Thu, April 24, 2014

Questions
1)  What is an ASB Card, and what is it for?
2)  Do I have to purchase a student planner?
3)  Should I purchase a yearbook?
4)  What if I can't make it to Fly-In?
5)  Can you explain the lunch and breakfast program fees?
6)  Why don't we get more school newsletters sent to our home?
7)  Can students chew gum at Haller Middle School?
8)  What are the rules about cell phones and devices like iPods?
9)  What is the Haller Middle School dress code?
10)  What is Haller Middle School's policy regarding homework?
11)  What do you do if your child is absent or tardy? What is the Haller Middle School attendance policy?
12)  What is Parents on Campus?
 
Answers
1)  Q What is an ASB Card, and what is it for?
A
All students will have their picture taken at Fly-In, prior to the start of school, whether they wish to purchase an ASB card or not. All students will be issued a student ID card. This card is required for identification purposes. Identification cards become ASB cards when a student pays the $15 fee. A sticker will be affixed to the ID card designating it as an ASB card. The proceeds from ASB cards help pay for athletics, dances, Hootenanny’s, and other social activities, field trips, assemblies, and student recognition programs, including Eighth Grade Recognition. All students turning out for sports are required to purchase an ASB card. While they are optional, all students benefit from ASB revenues and we encourage all students to purchase an ASB card.
2)  Q Do I have to purchase a student planner?
A
Yes. Student planners are required and are a tremendous organizational tool for students. Parents are asked to check their student’s planner nightly.
3)  Q Should I purchase a yearbook?
A
It is entirely up to you. Yearbooks are a great way to remember your years at Haller Middle School but they are not mandatory. Ask your parents if they have their old school yearbooks! Yearbooks will be on sale for $25.00 from Fly-In through September 30, and during the month of February only. Pre-purchase of yearbooks during these times is the ONLY way to guarantee yours; if any are left over, after pre-purchases are claimed, they will be available for $30.00 on a lottery system after distribution. Unclaimed yearbooks will not be held after the beginning of the next school year.
4)  Q What if I can't make it to Fly-In?
A
Don't worry! You can stop by the office from 8:00-3:00 after Fly-In to get your locker assignment, schedule, and to pay any of the fees for the year or fines from last year. This can also be done the first day of school. Picture make-ups are always scheduled a couple of weeks after school starts.
5)  Q Can you explain the lunch and breakfast program fees?
A

Free and Reduced Lunch applications are available on the district website at www.asd.wednet.edu/foodservices. Deposits for lunch money can be made on-line also. Parents, you can also use this service to check your child's lunch account to monitor spending and eating habits.

6)  Q Why don't we get more school newsletters sent to our home?
A

Haller Middle School is doing its part to help the environment by minimizing the amount of paper product we consume. We only send out one newsletter through the mail at the beginning of the year because that information is timely and relevant to start the new school year. Beyond that, information changes rapidly and we are taking advantage of our school web site to quickly communicate up-to-date information to you. Throughout the school year, you may access the newsletter at http://www.asd.wednet.edu/HMS/news.

If you are interested, you may subscribe to our web site by clicking the link at the bottom of the Haller main Webpage, http://www.asd.wednet.edu/HMS. By subscribing, you will be notified via email when changes have been made to our web page. You can always unsubscribe if you change your mind by following the same route you used to subscribe.

If the Internet is not for you, or you still really like that hard copy in your hands, you can pick up a copy in the office or one can be sent home with your student.

7)  Q Can students chew gum at Haller Middle School?
A
No. Haller Middle School is a gum-free environment and the expectation of students is that they not chew gum at school. This policy includes in the building before and after school and at lunch.
8)  Q What are the rules about cell phones and devices like iPods?
A

Policy Re: Cell Phones/Personal Listening Devices/Electronic Games at School

We spend a significant amount of time addressing issues of theft and disruptions to the educational process due to students bringing personal items such as iPods, electronic games, and cell phones to school.  We ask parents to support us in encouraging students to keep these items at home, and to refrain from calling/texting during the school day.  Haller Middle School is NOT responsible for the damage or theft of these items. If students must bring cell phones and personal listening devices to school, please know that if these items are seen or heard by staff during the school day, 8:00am-2:30pm, they will be dealt with as follows:

Incident:

  • First Offense: item is confiscated and student may pick up item in office at end of day; contract initiated
  • Second Offense: item is confiscated and parent must pick item up in office
  • Third Offense: item is confiscated/student assigned after school detention and parent must pick up item in office
  • Fourth Offense: item is confiscated/student assigned in-school suspension and parent must pick up item in office
  • Fifth or more: item is confiscated/progressive discipline applies and parent must pick up item in office

Parents, it is increasingly clear that school rules and societal laws have not kept up with the rapid advances in cell phone technology. For that reason, we ask parents to remind their students of the dangers of using their cell phones inappropriately, such as to text unwelcome messages or to send or forward explicit pictures.

9)  Q What is the Haller Middle School dress code?
A

The dress code at our school is an important part of creating a positive and non-disruptive learning environment for all students. Your dress reflects the quality of the school, your conduct and your schoolwork. We take pride in the appearance of our students.

It is to be understood that the school standard for appearance will likely be different from the standards outside of school time. School Administrators staff and district personnel reserve the right to determine whether a student's attire is disruptive to the learning environment. Individual teachers may require specific appearance and attire with special consideration for safety, cleanliness, and reinforcement of course curriculum. Most jobs require a standard for dress and appearance. Learning at an early age to accept that standard will make it easier to be successful with appearance later in life.

Guidelines

  1. No clothing that causes a disruption to the educational environment may be worn.
  2. Any clothing that exposes undergarments or is too revealing or tight (while standing, kneeling, walking, or raising your hand) may not be worn. If stretch/yoga pants are worn, they must be covered by a dress/skirt (see #4).
  3. Pants must be worn at normal belt height. No sagging. Holes must be below fingertip length and not gaping.
  4. Shorts and skirts must be at fingertip length (with arms fully extended at your side) while standing.
  5. Shirts must not expose your stomach or lower back at any time (this means when you sit, raise your arms, etc.)
  6. Sleeveless dresses or tops that are worn must not expose undergarments or be too revealing. Spaghetti strap tops or dresses may not be worn.
  7. No clothing may contain obscene, suggestive, illegal substance ads, or foul language/slogans.
  8. Swimwear and bare feet are considered inappropriate at all times.
  9. P.E. clothing is limited to being worn during P.E. or sports turnouts.
  10. Sunglasses may be worn to and from school but are considered inappropriate during the school day.
  11. Any garments that are considered undergarments and worn as outer garments (i.e. boxer shorts, long underwear, camisoles, slips, etc.) are not allowed.
  12. Stocking feet, slippers or bare feet are not allowed.
  13. Clothing that may be considered sleepwear may not be worn at school.
  14. Bandanas are not to be seen or worn at school. They may, however, be worn on spirit days IF they are part of the students outfit.

Consequences for wearing inappropriate clothing will include calling home for a change of clothes or being told to find an appropriate piece of clothing. Students who are not able to correct their inappropriate dress will be provided and expected to wear clothing from the counselor or administrator for the remainder of that day. Also, see "Gang Activity or Association" for further clothing restrictions.

As with any policy, inclusion of all possible aspects is difficult. Due to rapid changes in our society, please remember the Haller Middle School staff may have to use its discretion regarding student dress. It may become necessary to modify the dress or personal property expectations or include additional items at the judgment of the administration.

10)  Q What is Haller Middle School's policy regarding homework?
A

The issue of homework is always a very hot topic. Years ago, our staff had the first of many discussions around the topic of homework at the middle level. Based on those discussions as well as research on the topic, we discovered that homework does have a positive effect on student achievement at the middle school level. Interestingly, the effectiveness of homework is dependent on the following factors:

  • The purpose of homework should be practicing a familiar skill, preparing for new content (i.e. reading), or elaborating on previously introduced information.
  • Parents should act as "facilitators" of homework instead of "doers" or "teachers" of homework
  • Teachers should provide feedback on student homework
  • Homework policies should be communicated with parents

Success in school should be analogous to success in athletics: the more practice you complete, the better you will get! Think about how many times a basketball player practices the SAME shot! What if you practiced the SAME math problems?

Here are some things that you can do as a parent to help facilitate a positive homework environment and attitude at home:

  • Set up a study area that is away from distractions
  • Have a regular schedule for study activities
  • Stick to the guidelines you have set
  • Build their confidence-encourage, praise, communicate positively
  • Check your student's planner and Skyward Family Access for grades and assignments regularly

Keeping the above in mind, the amount of homework will vary by the age of your student. Per night, you should expect that sixth graders to have about 60 minutes, seventh graders will have about 70 minutes, and eighth graders will have about 80 minutes. If you find that your student is consistently doing more homework than this or you are not seeing homework brought home, we encourage you to talk with your student's teachers or counselor.

As always, if you have questions about this issue or any other, please contact the school at 360-618-6400.

11)  Q What do you do if your child is absent or tardy? What is the Haller Middle School attendance policy?
A

Washington State legal code establishes responsibility for attendance at school as resting primarily with students and parents, and further states that students shall have regular and punctual attendance. The successful completion of classes depends on a student's punctuality and regularity of attendance. While a small number of absences might, on the average, do little harm, there is a point where attendance directly affects learning and thereby affects the grade a student receives. Good attendance is essential in the workplace and is one of the first items checked by prospective employers. A pattern of absenteeism is cause for disciplinary action and/or suspension (WAC 180.40). Due Process procedures will be followed whenever it is determined a student will be suspended for attendance reasons. Twenty (20) consecutive days of absences will result in a student being dropped from school (WAC 392.121.108).

Absences

  • Coming to class more than ten (10) minutes late or leaving class and not returning for more than 10 minutes is considered an absence without a verified excuse.
  • Unexcused absences will result in disciplinary consequences ranging from Detention to In-School Suspension.

EXCUSED ABSENCE PROCEDURES - When a student has been absent from class, he/she is required to have it excused by a parent phone call to the Attendance Office (360-618-6401), a parent/guardian note 48 hours (2 days) after the student's return to school, or notification through "Family Access". It is the student's responsibility to fulfill this requirement. The note from the parent should include the date(s) of the absence, the specific reason for the absence and the signature of the parent/guardian with the date the note was written. Students who use or attempt to use forged or invalid notes would be considered truant and will be subject to disciplinary action.

EXCUSED AND UNEXCUSED ABSENCES

EXCUSED ABSENCE
A parent/guardian may excuse a student for the following valid reasons (Board Policy #3122)

REASON EXPLANATION  CODE
Illness Illness  IL
Medical Appointment Medical appointment (including but not limited to medical, counseling, dental or optometry)  MA
Family Emergency Family emergency, including but not limited to a death or illness in the family.  FE
Medical/Health Condition A severe medical or health condition that prevents a student from attending school.  M
Court Court, judicial proceeding or serving on a jury.  CT
Religious Religious or cultural purpose including observance of a religious or cultural holiday or participation in religious or cultural instruction. R
Prearranged Absence Principal (or designee) and parent, guardian, or emancipated youth mutually agreed upon approved activity.  PA

PRE-ARRANGED ABSENCE (EXCUSED) A parent/guardian may request a pre-arranged absence for their student for a reason that does not meet one of the valid reasons listed above. The parent/guardian and principal (or designee) may mutually agree upon the student's absence, as excused, if the pre-arranged absence will not have a serious adverse effect on the students' educational progress. Parents/Guardians should make a request at least one (1) day in advance for each day of absence, i.e.: Five (5) days in advance for an absence that will cause a student to miss five (5) days of school. (See attendance office for form)

If an absence is excused, the student will be permitted to make up all missed assignments outside of class under reasonable conditions and time limits established by the appropriate teacher except that in participation-type classes a student's grade may be affected because of the student's inability to make up the activities conducted during a class period.

The school district may excuse a student's absence for the following reasons (Board Policy #3122):

REASON EXPLANATION CODE
Suspension Absence resulting from a disciplinary/corrective action.  S
Expulsion Absence resulting from a disciplinary /corrective action.  EX
In-School Suspension Absence resulting from a disciplinary /corrective action.  IS
School Activity Participation in a district or school approved activity or instructional program.  SA
School Related Post-secondary visitations, technical school or apprenticeship program visitation, scholarship interview.  SC
Office Absence resulting from student being in the office.  O
Homeless Absence directly related to student's homeless status  HM
Search & Rescue State-recognized search and rescue activities consistent with RCW 28A.225.055  SR

UNEXCUSED ABSENCE

A parent/guardian may keep a student home for other reasons not listed above, but the absence will be marked unexcused because the absence does not match one of the valid excuses listed in Board Policy #3122. A student whose absence is not excused will experience natural consequences of his/her absence. A student's grade may be affected if a graded activity or assignment occurs during the period of time when the student is absent.

TRUANCY

Failure to attend class without parent/guardian or school authority knowledge is truancy. This type of absence will result in school discipline and may result in juvenile court proceedings. RCW 28A.225.010

IMPORTANT: A late note or phone call is better than no note or call. Late notes will still be unexcused but the absence is not considered truant for appeal purposes.

Teachers are not required to let students make up or receive credit for work missed due to truancy. It is at the discretion of the teacher whether a student is allowed to make up work for unexcused absences.

TRUANCY (BECCA LAW) - HMS abides with the requirements of the 1992 Compulsory School Attendance Law (BECCA Law). In APS, a BECCA violation is defined as missing one-half of the student's educational program day without permission of the school or parent and/or guardian, or for reasons other than illness. If a student is absent without legitimate excuse for one-half of the student's educational program day on five (5) occasions in a calendar month, APS may file a petition with the juvenile court seeking the court's jurisdiction over the student's attendance in school. The law also states that if a student is absent without legitimate excuse for seven (7) or more days in a calendar month or ten (10) days in a year, the School District must file a petition with the juvenile court (RCW 28A.225).

Tardies

  • When you come to school late, you must check in at the office with a note explaining the reason for the tardiness. Excessive morning tardiness is disruptive to the educational environment and will result in an administrative conference and possible disciplinary action
  • Students must bring in a note to excuse your tardiness within two days. Failure to do so will result in an unexcused tardy
  • Missing your bus in the morning or oversleeping are not legitimate excuses to be tardy. They will be marked unexcused. Middle school students may not ride to school on elementary buses
12)  Q What is Parents on Campus?
A
The Parents on Campus program at Haller Middle School is a PTSA-sponsored volunteer program that provides a positive adult presence on our campus during times of high traffic. Having extra adults on campus provides greater security for our campus and creates a safer and stronger sense of community between staff, students, and parents. If you wish to be a volunteer in our POC program please contact the Haller PTSA. You will be contacted by our POC parent coordinator.