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Welcome to Gallagher Middle School,
On behalf of the faculty and staff, we would like to extend a warm welcome to you. We all look forward to an exciting and productive 2021-2022 school year.
The beginning of the school year always brims with excitement. The anticipation of new opportunities and experiences can be seen in the eyes of staff members and students alike. That first smile when reunited with a friend, the first opening click of a locker, and that first question in class are all welcome sights and sounds of our first day of school. This youthful enthusiasm is contagious in our middle school, and it is our mission to sustain this each and every day. In a true culture of learning, the walls of the classroom melt away, and we learn from each interaction, each expression, and each experience. In keeping with our promise, we are committed to making every moment an opportunity to learn more about ourselves, our world around us, and how we each can make a positive impact in our world.
As part of a middle school environment, we understand that a key aspect in adolescent growth is the development of successful relationships. Gathering our individual talents, we strive to form a true community whereby all are welcome and appreciated. We encourage all students to seize every opportunity to bring their talents to the forefront, and to utilize our programs to generate success for themselves and each other. As our school motto states, “The power of the wolf is in the pack.” Together, we believe our greatest strength is our consistent ability to support each other in our shared pursuits.
We are grateful for this opportunity to lead your child through his or her middle school journey. Your participation and support is valued at our school. We hope each one of us has a safe, healthy, and dynamic year.
Laurie E. Beauvais, Ed.D.
John H. Burns
Vincent J. Gallagher Middle School
10 Indian Run Trail
Smithfield, RI 02917
Phone: 401-949-2056 Fax: 401-949-5697
School Website: http://gms.smithfield-ps.org
Dr. Laurie E. Beauvais
Mrs. Karen Guarino
401-949-2056 ext. 5
401-949-2056 ext. 3
Mrs. Barbara Smith-White
Mr. John H. Burns
401-949-2056 ext. 5
401-949-2056 ext. 4
Mr. Matthew Gillis
401-949-2056 ext. 5
Ms. Melinda Hart
Ms. Tammy Beaudreault
Mrs. Donna Moan
Absences: ext. 1
Other Inquiries: ext. 2
401-949-2056 ext. 6
Click here for a complete faculty and staff directory.
Arrival: Students may begin arriving on campus at 7:10am and enter into the cafeteria. Seating and breakfast is available in the cafeteria. Students arriving by bus will wait in the gymnasium. At 7:25am, students will begin reporting to their lockers and homeroom. Please note: there is no supervision available prior to 7:10am. Beginning at 7:40am, students must sign in tardy at the main office.
Morning Vehicular Traffic: Between 7:15 am and 7:45 am, by order of the Smithfield Police Department, vehicles coming from Pleasant View Avenue may not turn left onto the campus. Instead, they must take the first right onto Nokomis Trail, turn left onto Tomahawk Trail and turn left on Arrowhead Trail (please be cognizant that our neighbors may need to back out of their driveways). Upon entering the school driveway, vehicles are asked to pull as far up to the flagpole as possible, as indicated by a cone. Once stopped, students should exit the vehicle anywhere along the curb. To prevent traffic backups and delays, please do not stop near the cafeteria door if there is space to pull up.
Dismissal: Bus students are dismissed at 1:55 pm and walkers/pickups are dismissed once the buses leave campus. To prevent backup onto Indian Run Trail and make way for the buses, vehicles must loop around the first parking lot in two lanes. We ask that in consideration of our neighbors, parents not park and wait on Arrowhead Trail nor across the street in the Smithfield Plaza lot. When students are dismissed, traffic will be directed and vehicles are again asked to pull as far up the curb as possible to pick students up curbside. Typically, the entire dismissal process is complete by 2:10 pm.
Bicycles: Bicycles ridden to school by children should be locked outside the front of the school by 7:40 a.m. While on the GMS campus, bicycles should be walked. A reminder: RI State Law requires all children 15 years or younger wear a properly fitted helmet when riding a bicycle.
School Day: School is in session from 7:40 a.m. to 1:55 p.m. Students must be in their homerooms before 7:40 a.m.
No School – Delay in School Opening: In the event of a snowstorm or other emergency conditions that would necessitate the cancellation, delay or early dismissal from school, families will be notified by automated phone, text (on mobile devices) via their child’s emergency information. Additionally, information will be sent through local television and radio stations through the Rhode Island Broadcaster’s Association.
Early Closing of Schools: If schools need to be closed before the end of the normal school day, notice will be given via the methods mentioned above. Parents are urged to make the necessary plans now to ensure a place for their children to go in the event that no adult will be at home (your child should be aware of these plans).
Building Security/Visitors: The following procedures will be followed in order to maintain the security of this building, required by the Smithfield Public Schools Emergency Operations Plan.
PTA: The purpose of the Gallagher PTA is to support the academic, athletic, and after school enrichment programs at GMS. The core structure of this organization includes a chairperson, secretary, treasurer, and parent representatives. Membership is open to all parents, faculty, and staff of GMS. There is an annual fee to join the club (the fee is $10 for the first member, $5 for each additional family member). This is a non-profit organization. Please be sure to join the PTA in September – your interest, ideas, and support are always welcome.
Parental Concerns: If, at any time during the course of the school year you have any questions concerning school policy or the progress of your child, please email or call and discuss the matter with the appropriate teacher, guidance counselor, or the administration. We are here to help both you and your child. Telephone number is 949-2056.
Changes of Address or Telephone Number: At any time during the school year, if a student moves to a different address or changes a phone number, they must report this change immediately to the office. It is imperative that we have the correct contact information in the student information system in the case of an emergency.
Absence from School: Title 16, Chapter 19, Section 1 of the Rhode Island General Laws requires daily school attendance for children six to sixteen years of age. Recognizing the importance of regular school attendance for all students, the Smithfield School Department has developed a district-wide attendance policy.
Research shows that excessive absences from school have a direct impact on the child’s ability to be successful in school. In order to help each child succeed, parents/guardians must make every effort to send their child to school on a consistent basis. Student attendance will be monitored in accordance with the Smithfield Public Schools Attendance Policy. Please refer to the Appendix for the complete policy.
At this point, most assignments can now be accessed via google classroom or via email request from the student to the teacher. However, if the child is out for two or more consecutive days, requests for missed classwork may be placed into the main office or school counselor no later than 9:00 a.m.
*Students who are absent from school may not participate in any athletic or extra-curricular activities on the day of the absence.
Tardiness to school: All students are expected to report to school on time (they must be in class before 7:40). Students who report late to school must report to the main office before going to class. Reasons for excused tardiness to school are for similar reasons delineated for excused absences. Transportation problems (including traffic), oversleeping, etc. are all considered unexcused. Remember, students may arrive at school as early as 7:10 am. Please see the complete attendance policy for more information.
On a quarterly basis, the schedule of penalties below shall be enforced for unexcused tardiness to school in excess of three:
*Students must be in school by 11:00 am in order to participate in any athletic or extra-curricular activities on that day.
Early Dismissal: A child who is to be dismissed early should bring a note to the main office before 7:40 a.m. It should include the time of early dismissal, the name of the person who will pick up the child, the reason for early dismissal, and the signature of the parent or legal guardian. Upon receipt of the note, a pass will be given for the child to return to the office at the time of dismissal.
Vacations: In accordance with the Smithfield Public Schools attendance policy (see Appendix) it is the responsibility of parents/guardians to plan family vacations for when school is not in session. In the event you choose to take a family vacation while school is in session, assignments will be given to the student upon return to school. Students will have two weeks to complete all assignments. It is the student’s responsibility to meet with teachers to request homework and any other class assignments.
In the event parents/guardians will be on vacation and the student will be staying with another adult during their absence, the school should be provided with emergency information and telephone numbers.
Lockers: At the beginning of the year, all students are assigned a locker for the storage of books and coats. Lockers remain the property of the Smithfield Public Schools. The school reserves the right to inspect lockers at any time, for any reason. The lock combinations are changed each year so that your child will be the only student to know this combination.
Lost and Found: Students missing anything should check with their teachers and in any other classrooms or spaces where they may have gone. There is a school-wide lost and found area located in the cafeteria. Students who find items which do not belong to them should turn them into the office. Any items not claimed after a reasonable period of time will be disposed of or donated.
Open School Night: Open School Night is reserved for parents to visit our school. This night will provide you the opportunity to meet your child’s teachers and learn about our programs. A notice will be sent home with more details, the date and time will be posted on the school calendar. Please join us if you have the opportunity.
Telephone use by students: Students are not to use their cellular telephones during the school day. Any student who needs to make a phone call during the school day shall report to the office and ask to use the school phone. *It is crucial that parents/guardians not contact their child via the child’s cell phone by call or text during school hours, instead call the school office if you need to get a message to your child. If your child texts you about feeling ill, please direct your child to report to the school nurse.
Illness in School: When a child becomes ill or complains of not feeling well, the child must report to the school nurse who will assess the situation. Sometimes students simply need to take a break in the clinic before returning to their class. If, however, a child must go home, the nurse will contact the parent/guardian to make arrangements for the child to be picked up.
If there are any health problems that we should be aware of, please inform the school so our health records can be brought up to date and we can better deal with and understand your child. It is essential that student file cards be completed accurately with current contact information to facilitate our ability to reach you. During an emergency, time may be wasted looking for parents not at home or at work. Three or four different numbers will be helpful.
Accidents: Every accident or injury in the school building or on the school grounds MUST BE REPORTED immediately to the person in charge, to the school nurse, or to the school administration. If your child does not report an accident or injury before leaving school, please inform the school administration as soon as possible.
Cafeteria: Chartwells Food Service provides breakfast, as well as a lunch program with several hot options, grab and go selections and milk.
To see the current breakfast/lunch menu, click here.
For access to your child’s lunch account, click here.
Click here for the free/reduced lunch information and application.
The cafeteria also is a place where good social skills can be developed. Courteous and respectful behavior will make everyone’s lunch period a pleasant and relaxing break.
Adhering to proper behavior will eliminate the necessity of assigning a specific seat in the cafeteria or excluding from the cafeteria altogether.
Photographs: In order to communicate the successes and learning of students at GMS, the school will sometimes take pictures and/or videos of students to post on our website and social media platforms, as well as occasionally release to local newspapers. If you wish for your child to not be photographed, please submit a letter to the principal with this request.
Right to Know: In compliance with the requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act, the Smithfield Public Schools would like to inform you that you may request information about the professional qualifications of your child’s teacher(s) and paraprofessional(s). The following information may be requested:
If you wish to request information concerning the qualifications of your child’s teachers and/or paraprofessionals, please contact the school principal.
Academic Honesty: Gallagher Middle School values the individual responsibility and integrity required of students to become successful lifelong learners. As such, academic honesty is a foundational element of this value and all members of the community are expected to embrace this expectation.
Academic dishonesty, including plagiarism, occurs when a student obtains or assists another student in obtaining credit for work which is not their own. Examples of academic dishonesty may include, but are not limited to, the following:
When a teacher finds reason to believe a student or group of students has violated this policy, the teacher will share their observation with the student, parent/guardian will be contacted, and documented in the behavior referral system. Consequences for academic dishonesty may include, but not be limited to:
Middle School Structure
Our students are randomly assigned to heterogeneously grouped teams. The teams consist of four core teachers and a special educator. While each team may approach the delivery of the curriculum differently, the curriculum is the same for each team. Parental requests for a team assignment will only be considered under extenuating circumstances (for instance, twins to be placed on the same team).
Reading Skills (as needed)
Math Skills (as needed)
Mathematics or Compacted Math*
Reading Skills (as needed)
Math Skills (as needed)
Pre-Algebra or Algebra*
Reading Skills (as needed)
Math Skills (as needed)
*Compacted Math and Algebra Placement: Our advanced math classes are rigorous, fast-paced, and develop a deep understanding of the concepts behind the algebraic processes. Through an investigative approach, students will discover many important mathematical principles. The manner in which the material is presented ensures both deep conceptual understanding and the ability to demonstrate knowledge on a variety of assessments. As such, it is expected that students in this course have a solid foundation in numbers and operations, have strong mathematical reasoning skills, and possess the desire to work through challenging assignments. The Compacted Math course addresses 7th grade CCSS, and half of the 8th grade CCSS. The Algebra course addresses the other half of the 8th grade CCSS, as well as the Algebra I CCSS.
Decisions to place a student in Compacted Math or Algebra will be based upon the following:
National Junior Honor Society: Membership in the NJHS is one of the highest honors awarded to a middle school student. Our chapter strives to give practical meaning to the Society’s standards of scholarship, service, leadership, character, and citizenship. These five pillars are the basis of selection. Membership is an ongoing responsibility and an obligation to continue to demonstrate these outstanding qualities that result in a student’s selection.
Students in grade seven will be informed of their eligibility for membership after the first semester. Students who achieve a cumulative weighted grade point average of 90 or higher are informed of their eligibility for membership. Those eligible students must decide to pursue membership by submitting all components of the application process by the designated due dates to be considered for membership. An annual induction ceremony will be held in late May/early June.
Compass Program: The Compass Program is an after school academic program designed to support sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students who need a structured environment to complete homework, projects, and research. Referrals are made by parents/guardians, teachers, school counselors, administrators, or students themselves. Admission to the program is based on need. Students may be dismissed for poor behavior in the program.
Physical Education: RI Law requires that all students participate in Physical Education. Students may submit a parental note to be excused for up to 2 consecutive classes, not to exceed 4 per quarter. A physician’s note is REQUIRED if a student is to be excused for more than 2 consecutive classes. Students who are physically excused from Physical Education will be responsible for a written assignment to be completed during class time. Students who do not participate in Physical Education class MAY NOT PARTICIPATE in ANY physical after school activities on that day.
Each student must bring a change of clothing and footwear (both shirt and shorts/pants must be changed). Clothing must conform to the Gallagher Middle School Dress Code. All pieces of gym clothing should be clearly labeled with the individual’s name. Students who do not have a change of clothes for Physical Education class will not receive credit for participation and may be assigned lunch detention for chronic lack of participation.
Your child will be assigned a locker with a built in lock, or assigned a locker and loaned a combination lock (girls locker room only). It is important that your child return all of their gym attire to the assigned locker at the end of each period and that all valuables are kept under lock at all times. No one will know the combination of this lock but your child (replacement cost for lost locks is $4.00).
Advisory Program: Anchor Time: The mission of the Vincent J. Gallagher Middle School Advisory Program is to create meaningful connections with our students in a supportive environment that promotes a sense of belonging, develops personal decision-making skills, fosters social and emotional growth, and connects us to our larger community. Students are assigned an Anchor Time advisor and will remain with that advisor for three years. Anchor Time is a half-hour period scheduled once a week.
Advisory Program: A World of Difference Peer Training Program
The goals of the Peer Training Program are to:
Students will have the opportunity to apply to become a Peer Leader. Peer Leaders will take a leading role in facilitating activities and conversations with other students in our classrooms. Trainers from the ADL will facilitate the training of our school’s peer leaders during four school days that will be scheduled over a three week period. Their training will focus on helping peer leaders develop their leadership potential and then guide them to facilitate workshops for other students later in the school year. After the initial training, peer leaders will continue to meet during school hours to hone their facilitation skills.
During advisory time, the peer leaders will lead activities and discussions with other students over the course of six sessions. Peer leaders will continue to meet regularly with their advisors to develop the workshops that they present. The overarching goal of the training and workshops is to deepen students’ understanding of the importance of respecting and valuing each other’s similarities and differences.
Textbooks and Library Books: Your child may be issued reference textbooks and/or consumable books. Reference textbooks that leave the classroom should be covered with paper (not adhesive book covers) to protect from damage, the number will be recorded, as well as the condition of the book. Consumable books must be kept in good condition and returned at the end of the school year.
Your child will have the opportunity to take books out on loan from the library. These books must be properly checked out, cared for, and returned when due. Failure to adhere to book lending expectations may result in restitution being required and/or the loss of lending privileges. All books must be returned to the library by June.
ALL LOST AND ABUSED BOOKS ARE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE CHILD TO WHOM THEY ARE ISSUED AND RESTITUTION WILL BE REQUIRED.
Homework: Homework is defined as written or non-written tasks that are assigned by teachers to be completed by students outside of the classroom. The purposes of homework are:
The time allotment for the middle school grades, inclusive of reading assignments, is up to 60 minutes of homework 4-5 days per week. Based on course selection, seventh and eighth grade students may be assigned up to 80 minutes of homework 4-5 days per week. (see SPS Policy IKB)
Parent Portal: An online, electronic gradebook is available for parents and students to readily view academic progress in a class. In order to receive an access code, photo identification must be presented in the main office.
Progress Reports: At the midpoint of the marking period, a message will be sent to parents stating that we have reached the midpoint, and that parents should view updated class grades on the Parent Portal. Based upon parent request, a paper copy of the progress report will be provided. If you have any questions, please call or email the teacher or school counselor.
Report Cards: Four times each year, at the end of each quarter, report cards will be posted on the Parent Portal for your review. We suggest that you talk over this report with your child each time it is received; and, if you feel that it is unsatisfactory for your child, you should call the school for a conference with the teacher(s), guidance office, or the administration.
The mark given at the end of each quarter indicates the teacher's evaluation of a pupil's progress in the subject for the current quarter. The following grading system is used:
A : 90 - 100 B : 80 - 89 C : 70 - 79 F : 69 and below
Honor Roll: At the end of each quarter, an Honor Roll is compiled. Honors will be based on the current grade point average (GPA) for that quarter.
Honors: GPA of 85 or above No grades lower than 80 in any course
High Honors: GPA of 95 or above No grades lower than 85 in any course
Participation in School Athletic Teams
Gallagher Middle School is represented in the Rhode Island Principals’ Committee On Athletics (RIPCOA) by the following teams:
Boys' and Girls' Cross Country Boys' and Girls’ Soccer Boys' Baseball
Boys' and Girls' Outdoor Track Boys' and Girls' Basketball Girls' Softball
Boys and Girls’ Tennis Wrestling (new of ‘21-’22) Unified Basketball
To be eligible to tryout for or participate in any of the above named teams/organizations, the student:
Questions regarding athletics should be directed to the athletic director.
Retention Policy: Students may be retained in grade if they receive a grade of less than 70 in two or more major subjects, or one major and two minor subjects. A major subject is one that meets for five periods per week. A minor subject would be all other subjects in the student's schedule.
Retention of a child is a very serious act, one that we at the Middle School do not take lightly. Much thought and discussion is carried on between our teachers, guidance counselors, and administrators, looking for the solution which will be, in the long run, in the best interest of your child.
Course Failure/Make up Policy: Students who fail to achieve a passing grade in any subject or subjects once final cumulative marks have been OFFICIALLY POSTED by the subject teachers in June may participate in an approved makeup program:
5. A test or examination may be required prior to granting make-up credit from any program.
School Bus: Students eligible for the bussing will ride only their assigned bus. They will ride this bus to school and home each day. Students are not allowed to ride another student’s bus.
Students are expected to be respectful and responsible while riding the school bus and at bus stops. If a student misbehaves on the bus, a referral may be submitted to the office and disciplinary action will be taken, including but not limited to the loss of bus privileges (bus suspension). Be aware that school busses may be audio/video monitored.
Late bus: A “late bus” may be available for students who stay on campus after school on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. The bus drops students off at various locations throughout town. Information on availability and stops will be available through the office.
Middle School Codes
General (also see comprehensive District Discipline Code)
All students are expected to adhere to the guiding principles of G M S (Give and Get Respect, Make Responsible Decisions, Succeed).
First offense, the equipment will be confiscated and returned at the end of the school day.
Second offense, the equipment will be confiscated and returned only to a parent/guardian.
For any further offense, the item will not be allowed on campus or be required to be turned in to the office in the morning and retrieved at the end of each school day.
Dress (Smithfield School Committee Policy JICA)
The Smithfield Public School District expects all students to dress in a way that is appropriate for the school day or for school-sponsored events. The responsibility for a student’s attire resides with the student and their parent/guardian. The school district is responsible for health and safety, as well as for ensuring an accepting and positive school climate. Dress codes and their enforcement should not result in maginalization or oppression of any group based on race, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, cultural observance, household income, or body type/size.
Basic Requirement: Certain body parts MUST be covered for all students at all times. Clothes must be worn in a way such that genitals, buttocks, and the midriff are fully covered with an opaque fabric. While cleavage is generally acceptable, breasts and nipples should also be covered.
Students MUST wear:
Activity-specific shoe requirements may be required, for example, athletic shoes for PE, closed toe shoes for science labs.
As part of the curriculum of a course (industry or occupation specific dress), particular attire may need to be worn in accordance with the spirit of this policy.
Students MAY wear:
Students CANNOT wear:
Dress Code Enforcement
School staff shall consistently enforce the dress code and shall not have discretion to vary the requirements in ways that lead to discriminatory enforcement. Enforcement should be done in a way that respects the dignity and privacy of the individual.
Students in violation of this policy will be provided three options to meet dress code expectations.
REVISED: August 30, 2021
Chromebook Care Expectations
After School Detention: When expectations and rules are not met, after school detention may be assigned to be served with either a teacher (held in classroom or other indicated location) or an administrator (held in the office). Both may be held on any school day and students are to report to the appropriate location immediately upon walkers being dismissed. There will be constructive academic or restorative work to be completed for all detained students. At least, 24 four hour notice shall be given to families prior to detention.
It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to make arrangements for the child to be picked up no later than 3:00 p.m. when the child is detained. With written permission from a parent/guardian, a detained child may walk home. If a child's parent, guardian, grandparent, relative, neighbor or friend is not available to pick up a detained child, please call your child's teacher to make another arrangement. In the case of administrator detention, please call the assistant principal to make another arrangement.
Participation in after school activities is not allowed until the detention is served and all time assigned is completed. Students who have detention on a given day may not participate in any after school activities that day (athletic practice/games, yearbook, school dances, etc.).
Appendix: Smithfield Public Schools Policies
A complete library of up to date, district policies can be found at http://policies.smithfield-ps.org. Listed below are a selection of policies particularly pertinent to Gallagher Middle School, however this is not a comprehensive policy manual.
SPS Policy JK: Discipline: Code of Student Conduct
This policy and any implementing procedures constitutes the Smithfield School Department Code of Student Conduct (Discipline Code) as called for by RI Gen. Laws § 16-21-21 (Student Discipline Code) and RI Gen. Laws § 16-2-17 (Right to a Safe School). At the commencement of each school year each school principal shall ensure that the Code is distributed to each student in their school and shall ensure that each student and their parents or guardians acknowledge, in writing, that they have received a copy of the Code. In appropriate circumstances the distribution may be done through electronic means.
The objective of this Code is to establish rules regarding conduct that will foster respect among all members of the school community for the rights of others, respect for property, and respect for the points of view of others. Each student, staff member, teacher, and administrator has a right to attend and/or work at a school that is safe and secure, conducive to learning, and is free from the threat of physical harm.
School Climate and Culture
The general atmosphere of each of the classrooms in the Smithfield Public Schools shall be characterized by mutual understanding and mutual respect of pupil for pupil, pupil for teacher, and teacher for the pupil.
A healthy classroom atmosphere requires pleasant human relations, structure, and consistency. Good teaching is not possible without an orderly learning climate.
To establish the desirable classroom atmosphere, Smithfield teachers shall adhere to the following:
In all but the most extraordinary circumstances, it is expected that student discipline problems will be corrected by teachers and school administrators using corrective in-school mechanisms. These may include parent-teacher/administrator conferences, detention and other relatively informal sanctions. However, in accordance with RI Gen. Laws §16-2-17 (Right to a Safe School), a student may be suspended from school if the student commits serious infractions of school rules and/or exhibits persistent conduct that substantially impedes the ability of other students to learn and who has failed to respond to corrective and rehabilitative measures presented by staff, teachers, or administrators.
In cases of both in-school and out-of-school suspension, the following shall apply:
In addition to suspension, students may be disciplined by:
· loss of the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities including proms and sporting events
· loss of the opportunity to participate in school social activities and/or communal lunch
· loss of the opportunity to participate in graduation exercises
· loss of school bus transportation
· assignment of reflective writing
· conferencing with support staff
· community service
· other means
The following misconduct shall be grounds for disciplinary sanctions, including suspension. In most cases, suspension shall be a last resort, except for those where safety of the school community is threatened. The duration of the suspension shall normally be for not more than the number of days indicated below. However, each case shall be decided on its particular facts and a lighter or more severe sanction shall be imposed when appropriate. In cases where the conduct constitutes a violation of the law, a referral to the police may be made by school department personnel. Under the law and this Code of Conduct, attempted acts of misconduct that are not fulfilled will nevertheless be treated as violations. The response to all offenses shall include parent notification. In extreme cases, referral to the School Committee for expulsion may be initiated in lieu of the consequences listed.
Skipping teacher detention
Detention, social suspension, lunch detention
Mediation, conference with administration, detention, loss of bus privileges
Violation of the Acceptable Use or Chromebook Policies (electronic equipment)
Suspension from use of Chromebook/device, lunch detention, detention, social suspension, in-school suspension
Fighting, assault, battery of a student
Mediation, social suspension, suspension
Fighting, assault, battery of a teacher
Threatening violence or engaging in extortion
Mediation, social suspension, detention, in-school suspension, suspension
Restitution, detention, in-school suspension
Making bomb threats
Setting off false fire alarms
Violations of fire drill procedures
Conference with teacher or administrator, detention, or lunch detention
The use of obscene, lewd, lascivious, or profane language or gestures
● General use
● Toward another student
● Toward an adult
● Conference with administration, detention, lunch detention, social suspension
● Conference with administration, detention, lunch detention, social suspension, in-school suspension
● Conference with administration, detention, lunch detention, social suspension, in-school suspension
Refusal to obey a principal, teacher, chaperone, or school staff member
Conference with administration, detention, lunch detention, social suspension, in-school suspension
Excessive tardiness, class bunking, leaving the school building without authorization during the school day, or other truancy
Counseling, detention, lunch detention, social suspension, referral to truancy diversion program
Possession or consumption of illegal drugs, including tobacco products, e-cigarettes (vapes), drug paraphernalia, unauthorized medication, or alcoholic beverages, being under the influence of drugs or alcohol
In-school suspension, social suspension, referral to drug or alcohol deterrent program
Distribution of illegal drugs, including tobacco products, drug paraphernalia, unauthorized medication, or alcoholic beverages
Suspension, social suspension, referral to drug or alcohol deterrent program
Vandalism of property
Restitution, community service, detention, in-school suspension
Harassment, generally defined as conduct that threatens, intimidates, or puts a person in fear of their safety based on race, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, or religion
Mediation, detention, in-school suspension, suspension
Academic dishonesty including cheating and plagiarism
Conference with administration and teacher, detention, make-up school work, written student reflection
Counseling, detention, lunch detention, social suspension
Trespassing or other unauthorized presence in school building or on school grounds
Detention, in-school suspension
Possession of a weapon* on school property, while on any school provided transportation, on a roadway or path along which school children or teachers are walking to school, or at any school-related function.
Suspension, alternate learning environment
Breaching school’s cell phone policy
Confiscate device until the end of the day, confiscate device until parent picks up device. Loss of use of cell phone for subsequent days.
Any other conduct that is a violation of the law, a violation of school policy, or which is prejudicial to teaching, learning, or the safety of the school, its students, teachers, administrators, and other personnel.
*A weapon is defined under the law as a firearm or a blackjack, slingshot, billy, sandclub, sandbag, metal knuckles, slap glove, bludgeon, stun-gun, any martial arts weapons, dagger, dirk, stiletto, sword-in-cane, bowie knife, or other similar weapon designed to cut and stab another, or any razor, or knife of any description having a blade of more than three (3*) inches in length measuring from the end of the handle where the blade is attached to the end of the blade, or other weapon of like kind or description. The possession of knives with blades less than 3” may be considered a violation if the administration deems its possession to be for the purpose of threatening, intimidating, or hurting another individual.
SPS Policy JICK-C: Bullying Policy
This policy was promulgated pursuant to the authority set forth in §16-21-34 of the General Laws of Rhode Island. The Smithfield Public Schools has established separate discrimination or harassment policies that include categories of students and staff. Nothing in this policy shall prevent the Smithfield Public Schools from remediating any discrimination or harassment based on a person's membership in a legally protected category under local, state or federal law.
Known as the Safe School Act, the statute recognizes that the bullying of a student creates a climate of fear and disrespect that can seriously impair the student's health and negatively affect learning. Bullying undermines the safe learning environment that students need to achieve their full potential. The purpose of the Policy is to ensure a consistent and unified approach to the prohibition of bullying at all Smithfield public schools.
BULLYING means the use by one or more students of a written, verbal or electronic expression or a physical act or gesture or any combination thereof, directed at a student that:
The expression, physical act or gesture may include, but is not limited to, an incident or incidents that may be reasonably perceived as being motivated by characteristics such as:
Race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression or mental, physical, or sensory disability, intellectual ability or by any other distinguishing characteristics.
Bullying occurs as repeated behavior and is not a single incident between the alleged bullying/cyberbullying offender(s) and the alleged bullying victim(s).
There are many examples of unkind behavior that must be addressed in school but that are not considered bullying under this policy.
CYBER-BULLYING means bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication, which shall include, but not be limited to, any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, texting or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photo electronic or photo optical system, including, but not limited to, electronic mail, Internet communications, instant messages or facsimile communications.
Forms of cyber-bullying may include but are not limited to:
AT SCHOOL means:
2. SCHOOL CLIMATE
Bullying, cyber-bullying, and retaliation against any person associated with a report of bullying or the investigation thereof is prohibited in all schools that are approved for the purpose of the compulsory attendance statute (§§16-19-1 and 16-19-2). School staff shall take all reasonable measures to prevent bullying at school. Such measures may include professional development and prevention activities, parental workshops, and student assemblies among other strategies. School faculty, administration and staff, at all times, will model courteous behavior to each other, to students, and to school visitors. Abusive or humiliating language or demeanor will not be accepted. Additionally, students and their families are expected to exhibit courteous behavior to all members of the learning community in school and at school sponsored events.
3. POLICY OVERSIGHT and RESPONSIBILITY
The school principal shall be responsible for the implementation and oversight of this bullying policy.
The school principal shall provide the Superintendent or designee and the School Committee with a summary report of incidents, responses, and any other bullying related issues on or before January 15th and on or before the last day of the school year.
4. INFORMATION DISSEMINATION
The school principal shall ensure that students, staff, volunteers, and parents/legal guardians are provided information regarding this policy by including this document on the school’s webpage.
This policy shall be:
Responsibility of Staff: School staff, including volunteers, coaches, or tutors who observe an act of bullying or who have reasonable grounds to believe that bullying is taking place must report the bullying to school authorities. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action.
Responsibility of Students: Students who observe an act of bullying or who have reasonable grounds to believe that bullying is taking place must report the bullying to school authorities. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action. The victim of bullying, however, shall not be subject to discipline for failing to report the bullying. Student reports of bullying or retaliation may be made anonymously, provided, however, that no disciplinary action shall be taken against a student solely on the basis of an anonymous report.
Prohibition against Retaliation: Retaliation or threats of retaliation in any form designed to intimidate the victim of bullying, those who are witnesses to bullying, or those investigating an incident of bullying shall not be tolerated. Retaliation or threat of retaliation will result in the imposition of discipline in accordance with the school behavior code.
False Reporting/Accusations: A school employee, school volunteer or student who knowingly makes a false accusation of bullying or retaliation shall be disciplined in accordance with the school behavior code.
Reports in Good Faith: A school employee, school volunteer, student, parent/legal guardian, or caregiver who promptly reports, in good faith, an act of bullying to the appropriate school official designated in the school’s policy shall be immune from a cause of action for damages arising from reporting bullying.
The school administrators shall promptly investigate all allegations of bullying, harassment, or intimidation. If the allegation is found to be credible, appropriate disciplinary actions, subject to applicable due process requirements, will be imposed. The School Resource Officer or other qualified staff may be utilized to mediate bullying situations.
The investigation will include an assessment by the school psychologist and/or social worker of what effect the bullying, harassment or intimidation has had on the victim. A student who engages in continuous and/or serious acts of bullying will also be referred to the school psychologist and/or social worker.
Police Notification: Immediate notification of the local law enforcement agency will be made when circumstances warrant the pursuit of criminal charges against the perpetrator.
Protection: If a student is the victim of serious or persistent bullying:
a. The school administrators will intervene immediately to provide the student with a safe educational environment.
b. The interventions will be developed, if possible, with input from the student, their parent/guardian, and staff.
c. The parents/guardians of a victim shall also be notified of the action taken to prevent any further acts of bullying or retaliation.
7. MAINTAINING A WRITTEN RECORD OF THE COMPLAINT
The Smithfield School Department shall maintain a complete record for each complaint and how it was investigated and resolved. Written records shall be maintained in a confidential manner in the Office of the Superintendent of Schools. Written records will be filed and maintained for three years from the date of the resolution of an investigation unless new circumstances dictate that the file should be kept for a longer period of time.
8. DISCIPLINARY ACTION
The disciplinary actions for violations of the bullying policy shall be determined by the school/district appropriate authority. Disciplinary actions for violations of the bullying policy shall balance the need for accountability with the need to teach appropriate behavior. The severity of the disciplinary action shall be aligned to the severity of the bullying behavior.
The range of disciplinary actions that may be taken against a perpetrator for bullying, cyber-bullying or retaliation shall include, but not be limited to:
9. SOCIAL SERVICES/COUNSELING
Referral to appropriate counseling and/or social services currently being offered by schools or communities shall be provided for bullying victims, perpetrators and appropriate family members of said students.
10. OTHER REDRESS
This section does not prevent a victim of bullying, cyber-bullying or retaliation from seeking redress under any other available law, either civil or criminal. This section does not create or alter any tort liability.
ADOPTED: February 5, 2018
SPS Policy JICK-B: Teen Dating Violence/Sexual Assault
Smithfield Public Schools does not tolerate teen dating violence or sexual assault.
TEEN DATING VIOLENCE is a pattern of behavior where one person threatens or uses physical, sexual, verbal, or emotional abuse to control their dating partner.
SEXUAL ASSAULT includes behaviors that are attempted or perpetrated against a victim’s will or when a victim cannot consent because of age, disability or the influence of alcohol or drugs. Sexual assault may involve actual or threatened physical force, use of weapons, coercion, intimidation, or pressure and may include:
AT SCHOOL means:
ADMINISTRATION AND STAFF EDUCATION
The school district will provide training on the Smithfield Teen Dating Violence and Sexual Assault Policy to staff who have significant contact with students. Per the Lindsay Ann Burke Act, the training shall specifically include, but not be limited to:
On-going age-appropriate education on healthy relationships shall be provided to all students in grades K-12, with specific instruction relating to teen dating violence taught yearly in grades 7-12. Per the Lindsay Ann Burke Act this curriculum shall include but not be limited to:
The middle and high school principal shall establish and prominently publicize to students, staff, volunteers, and parents/guardians, how a report of dating violence and/or sexual assault may be filed and how this report will be acted upon (See attached Incident Form).
The school staff shall report all aspects of teen dating violence and sexual assault that may come to their attention. All reports should be made to the principal. The victim, anyone who witnesses an incidence, and anyone who has credible information that an act of dating violence or sexual assault has taken place may also file a report.
Students who observe any act covered by this policy or who have reasonable grounds to believe an act is taking or has taken place in violation of this policy are obligated to report the incident to school authorities. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary actions. The victim of the dating violence or sexual assault shall, however, not be subject to discipline for failure to report the dating violence or assault.
When there is a reasonable suspicion that a child is either a perpetrator or a victim of teen dating violence or sexual assault, the parents/guardians of the child will be notified immediately by the principal or designee.
The school principal shall promptly investigate all allegations of dating violence and sexual assault. If the allegation is found to be credible, appropriate disciplinary actions, subject to applicable due process requirements, will be imposed. When the act involves conduct that involves criminal law, the police will be notified.
The investigation will include an assessment by the school psychologist and/or social worker of what effect the teen dating violence or sexual assault has had on the victim. If a student is the victim of an act in violation of this policy and as a result, does not feel safe in their school environment, the Principal of the school will prepare a written school safety plan outlining what steps will be taken to provide the student with a safe educational environment. This plan will be developed, if possible, with input from the parents of the student. Staff members who are to implement the plan will help formulate it.
MAINTAINING A WRITTEN RECORD OF THE COMPLAINT
The Smithfield School Department shall maintain a complete record for each complaint and how it was investigated and resolved. Written records shall be maintained in a confidential manner and will be maintained for three years from the date of the resolution of an investigation unless new circumstances dictate that the file should be kept for a longer period of time. This reporting is in addition to records maintained on the student information system.
The disciplinary actions for violations of this policy shall be determined by the school administrators in accordance with the Smithfield Disciplinary Policy and may include additional civil and criminal penalties.
ADOPTED: December 4, 2017
SPS Technology/Internet Policies
The Smithfield School Department recognizes that computers are used to support learning and enhance instruction. Computer information networks allow people to interact with many other computers and networks. It is a general policy that all computers are to be used in a responsible, efficient, ethical, and legal manner. There are several policies that deal with this specific area, which are available on the district website:
Policy IJND Chromebook Policy
Policy IJNDC Acceptable Use of Technology
Policy IJNDCA Internet Filtering
Policy JRAA Student Data Privacy and Security
SPS Policy on Public Notices and Posters (System-wide)
Before any posters may be displayed in the school, approval must be obtained from the Administration. In general, such messages should not interfere with the scholastic decorum, must be reasonably related to the purposes of the school, and must have an educational purpose. All posters must acknowledge the student or group that produced the poster. The Administration shall also determine where such notice or poster may be displayed.
SPS Policy ADF: Wellness
The Smithfield Public Schools are committed to providing school environments that promote and protect children’s health, well-being and ability to learn. Students who are fit, healthy, and ready to learn are better prepared to be successful in school. The Smithfield School Committee takes seriously the research and data that indicates the increased incidence of obesity among children. In the short term, overweight children may exhibit compromised health which can affect school attendance and academic performance. Long-term, overweight children have a higher risk for developing chronic diseases as adults.
What is true for students is also true for our staff members. A healthy staff can more effectively perform their professional duties and serve as appropriate role models for their students. While wellness is not solely the responsibility of the schools, the Smithfield Public Schools are committed to a comprehensive approach to school health built on standards-based health and physical education curricula, healthy eating in school and staff wellness. While these are the core elements addressed in this policy, the other components of a comprehensive approach to school wellness including health services, mental and social health, a safe school environment and parent/family environment are also important. These additional components may be addressed at the school level through a variety of programs and/or initiatives included in the school’s wellness objectives as part of its School Improvement Plan.
The complete policy, adopted on December 4, 2017, is available on the district website.
SPS Policy JIH: Searches
Policy: It is the policy of the Smithfield School Committee that all property is retained by the School Committee. All lockers, closets, and desks are retained and possessor control is maintained by the Smithfield School Committee. Students are entrusted to the care and custody of the School Department for the purpose of education. Teachers and administrators are employed for the purpose of carrying out the educational mandates of the State Constitution and the General Laws. All are entitled to perform in a safe environment free of dangerous weapons and drugs. In order to preserve the educational decorum, all school property, including, but not limited to, school, lockers, desks, and closets, are subject to inspection as determined necessary or appropriate.
Search and Seizure: Periodic searches may be conducted for any reason, at any time, without notice, without student consent and without a search warrant. The rules for such searches are delineated in the complete policy on file in the principal’s office. The rules shall apply to searches of students, school property, the property of individuals while en route to or from school, to or from school events, on school buses, or in automobiles operated by students. A search may only be conducted by authorized individuals (an authorized individual is the principal, or such person as the principal may designate).
The complete policy, approved in September 1998 and revised on January 22, 2008, is on file in the principal's office, and available on the district website.
SPS Policy ADC: Smoking/Vaping on School Premises
We recognize that as educational facilitators, we must be a positive model in the promotion of good health habits. Since research indicates that smoking is harmful, not only to the smoker but to the nonsmoker, we must be promoting and modeling healthy behaviors for the young people we serve. Therefore, the committee feels very strongly that no smoking should take place in any building, playing field, locker room, gymnasium, bus, parking lot, or other areas designated as school property. This policy includes school and non-school events held on school property, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, by any person, student, employee or guest of the School Department. This policy was drafted pursuant to the authority granted in Rhode Island General Laws §23-20.9-1 et seq.
Studies have shown that, in addition to protecting the nonsmoker, creating a totally smoke free environment significantly reduces the prevalence of smoking among smokers and assists them in making decisions to get involved in smoking cessation programs.
Student: It shall be a violation of this policy for any student of the Smithfield School District to possess, consume, display or sell any tobacco products, tobacco-related devices, or electronic cigarette vaporizers at any time on school property or at off-campus, school-sponsored events.  
Tobacco product means any product containing, made, or derived from tobacco that is intended for human consumption, whether chewed, smoked, absorbed, dissolved, inhaled, snorted, sniffed, or ingested by any other means. Examples include but not limited to, cigarettes; cigars; little cigars; dry snuff, moist snuff/chewing tobacco; snus; dissolvables; hookah; and blunt wraps.
Electronic cigarette vaporizers means any oral device that provides a vapor of liquid nicotine, lobelia, and/or other substance, and the use or inhalation of which simulates smoking. The term shall include any such devices, whether they are manufactured, distributed, marketed or sold as e-cigarettes, ecigars, e-pipes, or under any other product name or descriptor.
Tobacco related devices means ashtrays, cigarette papers or pipes for smoking or any components, parts, or accessories of electronic cigarettes, including cartridges. The term “school property” means all facilities and property, including land, whether owned, rented, or leased by the Smithfield School District, and all vehicles owned, leased, rented, contracted for, or controlled by the Smithfield School District for use in transporting students, staff, or visitors.
Enforcement: All policies will be published so that employees, students, parents and community members will be informed. Copies will be published in local newspapers and sent to all non-school organizations that use the building and grounds. Liberal posting of signs stating, "NO SMOKING', and "YOU ARE ENTERING A SMOKE FREE AREA" will be posted both inside and outside the buildings and school grounds. Receptacles for the disposal of smoking materials will be provided at entrances to fields and buildings.
Notices will be sent to all parents that a short smoke-free statement may be provided on the backs of tickets sold at events, in all department handbooks and on all use of facility school department authorization forms. Both indoor and outdoor concession stands will post "NO SMOKING" signs, and receptacles will be present for disposal of smoking materials.
Those persons charged with supervision will remind anyone who does "light up" that there is no smoking on the premises.
Information will be provided for smoking cessation programs. Setting good examples and allowing for a period of adjustment to the policies will help to ensure its success.
The governing body of a school that violates or allows the violation of this Public Law Chapter 92-230 shall be liable for a civil penalty, not less than fifty ($50) nor to exceed five hundred ($500), which penalty shall be assessed and recovered in a civil action brought by the attorney general in any court of competent jurisdiction. Each day a violation is committed or permitted to continue by a governing body shall constitute a separate offense and shall be punishable as such. Any person who commits a violation of the policy will be asked to leave the premises and will be held liable for any monetary fee imposed upon the governing body.
Students who have tobacco products, or e-cigarette products, confiscated or who exhibit tobacco products, or e-cigarette products, in a way or in a place that suggests intent to violate the smoking policy will be subject to disciplinary action, as indicated in discipline policy.
Visitors and Events Beyond School Hours
Visitors who are observed smoking or using tobacco products in school buildings or on school grounds will be informed of the "SMOKING RESTRICTIONS IN SCHOOL ACT " and will be asked to refrain from smoking or using tobacco products. If the individual fails to comply with the request, their violation of the policy shall be referred to building Administration or the personnel responsible for the area in which the violation occurred. The building Administration or personnel responsible for the area will make a decision on further action that may include a directive to leave the building or grounds. Repeated violations may result in a recommendation to the Superintendent to prohibit the individual from entering the school building or grounds for a specified period of time.
The purpose of this policy is to promote and maintain a safe and healthful environment for the entire school community. In order to meet this goal, the Smithfield School Department adopts a substance abuse policy which delineates a plan of action which will aid students to abstain from the use of alcohol, other illicit drugs, and unauthorized drug use, intervene when student use is detected, take corrective disciplinary action and provide aftercare and educational support for all students.
The Smithfield School System will provide students with a varied program of instructional activities that will focus on preventing students from using alcohol and drugs. The prevention program will provide updated instructional strategies, guidance, interaction with families and community involvement.
The Smithfield School System will continue to establish and maintain a student assistance program along with ongoing in-service training for faculty and staff necessary for successful intervention and referral of students needing services. Specific intervention strategies:
The establishment and maintenance of a student assistance program that will:
1. Procedures for confidentiality
2. Drug and alcohol abuse and addiction
3. Intervention procedures
Faculty and staff will be provided with ongoing in-service training designed to focus on characteristics of comprehensive intervention programs.
Students in violation of the policy will face disciplinary action in accordance with discipline policy. This policy shall be enforced in the school building, on school property, on school buses, and at school sponsored functions sanctioned by the school administration.
SPS Policy JLCD-R1: Administration of Epipens
The following plans for the administration of EPIPEN injections must be carried out:
SPS Policy JLCD-R2: Administration of Medication for Children with Allergies
In order to define an adequate policy to provide for aids and services to students who suffer from allergies and for the purpose of addressing protocol for the administration of epipens/oral medication, the School Department hereby adopts the following policy:
ADOPTED: October 2, 1995
SPS Policy JLCD: Administration of Medicines to Students
Except in an emergency situation or cases of anaphylaxis, only certified school nurse teachers or parents/guardians are authorized to dispense medication to students. In an emergency life-threatening situation, all school personnel are authorized to administer medication. (“Good Samaritan” statute insulates a person who voluntarily and gratuitously renders emergency assistance from liability for civil damages unless the Samaritan is guilty of “gross negligence or wanton conduct”. General Laws 9-1-27.1) Parents are encouraged to administer medication during non-school hours.
Notwithstanding the above, when the written authorization of the physician and parent/guardian allow a student to self-carry and/or self-administer a day’s supply of medication and/or clearly indicates that no supervision is necessary or requested in the student’s administration of the medicine, then the school administration is not required to provide a certified school nurse teacher to perform the function of supervision of the self-administration of student’s medication (See section on Special Requirements/Field Trips.)
When the written authorization of the physician and parent/guardian allows for the student to self-administer prescription inhalers, or when a student is required to carry a prescription inhaler on their person due to a medical condition, medical documentation that the inhaler has been legitimately prescribed must be provided.
As of July 2014 all medications, prescription and OTC (over-the-counter) medications require a physician’s signature in order to be administered at school.
Accordingly, medication may be taken by the student at school using the following procedures:
Unless otherwise authorized by this policy, a school nurse teacher will be available to administer medication under normal circumstances. In the event that a school nurse teacher is not available, every reasonable attempt will be made to have another school nurse teacher administer the medication. If this is not possible, it will be the responsibility of the parent/guardian to administer medication.
Special Requirements/Field Trips
In the case of a field trip or an activity away from school, it is recommended that the medication be administered before the field trip or upon return to school. A parent/guardian may accompany the student as a chaperone in order to administer medication. With parent and physician approval, a medication may be omitted for the day. With parent and physician approval, a student may be authorized to self-carry and/or self-administer a day’s supply of prescription and over-the-counter medication, including a controlled substance, on a field trip or away-from-school activity. This medication must be supplied by the parent/guardian and must be stored and transported in a properly labeled container.
No school nurse teacher, school administrator, or school personnel shall be liable for civil damages which may result from acts or omissions which may constitute ordinary negligence when a student self-carries and/or self administers their own medication(s).
REVISED: June 15, 2015
SPS Policy JE: Attendance
Regular and punctual attendance is essential to the overall academic, personal and social development of students. It is a joint responsibility of the parents/guardians of students and the teachers/administrators of the Smithfield Public Schools to convey to students the importance of regular and punctual school attendance.
School districts are required by law and regulations to monitor student daily attendance. Detailed student attendance reports are provided to the Rhode Island Department of Education and are used for individual student review, school accountability, and district and state comparisons across organizations and jurisdictions.
Students must be in school every day of the school year in accordance with the General Laws of the State of Rhode Island 16-19-1. Pursuant to law, students may not miss any part of any day’s instruction and, to that end, should not be late or leave school without good reason.
School District Responsibility
It shall be the responsibility of the school district to establish procedures governing tardiness, early dismissal from school, excused absences, unexcused absences, and truancy including:
Parents/Guardians and the Student Responsibility
Parents/guardians and students are ultimately responsible for regular and punctual school attendance. It is the responsibility of parents/guardians to:
Excused Absence/Tardiness/Early Dismissal
An absence occurs when a student is not present at school or at a school-endorsed activity. Tardiness occurs when a student arrives after the official, documented start time of school. Early dismissal occurs when a student leaves before the documented official end time of the school day. In these cases, the student is temporarily excused from attendance if:
If a child is absent for three (3) or more consecutive days due to illness, a doctor’s note and a visit to the school nurse are required upon the student’s return.
Unexcused Absence/Tardiness/Early Dismissal and Truancy
An unexcused absence occurs when a student is not present at school or at a school-endorsed activity, without acceptable cause including but not limited to:
School personnel may distinguish between students who rarely have an unexcused absence and students who have a persistent or chronic pattern of absences. Truancy is not a single event, but is a pattern of incidents of unexcused absence from school and/or any abuse of excused absences.
Notification and Intervention
Chronic absence is defined as 10% or more of days absent, regardless of whether or not the absence is excused. Chronically absent students shall be provided with levels of support and intervention to improve their attendance.
A team (MTSS, child-study or problem-solving) at each building shall review attendance data monthly. If the team determines that an intervention is required, a written plan will be devised and followed over the next 30 days. Whether or not a plan is warranted, the parent/guardian of any child who is chronically absent or five (5) or more excused and/or unexcused absences in any given grading term may be notified in writing of this occurrence by the building principal/assistant principal.
If the pattern of absenteeism, tardiness, or early dismissals continues the following month, a review by the team will occur and additional interventions may be suggested. Parents/guardians will be notified in writing and resources within the school, such as involvement of the school counselor or social worker, will be utilized to improve the attendance. Parents/guardians and student may be required to meet with the building principal/designee and other professionals, as needed, to develop a clear plan of action to address chronic absenteeism.
If homelessness is the cause, the social worker and the district liaison to homeless families and youth will provide the necessary support to reduce barriers to the student’s education. When a student with an IEP has attendance concerns, the IEP team may be convened to determine next steps if school efforts to improve attendance have been unsuccessful.
Each school shall submit a quarterly report, due November 1, January 1, April 1, and End-of-School-Year notifying the superintendent or designee of students who have chronic absenteeism. The report shall include the students’ attendance record, interventions/supports, and outreach to parents/guardians. School administrators may file a petition of truancy in the Rhode Island Family Courts after 3 months of interventions or earlier, if deemed a pervasive issue.
RI Gen. Laws § 16-19-1 & § 16-19-6
National Forum on Education Statistics. (2009). Every School Day Counts: The Forum Guide to Collecting and Using Attendance Data (NFES 2009–804), U.S. Department of Education, Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics.
SPS Policy IJOC: Volunteers
The Smithfield School Committee recognizes the valuable and important contribution made to the school district through the volunteer assistance of parents, college students, senior citizens, elected officials, business representatives and other community members. As such, it fully supports all district initiatives aimed at recruiting and utilizing volunteers to enhance district and school activities and programs, enrich the instructional program, assist teachers, and connect the student body with the community.
The purpose of this policy is to set forth the guidelines when recruiting volunteers at the school and district level. While volunteerism is encouraged by the School District, it is a privilege extended to adults under certain terms and conditions.
The Superintendent shall ensure that processes and procedures are developed and appropriate staff is designated to support the implementation of and adherence to this policy. Principals are authorized to solicit volunteers to work in their schools, in accordance with district policy and procedures.
DEFINITIONS OF VOLUNTEERS
A volunteer is any adult non-compensated person who wishes to donate their time within a school building, at a school-sponsored event, or where children are present. This shall include any individuals who may be compensated privately and are participating in an after-school program or after school related activity or function.
To be eligible as a volunteer, an individual must first complete an Information and Disclosure Statement, as amended by the District from time to time. The volunteer must update information provided on the Disclosure Statement from time to time as requested by the School District.
Volunteers must be a minimum of 18 years of age.
Volunteers are assigned by the Principal. Volunteers are not guaranteed placement in a specific classroom, nor for a particular activity.
CONFIDENTIALITY AND COMPLIANCE WITH DISTRICT RULES, REGULATIONS AND PROTOCOLS
Volunteers shall adhere to rules and District protocol for confidentiality as well as all other rules, regulations and protocols observed by the District. Volunteers shall not discuss or reveal any student/school related confidential issue or information with any third party except with permission of the Principal or teacher of record. Volunteers shall not have access nor shall they attempt to gain, nor be given access to confidential information.
Prior to being eligible to serve as a volunteer, the individual shall complete an orientation provided by the site Principal and demonstrate an understanding and agreement to comply with such rules, regulations and protocols to the Principal’s satisfaction.
CRITERIA TO SERVE AS A VOLUNTEER
1. DISQUALIFYING INFORMATION AND BACKGROUND CHECKS
All volunteers shall have a background check, in accordance with applicable State law, to become eligible for consideration to contribute as a volunteer for the School District. If the background check reveals any disqualifying information, as defined by state law, the school department will make a judgment regarding the qualifications and fitness of said person to volunteer for the school department based on such information and the criteria stated below. In such circumstances, the Superintendent or their designee shall meet with that person and explain that they will not be able to participate due to the information contained in the report(s). The cost of the background check is the responsibility of the applicant.
2. ADDITIONAL CRITERIA
The District shall develop specific and fair criteria to be applied when determining the eligibility and deployment of volunteers. Such criteria shall include:
SAFETY AND SECURITY
Volunteers should not be with a student/s unless in the presence of a classroom teacher, administrator, or appropriate school personnel. A volunteer shall not be in a one-on-one situation with a child, during or outside of a school day.
Volunteers must provide identification and sign in/out at the school’s main office. Volunteers shall wear the “Visitors” badge or other means of identification, as required by school policy, or as directed by the Principal.
Volunteers shall follow and comply with all directions from the Principal, teachers or other appropriate school personnel.
This Policy shall not apply to parents observing classrooms, guest speakers, performers, student mentors who are enrolled in the School District, newspaper reporters, vendors for school related items such as rings, yearbooks, delivery vendors, and alike, provided they are accompanied by the Superintendent or school personnel.
Any volunteer desiring to appeal a decision of disqualification shall first appeal to the Superintendent of Schools and thereafter to the School Committee. Such appeal to the School Committee shall be by a letter to the Chairperson of the School Committee, received by the central administrative offices, within ten days of the Superintendent’s decision, requesting a hearing before the School Committee. Any decision of the School Committee may be further appealed to the R.I. Department of Education.
VOLUNTEER LIABILITY AND INDEMNIFICATION
A volunteer shall at all times indemnify and hold harmless the School District and its officer, agents and employees from any and all claims, damages and expenses arising out of injuries to persons or damage to property which resulted from any omissions or negligent acts of the volunteer. Upon request, the volunteer shall execute a District indemnification form.
ADOPTED: September 16, 2013 The complete policy is available on the district website.
SPS Policy Statement On Non-Discrimination
The Smithfield School Committee believes that all children and adults should receive what they each need within an environment and system that is intentionally built for them to achieve academic, social, and emotional success, regardless of race, ethnicity, language or other characteristics of their identity.
Smithfield schools have the responsibility to overcome, insofar as possible, any barriers that prevent children and adults from achieving their potential. This commitment to the community is affirmed by the following statements. The School Committee intends to:
1. Promote the rights and responsibilities of all individuals as set forth in the State and Federal Constitutions, pertinent legislation, and applicable judicial interpretations.
2. Encourage positive experiences in human values for children, youth and adults, all of whom have differing personal and family characteristics and who come from various socioeconomic, and racial and ethnic groups.
3. Work toward a more integrated society and enlist the support of individuals as well as groups and agencies, both private and governmental, in such an effort.
4. Use all appropriate communication and action techniques to air and reduce the grievances of individuals and groups.
5. Carefully consider, in all the decisions made within the school district, the potential benefits or adverse consequences that those decisions might have on the human relations aspects of all segments of society.
6. Initiate a process of reviewing policies and practices of the school district in order to achieve to the greatest extent possible the objectives of this statement.
The Committee's policy of nondiscrimination and its commitment to equity will extend to students, staff, the general public, and individuals with whom it does business; No person shall be excluded from or discriminated against in admission to a public school of any town or in obtaining the advantages, privileges, and courses of study of such public school on account of race, color, sex, gender identity, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or pregnancy. If someone has a complaint or feels that they have been discriminated against because of their race, color, sex, gender identity, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or pregnancy, their complaint should be registered with the Title IX compliance officer.
Most importantly, the Smithfield School Committee requires that its administrators and staff intentionally develop curriculum, instructional practices, disciplinary practices, communications, and improvement efforts that result in a learning environment that ensures that all feel included, valued, and are poised to achieve academic, social, and emotional success.