Okolona School District
“Home of the Chieftains”
411 West Main Street
P.O. Box 510
Okolona, Mississippi 38860
Dexter Green, Superintendent
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Dr. Jerome Smith, President
Doris Bailey, Assistant Secretary
William Earl Bailey, Vice-President
Dr. Fred Gandy, Chaplin
Sarah Jenkins, Secretary
It is the responsibility of parents and students to familiarize themselves with this handbook, which is approved by the Okolona School District and which includes official district policies governing operation of Okolona High School.
Parents/Guardians and students will sign a form indicating that you have received a student handbook or access to it (online) and that you are responsible for knowledge of its contents.
Successfully reaching and teaching all students.
The Okolona School District will provide all students with a quality education that meet and exceeds state learning standards in a safe and secure learning environment.
- All children can learn.
- We believe in a positive environment where faculty and staff care about students.
- We believe that parental involvement encourages student achievement.
- Students come first; all students will have equal opportunities for success.
- We believe in fairness and equity in allocation of resources.
- We believe in the effective use of resources.
- We believe in school/community partnership.
- We must prepare our students for life after high school.
OMMSD will become a “C” accredited school district.
OMSSD will meet and exceed state averages on all state mandated exams.
OMMSD parents, teachers, and staff will work as a professional learning community.
OMSSD will provide students with a safe, secure, and nurturing learning environment.
OMMSD will integrate technology to enrich, reinforce, and increase student learning.
The Okolona Municipal School District (OMSSD) is committed to developing a technology enhanced educational environment where each student has the opportunity to reach his or her maximum potential in a clean, orderly, positive, and safe atmosphere. All students from pre-k through adulthood will enjoy the mutual benefits of an enhanced educational environment where communication, cooperation, self-directed learning, and life-long learning will prepare them for the world of work or higher education. Utilizing quality leadership, diverse resources, and emerging technologies will allow OMSSD to enhance each stakeholders’ educational experiences as the world shifts from the Industrial Revolution to an information-based, technologically oriented society and economy.
The Okolona Municipal Separate School District is in compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1962, including regulations in vocational education, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. District policy assures that one shall not on the grounds of race, color, age, religion, homelessness, national origin, sex, handicap be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination in any program or activity of the school. The Vocational Center encourages males and females to enroll in non-traditional jobs. Copies of the Title IX policy of the Educational Amendments of 1972 are available in the principals’ offices upon request. The home and address of the Title IX Equity, Section 504, and Americans with Disabilities Act Coordinator is Ms. Zawartha Triplett, P.O. Box 510. Okolona, MS 38860.
Mobility-impaired and individuals with disabilities needing special assistance with gaining access to schools and district offices located within the Okolona Municipal Separate School District may contact Mrs. Beverly Smith, Executive Administrative Assistant at (662) 447-2353 for further assistance.
District Office has a special entrance for mobility-impaired and individuals with disabilities located at 411 W. Main Street on the south side of the three-story building located next to the cafeteria. The entrance is marked with a blue handicap accessible sign near handicap parking space with doorbell for individuals who may need special assistance.
SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES
The Okolona School District subscribes to the standards of educational opportunity mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Every effort will be made to meet the educational needs of the district’s students. For more information contact Ms. Zawartha Triplett, P. 0. Box 510, Okolona, MS 38860, telephone: 447-2362 – Ext. 3004.
CENTRAL OFFICE STAFF
Mr. Dexter Green, Superintendent
Mrs. LaShanda Hoskins, Federal Programs Director/ Curriculum Coordinator
Ms. Zawartha Triplett, Special Education Director/ District Test Coordinator
Mrs. Cassandra Trimble, Business Manager
Mr. Phil Anderson, Technology Coordinator/ Fixed Assets
Mr. Jason Pickens, Transportation Coordinator
Mrs. Cindy Peden-Moore, Food Service Coordinator
Mrs. Annie Randle-Simmons, Accounts Payable/MSIS/SAM7
Mrs. Beverly Smith, Executive Administrative Assistant
HIGH SCHOOL STAFF
Dr. Christopher Hill, Principal
- Jean-Louis, Asst. Principal/Athletic Director
Lekeisha Ivy, Counselor
Barbara Lucas, Math
Lakeisha Brown, Math
Kim Williams, Math
Carolyn Hoskins, Math
Dorothy Buchanan, Read 180
Tori Cousins ELA
Megan Duff, ELA
Kai Witherspoon. ELA
Wallace Harvey, P.E./Head Football Coach
Susan Aycock, Science
Arteria Clifton, Science
Monica Harvey, Science
Jacqueline Brown, Technology (STEM)
Pamela Marshall, Technology (ICT I& II)
June Dotson, Special Education
Annette Stegall, Special Education
Sheena Dean, Special Education
Marcie Ivy, Library/Teacher
Grady Stegall, Social Studies
Johnnie Shumaker, Social Studies
Sierra Comers, Social Studies /Science
Kenneth Evans, Social Studies
Jocelyn Todd, Band Director
Eleanor Chaney, Interventionist/Literacy Coach/TST Chairperson
Lesley Mabry, Distance Learning Facilitator
C.J. Lathan, ISS Instructor
Colbry Lathan, Alternative School
Andrea Garth. Fort, Administrative Assistant/Secretary
Sonya Orr- Calvert, Library Assistant
John Michael Tacker, Director
Colleen Ray, Counselor
Angelena Cook, Administrative Assistant
Tomeker Hodges, Health Sciences
Stephanie Kitchens, Student Services
Jason Pickens, Automotive Service
Dwayne Singleton, Construction
Trena Smith-Patrick, Family and Consumer Sciences
Kristi Steele-Tipton, Marketing
Kay Tackitt, Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management
Danielle Webb-Houk, Teacher Academy
Sandra Murray, Principal
Neiko Judon, School Counselor
Anna Payne, Kindergarten
Cassandra Williams, Kindergarten
Felicial Neely, 1st Grade,
Tammie Criddle, 1st Grade
Onie Moore, 2nd Grade
De Anna Richardson, 2nd Grade
Kimberly Brown, 3rd Grade
Tammy Pointer, 3rd Grade
Janet Northinton, 3rd Grade
Autumn Bankhead, 4th Grade
Samuel Goins, 4th Grade
Mallory Ellis, 4th Grade
Leah Fears, 5th Grade
Sharon Townsend, 5th Grade
Darla Poutoa, 5th Grade
Michelle Cheney, Special Education Teacher
Kaye Ogg, Special Education Teacher
Christy Jolly, Special Education Teacher
Yequilla Hannah, Physical Education
Marcie Ivy, Librarian
Willie Mounce (Math Coach/interventionist)
Tekela Spraggins-Pratt (ELA Coach/Interventionist)
Lillian Fair, Administrative Assistant
Sonya Orr- Calvert, Library Assistant
LePasha Hodges, SPED Assistant
Martavious Ford, Assistant Teacher/Technology
Janet Deans, ARM Tutor
Alexis Nabors, ARM Tutor
Raven Gillard, ARM Tutor
Terrica Orr, ARM Tutor
Frances Carter, ARM Tutor
Letter from the Superintendent
I am so proud of the significant advancements we have made in student achievement at Okolona Elementary, Okolona High School, and at the Okolona Vocational Center. It is my professional goal to provide the educational leadership, support, and fiscal resources required to help students meet and exceed national and state learning content standards. District administrators and I will lead district efforts in providing students with a quality education designed to prepare students to graduate from high school, pursue post-secondary education, and/or prepare students for careers upon graduating from high school.
If we are to continue to successfully reach and teach all students in the Okolona School District, it will take parents, students, teachers, the community, and district administrators working together to support student achievement. The Okolona School District is committed to creating and cultivating a district culture that will be fueled by hard-work, dedication, and commitment to reaching and achieving very high academic standards. We are relentlessly dedicated to ensuring that your child reaches his/her fullest potential as a student in our school district.
We are thanking you in advance for entrusting the Okolona School District to properly educate and expose your sons and daughters to a better way of life through education. With parents, teachers, students, and school administrators working together, miracles can and will happen!
With kindest regards and great appreciation, I am
Superintendent of Education
HOMELESS STUDENT IDENTIFICATION
The Mississippi Education for Homeless Children Program has adopted the definition of homelessness developed under the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act:
A homeless individual is one who:
- Lacks a fixed, regular and adequate residence, for example:
- agricultural migrant children
- children living on the “streets” (i.e. tents, vehicles)
- Has a primary nighttime residence in a supervised publicly or privately operated shelter
- children who have been abused and/or neglected
- children of domestic violence
- welfare hotels, transitional housing
- Temporarily is staying with relatives or friends because of job loss, other income loss, housing loss (“double up” families or affidavit)
Homeless does not include:
Excluded from the definition of homeless “any individual imprisoned or otherwise detained pursuant to an Act of Congress or a state law.”
Parental Involvement Policy
It is our belief that effective parent involvement programs must be designed to provide leadership for home-school partnership and to promote schools’ commitment to building-level planning and improvement. We will, to the extent possible, provide full opportunities for the participation of parents with limited English proficiency, parents with disabilities and parents of migratory children, including providing information and school reports in a language that the parent can understand.
It shall be the policy of Okolona Schools:
- To provide coordination, technical assistance, training, support and resources to assist schools in planning and implementing effective parent involvement programs through the leadership of the district’s Office of State and Federal Programs;
- To build the schools’ capacity for stronger parent involvement programs through the provision of site based management;
- To involve parents in the development/evaluation of school plans and policies through the provision of district-level consultation with the office for State and Federal Programs, the Parent Advisory Council, and other district-wide planning committees;
- To enhance efforts to meet the total needs of families and schools by coordinating services and strategies with existing community agencies, programs and businesses:
- To reserve resources required by federal law and provide additional resources needed for effective implementation of all parent involvement components.
It shall be the policy of the school (Administrators, Teachers, and Support Staff):
- To promote an inviting atmosphere for parents to feel accepted and to share in the responsibility for their child’s academic progress;
- To support the efforts of parents by providing flexibility in meeting/conference times, purposes and locations;
- To convene annual meetings to explain to school programs, policies and plan;
- To involve parents in planning and evaluation procedures;
- To provide timely information regarding meetings, activities, and requests
- To provide prompt, personal responses to parents; requests and recommendations;
- To strengthen the effectiveness of parents’ ability to work with their children at home by providing training and support;
- To provide school performance profiles that clearly show parents the school’s progress toward meeting state standards;
- To provide opportunities for parents to assist in the instructional process at school and at home;
- To provide regular, timely information for parents about their child’s participation and progress in all educational programs;
- To utilize creative, timely means of communication with parents;
- To model positive communication with parents and practice methods to resolve conflicts;
- To provide a comprehensive range of opportunities for parents to become informed and involved;
- To provide a description and explanation of the curriculum, assessment and expected proficiency requirements;
- To encourage each faculty/staff member to develop and implement a personal plan to establish and support parent involvement practices within their respective classrooms or job setting;
- To develop homework practices that foster successful learning experiences for parent and child;
- To assess the needs of families and design training opportunities that addresses these needs;
- To assess the professional development needs of staff members and provide training opportunities designed to strengthen staff involvement with parents;
- To coordinate services with the school counselor, social services and community agencies to address key family issues;
- To recognize the diversity of family structures, circumstances and responsibilities, including differences that might hinder parent participation;
- To develop a Parent – Teacher Compact agreement designed to outline the role of parents, child and school personnel in the shared responsibility for learning;
To work constructively with school level PTOs and other parents organizations to actively involve parents in their child’s school.
As your child’s first public school experience, kindergarten will provide a positive, caring environment where children can develop a positive self-concept and reach their maximum potential.
Requirements for entering Kindergarten
1 The child must be 5 years old on or before September 1 of the year he/she enters kindergarten.
2 The birth certificate must be certified and must be presented at registration.
- A Mississippi permanent immunization compliance form obtained from the Health Department must be presented at registration.
- The child’s social security number is preferred.
- Two (2) proofs of residency (other than a post office box) are required (see admissions requirements.)
- In the case of separated or divorced parents, a copy of the court order establishing custody is required.
- If both parents are on active military duty, a copy of legal guardianship information is required.
Children riding buses will be assisted in boarding the buses in the afternoon. They may have name tags at the beginning of the school with their names and bus numbers on them. This will help to ensure that each child boards the proper bus until he/she is certain of which bus to ride.
Your child will not be allowed to board a different bus unless you notify the teacher. If your child is to go home with a friend or a relative, you will need to send the teacher a note showing the date of the visit.
We will request conferences concerning your child during the school year. Any time you have a question or need a conference, feel free to call for an appointment. All parent/teacher conferences shall take place during the teachers planning period, conferences with administration shall be through appointment only; the secretary shall notify of approved date and time of such meetings.
DISTRICT ADMISSION POLICY
The State of Mississippi compulsory attendance law requires children ages 6-17 to attend school. A child must be five years old on or before September 1 to enroll in kindergarten. A child must be six years old on or before September 1 to enroll in first grade. (Ref. §37-13-1; See School Board Policy JBC)
Children of legal age whose parents or legal guardians are residents of this school district are eligible to attend school. In the case of separated or divorced parents, court orders and decrees involving custody of children will be the determining factor for school enrollment and residency.
- Student should withdraw from current school to obtain documents required for enrollment
- Once enrolled with the counselor, student will meet with a counselor for class schedule
- School tours are available upon request.
All students wishing to enroll in Okolona School District must provide the following documentation to the school when enrolling:
- Certified Birth Certificate
- Mississippi Permanent Certificate of Immunization Compliance
- District Residency Registration Form
(Minimum of two required for all students)
(1) Filed Homestead Exemption Application form;
(2) Mortgage Documents or property deed;
(3) Apartment or home lease;
(4) Utility bills;
(5) Driver’s license
(6) Voter precinct identification;
(7) Automobile registration;
(8) Affidavit and/or personal visit by a designated school district official;
(9) Any other documentation that will objectively and unequivocally establish that the parent or legal guardian resides within the school district; and, in the case of a student living with a legal guardian who is a bona fide resident of the school district;
(10) Certified copy of filed petition for guardianship if pending and final decree when granted.
Students in grades 1-12 must also provide the following to enroll:
- Report Card
- Name and Address of Former School Attended
- Update residency, contact, and corporal punishment form
* It is the parent’s responsibility to submit the corporal punishment form (for their student) to the main office during registration.
Note: The district no longer requires a student’s social security number for enrollment; however, we would appreciate your sharing this information which will be kept in a secure document file.
No student may enroll in or attend any school except in the school district of his/her residence, unless such child be lawfully transferred from the school district of his/her residence to a school in another school district. Any student who does not reside in the Okolona School District and wishes to attend a school in the district, contingent on the availability of space, must follow the procedures listed below before being enrolled:
- Obtain a “request for release” form from the school district
in which the student resides.
- Have the signatures of the Okolona school’s principal and /superintendent of the districts affected by the change.
- Pay tuition in an amount set by the district.
Any legal guardianship formed for the purpose of establishing residency for school district attendance shall not be recognized by the Okolona School District.
ENROLLMENT OF STUDENTS WITH
Any student who is in secondary grades who has been placed in the alternative school program and/or penal institution of any kind (for any substantial time) or any student returning from a period of expulsion must spend a transitional period in the district’s alternative school before returning to the regular school setting. The time of the student’s return to the regular school shall be the decision of the principal who oversee the alternative school programs.
Any student who is placed in the Okolona School District Alternative School for any length of time will automatically be placed on probation upon return to his/her home school for a minimum period of nine weeks which can carry over to the next school year. Any student who transfers into the Okolona School District and is under probation from another school district will serve the remainder of his/her probation upon enrolling.
Any student who is currently or has been suspended out-of-school or expelled from another school district will not be enrolled in Okolona Schools.
(See School Board Policy JBD)
Good school attendance and promptness are extremely important elements of success in any school program. The right to attend the public schools places accompanying responsibility upon students and parents to strive for perfect attendance. Therefore, students are expected to be in school except in cases of emergency or for one of the following reasons: personal illness, illness in the family, death of an immediate family member, quarantine of the home, doctor’s appointment for illness, and other special reason pre-arranged with the principal or assistant principal. Students are encouraged to arrange dental appointments after school hours.
Two types of excuses for absences will be issued. An excused absence meets one or more of the above criteria; an opportunity will be given to make up work. (It is the responsibility of the student) to seek make-up work when obtaining an excused absence (work must be made up within 3 days unless the absence has been lengthy). An absence counts on a student’s record whether it is excused or unexcused. An unexcused absence occurs when a compulsory-school age child does not attend class/school and the absence is not due to a valid excuse for temporary non-attendance. In the case of an unexcused absence, missed work and assignments shall not be made up. Reference: Mississippi Code 37-13-91.
Any student who accumulates over (6) days in unexcused absences each semester will receive a grade no higher than 65 for that semester. Students will not be allowed to make-up assignments for out of school suspensions or unexcused absences unless his/her teacher makes special provisions or accommodations with student’s parent.
Students in grades K-12 who are absent in a nine-week course or in a semester course must bring a note from their parent/guardian for an absence to be excused within 3 days upon return to school. Parents must also complete a form for absences provided by the school upon their child returning to school. After the third (3) absence/parent note in a semester course, all other absences will be unexcused unless a doctor’s excuse is provided. After the sixth (6) absence/parent note in a year-long course, all absences will be unexcused unless a doctor’s excuse is provided. Parent or guardian must be notified by the school of the student’s excessive absences at the end of each nine weeks. The administration retains the right to review special cases for unavoidable circumstances.
Elementary Perfect Attendance Definition:
Students with no absences and no unexcused checkouts or unexcused tardies are considered to have perfect attendance for that grading period. For the purpose of defining perfect attendance at an authorized school activity with the prior approval of the principal.
A student who arrives at school after 7:45am will report directly to the school office with a parent/guardian to sign in and receive an admittance slip signed by the principal (or his/her designee). The student must be accompanied inside the building by a parent. No exceptions! Any student coming to school after 7:45am without a parent may be subject to the following consequences:
- 1st offense: Warning and parent will be called to sign student in.
- 2nd offense: Parent contact and 1 day OSS
- 3rd offense: Parent contact and 2 days OSS
PROCEDURE TO FOLLOW WHEN ABSENT
A parent or guardian must telephone the school office or send a written excuse (and fill out form provided by school), whichever is required by the principal, within 3 days upon the student’s return to school. (Excuse written by parent/legal guardian should state legal name of student, date, days of absence, and reason for absence.) Make-up work must be completed and turned in within 3 days for excused absences. No make-up work will be allowed for unexcused absences.
Truancy and Tardiness
“Compulsory-school-age child” means a child who has attained or will attain the age of six (6) years on or before September 1 of the calendar year and who has not attained the age of seventeen (17) years on or before September 1 of the calendar year; and shall include any child who has attained or will attain the age of five (5) years on or before September 1 and has enrolled in a full-day public school kindergarten program.
The State Auditor’s Office shall follow the “letter of the law” in regards to Section 37-13-91 (6), which provides: “if a compulsory-school-age child has not been enrolled in a school within fifteen (15) calendar days after the first day of the school year of the school which the child is eligible to attend or the child has accumulated five (5) unlawful absences during the school year of the public school in which the child is enrolled, the school district superintendent shall report, within two (2) school days or within five (5) calendar days, whichever is less, the absences to the school attendance officer.
A student who arrives at school after 7:50 a.m. will report directly to the school office to sign in and receive an admit slip signed by the principal (or his designee). The student must be accompanied inside the building by a parent. Any student coming to school after 7:50 a.m. without a parent May be subject to following consequences:
- First Referral (3 tardies) – 2 days ISS and parent contact
- Second Referral – 3 days ISS and parent contact
- Third Referral – 5 days ISS and parent contact
- Fourth Offense – overnight suspension/Parent Conference
After 4th referral per semester, there is no excuse and the
Consequence is OSS
Classroom tardiness/Tardiness to High School
- Students whom are excessively tardy to school or class (more than three each nine weeks) are not eligible for exemption.
- Each student is allowed three instances of tardiness each semester, after the third instance of tardiness; the teacher will issue a disciplinary referral to the office and make parental contact. Then the above-mentioned consequences will be enforced.
- Student drivers, lose the privilege to drive and park on campus. Students must either be dropped off/walk/ or ride bus to school.
- Students who are habitually tardy to school (after 7:50 a.m.) more than three times in a nine weeks are subject to the following disciplinary actions:
- Students are habitually tardy may receive immediate ISS placement or corporal punishment as a discipline consequence.
Classroom Tardiness to ELEMENTARY School
Each student is allowed five (5) instances of tardiness/check-outs each nine weeks. After the third instance of tardiness/check-outs, the teacher will issue a disciplinary referral to the office and make parental contact. Once a student reaches the sixth (6) tardy/check-out, these consequences will be enforced: Each nine weeks, the tardy/check-out count will start over. Every tardy/check-out after the fifth (5) tardy/check-out will result in a consequence.
- First referral (on the 6th tardy/check-out): 1 day OSS and parent contact
- Second referral: 2 days OSS and parent letter
- Third referral: 3 days OSS and parent letter
- Fourth referral: 4 days OSS and parent letter
- Fifth Offense: 5 days OSS and parent letter
After 5th referral per nine weeks, there is no excuse and the consequence is OSS.
Skipping school (Major) – student present on campus, but leaves for whatever reason without permission from school administration, without being checked out properly. Enrolled students may not check out other enrolled students, an approval form must be on file in writing prior to a student checking out, and the person must be on the student checkout-sheet as verified by secretary. All students must check our properly (through secretary) prior to leaving school or shall be disciplined accordingly).No student should be on any campus where they do not have class at that time during school hours unless given permission by the administration.
- 1st Offense- 3 days OSS Parent Notification
- 2nd Offense- 5 days OSS Parent Notification
- 3rd Offense- Recommendation for alternative school placement
No student will be allowed to check out prior to 1:00 p.m. each day which constitutes 63% of the school day at Okolona High school. Parents, who violate this policy and cause students to not meet compulsory attendance laws, shall be held accountable by law. In addition, more than three checkouts per nine weeks will not be eligible for exemption. (Special consideration may be given for serious medical procedures, on a case by case basis). There will not be any student checkout after 2:20 p.m. each day
No student may leave campus at any time without obtaining permission from the principal or his/her designee. No students shall be checked out over the phone, Parents/Guardians must show a Photo ID to be checked out, and the guardian checking out must be over 21 years of age, and must be on students’ checkout list. Student who violates this policy will be considered skipping school and are subject to disciplinary actions.
Okolona campuses are closed campuses which means students are not allowed to leave campus or visit any car in parking lot if driving, for any reason without permission from the principal or his/her designee and return to school.
POLICY FOR ATTENDANCE TO AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAMS
Any student enrolled and attending Okolona Municipal Separate School District, and has been identified by school or district officials, using the criteria listed below as needing academic assistance in order to become a proficient learner will be required to attend the after-school program at their respective school.
The following criteria will be used in determining required participation:
- Scored at the minimal or basic level on State Exams in any of the categories (reading, language, science or math) the previous school year.
- Failed any of the Mississippi Subject Area Tests (English II, Algebra I, Biology I, and U.S. History).
A participating student may earn a maximum of 10 extra credit points for subject area concentration each nine weeks grading period for successful participation and for showing academic growth.
- A student must attend after-school tutorial classes 85%-100% of the time to earn maximum of 10 points during a nine weeks grading period.
- A student must attend after-school tutorial classes 75%-84% of the time to earn maximum of 5 points during a nine weeks grading period.
- A student who shows academic growth gains on academic measures used by the Okolona School District may earn a maximum of 10 points.
Any student, who meets the criteria for attendance to mandatory after-school program and fails to attend, will not be eligible to participate in extra-curricular activities.
(See School Board Policy JD)
Code of Conduct
Okolona Schools ascribe to helping children to develop self-discipline in order to conduct themselves in an acceptable manner at school as well as in the home. Effective schools research tells us that a safe and orderly school climate is conducive to learning. In order to have a safe and orderly school climate, we must utilize classroom management techniques and enforce discipline policies in hallways, and cafeterias that are clearly understood by all.
The Okolona School District prohibits the possession of pistols, firearms, weapons or facsimiles in any form, by any person, on any school district premises, other than duly authorized law enforcement officials. (See School Board Policy JCDAE)
Any teacher has the authority to call to the attention of the student and the principal any behavior that is unacceptable according to the District’s Discipline Policy.
Mississippi Code 37-11-29 requires any school employee who has knowledge of any unlawful activity or violent acts which occurred or may have occurred on educational property or during a school-related activity to report unlawful activity to the district superintendent or his designee. “School property” includes any public school building, bus, public school campus, grounds, recreational area or athletic field in the charge of the principal. “Unlawful activity” is defined as: possession or use of a deadly weapon; possession, sale, or use of any controlled substance; aggravated or simple assault; rape; sexual battery; murder or other violent acts as defined in section 43-21-605. The superintendent is also required to notify the youth court and local law enforcement, by affidavit, of the occurrence of any unlawful activity as described above by a student or students upon school property or during any school-related activity, regardless of location and the identity of the student or students committing the illegal activity. Form 1060 will be filed with the Sheriff’s Department and Youth Court. Any student may be expelled for one calendar year for possession of a weapon or other felonious conduct.
The principal or his/her designee is required to contact law enforcement officials and may have a student removed from the campus for any act of misconduct that is severe or harmful to others. Law enforcement officials will contact the parent/guardian after the removal of the student.
Mississippi Code 37-11-1 states that after a pupil has been assigned to a particular school, the principal, or anyone else vested with the authority of assigning pupils to classes, shall not place such pupil in a class where his presence there, because of age differential, mental development, achievement level, or personal habits, would serve to adversely affect, hinder, or retard the academic development of the other pupils in the class.
Principals are authorized to institute appropriate disciplinary action including immediate suspension of any student for misconduct including, but not limited to, the following:
- Fighting/simple assault, aggravated assault
- Harassment, hazing, intimidation, or threats (see policies JDD
- Disruption of school operations, functions, or activities
- Disobedience, disrespect and/or insubordination
- Insulting or profane language
- Vandalism or damage to property – private or school
- Malicious actions
- Theft or possession of stolen property
- Unauthorized use of school property
- Unauthorized entry of school premises
- Indecent displays of affection
- Leaving class, school programs, or campus without permission
- Possession of fireworks, explosives, or incendiary materials
- Possession of cards or gambling paraphernalia
- Obscene tattoos
- Use or possession of radios, pagers/beepers,
sound reproducers, electronic games, laser pointers and any other
devices that disrupt the educational process.
In addition, Okolona Schools will not be responsible for lost/stolen electronic devices of any kind.
- Possession of magazines, tapes, CDs, or any other materials
deemed inappropriate by the principal
- Possession or use of tobacco products
- Gang/cult related activity and materials including drawings
- Other violent acts
- Sexual Misconduct
- Cyber Misconduct
(Inclusive of posting messages, pictures, or videos on social media or any site, that will disrupt the orderly operation
Of school and may cause a disagreement, or disturbance between students on a campus).
ISS (IN-SCHOOL SUSPENSION) GUIDELINES for
OKOLONA HIGH SCHOOL/VO-TECH
- All students must complete all of their assigned time and classroom assignments while in ISS. Students who arrive late to ISS or check out early must make up their time in ISS.
- All students must abide by all applicable school rules and rules in ISS, listed in the student discipline code, while in ISS.
- Students whom violate the discipline code continuously may be subject to further, more progressive disciplinary action (i.e., suspension OSS, corporal punishment.).
- Accruing disciplinary infractions while in ISS will result in additional days (1-2) added on to the ISS assignment.
A student’s prior discipline record will be considered before disciplinary action is taken, especially concerning, but not limited to, a serious fight situation.
The following list of offenses will result in a discipline hearing. Principals are authorized to institute appropriate disciplinary action including contacting law enforcement officials and having any student removed from school for conduct that is severe or harmful to others.
Such misconduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Aggravated or simple assault, including serious threats of physical harm.
- Rape, sexual battery, indecent exposure
- Possession or use of a weapon or any facsimile thereof
- Possession, sale, use, or under the influence of alcohol, any controlled substance, or facsimile thereof
- Possession or use of mace, pepper spray, or any other disabling substance
- Other violent acts
Suspension is denial of the privilege of attending school in the regular setting imposed after due process upon any student of the district at the direction of the principal of the school in which the student is enrolled. The principal or his designee may suspend students for a period not to exceed five (5) school days. The principal with the approval of the superintendent may suspend students for a period not to exceed ten (10) school days. Long-term suspension is the denial of school attendance for any period in excess of ten (10) days during the current school year. Students under suspension shall not trespass upon another school campus or enter into any other school building except for a prearranged conference with a principal. Additionally, students under out-of-school suspension or placed in the district’s alternative school shall not attend any day or night school functions. Student violators will be turned over to the police immediately.
Expulsion is the denial of school attendance for a specific period of time beyond the beginning of the next school year or any permanent denial of school attendance.
ACTION TO BE TAKEN FOR AN
When students exhibit behaviors that are considered unacceptable, students may be subject to disciplinary actions which include but are not limited to the following:
First offense: Conference with the principal or his/her designee (Minor infractions).
Disciplinary action will be determined by the principal and may include detention, corporal punishment, or in-school suspension.
Second offense: Conference with the principal or his/her designee. Disciplinary action may include detention, corporal punishment, in-school suspension, or out-of-school suspension (1-3 days).
Third offense: Three days suspension (May be in-school or out-of-school) or corporal punishment. Parent/guardian must accompany student to school and present an appropriate form of identification in order for regular class work to be resumed.
Okolona School District officials recognize corporal punishment as a means of enforcing rules of conduct when other positive methods have been unsuccessful. Corporal punishment may be administered by certified personnel and witnessed by another adult. This action shall be documented on the school’s discipline form. A parent who does not wish for his/her child to receive corporal punishment must complete a form in the office, otherwise, the school is authorized to use appropriate disciplinary measure in accordance to District policy.
Each of the schools in the district may have access to an in-school suspension program where students may complete class work in an environment conductive to learning.
If a student’s behavior is disruptive to the educational process, a Functional Behavior Assessment should be conducted and a behavior modification plan written by teachers and the parent/guardian to correct the behavior problems exhibited by the student.
When unacceptable behavior cannot be corrected by the resources of the school, Okolona School District hereby authorizes the school principal/director or his designee to suspend any student for violation of any published rule or regulation or for any other act of misconduct or insubordination as a final effort to influence the student’s future behavior.
Students who exhibit behaviors that the principal considers severe misconduct will be suspended and referred for a district level discipline review. The principal will contact the Central Office regarding appropriate disciplinary action. A District Review Committee or Discipline/IEP Review Committee made up of central office personnel, the principal or assistant principal of the respective school, a teacher of the student, the parent of the student, and the school counselor will review all the discipline data and decide if a full discipline hearing is necessary, and if not, the appropriate placement/discipline for the student.
INTERROGATION AND SEARCHES
The Okolona School District recognizes the right of school administrators and teachers to interrogate students regarding their conduct and/or the conduct of others.
Although students have the right to privacy and security against the invasion of personal property by school officials, the superintendent recognizes that school administrators and teachers must maintain an atmosphere conducive to the pursuit of the school’s educational mission. Therefore, they have a limited right to search a student’s personal belongings when in the interest of the overall welfare of other students. Student searches should be done in the presence of the principal or his/her designee.
DUE PROCESS (JCAA)
A student being expelled is entitled to a hearing. Expulsion regulation require that (1) a recommendation by the principal to the superintendent to be made, (2) the superintendent makes a decision, (3) the parent/guardian receives written notice that the superintendent is considering expulsion, (4) the students and his/her parent/guardian, or legal representative, have the right to call witnesses, question school officials, and present information on behalf of the student, and (5) if the parent/guardian does not request a hearing, the decision is made by the superintendent
GUIDELINES FOR DISTRICT DISCIPLINARY HEARINGS
- The hearing will be conducted in a relatively informal manner.
- No persons will be admitted to the hearing except the District Hearing Officer, members of the District Disciplinary Committee, the principal and/or designee from the respective school, the student, and the student’s parents or legal guardians.
- If the student or parents/legal guardians choose to obtain the legal services of an attorney, the attorney’s role in the hearing process will be limited to advising the client only. The attorney will not be allowed to participate in the hearing process.
- The purpose of the hearing will be to listen to both the student and the administrator from the school site to determine whether or not the student has committed an act or acts that violate school policies or state laws.
- The hearing officer will preside over the hearing and will not vote on the recommendation. The members of the District Disciplinary Committee will make a recommendation for the disciplinary action.
- Possible recommendations of the District Disciplinary Committee may include, but are not limited to, long-term suspension, placement in the district’s alternative program, expulsion, or that no action be taken against the student.
- The District Hearing Officer will record the recommendation on the Okolona High School’ Disciplinary Committee minutes and gives a copy of this form to the parents/legal guardians.
- All due process procedures included in district policies will be followed for disciplinary hearing involving students with disabilities.
- No outside source taping of the hearing will be allowed. The school district may provide the only taped copy of the hearing and may furnish a copy to the appropriate personnel. Anyone attempting to tape a hearing other than a school district official will be asked to surrender the tape from the recorder; and if they do not do so, they will be asked to leave the hearing.
Based on the review, the Discipline Review Committee will make a recommendation. (A manifestation determination review for students with disabilities will take place before a change of placement is made by the IEP committee.) Possible actions may include, but are not limited to placement in an alternative program, long-term suspension, or expulsion. If the parent does not agree with the recommendation or if the review committee requests, a full discipline hearing will be held.
Regardless of the procedure determining a recommendation, the superintendent would have to approve a recommendation. Due process allows for any discipline decisions to be reviewed by the Okolona School Board. Parents/guardians have the right to appeal discipline hearing decisions to the superintendent. When a student has a violation during the probationary period and the principal reassigns the student to alternative school, parents/guardian may appeal that decision to the School Board within five (5) days of the reassignment.
When an appeal is requested, the superintendent’s office must have received the request in writing for appeal by 2:00 p.m. of the 5th day after the hearing. Receipt should be by hand delivery, postal mail, or fax. In the case of a fax, an original copy must be presented by the day of the appeal hearing.
Students who are enrolled in Computer Discovery or STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and who must be sent to the alternative school can not receive the Carnegie unit of credit for the course.
After receiving out-of-school suspension or being sent to the alternative school multiple times during the same school year, any student may be recommended for long-term suspension or expulsion.
PROCEDURES FOR ACADEMIC AND
BEHAVIORAL ASSISTANCE FOR STUDENTS
(See School Board Policy IEI)
Okolona School District shall require an instructional model designed to meet the academic and behavioral needs of every student.
Tier I: Quality classroom instruction based on the Mississippi
Tier II: Focused supplemental instruction
Tier III: Intensive interventions specifically designed to meet the
Individual needs of all students
Teachers should use progress monitoring information to (a)determine if students are making adequate progress, (b) identify students as soon as they begin to fall behind, and (c) modify instruction early enough to ensure progress that may be measured through informal classroom assessment, benchmark assessment instruments, and large-scale assessments.
If strategies at the Tiers I and II are unsuccessful, students must be referred to the Teacher Support Team.
Teacher Support Team
Okolona High School’s Teacher Support Team is a function of the regular education program of the district, and its primary purpose is to ensure that students are provided the maximum opportunity to be successful in the regular education program. The TST is the problem-solving unit responsible for interventions developed at Tier III. The members of the TST provide instructional support to classroom teachers in order to assist them in their efforts to improve the achievement of students who are less successful and to resolve issues, problems, or concerns related to the achievement of students. The Teacher Support Teams may also review the learning needs of students on a school-wide basis and develop school-wide instructional interventions to improve and strengthen the achievement of students. A student may be referred to the TST by either the parents or school personnel.
Okolona School District adheres to a policy of non-discrimination in educational programs and activities and strives affirmatively to provide equal educational opportunity for all students as required by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which prohibits discrimination based on disability.
The consideration of eligibility for special education services under the provisions of section 504 will take place only after the student has been ruled ineligible for IDEA. If you disagree with any of the decisions made concerning your child’s identification, evaluation, and placement, you will need to contact the principal of the school in which your child is enrolled to examine all relevant records relating to your child, who will forward you to the appropriate personnel regarding your child’s eligibility for the 504 Plan.
CELLULAR PHONE AND ELECTRONIC
Any use or display of cell phones or electronic devices (for example: ringing, conversing, text messaging, etc.) on any campus is prohibited, and the phone/device shall be confiscated for 90 days (school days, Monday through Friday). Students who refuse to turn in cell-phones are subject to the following disciplinary measures.
1st offense- 3 to5 day OSS
2nd offense- 5 to 10 day OSS (Possible Alternative School Placement)
PROCEURES TO TAKE FOR CONFISCATED CELLULAR PHONE AND ELECTRONIC DEVICES POLICY
- If a cell phone is being used or displayed, the cell phone shall be taken from the student. Teachers may not return electronic devices/ phones to students. Teachers who violate district policy are subject to disciplinary action
2.) The teacher shall properly fill out a form (provided by school) with the following information: Name of student, date taken, teacher name, reason taken, and description of device. The teacher is responsible for bringing the phone to the office with form (same day) and ensuring that they physically give the phone and form to the secretary, and that the device is logged into the electronic device book. The secretary shall take the proper steps for securing the device as advised by the principal.
1st Offense – confiscated 90 days-(School days, Monday through Friday)
2nd Offense- confiscated remainder of school year (Last day of school)
The Okolona School District employees retain no financial responsibility for items that have been confiscated, lost or stolen.
The Okolona School District does not condone and will not tolerate bullying or harassing behavior. Bullying or harassing behavior is any pattern of gestures or written, electronic or verbal communications, or any physical act or any threatening communication, or any act reasonably perceived as being motivated by any actual or perceived differentiating characteristic that (a) places a student or school employee in actual and reasonable fear of harm to his or her person or damage to his or her property, or (b) creates or is certain to create a hostile environment by substantially interfering with or impairing a student’s educational performance, opportunities or benefits. A “hostile environment” means that the victim subjectively views the conduct as bullying or harassing behavior and the conduct is objectively severe or pervasive enough that a reasonable person would agree that it is bullying or harassing behavior.
Bullying or harassing behavior will not be condoned or tolerated when it takes place on school property, at any school‐sponsored function, or on a school bus, or when it takes place off school property when such conduct, in the determination of the school superintendent or principal, renders the offending person’s presence in the classroom a disruption to the educational environment of the school or a detriment to the best interest and welfare of the pupils and teacher of such class as a whole.
The Okolona School District will make every reasonable effort to ensure that no student or school employee is subjected to bullying or harassing behavior by other school employees or students. Likewise, the District will make every reasonable effort to ensure that no person engages in any act of reprisal or retaliation against a victim, witness or a person with reliable information about an act of bullying or harassing behavior. The District encourages anyone who has witnessed or has reliable information that a student or school employee has been subject to any act of bullying or harassing behavior to report the incident to the appropriate school official.
The superintendent or designee will design and implement procedures for reporting, investigating, and addressing bullying and harassing behaviors. The procedures should be appropriately placed in District personnel policy handbooks, school handbooks that include discipline policies and procedures, and any other policy or procedure that deals with student or employee behavior. The discipline policies and procedures must recognize the fundamental right of every student to take “reasonable actions” as may be necessary to defend himself or herself from an attack by another student who has evidenced menacing or threatening behavior through bullying or harassing.
Furthermore, the Okolona School District defines “reasonable action” as promptly reporting the behavior to a teacher, principal, counselor, or other school employee when subjected to bullying or harassing behavior.
Ref: SB 2015; Miss. Code Ann. § 37‐7‐301 (e)
STUDENT COMPLAINTS OF BULLYING
OR HARASSING BEHAVIOR
Students and employees in the Okolona School District are protected from bullying or harassing behavior by other students or employees. It is the intent of the superintendent and the administration to maintain an environment free from bullying and harassing behavior. This complaint procedure provides a process for filing, processing and resolving complaints of such conduct. Adherence to these procedures is mandatory. The failure of any person to follow these procedures will constitute a waiver of the right to pursue a complaint at any level, including review by the Superintendent.
Bullying or harassing behavior is any pattern of gestures or written, electronic or verbal communications, or any physical act or any threatening communication, or any act reasonably perceived as being motivated by any actual or perceived differentiating characteristic that (a) places a student or school employee in actual and reasonable fear of harm to his or her person or damage to his or her property, or (b) creates or is certain to create a hostile environment by substantially interfering with or impairing a student’s educational performance, opportunities or benefits. A “hostile environment” means that the victim subjectively views the conduct as bullying or harassing behavior and the conduct is objectively severe or pervasive enough that a reasonable person would agree that it is bullying or harassing behavior. Bullying or harassing behavior will not be condoned or tolerated when it takes place on school property, at any school-sponsored function, or on a school bus, or when it takes place off school property when such conduct, in the determination of the school superintendent or principal, renders the offending person’s presence in the classroom a disruption to the educational environment of the school or a detriment to the best interest and welfare of the pupils and teacher of such class as a whole.
- Procedures for Processing a Complaint
Any student, school employee or volunteer who feels he/she has been a victim of bullying or harassing behavior, or has witnessed or who has reliable information that a student, school employee or volunteer has been subject to bullying or harassing behavior shall report such conduct to a teacher, principal, counselor or other school official. The report shall be made promptly but no later than five (5) calendar days after the alleged act or acts occurred. The school official shall complete a “Bullying/Harassing Behavior” complaint form which shall include the name of the reporting person, the specific nature and date of the misconduct, the names of the victim of the misconduct, the names of any witnesses and any other information that would assist in the investigation of the complaint. The report shall be given promptly to the principal or superintendent who shall institute an immediate investigation. Complaints against the principal shall be made to the superintendent. The complaint shall be investigated promptly. Parents will be notified of the nature of any complaint involving their student. The District official will arrange such meetings as may be necessary with all concerned parties within five (5) working days after initial receipt of the complaint by the District. The parties will have an opportunity to submit evidence and a list of witnesses. All findings related to the complaint will be reduced to writing. The District official conducting the investigation shall notify the victim and parents as appropriate when the investigation is completed and a decision regarding disciplinary action, as warranted, is determined. If the victim is not satisfied with the decision of the District official, he/she may submit a written appeal to the superintendent. Such appeal shall be filed within ten (10) working days after receipt of the results of the initial decision. The superintendent will arrange such meetings with the victim and other affected parties as deemed necessary to discuss the appeal. The superintendent r shall provide a written decision to the victim’s appeal within ten (10) working days.
Consequences for BULLYING AND/OR HARASSMENT
Students will not harass, intimidate, threaten or do harm to another student or school personnel.
- First offense: Warning and (Parent, Student, Teacher, Admin. Meeting)
- Second offense: OSS (1-5 days) or corporal punishment with parental consent.
- Third offense: Out of School Suspension (Automatic 5 days OSS)
- Fourth offense- Recommendation for Alternative Placement and/or expulsion.
DRESS CODE/UNIFORM POLICY
All students in K-12 grades are required to wear school uniforms. Okolona Public Schools believe that a positive school environment is a major factor in high student achievement. There are many factors that lead to a positive learning environment. Safety, discipline, and school unity are three of those factors. OSD leaders believe that wearing school uniforms is one way to achieve all three of these goals. School uniforms, which refers to wearing the same style/or color of dress, can create a safer environment because they help to identify non-school persons who may be on the campus for disruptive purposes.
Uniforms promote a more disciplined environment by reducing negative competition and arguments over dress styles, consequently positively affecting drop out rates, and school attendance. Finally, school uniforms promote school unity by eliminating factors that can create economic and social division among individuals, such as clothing style and brands, thus allowing students to become more conscious of such shared goals as meeting academic standards, developing self confidence and understanding. The positive learning environment to which wearing school uniforms contributes helps to create an environment in which student achievement is the highest priority.
Parents who do not wish for their children to wear uniforms because of their children’s religious beliefs and religious dress must submit their reasons in writing to the school principal for review. Principals are responsible for ensuring that the school uniform policy is adequately enforced and implemented at the school level.
Students may be allowed to “dress down” on special days such as Homecoming and as announced during the school year by the school administration.
If an administrator or educator determines that a student’s attire is inappropriate, distracting to the educational environment, or to suggestive or revealing, at any time, students must change the attire, failure to do so may result in disciplinary action with continuous and intentional violations of this policy.
Consequences for non-compliance with the uniform policy:
Student given chance to call parent change clothes/ parent unable to bring, student must serve the duration of the day in ISS.
Parents/guardians will be notified of non-compliance of the uniform policy by phone parents/guardians. Students in non-compliance may be placed in the in-school suspension for a period of 2 days. Parent/guardian will be required to attend a conference with the administration prior to the student returning to school. OES students in non-compliance may be given a minimum a 2 days OSS.
Parents/guardians will be notified of non-compliance of the uniform policy by to the parents/guardians. Students in non-compliance may be placed in-school suspension for three days. Parent/guardian will be required to attend a conference with the administration prior to the student returning to school.
Parents/guardians will be notified of non-compliance of the uniform policy by phone and a letter will be mailed to the parents/guardians. Students in non-compliance may be placed in-school suspension for three days. Parent/guardian will be required to attend a conference with the administration prior to the student returning to school.
Okolona School District Uniform Policy
(Tops) Solid Maroon or White Collared Shirt- (School uniform shirt & pants must be worn & visible at all times.)
(Bottom) Khaki, black or navy blue dress or uniform bottoms (must be khaki Material with belt loops.)
Solid Maroon or white polo shirts with short or long sleeves
Solid Maroon or white Oxford shirts with short or long sleeves
(Button down collar)
Solid Maroon vest or sweater
Girls’ Bottoms: (Khaki, black, or navy blue) (must be khaki Material with belt loops.)
Solid Khaki, black, or navy blue dress or uniform pants
Solid Khaki walking shorts to the knee
Solid Khaki Capri pants
Solid Khaki skirts to the knee
Solid Khaki dress jumper
Solid Maroon or white polo shirts with short or long sleeves (Golf type shirt)
Solid Maroon and solid white polo shirt
Maroon or white Oxford shirts with short or long sleeves (button down collar)
Solid Maroon or white turtleneck.
Boys’ Bottoms: (must be khaki Material with belt loops.)
Solid Khaki, black or navy blue dress or uniform pants
Solid Khaki walking shorts to the knee
- Belts must be worn at all times (No Sagging)
- Shoes must be worn at all times
- No see through (Sheer) shirts
- No bandanas may be worn at any time by any students.
- Caps and headbands may not be worn at any time during school hours.
- No denim type material or tight fitting clothes
- No warm-up pants, sweat pants, or wind suit pants
- Shirts must not reveal the “belly button” area of the stomach
- Sagging is not permitted.
- Pants are not allowed with holes above the knee
- Uniform shirt must be visible under overcoat, jacket, etc., Must be bloused in (tucked in).
- Boys are not permitted to wear earrings
- Body piercing of (eye, nose, and lip) are prohibited and student will not be allowed to remain at school.
- Tights: solid white, black, or blue only (May be worn underneath other clothing, not as pants)
(any student out of uniform must have permission from principal or director and the principal and or director is responsible for notifying others of the reason for student being out of uniform, example (school trip).
STUDENT HEALTH POLICY
STUDENT INSURANCE PROGRAM (EGB)
Students participating in varsity athletics shall be required to submit a statement signed by the parent indicating that the school is not to be held responsible for injuries sustained during participation in the varsity sport. The student shall purchase accident insurance and shall present a statement signed by his/her parent or guardian that the family has such coverage.
Participation in extracurricular activities is voluntary. This school district does not furnish student insurance, nor doe sit sell insurance or act as agent for any insurance company or local insurance agency.
ACCIDENTS/FIRST AID (JGFG)
The Okolona School District will administer first aid and emergency treatment to insure the safety of its students. In the event that a student needs medical attention and a parent or other designated person cannot be reached, an ambulance will be called at the parent’s expense.
COMMUNICABLE DISEASES (JGCC)
It shall be unlawful for any student to attend school with a dangerous, contagious, or infectious disease. If a student becomes ill with an infectious disease at school, he/she will be immediately isolated until he/she can be taken home or picked up by the parent/guardian. Under no condition will the student be allowed to ride the bus home. In addition, the student will not be permitted to return to school without a permission slip from a doctor or health department official.
MEDICATIONS AND ILLNESS POLICY
School personnel may not exceed the practice of first aid in dealing with pupil injuries and sickness, and only qualified personnel shall administer first aid to pupils. Medication may be administered to a student by school personnel ONLY with the written request and consent of the student’s parent/custodian/legal guardian, and by following Policy JGCD-R.
JGCD-R Administering Medicines to Students
School personnel will not administer prescription medicine to a student unless the student’s physician authorizes school personnel to administer the medicine and the parents/guardians have signed the Indemnity Agreement associated with this policy. The parents/guardians are responsible for obtaining a statement from the physician authorizing school personnel to administer the medicine. The statement should include:
- Student’s name
- Name of medicine
- Method of administration
- Time/s to administer the medicine
- Amount of medicine
- Date to discontinue or review administration of medicine
- Physician’s signature
The parents/guardians are responsible for getting the medicine to the school. All medicine must be in a proper container with a label from the pharmacy which states the following:
- Student’s name
- Name of medicine
- Method of administration
- Time/s to administer the medicine
- Prescription number
- Name of pharmacy
- Date filled
ASTHMA MEDICATION POLICY (JGCDA)
A student with asthma may possess and use asthma medications when at school, at a school-sponsored activity, under the supervision of school personnel, or before and after normal school activities while on school properties (including school-sponsored child care or after-school programs) according to the guidelines set forth by the MDE and outlined in the District Policy Manual if the parent or guardian has provided written authorization for self-administration to the school and a written statement from the student’s health care practitioner. The School District shall incur no liability as a result of any injury sustained by the student from the self-administration of asthma medications.
CRISIS MANAGEMENT POLICY:
DISASTER PLANS/DRILLS (EBBC)
Fire and tornado drills will be held at regular intervals during the year. Each school will schedule and practice emergency drills. Faculty and students should receive instructions for emergency drills and the emergency sound that will be used to signify an alarm. All drills should be treated as serious and instructions should be followed at all times.
- Fire (Refer to the district’s Emergency Procedures Plan)
Alarm – The alarm will be the ringing of 3 bells.
The principal will sound the alert for evacuation and call 911 and the Central Office. Teachers and students will evacuate the building immediately and go to the designated/alternate school site.
- Students will walk in a single file line to an authorized exit and go to a designated area.
- Students will stay with their present class at all times.
- Teachers will call roll in the designated area.
- Everyone will wait for the “all clear signal,” which will be one long ring of the bell.
- Students will re-enter their classes in an orderly manner.
- Teachers will call roll.
- Tornado (Refer to the district’s Emergency Procedures Plan)
Alarm – The alarm will be the ringing of 1 long bell
During severe weather, the principal will listen to the Superintendent for any weather alert. If emergency procedures are necessary, the following steps will be followed:
- The principal will sound the alert.
- Teachers and students will go to the designated area without delay.
- Teachers and students will crouch with their arms placed on the side of their heads and their hands placed on the back of their necks until an all-clear signal is given.
- When the danger is over, the signal will be sounded to return to class.
A tornado watch is a situation in which weather conditions are favorable for a tornado. A warning is a situation in which a tornado or funnel cloud has been spotted. All persons should take cover immediately.
- “Code Blue” (Refer to the district’s Emergency Procedures Plan.)
Alarm – “Code Blue” announcement will be made over the intercom.
- The teachers will shut and lock their doors.
- Teachers and students will remain in the room in an area away from the door until an “all clear” sign is given by the principal.
Note: All disaster plans must be on file and the evacuation plan must be posted in the building.
In the event of damages or injury, the principal will notify 911 and the Superintendent.
EMERGENCY CLOSINGS (EBBD)
The superintendent may close any school because of an emergency situation. However, all schools so closed shall operate for the required full time after being reopened during the scholastic year. S37-13-65 (1987)
During inclement weather or other emergencies, personnel should refer to WCBI (328-1224) or WTVA (842-7620) concerning school closings.
Due to emergencies or catastrophic incidences, students may need to be dismissed early from school. Parents should have an alternative destination for their children when these occasions arise. Notification will be made on radio and television prior to dismissal of school.
Emergency Closing Procedures
In the event of inclement weather you should assume that school will open as usual but begin monitoring the news outlets.
- Advance Notice: Only when the evidence of severe weather predictions is clear, such as ice or snow, will we make announcements of school closings or delays a day in advance.
- Same Day Notice: Decisions regarding cancellation or delayed start will be made between 5:30 and 6:00a.m.
- In the event that the Superintendent determines that closing schools is the appropriate course of action,
the district administrators will immediately begin alerting parents and the public using the following methods
Summary of Notification Methods
The following media outlets will be notified first. Keep in mind that due to the large number of schools in our area, there may be a delay before our information is posted or announced.
The media will NOT be notified if schools will be open.
WTVA Tupelo – Columbus
WCBI West Point- Columbus- Tupelo
Please do not call the schools, the Transportation Department, or the Central Office.
Most schools and departments have limited phone lines. If schools are in session and the weather is getting bad, it is important that we be able to keep them open for emergencies. If it is still very early in the morning, it is unlikely that there are staff members manning the telephones.
Administrative Leave Policy
The Okolona Municipal Separate School District shall pay School Board employees administrative leave for hours or days missed from work due to pending investigations, emergency school closings by Superintendent of Education, or states of emergency. School Board employees (licensed and classified) may earn pre-established salary or hourly wages for hours or days missed from work due to pending investigations, emergency school closings, or states of emergency.
Code Section 37-7-307 authorizes local school boards to enact policies on administrative leave, including leave with pay. The authority includes the ability to provide for leave with pay following an “extreme weather” emergency.
Addendums to Policy Code: EBBD- Emergency School Closings
Missed Days by Students due to Inclement Weather
The Okolona Municipal Separate School District shall not require students to make-up missed days due to emergency school closings by the Superintendent of Education due to inclement weather.
School boards have the authority to determine, through policy, whether or not the days students missed due to extreme weather shall be made up (Code Sections 37-13-63 and 37-13-64; AG Opinion dated March 18, 2015(attached).
Emergency Closing Procedures
- Pupil progression through high school is based on each pupil’s accumulation of credits. Awarding of credit in individual courses will be based upon data on instructional management plan objectives, classroom assignments, class participation, completion of projects, and other approved criteria established by the teacher.
- Requirements for grade level classification:
Policy Code: IHE Promotion and Retention
- Promotion and retention shall be based upon mastery of standards:
- Students in grades 1-12 must demonstrate mastery of the subject matter for their present grade before they are promoted to the next grade;
- Kindergarten students may be retained in Kindergarten. They will not be retained without permission of parents and reviewed by the principal.
- All students in grades 1-8 must take and pass Math, Reading, and Language Arts. Students must also pass Science and Social Studies.
- Grades 9 through 12: Students in grades 9-12 will be classified in accordance with the successful completion of the following requirements:
Grade Pathway Pathway
Ninth Grade: 0-4 0-5 Carnegie units
Tenth Grade: 5-9 6-10 Carnegie units
Eleventh Grade: 10-14 11-15 Carnegie units
Twelfth Grade: 15+ 15+ Carnegie units
Graduation: 21 24 Carnegie units
- Students in grades 1-12 who have not met requirements for promotion will be retained in the same grade.
- Beginning in the 2014-2015 school year, a student scoring at the lowest achievement level in reading on the established state assessment for 3rd grade will not be promoted to the 4th grade unless the student meets the good cause exemption for promotion.
- In cases of continued failure to meet promotion requirements based on documented evidence of repeated, unsuccessful instruction interventions, the principal may recommend to the superintendent that a student be conditionally placed in another grade level for good cause exemption. Conditional placement must be approved by the student’s parents, the student’s teachers, the principal, and the principal of the receiving school prior to review by the superintendent or designee.
- Conditional placement of an individual student can only occur during grades 1-8.
- Conditional placement of a student can only be made to the grade that is the next grade level beyond the currently assigned grade.
Students who have final grades of 60-64 in Reading, Language Arts, or Mathematics and pass (basic or above) on State exams will be given a passing grade equivalent to a 65 for the specific subject area and may be eligible for promotion. Grades in all subjects must be established through the instructional process and evaluations that render specific grades. Students whom fail (Math, Science, English, or Social Studies, shall be retained)
Students who have final grades of 60-64 in course area and make passing scores on the Mississippi Subject Area exams (English II, Algebra I, Biology I, and U.S. History) will be given a passing grade equivalent to a 65 and a unit of credit for the specific subject.
- Graduation Requirements (See School Board Policy IHF):
Students are required to complete 24 or 21 credits and have a passing score on the State Mandated Test(s).
- Grading Scale:
A: 90 – 100 D: 65 – 69
B: 80 – 89 F: 64 and Below
C: 70 – 79 I: Incomplete
The semester grade will be the average of 2- 9 week grades. The yearly grade will be the average of the 2(first & Second) semester grades. Progress Reports shall be issued every 4-5 weeks and report cards at the end of each 9 week period.
- Averaging of Grades:
OKOLONA HIGH SCHOOL
- Daily Grades (Homework/Participation, etc.) 3%
- -minimum 21 daily grades per 9 weeks
- Test Average 3%
- -minimum 6 tests per 9 weeks
- 9-Weeks Tests 3%
- Total: 100%
- OKOLONA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
- There shall be four (4) grading periods
- A minimum of (21) daily grades shall be recorded for each student in each course except K-2 Reading during each nine-week grading period. Read Well will have a total of (12) grades per nine weeks
- A minimum of six (6) test grades shall be recorded during each nine-week grading period.
- Grades 1-4 – classroom assessments shall count one-third (1/3) of the nine week grade. Other evaluation such as projects, homework, daily work, participation, etc… shall count 1/3 of the nine week grade. Nine weeks test grades, such as Case Assessments shall count 1/3 of the nine weeks grade.
- Exemption from Exams: (OHS ONLY)
A student may be exempt from the second and fourth nine-week exams if the following criteria have been met
- He/she must have an “A” (90-100) average for the semester and no more than four (4) excused or three (3) unexcused semester absences/period absences.
- Student has not received ISS or OSS during the school year.
- The Course is not a prerequisite course for SATP.
- No exemptions are allowed in the State-Tested areas of Algebra I, Biology, U.S. History, A.P. U.S. History, and English II.
- The student does not have in excess of three tardies to school or class each nine weeks.
If the student elects to take an exam in which exemption requirements have been met, the student will not be penalized by an exam grade that would lower the student’s final average.
Official college visits are considered school related absences. Eleventh and twelfth graders are allowed two college visits per year. School related absences do not affect exemption status. In other words, students may still be exempt if school related absences cause the total number of absences to exceed the exemption limit.
Superintendent’s Honor Roll – All A’s
Principal’s Honor Roll – All A’s and B’s
School honor rolls will be published in the local newspaper after each grading period. Each school will recognize honor roll students in an appropriate manner.
As a means of helping students get back on track toward graduation and to encourage students to remain in school Okolona School District will offer a Credit Recovery Program which will allow students to earn credit for a course that was previously failed. All course information will be made available to students and parents by the building principal. Academic end-of-course tests in Algebra I, Biology I, English II (with a writing component), and U. S. History from 1877 must be passed
Dual enrollment is a program that allows high school students to earn college credit toward a postsecondary diploma while enrolled in high school. Okolona High School students may enroll at a state institution of higher learning or community or junior college provided certain requirements have been met: Any junior or senior student who is participating in designated courses and has a cumulative high school GPA of a 2.5 and a minimum of 16 on ACT (and meet the specific requirements as outlined by the school or university). Dual Enrollment applications are available from your counselor on a first come, first served basis. Cost for dual enrollment/credit is $100 (or as specified in the articulation agreement from college or university) per course (and is the responsibility of the student as well as the cost of textbooks for the course).
A student may earn a maximum of one (1) Carnegie unit through completion of an approved correspondence course. Permission to
enroll in a correspondence course must be granted by the principal, and a student may not enroll in a correspondence course without a
minimum of twelve (12) Carnegie units.
A student must receive permission and order the correspondence course no later than two weeks after the beginning of each semester.
All correspondence lessons and tests will be completed before April 1. No correspondence test will be administered after April 1. If the correspondence credit is necessary to meet graduation requirements, the final grade must be received by the principal’s designee one week (seven calendar days) prior to graduation. A half-unit of a full-unit course will not be accepted for credit. Subject area courses (Algebra I, English II, U.S. History, and Biology I) are not eligible for correspondence.
An application to enroll in a correspondence course during the summer months will receive favorable consideration if the course is not a part of the OHS summer school schedule and if the student has earned the minimum number of Carnegie units.
GED PROGRAM (OHS)
Okolona School District participates in the GED Options program. Contact a principal for more information.
CRITERIA FOR DETERMINING GRADUATION AWARDS
To be eligible for Valedictorian or Salutatorian, a student must have completed the college preparatory/traditional curriculum and have been enrolled in Okolona High School for at least four consecutive (4) semesters.
The valedictorian shall be the student who has the highest numerical average of courses listed in the college preparatory/traditional curriculum.
The salutatorian shall be the student who has the second highest numerical average of courses listed in the college preparatory/traditional curriculum.
In determining valedictorian and salutatorian, numerical averages will be considered from ninth grade through the third nine-weeks of senior year. All weighted course grades will be calculated at this time.
*In case of a tie, the two shall share the honor of valedictorian or salutatorian.
Students are expected to dress neatly and appropriately. Acceptable dress for male students is dark pants (no jeans), white shirt, dark shoes and socks and a tie. Acceptable dress for female students is an appropriate dress or skirt and blouse and dress shoes (closed toe).
Okolona High School students who have successfully completed prescribed secondary school graduation requirements shall be honored through a formal graduation ceremony held during the month of May. No diploma (or substitute diploma), signed or unsigned, will be awarded to a student who fails to meet the requirements for graduation. Any student who fails to meet the graduation requirements shall not be permitted to participate in graduation exercises or practices. Student participation in the graduation ceremony is a privilege, and may be revoked by principal for misbehavior or failure to comply with expectations set forth by principal and graduation committee.
Students who have satisfactorily completed the district’s secondary curriculum for special education may be awarded a High School Certificate of Diploma or an Occupational Diploma. This student has successfully completed an Individualized Education Program. Special education students earning such certification will be permitted to participate in graduation exercises.
Graduation – Senior Expenses
Okolona High School cannot predict if a senior will meet all the requirements for graduation nor can Okolona High School be responsible for expenses incurred by a prospective graduate. No graduation fees of any type, paid by student shall be refunded to any student or parent, if student fails to graduate. The student will assume responsibility to determine graduation status relative to the purchase of senior items such as invitations and cap and gown rental.
Graduation – Participation
Participation in the graduation ceremony is not a requirement for graduation. However, a senior who plans to participate in the ceremony must attend the graduation practice and be on time. Graduation practice will be at 10:30 a.m. on the day before and of graduation. Participation is a privilege that may be revoked by principal.
All fines must be paid before a student will be allowed to participate in the graduation ceremony/or any extra curricular activities.
Graduation – Early
Early graduation involves the completion of all high school academic requirements in less than a traditional four-year program. A student applying for early graduation will meet the same standards required of all graduates of Okolona High School.
A student applying for early graduation should file an application with the principal no later than the end of the sophomore year. Student who plans to graduate early will schedule a conference with the student’s counselor and parent/guardian to arrange a course of study. The principal will appoint a standing committee each year to examine all requests for early graduation and make a final decision as to the validity of the student’s request. The committee will consist of the principal, a guidance counselor, and three classroom teachers. Factors to be considered in evaluating the request include but are not limited to:
- Stated reasons for requesting early graduation (student)
- Recommendations secured by the student from five current or former high school teachers, confirming the intellectual and academic qualifications of the student.
- Completion of three semesters at Okolona High School immediately preceding graduation.
- 85 average in all courses attempted at Okolona High School, successfully completed all SATP examinations (Algebra I, Biology I, English II, & Us. History).
Okolona High School will release information on a school record according to the regulations of the Family Rights and Privacy Act. A transcript request form will precede any official transcript to be mailed by Okolona High School. OHS will furnish a transcript for current students only to any designated receiver upon request without a fee. Graduates of the current year are allowed two transcript requests at no charge. A transcript request form must be submitted, before a transcript will be printed. A fee will be assessed for subsequent transcript requests. The fee shall be $6.00, and there is a 48 hour waiting period to process transcript requests.
Okolona High School will release the cumulative folder of a student upon receipt of a request for the official school records by a transfer school.
The committee will render a decision prior to the end of the first term of the student’s junior year. If the decision is denied, the committee will justify the decision in writing to the parent/guardian of the student. The decision of the committee will be final.
ATHLETICS & EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES POLICY
The primary purpose of athletics is to develop athletes physically, socially, emotionally, and mentally. All students are invited to participate in interscholastic athletics such as football, basketball, baseball, track and field, softball, tennis, and cheerleading. To become a member of a team, a student must abide by the rules of the MHSAA and the Okolona coaching staff. Coaches will be held responsible for checking on student athletes’ progress in academic classes.
In order to participate in an athletic event, the student must attend school 63% of the day of participation, except in case of an emergency or doctor’s excuse. Students cannot participate in athletic events during the weekend if absent on Friday, except in case of an emergency or doctor’s excuse. Athletes who have been suspended from school will not be eligible to participate in competitive or athletic events during their suspension. Students will not participate in extra-curricular activities while in OSS, or the week in which they have an OSS suspension (Mon.-Fri.)
CODE OF CONDUCT FOR VISITORS,
STUDENTS, FANS, RELATIVES
Any disruption at an athletic event, extracurricular activity, or any type of gathering associated with Okolona School District will not be tolerated. A disruption is constituted as: vulgar language, fighting, a verbal confrontation, heckling, and or any behavior that causes a disturbance.
STUDENTS will be suspended from all school related activities for the remainder of the school year. Student will lose the privilege and right to attend or participate. Student athletes who have been suspended from school are not to attend or participate in any event that falls on the days of suspension or doing the week of their suspension.
VISITORS, FANS, RELATIVES, OTHER will be suspended from attendance at any school related activity for 1 calendar year. Unattended children under the age of 12 MUST be accompanied by an adult. All in attendance must be seated. All Okolona students are required to sit on the home side. Serious consequences could result for failure to comply.
ACADEMIC RULES FOR ATHLETES PARTICIPATING
IN ATHLETIC EVENTS
Junior High Eligibility for Participation
- Must Be Promoted
- Must have passed 4 courses
- The average of those 4 courses must be a “C” or above
- The same guidelines apply at the semester
Junior High Eligibility for Participation at the High School Level
- Must be promoted
- Must have passed the 4 core courses
(English, Math, Science and Social Studies)
- The average of those 4 core courses must be a “C” or above
- Do not have to be passing all 4 core courses, but the average of those 4 core courses must be a “C” or above.
HIGH SCHOOL/MHSAA ACADEMIC ELIGIBILITY RULE
- “Satisfactory Progress towards Graduation”—district determination
- MS Law—Student must maintain a grade point average of at least 2.0 or “C” average.
- 9th Grade Begins H.S. Eligibility—promoted to 9th grade, with at least an overall 2.0 or “C” average.
- Semester Eligibility—Overall average of course grades must equal at least 2.0 GPA or “C”.
- Fall Eligibility—Overall average of final grades from previous semester must equal at least 2.0 GPA or “C”.
- Grades for summer school, extended day/year programs, credit recovery classes, and correspondence courses must be earned prior to the beginning of the following semester or year.
Homecoming Court (Junior High 6th-8th) & (High School 9th-12th)
A Homecoming Court will be elected no later than ten (10) days prior to the homecoming football game. The Homecoming Court will consist of the following persons:
- One (2) student from the 6th Grade Class
- One (2) student from the 7th Grade Class
- One (4) student from 8th Grade Class
- One (2) student from the Freshman Class
- One (2) student from the Sophomore Class
- One (2) student from the Junior Class
- One (4) student from the Senior Class
Each class will elect their maids. One Homecoming Queen will be elected from the Senior Maids by the student body (grades 9-12). The Homecoming Queen must be from the senior class. The queen and her court must have attended Okolona High School the semester prior to the elections. Escorts must be either Okolona High School Students or a parent or guardian of the maid.
Any student, male or female, will not be allowed to participate in Homecoming court if they have been suspended during the current school year. In addition, any student with excessive tardies may be removed or not allowed to participate in homecoming activities.
The major purpose of the Student Council is to coordinate student activities, foster positive relationships between the faculty and student body, and to promote school spirit. There will be separate Junior High and Senior High Councils with separate sponsors. Representatives for the Senior High Student Council (9-12) shall be elected during the first nine (9) weeks of the school year to serve the rest of the year. Students who wish to serve on the Council must campaign for election.
Candidates must meet the following requirements:
- Have an overall “C” average
- Be enrolled at least one (1) semester prior to election
Each class elects its own representatives. Composition of the High School Council shall be:
- Four (4) members of the senior class
- Three (3) members of the junior class
- Three (3) members of the sophomore class
- Two (2) members of the freshman class
Junior High Council, to be elected during fall semester, shall consist of:
- Four (4) members of the 8th grade
- Four (4) members of the 7th grade
- Six (6) members of the 6th grade
Officers for each student council shall be elected by council members.
Each Okolona High School class (grades six through twelve) shall have its own officers. Class officer elections shall be held during the first term (nine weeks). The following officers shall be elected:
- Vice President
Each class shall elect its own officers. Class officers must have a cumulative “B” average and have attended the Okolona Public Schools for at least one semester prior to election.
Student Clubs and Organizations
A variety of clubs and organizations are available and students are encouraged to join them. Clubs, organizations, and the criteria for joining them must be approved by the principal. Meeting schedules and membership rosters must be filed in the school office. Faculty and staff members will serve as sponsors or co-sponsors of all approved clubs and organizations.
Conduct detrimental to any club, organization, title, honor, office, or extracurricular activity may warrant removal at the discretion of the administrator and/or advisor.
Special Dietary Needs: If a student has a special dietary need due to health or religious reasons, please contact Arlitha Harmon or cafeteria managers at the student’s respective school.
Visitors or Guest: All visitors or guest eating in the school cafeteria are considered cash paying customers at $3.00 per meal unless prior arrangements have been made by the person responsible for the visitor or guest.
The following rules apply to the cafeteria:
- The campuses are closed during lunch. No one is to leave during their lunch break for meals nor are they to send out for other purchased food items. This includes pizza or other food related award parties held prior to the end of all lunch periods.
- Milk, juice, chips, water and ice cream are extra sales items. Extra menu items may be purchased after or as lunch is bought.
- No other food items are to be sold one hour prior to breakfast or lunch or during the regular lunch schedule at the schools.
- No canned or bottled carbonated beverages are allowed in the cafeterias.
- No charged meals are allowed. Personal check for the amount of the meal and cash will be accepted. No personal checks will be cashed from the school food service funds. Federal Management Circular 769-1 (RV-2) lists bad debts as a non-allowable expenditure of federal funds, therefore losses on meals charged or bad checks cannot be paid from Child Nutrition Funds. Parents shall not be allowed to combine payment for lunch with other school expenses.
Students must comply with the following cafeteria rules:
- All lunch litter must be deposited in wastebaskets.
- All trays and utensils must be returned to the dishwashing area.
- Tables and floors around the seats must be left in clean condition for others.
Disciplinary action will be taken for improper conduct in cafeteria.
ADDITIONAL POLICIES AND
The School Counselor meets with students individually or in a group setting. The Counselor accepts referrals from teachers/staff, parents, or from the students themselves. Due to the confidential nature of the counseling relationship when working with students, a parent’s/guardian’s signature on the school policy agreement form constitutes parental consent for meeting with the School Counselor. The Counselor will provide parents with accurate and relevant information as is appropriate and consistent with the ethical responsibilities to the student.
High School (only)
The administration will ensure that schedules are completed accurately and in a timely manner. No changes will be made to schedules in which students are satisfying MDE requirements for curriculum and grade assignments. The principal reserves right to deny changes to student schedules if they have already satisfied MDE requirements.
Classroom schedule changes are made only when absolutely necessary and with the principal’s or counselor’s signature. When classroom schedule changes are made, the teachers involved must be presented written permission from the counselor’s or principal’s office. It is the student’s responsibility to obtain and present this permission. A student will not be allowed to change classes after five class meetings without special permission. There will be no schedule changes after the end of the second week of school unless deemed necessary by the administration. There must valid and reasonable reasons to consider any change in schedules.
TEXTBOOKS AND FINES
All textbooks are the property of the Okolona School District and are loaned to students for use. Students will be required to pay for books that are lost or damaged to the extent they cannot be used. Payments for used books or old books that are lost will be determined by the principal. Fines will be imposed. Textbook assessment for students will be conducted by May 1st of each school year and parents will be contacted at that time regarding fines. All fines should be paid and all textbooks returned before exams are taken. Textbooks assessment for students will be conducted prior to the last week of the academic school year and parents will be contacted at that time regarding fines. Delinquent textbook fines could result in students not being able to participate in activities such as field trips, field day, or other teacher sponsored or school sponsored activities.
Fines for lost or damaged books will be assessed and collected by the schools according to the following schedule. For books badly damaged or lost, fines will be governed by the number of years the book has been used.
- Books used less than one complete year, full price will be paid.
- Books used less than two complete years, ¾ of the full price.
- Books used less than three complete years, ½ of the full price.
- Books used less than four complete years, ⅓ of the full price.
- Minimum charge for any books in usable condition is ¼ of the
VANDALISM AND PROPERTY DAMAGE
Students are expected to take care of school property. Students who destroy, abuse, or vandalize school property or others personal property will be required to pay for losses or damages as well as being subject to disciplinary action and/or legal action within one week of damage.
Student Transportation Policy Code: EEA
The Okolona Municipal Separate School District is committed to providing safe, economical transportation services for eligible students who attend district schools and whose legal residences are within district boundaries. Students ineligible for transportation services under the regular policies of the Board of Trustees and/or applicable state or federal laws will not be provided transportation.
Only those students who meet eligibility requirements by means of legal residence will be permitted to use school bus transportation for the purpose of travel to and from school. Students living one mile or more from school by the nearest traveled road will be entitled to bus transportation to and from school. Transportation services will not be provided to other children except for those students who are eligible for services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and who have approved Individual Educational Plans (IEP) specifically stating the need for transportation.
Riding a school bus is a privilege, not a right; students who do not conduct themselves properly will not be allowed to ride the school bus. Students may be subjected to disciplinary action provided by district policies, including but not limited to suspension and expulsion from school or from the bus, for misconduct on the bus.
While riding the school bus, students must conform to all rules of conduct as established by Policies [JCA, JCB, JCBD, JCBF, and JCDAD] and the student code of conduct adopted by the Okolona School District.
Students may not ride any bus other than their assigned bus without permission from the principal. However, a parent/guardian may write a letter to principal requesting child/children to ride another bus for appropriate reason.(presented to administration upon arrival to school) Students who vandalize school buses will pay for damages.
Consequences for Bus Misconduct; (Bus referrals should be submitted directly to Asst. Principal’s office)
1st Offense: Written warning/ Corporal Punishment
2nd Offense: Three day bus suspension or corporal punishment with
3rd Offense: Five day suspension
Major offenses will require an automatic 3 day bus suspension.
Major offences include but not limited to:
- Intimidation or attack on bus driver
Minor offenses include:
- Failure to remain in seat
- Throwing objects
- Eating or drinking on the bus
OVERNIGHT SUSPENSION POLICY
This form of suspension may be employed at the appropriate administrator’s discretion. This form of suspension requires a parent to accompany the student to the school the next school day for a conference and/or to shadow the student during classes for the duration of time as determined by the assigning administrator. The student will not be allowed on school grounds until the parent has participated in the conference and/or student observation as required by the principal or designee.
Absences that result from a parent being unable to accompany the student for his or her return to campus will be documented as days of suspension. Following the third full day of absence or suspension, the student may return to school unaccompanied but will be placed in an In-School-Suspension setting until the parent becomes available to fulfill his or her required role by participating in a conference or observation. Students on overnight suspension are prohibited from being on school grounds and from participating in school-sponsored or school-related activities. The parent or legal guardian will be required to remove student from the school campus after being contacted by school officials.
VEHICLES (OHS ONLY)
Licensed drivers in grades 9-12 will be permitted to drive their vehicles on campus, provided a parking permit ($10) is obtained from the principal’s office. A valid driver’s license and proof of insurance shall also be provided at the time of purchase. Any violation could result in towing and loss of driving privilege. Students are not permitted to drive to Okolona Vocational Complex. Student driving privileges may be revoked by the principal for student misbehavior or other violations of the schools disciplinary code, including habitual tardiness to school. Vehicles that are not properly registered (parking permit) will be towed at owner’s expense. No student is allowed to drive to the Vocational Complex for any reason. If caught doing so, disciplinary action will be taken. (Loss of driving privelages)
Students are to be in the halls only at the beginning and closing of school and during class changes (with hall pass) unless they have special permission as indicated by a corridor pass. Students should always walk to the right-side of the hallways going and coming from classes. Running, pushing, eating, and drinking are not permitted in the halls.
The office telephones are not for personal use. They shall be used only in cases of emergency. No student will be allowed in office to use phone without the permission of his or her teacher and provided he or she has a note from the teacher.
Loitering in the restrooms is forbidden. Students using restrooms during class must have a corridor pass. To maintain clean and sanitary restrooms, students’ help is needed.
GIFT AND FLOWER DELIVERIES
Okolona Schools will not accept deliveries of balloons, flowers, candy-grams, etc. (See School Board Policy JLC). Okolona High School campus is a closed campus at lunch and breakfast and will not accept food.
OUTSIDE FOOD AND DRINK
Okolona High School campus is a closed campus at lunch and breakfast and will not accept food. Due to State Department of Education guidelines, outside food and drink is prohibited on campus. All visitors are required to leave their photo identification in the main office.
Visitors are welcome at Okolona High School. Upon arrival on the campuses, all visitors must report to the principal’s office. Under no circumstances should visitors enter the building without first going by the principal’s office. Failure to comply may result in prosecution. All visitors are required to leave their photo identification in the main office
CHECK WRITING POLICY
All checks written to an Okolona District school must contain the following information:
Current Street Address
Home Phone Number
Any check written to the Okolona School District that is returned will automatically be forwarded to a collection agency.
SCHOOL WELLNESS POLICY
In compliance with federal requirements of the Local School’s Wellness Policy, the Okolona Schools will appoint School Health Coordinators and committee members to coordinate and implement procedures in developing the school district’s Wellness Policies. The committee members shall schedule semiannual meetings at each school site to include: OSD staff, community members/groups, parents and health officials.
Each School’s Site Health Coordinator and selected committee members shall implement procedures for developing the District’s Wellness Plan. The plan shall include recommendations to improve the district’s wellness program for students and staff. The draft developed by the appointed council members shall be forwarded to the District’s Central Office Wellness Coordinator for review.
FAMILY EDUCATIONAL RIGHTS
AND PRIVACY ACT (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) afford parents and students over 18 years of age (“eligible students”) certain rights with respect to the student’s educational records. They are:
- The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the district receives a request for access.
Parents or eligible students should submit to the school principal (or appropriate school official) a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. The principal will make arrangements for access and notify the parent of the eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
A fee of $.25 per page (8.5” x 11”), or $.50 per page (8.5” x 14”), or the actual cost of an audio tape for a copy of an education record will be charged, unless the fee effectively prevents a parent or eligible student from exercising the right to inspect and review the student’s education records.
- The right to request amendment of the student’s education records that the parent or eligible student believes is inaccurate or misleading.
Parents or eligible students may ask the District to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the school principal, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading.
If the District decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent or eligible student, the district will notify the parent or eligible student of the decision and advise them of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the parent or eligible student when notified of the right to a hearing.
- The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable
information contained in the student’s education records, except to
the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the District as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel); a person serving on the School Board; a person or company with whom the district has contracted to perform a special task (such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist).
A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
Upon request to officials of another school district in which a student seeks or intends to enroll, the district discloses educational records without consent.
The District discloses directory information regarding its students. Directory information means information contained in an education record of a student which would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. It includes, but is not limited to the student’s 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, degrees and awards received, and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended.
The parent or eligible student has the right to refuse to let the District designate any or all types of information about the student as directory information. The parent or eligible student must notify the principal (or designee) in writing within 14 days of receipt of this notice that he or she does not want any or all of those types of information about the student designated as directory information.
The District may disclose directory information about former students without meeting these conditions.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the district to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:
Family Policy Compliance Office (202) 260-3887
U.S. Department of Education TTD: (202) 260-8956
400 Maryland Ave. SW
Washington, D. C. 20202-4605
NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND REGULATIONS
A regulation in No Child Left Behind is that parents have the right to request the information listed below about their child’s teacher(s) and teacher assistant.
- Whether the teacher has met State qualifications and licensing criteria for the grade levels and subject areas in which the teacher provides instruction.
- Whether the teacher is teaching under emergency or other provisional status through which State qualification or licensing criteria have been waived.
- The baccalaureate degree major of the teacher and any other graduate certification or degree held by the teacher, and the field of discipline of the certification or degree.
- Whether the child is provided services by teacher assistants, and, if so, their qualifications.
In addition, parents may request (1) information on the level of achievement of the parent’s child on each state academic assessment, (2) timely notice that the parent’s child has been assigned or has been taught for four or more consecutive weeks by a teacher who is not highly qualified.
If you would like more information, please contact the principal of your child’s school.
Important Policy Updates for OHS 2017-18
Computer Assisted Instruction Policy
The Okolona Municipal Separate School District shall provide students with computer assisted instruction to reinforce standards taught daily per grade level. Teachers will provide students with daily opportunities to practice skills learned in whole groups, small groups, and independently using computers as an efficient and effective manner to chart and monitor students’ academic progress. Reports generated from computer assisted instructional programs will be used to evaluate teacher effectiveness and to provide the evidence needed to support student proficiency on all State subject area exams.
Okolona Separate School District
The Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act of 1987 required all public and private schools to conduct inspections for friable and non-friable asbestos building materials. In addition, this law required each school to develop asbestos management plans that address asbestos hazards in school buildings, implement response actions in a timely fashion and report results of the assessment studies to school employees and parent/teacher organizations.
According the section 763.85(b), “at least once every three years after a management plan is in effect, each Local Education Agency shall conduct a re-inspection of all friable and non-friable known or assumed ACBM in each building that they lease, own, or otherwise use as a school building.” Okolona Municipal Schools were inspected in 1989 and re-inspected in 1992, 1995, 1998, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2010, and 2013. We are pleased to announce that no school building contain friable asbestos. Friable asbestos is material that is easily crumbled under hand pressure and may release harmful fibers into the environment. Friable asbestos may cause severe health problems, depending on level and duration of exposure.
The Elementary school, High School, Vo-Tech and Central Office do contain non-friable asbestos in the form of floor tile and/or floor tile mastic.
None of this material poses a health hazard as long as it remains undamaged. Through a program of training and surveillance, we are certain that these materials pose no health threat. Much of this material has been encapsulated by carpet.
A copy of the inspection and management plan is available for your examination in the administrative office of your school.
For further information, interested persons should contact:
Mr. Dexter Green, Superintendent and LEA designee (662) 447-2353
GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES for ADA 104.7(a)(b)
The purpose of this grievance procedure is to provide appropriate due process standards and that provide for the prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging any action prohibited by the part of the Okolona Municipal Separate School District in regards to the Americans with Disabilities Act.
(a) Mobility-impaired and individuals with disabilities needing special assistance with gaining access to schools and district offices located within the Okolona Municipal Separate School District may contact Mrs. Beverly Smith, Executive Administrative Assistant at (662) 447-2353 for further assistance.
(b) District Office has a special entrance for mobility-impaired and individuals with disabilities located at 411 W. Main Street on the south side of the three-story building located next to the cafeteria at Okolona Elementary. The entrance is marked with a blue handicap accessible sign near handicap parking space.
(c) Individuals with disabilities may contact the Executive Administrative Assistant at (662) 447-2353 to arrange for a conference in the Parent Center room #12 on the bottom floor in the three-story building at Okolona Elementary to meet with the Superintendent of Education, Business Manager, Federal Programs Director, Special Education Director, and/or any other supervisor/coordinator.
(d) Parents, students, and employees may gain access to grievance procedures by visiting the Okolona School Districts website (www.okolona.k12.ms.us). The grievance procedures can also be found in the online Employee Handbook as well as the Student Handbook.
PROCEDURE FOR PROCESSING GRIEVANCES
Grievances shall be processed in accordance with the following procedure:
- All grievances, as defined above, must be presented orally to the Superintendent of Education at 411 W. Main Street, Room 24, Okolona, MS 38860; The grievant may call the superintendent at (662) 447-2353 or email at email@example.com within five (5) days of the act or omission complained of and the superintendent and grievant will attempt to resolve the matter informally.
- If the grievant is not satisfied with the action taken or the explanation given by the superintendent, the grievant shall, within five (5) days after meeting with the superintendent, file a written statement with the superintendent setting forth in detail how the grievant claims to have been discriminated against. This written statement shall contain a list of witnesses and documentary evidence to support the claim in addition to the above, the time, place, and nature of the alleged act or omission and the state or federal law or board policy violated. The statement must be signed by the grievant.
- After the receipt of grievance, the Superintendent of Education within (5) calendar days will investigate the matter and will provide a written investigative report to the grievant, the list of witnesses to the complaint, and to the School Board setting forth his response to the grievant and/or his decisions, as is applicable. At the same time, the superintendent shall also provide a copy of his written statement to the grievant that will be used as documentary evidence with a list of witnesses at a hearing scheduled within thirty (30) days of receipt of written grievance.
- If the Superintendent is accused of harassment, then the grievant may present matters to the School Board President.
- In the event the grievant does not submit to the superintendent a written statement with a list of witnesses and documentary evidence within 5 days of a scheduled hearing as required, his/her failure to do so shall be deemed as an acceptance of the informal decision rendered by the superintendent. If the Superintendent of Education does not receive a written statement and list of witnesses, the school District shall continue the investigation to ensure that the District remains complaint to ADA matters.
- After the completion of the Hearing, the Superintendent of Education will be given up to sixty (60) days or with all deliberate speed to adequately resolve the issue with the grievant, if the Okolona School District is found to be in violation of ADA accessibility rights. However, the timeframe for completion may be adjusted to satisfy the grievant.
- The grievant may appeal the decision of the District to the Chancery Court after the District has rendered its decision.
- The Okolona Municipal Separate School District shall not discriminate, prohibit, or retaliate against person/parties that may bring forth ADA allegations.
ACCEPTABLE USE POLICY (AUP)
MEDIA CONSENT FORM
OKOLONA MUNICIPAL SEPARATE SCHOOL DISTRICT ACCEPTABLE USE POLICY FOR INTERNET / E-MAIL / CHAT ROOMS
Okolona Municipal Separate School District is committed to making advanced technology and increased access to learning opportunities available to students, faculty, and other district employees. The district’s goal in providing this access is to promote educational excellence in schools by facilitating resource sharing, innovations, and communications. To be in compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) as mandated by Congress, OKOLONA MUNICIPAL SEPARATE SCHOOL DISTRICT has implemented the following guidelines and procedures for using the Internet. This protection includes a technology protection measure that is specific technology that blocks or filters Internet Access. This technology is provided through AT&T as well as the district’s proxy web site filtering software and hardware located at each school as well as the central office. This Acceptable Use Policy and Media Consent Form is a legally binding document.
Procedures for Technology Use:
- All users are responsible for good behavior on school computer networks and individual computers just as they would be if in a classroom. General school rules for behavior and communication apply. Network administrators, teachers, and other appropriate district personnel may review student/user files and communication to prevent misuse and to ensure students/users are using the system responsibly and in compliance with laws and district policies.
- Any use of personal laptops by faculty, staff or students that is to be used within Okolona Municipal Separate School District must be checked by the technology department in order to be on school premises.
- Students must have permission from and be under the supervision of school district professional staff before utilizing district-provided Internet access. Permission is not transferable from one student to another and may not be shared. Students may not utilize the internet unless a signed parental/guardian consent is on file at the school. To remain eligible as users, students’ use of the internet must be consistent with the educational objectives of the district. Access is a privilege, not a right, and inappropriate use will result in, among other disciplinary measures, the cancellation of these privileges. Students will display school-appropriate conduct when using the computer equipment or network.
- The following uses of school-provided Internet access are not permitted by any user of computers installed for use in OKOLONA MUNICIPAL SEPARATE SCHOOL DISTRICT, including parents and community members:
- a) Use of any type of wireless data cards;
- b) Accessing, uploading, downloading, or distributing any material that is pornographic, obscene or sexually explicit;
- c) Transmitting obscene, abusive, sexually explicit, or threatening language;
- d) Violating any local, state, or federal laws;
- e) Accessing another individual’s materials, information or files without permission;
- f) Giving out personal information on-line (including names, addresses, phone numbers about himself/herself, minors or others);
- g) Invading the privacy of individuals;
- h) Using someone else’s password;
- i) Violating copyright or otherwise using the intellectual property of another individual without permission;
- j) Vandalizing, defined as any unauthorized access and/or malicious attempt to damage computer hardware/software or networks or destroying the data of another use, including creating, uploading or intentionally introducing viruses;
- k) Intentionally wasting limited resources;
- l) Using the Internet for commercial purposes;
- m) Harassing, insulting, or attacking others;
- n) Gaining unauthorized access to resources;
- o) Altering the set-up of computers as set by the school district;
- p) Using or installing software which has not been assigned or approved by both the building principal and the district technology coordinator;
- q) Failing to follow district policy while using computer or failing to follow any other policies or guidelines established by district administration, teachers, or other appropriate district staff.
- r) Using district resources to solicit, create, forward or reply to any email that could be classified as a chain letter.
- s) The district does not archive email at the server level. The users delete messages in their mailbox at their discretion.
- t) Downloading and/or listening to radio streaming, video streaming, using any online telephone resource, or sharing music and/or video is prohibited due to bandwidth restrictions.
- Any student, district employee, staff member, or user identified as a security risk or violates this AUP may result in:
- Restricting network access;
- Loss of network access; and/or
- Disciplinary or legal action including, but not limited to, suspension or expulsion and/or criminal prosecution under appropriate local, state and federal laws; and
- Assessment of the cost of damages to hardware/software.
- The Okolona Municipal Separate School District will educate minors about appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking sites and in chat rooms.
- The Okolona Municipal Separate School District will educate students and staff on cyberbullying awareness and response.
- The district makes no warranties of any kind, whether expressed or implied, for the access it is provided. The district will not be responsible for any damages suffered. These damages include loss of data resulting from delays or service interruptions. Use of any information obtained via the Internet is at the user’s risk. The district denies any responsibility for the accuracy or quality of information obtained through its system.
Any statement of personal belief found on the Internet or other telecommunications systems is implicitly understood to be representative of that author’s individual point of view, and not that of the Okolona Municipal Separate School District, its administrators, teachers, or staff.
FOR PUBLISHING STUDENT PHOTOGRAPHS
The Okolona School District may publish electronic or hard copy photographs and names of students in district publications. Parent’s or Guardian’s signatures on the Okolona School District School Policy Agreement Form will give the school district permission to publish student photographs and names. If a parent or guardian wishes not to have their child’s photograph published, a written statement requesting that the child’s photograph not be published must be submitted to the local building principal.
OES Student Absence Form
To: Okolona Elementary School__
Student Name: _______________________________________________________
Parent Name: ________________________________________________________
(Attendance Clerk/Teacher Name)
Please excuse ___________________________________for being absent on
___________________________________________, because he/she was
Parent Signature ______________________________________________________
Received by: __________________________ Date Received: _____________________
OHS Student Absence Form
To: Okolona High School __
Student Name: _______________________________________________________
Parent Name: ________________________________________________________
(Attendance Clerk/Teacher Name)
Please excuse ___________________________________for being absent on
___________________________________________, because he/she was
Parent Signature ______________________________________________________
Received by: __________________________ Date Received: _____________________
Parental Consent Form – Administration of Medicine
**Any medication that can possibly be taken before or after school should be administered at home.**
Section 1: Parental Consent (to be completed and signed by parent/ guardian)
Student Name____________________________________________ Grade ____________
First Last MI
Parent Name ____________________________________ Phone: ___________________
Date first dose of medicine was given (all new prescriptions must first be administered by the parent to assure the student will not have a negative reaction.) _____________________________________
I give my consent for Okolona Elementary Staff to administer the following prescription medication that I have provided for my child, according to the directions given below. I agree to release and hold
harmless, OES and any of their staff members or agents from lawsuit, claim, expense, demand, or action, etc. against them for assisting this student with this medication, provided OES complies with the directions below. I have read the procedures outlined on the back of this form and assume responsibilities as required.
Signed ____________________________________________ Date__________________
Signature of parent or legal guardian
Section 2: Medication Authorization
(To be filled out and signed by licensed prescriber. A signed note from the doctor’s office may be allowed as a substitute for this section, as long as it includes the information below.) Note for the office: If using a doctor’s note, please transfer necessary information to this section for ease of use and attach the original note to back of this form.
Student Name__________________________________________ DOB ________________
Name of medication __________________________________________________________
Reason for medication (diagnosis) __________________________________________
Dosage to be taken _________________________ Time medicine
should be given ___________ Duration of treatment ________________________
Physician Name: _________________________________________
Physician Phone #: _______________________________________
STUDENT/PARENT HANDBOOK AGREEMENT
I have read the Okolona Elementary School Student/Parent Handbook and agree to abide by the regulations set forth in it during attendance at Okolona Elementary School
CONTRACT ACKNOWLEDGEMENT FORM
I, the undersigned, have read and acknowledged each of the following contractual policies included in the 2015-2016 Okolona Elementary Student/Parent Handbook. I understand that continued enrollment at OES is based on compliance with the provisions of the policy and that violation of the policy may result in other actions.
Alcohol & Drug Policy
Attendance and Tardy Policy
Discipline/ Bus/ Transportation
Student/Parent Handbook Agreement
Parent/Guardian Signature (K – 12) Date
All Okolona School District parents, and their student(s) in grades K-12, must sign and return this acknowledgement form by August 26, 2016.
__________________________________________________ Grade _____________________
_________ Please mark (X) here if you choose to give parental permission for Okolona Schools to publish your child’s name/picture on our school website and in school articles that are submitted to our community newspapers.
DISTRICT CALENDAR 2017-2018
|First Semester 2016|
|August 3||Teacher’s First Day/Professional Development (No Students)|
|August 4||Professional Development (No Students)|
|August 5||Professional Development (No Students)|
|August 8||Student’s First Day|
|September 5||Labor Day Holiday|
|September 7||1st Term Progress reports|
|October 4-7||1st Nine Weeks Exams|
|October 10||Professional Development (No Students) Columbus Day|
|October 11||Second Term Begins|
|October 18||Parent/Teacher Conference Day (2nd Term Report Cards Issued from 1:00-3:30pm) (65% Day for Students)|
|November 15||Second Term Progress Reports|
|November 21-25||District Holidays (Thanksgiving Break)|
|December 13-16||2nd Nine Weeks Exams|
|December 16||End First Semester|
|Dec. 19-Jan. 2||District Holidays (Christmas Break)|
|Second Semester 2017|
|January 2||Professional Development Day (No students)|
|January 3||Students Return|
|January 10||2nd Nine Weeks Report Cards Issued (First Semester Report Cards)|
|January 16||District Holiday (Martin Luther King Holiday)|
|February 15||3rd Term Progress Report|
|February 20||Professional Development Day (No students) *Inclement Weather Make-up Day|
|March 7-10||3rd Nine Weeks Exams|
|March 13-17||Spring Break|
|March 20||4th Nine Weeks Term Begins|
|March 23||Parent/Teacher Conference Day (3rd Term Report Cards Issued from 1:00-3:30pm) (65% Day for Students)|
|April 11||4th Nine Weeks Progress|
|April 14||District Holiday (Good Friday Holiday)|
|April 17||District Holiday (Good Monday Holiday) *Inclement Weather Make-up Day|
|May 16-19||4th Nine Weeks Exams|
|May 19||Seniors Last Day and GRADUATION|
|May 23||Last Day for Students|
|May 24||Last day for Teachers/ 4th Term Report Cards Issued|
|May 25-26||Inclement Weather Make-up Days|
|May 29||Memorial Day (District Holiday)|
|May 30||Last Day for Vocational Teacher|
|1st Semester – 88 Days for Students & 92 Days for Teachers|
|2nd Semester- 92 Days for Students & 95 Days for Teacher|
|Student Days- 180/ Teacher Days- 187/ Vocational Teacher Days- 190|