SFCMS Student Handbook 2021-2022

  • WELCOME TO SEVENTY-FIRST CLASSICAL MIDDLE SCHOOL!


    The ultimate purpose of education is to help each student become an effective, responsible, and productive citizen in our democratic society. Education is a team responsibility, which begins with your family, extends to the school, and encompasses the entire community. The Seventy-First Classical Handbook is prepared to help you develop and accept the responsibilities and obligations of good citizenship in our school and community. Each student and parent is responsible for knowing and understanding this handbook, as well as the Cumberland County Schools’ Code of Conduct.

    MISSION STATEMENT

    Our school is committed to providing a safe and caring environment where students will learn, appreciate diversity, display good character, and become responsible citizens.

    OUR BELIEFS

    To fulfill our mission, the faculty and staff of Seventy-First Classical Middle School have set the following beliefs:

    • Student learning is the first priority of our school.
    • Each student is an important individual with unique intellectual, emotional, social, and physical needs.
    • A safe and orderly environment promotes student learning.
    • Character education concepts, a prescribed dress code, and a student code of conduct provide an environment of high expectations within our school.
    • Teachers, staff, parents, students, and community members share in the responsibility of providing a cohesive learning environment.
    • High expectations and clear goals for student success should guide the curriculum and the development of instructional strategies.
    • Curriculum and instructional practices should incorporate a variety of activities and strategies to accommodate differences in learning styles.
    • Assessments of student learning should provide a variety of opportunities for students to demonstrate achievement and mastery.
    • The commitment to continuous improvement is the focus, which enables students to become global citizens, problem solvers, creative thinkers, and independent learners.


    2021-22 SCHOOL YEAR DISCLAIMER

    Please note that all rules and procedures during the 2021-22 School Year are subject to change based on current COVID safety guidelines.

    Section 1:  Parent Information

    ADMINISTRATION OF MEDICINE

    Students required to take medication during school hours must have an official physician’s medication form properly completed and on file in our office. This medication form requires written instructions, student’s name, name of drug, dosage, time of day medication is to be given, and signatures of the physician and parent.

    Parents are responsible for transporting to and from school all medicines to be administered by school personnel in a container properly labeled by the pharmacy or physician. The pharmacy label on the bottle must match the physician medication form exactly. All medication must be kept in the office. 

    No student is to have any medication, whether prescription or over-the-counter drugs, in his/her possession at any time during the school day.

    ATTENDANCE POLICY

    State law and Board policy requires students to attend school daily and be present for all classes. Regular and punctual attendance is critical to student success in school. 

    A student shall be present at least one-half of the school day in order to be counted present for the whole day.

    Students are expected to be in school except for lawful reasons as explained below:

    • Student illness or injury
    • Quarantine
    • Death in the immediate family
    • Medical or dental appointments of students
    • Court or administrative proceedings if the student is a party to the action or under subpoena as a witness
    • Religious observances
    • Educational opportunity (Prior approval by the principal is required; Requests must be in writing and only allowed for education-related activities such as district spelling bees or other scholastic events).

    Documentation should be given to the homeroom teacher the day the student returns to school after an absence. If the note is not received explaining the absence within 5 days after the student returns to school, the absence will be coded as an unlawful absence. All other absences not defined above as lawful are coded unlawful.

    CHANGE IN STUDENT INFORMATION

    It is imperative that the school office be notified immediately of a change of address, home or office telephone number, or of a change in emergency information during the academic school year.

    CHECKING OUT

    If a student needs to leave during the school day, a parent/guardian must sign him/her out in the main office. In order to maximize instructional time, students will be called from class when the parent arrives in our office. Students will not be dismissed from any class after 2:15 p.m.

    EMERGENCY SCHOOL CLOSING

    In the event of inclement weather, school may be closed or may require a delayed starting time or an early dismissal. Families will be notified via a call system as well as local radio and TV announcements.

    INSURANCE

    Student accident insurance plans selected by the School Board are made available on an optional basis to all students. At the beginning of the school year printed information and application forms will be given to each student. The completed application forms must be mailed directly to the insurance company.

    MESSAGES/DELIVERIES

    In order to preserve valuable instructional time and to promote the safety of our students, personal calls and deliveries of any kind to students will be allowed in an emergency only.  School phones are used for sickness and emergencies only. Student deliveries of flowers, balloons, food orders, etc. will not be accepted.

    NON-DISCRIMINATION STATEMENT

    No otherwise qualified individual with a disability shall, solely by reason of his or her disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination from any program or activity of the school. Qualified students with a disability are entitled to a free appropriate public education. Schools actively seek to locate and identify disabled persons ages three through twenty. Compliance with the requirements of Section 504/ADA is coordinated by the Director of the Exceptional Children’s Program of Cumberland County Schools.

    VISITORS

    Our school policy is to welcome only visitors who have legitimate business at school. Guests and visitors must report to the main office and sign in for authorization before proceeding through the school. Students may not bring visitors to school. Parents are always welcome at Seventy-First Classical Middle School. Parents are encouraged to make appointments to see a teacher during his/her planning time. All approved visitors must sign in at the main office and will be issued a visitor’s badge.

    WITHDRAWAL FROM SFCMS

    Parents/guardians of students transferring from Seventy-First Classical Middle School should contact the school office two days prior to withdrawing to initiate the withdrawal process. Students are responsible for returning textbooks and library books to the appropriate teachers. Outstanding fees or fines must be paid prior to student’s transfer. Permission to transfer within CCS must be granted by the Student Assignment office.

    Section 2:  Academics

    COMPUTER USE POLICY

    Cumberland County Schools is now a one-to-one school district. All SFCMS students will be issued school Chromebooks and are responsible for their care, cleaning, and appropriate use. Prior to receiving the device, parents and students are required to sign a technology/ Chromebook contract. Students who do not have a contract on file will not be permitted to use any CCS device. Students are required to adhere to the CCS contract and guidelines provided for the proper care and use of their device. CCS student devices and accounts are monitored by the school district and the school’s administration. Failure to use a device responsibly may result in loss of Chromebook privileges, and damage to a device will result in fines.

    GRADING POLICY

    90-100 = A

    80-89 = B

    70-79 = C

    60-69 = D

    Below 60 = F

    HOMEWORK POLICY

    Students will have approximately 1 hour of homework for 6th and 7th grade, and 1 hour 30 minutes for 8th grade. Students who are exceeding this recommended timeline consistently are asked to notify their homeroom teacher or an administrator for support.

    LATE WORK/GRADING POLICY

    Students will be responsible for submitting all assignments on the due date determined by the teacher. Failure to do so will result in a reduction of one letter grade from the original grade for each day late. 6th graders have 3 additional days, 7th graders 2, and 8th graders 1 day, all for a reduction in grade. Work submitted after the grace period may receive no credit. Exceptions will be addressed on an individual basis.

    MAKE-UP ASSIGNMENTS

    Students are responsible for securing make-up assignments for absences on the day they return. All work missed due to a lawful absence must be made up within three school days upon the student’s return to school (A long-term illness of more than three days in a row will be provided with additional time to complete all makeup work).

    Assignments that are not made up will be reflected in the student’s grade. A student who is present when a test is announced is expected to take the test as scheduled or upon returning to school.

    MEDIA CENTER

    The media center is open to students from 7:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. Students can either visit with their class or individually during the school day with a pass from their teacher.

    • Sixth graders can check out two books at one time. Seventh and eighth graders can check out three books at one time.
    • Books are checked out for one month and can be renewed once.
    • Students with an overdue book or late fees must return or renew their books and pay any fees before checking out other materials.
    • All overdue fines and lost book fees must be paid by the end of the school year.
    • Destiny, the online library catalog, can be accessed at http://destiny.ccs.k12.nc.us.
    • NCWiseOwl is a group of subscription online databases for student research and includes full-text journal articles, newspaper articles, and reference materials. Access for free at http://www.ncwiseowl.org

    PROGRESS REPORTS

    Progress Reports will be given to students once during each nine-week period.

    STUDENT PLANNER 

    Each student will be given a planner to promote organization and communication with parents. Students should bring their planners to each class daily. Students must have their planner which also serves as a hall pass if the student needs to leave class for any reason. 

    TEXTBOOKS

    All textbooks are loaned to students for their use during the school year. Students are held responsible for all textbooks issued to them. These textbooks are to be kept clean and handled carefully. Satisfactory settlement will be required for lost or damaged books.

    Section 3:  General Student Expectations

    All Seventy-First Classical Middle School students and staff have the right to expect to be able to learn and teach in an atmosphere free from unreasonable and unwarranted disruptions. We value our class time and our activity time. The CCS Code of Conduct outlines expectations for behavior for all students. Students will be furnished with a copy of those expectations at the beginning of the school year.  

    CELL PHONES/SMART DEVICES

    Cell phones and smart devices must be placed in the student’s locker immediately upon arrival at school. No student is permitted to photograph other students at any time to include dances and field trips.

    PUNCTUALITY

    Promptness to school and class is very important! Students are to be in their seats and ready to work at the beginning bell for class. Students who arrive at school after the 7:30 a.m. tardy bell must report to the school office with a parent/guardian to sign in.  Tardies to all other classes will be documented by the classroom teacher and parents will be notified. Upon the third unexcused tardy, students will be assigned after-school detention.

    HALL ETIQUETTE

    Students should be in the halls only at the beginning and close of the school day and while moving from one class to another, unless they have hall passes indicating special permission or special duties that require them to be there. It is the student’s responsibility to ask for and secure a hall pass before leaving the classroom. Students are asked to be courteous at all times and to keep to the right when walking in the halls. Running and shouting are never permitted in the halls or anywhere on campus unless during an approved activity. Students should observe the “up” and “down” staircases during class changes.

    ILLNESS/INJURY AT SCHOOL

    Any student sick or injured at school must immediately notify school personnel. Parents will be notified. In case of injury, an accident report will be completed if medical attention is needed.

    EMERGENCY DRILLS

    Emergency safety drills will be conducted throughout the school year.  Detailed instructions are posted in each classroom and will be reviewed during the drills.

    LOST AND FOUND

    Personal belongings found on school grounds should be turned in to the office. Lost and found items may be claimed in the designated area. The school cannot be responsible for any lost items. Items not claimed by the last day of each 9 weeks will be donated to a charitable organization.

    SCHOOL MEALS

    Breakfast and lunch are served daily. Lunch menus will be posted at the beginning of each month. Please note that breakfast and lunch will be free of charge for all students.

    SCHOLASTIC ACTIVITIES

    • Art Showcase
    • Battle of the Books
    • BETA Club
    • Campus Life
    • Chess Club
    • Civic Oration
    • DAR Essay
    • Envirothon
    • Forensics
    • Gaming Club
    • Geography Bee
    • MathCounts
    • Mock United Nations
    • Quiz Bowl
    • Science Olympiad
    • Show Choir
    • Spelling Bee
    • Student Council
    • Yearbook Club

    TRANSPORTATION/SCHOOL BUSES

    School bus transportation is only available to Seventy-First Classical Middle School students residing in the attendance area district. To ensure the safety of all passengers, students must adhere to the following while riding the bus:

    • Except for ordinary conversation, students shall observe quiet conduct.
    • Students shall stay in their seats and face forward.
    • Students shall refrain from throwing waste paper on the floor of the bus.
    • Students shall not consume food or drinks on the bus.
    • No part of the body shall be extended through the bus window at any time.
    • Students must be quiet while the bus is stopped for railroad crossing.
    • Students shall not open the emergency door unless an emergency exists.
    • Students must sit in assigned seats at the discretion of the driver or administrator.
    • Students are liable for all damages to school property.
    • Students may not ride a bus not assigned to them. Non-bus students cannot ride the bus.

    SCHOOL EQUIPMENT AND PROPERTY

    Students will be held responsible for paying for damage to school property that has been negligently abused.

    LOCKERS

    Lockers are provided for students’ convenience to keep books and other property needed at school. Each student will be assigned a locker. All books and personal items, when not in use, including heavy coats, are to be kept in your locker. All lockers must maintain a school lock and be locked at all times. Please adhere to the locker schedule.

    LOCKER GUIDELINES

    1. Use only lockers assigned to you, and do not share lockers.

    2. All lockers must have a lock. Only locks purchased at school may be used on your locker.

    3. Do not give locker combinations to other students.

    4. Lockers must be kept clean at all times. Writing on the outside or inside of lockers is prohibited.

    5. Lockers must be kept in good condition. If a locker is knowingly abused, you will lose the use of the locker and pay for damages.

    6. Lockers remain the property of SFCMS and may be subject to inspection by the school administration at any time.

    7. Storage of inappropriate or illegal items is not allowed.

    8. Students will be charged for loss or damage of school property or equipment placed in their care.

    SCHOOL DANCES/EVENTS

    We are proud to offer school-sponsored dances and other after-school events for our students to enjoy. All parents/guardians are expected to pick up their children promptly at the conclusion of the event. All after-school dances and events will end no later than 4:30 p.m.

    SCHOOL HOURS

    School hours are from 7:30 a.m. until 2:40 p.m. each day. Students should not arrive earlier than 7:00 a.m. or remain on the campus later than 2:55 p.m. unless they are participating in a supervised activity. Supervision will not be provided for students prior to 7:00 a.m. or after 2:55 p.m. These procedures are designed for the safety and well-being of our students.