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ERMS Student Handbook 2022-2023
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 East Ridge Middle School




                               A National Demonstration School for AVID!

Principal’s Welcome Letter        3

The School Day, Academics, Materials, & Records        4

Visitors, Messages, and Access (Policy 5.35)        4

School Day        4

Entering Campus        5

Cafeteria        5

Lunch        5

Academics and Schedules        5

Textbooks and Other Student Materials        5

Homework and Make-Up Work        6

Testing        6

Grades and Exams        6

Conferences        7

Attendance, Health, and Special Services        7

Absences and Check Outs (Policy 5.35 and 5.40)        7

Illness, Accidents, and Injuries (Policy 5.60 and 5.61)        8

Medication (Policy 5.62)        8

Health Screening        8

Discipline, Safety, Policies, and Transportation        9

Behavior Expectations        9

Agendas        9

Dress Code        10

Hallways and Stairs        11

Gum, Candy, and Food        11

Cell Phones, Electronics, Toys, and Contraband        11

In-School Event Restrictions        12

Classroom Rules        12

Tardiness        12

IDs        12

Detention        13

Transportation        13

Activities and Organizations        14

Intramural and Extracurricular Sports (Policy 5.80)        14

Student Organizations        14

Student Rewards        14

Field Trips        15

Volunteers        15

SAC        15

East Ridge Middle School 

13201 Excalibur Road

Clermont, Florida 34711


352-536-8039 (fax)

Office Hours:

Monday – Friday

8:00 AM to 4:30 PM  

RE: Welcome Letter

July 31, 2022

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



The School Day, Academics, Materials, & 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 of emergency, 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.  

School Day

The first bell rings at 910 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 8:50 AM each  morning to wait in the courtyard until the first bell rings. Students are NOT supervised until 8:50 AM. Students who arrive after 9:20AM must stop in the main office for a tardy pass. All tardiness  is considered unexcused except for the same reasons covered under excused absences.  

Entering Campus 

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 8:50 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 2022-2023 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 donations to cover the costs of consumable supplies.  PE classes will recommend 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: 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 grade level administrator, 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.  

Health Screening

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

Behavior Expectations 

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.

Discipline Ladder

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.

Dress Code

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: ∙ Hairstyles, unnatural hair colors, or make-up that is extreme and/or disruptive or does not  allow direct eye contact

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 approximately 1,100 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. ∙ Always walk – no running or jumping at any time

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. Non-disposable water bottles are allowed on campus to be carried  during the day.  There are touchless water bottle filling stations on campus. Water fountains can also be used to fill bottles.

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

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:  ∙

Classroom Rules

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

Wears Label


Logs Date for no ID and reminds student of ID  Discipline

2nd Report of ID Left at  Home

Wears Label


Logs Date for no ID and reminds student of ID  Discipline

3rd Report of ID Left at  Home

Wears Label


Logs Date for no ID and reminds student of ID  Discipline

4th Report of ID Left at  Home

Wears Label


Logs Date; Grade Level Clerk: Issue  Detention/Call Home/Notify Detention Host

5th Report of ID Left at  Home

Wears Label



Logs Date; Grade Level Clerk: Calls  home/Notifies Wed. School Host

6th Report of ID Left at  Home

Wears Label


Logs Date; Grade Level Clerk:  

Documents Referral

Report of Lost ID

Gets new ID  


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 an approximate 2½ hour detention assigned for more severe offenses. It begins at 3:10pm and dismisses at 5:30pm.


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 online through 

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.

Student Organizations

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.

Student Rewards 

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 

Field Trips

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: 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.