabetes will be permitted to possess and use monitoring and treatment supplies and equipment while at school or at a school-related activity.  See the school nurse for information.  [See policy FFAF(LEGAL).]

Psychotropic Drugs

A psychotropic drug is a substance used in the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of a disease or as a component of a medication.  It is intended to have an altering effect on perception, emotion, or behavior and is commonly described as a mood- or behavior-altering substance.

Teachers and other district employees may discuss a student’s academic progress or behavior with the student’s parents or another employee as appropriate; however, they are not permitted to recommend use of psychotropic drugs.  A district employee who is a registered nurse, an advanced nurse practitioner, a physician, or a certified or credentialed mental health professional can recommend that a student be evaluated by an appropriate medical practitioner, if appropriate.  [For further information, see policies at FFAC.]

NONDISCRIMINATION STATEMENT

In its efforts to promote nondiscrimination, White Oak ISD does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, or disability in providing education services, activities, and programs, including CTE programs, in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972; and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), as amended, which incorporates and expands upon the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.

The following district representatives have been designated to coordinate compliance with these legal requirements:

[See policies FB(LOCAL) and FFH(LOCAL).]

PHYSICAL EXAMINATIONS / HEALTH SCREENINGS

At regularly scheduled intervals, the school nurse is mandated to perform screenings of vision, hearing, and scoliosis. Height and weight screenings are also performed. Upon request by a teacher, parent, or student, the nurse will check any student’s vision and hearing during the year. If the parent/legal guardian does not want the child involved in school screenings, the school nurse must have a written request not to screen from the parent/legal guardian at the beginning of each school year. Parent/legal guardian permission notes for scoliosis screening is required and will be sent home prior to the screening. If the child is not to be screened, the parent/legal guardian must provide the school with proof that the child has been checked by a qualified medical professional. Students are screened for pediculosis (head lice) at various times during the school year. If an active head louse infestation is detected, the child’s parent or guardian will be notified to remove the child from school. Students may be readmitted to school the morning after the first treatment with a pediculicide shampoo upon returning to school the student will be screened again. If all evidence of lice is gone, the student will be readmitted to school.

PLEDGES OF ALLEGIANCE AND A MINUTE OF SILENCE

Each school day, students will recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States flag and the Pledge of Allegiance to the Texas flag.  Parents may submit a written request to the principal to excuse their child from reciting a pledge. [See Excusing a Student from Reciting the Pledges to the U.S. and Texas Flags on page 11.]

One minute of silence will follow recitation of the pledges.  Each student may choose to reflect, pray, meditate, or engage in any other silent activity during that minute so long as the silent activity does not interfere with or distract others.  State law does not allow your child to be excused from participation in the required minute of silence or silent activity that follows. [See policy EC(LEGAL) for more information.]

PRAYER

Each student has a right to individually, voluntarily, and silently pray or meditate in school in a manner that does not disrupt instructional or other activities of the school.  The school will not encourage, require, or coerce a student to engage in or to refrain from such prayer or meditation during any school activity.

PROMOTION AND RETENTION

A student will be promoted only on the basis of academic achievement or demonstrated proficiency in the subject matter of the course or grade level, the recommendation of the student’s teacher, the score received on any criterion-referenced or state-mandated assessment, and any other necessary academic information as determined by the district.  To earn credit in a course, a student must receive a grade of at least 70 based on course-level or grade-level standards.

In addition, at certain grade levels a student—with limited exceptions—will be required to pass the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR), if the student is enrolled in a public Texas school on any day between January 1 and the date of the first administration of the STAAR.

If a student in grade 5 or 8 is enrolled in a course that earns high school credit and for which an end-of-course (EOC) assessment will be administered or in a course intended for students above the student’s current grade level in which the student will be administered a state mandated assessment, the student will not be subject to the promotion requirements described above for the relevant grade 5 or 8 assessment.  However, the student’s score on the EOC assessment will be used in determining whether the student meets the minimum cumulative score required for graduation.

If a student is enrolled in a class or course intended for students above his or her current grade level in which the student will be administered a state mandated assessment, the student will only be required to take an applicable state mandated assessment for the course in which he or she is enrolled.

[See Standardized Testing on page 58.]

Parents of a student in grades 3–8 who does not perform satisfactorily on his or her exams will be notified that their child will participate in special instructional programs designed to improve performance.  The student may be required to participate in this instruction before or after normal school hours or outside of the normal school year.

A student in grade 5 or 8 will have two additional opportunities to take a failed assessment.  If a student fails a second time, a grade placement committee, consisting of the principal or designee, the teacher, and the student’s parent, will determine the additional special instruction the student will receive.  After a third failed attempt, the student will be retained; however, the parent can appeal this decision to the committee.  In order for the student to be promoted, based on standards previously established by the district, the decision of the committee must be unanimous and the student must complete additional special instruction before beginning the next grade level. Whether the student is retained or promoted, an educational plan for the student will be designed to enable the student to perform at grade level by the end of the next school year.  [See policies at EIE.]

Certain students—some with disabilities and some with limited English proficiency—may be eligible for exemptions, accommodations, or deferred testing.  For more information, see the principal, counselor, or special education director.

A Personal Graduation Plan (PGP) will be prepared for any student in a middle school or beyond who did not perform satisfactorily on a state-mandated assessment or is determined by the district as not likely to earn a high school diploma before the fifth school year following enrollment in grade 9.  The PGP will be designed and implemented by a guidance counselor, teacher, or other staff member designated by the principal.  The plan will, among other items, identify the student’s educational goals, address the parent’s educational expectations for the student, and outline an intensive instruction program for the student.  [For additional information, see the counselor and policy EIF(LEGAL).]  For a student receiving special education services, the student’s IEP may serve as the student’s PGP and would therefore be developed by the student’s ARD committee.

RECIPROCAL AGREEMENT

White Oak Middle School and other area schools have a reciprocal agreement not to accept students who are currently expelled, suspended, or who are pending serious disciplinary action in another district. Only after a student has completed the conditions of the expulsion, or suspension, or pending disciplinary action will that student be enrolled in White Oak Middle School.

RELEASE OF STUDENTS FROM SCHOOL

Because class time is important, doctor’s appointments should be scheduled, if possible, at times when the student will not miss instructional time.

A student who will need to leave school during the day must bring a note from his or her parent that morning and follow the campus sign-out procedures before leaving the campus.  Otherwise, a student will not be released from school at times other than at the end of the school day.  Unless the principal has granted approval because of extenuating circumstances, a student will not regularly be released before the end of the instructional day.

If a student becomes ill during the school day, the student should receive permission from the teacher before reporting to the school nurse.  The nurse will decide whether or not the student should be sent home and will notify the student’s parent.

REPORT CARDS / PROGRESS REPORTS AND CONFERENCES

Report cards with each student’s grades or performance and absences in each class or subject are issued electronically to parents at least once every nine weeks.  Paper copies can be issued if at parent request.

At the end of the first four and half weeks of a grading period, parents will have access to a progress report if their child’s performance in any course is near or below 70, or is below the expected level of performance.  If the student receives a grade lower than 70 in any class or subject at the end of a grading period, the parent will be requested to schedule a conference with the teacher of that class or subject.  Also, Skyward Parent Access will allow parents access to their child’s grades and attendance.  Request forms are in the registration packets.

Teachers follow grading guidelines that have been approved by the principal  pursuant to the board-adopted policy and are designed to reflect each student’s relative mastery of each assignment for the grading period, semester, or course.  State law provides that a test or course grade issued by a teacher cannot be changed unless the board determines that the grade was arbitrary or contains an error, or that the teacher did not follow the district’s grading policy.  [See policy EIA(LOCAL) and Grading Guidelines on page 41]

Questions about grade calculation should first be discussed with the teacher; if the question is not resolved, the student or parent may request a conference with the principal in accordance with FNG(LOCAL).

Tutorials are required for a student who receives a grade lower than 70 in a class or subject, whether on their Progress Report or Nine Weeks Report Card.

RETALIATION

[See Dating Violence, Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation on page 28.]

SAFETY

Student safety on campus and at school-related events is a high priority of the district.  Although the district has implemented safety procedures, the cooperation of students is essential to ensuring school safety.  A student should:

Accident Insurance

Soon after the school year begins, parents will have the opportunity to purchase low-cost accident insurance that would help meet medical expenses in the event of injury to their child.

Drills:  Fire, Tornado, and Other Emergencies

As a part of our efforts to maintain a safe environment for our children, we have in place safety procedures such as “Building Evacuation” (formerly called fire drills) and “Shelter in Place” (also called tuck and duck drills).  From time to time, students, teachers, and other District employees will practice the above safety procedures.   When notice is given, students should follow the direction of teachers or others in charge quickly, quietly, and in an orderly manner.  

White Oak Independent School District will utilize School Messenger, a company that provides notification services for parental outreach and student attendance communication for K-12 Education.

Emergency Medical Treatment and Information

If a student has a medical emergency at school or a school-related activity when the parent cannot be reached, the school may have to rely on written parental consent to obtain emergency medical treatment, and information about allergies to medications, foods, insect bites, etc.  Therefore, parents are asked each year to complete an emergency care consent form.  Parents should keep emergency care information up-to-date (name of doctor, emergency phone numbers, allergies, etc.).  Please contact the school nurse to update any information that the nurse or the teacher needs to know.

Emergency School-Closing Information

Each year, parents are asked to complete an emergency release form to provide contact information in the event that school is dismissed early because of severe weather or another emergency.  We have also included a “Site Evacuation” in our Crisis Management Plan.   In the event we should ever have to evacuate the entire school,  parents would receive notification through SchoolMessenger,  the time and location they could begin picking up their children.  We will discuss this procedure with our students however we will not practice this specific evacuation.

In case of inclement weather, listen to the local radio station (KVNE, KYKX, KLUE or KFRO, in Longview; KEES, in Gladewater; or KTXC in Kilgore) for any announcement pertaining to the dismissal of school.  Such announcements usually are aired by 6:30 a.m.

Reminder, White Oak Independent School District has signed on with SchoolMessenger, a company that provides notification services for parental outreach and student attendance communication for K-12 Education.  

SCHOOL FACILITIES

Use by Students Before and After School

Certain areas of the school will be accessible to students before and after school for specific purposes.  Students are required to remain in the area where their activity is scheduled to take place.

Unless the teacher or sponsor overseeing the activity gives permission, a student will not be permitted to go to another area of the building or another campus.  Students are not allowed to leave campus once they arrive at school.  Tutorials are required if a student has failed a class or if a teacher requests the student to attend.   Students must report to the assigned classroom no later than 7:40 a.m.   They will not be allowed in the halls without permission after this time.  Students will remain in those areas until the bell rings or instructed to report to class.

After dismissal of school in the afternoon, and unless involved in an activity under the supervision of a teacher, students must leave campus immediately.

Conduct Before and After School

Teachers and administrators have full authority over student conduct at before- or after-school activities on district premises and at school-sponsored events off district premises, such as play rehearsals, club meetings, athletic practices, and special study groups or tutorials.  Students are subject to the same rules of conduct that apply during the instructional day and will be subject to consequences established by the Student Code of Conduct or any stricter standards of behavior established by the sponsor for extracurricular participants.  

Use of Hallways During Class Time

Loitering or standing in the halls during class is not permitted.  During class time, a student must have a hall pass to be outside the classroom for any purpose.  Failure to obtain a pass will result in disciplinary action in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.

Cafeteria Services

The district participates in the School Breakfast Program and National School Lunch Program and offers students nutritionally balanced meals daily.  Free and reduced-price meals are available based on financial need.  Information about a student’s participation is confidential.  See the Food Service Supervisor to apply.  

Effective August, 2004, there were numerous changes in the lunch program that our school will be able to offer to the students.  These changes will be a result of the Texas Public School Nutrition Policy, which has been put in place by the Texas Department of Agriculture.   Violations will disallow all meal reimbursement for the day and require a corrective action plan to be put in place.   If you have any questions or concerns about the this policy you may contact Mrs. Lori Ferguson, Director of Food Services or the Texas Department of Agriculture, Food, and Nutrition Division, P.O. Box 12847, Austin, Texas 78711, (512) 463, 2076.   We encourage you to view the new policy at www.agr.state.tx.us and visit the Square Meals link.

Lunch money may be deposited in the student’s account in the cafeteria.  Students will be given ID numbers to access their cafeteria accounts. It is the responsible of the students to ensure the security of that number. Students are not permitted to charge their lunches.   The cafeteria will verbally notify students when their account is low.   It is the responsibility of the parents/ guardians and the students to monitor the money in their child’s account.   Money cannot be withdrawn from their account without the parent contacting the Food Service Supervisor.

The district follows the federal and state guidelines regarding foods of minimal nutritional value being served or sold on school premises during the school day.  [For more information, see policy CO(LEGAL).]

Library

The library is a learning laboratory with books, computers, magazines, and other materials available for classroom assignments, projects, and reading or listening pleasure.   The library is open for student use during the school day.   The following criteria should be followed:

The library is not intended to be a place to hang out, horseplay, or otherwise alter its intended purpose.

Meetings of Non-curriculum-Related Groups

Student-organized, student-led non-curriculum-related groups are permitted to meet during the hours designated by the principal before and after school.  These groups must comply with the requirements of policy FNAB(LOCAL).

A list of these groups is available in the principal’s office.

SEARCHES

In the interest of promoting student safety and attempting to ensure that all schools are safe and drug free, District officials may from time to time conduct searches.   Such searches are conducted without a warrant and as permitted by law.

For the safety of our students and staff, backpacks may be brought to school however they are to be placed in the locker at the start of the day and removed at the end of the day to transport supplies/materials home.   Backpacks, book bag, satchels, or the like are not allowed in the classrooms, auditorium, or cafeteria unless approved by the teacher or administrator.

Students’ Desks and Lockers

Students’ desks and lockers are school property and remain under the control and jurisdiction of the school even when assigned to an individual student.

Students are fully responsible for the security and contents of their assigned desks and lockers.  Students must be certain that their lockers are locked, and that the combinations are not available to others.

Searches of desks or lockers may be conducted at any time there is reasonable cause to believe that they contain articles or materials prohibited by policy, whether or not a student is present.

The parent will be notified if any prohibited items are found in the student’s desk or locker.

Electronic Devices

Use of district-owned equipment and its network systems is not private and will be monitored by the district.  [See policy CQ for more information.]

Any searches of personal telecommunications or other personal electronic devices will be conducted in accordance with law, and the device may be confiscated in order to perform a lawful search.  A confiscated device may be turned over to law enforcement to determine whether a crime has been committed.

In limited circumstances and in accordance with law, a student’s personal telecommunications device may be searched by authorized personnel.  [See policy FNF.]

Vehicles on Campus

Vehicles parked on school property are under the jurisdiction of the school.  School officials may search any vehicle any time there is reasonable cause to do so, with or without the permission of the student.  A student has full responsibility for the security and content of his or her vehicle and must make certain that it is locked and that the keys are not given to others.  [See also the Student Code of Conduct.]

Trained Dogs

The district will use trained dogs to alert school officials to the presence of prohibited or illegal items, including drugs and alcohol.  At any time, trained dogs may be used around lockers and the areas around vehicles parked on school property.  Searches of classrooms, common areas, or student belongings may also be conducted by trained dogs when students are not present.  An item in a classroom, a locker, or a vehicle to which a trained dog alerts may be searched by school officials. The student’s parent or guardians will be notified if any prohibited articles or materials are found.

Drug-Testing

Extracurricular students/student drivers and their parents or guardians shall be provided with a copy of the “WHITE OAK ISD Drug Use Testing Policy and Procedures” and a copy of the “WHITE OAK ISD Drug Use Testing Consent Form” that shall be signed and dated by students and their parents or guardians before the students shall be eligible to practice or participate in any extracurricular program, including off-season training.   Students who wish to drive on campus shall return the signed “WHITE OAK ISD Drug Use Consent Form” before the designated date for the school year.  

The sponsor or coach of each extracurricular activity shall require the attendance of all prospective participants at one or more drug education sessions during which a presentation will be made to educate the students about the harmful effects and consequences of alcohol and other drug use.   Students shall receive information as to where they can seek professional help, if needed, for a use or abuse problem.   The general student body of each secondary campus shall be educated annually about the harmful effects and consequences of alcohol and other drug use.

[For further information, see policy FNF(LOCAL).  Also see Steroids on page 60]

SPECIAL PROGRAMS

The district provides special programs for gifted and talented students, homeless students, bilingual students, migrant students, students with limited English proficiency, dyslexic students, and students with disabilities.  The coordinator of each program can answer questions about eligibility requirements, as well as programs and services offered in the district or by other organizations.  A student or parent with questions about these programs should contact the counselor.

Providing Assistance to Students Who Have Learning Difficulties or Need Special Education Services

If a child is experiencing learning difficulties, the parent may contact the person listed below to learn about the district’s overall general education referral or screening system for support services. This system links students to a variety of support options, including referral for a special education evaluation. Students having difficulty in the regular classroom should be considered for tutorial, compensatory, and other academic or behavior support services that are available to all students including a process based on Response to Intervention (RtI). The implementation of RtI has the potential to have a positive impact on the ability of districts to meet the needs of all struggling students.

At any time, a parent is entitled to request an evaluation for special education services. Within a reasonable amount of time, the district must decide if the evaluation is needed. If the evaluation is needed, the parent will be notified and asked to provide informed written consent for the evaluation. The district must complete the evaluation and the report within 60 calendar days of the date the district receives the written consent. The district must give a copy of the evaluation report to the parent.

If the district determines that the evaluation is not needed, the district will provide the parent with prior written notice that explains why the child will not be evaluated. This written notice will include a statement that informs the parents of their rights, if they disagree with the district. The district is required to give parents the Notice of Procedural Safeguards – Rights of Parents of Students with Disabilities. Additional information regarding the IDEA is available from the school district in a companion document A Guide to the Admission, Review, and Dismissal Process.

The following websites provide information to those who are seeking information and resources specific to students with disabilities and their families:

The designated person to contact regarding options for a child experiencing learning difficulties or a referral for evaluation for special education services is the counselor at 903-291-2032.

Special Education Student Records

Parents of a student with disabilities who has been provided special education services by the district will be notified when any information that specifically identifies the student is not longer needed. If the parent requests destruction of the information and the time established by law for retention has expired; the records will be destroyed. However, if the retention period established by law has not expired, the material will be deleted from the records, but the records will be maintained until the time has expired. The special education director is the custodian of all special education records.

All requests for copies of special education records should be made through the Gregg County Special Education Shared Service Arrangement (SSA).

 The address of the Gregg County Special Education SSA is:

Route 1, Box 189

Gladewater, TX 75647

STANDARDIZED TESTING

STAAR (State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness)

Grades 3–8

In addition to routine tests and other measures of achievement, students at certain grade levels will take state-mandated assessments, such as the STAAR, in the following subjects:

Successful performance on the reading and math assessments in grades 5 and 8 is required by law in order for the student to be promoted to the next grade level.  See Promotion and Retention on page 46 for additional information.

STAAR and STAAR Alternate 2, for students receiving special education services, will be available for eligible students, as determined by the student’s ARD committee.

STAAR-L is a linguistically accommodated assessment that is available for certain limited English proficient (LEP) students, as determined by the student’s Language Proficiency Assessment Committee (LPAC).        

STAAR-A will be available for an eligible student with Section 504 accommodation plan who has been identified with dyslexia or a related disorder, as well as for a student receiving special education services, if the student meets state-established criteria and requires certain instructional and assessment  accommodations on a routine basis.                                    

End-of-Course (EOC) Assessments for Students in Grades 9–12

(8th grade:  Algebra only)

Beginning with ninth graders in the 2013-2014 school year, end-of-course (EOC) assessments will be administered for the following courses:

Satisfactory performance on the applicable assessments will be required for graduation and will also affect the plan under which the student may graduate.

There will be three testing windows during the year in which a student may take an EOC assessment, which will occur during the fall, spring, and summer months.  

In each content area (English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies), a student must achieve a cumulative score.  To determine whether the student meets the cumulative score, the student’s EOC assessment scores in each content area will be added together.  If the student’s total score on the assessments within the content area is not equal to or greater than the cumulative score set by TEA, the student may retake any of the assessments in that content area until the student achieves the cumulative score.  A student who does not achieve the minimum required score on any individual assessment will be required to retake that assessment.

A student may choose to retake an EOC assessment in situations other than those listed above as well.

STAAR and STAAR Alternate 2, for students receiving special education services, will be available for eligible students, as determined by the student’s ARD committee.  These particular EOC assessments may have different testing windows than the general assessments, and the ARD committee will determine whether successful performance on the assessments will be required for graduation.

STAAR-L, which is a linguistically accommodated assessment, will be available for students who have been determined to be limited English proficient (LEP) and who require this type of testing accommodation.

STAAR-A will be available for an eligible student with Section 504 accommodation plan who has been identified with dyslexia or a related disorder, as well as for a student receiving special education services, if the student meets state-established criteria and requires certain instructional and assessment  accommodations on a routine basis.

Additional information will be provided to students and parents prior each administration.

[See Grading Guidelines on page 41, and Homework on page 44 for additional information.

STEROIDS

State law prohibits students from possessing, dispensing, delivering, or administering an anabolic steroid.  Anabolic steroids are for medical use only, and only a physician can prescribe use.

Body building, muscle enhancement, or the increase of muscle bulk or strength through the use of an anabolic steroid or human growth hormone by a healthy student is not a valid medical use and is a criminal offense.

Students participating in UIL athletic competition may be subject to random steroid testing.  More information on the UIL testing program may be found on the UIL Web site at  http://www.uiltexas.org/health/steroid-information.

STUDENTS IN PROTECTIVE CUSTODY OF THE STATE

The district strives to assist any student who has been placed in either temporary or permanent conservatorship (custody) of the state of Texas with the enrollment and registration process, as well as other educational services throughout the student’s enrollment in the district.

Please contact Mrs. Mitzi Neely who has been designated as the district’s liaison for children in the conservatorship of the state, at 903-291-2209 with any questions.

STUDENT SPEAKERS

As determined by the principal, students who have been selected for special honors, such as captain of an athletic team, student council officers, leaders of school-sponsored organizations, may address school audiences at designated events.

[See policy FNA(LOCAL).]

SUICIDE AWARENESS

The district is committed to partnering with parents to support the healthy mental, emotional, and behavioral development of its students.  If you are concerned about your child, please access the following Web sites or contact the school counselor for more information related to suicide prevention and to find mental health services available in your area:

SUMMER SCHOOL

White Oak Middle School does not provide summer school services except for those required by the Texas Education Agency under the Student Success Initiative.  See Standardized Testing on page 62 and See Promotion and Retention on page 54 for additional information.]

TARDINESS

A student who is tardy to class more than three times will be assigned to detention hall or lunch detention.  Repeated instances of tardiness will result in more severe disciplinary action, in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.

TELEPHONES

Being organized and prepared are essentials to developing responsibility.   Students are not allowed to use any school telephone without permission.  Students will not be allowed to use the telephone to call home because they failed to bring their homework, books, lunch money, etc. to school.  Messages will not be delivered to students nor will students be called to the phone from class unless it is an emergency.    A student who uses a telecommunications device during the school day shall have the device confiscated.

[See Electronic Devices And Technology Resources on page 38 for additional information]

TEXTBOOKS, ELECTRONIC TEXTBOOKS, AND TECHNOLOGICAL EQUIPMENT

State-approved textbooks are provided to students free of charge for each subject or class.  Books must be covered by the student, as directed by the teacher, and treated with care.  Electronic textbooks and technological equipment may also be provided to students, depending on the course and course objectives.  A student who is issued a damaged item should report the damage to the teacher.  Any student failing to return an item in acceptable condition loses the right to free textbooks and technological equipment until the item is returned or paid for by the parent; however, the student will be provided textbooks and equipment for use at school during the school day.

TOBACCO

The district and its staff strictly enforce prohibitions against the use of tobacco products by students and others on school property and at school-sponsored and school-related activities.  [See the Conduct on page 24 and policy GKA.]

TRANSPORTATION

School-Sponsored Trips

Students who participate in school-sponsored trips are required to use transportation provided by the school to and from the event.  The principal, however, may make an exception if the parent makes a verbal and provides written request that the student be released to the parent or to another adult designated by the parent.

Buses and Other School Vehicles

The White Oak Independent School District, through local board policy provides transportation to and from school as a courtesy service for all students residing in the district. The State of Texas prescribes the conditions governing school bus operations and provides some funds to the district for “eligible” riders only (riders outside a two-mile distant from the campus serving the student).

White Oak I.S.D. currently operates the buses on a walk to stop, pick up and drop off schedule. This means your child may be required to walk a short distance to the proper bus stop location unless weather dictates otherwise (See E. Foul Weather Conditions below). Stop location and times schedules will be made available on the bus and at each campus at the beginning of the school year and during registration. To aid us in our bus management, a student may only register on one bus. Parents may select a day care provider as the registered stop but will not be able to have the student picked up at one location and dropped off at another location unless both locations are on the same route.   In emergency situations when a student must ride a different bus or be let off at another stop, parents/guardians must call the Transportation Department (903-291-2149) as early in the day as possible.   When calling, inform the office of the child’s name, caller’s name (parent/guardian only) and phone number, reason for change in ridership for that day, and drop off location.  All changes must originate from the child’s parent or legal guardian and include the above information.  A callback may be initiated.  To ensure the safety of our students and staff, notes will not be accepted.

See the Student Code of Conduct for provisions regarding transportation to the DAEP.

The school district is pleased to provide transportation for all students and asks your help to maintain safety, order and protect the rights of others. Please read the following and acknowledge receipt by completing and returning the bus rider registration form to the driver or the campus attended by the student. Forms are in the registration packet.  We ask and need your cooperation with school personnel in developing proper behavior patterns for those students who ride buses so they may continue to have this privilege throughout the school year.  For any questions concerning bus routes, or to communicate with your child’s bus driver, please contact Mr. Scott Stagner at 291-2149. Please do not stop or delay the bus in route.

Questions regarding student discipline should be directed to your child’s building assistant principal.

Students are expected to assist district staff in ensuring that buses remain in good condition and that transportation is provided safely.  When riding in district vehicles, students are held to behavioral standards established in this handbook and the Student Code of Conduct.  Students must:

It is the responsibility of the parent to provide transportation to school if a child misses the bus.

NOTE:        Parents should discuss a plan of action with their children in the event they should miss the bus. Students should know if their parents expect them to return home, go to a neighbor, walk to school, etc.

When weather, mechanical or other problems delay the buses, all campuses will be alerted and the bus will make every stop regardless of how late it is.

Secondary Grade Level Disciplinary Guidelines

The Driver will verbally warn a student twice regarding unsatisfactory behavior prior to initiating an incident report. This does not mean twice for the same type of behavior, but twice for any misbehavior cumulative.                 

First Bus Report

The parent will be notified of the offense, and the conference. This notification will include a warning that the next offense may result in a one-week suspension of bus-riding privileges.

Second Bus Report

The parent will be notified that the student has been suspended from bus riding privileges for a period of one-week (five school days). This notification will include a warning that the next offense may result in the suspension of bus-riding privileges for the remainder of the school semester (not less than 15 school days).

Third Bus Report

The parent will be notified that the student has been suspended from bus riding privileges for the remainder of the school semester (not less than 15 school days). This notification will include a warning that the next offense may result in the suspension of bus-riding privileges for the remainder of the school year (not less than 30 school days).

Fourth Bus Report

The parent will be notified that the student has been suspended from bus riding privileges for the remainder of the school year (not less than 30 school days).                

Students under suspension of bus rider privileges, and who have not completed their suspension prior to the beginning of a new semester or a holiday break, will be required to complete their suspension before privileges are reinstated.

 The procedure established above for disciplinary action may be modified only when the disciplinary action set forth is judged by the campus principal to be unwarranted for the incident reported.  Modification or exception of the disciplinary steps by a principal must include a conference with the driver. The principal is authorized to skip steps when the violation is of a serious nature.

Please remember the school bus is an extension of the classroom and the campus principal will administer discipline. All school policies that apply to the student code of conduct and other student related activities apply to the school bus.   Your cooperation in stressing the importance of good behavior is not only important to safe transportation, but is important to the development of the total child.  Good manners are important in every aspect of life, and certainly a part of success in school.

TUTORIALS

Tutorials are offered in every subject each school day. Students failing or performing below standards are required to attend.  Tutorials are for reteaching beyond the classroom. While the teacher must reteach/retest TEKS at least once in the classroom (if needed), additional reteaching may be required. In tutorials, teachers may target specific weaknesses by reviewing students in a setting with a reduced student teacher ratio. Tutorial services are especially designed for students scoring below a 75 in a course. Students and their parents need to know this; the student must participate in tutorials if his/her grade falls below 75 at any point within the six weeks.

Tutorials are a requirement, not an option when a student is failing, has missed school, or has been instructed by the teacher to attend.  Students must be in the assigned classroom by 7:40 a.m.  Students will not be allowed to enter the hallway after this time without permission from the principal, office staff, or teacher.  Students in the hall without permission may be subject to disciplinary actions. [See Homework on page 44 and Promotion and Retention on page 50 for additional information]

VANDALISM

The taxpayers of the community have made a sustained financial commitment for the construction and upkeep of school facilities.  To ensure that school facilities can serve those for whom they are intended—both this year and for years to come—littering, defacing, or damaging school property is not tolerated.  Students will be required to pay for damages they cause and will be subject to criminal proceedings as well as disciplinary consequences in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.

VIDEO CAMERAS

For safety purposes, video/audio equipment may be used to monitor student behavior, including on buses and in common areas on campus.  Students will not be told when the equipment is being used.

The principal will review the video/audio recordings routinely and document student misconduct.  Discipline will be in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.

Granting Permission to Video or Audio Record a Student

As a parent, you may grant or deny any written request from the district to make a video or voice recording of your child.  State law, however, permits the school to make a video or voice recording without parental permission for the following circumstances:

VISITORS TO THE SCHOOL

General Visitors

For the safety of our students and staff, students from other schools are not allowed to visit.  All visitors must first report to the campus administrative office. This shall apply to parents, Board members, volunteers, social service workers, invited speakers, maintenance and repair persons not employed by the District, salespersons, representatives of the news media , and any other visitors.  All visitors must sign in in the office and wear school approved identification badges so it is visible to staff. All visitors are expected to demonstrate the highest standards of courtesy and conduct; disruptive behavior will not be permitted. When scheduled, school sponsored dances are only for current White Oak Middle School Students.   Students not currently enrolled at the middle school are not allowed to attend school sponsored dances.   Visitors eating lunch with students will be required to sit in a designated area of the cafeteria.   Only the parent/guardian and their child are allowed to eat in the designated area.  Other students will not be allowed to sit in this designated area.

Visits to individual classrooms during instructional time are permitted only with approval of the principal and teacher and so long as their duration or frequency does not interfere with the delivery of instruction or disrupt the normal school environment.

Individuals on campus without permission will be asked to leave and may result in law enforcement being notified.

WITHDRAWING FROM SCHOOL

A student under 18 may be withdrawn from school only by a parent. The school requests notice from the parent at least three days in advance so that records and documents may be prepared.  The parent may obtain a withdrawal form from the principal’s office.

On the student’s last day, the withdrawal form must be presented to each teacher for current grade averages and book and equipment clearance; to the librarian to ensure a clear library record; to the clinic for health records; to the counselor for the last report card and course clearance; and finally, to the principal.  A copy of the withdrawal form will be given to the student, and a copy will be placed in the student’s permanent record.

A student who is 18 or older, who is married, or who has been declared by a court to be an emancipated minor may withdraw without parental signature.

NOTIFICATION OF PARENT AND STUDENT RIGHTS UNDER THE FAMILY EDUCATION RIGHTS AND PRIVACY ACT (FERPA)

FOR ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOLS

20 U.S.C. SEC 1232g

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords parents and students over 18 years of age (“eligible students”) certain rights with respect to the student’s education records. These rights are:

• The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the school receives a request for access.

• The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate.

• The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.

• The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the school district comply with the requirements of FERPA. The White Oak Independent School District maintains education records required by law. A student’s school records are private and are protected from unauthorized inspection or use and provide parents and “eligible” students certain rights. An “eligible” student is defined as one who is 18 or older OR who is attending an institution of postsecondary education. By law, both parents, whether married, separated, or divorced, have access to the records of a student who is a minor or a dependent for tax purposes. A parent whose rights have been legally terminated will be denied access to the records if the school is given a copy of the court order terminating these rights.   The parent’s or eligible student’s right of access to, and copies of, student records does not extend to all records. Materials that are not considered educational records, such as teachers’ personal notes on a student in the school district, do not have to be made available to the parents or students. School officials with legitimate education interests’ also have access to a student’s records. A school official is a person employed by the district as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel); a person serving on the School Board; a person or company with whom the School has contracted to perform a special task (such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist); or a parent or student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official need to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. “School officials with legitimate education interests’ include any employees, agents, or Trustees of the District, of cooperatives of which the District is a member, or of facilities with which who are:

 (1) working with the student; (2) considering disciplinary or academic actions, the student’s case, or an individual educational plan (IEP) of a student with disabilities;  (3) compiling statistical data; or (4) investigating or evaluating program.

Certain other officials from various governmental agencies may have limited access to the records. The District forwards a student’s records on request to a school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll without the necessity of a parent’s permission. Records also are released pursuant to court order or lawfully issued subpoena. Unless the subpoena is issued for law enforcement purposes and the subpoena orders that its contents, existence, or the information sought not be disclosed, the District shall make a reasonable effort to notify the parent or eligible student in advance of compliance. Parental consent is required to release the records to anyone else. There is some general in information about students, which is considered “directory information” and will be released to anyone who follows procedures for requesting it.

The information includes:

• A student’s name, address, telephone number, and date and place of birth.

• The student’s photograph, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, and weight and height of members of athletic teams.

• The student’s dates of attendance, grade level, enrollment status, honors and awards received in school, and most recent school attended previously.

• The student’s e-mail address.

This information may be restricted from release by a parent or eligible student. The objection to the release of any or all directory information regarding the student must be made in writing to the principal within ten school days after you are provided with this notice. Parents or eligible students must submit to the appropriate school official a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. The school official will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. The principal is the custodian of all records for currently enrolled students at the assigned school. The superintendent is the custodian of all records for students who have withdrawn or graduated.

The special education director is the custodian of all special education records.

The address of the Gregg County Special Education SSA is:

Gregg County SSA, 5303 Old Highway 135 N., Gladewater, Texas 75647

The address of the Superintendent’s Office is:

White Oak ISD 200 N. White Oak Rd., White Oak, Texas 75693

The addresses of the principals’ offices are:

White Oak Primary School 200 S. White Oak Rd., White Oak, Texas 75693

White Oak Intermediate School 200 S. White Oak Rd., White Oak, Texas 75693

White Oak Middle School 200 S. White Oak Rd., White Oak, Texas 75693

White Oak High School 200 S. White Oak Rd., White Oak, Texas 75693

Records may be reviewed during regular school hours. If circumstances effectively prevent a parent or eligible student from inspecting the records, the District shall either provide a copy of the requested records, or make other arrangements for the parent or student to review the requested records. The record custodian or designee will respond to a reasonable request for explanation and interpretation of the records. All requests for copies of special education records should be made through the Gregg County Special Education Shared Service Arrangement. A parent (or the student if he or she is 18 or older or is attending an institution of postsecondary education) may review and inspect the student’s records and request a correction if the records are considered inaccurate or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights. A written statement clearly identifying the part of the record the parent wants changed with reasons why the parent or student believes the record to be inaccurate should be submitted to the appropriate school official. If the District refuses the request to amend the records, the District will notify the parent or eligible student of the decision and advise them or their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the parent or eligible student when notified of the right to a hearing. If the records are not amended as a result of the hearing, the requestor has 30 school days to exercise the right

to place a statement commenting on the information in the student’s record. Although improperly recorded grades may be challenged, contesting a student’s grade in a course is handled through the general complaint process defined by school policy. Copies of student records are available at a cost of ten cents per page, payable in advance.

If the student qualifies for free or reduced-price lunch and the parents are unable to view the records during regular school hours, upon written request of the parent or eligible student, one copy of the record will be provided at no charge. Parents may be denied copies of a student’s records (1) after the student reaches age 18 and is no longer dependent for tax purposes; (2) when the student is attending an institution of postsecondary education; (3) if the parent fails to follow proper procedures and/or pay the copying charge; or (4) when the District is given a copy of a court order terminating the parental rights. Parents or eligible students have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education if they believe the District is not in compliance with the law(s) regarding student records.

The name and address of the office that administers FERPA are:

Family Policy Compliance Office

U. S. Department of Education

400 Maryland Avenue, SW

Washington, DC 20202-4605

NOTIFICATION OF RIGHTS UNDER THE PROTECTION OF PUPIL RIGHTS

AMENDMENT (PPRA)

PPRA affords parents and student who are 18 or emancipated minors (“eligible students”) certain rights regarding the conducting of surveys, collection and use of information for marketing purposes, and certain physical exams. These include the right to: Consent before students are required to submit to a survey that concerns one or more of the following protected areas (“protected information survey”) if the survey is funded in whole or in part by a program of the U.S. Department of

Education (ED)-

* Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or student’s parent;

Mental or psychological problems of the student or student’s family;

Sex behavior or attitudes;

Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior;

Critical appraisals of others with whom respondents have close family relationships;

Legally recognized privileged relationships, such as with lawyers, doctors, or ministers;

Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or parents; or

Income, other than as required by law to determine program eligibility.

* Receive notice and an opportunity to opt a student out of-

Any other protected information survey, regardless of funding;

Any nonemergency, invasive physical exam or screening required as a condition of attendance, administered  by the school or its agent, and not necessary to protect immediate  health and safety of a student, except for  hearing, vision, or scoliosis screenings, or any physical exam or screening permitted or required under State law; and

Activities involving collection, disclosure, or use of personal information obtained from students for marketing or to sell or otherwise distribute the information to others. Inspect, upon request and before administration or use-

Protected information surveys of students;

Instruments used to collect personal information from student  for any of the above marketing, sales, or other distribution  purposes; and

Instructional material used as part of the education curriculum.

Glossary

Accelerated instruction is an intensive supplemental program designed to address the needs of an individual student in acquiring the knowledge and skills required at his or her grade level and/or as a result of a student not meeting the passing standard on a state-mandated assessment.

ACT refers to one of the two most frequently used college or university admissions exams:  the American College Test.  The test may be a requirement for admission to certain colleges or universities.

ARD is the admission, review, and dismissal committee convened for each student who is identified as needing a full and individual evaluation for special education services.  The eligible student and his or her parents are members of the committee.

Attendance review committee is sometimes responsible for reviewing a student’s absences when the student’s attendance drops below 90 percent of the days the class is offered.  Under guidelines adopted by the board, the committee will determine whether there were extenuating circumstances for the absences and whether the student needs to complete certain conditions to master the course and regain credit lost because of absences.

DAEP stands for disciplinary alternative education program, a placement for students who have violated certain provisions of the Student Code of Conduct.

EOC assessments are end-of-course tests, which are state-mandated, and are part of the STAAR program.  Successful performance on EOC assessments will be required for graduation beginning with students in grade 9 during the 2011–2012 school year.  These exams will be given in English I, English II, English III, Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, World Geography, World History, and United States History.

FERPA refers to the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act that grants specific privacy protections to student records.  The law contains certain exceptions, such as for directory information, unless a student’s parent or a student 18 or older directs the school not to release directory information.

IEP is the written record of the individualized education program prepared by the ARD committee for a student with disabilities who is eligible for special education services.  The IEP contains several parts, such as a statement of the student’s present educational performance; a statement of measurable annual goals, with short-term objectives; the special education and related services and supplemental aids and services to be provided, and program modifications or support by school personnel; a statement regarding how the student’s progress will be measured and how the parents will be kept informed; accommodations for state or districtwide tests; whether successful completion of state-mandated assessments is required for graduation, etc.

LAT stands for linguistically accommodated testing, which is an assessment process for recent immigrant English language learners who are required to be assessed in certain grades and subjects under the NCLB Act.

NCLB Act is the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

PGP stands for Personal Graduation Plan , which is recommended for all students entering grade 9 and is required by state law for any student in middle school or higher who fails a section on a state-mandated test or is identified by the district as not likely to earn a high school diploma before the fifth school year after he or she begins grade 9.

PPRA refers to the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment which  affords parents and student who are 18 or emancipated minors (“eligible students”) certain rights regarding the conducting of surveys, collection and use of information for marketing purposes, and certain physical exams.

SAC refers to our Special Assignment Center or in-school suspension, a disciplinary technique for misconduct found in the Student Code of Conduct.  Although different from out-of-school suspension and placement in a DAEP, ISS removes the student from the regular classroom.

SAT refers to one of the two most frequently used college or university admissions exams:  the Scholastic Aptitude Test.  The test may be a requirement for admissions to certain colleges or universities.

SHAC stands for School Health Advisory Council, a group of at least five members, a majority of whom must be parents, appointed by the school board to assist the district in ensuring that local community values and health issues are reflected in the district’s health education instruction.

Section 504 is the federal law that prohibits discrimination against a student with a disability, requiring schools to provide opportunities for equal services, programs, and participation in activities.  Unless the student is determined to be eligible for special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), general education with appropriate instructional accommodations will be provided.

STAAR is the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, the state’s system of standardized academic achievement assessments, effective beginning with certain students for the 2011–2012 school year.  

STAAR Alternate is an alternative state-mandated assessment designed for students with severe cognitive disabilities receiving special education services who meet the participation requirements, as determined by the student’s ARD committee.

STAAR Linguistically Accommodated (STAAR L) is an alternative state-mandated assessment with linguistic accommodations designed for certain recent immigrant English language learners.

State-mandated assessments are required of students at certain grade levels and in specified subjects.  Successful performance sometimes is a condition of promotion, and passing the grade 11 exit-level test or end-of-course assessments, when applicable, is a condition of graduation.  Students have multiple opportunities to take the tests if necessary for promotion or graduation.

Student Code of Conduct is developed with the advice of the district-level committee and adopted by the board and identifies the circumstances, consistent with law, when a student may be removed from the classroom or campus.  It also sets out the conditions that authorize or require the principal or another administrator to place the student in a DAEP.  It outlines conditions for out-of-school suspension and for expulsion. The Student Code of Conduct also addresses notice to the parent regarding a student’s violation of one of its provisions.

TELPAS stands for the Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System, which assesses the progress that English language learners make in learning the English language, and is administered for those who meet the participation requirements in kindergarten–grade 12.

UIL refers to the University Interscholastic League, the statewide voluntary nonprofit organization that oversees educational extracurricular academic, athletic, and music contests.

IPM PUBLIC NOTICE

                                        

As part of our commitment to provide students, teachers, and staff with a safe, pest-free learning and working environment, the White Oak Independent School District may periodically apply pesticides to help manage insects, weeds or pathogens. Pesticide applications are part of our integrated pest management (IPM) program, which relies largely on non-chemical forms of pest control. Pesticide applications on White Oak ISD property are made only by trained and licensed technicians. Should you have questions about this district’s pest management program or wish to be notified in advance of pesticide applications, you may contact our IPM coordinator:

                                        

Kenny W. Corbell (903)291-2209                                        

email: corbellk@woisd.net

August 27, 2012

ASBESTOS PUBLIC NOTICE

                                        

August 27, 2012

To: White Oak I.S.D. Staff, Parents, and Students

From: Kenny W. Corbell                        

RE:  White Oak I.S.D. - Asbestos Designated Person

                                

Federal regulations concerning the inspection, reinspection, periodic surveillance, response activities and management planning for our school district.                                

I am pleased to advise you that White Oak I.S.D. is working hard to maintain compliance with the federal AHERA regulations.                                        

We are currently in the process of reinspecting and updating the management plan for each of our school campuses as required.                                        

Should you desire to review the management plan for your child’s school, a copy of the plan is available in the principal’s office, Administration Building, or online in the Student Handbook.                                        

If you have any questions about the plan or this federally mandated program, please contact me:

                                        

Kenny W. Corbell

(903) 291-2207,  Email: corbellk@woisd.net