Sycamore Middle School Expectations

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Accumulated Reward System

Students whose accumulated point total shows a positive value will be periodically recognized for such effort through a school developed positive incentive program.

Recognition Points

  • Students earn recognition points for demonstrating the school expectations by being respectful, responsible, and building positive relationship with peers and staff.
  • Students are also encouraged to follow the districts core values of Honesty, Trustworthiness, Integrity, Equality, Empathy, Respect, Citizenship, Digital Citizenship, Responsibility, and Collaboration.
  • Each week a student is in attendance for more than 3 days, he/she will earn 1 recognition point.
  • Each week a student does not receive any reminder points, he/she will receive a recognition point.
  • Students can earn an unlimited amount of recognition points.

Teachers have the discretion to award recognition points in different ways, and different teams have different approaches. While not all of these are given every time, the ways to earn recognition points is unlimited.

Reminder Points

Students who display inappropriate behavior in violation of the classroom rules or in violation of the school rules listed above may receive reminder points. Reminder points shall accumulate with the consequences becoming more severe as the point value increases (see consequences). Please note that these behaviors listed may instead receive a referral, based on the severity of the incident. Students will be immediately notified if they have received reminder points and will be asked to sign a reminder point slip indicating such notification.

Consequences of Accumulated Reminder Points

  • Step 1 (-10 Points)
    • Letter home AND 1 hour detention after school
    • Referral to counselor/social worker
  • Step 2 (-20 Points)
    • Letter home AND 2 hour detention after school
    • Behavior contact offered
  • Step 3 (-30 Points)
    • Letter home – 1 hour detention AND loss of privileges:
    • Independent use of learning center/computer lab
    • Loss of privilege passes
    • Alternate lunchroom Assignment
    • Loss of the privilege of participation in extracurricular activities (athletics, cheerleading, pom pons, student council, yearbook, music activities, and other school activities)
    • Loss of the privilege of attending positive point activities, field trips, dances, and after school events sponsored by the faculty or PTO
    • Passing period limited whenever possible

Excessive reminder points (-10) in a week, regardless of point total, will result in disciplinary action.

  • 1st time – 1 hour detention
  • 2nd time – 2 hour detention
  • 3rd time – Saturday Service Program
  • 4th time – Full Day In-School Supervision

If a student fails to serve an assigned detention, the time will be doubled.  If the student fails to serve the doubled detention, the student will be required to serve a full day of Alternate Education Programming.  If a disciplinary issued Saturday Service Program is not served, the student will serve a full day of Alternate Education Programming.

Periodic updates of accumulated points are available by parent/guardian request.

Disciplinary Infractions, Gross Disobedience, and Misconduct

Engaging in any activity, on or off school grounds, that interferes with, disrupts, or adversely affects the school environment, school operations, or and educational function, including, but not limited to be considered a threat or intimidation of a staff member, or endanger the health, safety of students, staff, or school property is subject to disciplinary action.  School Administration is authorized to discipline students for infractions that may include, but are not limited to, the following types of prohibited conduct, behavior, or activity:

  • Dress Code Violation: an individual’s dress, personal appearance, and cleanliness, as well as his/her behavior demonstrate his/her sensitivity to and respect others. SMS recognizes that a student’s individual appearance is mainly the responsibility of both the student and parent(s). If, in judgment of school officials, modes of dress or appearance are distracting or disturbing the progress of the educational program, both the student at the parent(s) will be notified, and the student will be required to change immediately. The following dress code is in effect:

    • Dress and grooming should be clean, modesty in attire, decent, and free of obnoxious odors. For the protection of the student, health and safety standards must be maintained at all times.
    • Footwear must be worn at all times, and clothing and footwear must not have ornamentation that will damage furniture , floors, or create a safety hazard to either the student or others.
    • Accessories such as necklaces, bracelets, belts, etc., that could be used as weapons are expressly forbidden.
    • No large chains may be worn attached to clothing or on a student’s body.
    • Caps, hats, bandanas, sweatbands, head gear or sunglasses may not be visible at school.
    • Wearing flannel pants or pajama pants is prohibited.
    • Garments depicting beer, alcohol, liquor, or drugs may not be worn at school.
    • No undergarments shall be visible while siting or standing. This includes boxer shorts. Pants shall be worn at the waist.
    • No clothing considered to be revealing shall be allowed. This includes, but is not limited to, shirts that reveal midriffs, shirts with bare backs, clothing made of see-through fabrics or mesh, shirts with spaghetti straps or shirts without two straps, certain holes in clothing, low-cut tops (revealing cleavage), off the shoulder tops, and short shorts/skirts (shorts need to be fist length or longer). Subject to Administrative discretion.
    • Any material deemed inappropriate by administrative staff may not be worn/ displayed/ used on school property.

Please note: Specific courses may require safety equipment to be worn or require other special dress codes, including footwear.  Students must wear the appropriate equipment and adhere to those dress codes.  If a teacher believes a student is not properly dressed for a specific activity, the teacher has the authority to request the student to change attire or to put on an article of clothing available through the nurse’s office or PE department.  If a student refuses the teacher’s request to change attire, the teacher is to send the student to the Dean of Student’s office for disciplinary action.  Administration may send the student home to change or may assign the student reminder points, removal from the activity, detention, an alternate education program, or an out of school suspension.  Exemptions to the dress code may be determined for specific events (i.e. Spirit Week) or causes as determined by the building principal or his designee. Administrative discretion will determine the appropriateness of a student’s attire.

  • Presence in an unauthorized or non-supervised area will receive disciplinary consequences.
  • Insubordination is defined as failure to comply with requests from school personnel.  School personnel includes all faculty and staff, including the SRO (School Resource Officer), employees, teachers, administrators, school board members, school bus drivers, other school district employees, and students (where the term is appropriate).

  • Cheating/Academic Dishonesty…Sycamore Middle School expects academic honesty. Any action intended to get credit or help someone get credit for work which is not one’s own is considered academic dishonesty. Plagiarism (including Internet copying/pasting) is considered academic dishonesty. Consequences for academic dishonesty will be administered at the discretion of the teacher and administration, but could result in a zero for the assignment.

    Forgery is dishonest.  Students who forge a parent’s signature will receive consequences for academic dishonesty.  These can include classroom consequences, reminder points, or an office referral.

  • Alcohol, Drugs or Look-Alike Drugs, Tobacco or Electronic Cigarettes:  It is illegal in Illinois for anyone under the age of 21 to be in possession, consume, and/or under the influence of alcohol, defined by observable behaviors, physical appearance/symptoms, noticeable indicators (i.e. odor or alcohol present on breath, etc.).  It is also illegal for anyone to possess, sell, manufacture, or use alcohol/tobacco/drugs or look-alike drugs on school property, school buses, or at any school related activities.  The prohibition of electronic cigarettes and vaping materials applies.  Electronic cigarettes are defined as a cigarette-shaped device containing nicotine or non-nicotine based liquid that is vaporized and inhaled.  All city, state and federal laws apply to the use and possession of drugs and alcohol. 

    The City of Sycamore has an ordinance prohibiting the purchase, possession, or use of tobacco products by anyone under the age of 18.  In accordance with that statue, students found to be in violation will receive a police referral.  In addition, students will face school disciplinary consequences.

  • Bringing weapons, or look-alike weapons, such as guns, clubs, chains, knives, brass knuckles, and any other device that could be used to hurt or harm a student, staff member, or anyone else on school grounds or at a school function is strictly prohibited.  The Sycamore school system considers this type of violation to be extremely serious and will result in severe disciplinary action ranging from suspension to recommendation for expulsion.

  • Gang Activity:  It is the school’s responsibility to maintain a safe and disruption-free school environment.  The School Code of Illinois (Ill. Rev. Stat., Ch. 122, par. 31-1 through 31-4) provides that “any public school fraternity, sorority or secret society is inimical to the public good.”  ‘Gangs,’ as defined in this policy, shall mean individuals who associate with each other primarily for criminal, disruptive, and/or other activities prohibited by law and/or the Sycamore School District’s Rules and Regulation.  Gangs, gang-related activities, and secret societies are not acceptable in the school setting.  The Board of Education is aware that the presence of gangs interferes materially and substantially with both the educational process and the requirement of appropriate discipline in the school.  Gangs also foster anti-social behaviors, attitudes, and practices, which may endanger the health, safety, and welfare of our students.

    Prohibited activities include, but are not limited to the following:

    • Soliciting and/or recruiting others for membership.
    • Participating in and/or inciting physical violence.
    • Extorting or soliciting money and/or services, requesting any person to pay for protection, insurance, or any other payment of dues.
    • Coercing, harassing, and/or otherwise intimidating, threatening, or causing harm to any person or living creature.
    • Wearing, possessing, using, displaying in any manner (such as on folders or books), distributing, or selling any clothing, jewelry, emblem, badge, symbol, sign, or other item commonly associated with membership in, or affiliation with, a gang, secret society, and/or any public school fraternity or sorority.
    • Any act or activity which violates any law or any policy of Sycamore School District 427 when such an act or activity is taken to further or promote the interests of a gang, secret society, and/or any public school fraternity or sorority while attending school or sponsored events.
  • Endangering the physical or psychological well-being of the school population by acts including, but not limited to:

    • Improper release of a school fire alarm or tampering with fire extinguishers.
    • Starting a fire on or to school property or attempting to do so.
    • Setting off, attempting to set off, or threatening to set off explosive devices or smoke bombs in or around school property, or the use or display of dangerous weapons.
    • Possession or use of mace, pepper spray, or other similar self-defense sprays.
  • Bullying is the severe, repetitive, and/or intentional infliction of physical, social, intellectual, and/or emotional suffering on another person or group of persons.  Such conduct includes, but is not limited to direct behaviors (e.g. teasing, taunting, intimidating, attempting to intimidate, threatening, name calling, ridiculing, belittling, extorting, hitting, hazing, physical attacks and/or violence) and indirect behaviors (e.g., spreading rumors, causing social isolation or psychological isolation, placing them in reasonable fear of harm to their person or property).  This also includes cyber-bullying by the use of, but not limited to, the Internet and cell phone texting.

    Definition of Cyber-Bullying.  Cyber-bullying is defined as bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication, including without limitation any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by wire, radio, electromagnetic system, photoelectronic system, or photooptical system, including without limitation electronic mail, Internet communications, instant messages, or facsimile communications.  “Cyber-bullying” includes the creation of a webpage or weblog in which the creator assumes the identity of another person or the knowing impersonation of another person as the author of posted content or messages if the creation or impersonation creates any of the effects enumerated in the definition of bullying in this Section.  “Cyber-bullying” also includes the distribution by electronic means of a communication to more than one person or the posting of material on an electronic medium that may be accessed by one or more persons if the distribution or posting creates any of the effects enumerated in the definition of bullying in [105 ILCS 5/27-23.7(b)].

    Prohibition of Cyber-Bullying.  Bullying is prohibited through the transmission of information from a computer that is accessed at a non-school-related location, activity, function, or program or from the use of technology or an electronic device that is not owned, leases, or used by a school district or school if the bullying causes a substantial disruption to the educational process or orderly operation of a school.  This item applies only in cases in which a school administrator or teacher receives a report that bullying through this means has occurred and does not require a district or school to staff or monitor any non-school-related activity, function, or program.

  • Acts of intolerance for diversity, either physical or verbal, which may include, but are not limited to, race, ethnicity, sexual preference, religious belief, gender, disability, ancestry, age, etc.  All students should have respect for one another and all school personnel.

  • Vandalism is the intentional damage to or destruction of school property or property of school personnel.

  • Theft:  Stealing or possessing stolen school property, school funds, or student or faculty property.  In addition to school disciplinary action, this offense may result in a police referral.

  • Fighting or any other type of physical abuse will not be tolerated at Sycamore Middle School.  The school community views this as an unacceptable means to solve conflict, no matter what the circumstance.  In addition to school disciplinary action, school officials may make a police referral in the event of a physical altercation.  If students see such actions occurring, they should report it immediately to the nearest staff member or office.  Students are prohibited from involving themselves in a fight for any reason. 

  • Assaulting school personnel will result in an immediate police referral in addition to school disciplinary consequences.

  • Acts which directly or indirectly jeopardize the health, safety and welfare of students and/or school personnel are strictly prohibited.  This includes, but is not limited to, snowball throwing, skate boarding and in-line skating. These activities are not allowed at any time, except for curricular reasons, on any school district property.

  • Willfully obstructing an investigation by school officials by giving false information or by withholding information in response to questions.

  • Group or mob action:  Acts which are unacceptable on an individual basis remain inappropriate and become an even greater offense when a group engages in them.  Intimidation, threats, fighting, food fights, and “skip days” are examples of acts of gross misconduct.  Each individual will be held accountable for his/her misconduct.

  • Sexual Harassment:  Sexual harassment is interpreted to be any unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.  Such conduct is a violation of school and district policies and will be handled through disciplinary action.

    This category also includes “sexting”, which is defined as creating, sending, viewing, or receiving an indecent picture of oneself or another person through the use of computer, cell phone, or other electronic communication device.  At no time shall a person distribute or disseminate an indecent visual depiction of themselves or another through the use of a computer or electronic communication device.  Violators may be subject to both police referral and Juvenile Court proceedings.

    Any student who believes that he/she has been subject to sexual harassment, or any person who believes that he/she has witnessed an incident of sexual harassment, should make a complaint.  The initiation of a complaint of sexual harassment will not result in retaliation, bias, or intimidation against the complainant.  All complainants shall immediately be referred to the building principal for investigation.  If the building principal is the subject of the complaint, the complaint shall be referred to the Superintendent or designee for Sycamore School District 427.

  • Inappropriate or offensive language, when used in an abusive manner directed at students and/or staff.  This also includes, but is not limited to, profanity.

  • Disrupting the educational environment:  The use of the middle school’s computers/technology is a privilege, not a right.  All student use of technology must be in accordance with the Sycamore School District Acceptable Use Policy.   Use must be for the purpose of education or research and must be consistent with the educational objectives of the district.

  • Students are not allowed to access or tamper with teacher, student, and/or staff files, user files, user areas, system software, system hardware, or emails.  Students will not be allowed to utilize school technology to generate material for personal (not related to education or research) use or distribution.  In addition, students may not use school technology to access, generate, view, submit post, publish, transmit, or distribute inappropriate material which may include, but is not limited to, material which is defamatory, intentionally inaccurate, abusive, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, threatening, racially offensive, harassing, or illegal. 

    Students must abide by the Acceptable Use Policy at all times, including using only their own personal login information.  Students found to have committed a technology violation may suffer disciplinary consequences including, but not limited to, the suspension of their technology privileges.

  • Electronic Devices/Cell Phones:  Students may not take pictures, videos or recordings of staff or other students.   All cell phones follow the rules as outlined earlier in this handbook. Additionally, cell phones must be turned off and out of sight during all assessments.  These devices shall not be used for or associated with any unlawful activities, including “sexting” (see #18), the copying of proprietary material (assessments, another student’s homework assignment, etc.), or other similar behaviors.

    Any electronic devices that record, receive, and transmit are prohibited unless approved by administration.  Possession and/or use of laser pointers and other similar devices is expressly prohibited at any time.  This includes before, during, and after school hours, as well as at any and all extra-curricular events/activities.

  • Student use of devices for audio or video recording:  The use of any device for audio or video recording by students is prohibited on school grounds and at school events.

THIS LIST IS NOT INTENDED TO BE ALL-INCLUSIVE.  DEPENDING ON THE NATURE AND SEVERITY, ADDITIONAL INFRACTIONS MAY BE INCLUDED AT ANY TIME BY THE ADMINISTRATION.  ADMINISTRATION HAS FULL DISCRETION OF ALL POLICIES AND PROCEDURES.