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Parents and Community

2019-20 GCMS HANDBOOK

YOU HOLD THE KEY TO YOUR FUTURE

It is with great pleasure that we take this opportunity to welcome you to our school.  We are extremely proud of the programs we offer our students, and we encourage you to make the most of your time with us.  This agenda has been developed by our faculty and administrators to help you learn as much as possible about school policies, procedures, and the services we offer. We also hope that you will learn to use this day planner effectively. Time management is a critical skill for success as a student and eventually as a professional in the workplace. Organize your days and weeks to stay on course, take advantage of all the school and community has to offer, and enjoy the experience.

Mission Statement

Here at GCMS the staff, students, and community are working together as a team to create a safe learning environment of the highest quality.  Each learner will be encouraged and empowered to do his/her absolute best while striving for self-discipline, motivation, accountability, and academic excellence in a forever changing global society.

Schedules

6th Grade

7:30—7:35               Homeroom

7:35—8:00                  Advisory

8:00—9:03                 1st Period

9:05—10:08             2nd Period

10:12—11:02           3rd Elective

11:06—11:56           4th Elective

12:00—1:33     5th Period/Lunch

1:35—2:40                6th Period

7th Grade

7:30—7:35                Homeroom

7:35—8:00                   Advisory

8:04—8:54                1st Elective

8:58—9:48               2nd Elective

9:52—11:25      3rd Period/Lunch

11:27—12:30              4th Period

12:32—1:35                5th Period

1:35—2:40                  6th Period

8th Grade

7:30—7:35                Homeroom

7:35—8:00                    Advisory

8:00—9:04                   1st Period

9:06—10:10                2nd Period

10:12—11:46    3rd  Period/Lunch

11:48—12:52               4th Period

12:56—1:46              5th Elective

1:50—2:40                6th Elective

General Provisions—School Board Policy

All students will comply with all rules governing behavior and conduct. It is the responsibility of the principal to fully investigate cases of students appropriately referred to his/her office for misbehavior, to ensure fair treatment of such students and protection of their procedural and substantive rights, and to determine what, if any, disciplinary action is warranted. The teacher shall have the responsibility and authority to discipline students, except in those cases requiring the attention of the principal.

All policies in the Cumberland County Schools Code of Conduct will be enforced.

After-School Departures

Students leaving by private car should have their parents wait for them in the circle drive surrounding the parking lot at the front of the school. Students meeting parents off-campus should exit the campus as walkers.  Students are not allowed to cross the parking lot without a parent.

NO STUDENTS WILL BE ALLOWED TO REMAIN ON CAMPUS AFTER 2:40 UNLESS THEY ARE UNDER THE DIRECT SUPERVISION OF A STAFF MEMBER.

Athletics

Scholastic Requirements

As of January 8th, 2014 the Cumberland County Board of Education has made the following change to Board Policy 3620 – Extracurricular Activities, Co-curricular Activities, and Student Organizations:

“Participation in extracurricular and co-curricular activities, including student organizations and interscholastic athletics, is a privilege, not a right, and may be reserved for students in good academic standing who meet behavior standards established by the board and the school. Starting with the 2014/15 school year, students will be required to have a 2.0-grade point average for the previous semester to participate in activities covered under this section.”

What does this mean for students?

  • Students must have an average of 70 from their previous semester to participate in any after school activities at Gray’s Creek Middle School.
  • All other requirements for athletics will remain the same including age, attendance, residency, passing a physical exam and completing a concussion form, eligibility and permission form.

Age of Player

  • 6th-grade students are now allowed to play middle school sports EXCEPT for football—No 6th-grade student is allowed to play football
  • A student may participate in athletic contests during the school year if he/she will not be 15 years of age on or before August 31st of said year.

Attendance

A student must be in attendance for classes 85% of the time the previous semester to be eligible to participate in athletics.  Student must be in school on the day of a game.

Disciplinary Action

Any athlete who is on scheduled detention or suspension MAY NOT attend any practice or play in an athletic contest or attend as a spectator at any Cumberland County School. Any athlete who is placed in ISS or who receives two or more disciplinary charges will be subject to dismissal from the athletic team.

Insurance

The student must have insurance coverage by one of the following:

  1. School Insurance
  2. Private Insurance
  3. Be a Military Dependent

Attendance/Check-In/Check-Out

“Every Minute Counts! From Start to Finish, Class Time Matters”

Cumberland County Schools is continuing its efforts to support “Every Minute Counts” to ensure that students attend school every day from start to finish.

No transportation changes are allowed over the telephone.

Students may begin to arrive at 7:05 am. All students should be in the building by 7:20 am each day. Breakfast is a grab and go and it is offered beginning at 7:05 am for those students who wish to eat breakfast at school. Students have from 7:05-7:30 am to go to their lockers and get their materials for class. Homeroom begins promptly at 7:30. Students are expected to be in their class at this time.

Students who are not in class by 7:30 are considered tardy.

  • 3 Tardies: Phone call home from HR teacher or front office personnel (Document Parental Contact)
  • 6 Tardies: Administrative Referral with an administrative conference with parent and student (Document Parental Contact)
  • 9 Tardies: Administrative Referral with the assignment of 1 day of administrative detention
  • 12 Tardies: 2 days of administrative detention
  • 15 Tardies: 3 days of administrative detention

Students arriving at school after 7:30 are considered late to school. An adult is required to check the student in when arriving after 7:30.

Excessive lateness to school may result in a written notification, administrative conference, administrative after school detention and referral to Truancy Mediation Council.

The school day is from 7:30 am to 2:40 pm. Students must be in school for a minimum of 3 ½ hours to be counted present for the day.

Cumberland County Board of Education absenteeism policy for all schools is as follows:

  1. The following shall constitute an excused/lawful absence:
    1. Illness or Injury
    2. Quarantine
    3. Death in Family
    4. Medical/dental appointment
    5. Court/Administrative proceedings
    6. Religious Observation
    7. Educational Opportunity
    8. Deployment Activity
  1. Late to school and early check-outs are coded excused and unexcused just as absences. A note is required.
  2. The school or teacher makes no distinction between excused or unexcused absences for make-up work. It is the student’s responsibility to make up missing assignments when not in school.

A student who is absent must provide a note upon their return to his/her homeroom teacher containing the following information: date note was written, exact date(s) of absence, specific reason for the absence, and signature of parent/guardian… Excessive unexcused absences from school may result in a written notification, administrative conference, and referral to Truancy Mediation Council or court.

Once students arrive on campus, during the school day, they become the responsibility of the school. The safety and welfare of our children is of utmost importance to us. Students who must leave during the day MUST be signed out by a parent/guardian in the main office. Under NO circumstances will a student be allowed to meet someone in the parking lot or be allowed to leave school premises without their parent/guardian accompanying him/her or granting permission.

Identification will be necessary from the parent/guardian when checking out a student. Only people whose names are listed on the Verification of Address form may check out students. Students checking out before 11 will be counted absent. No student will be checked out after 2:00 pm. Students are reminded that the Cumberland County Board of Education policy applies to all absences due to early checkout.

Any student who has a temperature above 100 degrees Fahrenheit should be sent home from school. Students who show other signs of illness may be sent home. Students with a fever must be kept at home until the temperature has been normal for twenty-four hours without fever-reducing medication.

Book bags/Purses

Book bags, athletic bags, purses or similar items may be used only for the purpose of transporting books, other school-related materials, and personal effects to and from school. These will be stored in student lockers.

No clear “see-through” mesh bag will be used during the school day for school books. Small mesh/clear bags will be allowed to carry gym clothes only to and from gym class and the remainder of classes before the next locker visit. Purses must be left in lockers all day and not carried to class. Female students will be allowed to return to their locker for hygiene items as needed.

Bullying

See the CCS Code of Conduct

Bus Conduct

School buses are a means of transportation provided by the state of North Carolina. RIDING THE BUS IS A PRIVILEGE AND NOT A RIGHT! Students, drivers, and monitors who ride buses are expected to conduct themselves in an orderly manner. Therefore, the following regulations have been established by the Cumberland County School Board and Gray’s Creek Middle School to govern student conduct while riding school buses.

  • Students must ride their assigned bus and follow the instructions of the bus driver.
  • Students must board and dismount the bus at assigned stops and through the designated door.
  • Students should arrive at their bus stop 10 minutes prior to the expected arrival of the bus. The bus will not wait for students.
  • Students must remain in their seats while the bus is moving and keep their heads and hands inside the bus at all times.
  • Students must not throw any object from the school bus or inside the school bus.
  • Students must not eat, drink, curse, and talk loudly while on the bus.
  • Students must refrain from doing anything that might be considered dangerous to the safety of others on the bus.
  • Students must adhere to all Cumberland County and Gray’s Creek Middle School rules.

Students who violate the school bus rules, including fighting, will be subject to immediate suspension and/or dismissal. Drivers, monitors, and students assigned to school buses shall be responsible for willful or negligent damage caused by their actions. The Cumberland County School policy on Search and Seizure extends to students who ride the bus.

Cafeteria/ Breakfast & Lunch

The school cafeteria is maintained as a vital part of the health program of the school. Good, nourishing meals are served daily in the cafeteria. The students may enjoy both breakfast and lunch each day of the school year.   Students are encouraged to eat lunch every day.

Food items are not to be sold by students during school hours.  NO RESTAURANT FOOD MAY BE BROUGHT IN FOR YOUR STUDENT!  THIS IS COUNTY POLICY!

Breakfast Students

Breakfast will be a Grab and Go Breakfast.  Students will enter the building through the cafeteria door from the bus parking lot and go straight to the breakfast line.  Students will pick up their Grab and Go breakfast and report immediately to their assigned homeroom. Students will not stop and sit or eat breakfast in the cafeteria.  Trash cans will be provided on each grade level hallway for students to discard their trash from breakfast.

General Rules (Cafeteria)

  • Keep the cafeteria lines orderly.
  • Never push or run en-route to the cafeteria.
  • All lunch debris is to be deposited in trash receptacles.
  • Students are not allowed to cut lunch lines nor save a place for another student in the lunch line.
  • Students are to eat in the area designated by their teachers and remain in this designated area until dismissed.
  • When your teacher instructs you, deposit your tray and leave the cafeteria area as a group.

General Information

Students may pay for meals in advance, Lunch accounts are non-transferable.

Reduced                Full                 Adult

Breakfast                    FREE                       .90                  à la carte

Lunch                 . 40                          $2.25                 à la carte

Free or Reduced Information

If financial assistance is needed, the parent needs to complete the Free and Reduced Lunch form. The form will be given to all students during the first week of school. You may request this form again at any time during the school year.  Application online at http://cn.ccs.k12.nc.us/lunch-application-information/

Cell Phones/Electronic Devices

The Cumberland County Code of Conduct states that cell phones are not to be seen or heard during the school day. Unless directed by a classroom teacher students cannot use cell phones in the school building from 7:00 am to 2:40 pm. When the item is confiscated, the student must hand the phone (with SIM card and Battery) to the staff member. Failure to follow the policy will result in administrative action.  Cell phones should be placed in lockers unless directed by a teacher.

1st Violation— May be picked up after 2:30 that day by the student.

2nd Violation—Must be picked up by the parent in the main office between 2:30-3:30 pm.

*GCMS will not be responsible for any loss or stolen devices.

Detention

Teachers/teams may assign morning or afternoon detention to students who fail to follow classroom rules or procedures. These teacher/team detentions are held at various times by the teachers/teams. Lunch detention may be assigned by individual teachers.

Prior to any detention – students are given a twenty-four-hour notice. Parents must make the necessary arrangements for transportation on the assigned day, and students should be picked up at the front entrance of the school. Failure to serve an assigned detention will result in further disciplinary action.

Discipline

At Gray’s Creek Middle School, we believe that good discipline is essential to attaining quality education. Each student has the right to a positive, nurturing interaction with our faculty, staff, and administration as well as the right to be free from the distraction caused by the inappropriate behavior of others.

Rules and policies are established to maintain a safe and orderly learning environment. All students are subject to the rules and policies published in the Cumberland County Schools Student Code of Conduct in addition to the rules and policies of Gray’s Creek Middle School.

According to the Cumberland County Schools Student Code of Conduct, students are expected to treat others with respect, behave in a responsible manner, and demonstrate high standards of integrity.

Negative behaviors are detrimental to the educational environment of the school and will not be tolerated. Students who demonstrate these behaviors will be disciplined appropriately according to the CCS Code of Conduct.

Social Media issues should not be brought to school.  If it happens in the neighborhood it should be handled by parents.

Emergency Information

Each student and his/her parent should supply the school with information pertinent to emergencies. This is only possible through the cooperation of all parents. Students can be better protected if we have at least one phone number where one or both parents can be reached in case of an emergency. Students should have knowledge of their parents’ place of employment. Please make sure we have your most up-to-date telephone/cell phone number and email.  Parents are requested not to come to school to pick up their children during a school emergency.

Field Trip Policies

There are two requirements that must be met before a student can attend any field trip.

  1. A student must be in good academic standing and have no discipline issues.
  2. The student’s daily behavior must be acceptable and cooperative in order to be allowed to leave the building.
  3. All media fines, lunch accounts, and candy money must be turned in before paying for a field trip.

The administration reserves the right to require parental or guardian chaperones for individual students under special conditions. School rules and Cumberland County rules apply to students on a field trip. Students must have an official school permission form completed before going on a field trip.

Fire Drills

Fire drills will be conducted at regular intervals. The signal for a fire drill will be the fire alarm. When the first signal is given, everyone must clear the building by the prescribed fire route as orderly and quickly as possible. The fire exit chart is posted in each room.

Flowers or Balloons

Students will not be permitted to receive flowers, balloons, or gifts at school. The delivery causes a disruption of school and safety problems on buses. The school will not accept the delivery of flowers, balloons or gifts for students.

Food

Gum is allowed at the teacher’s discretion.  All food items brought to school should be unopened and may be consumed only in the cafeteria during lunch hours. The consumption of food or drink items will not be permitted in the classroom, halls, or restrooms. Sports bottles are allowed, but must not be tinted.  Students are not allowed to use the vending machines during school hours.

Grading Scale & Policies

A         90-100

B         80-89

C         70-79

D         60-69

F         Below 60

Progress Reports will be issued halfway through the 9 weeks and report cards will be issued at the end of the 9 weeks. Both progress reports and report cards will be sent home with students.  Check PowerSchool for grades and attendance (see the front office for details).  Questions about assignments see teacher calendars.

Hours of Operation

Students and parents are advised that the official hours of operation at Gray’s Creek Middle School are 7:05 am – 2:40 pm.   SUPERVISION FOR STUDENTS WILL BE PROVIDED DURING THESE HOURS ONLY!

Athletic events and school-sponsored activities are the only exceptions.

Honor Roll

“A” Honor Roll is for all students who earn an “A” in every class.

“A/B” Honor Roll is for all students who earn an “A” or a “B” in every class.

Late Pickup

Parents, please pick up your student immediately after the event or administrative action will be taken.

In-School Suspension Program

The ISS program attempts to modify students’ inappropriate behavior. Students assigned to this program will not be eligible for any extra-curricular activities including sports on or off-campus while serving ISS.

Lockers

Homeroom teachers will assign lockers. Students are responsible for the upkeep of lockers. Locks must be purchased for $6.00. This lock then becomes the personal property of the student. All students are required to have a lock on their locker at all times. All locks used on school lockers must be school purchased and accessible to school administration. School personnel reminds students that their lockers are state property and may be subject to inspection at any time. Students are not allowed to mark on a school locker or place any decal or sticker on their lockers. All students are required to have a lock on their lockers by the 3rd week of school.  Valuables such as band instruments, personal property, etc. should never be left in lockers overnight.

STUDENTS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO SHARE LOCKERS. THE SCHOOL ACCEPTS NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR PERSONAL PROPERTY LEFT IN THE LOCKERS.

Lost and Found

Students who find lost articles are to take them to the lost and found located outside rooms  B03 and C03 where the owners can claim them. Please treat others as you would like to be treated.  Every nine weeks unclaimed items are donated/discarded.

Make-up Work

The student is responsible for making arrangements with the teacher to make-up any missing work regardless of the reason the student is absent.  Work not made up within 5 school days may result in a loss of credit for the assignment. If the student is absent five or more days, a longer period may be granted.  Assignments will be on the Teacher Google Calendar.  If the assignments are not completed and turned in within the 5 days they will receive a zero for the assignments.

Media Center

Students will need their agenda in hand and signed by their teacher, before coming into the media center. Students will need their agenda to check-out books. All media fines must be paid to keep all GCMS privileges.  Mary Ellen Oxendine-Media Coordinator.

Medication

It is unlawful for school officials to supply medicine for a student who is ill and does not have the proper documents on file in the school’s main office. Students who need prescribed medication during school must have a “Physicians School Medication” form and/or an “Asthma Self-Medication” (inhalers only) form on file with the medication clerk in the main office. Prescribed medications must be in the properly labeled prescription package. Students may not carry medication unless it is an inhaler for asthma and the “Asthma Self-Medication” form is on file with medication clerk. Form information and the prescription must match exactly. The parent or legal guardian must bring in all forms as well as the medications required for the student. Students are not allowed to transport medication to and from school.  Students cannot bring over-the-counter meds unless the front office is notified.

Morning Arrivals

Students are admitted into the school building at 7:05 am. Students arriving by private car should be dropped off at the front of the school and will walk along the sidewalk to enter the building on the cafeteria side  Students will report to either homeroom or the cafeteria area for a grab and go breakfast. During inclement weather, students may enter through the front entrance. All car riders MUST use the circle drive surrounding the front parking lot.

  • No students may be dropped off on the side or back of the building unless administrative approval is given. Students may not be dropped on Celebration Drive and U-Turns on Celebration Drive are prohibited.
  • STUDENTS MUST NOT BE ON CAMPUS BEFORE 7:00 AM.
  • Bike rack is located at the front of the building at the end of the 6th-grade hallway – Bikes need to be locked down each day.

Class start at 7:30 AM.  ALL STUDENTS SHOULD BE IN CLASS BY THEN!

Parent/Teacher Conferences

Gray’s Creek Middle School administration and teachers believe that home/school communication is vital to the success of its students. We encourage parents and guardians to contact the school at any time to schedule an appointment to discuss the progress of their child. Teachers may also be contacted via e-mail. School-wide conference times will be publicized in school to all students and through the phone system to all parents.

Required Report Card Pick-up and Parent/Teacher Conferences will be held on October 24, 2019 and January 16, 2020 from 3:30 PM—6:00 PM.

Telephone Use

Students are not permitted to use the school phones except in cases of emergency. If students have an emergency, they should report to the office with a pass.

Theft Prevention

Each student and employee of the school has a responsibility in the area of preventing thefts. THE SCHOOL CANNOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ITEMS THAT ARE LOST OR STOLEN. Listed below are some hints to prevent theft:

  • Purchase a school lock and use it properly by keeping it locked at all times!
  • Do not give your combination to anyone.
  • Only bring necessary items/materials to the school. Leave your Ipods, cell phones, PSPs, and other electronic devices at home or in a locked locker.
  • Money and/or anything of value should NOT be taken to the gym locker room at Physical Education time. Never leave anything other than clothing in the locker room during Physical Education class. Physical Education teachers are NOT responsible for your valuables during class and will not hold them for you. DO NOT BRING THEM TO CLASS!
  • If you are staying after school for practice or club meetings, then practice the same theft prevention habits you would follow during school.
  • If you have something stolen, report it to the office and your teacher immediately.

Tornado Drills

When the alarm sounds, the teacher and students will proceed to the assigned tornado area in the building and assume protective positions.  Students should refrain from talking and proceed in an orderly manner. Teachers must check their roll and remain with their students at all times.

Visitors at School

Students are not allowed to bring visitors to the school during the school day. Parents, of course, are always welcome. All visitors are required to report directly to the office and obtain a visitor’s pass.

Weather

Parents should review with their children the procedure they want them to follow when early dismissal occurs in cases of inclement weather (severe storms, snow, ice, etc.). Parents should listen to local radio stations or television stations for the announced decision on school closings.

Section 504:Rehabilitation Act of 1973

Is federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. Section 504 applies to all agencies that receive federal funds, including public schools.

Specifically, Section 504 requires public schools to provide a student with a disability with educational services that are designed to meet the individual needs of the student with a disability to the same extent as the needs of students without disabilities are met. In addition, under Section 504, students with a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits a major life activity are entitled to a free appropriate public education, including special education and supplementary aids and services (i.e., accommodations to the regular education program). 

Youth Emergency Preparedness Curriculum: Ready Kids

Parent Volunteer
If you are interested in assisting in a classroom, chaperoning a field trip, coaching, or any other activity at Gray’s Creek Middle, a volunteer application must be completed at least two weeks prior to the event.
CCS Volunteer Registration

Student Agenda
All students will receive an agenda during homeroom in school.  Agendas will be required to check out materials in the media center, as well as be used as a pass when students have to travel through the school during class times.  Should a student lose their agenda, they will be responsible for paying $7.00 for a replacement.

AIG Program
Cumberland County Schools is dedicated to providing gifted students the opportunity to become independent learners and decision-makers who recognize their potential and responsibilities in a changing global society. The school system is committed to providing a rigorous and innovative instructional program that fosters the highest level of excellence and recognizes the right of each student to receive intellectual challenge appropriate for his/her capabilities.
Read More

Driver’s Education
Due to the fact that the NC Legislature has passed the Graduated Driver License Law, it is to the advantage of the student to take driver education at 14½.  Completing the driver education requirement is the first step in the Graduated Driver License Law.  After the completion of driver education and when the student has reached 15 years of age he/she is eligible to apply for a Learner’s Permit through the NC Division of Motor Vehicles.  The student must retain this permit for one year during which time he/she must drive only when under the supervision of the approved licensed driver.  If a student waits until 15 or older to take the driver education course, he/she must still apply for a learner’s permit and drive under its provisions for one year.
Read More

Enrollment
Parent(s) or court appointed custodian(s) must provide the following documentation to the school upon presentation for enrollment:

  • Certified birth certificate
  • Record of immunizations
  • Last report card, withdrawal documentation, or transcript from previous school
  • Current proof of residency in the attendance area of enrolling school

Lunch Prepay
Gray’s Creek Cafeteria phone number 910.483.5836

Cumberland County schools Child Nutrition Services would like to introduce the Online Prepay System.  This system will allow parents to make payments online for their student’s cafeteria accounts. Please allow 24 hours for the deposit to be placed on the student’s account.At this time all of our schools are able to use the online prepay system.Please check this site for updates on your school’s status for the availability of the Online Prepay System or contact the CNS office at 910.678.2517.
Lunch Prepay System

Medication Information
Cumberland County Schools embraces the diverse health needs of our student population and has created this protocol to educate parents and staff with best practices for medication administration. School nurses are present in schools one day each week and respond on call for emergency situations. The school district retains the right to reject a request for administration of medication.
Protocol for Administration of Medication

Student Accident Insurance
Voluntary membership in a group accident insurance program is made available to students each year.  For more information, visit the Student Accident Insurance page on the CCS website.

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Published by Mary Ellen Oxendine on October 21, 2019