Mrs. Cindy Myers, Principal
Mrs. Alanna Kotas, Assistant Principal
On behalf of the staff of William Ellis Middle School, welcome to a new year. This student handbook is designed to provide information necessary for a successful experience as a William Ellis student. You and your parents need to review this handbook each year in order to understand the expectations, procedures, and opportunities which exist for you. We believe in offering a safe, supportive, and caring learning environment that provides all students an opportunity to reach their individual potential. Our school places strong emphasis on developing good character on the part of each individual. We believe that compassion and consideration of others, pride in our school, and service to others go a long way toward building good citizens. Your support and positive involvement at school will provide you with many fond memories, new friends, and an education which will take you into the future prepared to be the best you can be. When you leave your school you can do so with the pride of your teachers and your parents, but most of all, with pride in yourself.
7:20 AM Front doors open; supervision provided in the cafeteria for students eating breakfast (1st Bell)
7:35 AM All students should be on their respective hallways
7:45 AM 1st period begins. Students arriving at school after 7:45 must sign in at the office.
2:56 PM 6th grade students released to go to car rider line and buses
2:58 PM 7th grade students released to go to car rider line and buses
3:00 PM 8th grade students released to go to car rider line and buses (Last Bell)
**While on campus, students must be in an assigned area or be supervised by a teacher**
AM - In order to expedite unloading, students should exit the car to the right at the crosswalk in front of the school. Students should not unload in the staff parking lot or the left lane and cross traffic. This is for the safety of all students and staff.
Car riders enter through the front door of the school. Students that attend morning tutoring sessions must go directly to the classroom. Students may not go to the gym locker rooms without adult supervision.
PM - Car riders will enter cars from the sidewalk ONLY.
In the interest of safety, students may not cross traffic or go to other areas to be picked up.
If you choose to avoid the car line, please park in the lot and come to the curb to get your child.
AM - Students will enter the school and either go directly to the cafeteria for breakfast or to homeroom if not eating breakfast.
PM - Bus riders must go directly to the bus lot upon dismissal.
Students who need to ride a different bus than the bus assigned, must turn in a note from a parent to the office by 11:00 AM for an administrator’s signature. Students who do not have pre-approved bus passes will be required to ride their assigned bus or have a parent pick them up before 3:20 PM The office will call both sets of parents to confirm the note.
Students are responsible for knowing what mode of transportation they will take home each day. For safety purposes in the afternoon, car riders will load at the front of the school and parents will need to be in the car line no later than 3:15.
PM - Early Sign-Out from School
Parents must arrive no later than 2:30 to sign-out their child early from school. Likewise, parents must come into the school to sign-out their child. Written permission from the custodial parent(s) is needed if anyone other than the parent is to sign-out the student; this includes a brother or a sister. Picture identification will be required.
Car traffic may not enter the bus lot until buses have arrived in the morning or have departed in the afternoon. Please proceed with caution to keep our children safe.
6-8 ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS
A written note with the student’s full name and dates absent must accompany all absences. Lawful (excused) absences include:
● Personal illness or injury which makes the student physically unable to attend school
● Isolation ordered by the State Board of Health
● Death in the immediate family
● Medical and dental appointments of the student which cannot be scheduled outside of the school time
● Participation under subpoena as a witness in a court proceeding
● Observance of an event required or suggested by the religion of the student or the student’s parent(s) with prior approval by the principal
Class attendance and participation are critical elements of the educational process and may be taken into account in assessing academic achievement. The principal will notify parents and will take all other steps required for excessive absences.
Excerpts from DCS Board Policy 4400 (Attendance)
a. A student may miss no more than five days during a nine week grading period. Should a student miss more than five days in any class during a grading period, the student will be in danger of failing the class for the quarter. If the student is passing and has excessive absences, the grade shall be recorded as a 50 percent.
b. A student shall be considered tardy if he or she has not reported to homeroom/classroom by the school starting time. An early departure shall be considered any checkout from school prior to the designated dismissal time set. For the purpose of retention, 10 tardies and/or early departures equal one day absent.
c. Make-up opportunities shall be designed specific to student needs and/or to compensate for time missed due to absences. Make-up opportunities may be offered before school, after school, or on teacher workdays.
d. At the end of each grading period, those students who will lose credit for one or more classes because of absences may appeal the losses. These appeals must be submitted in writing according to the timeline established by the school attendance committee. These appeals should contain a request that the student be granted exception to the attendance policy for that quarter, a statement of any extraordinary circumstances which caused the absences and documentation received in the office during the periods of absences. Therefore, students should provide the office with appropriate documentation from doctors, the court system, or parents at the time of the absences.
A student must be in school to learn. Every priority is given to monitoring absences, notifying parents, and encouraging good attendance. Our intent is to maintain a positive and inviting school environment and expect each student, with the support of his/her parents, to attend regularly and arrive on time. With this commitment on the part of the home and school, we can better accomplish our purpose for being here.
**Students with excused absences due to documented chronic health problems are exempt from this policy.**
Make-up work for students who are absent may be picked up in the office if a request is made before 9:00 AM. This allows the teachers enough time to prepare the assignments. Please be aware that requests made after 9:00 AM may not be filled for that afternoon.
If a student is traveling on an educational experience, parents may complete the required form to request that all or part of the absences be excused. The completed form must be submitted to the principal at least two weeks (10 weekdays) in advance of the travel. Student will be given an assignment to complete based on the scheduled trip. Likewise, the student is required to complete all missed school work within five (5) school days upon return.
All of us have a job and we are responsible for that job. For teachers, it is important to teach well, and for students it is important to learn. As we work together, we place a high value on developing positive habits and skills which are necessary for teaching and learning to take place. Getting along with others, considering the feelings of others, following directions, and trying to do your best are a few of the most important habits. When these qualities are demonstrated a successful school experience and quality education will be insured.
There are many circumstances when it is appropriate for one student to help another at school and at home. The teacher will always set the parameters for how much that can occur. Getting assistance to understand an assignment and working in groups in school are examples of legitimate support. Cheating and/or plagiarism may result in a zero on the assignment, quiz, test, or project.
Cheating is defined as: seeking information from others which is your responsibility to acquire, or giving information to another student. Plagiarism is passing off someone else’s work as your own.
DCS Grading Scale
Courses and assignments will be graded on the following scale: A=90-100, B=80-89, C=70-79, D=60-69, F= Below 60
Students who receive all A’s, or A’s and B’s will make the honor roll each grading period. All classes at William Ellis Middle School count equally toward the honor roll. A truly well educated person is schooled in the arts, physical education, and in technical areas. Students need to value all areas equally in regards to making the honor roll.
All students have access to the PowerSchool portal. Absences, tardies and grades are recorded in PowerSchool. Absences and tardies are reported daily, and grades are updated weekly. Parents are encouraged to set up an access account in PowerSchool. A photo ID is required to receive the account registration information.
All students will have progress reports sent home in the middle of each quarter. In February and at the beginning of the last grading period, parents of students who are at risk of being retained will be contacted.
Report cards are sent home at the end of each quarter (9 weeks). At the end of the first grading period a student-led parent conference is held. Report cards must be signed by parents and returned to school.
Student work is vitally important to the success of student academic growth. Teachers assign work to monitor student progress, understanding, and to plan for future learning. It is important that students complete all assigned work on time to the best of their ability. Communication between teacher, parent, and student is imperative so parents are informed when their child chooses not to complete assigned work.
1st Zero = Warning/Note to Parent (agenda), 2nd Zero = Phone Call Home, 3rd Zero = Parent Conference
At William Ellis Middle School we believe you can be a better student and a more productive citizen by participating in after school activities. While the focus at school is still on learning, activities offer a different approach to getting along with others, contributing to the group, and challenging your own abilities to improve. Students who are actively and positively involved in sports, clubs, or other organized activities are much less likely to have problems with substance abuse or inappropriate behavior. See what opportunities you can put your energy into and get involved. Students must be present at school in order to participate n clubs, activities, attend sports as a spectator or participant, or attend dances that day.
Middle school students have a wide variety of sports in which they can participate during the school year. Depending on the number, some sports have to make cuts to determine the team roster. Students must be in attendance during the school day to participate in and to attend school sports. If a student is unable to participate in PE due to a medical reason, they are unable to participate in sports.
The success of the WEMS program begins with a mandatory pre-season meeting with coaches, parents, and students regarding the needs and expectations for everyone. The opportunities for parent support along with the issues associated with a good season are emphasized at this time. Any questions or concerns that you have should be addressed with the Coach or with the Athletic Director should there be no resolution.
Fall Sports – Boys: Football (7th and 8th graders only) and Soccer
Girls: Volleyball, Tennis and Cheerleading
Winter Sports – Boys: Basketball and Wrestling
Girls: Basketball and Cheerleading
Spring Sports – Boys: Track, Baseball, Tennis and Co-ed Golf
Girls: Soccer, Track, and Co-ed Golf
GAME ENTRANCE FEES
$4.00 for adults
$3.00 for students
NCHSAA regulations require that students in grades 6-8 must pass one less course than the number of required core courses each semester and meet promotion standards established by Davie County Schools. Simply stated, students must pass three out of four core classes.
● A student must pass at his/her performance ability level of the following: language arts, math, science, social studies, and physical education.
● The student must also be in attendance 85% of the previous semester (can miss up to 13 days). The Athletic Director will work with the Data Manager to collect this information on a regular basis.
● A student will be eligible to play sports for 6 consecutive semesters beginning with the sixth grade. A seventh grader who is retained will complete eligibility the second year in seventh grade. An 8th grader who is retained is no longer eligible to play sports.
Individual coaches may have higher expectations or more stringent requirements in order to represent William Ellis Middle School on an athletic team. These expectations are communicated at the mandatory parent meeting.
Note: Davie County Schools provides supplemental accident insurance for all athletic related injuries. Please contact the school office whenever a student is injured in any sports activity.
Student and Parent Conduct at Athletic Events
Student conduct at athletic events should be consistent with behavior during regular school hours. Students and parents are to display respect for people and property of all participating schools. Derogatory remarks and gestures should never be expressed to players, coaches, spectators, or the officials. A code of conduct agreement must be signed at the start of each season. Failure to comply with these expectations for sportsmanship will limit a player’s ability to participate and a spectator’s ability to attend other games.
Information regarding our club options will be made available to students and parents during the first few weeks of school. All clubs offered at William Ellis Middle School are sponsored by staff members. Assistance by parents is welcome; however, you must have Level 2 volunteer status..
Dances are well-supervised social experiences for our students. School dress code expectations are in effect and appropriate behavior is maintained. Some details to remember are:
● Admission is $5.00.
● Students may not leave early unless a parent comes in to pick up his/her child.
● Only William Ellis Middle School students are allowed to attend.
● Students who have excessive discipline or are suspended (AID/OSS) the day of the dance will not be allowed to participate.
● Students who have numerous missing assignments and who fail to make any attempt to make up the work by attending tutoring, etc. may not be allowed to participate in the dances.
● Students not picked up promptly may not attend the next dance.
Each student is assigned a number by the cafeteria’s computerized accounting system. This system also allows each student to have an account. This account allows you to prepay for your student’s breakfast, lunch, and a la carte items. The cost for breakfast is $1.10 and the cost for lunch is $2.90.
Sending Money to the Cafeteria
Your student can put money on his/her account during breakfast or lunch time. If you send a check, please make sure your student’s name and lunch number are on it, and that it is written in blue or black ink. All money will go on your child’s account.
Due to the issue of safety, only parents and grandparents should eat lunch with students. Any other adult wishing to eat with a student must have written permission from that student’s parent. Students (K-12) from other schools are not allowed to eat in the William Ellis cafeteria as a guest of a William Ellis student.
We have a counselor who is here to help students. Students visiting the counselor are required to have permission from their teacher to be absent or late for any class.
We may not deny a parent access to his or her child unless we have court documentation prohibiting that parent from being with his or her child. A parent who has been given custody may not deny the other parent access to his or her child unless the court has made this decision. Please call if this situation affects you to make sure we have this documentation.
School lockers are the property of the school, and remain under the school’s control and are subject to inspection by school officials at any time. No stickers or other objects may be fastened to the lockers. Lockers may not be shared with other students or traded between students. Only school locks may be used on lockers and students are required to use the locks consistently throughout the year. Students must rent a lock for their hallway locker from the school for a fee of $5.00.
The financial needs of the school are primarily met through state and county funds. The extra things at school that enhance special activities and opportunities for students and staff are met through school and parent organization fundraising opportunities. Some fees are required for families who are able to pay, but most other things are purely optional.
The following are the fees that you will be asked to pay:
● School fees $15 per student
● Lock Rental $5
● Planner $7
● PE Fee $5
● PE uniform/locks $18 for both shirt and shorts or $9 for items separately
● Band Students $10
All bookbags/backpacks/lunches must be stored in lockers during the school day. Students may carry one (1) small bag to classes. Bags with wheels are not permitted for safety reasons and they do not fit into lockers.
LOST AND FOUND
Items that are found must be turned into the office. Possession of items that do not belong to a student, given the opportunity to turn them in, will be considered theft. A lost and found table is located on each classroom hallway. Periodically, items left here for prolonged periods of time are donated to charity.
STUDENT MEDICATION AT SCHOOL
School employees are authorized to administer drugs or medication when all of the following conditions have been met:
a. The student’s parent or legal custodian has made a written request that school personnel administer the drug or medication to the student and has given explicit written instructions describing the manner in which the drug or medication is to be administered;
b. A physician has prescribed the drug or medication for use by the student (for over-the-counter medications as well as medications available only by a physician’s prescription);
c. A physician has certified that administration of the drug or medication to the student during the school day is necessary (for over-the-counter medications as well as medications available only by a physician’s prescription); and
d. The employee administers the drug or medication pursuant to the written physician order provided by the student’s parent or legal custodian.
Students should NOT administer over the counter medications brought from home to themselves or to anyone else.
Your time at William Ellis Middle School will be a successful experience if you interact well with others. If you treat others as you would like to be treated, there is little potential for conflicts. It will be the policy of William Ellis to deal very seriously with incidents of threats to others and possession of drugs or dangerous weapons on campus. At William Ellis Middle School we will focus on the rewards of good behavior. The rights and privileges extended to all students will be the source of consequences if inappropriate behavior occurs.
Per DCS Board of Education Policy 4318, students may possess electronic devices during the school day for instructional use at teacher direction. Cell phones, iPods, tablets, etc. should be turned off when not in use for instruction. Permission must be obtained from a teacher or other school personnel to use the device for any purpose other than as directed by teachers. Students should not use these devices during the school day to contact or communicate with parents, other students, to access social media, or to engage in any activity that otherwise violates school rules. School employees may immediately confiscate any wireless communication devices that are on, used, displayed, or visible in violation of this policy. Parents will need to come to the school to pick up the student’s communication device. The school is not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged devices.
Should there be a need for a student to call home, the student must come to the office to call parents and are to leave a message if there is no answer.
OTHER SCHOOL RULES
The following is not a complete list of school rules. It is a summary of the most common or significant issues that students and parents need to keep in mind.
1. Students may not sell things at school other than items sanctioned as school related fund raisers. Girl Scout cookies, little league sales, church fund raisers, etc. cannot come to school.
2. Displays of public affection, including holding hands and hugs between the same or opposite gender, are not considered appropriate behavior during the school day.
3. Sexual harassment is considered a serious offense. Any unwelcome verbal or physical contact offers the potential for referral to the court system.
4. Forgery (signing someone else’s name) is considered a severe act of dishonesty. It carries an automatic consequence of AID.
5. Bullying and harassment of other students are serious offenses. The severity and frequency of the incident will determine the consequence.
6. Disregard to a staff person’s directive will result in AID or a more severe consequence.
7. Trading cards or collectibles should not be brought to school.
8. Chewing gum is not allowed
The expectations for dr4ess at school are set at a higher standard than virtually any other place students attend, in order to promote the understanding that our school is a place for learning. The freedom to express oneself has limitations that begin at the school door. In an effort to maintain safety, an orderly and non-disruptive learning environment and focus on modesty, the following expectations will be in place for William Ellis students in regard to the apparel choices they can make. If in question, “appropriate” is decided by an administrator. If a student’s attire is determine to not be appropriate, the student will be directed to change into their PE uniform. If the student does not have their PE uniform at school, they will be loaned a PE uniform from the office. This will allow minimal loss of instructional time.
Clothing for both males and females must suit the following guidelines:
● All clothing, skirts, shorts, and dresses are of an appropriate length when falling at mid-thigh or lower.
● Pants, shorts, and skirts must be secured at the waist.
● There may be no holes in clothing that are above mid-thigh. No holes in inappropriate places will be allowed in clothing. Holes above mid-thigh must be covered with fabric attached to the garment. No underwear or skin may be visible.
● Undergarments must not be visible at any time whether a student is sitting, standing, walking, kneeling, or bending over.
● No tank tops or spaghetti straps are allowed. Sleeveless shirts should have a 3-finger width at the shoulder.
● Leggings/yoga pants may be worn; however, a shirt or skirt must be worn over these and must meet dress code length for skirts/shorts. A rule of thumb is, if you wouldn’t wear the top or dress without the leggings, then it won’t meet dress code.
● A neckline is considered appropriate when it is not revealing or distracting. An appropriate neckline does not fall below the student’s 4-closed finger horizontal hand when placed at the base of the neck.
● Shoes must be worn at all times.
● No bare midriffs are allowed.
● Pajama pants, slippers, or other lounging apparel may not be worn at school.
● Bulky outerwear such as overcoats, raincoats, or trench coats may not be worn during the school day.
● Any apparel that can be considered sexually, culturally, or institutionally offensive will not be allowed. Clothing that refers to tobacco products, alcohol products, or narcotics are not allowed.
● Administrators have the right to address any dress code issues which go beyond the dress code articulated above, but believe the dress code issue significantly violates the intent of School Board Policy 4316. This dress code applies to all William Ellis students attending or participating n any school sponsored activities or events.
All students have the right to an educational atmosphere that is free from verbal and/or physical abuse. Bullying is defined as physical or verbal mistreatment of a person where an imbalance of physical or psychological power is created with the bully being strong (or perceived to be stronger) than the victim and which causes a disruption to the learning environment. This would include social media outside of school that affect the learning environment. Aggressive behavior or bullying is any behavior that may subject a student to insults, taunts, or challenges, whether verbal or physical in nature (either isolated or repeated behavior), which are likely to intimidate and/or provoke a violent or disorderly response from the student being treated in this matter. This also includes the encouragement or prodding of other students to engage in these types of aggressive behaviors. These behaviors include, but are not limited to:
Physical: hitting, kicking, grabbing, spitting
Verbal: name calling, racist remarks, put-downs, extortion
Indirect: spreading rumors, wearing or possessing items depicting or implying hatred or prejudice, exclusion from peer group, taking and hiding or destroying another’s papers or other possessions
Written: threatening e-mail, notes, and/or graffiti
Coercion: forcing other students into acts against their wishes
Reporting Bullying/Harassment and Other Issues
Students have a responsibility for reporting to an adult at school when they have been subjected to bullying or harassment. All such reports will be investigated and dealt with appropriately, but we cannot help a student if we are not aware that there is a problem. Students should also report to an adult if they have a suspicion or knowledge of other major misbehavior. In every instance the effort is made to protect the confidentiality of a student who reports a problem at school. There are many ways to investigate a report without identifying the person who made it. Student can report serious issues to any staff member. It is not necessary to always do so to an administrator.
After-School Detention - Students may be assigned to ASD due to frequency of minor infractions. ASD will be supervised by a grade level teacher from 3:00 – 3:50. Parents will need to pick-up students after 3:50 and no later than 4:00.
Alternative Instructional Day – AID is supervised by a staff member and includes assigned work. Scheduled bathroom breaks, silence, and completed assignments are expectations for AID. Students may bring their lunch or choose from the school lunch menu without purchasing extra items. Students who disrupt AID will receive OSS.
Out-of-School Suspension - When students engage in frequent and/or significant misbehavior, they may be suspended from school.
Alternative School Suspension - Parents may choose to place their son/daughter at Central Davie Academy (CDA) during the days they are suspended from school. Parents must provide transportation to CDA as school transportation is not provided. Information regarding the CDA option will be shared in the event a student is suspended.
Lunch Detention - Students assigned to lunch detention are denied the opportunity to eat lunch with their class. Lunch detention is managed by the student’s team.
Travel Plan - Students who misbehave may be placed on a travel plan that provides supervision at all times.
Long Term Suspension or Expulsion - Serious incidents of misbehavior may result in long term suspension or expulsion.
Riding a school bus to or from school is a privilege that may be taken away if appropriate behavior is not observed. Please remember bus transportation is a part of the school day, so all general rules for behavior apply while you are taking advantage of this bus service. Ride safely and consider the rights and safety of others.
● All school rules apply.
● Remain in assigned seats at all times.
● Keep all objects inside the bus.
● Obey the requests of the driver.
● Eating or drinking are not allowed on the bus.
● No fighting.
● Vandalizing or tampering with the bus is prohibited.
● Opening the emergency door while the bus is in route.
● Possession or use of illegal substances including tobacco is not permitted.
● Disrespect toward the bus driver is not tolerated.