DISTRICT 118 PHILOSOPHY
To ensure that all District 118 students reach their fullest potential.
NORTH RIDGE MIDDLE SCHOOL
Eliza Brooks, Principal
Robin Fluno, Associate Principal
Dr. Alicia Geddis, Superintendent
Dr. Elizabeth Yacobi, Associate Superintendent
General School Information
This handbook is a summary of the school’s rules and expectations, and is not a comprehensive statement of school procedures. The policies and procedures contained in this handbook have been approved by the Board of Education and are subject to change as situations arise. The administration reserves the right to interpret and apply the policies set forth in this handbook as deemed necessary by situations that may arise. The Board’s comprehensive policy manual is available for public inspection through the District’s website (www.danville118.org) or at the School Board office, located at:
Danville District #118
516 North Jackson St
Danville IL 61832
The School Board governs the school district, and is elected by the community. Current School Board Members are:
Mr. William J. Dobbles, President
Dr. Randal P. Ashton, DDS, Vice President
Mrs. Gladys Davis
Mrs. Darlene Halloran
Mr. Lon Henderson
Pastor Thomas Miller
Mrs. Sharon Schroeder
Lakesha Robison, Secretary
The School Board has hired the following administrative staff to operate the school:
Dr. Alicia Geddis, Superintendent
Dr. Elizabeth Yacobi, Associate Superintendent
Eliza Brooks, North Ridge Principal
Robin Fluno, North Ridge Associate Principal
Stacie Sollars, Assistant Principal
Welcome to North Ridge Middle School
We would like to welcome all students and families to North Ridge Middle School. The policies and procedures of North Ridge Middle School are contained in this handbook. Students and parents are encouraged to read the handbook carefully and keep it in a convenient location so that you may use it as a reference as needed.
Every accident in the school building, on the school campus, at practice sessions, or at any athletic event sponsored by the school must be reported immediately to the person in charge and to the principal’s office.
Address/Phone Number Changes
ADDRESS/PHONE NUMBER CHANGES
It is important that we have your current address and phone number at all times. Please notify the Guidance Office at 444-3421 for 7th grade and 444-3418 for 8th grade with any changes.
The district has provided a student agenda for every student in the building. The agenda book is used to record assignments, grades, and hallway passport. Each student is required to maintain his or her agenda. Each core teacher may check periodically to see if all assignments have been recorded. A grade may be given for these organization duties. Parents are strongly encouraged to read over the information items in the agenda and check your child’s assignments on a regular basis. Contact the Guidance Office for the replacement of a lost agenda book at 444-3421 for 7th grade and 444-3418 for 8th grade. Cost for replacement is $5.
Animals on School Property
ANIMALS ON SCHOOL PROPERTY
In order to assure student health and safety, animals are not allowed on school property, except in the case of a service animal accompanying a student or other individual with a documented disability. This rule may be temporarily waived by the building principal in the case of an educational opportunity for students, provided that (a) the animal is appropriately housed, humanely cared for, and properly handled, and (b) students will not be exposed to a dangerous animal or an unhealthy environment.
Athletics and Extra-Curricular Activities
ATHLETICS & EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITES
There is a wide variety of activities available affording our students an opportunity to participate and represent their school. Some of our activities include:
Fall Baseball – boys
Softball – girls
Basketball – boys and girls
Cross Country – boys and girls
Winter/Spring Track – boys and girls
All Year Band
Chorus – Performance
National Junior Honor Society
Orchestra – Performance
Redcoats - Show Choir
College & Careers Club
Participation in extra-curricular activities is a privilege. Those who participate in extra-curricular activities have a responsibility to favorably represent the school and community. Students are expected to conduct themselves both in and out of school in a manner appropriate to their responsibilities as representatives of the school and district. Refer to the OWNERSHIP IN EDUCATION HANDBOOK for further information.
In order to participate in school activities, students must maintain the eligibility standards established in the District #118 Ownership in Education handbook. Grades are checked in each subject area on a weekly basis. If a student has a failing grade in any subject, they will not be allowed to practice, play, or participate in any extra-curricular activity until the student meets the requirement of passing all subjects. Parents of ineligible students will be notified by mail.
In an effort to promote an accountable learning environment for all students in the North Ridge Middle School community, weekly eligibility will be reviewed concerning all students, in addition to those participating in extracurricular activities. Those students not eligible with passing grades across all core and specialist courses, regardless of extracurricular participation, for the next academic week will not be permitted to attend any after school functions or events, including but not limited to athletic events, school dances, etc.
Absence from School on Day of Activity
A student who is absent from school on the day of an activity is ineligible for any activity on that day unless the absence has been approved in writing by the principal. Exceptions may be made by the coach/sponsor: 1) for a medical absence pre-arranged with the coach or 2) for a death in the student’s family. Any student/participant who has one or more absences or who has been suspended from school may lose participation privileges in future extra-curricular activities by administration.
A student extracurricular participant who is absent from school on a Friday before a Saturday event may be withheld from Saturday activities at the sole discretion of administration.
All student/participants shall travel to school sponsored events and return home from events with the team on which the athlete competes by use of school approved means of transportation. A written waiver of this rule may be issued by an administrator upon advance written request of a students’ parent or guardian and provided the parent or guardian appears and accepts custody of the participant. In no case shall a waiver be issued unless the alternate means of transportation anticipated by the waiver will be provided by the parent. Oral requests shall not be honored and oral permissions shall not be valid.
Any student/participant found to be in violation of this policy shall be subject to discipline in accordance with the school district’s athletic discipline policies, rules and regulations as provided herein.
Attendance/Absenteeism and Truancy
ATTENDANCE/ABSENTEEISM AND TRUANCY
Illinois law requires that whoever has custody or control of any child between six (6) and seventeen (17) years of age shall assure that the child attends school in the district in which he or she resides, during the entire time school is in session. Illinois law also requires that whoever has custody or control of a child who is enrolled in the school, regardless of the child’s age, shall assure that the child attends school during the entire time school is in session.
There are certain exceptions to the attendance requirement for children who: attend private school, are physically or mentally unable to attend school (including a pregnant student suffering medical complications as certified by her physician), are lawfully and necessarily employed, are between the ages of 12 and 14 while in confirmation classes, have a religious reason requiring absence, or are 16 or older and employed and enrolled in a graduation incentive program. When your child is going to be absent from school, it is important that you notify the school before 9:20 a.m. Please call 444-3404 to notify the secretary of your child’s absence. If no one answers, please leave us a message telling us your name and relationship to the student, the student’s name, and the reason for the absence.
There are two types of absences: excused and unexcused. Absences that are excused in accordance with the Ownership in Education handbook allow for students to receive credit for missed work. Absences that are unexcused do not allow for credit to be given for work that is to be completed. In both cases students are expected to do the missed assignments in order to stay current with their class.
Additionally, a student will be excused for up to 5 days in cases where the student’s parent/guardian is an active duty member of the uniformed services and has been called to duty for, is on leave from, or has immediately returned from deployment to a combat zone or combat-support postings. The Board of Education, in its discretion, may excuse a student for additional days relative to such leave or deployment. A student and the student’s parent/guardian are responsible for obtaining assignments from the student’s teachers prior to any excused absences and for ensuring that such assignments are completed by the student prior to his or her return to school.
Regular and prompt attendance is the responsibility of both students and parents. The only valid excuses for being absent from school are:
Death in immediate family
Mandated court appearance
Approved religious holidays
Emergency outside the control of the student or the student’s family
Absences other than those listed are unexcused. If a student has been absent, a note must be written from the parent/guardian stating the reason for the absence. Once a student has reached three consecutive and/or six non-consecutive absences days (excused by parent and unexcused), official documentation explaining the reason for the student’s absence—a note from the doctor, an appointment card, or court appearance letter, may be required. Any absence that does not meet these criteria will be considered unexcused. Students will be excused for the treatment of head lice for a period of two days. Each subsequent day will be counted as an unexcused absence.
In the event of any absence, the student’s parent or guardian is required to call the school at 217/444-3404 before 9:20 a.m. to explain the reason for the absence. If a call has not been made to the school by 9:50 a.m. on the day of a student’s absence, a school official and/or the SKYLERT system will call the home to inquire why the student is not at school. If the parent or guardian cannot be contacted, the student will be required to submit a signed note from the parent or guardian explaining the reason for the absence. Upon request of the parent or guardian, the reason for an absence will be kept confidential.
Skipping classes is a serious offense. Students be disciplined according to the District #118 Ownership in Education handbook.
Absence for Valid Cause
Regular daily attendance is an important factor in a child's success in school. A child who has poor attendance gets behind in school work, becomes frustrated, develops a poor attitude toward school, and is more likely to drop out. Encouragement and the expectation that a child will attend school daily, starting with the first day of kindergarten and continuing throughout his/her school career, teaches children that school is important. Chronic Absenteeism (any reason for absence) is now reported as an indicator of school improvement. Consequently, pre-arranged absences are highly discouraged.
VALID CAUSE FOR ABSENCE: "Valid cause" for absence shall be authorized for religious holidays, illness, death in the immediate family, verifiable medical or dental appointments, court appearances, and pre-approved college visits.
North Ridge Middle School is a closed campus. This means that students may not leave the school grounds during the school day. Students are to remain in the school building once they arrive at school until they are dismissed from school at the closing of the day. If a student phones a parent for pick up, this will be considered an unexcused absence.
End of the School Day Dismissal
For your child’s safety, North Ridge will strictly adhere to the following procedure: Students are expected to leave school as designated each day unless we receive a note or a phone call from the parent/guardian. For example, all bus students will be sent to their assigned busses each day and all walkers will walk on their regular routes. WE MUST HAVE A NOTE OR A PHONE CALL FROM A PARENT/GUARDIAN BY 2:45 P.M. REGARDING ANY CHANGE.
If a student’s absence is excused, he/she will be permitted to make up any missed work, including homework and tests. The student will be permitted the same number of days as he/she was absent to turn in the make-up work. The student is responsible for obtaining assignments from his/her teachers. Students who are unexcused for school will be expected to make up missed work and be held responsible for their learning, but may not receive full credit for their work.
Release Time for Religious Instruction/Observance
A student will be released from school, as an excused absence, to observe a religious holiday or for religious instruction. The student’s parent/guardian must complete the Vacation/Leave Request Form and give written notice to the building principal at least 5 days before the student’s anticipated absence(s).
Students excused for religious reasons will be given an opportunity to make up any examination, study, or work requirement.
Students are NOT to be on the school grounds earlier than 8:40 a.m. for entry to school. All students are expected to report to their first hour class upon entering the building, except students eating breakfast. Students are not to leave the cafeteria without permission from the supervising adult. Students need to clean up their areas before leaving the cafeteria.
Students will be allowed to enter the building at 8:40. Breakfast students should enter the building at the gym doors. All students are expected to be in their first hour classroom by 9:00. Any student arriving after 9:00 must report to the Attendance Office for a pass. Teachers will explain this to the students on the first day of school.
If a student arrives at school after 9:00, they must report to the Attendance Secretary. Unexcused tardiness will be disciplined in accordance with the District 118 Ownership in Education handbook. Students who are tardy to school must receive a late slip from the office before being admitted to class. Students are allowed three tardies, for any reason, per semester, before a school detention is assigned. Please refer to the Ownership in Education Handbook when referring to student tardiness. When a student is to leave early or arrive late, please send a note with the student or call the attendance office in advance. Students should always bring a note from the doctor’s office if possible. The attendance office is located at the school’s main entrance. All student attendance matters are handled in the office. Students arriving late or leaving early must check in and out in the office.
Truancy will be reported to the proper authorities in an effort to remedy any unexcused absences. We believe that attendance is vital for a student’s success in school and the development of good habits helps the child to become a successful adult. A parent or guardian who knowingly and willfully permits a child to be truant may be convicted of a Class C misdemeanor, which carries a maximum penalty of thirty days in jail and/or afine of up to $1,500.00.
Withdrawal from School
The Guidance Office should be notified of any student’s withdrawal from school regardless of the reason or length of absence. A parent must sign a record-release form in order to transfer student records from this school district to another school district. NO records will be sent until all obligations to the school have been met, return of all school owned property has been verified, and all fines paid.
North Ridge Middle School has very high expectations for students and the instructional process. School/Education is the student’s primary responsibility; students are expected to work to their full potential. Students that disrupt class, treat their fellow students and classmates with disrespect, or violate school rules run the risk of being suspended from school/educational environment. The complete list of school rules, regulations, and discipline procedures is found in the District 118 Ownership in Education handbook. The handbook is distributed at the beginning of every school year.
Behavioral Interventions and Guidelines/Ownership in Education Handbook
The Ownership in Education handbook (copy of the Student Discipline Policy, Rules and Regulations) shall be furnished to the parents or guardians of each student within the first two weeks of school or within two weeks after a transfer student begins classes in the district. Students in each school in the district shall be informed of the contents of the policy. The Ownership in Education handbook is considered a part of the student handbook.
Classroom conduct is an important factor that affects school work and academic performance. Students have an obligation to be on time, to bring necessary materials, to participate in class discussions and activities, and to follow classroom rules.
A student may be required to report to school up to 45 minutes early to serve a detention for behavior problems. Students who are in the hallway without a pass, or are late to class, etc. could receive a detention. However, the detention will not be served on the same day as the offense, unless agreed upon between the issuing staff member and the parent/guardian. It is usually assigned for the next day. Parents must make arrangements to transport their children on the day the detention is to be served. Students who fail to serve detentions will receive a DPPC (Dismissal Pending Parent Conference).
Fighting is not tolerated at North Ridge. Violent horseplay and ‘play’ fighting may be treated as seriously as ‘real’ fights. Consequences may include suspension from school and possible police contact or referral.
School Dress Code
Student and school dress code policies can be found in the OWNERSHIP HANDBOOK. Please refer to the Ownership in Education handbook when referring to student and school dress. North Ridge Middle School is a climate-controlled building. Students should dress in layers as classroom and other areas of the building may be cool at times.
Cell phones, headphones, lasers, pointers, beepers, etc. are not to be used at school. Cell phones should remain turned off and out of sight throughout the school day. Such possessions are also a distraction at school and will be confiscated and a parent is required to pick it up. The school is not responsible for lost or stolen items.
Smoking in any form, tobacco, E-Cigs, vapes, etc. are not allowed at North Ridge.
Students selling, in possession of, or under the influence of any unlawful substance/look-alikes will be subject to immediate suspension/expulsion and possible arrest.
Destroying, damaging, or attempting or threatening, either written or oral to destroy or damage District property or property at a school sponsored event is serious offenses and will be punished in accordance with the District 118 Ownership in Education handbook.
The act of possessing, using, or threatening to use any weapon or look-alike on school property or at any school activity (on or off school grounds) is subject to suspension and/or expulsion.
Students are allowed to ride their bicycle to North Ridge. Each bicycle rider should have a lock and chain to firmly secure the bicycle to the bicycle rack. The bicycle rack is located near the circle drive. The school will assume no responsibility for the safety of your bicycles. All bicycles should be locked to deter theft.
State law requires that parents must furnish the school district with a certified copy of the child’s birth certificate. This can be obtained from the Records Office of the Vermilion County Courthouse. If your child was born outside of Vermilion County, you will need to contact the Vital Records Office of the county where your child was born. North Ridge will photocopy the birth certificate for our new records and return the original to the parents. This law became effective January 1, 1987 and applies to all students who are new to District 118 schools.
Prevention of and Response to Bullying, Intimidation, and Harassment
Bullying, intimidation, and harassment diminish a student’s ability to learn and a school’s ability to educate. Preventing students from engaging in these disruptive behaviors and providing all students equal access to a safe, non-hostile learning environment are important school goals.
Bullying on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, national origin, military status, unfavorable discharge status from the military service, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender-related identity or expression, ancestry, age, religion, physical or mental disability, order of protection status, status of being homeless, or actual or potential marital or parental status, including pregnancy, association with a person or group with one or more of the aforementioned actual or perceived characteristics, or any other distinguishing characteristic is prohibited in each of the following situations:
During any school-sponsored education program or activity.
While in school, on school property, on school buses or other school vehicles, at designated school bus stops waiting for the school bus, or at school-sponsored or school-sanctioned events or activities.
Through the transmission of information from a school computer, a school computer network, or other similar electronic school equipment.
Through the transmission of information from a computer that is accessed at a non-school-related location, activity, function, or program or from the use of technology or an electronic device that is not owned, leased, or used by the school district or school if the bullying causes a substantial disruption to the educational process or orderly operation of a school.
Bullying includes cyber-bullying (bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication) and means any severe or pervasive physical or verbal act or conduct, including communications made in writing or electronically, directed toward a student or students that has or can be reasonably predicted to have the effect of one or more of the following:
Placing the student or students in reasonable fear of harm to the student’s or students’ person or property;
Causing a substantially detrimental effect on the student’s or students’ physical or mental health;
Substantially interfering with the student’s or students’ academic performance; or
Substantially interfering with the student’s or students’ ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school.
Examples of prohibited conduct include name-calling, using derogatory slurs, stalking, sexual violence, causing psychological harm, threatening or causing physical harm, threatened or actual destruction of property, or wearing or possessing items depicting or implying hatred or prejudice of one of the characteristics stated above.
Students are encouraged to immediately report bullying. A report may be made orally or in writing to the district complaint manager or any staff member with whom the student is comfortable speaking. Anyone, including staff members and parents/guardians, who has information about actual or threatened bullying is encouraged to report it to the district complaint manager or any staff member. Anonymous reports are also accepted by phone call or in writing.
Electronic recordings on school buses
· Electronic visual and audio recordings may be used on school buses to monitor conduct and to promote and maintain a safe environment for students and employees when transportation is provided for any school related activity. Notice of electronic recordings shall be displayed on the exterior of the vehicle’s entrance door and front interior bulkhead in compliance with State law and the rules of the Illinois Department of Transportation, Division of Traffic Safety.
· Students are prohibited from tampering with electronic recording devises. Students who violate this policy shall be disciplined in accordance with the Board’s discipline policy and shall reimburse the School District for any necessary repairs or replacement.
· The content of the electronic recordings are student records and are subject to District policy and procedure concerning school student records; such recordings are exempt from the Eavesdropping Act. Only those people with a legitimate educational or administrative purpose may view and/or listen to the electronic video and/or audio recordings. If the content of electronic recording becomes the subject of a student disciplinary hearing, it will be treated like other evidence in the proceeding.
Bus Procedures/Safety Procedures
BUS PROCEDURES/SAFETY PROCEDURES
The district provides bus transportation to and from school for all students living 1.5 miles or more from the school. A list of bus stops will be published at the beginning of the school year before student registration. Parents must, at the beginning of the school year, select one bus stop at which a student is to be picked up, and one stop at which a student is to be dropped off. Students are not permitted to ride a bus other than the bus to which they are assigned. Exceptions must be approved in advance by the building principal.
While students are on the bus, they are under the supervision of the bus driver. In most cases, bus discipline problems can be handled by the bus driver. In the case of a written disciplinary referral, student bus problems will be investigated and handled by the building principal.
Students are expected to follow all school rules while on the bus. Students may be suspended from riding the school bus for up to 10 consecutive school days for violating school rules or for engaging in other gross disobedience or misconduct. The school board may suspend the student from riding the school bus for a period in excess of 10 days for safety reasons. The district’s regular suspension procedures shall be used to suspend a student’s privilege to ride a school bus.
Parents are encouraged to discuss bus safety and appropriate behavior with their children before the beginning of the school year and regularly during the year. Please review these rules with your child/children to ensure their safety at the stops, and in compliance with State law, students are expected to observe the following rules:
· When the bus is approaching, move far enough back to allow the bus to stop without danger of hitting someone. This is particularly important when ice and snow are on the ground.
· Observe proper rules of conduct at the bus stops. School rules apply and will be enforced when violations are reported.
· Wait for the bus to come to a complete stop and doors to be opened before moving toward the bus to board.
· Be sure to arrive at the bus stop early enough so that you do not have to run to catch the bus. Buses will not wait on students walking to the stops.
· In cold weather, students should not wait for more than 10 minutes past their bus time. Should the bus not arrive, return home, contact the school, and seek alternative transportation.
· Students are to move away from the bus immediately after getting off.
· Students are to go straight home after getting off the bus.
· If students must cross the street after getting off the bus, they must move 10 feet in front of the bus and then wait for the driver’s signal before crossing a safe distance from the bus.
· Children who have any difficulties on the bus or at the bus stop should report first to their driver and then to the building principal.
· Choose a seat and sit in it immediately upon entering the bus. Do not stand in the entrance or in the aisle.
· Do not move from one seat to another while on the bus.
· Keep all parts of the body and all objects inside the bus.
· Loud conversation, singing, boisterous conduct, unnecessary noise or profanity in not allowed. Tablets, iPods®, iPads®, smart phones, and other electronic devices must be silenced on the bus unless a student uses headphones.
· Enter and exit the bus only when the bus is fully stopped.
· All school rules apply while on the bus, at a bus stop, or waiting for the bus.
· Use emergency door only in an emergency.
· In the event of emergency, stay on the bus and await instructions from the bus driver.
· Good behavior and behavior that will not distract the bus driver from operating the bus safely is required. Crowding, pushing, scuffling, and other needless commotion are grounds for disciplinary action.
· Do not open windows.
· Keep the bus neat and clean.
· Athletic footwear equipped with cleats or spikes are not allowed on the bus.
· Inappropriate behavior will be reported to school authorities and failure to observe safety rules may result in suspension from bus services.
· Be waiting at your bus stop on time.
· Never tamper with, damage, or deface anything in or on the bus.
· Keep book bags, books, packages, coats, and other objects out of the aisles. Keep all body parts clear of the aisles when seated.
· Eating is not permitted on the bus.
· Parents will be liable for any defacing or damage students do to the bus.
· Dress properly for the weather. Make sure all drawstrings, ties, straps, etc. on all clothing, backpacks and other items, are shortened or removed to lessen the likelihood of them getting caught in bus doors, railings or aisles.
· Never run back to the bus, even if you dropped or forgot something.
Students may ride a different bus only in emergency situations and if there is room on the bus. Students must have a note from the parent and it must be approved and signed by the principal or assistant principal. Students are advised to submit their note as soon as possible during the school day. Notes will not be approved as students board the bus for departure. If you have any difficulty with your child’s transportation, please contact the bus garage at 431-5532 or 431-5404. You may also contact North Ridge at 444-3400. If your child does not live in the North Ridge district but receives special transportation, the bus garage requires five days notice (school days) for a change to take effect. Please give ample notice so arrangements can be made.
For questions regarding school transportation issues, contact the Associate Superintendent of Danville District 118 at 217/444-1012.
During the school day, electronic signaling and cellular radio telecommunication devices must be stored out of sight in the “off” mode or unable to transmit or receive communication. Modes of operations such as silent vibration, text messaging, or the ability to take photos are considered unacceptable. Use of electronic signaling and cellular radio telecommunication devices is limited to before and after school hours and in emergency situations where a teacher or administrator approves the use of the device. Students are prohibited from using such devices during class time, lunch, restroom breaks, hallway breaks, other “free” periods, etc. A student shall not use electronic signaling or cellular radio telecommunication devices for inappropriate, illegal, or disruptive activities at anytime on school property or at a school event. Any student found to be in violation of the Policy shall be disciplined consistent with the Board’s general disciplinary policies and procedures. Disciplinary measures may include such measures as verbal warnings, confiscation of the communications device by an administrator, counseling, withholding of privileges, detention, suspension, and/or expulsion. The school is not responsible for lost or stolen phones.
If you have any legal custody/divorce settlement information that the office should be aware of regarding your child(ren), please be sure to let us know verbally and in writing. It is extremely important the school knows if a student is not to be released to a specific person. Please bring this information to our attention each year as situations change.
Parents who are separated, but not legally divorced, are advised that the school finds itself in a difficult position when determining who should be allowed to remove the child from the school premises. Unless there is assigned custody or other court papers indicating that one parent cannot have access to their child, the school will release the child to either parent.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) require that schools obtain your written consent prior to the disclosure of personally identifiable information from your child’s records. However, District 118 may obtain “directory information” without written consent unless you have advised us to the contrary. The primary purpose of directory information is to include names of students participating in a variety of school activities. Examples include: the school yearbook, honor roll, other recognition lists, and sporting events. Directory information can also be disclosed to outside organizations such as manufacturers of class rings or yearbook publishers. If you do not want District 118 to disclose directory information from your child’s records without your prior written consent, you must notify the school principal by September 1.
This handbook is only a summary of District #118 Board Policy. Policies may be amended at any time during the year without notice. District #118 Board Policies are available online at www.danville118.org Communication of policies has been made to all persons expected to comply with them.