SHMS Handbook SHMS Handbook

SOUTHERN HILLS MIDDLE SCHOOL

VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR STUDENTS AND PARENTS SCHOOL POLICY and STUDENT EXPECTATIONS

Also see BVSD Students Rights and Responsibilities Guide

Welcome to Southern Hills Middle School!  We hope that your experiences throughout the coming school year will be educationally rewarding and enjoyable. This Student Handbook is meant to be an informational source for students and for parents.  We recommend that you keep this document accessible by bookmarking this page on your computer/device and/or printing this document. We realize that this Student Handbook is not inclusive of all school situations, but it is designed to account for the most typical circumstances of our school.  Students or parents with questions should contact the school at (720) 561-3400. School staff will review parts of this Student Handbook during the first few days of the school year, and students will be responsible for reading and understanding all of the information in this Student Handbook. 


The BVSD Student Rights and Responsibilities Guide is required reading for all students and parents.  Students and parents are required to review and initial a document which indicates an understanding of multiple parts of the Guide.  Printed copies are available in the Southern Hills Main Office, and the Guide can be found on this page from the BVSD website.  


GENERAL BEHAVIOR AND DISCIPLINE

Establishing a safe and learning-focused school is a priority at Southern Hills.  We have high academic and behavior expectations, but we also know that learning from your mistakes is an important part of being a middle school student.  One of our first jobs is to make sure that all students understand our most common and important expectations. After that, another important job is to clarify those expectations when students fail to meet them; and when necessary, yet another important job is to take steps to minimize the chances that students will fail to meet expectations in the future.


The administration will assign consequences in accordance with district policy and state regulations.  Consequences will be determined on an individual basis, based on several issues related to the student behavior (i.e. the infractions, student discipline record, student’s willingness to accept responsibility, previous offenses of the same nature, etc.).  Below is a list of possible and most common consequences.


1. Warnings and Discussions:  The goal of the Southern Hills’ staff is to establish a positive rapport and relationship with all students.  We believe mistakes are an opportunity to learn and that trust is an integral part of a good relationship. 

2. Parent Notification:  We believe parents are the first line of support when a student is struggling with behaviors and not making good choices at school.

3. Lunch Detention:  Students will be supervised in a room near the cafeteria or at a table in the cafeteria.  Students will have adequate time to eat. Students needing food from the serving line will be given that opportunity.  Students may not be dismissed to recess after eating. Students may also be expected to help clean the cafeteria or outside area after eating.  

4. Before/After School Detention:  Students will be assigned to a space in the main office for a predetermined amount of time.  Students are expected to work quietly on schoolwork or read a book. Students may be expected to discuss the events that led to this consequence with school administration or others.  Parents will be notified of students assigned to Before/After School Detention.

5. Community Service:  Students may be asked to complete an activity such as helping teachers after school, cleaning desks, assisting the custodians with trash, etc.

6. In School Suspension:  Students may be removed from classrooms to work in an alternative setting in the main office.  Parents will be notified of students assigned to In School Suspension. Teachers will also be notified and expected to share assignments/information with students, and students should complete and submit all assignments for full credit.  

7. Out-of-School Suspension:  Students may be removed from the school environment for up to ten days.  An out-of-school suspension prohibits a student from participating in any extracurricular activities for the duration of the suspension.  Parents will be notified of students given an Out-of School Suspension. Teachers will also be notified and expected to share assignments/information with students, and students should complete and submit all assignments for full credit.  

8. Parent Conference:  Sometimes it is necessary for us to meet face to face with the student so they can see that we are all working together.  This can also be an opportunity for us to be clear about expectations and possible next steps.

9. Declaration of Habitually Disruptive:  A student can be placed on the Habitually Disruptive Plan when behavior by the student is persistent, willful and overt.  The habitual behavior has to be a significant disruption to the educational environment. Upon this declaration, students may be suspended or, as per Colorado State Law, expelled depending on the severity of the infraction.


The remainder of the handbook provides an alphabetical list of important topics.  Some topics will direct students and families to refer to information in the BVSD Student Rights and Responsibilities Guide.


Academic Honesty and Integrity:  See the BVSD Student Rights & Responsibilities Guide, pages 4-6. 


Attendance and Absences:  See the BVSD Student Rights & Responsibilities Guide, pages 12-13. Also, below is a list of additional Southern Hills expected attendance-related practices that all students and parents should know.

  • The Attendance Line phone number is 720-561-3402, and it is available 24/7.

  • Parents can also excuse students from school by using the Absence Quick Link on the Southern Hills website.

  • We try to make email or phone contact with parents of absent students who have not been excused soon after the start of the 3rd period (10:10 a.m.).  

  • Students in need of early dismissal must be checked out in the main office by a parent or other adult listed among the student’s contacts in Infinite Campus.  

  • Students arriving late to school must check in at the main office.  Students who bring a note from a physician or care provider will be excused.  

  • Class assignments and information can usually be found on teacher websites, and absent students should check teacher websites then email teachers if needed.  



Awards and Honor Roll:  This section is under repair.



Backpacks:

  • Students can use a backpack to carry items to and from school, but backpacks must be stored in lockers from the start of 1st period until the end of the school day.  This includes any binder, book bag or other item that is worn on the shoulder.

  • Backpacks left in unauthorized places will be put in lost and found.

  • For athletic equipment and larger items, we provide a community closet.  Students may place items in the closet for storage between 8:00 and 8:15. The closet is locked at 8:15 then unlocked at 3:15 at which time students may retrieve their articles.  See the office staff if you have questions.



Before School:  The information below applies to Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.  Wednesday’s late start schedule will follow the same pattern as other days but will be based on 1st period starting at 9:30 a.m. instead of 8:15 a.m.  Weather-related adjustments will be made when needed, and before school activities may be offered throughout the year for students whose Wednesday arrival would allow that.  Also see “Bell Schedule” below.


1st period begins at 8:15 a.m. and 7th period ends at 3:15 p.m.  We prefer that students not arrive on campus until after 7:50 a.m.  On most days, students will remain outside until the entry bell rings at 8:07.  6th graders will be allowed in through the front doors on a “soft entry” after 8:05.  Staff supervisors will let 6th graders know when they are allowed to “soft enter.” 8th graders should enter after 8:07 through the doors that lead into the 8th grade locker pod.  7th graders should enter through the front doors after 8:07.  


The color-coded system below will be used to let students know when/if they are allowed in before 8:07 because of weather.  Colored signs will be visible near the front doors.  

  • Red (Wind chill above 40 degrees):  Students remain outside as described above.

  • Yellow (Wind chill between 30 and 40 degrees):  Students allowed in the cafeteria through the cafeteria/patio doors after 7:50.

  • Green (Rain/Snow or wind chill below 30 degrees):  Students allowed in the cafeteria through the cafeteria/patio doors as soon as staff is available to supervise the cafeteria.


Students needing extra help from a teacher before school must first check in at the main office.  Teachers will usually let the office staff know when/if they are available before 8:07. Students can also show a pass or email from the teacher. 


Band/Orchestra students will be allowed through the cafeteria/patio doors after 7:50 to drop off instruments.  Students should go back outside through the cafeteria/patio doors after dropping off instruments.   


Students are expected to remain on campus once they have arrived before school.  



Bell Schedule:

Regular Bell Schedule (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday)  Seven 51 minute classes


Entry Bell 8:07 (Soft entry for 6th graders after 8:05)

1st 8:15-9:06

2nd 9:10-10:06 (five extra minutes for announcements)

3rd 10:10-11:01


A Lunch/4th 11:05-11:35 / 11:39-12:30

4th/B Lunch 11:05-11:56 / 12:00-12:30


5th 12:34-1:25

6th 1:29-2:20

7th 2:24-3:15


Late Start Bell Schedule (Wednesday)  Seven 41 minute classes


Entry Bell 9:22 (Soft entry for 6th graders after 9:20)

1st 9:30-10:11

2nd 10:15-10:56

3rd 11:00-11:41


A Lunch/4th 11:45-12:15 / 12:19-1:00

4th/B Lunch 11:45-12:26 / 12:30-1:00


5th 1:04-1:45

6th 1:49-2:30

7th 2:34-3:15



Bikes, Boards, and Anything Else on Wheels:  Students who ride or board to school need to do so safely.  We have a “Wheels Up” policy on campus, and that policy is in effect 30 minutes before and after all school days. 


  • Students can ride bikes, boards and scooters to and from school, but not at school.  

  • Students should carry their board/scooter to the rack in the cafeteria as soon as they arrive on campus in the morning.

  • Students on bikes should ride carefully to and from the bike racks.

  • Boards, bikes and scooters should never be ridden in the lower courtyard.

  • At the end of the day, students should carry their board/scooter to the upper courtyard until they are leaving, then they can ride from the upper courtyard as they are leaving.  


Also,  Southern Hills Middle School is not responsible for lost, damaged or stolen bikes,skateboards or scooters.


Cafeteria (See Lunch, Cafeteria, Recess)



Calendar, District:  See the BVSD Student Rights & Responsibilities Guide, page 22.  



Calendar, School:  Check the School Website.  A preliminary list of events is found on the last page of this Student Handbook.



Cell Phones and Portable Electronic Devices:  The information below is copied from page 10 of the BVSD Student Rights & Responsibilities Guide.  This provides the foundation for our practices at Southern Hills, and those practices can be found below this district information.

      BVSD recognizes that portable electronic devices are tools of both communication and learning that, depending upon their use, can either add value to or disrupt the school environment. Portable electronic devices include cell phones, iPods, PDAs, MP3s, wireless email devices, laptops, etc. 

        Portable electronic devices shall not be turned on or used in any way at school or at school-sponsored activities unless approved by school personnel. Portable electronic devices with cameras may not be used to violate the privacy rights of another person (ex. You may not photograph others in a bathroom or locker room.). Your school may have additional rules and expectations regarding the use of portable electronic devices. Refer to your school’s handbook or ask your Principal.

Students are required to turn portable electronic devices over to school personnel when requested. Under certain circumstances, law enforcement authorities may be notified. Portable electronic devices are considered personal effects in a student’s possession and thereby subject to Board Policy JFGA governing searches of such items. Except in cases of emergency, a cell phone or other electronic communication device will not be searched without the consent of either the student or parent.

BVSD shall not be responsible for loss, theft or destruction of portable electronic devices 

brought onto school property.


Baseline Expectations at Southern Hills:

  • All devices, including all kinds of headphones, should be kept silent and out of sight throughout the school day unless specifically directed to do otherwise by a staff member for a learning-focused task.  The staff member will make clear the learning-focused task, and students will be expected to limit their device use to that learning-focused task.  

  • Cell phones are especially not permitted in locker rooms or restrooms.

  • Teachers and all other staff members can request that students hand over any device in violation of these expectations.  Students are expected to immediately and without complaint comply with this request. Confiscated devices will be secured in the main office until the end of the school day.


Consequences for infractions of these expectations:

  • 1st infraction:  Student receives a printed notification that must be returned to the main office the next day with a parent signature. 

  • 2nd infraction:  Student will turn the device in at the main office before 1st period for five school days, and student receives another printed notification informing parents of this consequence.  This notification must be returned to the main office with a parent signature.

  • 3rd infraction:  Student will turn the device in at the main office before 1st period for the remainder of the semester or a minimum of twenty school days for violations during the weeks before winter break.  



Complaints and Grievances:  See the BVSD Student Rights & Responsibilities Guide, page 16.  



Counselors/Counseling Office Expectations:  This section is under construction.



Clinic:  This section is under construction.


Dress Code:  Students are expected to dress appropriately, modestly, and tastefully during the school day and when attending after hour school events.  Below is a list of general guidelines followed by a list of prohibited items.


General Guidelines

  • Chest, midriff and buttocks remain covered. 

  • Outerwear covers underwear.

  • Sleeveless shirts are permitted, but shoulder straps must be at least one inch wide.

  • Shoes must be worn at all times.

  • Students in violation of the dress code will be given the opportunity to change into their own appropriate clothing, contact someone at home who can bring appropriate clothing, or borrow appropriate clothing from the school.

  • Multiple dress code violations will result one or more of the following:  Parent contact, parent/student conference, lunch/after school detention, daily before school dress code check.  

  • Interpretation of rules may occasionally vary from one staff member to the next.  The principal or assistant principal will make the final determination as to whether clothing is or is not in compliance with the dress code.


Prohibited Items:

  • Sunglasses except outside during lunch/recess.  Sunglasses can be worn to school but are to be kept in lockers during the day.  

  • Clothing with obscene or questionable language or clothing that advertises violence, drugs, alcohol, and/or tobacco.

  • Gang-related apparel, colors, signs, graffiti and any other gang-related items, such as bandanas, pocket-wallet chains, and belts that hang.  This also includes clothing designed to be exclusionary of some students and/or intimidating to some students. The School Resource Officer will be consulted regarding gang-related determinations.

  • Clothing that is torn, has holes, or is frayed to the point of showing under garments, or that shows skin in areas that are to remain covered.

  • “Hoodie Off!”  Students can wear tops with hoodies, but hoodies must remain off of heads.  

  • See-through clothing.

  • Winter coats or overcoats except during lunch.  These items must be stored in lockers during the school day.  

  • Pajama pants, pajama tops, or any other pajama-like clothing.

  • Students are not allowed to have writing or marking on any exposed parts of their bodies.



Emergency Drills:  Our staff takes emergency planning seriously, and we expect students to be at their most cooperative during all drills.  Specific information and expectations will be shared early in the school year then reinforced with emergency drills throughout the year.  Students who do not meet our expectations for emergency drills should expect a conference with an administrator and parent.



Expulsion:  See the BVSD Student Rights & Responsibilities Guide, pages 6-9.  



Fines:  During the school year, students occasionally incur fines.  These may be the result of damaged/broken supplies or lost/damaged books.  Students who have fines will receive frequent notifications until the fine is paid or until the item is returned.  Parents or students with questions about fines should contact the main office.

Also see the BVSD Student Rights & Responsibilities Guide, page 19.



Food and Drink:  Students carrying drinks and food should be careful to avoid spills.  The following guidelines explain some specific limits.  

  • Drinks in plastic or metal bottles with sealed lids are permitted in the hallways.  This does not include drinks in aluminum cans like the ones sold in our cafeteria, so students should enjoy those drinks during lunch only.

  • Food is not permitted as students walk in the hallways.  Students can eat snacks at their lockers during passing periods as long as they arrive to class on time.

  • Teacher permission regarding snacks will vary due to multiple concerns including allergy concerns.  Students should check with their teachers before bringing food or drink to class.




Grading:  This section is under construction.



Hall Passes:  Students are expected to regularly arrive on time for class and remain in class the entire period.  Students given permission to leave a class are required to have a hall pass.  



Hallway and Passing Period:  Having students go directly from one class to the next is an important part of maintaining an orderly environment.  Students are expected to take the most direct route from one class/destination to another. Passing periods are also a time for students to get a drink of water, use the restroom, or take care of other personal needs.  At lunch time, students are expected to arrive in the cafeteria within the four minutes that we provide for a typical passing period. 



Library:  The library will be open every morning (except Wednesdays) before school starting at 8:00 A.M. and after school until 3:30 P.M. for students to do homework or read.



Lockers:

  • Lockers will be assigned at Photo/Locker Day.  Requests to change lockers will only be considered for students who have difficulty accessing a lower or upper locker.

  • Students and parents will be required to sign a “Locker Agreement” in order to use a locker. 

  • Lockers are to be kept clean and there is to be no writing or graffiti in or on the lockers.  “Locker Clean Out Days” will be held throughout the year to help students keep lockers neat and orderly.

  • Students may hang things inside with magnets, but no stickers or tape can be used.  Decorations must be in good taste and removed by the end of the year without damage to the locker.

  • Lockers can be inspected or searched without notice throughout the school year, and students may be charged a fine if their locker has been damaged

  • Students should not kick or slam lockers.

  • Students will be allowed to go to their lockers before and after school and during each passing period, but students are encouraged to limit locker use as much as possible in an effort to reduce hallway crowding.

  • Students are not to switch lockers, nor are they to use lockers that are not their own.  Combinations are not to be given to other students, and locker assignments will not be changed if a student has given their combination to another student.  Personal property which you bring to school is done so at your own risk. 

  • Locker use can be terminated at any time by the administration.  School administration reserves the right to change a student’s locker or to remove locker privileges for a student.

  • For athletic equipment and larger items, we provide a community closet.  Students may place items in the closet for storage between 8:00 and 8:15. The closet is then locked.  It is unlocked at 3:15 at which time students may retrieve their articles.



Lost and Found:  There is a lost and found bin in the cafeteria that is most typically used for items such as clothing, hats, water bottles, lunch boxes, and school supplies.  More valuable items (cell phones/electronics, jewelry, eyeglasses, etc) are often kept in the main office. Students who believe they have lost an item should check the lost and found bin and/or the main office.  Items that students “find” should be immediately placed in the bin or turned in at the main office. Students should not carry items that do not belong to them.



Lunch, Cafeteria, Recess:  We believe all students should eat a well-balanced lunch every day, and we believe some fresh air and movement during lunch periods also contribute to overall student well-being.  We have very busy 30 minute lunch periods (38 minutes if you count the passing periods before and after lunch), so we also believe it’s important to have clear expectations that support a safe and orderly lunch period for all students.  These expectations will be explained in great detail during the first week of classes. After that, students with questions should talk to a lunch supervisor.


General Expectations:

  • No more than 16 students are to be seated at a table (no more than 12 at the single seat tables), and students cannot move from one table to another while eating.

  • There will usually be a line in the serving area at the start of lunch.  Students are to join the back of the line as they arrive and wait patiently in line all the way through payment.

  • Sale of food or other items between students is not permitted at any time before, during or after the school day.  This includes fund raising efforts before and after school or during lunch.

  • Food may only be eaten in the cafeteria or in the table area of the courtyard.  A blue line is painted on the concrete of the courtyard to indicate where food can be eaten outside.

  • Several microwave ovens are available for students, but there will always be a line waiting to use the microwaves near the start of lunch period.  Students should wait patiently, and students using a microwave should remain in front of that microwave to make sure their food is heating properly.  

  • The patio table umbrellas should be left alone at all times. 

  • Students must have a pass to see a teacher during lunch, and the pass must be shown to one of the cafeteria supervisors before students leave to see the teacher.

  • The library is usually available for quiet work and reading. A sign in the cafeteria will indicate if the library is open or closed.  Students who go to the library are expected to remain there until the end of lunch. Access to the library will be closed the last five minutes of the lunch period.

  • Students may NOT go to their lockers during lunch. Lockers are accessible immediately before and after lunch. Students should come prepared with food, money, coats, school work, etc.

  • Lunch boxes should be stored on the counter near the windows in the cafeteria or near the rocks by the main office, then those lunch boxes picked up before going to class after the lunch period.  Do not leave lunch boxes or anything else on tables.  

  • Students can use the restrooms between the Foods and Art classrooms.  Ask a lunch supervisor for permission before using any other restroom.

  • The stairs leading up to the weight room and the hallway leading to the gym and music classrooms are off limits during lunch.

  • Students cannot have food delivered to school.  Parents bringing food for students must check in at the office.

  • Students with B Lunch cannot purchase cafeteria food during A Lunch/before 4th period.

  • Students may NOT use electronic devices during lunch.


Cleanliness Expectations:

  • Absolutely no throwing of food.

  • Students must clean up after themselves, and students are encouraged to throw away their trash as soon as they are through eating all of their lunch.  

  • A lunch supervisor will announce that all trash should be thrown away with 2-5 minutes remaining in lunch.  

  • Lunch supervisors will get someone from a table to come back and clean any mess that is left, so encourage your tablemates to clean up their mess so that you won’t have to.

  • Students/Groups of students who too often leave messes will have to get individual permission from a supervisor to leave their table.  

  • Brooms, dustpans and rags are available to help clean messes if needed.


Recess/Outside Expectations:

  • Students are expected to remain safe while outside after lunch.  Football games are touch only, and all other activities must be done in a way that keeps all students safe. 

  • A lunch supervisor will decide which students get to check out a playground ball or other equipment.

  • Make sure you know where/to whom you are throwing or kicking a ball.  Students are responsible for what happens after a ball is thrown or kicked.  

  • All students should share the responsibility for getting all equipment back in the cage.

  • Equipment should be dropped into the cage, not thrown into it.

  • Equipment left outside will be collected, stored in the office and no longer made available for use during recess.

  • Prohibited recess areas include the island near the drop off circle, the area to the east of the short wall between the basketball hoops and the parking lot, and the upper garden area near the front of the building.  Students can sit on the ledge of that garden area.

  • Also prohibited:  Climbing in trees and shaking trees or the basketball hoops.

  • On bad weather days we try to have one gym available for recess.  Activities in other locations are also occasionally offered on bad weather days.  



Office Expectations:  This section is under construction.



Parent-Teacher Communication:  Parents are encouraged to initiate contact with teachers and other staff members by email or voicemail.  Our staff norm is to respond to emails and voicemails by the end of the day after the email or voicemail is shared.  Staff members are usually not available for unscheduled parent meetings before or after school, and we want to remind parents that all visitors are expected to sign in at the main office when visiting the school.  



Personal Items:  Students should bring only necessary items to school.  The school is not responsible for lost, stolen, or misplaced articles.  Students are expected to safeguard their own possessions, primarily by keeping them locked in their lockers during the school day.  Unnecessary items will be stored in the office until a parent can retrieve the item.



Public Display of Affection (PDA):  Public displays of affection are not appropriate at school.  No kissing of any kind is permitted, and hugs should be brief and appropriate.



Schedule Changes:  Students and parents with schedule questions should contact their counselor, but schedule changes are rarely permitted, even at the start of the school year or spring semester.  Schedule changes after the first week of each semester are permitted even less frequently and must first include a student and/or parent discussion with a counselor. Even after that discussion, the completion of a Schedule Change Request form that includes signatures from the student, parent, counselor, teachers and final approval from the principal is required before a schedule can be changed after the first week of each semester. 



School Supplies:  Check the School Supplies information on the Southern Hills website.  Teachers often have additional supply requests throughout the year.  



Student Searches:  See the BVSD Student Rights & Responsibilities Guide, page 10.  



Suspension:  See the BVSD Student Rights & Responsibilities Guide, pages 6-9.  



Visitors:  Student visitors are not allowed during the school day at Southern Hills Middle School.  This includes students seeking a “shadowing” experience on a school day. Parents or other visiting adults should check in at the main office and obtain a visitor pass.  Older siblings meeting SHMS students after school must wait outside for their SHMS siblings.  






















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