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Student Handbook 2022-2023
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Gadsden I.S.D. Student Handbook 2022-2023


Student Handbook

2022 - 2023

Travis Dempsey


The Gadsden Independent School District will ensure that all students will learn by putting education first.

4950 McNutt Road

Sunland Park

NM 88063

(575) 882-6200

The district will provide quality educational opportunities conducive to learning that will facilitate students' individual goals.

Travis Dempsey


4950 McNutt Road

Sunland Park, New Mexico

P.O. Drawer 70

Anthony, NM 88021

(575) 882-6200

Dear Parent:

As part of our effort to provide a school that is effective in meeting the academic, emotional and social needs of your child, we have published the Student Handbook that can be found on the District website, We are requesting that you read and discuss it with your son/daughter. As educators, we feel strongly that the success of students is dependent upon the cooperation of the school and family in establishing positive educational and behavioral goals for your children.

After you have read the Handbook, please sign the handbook receipt document at the end and return it to your child’s teacher. We will keep it on file as documentation that you and your son/daughter understand what is expected of students when they are in attendance. If you do not have access to a computer you can come by the school and use one of our computers or request a copy of the Student Handbook from your son/daughter’s school.

If you have questions, please call the Principal’s office at your child’s school.


Travis Dempsey


The purpose of the Student Handbook is to give Gadsden Independent School District (GISD) students and their parents an understanding of the general rules and guidelines for attending and receiving an education in our schools. Students, parents, and staff need to be familiar with the discipline section of the Handbook which sets out the consequences for inappropriate behavior. District policies addressing discipline are required by law and are intended to promote school safety and a positive atmosphere for learning.

This document was developed and reviewed with the assistance of administrators, teachers, students, and parents over multiple years. In case of conflict between Board Policy and the provisions of the Student Handbook, the Board Policy most recently adopted by the Board will prevail.

Students and parents should be aware that this document is reviewed frequently since policy adoption and revision is an ongoing process. The Handbook is not a contract between the school and parents or students. It can be amended at any time at the discretion of the District. If the District revises the Handbook during the school year, the administration will attempt to communicate those changes to parents and students.

The campus administration may impose rules in addition to those found in the Student Handbook that apply to their particular campus needs. These rules will be posted and given to students. This Handbook is intended to inform all stakeholders of appropriate expectations.


The Gadsden Independent School District will ensure that all students will learn by putting education first. The district will provide quality educational opportunities conducive to learning that will facilitate students’ individual goals.


Excellence and equity in providing a positive, caring and academically stimulating environment for all students to achieve their full potential.

Student Handbook 2022-2023 TABLE OF CONTENTS

Table of Contents is being revised


ADMISSIONS (Policy JF)        10

Enrollment Requirements for All Children/Youth        10

Grounds for Denial of Enrollment or Re-enrollment        10

HOME SCHOOLS        10



OPEN ENROLLMENT (Policy JFB)        11


TRANSFERS (Policy JFB, JFABC)        11

In-District Transfers        11

Out-of- District Transfers (Policy JFABC)        11

Transfer of Credits (Policy JFABC)        11


ATTENDANCE        13



Excused Absences        13

Unexcused Absences        13

Excessive Absences        14

Absence Notification        14

Make-Up Work        14

School Sponsored Activities        14

Documentation after an Absence        14

Doctor’s Note after an Extended Absence for Illness        14

       CLOSED CAMPUS        15


Late Arrivals        15

Early Departure        15


TARDINESS        15

ACADEMICS        16

ACCELERATION - Subject-based, Middle School (Policy IKEB, IKEB-R)        16

(Full implementation will begin SY 2019-20 – see Procedures for Transition Year below)        16

Middle School Courses Available for High School Credit        16

Acceleration for Identified Gifted Students        16

Procedures for Considering Students for Eighth Grade Algebra 1        16

Other Requirements        16

Procedures for Transition Year (SY 2020-2021)        16


ASSESSMENTS – District/State Requirements        17

Grades 3-8 i-MSSA        17

Grades 3-8 NM-MSSA

Grade 11 PSAT/NMSQT        17

Grades 5, 8 and 11 New Mexico Assessment of Science Readiness (NMASR)        17

SAT, PSAT 10        17

Dynamic Learning Maps        18

Grades K-12 – ACCESS for ELs and language screener        18

End-of-Course (EoC) / FINAL Exams - Secondary        18

Istation K-3

Iready K-2        18

ECOT/KOT - Early Childhood and Kindergarten Observation Tool        18

District Interim Assessments        18




COLLEGE CREDIT COURSES (see also DUAL CREDIT)  (Policy IIE)        19

COUNSELING (Policy JLD)        19

Guidance Services        19

Academic Counseling        19


COURSE FEES (Policy JQ)        20



DUAL CREDIT        20

Eligibility Criteria        20

Eligibility Criteria for Early College High School (ECHS)        21

Locations        21

Grades/Credits        21

Transportation        21

EARLY GRADUATION (Policy IKFA)        21

ENGLISH LEARNERS (EL)  (Policy IHBE, IHBE-R)        21

GIFTED EDUCATION (Policy IHBB)        22

GRADE CLASSIFICATION (High School)  (Policy IKA, IKA-R, IKAD, IKAD-R)        22


Grade Reporting        22

Calculating Grade Point Average (GPA)        22

Grade Reporting for Student Transferring from Foreign Countries and Other School Districts        22

Procedural requirement for translating Alpha Grade to Numerical Grade        23

Special Education Grading (Policy IKA)         23


Requirements for a Diploma for a Student Enrolled in High School for the 2020-2021 School Year        23

Testing Requirements for Graduation        23

Graduation Expenses        23

Graduation Attire        24

Scholarships and Grants        24

Graduation Programs of Study/Options for Students with Disabilities        24



HOMEWORK        26


NEXT STEP PLAN  (Policy IIE)        26


GRADES K-7        27

GRADE 8        27

GRADES 9-12        27






K-5 Plus        28

Credit Recovery - High School        28

Extended School Year        29

ATHLETICS        30


Charter School Student Participation (Policy JJIB)        30

Home Schooled Student Participation (Policy JJIB)        30

Health and Safety of Participants (Policy JJIB)        30

Extracurricular Activity Eligibility (Policy JJJ)        30





Bullying        32

Cyberbullying        32

Reporting        32


CONDUCT (Policy JIC)        33

Conduct Prohibited        33


DISCIPLINE (Policy JK)        33

Prohibited Activities        33

Permissible Penalties        34

Discipline Requirements for Students with Disabilities        35







Clothing not allowed on any campus in the District:        38

Prohibited manner of wearing clothing:        39

Requirements for Pants:        39

Consequences for Inappropriate Dress        39

Grooming Regulations        39


Specific Prohibitions        39

Acceptable Use of District Technology Resources and Electronic Information Services (EIS)        40



HAZING        41



Questioning of Students        41

Students Taken Into Custody        41


RESTROOMS        42


Use by Students Before and After School        42

Conduct Before and After School        42

Use of Hallways During Class Time        42

Cafeteria        42

Library        42

SMOKING/TOBACCO (Policy JICG)        42


VANDALISM        43

VISITORS        43



Reporting        44

CHILD FIND        44



Discrimination        45

Harassment        45

Sexual Harassment        45

Retaliation Prohibited        45




Questioning of Students        45

Students Taken Into Custody        46








Searches        47

Student Questioning        47

Student Desks and Lockers        47

Telecommunications and Electronic Devices        47

Vehicles on Campus        47

Drug Testing        47

TITLE IX        48


VOLUNTEERS (Policy IJOC)        48




School Materials        49

Non-school Materials (From Students)        49

Non-school Materials (From Others)        49


FEES AND FINES (Policy JQ)        49

FUND-RAISING (Policy JJE)        49


Accidents        49

Student Illness        49

Food and Life Threatening Allergies        49

Head Lice (Pediculosis)        50

Physical Activity for Students in Elementary and Middle School        50

Tobacco, Alcohol, Illegal Substances Prohibited (Policy KFAA)        50

Vending Machines        50




SAFETY        51

Fire Drills and Other Procedures        51

Emergency Medical Treatment and Information        51

Emergency School-Closing Information        51

LOST AND FOUND        51



BUSES (Policy EE, EEAE-EA)        52

       School Bus Conduct        52


Student Participation in a Middle School Class for High School Credit (Signature Form)        56

This signed form shall be included and maintained in the student’s permanent cumulative folder.        56

Electronic Information Services (EIS) User Agreement Terms and Conditions        57

Student and Parent Handbook Acknowledgement  Form        59



All school-age persons in the state have a right to a free public education and are required to attend public, private or homeschool, or a state institution, until the school-age person is at least eighteen years of age unless that person has graduated from high school or received a general educational development certificate. Exceptions for documented hardship cases must be approved by the superintendent.

Enrollment Requirements for All Children/Youth

Persons seeking to enroll a child or youth in the Gadsden Independent School District for the first time, in grades kindergarten through grade 12, shall be required to produce documentation affirming the following:

Grounds for Denial of Enrollment or Re-enrollment

Within the school districts hearing and appeals process, grounds for denial of enrollment or re-enrollment in an otherwise qualified school-age child or youth shall be limited to:


Home Schools are operated by a parent or legal guardian of a school-age person who instructs a home study program, including, but not limited to, reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies, and science. Students who are homeschooled are not considered public school students.

Prior to dropping a student to Home School, parents/legal guardians must notify the state of the establishment of a home school electronically, or send written notification to the Secretary of Education within thirty (30) days of the establishment of a home school and re-notify the state on or before August 1st of each year thereafter. Interested persons may find additional information at:

New Mexico Public Education Department Attn: Home School Notification 300 Don Gaspar Santa Fe, NM 87501


Homeless students have the right to be enrolled in public school and to the extent feasible, keep a homeless student in the school of origin, except when doing so is contrary to the wishes of the student's parent or guardian. Refer to Policy JFABD


New Mexico State Law requires students to be vaccinated prior to enrolling in school. According to NMAC, no student shall be enrolled in the public, nonpublic, or home schools in the state unless the student can present satisfactory evidence of commencement or completion of immunization in accordance with the immunization schedule and rules and regulations of the public health division. The New Mexico Immunization Exemption Statute (24-5-3) allows only two types of exemptions for children seeking exemption from required immunizations to enter school, medical or religious.  The parent/guardian must complete the Certificate of Exemption Form.  The law does not grant immunization exemptions for philosophical or personal reasons.

After the fifteenth day, should the student remain in non-compliant standings a Disenrollment Immunization Notice will be sent home with the student. An additional fifteen day grace period will be given to provide evidence of compliance. At the end of the grace period, the student will be disenrolled.


The District has an open-enrollment program. District resident pupils may enroll in another school district or in another school within this District. Resident transfer pupils and nonresident pupils may enroll in schools within this District, subject to the procedures set forth in Policy JFB.


Residence checks will be conducted when the residency of the student comes into question. If a student is found not to reside at the address in question, the parent will be asked to provide proof of residency.


In-District Transfers

A parent or guardian must submit an IN-DISTRICT TRANSFER REQUEST signed by the principal of the home school or his or her designee, along with the approval of the principal of the receiving school. If the receiving school principal approves the transfer request, the student will be expected to comply with the stated conditions or risk the transfer being revoked and the student returned to his/her home school. The Superintendent will be the final approver of all in-district transfers.

Out-of- District Transfers (Policy JFABC)

A parent or guardian must submit an OUT-OF-DISTRICT TRANSFER REQUEST approved of the principal of the receiving school and the District Superintendent/Designee. If approval is granted the student will be expected to comply with the stated conditions or risk the transfer being revoked and the student returned to his/her home school.

Applications for Intra-District and Inter-District Transfers must be renewed every year. The Superintendent shall estimate how much excess capacity may exist to accept transfer students. The estimate of access capacity shall be made for each school and grade level and shall be based on 22-10A-20 NMSA 1978 regarding teacher-student ratios with consideration for school growth factors.

For additional information and/or copies of required transfer forms, please see 

Transfer of Credits (Policy JFABC)

Credits from schools that are accredited by a Public Education Department in the United States or its territories or

the Department of Defense shall be transferable with no loss of value.

Transferred credit from correspondence extension study, foreign study, home study courses or non Public

Education Department accredited nonpublic schools that satisfy any of the Policy JFABC criteria will be acceptable for fulfilling District graduation requirements.


Whenever it is necessary for a student to withdraw from school prior to the end of the school year, the following procedure is in effect:




It is the intent of the Attendance for Success Act (ASA) that school age persons receive an education and to not drop out or otherwise withdraw prematurely prior to completing an educational program. The AFSA creates a multi-tiered progressive system of intervention strategies and supports that is preventative and non punitive at the school level. To that end, a school-age person shall attend public school, private school, home school or a state institution until the school-age person is at least eighteen years of age unless that person has graduated from high school or received a general educational development certificate. A parent may give written, signed permission for the school-age person to leave school in case of a documented hardship approved by the local superintendent. ASA prohibits out-of-school suspension and expulsion as a punishment for unexcused absences and habitual truancy and allows withdrawal for non-attendance only after exhausting intervention efforts to keep students in educational settings.


Elementary school teachers take attendance each instructional day once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Secondary school teachers take attendance each class period. A parent/guardian must notify the school that the student will be absent in accordance with the notification procedure established by the school. The parent shall call, email, send a note, or report absences in person immediately after the return of the student. All absences not verified by the parent or had prior authorization from administration will be considered unexcused.

If a student is in attendance up to one-half the total instructional time during a school day, the student will be counted as having attended one-half of a school day. If the student attends school for more than one-half of the total instructional time, the student will be counted as having attended for the full day.

Students are expected to be in attendance for the full class period in secondary schools.  Students who miss more than 50% of the scheduled class period time will be marked absent.

Excused absences may be for the following reasons with appropriate documentation:

Unexcused Absences are an absence from school or a class for which the student does not have an allowable excuse pursuant to the Attendance for Success Act previously referred to as compulsory school attendance law or rules of the local school board – reasons include:

Excessive Absences / Chronically Absent

Absence Notification

Parents will be notified of a student's absence by phone call at the end of the school day via the School Messenger system.

Make-Up Work

School Sponsored Activities

School sponsored means any activity in which the sponsor is in attendance or transportation is paid by the school district.

Documentation after an Absence

When a student is absent from school, the student - upon arrival or within 48 hours of returning to school- must bring a note signed by the parent that describes the reason for the absence. A phone call from the parent may be accepted, but the District reserves the right to require a written note.

Doctor’s Note after an Extended Absence for Illness

Upon return to school, a student must bring a statement from a doctor or health clinic verifying the illness or

condition that caused the student’s extended absence from school. Should the student develop a questionable pattern of absences, the principal may require a statement from a doctor or health clinic verifying the illness or condition that caused the student’s absence in order to determine whether the absence or absences will be excused or unexcused.



Students are not allowed to leave the campus at any time during the school day without written parent permission and approval of the administration. All people (parents, siblings, other family and non-district personnel) wishing to see an enrolled student must report to the Front Office and follow school procedures. Anyone needing to see or sign out a student must present a valid picture ID, and must be listed on the Contact Information in PowerSchool. A sign-in and sign-out list will be placed in the main office for parents and must be used prior to students entering or leaving school during the day.


Late Arrivals

Early Departure


Students are not allowed to leave the campus at any time during the school day, including lunch, without written parent permission and approval of the administration.


The school allows students adequate time between class periods. Students are considered tardy when they are not in class or assigned activity when it is scheduled to begin. Excessive tardies will be referred by the teacher and sanctions will be applied by the administration according to school rules. A student who is tardy may be assigned to detention. Repeated instances of tardiness will result in more severe disciplinary action.


ACCELERATION - Subject-based, Middle School (Policy IKEB, IKEB-R)

Subject-based acceleration in middle school refers to a middle school student participating in a high school credit course while attending middle school. All students are eligible to be considered for subject-based acceleration regardless of English Learner (EL), disability, socioeconomic, or gifted status. All decisions regarding participation in subject-based acceleration shall take place within either the Student Assistance Team (SAT) process, or the IEP team process for students in special education, including students identified as Gifted. Both the SAT and the IEP processes require parent participation and written parent consent acknowledging that the parent has been

informed that grade(s) earned in high school credit classes taken in middle school will impact their child’s overall high school Grade Point Average (GPA).

Middle School Courses Available for High School Credit

With the exception of courses included in the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) of identified Gifted students, the only middle school courses offered for high school credit are Algebra I, English I, and Spanish I.   Not all middle schools may offer the listed courses.

Acceleration for Identified Gifted Students

In accordance with the NMPED Gifted Technical Assistance Manual, both single-subject and full-grade acceleration are available to identified Gifted students via their IEP. High school courses taken by middle school Gifted students for high school credit must be listed in their IEP using the high school course code.

Procedures for Considering Students for Eighth Grade Algebra 1

Other Requirements


Informed Consent Required. On or before the first day of the school year, middle school administrators must have written documentation on file for every seventh or eighth grade student who will be participating in a class for high school credit, or a prerequisite class for a high school credit class, affirming that the student’s parent was provided the information necessary to give informed consent for their child’s participation in a middle school class for high school credit. No student may be enrolled in any course related to high school credit in middle school without documentation of such informed consent on file at the school.  (Please see the Documentation of Informed Parent Consent for Student Participation in A Middle School Class for High School Credit form at the back of this Handbook.)

 the student’s sixth grade year.


Alta Vista Early College High School is a blend of high school and college in a rigorous yet supportive program, compressing the time it takes to complete a high school diploma and the first two years of college. GISD students who enroll in Dual Credit courses have the opportunity to earn a high school diploma and an Associate’s degree or up to two years of credit towards a Bachelor’s degree upon completion of their high school careers. Students enrolled in Early College are subject to the rules, guidelines and calendars of both GISD and Doña Ana Community College (DACC).  Enrollment at AVECHS is considered a type of IN DISTRICT transfer and students are subject to all expectations and requirements described in that policy.

ASSESSMENTS – District/State Requirements

Grades 3-8 iMSSA - Required District Assessment

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

Grades 3-8 NM-MSSA - Required State Assessment

The New Mexico Measures of Student Success and Achievement (NM-MSSA) is the summative assessment in mathematics and English language arts (ELA) for students in grades 3–8 aligned to the New Mexico Common Core State Standards (NMCCSS) for math and language arts. The assessment measures a student’s grade level proficiency and progress toward college and/or career readiness.  The New Mexico Measures of Student Success and Achievement Spanish Language Arts Assessment (NM-MSSA SLA) is the summative assessment in spanish language arts (SLA) for students in grades 3–8 aligned to the Common Core Español Standards. (NMCCSS) for math and language arts. The assessment measures a student’s grade level proficiency and progress toward college and/or career readiness.

Grades 5, 8 and 11 New Mexico Assessment of Science Readiness (NMASR) - Required State Assessment

The New Mexico Assessment of Science Readiness (NM-ASR) is New Mexico’s new assessment of science proficiency aligned to the NM STEM Ready! Science Standards, which were adopted on July 1, 2018.

Grade 11 SAT - Required State Assessment

New Mexico will administer a state-funded, SAT School Day as part of the accountability system.  This exam aligns to academic standards, and reflects skills and knowledge already taught in the classroom by measuring math, reading, and writing. The assessment for accountability will be administered to 11th graders each Spring  

Dynamic Learning Maps - Required State Assessment

 The New Mexico Alternate test, Dynamic Learning Maps,  is provided to maximize access to the general education curriculum for students with significant cognitive disabilities, to ensure that all students with disabilities are included in New Mexico’s statewide assessment and accountability programs, and to provide data and other feedback to inform classroom instruction.  DLM  uses the Essential Elements to support the design of individualized experiences for each student by presenting questions and tasks that are appropriate for a student’s needs and DLM assesses English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics in grades 3-8, 10, and 11. Science is assessed in grades 5, 8, and 11. Social Studies is assessed in grade 11.

Grades K-12 – ACCESS for ELs and language screener - Required State Assessment

The purpose of Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State (ACCESS) for English Learners is to allow students to demonstrate their level of proficiency through the performance indicators and to describe the spectrum of a learner's progression from knowing little to no English to acquiring the English skills necessary to be successful in an English-only mainstream classroom without extra support.

End-of-Course / FINAL Exams - Secondary - Required District Assessment

End-of-Course (EoC) / Final Exams have multi-tiered uses and help meet many educational objectives in New Mexico. Passing scores on the exams are indicative of a student being minimally proficient as described in the performance level descriptors and course alignment to curricular standards. Educators can use the results to make curricular decisions that can improve achievement outcomes for students. Results can currently be used as a part of  local demonstration of competency for graduation requirements.

Istation K-2 - Required State Assessment

Istation’s Indicators of Progress (ISIP) Early Reading and ISIP Lectura Temprana are sophisticated, web-delivered computer-adaptive testing (CAT) systems that provide continuous progress monitoring (CPM) by frequently assessing and reporting student ability in critical domains of reading and Spanish Early Reading, respectively, throughout the academic year (beginning, middle, and end).

Early Childhood/Kindergarten Observation Tool - Required State Assessment

Used to gather information on what children know and can do at the time of preschool entry and document growth over the preschool year (s).  Then gather information on what children know and can do and the time of kindergarten entry.  This can assist teachers in data driven instruction and identifying individual student needs.  

District Interim Assessments - Required District Assessment

These are given at different intervals during the year to check students’ grasp on content and to guide future instruction in math K-HS,Language Arts 3-HS, and Science at secondary.  The district may use a variety of assessments to measure progress which can include teacher made, College Board (SAT/PSAT), NWEA/MAP assessments.

Dyslexia Screener - Required State Screener

The Dyslexia Screener is given to all 1st grade students.  The Screener is a  brief assessment of a particular skill or ability that is highly predictive of a later outcome.  It is designed to quickly differentiate students between those who require intervention and those who do not.  This is only a screener and is not a part of the Special Education program.

AVANT STAMP - Required State Assessment

Avant STAMP is the statewide Spanish language proficiency assessment for students enrolled in a state-funded bilingual multicultural education program (BMEP). The assessment is administered to students who have not yet reached proficiency in Spanish (Intermediate-High level on STAMP) in-person at school sites.

NAEP - National Assessment at selected schools

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is an assessment administered to a sample of students in each of the 50 states in order to determine how much U.S. students know about various subjects.   The main NAEP measures students in mathematics and reading assessments at grades 4 and 8 and occurs every other year.


Career-Technical Education (CTE) programs combine challenging academic coursework with relevant, career-focused content. Gadsden’s CTE programs provide students with the academic and technical skills necessary to succeed in a dynamic, knowledge based economy. Students participating in these programs are held to industry-based learning standards, which prepare learners for postsecondary education and high-wage, high-skill, and high-demand careers of their choice.

For more information see the school counselor and administration.


Class rankings are determined each semester beginning with the first semester of the ninth grade and includes grades earned by students taking approved high school credit courses in middle school. Total grade points accumulated by a student are divided by the total units attempted to produce the cumulative grade point average. Students are ranked according to their grade point average (GPA), with 4.0 as high, with the exception of Advanced Placement, Pre-Advanced Placement and Dual Credit classes wherein 5.0 is high.

In order to qualify for ranking in the top 10% of the graduating senior class, a student must complete his or her entire senior year (10 months) in the Gadsden Independent School District. To be eligible for such ranking, students who wish to graduate in less than four years or those transferring from another district must also complete their entire senior year in Gadsden ISD. High schools shall compute class rank after grades are stored and GPA is calculated.

Two or more graduating students with the same GPA, carried out to three (3) digits, are considered a “tie”. No other factors, such as the number of classes taken by a student, are considered. If a tie occurs when determining Valedictorian and/or Salutatorian, the tying students will both/all be named Valedictorian, or Salutatorian, as applicable.

Beginning with the Cohort of 2022 (students entering as ninth graders in 2018-19), only those students who have completed all course requirements for graduation (by units) as listed in Policy IKF, Graduation Requirements, will be included in the class ranking calculations for the purpose of naming the Top Ten Students or the Top Ten Percent of the graduating class. (For more information, please see Policy IKC, Class Rankings / Grade Point Averages.)


All students are expected to attend school for the entire school day and maintain a class/course schedule to fulfill each period of the day. Exceptions may be made occasionally by campus principal for students in grades 9-12 who meet specific criteria and receive parental consent to enroll in less than a full-day’s schedule.


Starting in 12th grade every Gadsden ISD high school student has the opportunity to enroll in postsecondary

courses through the Dual Credit (DC) program. This program provides access to academic or career-technical course options that deliver simultaneous credit toward high school graduation and postsecondary degree or certificate. Courses offered for dual credit stem from agreements between high schools and accredited community colleges. While many students take basic core courses such as English, history, math and social science, coursework may include areas such as culinary arts or criminal justice, depending on the student's Next Step Plan and the various degree plans offered by each community college.

Dual credit courses are accessible for students within a range of academic aptitude and contribute to improvements in academic performance. Students who have taken courses for dual credit appear to perform satisfactorily in their courses, graduate from high school at a higher rate than their peers, require less first- semester remediation in postsecondary education, and are more likely to obtain a college degree within four years.


Guidance Services

The school counselors are available to help students be successful in school and solve personal problems.      Classroom, group and individual guidance services  that follow the Social Emotional learning model are provided. Please check with the Counseling Office for  appropriate procedures to sign up for services.

Mental Health Therapist

Academic Counseling

Students and their parents are encouraged to talk with a counselor, teacher, or principal to learn more about course offerings, graduation requirements, and early graduation procedures. Each spring, students in grades 6-11 will be provided information on anticipated course offerings for the next school year and other information which will help them make the most of academic and CTE opportunities.

To plan for the future, each student should work closely with the counselor in order to enroll in high school courses that best prepare him or her for attendance at a college, university, or technical school, or pursuit of some type of advanced education. The counselor will also provide information on entrance exams and application deadlines, as well as information about automatic admission to state colleges and universities, financial aid, housing, and scholarships.


A student in high school credit courses will earn credit for a course if the final grade is D or above. For a two- semester course (1 credit), the student’s grades from both semesters will be averaged and credit will be awarded if the combined average is D or above.


The District may not set fees for required core courses, i.e., English, Math, Science, and Social Studies. Students will not be required to supply specific types of school supplies or equipment as a prerequisite to successful completion of a required course or project. The District may set appropriate fees for materials used by students in non-required courses. Such fees must have prior Board of Education approval. (For more information, please see Board Policy JQ, Student Fees, Fines, and Charges.)


Desert Pride Academy (DPA) offers a non-traditional educational environment that provides the flexibility and support needed for students to complete their high school program. The academic focus is on the core subjects of language arts, mathematics, social studies, and science, in addition to a limited number of electives that allow for an individualized self-paced program. The population is composed of students in dropout recovery, students in need of credit recovery, over-aged students, and students referred for long-term suspension. The Principal of

Desert Pride Academy shall have flexibility in applying District rules and regulations in order to meet the unique needs of DPA students, and shall always be involved in the decision-making process to place a student at DPA. For further information, please contact Desert Pride Academy at (575) 882-0142.


Gadsden Independent School District is utilizing Edmentum, a web based program, to provide fully accredited high school courses. GISD students can take high school courses to satisfy graduation requirements, credit recovery, advancement and enrichment. Students earn a high school credit per course completed and passed. Courses begin and end dates for Edmentum are not the same as those of traditional GISD face-to-face classes. Students may access their Edmentum online course from a computer with internet connection from school, home or elsewhere. Students may enroll in an Edmentum course after consulting with a counselor and site administrator. Edmentum course grades are recorded on student transcripts and figured into student grade point averages once the course has been completed.  When courses are not available on Edmentum, students may use Edgenity to access virtual courses.


Dual Credit courses are college level courses offered by Doña Ana Community College (DACC), New Mexico State University (NMSU), and Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU). GISD students who enroll in Dual Credit courses have the opportunity to earn college credit and high school elective credits at the same time. Course topics cover a wide range of subjects and materials. Students enrolled in Dual Credit are subject to the rules, guidelines and calendars of DACC, NMSU, and ENMU.  Please see your HS counselor to begin the process and learn more about the expectations, pros and cons of dual credit programs.

Eligibility Criteria - DACC

Eligibility Criteria - NMSU

Eligibility Criteria for Early College High School (ECHS)

Early College High School students within the District who have a 2.0 GPA and parent permission may be eligible for Dual Credit courses with DACC.

Students must take the Next Gen placement exam and pass the following:

*Eligibility requirements for the DACC Dual Credit Program are subject to change.    



Dual credit classes for Gadsden Independent School District Students are primarily offered at the Chaparral, Gadsden and Sunland Park DACC branches. Some Dual Credit classes are offered at Alta Vista Early College High School. Dual Credit courses are offered each fall and spring semesters and additional courses may be available during the summer sessions. All courses follow the NMSU, ENMU and DACC Academic Calendars.


Dual Credit Courses are based on the weighted point scale in PowerSchool (equal to Pre-AP, AP). Grades will be transmitted once each semester from the DACC, NMSU, ENMU Dual Credit Director to the GISD Coordinator for Career Technical Education. For every 3-hour Dual Credit course 1 high school credit will be awarded. Grades earned in the Dual Credit Program will be posted on high school and college transcripts.


GISD provides some busing to the two (2) DACC centers located within the Gadsden District. Students who hold a valid driver’s license and have completed the Transportation Agreement (available from the high school office) are eligible to provide their own transportation to and from their Dual Credit Classes.

Other Requirements

All students enrolled in dual credit courses are subject to the vaccination requirements set forth by the higher education institution.  For more information please see the information provided on the institution's website or the school counselor.


The School Board will authorize early high school completion in order to meet career goals for selected students. Students desiring early graduation must submit a written request to the high school principal during the first half of the semester preceding the semester of desired completion. The principal may accept requests after this date in special circumstances. The request must contain the reasons for the request and the written approval of the student's parents or guardian. All graduation requirements must be met by the early completion date.

Each request will be evaluated and will ensure that the parents or guardian are informed of any restrictions or limitations to be placed on the student in the event the request is approved, including restrictions on cocurricular activities.

Diplomas normally will be awarded only at the completion of the spring semester. However, final transcripts will be provided as soon as the high school requirements have been met.


English Learners (ELs) are students who use a language other than English and are acquiring language to become English proficient. These students are entitled to receive specialized language services from the district. To determine whether they qualify for services, their parents complete the Language Usage Survey (LUS) and receive a formal assessment of their English Language using a placement test (WIDA SCREENER). They are assessed in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The district will provide these students with alternative language programs, specialized services or accommodations based on the proficiency level results. A yearly assessment (ACCESS) will be conducted to determine their proficiency in English and eligibility for academic English Language services.


In New Mexico, Gifted Education is under the department of Special Education. In addition to annual screenings to identify potential students for gifted services at elementary schools, generally in the third grade, any person, including teachers, parents, and students, can refer a student for an evaluation for Gifted Education. Services are individualized, based on each student’s unique strengths and weaknesses, and are identified using the special education IEP (Individualized Educational Plan) process. For information on referral/screening procedures, eligibility requirements and service options, please see the campus administrator or contact the Special Education Department at 575-882-6221. (Also see the Gifted Education in New Mexico Technical Assistance Manual on the NMPED website


Once a student enters a NMPED regular public school, these schools are responsible for ensuring that students progress through the H1, H2, H3 and H4 (Cohort) system assuring that students progress at an expected pace.


Grades shall always reflect academic performance skill levels and may not be used for disciplinary purposes.

Grade Reporting

All Kinder through 12th grade report cards shall use a standardized alphabetic grading system, i.e., A, B, C, D, etc. Numeric grades are entered in PowerSchool in the Teacher Grade Book.

Calculating Grade Point Average (GPA)

Only courses for which credit is awarded are used in the calculation of a student’s GPA. A student’s GPA is calculated by dividing the total grade points earned by the total number of credit courses taken.

Grade Reporting for Student Transferring from Foreign Countries and Other School Districts

Students transferring from a foreign country should present their transcript to the counselors to be evaluated as follows:




4 - 4.9






















F (No Credit Allowed)

Procedural requirement for translating Alpha Grade to Numerical Grade

A = 95 = 4.5

B = 85 = 3.5

C = 75 = 2.5

D = 65 = 1.5

F = 55 = .5

Special Education Grading (Policy IKA)

The grading of special education students shall be determined by the IEP committee.  Options an IEP Team may consider to base grades on include but are not limited to:


Requirements for a Diploma for a Student Enrolled in High School for the 2022-2023 School Year

In order to graduate from high school, a student must successfully:

Graduation Expenses

During the school year in which a student will graduate, students and parents will incur expenses in order for the student to participate in the traditions of graduation. These include items such as the purchase of invitations, senior ring, cap and gown, and the student’s senior picture. Both the student and the parent should carefully monitor the student’s progress towards the completion of all graduation requirements.

Graduation Attire

Graduation is a formal event. Proper attire is required for participation in the graduation ceremony. Please refer to the campus graduation contracts for specific requirements.

Scholarships and Grants

Information on scholarships and grants are available through the campus Counseling offices.

Graduation Programs of Study/Options for Students with Disabilities (Policy IKF)

For students with disabilities, the Individualized Educational Program (IEP) team is responsible for determining whether a student with disabilities has completed a planned program of study making him/her eligible to receive a diploma. Graduation plans must be part of all IEP's beginning with the 8th grade IEP. Upon completion of a planned program of study the student will be awarded a New Mexico Diploma of Excellence. A student may be awarded a

diploma after completing a program of study under one of the following Graduation Options: Standard, Career

Readiness or Ability. A student’s entitlement to FAPE ends with the receipt of a regular diploma under the

Standard Option. A student’s right to FAPE does not end with the receipt of a diploma under the Career Readiness Option or the Ability Option.

Standard Option/Program of Study

A standard program of study is based upon meeting or surpassing all requirements for graduation based upon New Mexico Standards for Excellence with or without reasonable modification of delivery and assessment methods. In addition, a student shall pass all sections of the current state graduation examination(s) under standard administration or with state-approved accommodations, and shall meet all other standard graduation requirements of the District.

Modified  Option/Program of Study 

A Modified Option  program of study is based upon meeting the State Board of Education's Career Readiness Standards with Benchmarks as defined in the IEP with or without reasonable modifications of delivery and assessment methods. In addition, the student shall take the current state graduation examination(s) under standard administration or with state-approved accommodations, and achieve a level of competency (LOC) pre-determined by the student’s IEP team. The student shall earn at least the minimum number of credits required by the District for graduation through standard or alternative courses that address the employability and career development standards with benchmarks and performance standards, as determined by the IEP team. Course work shall include a minimum of four (4) credits of career development opportunities and learning experiences that may include any of the following: career readiness and vocational course work, work experience, community- based instruction, student service learning, job shadowing, mentoring or entrepreneurships related to the student’s occupational choices.

Ability Option/Program of Study

An ability program of study was developed for students who have a significant cognitive, disability or severe mental health issues. The IEP goals and functional curriculum course work shall be based on employability and career development standards with benchmarks and performance standards, as determined by the IEP team. Students in this program of study shall earn the minimum number of credits or be provided equivalent educational opportunities required by the District, with course work individualized to meet the unique needs of the student through support of the IEP. In addition, a student shall take either the current state graduation examination(s) under standard administration or with state-approved accommodations, or the state-approved alternate could assessment. The student shall achieve a level of competency pre-determined by the student’s IEP team in the current graduation examination or the state-approved alternate assessment, and meet all other graduation requirements established by the IEP team.

The IEP team is responsible for determining whether the student has completed a planned program of study based on the student’s strengths, interests, preferences, identified educational and functional needs and long-term educational or occupational goals, making the student eligible to receive either a diploma or a conditional certificate of transition. The District shall provide each student, who has an IEP and who graduates or reaches maximum age for special education services, a summary of the student’s academic achievement and functional performance (SOP), which shall include recommendations on how to assist the student in meeting post-secondary goals.

Conditional Certificate of Transition

IEP teams may use a conditional certificate of transition in the form of a continuing or transition IEP when a student has completed the high school portion of his or her education, and is on track for graduation, but the student still has transition or academic needs that must be addressed by school staff and adult service providers. In these instances, a student may receive a conditional certificate of transition that allows him or her to participate in graduation activities and continue toward obtaining the high school diploma based on a plan to implement transition services. The certificate is not a graduation option for students with disabilities. A certificate of any type does not end a student’s right to a free appropriate public education (FAPE). The certificate with follow-up plan of

action allows for assistance with accessing adult services, seeking and maintaining employment, or pursuing post- secondary training with assistance. The follow-up plan of action must be in the form of a continuing or transition IEP and it must identify responsibilities of the student, parents, and the school to ensure the student receives a diploma. The student receives a diploma upon successful completion of the updated and continuing IEP goals and transition outcomes.

A student who receives special education services may be granted a conditional certificate of transition in the form of a continuing or transition IEP when:

A student who does not return to complete the program of study as outlined in the continuing or transition IEP will be considered as a dropout. A student who receives a conditional certificate of transition is eligible to continue receiving special education services until receipt of a diploma or until the end of the academic year in which the student becomes 22 years of age.


Home-based services is an informal term referring to a short-term arrangement between the school and a parent wherein class assignments are sent home (usually via the parent) for a student who is not going to be out of school long enough to justify the appointment of a Homebound teacher, or for a student who does not otherwise meet the eligibility criteria for Homebound services, i.e., eligibility under IDEA or Section 504. The parent returns the completed work to the school administrator or teacher for grading, thereby helping the student stay current with classwork assignments/grades. Students participating in home-based services are reported as Excused Absences.


Homebound services are part of the overall continuum of programs/services available to meet the needs of students with disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Homebound is considered the most restrictive of instructional arrangements.

Homebound should only be considered for those students with medical or psychological conditions that prevent their participation in less restrictive instructional environments, as affirmed in writing by a medical doctor or psychologist. “Homebound” services at a campus site, generally after school hours, may also be considered as an Interim Alternative Educational Setting (IAES) for properly suspended or expelled students with disabilities. All placements into the homebound program must be time-limited with the IEP team or Section 504 team specifying

 criteria to be met for the student’s return to a less restrictive environment, including a release from a medical doctor or psychologist for students on Homebound for medical or psychological reasons. Students who attend or are present for their scheduled Homebound services are not counted absent.


Homework may be assigned depending on the nature of the instruction. Homework will be meaningful and integrated into the regular classroom instruction and curriculum. Students are responsible for completing assignments and meeting assigned deadlines. Parents will allow the school at least 24 hours to prepare homework assignments. See individual campus policy.

For homework after an absence see Attendance - Procedures - Make-Up Work.


This program is designed for those high school students wishing to take a course that could not be justified due to the small number of student requests, or for those students wishing to add a course of interest outside of the regular schedule of classes. Students may not take any core subject classes required for graduation through Independent Study except upon the explicit written approval of the campus Principal.


New Mexico House Bill 305 requires that every New Mexico high school student complete a four-year "Next Step Plan". This plan begins at the end of the eighth grade as students are registering for the ninth grade. The plan lays out the courses that the student plans to take over the next four years to reach graduation requirements and college entrance requirements, if applicable.

The mandated process for completing this form includes the involvement of the student, the student's parents or guardian, and the school counselor or other school official charged with coursework planning. In the Next Step Plan, a student describes his/her goals related to long-term career, academic, extra-curricular, post-secondary and personal/social interest.

For students with individualized education programs (IEPs), the Transition Plan in the student’s IEP substitutes for the Next-Step Plan. (NMAC 6.29.1)


All students, grades Kindergarten (K) through twelve (12th) are expected to attain the State Proficiency Levels on the State Content Standards and Benchmarks. Students who do not attain these levels will participate in the  District’s academic improvement and/or remediation programs.


In grades K-7, promotion and retention are based on student demonstration of progress toward proficiency on state and local standards in all subjects. All decisions regarding retention are made by the Student Assistance Team (SAT).

At the end of Grades K-7, three options are available depending on the student’s attainment of the required Proficiency Levels.

for no more than one year in order to have additional time to master the required content standards.


In Grade 8, promotion and retention are based on student demonstration of progress toward proficiency of state and local standards in all subjects. All decisions regarding retention are made by the Student Assistance Team (SAT).

At the end of Grade 8, a student who fails to attain the Proficiency Level of content standards will be retained in Grade 8 for no more than one school year in order to attain the Proficiency Level of content standards, or

specific academic improvement plan that clearly delineates the student’s academic deficiencies and prescribes a specific academic improvement or remediation plan to address the academic deficiencies.


In grades 9-12, promotion and retention are based on student demonstration of progress toward proficiency of state and local standards in all subjects. All high school students need the required minimum credits and must pass all portions of the New Mexico Standards Based Assessment to graduate and participate in the graduation ceremonies. Please see Policy IKF for graduation requirements.


Report cards with each student’s grades or performance and absences in each class or subject are issued to parents at least once every nine weeks. At the end of the fourth week of the nine-week grading period, parents will be given a progress report of the child’s performance in every subject.

Teachers will follow grading guidelines that have been approved by the principal or pursuant to the Board adopted policy and are designed to reflect each student’s relative mastery of each assignment for the grading period, semester, or course. State law provides that a test or course grade issued by a teacher cannot be changed unless it is determined that the grade was arbitrary or contains an error.


During the first two weeks, students will attend the designated classes on their schedule cards. Schedule changes will be made only during the first two weeks of the semester. If a student desires a schedule change he/she must sign up with the counselors' office and counselors will call students from class.

Schedule changes are granted ONLY for the following reasons:

  1. A senior needs a class or credit for graduation.
  2. The student is misplaced in a class and does not have the necessary skills or prerequisite.
  3. The student has taken the course previously and passed it.
  4. Changes made by IEP teams.
  5. Any other reason will require a parent conference with an administrator, counselor, and teacher before a decision is made.


Special Education refers to specialized instruction and related services for students found eligible under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Anyone, including a parent, teacher, doctor or student, may refer a student for an evaluation for special education by contacting the school administrator, or calling the Special Education Department at (575) 882-6221. The booklet, Parent and Child Rights in Special Education, published by the New Mexico Public Education Department, outlines procedures and requirements designed to protect the legal rights of the child and parent which are set by federal regulation and state rules. A copy of this booklet can be found on the New Mexico Public Education Special Education Bureau webpage, or at the Special Education Department offices next to Anthony Elementary School in Anthony, NM, 88021.


Section 504 is federal civil rights law under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that provides protection against discrimination for individuals with disabilities.  Section 504 is designed to provide equal access and fairness in general education to students with disabilities, thereby leveling the playing field for them through what is known as a Section 504 Accommodation Plan.  A student is identified for and entitled to a Section 504 Accommodation Plan if an evaluation shows that the individual has a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.  This determination is based on a current evaluation and made by a Section 504 team, including the parent.


[Source: NMPED Guidelines for Educators and Administrators for Implementing Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973—Subpart D]



The purpose of Jumpstart is to provide an extension of learning opportunities into the summer of all students PreK - 12.  Program offerings may change each year but focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math along with college and career exploration.

Credit Recovery - High School

Please contact the school administrator or school counselor for information.

Extended School Year

Extended School Year (ESY) services means special education and related services that are provided to a child with a disability beyond the normal school year; in accordance with the child's IEP; and at no cost to the parents of the child.  The purpose of ESY is not to enhance or maximize the present levels of academic achievement and functional performance exhibited by students with disabilities at the end of the regular school year.  Instead, the IEP Team bases the need for ESY services on skill regression (loss) and a student’s limited capacity for recoupment (regain) of existing IEP goals and objectives.  Regression/recoupment is just one of many factors that IEP teams need to consider when discussing the need for ESY services.


In the Gadsden Independent School District (GISD), ESY is not summer school per se, but is generally provided in the month of June.


[Source: Gadsden Independent School District Policies and Procedures for the Provision of Special Education Services for Students with Disabilities and Gifted Students]



The right of students to participate in extracurricular activities shall be dependent only upon their maintaining the minimum academic and behavioral standards established by the School Board, and their individual ability in the extracurricular activity. Students who volunteer for extracurricular activities, such as athletics, band, chorus, etc. are subject to the standards of dress as defined by the sponsors of such activities.

Charter School Student Participation (Policy JJIB)

Charter school students in grades seven (7) through twelve (12) may participate in School District extracurricular activities sanctioned by the New Mexico Activities Association in the School District attendance zone in which the student lives (participating in only one [1] public school program) if they meet eligibility requirements other than enrollment and if the charter school does not offer such activities sanctioned by the New Mexico Activities Association.

Home Schooled Student Participation (Policy JJIB)

Home Schooled students may participate in three (3) School District athletic activities sanctioned by the New Mexico Activities Association in the School District attendance zone in which the student lives if they meet the eligibility requirements other than enrollment in the school.

Health and Safety of Participants (Policy JJIB)

A coach shall not allow a student athlete to participate in a school athletic activity on the same day a coach, a school official or a student athlete reports, observes or suspects that a student athlete exhibits signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a brain injury or has been diagnosed with a brain injury.

A coach may allow a student athlete who has been prohibited from participating in a school athletic activity to

participate in a school athletic activity no sooner than 240 hours (10 days) after the student athlete has received a brain injury and only after the student athlete:


1. Remove immediately from activity when signs/symptoms are present.

2. Must not return to full activity prior to a minimum of 240 hours (10 days).

3. Release from medical professional required for return.

4. Follow school district’s return to play guidelines.

5. Coaches continue to monitor for signs/symptoms once athletes return to activity.

Extracurricular Activity Eligibility (Policy JJJ)

It is necessary to have the interscholastic extracurricular activities function within a realistic framework of control. In order that over enthusiastic students do not place a social or athletic function on a higher plane than the academic program, the following policy will be adhered to:

Eligibility Criterion (GISD Guidelines)

The eligibility criterion for interscholastic participation shall be either one or the other of the following:

Eligibility for participation in extracurricular activities shall be determined at the end of each grading period or as required by the campus. If the student does not meet the eligibility requirements the penalty will be removal from participation in any athletic team or extracurricular performances or travel. A student that demonstrates academic progress toward eligibility may practice with the team or group.

Students whose behavior presents a problem or jeopardizes school discipline may be ineligible for participation in extracurricular activities until such time as their behavior warrants reinstatement.


The decision to use the Cumulative Provision, is made on a case-by-case basis and is available only once to any student. NMAA guidelines for the Cumulative Provision are as follows:

NMAA Eligibility Disclaimer

Eligibility for student participation in extra-curricular activities is determined by the New Mexico Activities Association's by-laws that are developed to create a level playing field for all student athletes. Changes to enrollment, home residence, academic standing, and family status are some of the factors that determine student eligibility. Parents/ guardians are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with the rules and regulations associated with student eligibility PRIOR to making changes to their student's status. Transferring schools may impact a student’s opportunity to participate in extra-curricular activities.  

New Mexico Activities Association By-Laws: 

If you have any questions please contact your campus Athletic Coordinator.



Assemblies will be held periodically for information and/or entertainment purposes. Students are to walk with their teacher to the assembly, sit in their designated location with the teacher, and exhibit appropriate behavior. Unnecessary talking, horse play, booing, throwing objects, and similar behavior is not allowed and may result in expulsion from the assembly and additional school consequences. Students are expected to show good spirit, sportsmanship, and school pride at all times. After the assembly, students are to walk back to class immediately. Do not stop for restroom or water at this time. Dismissal will be conducted by the administrator or teacher in charge.


All students eating breakfast in the school cafeteria or classroom must remain in the cafeteria or classroom until they have completed their meal. All students are entitled to have access to a lunch period. When students are dismissed for lunch, they are to proceed to the cafeteria in a quiet, orderly and polite manner. All students must eat their lunch in the cafeteria unless they brought their lunch to school. Students are not to loiter in the cafeteria after they have eaten, except for during bad weather. Each student must take care of his/her own trash, tray, plate, etc. and must follow all cafeteria regulations. No soft drinks will be allowed in the cafeteria during lunch.

Upon leaving the cafeteria, students must remain in designated areas and may not leave campus. All students are entitled to a free breakfast and lunch in the school cafeteria.



Bullying by another student means any repeated and pervasive written verbal or electronic expression, physical act or gesture, or a pattern thereof, that is intended to cause distress upon one or more students in the school, on school grounds, in school vehicles, at a designated bus stop, or at school activities or sanctioned events. Bullying includes, but is not limited to, hazing, harassment, intimidation or menacing acts of a student which may, but need not be based on the student’s race, color, sex, ethnicity, national origin, religion, disability, age or sexual orientation.


Cyberbullying means electronic communication that targets a specific student; is published with the intention that the communication be seen by or disclosed to the targeted student; is in fact seen by or disclosed to the targeted student; and creates or is certain to create a hostile environment on the school campus that is so severe or pervasive as to substantially interfere with the targeted student’s educational benefits, opportunities or performance.

Any violence, threats, name-calling, bullying, unlawful harassment, intimidation, assault, battery, extortion, robbery, vandalism, and other victim-based misconduct that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for students, regardless of motive or reason, is explicitly prohibited. No person shall be subject to reprisals for good faith reporting, or participating in the investigation of a potential violation of this policy. No employee or student may knowingly give false reports or information under this policy.


It is the express policy of the School Board and Superintendent to encourage students who are victims of such physical or verbal misconduct to report such claims. Students or their parents may report such conduct to the principal or assistant principal of the school using the Student Complaint Form (Policy ACAA-EA). Any student who is found to have engaged in conduct prohibited by this policy shall be subject to discipline, including, but not limited to suspension or expulsion, subject to applicable procedural requirements, and to any applicable limitations imposed by state and federal disabilities law.

For further information on Bullying and Cyberbullying, please see Policy ACAA, Bullying, Intimidation, and Hostile or Offensive Conduct and Policy JICD, Student Harassment/Bullying/Cyberbullying Prevention .


Students are to keep the campus clean at all times and dispose of any trash in appropriate containers provided by the school.


School rules apply to all school events, including social events, and apply to both students and any guests they may invite to school functions. Students, including guests, are expected to observe and practice good behavior and acceptable conduct at all times. A student inviting a guest will share responsibility for the conduct of his or her guest.

Conduct Prohibited

Any student who violates these policies and regulations may be subject to discipline up to expulsion, in addition to other civil and criminal prosecution. These punishments may be in addition to any customary discipline that the District presently dispenses. For further information, please see Policy JIC.


Students are not allowed to receive outside deliveries for lunch, special events and occasions including, but not limited to, Birthdays, Valentine’s Day, Holidays, and Anniversaries, etc. Parents may bring necessary items to the school, for example, PE clothes, homework, text books, uniforms, etc. These items will be delivered to the front desk of the school and then to the students by school staff.


All students charged with a violation of Board Policy JK, Student Discipline, will be afforded due process as described in Policy JKD, Student Suspension/Expulsion.

Prohibited Activities

Reasonableness of use of physical force in self-defense, defense of others, and defense of property will be considered as a mitigating factor in determining penalties for misconduct.

The threat or use of physical force by a student is not reasonable (i) when made in response to verbal provocation alone, (ii) when assistance from a school staff member is a reasonable alternative, or (iii) when the degree of physical force used is disproportionate to the circumstances or exceeds that necessary to avoid injury to oneself or to others or to preserve property at risk.

Permissible Penalties

The range of penalties that may be imposed for violations of student discipline rules include, but are not limited to, the following:

Depending upon the nature of the violation, student discipline may be progressive, i.e., generally, a student's first violation should merit a lighter penalty than subsequent violations. A District employee or agent should take into account all other relevant factors in determining an appropriate penalty. The above penalties may be imposed either alone or in combination.

Discipline Requirements for Students with Disabilities

Before an identified student with disabilities (under IDEA or Section 504) can be removed from his or her current placement for disciplinary reasons for more than ten (10) school days, a Manifestation Review must be conducted by the student’s IEP team (or Section 504 team). The purpose of the Review is to determine if the behavior precipitating the proposed removal was or was not a manifestation of the student’s disability. If the behavior is

found not to be a manifestation of the student’s disability, the student may be disciplined in the same manner, and for the same length of time as a student without disabilities who committed the same offense, except that a student identified under IDEA (but not under Section 504) is still entitled to FAPE, although at an alternative

educational setting determined by the student’s IEP team. If the behavior in question was found to be a manifestation of the student’s disability, the student (whether IDEA or Section 504) cannot be subjected to

disciplinary action for the behavior, but the IEP or Section 504 team may choose to modify the student’s IEP or 504 Plan, including changing the student’s placement, as deemed educationally appropriate, but may not do so for disciplinary reasons. For further information regarding the disciplining of students with disabilities, please call the Special Education Department at 575-882-6221.



Student conferred and parent notified by teacher; referral to counselor; copy given to administration

LEVEL I DISCIPLINE OPTIONS at this level include, but are not limited to:



LEVEL II DISCIPLINE OPTIONS at this level include, but are not limited to:




Level III offenses can result in imposition of Level I or Level II consequences, long-term suspension, and permanent expulsion. Administration discipline options for Level III offenses for the following, but not limited to:


The above outline offers a guideline for all District schools. The administration can make adjustments or variations depending on individual differences or circumstances (See STATE V. NICK R., 2009-NMSC-050, 147 N.M. 182, 218 P.3d 86, wherein lack of student intent in possessing a weapon was a mitigating factor.) Suspensions may continue into a new school year.


The Gadsden Independent School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its programs and activities and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups.


The Gadsden Independent School District respects students’ rights to express themselves in the way they

dress. All students who attend GISD are expected to respect the school community by dressing appropriately for a PreK-12 educational environment.  The dress code is established to teach grooming and hygiene, prevent disruption, and minimize safety hazards. Students and parents may determine a student’s personal dress and grooming standards, provided that they comply with the following:

Minimum Requirements

Clothing not allowed on any campus in the District:

Consequences for Inappropriate Dress

Any student wearing inappropriate clothing as determined by the administration will receive one of the following consequences:

Grooming Regulations

For the safety of students, a dress code needs to be followed. Campus administration has the authority to determine appropriate dress and make changes as needed. Dress and grooming have a definite bearing on attitude and behavior. Learning how to dress within the bounds of propriety, decency, and social acceptability is a part of each student's education.

Uniform Dress Code and Campus / Administrative Discretion

Many campuses have an established uniformed dress code, which students shall follow, and replaces the general dress code described above.  Campus administration can establish dress code expectations that exceed those listed above, with approval of central office administration, and shall communicate them to students and parents.


Due to technological advances, cell phones have become potentially disruptive to the educational process. Emergency phones are available for student use at all school offices and may be accessed by gaining permission from school staff and administration. The District shall not be responsible for loss, theft, or destruction of electronic communication devices and/or their contents brought onto school property.  (See Personal Property for more information)

Specific Prohibitions

Students shall not use a remotely activated paging device or portable telephone or ECD while on school property and while attending a school-sponsored academic activity on or off school property or off campus in a manner that is disruptive of the educational process, including, but not limited to, posing a threat to academic integrity or violating confidentiality or privacy rights of another individual.

Unless an emergency situation exists that involves imminent physical danger or a certified employee authorizes the student to do otherwise, ECDs in the possession of a student shall be used only as set forth in Policy JICDA. The school administrator may grant written permission for the use of such a device by a student if the student or his/her parent or guardian establishes, to the satisfaction of the administrator, that a reasonable basis exists for the possession and use of the device.

For elementary students, during the instructional day cell phones and accessories must remain in a backpack, book bag, pocket or purse where they cannot be seen or heard. Under no circumstances shall students use or access an ECD during assemblies, emergency drills or other school evacuations.

Middle School students may not use the ECD during the instructional day, including during lunch, and all cell phones and accessories must remain in a backpack, book bag, pocket or purse where they cannot be seen or heard. Students may use their ECD before and after school. Under no circumstances shall students use or access an ECD during assemblies, emergency drills or other school evacuations.

High school students may use their cell phones and accessories during their lunch period, including in the cafeteria, and after school following the instructional day. During the instructional period cell phones must remain in a backpack, book bag, pocket or purse where they cannot be seen or heard. ECD kept in or on waistbands or other areas of clothing shall not be accessed or viewed during the instructional day. At the high school, during the instructional day, ECD must be in silent mode or turned off. Under no circumstances shall students use or access an ECD during assemblies, emergency drills or other school evacuations.

Violations of Board Policy on ECD may result in the item being confiscated and returned to parents only, or returned to the student at the end of the school year.

Acceptable Use of District Technology Resources and Electronic Information Services (EIS)

Use of technology resources, which may include District’s network systems and use of District equipment, is restricted to approved purposes only. Student and parents will be asked to sign a User Agreement regarding use of these District resources. Violations of the User Agreement may result in withdrawal of privileges and other disciplinary action.

Each user of the EIS shall:

The EIS User Agreement can be found on the last pages of this Handbook.

For further information please see Policy IJNDB, Use of Technology Resources in Instruction, and JICDA, Electronic Communication Devices.


No food, beverages or candy will be taken into and/or consumed in any classroom during any instructional period without the permission of the Administration as per district Wellness guidelines (Policy JL).


Gangs that initiate, advocate, or promote activities that threaten the safety or well-being of persons or property on school grounds or disrupt the school environment are harmful to the educational process. The use of hand signals, graffiti, or the presence of any apparel, jewelry, accessories, or manner of dress or grooming that, by virtue of its color, arrangement, trademark, symbol, or any other attribute indicates or implies membership or affiliation with such a group is prohibited because of the disruption to educational activities that results from such activities or dress. It is the District's position that such activities and dress also present a clear and present danger to other District students and to District staff members.

Any activity involving an initiation, hazing, intimidation, assault, or other activity related to group affiliation that is likely to cause or does cause bodily danger, physical harm, or personal degradation or disgrace resulting in physical or mental harm to students or others is prohibited.

If the student's dress is in violation of this regulation or a District policy, the principal will ask the student to make the appropriate corrections. If the student refuses, the parent/guardian may be notified and asked to make the necessary correction. The principal will coordinate with law enforcement regarding the latest gang signs, symbols and actions to maintain consideration for constitutionally-permitted activities and speech.


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


The use of any social networking sites (e.g. FACEBOOK, TWITTER, YOUTUBE.COM, etc.) and anonymous web proxy that lets you bypass website filters and unblock firewalls is not acceptable. The use of these sites will reduce the schools telecommunications bandwidth (phone calls, district email, student information systems, finance/human resources administration system, and web based application software).


Questioning of Students

When law enforcement officers or other lawful authorities wish to question or interview a student at school, the principal will cooperate fully regarding the conditions of the interview.

Students Taken Into Custody

New Mexico State law requires the District to permit a student to be taken into legal custody for the following:


Public displays of affection that are deemed to be inappropriate by students, staff, or the administration will be referred to the appropriate office.


Students are expected to use the restrooms during their breaks and with permission during class time. Breakfast and lunch restroom privileges are available according to school policies and supervision. Restroom passes during class time should be limited to one student at a time, for emergency situations, and with strict time limits on length of absence from class.


Students are responsible for the proper care of all books, supplies, educational material, and furniture supplied by the school. Students who disfigure property, break windows, or cause other damage to school property or equipment will be required to pay for the damage done or replace the item and may be subject to disciplinary action. Issued textbooks or other school property must be returned or paid for if lost or damaged.

Use by Students Before and After School

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

Conduct Before and After School

Teachers and administrators have full authority over student conduct at before or after school activities on District premises and at school- sponsored events off District premises. Students are subject to the same rules of conduct that apply during the instructional day.

Use of Hallways During Class Time

Students must have an official pass issued by a teacher, administrator, counselor, or other authorized adult staff member to be excused from the classroom or other official responsibilities. Students in the halls or on campus without a pass will be considered truant and disciplinary sanctions will apply.


Gadsden Independent School District is participating in a Universal Lunch and School Breakfast Program for the current school year 2020-2023. If your children attend Gadsden Independent School District, one breakfast and one lunch will be available to them at no charge. Studies have shown that children who are not hungry perform better in school. By providing lunch to all children at no charge, we are hoping to create a better learning environment for our students.

The school breakfasts and lunches served by the District follow U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines for healthy school meals. The School Breakfast and Lunch Programs cannot succeed without parental support. Pease encourage children to participate in the school meal programs.


The school library is available before and after school; please contact the school for schedule. The librarian will help the student find books and materials for their reading pleasure. Through class instruction the student will learn how to use the media center to meet the needs of today's growing need for technology. Students are responsible for following all library rules and are responsible for all lost or damaged library materials. Students must clear library fines and fees prior to withdrawal or graduation. Each campus will establish procedures for utilization of library services.


The use and/or possession of tobacco or tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and nicotine liquid containers (vaping), is

prohibited. Any student who violates this rule is subject to the provisions of the Student Discipline and Conduct Code. This rule applies during the school day, on all school-owned property including school buses and other District vehicles, and at all school activities and events.


Textbooks and other District- approved instructional materials are provided to students free of charge for each subject or class. Students are responsible for all books, materials, and equipment issued by the teacher or school. The teacher or school official will record the item name, number, student name, condition of the article, and the date issued. All school issued textbooks are to be covered and treated with care. Any student failing to return a textbook in acceptable condition or loss of a textbook will be required to pay for the lost or damaged textbook. Students will be charged for lost materials and may be fined for damaged materials. Replacement textbooks will be issued after lost books are paid for. (See also Board Policy IJ, Instructional Resources and Materials)


Littering, defacing, or damaging school property is not tolerated. Students will be required to pay for damages they cause and will be subject to criminal proceedings as well as disciplinary consequences in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.


Students may NOT bring visitors to school at any time. Any student not enrolled in school will be issued a trespass warning for first offense; second offense will be issued a citation by local authorities.




It is the express policy of the School Board and Superintendent to encourage students who are victims of such physical or verbal misconduct to report such claims. Students or their parents may report such conduct to the principal or assistant principal of the school using the Student Complaint Form. (Please see Board Policy Exhibit ACAA-EA). Any student who is found to have engaged in conduct prohibited by this policy shall be subject to discipline, including, but not limited to suspension or expulsion, subject to applicable procedural requirements, and to any applicable limitations imposed by state and federal disabilities law.

For further information on Bullying and Cyberbullying, please see Board Policy ACAA, Bullying, Intimidation, and Hostile or Offensive Conduct and Policy JICD, Student Harassment/Bullying/Cyberbullying Prevention.


The Gadsden Independent School District has an affirmative and ongoing obligation to identify, locate and evaluate all children with disabilities residing within the jurisdiction of the district who either have, or are suspected of having, disabilities and need special education as a result of those disabilities. Child Find applies to all children of public school age regardless of severity of the disability, whether a child is in the custody or under the jurisdiction of any public or private agency or institution, or whether a child has never attended or will never attend public school.

Child Find requirements also apply to highly mobile children such as migrant and homeless children, and children who are suspected of having a disability, even though they are advancing from grade to grade. School district personnel, a private or public agency or institution, or a parent may initiate a referral for an evaluation by contacting the administrator of the child’s home school, if the child is currently enrolled in the district, or by contacting the Special Education Department at (575) 882-6221.


The District realizes that situations may arise when parents disagree with a decision that affects their child or believe that a policy has been improperly applied to their child. In general, parent complaints should go through the following steps:

If the problem is still not resolved, a written request should be submitted for the Board of Education to consider the matter at its next regular meeting. Individual Board of Education members cannot respond to parent complaints beyond referring the matter to the administration. In order for the Board to take action on a complaint, the established process must be followed.

For further information on Complaints and Concerns, please see:



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


Harassment means verbal or physical conduct based on a student’s actual or perceived race, color, national origin, gender, religion, or disability and which has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with a student’s educational performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment. Specific examples of harassment may include repeated and direct instances of yelling, threatening, name-calling in front of others, rude remarks or gestures, and unwanted sexual advances.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when made by a member of the school staff to a student or to another staff member, or when made by a student to another student. Sexual harassment may include, but is not limited to: Suggestive or obscene letters, notes, invitations, derogatory comments, slurs, jokes, epithets, assault, touching, impeding or blocking movement, leering, gestures, or display of sexually suggestive objects, pictures, or cartoons. Sexual harassment includes continuing to express sexual interest after being informed that the interest is unwelcome.

Retaliation Prohibited

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


FERPA means rights, pursuant to 34 CFR Part 99, afforded to parents and students over 18 years of age with

respect to the student’s education records, that include the right to inspect and review the student’s education

records within 45 days, the right to request an amendment to the student’s education records for various reasons, the right to consent or refuse to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information in the student’s records except for those records FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent, and the right to file a complaint with the U. S. Department of Education concerning non-compliance with FERPA. If a parent or eligible student believes that the District is violating the FERPA, that person has a right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education. The address is:

The Family Policy Compliance Office

U.S. Department of Education 400 Maryland Avenue, SW Washington, DC 20202-4605 Telephone number: (202) 260-3887 


For information on services for homeless students, contact the District’s Liaison for Homeless Children and Youth, at (575) 882-6745


Any request by law enforcement agencies and/or other government agencies (i.e., Children, Youth & Families Department) to see a student, interview a student or make an arrest at school, must be verified by the principal and/or his designee, to be assured that such request is authorized by that individual's agency.  

Questioning of Students

A parent may be present during an interview except when interviews are conducted pursuant to a report of child abuse and the interview is by a Children, Youth, and Family Department worker or a peace officer.

Except in child abuse and abandonment situations, should a peace officer appear on campus requesting to interview a student attending the school, the school administrator shall be notified and the school office shall contact the student's parent(s).  The parent(s) will be asked if they wish the student to be interviewed and, if so, will be requested to be present or to authorize the interview in their absence.

If the parent(s) cannot be reached, the peace officer should be requested to contact the parent(s) and make arrangements to question the student at another time and place.

Students Taken Into Custody

If a student is taken into custody (arrested), the arresting officer shall be requested to notify the student's parents or guardian.  School personnel shall make every reasonable effort to make sure parents have been notified that a student has been taken into custody.

New Mexico State law requires the District to permit a student to be taken into legal custody for the following:


The Board is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination in relation to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin, and disability. This policy will prevail in all matters concerning staff members, students, the public, educational programs and services, and individuals with whom the Board does business.


Elementary schools have two Parent-Teacher Conferences in a school year – one in the Fall and one in the Spring. Middle and high schools have a Parent-Teacher Conference in the Fall and an Advisory Meeting in the Spring. (An Advisory Meeting is a meeting wherein parents have the opportunity to provide input into the development of their

 student’s schedule for the following year.)  Parents may always schedule other conferences as needed and are asked to contact the school for appointments with administrators, teachers, counselors, or other school personnel. Parents may visit their student's classroom(s) with a Visitor's Pass issued from the campus main office. Parents are asked to attend mandatory parent conferences when so requested by the school. Conferences may be requested for academic, disciplinary, or other purposes.


Parent/Teacher Organizations (PTO’s) Parent/Teacher Associations (PTA’s) exist to recognize and promote student

achievement. All activities will be directed towards the recognition and promotion of student achievement and excellence. All meetings will be held on the local school campus. All meetings will be open to the public. Written minutes of all meetings will be taken and available at the campus school office. All funds raised by these parent organizations will benefit GISD students only. The organization of parents will elect a Treasurer who will be held accountable for these funds. A Treasurer's Report shall be part of the official meeting.


The school is not responsible for personal property. This includes all electronic devices. Large sums of money, expensive watches, and jewelry should be left at home. If an article is lost, check to see if it has been turned in to the main office. If it is necessary for students to bring large sums of money to school, it is strongly advised they take it to the main office for safekeeping during the school day.

All electronic devices are not permitted to be used during instructional time, on campus or school events and GISD is not responsible for reimbursing for lost or stolen personal property. These items will be confiscated and returned to parents only, or returned to the students at the end of the school year. GISD has a policy that cell phones should not be used or going off during instructional time, and should not interfere with the instructional process. If they do, they will be confiscated.  The school district is not responsible for items lost or damaged after confiscation.


The Gadsden Independent School District Policies are available on the district website, or the New Mexico School Board Association Policy Services website. The Policy Manual contains all policies and procedures concerning the school district and its employees.


PPRA affords parents and students who are under age eighteen (18) or emancipated minors ("eligible students")

certain rights regarding the District’s conduct of surveys, collection and use of information for marketing purposes, and certain physical exams. These include the right to:

°        Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or student's parent;

°        Mental or psychological problems of the student or student's family;

°        Sex behavior or attitudes;

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

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

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

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

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

°        Any other protected information survey, regardless of funding;

°        Any non-emergency, invasive physical exam or screening required as a condition of attendance,

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

°        Activities involving collection, disclosure, or use of personal information obtained from students for marketing or to sell or otherwise distribute the information to others.

°        Protected information surveys of students;

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

°        Instructional material used as part of the educational curriculum.

For complete information on The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment, please see Policy LC.

Parents and eligible students who believe their rights have been violated may file a complaint with:

Family Policy Compliance Office

U.S. Department of Education 400 Maryland Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20202-4605



Seizure of items:

Use of Dogs in Drug Searches:

For complete information on Student Search and Seizure, please see Policy JIH.


The Gadsden School Board will comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 which provides that no person in the United States shall on the basis of sex be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.

For more information See U.S. Department of Education


Parents and community members are welcome to visit District schools. For the safety of those within the school and to avoid disruption of instructional time, all visitors must first report to the principal's office, be prepared to show appropriate identification, and must comply with all applicable District policies and procedures. All visits to campuses, classrooms, or other school activities, are subject to the approval of the campus administrator. Any parent or community member who fails to comply with the requests of the administrator, or is disruptive to the operation of the school, may be asked to leave District property. (For further information, see Policy KI- R, Visitors to Schools.


The District and the schools appreciate the efforts of parent volunteers that are willing to serve our students. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the school administrator for more information.



Each school will provide a separate bell schedule for their starting and ending times and class schedule.


School Materials

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

Non-school Materials (From Students)

Students must obtain prior approval from the principal before posting, circulating or distributing written materials, handbills, photographs, pictures, petitions, films, tapes, posters, or other visual or auditory materials.

Non-school Materials (From Others)

Written or printed materials, handbills, photographs, pictures, petitions, films, tapes, posters, or other visual or auditory materials not sponsored by District or by District affiliated school-supported organization will not be sold, circulated, distributed, or posted on any District premises by any District employee or by persons or groups not associated with the District. The principal will approve or reject the materials as described above.


All sites have an All Hazards Team and a specific Hazard Plan. All students will be instructed on emergency procedures.

In case of a real emergency, the district will contact parents via phone calls using the School Messenger system.


Students are responsible for ensuring that all fees, fines, and charges due are paid.


Student groups or classes and /or parent groups may be permitted to conduct fundraising drives for approved school purposes with prior approval from the principal. All fund-raising activities will be in accordance with Board Policy JJE, Student Fund-Raising Activities.



All accidents should be reported immediately to the school nurse. If this is not possible at the time, students are to report all accidents to the school principal and/or assistant principal.

Student Illness

Students who arrive at school with, or are recovering from, a communicable disease will not be permitted to attend or return to school until the period of contagion is passed or until the Primary Health Care Provider (PCP) has authorized return to school. Protocols for COVID will follow the NMPED and NMDOH requirements.When the student arrives ill or becomes ill during the school day, the parent/guardian or designated individual listed on the student’s Emergency Medical Card will be notified and will be asked to pick up the child.before the end of the school day.

Food and Life Threatening Allergies

Students with food and life threatening allergies should notify the school nurse and campus administrator immediately. The parent/guardian will be asked to provide medical documentation, from a PCP licensed in the United States. This documentation will be necessary for food  accomodations and medication administration.  Should emergency medication be required, follow the medication guidelines listed in the Nursing Services and Medication Section of the Student Handbook.  Dietary Order Form for Prescribed Special Diets

Dental Exam Requirement

A law that was passed requiring all students to have a dental examination, upon initial enrollment in a district or charter school, New Mexico Administrative Code (NMAC) 6.12.13 requires schools to verify student records of a dental examination.  This rule also allows for an informed opt-out process based on parent/guardian understanding of the risks associated with not having a dental examination.  If your child has not had a dental exam this school year, we encourage you to make an appointment soon.

Head Lice (Pediculosis)

When a student is found to have live lice the student’s parent/guardian will be notified. The parent/guardian will be asked to pick up the child before the end of the day and will be asked to treat the child for lice. After treatment and upon return to school, the student will be checked by the school nurse or health assistant before returning to class. Students with live lice will be sent home with the parent or guardian.

Physical Activity for Students in Elementary and Middle School

New Mexico mandates all students K-12 follow content and performance standards for physical education. Students in grades K-12 must demonstrate competency and proficiency in many movement form, they must also apply movement concepts and principles to the learning and development of motor skills. All students are to exhibit knowledge and ability to participate in a physically active lifestyle. They must also achieve and maintain a health-enhancing level of physical fitness.

Tobacco, Alcohol, Illegal Substances Prohibited (Policy KFAA)

The District strives to maintain alcohol, drug and tobacco- free campuses and follows local, state, and federal laws and regulations. The use, possession, and distribution of alcoholic beverages, illicit drugs, tobacco products, e- cigarettes (vaping), nicotine liquid containers, and mood-altering substances are prohibited and will not be tolerated. As mandated by New Mexico Statues, all school property is identified as a Drug-Free Zone.

Vending Machines

Vending machine use is subject to the Food and Nutrition Guidelines and Policies as prescribed by the Federal Government.


Health  services are available at the school . Unless, it is an emergency students must obtain a hall pass from their teacher or another school staff member.. Accidents and injuries should be reported immediately to the school nurse, administrator or other school employee..

The Gadsden Independent School District has neither the responsibility nor the authority to administer medication at school. No medication or drug should be taken during the school day unless otherwise prescribed by a PCP licensed in the United States. Parents of students requiring medication must notify the school nurse and provide the school with the following:


The school counselor is available to assist students with a wide range of personal concerns, including such areas as social, family, emotional issues, or substance abuse. The counselor may also make available information about community resources to address these concerns. A student who wishes to meet with the counselor should make arrangements through the Counseling Office.


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

**GISD Protocol Management of Suicidal Crisis


Students are expected to follow school rules at all times and be familiar with the Student Conduct and Discipline sections of this Handbook. Students are not allowed to participate in unauthorized activities that might cause harm to themselves or to others, including tackle football or other rough horseplay. School rules are in effect on school grounds and at all school events at home, away, or in school vehicles.

Fire Drills and Other Procedures

As required by state regulation each campus will be required to hold emergency drills. Drills will take place a minimum of once per week during the first month of school and once per month thereafter. Students are required to abide by all rules and procedures during these drills.

Emergency Medical Treatment and Information

In the event of the need for emergency medical treatment 911 and EMS will be called by school staff. See school nurse for medical information related to student.

Emergency School-Closing Information

Information on emergency school closing will be communicated via local media, phone messenger system, and School Messenger at the direction of the Superintendent.


Items found are turned in to the main office. Articles are held until claimed and identified by the owner. Items not claimed may be disposed of at the end of the semester.


Middle school students may not drive any form of vehicle to or from school including automobiles, motorcycles, or any other vehicle. The Gadsden Independent School District is not responsible for damage or theft to any car. The school district insurance coverage does not include motor vehicles parked on school property. If a student wishes to drive to school, he/she must do the following through the school office: (1) purchase an authorized non transferable student parking decal; (2) have a valid driver's license; (3) submit proof of insurance coverage which covers the student driving the vehicle; (4) submit proof of vehicle registration.

Vehicles not in compliance may be towed away at the owner's expense. Due to limited parking facilities, the school will determine the priorities in issuing parking permits. Students may have their parking permits revoked if they violate school rules.

Students may transport themselves to and from school activities within the school day in private vehicles only with the written permission of the student’s parent or legal guardian and upon submission of proof of vehicle

insurance, registration, and a valid driver’s license, which shall be kept on file in the Principal’s Office. Students are prohibited from transporting other students in a private vehicle to and from school activities within or after the school day. No student may transport themselves or other students as part of overnight activities or trips.

Students violating this policy will be subject to disciplinary sanctions as set forth in the Student Handbook.



The District makes school bus transportation available to students (1) one mile one way for students in grades kindergarten through six; (2) one and one-half miles one way for students in grades seven through nine; and (3) two miles one way for students in grades ten through twelve. This service is provided at no cost to students. Bus drivers are in charge of students while they are on school buses. Poor behavior may result in the loss of bus privileges and/or school sanctions.

School bus conduct regulations include the following: (Policy EEAE-R, EEAE-EA)



Acceleration generally means studying the regular curriculum earlier or at a faster pace than a typical student. Acceleration can be a single subject or full grade.


Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State to State


ACCUPLACER is an integrated system of computer-adaptive assessments designed to evaluate students’ skills in reading, writing, and mathematics. ACCUPLACER has been used successfully to assess student preparedness for introductory credit-bearing college courses.


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


Maliciously, willfully and/or neglectfully starting, by any means, a fire or causing an explosion on school property or at any school-related activity.


A verbal threat or physical attempt of bodily harm.

Assault, Aggravated

Unlawfully assaulting or attempting to strike at another person with a weapon, instrument or any means of force likely to produce bodily injury. Assaults on staff members are included in this definition.

Battery, Aggravated

An actual and intentional touching of striking of another person against his or her will with the use of a weapon or intentionally causing bodily harm to an individual.

Battery, Fighting

Unlawful, intentional touching or application of force to another person, when done in a rude, disrespectful or angry manner.

Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP)

The documentation of interventions, methods and strategies that are used in the school environment to address behavioral issues.

Controlled Substance

Any narcotic drug, hallucinogenic drug, barbiturate, marijuana, alcoholic beverage or intoxicant of any kind.

Controlled Substance, Possession

”Possession” includes not only possession on one’s physical person, but also custody and control including if the item is in the student’s backpack, locker, car or elsewhere. ”Look-alikes” are specifically included whether or not they are capable of producing a change in behavior or altering a state of mind.


English Learner. Replaces previous term ,ELL, which meant English Language Learner.

EoC assessments

EoC assessments are End-of-Course tests, which are state-mandated. Successful performance on EoC assessments will be required for graduation beginning with students in grade 9 during the 2014-2015 school year.


Expulsion means permanent removal from any GISD school. Requires a disciplinary hearing.


Using intimidation or the threat of violence to obtain money, information or anything else of value from another person.

False Accusations

False Accusations are defined in the New Mexico Criminal Code Statute as falsely reporting crimes or purposely giving false information to a School administrator or other investigator in the process on an investigation.


Free Appropriate Public Education

Firearm, Possession/Use

Possession or use of any weapon that will propel a projectile by the action of an explosive, and other weapons as defined in the United States Code: Title 18, Section 921. This definition does not apply to items such as toy guns, cap guns, bb guns, and pellet guns, but does include bombs, grenades and some explosives. (Also see Weapon Possession.)

Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA)

A procedure by which problematic behavior is examined to determine the cause, consequences and nature of the behavior, in order to develop effective interventions to address that behavior.


IEP is the written record of the individualized education program prepared by the IEP committee for a student with disabilities who is eligible for special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.


ISS refers to In-School Suspension, a disciplinary technique for misconduct found in the Student Code of Conduct.

Although different from out-of-school suspension and placement in a discipline alternative education program, ISS removes the student from the regular classroom. ISS for 3 days or less is a campus decision and is not appealable to a higher Level. See Student Code of Conduct.


Istation begins with the game-like Istation Indicators of Progress (ISIP) assessment that determines each student's reading and level and adjusts in length and difficulty in real-time based on student performance. The program uses assessment data to generate an individualized learning path for reading instruction.


New Mexico Activities Association


New Mexico Administrative Code, Title 6 - Primary and Secondary Education


New Mexico Alternative Performance Assessment


New Mexico Statutes Annotated


New Mexico Standards Based Assessment


New Mexico Public Education Department


PSAT is the preparatory and readiness assessment for the SAT.


Taking of property of another through means of force or fear.


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

Section 504

Section 504 is the federal law that prohibits discrimination against a student with a disability.

Suspension, Long Term

The removal of a student from instruction and all school-related activities for ten (10) days or more and up to the balance of the semester or school year. Requires a disciplinary hearing.

Suspension, Short Term

A suspension, from one (1) through nine (9) days, which is at the discretion of the administrator and will address behaviors that disrupt the educational process.


Unauthorized possession and/or sale of property without consent of the owner.

Tobacco Use

“Tobacco” means any product made or derived from tobacco that is intended for human consumption, including any component, part, or accessory of a tobacco product. Among other products, e-cigarettes are included in this category.

Trespassing/Unauthorized Presence

Entering or being on school grounds or in a school building without authorization.

Weapon Possession

Possessing a weapon such as but not limited to: a firearm, any type of gun, knife, club, firecrackers, explosive, spiked wristband, chains or other items that may cause or is intended to cause injury or death. This specifically includes “look-alike” guns and knives, such as toys. (Weapons covered by the Gun-Free Schools Act are defined under Firearm, Possession/Use.)

Weapon Use

Use of any weapon to threaten, intimidate, attack, injure or kill any person.


Documentation of Informed Parent Consent for

Student Participation in a Middle School Class for High School Credit (Signature Form)


Name of Student:         Student ID:          

Name of Middle School the Student Will Attend for 20         - 20         School Year:          

Name of Course(s) and Code(s) in which the student will participate for High School Credit:  

Parent Name:


Parent Address:          

I,                 , have been fully informed of the following:

(Name of Parent)

  1. Grade(s) earned by a middle school student in a high school credit course are included in the calculation of the student’s final high school Grade Point Average (GPA). Final high school GPA’s are used for calculation of Top Ten Students and/or Top Ten Percent of a graduating class, and are used by many colleges and universities for entrance evaluation.
  2. Middle school classes taken for high school credit cannot be dropped by the student after the first 10 days of school.


Parent Signature


This signed form shall be included and maintained in the student’s permanent cumulative folder.

Electronic Information Services (EIS) User Agreement Terms and Conditions

Acceptable use. Each user of Gadsden Independent School District Electronic Information Services (EIS) must:

Personal responsibility. I will report any misuse of the EIS to the administration or system administrator, as is appropriate. I understand that many services and products are available for a fee and acknowledge my personal responsibility for any expenses incurred without District authorization.

Network etiquette. I am expected to abide by the generally accepted rules of network etiquette. Therefore, I will:

The School District specifically denies any responsibility for the accuracy of information. While the District will make an effort to ensure access to proper materials, the user has the ultimate responsibility for how the electronic information services (EIS) are used and bears the risk of reliance on the information obtained.

*        *        *        *

Student and Parent Handbook Acknowledgement Form

School Year 2022-2023

Student’s Name (print)


Student’s Signature


Parent Signature