East Ridge Middle
Dear Parents and Guardians:
Welcome to East Ridge Middle School, home of the Spartans. The faculty and staff at East Ridge Middle are excited to be a part of your journey from elementary to high school.
On the following pages of this Student Handbook are many policies and procedures that will help us be consistent with you and your student. Please read them very carefully, especially the areas concerning absences, pre-arranged absences, checkouts, dress code and parent/guardian contact numbers. It is extremely important that your child be in attendance every day possible and that the school is able to reach you in the event of an emergency.
Middle school is a very important time in the lives of our students and we understand the changes that adolescents experience. We continue to work hard to model and guide our students in a way that is respectful, yet challenging.
We look forward to a terrific year and with your continued support and active involvement, we expect outstanding student achievement and academic growth.
Thank you for all you do to prepare your middle school student for this exciting learning experience.
Yours in Education,
Mr. Jamie Sidoruk
East Ridge Middle School
13201 Excalibur Road
Clermont, Florida 34711
Monday – Friday
8:00 AM to 4:30 PM
Table of Contents
SCHOOL DAY, ACADEMICS, MATERIALS, AND RECORDS
ATTENDANCE, HEALTH, AND SPECIAL SERVICES
DISCIPLINE, SAFETY, POLICIES, AND TRANSPORTATION
ACTIVITIES AND ORGANIZATIONS
THE SCHOOL DAY, ACADEMICS, MATERIALS, AND RECORDS
Visitors, Messages, and Access (Policy 5.35)
East Ridge Middle School encourages active parental support and participation in all school activities. For the safety of our students, all visitors must report to the Main Office with their government issued photo ID for a visitor’s pass upon arrival on campus. Only those persons specifically listed by the parent and documented in the district’s computer system may have access to the student. It is essential that the school have current phone numbers and access information at all times. Please do not block calls from the school because to do so will prevent our school messenger system from reaching you in emergencies.
Parents are invited to eat lunch with their child. Parents may sit with their student outdoors at a courtyard table. For security reasons, parents may have lunch only with their child during the student’s regularly scheduled lunch. Outside food (Chick-Fil-A, Subway, etc.) may only be enjoyed in the outside dining area and when a student is accompanied by a parent.
Per the Lake County Education Association contract, parents may visit a child’s classroom only with permission of the principal and after he/she has conferred with the teacher.
In case ofemergency, messages will be delivered to students during the school day. Parents should contact the main office to do so. Arrangements for transportation should be made in advance with the student. Please do not call or text student cell phones during the school day.
Students are entered and withdrawn through the Guidance Office. Parents must provide proof of residency to enter a new student. Parents must come to the school on the last day of attendance to complete a withdrawal form, return textbooks/other school issued materials, and to receive health information necessary to enroll the student in a new school. Grades will be forwarded to the new school as soon as possible after withdrawal.
The first bell rings at 9:10 AM and the day ends at 4:00 PM on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Wednesday ending time is 3:00 PM. Students are allowed to enter campus at 9:00 AM each morning to wait in the courtyard until the first bell rings. Students are NOT supervised until 9:00 AM. Students who arrive after 9:20 AM must stop in the main office for a tardy pass. All tardiness is considered unexcused except for the same reasons covered under excused absences.
Car riders must enter from the front gate area only. Bus riders and bike riders must enter from the back gate (bus loop) only. Bike riders must walk their bikes up the hill on the sidewalk to enter campus. Bicycles must be locked in the bicycle compound during the day. Walkers may enter from front or back gate. Walkers must remain on the sidewalks at all times. Students may not bring skateboards or roller blades to school at any time.
Breakfast is available for students every morning beginning at 9:00 AM in the lunchroom. Students are expected to be in the lunchroom early enough to eat breakfast and still get to class on time. Only students arriving on late buses are allowed excused passes to class.
The school lunch period is 30 minutes each day. In 2019-2020 all students will be eligible for free breakfast and lunch. Specialty and a la carte items will be available for purchase.
Students may also bring their own lunch from home.
Students may NOT bring or consume energy or carbonated drinks at lunch.
Students are expected to maintain good behavior while in the cafeteria. This includes wearing their ID, sitting at their assigned table, maintaining an orderly line, being polite and respectful to the cafeteria workers, using a normal voice when speaking to others, refraining from making excessive noises, asking permission to leave their seats, and cleaning up after themselves.
Academics and Schedules
Students at ERMS take core academic courses including Math, Science, English Language Arts, and Social Studies in addition to PE, Music, Art, Health, Career and Technical education courses. All students are scheduled according to their grade and academic needs. Enrichment classes may vary from year to year based on district-based allocations and availability.
Some enrichment classes may require modest lab fees to cover the costs of consumable supplies. PE classes will require appropriate PE clothes ($17 for shorts and shirt) including athletic shoes, shorts, T-shirts, and a PE locker ($3.00). Academic classes may require specific materials beyond paper and pencil. In all cases, ERMS will make every effort to keep parent and student expenses to a minimum.
Textbooks and Other Student Materials
Books and other student materials are the property of ERMS and LCS and are provided at no cost to the student. Students are responsible for all materials loaned to them and will be held responsible for their full replacement cost if lost or damaged. If lost books are found, refunds will be issued to the student and family. All fines and owed funds will be collected before students are allowed to participate in field trips, dances, extracurricular activities, and promotion activities.
Homework and Make-Up Work
The intention of homework is to practice skills learned in class and to enhance the learning experience. Each team has developed a homework policy that will be sent home at the beginning of the school year.
Students with excused absences are responsible for making arrangements with the teacher to make up work and assignments missed while absent. Please understand all missed work is due within five days after their return to school with the following exceptions: (subject to School Board policy changes)
Students will participate in state testing and other school-based academic testing according to state and district guidelines to ensure academic progress and success. Results of these tests can impact a student’s current and future schedule of classes.
Grades and Exams
Progress Reports are issued at the mid-point of each nine week grading period. Parents are encouraged to review student grades on a regular basis via Skyward Family Access. A quick link is provided through the Lake County Schools website: www.lake.k12.fl.us. The student ID number, a user name, and password are required to use Skyward Family Access. Teachers are expected to update grades online at least once a week.
Report cards are issued four times per year, at the end of each nine week grading period and are available on Skyward Family Access. Students who are new to ERMS must be in attendance at least 10 days to receive a grade from ERMS. If the student transfers to ERMS from another school, the grade from the previous school will be averaged on a pro-rated basis with the ERMS grade to create the nine weeks average. *Report cards will no longer be printed.*
Parent-teacher conferences are encouraged at any time during the school year. Conferences may be set up by contacting the student’s teacher, counselor, or team leader, or by calling the Main Office. Conferences usually include all of the student’s academic teachers plus enrichment teachers, guidance, and specialists as necessary. Parents are also welcome to meet with the grade level administrator or principal upon request.
ERMS also has instructional specialists including a Literacy Coach and an Exceptional Student Education specialist on campus to assist families with meeting the academic needs of individual students.
ATTENDANCE, HEALTH, AND SPECIAL SERVICES
Absences and Check Outs (Policy 5.35 and 5.40)
Students are expected to attend school every day, all day. Students are not allowed to leave school for any reason after arrival unless checked out through the Main Office. Only parents, guardians, and those specifically listed by the parent as having permission to have access to the student may check out a student. Government issued photo identification is required to check out any student.
Parents are asked to limit early check outs to emergency needs only. ERMS reserves the right to limit check outs within 15 minutes of dismissal to emergency needs and verified medical appointments.
Students must bring a written note from the parent or guardian to the Grade Level office upon returning to school from any absence including early checkouts. Only absences due to the illness or injury of the student, medical appointments with proof, a serious illness, injury or death of a family member, court appointments, religious holidays, and some educational activities are considered excused.
Absences for any other reason, unless pre-arranged, are considered unexcused.
Pre-arranged absences must be approved by the principal or his designee at least one week in advance of the absence. The parent/guardian must provide written notification to the principal of the request for the absence including the reason and dates for the absence. Approval of the request is based on previous attendance records, current academic status, and teacher input and is limited to 5 school days per year per student.
Illness, Accidents, and Injuries (Policy 5.60 and 5.61)
Parents will be notified by the school if a student is ill and needs to go home. ERMS does have a school nurse on campus 5 days a week. Students will usually return to class to wait for a parent unless they are feverish or appear to have any type of contagious condition.
Parents will be notified by the school if a student has been injured at school. Students with minor injuries will usually return to class. Students who are bleeding or are in need of medical attention will remain in the main office until the parent arrives. ERMS reserves the right and holds the responsibility to call 911 for emergency medical assistance. Parents are strongly encouraged to purchase school insurance to assist with medical costs that may result from an injury.
Information is available through the Main Office.
Students with a temporary injury may be excused from physical activity for up to two days with a parent note. A doctor’s note is required for more extended periods of time. Students who are unable to participate in required physical activities may be assigned alternative assignments to make up for the missed activity.
Students may also obtain an elevator pass for up to two days with a parent note due to a temporary injury that makes climbing stairs unsafe. Elevator passes for longer periods of time are allowed only with a doctor’s note. Students with foot injuries must make every effort to protect the injured foot and walk safely by wearing matching footwear that both protects the foot and maintains balance.
Medication (Policy 5.62)
Parents are encouraged to dispense student medications at home if at all possible. If a student must take medication at school, the parent must complete the proper forms and provide the medication in the original container with the student’s and doctor’s name on the label. Forms and all information regarding medication are available in the Guidance Office. Students needing medication at school must take the first dose of the medication at home to allow the parent to watch for unexpected side effects prior to sending the student to school.
The Lake County Health Department offers general health screening through the school each year, usually for 6th graders. Information is sent home with students a few weeks before the screening takes place. Parents may opt out of this screening by sending a note to the ERMS Health Coordinator prior to the screening.
Students are also offered the opportunity to have their state-mandated immunizations at school through the Health Department. Letters are sent home several weeks prior to the event. Only those students who return a signed permission slip are allowed to participate.
DISCIPLINE, SAFETY, POLICIES, and TRANSPORTATION
ERMS expects the highest level of behavior from all of its students at all times and is committed to following the policies outlined in the LCS Student Code of Conduct. Maintaining a safe and orderly campus enhances the educational experience and ensures a positive learning environment for all students.
ERMS has also developed a discipline ladder to address inappropriate behaviors. In all cases, every effort will be made to contact parents by phone when a student has a discipline issue. With the exception of zero tolerance or other sudden, extreme issues, the administration of ERMS will usually address office referrals on an escalating scale of consequences including but not limited to the following:
Students assigned to ISS for disciplinary purposes will spend their entire school day in a designated area. Student class work is obtained from the regular teacher and completed. The completed work is returned to the teacher and graded for full credit. Students are restricted from all social contact with other students for the entire school day.
Students assigned to OSS for disciplinary purposes are restricted from attending school or being on any LCS campus (including high school events) for the duration of the suspension. Middle school students are allowed to make up missed work upon return to school according to LCS guidelines regarding suspension and make up work.
In order to assist students with organization and responsibility, we are returning to the use of paper agendas. This tool will be for student use and students are encouraged to write and track assignments and homework daily. The agenda will also be used by teachers school wide for classroom behavior tracking.
Students are expected to come to school dressed in a manner that is clean, safe, shows respect for the educational environment, and refrains from distracting or offending other students.
Caps, hats, headgear, visors, sunglasses, bandanas, or other head coverings shall not be worn while on campus during the school day. However, students may wear sunglasses, hats, or other sun-protective wear while outdoors during school hours, such as when students are at recess or in physical education classes; however, this excludes transition between classes. [Section 1001.43(1)(b), Florida Statutes]
The following items are consistent with the LCS Code of Conduct and are prohibited:
Students who are not in dress code will wait in an ISS room until more appropriate clothing is brought to school.
Dress Code Violation Progressive Discipline
1st offense: Warning/ Parent Contact
2nd offense: Detention/Parent Contact
3rd offense: Referral/Parent Contact
Hallways and Stairs
ERMS is a large campus with a population of over 1100 students. For the safety of all students and adults on campus, it is essential to follow basic safety guidelines in the hallways and on the stairs.
Gum, Candy, and Food
Gum and candy are not allowed at any time on campus. All food items must be consumed in the cafeteria unless part of a specific class activity. We want to keep our campus beautiful, gum earns an agenda comment each time! Non-disposable water bottles are allowed on campus to be carried during the day.
Cell Phones, Electronics, Toys, and Contraband
ERMS is a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) school. As such, each student who brings their device to school must sign an acceptable use agreement before they will be allowed to use it during the day. Students who use their technology inappropriately may have their privileges suspended for a semester or even the entire year.
The School Board of Lake County recognizes the need for students to have cell phones and/or any other electronic communications devices after school or during extracurricular activities; however, during school hours, cell phones and/or any other electronic communications devices are to be on silent or in vibrate mode and kept out of sight (unless school participates as a BYOD school approved by the Board or unless school administration authorizes cell phone usage during designated times during the school day). Cell phones and/or any other electronic communications devices that are in view, are heard, or are in use on school grounds during school hours will be confiscated.
Other electronics including, but not limited to iPods, MP3 Players, gaming devices, etc. are considered contraband and should not be brought to school or on the bus. Permanent markers and toys such as, but not limited to, stuffed animals, tech decks, and hand-held or board games are also considered contraband and should not be brought to school or on the bus. Contraband items or cell phones in use will be confiscated and turned in to the grade level administrator to be picked up by the parent or guardian.
Electronic Violation Progressive Discipline
1st Offense Teacher confiscates/Sends to administration/Student picks up confiscated item inside grade level office
2nd Offense Teacher confiscates/Sends to administration/Parent picks up confiscated item /Student issued School Plus
3rd Offense Teacher confiscates/ Sends to Administration/Parent Picks up confiscated item/Loss of technology privilege for nine weeks/Issued ISS
4th Offense Teacher confiscates/ Sends to Administration/Parent Picks up confiscated item/Loss of technology privilege for the remainder of the school year/Issued OSS
In-School Event Restrictions
Participation in school wide events such as dances, special assemblies, field days, in-school athletic events, and field trips are restricted to those who meet the following criteria:
Each teacher and academic team develops their own classroom rules to ensure a positive learning environment. Students who choose not to follow basic classroom rules can expect discipline consequences that may include teacher-issued detentions.
Students have five minutes between classes and are expected to be in class and ready to work on time. Students who are late to class will receive a consequence each time they are late.
Tardy Progressive Discipline
1st Offense Warning
2nd Offense Conversation with student and warning
3rd Offense Detention/Parent Contact
4th Offense Warning/Parent contact that referral will be issued on 5th tardy
5th Offense Referral
Students are required to wear their ID badges with a lanyard around their neck and displayed at all times for the safety and security of ERMS. Replacement badges are $5 and a replacement lanyard is $2.
Recording Faculty Member
1st Report of ID Left at Home
Logs Date for no ID and reminds student of ID Discipline
2nd Report of ID Left at Home
Logs Date for no ID and reminds student of ID Discipline
3rd Report of ID Left at Home
Logs Date for no ID and reminds student of ID Discipline
4th Report of ID Left at Home
Grade Level Clerk: Issue Detention/Call Home/Notify Detention Host
5th Report of ID Left at Home
Grade Level Clerk: Calls home/Notifies Wed. School Host
6th Report of ID Left at Home
Grade Level Clerk: Documents Referral
Report of Lost ID
Gets new ID Made
Follows steps Above
Issued New ID, Charged $5
Teacher-issued detentions are held at 3:10pm-4:30pm on Wednesdays. Additionally, teachers may host their own detentions at different times. Parents will be contacted in such events. Detentions may last one or two hours based on the level of consequence received. Students who are absent will be reassigned another detention. All others who miss without administrative permission will be issued a Wednesday school.
Wednesday School is a 2.5 hour detention for more severe offenses and it dismisses 3:10pm-5:30pm.
Lockers and Backpacks (Policy 5.31)
Students are encouraged, but not required, to have lockers on campus. Only school-issued locks are allowed on campus for a rental fee of $3.00. Replacement of a lost lock is $5.00. Students are not allowed to share lockers for security reasons. Backpacks, sling bags, and other large bags defined as large enough to hold textbooks are not allowed on campus during the school day. These items, if brought to school, must be stored in the student locker. *School authorities may search lockers or other areas with reasonable suspicion.*
Parents and guardians are asked to make transportation arrangements with their child before the student leaves home in the morning. Only messages regarding emergency changes will be delivered to students. Bus stops and pick up zones are determined by the LCS Transportation Department. Information regarding bus stops are available on line through www.lake.k12.fl.us
Car riders and walkers are dismissed each day at 4:00pm (3:00pm on Weds.) Car riders must enter vehicles in the pick-up zone only. Walkers may exit through the bus loop. Walkers must remain on the sidewalk and cross only at designated crosswalks.
Bicycle riders are dismissed each day at 4:00pm (3:00pm on Weds.) Bicycle riders must remain on the sidewalk and walk their bicycles down the sidewalk and cross only at designated crosswalks.
Bus riders are dismissed each day at 4:00pm (3:00pm on Weds.). Students are expected to follow all bus rules as outlined in the LCS Code of Conduct. Students who fail to follow the bus rules will have a bus referral. Consequences can include suspension and/or expulsion from the bus.
Students are not allowed to change buses or bus stops without the expressed permission of ERMS administration. According to LCS policy, bus changes are for emergencies only, not socialization or events outside of the school. Students who need to ride a different bus home or get off at a different bus stop should bring a note to school explaining the request and including a parent phone number on or before the date of the change. The note should be presented to Administration first thing in the morning so that the request can be verified. All changes are subject to available space on the bus.
ACTIVITIES and ORGANIZATIONS
Intramural and Extracurricular Sports (Policy 5.80)
ERMS is pleased to offer a variety of intramural and extracurricular sports including, but not limited to: volleyball, flag football, basketball, soccer, and cross-country. Offerings may vary each year. All students involved in physical activities must show proof of insurance and complete a health physical. Extracurricular sports are subject to academic and behavior rules as outlined by the LCS Student Code of Conduct. Parents and guardians are strongly encouraged to participate in their child’s sports program by attending athletic events.
ERMS offers many extra-curricular curriculum-based opportunities for students. These may include AVID, Student Government, National Junior Honor Society, Art Club, and Robotics. The offerings may vary from year to year.
ERMS is proud to recognize students for: characteristics that align to our S.H.I.E.L.D beliefs, honor roll, reading achievement, and other outstanding academic, athletic, social, or community achievement. Rewards may vary from year to year but can include honor roll breakfasts, ice cream parties through our school-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions Support Program, and our annual F.A.M.E. (Fantastic Achievement in Middle Education) banquet. For more information please visit Twitter (@ERMSSpartans), Facebook (East Ridge Middle) or our website www.lake.k12.fl.us/erm.
Educational field trips may be offered throughout the school year through various grade level teams or curriculum areas. Students are encouraged to participate in field trips as they become available to enhance the learning experience outside the classroom. School sponsored field trips are considered excused absences, but students are expected to make up work from missed classes as determined by their teachers. Parent chaperones are frequently needed for field trips. Please refer to the following section regarding volunteers for more information. Chaperones must be cleared as Level II volunteers and be at least 21 years of age.
Parent volunteers willing to share their time and talents are welcome at ERMS. For the safety of our students, parent volunteers must be approved by LCS. Application forms are available in the main office and through our website: www.lake.k12.fl.us/erm. The screening process may take several weeks. Parents are encouraged to volunteer early in the school year to be prepared to assist as opportunities develop especially in regards to field trips. Volunteer opportunities are regularly posted Twitter, Facebook, and on the “Information” tab on our school website.
The School Advisory Committee (SAC) is mandated and regulated by the State. Membership is through application and is approved by LCS. The SAC is charged to address the issues of school improvement and student achievement. Additional information is available upon request through the principal.