School Policies

Absences

Formal and informal attendance is taken throughout the day by classroom teachers. All unaccounted absences are verified by our secretary and an automated message is sent to student’s parent/guardian. Your cooperation in telephoning the school before 8:15 AM to report any student absence would be appreciated. There is an answering machine available for your convenience. Regular participation with classmates in school work is the best way we know for a child to learn and be prepared for the next levels of learning.

Administration of Medication

We prefer arrangements to be made for students to take any medications at home. However, if your child requires medication at school, please complete the “Request for Administration of Medication at School” form, which is available in the office. Have the form completed by your doctor, sign it yourself and return it to the school as soon as possible. This refers to medication taken on a regular or emergency basis.

Bicycles, Skateboards and Scooters

Upon arrival, bikes and scooters must be walked on school property and parked in the bike racks which are located outside room 119 between the school and the portables. Bike locks are recommended at all times. Skateboards must be carried upon arrival on school grounds and stored in lockers during the school day.

Classes at Shuswap Middle

The Core subjects include Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, Math, second language, Physical Education, and Health and Careers. The explorations subjects include Foods and Textiles, Shop, Art, Band, Robotics and Guitars. Note: Not all students will necessarily get all explorations in the same year. Students in grade 7 will take band.

Closed Campus

Shuswap Middle School is a closed campus for all students. This means that only students who attend Shuswap Middle School are to be on the school grounds during the school day. It also means that once students arrive at school they must remain on the school grounds for the rest of the school day. Periodically, a student may be given permission by their parent to go home for lunch. Students are not permitted to go to restaurants or stores at lunch unless they are picked up at school by a parent. Students being picked up must be signed out at the school office by their parent/guardian or by an adult with their parent/guardian’s permission. For safety reasons, we ask students to wait at the office before departing.

Shuswap Middle School is a place of learning and belonging. Students are expected to be safe, demonstrate ownership of actions and be respectful at all times. Part of our code of conduct is: S.O.A.R. – Safety, Ownership, Actions, and Respect.

S.O.A.R at Shuswap Middle School

Safety ~ We believe in having a safe school.

Ownership ~ We believe that each student must own their behaviour.

Actions ~ We believe that each student can control their actions.

Respect ~ We believe that all members of our community must act with respect toward self, others, and the school.

At SMS, we take bullying very seriously. Bullying in any form is violence and it is not acceptable and will not be tolerated. The information below is meant to assist students should they need it. We are here to make sure your voice is heard.

Code of Conduct

The SMS Code of Conduct applies while at school, at school related activities, and in other circumstances where engaging in the activity will have an impact on our school environment.

Shuswap Middle School promotes the values of The Canadian Charter for Human Rights and the BC Human Rights Code. 

This means that we respect the rights of individuals in accordance with the law. The school will treat any infringement on these rights very seriously. This prohibits discrimination based on race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, religion, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation or gender identity.
In addition, with specific reference to sexual orientation and gender identity, in accordance with School District Policy we recognize:

  • Homophobic and gender-based comments, discrimination and bullying are demeaning to all regardless of their actual or perceived sexual orientation.

Any language or behavior that deliberately degrades, denigrates, incites hatred, prejudice or discrimination or harassment towards individuals on the basis of their real or perceived sexual orientation, or harassment towards individuals on the basis of their real or perceived sexual orientation will not be tolerated.

Violent Risk Threat Assessment Protocol

School District #83 and our school are part of the collaboration that occurs between government agencies to ensure the safety of students, staff, parents and others. The information below provides a description and an outline of the Violent Threat Risk Assessment (VTRA) process in our district and our school

  • Student behaviours that initiate a VTRA include, but are not limited to, serious violence or violence with intent to harm or kill, verbal/written threats, internet website/MSN threats, possession of weapons (including replicas), bomb threats, sexualized threats, and fire setting.
  • To keep our school safe and caring, staff, parents, students and community members must report all threat-related behaviours.
  • A threat is an expression of intent to do harm or act out violently against someone or something. Threats may be verbal, written, drawn, posted on the internet or made by gesture. Threats are taken seriously, investigated and responded to.
  • All threat making behavior by a student will be reported to the school administrator who will organize the response which may involve the RCMP, Ministry of Children and Families, SD 83 Central Office and others.

Smoking And The Use of Tobacco And Vapour Products

Healthy school and workplace environments are essential to the quality of learning and working. In accordance with SD 83 policy, SMS is a smoke-free facility which includes all buildings and property. Tobacco and vapour products of any kind are not permitted.The use or possession of tobacco or vapour products by any student is a “Bottom Line Behaviour” and is immediately referred to school administration.

Consequences for Student Breaches of the SMS Code of Conduct 

S.O.A.R is a cornerstone of our beliefs at SMS. Behaviour that is, in any way, disrespectful or unsafe will trigger the progressive discipline process.
The progressive discipline process often starts in the classroom with an individual conversation or correction by the classroom teacher. If inappropriate behavior continues, the classroom teacher will contact home and discuss the situation with a parent or guardian. However, repeat behavior will result in an office referral. In serious circumstances, an office referral is made immediately.

Office referrals will result in consequences which depend on the circumstances. These consequences may include:

  • Restitution
  • Natural and logical consequences
  • Parent/teacher/student/administrator meeting
  • In-school suspension
  • Out-of-school suspension
  • School-based team meeting

First Office Referral

  • a meeting with the Principal or Vice-Principal; an office time out and referral sheet will be completed by the teacher and the student

Second Office Referral

a parent or guardian becomes involved; phone contact will be made with a parent by a school administrator.

Third or Subsequent Office Referrals

  • possibly an in-school suspension. An in-school suspension involves the student completing their school work in the office under supervision. Nutrition break and lunch are taken at separate times from the rest of the student body.  In-school suspensions often involve parent/student/ staff meetings and the development of a behavior plan for the future.

“BOTTOM LINE BEHAVIOURS”

These behaviours are immediately referred to the Principal or Vice-Principal. SD #83 Policy 1030.10R “Student Suspensions” will be implemented.

  • Weapons
  • Drugs or Alcohol
  • Violent Behaviour including threats
  • Outright Defiance
  • StealingVandalismSmoking/vaping or possession of related materials
  • Serious Internet Infractions

Computer Use and the Internet

Students have access to the internet as a support for their academics. This service is for educational purposes only. Wi-Fi is available throughout the school. In order to access it please see the instructions on our school website. Students who use the computer or software disrespectfully or for any educationally inappropriate reason will be referred to the administration and have their privileges suspended immediately. Students are directed not to share their password or user ID with anyone. Students who log on using another student’s ID will have their privileges suspended.

Copying & Plagiarism

Students are expected to present their own work in their own words. The substitution of work copied or taken from other students or from other sources such as the Internet, and presented as their own, is not acceptable and will result in an appropriate intervention.

Dress Code

The North Okanagan-Shuswap School District expects all students to dress in a respectful manner which is appropriate and conducive to a positive, safe, learning environment.

Appropriate dress is considered to be that which:

  • is safe
  • is free of any reference which promotes alcohol, drugs, gangs, hate, obscenity, profanity, racism/discrimination, sex and/or violence
  • is not disturbing or distracting to others within the school setting
  • is similar to office or retail workplace attire

Students are expected to wear clothing that provides appropriate coverage. Students wearing clothing that is, in the opinion of staff, too revealing (including bare backs, bare midriffs, spaghetti straps, plunging necklines, or other revealing wear) will be asked to change into something more appropriate or be given something to wear.  Underwear must not be visible.  Footwear must be worn at all times.

Electronic Devices & Cell Phones

Students are discouraged from bringing valuables including iPods, cell phones, digital cameras, expensive shoes and clothing articles to school. Electronic items should be kept in the student’s locker during the school day including nutrition break and lunch time unless a teacher has given permission to use it for student learning.

Cell phones must not be visible during the day. Consequences:

  • 1st time – staff member will speak with the student and make note in an office file.
  • 2nd time –  staff member will confiscate the phone (and deliver it to the office or keep it until the end of the day. Student may pick it up at the end of the day).
  • 3rd time – the phone is delivered to the office and held until the parents are called and informed.
  • 4th time – the phone is delivered to the office. Parents must pick up the phone at the office and discuss the situation with administration.

Valuable items are brought to school at the owner’s risk; the school is not responsible for any loss. 

Field Trips

From time to time, students have the opportunity to participate in field trips beyond the school property. Field trips are organized in accordance with SD83 Regulation 8030.06R. Parental consent for a student’s participation is obtained through a Field Trip Consent Form. If there is a cost associated with the trip, no student will be excluded for financial reasons. As with all school-sponsored activities, the SMS Student Code of Conduct must be adhered to.

Students also have opportunities for trips in close proximity to the school. In these instances, students and supervisors walk to their destination. At the beginning of each school year, parents provide consent for local outings by submitting the Walking Field Trip Consent Form. This enables walking trips to be completed throughout the school year without additional consent forms being sent home.

Field Trip Receipts – Receipts are issued for funds collected for field trips. Please keep these receipts for your records. The school often wastes valuable time trying to verify payment for a field trip because the student or parent has misplaced a receipt. Thank you for your cooperation.

Field Trip Refunds – If a student experiences illness on the day of a field trip and does not attend school, no refund is issued. Costs for field trips are often determined and committed to well in advance and cannot be adjusted. As well, travel costs such as bussing are not reduced by the absence of one or two students.

Parent Volunteers- All parent volunteers are required to have a Police/Criminal record check on file at the school if they are driving students, or working independently with a group of students. Forms are available at the office and must be taken directly to the local RCMP station. Reimbursements provided.

Freedom of Information and the Protection of Privacy (FOIPOP)

In School District #83, Student / Personal Information Consents are obtained every school year and are valid until September 30 of the next school year. Pictures are not published in any form, or posted on the Internet without parental permission of the children in the photo. In order to protect the privacy and safety of students and their families, cameras are discouraged except under supervised use.

Gym Strip

Gym strip and proper gym shoes are necessary for students to participate in gym classes in a safe and appropriate way. Students need to change into a Shuswap Middle School shirt and shorts for PE classes unless notified by teachers. In cases of financial hardship, a Shuswap Middle School PE shirt will be provided by the school.

Homework

Homework shall be monitored by individual teachers as well as teams of teachers. Work done at home can be an important part of learning. It is an expectation of all students to have homework completed and all assignments handed in on time. Teams may have a homework club available at lunch or after school to assist students needing some extra support.

Reinforcement of learning at home is a valuable part of the partnership necessary to ensure academic success for your child.

It is our expectation that students in grades 6-8 spend the necessary time, without it being a hardship, on homework. We need to keep in mind that although an evening school activity is important, students need time to be children too. There must be a balance between work and play. If parents believe an excessive amount of homework is being done by their child, please contact your child’s teacher.

Late Procedure

Our school expectation is that students are to, “be where they are supposed to be and be on time”. To ensure optimal learning conditions, prompt attendance is necessary. Therefore, when a consistent pattern of late behaviour is observed the student shall be referred to the office.

Lockers

Lockers are the property of the school. The school administration reserves the right to open and search lockers for issues relating to school safety and security. It is a privilege to have a locker, and hopefully everyone will have his or her own locker. It is the student’s responsibility to take care of their locker and to ensure that their lock combination is kept secret. No writing or stickers are permitted on lockers. Everything kept in a locker must be removable and show no marks. All decorations must be in good taste. Do not switch lockers to be closer to a friend. Locks are supplied by the school. Only school issued locks are to be used on school lockers. There is a $5 charge to replace a lost lock. Students should keep their locker combination private.

Students should only go to their lockers at the following times:

  • before school
  • nutrition break
  • lunch
  • after school

Lunch Routine

The lunch break is 45 minutes long and includes an eating period of 15 minutes. All students will eat in their classrooms. We have food for sale on certain days; watch for a notice home on this.

11:55 – 12:20 activity time outside – play on field, appropriate forest areas, playground or basketball/tennis court
12:20 – 12:35 eating time – students eat in classrooms or assigned
areas.

During lunch break the school provides paid supervisory care for all students.

When the students are eating their lunch in the classroom, we expect them to remain seated, talk quietly, treat each other and their school with respect, and clean up after themselves. Students are expected to keep classrooms, hallways and grounds clean, and free of litter.

Morning Break (“Nutrition Break”)

There will be a formal nutrition break of 10 minutes from 10:05 – 10:15 for Grade 6/7 students in which a core teacher will be supervising the students. Break is the time to use the washroom, eat a snack and go to your locker to gather materials for their third & fourth periods.

Parking Lot Safety

Parents are asked to drop off and pick up their children following the designated traffic flow procedure. Parents are encouraged to use the parking lot across the street at the Field of Dreams. This is a safe drop-off point with very little traffic congestion. The School District has installed a crossing on the street and pays for a crossing guard for our students.

In the SMS lots, please yield to school buses and respect the 10 km/h speed limit. Students are expected to use the sidewalks and stay out of the driveway and parking lots.

Planners

The school planner has been designed to help students manage their time and plan their day so that they can take an active part in controlling their school life. The planner should travel with the student to every class. Shuswap Middle School requires all students to keep their planner up to date throughout the year. It is a valuable communication tool. If a planner is lost, a replacement may be purchased for $8.00.

Public Displays of Affection (PDA’s)

Students are reminded that Public Displays of Affection (PDAs) are not appropriate for Shuswap Middle School. Students must recognize that as a public middle school, it is the responsibility of the school to ensure that all students are comfortable and not subject to witnessing anything to cause them to feel discomfort. Some examples of public displays of affection include, but are not limited to, hugging, kissing and holding hands.

Reporting

Three formal reports are available online. These will detail students’ progress and level of achievement at school. Parents, please take the time to review your child’s report card with them and set personal academic goals for the following term or school year. Reporting dates are set for December, March and June. There will also be two informal reporting periods. Informal reports can take many forms.

Getting to the Report Card Using Parent Connect

Here is a step-by-step guide to get access the report card.

Step 1: Go to the Shuswap Middle School website:      http://www.sms.sd83.bc.ca

Step 2: Click on the “Parent Connect” tab on the left side of the web page.It may be necessary to update your browser to a newer version in order for this to work properly (eg. Google Chrome)

Step 3: Log on  Enter your email and password  If you don’t know your password or are having trouble logging in, please click on this link –http://www.sd83.bc.ca/parentconnectinstructions.pdf

There is also an online video with instructions in the same location.

Step 4: Select your student  Your child or children will appear below your email address  Click “Sign In” button

Step 5: Finding the report card  Click on the “Folder” tab  Report card will appear in folder – click “View”

Step 6: Your child’s IEP  IF your child has an IEP, click on the “EPlan” tab  Click on the blue “IEP Central” button

NOTE: While you are in Parent Connect, please also make any information changes (new phone number, change in primary phone number, verification forms, etc.) so that everything is up-to-date.

Scents

Spray deodorant and perfumes are not permitted to be used in school due to potential allergic reaction from students and staff. As a school we are “scent aware” and we will work with students to make sure that this is a safe place for all.

 Sickness

Good health is necessary for effective learning. Students who become ill during the day are to go directly to their teacher. Our policy is to get students who are sick home as soon as possible. Our practice will be to call parents and ask that the students be picked up. As such, it is important that parents keep work and emergency phone numbers current.

Signing In and Out

Any time a student is late, they must sign in at the office, and take a late slip. If a student needs to leave early for an appointment, they must sign out at the office and sign back in again when they return. A note or a phone call to accompany this is mandatory. Students may not leave the school grounds without parent permission.

Starting the Day

School doors open at 7:50 AM. A warning bell will ring at 8:20 AM. At this time, students should gather study materials needed for the first two periods of the day. All personal belongings such as backpacks, jackets and any electronics are to be left in their locker. Students are expected to be ready for learning in their class by 8:25 AM.

Telephone

There is a student phone in the school lobby. This phone is not to be used during class time. Students are expected to notify their parents whenever they are delayed or expect to be late in arriving home. In an emergency, please speak to the secretary.

Textbooks

Textbooks and other educational resources are the property of the school and school district. Students are issued textbooks at the start of the year. Students are responsible for returning the same textbook they were originally issued when they are collected or when teachers conduct their periodic “textbook check”. Students will be charged for lost or damaged books.

Valuables

Unfortunately, every year a few students have valuables go missing. To prevent this:

  • Make payments to school by cheque, not cash
  • Leave valuables at home, including Ipods, jewelry, electronic games, etc…

The school is not responsible for the loss of valuables. 

Visitors

To help us maintain the security of the building and safety of the students, all visitors (including parents) are expected to check in at the school office immediately upon entering the school. Parents dropping off lunches, homework, planners for their child are asked to leave it at the office, and we will page your child during the break.

Work Habits/Criteria for Effort List

G = Good = Consistently meets expectations.

S= Satisfactory = Most Often meets expectations.

N = Needs Improvement = Inconsistently meets expectations

 

Work Habits

One Binder 

The One Binder system will be evaluated based on the “good / satisfactory / needs improvement criteria”.~ Formal evaluations of the one binder will occur throughout the year.

What SMS staff will do to build a culture of organization through the One Binder:

  • Teach the system of one binder.
  • Regular evaluation of the one binder.
  • Prepare visual aides to support one binder.
  • Schedule a regular time to clean and re-organize.
  • Teach students how to purge old material to make room for the new.
  • Provide extra support for those students who need it.

What student can do:

  • No loose papers anywhere.  Punch holes in papers and put them in the rings of the binder.Use tabs/dividers.
  • File notes in the appropriate subject area behind the tabs.
  • Date all notes and handoutkeep in chronological order.
  • Place agenda at the front of the binder.
  • Place your pencil pouch in the front of the binder.  Don’t over supply.  Keep extras in your locker/desk.
  • Keep an adequate supply of paper in the binder.
  • When the binder becomes overloaded – Purge with teacher support.

What parents can do at home:

  • Reinforce the one binder routine
  • Expect to see your child’s one binder on a regular basis.
  • Sign your child’s agenda as often as you can…daily is best practice.
  • Use the following rubric to evaluate your child’s one binder at home.
  • Replenish supplies as needed.
  • Assist with the purge of old material.

One Binder Evaluation Rubric

One Binder

G = Good = Consistently meets expectations.

S= Satisfactory = Most Often meets expectations.

N = Needs Improvement = Inconsistently meets expectations