Middle School Handbook 2023-2024
- Mission Statement
- Philosophy Statement
- District Information Sources
- School Closings and Delays
- Equal Educational Opportunity / Prohibition Against Discrimination
- Notification of Section 504 and Title IX
In order to provide specific information about certain policies and procedures relevant to being an SWL student, this handbook was developed. It is important that you take time to read and understand the information shared within this handbook. The majority of the information in the handbook is universal and applies to all SWL students, however some information is level specific. If you have any questions regarding information within the handbook, please contact the building administrator first for clarification. Please note: if any policies or administrative guidelines referenced in this document are revised, the language in the most current policy or administrative guideline prevails. Current board policies are available on the district’s website.
The mission of Southwest Licking Local Schools is to assure that all students are prepared to be lifelong learners who possess a sense of self-worth, critical thinking abilities, and necessary life skills enabling them to solve problems, adapt to change, and be productive citizens.
The mission will be accomplished by a skilled and dedicated staff providing personalized instruction with family and community support and participation by students in safe, modern facilities where quality educational and technological materials are the standard.
The Southwest Licking School District believes that the educational process is a cooperative effort between the school, the home, and the community. Each individual student will be accepted into the educational program as a person of unique individual worth, taking into consideration his/her personal goals, capacity for learning, and growth patterns. The student will be provided with a stimulating, wholesome environment, and opportunities for learning experiences that will challenge the individual to strive toward the development of his/her highest individual potential. Since education is a lifelong process, the school system will prepare the student to become a perpetual learner in our ever-changing society.
Education must address the development of the whole child. Therefore, the schools will provide learning experiences which will contribute to the mental, physical, emotional, moral, and social development of the student. The school will provide the opportunity for the learning of basic skills such as reading and mathematics, vocational and scientific training, love of country, appreciation of the arts and humanities, creative expression, and use of leisure time. Along with this, the schools will prepare the student for a democratic way of life and citizenship. This will include developing positive values with a respect for justice, law, property, and the rights, feelings, and opinions of others.
- Website: https://www.swl.k12.oh.us
- Southwest Licking
- Early Learning Center
- Kirkersville Elementary
- Pataskala Elementary
- Etna Elementary
- Watkins Intermediate School
- Watkins Middle School
- Watkins Memorial High School
- IOS and Android Mobile App: SWL Schools
- Constant Contact: Email Notification System
- School Messenger: Phone Notification (calling and texting)
Parents will be notified if school is dismissed early or canceled by:
● District Automated Call
● District Text Message
● Facebook Notification
● Webpage Banner
● Radio and TV News Station Announcement
Should you have any concerns regarding notification systems, please reach out to your building
Please visit the Superintendent’s page on the SWL website for an explanation of how our district decides
to open or close schools, offer a two-hour delayed start or resort to an early release in bad weather.
The Board of Education declares it to be the policy of this district to provide an equal opportunity for all students. Any person who believes that the school’s personnel has discriminated against a student on the basis of race, color, creed, disability, religion, gender, ancestry, age, national origin, place of residence within the boundaries of the District, or social or economic background, has the right to file a complaint with the principal.
Complaints placed in writing will be investigated and a response provided in a timely manner to the person filing the complaint. Under no circumstances will the district threaten or retaliate against anyone who raises a complaint.
Section 504 of the rehabilitation Act of 1973 and its accompanying regulations prohibit the discrimination
towards any individual on the basis of his/her disability. Accordingly, all employees of Southwest Licking Local
School District are expected to adhere to School Board policy which prohibits discrimination of the basis of a
disability. Any employee or parent who feels that he/she or his/her child has been discriminated against on the
basis of a disability should file a written complaint with the district compliance officer.
The district compliance officer for Section 504 Rehabilitation Act and his address are as follows:
Director of Human Resources
Southwest Licking Local Schools
927 South Street
Pataskala, Ohio 43062
It is a policy of the Southwest Licking Board of Education to maintain a working and learning environment for
all its employees and students by providing fair and equitable treatment including freedom from sexual
discrimination and sexual harassment. Any employee or parent who feels that he/she or his/her child has been
subjected to sexual discrimination or sexual harassment should file a written complaint of the alleged act to the
Title IX Compliance Officer for the Southwest Licking Local School District. The written complaint should
state in detail the basis of the complaint, the names of the persons involved and the dates of the specific
The Title IX Compliance officer for the Southwest Licking Local School District and his address are as follows.
Director of Student Services
Southwest Licking Local School District
927 South Street
Pataskala, Ohio 43062
- School Calendar
- Bell Schedule
- Attendance Philosophy
- Attendance Policy
- Attendance Officer Role
- School Hours
- Attendance Procedure
- Parent Contact Regarding Student Absences
- Absences, Tardiness, and Truancy
- Illness While at School
- Early Dismissal of Students
- Withdrawal from School
- Pre-Arranged and Pre-Approved Vacation
- Make-Up Work
Doors open at 7:25
FOCUS Block- 9:15-9:42
4th-10:32-11:16 (7th lunch)
5th- 11:19-12:03 (6th lunch)
6th- 12:06-12:50 (8th lunch)
Two hour delay
Doors open at 9:25
Homeroom - 9:35 - 9:44 (9)
1st Period - 9:44 - 10:09 (25)
2nd Period - 10:12 - 10:37 (25)
4th Period - 10:40 - 11:24 (Lunch) (44)
5th Period - 11:27 - 12:11 (Lunch) (44)
6th Period - 12:14 - 12:58 (Lunch) (44)
3rd Period - 1:01 - 1:26 (25)
7th Period - 1:29 - 1:54 (25)
8th Period - 1:57 - 2:25 (28)
It is the philosophy of the Board of Education of the Southwest Licking local School District that attendance is the responsibility of the student and his/her parents/guardians. The responsibility of the School district is to provide instruction.
Frequent absences of students from learning experiences during the school year disrupt the continuity of the instructional process and result in decreased academic interest and achievement.
Ohio revised Code Section 3321.04, Compulsory Attendance Law states:
Every parent of any child of compulsory age (between 6 years and 18 years of age) who is not employed under an age and schooling certificate must send such child to a school or a special education program that conforms to the minimum standards prescribed by the State Board of Education. The child must attend for the full time the school or program is in session.
The primary responsibility for school attendance rests with the student and then with the parents/guardians. The parent/guardian is responsible for permitting only excusable absences as identified by the State Department of Education and the Southwest Licking Local School District. This includes notification to the school of the absence.
The attendance officer is an employee of the Licking County Juvenile Court and Licking County
Educational Service Center. The attendance officer is responsible to conduct investigations of student
attendance following referral by the school. The officer is charged with investigating student records,
conducting interviews with school officials, students, and parents/guardians; informing all parties of the
laws of compulsory school attendance and making appropriate referrals as necessary. This applies to any excused tardy as well.
Excused absences per Ohio Revised Code Section 3321.04 are as follows:
● Personal illness (a written physician’s statement may be required)
● Illness in the family necessitating the presence of the child
● Quarantine of the home
● Death in the family
● Necessary work home due to absence or incapacity of parent(s)/guardian(s)
● Observation or celebration of a bona fide religious holiday
● Such good cause as may be acceptable to the Superintendent
Southwest Licking Local School District also recognizes the following:
● Pre-arranged and pre-approved vacations (one week in advance) may be considered excused up to 65 hours (year to date) at the discretion of administration. The form can be found here.
● College visitation
● Special administrative permission (not to exceed more than two times per year)
● Court appointment
The following list of excuses is examples of, but not an exhaustive list of, reasons for unexcused absence:
● Missing the school bus or ride to school
● Absent from school but able to be away from home after school hours
● Appointments other than doctor or dentist (tanning, hair etc.)
● Job interview
● Car Trouble
- Doors Open: 7:25 am
- School Day Begins: 7:35 am
- Dismissal: 2:25 pm
Students will be permitted to enter the building at 7:25 am each school day. Students must be in their first-period class before the tardy bell, at 7:35 am. Students should not arrive at school any more than five minutes prior to the start of the day. If a student arrives prior to the school day, they do so at their own risk as there is no staff supervision at this time.
Upon dismissal, please leave the building promptly and in an orderly fashion. Use the sidewalks and do not run. Buses will wait a limited time. Students are not permitted to be at school after school hours without adult supervision. Disciplinary action may result from students in unauthorized areas after school hours. Students that are dropped off by alternative transportation will be dropped off on the south side of the building at the 600 hallway entrance.
Daily attendance will be taken during first period. Students arriving after the 7:35 am bell until 8:35 are considered tardy to school. An absence of more than half ½ day (11:00 cutoff) will result in denied participation in any extracurricular activity for that day.
Students arriving after 7:35 must enter through the office and sign in at the front desk. If you are tardy due to illness your parent must sign you in or call the office that morning to receive an excused tardy.
When a student is absent,the parent or guardian must call the school at (740) 927-6807 by 8:00am. (Accessible 24 hours/day to report absences). Please indicate the following when reporting a student's absence: student's name, grade, the relationship of the caller to the student, and the reason for the absence.
If a student is absent from school, a parent or guardian must notify the office to inform the school of their student’s absence. Without this notification, Ohio law requires that the school shall make at least one attempt to contact a student’s parent or guardian. Contact shall be made through one of the following methods:
● A telephone call placed in person
● An automated telephone call
● A notification sent through the school’s automated information system
● A text-based communication
● A notification sent to the email address of the parent or guardian
● A visit, in person, to the student's residence of record
Please refer to the following chart:
Students are expected to be in class on time. This means being in the classroom prepared to begin work when the tardy bell rings.
Tardies may be exempted and excused in the same way as absences. A medical or court excuse is the only excuse accepted to exempt a tardy. Tardies will count towards the attendance policy. Being in the office when the tardy bell rings is not an excuse for being late to first-period class. If you are ill, and as a result are tardy to school, your parent must call that morning to receive an excused tardy.
Penalties for school tardies will accumulate every 9 weeks, then restart the next 9 weeks. Students who sign in late are subject to disciplinary action.
Tardiness to School Penalties:
1st Tardy: Verbal Warning
2nd Tardy: Verbal Warning
3rd Tardy: 45 min Detention
Every 3rd Tardy after – 2 Hour After School
Students who receive tardy detentions will be notified through the following methods:
Email sent to the parent and student
Phone call home to the parent
If a child has a serious accident or illness at school, the parents will be notified to come and get the child. In general, health services standards suggest that a child with a temperature of 100o or greater should be kept home. At the beginning of each school year, parents are asked to complete an Emergency Medical Authorization form designating the person, doctor, or hospital to be called in case of an emergency and parents cannot be reached.
When parents have occasion to take pupils out of school during the school day, the following procedure should be followed:
1. The parent/guardian must submit a written note or call the attendance line in advance of dismissal.
2. The student must sign out in the office before leaving school. Failure to sign out through the office may result in a consequence.
3. Parents, guardians, or the responsible person assigned by the parent to pick up the child at school must sign out that child in the office. The person picking up the child will be asked to show picture identification such as a driver's license.
4. Any person other than the parent or legal guardian who is picking up a student must be listed on the child's emergency authorization form. Otherwise, a parent must send in a note or call the school to give approval for the child to be released.
Students who desire to leave school for any reason or due to an illness must come to the office. Office personnel will notify a parent/guardian prior to giving the student permission to leave. Students leaving without permission or who do not sign out may be subject to disciplinary action.
Parent call-in will be recognized as excused for up to 10 total incidences. This includes absence, tardy, or dismissal at any time.
Parents need to notify the school office several days in advance of withdrawing from school. All fees must be paid and books and materials must be returned upon withdrawal from school. In accordance with O.R.C. 3313.642, failure to pay fees and fines may result in the withholding of grades and credit.
The parent/guardian must submit the Family Vacation / Trip Authorization Form one week in advance.
The student must be traveling in the company of the parent/guardian or their designee while on vacation.
The Principal or Assistant Principal will approve or disapprove of the vacation.
The letter will be attached to a Vacation Request Form, which the student will carry to each of his/her teachers to sign.
After the student has obtained all of the required signatures, they are to return the form to the attendance office, where it will be placed in the student’s file.
The student is responsible for all assignments and assessments missed during the vacation period. It is the student’s sole responsibility for checking on and making up any work they have missed. Make-up work will be scheduled before or after the absence, at the teacher’s discretion. If the school was notified in advance of the vacation, reasonable efforts will be made to prepare a general list of assignments for the student to do while they are absent.
A student who has been absent excused from school is responsible for arranging make-up work with his/her teachers. The student will be granted one day per day of absence to make up work. Work must be handed in on time or the student may lose credit for the incomplete/unsubmitted work.
If a student is going to be absent for an extended time, more than two days, due to an illness, the parent/guardian may call the attendance office to make arrangements to pick up work for the student or email the student’s teachers directly for assignments.
- Important Notices
- Discipline Options
- Scope of Jurisdiction and First Warning
- Due Process and Right of Appeal
- Questioning of Students
- School's Right to Search
- Code of Conduct Violations
- Harassment Guidelines
- Dress Code
- Media Center
- Bus Rules
- Bus Code of Conduct
- Use of Telephone
The purpose of discipline is to develop self-control, character, orderliness, and respect. It is a necessary part of the educational process and school environment. The school environment includes school sponsored activities (dances, field trips, etc.). With an understanding of the purpose of discipline in a school, a better student attitude can develop. Listed below are some of the consequences (not in any order and not in total) for violations to the student code of conduct. Depending on the number of violations a student can be considered a repeat offender and the consequences will become more severe. The principal and/or assistant principal have the authority to suspend. In case of an out-of-school suspension, you will be given a written notice of the intention to suspend which will contain the reasons for the suspension, and due process will be administered. Students who are suspended from school are not permitted to attend any school activities or any school events or be on school grounds during their suspension time.
Discipline of Students with Disabilities - Students with disabilities are entitled to the rights and procedures afforded by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement At (IDEIA), and, where applicable, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and/or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
Notification of Criminal Activity - School staff may report suspected criminal misconduct by a student to law enforcement, including our SRO. Law enforcement officers will be permitted to carry out necessary law enforcement functions in the schools, including removing a student from school grounds in appropriate circumstances.
Surveillance - For student safety and welfare, video surveillance cameras are placed throughout the district in buildings, on school grounds, and on buses. Actions recorded on these cameras may be used as evidence in disciplinary action and these records will remain in possession of the school / district.
- Verbal warning/reprimand
- Written warning/reprimand
- Restorative Circles/Mediation
- Restrict or remove privileges
- Parent phone call
- Written letter sent home
- Student contracts
- In-School Study (alternative to suspension)
- Parent/teacher conference/administrator
- Request for parent visit to classroom to monitor behavior
- Referral to MTSS team (Multi-Tiered System of Support)
- Referral to counselor/school psychologist
- Emergency removal from classroom/building
- Out-of-school suspension (student may continue to do school work for full credit)
- Send student home to change clothes
- Recommendation for expulsion
- Referral to juvenile court
- Notify appropriate law enforcement agency
Note: You should fully understand that any staff member in the building has the authority to correct misconduct at any time. Therefore, it is conceivable that a teacher might assign detention to a student who is not in any of their classes.
Lunch detentions may be assigned at a teacher’s discretion. The assigning teacher will be responsible for monitoring the detention. Parents will not be notified in the event a student receives lunch detention.
Tuesday & Thursday After School Detentions will be served from 2:30 pm - 3:15 pm or 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm at Watkins Middle School. Parents are responsible for transportation. During after-school detention, students will spend 45 minutes or two hours quietly studying. A missed detention or accumulation of detentions may result in escalated consequences.
Expulsion: Removal from school and all school-related activities for a designated period of time set by the superintendent. Students and parents are entitled to attend an expulsion hearing before the superintendent prior to a student being expelled. Students are prohibited from participating in and attending extracurricular activities and social events during their expulsion.
Suspension: Removal from school and all school-related activities as designated by the building principal. The length of an out-of-school suspension may be from 1 to 10 days. Students may have the opportunity to make up all their school work. Students are prohibited from participating in and attending extracurricular activities and social events during their suspension.
In-School Study: Students will be monitored at the middle school by a staff member throughout the day. Students are able to complete all of their work for full credit. The in-school study provides an alternative to parents that cannot pick up their students from after-school detention. The in-school study is from 7:20 - 2:10. Students are prohibited from participating in and attending extracurricular activities and social events during the day of their In-School Study.
Detention: Tuesday and Thursday 2 hour and 45 minute after school detentions may be assigned by administrators, lunch and 45-minute detentions may be assigned by any staff member. After-school detentions are to be served on the assigned date. Lunch detentions will be served at the discretion of staff members. Students will have one week to serve their after-school detention. Failure to serve detention may result in an additional detention or In-School Study.
Zero tolerance means that a student committing any of the following offenses will immediately receive an Out of School Suspension with a recommendation for expulsion.
Board Policy 5610 defines the following as zero-tolerance offenses: firearms or knife; bomb threats; serious violent, disruptive, or inappropriate behavior by its students that results in serious physical harm to persons or to property as defined in O.R.C. 2901.01(A)5 or O.R.C. 2901.01(A)6.
A violation of any rule following may result in disciplinary action including but not limited to: detention, out-of-school suspension, or expulsion. Depending upon the nature and seriousness of the offense, a referral may be made to the Licking County Juvenile Court.
This code of conduct is in effect while students are under the authority of school personnel or involved in any school activity. This includes but is not limited to school buses and property under the control of school authorities, and while at interscholastic competitions, extracurricular events, or other school activities or programs. In addition, this Code of Conduct includes:
1) Misconduct by a student that occurs off school district property but is connected to activities or incidents that have occurred on school district property
2) Misconduct by a student that, regardless of where it occurs, is directed at a district official or employee or the property of an official or employee.
Student possession of these rules constitutes a first warning. No further warnings will be given. Any student who repeatedly violates the provisions of this conduct code will be subject to increasingly severe disciplinary actions and/or referral to a law enforcement agency and will be defined as a repeat offender.
When a student is being considered for an out-of-school suspension by the superintendent, principal, or another administrator:
- The student will be informed in writing of the potential suspension and the reasons for the proposed action.
- The student will be afforded an opportunity for an informal hearing to challenge the reasons for the intended suspension or to explain his/her actions.
- An attempt will be made to notify parents or guardians by telephone if a suspension is issued.
Students will be permitted to make up classwork, tests, papers, and/or major projects missed while serving an Out-Of-School Suspension for at least partial credit.
If the assignment of school discipline is served entirely in the school setting, it will not require any notice or meeting or be subject to appeal.
The pupil, parent, guardian or legal custodian may file an appeal of the administrative decision to suspend or expel a pupil to the Board of Education or designees. A notice of appeal in writing must be filed within 5 days (suspension) or 14 calendar days (expulsion) of the formal written notice of suspension or expulsion. Failure to timely file an appeal in this manner waives any right to appeal the suspension or expulsion.
The school is committed to protecting students from harm that may be connected with the school environment and also recognizes its responsibility to cooperate with law enforcement and public child welfare agencies. While the school believes these agencies should conduct their investigations off school property if possible, investigations can take place at school in some situations or if the violation being investigated occurred on school property.
Before students are questioned as witnesses or suspects in an alleged criminal violation, the building administrator will attempt to contact a parent or guardian prior to questioning and shall remain in the room during questioning.
If a student is questioned as the subject of alleged child abuse or neglect, the building administrator will and/or guidance counselor will remain in the room during questioning and attempt to make contact with the parent or guardian. If the agency investigating the alleged child abuse or neglect suspects the parent is the perpetrator, neither parent will be contacted prior to questioning, but the building administrator (or designee) will remain in the room during questioning.
If law enforcement or children’s services agency removes a student from school, the building administrator will make an attempt to notify the parent if permitted to do so.
School authorities are charged with the responsibility of safeguarding the students in their care. To that end, school authorities may search a person or property (including, but not limited to vehicles, purses, backpacks, gym bags, etc.) of a student, with or without the student’s consent, whenever they reasonably suspect that the search is required to discover evidence of a violation of law or of school rules. The extent of the search will be governed by the seriousness of the alleged infraction and the student’s age.
ACADEMIC INTEGRITY – Presenting someone else’s work as one’s own in order to obtain a grade or credit is considered to be cheating. This includes, but is not limited to, copying others' assignments, copying others' quiz or test answers, use of artificial intelligence (AI) and AI-powered systems, and plagiarism.
ASSAULT/FIGHTING – Students shall not engage in physically aggressive behavior including unauthorized contact. Consequences will align with the severity of the action. Assault may be defined as one party’s aggressive attack on another. Fighting may be defined as all parties engaging in unauthorized contact. Students shall not encourage, instigate or threaten to carry out unauthorized touching/fighting/assault through electronic means including (but not limited to) electronic messaging or videoing. Such conduct may result in the same penalties as the actual unauthorized contact, fight, or assault. Students shall not record, post, or transmit fights/assaults.
BEHAVIOR AT DANCES/SCHOOL EVENTS – Students must follow school rules at all school events. Dances are sponsored for Watkins Memorial High School students and their dates. Middle school students may not attend. If a WMHS student has a non-Watkins guest, they must have completed the guest forms prior to the dance. The administration must approve or decline the attendance of recent graduates. Photo ID will be required for non-Watkins guests. Chaperones have the authority to dismiss students from dances/events at any time. Once a student leaves the dance/event, they may not return unless authorized by a chaperone. Outside food or drinks are not permitted. School authorities may search students or guests and their property (See schools right to search).
BULLYING –Harassment, intimidation, or bullying behavior by any student/school personnel in the Southwest Licking School District is strictly prohibited. “Bullying” in accordance with Ohio House Bill 276 & 116, means any intentional written, graphic or physical act including electronically transmitted acts i.e., Internet, cell phone, personal digital assistant (PDA), or wireless handheld device, either overt or covert, by a student or group of students toward other students/school personnel with the intent to harass, intimidate, injure, threaten, ridicule, or humiliate. It may also include violence in a dating relationship. Such behaviors are prohibited on or immediately adjacent to school grounds or at any school-sponsored activity, on school-provided transportation, or at any official school bus stop. It includes behaviors that a reasonable person under the circumstances should know will have the effect of
A. Causing mental or physical harm to the other student/school personnel including placing an individual in reasonable fear of physical harm and/or damaging of students’ personal property; and,
B. Is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for the other student/school personnel.
A student shall not physically or verbally threaten another student, teacher, school employee, or any person at school or at any school-sponsored function.
No student shall direct words or phrases towards a school employee or employee’s family member(s) considered to be slanderous, degrading in nature, obscene, or profane as defined by the majority of our society. This may also include communication that implies a threat or harassment of another individual. This applies throughout the calendar year for all students enrolled in Watkins Middle School. Electronic communication of threats, harassment, or other forms of inappropriate language is also prohibited and may also result in disciplinary action.
Reporting: Anyone who believes they have been the victim of bully, intimidation, or harassment (including sexual harassment) by a student or an employee of the district should report the alleged acts immediately. Students should report such complaints to a teacher, counselor, or other staff member or can report online at www.swl.k12.oh.us.
CAFETERIA – A school cafeteria is a place where students must be particularly concerned with the rights of others and be sensitive to the image and reputation of their school. Specific guidelines for proper behavior in the cafeteria include: 1) refraining from cutting in lunch lines; 2) the disposal of refuse from lunch in the provided cans; 3) refraining from the throwing of food. Students will not be permitted to roam through the building during lunch periods. Lunch is a closed period, and students are not permitted to leave school grounds or be in unauthorized areas.
CELL PHONE/CAMERAS/ELECTRONIC DEVICES –
Cell phones and electronic devices are not to be used during class. When a student walks into the classroom, they are to put their cell phone in the available phone holder present in each classroom. Cell phones may not be retrieved from the holder when the student leaves the room to go to the restroom or other locations in the building. The teacher will inform the class when it is appropriate to retrieve cell phones from the holder.
Cell phones are to be used appropriately for communication or academic reasons only. No inappropriate material should be on the cell phone at any time. If cell phones are used in a harassing way through social media, text, or voice messages, consequences will be given. Cell phones are not to be used to take pictures or videos of non-consenting individuals. You must have permission to take any picture or video of any student or staff member. If consent is given, the pictures and videos are to be used in an appropriate manner and not to harass another individual.
Any student using a cell phone or any other electronic device in a disruptive or inappropriate manner may be subject to discipline. “Inappropriate manner” includes, but is not limited to: making inappropriate videos/pictures, taking unauthorized videos/pictures, posting inappropriate and/or unauthorized videos/pictures to the internet, and/or transmitting/sharing inappropriate and/or unauthorized videos/pictures. Contents of electronic devices may be searched if there exists a reasonable suspicion that it may have been used in an activity prohibited by the Code of Conduct.
Violation of cell phone expectations will result in escalating consequences and the phone may be confiscated.
COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY – Students must be in compliance with the network and internet acceptable use and safety agreement as stated on page 23 of this handbook. (Loss of privileges, suspension, and possible financial responsibility for any repair of computer equipment or software)
DELIVERIES - Deliveries of flowers, balloons, gifts, food, etc., are not permitted. Any items dropped off will be kept in the office until the end of the school day and may not be taken on buses.
DISRUPTION OF THE EDUCATIONAL PROCESS – A student shall not cause a disruption of any curricular, extracurricular activity, or normal operation of the school.
DRUGS AND ALCOHOL
A student shall not possess, use, transmit, be under the influence of and/or sell any controlled substance, steroids, alcoholic beverage, counterfeit drugs (covered under House Bill 535) or any other non-medicinal substance while on school grounds, at any school-related activity (home or away) or on school buses, rented carriers or other school arranged transportation. The only exception to this rule is the case of a medical prescription substantiated by a doctor.
A student shall not possess any drug-related paraphernalia while on school grounds, at any school-related activity (home or away), or on school buses, rented carriers or other school arranged transportation. Possession shall include items found in a student vehicle while on school property. Drug paraphernalia shall include, but not be limited to, tobacco rolling papers, matches, lighters, pipes, roach clips, etc., and other types of holders.
E-cigarettes, vaping, juuling, or the use of other similar devices that are used to inhale or ingest foreign substances will be treated as a drug offense. Within 24 hours of the violation, the student may complete an approved drug screen with an SWL-approved testing facility. Test results must be sent directly to the school principal from the testing facility. Upon receipt/review of the results, if the administration is able to clearly establish that no illegal substance has been discovered, the administrator may reduce the violation to a Tobacco/Smoking offense.
The first offense for possession, use, or after finding evidence of consumption of any of those substances or possession of paraphernalia may result in a ten (10) day OSS with a recommendation for expulsion. The District may agree to reduce the first suspension if the student and family agree to satisfactorily complete an acceptable evaluation and/or treatment process at their own expense.
There is documented evidence that the student did complete the recommended evaluation and/or treatment program.
Failure to satisfactorily complete the recommended program may result in expulsion.
Second offenses of possessing, using, finding evidence of consumption, or possession of drug-related paraphernalia may result in expulsion.
Students at Watkins Middle School can receive substance abuse counseling by contacting the school counselor. Students with a possible problem are encouraged to seek help before disciplinary action becomes necessary. Students may be referred to outside agencies for evaluation and counseling at their own expense.
FAILURE TO SERVE DETENTION - Detentions may be assigned and served at the discretion of the classroom teacher or administrator. Teachers can give 30-minute lunch detention or 45-minute after-school detention. Failure to serve 30-minute lunch detention may result in 45-minute after-school detention. Failure to serve 45-minute after-school detention may result in 2-hour after-school detention. Failure to serve 2-hour after-school detentions may result in the assignment of In-School Study.
FALSE ALARMS – A student shall not cause a false alarm to be sounded. This includes fire alarms, bomb threats, tornado sightings, or any other alarm that might cause panic or disrupt normal school operations. Proper authorities may be notified in the event of any violation.
FORGERY – A student shall not sign another person's name or initials to any school-related note, letter, form, or document.
GAMBLING – A student shall not engage in gambling of any form on school property.
HARASSMENT – A student shall not harass any other student or any member of the staff. Harassment may be described as intimidation by threats of or actual physical violence; the creation, by whatever means including the use of electronic communication devices, of a climate of hostility or intimidation; or the use of language, conduct, or symbols in such a manner to be commonly understood to convey hatred, contempt, or prejudice or to have the effect of insulting or stigmatizing the individual.
HORSEPLAY- A student shall not engage in any activity such as running, tripping, shoving, and throwing objects or other horseplay that may endanger themselves or others on school property.
INAPPROPRIATE TOUCHING (PUBLIC DISPLAY OF AFFECTION) – Students shall not engage in hand-holding, kissing, hugging or suggestive actions and/or behavior.
INSUBORDINATION – A student shall follow the first reasonable directions and will comply with the reasonable request of all school personnel. Disrespect includes but is not limited to the use of profanity and the refusal to abide by the reasonable request the first time it is made. Failure to accept prescribed disciplinary action under this code may be considered willful disobedience. School staff is acting ‘in loco parentis”, which means that the school staff is allowed, by law, to direct a student as a parent would.
LEAVING THE SCHOOL GROUNDS WITHOUT PERMISSION - No student may leave the school grounds without the proper permission from the middle school principal or designee. Students must sign out before leaving the building and must sign in when they return to the building the same school day. The following conditions will apply
The school nurse, school secretary, or high school principal must notify parents/guardians before a student will be permitted to leave the school grounds due to illness or for any other reason. The school nurse, high school principal, or principal’s designee must be seen before permission will be granted. This rule also applies to all students including eighteen and older.
Students requesting to leave the school grounds to return home for something forgotten, change of clothing, etc., must have the permission of a parent/guardian before permission to leave is granted. Permission for leaving for the above reasons is at the discretion of the principal or his/her designee.
To leave the school for a “guided learning activity” or field trip, a student must have authorized papers signed by a parent/guardian and on file in the middle school office or with an employee responsible for the trip.
Being in the parking lot without permission from the principal or his/her designee is prohibited. It is considered an “unauthorized area” and may result in a 2 hour after school.
We have closed lunch periods. No student is permitted to leave for lunch or order food. Having parents dropping off food for their child is strongly discouraged, unless absolutely necessary. Deliveries from GrubHub, Uber Eats, Doors Dash, etc., are not permitted.
NON-INSTRUCTIONAL AREAS MISCONDUCT - Running, boisterousness, horseplay, and extreme loudness are not acceptable, and loitering in restrooms is prohibited. One student per stall, no exceptions. Students acting as an accessory to a rule violation may receive the same misconduct penalty; for example, a student acting as a lookout for tobacco use, a drug sale, etc. may receive the same penalty as the other people involved. Students are expected to comply with reasonable requests made by staff in all non-instructional areas as willingly and as quickly as they are expected to do in the classroom. Students should understand that the authority of the teacher does not end at the classroom door but extends throughout the building and grounds. Students are also expected to cooperate with hall monitors, security persons, cafeteria workers, and all other school personnel.
PHYSICAL CONTACT – A student shall not touch another student inappropriately for any reason.
PORNOGRAPHY – No student shall have pornography or pornographic paraphernalia of any kind on school grounds at any time. No student shall use school equipment to view, download, or store pornographic material of any kind. Loss of privileges will be according to the computer and internet use policy under sabotaging computer technology.
POSSESSION OF WEAPONS AND ILLEGAL EXPLOSIVES – Students shall not have in their possession or on school property or at school activities, guns or other weapons, including look-alikes. They will not possess firecrackers or other explosive devices (i.e. stun guns, knives, or mace). A zero-tolerance policy is in effect. (10 days out-of-school suspension with recommendation for expulsion to the full limit of the law). Periodic searches may be conducted.
PRESENCE IN UNAUTHORIZED AREAS – Students shall not be in any areas designated as off-limits without prior permission.
REFUSAL TO ACCEPT DISCIPLINE - When a student refuses to accept the discipline for an infraction, the refusal may result in a more serious disciplinary action.
REPEAT VIOLATIONS – Any student who repeatedly violates the provisions of this conduct code will be subject to increasingly severe disciplinary actions and/or referral to a law enforcement agency.
SEXUAL MISCONDUCT – No student shall have physical/sexual contact with another person at any time, on the school property or at a school-sponsored activity, home, or away. No student shall expose him/herself indecently while on the school grounds, participating or attending an extra-curricular activity home or away, or while riding in a school vehicle to or from school grounds. No student shall take part in any sexual activity while on the school grounds, or on any school vehicle, or at any other school facility during an extracurricular event.
THEFT – A student shall not steal or knowingly be in possession of stolen articles either public or private.
THREAT – A student shall not verbally or in writing threaten any other student or any member of the staff. Such threats are considered to be intimidating. Punishment will be assigned in correlation with the degree of the threat.
TOBACCO/SMOKING – A student shall not use or possess tobacco or any tobacco derivatives, while on school grounds, at any school-related activity home or away, or on school buses, rented carriers, or other school arranged transportation. Any violation of this offense may result in a referral to the Licking County Juvenile Court. The district may agree to reduce the second suspension if the student and family agree to satisfactorily complete an acceptable evaluation and/or treatment process at their own expense. Students at Watkins Middle School can receive substance abuse counseling by contacting the school counselor. Students with a possible problem are encouraged to seek help before disciplinary action becomes necessary. Students may be referred to outside agencies for evaluation and counseling at their own expense.
TRUANCY FROM CLASS – Truancy from class (class cuts) are cumulative for the school year. Truancy is considered when a student is unexcused from any assigned period, class, or study hall. Habitual truancy is considered a repeat violation.
UNAUTHORIZED FIRES – A student shall not cause, produce or create any unauthorized fire while on school grounds.
VANDALISM AND DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY – A student shall not willfully destroy or damage any public or private property. Financial restitution and criminal charges may be applied in addition to any disciplinary actions.
VULGAR AND OBSCENE LANGUAGE OR GESTURES – Students shall not use vulgar or obscene language or gestures toward any other student or toward any school person in such a manner that could be offensive or disruptive.
It is the policy of the Southwest Licking Local Board of Education not to discriminate, in violation of federal or state law, on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, sex or activity sponsored by the Southwest Licking School Board of Education.
A student/employee shall abide by the board’s Nondiscrimination and Anti-Harassment Guidelines. Prohibited discrimination or harassment includes, by way of example, slurs, verbal or physical conduct of a sexual, harassing, or discriminatory nature, intimidation by threats of or actual physical violence, verbal or physical conduct commonly understood to convey hatred, contempt or prejudice or to insult or stigmatize an individual, unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors, solicitation of sexual activity or reference to sexual themes in a manner discriminatory or harassing verbal, nonverbal or physical conduct, which is based on the recipient’s race, color, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, veteran’s status, religion, disability, age, gender or sexual orientation.
Students who have reason to believe that harassment or discrimination has occurred should promptly report the incident to the building principal or the Civil Rights Coordinator. Employees should promptly report to a building principal (or immediate supervisor if the employee is not assigned to a building) or 18 Civil Rights Coordinator. The board’s Nondiscrimination and Anti-Harassment Guidelines provides a complaint procedure for making a complaint of discrimination or harassment. Retaliation against any individual who files a complaint or participates in an investigation is prohibited. For further information about the board’s Nondiscrimination and Anti-Harassment Guidelines or the applicable complaint procedures, please contact: Superintendent, 927A South Street, Pataskala, OH 43062. Phone number: (740) 927-3941.
These guidelines are to be regarded as minimum acceptable standards, and teachers or sponsors of extra-curricular activities may, with the administrative approval, impose additional requirements for the general safety, hygiene, or appearance of the group.
We take pride in the appearance of our students. Your dress reflects the quality of the school, of your conduct, and of your schoolwork.
Pants must be worn at the waist.
Low-cut blouses or tops are not acceptable.
Clothing that exposes any undergarments is not acceptable.
Shorts, dresses, and skirts must be of appropriate length to be able to function during the school day.
Mesh tops, tank tops, muscle shirts, slips, spaghetti straps, midriffs (tops too short to be tucked in while sitting down) are not acceptable.
Sleeveless shirts are required to have at least a “2-inch finger width strap” and no low-cut sides.
Hats, hoods, and bandanas of any kind are not permitted.
Animal ears and tails are not permitted.
Clothing should not have excessive tears or holes. Pants may have holes that are in the middle of the thigh or higher.
Clothing that bears reference (words, symbols, or graphics) to drugs, alcohol, tobacco, sex, gangs, or weapons; has obscene, suggestive, or profane statements or pictures; or contains offensive, racially-based, or discriminatory messages is not permissible. Clothing that has a double meaning or that is contrary to the educational mission of the school is not permissible.
Heavy chains, chains with wallets, or any type of jewelry that is dangerous or unsafe (spiked wristbands, etc.) are not acceptable.
Shoes must be worn at all times and cannot cause excessive wear or damage to school property.
No blankets of any kind can be worn or carried throughout the day.
Parents, your help and cooperation with the enforcement of the dress policy is greatly appreciated. A change of clothes may be provided by the parents if they are able to make those arrangements. Repeated violation of the school dress code may result in disciplinary action. The administration reserves the right to make a final ruling on any inappropriate dress.
Southwest Licking Schools have a closed lunch.
Students are not permitted to leave the school grounds. Students bringing lunches from home are required to eat in the cafeteria. Healthy snacks and beverages are also available for purchase. According to the District Wellness Policy students are not permitted to bring soda or energy drinks. These items may be discarded if brought to school. Due to food allergies and health conditions, food purchased or brought from home can be consumed only by the student and not shared.
Our goal is to provide students adequate time to eat lunch, therefore, meal payments are required in advance and are not taken during meal service. Parents are able to send in a check or cash payment on the day of service, provided it is in an envelope or baggie with the students name on it. This will be given to the teacher in the morning and applied to their account prior to meal service. There is also, an online prepay option available at www.myschoolbucks.com. The online prepayment option provides a “bonus” meal when a 20 meal prepayment is made, and also can be set up to notify parents via email when their account balance is low.
Parents and students should not expect to charge lunch payments. Please be advised that our current meal charge policy only allows for charging up to 3 meals, and after the 3 charge maximum is reached a “courtesy meal” is provided. The courtesy meal consists of a cheese sandwich and orange juice. Parents will be notified via our automated calling system when their account is in arrears to avoid the courtesy lunch being received.
Applications for free and reduced lunches can be completed online at: www.schoollunchapp.com. Applications are also available by request at any school building front office. Should you have any questions regarding the breakfast or lunch program please call 740 927-3941 and ask for Food Service.
Menus are now mobile. Download the NutriCafe app. from the iTunes or Google play store. You will find menus, nutrition information and any menu changes.
The media center has print, non-print, and electronic resources to supplement the middle school curriculum. The media center is used for classes doing research, students working during study halls, and for special activities.
Students are not charged fines for overdue books, but grade cards may be held until overdue books are returned or paid for if lost. Books are loaned with the expectation that the borrower will treat any book with respect and pay for its replacement if necessary. Payment for lost books will be refunded if the book is found and returned in good condition.
The WMS media center has computers available for student use during the school day. No food or drink is permitted in the media center or computer lab.
Students are not permitted to ride a different bus than the one to which they are assigned.
Before the bus arrives:
● Arrive at your regular pick-up spot five minutes before the bus.
● Walk facing traffic if there are no sidewalks.
● Wait off the roadway, not in the street.
● Stay off lawns, and avoid horseplay, scuffling, and fighting
Boarding the bus:
● Form a line and wait for the bus to come to a full stop.
● Be polite and take your turn getting on the bus. Do not push or shove.
● If you must cross the street, do not cross until signaled to do so by the driver. Check the traffic, then walk, don’t run. Cross at least ten (10) feet in front of the bus.
● Use the handrail.
● Go directly to your seat and remain seated throughout the ride.
Conduct on the bus:
● Follow the directions of the driver, including seat assignment when given.
● Sit three to a seat, if necessary, and be careful to keep the aisles clear.
● Walk to your seat and remain there. Stay seated and quiet while the bus is moving.
● Do not block the aisles or emergency exits
● Items that can be carried by the student without taking up room of another student on a crowded bus, or without blocking the center aisle, may be carried on the bus. Items too large to fit on your lap should be left at home or taken to school by parents.
● Talk to the driver only if it is an emergency. (Drivers need to keep their minds on driving and their eyes on the road.)
● Talk quietly so that the driver can hear traffic sounds.
● Keep hands and head inside the bus. Do not stick anything out of the windows or throw anything out of the bus.
● Toys are not allowed at school unless an individualized plan has been approved by a district representative.
● Open or close windows only when requested by the driver.
● Loud, profane language or yelling is not permitted.
● Eating is not permitted on the bus.
● Smoking is not permitted on the bus. Open flames (matches and/or lighters) are not permitted on the bus.
● No weapons of any kind or explosive materials are permitted on the bus.
● Do not vandalize, deface or litter the bus. Please use waste baskets provided.
● No selling of candy or other items on the bus.
● Do not tamper with safety equipment
● Students will exit the bus only through the front doors - the only exception is during the conduct of emergency drills or an emergency.
● Transportation of animals, insects and glass containers is prohibited.
● Do not harass other students in any way.
● Do not block the aisles or emergency exits.
Leaving the Bus:
● Remain seated until the bus comes to a full stop.
● Use the handrail. Do not push others.
● Students must get off the bus at their regular stop unless they have written permission from parent or guardian and a school authority.
● If you must cross the road, wait for a signal from the driver. Cross at least ten (10) feet in front of the bus.
In Case of Emergency:
Remain seated and quiet. Listen for instructions from the driver and be ready to follow these instructions. If instructed to get off the bus, do so quietly, quickly and calmly. Gather with others at a safe spot away from the bus and traffic flow. Do not leave. Violation of the above rules may result in reprimand, parental contacts, and referral to the transportation director or building principal for further actions that align with the Code of Conduct.
Suspension of Bus Riding/Transportation Privileges:
Students on a bus or other authorized Board of Education transportation vehicles are under the authority to enforce the established regulations for bus/vehicle conduct. Disorderly conduct or refusal to submit to the authority of the driver will be sufficient reason for refusing transportation service to any student. A student may be suspended from school bus/vehicle riding privileges for all or part of the school year for
any violation of established regulations for bus conduct and/or for conduct occurring on the bus/vehicle in violation of the Student Code of Conduct.
Disciplinary suspension periods will be commensurate with the infraction(s) committed as determined by the director of transportation or designee. Students whose transportation privileges are suspended more than 10 consecutive days will have the opportunity to appeal the decision to the Superintendent of schools. Any additional guidelines regarding conduct on school bus/vehicles, as well as general information about the school transportation program, will be made available to all parents and students and posted in a central location.
Students violating management regulations may receive written warning stating the cause and conditions. At this time, the building principal or his designee will have a conference with the pupil.
The driver issues a verbal warning and has a conference with the student.
The driver issues a second verbal warning and changes the seat if appropriate.
First Bus Write-Up: the student may be issued a 2-hour after-school detention. The building administrator will have a conference with the student and mail a copy of the Bus Write-Up notification letter home to parents.
Second Write-Up: the student may be suspended from the bus for one (1) day. The building administrator receives a copy of the Bus Write-Up and any bus suspension forms will be mailed home to parents.
Third Bus Write-Up: the student may be suspended from the bus for three (3) days. The building administrator receives a copy of the Bus Write-Up and will contact parents. Copy of the Bus Write-Up and any bus suspension forms will be mailed home to parents.
Fourth Bus Write-Up: the student may be suspended from the bus for five (5) days. The building administrator receives a copy of the Bus Write-Up and will contact parents. Copy of the Bus Write-Up and any bus suspension forms will be mailed home to parents.
Severe Clause: the building administrator may assign a bus suspension, and out-of-school suspension, or recommend expulsion from the bus and/or school. This step will be utilized in such cases including, but not limited to: physical aggression, obscene behavior, and disrespect to a staff member of hazardous behavior.
Procedure of Due Process:
1. Driver informs pupil of written warning;
2. Meeting with principal or his designee, discussion of problem
● Warning: student warned, letter sent to parents/guardian
● Five day suspension: student informed verbally of punishment. Certified letters sent to parents/guardians with information on appeal to superintendent’s designee. Parent/Guardian will have 24 hours before punishment may be initiated
● Ten day suspension: same notification as above
● Expulsion: shall be conducted by the superintendent in compliance with the law. Certified letter will be sent to parent/guardian. Student or parent/guardian will have 24 hours to appeal, or at that time, expulsion will be initiated
● Suspension or immediate removal of a handicapped student may require a modification of the above procedures and shall be accomplished in accordance to the law.
Note: bus riding is a privilege. Students are required to be in school and attending all regular classes while under suspension/expulsion from riding the bus. Students on a bus or other authorized Board of Education transportation vehicles are under the authority to enforce the established regulations for bus/vehicle conduct. Disorderly conduct or refusal to submit to the authority of the driver will be sufficient reason for refusing transportation service to any student.
Note: loss of bus riding privileges includes all Southwest Licking buses (athletic, band, chorus, field trips, etc)
- Academic Recognitions
- School Counselor Services
- Credit Below the Ninth Grade
- Field Trips
- Fines and Fees
- Gifted Services
- Home School
- Schedule Changes/Dropping a Class
Southwest Licking Local Schools offer may services to ensure equal opportunity for all children, including enrichment services, early childhood education, academic intervention, reading support programs, services to support English language learners, home instruction, special education and related services such as speech and language therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, adapted physical education services, psychological services, mental health services, and transportation. Support is also available through our school counselors, school nurses, social services, and alternative education opportunities. The district provides all necessary instructional materials and assesses fees when appropriate for consumable supplies. Each student is responsible for all instructional materials loaned to him or her, and is expected to return all instructional materials at the end of participation in the course. Students will be responsible to pay for any instructional materials that are lost, destroyed, stolen or damaged.
The counselors at the middle school level help students achieve success through academic, personal, social and career development. School counselors are professional educators who assist students in the development of their self-concept, decision making skills, communication skills and character. Secondary counselors provide services through a variety of different methods, including individual counseling, group counseling and classroom-based lessons. School counseling is part of the regular educational services and is available to students without parent consent. Confidentiality is maintained for students who receive school counseling support, unless there is a concern involving the student’s safety or the safety for someone else. For students who also receive outside counseling services, parents and guardians may choose to sign a release of information to allow for collaboration between school counselors and outside professionals.
A guidance counselor is available throughout the day for parent and student consultation. Contact the counselor with any special education concerns, scheduling issues, academic needs, or family matters. The counselor may also conduct classroom observations of students to assist in parent/teacher conferences and and academic decisions. **Mrs. Mollie Hahn (A-L) and Mrs. Julie Matheny (M-Z)**.
Southwest Licking Schools will award credit for high school courses taken prior to the ninth grade in compliance with State law. Students will receive a letter grade on their high school transcript for each high school course taken. In most instances, the letter grade benefits a student's cumulative grade point average. Therefore, students will receive a letter grade on their high school transcript for each high school course taken. If prior to the end of the student's freshman year, the student and parent wish to change the letter grade into a passing "P" grade, the student and parent must request this change in writing. Upon written request, the letter grade will be replaced with the "P" grade. Per Ohio law, students new to the district desiring such credit must provide their respective counselor the following documentation on their previous school's letterhead: 1) that the course which credit is being pursued was a high school course, and 2) that the course was taught by a teacher who held the appropriate secondary teaching license/certificate for the course. No courses, other than those listed above, will be accepted for credit. Students electing to retake any course will not receive high school credit or a grade for the course below the ninth grade.
The Board of Education recognizes that field trips, when used for teaching and learning integral to the curriculum, are an educationally sound and important ingredient in the instructional program of the schools. In order for your child to benefit from these activities, appropriate behavior from all students is necessary. SWL reserves the right to prohibit students from attending field trips because of disruptive behavior.
Parent permission is required in the advice of field trips. Students will travel by school vehicles unless otherwise approved. Students will only be released during the course of the trip to parents or guardians. These releases should be made in advance by submitting a written request to the teacher. In addition, parents will be asked to sign out their child at the time of departure.
Watkins Middle School charges specific fees for some activities and courses. Such fees or charges are determined by the cost of materials, freight/handling fees, and add-on fees for loss or damage to school property.
Student fees are required to be paid annually by check or money order. Unpaid fees will be accumulated from year to year and will be carried forward from building to building. Payment of student fees is a requirement of students wishing to be considered for early dismissal. Additionally, all fees must be paid prior to participation in graduation exercises.
If a refund is requested, regardless of who provided the original funds, the refund will be reduced or completely applied to any unpaid student fees for the student and any siblings. Any money in excess of the unpaid student fees will be refunded to the person who made the original payment.
The state of Ohio requires school districts to identify students for potential areas of giftedness. Students are identified as gifted in cognitive ability, special academic achievement areas, and/or visual/performing arts areas through state approved assessments procedures and creative thinking through state approved assessment procedures. SWL provides a continuum of services to support the varying instructional and social emotional needs of gifted learners. For additional information, please visit the district’s website.
Per Board Policy 2330 - The Board of Education acknowledges the educational validity of out-of-school assignments as adjuncts to and extensions of the instructional program of the schools.
“Homework” shall refer to those assignments to be prepared by the student outside of the school or independently while in attendance at school.
The Superintendent shall develop rules for the assignment of homework according to these guidelines:
1. Homework should be a properly planned part of the curriculum, extending and reinforcing the learning targets.
2. Homework should help students learn by providing practice in the mastery of skills, experience in data gathering and integration of knowledge, and an opportunity to remediate learning weaknesses.
3. Homework should always serve a valid learning purpose; it should never be used as a punitive measure.
All textbooks are the property of the Board of Education. They are loaned to the student free of charge. A student is responsible for the care of the free textbooks issued to him/her. In case of damage or loss, the student must pay for repairing or replacing the book. Please note that records may be withheld if books are not returned.
Students are encouraged to use the Board’s computers/network and Internet connection for educational purposes. Use of such resources is a privilege, not a right. Students must conduct themselves in a responsible, efficient, ethical, and legal manner. Unauthorized or inappropriate use at home or at school, including any violation of these guidelines, may result in cancellation of the privilege, disciplinary action consistent with the Student Handbook, and/or civil or criminal liability. Prior to accessing the Internet at school, students must sign the Student Network and Internet Acceptable Use and Safety Agreement. Parent permission is required for minors. Smooth operation of the Board’s Network relies upon users adhering to the following guidelines. The guidelines outlined below are provided so that users are aware of their responsibilities.
A. Students are responsible for their behavior and communication on the Internet. In using the computer network and Internet, students are not to reveal personal information such as home address or telephone number. Using a last name or any other information which might allow a person to locate a student is not permitted unless permission of a supervising teacher has been obtained.
B. Students may only access the Internet by using their assigned Internet/E-mail account. Use of another person’s account/address/password is prohibited. Students may not allow other users to utilize their passwords.
C. Students may not intentionally seek information on, obtain copies of, or modify files, data or passwords belonging to other users, or misrepresent other users on the network.
D. Students may not use the Internet to engage in “hacking” or other unlawful activities such as uploading a worm, virus, Trojan horse, bomb or other harmful form of programming or vandalism; accessing other computers, networks, or information systems.
E. Transmission of any material in violation of any State or Federal law or regulation, or Board Policy is prohibited.
F. Any use of the Internet for commercial purposes, advertising, or political lobbying is prohibited.
G. Students are expected to abide by the following generally accepted rules of network safety and etiquette:
a. Be polite, courteous, and respectful in your messages to others. Do not use obscene, profane, vulgar, sexually explicit, defamatory, or abusive language in your messages.
b. Do not transmit pictures or other information that could be used to establish your identity without prior approval of a teacher.
c. Never agree to get together with someone you “meet” on-line without prior parent approval.
d. Diligently delete old mail on a regular basis from the personal mail directory to avoid excessive use of the electronic mail disk space.
H. Use of Internet to access, process, distribute, display or print child pornography and other obscene, inappropriate and/or harmful material is prohibited. As such, the following material is prohibited: material that appeals to a prurient interest in nudity, sex, and excretion; material that depicts, describes or represents in a patently offensive way with respect to what is suitable for minors an actual or simulated sexual act or sexual contact, actual or simulated normal or perverted sexual acts, or a lewd exhibition of the genitals; and material that lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value as to minors. Offensive messages and pictures, inappropriate text files, or files dangerous to the integrity of the Board’s computers/network (e.g. viruses) are also prohibited.
I. Malicious use of the Board’s computers/network to develop programs that harass other users or infiltrate a computer or computer system and/or damage the software components of a computer or computing system is prohibited. Students may not use the Board’s computers/network in such a way that would disrupt their use by others. Students must avoid intentionally wasting limited resources.
J. All communications and information accessible via the Internet should be assumed to be private property (i.e. copyrighted and/or trademarked). All copyright issues regarding software, information, and attributions of authorship must be respected.
K. Students must secure prior approval from a teacher or principal before joining a Listserv (Electronic mailing lists) and should not post personal messages on bulletin boards or “Listservs.”
L. Students are prohibited from accessing or participating in online “chat rooms” or other forms of direct electronic communication (other than e-mail) without prior approval from a teacher or principal. All such authorized communications must comply with these guidelines.
M. Privacy in communication over the Internet and the Network is not guaranteed. To ensure compliance with these guidelines, the Board reserves the right to monitor, review, and inspect any directories, files and/or messages residing on or sent using the Board’s computers/network. Messages relating to or in support of illegal activities will be reported to the appropriate authorities.
N. Use of the Internet and any information procured from the Internet is at the student’s own risk. The Board is not responsible for any damage a user suffers, including loss of data resulting from delays, non-deliveries, mis-deliveries, or service interruptions. The Board is not responsible for 27 the accuracy or quality of information obtained through its services. Information (including text graphics, audio, video, etc.) from Internet sources used in student papers, reports, and projects should be cited the same as references to printed materials.
O. Disclosure, use and/or dissemination of personal identification information of minors via the Internet is prohibited, except as expressly authorized by the minor student’s parent/guardian on the “Student Network and Internet Acceptable Use and Safety Agreement Form”.
P. Proprietary rights in the design of web sites hosted on the Board’s servers remains at all times with the Board
- Grading Philosophy
- Performance Levels
- Alternative Learning Activities for Opt-Out Students
- Report Cards
- Retention Policy
Grades are intended to be an accurate description of a student’s progress toward meeting the academic standards/expectations for a specific course or graded level subject. Teachers use a variety of methods during the course of a grading period to gather evidence of student progress. This data is routinely recorded in the district’s web based grading program, Progress Book. Parents may access this information at any time by registering for a Progress Book username and password. Using primarily the summative assessment data that was collected during the grading period, teachers assign the descriptor that most accurately describes the student’s progress in meeting the standards/expectations of the course or grade level.
It is our policy to use the alphabetic system for grading. Our method is weighted in the following manner:
I = incomplete work that must be made up within a two week period or failure will result.
Exceptions: Pass/Fail and extenuating circumstances will be the final decision of the administration, teachers, and guidance counselors.
It is the student's responsibility to ask for make-up work after an absence. *We are on a nine-week grading period. Report cards are issued every nine weeks with a progress report being issued at week five of each nine weeks, upon request. Progress reports and grade cards are updated on the online program known as Progress Book
Situations may arise in which the parents have requested that their child not participate in a particular instructional activity. Board of Education policy authorizes that such requests are to be honored if the reason relates to a conflict between the subject matter and religious or philosophical beliefs held by the parents. Requests may not be honored, however, if the reason relates not to subject matter but to pedagogy or other concerns. In such cases, the parent should be referred to the Superintendent.
When a student is to be excused from an activity, the teacher should:
A. prepare an alternative activity in the general subject area which the student can work at on his/her own to reinforce and/or extend acquired learning of content and/or skill or develop new knowledge or skill;
B. arrange for a work location for the student that is properly supervised and provides access to help, if and when needed;
C. try to ensure that there are no repercussions for the student either academically or socially as a result of not participating in the regularly-scheduled activity;
D. keep a record of the alternative activity for communication with the parents, if such information is requested.
Passing and Failing (all grades):
Efforts shall be made to remediate a student's difficulties and to inform parents in advance of a student's possible retention. Further, relevant staff members shall be consulted and involved in a student's promotion, placement, or retention; however, that decision is the responsibility of the student's principal with parental right of appeal to the superintendent. The decision rendered by the superintendent is final. Final decisions concerning promotion/retention are the responsibility of the administration.
- Health Regulations
- Control of Noncausal-Contact Communicable Diseases
- Control of Communicable Diseases
- Head Lice
- Health Screenings
- Non-Smoking / Vaping Information
- Role of the School Nurse
- Required Drills
Emergency Medical Authorization
State law requires all students to have an Emergency Medical Authorization Form completed and signed by his/her parent or guardian. Please notify school office personnel immediately when there is a change of address, phone, custody, emergency phone number, etc. These records are very important in case of an emergency. Please note your children cannot be released to anyone other than those designated on the emergency medical form and your children can not attend school or participate in any off-school activity without a completed emergency medical authorization form.
In order to safeguard the school community from the spread of certain communicable diseases and in accordance with the Ohio Revised Code, upon enrollment to the Southwest Licking Local Schools, students must provide written documentation of vaccination against the following diseases: Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Polio, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Hepatitis B, and Varicella. These requirements will be in accordance with the Immunization Summary for School Attendance as established by the Ohio Department of Health.
The Board of Education seeks to provide a safe educational environment for both students and staff. It is the Board's intent to ensure that any student or member of the staff who contracts a communicable disease that is not communicated through casual contact will have his/her status in the district examined by an appropriate panel of resource people and that the rights of both the affected individual and those of other staff members and students will be acknowledged and respected.
The control of the spread of communicable diseases is essential to the well-being of the school community and to the efficient operation of schools. 32 Communicable diseases include smallpox, diphtheria, scarlet fever, and other strep infections, hepatitis, whooping cough, mumps, typhoid fever, measles, rubella, AIDS, and others as designated by federal or state health authorities.
To protect the health and safety of students, school personnel, and the community at large, Board of Health regulations which pertain to communicable disease are followed. A child, who has been diagnosed with bacterial infection such as strep throat, skin or eye infections, must be on antibiotic therapy for 24 hours before returning to school. A child should also be without a fever (temperature of 100° or greater) or have not vomited for 24 hours before returning to school. On the recommendation of the school nurse, any student who appears to be ill or who has been exposed to a communicable disease may be excluded from the classroom, the building, or isolated within the school.
A child that is found to have head lice must undergo proper treatment with a lice-killing shampoo before returning to school. Parents will be notified and given instructions for proper treatment. Upon returning to school the child must be checked by the appropriate school personnel. Parents can avoid recurrences and limit transference to other family members by checking their child's head regularly for signs of infestation.
Many students are able to attend school regularly only through effective use of medication in the treatment of disabilities or illnesses that will not hinder the health or welfare of others. If possible, all medication should be given by the parent at home. If this is not possible, it will be administered accordingly:
1. Students are not to possess any medications. Emergency medication, such as an epi pen or inhaler, shall be in a student’s possession only if the student has prior written permission from his/her parent AND physician and has a “Self-Administration of Medication” form on file in the office. All other medication must be administered through the main office.
2. An appropriate person appointed by the building principal will supervise and secure the proper storing and dispensing of medications. The drug must be received in the container in which it was dispensed by the prescribing physician or licensed pharmacist. Aspirin must be treated as a prescription medication because of its link to Reye's Syndrome.
3. Written permission on the "Parental Release for the Administration of Medication At School" form must be received from the parent or guardian of the student, requesting that the School District comply with the physician's order.
4. The designated individual must receive and retain a statement, which complies with O.R.C. 3313.713 and is signed by the physician who prescribes the drug. These forms are available in each school and MUST be sent with prescription medication.
5. The parent, guardian or other person having care or in charge of the student must agree to submit a revised statement signed by the physician who prescribed the drug to the nurse or other designated individual if any of the information originally provided by the physician changes. Whenever possible, prescription medicine and signed permission forms should be delivered to the school office by the parent/guardian.
6. No employee who is authorized by a Board of Education to administer a prescribed drug and who has a copy of the most recent physician's statement will be liable in civil damages for administering or failing to administer the drug, unless she/he acted in a manner that would constitute "gross negligence or wanton or reckless misconduct."
7. Non-prescription medication (i.e. Tylenol, Advil, Caladryl, cough drops etc.) must be brought to the office when the student first enters the building. Medication shall not be brought by the student on the bus. In order for the non-prescription medication to be dispensed at school, it must be accompanied by a completed and signed "Parental Release for the Administration of Medication at School" form. These forms are available from the office. All faxed orders must be followed by the original form within three (3) days or the medication will not be given. Whenever possible, non-prescription medicine and signed permission forms should be delivered to the school office by the parent/guardian.
8. No person employed by the Board of Education will be required to administer a drug to a student except pursuant to requirements under this policy. The Board of Education shall not require an employee to administer a drug to a student if the employee objects, on the basis of religious convictions, to administering the drug
The Ohio Department of Health prohibits smoking in all enclosed public places within the state. SWL is committed to providing students, staff and visitors with a smoke-free environment. Smoking and vaping is expressly prohibited in all SWL buildings, on school property, on the school bus and at events occurring off school property if the student is at any school-sponsored, school-approved, or school-related activity or function, such as field trips or athletic events.
The role of the school nurse is to support student success by the promotion of the health and safety of individual students, as well as the promotion of wellness in the school community as a whole.
His/her predominant tasks include collaborating to assist students with chronic health challenges, conducting health screenings and assessments with appropriate health care referrals, providing direct care for acute illness or injury, maintaining accurate records of immunization, implementing measures for the control of communicable diseases, and by providing teaching and training to school personnel as needed.
- Copyright Infringement
- DANCE GUIDELINES
- Entrance Requirements and Enrollment
- FERPA and Directory Information
- First Amendment
- Fundraising Activities
- Lost and Found
- Posters / Community Announcements
- Riding Bikes, Scooters or Skateboards to the Building
- Student Activities
- Student Insurance
- Unauthorized Use of the Building
- Valuable Personal Property
- Video Recording, Photographing, and News Release
- Visitor Information
The nature of an assembly will determine what behavior will be acceptable. Pep rallies and sports assemblies would allow a more relaxed and enthusiastic atmosphere. Students are to remain in their assigned seats unless otherwise instructed by school staff. Students who have received an out-of-school suspension during the current nine weeks may be unable to attend assemblies.
Dances are for current Watkins Middle School students only and will be held from 6:00pm-8:00pm. Teacher and parent chaperones will monitor the dances. All school rules will be enforced during the dances. Students may be asked to call home for an early ride if in violation of school policy.
Parents/Guardians must provide transportation home by 8:05. Violation of this policy may result in students being prevented from attending future dances.
School dances are a privilege. Students may not be permitted to attend dances due to previous out-of-school suspensions and/or previous problems at after-school events.
As required by the Ohio Revised Code, the Southwest Licking Local Schools shall be free to all school residents between six (6) and twenty-one (21) years of age.
A person between six (6) and eighteen (18) years of age is of compulsory school age.
Students entering kindergarten in the Southwest Licking School Local Schools must be five (5) years of age by August 1st of the current school year. A child under age six (6) who is enrolled in kindergarten will be considered of compulsory school age.
The Board may admit to kindergarten such children as may be ineligible by reason of age but demonstrate the ability and need to undertake a program of education. The Board will designate the necessary standards and testing programs required for such early admission.
A child is eligible for entrance into first grade if s/he attains the age of six (6) on or before September 30 of the year in which s/he applies for entrance and has completed the kindergarten program of this District or an equivalent program elsewhere and has been recommended by the teacher for advancement to the first grade. This requirement may only be waived if a request is made to and approved by the building administrator. The Superintendent shall require that each child who registers for entrance to school provide:
A. his/her birth certificate or similar documentation authorized by law as proof of age and birth date.
B. a certified copy of any custody order or decree together with any modification in such an order or decree.
If such documents are not provided, the child shall not be admitted and appropriate law enforcement authorities are to be notified.
The Superintendent shall also ensure that each child entering the District's kindergarten or first grade program for the first time has been properly screened for any medical or health problems as well as those related to hearing, vision, speech, and communications (Board Policy 5112).
Consumable instructional and supplemental supplies are necessary for instruction during the school year. The school charges parents for these supplies by assessing fees. A notice explaining these charges will be sent to parents in September. Each school is responsible for collecting these fees from its students. Parents may pay fees using an installment plan. Unpaid fees are accumulated from year to year and students are not permitted to participate in the graduation ceremony unless all fees are paid. Please send your payment to school with your child or pay with SPS EZpay. See link on the homepage of our website, www.swl.k12.oh.us. Checks should be made out to Southwest Licking Schools.
If a refund is requested, regardless of who provided the original funds, the refund will be reduced or completely applied to any unpaid student fees for the student and any siblings. Any money in excess of the unpaid student fees will be refunded to the person who made the original payment.
The Southwest Licking School District follows the guidelines of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regarding all student records. The primary purpose of directory information is to allow the school to include this information in certain publications. Examples include: playbills, yearbook, honor roll or other recognition lists, graduation programs and sports activity sheets. Under Ohio law, directory information includes the following: student name, address, telephone listing, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, date of graduation, and awards received.
Parents who do not want directory information for their child released must contact the district office in writing and request this information not be released.
Students have the right, protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, to exercise freedom of speech. This includes the right to distribute or display, at reasonable times and places, unsponsored written material, petitions, buttons, badges, or other insignia, except expression which:
● is obscene, libelous, pervasively indecent or vulgar;
● advertises any product or service not permitted to minors by law;
● constitutes insulting or fighting words, the very expression of which injures or harasses other people (threats of violence, defamation of character or of a person’s race, religion, or ethnic origin);
● presents a clear and present likelihood that, either because of its content or the manner of distribution or display, it will cause a disruption of school or school activities, a violation of school regulations, or the commission of an unlawful act.
Electronic transmission of words or photographs that violate the above guidelines of protected speech, including those intended to harass or intimidate other people may result in disciplinary action.
Parents are encouraged to print names in or on coats, sweaters, hats, lunch boxes, boots, etc. to help insure safe-keeping. Each school has a lost and found area. Encourage your child to check the lost and found regularly. Unclaimed items are given to a charitable organization at the end of each quarter.
Students will be provided a school locker. All lockers are school property and are subject to random search at any time with no expectation of privacy. Use only the locker assigned to you and keep it locked at all times. Do not tamper with another locker or give your combination to another person. You are responsible for all items in your locker. Restricted times for locker use will be announced in the fall each year. Hall lockers may not be used during after-school and evening activities unless approved by the teacher responsible for the activity. If there is not a built-in lock, students are responsible for providing a lock. Defacing school lockers with graffiti or other inappropriate signs or words will not be tolerated and will be subject to disciplinary action.
Bicycles must be parked immediately upon arriving at school and remain there until dismissal.
1. Parking of bicycles must be done in the proper location near each building.
2. No bicycles are to be ridden on or around the school grounds during the school day.
3. The school is not responsible in any way for damage or theft of bicycles.
4. If there is inclement weather at the time of dismissal, students may be required to leave their bicycles and return to pick them up at a less dangerous time.
As a member of the Licking County League (LCL) and Ohio High School Athletic Association, Watkins Middle School encourages student participation in a number of interscholastic sporting activities that include: basketball, cheerleading, cross country, football, golf, softball, track and field, volleyball, and wrestling. Students may also participate in club baseball, tennis and rugby.
A physical is required before a student may tryout for any athletic team. Seventh and eighth grade cheerleading squad members are governed by the same rules as sports teams and are expected to meet the same academic standards to participate. Statisticians and managers are governed by the same rules. If a schedule conflict arises between an acadmic commitment in which a grade is given and an extra-curricular cocommitment will take precedence.
EXTRA AND CO-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES
Extracurricular activities (athletics, band performances, musical, and cheerleading), while meaningful to the high school experience, are not tied to academic course credit; however, co-curricular activities are tied to academic course credit. To help defray the costs of extra and co-curricular programs, participation fees will be charged to students. There is a family maximum, but there are no payment plans for extra and co-curricular fees. The participation fees for athletics and activities must be paid before a student can compete. The fee is non-refundable. Additionally, the fee does not guarantee playing time, nor result in control over any conditions of the team or activities. It also does not alter the policies of Watkins Middle School or the Southwest Licking Board of Education, nor does it alter the district’s extra and co-curricular code of conduct or the individual team/activity rules.
The Southwest Licking Local Board of Education recognizes there is a need for academic prerequisites for participation in extracurricular activities. IT IS THE STUDENT’S RESPONSIBILITY TO TAKE THE REQUIRED NUMBER OF CREDITS EVERY NINE WEEKS TO MAINTAIN ELIGIBILITY. It is recommended that participants in extracurricular activities take six courses, not including physical education, to maintain eligibility. Before student-athletes change their schedules, they should confirm with their coach, the athletic director, and their counselor that changing their schedule does not jeopardize their eligibility.
Participation in extracurricular activities is not a right but a privilege that may be regulated. Therefore, all students who participate in any interscholastic or other extracurricular activities at any time must meet the following regulations from the date of enrollment or date of participation, whichever comes first. Regulations concerning drugs and alcohol will be in effect for all athletes and other extracurricular participants at all times, including summers, while enrolled as a student grades 7-12 in any school in the Southwest Licking Local School District.
Any Watkins Middle School student participating in interscholastic athletics must be present at least one-half of the school day to participate in practice or a contest on that day. A student absent more than half ½ day on Friday may not participate or compete with the team or group on the weekend. The one-half day is designated as before or after 10:46. The final determination of participation will be made by the administration.
The regulations below establish academic prerequisites for extracurricular participation in this school district.
In order to participate in an extracurricular activity, a student must be passing 5 classes, and maintain a minimum grade point average of 1.5 for the preceding nine weeks in order to maintain eligibility for the following grading period. This is based on the final nine weeks' grade.
Students not meeting the 5 class requirements and the minimum grade point requirements shall be declared ineligible at the end of the grading period. The student will be ineligible to participate in any extracurricular activity for the following grading period.
The establishment of passing or failing grades and grade point averages shall be on a cumulative basis from the beginning of the current grading period.
For eligibility purposes, summer school grades may not be used to substitute for failing grades received the final grading period of the regular school year or for lack of enough subjects taken the preceding grading period.
It is hoped that students at Watkins Middle School will find interest in any of several student clubs and/or organizations established for their benefit. Below is a list of those activities in which high school students may choose to participate. Any student or faculty member who feels that a specific organization should be added to our school program should make an application to an administrator in charge of extracurricular activities for permission to organize. All organizations must have adequate faculty sponsorship, documented sufficient interest by students, sufficient funding or plans to provide funding, and approval of the principal.
Is available at a nominal cost and is optional. If you are insured under this plan and you are injured, you will be given a claim form from the office. This form must be completed by your parents and presented to the doctor or hospital. The school merely acts as a medium in supplying the insurance and assumes no liability, either for the injury or the subsequent negotiations with the company.
Students are not to remain at school after dismissal unless they are part of a school activity supervised by a teacher, advisor or coach. Any student using the building without authorization and supervision will be referred to the local police authorities. No students will be permitted to use the building when school is not in session without authorization and supervision and will be subject to school disciplinary action. Students who remain after discussion to use outdoor recreational facilities do so at their own risk. The school district assumes no responsibility for them.
The school district will NOT accept responsibility for the loss, damage, or theft of personal property. Valuable personal property should be left at home. Electronics are to be turned off, kept out of sight, and not used during the school day unless authorized by building policy. The use of any personal property that is contrary to building policy may result in disciplinary action and confiscation of the item(s). At the building leadership’s discretion, confiscated items may only be returned to a student’s parent or guardian.
During the school year, we have occasion to videotape or photograph students. The purpose of the video recording may include classroom displays, school-wide displays, the school website (www.swl.k12.oh.us), publicity in the news media, or as part of professional development for our teaching staff. Further, we may be teaching our students how to produce video/photographic documentation of their own work.
Please understand that the school district cannot prevent the publication of your student’s likeness and name by the local media, but it will make every effort not to use it in its own publications. It is the district’s policy not to post a student’s last name with a picture on the district website.
We are asking for you to acknowledge and consent to video recording and photographing of your child. Your consent allows us to make public the pictures and videos we take, knowing that you are aware that your child may appear in these media. If you choose to deny permission, please make your decision known to your child. Let your child know that when these events take place, they should ask to be excused from the picture or video.
The Board of Education welcomes and encourages visits to school by parents, other adult residents of the community and interested educators. In order for the educational program to continue undisturbed when visitors are present and to prevent the intrusion of disruptive persons into the schools, it is necessary to invoke visitor controls. State law requires that any person visiting the school must report directly to the office and secure a visitor pass. Parents who wish to observe learning activities taking place in their child’s classroom are to confer, 24 hours in advance, with the principal and the teacher.
Parents are welcome to have lunch with their student in the cafeteria or a designated area and must provide 24 hours notice to ensure we can accommodate your request. They are not permitted to bring siblings or go to recess. Parents are encouraged to meet with their child’s teacher during non-instructional hours to discuss concerns and to obtain answers to their questions. Teachers have regularly scheduled time periods for this type of conferencing. If a parent has a concern, s/he should address the matter first with the teacher, and then, if not rectified, with the principal.
Staff members may not transact business with a person in the school who does not have a visitor pass and has not registered at the school office. Likewise, no visitor may confer with a student in school without the approval of the principal.