Student Handbook 2019-2020

Aspire Academy

Cedar Street Campus


Every student at Aspire Academy has the right to feel physically and emotionally safe.

Cedar Street Campus Mission Statement:

Cedar Street Campus faculty and staff will create a safe and caring environment in which instruction and services promote high academic achievement and personal growth.

Cedar Street Campus Vision Statement:

Cedar Street Campus:  A learning community empowering every student to realize his or her goals.

This handbook is a functional document.  Changes may be made at any time during the school year.  Students and parents will be notified of any changes through the daily announcements, school newsletter, and school website.

Cedar Street Campus and Aspire Academy Contact Information:

Contact Person



Clerk/Main Number

Amy Jackson





Beckah Chartier



Marie Stephens


Student Services

Kelly Touchtone


Online Coordinator/Teacher

Heidi Birkenbach



Richard Knowlton



Caroline Parsons



Mark Voege


SRC Coordinator

Amy Schuring

Paw Paw Public Schools

District Organizational Chart

As happens in any large organization, questions or concerns sometimes arise.  Paw Paw Public Schools and its personnel are dedicated to offering the best possible services to students, and we want to address the concerns of parents and students directly and efficiently.  Questions and concerns can be handled most efficiently when you contact personnel in the order listed for each category since issues will be referred back to the appropriate individual(s).

Classroom Concerns:

  1. Classroom Teacher
  2. Director, Beckah Chartier
  3. Superintendent, Rick Reo
  4. Board of Education

Discipline Concerns:

  1.  Director, Beckah Chartier
  2. Superintendent, Rick Reo
  3. Board of Education

Bus Concerns:

  1.  Bus Driver
  2. Transportation Director, Scott Hitchcock
  3. Director of Business & Operations, Stephanie Walker
  4. Superintendent, Rick Reo
  5. Board of Education

Food Service;

  1.  Food Service Director, Korrie Perkins
  2. Director of Business & Operations, Stephanie Walker
  3. Superintendent, Rick Reo
  4. Board of Education

Maintenance, Grounds, Custodial

  1.  Maintenance Director, Don Dean
  2. Director of Business & Operations, Stephanie Walker
  3. Superintendent, Rick Reo
  4. Board of Education

Personnel of Paw Paw Public Schools care about the quality of service to students and to the community.  They are more than happy to address any questions or concerns you may have.  The information about the steps to follow in contacting personnel should help you to resolve problems quickly.


The Paw Paw Board of Education complies with all federal laws and regulations prohibiting discrimination and with all requirements and regulations of the U.S. Department of Education.  It is the policy of the Paw Paw Board of Education that no person on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, age, sex, marital status, or handicap shall be discriminated against, excluded from participation in, denied benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to, discrimination in any program or activity to which it is responsible or for which it receives financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Education.  Questions should be directed to Civil Rights Coordinator, 119 Johnson Street, Paw Paw, MI  49079, 269-415-5200.


Paw Paw Public Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in education and activities.  Title IX Education amendments of 1972 declares in part that:

“No person in the U.S. shall on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal finanacial assistance.”


If any person believes that Paw Paw Public School District or any part of the school organization has inadequately applied the principles and/or regulation of Title IX or is in some way discriminatory on the basis of sex, he or she may bring forward a complaint, which shall be referred to as a grievance to Paw Paw Title IX Coordniator, 119 Johnson Street, Paw Paw, MI, 49079, 269-415-5200.


The “Family Rights and Privacy Act” ensures that parents of students under eighteen years of age and students who have reached the age of majority may see complete school files.  It restricts the use of individual files to school personnel who have valid reason to examine such records.  Michigan law also restricts the use of student records for non-school purposes.  Paw Paw Board policy states that, “an official cumulative record shall be maintained for each student.”  and Board rules indicate that individual records may contain, identification of student and family background, health information, attendance information, testing data, parent-teacher conference information, records of student activities and honors, grades and other relevant data.

Parents and students who are 18 may, within fifteen days after making written request, inspect individual records.  If a parent or eighteen-year-old student finds contents that are felt to be inaccurate, misleading, or inappropriate, he/she may request a hearing to discuss the removal of such contents.

Board rules state that student records may not be released to other schools or colleges without written authorization from a parent or the student if he/she has reached the age of eighteen.  On rare occasions, exceptions may be made in the case of judicial order or court subpoena.


Minimum requirements for graduation are prescribed by the Paw Paw Board of Education Ad. Reg. 2400.4. Included in this rule are the following provisions:


The intent of this section is to ensure that students are enrolled continuously throughout the course of the student instructional day, but not to restrict those students whose schedules include dual enrollment, vocational/technical education or other programs designed to meet the individual needs of the students.

Students who do not maintain full enrollment for eight (8) consecutive semesters will be not be considered graduates and will not be allowed to participate in the graduation ceremony.  Exceptions to this attendance requirement may be granted on an individual basis when, after parental involvement, it is determined that it is in the student’s best interest to take a reduced/adjusted schedule.

Michigan Merit Curriculum Graduation Requirements

4.0 credits of English

3.0 credits of Social Studies; must include U.S. history, world history, civics/government, economics.

3.0 credits of Science; must include biology, physics or chemistry or a full year of anatomy.

4.0 credits of Math; must be algebra I, geometry, algebra II and a credit in the senior year.

0.5 credits of PE

0.5 credits of Health

1.0 credits of Visual/Performing/Applied Arts

2.0 credits of World Language; must be the same language for both credits

*under certain circumstances 1.0 credit of World Language can be replaced with an additional 1.0 of VPAA.

Additional Local Requirements

Students must participate and complete all the State mandated tests, such as PSAT, SAT, ACT Work Keys and the Michigan Merit Exam.

Students must earn at least 22 graduation, 18 of which must be from the MMC (see above).

All graduation requirements must be completed in order to participate in Commencement exercises.  Seniors will be informed by 12:00 p.m. the day before graduation if they are ineligible to participate in the ceremony.

Credit by Examination

The option to earn credit by examination is available to students who have not yet taken the course or who have previously completed the course but have not received credit for that course.

The student will receive a grade of “CR” (credit) on his/her transcript if he/she passes the course exam with a score of at least 77%.

Exams will be administered on the following days:

        1.  During semester one (1) of exam week

        2.  During semester two (2) of exam week


Exams will cover one semester of the course.  Credit will be granted for each semester of the course. Credit must be earned for the first semester before a student is eligible to take the test for the second semester.  Students will receive ½ graduation credit for each semester that they pass.

Credit (by exam) cannot be earned for a course if a student has already completed a higher level course.

A Personal Curriculum can be approved by the superintendent or designee. Requests for a Personal Curriculum must be submitted in writing to your school administrator.


A student may revise his or her course selection prior to the first day of a new semester.  Requests made after the semester has started will be considered but students must have an academically sound reason for the request.  Final decisions on all changes will be made by the director.


Students and parents will each receive access to Power School.   This allows both parents and students to check grades and attendance on-line at any time.  Students are expected to keep track of their progress in each class and to go to their teacher(s) if they need academic assistance.  Parents should contact the teacher by phone or e-mail if they have any questions about a student’s grade.  If necessary, a conference may be scheduled.  Students and parents keep the same login information from year-to-year. See the school office if you have questions.


Grading in all courses is cumulative for each quarter (9 weeks). Students will earn .25 of a credit for each quarter the student passes.  There are 2 quarters per semester and 9 weeks per quarter.  Progress reports are issued every nine  (9) weeks and report cards are issued at the end of each semester.  Final report cards will be mailed home.


Cumulative grade point averages are computed at the end of each semester and they serve as the basis for determining the rank-in-class of each student. In computing grade point averages, the following numerical equivalents are assigned to letter grades:

A   = 4.00     B+ = 3.33     B- = 2.67            C  = 2.00     D+ = 1.33     D-  = 0.67        

A- = 3.67     B   = 3.00     C+ = 2.33     C- = 1.67     D   = 1.00      E   = 0.00


Freshmen        0-5 credits

Sophomores        6-11 credits

Juniors                12-16 credits

Seniors                17 or more credits


Students who are 18 years old must be making adequate progress towards graduation to remain in the program.  Should a student not meet graduation requirements by that time, they will be referred to Paw Paw Public School’s Adult Education Program to complete their diploma or GED.


Academic Dishonesty in the learning environment means taking or helping someone to take unearned credit for school work.  Students will receive a zero for each assignment that fall under these examples.  Further action may occur from Administration if the problem persists.  

Examples of Academic Dishonesty include but are not limited to:


If you are moving and transferring to another school have your parents contact the office by phone or letter. You will then be issued a drop slip to obtain your grades-to-date in each class.


The Board encourages students to attend school regularly. The parents of minor children are responsible to notify the school of student absence within 24 hours of that absence. Presence in a classroom instills concepts of self-discipline and exposes a student to group interaction with teachers and fellow students.  Such presence also enables students to hear and participate in classroom instruction, discussion, and other learning experiences.

The State of Michigan General School Laws provide in Section 380.1561, that: “Every parent, guardian or other person in this state having control and charge of any child between the ages of six and sixteen, shall send such child, equipped with the proper textbooks necessary to pursue his/her school work, to the public schools during the entire school year, and such attendance shall be continuous and consecutive for the school year fixed by the district in which said child is enrolled.”

Current policy (this would be removed)

Verifying an Absence

When a student is absent from school they must have each daily absence verified within 24 hours (For example, if a student is absent for two days in a row, the parent must call in each day). Absences may be verified one of two ways:


If a student is absent on Monday, a parent must call or write a note to the school verifying the absence prior to the start of school on Tuesday.

Failure to verify an absence within 24 hours will result in the absence being unverified. Unverified absences will be treated as discipline problems.  The Director of Community Education will make the final determination of verified and unverified absences.  Suspension from school is considered a verified absence.

New Policy

The purpose of this policy is to provide attendance guidelines that maintain academic standards for earning course credits.

Attendance will be calculated by Semesters. If the combined number of excused and unexcused absences exceeds four (4) in one or more class periods, the student will be required to make up the time by attending one (1) lunch detentions . Additional detentions will be assigned each time the student accumulates 5, 6, or 7 absences in one or more classes. A full day of SRC will be assigned each time the student accumulates 8, 9, or 10 absences in one or more classes.

Failure to make up time will result in loss of credit in the classes in which the attendance requirements are not met.


No student shall receive .25 credit in a course in which the student has accumulated ten (10) or more absences in one semester.

Morning Tardy

Tardies which occur at the beginning of the school day will be treated accordingly:

3 tardies equals 1 absence in determining truancy and letters will be sent home after 4, 8 and 10 absences.  

Notification to Parents

Parents will receive a phone call whenever an unverified absence occurs.  A letter will be sent home on the 4th - 10th absence whether they are verified or not.  A letter will be sent home after 10th absence warning of the possibility of student being considered truant and warning of the loss of credit. A meeting will be required and may involve a truant officer.  If the parent does not attend a meeting the student will be considered truant and paperwork will be completed by the school to that end.

Non-counting absence (verified)

Non-counting absences are absences that do not count towards the allowable number of absences. Students must bring documentation of all absences to the attendance office when they return following the absences. Non-counting absences include: 

Dental and/or Doctor Appointments

Students are encouraged to make doctor and dentist appointments outside of school hours.  In the event that is not possible to do so, the following procedure must be followed:

Illness at School

A request by a medical doctor, in writing, indicating that the student should not attend school for an indicated period of time. The doctor’s note must be submitted within 24 hours of the student’s return to school. Any student who is admitted to the hospital shall be considered to be under the doctor’s care while in the hospital.

If a student becomes ill after arriving at school, he/she should obtain a pass from the teacher and GO DIRECTLY to the office. Do not call home from the classroom if you are ill. Do not call/ text home if you are ill. Report to the office. Failure to report to the office will result in unverified absences from class for the hours missed. Do not leave school without permission from the office.

Prolonged Absences or Disability

School Activity

Required or necessary school activities that cause the   student to be absent from class.


Funeral for a friend or family member. Verification of attendance in the form of a prayer card, memory card, etc. may be required upon the student’s return to school.

Court Appearance

 A required court appearance. Verification of the court   appearance is required.

Prearranged Absence

Vacations during school are discouraged because they could severely compromise a student’s academic progress. In the event that a vacation must be taken during school time, the following procedure should be followed.

Tardy Policy

If a student develops a pattern of being tardy to school or in any class steps will be taken to pursue a parent meeting and/or counseling at school. A tardy which occurs at the beginning of the school day will be treated accordingly:

3 tardies equals 1 absence in determining truancy and letters will be sent home after 4, 8 and 10 tardies.


“Tardiness” is defined as arriving to class after the start time of class  If a student arrives more than ten (10) minutes late he/she is considered absent.



Recording, by way of photography, audio and video equipment, of various school and classroom activities is done in Paw Paw Public Schools throughout the school year. The recording might circulate to other students’ classrooms, families, be used in district or other local publications, be posted on the school managed social media sites, the school web page, or be shown on the community access cable (Channel 12). If you do not wish to have your child recorded for the 2017-18 school year, please contact the Administration Office, in writing, at 119 Johnson Street, Paw Paw, MI 49079, no later than September 12, 2017. Your signed letter should provide your child’s name, building name, and grade level.


Respect for the law and for those persons in authority shall be expected of all students. This includes conformity to school rules as well as general provisions of law regarding minors. Respect for the rights of others, consideration of their privileges, and cooperative citizenship shall also be expected of all members of the school community.

Respect for real and personal property; pride in one's work; achievement within the range of one's ability; and exemplary personal standards of courtesy, decency, and honesty should be maintained in the schools of this District.  Student conduct shall be governed by the rules and provisions of the Student Code of Conduct.


The Paw Paw Board of Education believes that discipline is an essential element of every school district’s success.  Effective use of discipline requires that there be both appropriate due processes to protect a student’s rights and sufficient administrative option to meet the school’s needs.

The Board believes it is the responsibility of administration to provide counseling and educational intervention. This includes analysis of a student’s problem to determine if the behavior is related to a learning deficit that can be corrected by modifying methods, materials, or techniques used in the instructional program. If it is suspected that a student’s behavior is related to an inability to learn or conform to normal standards of behavior because of a handicap, the district has an obligation to evaluate the student to determine if the student is eligible for special education.

The Board delegates the authority to discipline students to the superintendent, principals and assistant principals. The Board reserves the right to expel students. The following types of discipline are recommended:

A. Responsible Thinking Process

The goal of this process is to help children think in such a way that their actions demonstrate respect for the rights, safety and the learning of others. In many instances people do things to get what they want, but often pay little attention to whom it hurts or what may happen as a result of their actions. By asking children a series of questions, they are taught to think responsibly about what they have done and what choices they have made. Through the questioning process children are not told how to act, but are taught how to think. The Responsible Thinking Program is not based on rewards and punishment because that places responsibility for the actions on the person with authority instead of the child, where it belongs. Mutual respect is fostered through the questioning process. Children learn, with assistance, how to make a plan to help them deal with future situations. Confidence is built when students make their own choices to obey the rules and by doing that, experience success.

B. Academic or Behavior Contracts

Students who develop a pattern of continuing poor academic performance may be placed on an academic contract. Students who develop a pattern of unacceptable behavior may be placed on a behavior contract. Students who exhibit both continuing poor performance and unacceptable behavior may be placed jointly on academic and behavior contracts. The contracts will consist of a written document listing specific conditions which must be met and which will be evaluated periodically at the discretion of the building administration. Failure to comply with the terms of an academic or behavior contract could result in disciplinary action including out-of-school suspension, recommendation for expulsion or an alternative educational placement.

C. Short-term Suspension

A temporary exclusion of ten (10) school days or less, of a student from school, extra-curricular activities, and/or from transportation for unacceptable behavior or misconduct while under the jurisdiction of the school.  Students who have been suspended are expected to complete all assignments that are given during their absence.

D. Long-term suspension

A temporary exclusion of more than ten (10) school days of a student from school, extra-curricular activities and/or from transportation for unacceptable behavior or misconduct while under the jurisdiction of the school.  A long-term suspension requires formal action by the Board of Education at a public meeting.

E. Expulsion

Permanent exclusion of a student from school for gross misdemeanor or persistent disobedience. Permanent generally refers to a period of time sufficient in length to cause a substantial loss of benefit (inability to be promoted, failing a course, etc.). A suspension will not constitute an expulsion unless the superintendent determines otherwise in writing on a case-by-case basis.  An expulsion requires formal action by the Board of Education at a public meeting.


The Paw Paw Board of Education authorizes the school administration to take immediate action in an attempt to control students who exhibit behavior or discipline problems.  If the adverse behavior is found to be related to non-educational problems, a representative from the school district may work with the parents to help develop strategies for resolving the problem. These might include referral to community mental health, a child guidance clinic or a qualified counselor.

If evidence leads school administrators to suspect a student has a physical or mental health problem, parents may be advised to seek medical or psychological services. In extreme cases, the parents may decide to withdraw the student from school on a temporary basis under a physician’s order for physical treatment or intensive mental health therapy.

The United States Supreme Court notes that a suspension of ten (10) days or less does not result in a “severe detriment or grievous loss” of education and therefore, does not require all the formal procedures normally offered in long-term suspensions or expulsions, such as the right to confront accusers or representation by counsel.

The Board, therefore, sets forth the following procedure for suspensions of ten (10) days or less:

  1. The student must be given oral or written notice of the charges.
  2. If there is denial of the charges by the student, an explanation of the evidence the administration has will be given to the student.
  3. The student will be given the opportunity to present his/her side of the situation.
  4. There need be no delay between the time “notice” is given and the time of the administrative hearing. Students whose presence poses a continuing danger to persons or property or an ongoing threat of disrupting the academic process may be immediately removed from school. In such cases, the “notice” and hearing should follow as soon as practicable.
  5. Written follow-up communication to the parent or guardian will state charges, reasons for, and conditions of, suspension.  The parent or guardian shall also be informed of their right to appeal.
  6. Principals will keep a written record of all hearings and dates of suspension.
  7. Suspension of Special Education Students - Handicapped students who have been placed in an appropriate program in the least restrictive environment may be suspended for violation of reasonable school policies and/or rules.
  1. Prior to suspension, the administration must determine that the student’s conduct is not a manifestation of the handicap, and the student is appropriately placed. If there are any questions about either of these conditions, a new IEPC meeting must be convened prior to suspension.  The student may remain in school (including in-school suspension, if necessary) pending the findings of the IEPC, unless the student cannot safely be contained within the school setting.
  2. Where there is no question about the appropriateness of placement or the student’s ability to manage his or her behavior, a handicapped student may be suspended. The general provision as outlined above shall then apply.


The Paw Paw Board of Education has the authority to suspend or expel students for gross misdemeanors or persistent disobedience. The Discipline Policy contains some of the conduct constituting grounds for suspension or expulsion. (See “Grounds for Suspension or Expulsion”)

  1. The Board sets forth the following procedure for long-term suspension or expulsion.The student must be given oral or written notice of charges.
  2. If there is denial of the charges by the student, an explanation of the evidence the administration has will be given to the student.
  3. The student will be given the opportunity to present his/her side of the situation.
  4. If there is reason to believe the student’s continuance in school represents a “clear and present” danger to others, the student may be immediately removed from school pending a hearing.
  5. The recommendation for long-term suspension or expulsion MUST come from the building principal involved, through the superintendent to the Board of Education.
  6. Recommendation of long-term suspension or expulsion MUST be in writing and include specific facts serving as grounds for the suspension or expulsion. A copy of such shall be sent to the student and parent or guardian. The student, parent or guardian shall be informed of their right to appeal.
  7. Prior to scheduling a suspension of more than 10 days or expulsion hearing, the administration should determine on behalf of the Board whether or not the student is suspected of being handicapped.  If it is suspected, the student must be referred immediately for evaluation. If the student is determined eligible for special education, the administration should immediately place the student into appropriate programs and services as specified in the IEPC and terminate the proceedings.
  8. The Superintendent shall set a time with the Board for a hearing on long-term suspensions or expulsions. Written notice shall be given to the student, parent or guardian explaining the specific charges, time and place for the board hearing with indication that the student or student’s representative will be provided the opportunity at the meeting to give testimony, present evidence and otherwise provide a defense.  The hearing shall be closed session, if requested by the student, parent or guardian.  The decision must be by formal motion and confirmed by vote of the Board.  The action must appear in the minutes and be part of the public record.
  9. A hearing on long-term suspension or expulsion is not a court procedure. The Board may evaluate, review and question all evidence.  The Board shall determine whether the student should be expelled or suspended, or reinstated, or may recommend an alternative education program or discipline for the student.
  10. In cases of expulsion, the Board may place restrictions or conditions for re-admittance.
  11. Notice of expulsion should be sent to the juvenile division of the Probate Court for a student between ages 6 through 15. The court should be informed that the Board has expelled the student, and provides the reason for the expulsion.
  12. Notice may be sent to the juvenile division of the Probate Court for students ages 16 and 17 where the district believes that the court should review the circumstances surrounding the expulsion.  This is suggested when the record indicates that expulsion could have been avoided with appropriate parental supervision, medical or psychiatric treatment.  The school district may provide a copy of the public record to the court, but should not make any judgment or recommendation about the need for medical or psychiatric treatment or foster home placement.


Assuming the responsibility granted to it by law, the Board of Education establishes the following categories of misconduct while a student is under the jurisdiction of the school. These categories are general in nature and are not deemed to be all-inclusive. The results of disciplinary action are accumulative within and across categories of unacceptable behavior.  It should be understood that extenuating circumstances might cause a deviation in the steps listed below.



Acceptable Technology Use Code violation                

Meet with administration to review signed AUP discipline based on severity.  For example, downloading pictures or being on unauthorized websites during class may result in a warning or lunch detention.  Whereas more serious violations such as illegal activity can result in revoked privileges and/or suspension.


The intentional setting of fire

Cell Phone Use

Strictly prohibited during the school day with the exception of breakfast and lunch in the cafeteria.

Warning and student delivers phone to office

Closed Campus Violation                                          

Leaving school premises without permission; includes being in the parking lot during the school day 

Dangerous or Deadly Weapon                        

Possession or use of a dangerous or deadly weapon.  This includes but is not limited to any firearm, gun,revolver, pistol, dagger, dirk, stiletto, knife with a blade over three (3) inches in length, pocket knife opened by a mechanical device, iron bar, Brass knuckles, BB guns

Disruptive conduct                                                 

Failure to follow approved and posted school and classroom rules        

Drug Possession/ Use         

Possession*, use, concealment, distribution, sale or being under the influence of any controlled or mood altering substance, including, but not limited to:  inhalants, “look-alike” drugs, steroids, methamphetamines, marijuana, alcohol or prescription drugs, unless taken by the person to whom they are prescribed.  

*Prescription and over-the-counter drugs may not be carried by any student without express written permission. Doing so will result in a 10-day suspension.


Obtaining money, property, or favors as a result of intimidation


The presence of or student involvement in gangs or gang-related activities on school grounds, while school is in session, or at school-related events, including the display of gang signs or look-alike signs, symbols or paraphernalia, is strictly prohibited.


 Act of quarreling or intent to inflict harm that includes any bodily contact


Possession or use of fireworks or explosives that have potential to be harmful or dangerous


The act of fraudulently using, in writing, the name of another person, or falsifying times, dates, grade,address or data pertaining to the school.


Careless, reckless or dangerous behavior as determined by the adult supervisor



Open, persistent defiance of the authority of a staff member; flagrant disregard of verbal instruction or direction



Any theft of money or personal or public property and/or any theft involving unlawful entry including lockers, closets, automobiles, etc

Malicious mischief/vandalism                                           

 Defacing or destroying school or personal property.          

Persistent Absence/Tardiness                                                  

 Persistent disobedience regarding attendance/tardiness

Potentially Dangerous Objects                                 

Possession of inherently or Potentially Dangerous Objects including, but not limited to: knife with a blade less than three (3) inches long, pocketknife, folding knife, lighter, laser pointer, matches, sharp object


Vulgar acts, obscenities, gestures, symbols, racial or ethnic slurs.  


Possession and/or use of tobacco products or “look-alike” products. This includes electronic personal vaporizers or "e-cigarettes" and clove cigarettes. 


Being in an unauthorized place; refusing to leave when directed to do so by school personnel

During the time of out-of-school suspension, the student will not participate in any athletic or extra-curricular activity or be present on school property without the permission of the principal or his/her designee.

Verbal Assault                                                 

Verbal threats of physical threats or bullying                        

When a student commits any offense that constitutes a violation of school rules and results in damage, theft, loss or destruction of school property, they subject themselves to disciplinary action, financial charge for recovery of loss, and/or legal action.


The administration at Paw Paw High School will work with the local police agencies in an effort to enforce the ZERO TOLERANCE LAW. The police will be contacted any time a student is found in possession of a weapon, tobacco, alcohol or other illegal drugs. In addition, any time a student is suspected of being under the influence of alcohol, the police will be contacted and a Breathalyzer test may be administered.  In addition to school consequences, legal action may also be taken against students who bring weapons, tobacco, alcohol or other illegal drugs to school or come to school under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.


Teachers and administrators, as representatives of the Board of Education, have the freedom to use a variety of procedures in disciplining students who fail to accept responsibility as an integral part of student behavior in which rights and privileges are enjoyed, but they must carry out their assignments in such a manner as to avoid discrimination. School personnel must act within the law with full recognition of student rights. Their actions must be reasonable and not capricious.

The constitutional rights of individuals assure the protection of due process of law; therefore, this system of constitutionally and legally sound procedures is developed with regard to the administration of discipline in the Paw Paw Public Schools.


The faculty and administration of Aspire Academy recognize that when a student reaches the age of majority, s/he is afforded all of the rights and privileges of adulthood. Students may request form 5780 F1, Acceptance of Rights/Responsibilities, which will enable the student to sign all permission slips.  This form must be returned to the office before a student will be given these rights.

This does not mean, however, that provision has to be made for two sets of rules: one for students under 18 years of age, and another for students who have reached the age of majority. In fact, the Michigan legislature, recognizing the possibility of conflict between 18-year-old students and school rules, has explicitly spelled out the rights of schools by enacting a law that says:

“It can be stated unequivocally that rules may be made by the state, local boards of education, teachers, and principals, and these may be enforced reasonably against all who are in the school setting, below or above the age of 18.”

These rules may be relative to anything necessary for the proper establishment, maintenance, management, and carrying on of the public schools of each district, including regulations pertaining to attendance and conduct of students. Michigan school law, policies of the board of education, covers a student attending Aspire Academy, regardless of age, and all rules included in this handbook. An eighteen-year-old student’s responsibility to the school does not change upon reaching the age of majority.


A student will be deemed to be under the influence of alcoholic beverages, narcotics, sprays, drugs or substances which produce abnormal behavior if the student has consumed or otherwise used them before attending school or a school sponsored or related event, even though the student may be able to conceal the use by controlling his/her behavior or not otherwise displaying that he/she has been affected by whatever substance has been used or consumed.  For example, if a student consumes alcohol before school or a school sponsored event, the student will be deemed to be under the influence of alcohol, even though the student may not appear to be intoxicated.


To maintain order and discipline in the school and to protect the safety and welfare of students and school personnel, school authorities may search a student’s locker or student’s automobile and may seize any illegal, unauthorized or contraband materials discovered in the search. A student’s failure to permit searches and seizures will be considered grounds for disciplinary action. A student’s person and/or personal effects (purse, book bag, athletic bag, coat, etc.) may be searched whenever a school official has a reasonable suspicion that the student is in possession of illegal or unauthorized materials.

Drug sniffing dogs may be brought to the school to search the school and parking lot. Students found to have any illegal substance in their locker or vehicle will be disciplined according to school policy. In addition, the police will be notified of any drugs, alcohol or weapons found on school property. During these random searches, students will not come in contact with the drug-sniffing dogs.


Under Michigan Law, school personnel are not required to advise students of their rights before questioning them about possible involvement in violations of the student code of conduct. The Paw Paw School Board of Education pledges cooperation with all law enforcement agencies regarding questioning of students by law enforcement officers, but it also safeguards the rights of students by making certain that the parents are given the opportunity to be present during questioning if the student is under 16 years of age.


Rules of conduct for students on field trips are no different than for students in school.   Any student involved in unacceptable behavior on a field trip (or any other off-campus activity) may be denied further participation in such activities and may be subject to disciplinary step placement.  Board policy requires a written parental permission slip for each field trip. “If a student does not return a signed permission slip, s/he will not be allowed to participate in the activity”.


Parents are responsible for student insurance. Paw Paw Public Schools does not provide insurance. INSURANCE MAY BE PURCHASED BY PARENTS FOR STUDENTS THROUGH THE HIGH SCHOOL OFFICE.  Parents are responsible for filing claims. Insurance forms are available in the office of the Assistant Principal.


Students who have medication they must take at school must bring the medication to the High School Office. The medication policy forms are available in the office.


Students who choose to carry backpacks or similar items (anything large enough to contain a textbook) to and from school must leave said bag in their locker during the school day.  Bags may not be brought into the classroom, media center, or cafeteria during the school day, nor may they be left in the hallway.  


When finding possessions that appear to have been lost or misplaced, students should take these items to the office. A designated lost-and-found area will be maintained in the office. Items not claimed after a period of time will be disposed of. 


No visitors are allowed in the building at any time during the school day except for officially arranged functions.  Parents must call in advance if they desire a conference with particular members of the faculty or administration.  Visitors must enter through the main doors and sign in at the main office Visitor are expected to wear a visitor badge while in the building.


Aspire Academy is a closed campus for all students.  Once a student arrives on campus for the day, they may not leave until the end of the school day without proper authorization. Students may not be in the parking lot without authorization. Students who violate the closed campus rule will be placed on Step 2 of the Disciplinary Step System. 


General Policy Statement

It is the policy of the Board of Education to maintain an education and work environment that is free from all forms of unlawful harassment, including sexual harassment. This commitment applies to all School District operations, programs, and activities. All students, administrators, teachers, staff, and all other school personnel share responsibility for avoiding, discouraging, and reporting any form of unlawful harassment. This policy applies to unlawful conduct occurring on school property, or at another location if such conduct occurs during an activity sponsored by the Board.

The Board will vigorously enforce its prohibition against discriminatory harassment based on race, color, national origin, sex (including sexual orientation and transgender identity), disability, age (except as authorized by law), religion, height, weight, marital or family status, military status, ancestry, or genetic information (collectively, "Protected Classes") that are protected by Federal civil rights laws (hereinafter referred to as unlawful harassment), and encourages those within the School District community as well as third parties, who feel aggrieved to seek assistance to rectify such problems. The Board will investigate all allegations of unlawful harassment and in those cases where unlawful harassment is substantiated, the Board will take immediate steps to end the harassment, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effects. Individuals who are found to have engaged in unlawful harassment will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

For purposes of this policy, "School District community" means students, administrators, and professional and support staff, as well as Board members, agents, volunteers, contractors, or other persons subject to the control and supervision of the Board.

For purposes of this policy, "third parties" include, but are not limited to, guests and/or visitors on School District property (e.g., visiting speakers, participants on opposing athletic teams, parents), vendors doing business with, or seeking to do business with, the Board, and other individuals who come in contact with members of the School District community at school-related events/activities (whether on or off School District property).

Other Violations of the Anti-Harassment Policy

The Board will also take immediate steps to impose disciplinary action on individuals engaging in any of the following prohibited acts:



Retaliating against a person who has made a report or filed a complaint alleging unlawful harassment, or who has participated as a witness in a harassment investigation.





Filing a malicious or knowingly false report or complaint of unlawful harassment.





Disregarding, failing to investigate adequately, or delaying investigation of allegations of unlawful harassment, when responsibility for reporting and/or investigating harassment charges comprises part of one's supervisory duties.



Bullying rises to the level of unlawful harassment when one or more persons systematically and chronically inflict physical hurt or psychological distress on one (1) or more students or employees and the bullying is based upon one (1) or more Protected Classes, that is, characteristics that are protected by Federal civil rights laws. It is defined as any unwanted and repeated written, verbal, or physical behavior, including any threatening, insulting, or dehumanizing gesture, by an adult or student, that is severe or pervasive enough to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational or work environment; cause discomfort or humiliation, or unreasonably interfere with the individual's school or work performance or participation; and may involve:



Harassment means any threatening, insulting, or dehumanizing gesture, use of technology, or written, verbal or physical conduct directed against a student or school employee that:



places a student or school employee in reasonable fear of harm to his/her person or damage to his/her property;





has the effect of substantially interfering with a student's educational performance, opportunities, or benefits, or an employee's work performance; or



has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of a school.

Sexual Harassment

Pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, "sexual harassment" is defined as:

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, when:



Submission to such conduct is made either implicitly or explicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment, or status in a class, educational program, or activity.





Submission or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or educational decisions affecting such individual.





Such conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with the individual's work or educational performance; of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working, and/or learning environment; or of interfering with one's ability to participate in or benefit from a class or an educational program or activity.

Sexual harassment may involve the behavior of a person of either gender against a person of the same or opposite gender.

Prohibited acts that constitute sexual harassment may take a variety of forms. Examples of the kinds of conduct that may constitute sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:



Unwelcome sexual propositions, invitations, solicitations, and flirtations.





Unwanted physical and/or sexual contact.





Threats or insinuations that a person's employment, wages, academic grade, promotion, classroom work or assignments, academic status, participation in athletics or extra-curricular programs or events, or other conditions of employment or education may be adversely affected by not submitting to sexual advances.






Unwelcome verbal expressions of a sexual nature, including graphic sexual commentaries about a person's body, dress, appearance, or sexual activities; the unwelcome use of sexually degrading language, jokes or innuendoes; unwelcome suggestive or insulting sounds or whistles; obscene telephone calls.





Sexually suggestive objects, pictures, videotapes, audio recordings or literature, placed in the work or educational environment, which may embarrass or offend individuals.





Unwelcome and inappropriate touching, patting, or pinching; obscene gestures.





A pattern of conduct, which can be subtle in nature, that has sexual overtones and is intended to create or has the effect of creating discomfort and/or humiliation to another.






Remarks speculating about a person's sexual activities or sexual history, or remarks about one's own sexual activities or sexual history.





Inappropriate boundary invasions by a District employee or other adult member of the School District community into a student's personal space and personal life.





Verbal, nonverbal or physical aggression, intimidation, or hostility based on sex or sex-stereotyping that does not involve conduct of a sexual nature.

Not all behavior with sexual connotations constitutes unlawful sexual harassment. Sex-based or gender-based conduct must be sufficiently severe, pervasive, and persistent such that it adversely affects, limits, or denies an individual's employment or education, or such that it creates a hostile or abusive employment or educational environment, or such that it is intended to, or has the effect of, denying or limiting a student's ability to participate in or benefit from the educational program or activities.

Race/Color Harassment

Prohibited racial harassment occurs when unwelcome physical, verbal, or nonverbal conduct is based upon an individual's race or color and when the conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with the individual's work or educational performance; of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working, and/or learning environment; or of interfering with one's ability to participate in or benefit from a class or an educational program or activity. Such harassment may occur where conduct is directed at the characteristics of a person's race or color, such as racial slurs, nicknames implying stereotypes, epithets, and/or negative references relative to racial customs.

Religious (Creed) Harassment

Prohibited religious harassment occurs when unwelcome physical, verbal, or nonverbal conduct is based upon an individual's religion or creed and when the conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with the individual's work or educational performance; of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working and/or learning environment; or of interfering with one's ability to participate in or benefit from a class or an educational program or activity. Such harassment may occur where conduct is directed at the characteristics of a person's religious tradition, clothing, or surnames, and/or involves religious slurs.

National Origin/Ancestry Harassment

Prohibited national origin/ancestry harassment occurs when unwelcome physical, verbal, or nonverbal conduct is based upon an individual's national origin or ancestry and when the conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with the individual's work or educational performance; of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working and/or learning environment; or of interfering with one's ability to participate in or benefit from a class or an educational program or activity. Such harassment may occur where conduct is directed at the characteristics of a person's national origin or ancestry, such as negative comments regarding customs, manner of speaking, language, surnames, or ethnic slurs.

Disability Harassment

Prohibited disability harassment occurs when unwelcome physical, verbal, or nonverbal conduct is based upon an individual's disability and when the conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with the individual's work or educational performance; of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working and/or learning environment; or of interfering with one's ability to participate in or benefit from a class or an educational program or activity. Such harassment may occur where conduct is directed at the characteristics of a person's disabling condition, such as negative comments about speech patterns, movement, physical impairments or defects/appearances, or the like. Such harassment may further occur where conduct is directed at or pertains to a person's genetic information.

Reports and Complaints of Harassing Conduct

Students and other members of the School District community and third parties are encouraged to promptly report incidents of harassing conduct to a teacher, administrator, supervisor or other District official so that the Board may address the conduct before it becomes severe, pervasive, or persistent. Any teacher, administrator, supervisor, or other District employee or official who receives such a complaint shall file it with the District's Anti-Harassment Compliance Officer within two (2) school days.

Members of the School District community, which includes students, or third parties who believe they have been unlawfully harassed are entitled to utilize the Board's complaint process that is set forth below. Initiating a complaint, whether formally or informally, will not adversely affect the complaining individual's employment or participation in educational or extra-curricular programs. While there are no time limits for initiating complaints of harassment under this policy, individuals should make every effort to file a complaint as soon as possible after the conduct occurs while the facts are known and potential witnesses are available.

If, during an investigation of alleged bullying, aggressive behavior and/or harassment in accordance with Policy 5517.01 – Bullying and Other Forms of Aggressive Behavior, the Principal believes that the reported misconduct may have created a hostile learning environment and may have constituted unlawful discriminatory harassment based on a Protected Class, the Principal shall report the act of bullying, aggressive behavior and/or harassment to one of the Anti-Harassment Compliance Officers who shall investigate the allegation in accordance with this policy. While the Compliance Officer investigates the allegation, the Principal shall suspend his/her Policy 5517.01 investigation to await the Compliance Officer's written report. The Compliance Officer shall keep the Principal informed of the status of Policy 5517 investigation and provide him/her with a copy of the resulting written report.


Lockers are school property, not the possession of students. School-owned lockers are made available to students for their free use, subject to the following conditions:


Students are allowed ONLY sealed and unopened drinks into the building.  The cap of the drink must be checked by a staff member and initialed in a permanent marker.  Glass bottles are prohibited.  Food is not to be taken out of the cafeteria for any reason.  STUDENTS ARE EXPECTED TO LEAVE THE CAFETERIA TABLES CLEAN AFTER LUNCH.


Emergency forms will be distributed during the first week of school. Forms must be returned to the office by the first Friday that school is in session.  All information must be accurate. Failure to return an accurate form will result in disciplinary action. It will be the student’s responsibility to keep all information on the form up-to-date.


Whenever a student is involved in a bodily injury accident on school premises or at a school-sponsored activity, the school employee in charge should be notified immediately.  As soon as feasible after the accident, an accident form should be completed and filed with the assistant principal. If medical attention is deemed necessary, school officials will follow the instructions indicated on student emergency cards. In all cases, attempts will be made to contact parents as soon as possible.


Students and their parents are held financially accountable for:

Students will not be allowed to participate in graduation ceremonies if debts are unpaid.


Students who drive vehicles to school are expected to get a parking permit from the high school office. The parking permit outlines the basic driving regulations of Cedar Street Campus. Students who drive to school without a parking permit may have their vehicle towed away at their expense.  You will not be issued a parking permit if you have a debt.  Driving is a privilege and it may be taken away.


According to R 325.13094 of Act No. 368 of the Public Acts of 1978, “Vision screening of school-age children shall, at a minimum, be done in grades 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 and in conjunction with driver training.”

Parents or guardians wishing to exercise a religious or other objection to vision screening must obtain a waiver form from the school office.


The school principal carries out the responsibilities for validating permits to students. Pick up an application for a work permit from your employer or from the high school office, complete it, and return it the principal’s office for a signature.  Work permits may be revoked for poor school attendance.


When leaving any room during class time students must obtain and carry with them a hall pass issued by a teacher.  Students requesting to go to another teacher’s room or the counseling office must have PREVIOUSLY obtained a pass.  Students who are found to be out of class without a pass may be subject to the SRC process.


There is a proper time and place for expressing affection. Classrooms, hallways, etc.are not considered proper places for this expression.  Avoid embarrassment to yourself and others by avoiding displays of affection during the school day or at school events.  


In order to promote our mission, PPPS believes that dress and grooming is a matter of pride for the school as well as for the students themselves.  Students should dress in a manner that reflects positively on themselves, their family and their school.  The school expects students to dress for academic success as an employer would expect its staff to dress for workplace success.

Minimum standards for dress and grooming, compatible with state law and board policy, include:

The school dress code is a functional document.  Changes may be made at any time during the school year.  Students and parents will be notified of any changes through the daily announcements, school newsletter and school website.


Rules and Regulations

Disciplinary Procedure

Oral warning-

Level 1-

Level 2-

Level 3-

Level 4-