UPPER SCIOTO VALLEY SCHOOLS
Middle & High School Student Handbook
Instilling Pride, Increasing Accountability
510 South Courtright Street
Post Office Box 305
McGuffey, Ohio 45859
Principal: Lindsey Thompson
Counselor: Michelle Underwood
Athletic Directors: Dylan Hunsicker & Chad Howard
Welcome to Upper Scioto Valley. This student handbook contains policies and procedures that are of particular importance to our students and their parents or guardians. These policies have been designed to provide students with an environment most conducive to learning. Our goal is to challenge each student to reach their highest potential, to strive towards independent and critical thinking, and to grow in both personal and social awareness, while recognizing each student’s community. Cooperation between these groups will ensure the successful personal development of each of our students. It is imperative that the parents/guardians and students review this handbook and become familiar with it. If you have any questions about the information in this handbook please contact the school at (419) 757 – 3231.
This book is a guide for your success at Upper Scioto Valley this year. You and your parents should read through the student handbook so that you understand the rules and expectations for this year.
UPPER SCIOTO VALLEY SCHOOL
Upper Scioto Valley School District will create life-long learners through “RAMS” (Respectful, Accountable, Motivated, and Safe) expectations developing independent, caring, and successful citizens.
The educational program offered by this District is predicated upon the presence of the student and requires continuity of instruction and classroom participation. Attendance shall be required of all students enrolled in the school during the days and hours that the school is in session.
A student in grades 7 through 12 may be considered a full-time equivalent student provided the student is enrolled in at least five (5) units of instruction, as defined by State law, per school year.
In accordance with statute, the Superintendent shall require, from the parent of each student of compulsory school age or from an adult student who has been absent from school or from class for any reason, a written statement of the cause for such absence. The Board of Education reserves the right to verify such statements and to investigate the cause of each single absence or prolonged absence.
TYPES OF ABSENCES
The State of Ohio addresses the issue of school attendance in ORC 3321.04. In brief, the policy is as follows: Absences from school for any reason other than those listed below and recommended by the State Department of Education are not acceptable and will carry disadvantages to the student. Those reasons are:
EXCUSED: AUTHORIZED (A)
The Board considers the following factors to be reasonable excuses for time missed at school:
A. personal illness (a written physician’s statement verifying the illness may be required)
B. illness in the family necessitating the presence of the child
C. quarantine of the home
D. death in the family
E. necessary work at home due to absence or incapacity of parent(s)/guardian(s)
F. observation or celebration of a bona fide religious holiday
G. out-of-state travel (up to a maximum of four (4) days or twenty-four (24) hours per school year that the student’s school is open for instruction during the school year) to participate in a District-approved enrichment or extracurricular activity.
H. such good cause as may be acceptable to the Superintendent
I. medically necessary leave for a pregnant student in accordance with Policy 5751
J. service as a precinct officer at a primary, special or general election in accordance with the program set forth in Policy 5725
Attendance need not always be within the school facilities, but a student will be considered to be in attendance if present at any place where school is in session by authority of the Board.
The Board shall consider each student assigned to a program of other guided learning experiences to be in regular attendance for the program provided that s/he reports to such staff member s/he is assigned for guidance at the place in which s/he is conducting study, and regularly demonstrates progress toward the objectives of the course of study.
The Superintendent may excuse a student over fourteen (14) years of age from attendance at school for a future limited period for the purpose of performing essential work directly or exclusively for his/her parents or guardians. Such excuse should not exceed five (5) days and may at the discretion of the Superintendent be renewed for five (5) additional days. At no time, however, shall such excuse cause a student to be absent from school for a period of more than ten (10) consecutive days.
At the discretion of the Superintendent or his/her designee, a student may be excused for a longer period of time than ten (10) days if a child's parent or guardian has recently died or become totally or partially incapacitated and there is no older brother or sister living in the home who is out of school. (The Superintendent may request a certificate of a physician attesting to the physical condition of the parent or guardian.)
Attendance shall be taken at the beginning of every block/period in buildings with block/period-based scheduling. Absences from a class block/period shall be accounted for to the nearest full hour.
Attendance shall be taken at the commencement of the school day in buildings with non-period-based schedules. Attendance for students arriving late or leaving early must be tracked and recorded to the nearest full hour.
When a student of compulsory school age is absent from school with or without legitimate excuse for thirty-eight (38) or more hours in one school month, or sixty-five (65) or more hours in a school year, the attendance officer shall notify the child's parent or guardian of the child's absences, in writing, within seven (7) school days after the date of the absence that triggered the notice requirement. At the same time written notice is given, any appropriate intervention action listed herein may be taken.
A student will be considered habitually truant if the student is absent without a legitimate excuse for thirty (30) or more consecutive hours, for forty-two (42) or more hours in one (1) school month, or for seventy-two (72) or more hours in one (1) school year.
Legitimate excuses for the absence of a student who is otherwise habitually or chronically truant include but are not limited to:
A. the student was enrolled in another school district;
B. the student was excused from attendance in accordance with R.C 3321.04; or
C. the student has received an age and schooling certificate.
Absence Intervention Team
To the extent required by law as determined on an annual basis, within ten (10) days of a student becoming habitually truant, the Principal shall assign the student to an absence intervention team.
Within fourteen (14) school days after the assignment of a student to an absence intervention team, the team shall develop an intervention plan for that student in an effort to reduce or eliminate further absences. Each intervention plan shall vary based on the individual needs of the student, but the plan shall state that the attendance officer shall file a complaint not later than sixty-one (61) days after the date the plan was implemented, if the child has refused to participate in, or failed to make satisfactory progress on, the intervention plan. Within seven (7) school days after the development of the plan, reasonable efforts shall be made to provide the student's parent/guardian/custodian, with written notice of the plan.
Each absence intervention team may vary based on the needs of each individual student but shall include a representative from the child's building, another representative from the child's building who knows the child, and the child's parent or parent's designee, or the child's guardian, custodian, guardian ad litem, or temporary custodian. The team also may include a school psychologist, counselor, social worker, or representative of a public or nonprofit agency designed to assist students and their families in reducing absences.
The members of the absence intervention team shall be selected within seven (7) school days of the student meeting the habitually truant threshold. Within the same period of seven (7) school days, the Principal shall make at least three meaningful, good faith attempts to secure the participation of the student's parent/guardian/custodian, guardian ad litem, or temporary custodian on that team. A good faith attempt to secure the participation of the parent shall include, but not be limited to, contacting (or attempting to contact) the parent by telephone, email, or regular mail. If the student's parent responds to any of those attempts, but is unable to participate for any reason, the Principal shall inform the parent of the parent's right to appear by designee. If seven (7) school days elapse and the student's parent/guardian/custodian, guardian ad litem, or temporary custodian fails to respond to the attempts to secure participation, the attendance officer shall investigate whether the failure to respond triggers mandatory abuse or neglect reporting to the public children services agency. At the same time, the absence intervention team shall continue to develop an intervention plan for the child notwithstanding the absence of the child's parent/guardian/custodian, guardian ad litem, or temporary custodian.
If a student who is habitually truant violates the order of a Juvenile Court regarding the student’s prior adjudication as an unruly child for being a habitual truant, s/he may further be adjudicated as a delinquent child.
In order to address the attendance practices of a student who is habitually truant, the intervention team may take any of the following intervention actions:
A. notify the Registrar of Motor Vehicles of the student’s absences
B. take appropriate legal action
In the event that a student becomes habitually truant within twenty-one (21) school days prior to the last day of instruction of a school year, the Principal may, in his/her discretion, assign a school official to work with the child's parent/guardian/custodian, guardian ad litem, or temporary custodian to develop an absence intervention plan during the summer.
The plan shall be implemented no later than seven (7) days prior to the first day of instruction of the next school year.
The absence intervention process shall commence upon the first day of instruction of the next school year.
The attendance officer shall file a complaint in the juvenile court against a student on the sixty-first (61st) day after the implementation of an absence intervention plan or other intervention strategies, provided that all of the following apply:
A. The student is habitually truant.
B. The school district or school has made meaningful attempts to re-engage the student through the absence intervention plan, other intervention strategies, and any offered alternatives to adjudication, if applicable.
C. The student has refused to participate in or failed to make satisfactory progress on the plan, as determined by the absence intervention team, or any offered intervention strategies or alternative to adjudication.
If the student, at any time during the implementation phase of the absence intervention plan or other intervention strategies, is absent without legitimate excuse for thirty (30) or more consecutive hours or forty-two (42) or more hours in one school month, the attendance officer shall file a complaint in juvenile court against that student, unless the absence intervention team has determined that the student has made substantial progress on the absence intervention plan.
In the event that the sixty-first (61st) day after the implementation of the absence intervention plan or other intervention strategies falls on a day during the summer months, the attendance officer may extend the implementation of the plan and delay the filing of the complaint for an additional thirty (30) days from the first day of instruction of the next school year.
The Superintendent is authorized to establish an educational program for parents of truant students which is designed to encourage parents to ensure that their children attend school regularly. Any parent who does not complete the program is to be reported to law enforcement authorities for parental education neglect, a fourth class misdemeanor if found guilty.
Whenever any student of compulsory school age has sixty (60) consecutive hours in a single month or a total of ninety hours of unexcused absence from school during the school year , s/he will be considered habitually absent. The Board authorizes the Superintendent to inform the student and his/her parents, guardian, or custodian of the record of absences as well as the District's intent to notify the Registrar of Motor Vehicles, if appropriate, and the Judge of the Juvenile Court of the student's unexcused absence.
If a student who is habitually truant violates the order of a juvenile court regarding the student’s prior adjudication as an unruly child for being a habitual truant, s/he may further be adjudicated as a delinquent child.
The District shall report to the Ohio Department of Education, as soon as practicable, and in a format and manner determined by the Department, any of the following occurrences:
A. When a notice that a student has been absent with or without legitimate excuse for thirty-eight (38) or more hours in one (1) school month, or sixty-five (65) or more hours in a school year is submitted to a parent/guardian/or custodian;
B. When a child of compulsory school age has been absent without legitimate excuse from the public school the child is supposed to attend for thirty (30) or more consecutive hours, forty-two (42) or more hours in one school month, or seventy-two (72) or more hours in a school year;
C. When a child of compulsory school age who has been adjudicated an unruly child for being an habitual truant violates the court order regarding that adjudication;
D. When an absence intervention plan has been implemented for a child under this policy.
This policy was developed after consultation with the judge of the juvenile court of Hardin County/Counties, with the parents, guardians, or other persons having care of the students attending school in the district, and with appropriate State and local agencies.
Suspension of Driving Privileges: pursuant to Board Policy, if a student of compulsory school age has been absent without legitimate excuse for more than ten consecutive school days or for at least fifteen total school days, the student’s parent or guardian will be notified in writing that the student’s temporary instruction permit or driver's license may be suspended or that the opportunity to obtain such a permit or license will be denied. All sign in / out policies apply to college credit plus and work release students.
Parental excuses for absences shall not exceed four (4) days / 24 hours. Therefore, parental excuses for absences in excess of four (4) days / 24 hours per semester will be considered unexcused absences unless a valid written doctor’s excuse is provided within 48 hours. After 48 hours, the excuse cannot be changed. Any reason the student misses for a parent excuse will count for the four days, this includes vacations.
When family trips are unavoidable, the school should be notified in advance. To avoid truancy, a vacation form needs to be filled out and can be obtained from the secretary. These days will count toward the four (4) days / 24 hours parent days per semester.
SIGN IN/SIGN OUT SHEET
Documentation is maintained in the main office for the purpose of student sign in/out of school. Students arriving late or returning from an appointment (doctor/ dental appointment, funeral, etc.) must sign in and provide the required information on the form. Students cannot leave the school building/grounds during the day without parental permission, signing out, and obtaining permission from the adult office personnel to leave the school. Capstone and college credit plus students also have a designated sign in/out sheet.
MARKING ABSENCE OF STUDENTS
Per House Bill 410, student absenteeism will be identified by hours.
EXCUSING CHILD FROM SCHOOL
Parents/guardians should call in by 9:00 AM or write a note with the student’s name, time, and reason for leaving which the student should bring to the office for approval before the start of the school day. If a parent/guardian is picking the student up at school, s/he should call or come into the front office and the teacher will release the student at the appropriate time.
TARDY POLICY (TO SCHOOL OR CLASS)
It is important that students be to school and classes on time as tardiness is disruptive to the educational process. School starts promptly at 8:05 a.m. Students arriving at school after 8:05 a.m. must sign in to the office. The time that a student is tardy will be calculated in their unexcused attendance hours and does carry disciplinary consequences.
Students arriving late to class will carry assigned disciplinary action accordingly:
Second Tardy…………………….final warning
Third Tardy ……………………...teacher consequence
Fourth Tardy ………………….…teacher consequence
Fifth Tardy & beyond……………referral to the office
Any student who accumulates five (5) or more tardies in a grading period will be issued a combination of after school consequences consisting of a Saturday school, detentions, and Truancy Exchange detentions. Furthermore, any student who accumulates nine (9) or more tardies in a grading period will be considered insubordinate and may result in further disciplinary action. Students habitually late to school will be identified as being truant and may have charges filed with the Juvenile Court. Driving privileges to school may also be revoked.
Making up assignments is the student's responsibility. Arrangements should be made with each individual teacher as to what is to be done and when it will be due. If the absence is for an extended period of time (3 days or more), homework may be requested by calling the main office. Any work that is missed during an excused absence may be made-up. In general, a student is allowed the equivalent number of days absent, to make up for the missed work. This does not include assignments due the first day of the excused absence. These are due upon the student’s return. All make-up assignments must be completed by the end of each nine week progress report unless absences occur at the end of the nine week progress report.
Classes begin at 8:05 A.M. and continue until 3:10 P.M. There are three minutes between classes. Each lunch period is 30 minutes in length. Students are expected to leave the building at the end of the school day. Students who are involved in after school activities must be under the supervision of a faculty representative.
UNEXCUSED ABSENCES & CREDIT FOR CLASS
Any student accumulating seven (7) or more absences in any class in a semester (excluding medical excuses) or more than 36 unexcused hours overall may not receive credit. In order to avoid this loss of credit, USV High School implements a make-up time program. Students will be assigned truancy exchange detentions when one of the above thresholds is met and will continue through the remainder of the school year as needed to make up time.
WARNING: Careless absences early may cause problems later in the semester. The parent(s) or guardian(s) will be sent a warning letter after four (4) unexcused absence days and a letter notifying them of the loss of credit.
Within ten (10) days of the receipt of the loss of credit notification, the parent/guardian, or student has the opportunity to appeal the no-credit decision. This is to be a written appeal and must be made by letter. The appeal shall be delivered to the high school principal. If no appeal is made during this time, the no-credit decision will stand. Upon receiving an appeal, the principal will review the matter and render a decision within five (5) business/school days. Should the parent/guardian or student desire, they can appeal the high school principal’s decision to the superintendent. This appeal must be in writing and delivered to the superintendent within ten (10) days of the high school principal's decision. If no appeal is made during this time, the no-credit decision will stand.
ACADEMIC INTEGRITY (CHEATING/PLAGIARISM)
Absolute integrity is expected of everyone at Upper Scioto Valley. Academic and personal integrity entail a firm adherence to a set of values essential to an academic community grounded in honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility for all.
Violations -The following are examples of activities that violate the spirit of academic integrity. This is not a definitive list:
1. Knowingly representing the work of others as one’s own;
2. Using, obtaining, or providing unauthorized assistance on examinations, papers, or any other academic work;
3. Forging a signature to certify attendance, completing a course assignment, or any other gain for any purpose not authorized;
4. Altering a teacher’s grade book or computer records;
5. Changing answers and seeking credit on assignments or examinations after work has been graded or returned;
6. Communicating, copying materials, allowing another to copy your materials, using unauthorized materials during a quiz, test, project, or homework assignment;
7. Submitting falsified information for grading purposes;
8. Removing tests or parts of tests with the knowledge or consent of the faculty member;
9. Stealing, using or accepting stolen copies of tests or answer keys;
10. Committing any other violation intended to obtain credit for work that is not one’s own.
The following statement is applicable for all documents submitted at USV:
As a student at USV, I will neither give nor receive unauthorized aid in class work, quizzes, tests, preparation of reports or projects, or in any other work that is used to evaluate me without specific permission for collaboration or without proper citation. I know all of my work may be submitted to a variety of sources to check for plagiarism. I understand that a zero (0) will be assigned for any assignment, quiz, test, project, or activity along with additional disciplinary action.