Policies

Attendance Policy

Attendance plays a major role in the overall success of every student. Academic success can be achieved only by daily class participation.

Parents' Responsibilities

  1. Absence Reporting - Please call Bell's attendance office as early as possible on the day of absence at 479-7111, extension 2028. The attendance office is open between 7 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. daily. You may leave a message on the voice mail system at any time.

  2. Absence Clearance - Should be made by telephone; notes will be accepted in special circumstances only, e.g., no home telephone.

  3. Appointments - Please make every effort to schedule medical or dental appointments after school hours.Closed Campus

Bell Middle School supports the district's closed campus policy which requires students to remain on campus during the lunch period. The closed campus policy applies to all students; parents may not exempt their students from this policy. Students are expected to attend all classes Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday between 7:20 a.m. and 2:15 p.m., and 7:20 a.m. through 12:45 p.m. on Wednesday.

Blue Slips

Any student leaving campus during school hours must have a blue slip and sign out in the attendance office. The parent/guardian must contact the school to request a blue slip PRIOR to 7:20 a.m. of the date the release is required. For security purposes the parent/guardian must bring and present a photo ID. Students who leave campus without a blue slip will be considered truant and subject to the appropriate consequences. Students may be detained by the police and charged with daytime loitering.

Passes

Inside the planner you will find pages designed specifically for pass purposes. To request permission to leave the classroom during class, a student must complete, in ink, the information required for this section. The student then brings the planner to the teacher to request approval. If approval is granted, the teacher will initial the pass entry. While out of the classroom, the student must carry this "pass" and display the pass to any staff member who inquires. This system promotes student and staff accountability; communication between the home and school; and ensures that the focus remains on classroom instruction.

Tardy Policy

Punctuality is a crucial element in academic and life-long success. Students must be in their seats and ready to work when the tardy bell sounds. Repeated tardiness will lead to disciplinary action, including detention; referral to counselor or vice principal; parent notification; and parent conferences. It should be noted that after 30 minutes, an unexcused tardy becomes a truancy.

For citizenship purposes, students are considered to have a clean slate at the beginning of each six-week grading period. Tardiness negatively impacts citizenship grades and the citizenship grade for the semester is the average of the citizenship grades for each of the three six-week grading periods that semester.

Truancy Policy

Truancy, "absence from school or class without prior knowledge of parent or school," is a serious matter. Truancy may impact citizenship grades. Because a truancy will result in lost class time, repeated truancies will result in a lower academic grade. Students with a chronic truancy problem may be referred to the site's School Attendance Review Team (SART); be assigned to Saturday School; or considered for placement in another comprehensive school or alternative program. For each grading period, the following guidelines will be in effect:

  • Unexcused Absences

  • An unexcused absence by a student will be handled like a truancy

  • Uncleared Absences

  • A period that is not cleared within five school days will be recorded as a truancy

Saturday School

Bell Middle School has a Saturday School program. This program is designed to be a motivating force in eliminating full day and period truancies; unexcused and unverified absences; and habitual tardiness. Attendance at one entire Saturday School session will result in clearance of one full day of absence due to the reasons outlined above.

Student Attendance Review Team (SART)

The site's Student Attendance Review Team has been established for the express purpose of helping students to resolve chronic attendance problems. When a referral is made to the SART team, a consultation meeting is arranged with the parent and student. A plan of action is developed at this meeting to improve the student's attendance and all parties sign a contract agreeing to take specific steps to achieve this goal. If improvement does not occur, the student is referred to the district's School Attendance Review Board for one last opportunity to resolve the matter before being referred to the court system.