School Information

Bear Claw.jpg  Mesa Middle School Student Expectations  Bear Claw.jpg

“Procedures, Practices and Policies”

(updated as of 10/10/19)


NONDISCRIMINATION NOTICE: The Douglas County School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, religion, national origin, ancestry, creed, age, marital status, genetic information, or physical characteristics, disability or need for special education services in admissions, access to, treatment of, or employment in educational programs or activities. The School District’s Compliance Officer is Ted Knight, Assistant Superintendent, 620 Wilcox Street, Castle Rock, Colorado, complianceofficer@dcsdk12.org, 303-387-0067. Complaint procedures have been established for students, parents, employees, and members of the public. 


ITEM

MMS PROCEDURES

CELL PHONES (Personal Electronic Devices)


LINK to Parent / Student Cell Phone Contract

-When and where a cell phone or  electronic device can be used: Students will be given the opportunity to use their cell phones or electronic device on their own before school, lunch, and after school.  NOT during passing periods.

-If a student brings a cell phone or electronic device to class, they will not use it unless the teacher has given permission for it to be used.  A “Power Down and Put Away” sign will be visible in all classrooms.  This means that the cell phone or electronic device will be shut off and put in the student’s backpack if the teacher is not asking for them to be used for academic purposes.

-It is the responsibility of the student to make sure the cell phone or electronic device does not disrupt the learning environment.

-Bringing a cell phone or electronic device to school is a privilege.  Students may lose this privilege if the cell phone or electronic device continues to become a distraction to the learning environment.


*It is the teacher's discretion in determining  when  a cell phone or electronic device issue goes to the office as a school violation.


1st offense -  Cell phone/communication device confiscated and brought to the office until the end of the school day.

2nd offense - Cell phone/communication device confiscated, brought to the office and teacher notifies parent/guardian.

3rd offense - Cell phone/communication device confiscated, administrator calls home, and parent/guardian picks up the cell phone/communication device from office during school hours (7:15 am - 3:30 pm) or contact the school.

4th offense - Cell phone/communication device not be allowed at school for two weeks and assigned after school detention.

5th offense - Cell phone/communication device not allowed at school for four weeks and assigned after school detention.

6th offense - Cell phone/communication device no longer allowed at school and assigned Saturday detention

DRESS

-We take pride in the appearance of our students at Mesa.  We believe the way a person dresses has an effect on her/his behavior.  Dress and grooming are both the parent’s/guardian’s and student’s responsibility. School is a business-like setting where appropriate dress enhances the learning climate.  Students are encouraged to dress comfortably, cleanly, and appropriately at all times.   The following is our dress code, which applies to all students:


-Students will wear appropriate clothing that does not expose undergarments, midriffs or excess skin.  Shirts should be of a length to be tucked in or worn over a belt line.  Tight and revealing clothing is not appropriate.  Sagging pants or shorts are also not appropriate.  Trench coats can not be worn to school or in school. 


-Student clothing and jewelry will not advertise drugs, sex, alcohol, death, suicide, gangs and/or negative derogatory messages.


-State law requires that shoes must be worn at all times.


-Students understand hats, bandanas, sunglasses, and chains are inappropriate items to wear during the school day.


*Administration reserves the right to update the dress code guidelines in keeping with current fashion trends.


A student will be considered in violation of the school dress code if their appearance is deemed inappropriate for participation in school or is disruptive to the learning environment.

Dress Code Violations

1st Offense       

Warning, change of clothes or correct the infraction.

2nd Offense      

Call parents/guardians, change clothes or correct the infraction.

3rd Offense      

Potential Parent/Guardian meeting/discipline consequences, change in clothes or correct the infraction.  

 

Continued infractions may result in parent meeting and/or additional consequences.


*Halloween Costume Expectations LINK


ITEM

MMS PRACTICES

FOOD and DRINKS

-It is recommended that parents/guardians monitor their students consumption of heavily caffeinated beverages (i.e. energy drinks such as Monster, Red Bull, Amp, etc.) Energy drinks may increase heart rate, blood pressure, cause dehydration, make students feel jittery, and lack focus.

-Students are expected not to bring energy drinks onto school property.

-Plastic, capped beverages may be allowed per team and classroom teacher discretion. This privilege may be revoked at any time. 

-Drinks are not permitted in glass containers.


-Food consumption outside of lunch will be individually decided upon per team or classroom teacher.

TECHNOLOGY ETHICS

-Violations of integrity (including plagiarism, invasion of privacy, unauthorized access/use, copyright violations, damage/neglect, irresponsible use of social media) are grounds for disciplinary action.

-Security systems for computers exist to ensure that computers and systems are functional for all users.  User responsibility is the ultimate safeguard against misuse; however, when misuse is discovered, disciplinary measures will be taken against violators.

-Students may use the Internet if their parent/guardian signed the approval form during the registration process. 

PUBLIC DISPLAYS of AFFECTION

-Inappropriate and/or unwanted touching of another student is not allowed and may result in disciplinary action.


ROLLER BLADES, BIKES, SKATEBOARDS and SCOOTERS

-Students will be responsible for their bike and scooter by locking them up on the bike rack. If a student brings a skateboard to school, they will place it in the skateboard box by the security office. 


-Students are not allowed to ride these anywhere on school grounds.

PERSONAL ITEMS

-Students are responsible for their personal property (backpacks, clothes, cell phones, money, etc.).

-Band and physical education lockers should not be used to store money or valuable personal items. 

SCHOOL SUPPLIES

      -Students are responsible for coming to school prepared for class with the necessary school supplies. If a student runs out, they will notify their parents/guardians.  If students and their parents/guardians are having a hard time paying for basic supplies, the need to let a counselor know.

HOMEWORK

-Homework is a student’s responsibility.  The amount of homework a student has each week may fluctuate depending on a student’s learning style, work ethic, and teacher expectations.  Completion of homework is an expectation.  Unfinished class work that is taken home to complete is not considered part of their weekly homework time.  If a student regularly exceeds the two-hour weekly homework guideline, parents should contact the teacher(s).  Together, we can establish strategies that will help students maintain a school/life balance.

-Teachers in the pod/team will communicate with one another about assignments, tests/quizzes and homework as to not overwhelm students during any given evening or week with multiple hours of homework.  If a student has multiple assessments (3+) over a 2 day period, the student can seek out their teachers to see what other arrangements can be made if possible.  The student needs to understand that adjustments may not be possible. 

-Homework is an integral part of the learning process.  It requires students to prepare for class in order to make more efficient use of class time.  Also, homework provides practice of skills introduced in the classroom, e.g. practice problems.. 

-Homework enhances and reinforces study skills. 

-Homework may be measured as part of a student’s work habits grade. 

HOMEWORK REQUESTS

-If a student is absent, they may access homework by logging onto the Mesa Middle School website and searching under their academic team. 

-It is the student’s responsibility to make up their work and to talk to their teachers if they have any questions.

-For each day missed, students will be given the same number of days plus an additional day to make up missed work. 

LATE WORK

-Work should be turned in on time.  Work turned in late will only be accepted if it is still relevant and meaningful, generally within the unit being taught.  This is subject to teacher discretion.  An assignment turned in late will be evaluated based on the Content Knowledge demonstrated, however it may receive a low Work Habits grade.

MEDICATION

-Students may carry their own over-the-counter medications (like acetaminophen).  Only a one-day supply in the original container, plastic bags are not allowed.

-For prescription medication, students must have a “permission to carry” medication form on file with the health assistant.  The medication must be in the pharmacy labeled bottle with only a one-day dose allowed.

  • Disciplinary action will be taken if a student distributes or abuses prescription or over-the-counter medication.  

Emergency Medication for Life Threatening Health Condition

-Parents/Guardians must report to the School Nurse if a student is carrying such medication.

-An emergency health plan will be made for the student as a reference for the school. 

ARRIVAL and DEPARTURE TIMES

-Students may arrive to school at 6:45 A.M. and must leave by 3:00 P.M. unless they have made arrangements to meet with a staff member beyond the regular school hours or if they are participating in a club/sport/activity.

TARDIES

Tardy to School

-If a student is tardy to school in the morning, THEY MUST REPORT TO THE ATTENDANCE OFFICE.  The student will be given an admittance pass to the appropriate class after signing in.

-An excessive number of tardies becomes an attendance issue and may result in disciplinary action by administration as they will monitor 1st period tardies in IC.


-Students are expected to report to school early enough to be organized and ready for class. Students who report to class after 7:30 am will be considered tardy.

-The school will accept tardy notes from parents/guardians for legitimate reasons such as professional appointments, court dates, bereavement, and illness excused by Doctor’s notes. 


Tardy After 1st Period

*Please treat this as any other behavior.

-When you feel that tardiness has become an issue, have a conversation with student.

-When tardiness continues to be an issue, call home.

-If you have had conversations with both student and parent and feel this is still an issue, write a referral with these interventions documented.  Looking at this student’s situation as a whole, administration will decide next steps.

ABSENCES and AFTER SCHOOL ACTIVITIES

Middle School Activities and Athletics Handbook: LINK


ATHLETIC CODE OF CONDUCT  

The student participating in the athletic programs of Douglas County Schools:  

  • Must be in attendance at school the day of a game or practice, except in the case of a doctor’s appointment or any other excused reason, other than illness; and in case of illness, must be at school at least one half day  (minimum 3 1/2 hours).

ATHLETIC ELIGIBILITY

(TBD)

Middle School Activities and Athletics Handbook: LINK


Mesa Middle School Athletic Eligibility Practice: LINK 

HEALTH ROOM

-If a student is not feeling well, they must check in with their teacher (unless it is an emergency) to request a pass  to go to the health room. 

-Parents/Guardians will be notified and an assessment will be made to see if a student should go home or stay in school.  If a student stays in school, they will be sent back to class.

VISITORS

-Students are not allowed to bring guests to school at any time during the school year.  This also applies to school dances.

-Previous MMS students must pre-arrange with a staff member and main office 48 hours prior to visit.  This must be supported by administration prior to allowing the visit to happen.

LOST or STOLEN ITEMS

-Students will report any lost or stolen item to the Office immediately.

-The school does not have insurance to cover loss or damage to any student’s personal items.

-If used inappropriately, personal items of a student may be confiscated by school personnel .

-A lost and found area is in the commons.  Students can check there if something is missing.

-Lost cell phones, money and other valuable items are typically turned into the main office.

MESSAGES and DROP-OFF ITEMS

-In order to protect the academic atmosphere, we ask that students not  receive messages during class.  In an emergency, the main office can get the message to a student very quickly.  General messages will be delivered to students during lunch and at the end of the day.

-Items that are dropped off for students at the main office will be left for them to claim.  It is the student’s responsibility to check with the main office to see if their parents/guardians have delivered any items.

TEXTBOOKS and LIBRARY BOOKS / LIBRARY MATERIALS

Textbooks / Library books and Library materials  remain the property of the school district and should be returned in good condition.  If a textbook / Library book or Library materials are not returned or is not returned in the condition in which it was assigned or checked out to the student (allowing for reasonable wear), the student will be fined.

PROGRESS REPORTS and REPORT CARDS

-Progress Reports and Report Cards can be found on the Parent and Student Portal. If you do not have access to a computer at home, we will provide a copy for you. At the end of 6 weeks and 12 weeks of each semester, a reminder will be sent to you to check your student’s progress.

-At semester, letter grades are used to designate student progress.  These grades appear on the student’s permanent records.

GRADING

-Mesa Middle School uses a standard referenced grading system. In all classes, students will receive two grades.  One is a Content Knowledge grade and the other is a work habits grade.  Grades are based on growth not average.  Middle School grading philosophy states to use most recent evidence to determine the grade, which also follows the IB philosophy.

-Each Content Knowledge grade will be divided into four criterion representing critical knowledge or skills associated with a particular content area. Criteria will vary based on the subject.

-The Work Habits grade can contain formative assessments, homework, daily work, ATL, classroom behaviors, and ROAR.  There will be at least one Work Habits grade per week.

-Both Content Knowledge grades and Work Habits grades are scored on an 8 point system, with 8 being the highest and 1 being the lowest.  Rubrics for Content Knowledge and Work Habits can be found on the Mesa Middle School Website.  For Example, a student who receives a 6 on a task has demonstrated solid understanding.  Whereas, a student who receives a 4 has demonstrated partial or incomplete understanding of the content.

HONOR ROLL

-Students may be listed on the Distinguished Honor Roll if they have straight A’s in both Content Knowledge and Work Habits.

-Students may be listed on the Honor Roll if they have all A’s and B’s in both Content Knowledge and Work Habits.

INFINITE CAMPUS

-For the most current and up to date reflection of a student’s completed and missing work, please log-in to Infinite Campus.  For clarification of assignments, please reference the teacher’s website.  If further clarification is needed, please contact the teacher (email is preferred).

ACADEMIC HONESTY

The Mesa Middle School community embraces individual growth, collaborative spirit, intellectual curiosity, creativity and life-long learning skills.  At Mesa, we  provide diverse and challenging opportunities in an atmosphere that fosters global mindedness, mutual respect and support.


We believe that the pursuit of learning must be authentically motivated by personal curiosity and perpetually energized by the desire for personal growth. This process requires learners to seek a clear understanding of what they genuinely know. Such understanding enables the pursuit of further knowledge to contribute to intellectual growth and enables learners to make authentic contributions to their community. The value of learning in this system resides in the development of self and the recognition of what one can contribute to others. Consequently, efforts to substitute genuine learning with fabrications and appearances erode the foundation of academics, equating falsehood with truth and preventing the development of relationships rooted in trust and honesty. In our effort to foster “mutual respect and support” we recognize the need to uphold the ideals of education. It is essential for students to commit themselves to presenting work that reflects their efforts and their talents. 


This policy represents our effort to assure that all parties involved understand what expectations we have for academic honesty. We want to enable instructors to have flexibility to address concerns in a manner that aligns with their classes while maintaining a consistent understanding of our expectations as International Baccalaureate programmes. 


Academic misconduct is any behavior that attempts to gain an unfair advantage or that attempts to misrepresent student accomplishments through deception or by actively assisting in deception. Academic misconduct includes, but is not limited to: 


Cheating: Misrepresenting mastery of content is considered cheating.  This includes the use of devices, notes or other means to supplement individual understanding during

An examination as well as acquiring information about an assessment prior to taking the assessment.  

Plagiarism: Presenting ideas, wording or data as your own when in truth you were not responsible for generating or creating them is plagiarism. Presenting work that is not your own may be deliberate or it may be the result of a failure to properly document/credit the source. Deliberate as well as the accidental presentation of another’s ideas constitute plagiarism. Proper documentation and referencing are essential to avoid plagiarism. 

Collusion: Any effort that supports academic malpractice by another student is considered to be collusion. This can include allowing work to be copied, providing answers to assessments or to work that is intended to be completed individually or completing work for someone else. 

Duplication of Work: Submitting, presenting or using the same work or slightly altered work for different assessment components and/or requirements is considered a duplication of work. This does not include a significant departure on a similar theme. 

Fabrication: The deliberate generation and presentation of data, information or research that is invented or falsified is fabrication. 


Student Responsibilities: 

Students will adhere to the expectations of the IB Learner Profile, being principled, acting “...with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness, justice and respect for the dignity of the individual, groups, and communities.” Students will acknowledge that academic honesty is a necessary part of their education and act with honesty and integrity. Students will take pride in their original thoughts and will value their own work. Students will utilize appropriate citations and include works cited. Students will refuse to participate in any form of academic dishonesty.  Students will accept consequences for their actions.  


Administration’s Responsibilities: 

Support teachers and staff in the development and application of consistent academic misconduct policies and procedures. Inform stakeholders of the academic policy, the penalties for infractions, and appeal procedures available to students. Apply penalties consistently and fairly when infractions occur, in accordance with the established Mesa Middle School Academic Honesty Policy. Maintain records of infractions, and communicate with appropriate staff as necessary. 


Teacher Responsibilities: 

Teachers will define malpractice including: cheating, plagiarism, fabrication and collusion. Teachers will explain the consequences of academic misconduct including the impact on the student’s grade, the documentation of the incident and the contacting of parents. A second infraction will result in a referral to administration. Teachers will provide information to students regarding proper citation of sources for written as well as verbal presentations. Teachers will conference with and provide opportunities for students to become familiar with the process of proper citation. Teachers will provide students with the opportunity to use “turn-it-in” as appropriate to verify the authenticity of their work. Teachers will have the option to use “turn-it-in” or other software to verify the authenticity of student work. 


Parent Responsibilities: 

Parents agree to become aware of the policies and expectations related to academic honesty. Parents will be appropriately active and engaged in their student's coursework. Parent will strive to keep an open dialogue with their student (s) and about all aspects of academic misconduct and its impact to the entire community. Parents will encourage and support their student's self-advocacy when confronted with issues of academic dishonesty. Parents agree to communicate with appropriate staff about any questions or concerns. 


Consequences due to violating Mesa Middle School’s academic integrity policy will be at the teacher’s discretion.  The consequence range will be from a verbal warning to a zero issued for an assignment or retaking of a test.  Continued violations will result in administrative action. 

ITEM

DCSD POLICIES

ATTENDANCE

-By law, school attendance is required for every child between the ages of six and 17 years. Attendance in class is an integral part of the educational process and students are required to be in attendance every day school is in session each academic year. Parents, guardians, and legal custodians of students between the ages of six and 17 years are obligated by state law to ensure the child’s attendance.

-Regular and punctual patterns of attendance are important to student success in school and are expected. 

-Students are expected to be in attendance every day school is in session as required by law and board policy.  If a student is absent, their parent/guardian must notify the school of their absence.  If a parent/guardian is unable to call in, the student must bring a note to the attendance office the day they return to school.  If a note or phone call is not received the absence will be considered unexcused. 

-An accumulation of excused and/or unexcused absences by the student will result in compulsory attendance action.

-Continued absences and/or repeated tardiness will be considered cause for disciplinary action against the student.

-Parents/Guardians are encouraged to schedule vacations during times when school is not in session.  This allows students to attend school every day and meet yearly attendance requirements.


EXCUSED ABSENCES

-Excused absences are those resulting from temporary or extended illness, injury, family emergencies, funerals, absences excused by the principal through prior requests of parents/guardians, absences pursuant to school release permits under District Policy JEG, absences which occur when a student was in custody of a court or law enforcement authorities, and any other absences approved by an administrator. 

-An excused absence gives the student the opportunity to make up work that has been missed during the absence.

-If a student is absent from school, the student has the number of days they were absent plus one day to make up the work for full credit.  For example, if a student is out 3 days, the student  has 4 days to make up the work for full credit. 


The following are considered excused absences:

-A student who is temporarily ill or injured.

-A student who is absent for an extended period due to physical, mental, or emotional disability.

-A student whose absence is approved by the building principal or designee at the request of the parent/guardian.

-A student who is absent for the following reasons; bereavement, immediate family illness and medical appointments, court appearances, observance of an established religious holiday, work-study program under the supervision of the school, and any school-sponsored activity or activities of an educational nature with advanced approval by administration. 


UNEXCUSED ABSENCES

-Unexcused absences are those absences deemed unacceptable by administration regardless of the prior approval or knowledge of the parents/guardians.

HABITUALLY TRUANT STUDENTS

-Students subject to the compulsory attendance laws who have four or more full day unexcused absences from school in any one month or ten full day unexcused absences during any school year are considered to be “habitually truant” under state law. For purposes of this policy, an “absence” is the accumulation of any and all class/period absences on any school day. Absences due to suspension or expulsion shall not be considered for purposes of determining habitual truancy. Once a student is determined to be habitually truant, the school’s attendance officer shall notify the student’s parents, guardians, or legal custodian, in writing, of the student’s unexcused absences and of the fact that the student is habitually truant. When a student is declared habitually truant, the school shall, in cooperation with the student and parent, guardian, or legal custodian, develop a plan to assist the child to remain in school. When deemed necessary, designated school authorities may be initiate court action to enforce school attendance requirements.

TRANSPORTATION

-Riding the school bus is a privilege.

-If a student’s behavior were to endanger the safety of others, they may be excluded from school bus transportation. 

-If a student wishes to ride a different bus, they must present a written note from their parent/guardian to the Counseling Office and get a bus pass by 12:30 P.M.

-Students will follow DCSD Transportation guidelines and agree to all terms and conditions when applying for a transportation Z-Pass.

CLOSED CAMPUS

-Mesa is a closed campus school.  Students are not permitted to leave school grounds at any time without permission. 

-Students are considered on school grounds after departing the school bus, a private car, or walking onto school property. 

-Students are not permitted to leave campus after school and then return.


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