General Information

Click any of the links below to be taken directly to the section.

  • School Day
  • Parent Drop-Off/Parking Areas
  • Early Dismissal Procedures
  • Dismissal Procedures
  • Students ID Cards
  • Backpacks
  • Assignment Notebooks
  • Hallway Policies
  • Locker Information and Policies
  • Office
  • Student Message and Materials
  • Search and Seizure
  • Passes
  • Gifts Delivered to School
  • Food Service Program
  • Water and Other Beverages
  • Cafeteria Expectations
  • Parent Teacher Organization (PTO
  • Visitors
  • Insurance
  • Fees
  • Selling Items in School
  • Items Not Allowed at School
  • Volatile Substances
  • Electronic Devices (Including Cell Phones, E-Readers, Tablets, Laptop Computers)
  • Gum Chewing/Candy
  • Tobacco-Free/E-Cigarette Schools
  • Public Display of Affection
  • School Resource Officer (SRO)
  • ______________________________________________________________________

    School Day

    A full student attendance day is 8:20AM -3:00PM.  On Early Release Days school begins at 8:20AM, and ends at 1:00PM. Lunch is still served on these days.  Students are not allowed in the building before 7:35AM on a normal school day, unless they are under the direct supervision of a staff member.  Students must exit the building by 3:15PM, unless they are participating in an organized school-sponsored activity or meeting with a teacher.

    Parent Drop-Off/Parking Areas

    Students can be dropped off or picked up in the parent lane near the front entrance of the building.   In the morning, please remember to pull all the way up into the loading zone to the furthest orange cone. Students should only unload vehicles between the orange cones at the beginning and ending of the loading zone.  Please do not allow students out of your car unless you are within the loading zone between the cones.

    When picking your child up from school each afternoon, please remember to pull all the way up into the loading zone to the furthest orange cone.  If the loading zone is full all the way back to the yellow striped area, please park in a parking space.  Students will only be allowed to load cars in between the orange cones (the loading zone), or those that are parked in the parking lot.  We do ask that you not add a second pick-up lane, double park or block other parking spaces.  Special reserved parking is available for those that have a need.  Do not park in these areas unless authorized.

    Students are not dismissed for the day until 3:00PM.  We highly encourage parents to pick up their children later than 3:00, as the parking lot traffic won’t be as congested.   We strongly caution against students being dropped off or picked up on the shoulder of Route 23.  Additionally, parents will not be permitted to make a left turn leaving from our parking lot onto Maplewood Drive.  Encourage your child to use crosswalks, and to use caution when walking to and from their vehicle. 

    The bus loading and unloading zones should be free of parent traffic between 7:00AM-7:00PM daily, as we do have several after school events.

    Arrival Procedures

    Although normal school rules and courtesies to fellow students (and guests) are expected to be respected anytime a student is on the school grounds, some special expectations or rules are necessary prior to 8:05AM.  This is due to the arrival of large groups of students and the number using the Commons area.  The rules that are particularly important for this before school time are based on respect for others as well as respect for personal and school property.  All walkers/riders will enter the building through the main entrance except when special arrangements have been made.  Students who ride the bus will enter the doors on the North side of the building.  These doors will be opened at 7:30AM and all students are to report to the Commons if arriving between 7:30AM and 8:05AM.  If a student wishes to eat breakfast, he or she must do so immediately upon arrival to school.

    The rules for waiting in the commons are:

  • Once a students selects a location, he/she may not leave without permission.
  • Students needs to remain seated.
  • Students should not congregate in the entrances or aisles.

When students are dismissed from the Commons, students are to go to their lockers, and report immediately to their 1st hour class. Students who need to leave the classroom, even before the first bell rings, must have their assignment notebook pass signed before leaving.  First hour class begins at 8:20AM.

Early Dismissal Procedures

Students who will need to leave early or within the day for an appointment will need to notify the office of the early dismissal, either by phone or in writing.  The child will be given an early dismissal pass.  When the parent arrives to pick up the child, he/she will need to come into the school to sign the child out.  If the parent sends someone else to pick up the child, the receptionist will check photo identification of the person picking him/her up, and the designee will need to sign the child out before leaving.

Dismissal Procedures

After school all students must be on their way home by 3:15PM unless they are participating in a school activity, being detained by a teacher, or getting help from a teacher.  Students are to use the bus exit or the main entrance to leave the building, depending on how they are getting home.  Walkers should leave the grounds immediately after dismissal.  Students involved in an activity or after-school sports in the gym should take belongings needed from their hallway locker. Students may not have access to these areas once these activities have completed.  All buses board on the north side of the school.

Students ID Cards

Students are required to have their current I.D.’s with them at all times.  They are required for library check out, buying lunch, and school activities, including dances.  Students may not use I.D. cards from previous school years for any school-related purpose.  If students attempt to misuse or use expired I.D. cards for any school-related purposes, the cards will be confiscated and disciplinary consequences may result.  Replacement I.D.’s can be purchased in the main office for $2.

Backpacks

Backpacks, including drawstring bags, may be used to carry school materials to and from school but may not be carried from class to class unless special arrangements have been made with staff to accommodate a student’s needs.

Assignment Notebooks

Setting up good organizational habits is a must in order to be successful. Students are issued and are expected to utilize their assignment notebooks for tracking daily and long term assignments, writing hallway passes, and for familiarizing themselves with the Middle School expectations. Students are to maintain their assignment notebook in good condition, or they will be charged a replacement fee of $10.

Hallway Policies

  • Students should walk in the hallways.
  • Students should keep to the right in hallways as much as possible to allow for smooth movement of students between classes.
  • Pushing, excessive loudness, and congregating of large groups in the corridors is not permitted.
  • Students who are passing while classes are in session are to be quiet and considerate in halls outside classrooms and offices.
  • Students should go directly to class and should not wander the halls to socialize.
  • Students are required to use their assignment notebook passes whenever traveling in the hallways during non-scheduled passing periods.
  • Eating is not permissible in the hallways at any time.
  • Students will not be allowed the use of any aerosol sprays, colognes, or perfumes at any time, including in the hallway areas.

Locker Information and Policies

Each student is assigned an individual locker for their coat, books, etc.  Unauthorized sharing of lockers is not necessary and will not be permitted.  A combination lock is provided for each locker and only the office, the homeroom teacher, and the pupil who is assigned that locker should know how to open it. The school is not liable for lost or stolen items.  All lockers are school property and fall under the Search and Seizure guidelines.

Advice about Lockers

  1. Be accurate when working the combination.
  2. Be a good housekeeper – books, coats, etc. may push against the door to keep it from opening.
  3. Don’t kick or bang locker doors with hands or fists.
  4. Students may go to their lockers between periods if they choose, but each is expected to arrive at the next class on time.
  5. Locker problems should be reported to the office.
  6. Students should only use their assigned locker.
  7. Locker combinations should never be shared.
  8. Remember that lockers are the property of the school and may be opened at any time by school personnel.
  9. Locker decorations will not be allowed.

Office

Students may take care of office business between 7:30AM and 8:05AM.  Students are to go to the office before entering the Commons or going to their classroom.

Student Message and Materials

To keep interruptions to the classroom at a minimum, parents should not ask the office staff to get messages or materials to their children unless absolutely necessary.  Office staff will not get messages or materials to a student until the end of a class period, unless an emergency situation exists.

Search and Seizure

To maintain order and security in the schools, school authorities may inspect and search places and areas such as lockers, desks, parking lots, and other school property and equipment owned or controlled by the school as well as personal effects left in those places and areas by students without  notice or consent of the student and without a search warrant.  As a matter of public policy, federal law finds that students have no reasonable expectation of privacy in these places and areas and in their personal effects left in these places and areas.  School authorities may request the assistance of law enforcement officials for the purpose of conducting inspections and searches of lockers, desks, parking lots, and other school property and equipment owned or controlled by the school for illegal drugs, weapons, or other illegal or dangerous substances or materials, including searched conducted through the use of specially trained dogs.  If a search conducted in accordance with this section produces evidence that the student has violated or is violating the law, local ordinance, or the school’s policies or rules, such evidence may be seized by school authorities, and disciplinary actions may be taken.  School authorities may also turn over such evidence to law enforcement authorities.  The provisions of this sub section apply in all school districts.

State law requires the District to inform students and their parents/guardians that school officials may request or require a student or his/her parent/guardian to provide a password or other related account information to gain access to the student’s account or profile on a social networking website. This request would only be made in cases where there is reasonable cause to believe that the student’s account contains evidence that he or she violated a school disciplinary rule or Board of Education policy.

Passes

Students are required to use their assignment notebook passes whenever traveling in the hallways during non-scheduled passing periods.

Gifts Delivered to School

We strongly discourage delivery of flowers, gifts, or balloons.  Any such delivery for students will be kept in the office until the end of the school day.

Food Service Program

Breakfast and lunch is provided for purchase daily for all students.  Students must present their ID to purchase meals, snacks, or drinks.  Students eating breakfast should purchase their meal immediately upon arrival to school.  Breakfast service will stop at 8:10AM.

Students with lunch balances that are negative will be given a sandwich and milk every day until the lunch account is brought back into the positive.  Parents may go onto MySchoolBucks from the District’s Webstore and setup their student’s lunch account.  Parents then have the option to choose a low-threshold amount in which an email will be sent once their student’s lunch balance reaches that amount. 

Parents have the ability to go online on Sycamore School District’s website, www.syc427.org and apply for the Free/Reduced Lunch Program.   Those steps are listed below:

  • Click into the “Parents” tab on the home page and select “Lunch Information”. The results are immediate, and the parents can see their eligibility status.
  • Also provided for parents on the same page of the website is a “Fee Waiver” form for those who qualify for “Free” meals. This form is to be completed and turned in with their application results at the same time.
  • While preferred to complete online, free and reduced price breakfast/lunch application forms are available in the office.

It is a violation of State law for a student receiving free or reduced breakfast/lunch to purchase food for someone else.

Water and Other Beverages

Students are allowed to carry a clear water bottle into the classroom.  Sport Energy drinks are not allowed at school at any time.

Cafeteria Expectations

Students are encouraged to eat the school-provided lunch or a sack lunch brought from home. Due to the limited amount of time for lunch, parents are discouraged from removing students from the building during this time.  Students are not to order out for food and have it delivered to the building, nor are parents to bring food to the school for any students other than their own child.

In the Commons, students are to:

  • Arrive immediately after class dismissal.
  • Enter in an orderly manner – walk.
  • Students MUST have a current ID in order to purchase lunch or anything at the snack shack. Giving an ID number is not okay. Replacement IDs are available in the office for $2.
  • Use established route to pick up food and milk.
  • Remain seated at all times unless given permission from a supervisor.
  • Push the chair under the table and take all food and paper goods to containers provided.
  • Get permission to leave the Commons by a supervisor.
  • Help keep the area picked up and clean.
  • Use unbreakable containers.
  • Keep all foos in the lunchroom.
  • Keep voices at an indoor conversational level.
  • Practice good eating habits and good table manners.
  • Keep hands and feet to themselves.

The following types of behavior are not permissible:

  • Sharing or buying food for others
  • Running or horseplay
  • Removing chairs from tables
  • Leaning back on chairs
  • Throwing anything
  • Going to others’ tables to socialize
  • Creating a mess
  • Disrespect for supervisors
  • Disruptive behavior
  • Removing food from the cafeteria

Students who choose to display inappropriate behavior will be denied the privilege of eating in the cafeteria.

Parent Teacher Organization (PTO)

Sycamore Middle School has a PTO.  All parents are considered members and are encouraged to attend meetings.  Meetings are held monthly and times are announced via weekly messengers and online calendar.

Visitors

All visitors must report to the receptionist, show identification, sign in, and receive a visitor pass.  When leaving, please sign out.  Unauthorized persons are not allowed in the school building or on the school grounds, and will be directed to leave or be subject to criminal prosecution.

Parents

Parents are always welcome to visit their child’s class.  In order to provide parents with the best opportunity to view student activities, we ask that parents call the office at least 24 hours prior to such visits. Any parent wishing to confer with a staff member should contact that staff member by telephone or e-mail to make an appointment.  Conferences with personnel are held, to the extent possible, during a teacher’s plan or team meeting time.

Out-of-Town Students

Student visitors are not allowed to attend a child’s class during school hours.  Past experiences have shown this not to be beneficial for either the visitor or the student.

Sycamore High School Students

High school age students and ex-students who come to visit may visit after 3:00PM.  They will be required to check in at the office and present their ID in exchange for a Sycamore Middle School Visitor’s badge before being allowed to tour the building.  Those who do not follow this procedure will be asked to leave.  High school visitors must leave by 4:00PM.

Fees

Instructional Materials

An instructional materials fee is to be paid at the beginning of the school year.  This charge includes textbook rental, technology fee, and student assignment notebook, and other class materials fees.

Textbook Damage and Replacement Fees

Students who damage or lose a textbook will be required to pay fees for damage incurred or full replacement, depending on the damage assessed.  The Department chairperson has replacement guidelines.  These fees may be charged at the time the unit ends or at the end of the year.  If a parent is required to pay full replacement cost of a damaged book, he/she is allowed to keep the book.

Textbook Damage and Other Fee Waiver Policy

The Sycamore Community Unit School District #427 will waive all fees assessed by the district on children whose parents are unable to afford them, including but not limited to children eligible for free lunch.  Extenuating circumstances such as very significant loss of income due to severe illness or injury in the family, unusual expenses as fire, flood, or storm damage, or similar emergency situations that the district determines to include this policy may also entitle a family to a fee waiver.  Fee waivers should be requested from the principal’s secretary.

Insurance

Sycamore CUSD #427 is participating in a Student Accident Insurance program that covers students for injuries incurred while participating in school sponsored and supervised activities, including all sports.  This program pays benefits with no deductible.

Because accidents also occur away from school, Sycamore School District has approved the following optional plans that you may purchase separately:

24 Hour Coverage: Around the clock accident coverage for students anywhere in the world; protection during vacation, weekends, and school days, as well as all travel.

24 Hour Unlimited Dental Accidental Coverage: Brochures, claim forms, and applications for these plans are available in the middle school office or by contacting the Business Office.

These plans provide secondary coverage and will pay benefits after parent/guardian’s primary health insurance has concluded participation in the claim.

Selling Items in School

Students are not to sell any items at school without authorization from the principal or assistant principal.

Items Not Allowed at School

The following items are not allowed at school:

  • Music with explicit lyrics
  • Sharpies or other permanent markers
  • Laser pens
  • Playing cards, unless used with consent and direct supervision of Sycamore Middle School Staff or Administration
  • Skateboards, scooters, or roller blades
  • Other items per administrative discretion that interrupt the educational process

Not only do they disturb classes, but these items can be lost or stolen. Anything that interferes with the instructional process will be confiscated by the teacher and turned over to the office. Any of the above items to be used for class projects or use on bus trips must have prior approval and must be checked in at the office or kept in your locker.

Volatile Substances

Items such as permanent markers, liquid paper, modeling glue, rubber cement, etc. are not to be brought to school.  Students found in possession of these items will have them confiscated, and could be considered to be in violation of the middle school’s substance abuse policy.

Electronic Devices (Including Cell Phones, E-Readers, Tablets, Laptop Computers)

Students have the privilege to use student-owned cell phones, iPods, tablets, laptop computers, electronic readers, and other electronic devices while on school property. “School property” includes the school building, parking lots and grounds, and school-owned vehicles. Student cell phones must be off and in a student locker during the school day, from 8:15-3:00PM.  Students may not take pictures, videos or recordings of other students or faculty during the school day or at school sponsored events after school hours.  All electronic devices must be turned off and out of sight during all assessments.   The use of any device for audio or video recording by students is prohibited on school grounds and at school events. This usage is a privilege, and these privileges can be revoked if the teacher/administrator deems it necessary.  If its usage distracts from the educational environment, school staff may confiscate an electronic device.  If the school provides access to their Wi-Fi, all school rules apply to transmission and usage of all devices, including personal, as written in accordance with the handbook and Acceptable Use Policy. SMS is not responsible for lost or stolen items.

Gum Chewing/Candy

As a general rule, gum may be chewed at Sycamore Middle School if the SMS staff does not: see it, hear it, or find it. In addition, if gum is causing a classroom disruption, teachers have the right to issue disciplinary consequences.

A student who is asked by a staff member to dispose of his/her gum needs to do so willingly and properly, and he/she is not to put any more gum in his/her mouth during that class period. Reminder points may still be assigned for gum misuse.  SMS staff and administration reserve the right to restrict a student’s gum chewing on a more permanent basis if the student’s choices with gum regularly show irresponsibility and disrespect of the rules.

Gum is not allowed in PE, Band, and Orchestra. In addition, classroom teachers have the right to declare their classrooms as a “Gum Free Zone.”  Gum chewing is a privilege that may be revoked. Students should take care to dispose of gum in appropriate trash receptacles. This applies to both the inside and outside of the building.

Candy may be eaten only during the student’s own lunchtime in the cafeteria area or in a classroom when distributed by a teacher as a treat or reward.

Public Display of Affection

Our staff feels that public display of affection is considered inappropriate for middle school students, and any demonstration of this will be addressed by staff and administration with those involved. There is no romantic hugging permitted at Sycamore Middle School per staff discretion. Students should avoid all unnecessary physical contact, horseplay, hugging, and/or roughhousing. Parents may be notified and office consequences may be issued.

Tobacco-Free/E-Cigarette Schools

By state statute, no person is allowed to use any form of tobacco or e-cigarette in the school building or on the school grounds.  Students cannot be in personal possession of any form of tobacco, e-cigarette, or vaping material while in the school building, on school grounds, or participating in school sponsored activities.

School Resource Officer (SRO)

As part of our on-going partnership with the Sycamore Police Department, a School Resource Officer will be in our building this year.  School administration empowers the SRO, as a staff member, to enforce all school and district rules.  The School Resource Officer may be consulted on behavioral matters.