Decatur High School & Middle     School

2018 – 2019




Steve Watkins, Superintendent                                            479-752-3986

Toby Conrad, HS & MS Principal, AD                                      479-752-3983

Devon Courtney, Middle School & DNE Asst. Principal                    479-752-3560

Cary Stamps, Elementary School Principal                                  479-752-3981


The primary purpose of this handbook is to acquaint students of Decatur High School with the rules, regulations and customs so that they may more readily adapt themselves to the principles of our school. We ask that you read this handbook carefully and keep it for future reference. Failure to read and be familiar with this book will not relieve any students of any responsibility for compliance with the rules and regulations stated herein. Additional information can be found in the student section of the Board Policies on the district web site:

Decatur School District will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, age, handicap, national origin, or religion. The school district will not discriminate on the basis of gender in educational programs that receive federal funds.


Decatur Public Schools strives to create an atmosphere which will be conducive to helping all students reach their full potential socially and academically and become productive members of society.


At Decatur High School we strive to ensure ALL students are lifelong learners. We provide a relevant, engaging, and student-centered curriculum that will develop skills for college, careers, and social readiness while promoting positive parent and community relations.

        Dear Parents,

    Your child has been given a copy of or access to a copy of the Decatur High School and Middle School Student Handbook. The back several pages of this handbook is the District Policies handbook as well.  This handbook has been developed by a committee of teachers, parents, students, and administrators and has been adopted by the Decatur Board of Education.

    The rules in this handbook are in compliance with current Arkansas state laws, and it required that school officials document that they have distributed a copy of the handbooks to all students and parents or have given access to the handbooks to students and their parents.

    Therefore, we request that you sign the handbook sheet and the next page, indicating that your child has received his/her copy, and that you return the form to the school to be filed as soon as possible.

Thank you,

Mr. Conrad, Principal

Bell Schedule        6

School Calendar        7

Attendance Policy        8

        Compulsory Attendance Requirements         8

        Attendance – Excuse Absences        9

        Attendance – Unexcused Absences         10

        Tardy Policy        11

        Make-Up Work        12

        Closed Campus        12

Disciplinary Procedures        13

        Prohibited Conduct        13

        Disruption of School        14

        Student Assault or Battery (Fighting)         15

        Weapons and Dangerous Instruments        16

        Tobacco and Tobacco Products        16

        Drugs and Alcohol        17

        Student Dress and Grooming        17

        Gangs and Gang Activity        18

        Student Sexual Harassment        19

        Corporal Punishment        19

        Bullying        20

        Cyberbullying of School Employees        21

        Possession and Use of Electronic Devices Including Cell Phones.        22

        Dangerous and Disruptive Items        23

        Truancy        23

        Bus Riders        23

        Suspension from School        24

        Expulsion        26

Decatur High School Discipline Guidelines        26

Additional Information        28

        Student Visitors        28

        Student Vehicles        29

Academic Information        29

        Core Curriculum        29

        Smart Core        29

        Core        30

        Graduation Requirements         31

        Report Cards/Grading System        32

        Concurrent Credit        33

        Transferring Students        33

        Honor Students        34

        Valedictorian and Salutatorian        35

        Decatur High School Homework Policy        35

        Promotion/Retention/Course Credit        36

Athletics        38

        Decatur High School Athletic Code        39

Additional Procedures        40

        Campus/Classroom Guidelines        41

        Phone Calls        41

        Locker Assignment        41

        Schedule Changes        42

        Trips        42

        Parties & Dances        43

        Pledge of Allegiance        43

        Moment of Silence        43

        Student Illness/Accident        43

        Permanent Records        44

        Emergency Drills        44

        Physical Examinations and Screenings        44

        Student Internet Use Agreement        45

        District Personnel and Teacher Contact List         46

             Parental Involvement Plans ……………….……..……………………………………………….47


First bell: 7:55

1st hour 8:00-8:48

Breakfast 8:48-9:03

2nd Hour 9:03-9:32

3rd Hour 9:35-10:23

4th Hour 10:27-11:15

5th Hour 11:19-12:07

Lunch -12:07-12:35

6th Hour 12:38-1:26

7th Hour 1:30-2:18

8th Hour 2:22-3:10


Breakfast 7:30 – 8:00

1st hour 8:00-8:48

2nd Hour 8:52-9:30

3rd Hour 9:34-10:22

4th Hour 10:26-11:14

Lunch -11:14-11:50

5th Hour 11:54-12:42

(6th Hour) Fruit/Recess 12:42-1:30

7th Hour 1:30-2:18

8th Hour 2:22-3:10


Decatur School District 2017/18 Calendar


If we have 10 days left to make up on Mar. 15, we will consider using Spring Break to make up days missed.)



Education is more than the grades students receive in their courses. Important as that is, students’ regular attendance at school is essential to their social and cultural development and helps prepare them to accept responsibilities they will face as an adult. Interactions with other students and participation in the instruction within the classroom enrich the learning environment and promote a continuity of instruction which results in higher student achievement. In recognition of the need for students to regularly attend school, the district’s policy governing student absences is as follows.


The schools of the District shall be open and free through the completion of the secondary program to all students, with the minimum age of five (5) prior to August 15 of the year in which they will attend, and through age twenty one (21) years, whose parents, legal guardians, or other persons having lawful control of the person under an order of a court reside within the District and to all persons between those ages who have been legally transferred to the District for educational purposes. Every parent, guardian, or other person having custody or charge of any child age five (5) through seventeen (17) years on or before August 15 of that year who resides within the District shall enroll and send the child to a District school with the following exceptions.

  1. The child is enrolled in private or parochial school.
  2. The child is being home-schooled and the conditions of home school policy have been met.
  3. The child has received a high school diploma or its equivalent as determined by the State Board of Education.
  4. The child is age sixteen (16) or above and is enrolled in a post-secondary vocational-technical institution, a community college, or a two-year or four-year institution of higher education.
  5. The child is age sixteen (16) or seventeen (17) and has met the requirements to enroll in an adult education program as defined by A.C.A. § 6-18-201 (b).

The schools of the District shall be open and free through the completion of the secondary program to all students, with the minimum age of five (5) prior to August 15 of the year in which they will attend, and through age twenty one (21) years, whose parents, legal guardians, or other persons having lawful control of the person under an order of a court reside within the District and to all persons between those ages who have been legally transferred to the District for educational purposes.


Prior to the child’s admission to a District school:

1. The parent, guardian, or other responsible person shall furnish the child’s social security number, or if they request, the district will assign the child a nine (9) digit number designated by the department of education.

2. The parent, guardian, or other responsible person shall provide the district with one (1) of the following documents indicating the child’s age:

a. A birth certificate;

b. A statement by the local registrar or a county recorder certifying the child’s date of birth;

c. An attested baptismal certificate;

d. A passport;

e. An affidavit of the date and place of birth by the child’s parent or guardian;

f. United States military identification; or

g. Previous school records


**If any student’s Individual Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan conflicts with this policy, the requirements of the student’s IEP or 504 Plan take precedence.

Excused Absences

Excused absences are those where the student was on official school business or when the absence was due to one of the following reasons and the student brings a written statement to the principal or designee upon his/her return to school from the parent or legal guardian stating such reason. A written statement presented for an absence having occurred more than five (5) school days prior to its presentation will not be accepted. The principal or designee will have final authority/say on all absences being excused or unexcused. A parental note or phone call does not guarantee an excused absence.  

  1. The student’s illness or when attendance could jeopardize the health of other students. A maximum of six (6) such days are allowed per semester unless the condition(s) causing such absences is of a chronic or recurring nature, is medically documented, and approved by the principal.

  1. Death or serious illness in their immediate family;

  1. Observance of recognized holidays observed by the student's faith;

  1. Attendance at an appointment with a government agency;

  1. Attendance at a medical appointment;

  1. Exceptional circumstances with prior approval of the principal; or

  1. Participation in an FFA, FCCLA, FBLA, 4-H, or other school sanctioned activity;

  1. Participation in the election poll workers program for high school students.

  1. Absences granted to allow a student to visit his/her parent or legal guardian who is a member of the military and been called to active duty, is on leave from active duty, or has returned from deployment to a combat zone or combat support posting. The number of additional excused absences shall be at the discretion of the superintendent or designee.

  1. Absences granted, at the Superintendent's discretion, to seventeen (17) year-old students who join the Arkansas National Guard while in eleventh grade to complete basic combat training between grades eleven (11) and (12).

Students who serve as pages for a member of the General Assembly shall be considered on instructional assignment and shall not be considered absent from school for the day the student is serving as a page.

It is the Arkansas General Assembly’s intention that students having excessive absences be given assistance in obtaining credit for their courses. Excessive absences may, however, be the basis for the denial of course credit, promotion, or graduation.

Unexcused Absences

Absences not defined above or not having an accompanying note from the parent or legal guardian, presented in the timeline required by this policy, shall be considered as unexcused absences. Students with 10 unexcused absences in a course in a semester shall not receive credit for that course. At the discretion of the principal after consultation with persons having knowledge of the circumstances of the unexcused absences, the student may be denied promotion or graduation. Excessive absences shall not be a reason for expulsion or dismissal of a student, however, a student with unexcused absences may receive discipline ranging from detentions and ISS to making up missed time, minute for minute, at the principal’s discretion for each unexcused absence.

NURSE HOME: Students leaving school sick without nurse approval will receive an unexcused absence.  All students leaving because of illness must see the nurse before they may leave and only will receive an excused absence at the nurse’s or principal’s, or principal’s designee’s recommendation.

When a student has 5 unexcused absences, his/her parents, guardians, or persons in loco parentis shall be notified. Notification shall be by telephone by the end of the school day in which such absence occurred or by regular mail with a return address sent no later than the following school day.

Whenever a student exceeds 10 unexcused absences in a semester, the District shall notify the prosecuting authority and the parent, guardian, or persons in loco parentis shall be subject to a civil penalty as prescribed by law.

At any time prior to when a student exceeds the number of unexcused absences permitted by this policy, the student, or his/her parent, guardian, or person in loco parentis may petition the school or district’s administration for special arrangements to address the student’s unexcused absences. If formal arrangements are granted, they shall be formalized into a written agreement which will include the conditions of the agreement and the consequences for failing to fulfill the agreement’s requirements. The agreement shall be signed by the student, the student’s parent, guardian, or person in loco parentis, and the school or district administrator or designee.

The District shall notify the Department of Finance and Administration whenever a student fourteen (14) years of age or older is no longer in school. The Department of Finance and Administration is required to suspend the former student’s operator’s license unless he/she meets certain requirements specified in the statute.

Applicants for an instruction permit or for a driver's license by persons less than eighteen (18) years old on October 1 of any year are required to provide proof of a high school diploma or enrollment and regular attendance in an adult education program or a public, private, or parochial school prior to receiving an instruction permit. To be issued a driver's license, a student enrolled in school shall present proof of a “C” average for the previous semester or similar equivalent grading period for which grades are reported as part of the student’s permanent record.

Steps to Follow When Absent

  1. Have parent or guardian notify the school before 10 a.m. the day of the absence, stating the reason for the absence.
  2. Have parent or guardian write a note stating the reason for absence and his/her signature or, when appropriate, secure proper documentation to explain absence, e.g. (a physician’s note).
  3. Present the note to the principal or designee. An admit slip will be issued.
  4. Give the admit slip to each teacher to sign. Last teacher to sign should collect slips and submit back to the office.

                                               Things to know about Absences

  1. Athletes that are not at school for 4 hours in the morning on game day will not be allowed to attend athletic events. (Drs. note, court appearances with verification, or verified emergency by the principal will be considered on a case by case basis)
  2. Students missing the day after a game will not be allowed to play the following game after a second absence of the same sort during the same season. (Drs. note, court appearances with verification, or verified emergency by the principal will be considered on a case by case basis)
  3. If a student misses the day before a field trip, that student will not be allowed to attend the field trip. (Drs. note, court appearances with verification, or verified emergency by the principal will be considered on a case by case basis. Numerous absences will affect decisions)


Promptness is an important character trait that District staff is to encourage, to model and help develop in our schools’ students. At the same time, promptness is the responsibility of each student. Students who are late to class show a disregard for both the teacher and their classmates which compromises potential student achievement.




After the third (3) recorded unexcused tardy to any specific class during a semester, the student will be written up by the classroom teacher and or sent to the principal's office for disciplinary measures, including no less than one 30 minute detention. Further tardiness may result in increased disciplinary action, at the principal’s discretion, including ISS, parent conference, and/or corporal punishment.



Students who miss school due to an excused absence shall be allowed to make up the work they missed during their absence under the following rules.

  1. Students are responsible for asking the teachers of the classes they missed what assignments they need to make up.
  2. Teachers are responsible for providing the missed assignments when asked by a returning student.
  3. Students are required to ask for their assignments on their first day back at school or their first class day after their return.
  4. Make-up tests are to be rescheduled at the discretion of the teacher, but must be aligned with the schedule of the missed work to be made up.
  5. Students shall have two (2) class days to make up their work for the first day missed and one day for each subsequent day of absence.
  6. Make up work which is not turned in within the make-up schedule for that assignment may receive a grade based on a modified grading scale.
  7. Students are responsible for turning in their make-up work without the teacher having to ask for it.
  8. Students who are absent on the day their make-up work is due must turn in their work the day they return to school whether or not the class for which the work is due meets the day of their return.
  9. Work may not be made up for credit for unexcused absences or absences in excess of the number of allowable absences in a semester unless the absences are part of a signed agreement as permitted by the student’s Individual Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan.


All schools in the District shall operate closed campuses. Students are required to stay on campus from their arrival until dismissal at the end of the regular school day unless given permission to leave the campus by a school official or a parent/guardian. All students must sign out in the office before leaving campus. Students who arrive at school late or who return to school before the end of the school day, must sign back in at the office before going to class. Students are not allowed to have non-parental/guardian visitors during the year unless authorized by the building administrator.


The teachers, staff, and administrators at Decatur High School are committed to promoting a high level of student achievement by promoting a positive and engaging culture for learning. Therefore, students are expected to observe a high standard of conduct both in the classroom and while attending activities and events on our campus. This implies proper dress at these functions and generally accepted standards of behavior. The following list includes disciplinary options that school officials may implement in an effort to maintain a safe and orderly environment for all students. Policies are arranged from least serious to most serious in consequences.

  1. The minimum action for a discipline problem is a warning, a conference, or a directive to change the behavior.

  1. Detention – This is the most frequently used form of discipline. It may be assigned before school, after school, at lunch, or during the weekend. Failure to attend detention may result in suspension from school. Some detention will be assigned if a student is sent from class.

  1. ISS (In-School Suspension) – This form of discipline is used for more serious offenses. The student is isolated from the rest of the student body in a separate room. The principal and the office secretary monitor students in ISS for acceptable behavior and academic work. ISS does not count as an absence and the student is expected to complete their regular class assignments while in ISS. A student who cannot behave appropriately in ISS may be suspended from school (OSS). Assignment to ISS is generally for a short time period (1-3 days normally). ISS students will not be allowed to have cell phones, computers, any electronic devices while in ISS unless approved by the principal or designee.  


  1.  Corporal Punishment – This form of discipline, defined as three swats with a paddle, is used as an alternative to ISS assignment, and will be administered in accordance with board policy. The decision for the use of corporal punishment in lieu of ISS will be at the discretion of the principal.  


  1. OSS (Out-of-School Suspension) – OSS may be assigned by administration for serious offenses. A student suspended out of school may not be on campus for, or attend any, school activity. A parent conference is required before a student is readmitted to school following OSS.

  1. Expulsion – This form of discipline is the removal of a student from school and all activities for a period in excess of 10 days. It could be a permanent arrangement. Expulsion is the result of board action and is recommended in instances of extreme, dangerous, or illegal conduct. This is the most serious action taken by the school in regard to student discipline infractions and is the maximum consequence for student misconduct.


The following serious violations will result in disciplinary action and may result in suspension (either ISS or OSS) or expulsion:

  1. Failure to submit to adult authority and/or disrespect or insubordination
  2. Failure to turn over any device requested by any employee of Decatur Schools
  3. Disruptive behavior that interferes with orderly school operations
  4. Fighting/assaults
  5. Willfully or intentionally damaging, destroying, or stealing school property
  6. Inappropriate use of electronic devices including but not limited to cell phones, cameras, MP 3 players, iPods, iPads and other portable music devices on the school campus during instructional periods or assemblies.
  7. Inappropriate public displays of affection, repeated violations (No PDA means handholding only is permitted. Hugging and kissing are not allowed.)
  8. Cheating, copying, or claiming another person's work to be his/her own
  9. Gambling
  10. Inappropriate student dress, repeated violations of dress code
  11. Use of vulgar, profane, or obscene language or gestures – this includes use of such language or gestures at school sponsored events and activities
  12. Truancy
  13. Excessive tardiness
  14. Bullying (verbal, physical, psychological, or electronic bullying and hazing)
  15. Possess, view, distribute or electronically transmit sexually explicit or vulgar images or representations, whether electronically, on a data storage device, or in hard copy form
  16. Gangs or gang-related activities, including insignias, clothing, “throwing signs” or other gestures associated with gangs or gang activities
  17. Sexual harassment

The following serious violations shall be referred to the school board for expulsion:

  1. Substantial destruction of property, or theft of any item(s) of significant value
  2. Possession of dangerous objects, weapons, drugs, drug paraphernalia, or alcohol
  3. Repeated, or especially violent episodes of fighting
  4. Use of profanity or threats directed at school personnel


“Insubordination” is defined as the willful disobedience or refusal to follow the rules of  Decatur Schools or any specific Decatur School building, such as:

In order to provide a safe and positive learning environment, it is imperative that students show respect to all others on campus. All students must recognize authority and obey the reasonable instructions and directions of teachers, administrators, and other school personnel. All students must, upon request, identify themselves to teachers, administrators, and other school personnel. Students refusing to identify themselves to school employees or failing to obey the reasonable instructions of school district employees will be subject to disciplinary action. Respect is also expected to be upheld by the staff in any dealings with students, parents and out in the community.


Disrespect to teachers and administration is a serious problem that threatens the ability of school personnel to properly conduct an efficient educational environment conducive to learning. Also, understanding that disrespecting their future employers will result in very serious consequences, the school board believes it is necessary to re-emphasize the proper conduct by our students to help prepare them to be more successful with their future careers. Therefore, disrespect for teachers and administrators will not be tolerated. Students guilty of insubordination will be sent to the principal’s office for disciplinary action.  



"Assault" is the willful attempt or threat to inflict injury upon the person of another, coupled with the apparent present ability to do so. Any display of force that would give the victim reason to fear bodily harm is assault, even if touching or striking does not occur.

"Battery" is similar to assault, but requires unexcused physical touching or injury.

"Abuse" means to wrong in speech, reproach coarsely, disparage, revile, or malign. Use of profanity or vulgar expressions directed at another person is considered abuse.


Statement of Policy

A student shall not threaten, physically abuse, or attempt to physically abuse, or behave in such a way as to be perceived to threaten bodily harm to any other person (student, school employee, or school visitor). Any gestures, vulgar, abusive or insulting language, taunting, threatening, harassing, or intimidating remarks by a student toward another person that threatens their well-being is strictly forbidden. This includes, but is not limited to, fighting; racial, ethnic, religious, or sexual slurs; pupil to pupil harassment (bullying). Any action described in this paragraph, will not be tolerated at school, on the bus, or at any school sponsored activity. Harassment may result in suspension and/or expulsion.



Students involved in fighting will be subject to disciplinary action. The minimum punishment will be a one day suspension and possible prosecution, and the maximum punishment of a recommendation for expulsion and possible prosecution. Attempting to be fair, if one of the participants was an unwilling participant and did not throw a punch or attempt to throw a punch, that person may receive less punishment per the building principal’s discretion. Fighting is different than scuffling. Fighting usually involves someone throwing a punch.



Schools are intended to be a place of safety and we expect that everyone feels that way and we will not have to put ourselves in a position to deal with any situation that has put your child in harm’s way. In order to see how we are going to handle any such situation, please refer to the Decatur Discipline Guidelines at the end of the discipline section.  



Smoking or use of tobacco or products containing tobacco in any form (including, but not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, and snuff) in or on any real property owned or leased by a District school, including school buses owned or leased by the District, is prohibited. Students who violate this policy may be subject to legal proceedings in addition to student disciplinary measures.

With the exception of recognized tobacco cessation products, this policy’s prohibition includes any tobacco or nicotine delivery system or product. Specifically, the prohibition includes any product that is manufactured, distributed, marketed, or sold as e-cigarettes, e-cigars, e-pipes, or under any other name or descriptors.


It is the adopted (1990) goal of the Decatur School District to provide schools free of substance abuse, violence, and enforce policies that ensure a disciplined environment conducive to learning. This goal is in keeping with the Federal Drug Free School and Community Act of 1986. The Decatur School District recognizes that the use, possession, distribution, or sale of alcohol, drugs, or drug paraphernalia, and other prohibited substances constitutes a hazard to the welfare of students and faculty, and is illegal under the law. It is not only illegal, it is incompatible with learning.

The district believes that prevention, intervention, and treatment are as important as enforcement of policies. Thus, the district’s policy recognizes a comprehensive program (K-12). The district believes that alcohol and drug prevention programs are effective in providing students with the opportunity to build social skills, and enhance self-concepts. Prevention curricula can provide students with the necessary skills for decision-making toward a healthier lifestyle. The district recognizes that intervention is a key component to a comprehensive program. The district is committed to providing the necessary training for students and faculty in various intervention strategies. The district is also committed to the concept of a shared responsibility with parents and community.

Statement of Policy

It shall be a violation of policy for any student to possess, use, be under the influence, sell or distribute alcoholic beverages, illegal drugs, or prescription medications on school property, any adjacent property, or school sponsored functions. Prohibited substances shall include but not limited to the following:

Any drug paraphernalia, alcohol or any alcoholic beverage, marijuana, narcotic, hallucinogen, stimulant, depressant, controlled substance (legal or illegal) that alters the student’s ability to think, act, or respond. Controlled substances used by a student who has a prescription for the substance must be checked in the school office with verification from parents / guardians.




Consequences for use, possession, distribution, or sale of alcohol, drugs, or drug paraphernalia, and other prohibited substances will be in alignment with the Decatur Discipline Guidelines listed at the end of the Disciplinary Procedures Section.



Students at Decatur High School are expected to dress in a manner that would be acceptable in a regular employment situation so that they can develop habits that will serve them well beyond their high school years.

Students are expected to be neat, clean, and appropriately dressed for all classes and activities. Students not properly dressed will be asked to telephone someone to bring appropriate clothing to school before being admitted into the classroom. If unable to receive appropriate clothing from home in an acceptable time frame, the school will provide the student with appropriate clothing OR place the student in ISS for the remainder of the school day or until they get the appropriate clothes. The decision of the principal in this matter will be final.

Not allowed:

  1. Clothing items that can be seen through (including holes), revealing any part of the body deemed inappropriate to be visible.
  2. Baggy and sagging pants below the waist for both males and female.
  3. Shirts or Blouses that show excessive cleavage.
  4. Tops that have shoulder straps that are less than 2 ½ inches wide.
  5. Tops that have the sleeves cut out of them-wearing such item with a “tank” underneath. Manufactured sleeveless shirts that reveal open sides are also prohibited.
  6. Tops that do not come down far enough to cover the top of the pants (belly showing) or that have an “open” back.
  7. Shorts, skirts, and dresses MUST be of a length that is not offensive to common standards of decency. As a rule of thumb, the length should be fingertip with relaxed shoulders. However, due to differences in body types, if the clothing is considered excessively short on the individual student, the item will not be allowed. This decision will be at the principal’s discretion.
  8. Shirts that have vulgar or offensive pictures and/or words.
  9. Shirts having logos that promote alcohol, tobacco or drugs.
  10. Any head covering-baseball caps, beanies, hoodies, bandanas, etc… will not be worn inside ANY classroom, office, hall ways, cafeteria, or in the gym during any assemblies. Exception will be made on special occasions, such as “Hat Day” or with a note from a Dr. stating that a hat is necessary for medical purposes.
  11. Trench coats are not allowed.

  ** Habitual offenders of these rules will be subject to further disciplinary actions


Gangs, secret societies, or similar groups, whether organized in the community or in other settings, are prohibited on the school grounds and campus and at any school-sponsored activity. Gang-related activity whether genuine or a pretense that is identified by school officials will result in a minimum of a 5 day out-of-school suspension up to a maximum of a recommendation for expulsion for the remainder of the semester or school year. A second offense of gang-related activity will result in a minimum of 10 days out-of school suspension to a maximum of a recommendation for expulsion for the remainder of the semester, the remainder of the school year, for one calendar year, or permanently.

Students who are arrested for gang-related offenses, regardless of where the offense may have occurred, may be suspended for the remainder of the semester, for the remainder of the school year, for one calendar year, or permanently, depending on the circumstances of the arrest.  

Gang-related activities include but are not limited to such activities as wearing apparel associated with gangs, displaying gang insignia, "throwing signs" or other gestures or language (however expressed) associated with gangs, intimidation, and threats.

** Note** - Any student who has been suspended for any gang-related activity will not be eligible to attend or participate in ANY school activity for the remainder of the school year.




Sexual Harassment will not be tolerated in or around the Decatur Schools campuses and as such the consequences will reflect that. Over the years, the issue has become stricter in its definition of what sexual harassment is. It not only consists of any inappropriate physical contact but includes things like vulgar comments, written statements, and inappropriate gestures to name a few.

What people do not understand about sexual harassment is that it is not just about the immediate person being harassed. The fine line that is followed in today’s society is that if you offend ANYONE by your inappropriate actions then you have sexually harassed someone.


Consequences for sexually harassing someone could include:


The Decatur School District School Board authorizes the use of corporal punishment to be administered in accordance with this policy by the Superintendent or his/her designated staff members who are required to have a state-issued license as a condition of their employment.

Prior to the administration of corporal punishment, the student receiving the corporal punishment shall be given an explanation of the reasons for the punishment and be given an opportunity to refute the charges.

The principal or designee will contact the parent/guardian to obtain verbal consent before corporal punishment is administered. All corporal punishment shall be administered privately (i.e. out of the sight and hearing of other students), shall not be excessive, or administered with malice, and shall be administered in the presence of another school administrator or designee who shall be a licensed staff member employed by the District.

Corporal punishment will only be used in place of a student In-School Suspension (ISS) placement and will be at the discretion of the building principal.  Corporal punishment will not exceed three (3) swats during an individual incident, and will not be used as a normal consequence for inappropriate behavior.  




Bullying is any pattern of behavior by a student, or a group of students, that is intended to harass, intimidate, ridicule, humiliate, or instill fear in another child or group of children. Bullying behavior can be a threat of, or actual, physical harm or it can be verbal abuse of the child. Bullying also includes unacceptable behavior identified in this policy which is electronically transmitted. Bullying is a series of recurring actions committed over a period of time directed toward one student, or successive, separate actions directed against multiple students.

Respect for the dignity of others is a cornerstone of civil society. Bullying creates an atmosphere of fear and intimidation, robs a person of their dignity, detracts from the safe environment necessary to promote student learning, and will not be tolerated by the Board of Directors. Students who bully another person shall be held accountable for their actions whether they occur on the school grounds; off school grounds at a school sponsored or approved function, activity, or event; going to or from school or a school activity in a school vehicle or school bus; or at designated school bus stops.

Examples of Bullying may include but not limited to a pattern of behavior involving one or more of the following:


  1. Sarcastic ―compliments about another student’s personal appearance,
  2. Pointed questions intended to embarrass or humiliate,
  3. Mocking, taunting or belittling,
  4. Non-verbal threats and/or intimidation such as fronting or chesting a person,
  5. Demeaning humor relating to a student’s race, gender, ethnicity or personal characteristics,
  6. Blackmail, extortion, demands for protection money or other involuntary donations or loans,
  7. Blocking access to school property or facilities,
  8. Deliberate physical contact or injury to person or property,
  9. Stealing or hiding books or belongings, and/or
  10. Threats of harm to student(s), possessions, or others.

It is important for students and parents to understand that if the person who claims to be getting bullied is also engaging in verbal, electronic, and/or physical attacks, the incident will not be considered to be bullying. Both parties will be disciplined according to school and district policy and parents will be notified of the particular details of the reported incident and given an explanation of why the accusation of “bullying” is not warranted.

The principal and counselor will work together to monitor the situation to make sure further instances do not occur. However, it is vitally important that once reported, if additional attacks occur from either side, the person being attacked needs to report it to the principal for further investigation and disciplinary measures. If we don’t know the bullying is still occurring, we cannot act on it.


Cyberbullying of School Employees is expressly prohibited and includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Building a fake profile or website of the employee
  2. Posting or encouraging others to post on the Internet private, personal, or sexual information pertaining to a school employee
  3. Posting an original or edited image of the school employee on the Internet
  4. Accessing, altering, or erasing any computer network, computer data program, or computer software, including breaking into a password-protected account or stealing or otherwise accessing passwords of a school employee; making repeated, continuing, or sustained electronic communications, including electronic mail or transmission, to a school employee
  5. Making, or causing to be made, and disseminating an unauthorized copy of data pertaining to a school employee in any form, including without limitation the printed or electronic form of computer data, computer programs, or computer software residing in, communicated by, or produced by a computer or computer network
  6. Signing up a school employee for a pornographic Internet site
  7. Without authorization of the school employee, signing up a school employee for electronic mailing lists or to receive junk electronic messages and instant messages.

Students are encouraged to report behavior they consider to be bullying, including a single action, which if allowed to continue would constitute bullying, to their teacher or the building principal. The report may be made anonymously. Teachers and other school employees who have witnessed, or are reliably informed that, a student has been a victim of behavior they consider to be bullying, including a single action which if allowed to continue would constitute bullying, shall report the incident(s) to the principal. Parents or legal guardians may submit written reports of incidents they feel constitute bullying, or if allowed to continue would constitute bullying, to the principal. The principal shall be responsible for investigating the incident(s) to determine if disciplinary action is warranted. The person or persons reporting behavior they consider to be bullying shall not be subject to retaliation or reprisal in any form.


Students found to be in violation of this policy shall be subject to disciplinary action ranging from one day suspension to a maximum of recommendation to the superintendent for expulsion. In determining the appropriate disciplinary action, consideration may be given to other violations of the student handbook which may have simultaneously occurred.


It is highly recommended that Middle School students DO NOT bring cell phones to school or any other electronic device.  Students must keep cell phones or any electronic devices in their lockers during the school day. If they bring a phone or other electronic device and that device is lost or stolen, it is not the responsibility of the school to locate, investigate, or replace the lost device. Parents needing to contact their child for any situation need to call the office at the middle school and a message will be promptly given to your child. Again, lost or stolen cell phones are not the responsibility of Decatur Schools.  Any phones or electronic devices will be brought at student’s own risk.  Middle School students caught using their cell phones at school between the first and last bells of the day will be subject to disciplinary action.

The faculty and staff at DHS want students to understand how to use electronic devices appropriately. Therefore, we will not be prohibiting the possession of cell phones and other electronic devices on campus during the school day as long as students act responsibly. This includes not being on such devices during instruction, and not allowing devices to be a distraction or disruption to the learning process. Teachers and other staff members reserve the right to request for students to put electronic devices away, including smart phones, laptops, and iPads. If a student refuses the teacher or staff member’s request, the teacher or staff member reserves the right to confiscate the electronic device and submit it to the principal’s office. Disciplinary action will be taken against the student for refusal to obey a reasonable directive from a staff member (insubordination).

If a device is confiscated, the parent or guardian will need to contact the principal to conduct a conference in person or by phone prior to the return of the device. Repeated instances of inappropriate use of electronic devices will result in suspension of the privilege of possessing such devices on campus for the remainder of the year and additional disciplinary measures for student misconduct.

As part of our efforts to teach appropriate use of technology, the faculty and staff at DHS want parents and students to understand that engagement in class activities is the number one priority. Therefore, students are NOT to be texting, playing games, listening to music, etc. on their devices when teaching and learning is occurring.

To protect the security of state originated tests that are administered as part of the Arkansas Comprehensive, Testing, Assessment and Accountability Program (ACTAPP), no electronic, device as defined in this policy shall be accessible by a student at any time during test administration unless specifically permitted by a student’s IEP or individual health plan. This means that when a student is taking an ACTAAP assessment, the student shall not have his/her electronic device in his/her possession. Any student violating this provision shall be subject to this policy’s disciplinary. As used in this policy, “electronic devices” means anything that can be used to transmit or capture images, sound, or data.

Misuse of electronic devices includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Using electronic devices during class time in any manner other than specifically permitted by the classroom instructor (Cell phones allowed at breakfast, lunch, and passing periods only for high school students. Cell phones are not allowed to be used at all in the middle school unless authorized by administration.)
  2. Permitting any audible sound to come from the device when not being used for reason #1 above
  3. Engaging in academic dishonesty, including cheating, intentionally plagiarizing, wrongfully giving or receiving help during an academic examination, or wrongfully obtaining test copies or scores
  4. Using the device to take photographs in locker rooms or bathrooms
  5. Creating, sending, sharing, viewing, receiving, or possessing an indecent visual depiction of oneself or another person


Items which may be dangerous or may disrupt the educational atmosphere should not be brought to school. Items in this category shall include but not be limited to the following items: pocket knives, radios, CD players, mp3 players, video games, water guns, toy guns, fireworks, matches, lighters, razors, gambling items, laser lights, etc. These items will be confiscated and disciplinary measures will be taken.



Truancy is the deliberate absence from school or class without permission from the principal's office or home visit. Truancy will result in a "0" for the day in each class missed, three (3) days in ISS, suspension, or expulsion.


Students are subject to the same rules of conduct while traveling to and from school as they are while on school grounds. The preceding paragraph applies to student conduct while on school buses. Students shall be instructed in safe riding practices. The driver of a school bus shall not operate the school bus until every passenger is seated.

Appropriate disciplinary actions may be taken against commuting students who violate student code of conduct rules. Disciplinary measures could include suspension or expulsion from school or suspending or terminating the student’s bus transportation privileges. Transporting students to and from school who have lost their bus transportation privileges shall become the responsibility of the student’s parent or legal guardian.

Bus Rules and Regulations


  1. Students should be at the bus stop at the scheduled time. Stand ten (10) feet from the bus stop and wait until the door is opened before moving closer to the bus. If you miss the bus do not attempt to hitch hike a ride or walk to school.
  2. Students will load and unload the bus quickly and orderly.
  3. Students are under the authority and supervision of the bus driver.
  4. Students are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that does not distract the driver or disturb other riders on the bus.
  5. Live animals are not permitted on the bus.
  6. Students are not permitted to bring firearms or weapons of any kind on the bus.
  7. Students shall not damage or destroy the bus, or the bus seats.
  8. Students are expected to remain seated at all times and keep hands, feet, arms, heads, etc. out of the window and to themselves.
  9. Students are to keep the bus free of trash. No eating or drinking.
  10. The students are to keep their feet out of the aisle.
  11. Students are to get on and off the bus at regular scheduled stops.
  12. Students who cross a road or highway should be waiting for the bus on the right side. If you arrive as the bus approaches the stop, please wait for the driver to come to a full stop and signal to cross.
  13. Students who must cross a road or highway after leaving the bus shall go to a point on the shoulder of the road ten (10) feet in front of the bus and wait for the driver to signal to cross.
  14. Visitors are not allowed except in case of emergency and permission must be secured from the office.
  15. Students wanting to ride a bus that is not the bus they ride on a daily basis, will need a note from a parent/guardian stating where they are to get on or off at and the student will have to present that to the bus driver, or the student may not be allowed to ride that bus.  An exception to this rule may include a parent phone call giving verbal permission to a secretary allowing a student to take a different bus than the normal one they ride.  This call would have to be early enough to allow the bus drivers to be notified.

The bus rider rules and regulations are not a complete list expected behaviors. The bus driver may interpret to meet the needs of his/her bus. Students violating bus rules may be referred to the principal’s office for disciplinary action, which may range from a verbal warning up to ISS or OSS, depending on the severity and frequency of incident.


Students not present at school cannot benefit from the educational opportunities the school environment affords. Administrators, therefore, shall strive to find ways to keep students in school as participants in the educational process. There are instances, however, when the needs of the other students or the interests of the orderly learning environment require the removal of a student from school. The Board authorizes school principals or their designees to suspend students for disciplinary reasons for a period of time not to exceed ten (10) school days, including the day upon which the suspension is imposed.

The suspension may be in school or out of school. Students are responsible for their conduct that occurs: at any time on the school grounds; off school grounds at a school-sponsored function, activity, or event; going to and from school or a school activity. A student may be suspended for behavior including, but not limited to that which:

  1. Is in violation of school policies, rules, or regulations;
  2. Substantially interferes with the safe and orderly educational environment;
  3. School administrators believe will result in the substantial interference with the safe and orderly educational environment; and/or
  4. Is insubordinate, incorrigible, violent, or involves moral turpitude.

The school principal or designee shall proceed as follows in deciding whether or not to suspend a student.

  1. The student shall be given written notice or advised orally of the charges against him/her;
  2. If the student denies the charges, he/she shall be given an explanation of the evidence against him/her and be allowed to present his/her version of the facts;
  3. If the principal finds the student guilty of the misconduct, he/she may be suspended.

When possible, notice of the suspension, its duration, and any stipulations for the student’s re-admittance to class will be given to the parent(s), legal guardian(s), or to the student if age 18 or older prior to the suspension. Such notice shall be handed to the parent(s), legal guardian(s), or to the student if age 18 or older or mailed to the last address reflected in the records of the school district.

Generally, notice and hearing should precede the student's removal from school, but if prior notice and hearing are not feasible, as where the student's presence endangers persons or property or threatens disruption of the academic process, thus justifying immediate removal from school, the necessary notice and hearing should follow as soon as practicable.

It is the parents’ or legal guardians’ responsibility to provide current contact information to the district which the school shall use to immediately notify the parent or legal guardian upon the suspension of a student. The notification shall be by one of the following means, listed in order of priority:

During the period of their suspension, students serving out-of-school suspensions SHALL NOT be permitted on campus except to attend a student/parent/administrator conference. During the period of their suspension, students serving in-school suspension SHALL NOT attend any school-sponsored activities during the imposed suspension nor shall the student participate in any school-sponsored activities on the date(s) of the suspension. Suspensions initiated by the principal or his/her designee may be appealed to the Superintendent, but not to the Board. Suspensions initiated by the Superintendent may be appealed to the Board.


The Board of Education may expel a student for a period longer than ten (10) school days for violation of the District’s written discipline policies. The Superintendent may make a recommendation of expulsion to the Board of Education for student conduct deemed to be of such gravity that suspension would be inappropriate, or where the student’s continued attendance at school would disrupt the orderly learning environment or would pose an unreasonable danger to the welfare of other students or staff. See the District Policies Handbook for further explanation and requirements for expulsion (Section 4.31).


School is a place where large groups of students come together each day to work and learn.  In order to maintain a safe environment that is conducive to learning, discipline and order must be maintained.  The primary responsibility for the conduct of a student rests with the student, parents, and then the school.  

Parents should discuss with their children the importance of good behavior and a good attitude while in school.  No student’s behavior will be allowed to interfere with the learning opportunities of others.  In an effort to insure the smooth operation of the school, the following discipline guidelines have been established:



Maximum penalty

Minor Offenses:  Running; not keeping hands, feet, body to self; disrupting; making noises; off task behavior; inappropriate dress; property misuse


Expulsion for 1 calendar year (if part of a pattern of persistent misbehavior)

Major Offenses: Assault and/or battery of another student; fighting/physical aggression;  harassment/bullying; disrespect/defiance/non-compliance; extreme insubordination; disruptive behavior that substantially interferes with the learning opportunities of others; verbal assault/threat; theft

1 day OSS

Expulsion for 1 calendar year

Threats/Assaults: Willfully and intentionally assaulting or abusing any school employee; communicating a death threat to any school employee

2 days OSS

Expulsion for 1 calendar year

Electronic Devices: Inappropriate use of an electronic communication device on the school campus during normal school hours.


Expulsion for 1 calendar year

Dangerous Items: Possession of any firearm, knife, club, explosive and/or incendiary device, taser, self –defense sprays, or anything that could be deemed a weapon by school administrators/teachers

1 day OSS

Expulsion for 1 calendar year

Tobacco: Possession, transfer, use of tobacco or tobacco products

2 days ISS

Expulsion for 1 calendar year

Drugs & Alcohol: Possession, use, being under the influence, offering for sale of beer, alcoholic beverages or other illicit drugs or drug paraphernalia

2 days OSS

Expulsion for 1 calendar year

Distributing Medications: Distribution of prescription or non-prescription medication

1 day OSS

Expulsion for 1 calendar year

Possession of Medications: Possession, or use of prescription medication (prescribed to the student) without authorization from the school nurse


Expulsion for 1 calendar year

Destruction of Property: Willfully or intentionally damaging, destroying, or stealing school property

Warning & restitution

Expulsion for 1 calendar year

*** Parents will be notified when a student is referred to the principal. Written reprimands, including the assignment of lunch detention, will be mailed to parents to the mailing address provided on the current year’s enrollment form. When a student receives ISS, a parent will be notified by phone (current primary phone number on enrollment form). If contact cannot be made by phone, the discipline slip will be mailed home, and the attempt to contact by phone noted.

When corporal punishment is warranted, the principal or designee shall contact parents by phone and receive verbal consent from the parent BEFORE corporal punishment is administered. If parent consent is not given, the student will serve three (3) days of ISS in place of corporal punishment.  

The following interventions are available to school personnel.  School personnel are expected to choose the particular intervention which they believe to be most appropriate for a specific student who has committed a specific offense in alignment with the tenets of the current DHS handbook.


The board strongly believes that the purpose of school is for learning. Social visitors, generally, disrupt the classroom and interfere with learning that should be taking place. Therefore, visiting with students at school is strongly discouraged, unless approved by the principal and scheduled in advance. This includes visits made by former students, friends, and/or relatives of teachers or students. Any visitation to the classroom shall be allowed only with the permission of the school principal and all visitors must first register at the office. Parents/guardians wishing to eat lunch with their child(ren) need to make prior arrangements and sign in at the office upon arrival on campus. For non-custodial parents, other rules may apply (please see District Policy 4.15 of the District Handbook).


A student, who has presented a valid driver’s license and proof of insurance to the appropriate office personnel, may drive his/her vehicle to school. Vehicles driven to school shall be parked in the area designated for student parking.



The number of units students must earn in grades nine through twelve (9-12) to be eligible for high school graduation is to be earned from the categories listed below. A minimum of 22 units is required for graduation for a student participating in either the Smart Core or Core curriculum. There are some distinctions made between Smart Core units and Graduation units. Not all units earned toward graduation necessarily apply to Smart Core requirements.

Unless exempted by a student’s IEP, all students must successfully pass all end-of-course (EOC) assessments they are required to take or meet the remediation required for the EOC assessment to receive academic credit for the applicable course and be eligible to graduate from high school.



English: four (4) units – 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th

Mathematics: four (4) units (all students under Smart Core must take a mathematics course in grade 11 or 12 and complete Algebra II.

Natural Science: a total of three (3) units with lab experience chosen from

Social Studies: three (3) units

Physical Education: one-half (1/2) unit

Health and Safety: one-half (1/2) unit

Economics – one half (½) unit – dependent upon the licensure of the teacher teaching the course, this can count toward the required three (3) social studies credits or the six (6) required Career Focus elective credits.

Fine Arts: one-half (1/2) unit

CAREER FOCUS: - Six (6) units



  1. 4 credits English (must include English I, II, III, and IV)
  2. 4 credits math (must include Algebra I and Geometry)
  3. 3 credits science (must include Physical Science and Biology)
  4. 3 credits social studies (must include Civics/Economics, American History, and World History)
  5. ½ credit Speech, Forensics, or Oral Communications
  6. ½ credit Fine Arts (Band, Choir, Art, Music, or Survey of Fine Arts)
  7. 1 credit PE
  8. ½ credit Health
  9. Career focus electives
  10. It is strongly recommended that every student take CTBA (Computerized Business Applications) as part of their high school curriculum
  11. A total of 22 credits is required for graduation
  12. Personal Finance
  13. Beginning with the 2018/2019 school year, ACT 478 – Civics Test for Graduation, requires the passing of a Civics test identical to the Civics portion of the US Citizenship test in order to receive a HS diploma.

All students are required to participate in the Smart Core curriculum unless their parents or guardians, or the students if they are 18 years of age or older, sign an Informed Consent Form to not participate. Those students not participating in the Smart Core curriculum will be required to fulfill the Core curriculum or the requirements of their IEP (when applicable) to be eligible for graduation. The signed Informed Consent Form shall be attached to the student’s permanent transcript. Informed Consent Forms are required to be signed prior to registering for seventh grade classes, or if enrolling in the district for seventh through twelfth grade classes. Counseling by trained personnel shall be available to students and their parents or legal guardians prior to the time they are required to sign the consent forms.


Report cards will be distributed four times each school year. All grades will be reported on the card as numbers representing a percentage. The following grading scale will be used:


Letter Grade









59 and below        


Grades assigned to students shall reflect only the extent to which a student has achieved the expressed academic objectives of the course and the educational objectives contained in the curriculum frameworks.

End of Semester Test Exemptions

Students that have classes that have an end of semester final not required by the state may be exempted from those tests under the following conditions:

Progress Reports

Once each nine-week period, progress reports will be sent to parents to report 5-weeks grades. Additionally, the faculty and staff at Decatur High School will monitor and report student progress to the principal every three (3) weeks throughout the school year. When a student has been identified as being academically at risk, a letter will be sent home to the parent/guardian, notifying them of the concern, along with recommendations for helping the student improve. Additionally, parents/guardians may monitor individual student progress online through HAC (the E-school plus Home Access Center). Login information will be sent home at the beginning of the school year. Parents are strongly encouraged to monitor student progress via HAC and call and request a conference with the principal and/or teacher(s) when concern for student progress arises.   

Honor Roll

Three different levels of Honor Roll will be awarded to students each nine weeks based on their GPA. The Honor Roll Awards are:




3.50 - 3.99


3.00 - 3.49



When applicable, the Decatur School District will allow and honor concurrent credit classes to be taken in which students earn both high school and college credits in accordance with A.C.A 6-18-223 which states in part: “A public school student who is enrolled in a public school in Arkansas and who has successfully completed the eighth grade shall be eligible to enroll in a publicly supported community college or four-year college or university in Education Coordinating Board.

A student who enrolls in and successfully completes a course or courses offered by an institution of higher education and the public school in which such student is enrolled, which credit shall be applicable to graduation requirements”. Students interested in enrolling in concurrent credit courses should visit the counselor. A student who successfully completes a concurrent credit course in one semester will receive one full credit on their high school transcript. If a student only completes the high school credit (making less than a C in the class) of a concurrent credit class in one semester, they will only receive ½ credit on their high school transcript. In order to complete their graduation requirements for that particular course, the student will be required to take an additional ½ credit in that particular subject area.


Any student in grades 7 and 8 transferring from a school accredited by the Arkansas Department of Education or other accrediting agency recognized by the ADE, should be placed in the same grade the student would have been in had the student remained at the former school. Students in grades 9-12 will be placed according to the number of appropriate credits previously acquired as outlined in this handbook.

Any student transferring from a school that is not accredited by the ADE, including home-schools, shall be evaluated by the staff to determine the student’s proper placement in this school district. The Decatur Public School District has established the following guidelines for such placement.

Specific Requirements for Grades 9-12

  1.  The parent should provide current standardized achievement test results or other data indicating performance levels of the student. The local school may administer a battery of examinations, either standardized or district developed examinations, when deemed necessary for placement or determination of credits.
  2. A placement conference shall be held for any student who scores below grade level on any of the basic areas (language arts, reading, and mathematics) or on the required achievement test. Conference participants shall include and administrator, a counselor, parent(s), and other personnel deemed necessary by the school. Based on data presented during the conference, the school administrator shall determine class and grade placement. The school shall retain the option to reconsider placement at anytime during the school year.
  3. In the event that a student who has received home instruction has not taken or passed an approved standardized test, he/she may be tested at the school before permanent grade placement is assigned. The school counselor, or designee, will be responsible for selecting the indicators needed to determine appropriate placement.
  4. At the time of registration, parents must present a written list of subjects taught and materials used, such as a list of textbooks used to the counselor or principal.
  5. The maximum number of credits that will be accepted for each year in attendance in home-school will assigned by the school based on verifiable course work.
  6. Students who receive home instruction will not have letter grades entered on their permanent transcripts. When they enroll, “Home Schooling” will be written in the attendance and grade section of the transcript. Courses will be listed and credit will reported by “CR” in the space provided.
  7. Rank in class and grade point average will be determined only by credits earned while attending an accredited high school in grades 9-12. Home school or non-accredited school credits will not affect grade point averages.
  8. A student must meet all graduation and attendance requirements for the Decatur School District to receive a diploma.


In order to qualify to be an honor graduate, a student must maintain at least a 3.50 grade point average and take at least five classes from the list of "enriched classes" listed below.


Pre Calculus/Trigonometry

AP Computer Science

Algebra III



Spanish I & II

French I & II

AP Calculus

AP Statistics

AP Chemistry

AP Biology

AP Psychology

German I & II

Latin I & II

Chinese I & II

AP American History

AP World History                      

AP English Literature

AP English Language

Concurrent Enrollment  


*Other courses designated per year

Honor students will be selected on grade point average beginning with the freshman year (9th grade) through the 1st semester of the senior year (12th grade). Courses designated as Concurrent Credit Enrollment classes will be weighted as shown below for scholarship purposes or in selection of valedictorian and salutatorian purposes only.  Concurrent courses cannot be weighted on school transcripts. One unit of credit will be given on the transcript for a 3 hour concurrent course. All students taking an AP course will be required to take the AP exam to earn the weighted credit.  Students will not receive weighted credit for the AP class until they have taken the AP exam.  Weighted credit is not contingent upon passing the AP exam or attaining a certain score, but only on the fact of taking the exam will earn the weighted credit.


A - 5.00          B - 4.00          C - 3.00           D - 2.00            F - 0.00


Students will be selected on grade point average beginning with the Freshman year (9th grade) through the 2ND semester of the senior year (12th grade). For a student to be considered for the Valedictorian/Salutatorian Honor, he/she must have been a student four (4) full consecutive semesters at Decatur High School immediately prior to graduation, have the highest grade point average of all students in the senior class, and graduate with honors.

In order to qualify for Valedictorian, Salutatorian, or to qualify for membership in the National Honor Society or its equivalent, students must:


The Decatur Public School recognizes homework as a beneficial extension of the instructional program. The term homework refers to school-related work that is assigned and to be completed by the student after regular instruction is completed. This may be accomplished during the remainder of a class period, in a study hall, or at home.  

Assignments should fulfill the following purposes:


Teachers, parents, and students all have crucial responsibilities that must be fulfilled if homework and independent study activities are to advance the student’s education as intended. The teacher must be certain that the homework and independent study activity assignments are clearly communicated, relevant to the learning objectives, and reasonable in length.


Parents should ensure that the student has an appropriate home environment for schoolwork, sufficient time without distractions, and appropriate supervision (depending upon the age, maturity and responsibility level of the student). Students must be certain that they understand the assignments, ask for help if they do not understand the assignments, and then make every effort to complete the assignments.


It is the hope of the board of education that each child will progress through school in a continuous growth pattern of academic achievements along with normal intellectual, social and emotional development. However, in some instances retention at grade level may be in the student’s best interest. Students in grades six, seven, and eight who consistently perform below grade level standards as prescribed by the State of Arkansas and the Decatur School District will become candidates for retention. Also, students in grades six, seven, and eight who receive a failing mark in three or more core subjects at the end of the first semester or second semester will be considered candidates for retention. Other variables that shall be evaluated whenever a child is being considered a candidate for retention are:

 The final decision on whether a student shall be promoted or retained will be made by the building principal after consultation with the child’s parents/guardian and teachers. Whenever a student is being considered for grade retention, parents/guardians of that student shall be advised and consulted early in the process. Written notice that retention is being considered shall be forwarded to the student’s parent or guardian of record by February 15. When a student who has transferred into the district after the end of the first semester is being considered for retention, written notice to the parent shall be provided as soon as practicable.



A disservice is done to students through social promotion and is prohibited by state law. The district shall, at a minimum, evaluate each student annually in an effort to help each student who is not performing at grade level. Parents or guardians shall be kept informed concerning the progress of their student(s). Notice of a student’s possible retention or required retaking of a course shall be included with the student’s grades sent home to each parent/guardian or the student if 18 or older. Parent-teacher conferences are encouraged and may be held as necessary in an effort to improve a student’s academic success.


Promotion or retention of students, or their required retaking of a course shall be primarily based on the following criteria:

  1. If there is doubt concerning the promotion or retention of a student, or their required retaking of a course, a conference between the parents/guardians, teacher(s), a 504/special education representative, and principal shall be held before a final decision is made. If a parent is unable to attend the conference in person, a phone conference may be held to meet this requirement.
  2. The conference shall be held at a time and place that best accommodates those participating in the conference. The school shall document participation or non-participation in required conferences.
  3. If the conference attendees fail to agree concerning the student’s placement, the final decision to promote or retain shall rest with the principal or his/her designee.  

Regardless of the student having earned passing grades, a student who falls under one of the following categories shall be considered for retention or shall not receive credit for the course associated with the assessment.  The student:

The Superintendent or designee may waive this provision when the student’s failure was due to an exceptional or extraordinary circumstances.

Students who do not score proficient or above on their grade level Benchmark Exams shall be required to participate in an individualized Academic Improvement Plan (AIP). Each AIP shall be developed by school personnel and the student’s parents and shall be designed to assist the student in attaining the expected achievement level. The AIP shall also state the parent’s role as well as the consequences for the student’s failure to participate in the plan, which shall include the student’s retention in their present grade.

All students must successfully pass all end-of-course (EOC) assessments they are required to take unless exempted by the student’s individualized education program (IEP). To receive academic credit on his/her transcript in a course requiring a student to take a EOC assessment, the student must either receive a passing score on the initial assessment or successfully participate in the remediation program identified in his/her Individualized Academic Improvement Plan (IAIP) which shall focus on the areas in which the student failed to meet the necessary passing score.  Additionally, the lack of credit could jeopardize the student’s grade promotion or classification. 

To the extent required by the State Board of Education, students in grade eleven (11) and below who do not meet the required score on a college and career readiness measurement shall participate in the remediation activities prescribed in his/her IAIP which may include additional opportunities to retake the measurement.

Such remediation shall not require the student to pass a subsequent college and career readiness measurement in order to graduate from high school.

Promotion/retention or graduation of students with an IEP shall be based on their successful attainment of the goals set forth in their IEP.

In addition to the possibility of retention or withholding of course credit, students who either refuse to sit for a State assessment or attempt to boycott a State assessment by failing to put forth a good faith effort on the assessment as determined by the assessment administrator/proctor, or whose parents do not send their student to school on the dates the assessments are originally administered or scheduled as make-up days shall not be permitted to participate in any non-curriculum related extracurricular activity, including school dances, prom, homecoming, senior events, and may be prevented from walking or participating in graduation exercises. The student shall remain ineligible to participate until the student takes the same or a following State mandated assessment, as applicable, or completes the required remediation for the assessment the student failed to put forth a good faith effort on. The Superintendent or designee may wave this paragraph's provisions when the student’s failure was due to exceptional or extraordinary circumstances. Students falling under the provisions of this paragraph shall be permitted to attend curriculum related field trips occurring during the school day.

9-12 Grade Classification

High School students will be reclassified each June according to the number of credits they have earned, and can earn during a regular school year, counting back from the number of credits required for graduation.


Number of Required Credits


16 +


10 +


4 +


Less than 4


Every activity sponsored by Decatur Junior-Senior High School should provide a meaningful educational experience for all who participate. It is our objective to develop in each student athlete, habits and attitudes which are favorable in our society.

The leadership of coaches should reflect, by example and attitude, the type of character we wish to develop in our athletic program. Winning should always be stressed, but never at the expense of lowering any moral or legal standard as set by the Decatur Board of Education, Arkansas High School Activities Association, or game rules. Coaches should consider these facets in the development of our athletes.

Our student athletes should be provided leadership enabling them to develop integrity, as a member of the family unit, socially, and intellectually. "Good coaches are good people, and we want our student athletes to reflect their coaches’ attitudes and characteristics through their athletic experience. Broad participation will be stressed at the Junior High level and will become more selective at the Senior High level.

It should be remembered that interscholastic sports are extracurricular and are not substitutes for a strong academic program. The poor academic achiever can ill afford the time required for participating in most athletic activities. To be eligible to participate in the Decatur School District athletic program, a student must:

  1. Continually make satisfactory progress toward a diploma
  2. Display satisfactory conduct on and off the field (this includes regular attendance in school)
  3. Pass regular physical examinations and have parents sign a release to play
  4. Possess proper accidental insurance coverage
  5. Achieve academic levels for eligibility as set forth by the Arkansas Activity Association the State Board of Education, and Decatur Public Schools


It is the desire, of the Decatur School district, to promote the physical, mental, social, emotional and moral well-being of all the participants in the athletic programs provided. Athletics are an effective tool in preparing our youth, in a positive manner, to enter and contribute in our society.

  1. Arkansas Athletic Association and Decatur School District rules and guidelines will be followed in the areas of eligibility, insurance coverage, physical examination, practice and game schedules, use of school equipment, etc. It is the responsibility of the coaches to inform both players and parents of such regulations and to enforce school district and AAA regulations.

  1. Local school district policies as outlined in the administrative handbook will be followed at all times by coaches and athletes.

  1. In order to maintain participation eligibility, it is required that athletes be in good standing with the school and reflect good citizenship. Any conduct, whether it takes place in school or outside of school, that constitutes infractions of the law or brings embarrassment to the school will result in a review of eligibility. If the offense warrants such action, either temporary or permanent suspension of eligibility may result.

  1. No athlete may quit one sport and go out for another sport after the season has begun, until that season is completed. Exceptions may be granted in special circumstances after review by a committee consisting of the two coaches involved, the athletic director, and the principal.

  1. Athletes must travel to and from 'away' contests in transportation provided by the Decatur School District. (Exceptions: an injury occurs thus necessitating a quick or more convenient means of transportation; after a direct communication between the coach and the player's parents or guardian, the player may be released to the parent or other responsible adult as directed by the parent. A sign out sheet will need to be signed by the parent or guardian).

  1. Any display of unsportsmanlike conduct by a participant, shall initiate counseling by the head coach. Such actions, of a flagrant nature, could result in suspension for at least the next contest.

  1. Theft or malicious action on the part of an athlete, while on school time, should be dealt with as an automatic suspension from the team for such time as the Athletic Director and Principal feel necessary. This disciplinary measure does not rule out further actions disciplinary or legal action.

  1. Completion of the sports season is required in order for the student to qualify for a varsity letter award. An exception would be injury, which prevented further participation. No award will be presented to an athlete suspended for the remainder of the season.

  1. The use of alcohol, tobacco, drugs, narcotics or hallucinating agents by athletes, is prohibited. The coach should handle each case firmly and consistently with suspension from the team for one or more events. The Athletic Director and Principal should always be informed of each case and other disciplinary action may be taken by the head coach and/or Principal.

  1. Each coach shall present to the Principal a roster of athletes to be certified as eligible to participate in AAA sponsored activities before the first contest in that sport. The coach should monitor student athlete's academic performance.

  1. Each head coach will inform his athletes, early in the season, of AAA eligibility standards, which, if neglected, can jeopardize their future amateur athletic standing. It is also important to inform them of local rules and regulations involving eligibility, such as attendance, citizenship and academic requirement.

  1. Any athlete that is arrested during a sport season shall be suspended for the next event and practice up until that event. If convicted, the individual will be ineligible to participate until court punishment is completed (fine paid, probation served, etc.) and the student is back in good citizen standing with the court.

  1. Off Season Program - In season athletes will follow the practice regimen provided by their coach. Off-season athletes will participate in the Decatur "Bigger, Faster, Stronger" workout program for all sports. Participation is a requirement for varsity athletic participation. Exception will only be granted students with compelling reasons, normally those of an academic nature. Such exceptions will be approved by the principal after consultation with the coaches, athletic director, and counselor.



Students must follow their assigned schedule and perform the scheduled work assigned by teachers. Any disruptive conduct which interferes with the educational process is prohibited.


Telephone conversations with parties outside the school campus can be distracting to students and disruptive to the learning environment; therefore, telephone use by students will be strictly limited during the school day. All phone calls must be cleared by office personnel and will be for emergencies only. Students may not receive phone calls except for emergency reasons as determined by the principal’s office.  

Unless approved for an educational purpose, students may not receive phone calls from or make phone calls to anyone other than custodial parents, guardians, or spouses. A message from a parent, guardian, or spouse may be left in the front office and it will be delivered between classes or at another appropriate time. Students may not expect to receive messages during class times and parents may not expect messages to be delivered during class times.



All students attending Decatur High School will be assigned a locker. Students shall be responsible for any damages to their locker. All lockers and locks are the property of Decatur Public Schools.  Students need to be aware that lockers are not private property and school administrators may access lockers if they have reasonable cause to do so. No stickers are to be placed on lockers. No paint or permanent marker is to be applied to lockers.

All students are to have their lockers LOCKED at all times with the school issued lock. Students shall be notified at the beginning of the school year of this policy. Decatur High School accepts no responsibility for personal items or textbooks lost or stolen due to a student’s negligence in keeping items stored in a LOCKED locker. Once they are assigned a locker, students are not to change lockers without approval from the office.  A student may CHOOSE to use his/her own lock, provided the following procedures are followed.


The master schedule is constructed to fit the needs indicated by spring pre-enrollment. Every effort is made to include student preferences in the scheduling process, but graduation and remediation requirements will receive first priority in making final scheduling decisions. Students may submit a request to change their schedules during the first five (5) days of each semester for the following reasons only:

  1. • To make up an “F” grade
  2. • Computer error
  3. • Outside credit earned
  4. • Lack of prerequisites
  5. • Approval of early out for seniors


Field trips are educational experiences that directly relate to the classroom. These trips will be encouraged as long as they exhibit an educational interest, are well planned and properly chaperoned. The principal must approve all field trips. In order for a student to participate in an extra-curricular school field trip, he/she must be in good academic and behavior standing.


The following is a set of guidelines that must be met for any senior to attend the Sr. trip:

  1. No unexcused absences during the fourth quarter.
  2. No more than 10 unexcused absences during the semester in any class.
  3. NO OSS - last nine weeks - no more than one per year
  4. No more than one ISS- last nine weeks - no more than one per semester
  5. Must be passing all classes needed for graduation.
  6. Must work fundraisers or pay a fee for all expenses on the Sr. trip prior to the trip.
  7. Must have parental permission slips signed and returned by specified date each school year.



The Board of Education reserves the right to approve and suspend parties and dances. All dances are restricted to Decatur students and their dates. An annual Junior-Senior Prom is permitted with the understanding that it is limited to juniors and seniors and their dates.


The Pledge of Allegiance shall be recited during the first class period of each school day. Those students choosing to participate shall do so by facing the flag with their right hands over their hearts, or in an appropriate salute if in uniform, while reciting the Pledge. Students choosing not to participate shall be quiet while either standing or sitting at their desks.

Students shall not be compelled to recite the Pledge, but students who choose not to recite the Pledge shall not disrupt those students choosing to recite the Pledge. Students choosing not to recite the Pledge shall not be subject to any comments, retaliation, or disciplinary action.


As required by state/federal law, all students, faculty, and staff at Decatur High School will observe a one-minute moment of silence at the beginning of the school day. During this time, students and faculty may quietly reflect, meditate, pray, or simply do nothing. While no student or faculty member will be required to perform any specific activity, all students and faculty members will be expected to remain silent during the full minute observance of the moment of silence.


If a student becomes too ill to remain in class and/or could be contagious to other students, the principal or designee will attempt to notify the student’s parent or legal guardian. The student will remain in the school’s health room or a place where he/she can be supervised until the end of the school day or until the parent/legal guardian can check the student out of school.

If a student becomes seriously ill or is injured while at school and the parent/legal guardian cannot be contacted, the failure to make such contact shall not unreasonably delay the school’s expeditious transport of the student to an appropriate medical care facility. The school assumes no responsibility for treatment of the student. When available, current, and applicable, the student’s emergency contact numbers and medical information will be utilized. Parents are strongly encouraged to keep this information up to date.

Any student going home sick will have to be excused by the school nurse. Students refusing to see the nurse and go home with a parent or guardian will be counted as an unexcused absence.


Permanent school records, as required by the Arkansas Department of Education, shall be maintained for each student enrolled in the District until the student receives a high school diploma or its equivalent or is beyond the age of compulsory school attendance. A copy of the student’s permanent record shall be provided to the receiving school district within ten (10) school days after the date a request from the receiving school district is received.


All schools in the District shall conduct fire drills at least monthly. Tornado drills shall also be conducted not fewer than three (3) times per year with at least one each in the months of September, January, and February. Students who ride school buses, shall also participate in emergency evacuation drills at least twice each school year. 

For school year 2016-17, an annual active shooter drill and school safety assessment may be conducted for all District schools in collaboration, when possible, with local law enforcement and emergency management personnel. Students will be included in the drills to the extent that is developmentally appropriate to the age of both the students and grade configuration of the school. Drill may be conducted during the instructional day or during non-instructional time periods.

Other types of emergency drills may also be conducted to test the implementation of the District’s emergency plans in the event of an earthquake or terrorist attack that might include the use of biological or chemical agents. Students shall be included in the drills to the extent practicable.


The district conducts routine health screenings such as hearing, vision, and scoliosis due to the importance these health factors play in the ability of a student to succeed in school. The intent of the exams or screenings is to detect defects in hearing, vision, or other elements of health that would adversely affect the student’s ability to achieve to his/her full potential.

The rights provided to parents under this policy transfer to the student when he/she turns 18 years old. Except in instances where a student is suspected of having a contagious or infectious disease, parents shall have the right to opt their student out of the exams or screenings by using form 4.41F or by providing certification from a physician that he/she has recently examined the student.

Beginning with Kindergarten and then in even numbered grades, schools will include, as part of a student health report to parents, a body mass index (BMI) percentile by age for each student. Students in grades eleven and twelve (11 & 12) are except from this screening. The district will permit any parent to refuse to have their child’s body mass index (BMI) percentile for age assessed and reported, by providing a written refusal to the school.

If a parent/guardian does not wish for a student to participate in any or all physical examinations or screenings, the parent/guardian will need to file an Objection to Physical Examination and Screenings Waiver with the office prior to such time as screenings are scheduled to occur. See the District Policies or the office for a blank copy of the form.



In an effort to best prepare students for the demands today’s technologically advance society, students at Decatur High School will participate in a variety of computer and Internet related activities throughout their course studies. However, students and parents must understand that with computer and internet access, comes responsibility for the treatment of those resources. Therefore, all students at DHS must return a Computer and Internet Use Agreement signed by both the student and the parent/guardian at the beginning of the school year (or at such time as the student enrolls in classes at DHS). Students who do not submit a signed Computer and Internet Use agreement will have their computer access accounts suspended and will not be allowed to use any computers or iPads on school property until such time that the signed agreement is submitted.

The faculty and staff at DHS understand that many students are enrolled in courses that require daily access to computers and the internet. In order to allow internet and computer based classes to start on time, students in those classes will have a 5-day grace period at the beginning of the year in which they can access computers to allow time for submission of a signed Computer and Internet Use Agreement to the office. After the 5-day grace period, any student who has not submitted the signed form will have his/her account suspended and will be removed from the computer/internet based class until further notice.  


Margo Barnes – Cafeteria Supervisor

Toby Conrad – HS & MS Principal, A.D.

Devon Courtney - DNE & MS. Asst. Principal

Rachel Gibson – G/T Coordinator

Doug Holly – Transportation and Maintenance

Cary Stamps – DNE Principal ……………………………………..........

Steve Watkins - Superintendent


Lisa Barrett – HS Agri Education

Jayme Burden – HS Librarian, MS Agri teacher, SB Asst. Coach…

Larami Burge – MS Teacher, VB asst. & Softball Head

Georgia Carter – MS & HS ELL Facilitator

Becky Chase – DLL Facilitator

Elaine Christman – HS Physical Sciences

Ladale Clayton – Cheer Coach…………………………………………

Shara Coffelt – HS Family and Consumer Sciences

Addison Crow – MS ELA…………………………………………………

Kris Davis – School Social Worker ………………………………………

Lavonn Foreman - Middle School Librarian 

James Garner – HS English

Hannah Hawkins – MS & HS Counselor

Julie Henderson – MS Science, Head Soccer Coach…………………

Shane Holland - ALE, Football, and Track

Gina Holt - HS Admin Assistant

Charlotte Kight – MS Social Studies……………………………………

Danielle Lampe – Middle School Math Teacher

Daniel Meyer – HS Social Studies Teacher, Asst. Soccer oach…………

Heidi Nance – MS & HS Intervention Specialist

James Ortiz – HS Math, Head FB Coach

Jesse Owens – HS & MS Band, Choir, & Music

Carol Owens – MS Administrative Asst………………………………

Tara Parra –Middle School ELA Teacher

Ethan Pendergraft – HS and MS Interventionist……………………

Jason Porter – DNE and HS PE, HS Baseball Coach

Stormy Pruitt - Middle School Science Teacher……

Janette Raymond – District Art Teacher

Adam Remillard - MS Math Teacher, Asst. FB Coach......…….……

Jeremy Schopper- MS & HS Business Education, Asst. Coach

Natalie Scott – HS English

Jaqueline Smith – District Technology Instructional Facilitator

Dayla Stahl – Custodial Support Staff

Shelly Swilley – HS Special Education teacher...……………..……...…

Fess Thompson – HS & MS PE Teacher, Girls BB Head Coach.……

Tajhe Turner – HS Life Science, Girls Coach

John Unger – Boys BB Coach, PE, MS ALE Director

Donna Vann…………………………………………………...... Pre-K and gymnasium custodian

Dave Whiteside……………………………………………………………………. MS Custodian

Allie Wood – HS Math

Donna Zoba - MS & HS Special Services

Decatur High School Building Leadership Team (BLT)

The Decatur High School BLT is a team of teachers and other certified school personnel that meets and discusses school issues and various topics bimonthly to help the school improvement process.  The goal is to improve everything we do for all stakeholders in the Decatur School District each and every day and this team is designed with that goal in mind. The team members include:

Toby Conrad

Devon Courtney

James Garner

Hannah Hawkins

Natalie Scott

Allie Wood

Decatur Middle School

Parental Involvement Plan 2017-2018

Committee Members:

Ethan Pendergraft – Facilitator

Devon Courtney – Asst. Principal

Larami Burge - Teacher

Toby Conrad - Principal

Carol Owens – Parent

Chasity McAdams - Parent

Decatur Middle School will use the various communication strategies mentioned below to provide additional information to parents and to increase parental involvement in supporting classroom instruction.

The following are the proposed parent meetings, conferences and activities regularly scheduled throughout this year.  The dates provide flexible meeting times in order to increase parental involvement and build staff and parent capacity to engage in these types of efforts.

The school will provide information to parents about volunteer opportunities in the following ways:

School –Parent Compact

Decatur Middle School will provide opportunities for parents to be involved in the development, implementation and evaluation of the school wide school improvement plan, and the Annual Title 1 Meeting to engage them in the decision-making processes regarding the school’s Title 1 Program in the following ways.

Decatur Middle School will provide resources for parents in the following ways.

Decatur Middle School will engage parents in the evaluation of the parental involvement efforts in the following ways.

Decatur Middle School will use the parent interest surveys to select, plan and implement parental involvement activities that will be offered throughout the year in the following ways.

Decatur Middle School will hold the Annual Title 1 Meeting separately.

Decatur High School

Parental Involvement Plan 2017-2018

Committee Members:

Heidi Nance – Facilitator

Janette Raymond - Teacher

Gina Holt – Staff

Hannah Hawkins – Counselor

Toby Conrad – Principal

Cody Smith – Parent

Chasity McAdams - Parent

Decatur High School will use the various communication strategies mentioned below to provide additional information to parents and to increase parental involvement in supporting classroom instruction.

The following are the proposed parent meetings, conferences and activities regularly scheduled throughout this year.  The dates provide flexible meeting times in order to increase parental involvement and build staff and parent capacity to engage in these types of efforts.

The school will provide information to parents about volunteer opportunities in the following ways:

School –Parent Compact

Decatur High School will provide opportunities for parents to be involved in the development, implementation and evaluation of the school wide school improvement plan, and the Annual Title 1 Meeting to engage them in the decision-making processes regarding the school’s Title 1 Program in the following ways.

Decatur High School will provide resources for parents in the following ways.

Decatur High School will engage parents in the evaluation of the parental involvement efforts in the following ways.

Decatur High School will use the parent interest surveys to select, plan and implement parental involvement activities that will be offered throughout the year in the following ways.

Decatur High School will hold the Annual Title 1 Meeting separately.