Code of Conduct/Handbook

MTMS Student Handbook

MTMS 2018-2019 Handbook

Please note that in order to include links to all of the policies and web-pages correlated to the handbook, it must be viewed in a Word Doc.

MTMS Discipline Level System & Responses

MTMS Discipline Level System

The intent of these levels is to implement a discipline procedure that relates to the severity of the action. The procedure is not intended to be punitive but to impose a response that will effect a change in behavior. It will not always be clear that a particular infraction is a specific level; therefore, it will be up to the teacher or administrator involved to determine the appropriate response. Teachers and administrators will use professional judgment and will consider age, grade level and the nature of the infraction when selecting the response. The examples of misbehaviors listed here are not inclusive, but serve as guidelines. Examples are labeled A for “Classroom Oriented Infractions”; B for “Campus/Bus Oriented Infractions”; C for “Personal Behavior Infractions”; and D for “Behaviors Involving Others”.

All students who are removed from a classroom during academic instruction will serve no less than two days after school detention.

LEVEL 1:

Misbehavior on the part of the student, which impedes orderly classroom procedure or interferes with the safe operation of the school. These misbehaviors refer to first offenses.

Examples:

A-Classroom or school disturbance
A-Tardiness
A-Breaking Acceptable Use Policy
A-Unprepared for class
A-Food, drink or gum chewing in the classroom
A-Inappropriate use of computers
A-Backpacks in class (Middle School only)
A-Leaving class without permission
B-Bus disturbance
B-Cafeteria/hallway misbehavior
C-Minor dress code violations
C-Use of electronic devices during school hours
D-Disrespectful language

D-Lack of respect


Responses:

These acts can usually be handled by an individual staff member but sometimes require the intervention of other school support personnel. Some or all of the following responses maybe used depending on the severity of the inappropriate behavior:


Grades 5 - 8
-Loss of points
-Verbal reprimand
-Written or verbal warning
-Separation (seating)
-Teacher detention
-Phone conference with parent/guardian
-Student behavior contract
-Written or verbal apology
-Loss of privilege – social, athletic, cafeteria, classroom
-Meeting with grade level team



LEVEL 2

Frequent or serious misbehavior that tends to disrupt the learning climate of the school and requires the intervention of an administrator because the application of Level 1 disciplinary options has failed to correct the situation. Included in this level are misbehaviors which do not represent a direct threat to the health and safety of others but whose educational consequences are serious enough to require corrective action on the part of the administrator.

Examples:
Continuation or escalation of Level 1 misbehavior
A-Disruptive classroom behavior that impedes learning
A-Cutting class
A-Forged notes/excuses
B-Misbehavior/talking during a emergency drill
C-Offensive or obscene slogans on clothing
C-Purposeful mess-making
C-Inappropriate language
C-Throwing objects
D-Inappropriate displays of affection
D-Misbehaving for a substitute
D-Insubordination/defiance **
D-Abusive or disrespectful behavior toward any staff member
D-Bullying

** The penalty for insubordination in any class in which it occurs shall be suspension for a period deemed appropriate in the circumstances.

Responses:
These acts are usually the result of the continuation of Level 1 behaviors and will be handled by the administration and staff. Some or all of the following responses may be used depending on the severity of the inappropriate behavior:

Grades 5 - 8
-Loss of Points
-Written or verbal warning
-Parent teacher conference
-Phone conference with parent/guardian
-Parent administrator conference
-Long-term or permanent separation
-Lunch detention
-Morning detention
-In-school suspension
-Suspension from transportation
-Suspension from athletic participation
-Suspension from social or extracurricular activities
-Suspension of other privileges
-Meeting with counselor



LEVEL 3:

Acts directed against persons or property but whose consequences do not seriously endanger the health or safety of others in the schools.

Examples:
Continuation or escalation of Level 1 or 2 misbehavior A-Plagiarism/copyright violations
A-Cheating
B-Willful destruction of property
B-Leaving school without permission/authority
C-Obscene activity, language or gestures
C-Gambling
C-Stealing
C- Smoking / Vaping (including possession)
D-Physical contact with another student
D-Threats
D-Harassment
D-Menacing or violent behavior
D-Gross disrespect
D-Bullying

Responses:

These acts most frequently can be handled by the disciplinary mechanism in the school. Corrective measures, which the school should undertake; however, depend on the extent of the school’s resources for remediation of the situation in the best interest of all students. Those acts, which violate the law, will be referred to the appropriate law enforcement office.

Some or all of the following responses may be used depending on the severity of the inappropriate behavior:

Grades 5 - 8
-Referral to law enforcement agency
-Temporary removal from class
-Parent teacher conference
-Parent administrator conference
-Suspension from transportation
-Suspension from athletic participation
-Suspension of other privileges – including school trips
-Suspension: In school or out of school
-Suspension from social or extracurricular activities
-Restitution of property or repair of damage by the student
-Peer Mediation
-Meeting with counselor



LEVEL 4:

Acts which result in violence to another person’s property, or which pose a direct threat to the safety of others in the school, or which cause serious disruption to the education process.

Examples:
Continuation or escalation of Level 1, 2, or 3 misbehavior
B-Damage to facility that interferes with functioning of school or threatens well-being of others
B-False alarms
B-Wrongful entry
B-Arson
C-Drug, alcohol or weapon possession
C-Membership to Unauthorized Organization
D-Violence against peer and/or staff member
D-Sexual harassment
D-Extortion
D-Bullying

Responses:
These acts are so serious that they always require administrative actions and will often result in the removal of the student from school and in some instances, the intervention of law enforcement authorities and action by the Superintendent.

Grades 5 - 8
-Suspension from transportation
-Suspension from athletic participation
-Suspension from social or extracurricular activities
-Suspension of other privileges - including school trips
-Suspension – longer term – Out of school
-Restitution of property or repair of damage by the student
-Referral to law enforcement agency – most infractions require PD notification
-Referral to counseling/evaluation
-Expulsion



E-Cigarette / Vaping

The use of electronic cigarettes (vaping) has found its way to our middle school students. The juices used in these electronic 'smoking' devices can contain natural substances, nicotine, and even illegal substances/drugs. Regardless of the substance used in the electronic cigarettes, please note that using a vaping device and or possession of a vaping device or vaping juice directly violates MTBOE Policy "Pupil Smoking" 5533.

Students caught in possession of vaping devices / juices, and or using vaping devices at school, on the bus, or at any school sanctioned event will earn an in-school suspension for the first offense (level 3 offense), and an out-of-school suspension for a second offense. In addition, if school officials suspect that the vaping juice contains illegal substances/drugs', we will move forward in accordance with the MTBOE "Substance Abuse Policy," which will include an immediate medical examination. Students found to be selling or distributing related materials will be suspended and the incident reported to the police.

Zero Tolerance Guns Act

Possession of a firearm is a serious offense. In accordance with the Zero Tolerance for Guns Act and Board of Education Policy 8467, a student found in possession of a gun shall be immediately removed from the school’s regular education program pending a hearing to remove the student from the regular education program for a period of not less than one calendar year. The final decision is subject to modification on a case-by-case basis by the Chief School Administrator. For further details, reference BOE Policy 8467.


Cyber bullying/Bullying/Digital Harassment/Away From School

Please remind your students that bullying and or cyber bullying occurring away from school and or after school hours, which impedes the school’s mission to provide a positive and highly effective learning environment for all students, staff, and administrators, will be dealt with by the principal as a Level 3/Level 4 offense as delineated in our online student handbook. Harassing, intimidating, or threatening behaviors whether in person or via a digital medium, such as but not limited to Facebook, texting, and e-mails, which result in the deprivation of a positive learning environment shall carry a consequence of an in-school suspension to a 10 day out of school suspension based upon the severity of the infraction. There is no place in our school community for bullies!

Related Conduct Policies

"Vaping" Information & Resources

Clarification on Vaping an e-Cigarettes

The use of electronic cigarettes (vaping) has found its way to our middle school students. The juices used in these electronic 'smoking' devices can contain natural substances, nicotine, and even illegal substances/drugs. Regardless of the substance used in the electronic cigarettes, please note that using a vaping device and or possession of a vaping device or vaping juice directly violates MTBOE Policy "Pupil Smoking" 5533.

Students caught in possession of vaping devices / juices, and or using vaping devices at school, on the bus, or at any school sanctioned event will earn an in-school suspension for the first offense (level 3 offense), and an out-of-school suspension for a second offense. In addition, if school officials suspect that the vaping juice contains illegal substances/drugs', we will move forward in accordance with the MTBOE "Substance Abuse Policy," which will include an immediate medical examination

Announcements are made regularly in school relaying this information.



Sent Home in Principal's MP2 Letter Dated 2/2/18



Email Sent to Parents on 11/16/17

Dear MTMS Families,

A main concern and topic of conversation that has been very important and relevant to our middle school age group recently has been vaping. While we have not witnessed this directly in our school yet, it is most definitely something that students in our community are encountering. Dr. Ciccone shared that vaping was one of the main topics of conversation during his principal's chat last week. There is a lot unknown about vaping and it is a very serious concern. Below is an email that was forwarded to us from Benjamin Middle School in Florida. We thought it contained a lot of valuable information we would like to share it with you. Please read below....

"Dear Middle School Parents,

Each year during Red Ribbon Week, a week that celebrates our commitment to educate our students about the dangers of drugs, alcohol and tobacco, talk always circulates about harmful products in the community. This year, e-cigarettes were specifically mentioned. I wanted to take a moment to remind some parents and educate others about the dangers of e-cigarettes and “vaping.” Below are snippets of two articles that I have written in the past about the dangers of e-cigarettes.


For those not familiar with electronic cigarettes (also called e-cigarettes) they are battery-operated devices developed to deliver nicotine with flavorings and other chemicals using a vapor instead of smoke (drugabuse.gov, 2015). When individuals inhale the vapor that is produced from the heating of the liquid used (nicotine and flavorings) it is called “vaping.” While not enough extensive research has been done to look at the short-term and long-term effects of e-cigarettes, what has been learned so far is alarming. Many people (teenagers included) use e-cigarettes that contain both flavorings and liquid nicotine. For several reasons, this is extremely dangerous. As is widely known, nicotine is an extremely addictive drug. Recent research has found that when adolescent brains are exposed to nicotine, it primes them to become addicted to other products (drugabuse.gov, 2015). Adolescents are more sensitive to the effects of the nicotine and can become addicted easier than adults (Tobacco Free Florida, 2015). For these reasons, the use of these products by students is a violation of the School’s chemical abuse policy (see page 17 of the Middle School Student and Parent Handbook).


Additionally, it is not just the nicotine that is found to be harmful. Tests of some e-cigarettes have found the vapor to contain both toxic chemicals as well as known carcinogens (cancer-causing substances) even when no nicotine is used. Another concern comes from the handling of the liquid nicotine that is used in the devices. In high concentrations, liquid nicotine is dangerous for children and adults alike. Even one teaspoon can be deadly for a child and less than a tablespoon, at a high concentration, can be lethal for an adult (Tobacco Free Florida, 2015). A recent article from Harvard University’s School of Public Health in December of 2015 found that dangerous chemicals, including diacetyl, can cause severe harm to the lungs and have been found in the flavoring liquids of some e-cigarettes. The New England Journal of Medicine, in a report they published in January of 2015, found that the heating of some e-cigarette solutions produced dangerous levels of formaldehyde, a known carcinogen. Public health officials are hoping to learn more about the possible harm e-cigarettes may do, especially the long-term effects, but unfortunately, this will take time. Another product, Juul, has become quite popular with teenagers in our area and around the country because it not only delivers harmful doses of nicotine but it does so in a way that can go relatively undetectable to others (adults) due to its small size and resemblance to a typical USB drive. One pod in a Juul can contain as much nicotine as one pack of cigarettes.


As a parent of a Middle School student, it is important to be aware of not only the dangers of these products but your child’s possible use. Unfortunately, e-cigarettes can easily be obtained through sales on-line, at kiosks in malls and shopping centers as well as at “vaping” stores. Signs to look for that might indicate your child is vaping are:

  • Recent online purchases from unknown vendors or purchases made by gift cards online.
  • Recent changes in behavior and attitude.
  • Scents of such things as bubble gum and fruit punch when these things are not present because the e-cigarette liquids are often flavored.
  • Pens that are not pens. Parents should be aware that e-cigarettes can look like many things. Juul pods resemble a USB drive.
  • Copious sipping of liquids. A major ingredient in e-cigs is propylene glycol, which attracts and holds water molecules and causes dry mouth.This drying property can also cause nose bleeds and dry skin.

We ask that you have a family discussion about this important issue and watch for any signs of use in your child. The School is happy to assist you in any way possible.

Sincerely,

Danielle Benvenuto

Student Services Counselor

The Benjamin School "

I hope you find this information as helpful and informational as we did. As a reminder, vaping in not permitted in school and carries disciplinary consequences. Please see our attached substance abuse policies. Please also be reminded that we are continually accepting contracts for our Not My Kid drug prevention initiative for 7th and 8th graders. More information about this can be accessed by clicking here. As a community effort, hopefully we can prevent our students from participating in vaping and I hope you can use this email as a conversation starter for an important family discussion with your child.

As always, never hesitate to reach out via email at aperrotta@mendhamtwp.org or by phone (973) 543-7107 if you need anything at all. I am always a resource.

All my Best,

Allie Perrotta, School Counselor