School Handbook

Welcome to Freedom Middle School!

The Faculty and Staff of Freedom Middle School are committed to the following guidelines to ensure a safe and healthy  learning environment for all students. A printer friendly version of the Freedom Middle handbook is available for download if you will click the following link:  FMS Handbook (PDF)

Guiding Principles at FMS
GUIDING PRINCIPLES AT FREEDOM MIDDLE SCHOOL

Shared Beliefs

To achieve our mission and reach our vision, we believe that students, parents, school personnel, and community members must contribute to and support:

  • Maintaining a safe learning environment.
  • Research-based teaching practices and learning opportunities.
  • The use of differentiated instruction.
  • Real life application of lessons.
  • Collaboration of students, faculty, staff, parents, and community members in decision making and school activities.
  • A diverse program of core academics, fine arts, technology, wellness, and relationship building.
  • The transformation of teaching into learning for all.

Shared Mission: “Personal Best + Collaborative Effort = Excellence for ALL”

 Shared Vision

Academic excellence will be achieved collaboratively at Freedom Middle School through the use of data driven instructional practices, setting high expectations, embracing diversity, and ensuring safety for all.

Student Expectations

Everyone in the Freedom Middle School community will work together to ensure that all students, in a safe and orderly environment, will have the opportunity to:

  • Demonstrate academic, aesthetic, physical, and socialization skills needed to become lifelong learners.
  • Demonstrate the skills needed to produce high quality work.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking and problem solving skills.
  • Demonstrate awareness of their roles as informed, responsible citizens in our diverse world.
  • Demonstrate skill in using technology for resource gathering and problem solving.

 Student Creed

As a student at Freedom Middle School, I will live my life striving to do my best in all that I do.  I will love and respect others and myself.  I will learn all that I can for as long as I can.

Student Honor Code

Believing that personal and academic integrity is the ideal, Freedom Middle School encourages an atmosphere of trust and confidence where students respect the rights and property of others.  The school will not condone lying, cheating, stealing, deceiving, or plagiarizing*.

Students show their commitment to the Honor Code by agreeing to the highest standards of personal and academic integrity, by signing a written honor pledge, and by encouraging and supporting an atmosphere in which violations are reported.

*Plagiarism: the taking of another person’s work or writing and presenting it as one’s own without proper acknowledgement.

School Hours & Visitor Information

School hours for the 2018-2019 school year are 7:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.  Doors will be opened to students at 7:00 a.m. and will be secured at 2:45 p.m.  For the safety of our students, all visitors (including parents) must sign in and show government issued identification at the front office upon arrival.  Parents should not visit any classroom before receiving specific clearance for that classroom from the office.  Students arriving prior to 7:15 a.m. will go directly to the gym upon arrival to school and sit in designated areas.  All students are expected to be in their 1st period at 7:30 a.m. unless under the direct supervision of a teacher or other staff; students may only be in the building between 7:00 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. unless supervised.

Buses load and unload in the front of the building.  Bus students will enter the building through the main entrance.  Cars will load and unload in the rear of the building.  All car riders will enter through the concession area (beside the gym) until 7:20 a.m., at which time, they will enter through the main entrance.

Car riders will exit through the designated back doors.  After 2:45 p.m., students must be picked up at the main entrance.

Walkers and bicycle riders will enter and depart from the building through the same entrance as bus riders.  All bicycles should be secured to the bicycle rack located in the front of the building near the bus entrance/exit.  The dismissal procedure starts at 2:30 p.m.  Walkers and bicycle riders will report to the front lobby and will be dismissed after buses leave.

All students should be picked up by 2:45 p.m. unless supervised activities necessitate a change in pick up times.  If a parent is unable to pick his/her child up by 2:45 p.m. and the child is not under the direct supervision of a teacher, we recommend the FSSD MAC program.  Inquire at the front office if you need this service.  Supervision is not available after 2:45 p.m.  In the interest of your child’s safety, please do not leave your child unsupervised.  Unless prior arrangements are made with a school official, students must leave campus by 2:45 p.m.  Students repeatedly remaining on campus (inside or outside) after 2:45 p.m. may face appropriate consequences.

After School Activities

All students must leave campus within 30 minutes after the end of a school-sponsored event (games, dance, etc.). Violators may be prohibited from attending future events.

Remember…

  •  Be where you are supposed to be—-When you are supposed to be there

 General Rules

In keeping with the guidelines set forth in the Code of Student Conduct established by the Franklin Special School District Board of Education, the following rules have been devised for students attending Freedom Middle School:

  1.  Students shall not deliberately deface or destroy the school facility or any school property. If either of these actions occurs, the student shall pay for the cost of damages. In addition, disciplinary action may be imposed.
  2. Students shall go directly to and from school and not play or quarrel in route. Any misbehavior that occurs while in route to or from school that threatens the reputation of the school will be dealt with by the school.  It should be noted that parents have the right to file civil petitions against students who infringe on the rights of their children in route to and from school (for example: fighting, abuse, etc.).
  3. Students shall not cross through private property when walking to or from school.
  4. After arrival, students may not leave the school campus without going through early dismissal procedures.  This includes turning in their Chromebook to the front office prior to leaving.
  1. Students shall not use profane, indecent, insulting, or threatening language on school grounds or while engaged in school-related activities.
  2. Students shall not possess or use fireworks on the school premises.  Students shall not have knives, box cutters, laser pointers, razor blades, water guns, guns or other unlawful weapons (or items that could be mistaken for weapons such as toy guns, knives, etc.) in their possession while at school, in route to and from school, or at school functions outside of the regular school day.
  3. Students shall not bring to school or possess gambling devices.
  1. Students shall not chew gum or consume food and/or drinks in the building except in the cafeteria or under the supervision of a teacher.  With the permission of the classroom teacher, students may consume water from a transparent bottle.
  2. Students shall not use or have in their possession tobacco including e-cigarettes, vapor cigarettes, lighters or matches.
  3. Students shall display proper conduct at all school-related events and field trips during and after school.  Students who do not exhibit proper conduct will be suspended from future events.
  1. Students are expected to behave in a courteous way at all assembly programs. Students are expected to sit in assigned seats and to remain seated. Those who cause disruption will receive an appropriate consequence.
  1. Students are not permitted in the halls before school or during classes without a hall pass.
  1. Students are expected to walk on the right side as they move through the halls without excessively loud talking, running or other disruptive behavior.
  2. Students are not permitted to enter the faculty lounge or teachers’ planning rooms.
  3. Students may not publicize or hang posters promoting non-school related organizations without the principal’s approval.
  1. Students cannot sell items at school. Any unauthorized selling will result in disciplinary action.
  1. Students must keep their coats in lockers. Likewise, students with any bags or equipment that will not fit into their lockers must be taken to the area designated by their teacher or coach for safe storage during the school day.
  2. Students may not carry backpacks, cinch sacks, book bags, ball bags or purses larger than an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper during school hours.  These items must be kept in a student’s locker during the school day.
  3. All students must sign an Internet agreement and abide by the rules as stated.
  4. Students may only use computers when a teacher is present to supervise.
  5. Student must keep their hands, feet, and objects to themselves.
  6. Students may only use electronic devices and accessories (including earbuds) as allowed by the teacher in the classroom for academic purposes.

 

All students shall obey the rules of the school and the directions of all teachers and staff while on school property or at school-related activities.  All school rules apply on field trips including dress code.

If students fail to conform, they will be subject to consequences.  Students must submit to consequences prescribed for inappropriate conduct.  If a student or parent refuses to accept consequences, the offending student is subject to suspension or a juvenile petition.

 

Bus Regulations

Riding the bus is an extension of school activity.  Therefore, bus students must conduct themselves in a manner that is consistent with the established safety standards of the FSSD.  The rules and regulations established for the bus will be distributed prior to the beginning of each school year.  RIDING THE BUS IS A PRIVILEGE.

Discipline

 

DISCIPLINE

 

At FMS we strive to support each student in order to create a safe and effective learning environment while increasing instructional time by reducing discipline issues.  We work to understand behaviors and then assist in modifying those behaviors proactively prior to implementing disciplinary intervention.  This method helps students not only meet expectations but also holds them fully accountable for their actions. We appreciate your support as we encourage all students to be STARs—Safe, Trustworthy, Accountable, and Respectful!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Violation of School Rules

      Students who violate school-wide and/or classroom rules will receive disciplinary action, which is appropriate

      for the particular offense.  Staff will communicate with parents to help prevent further misconduct by students.

      Some of the consequences that could result if a student fails to adhere to established rules are:

 

 

  • Verbal Reprimand                                     
  • Student Conference
  • Alternative Classroom (AC)
  • Special Duties / Activities
  • After School Opportunity Room
  • Lunch Detention
  • After School Detention
  • Extended Alternative Classroom (EAC)
  • Loss of Privilege to Participate in School Related Activities
  • Placement at the ALC
  • Parent Contact
  • Suspension/Expulsion
  • Teacher Detention
  • Juvenile Petition

 

 

Definition of Disciplinary Terms

Office Referral: An office referral will be completed through Jupiter by faculty/staff when a student’s behavior is not in compliance with school rules.  The administrator handling the matter records his/her action through Jupiter. 

 

Lunch Detention: A detention that requires a student to be isolated from his/her peers during the lunch period.

 

After School Detention (ASD): A 60 minute detention (2:35-3:35) assigned by a teacher or an administrator held in a designated room after school.  After School Detention may not be postponed or rescheduled by a student.  A parent must contact the school to reschedule a detention.  Failure to attend an assigned ASD will result in a referral to the After School Opportunity Room.  Parents are responsible for transportation.

 

After School Opportunity Room:  A 3-hour session providing a structured learning environment.  After School Opportunity Room begins at 2:30 p.m. and concludes at 5:30 p.m. The session will be held in a designated classroom.  Parents are responsible for transportation. All students are to be picked up promptly in front of the school building at 5:30 p.m.  After School Opportunity Room may not be postponed or rescheduled by a student.  Failure to attend will result in placement in AC.

 

Alternative Classroom (AC):  An alternative classroom within the school building in which students are removed from the regular school population for a designated period of time.  The students are closely supervised in a structured environment.  They are required to complete all core academic work assigned by their academic teachers.  Additionally, the students in AC are required to complete work that coincides with their misbehavior with the aim of helping them make better choices in the future.

 

     **While students are in AC, they cannot attend or participate in any school activities until after 2:30

         p.m. on the last day of assignment to AC, including those activities held on weekends.

 

Extended Alternative Classroom (EAC):  A classroom designed to provide a disciplinary alternative to out-of-school suspension and to placement at the Alternative Learning Center (ALC).  This program does not completely eliminate the use of these disciplinary tools, but it does offer another opportunity for behavior modification within a school setting before such measures are taken.  The EAC program enables a student to receive all of his/her educational services, but it separates him/her from the general student population.  The program is designed to be therapeutic in nature, in that various strategies will be employed in an attempt to determine the underlying causes of the misbehavior.  Based on the information acquired, suitable interventions will be explored.

 

     **While students are in EAC, they cannot attend or participate in any school activities until after 2:30

         p.m. on the last day of assignment to EAC, including those activities held on weekends.

 

Out-of-School Suspension:  A suspension from all school classes and activities for a designated period of time as determined by administration.

 

Alternative Learning Center (ALC):  A restricted classroom serving students throughout the county who have demonstrated chronic discipline problems. Assignment may be made through Juvenile Court.

 

     **Students who are in ALC, or suspended from school, may not be on FMS premises at any time and

         may not attend or participate in after-school or weekend activities.

 

Behavior Documentation

  • Teachers will maintain documentation of student behavior offenses through Jupiter. The word “offenses”

   means any significant behavior that is in violation of classroom rules, school rules or school district rules.

  • Teachers will inform students of each offense and possible consequences should another offense occurs.
  • Severe offenses are those behaviors that result in automatic office referrals.
  • When referring a student to administration, the teacher will complete an office referral through Jupiter.
  • The administrator handling the matter will document action taken.
  • Teachers will call parents, refer students to counselors, or schedule conferences with parents when necessary.

 

Severe Behavior

ALL VIOLATIONS OF LAW WILL BE REPORTED TO THE APPROPRIATE AUTHORITIES.

 

Disciplinary Consequences

1-3 Days AC:

  • Selling of any items during school or at school functions.  
  • Instigation/Slander: Students who incite disruption, confusion, and conflict (rumors, gossip, he said/she said)

 

1-5 Days AC:

  • Profanity
  • Forgery or giving false information
  • Continued/Serious disruption in the classroom or on school grounds
  • Disrespect to others
  • Inappropriate physical contact, verbal or body language, written language or any other inappropriate item(s)
  • Cheating or attempted cheating (includes plagiarism, copying another test, homework, or class work); using

    cell phones to take pictures of tests and/or answer keys is a form of cheating

  • Improper or unsupervised use of any electronic devices
  • Skipping class
  • Acts of vandalism or property destruction and/or vandalism to another student’s or school’s property
  • Theft
  • Possession of “over the counter” medications including vitamins, cough drops, or medication prescribed for

    a student that has not been registered with the nurse

 

3-5 Days AC

  • Aggressive behavior
  • Possession of a pocket knife
  • Bullying, extortion, intimidation, harassment, or threats
  • Improper use of a product as an inhalant (paint, markers, glue, white out, etc.)

 

3-10 Days AC/EAC

  • Using any object with the POTENTIAL OR INTENT to harm.
  • Possession of an object that could be mistaken for a weapon (toy gun, knife, etc.)

 

5 Days of AC

  • Possession of lighters, matches, or other such devices
  • Gross defiance or insubordination
  • Skipping school
  • Possession/Usage of tobacco products including e-cigarettes and vapor cigarettes

 

Minimum 5 Days AC

  • Racial slurs
  • Gang Activity or Association: Gangs that initiate, advocate, or promote activities that threaten the safety or well-being of any person(s) or property on school grounds or that disrupt the school environment are harmful to the educational process.  The use of hand signals, graffiti, or the presence of any apparel, jewelry, accessory, or manner of grooming that, by virtue of its color, arrangement, trademark, symbol, or any other attribute that indicates or implies membership or affiliation with such a group, presents a clear and present danger.  This is contrary to the school environment and educational objectives and creates an atmosphere where unlawful acts or violations of school regulations may occur. (FSSD Board Policy 6.3101)

 

Minimum 10 Days EAC

  • Verbal abuse of faculty/staff
  • Fights
  • Sexual harassment

 

Out of School Suspension could result from:

  • Inappropriate physical contact, verbal or body language, written language or any other inappropriate item(s)
  • Fights
  • Possession and/or selling drugs or alcohol
  • Continued disregard of school rules (unruly)

 

ALC could result from:

  • Fights
  • Bullying, extortion, intimidation, harassment, or threats
  • Acts of vandalism or property destruction and/or vandalism to another student’s property
  • Possession and/or selling drugs or alcohol
  • Assault
  • Continued disregard of school rules (unruly)

 

Filing a petition with juvenile court could result from:

  • Fights
  • Theft
  • Bullying, extortion, intimidation, harassment, or threats
  • Gross defiance or insubordination
  • Verbal abuse of faculty/staff
  • Acts of vandalism or property destruction and/or vandalism to another student’s property
  • Improper or unsupervised use of any technology or electronic device
  • Possession and/or selling drugs or alcohol
  • Assault
  • Continued disregard of school rules (unruly)
  • Gang Activity or Association: Gangs that initiate, advocate, or promote activities that threaten the safety or well-being of any person(s) or property on school grounds or that disrupt the school environment are harmful to the educational process.  The use of hand signals, graffiti, or the presence of any apparel, jewelry, accessory, or manner of grooming that, by virtue of its color, arrangement, trademark, symbol, or any other attribute that indicates or implies membership or affiliation with such a group, presents a clear and present danger.  This is contrary to the school environment and educational objectives and creates an atmosphere where unlawful acts or violations of school regulations may occur. (FSSD Board Policy 6.3101)

 

We encourage any student who is aware of a potentially violent or destructive situation at FMS to report it to the nearest available adult.  IT IS YOUR DUTY TO ASSIST IN CREATING AND MAINTAINING A SAFE ATMOSPHERE AT FMS.  The Freedom Middle School administration reserves the right to adjust consequences when deemed necessary or appropriate.

 

Tennessee State Law

A minor shall not, directly or indirectly, purchase or acquire smoking paraphernalia.  Any minor purchasing or acquiring smoking paraphernalia is subject to juvenile proceedings (Section 39-15-409, Tennessee Code Annotated).

 

Zero-Tolerance Behavior:  In order to ensure a safe and secure learning environment, any student who engages in the following behaviors will be subject to suspension for a period of not less than 1 calendar year. The Director of Schools shall have the authority to modify this suspension requirement on a case-by-case basis.

Zero-Tolerance acts include:

  1. Students who bring or unlawfully possess a drug (including marijuana and alcohol) or a dangerous

         weapon onto a school bus, onto school property or to any school event or activity.

Any student in possession of a substance, which resembles or is believed to be a drug or dangerous weapon, will be subject to the Zero-Tolerance policy.  The school administration shall have the authority to modify the suspension on a case-by-case basis.

  1. Any student who, while on a school bus, on school property or while attending any school event or

         activity:

         (a) Unlawfully possesses a drug (including marijuana or alcohol, but not limited to) or dangerous weapon;

         (b) Commits battery on a teacher or other employee of the school.

 

Student Disciplinary Hearing Authority:  The Franklin Special School District, in accordance with the state law, has established a Disciplinary Hearing Authority (DHA) to conduct hearings for students who have been suspended for more than 10 school days.  Copies of the policy including the appeals process and appropriate forms are available in the principal’s office.

Dress Code

DRESS CODE

The FSSD/FMS dress code has been created with the idea of promoting a positive learning atmosphere and a wholesome attitude for each and every student.  Safety, neatness, cleanliness, good taste, and common decency will be the guiding standard of appropriateness for all student dress.

The FSSD/FMS dress code will be in effect during the school year and summer school.

 

  1. FSSD, FMS, or shirts from the student’s WCS zoned high school that have been issued by or purchased

     through FSSD or WCS are allowed Monday through Friday.  Collared shirts must be worn by students who

     choose not to wear FSSD/FMS/CHS/FHS apparel.   Students who purchase a wristband may wear other school

     appropriate attire with or without a collar on Fridays.

 

  1.   No cleavage, undergarments, midriffs, etc. may be exposed, and spaghetti straps are not allowed.  Non-

        FSSD/FMS/CHS/FHS t-shirts worn under button down shirts should not be visible below the collar. 

  1. Shorts, skorts, skirts or dresses must be no more than three inches above the top of the knee. 
  1. Leggings and jeggings may only be worn under garments no shorter than 3 inches above the knee. 
  1. No athletic, sport, recreational, or lounge shorts or pants are allowed.  Joggers may be worn but must not resemble sweatpants or pajama pants. 
  1. No bagging or sagging—pull up your pants!
  1. Skin should not be visible through holes or frays above the knee on any article of clothing. 
  1.  Logos or images of substances that are illegal for teens or are otherwise offensive and disruptive to the school environment may not be worn.
  1.  Pants or shorts with words or letters printed across the rear may not be worn to school.
  1. The following items may not be worn:
  • Hats
  • Hoods
  • Bandanas
  • Caps
  • Sweatbands
  • Sunglasses
  • Night scarves/head wraps
  • Skate shoes or house shoes
  1. No distracting or potentially dangerous body piercings, tattoos, or dental decorations are permitted.
  1. Heavy coats may be worn when entering or exiting the building.  They may not be worn in the classroom during the day.

 

The dress code is subject to amendment at any time at the discretion of teachers and administration.  If a student fails to comply with the dress code and cannot correct the violation in the classroom, he/she will be sent to the office where his/her inappropriate clothing will be exchanged for appropriate clothes.  He/She will receive his/her clothes at the end of the day.  If the FMS clothing is not returned, the student must pay for the item(s).  Non-compliance will also result in a consequence.

BYOT

BRING YOUR OWN TECHNOLOGY (BYOT)

All FMS students are expected to comply with the district BYOT policy.  With Chromebooks being provided through our 1:1 initiative, cell phones are not allowed during the school day without permission from individual classroom teachers.

 

Attendance

ATTENDANCE

 

The sole authority for the enforcement of the compulsory attendance laws are placed on the local Board of Education & its designated employees (TCA 49-6-3006).

Excused Absences

FSSD Board policy 6.200 on attendance lists excused absences as ​follows:

  • Personal illness or illness of immediate family member
  • Personal Injury
  • Homebound
  • Hospitalization
  • Pregnancy
  • Death in the family
  • Extreme weather conditions
  • Religious observances
  • Military service of parent or guardian
  • School sponsored or school endorsed activities
  • Summons, subpoena, or court order
  • Extenuating circumstances which, in the judgment of the principal, create emergencies over which the student has no control, determined on a case-by-case basis

Absences not due to reasons above will be considered unexcused and the student will be responsible for making up missed work upon his/her return. When a student is absent, please call the school by 8:00 A.M.​ and state the reason for the absence. This communication helps as the attendance secretary is verifying absences and assists with accountability of all students. The attendance secretary will call a student’s parent/guardian regarding all absences not verified. When your child returns to school, please e-mail ​byrdtam@fssd.org or hand deliver official documentation to the attendance secretary explaining the absence(s) within 7 days from the day the child returns to school. Otherwise, the absence will be marked as unexcused. If you send documentation to school through your child, we encourage you to follow up by phone or email with the attendance secretary to ensure that it has been received and properly documented

 

Attendance:  Tennessee Code Annotated – TCA

TCA 49-6-3007 authorizes judges to assess a $50.00 fine against parents when a child has more than 5 unexcused absences during a 6-week period.

TCA 49-6-3007 requires the principal to notify parents when a child is absent 5 cumulative days.

TCA-49-6-3001 School Attendance Law which requires all children ages 6-17 inclusive to attend school each day.

TCA-49-6-3007 communicates the steps involved in the required Tiered Truancy Intervention Plan.

 

Truancy Plan

Truancy only refers to UNEXCUSED absences. All schools now must follow a new state law that requires school personnel to follow a truancy intervention plan for students who are accruing unexcused absences. Tier 1 intervention will be implemented when a child has accrued 5 unexcused absences. Tier 1 will require tasks to be completed by parent/guardian and student. Should Tier 1 requirements not be met and the student acquires 3 more unexcused absences, totaling 8 unexcused absences, Tier 2 will be implemented for the parent/guardian and the student. If unexcused absences continue to accumulate, Tier 3 will be implemented for the parent/guardian and the student. Tier 3 interventions may result in a referral to the Williamson County Juvenile Court for truancy and a referral to the Department of Children’s Services.

 

Chronic Absenteeism

Chronic absenteeism includes both EXCUSED and UNEXCUSED absences. Research indicates numerous absences from school negatively impact a student’s achievement and success. In FSSD, attendance is monitored to determine what barriers, if any, are impacting a child’s ability to be in school on time and for the full day. We want to help eliminate ALL barriers that keep children out of school so our school attendance secretaries, principals and/or the district safety and attendance supervisor will contact parents/guardians if absences appear to be leading toward chronic absenteeism. The Tennessee Department of Education’s reporting standards use attendance data as an indicator of school quality and student success.

 

Make-Up Work Due to Absence(s)

A student may make up work upon return to school.  Students must make up work missed within a period equal to the number of days absent unless otherwise agreed upon by the teacher.  It is the student’s responsibility to get assignments while still at home.  Upon return to school, the student is responsible for getting missed assignments and turning them in within the specified time.

 

If a student misses school on a day of a scheduled test, the student should be prepared to make up the test on the next day he/she attends school.  If a student misses one day and returns on test day, then the student will take the test as scheduled provided the test was announced prior to the absence.

 

***Please note:  In the event that a student is absent from school for an extended length of time, arrangements may be made through the Principal’s office for homework assignments to be sent home or to secure a homebound teacher (if the student meets the criteria for homebound services).  Assignments are only prepared for students who have an extended illness for more than three days. 

 

Tardies

A student is tardy to school if he/she is not in his/her first class of the day at 7:30 a.m.  A student who is tardy to school (not in class before 7:30 a.m.) must report promptly to the office to sign in and to get a class admission slip.  A tardy may be excused if the student is able to provide a note from his/her parents and if the reason for the tardy is acceptable.  Examples of unexcused tardiness are: oversleeping, traffic, weather, not leaving home on time or early dismissal.  Early releases for appointments, as well as sign in and sign outs, are also noted as tardies.  If excused tardiness to school becomes excessive, they will be treated as unexcused and consequences will be given. 

 

Students will be assigned the following consequences if they accumulate four (4) or more tardies to class:

         4   tardies:  Lunch Detention

         5   tardies:  One Hour of After School Detention

         6   tardies:  Three Hour After School Opportunity Room

          7+  tardies:  One day in AC for all subsequent offenses 

The tardy procedure will start over at the beginning of each quarter.

 

Early Dismissals

If a student must leave school early, the parent/guardian must show valid ID, sign the student out documenting the time dismissed, and provide the purpose of the dismissal.  If a person other than the parent/guardian is to pick the student up, he/she must be on the parent/guardian-approved list documented in Skyward, the student management system used by the FSSD schools, show valid ID, sign the student out documenting the time dismissed, and provide the purpose of the dismissal.  

 

Withdrawal Process

To initiate the withdrawal process, the parent/guardian must notify the front office of the intent to withdraw his/her student from school.  On the student’s last full day of attendance at Freedom Middle School, he/she should report to the front office.  The student will be given a Withdrawal Form to be completed.  This form must be signed by all of the student’s teachers, the librarian, the cafeteria and the counselor.  These signatures indicate that all textbooks, library books, and locks have been accounted for and that any debts owed have been settled.  The form must then be returned to the attendance secretary for an official clearance from our school.  When the student has been officially cleared from our school, records will be sent upon request from the new school that the student will attend.

School Health Protocols

SCHOOL HEALTH PROTOCOLS

First aid and health care provided by the school nurse is primarily for illness and injuries which occur during the school day. The school nurse, according to law, is not allowed to make a diagnosis, prescribe treatment or administer medication without a signed medication form.  Please help us to provide a safe and healthy environment by reading and following the policies and procedures below.  Please feel free to contact the school nurse to discuss any health concerns you have regarding your child.

School Health Screenings

Free health screenings will be provided throughout the school year in compliance with guidelines of the Tennessee State Department of Education.  These may include, but are not limited to, vision, speech, hearing, dental, height, weight and blood pressure.  Please contact the school nurse if you wish to decline screening or have questions.

 

Medications at School

State law prohibits dispensing of medications, both prescription and non-prescription, at school without a completed medication form. This includes medications such as cough drops, Tylenol, Motrin, and ointments such as Neosporin.  If your child requires medication during the school day, or if you would like to have medications available at school to be given if needed, please complete a medication request form.  These forms are available from the school clinic or can be downloaded from the website at www.fssd.org.  All medications administered at school must be FDA approved. For chronic health conditions such as diabetes, food allergies and asthma, an individualized healthcare plan (IHP) should be developed to provide for the health needs of those students (see your school nurse immediately upon school entry).  In the event of an emergency at school and medications have not been made available, 911 will be called. 

 

Prescription medications require both a doctor’s signature and a parent/guardian signature.  The medication must be brought to school in a labeled prescription medication bottle from the pharmacy. 

Non-prescription (over the counter) medications require a parent/guardian signature.  The medication must be in a new, unopened container with the name of the medication and expiration date clearly visible. 

All medications must be brought to school by a parent/guardian.  It is a violation of state law for students to possess medications on the school bus or school grounds unless provided for in the IHP.

 

Before and After School Activities

Upon enrollment in a before or after school program including, but not limited to, MAC, sports teams, clubs, band, choral, theater, it is the responsibility of the parent to notify the activity coordinator/staff of any health concerns and the location of any emergency medications, such as epinephrine auto-injectors, albuterol inhalers, Diastat, and Glucagon.  The school nurse can be contacted by the parent and/or staff member to share the student’s IHP and coordinate access to the student’s emergency medications which may be available on school grounds.

 

Illness at School

Students should not come to school if…

  • They have had fever of 100 degrees or higher in the past 24 hours.
  • They have had vomiting or diarrhea two or more times in the past 24 hours.
  • They have been on antibiotics for strep throat, pinkeye or other infections for less than 24 hours.

                 

Students will be sent home for….

  • Fever of 100 degrees or higher (must be fever-free for 24 hours before returning to school).
  • Vomiting or Diarrhea (Must be symptom-free for 24 hours before returning to school).
  • Unexplained rash (must have a doctor’s note that they are not contagious to return to school).
  • Suspected Pink Eye (Must have 24 hours of antibiotic treatment before returning to school, or a note from the doctor stating the student is not contagious).
  • Lice (FSSD has a strict NO NIT, NO BUG policy). See nurse for Lice Eviction guidelines.

 

It is very important that we have your home, work and cell phone numbers.  Please make sure to notify us of any changes.  We must be able to contact you in case of an emergency, illness or injury.

Communication to Parents

COMMUNICATION TO PARENTS

Generally, information such as online newsletters, notification of special events, etc., will be communicated through Blackboard Connect phone messaging, email, and the FMS website (www.fssd.org/FMSweb).  To enhance the communication from school to home, parents should ask their children if they have information from school.  Parents are encouraged to stay abreast of school happenings so they will be more effective in monitoring their children’s activities and progress.

 

Other means of communication to parents include:

  1. Automated telephone calls
  2. Administrative e-mails (weekly, informational, etc.)
  3. Jupiter
  4. Skyward
  5. FMS website (www.fssd.org/FMSweb)
  6. Twitter (Freedom Middle @fssdFMS)
  7. Instagram (Freedom Middle School @ fssdFMS)
  8. Facebook (Freedom Middle School @ freedommiddlestars)

 

School Closings

If inclement weather or some other school emergency occurs that might cause schools to close, the following outlets will post the information:

  • FSSD Web Site (fssd.org)
  • Local Television Stations (channel 2, 4, 5 and Fox 17) and their web sites.
  • Cable Channel 3 (Williamson County Schools Channel)
  • WAKM-950 AM

If you hear Williamson County Schools, this does not mean that we are closed.  Although we live in Williamson County, we are a separate school system.  Listen for Franklin Special School District.  In addition, FSSD will use Blackboard Connect to send a recorded message to the telephone numbers and email addresses on record for each student.  If the contact’s phone number(s) has/have changed, please make sure the school has the updated phone number(s) on file so important information will not go unheard.

 

Delivery of Messages

Parents may call and leave important messages for students by 2:00 pm; the school secretaries will notify students they may pick up the message(s) in the main office at 2:30 p.m.  Please make all after school car/bus arrangements prior to school.  Only emergency messages from parents will be delivered to students during the school day.

 

Student Use of School Telephones

Students who must call their parents during the school day should request the use of a school phone.  Cell phones should only be used in cases of emergency to contact parents during the school day with FMS faculty or staff permission.

 

Announcements

School announcements will be made each morning and afternoon.

Cafeteria

   CAFETERIA

FMS participates in the National School Lunch and Breakfast Program allowing us to provide a healthy breakfast and lunch each school day.  Each student is assigned an individual code to track participation and account information.  Menus for Breakfast and Lunch are posted on the school web site and the MealViewer mobile app.  Breakfast and lunch are served at FMS.  The daily lunch menu will consist of three choices:  a hot bar (meat, vegetable, fruits, and bread), a cold bar (assorted sandwiches), and a salad bar. 

 

How do I pay and can I pay ahead? 

You may send cash or checks to FMS. Please be sure to label your check with your child’s full name. Checks should be made out to the FMS cafeteria. Lunch monies must be paid separately from any other monies. For your convenience you may use a credit or debit card online through your Skyward Family Access account using RevTrak.   The District Child Nutrition office, 615-472-3728, can also enter the monies into RevTrak from a credit or debit card for you.

 

How do I sign up for Free and Reduced Meals? 

A free and reduced application must be filled out each year.  You can find that application online through your Skyward Family Access account.  Each family will also receive an application with the back to school forms that are sent home.  Please call the District Child Nutrition Office, 615-794-6624, if you have any questions about free and reduced applications and your family eligibility. You will receive a letter indicating your application has been processed along with a determination of your eligibility.

 

Can my child buy extras like ice cream? 

We offer ice cream and other additional items for sale to students who have money in their accounts or cash with them.  All extra items (a la carte items) are Smart Snack compliant. If a child has a negative balance, they will not be able to purchase a la carte items. 

 

May I come have lunch with my child? 

Parents are welcome to join their child for lunch. You must sign in in the front office with a photo ID to receive a visitor’s badge.  Once you finish lunch, you should sign out in the front office.

 

May I bring in lunch for my child from their favorite restaurant?

The FSSD policy 3.50 states: “Students will be permitted to bring their lunches from home and to purchase beverages and incidental items. Breakfast and lunch brought from outside food service facilities will not be permitted to be consumed in the cafeteria.”

 

What happens if my child forgets his lunch or lunch money?  What happens if my child’s account develops a negative balance? 

All children in FSSD who want breakfast and lunch will be fed.  They will be offered the same lunch as every other child. If your child has a negative balance he or she will not be able to purchase a la carte items.  Please see the FSSD Negative Balance Policy at the end of this handbook for more details.

 

My child prefers to bring his or her lunch, is there anything I cannot send?

We do not allow glass containers, energy drinks, coffee drinks or carbonated beverages. 

 

My child has a food allergy. How is this handled?

The Child Nutrition staff works closely with your school nurse to make sure all allergies that are listed on their Individualized Health Care Plan are noted on their cafeteria account.

 

Breakfast Prices:                                Lunch Prices:

Reduced Student     $0.30                    Reduced Student     $0.40

Student                      $2.00                    Student                  $2.90

Adult                          $2.25                    FSSD Employee     $3.75          

Adult Visitor               $4.75                   Child Visitor          $2.90

                                                                  Holiday Visitor       $5.50

 

Cafeteria Expectations:

  1. Students purchasing only a drink must go through the line with their classes.
  2. Students must sit in designated areas.
  3. No electronic devices are allowed in the cafeteria.
  4. Objects and food items are not to be thrown.
  5. All trays and utensils must be returned to the designated areas.
  6. Students are to clear all debris and spills from tables and the area where they are seated. 
  7. Food and drink may not be taken out of the cafeteria.
  8. Directions of faculty and staff monitoring the cafeteria are to be followed.
  9.   Fast food items may not be eaten in the cafeteria.
  10. A la carte items must be purchased with cash or a prepaid account.  A la carte items cannot be charged.
    Miscellaneous

    MISCELLANEOUS

    Visitors

    In a continuing effort to prioritize the safety and security of our school campuses and the students and employees therein, the Franklin Special School District Board of Education amended its Board Policy 1.501 (Visitors to School/District Properties – Security Management.) on Monday, May 8, 2017.  From this date forward, “all visitors shall be required to present a valid, government-issued photo ID when they enter any school building or office during normal hours of operation and all visitors may be subject to a background check.” 

     

    Those who are simply visiting the office for the purpose of speaking to staff, filling out paperwork, or dropping items off do not need to present identification.  However, anyone who wishes to visit an area beyond the office must abide by this revised policy. 

     

    Student Lockers

    Students are issued lockers and school-issued locks will be available for personal use in keeping notebooks, supplies, backpacks, coats, etc.  Students may use personal combination locks; however, the lock’s combination must be verified by the homeroom/locker class teacher. 

     

    After the first week of school is complete, students are expected to be familiar with their lock combination and locker operation.  Students must make sure locks remain locked on lockers and should not give their combination to anyone.  Lockers may not be shared.  Each student should keep his/her items in his/her locker.  Lockers should be kept in good condition.  Students shall not write on lockers.  Decals and stickers shall not be placed on/in lockers.

     

    If a school-issued lock gets misplaced, it is the student’s responsibility to pay for the lock so that another one can be issued.  The fee for replacing a school-issued lock is $10.00.  The student should give the fee to the front office staff.  The lockers are the property of FSSD and are made available for student use.  Should there be any reason to believe that a locker contains stolen items and and/or items that are hazardous to the health and welfare to the students, a search may be conducted. If a personal combination lock needs to be permanently removed for any reason, the school will not be responsible for the lock’s replacement.

     

    Valuables

    The School will NOT be responsible for lost or stolen items.

     

    Lost and Found

    Items found should be turned in to the front office.  Items not claimed will be donated to charity at the end of each semester.

     

    Hall Passes

    Students shall be in their assigned areas at all times unless otherwise directed by a staff member.  Students leaving the classroom must have a hall pass signed by FMS faculty or staff. 

     

    Grievances

    If a student has a complaint or a suggestion to voice, he/she should contact a school administrator.  Petitions shall not be circulated unless the principal or his/her designee approves them.

    FSSD Grading Policy

    FSSD GRADING POLICY

    Academics & Related Arts:

    A 93-100

    B 86-92

    C 76-85

    D 70-75

    F Below 70

    I  *Students receiving “Incomplete” (I’s) on report cards must complete the work necessary to be assigned a grade.

     

    FMS Homework Policy

    Students are expected to complete all assignmentsFailure to complete assignments may result in a consequence. 

     

    Honor Roll

    At the end of a nine-week grading period, students who make all A’s or all A’s and B’s in all subjects on their report cards will be placed on the Honor Roll.  

    Required Assessments
    REQUIRED ASSESSMENTS

    FIRST ASSESSMENT WINDOW

    Assessments Grades Assessment Dates
    WIDA Screener (incoming potential EL students only) 5-8 Upon arrival
    STAR Enterprise Reading Enterprise & iReady Math 5-8 Aug. 13-Aug. 24, 2018

    SECOND ASSESSMENT WINDOW

    STAR Enterprise Reading 5-8 Nov. 26-Dec. 7, 2018
    iReady Math 5-8 Dec. 3-Dec. 14, 2018

    THIRD ASSESSMENT WINDOW

    Iowa Algebra Aptitude Test (for Algebra I qualification) 6-7 Feb. 21, 2019
    WIDA ACCESS (EL students only) 5-8 March 4-April 19, 2019 (tentative)
    NAEP (FMS selected 8th grade students) 8 March 7, 2019

    FOURTH ASSESSMENT WINDOW

    TCAP-Alt and MSAA (Spec. Ed. Students) 5-8 March 25-May 10, 2019 (tentative)
    TNReady Window (EOC and 3-8) 5-8 April 15-May 3, 2019
    STAR Enterprise Reading & iReady Math 5-8 May 6-May 15, 2019
    Final exams:  High School World Language 8 May 21, 2019
    Last Day of School PreK-8 May 23, 2019
    FMS Course Offerings

    FMS COURSE OFFERINGS

    The seventh and eighth grade curriculums are designed to provide students with a strong foundation in the basic core courses and a variety of exploratory experiences.  Listed below are the core academic courses, the related arts courses, and the extended services offered at our school. This list may change according to student numbers and other parameters.

    Core Academics

    English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Algebra I, Geometry, and World Language (French I or Spanish I).

     

    Related Arts

    Art, Computer Technology, Enrichment, Health, Instrumental Music (Band or Strings), Math and Reading Intervention, Music, Physical Education, Vocal Music (Chorus), Physical Education, and STEM

     

    High School Credit Classes

    Students who are enrolled in Algebra1, Geometry, and/or French or Spanish may earn high school credit if certain guidelines are met.

     

    Promotion/Retention Policy

    • In order to be promoted to the next grade, a student must pass all academic subjects (e.g. English Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies) as well as a composite of the related arts subjects.
    • Any student with a final average below 70 in any core class or related arts composite may be retained.
    • A student who fails one or more classes, including the related arts composite, may be eligible for summer school as a basis for promotion.
    • The ultimate decision of whether or not a student is promoted or retained shall rest with the building principal.

     

    High School Registration

    To determine which high school a student is zoned to attend, the address on record will be used.  Any change of address must be reported to the office.  If your address changes after high school registration, you will need to contact the Williamson County School District.  

    Guidance Services

    SCHOOL COUNSELING PROGRAM AND SERVICES

    FMS has a Comprehensive School Counseling Program designed to support every student’s academic, personal, social, and emotional needs so each can benefit positively and productively from his/her experience at FMS. In addition to having a school counselor, the Guidance Center, STARS (Students Taking a Right Stand), and Mercy Community Healthcare offer services through FMS.  All programs are implemented to ensure that students acquire the skills needed to become independent, contributing members of society.

     

    Guidance classes meet monthly addressing personal, interpersonal, social, academic, and adolescent development.  Post-secondary exploration is also explored through Guidance classes. The FMS Counselor works with students, individually and in large or small groups, with the goal of helping students achieve their maximum potential. Students may see the counselors through teacher, parent or self-referral. If deemed necessary, the counselor can offer suggestions for additional support (ie. outside agencies).  Parents are encouraged to call the guidance office for any questions they may have or to schedule an appointment with the counselor.

     

    Extra Curricular Activities

    EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES:

     

    The following applies to any student participating in extracurricular activities including, but not limited to, sports, drama, and academic clubs:

    If a student has a failing grade at either progress report time or report card time, he/she will be placed on probation for one week.  The student must show a passing progress report from all subject areas in order to resume participating in the extracurricular activity.  All grades must be passing, not just the one he/she originally failed.  If there is still a failing grade, the student will be placed on probation for an additional week.  The student may neither dress nor participate in any school activity during the probationary period.

                           

    Clubs and Organizations

    Academic Competition Team

    Art Club

    Art Exhibits

    Dance Team

    Band Competitions

    Battle of the Books

    Best Buddies

    Comic Club

    Environmental Club

    Fellowship of Christian Athletes

    Film Club

    Freedom Friends

    Hacky Sack Club

    Honors Choir/Band/Orchestra/ Strings

    Mini Mu Math Contest

    National Junior Honor Society

    Photography Club

    Student Council

    Theater

    Tutoring

    Yearbook Club

     

    Athletic Programs

    The following athletic activities are available for all sixth, seventh and eighth grade students:

    Fall sports:

    • Cross-country
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Soccer
    • Tennis
    • Volleyball

    Winter sports:

    • Basketball
    • Wrestling

    Fall and Winter sports:

    • Cheerleading
    • Dance team

    Spring Sports:

    • Baseball
    • Softball
    • Track

    A current physical (dated within a 12-month period of the sport in which the student desires to participate) must be on file at the school before a student may try out or participate in any athletic program.  The physical must be signed by a physician and must state the student is cleared to participate in any school athletic program.  Students and parents must sign a concussion awareness form and a sudden cardiac arrest form.  A student is ineligible to participate in athletic activities if he/she has not been promoted to the next grade.  Athletes must display good sportsmanship.  Regulations apply to team managers as well as athletes.  Complete information on eligibility of athletes may be obtained from the coaches.

    Library/Media Center

    LIBRARY/MEDIA CENTER

     

    The library opens each day at 7:00 a.m.  The following regulations apply to the library:

    • All library books are due two weeks after they are checked out.
    • A book may be renewed if a student still wishes to continue to use the book. The student does not have to bring the book into the library in order to renew it; he/she only has to tell a member of the media center staff.
    • Students may not check out more than 3 books at a time.
    • A fine of five cents per day will be charged for each overdue book. Fines will not accumulate over weekends or holidays.
    • When a student checks out any materials from the library, the student and the parents automatically assume responsibility for payment of loss or damage to materials.
    • If a student has an overdue book, the student may not check out another book until the overdue book is returned.
    State and FSSD Policies

    STATE AND FSSD POLICIES

    The FSSD Child Find program identifies preschool through eighth-grade children with special education needs including mental retardation, development delays, autism, specific learning disabilities, serious emotional disturbance, multiple disabilities, intellectually gifted, traumatic brain injury, blindness, and the following impairments: speech/language, hearing, orthopedic, visual, and physical.

    Screenings and/or evaluations may be provided free of charge by the school district. If deemed necessary, the child may then be referred for special education services.

    For more information, please contact FSSD Central Office @ (615) 794-6624. 

    Inquiries and complaints may also be directed to the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue S.W., Washington D.C. 20202; telephone: (800) 421-3481 or (877) 521-2172.

    DIRECTORY INFORMATION STATEMENT

    The district may publicly disclose certain student information, known as directory information, at its discretion without consent.  However, if you prefer NOT to have this information released, you must send a written notice annually to the school office before September 1st of the school year.  Non-disclosure forms are available in the school office for your convenience.  The following information is considered directory information:  name, address, date and place of birth, participation in officially recognized sports, weight and height of the members of the athletic teams, dates of attendance, photographs, and other similar information that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed.  Public release would include, but not limited to, news media (newspaper, radio, etc.), other schools and districts (especially athletics), and the district web site.

    DRUG-FREE SCHOOLS POLICY

    Students will not consume, possess, distribute or be under the influence of illegal drugs or alcoholic beverages in school buildings or on school grounds, in school vehicles or buses, or at any school-sponsored activity at any time, whether on or off school grounds. (FSSD Board Policy 6.307; TCA 39-17-417; TCA 39-17-715)

    EQUAL EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES

    It is the policy of the Franklin Special School District not to discriminate on the basis of sex, race, national origin, creed, age, marital status or disability in its educational programs, activities or employment policies as required by Title VI and VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act (prohibits discrimination on the basis of race), Title IX of the 1972 educational Amendments Act (prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex), and Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of the 1973 (prohibits discrimination on the basis of handicap).  Inquires about compliances with Title VI & VII, Title IX, or Section 504 and grievance procedures may be directed to the Civil Rights Coordinator at the Franklin Special School District Board of Education at 794- 6624.

     

    FRANKLIN SPECIAL BOARD of EDUCATION DISCRIMINATION /HARASSMENT POLICY (Sexual, Racial, Ethnic, Religious)

    Students shall be provided a learning environment free from sexual, racial, ethnic, and religious discrimination/harassment. It shall be a violation of this policy for any employee or any student to discriminate against or harass a student through disparaging conduct or communication that is sexual, racial, ethnic, or religious in nature. The following guidelines are set forth to protect students from discrimination/harassment. Student discrimination/harassment will not be tolerated. Discrimination/harassment is defined as conduct, advances, gestures or words either written or spoken of a sexual, racial, ethnic, or religious nature that:

    • Unreasonably interfere with the student’s work or educational opportunities; or
    • Create an intimidating, hostile or offensive learning environment; or
    • Imply that submission to such conduct is made an explicit or implicit term of receiving grades or credit.

    Franklin Special School District Meal Charge Administrative Procedure

    Families will have access to the meal charge administrative procedure via publication in the student handbook, FSSD website, and included with the Free and Reduced applications. Families of transfer students (during the year) will receive a written copy of the district-wide charge administrative procedure in the student handbook and FSSD website

    General

    Students who are unable to pay for their meals at the time of the meal service are allowed to charge breakfast and lunch.  Students charging breakfast and/or lunch will receive reimbursable meals.  Students with a negative balance will not be able to charge a la carte items.  If a parent sends in cash for an a la carte item the student may use the cash for that item.

    Household Notification

    Negative balance notification:

    1. The CNP department will send out a negative balance email to the parent’s email address each Saturday.
    2. The CNP manager at the student’s school will send home a notice through the child’s teacher weekly.
    3. The CNP department will use Blackboard Connect Ed to call every family with a negative balance of $20.00 or more on the 15th and 30th of the month.
    4. Any student’s whose debt is over $50.00 will receive a phone call from the CNP manager at that child school.
    5. Any debt over $75.00 will be referred to the FSSD Social Worker for evaluation on the family’s need for assistance.

    Delinquent Debt

    Delinquent debt is defined as overdue unpaid meal charges that are considered collectable, with efforts being made to collect them. The debt may remain on the accounting documents until it is collected.   The debt will be carried over at the end of the school year.

     

    Repayment plans

    Each household may request a repayment plan that will include payment levels and due dates appropriate to a household’s particular circumstances. Please contact Robbin Cross, crossrob@fssd.org , 615-794-6624 for establishing a repayment plan.

     

    Bad Debt

    Bad debt is determined to be uncollectable, with that further collection efforts for delinquent debt deemed useless or too costly. Delinquent debt will be considered as bad debt 90 days after the child leaves FSSD.

     

    Additional Resources

    Families may find assistance with applying for free or reduced price schools meals by contacting any of the following FSSD staff members at 615-794-6624:

    Robbin Cross, FSSD CNP Supervisor, crossrob@fssd.org.

    Amanda Fisher, FSSD Social Worker, fisherama@fssd.org

    Diane Price, FSSD Translator, pricedia@fssd.org

     

    HOMELESS EDUCATION

    Children may qualify for consideration under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Act if any of the following apply: you live in a shelter, motel, vehicle, campground, abandoned building or trailer, or other inadequate accommodations, or if you live with friends or relatives because of the inability to afford adequate housing. If any of these apply, you may be entitled to all services, rights and protection provided under this law. Children have the right to attend school. They have the right to continue in the school last attended before becoming homeless (if that is your choice and it is feasible) and receive transportation to the school last attended prior to becoming homeless if requested. Children may enroll in a school without a permanent address, school records, or immunization records in hand. The school will provide assistance in obtaining proper documentation and homeless children will receive the same special programs and services provided to all other children.

     

    Locations and Authorized Custodians

    The primary source of access is the school in which a student is enrolled. The principal is the authorized custodian for these records. The Director of Special Education regulates records of students involved in Special Education Programs, including the dates of individual assessments. If a student leaves the FSSD, the student record will be sent to the new school upon request from that school.

     

    Non-Release Forms

    Pursuant to the terms of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 20 U.S.C.&1232(g), FSSD schools designate the following personally identifiable information contained in a student’s educational record as “directory information”: name, address, date and place of birth, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance and other similar information that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. Public release can also include, but is not limited to, the district’s web site. It is not our policy, however, to post student information (including fist and last names or addresses) on the web site for public view.

     

    The district assumes student/parent consent to the public release of directory information unless a Non- Release form is completed by a parent or guardian and returned to the school. Please note that this form excludes a student’s photograph and information from being included in school publications, such as the yearbook. Forms are available in all school offices and remain active throughout a student’s time in the FSSD. Only a parent or guardian may void the consent form.

    POLICY AMENDMENTS

    These policies, guidelines, and procedures are not all inclusive.  They may be amended as deemed appropriate by the Franklin Special School administration.  A complete copy of FSSD Board Policy is available at www.fssd.org.

     

    Respect for Student Privacy Online

    When attending school events, the Franklin Special School District recognizes that attendees often want to videotape and/or photograph the students. However, in an effort to respect the privacy concerns of others, as well as to honor the state and federal privacy laws of individual students whose parents/guardians have specifically requested not to be photographed, the District strongly request that any video footage and/or still images of non-custodial students NOT be posted online to sites such as, but not limited to, Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc. Although the FSSD strongly urges attendees to respect the privacy of others, families must also recognize that the District has no means for preventing attendees from taking such actions. A general courtesy is to ask for parental permission before posting video or photographs of students/families online.

     

    RIGHT TO REVIEW TEACHER QUALIFICATIONS – NCLB Title I

    Title I of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) provides parents the right to request information regarding the professional qualifications of the student’s classroom teachers and any paraprofessionals providing support to the child. Parents must be provided, upon request, state qualifications and license criteria for teachers and paraprofessionals.

     

    Rights of Children with Disabilities and Parent Responsibilities

    Parents may access information about child advocacy groups and information on how to contact the state department of education for information on student rights and services from the following agencies:

     

    Tennessee Department of Education Legal Services Division

    710 James Robertson Parkway, Andrew Johnson Tower, 5th floor, Nashville, TN 37243-0380, 615-741- 2851, Fax: 615-253-5567 or 615-532-9412.

     

    Child Advocacy Groups Contact Information

    In addition to the state and local resources available to parents and children, there are many agencies and organizations that offer support, information, training, and help in advocating for persons with disabilities in Tennessee. A few of these organizations are listed below:

    • The ARC of Williamson County, 129 W Folkes Street, Suite 151, Franklin, TN 37064, 615-790-5815, Fax:615-790-5891.
    • Support and Training for Exceptional Parents (STEP), 712 Professional Plaza, Greenville, TN 37745, 615-463-2310, Web: http://www.tnstep.org
    • Tennessee Protection and Advocacy (TP&A), 416 21st Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37212, 615-298-1080, Toll free: 1-800-287-9636, TTY: 615-298-2471, Fax: 615-298-2046
    • Tennessee Voices for Children, 1315 8th Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37203, 615-269-7751, Fax: 615-269-8914, TN Toll Free: 800-670-9882, TVC@tnvoices.org.

     

    These are but a few of the organizations available to help with information, training, and advocacy. For a more extensive list visit the Tennessee Disability Services-Disability Pathfinder Database: http//kc.vanderbilt.edu/tennesseepathfinder/ServiceFinder/Default/aspx

     

    The Department of Education and Franklin Special School District do not intend this as an endorsement or recommendation for any individual organization or service represented in this list.

     

    SAFE AND DRUG FREE SCHOOLS AND COMMUNITIES ACT

    The Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities Act is designed to support programs that prevent violence in and around schools; that prevent the illegal use of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs; that involve parents and communities; and that are coordinated with related Federal, State, school, and community efforts and resources to foster a safe and drug-free learning environment that supports student academic achievement.

     

    SECTION 504 OF THE REHABILITATION ACT OF 1973

    Section 504 is a federal law designed to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Education. It states that: “No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States . . . shall, solely by reason of his or her disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance . . . ”

     

    Section 504 regulations require school districts to provide a “free appropriate public education” (FAPE) to each qualified student with a disability who is in the school district’s jurisdiction, regardless of the nature or severity of the disability. That is, students with disabilities should be provided with educational services designed to meet their individual needs to the same extent as the needs of students without disabilities are met. An appropriate education for a student with a disability under the Section 504 regulations could consist of education in regular classrooms, education in regular classes with supplementary services, and/or special education and related services. To be protected under Section 504, a student must be determined to:

     

    • have a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities (walking, breathing, learning, seeing, hearing, speaking, performing manual tasks, working, and caring for oneself);
    • have a record of such impairment;
    • be regarded as having such impairment.

     

    In order to fulfill its obligations under Section 504 and the ADA, the FSSD recognizes a responsibility to avoid discrimination in policies and practices regarding its personnel and students. No discrimination against any person on the basis of a disability will knowingly be permitted in any of the district’s programs or practices. The school district has specific responsibilities under both acts, which include the responsibility to evaluate and determine if the child is eligible under Section 504/ADA, and to then afford access to appropriate educational accommodations. If the parent/guardian disagrees with the determination made by the professional staff of the school district, he/she has the right to a hearing with an impartial hearing officer.

     

    STUDENT RECORDS

    The FSSD schools collect and maintain student records to provide a basis for evaluation and delivery of services to students.  The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) sets out requirements designed to protect the privacy of parents and students.  Specifically, the statute governs disclosure of records maintained by educational institutions. In brief, the statute provides that such institutions must provide parents of students access to official

    records directly related to the student, and an opportunity for a hearing to challenge such records on the grounds that they are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise inappropriate; that institutions must obtain the consent of parents before releasing personally identifiable data about students from records to other than a specified list of exceptions; and that parents and students must be notified of these rights.

     

    The school system maintains various types of records as described below:

    • Attendance Records
    • Academic Records
    • Medical Records
    • Discipline Records including individual assessment
    • Directory Information
    • System-wide group test results
    • Special Education data

     

    THREAT ASSESSMENT PROTOCOL

    As part of the Franklin Special School District’s ongoing commitment to student and staff safety, the district has instituted threat assessment procedures. These procedures are used in every school if or when a student makes an expression of intent to harm someone or something (written, verbal, or other). These threat assessment procedures, which have been thoroughly developed in conjunction with law enforcement and school counseling professionals, enable administrators to quickly and effectively deal with the incident. These procedures provide a process for evaluating the context and credibility of the threat and the evidence and circumstances surrounding it. Additionally, the assessment will assist in determining what resources, if any, need to be applied to the situation or provided to the student/family.

     

    It is important to note that any and all threats of harm made by a student of any age or in any grade will be taken seriously and that the threat assessment procedure will be followed accordingly.

     

    TITLE VI OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964

    Title VI is a federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance.

     

    TITLE IX OF THE EDUCATION AMENDMENTS OF 1972

    Title IX is a federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity. It states that: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”

     

    ZERO TOLERANCE OFFENSES POLICY

    Weapons & Dangerous Instruments: Students shall not possess, handle, transmit, use or attempt to use any dangerous weapon in school buildings or on school grounds at any time, or in school vehicles and/or buses or off the school grounds at a school sponsored activity, function or event. Dangerous weapons for the purposes of this policy shall include, but are not limited to a firearm or anything manifestly designed, made or adapted for the purpose of inflicting death or serious bodily injury or anything that in the manner of its use or intended use is capable of causing death or serious bodily injury. (FSSD Board Policy 6.309)