As a new teacher, you are expected to learn the rules of your school. The best way to do so is to read the student handbook and the teacher handbook. The following is the actual teacher handbook for my school (which I am responsible for writing and updating every year). Your school’s teacher handbook may be much longer or shorter depending on how much detail your administration uses to outline the rules. Some of the policies and procedures in this handbook will differ greatly from your school’s, but I want you to read them anyway. There are a few sections that should be of great importance to you: Absences (Teacher), Accident Report, Building and Room Regulations, Conferences (Parents), Discipline, Homework, Parent Contact, Respect, and Supervision. Without further adieu, here is the teacher handbook (names have been changed to protect the innocent!):
Handbooks provide procedures for handling routine matters, clarify expectations of teachers, and provide a unified approach to our service to students, to the community, and to the Republic School System. Staff members are responsible for all information in the handbook.
Teachers should notify Susi Quinlan (555-6355) between 5:45 and 6:15 a.m. Do not call any substitutes on your own. Lesson plans are to be available for the substitute. Upon return to school, absence forms are to be filled out and turned in to the office on the day that you return. In the past, the absentee slip was put in your mailbox, and you were to turn it in at your earliest convenience. This is no longer the procedure. Please see the secretary as soon as possible so that you can sign your absentee slip. If it is necessary for you to leave school at any time during the school day, please inform the office. Arriving late or leaving early will be logged. When time reaches ½ a day, absentee forms will be filled out accordingly.
If you know in advance that you are going to be absent, make arrangements as soon as possible. If you need to take extended leave, discuss your preferences for substitutes with the principal. Current school law dictates that in certain situations, parents must be notified if a long-term substitute will be in a classroom (and their qualifications). If you need to leave early or come in late, notify the principal as soon as possible. Arrangements will be made on individual circumstances. Remember, when you are not in the classroom, your students will not learn as much with a substitute. You are the key ingredient to a productive instructional day.
When an accident occurs, teachers are to aid the victim and notify the office and the nurse. Accident reports must be filed with the nurse or office. If a staff member is injured while at school or at a school-sanctioned function which they are supervising, the office and the nurse must be notified immediately and workman’s compensation paperwork completed within 24 hours.
ADDRESS UPDATE FORMS
In the past, we have had students fill out their own address update forms at the beginning of the year. This has not proven to be effective, so we now are asking that parents fill out the update forms. Parents are changing addresses, home phone numbers, cell phone numbers, and email addresses at mind-boggling rates. Because of this phenomenon, it is more important than ever to keep current on parental contact information. Please keep close tabs on your advisory students and their ever-changing info.
The advisory teacher is responsible for distributing and collecting grade checks and grade cards from students every three weeks. It is extremely important that this documentation is collected from the students, and turned in to the office at the end of the school year. Each year, a number of parents try to coerce the administration into “passing” their child because they say they had no idea their student was failing. If a student fails to turn in a signed grade check, call the parent to inform them that you are sending a copy home for them to sign. Continue to repeat this process as many times as is necessary to get a signed grade card.
Any advisory student receiving a “D” or “F” for the semester
(in a core class) will receive a form from the advisory teacher documenting
that the advisory teacher has discussed the consequences of receiving an “F” in
a core class. The teacher will keep the
signed document in a file, and turn it in to the office at the end of the
Assemblies may be held throughout the year to provide entertainment and enrichment. Teachers should escort their classes to all assemblies and stay to help supervise. If you have ideas for specific assemblies, please notify the office.
Schools receive their funding based on their average daily attendance. It is imperative that we make every effort to report attendance in an accurate manner. Please make sure to take attendance at the beginning of every class period.
BUILDING AND ROOM REGULATIONS
Teachers should see that their room is organized, papers picked up, lights out, and windows locked before leaving school. Be sure any electrical appliances are on a surge protector. This is especially important for your computers! Thermostats should be set according to district settings: summer – 74 during the day, 80 degrees at night; winter – 67 during the day, 60 at night. Remind students they are to take care of classroom furniture and equipment. Anyone defacing school property should be reported to the office and will be responsible for financial restitution.
Teachers should be in their rooms whenever students are present. You are libel if there are accidents or injuries to students left unattended while you are responsible for their supervision. If there is an emergency, call the office or notify a teacher next to you to watch your class.
BUILDING MAINTENANCE REQUEST
Repairs or maintenance items need a building maintenance request form turned in to the office. If there is a problem in your room, please notify the office as soon as possible so that the problem is not allowed to get worse. Heating and air conditioning issues are examples of problems that should be reported immediately.
Bulletin boards are an important part of your classroom. They should be kept current and used appropriately to keep students interested and up-to-date. We also have cork strips in several locations throughout the building to display student work or other information.
Teachers should clear all speakers, trips, and meetings with the principal before scheduling. This is to avoid scheduling errors and duplication of times.
CLASSROOM VISITATION AND SUPERVISION
Principals visit each classroom formally and informally as part of the performance-based teacher evaluation (PBTE) process. The purpose of this is to improve instruction and student learning. There will be both announced and unannounced visits. The office would like to be notified of special projects or performances so that we could attend/observe.
Teachers are to avoid inappropriate websites, or websites that have no educational relevance or value. Under no circumstances are students to have access to a teacher’s computer. Disciplinary action will be taken against the person who is logged in to the offending computer, not necessarily the person who is misusing the computer. It is a good idea to log out of your computer if leaving it unattended for an extended period of time.
Teachers should contact parents any time there is a problem with a student whether it is academic, social, or behavioral. Parents want to know how their child is doing at school. Frequent parent contacts strengthen the relationship between the school and home. Positive calls often make a situation much smoother if a problem arises in the future. Parents do not like surprises…..contact them before grade cards come out if there is a problem. Make it your goal to contact 100% of the parents at least twice during the year. Reminder: Document all communication with parents!
COPIER AND RISOGRAPH MACHINES
Because paper and toner are expensive, please consider all copying needs carefully. Copiers are located in the office, teacher’s lounge, and the library. A large number of copies are improperly done, and thrown away by students who are sent to make copies without being trained. It is the responsibility of the teacher to train their aides to make copies properly.
DATES TO REMEMBER
There are countless events that happen during the course of a school year. This section is an attempt to let you know about as many of them as possible. As with any schedule of events, unforeseen circumstances may lead to these dates and times being changed without notice:
All Employee Mtg.
7th/8th Grade Pictures
Fall “Parent Night”
Teachers should handle the minor discipline problems in
their classroom. If a problem persists
(or is severe) don’t hesitate to involve the principal. Before problems become serious, talk to the
student and the parent about the situation.
Frequent contact with parents is important in maintaining good
discipline. Teachers should not send students
directly to ISS. The principal will
conference with the student(s) and parent(s), and determine whether ISS is
warranted (and the duration of the stay).
It is also important the teacher send the student to the office with a
Teachers should dress in a manner that represents our profession. If you have questions about what is appropriate, don’t hesitate to ask. Additionally, teacher attire should not contradict anything that is prohibited for student attire. The student dress code is published in the student planner. Fridays are Dress-Down days and an opportunity to wear jeans, spirit clothes, etc.
All films or movies are to be previewed by the teacher. Movies/films should reflect the curriculum of the district. Only movies with “G” or “PG” ratings should be shown. If you are showing a reward film or one rated PG 13, office and parents need to be notified. Parents should be notified that you will be showing the movie, and the name of the movie. This notification should be done early enough so that parents have sufficient time to opt out of letting their child view the film. We are dealing with students from a wide variety of backgrounds. What you may not find objectionable, a parent might (based on the content of the film and their knowledge of their child). The principal should be notified whenever you are showing a film. **Remember, we have United Streaming available for classroom use.
FIRE, TORNADO, AND EMERGENCY PROCEDURES
Teachers are responsible for seeing students know what to do during emergency situations. Instructions should be posted in each room. Teachers should practice with students during the first week of school.
Lockdown: The district-wide phrase for a lockdown will begin with the words “be advised”. When notified to lock down, all teachers should:
1. Go immediately to the door of the classroom
2. Lock your door(s)
3. Check to make sure it’s locked
4. Look up and down the hallway for students, making sure to pull any/all non-threatening students you see into your room
5. Once you have completed #4, pull the door shut
6. Place the students in an area of the room that cannot be seen from the doorway
7. Once you have determined that all the students in your room (in your care) are in no way harmed (broken limbs, gunshot wounds, etc.) you may place the green card under the door
8. Make sure there is NO talking or noises in your room (TV’s and radios off)
9. Do not open your door for any reason
Tornado: When tornado bell rings, take your students into the hallway. Direct them to line up in the sitting position with their backs against the wall, head ducked between knees and covered with hands or a textbook. Keep students as far away from windows as possible.
Fire: Bring grade book and red/green card with you as you direct students to the nearest fire exit. Have your class line up outside, a safe distance away from the building, and take roll. If you know the whereabouts of all of your students, hold up a green card. If you are missing students, hold up a red card.
Schedule of Drills
2009-2010 School Year
Type of Drill
August 27 (Thursday) @ 8:45 a.m.
September 18 (Friday) @ 9:30 a.m.
October 14 (Wednesday) @ 10:15 a.m.
November 5 (Thursday) @ 1:00 p.m.
December 4 (Friday) @ 1:45 p.m.
January 11 (Monday) @ 2:30 p.m.
February 3 (Wednesday) @ 1:00 p.m.
March 11 (Thursday) @ 10:15 a.m.
April 8 (Thursday) @ 8:45 a.m.
Please clear your fundraising project with the office. This is to prevent simultaneous fundraisers (which diminishes their effectiveness).
GIFTED PROGRAM (SOAR)
The Middle School offers gifted classes for 7th and 8th Graders. A list of these students will be distributed to the staff. Students will not be held responsible for any work missed in classes on days they attend gifted class.
Your grading system should be explained to students and justified when necessary to students and parents. It is important to remember from this point forward, student grades can be accessed by parents via the internet. Please make sure that your grades are updated as much as possible. Don’t wait until the week before report cards come out to grade five – eight – eleven assignments and enter them in the gradebook!!
The SIS Gradebook program is the way teachers enter, average, and keep track of grades. Here’s a brief summary of how it works:
After you enter your SIS user name and password, click on “Teacher Menu”, then “View/Maintain”, then “Grade Book”. You will go to another screen, where you will click on “select”. A list of all teachers’ classes will appear. Click on whatever class you want to work on. When teachers log in to the system for the first time, there should be at least six columns per class. The teacher should delete the first two columns as a first step. Those columns are “sample” columns representing an assignment and a test. Other columns should be present, they are: SGT (term grade, also called quarter grade), SGP (progress report grade), and SGS (semester grade). There also may be an SGX column. This is a column that figures a final exam grade into the semester grade. You should delete the SGX column.
How to enter an assignment
You will enter a new assignment by going to the “Assignments” pull down menu, and choosing “create new assignment”. The computer will ask you what date you want to give to the assignment. The computer will list your assignments in chronological order based on the dates you give them.
Each of the columns (SGT, SGP, and SGS) should have a formula assigned to it by the teacher. You will have several categories to choose from (Tests, Daily Grades, Homework, Projects, Extra Credit, etc.). Pick the categories of work that will be used to average the grade, and add them to the formula. The computer will ask you how many of the lowest grades in each category you want dropped. I recommend that you do not have any lowest grades dropped. Also, make sure that your progress report grade (SGP) is not used to determine your term grade (SGT) or semester grade (SGS).
THIS YEAR, WE ARE GOING TO USE ONE GRADE SCALE IN ALL CLASSES. This consistency will serve us well in the long run. The school-wide grade scale is as follows: A (100-95), A- (90-94), B+ (87-89), B (84-86), B- (80-83), C+ (77-79), C (74-76), C- (70-73), D+ (67-69), D (64-66), D- (60-63), F (0-59). The grade scale is called “Use This” in the list of grade scales in SIS.
One mistake frequently made concerns Semester Grade. Most people assume the Semester Grade is the average of the Term 1 Grade and the Term 2 Grade. However, the computer does not average the Semester Grade that way unless you tell it to in the formula. Make sure you modify the formula to put 50% weight on Quarter 1 and 50% weight on Quarter 2.
Instead of working in the “Grade Book” tab, you will work in the “End-Of-Term” tab. Verify your grades have exported by asking the counselors if they have received them. All teachers have to export their grades before the counselors can print report cards or progress reports.
High School teachers delete their 1st Semester grades (after printing a hard copy), then build their 2nd Semester classes. Middle School teachers cannot do this!! The teacher must manually create the columns for the 2nd Semester in their gradebook. After these columns are created for the first class, those newly created columns can be copied and pasted into the rest of your classes. It helps to go to the “Terms” pull-down menu and select “Semester 2”, which condenses your view down to only your Semester 2 columns. Your “SGS002” column needs to be created so that your Quarter 3 and Quarter 4 grades will average together to make your Semester 2 grade (see above: “Semester Grade”)
It is a good idea to make hard copies of your gradebook at regular intervals. It is not out of the ordinary to have a server or data router crash, which results in the obliteration of every piece of data in SIS. To prevent this irritating event from becoming a catastrophe, have a backup copy on a floppy disk. An even better idea is to save your grades onto C:, H:, or a USB drive (also called a “flash” drive or “jump” drive).
The teacher is responsible to see students do not leave class without a pass specifically stating the destination, time, date, and name of the person issuing the pass. This year, we will be utilizing the student planner. It will be assumed students without a hall pass or without complete information have left your supervision without your knowledge and they will be sent to you for a written explanation. Normally only one student at a time should be allowed to leave your class. When one returns another can be permitted to leave.
Teachers should decide on a reasonable amount of homework to assign pupils. Studies have concluded a good rule of thumb is ten minutes per grade level. Using this, we can calculate 7th Graders can reasonably handle 70 minutes of homework per night (and 8th Graders 80 minutes per night). Avoid assigning “busy work”. Homework should enhance the lessons in the classroom, and be given for a specific reason. Make-up work will generally be assigned after the student has missed two days of school. When a homework sheet is being generated for a student, please be sure to bring assignments for the student before . It is embarrassing for the office staff when a parent requests homework, drives to school, and finds their students’ teachers didn’t take the time to drop off homework. Students will have two days for each day of absence to complete the work, unless there are extenuating circumstances. It is the administration’s belief homework not be assigned for completion during school holidays and/or long weekends, as this is family time.
HOURS AND TIMES
Teachers are to arrive at , and may leave at District policy requires teachers to have a schedule of 7 hours and 40 minutes per day. If you arrive late or need to leave early, notify the office. Extra effort should be made to insure you arrive on time each day. Remember, you need to be in your designated area at on Mondays for PLC collaboration time.
Students and staff are required to wear I.D. badges beginning this year (teachers wearing their gold name badge are exempt). The effectiveness of this safety measure will be compromised if adults in the building do not wear their badges on a daily basis. If you forget your badge at home, stop by the office for a “temporary” badge. Please encourage your students to wear their I.D.’s every day, and send any and all students without badges to the office to purchase a temporary badge.
Teachers should maintain an up-to-date and accurate inventory of materials and equipment. Texts should be marked with the school name and date of purchase/adoption. Equipment and materials should be permanently marked with the school name. Inventories are completed each January.
If you have reason to be in the building before or after regular hours maintained by custodians, you have a building key. However, with that privilege comes the responsibility of assuring when you leave the building it is secure, lights are off, etc. Do not make duplicates of any key without office permission.
“LATE START” MONDAYS
Students will not start school until on Mondays, as teachers will be meeting from Students will be supervised by classified staff, and can be dropped off at school by parents at their regular time. Buses will run a half-hour to an hour late on Mondays. Teachers may leave at on Mondays.
Lesson plans are to be written at least three days in advance. Plans may be written on the computer, but have a copy printed out as a backup. Unit plans should include objectives that describe expected student behavior, procedures for the lesson, resources, assessment information, etc. Daily plans should include main ideas/activities for the lesson, books/page numbers, etc.
LOST AND FOUND
Coats, jackets, other clothing, and lunch boxes misplaced will be put in the big blue can by the girls’ restroom in the front hall. Cell phones, other electronic equipment, purses, and jewelry will be kept in the front office. Encourage students to write their names on all possessions, and to keep a close eye on them. Seventh graders are coming from a school where they had “cubbies” instead of lockers. Remind them that lockers (unlike cubbies) give them the opportunity to secure their belongings! Middle School seems to be the time when people start experimenting with the idea of taking things that do not belong to them. It is shocking to see how many items of clothing we donate to charity every nine weeks!!
All money received by clubs, classes, or any organization under the direction of the school is classified as school money according to law and must be accounted for within the school bookkeeping system. Money is not to be left in your room during the day or night, but instead turned in to the office as soon as possible.
Teachers are to make contact with parents every three weeks, and turn the documentation in to the office. The two methods of contact are: 1. A copy of the student’s signed grade check/report card, or 2. A list of parents called who did not turn in a signed grade check/report card. This documentation is needed to avoid dealing with a parent who tells us in April that they did not know their student was failing, and that no one from the school had contacted them about their student’s failing grade(s).
PARENT CONTACT (PART II)
Please encourage parents to maintain communication with the school through the following avenues:
1. Webpage – http://www.republic.k12.mo.us
2. Subscribe to Republic Parents’ Listserv – http://lists.more.net/mailman/listinfo/republicparentnews
3. Subscribe to “TigerText” – http://www.republic.k12.mo.us
4. Subscribe to “SIS ParentLink” to access student grades, attendance, and lunch balance from any computer – Forms are available in the front office
All district employees should receive their check on the 25th of each month. If the 25th falls on a holiday or weekend, checks are distributed the afternoon of the last work day before the 25th. The following information must be on file in the Superintendent’s office before school starts:
a. Transcripts from colleges you attended (both undergraduate and graduate**)
c. Additional summer college hours
d. Verification from other schools as to full years taught
e. Verification of planned masters’ program after 15 hours by the graduate Dean
**Transcripts must be received by August 20th for your contract to be amended to move horizontally on the salary schedule.
A calling tree of all Middle School employees will be distributed at the beginning of the year. The calling tree will be activated in case of snow days, a crisis, or other important information. Please take care to ensure this document does not fall into the hands of students!
We are constantly being asked to be accountable for grades and performance by students in the classroom. You must be able to justify your record-keeping and grading procedures. Additionally, student records are confidential information and should not be shared indiscriminately. For further information on who shall have access to student records and what is considered directory information, see the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) in the student handbook, or on the district’s website.
Do not allow students to belittle, make fun of, or make sarcastic remarks about each other, staff, teachers, or other people. We should be striving to make them more culturally competent individuals. All adults in the building should be addressed as Miss, Mrs., Ms., or Mr. by students or in the presence of students.
RULES, REGULATIONS, & POLICY COMPLIANCE
Teachers are expected to do their best work possible, and to comply with all policies. Teachers who are out of compliance will be notified either verbally or in writing as to the improvements necessary to be in compliance. The “Board Policy Manual” is a great resource to refer to, and it can be found in the library, the front office, or the district’s website.
Teacher-student sexual relationships and student-student sexual harassment are prohibited under Title IX. The Office of Civil Rights is becoming more involved in these cases, and this area is constantly being defined by the courts. To prevent legal liability, please be aware of the legal ramifications of these issues.
SICK LEAVE AND PERSONAL DAYS
Nine sick days and one personal day will be granted each year. When exceeding days for sick leave, you will be docked 1/180th of your yearly pay. Teachers accumulating 25 or more sick days receive an additional personal day. Inform the office as far ahead as possible for a personal day. No personal days will be granted before or after a holiday, or the first or last week of school.
Teachers will be allowed leave in accordance with the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This is not paid sick leave unless the teacher has a sufficient number of sick days. Extended or decreased time for leave may be allowed with written doctor’s recommendation. Teachers are advised to check with the retirement board to find out how their absence may affect their retirement. Tanya Tucker in the Superintendent’s office (ext. 6007) can give details on FMLA and your sick days. She should be notified if you anticipate taking an extended leave.
SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES
Teachers are strongly discouraged from having a personal page on “Myspace”, “Facebook”, or other social networking site. Teachers in other districts have experienced problems with inappropriate communications with students, and inappropriate content being posted on their page by themselves or their “friends”. In some cases, teachers have been dismissed due to inappropriate content on their personal webpages. Teachers are also advised not to use class time to engage in communications with others of a personal nature.
Supervision of students is your job any time you are on the premises. When correction is needed, do not hesitate. Be polite and treat the student as you wish to be treated. If they fail to respond, act with authority and use the firmness it takes to do the job. Teachers should be aware of the volume, tone, and attitude of their voice.
Teachers and students are not equal. You command respect of students by being a competent, friendly, fair, consistent, firm professional. Enjoy your students, but keep it on a professional basis. Teachers are to maintain control both in and out of the classroom. This includes the halls, cafeteria, other classrooms, and grounds. Always remember you are liable for the students, whether they be in the classrooms, the halls, or in the restrooms.
is the key to supervision.
Teachers should be at their door, in a position to monitor students both
in the classroom and in the hall during transition times.
SUPPLIES AND PURCHASE ORDERS
Items to be purchased must be specifically itemized and fully described on the purchase order. The quantity, description, catalog number, unit price, and total must be listed on the P.O. before it will be signed. All purchase orders must be assigned a number and approved by the principal and Superintendent. DO NOT MAKE PURCHASES WITHOUT A SIGNED PURCHASE ORDER. If you make unapproved purchases, you may be held financially responsible. When order items are delivered, please check and make sure all items are received. “O.K.” the invoice, and turn it in to Lisa. If you are purchasing items from Wal-Mart or Price Cutter, be sure to sign out the school’s charge card (and tax-exempt card) from the office, and return the card with the receipt.
The procedure for counting tardies is as follows:
1. When the tardy bell rings, teachers are to lock and close their doors.
2. Administrators, counselors and other volunteers direct all students in the hallway to the office, where they are written a “tardy slip”.
3. Teachers are asked not to accept any student into their classroom without a tardy slip.
4. Teachers are no longer responsible for keeping track of tardies.
5. Tardies for all classes are combined together to determine consequences, not separated by class period as in past years.
for tardies begins at the fourth tardy, where students receive fifteen minutes
the Monday following
TEACHERS’ PROFESSIONAL MEETINGS
Request to attend professional meetings are to be discussed with the principal well in advance, and requests must be submitted to the Professional Development Committee (PDC). Julie Gerrard is the Middle School representative. All PD activities must compliment the district and building CSIP. Teachers attending PD activities should plan to share what they learned with their peers.
TELEPHONES, CELL PHONES, IPODS, MP3 PLAYERS, & VIDEO GAMES
You have a phone in your room! During school keep it on “voice mail” so it doesn’t ring during instructional time. Remember not to make long distance calls at the school’s expense unless it is school-related. Allow students to use the phone in your room – under your supervision. Be sure you are in the room whenever a student uses your phone…..there have been 911 calls! Teachers should also keep their cell phones off (or on “vibrate”) during instructional time. If students have cell phones, iPods, MP3 players, and video games, they should be kept in their backpack or pocket and kept turned off during the school day. These are disruptive to the instructional climate. Teachers who confiscate iPods, MP3 players, video games, or cell phones need to label them with the student’s name, teacher name, and date….then turn the device in to Mr. Holden. Parents will be required to come to school to retrieve their student’s device.
USE OF THE FACILITIES
No one is to use the building/equipment after regular hours without prior approval from the principal and Assistant Superintendent. People wishing to use the facilities must submit a written request (forms available in the office) and provide proof of liability insurance for those participating. Employees are not to remove R-III District property from the premises without authorization.
All visitors should sign-in at the office and obtain a visitor’s pass. This includes non-Republic students, parents, sales representatives, friends, guest speakers, etc. Non-Republic students and guest speakers who wish to visit the Middle School should be pre-approved by the office.
Volunteers are a wonderful resource for our school. Please carefully screen and check each volunteer. Submit your volunteer’s name, address, etc. for further checks by the Principal, Superintendent, and School Protection Officer. Volunteers who will work with students outside of your classroom should submit an application for a criminal background check. Teachers should submit a list of adults who will chaperone trips or activities to the office.
BUT WHAT ABOUT……?
This is a living document. Any other issues, omissions, or inaccuracies you feel should be addressed in this handbook should be emailed to Shannon Holden at your earliest convenience so that they can appear (or be corrected) in next year’s handbook.