Sturgis Charter Public School
Student learning is why we are here. We strive to help all students maximize their potential not only in their knowledge and skills but also in their habits, attitudes, and values.
Sturgis Charter Public School East
427 Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
Sturgis Charter Public School – West
105 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
Covid-19 Insert, 2020-2021 School Year
Due to measures implemented by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), Sturgis Charter Public School has made a number of significant changes to our schools’ operations. Many of these changes are posted on our school website (www.sturgischarterschool.org). Please note, however, that due to the changing nature of our current environment, it is not feasible to incorporate all of our operational changes into our existing student handbook.
Significant handbook changes made to our operations as a result of the new state regulations are found below. If you have any questions about information not included on this addendum, please contact Sturgis at your convenience.
- Students will not be permitted into the building until 8:00am. Students will be expected to leave the building by 3:30pm
- Our schedule will follow a 4 day rotation and each day (1-4) will correspond to a specific day of the week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday). More detailed information on our hybrid and fully remote schedules can be found on our website.
- There are significant changes to our athletic program. For current updates, please consult our website or contact the appropriate school athletic director (Jim Barrasso, Sturgis East, Scott McNair, Sturgis West)
- Note that there are new Google Meet norms and expectations that have been communicated to all students.
- When in school, it is vital that all students respect the social distancing and other covid-19 regulations (masks, for example) implemented and explained during the first 2 weeks of school.
- School approved face masks must be worn at all times when in the building (except during designated break times)
- ‘Gaiters’ or other neck and face coverings are not allowed.
- Displays of items during google meets that resemble drug, alcohol, and/or tobacco paraphernalia are prohibited.
Attendance and Tardies
- Please use this form for attendance reporting:
- Due to current circumstances involving the Covid pandemic, all absences recorded through this notification form will be considered “excused” until further notice.
- With regards to athletics and other school activities, students must be in school by 9:00 AM. If the student is scheduled remotely, they must be reported as “Remote Present” in all classes no later than 9:00 AM in order to attend.
- Open campus has been suspended for all students until further notice. Students will eat lunch in previously assigned classrooms. Students may not order out for lunch, unless it is from the Little Sandwich Shop. For more information on this process, please contact the main office.
- Students will not be permitted to use lockers until further notice.
Dear Sturgis Students and Parents,
Welcome to the 2020-21 school year! It promises to be a singular year in Sturgis’ history. Receiving the authorization to offer the IB Diploma Program in 2004 was a monumental occasion in the life of Sturgis Charter Public School as we were able to achieve one of the priority goals that was established when the initial charter proposal was submitted to the Massachusetts Department of Education. Our founders would have likely never envisioned “IB for All” occurring via remote and hybrid learning.
Even through the pandemic, our fundamental purpose is at the forefront of our thinking as we develop our curriculum and student activities: student learning is why we are here. We strive to help all students maximize their individual student potential not only in knowledge and skills but also in habits, attitudes, and values. We feel fortunate to have many highly capable faculty returning to Sturgis for the 2020-21 school year. In addition, we have also been very fortunate in recruiting many outstanding faculty members who will add their passion and expertise to enhance our program.
STURGIS CHARTER PUBLIC SCHOOL
Revised 2020-21 School Calendar
26 New Faculty and Lead Teachers Meetings
27 Opening Meetings for Faculty
28, 31 Professional Days for Faculty
1-4 Professional Days for Faculty
7 Labor Day—No School
8-11 Professional Days for Faculty
14 First Remote School Day for Students
28 First Hybrid School Day for Students
12 Federal Holiday—No School
11 Veteran’s Day Observed—No School
25-27 Thanksgiving Holiday
24-31 Winter Recess
1 Winter Recess
18 Martin Luther King Day–No School
15-19 February Vacation
19-23 April Vacation
31 Memorial Day- No School
5 Graduation—10:00 a.m. for East & 2:30 p.m. for West
15 Last Day (Does not include inclement weather days, as
those days will involve remote asynchronous
learning this year)
The IB Learner Profile
The aim of all IB programmes is to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world.
IB learners strive to be:
Inquirers They develop their natural curiosity. They acquire the skills necessary to conduct inquiry and research and show independence in learning. They actively enjoy learning and this love of learning will be sustained throughout their lives.
Knowledgeable They explore concepts, ideas and issues that have local and global significance. In so doing, they acquire in-depth knowledge and develop understanding across a broad and balanced range of disciplines.
Thinkers They exercise initiative in applying thinking skills critically and creatively to recognize and approach complex problems, and make reasoned, ethical decisions.
Communicators They understand and express ideas and information confidently and creatively in more than one language and in a variety of modes of communication. They work effectively and willingly in collaboration with others.
Principled They act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness, justice and respect for the dignity of the individual, groups and communities. They take responsibility for their own actions and the consequences that accompany them.
Open-minded They understand and appreciate their own cultures and personal histories, and are open to the perspectives, values and traditions of other individuals and communities. They are accustomed to seeking and evaluating a range of points of view, and are willing to grow from the experience.
Caring They show empathy, compassion and respect towards the needs and feelings of others. They have a personal commitment to service, and act to make a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment.
Risk-takers They approach unfamiliar situations and uncertainty with courage and forethought, and have the independence of spirit to explore new roles, ideas and strategies. They are brave and articulate in defending their beliefs.
Balanced They understand the importance of intellectual, physical and emotional balance to achieve personal well-being for themselves and others.
Reflective They give thoughtful consideration to their own learning and experience. They are able to assess and understand their strengths and limitations in order to support their learning and personal development.
Sturgis Charter Public School is a tuition-free, public high school that accepts students through public lottery regardless of past academic records or individual challenges.
English Language Learners
Pursuant to Massachusetts General Law, Sturgis Charter Public School will “be open to all students, on a space available basis, and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, creed, religion, sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, mental or physical disability, age, ancestry, athletic performance, homelessness, special need, or proficiency in the English language or a foreign language, and academic achievement.”
Students with disabilities
Pursuant to Massachusetts General Law, Sturgis Charter Public School will “be open to all students, on a space available basis, and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, creed, religion, sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, mental or physical disability, age, ancestry, athletic performance, homelessness, special need, or proficiency in the English language or a foreign language, and academic achievement.”
The school is open to students at 7:30 a.m. as a convenience to parents who must drop their children off early. Students must not enter classrooms unless they have made an arrangement to meet with a member of the staff.
At 3:10 p.m. all students not involved in a formal after school activity are to leave the academic area of the school immediately and wait in the lobby for their rides. No students, except athletes returning from practices or games, are to be on school property after 4:30. Parents who cannot pick up a child until after 4:30 should arrange to meet her or him at a safe location such as the public library.
In the event of inclement weather or mechanical breakdown, school may be closed. Sturgis will alert parents via text message to the primary cell phone number provided through SchoolBrains, and changes in school status will be announced, as well, over local radio stations WQRC, WKTK, and television channels WHDH and FOX 25.
Calendar of Grade and Progress Reports
Term & Exam Dates Progress Report & Report Card Availability Date
1st Quarter Sept. 14 – Nov. 13
Progress Reports: Oct. 23
Report Cards: Nov. 20
2nd Quarter Nov. 16 – Jan. 25
Progress Reports: Dec 18
Sem. 1 Grades: Feb. 5
3rd Quarter Feb. 1- April 2
Progress Reports: March 19
Report Cards: April 9
4th Quarter April 5- June 9
Progress Reports: May 14
Final Exams June 10-11, 14-15
Year and Exam Grades: June 25
Our schedule operates on a seven day rotation. Each class meets six times in each seven-day rotation, for five single periods and one double period. Note: the days do not correspond to the days of the week. Advisor/Advisee meetings occur on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the morning break.
Academic Program and Policies
Sturgis Charter Public School requires that students earn four credits in each of the following disciplines: English, history, math, science; either four credits in French/Spanish and two in Latin or four credits in Latin and two in French/Spanish; two credits in the arts; and at least two additional elective credits.
Requirements for Graduation
- 4 credits of English 4 credits of French or Spanish*
- 4 credits of mathematics 2 credits of Latin
- 4 credits of science or
- 4 credits of history 4 credits of Latin*
- 2 credits of French or Spanish
- 2 credits of the arts
- 2 additional elective credits
Total of 26 credits
* All students must earn a minimum of 6 credits of foreign language in high school in order to meet the graduation requirements of Sturgis Charter Public School. Students who enter the school in grade 9 must earn either four credits in French or Spanish and two in Latin or four credits in Latin and two in French or Spanish. Students who enter Sturgis in grade 10 and have accumulated a foreign language credit at their previous school must earn three credits of Latin and two credits of French or Spanish, or three credits of French or Spanish and two credits of Latin. Grade 10 students entering Sturgis without previous foreign language credit must earn three credits each in Latin and French or Spanish. In all situations, the student must achieve a minimum of six foreign language credits to graduate.
Note: All IB assessments are graduation requirements.
Class Status Policy
Students receive seven credits for passing all courses each year. A student must accumulate the following minimum number of credits to maintain class status:
Sophomore Status: 6 credits
Junior Status: 13 credits
Senior Status: 19 credits Grade Scale
All term and final grades are reported numerically. In order to receive credit for a course, a student must earn at least a 60. Letter grade equivalents are illustrated by the following example:
Grade Point Average
Note that in determining course grades the formula for weighting class work and final examinations is as follows:
One semester course: Class work 80%, final exam 20%
All year courses: Class work 80%, mid-term exam 10%, final exam 10%
A special note for transfer students
Due to the wide range of curriculum requirements, assessment standards and grading policies at regional high schools, as well as the unique nature of our “IB for All” curriculum, Sturgis does not incorporate courses completed at prior schools into our transcript, nor do we include these courses in the calculation of a student’s Sturgis career GPA. During the college application process, Sturgis acknowledges the high school level courses that students have taken at previous schools, by providing colleges and universities with a copy of both transcripts (an official Sturgis transcript and a copy of the student’s transcript from the prior high school).
Sturgis Charter Public School does not report rank in class except by percentile when requested by colleges, universities, and scholarship services as part of the application process.
The prerequisite for the course in each discipline is a passing grade in the previous course. A student may make up a failed course while taking the current grade level course in that discipline.
Minimum Academic Program Requirements
All students must be scheduled for classes during each period of the day unless alternative arrangements (for independent study or a college course) have been approved by the Principal.
College Courses for Academic Credit
Juniors and Seniors may take college courses or receive credit for participation in other approved programs in lieu of elective credit under the following circumstances: The course does not duplicate a Sturgis course; the course must be approved by the Principal; the credit awarded by the college is equivalent to that assigned to a Sturgis course (generally a three-credit college course will equal one Sturgis credit).
School sponsored field trips are considered an integral portion of the curriculum and all eligible students are expected to attend. The Principal reserves the right to review all students’ academic and disciplinary records. In cases where there are concerns, the Principal may deny a student participation on a trip. If cost associated with a particular trip is an issue, the student or family should speak with the teacher or member of the administration.
Students who have not completed work due to absences or other extenuating circumstances as determined by the teacher and/or Principal will be given a period of time that is equal to the number of days absent plus three school days to make up the work. Teachers will determine the deadline for submitting the work and will inform the student. If the make up period falls at the end of a quarter, then the student may be given an “I” on the report card. If a student does not turn in a required course assessment, he or she may be given an Incomplete in the course until which time the assessment is completed and turned in. This may apply to course assigned Internal Assessments as well as exams.
Failure and Make-up Policy
A student who receives a failing grade for a course will be given the opportunity to retake the final examination for that course in the event that an improved score on the exam will be sufficient to produce a passing grade for the course. The exam will be scheduled at the school’s and the student’s mutual convenience during the summer following the failed course. It is assumed that the student will use the opportunity of the intervening time to receive tutoring or instruction or to engage in self study that will lead to a sufficiently improved score. Teachers will help students identify areas of the curriculum for particular concentration in their preparation for the exam to be retaken and the school will provide texts and other materials required.
A student may submit a request for a schedule change only within the first five days of class. All schedule changes are made by the Assistant Principal or Principal.
Withdrawal from a Course
Students may withdraw from a course only if the course in question is being taken in a semester in which the student’s total credits exceed the number required for graduation. The request for withdrawal must be submitted within the first ten days of the semester. Otherwise, a W will appear on the transcript of any student who withdraws from the course after the tenth day of the semester.
Summer School Credit
Sturgis Charter Public School offers no summer school program, nor do we accept summer school credit from other high schools. With the approval of the Principal, students may earn credit through college course work done during the summer.
Juniors and seniors are required to take one elective course each semester. Those who take only one elective will be assigned to a focused study for that semester. Students must earn a total of at least 2 elective credits.
Focused Study requires students to be engaged in focused academic study that guarantees productive time in a structured format. Teacher supervision and assistance will ensure that students are purposefully working on activities directly related to their program of studies.
Books are issued to students in the form of texts and supplementary works of literature, usually in paperback editions. In all cases books are numbered, numbers are recorded, and the condition of books upon issue is noted. Students are responsible for returning books in the condition of their original issue and will be billed for loss or damage regardless of the reason for the book not having been appropriately returned.
We believe all students, with the appropriate motivation and support, can succeed. The following systems and procedures are available to monitor students’ academic success and intervene when there are concerns about a student’s achievement.
We believe it is important for every student to have one faculty member who is in touch with her/him personally on a regular basis and is well-informed of the overall academic and social status within the school. An advisory program has a teacher-student ratio that allows all students to personally know an adult in the school who cares about them and who acts as a mentor, role model and advisor.
These reports are available on School Brains four times each year with estimated grades of students’ progress at that point, and comments on their effort, cooperation, and attendance. Paper versions of the reports are distributed to students by their advisors.
Each Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, at least one teacher per department will be available from 3:15-4:15 for after school academic support. Students may seek this support as part of a plan they have made with a teacher and/or their advisor, or as part of a plan established at a team meeting. Each individual teacher will be available a minimum of one day per week.
Peer tutors are available, students should see their guidance counselor, the Principal or subject area teacher for details.
Meetings of parents, students, relevant teachers and a member of the administration may be convened when the above strategies have not produced the desired results. All team meetings are scheduled by the appropriate school personnel at the request of the advisor or a parent/guardian and serve the purpose of exploring ways to help students improve their achievement and/or their behavior in one or more classes.
Individual Parent/Teacher Discussions
Parents are encouraged to call the school at any time to discuss their student with a faculty member or to leave a message. Effective communication with parents is one of our priority goals.
Participation in Creativity, Action, and Service
Beyond students’ academic development, Sturgis is committed to the growth of each student’s character. One way to develop this character is through service to others and participation in extra-curricular activities. All students are expected to involve themselves in service projects and service learning as individuals, through advisory, in school-wide activities, and/or through their academic courses.
We believe participation in these programs is an essential aspect of our commitment to developing the well-rounded student. Our athletic and extra-curricular opportunities are offered on the basis of student interest and the availability of coaches and other leaders. The school assesses user fees for participation in activities that incur costs unless students are exempt from payment of the fee for reasons of financial hardship.
Service to school and community is one way we ask students to express the “generosity of spirit” our charter espouses as a core value for our school. Faculty advisors help students identify opportunities for service, make plans for fulfilling their commitment, and reflect on what they did. Parents can help in supporting our work by talking with their children about the concept of service, identifying community service projects and participating with them. This is of great assistance to the staff and to the mission of the school as a whole.
Athletics and Co-Curricular Programs
Sports offered at Sturgis
Girls Cross Country
Boys Cross Country
Track and Field
The school is responsible for the enforcement of the MIAA rules relative to the eligibility of athletes for participation in interscholastic athletic events. Selected rules are listed below.
Sturgis students are Student-Athletes, not Athlete-Students. As such each student should be aware of the team schedule and upcoming dismissals. It is the student-athletes’ responsibility to notify teachers when they will be out of class. Each student-athlete is also responsible for ensuring that they keep current with their academic load and meet all deadlines set by teachers. Concerns raised by teachers are addressed by the coach and/or athletic director. When a student repeatedly “drops the ball” it may result in that student-athlete’s temporary suspension from team events.
Academic Eligibility: MIAA Rule 58.1: A student must secure a passing grade, and full credit, in the equivalent of four traditional year-long major English Courses..
Driving to Practice
Students who are legally entitled to drive may do so after completing the self-drive waiver. Athletes that self-drive to a practice or game understand that they:
Cannot transport any other students except siblings AT ANY TIME; must arrive to all events in a timely manner and must communicate directly with the coach when using their own vehicle.
As with all facets of school life, student safety is one of our primary goals. For this reason each student participating in athletics requires the following actions to have been completed:
- Physical Exam Form. This is valid for 13 months from the date of examination and must be turned in to the athletic office.
- Opioid Misuse Prevention information for Student-Athlete and Parent. Parent and student must read all documents pertaining to opioid misue, accessible on the athletics webpage.
- Every Athlete must complete the online base test for concussions (IMPACT)
- Concussion Awareness: Parents and students must watch the video on concussions posted on the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website.
Practice and Game Limitations—School and Non-School
A student may practice or play only once in any day. Any player who violates this rule for the first time shall be declared ineligible for participation in the next two consecutive inter-scholastic events or two weeks, whichever is greater. A non-school team is deemed to be a team if it has two or more of the following: a coach, a schedule of games, a schedule of practices, uniforms.
Submission of Paperwork
Please make sure you have handed the following prior to the season start.
- Athletic waiver for the seasons must be completed and signed by a parent and counter signed by the student.
- Participant user fee $100. A check payable to Sturgis Charter School or cash in an envelope In both cases add the child’s first and last name as well as the sport they will be participating in. Refunds of the participation fee are only available if requested during the first week of official practice.
- An up to-date physical exam on file with the school nurse.
Where paperwork is not submitted a participant may be ineligibly to practice or play.
During the season of practice or play, a student shall not, regardless of quantity, use or consume, possess, buy/sell or give away any beverage containing alcohol; any tobacco product; marijuana; steroids, or any controlled substance. It is not a violation for a student to be in possession of a legally defined drug specifically prescribed for the student’s own use by his/her doctor.
Responsibility for the enforcement of rules rests with the Executive Director, Assistant Principal or Principal, and all coaches. Please refer to the Code of Conduct, M.I.A.A. rules, and any sport specific rules provided by coaches.
Each student-athlete is provided with a team uniform. This uniform is the property of the school and is expected to be returned (in good condition) by the close of the season. Non returned uniforms incur a replacement cost payable by the student/parent. The current replacement cost varies between $30.00-$60.00.
Examples of Clubs and Activities offered at Sturgis:
Habitat for Humanity Journalism
Model United Nations Sturgis Strings
Outing Club Frisbee
GSA Student Council
Chess Team Prom Committee
Diversity Committee Year Book
Bike Builders Mock Trial
Amnesty International Newspaper
S.T.A.G.E Bible Club
Junior Classical League Gaming Club
Code of Conduct
The Sturgis Charter Public School community values intellectual curiosity and the life of the mind, believing academic achievement to be the result of serious, persistent effort, rather than innate ability or socio-economic advantage. Sturgis also prizes individual responsibility, initiative, respect for self and others, self-discipline, moral integrity, creativity and leadership. These values are articulated in the “Sturgis Compact,” the principles that guided the formation of the school.
Beyond these shared attitudes, beliefs, and values, Sturgis cultivates in its students an esprit de corps—“a sense of union and of common interests and responsibilities”—that will encourage students to support each other through four years of challenging academic work leading to high-stakes exams.
The Sturgis Code of Conduct supports the kind of educational environment the trustees and faculty believe is essential to achieving the mission of the school. In keeping with the school’s maritime inspiration, Sturgis uses the analogy of a ship and its crew to illustrate what can be accomplished when everyone works together to reach a common destination. For Sturgis students, the common goal is meeting world-class standards of academic achievement while growing in individual curiosity, character, and courage. Such a goal is achievable only in an environment where there is absolute adherence to respect, responsibility, and safety for self, for others, and for the school and larger community.
Rules for Everyone to Live By
All within the Sturgis Charter Public School community agree to support the school’s vision, mission, and guiding principles. We also agree to follow these basic rules of behavior.
- Be a person of integrity. Act honorably.
- Be kind, polite, and caring at all times. Treat everyone with dignity and respect.
- Strive for excellence without arrogance. Do your best.
- Don’t do anything you wouldn’t want your parents to know about.
- Respect the positions and ideas of those around you, even if you don’t like them. Keep an open mind.
- Allow for imperfections in others; you’re not perfect yourself. Tolerate honest mistakes from people that are doing their best.
- Lead by example.
- Speak well of others; gossip undermines human dignity.
- Seek the truth in all matters.
- Celebrate life with humor.
- Live and learn, but teach others as well.
These rules reflect in part the character guidelines written by Admiral Charles R. Larson of the U.S. Naval Academy and the Academy’s Character Development Program.
While we recognize the inclination of individuals to express themselves through fashion, we also acknowledge that there are levels of formality within our society. What may be appropriate for a weekend social engagement may not be for school. To help students make such distinctions, we ask that they abide by the following dress code. Those who do not reflect the sense of appropriateness and professionalism essential to serious academic purpose will be asked to change.
- Bodies must be appropriately covered.
- Clothing may bear no graphics with writing, slogans, pictures or symbols that depict obscenities, vulgarity, racism, gang affiliation, drugs, drug paraphernalia, alcohol, or other offensive messages that may disrupt the learning environment and undermine the mission of the school.
- No sharp studded jewelry or jewelry that can be construed as a weapon may be worn.
- No hats, hoods or bandanas may be worn in the building.
School personnel may require students to turn off electronic devices and/or give the device(s) to school personnel for safekeeping if school personnel deem that the device(s) are disrupting student learning. Students are to refrain from any unauthorized video/photo of students or staff.
Skateboards are forbidden by the Town of Barnstable in the school’s area and should not be brought to school.
The use of tobacco products is prohibited within the school building, on school grounds, or on school busses by all persons as per the requirements of the Education Reform act of 1993. Tobacco use is further prohibited at all school functions. This includes tobacco, smokeless tobacco, cigars or smoking paraphernalia.
Massachusetts General Law Chapter 269, sections 17-19 establishes hazing as a crime. Hazing includes any conduct or method of initiation into any student organization that willfully or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health of any student or person. Any instances of hazing and the organizers or participants of hazing will be reported to the police.
Commonwealth of Massachusetts: Anti-Hazing Law
Chapter 269: Section 17. Hazing; organizing or participating; hazing defined
Whoever is a principal organizer or participant in the crime of hazing, as defined herein, shall be punished by a fine of not more than three thousand dollars or by imprisonment in a house of correction for not more than one year, or both such fine and imprisonment.
The term “hazing” as used in this section and in sections eighteen and nineteen, shall mean any conduct or method of initiation into any student organization, whether on public or private property, which willfully or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health of any student or other person. Such conduct shall include whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to the weather, forced consumption of any food, liquor, beverage, drug or other substance, or any other brutal treatment or forced physical activity which is likely to adversely affect the physical health or safety of any such student or other person, or which subjects such student or other person to extreme mental stress, including extended deprivation of sleep or rest or extendedisolation.
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section to the contrary, consent shall not be available as a defense to any prosecution under this action.
Chapter 269: Section 18. Failure to report hazing
Whoever knows that another person is the target of hazing as defined in section seventeen and is at the scene of such crime shall, to the extent that such person can do so without danger or peril to himself or others, report such crime to an appropriate law enforcement official as soon as reasonably practicable. Whoever fails to report such crime shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars.
Chapter 269: Section 19. Copy of Secs. 17 to 19; issuance to students and student groups, teams and organizations; report
Each institution of secondary education and each public and private institution of post secondary education shall issue to every student group, student team or student organization which is part of such institution or is recognized by the institution or permitted by the institution to use its name or facilities or is known by the institution to exist as an unaffiliated student group, student team or student organization, a copy of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen; provided, however, that an institution’s compliance with this section’s requirements that an institution issue copies of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen to unaffiliated student groups, teams or organizations shall not constitute evidence of the institution’s recognition or endorsement of said unaffiliated student groups, teams or organizations.
Each such group, team or organization shall distribute a copy of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen to each of its members, plebes, pledges or applicants for membership. It shall be the duty of each such group, team or organization, acting through its designated officer, to deliver annually, to the institution an attested acknowledgement stating that such group, team or organization has received a copy of this section and said sections seventeen and eighteen, that each of its members, plebes, pledges, or applicants has received a copy of sections seventeen and eighteen, and that such group, team or organization understands and agrees to comply with the provisions of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen.
Each institution of secondary education and each public or private institution of post secondary education shall, at least annually, before or at the start of enrollment, deliver to each person who enrolls as a full time student in such institution a copy of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen.
Each institution of secondary education and each public or private institution of post secondary education shall file, at least annually, a report with the board of higher education and in the case of secondary institutions, the board of education, certifying that such institution has complied with its responsibility to inform student groups, teams or organizations and to notify each full time student enrolled by it of the provisions of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen and also certifying that said institution has adopted a disciplinary policy with regard to the organizers and participants of hazing, and that such policy has been set forth with appropriate emphasis in the student handbook or similar means of communicating the institution’s policies to its students. The board of higher education and, in the case of secondary institutions, the board of education shall promulgate regulations governing the content and frequency of such reports, and shall forthwith report to the attorney general any such institution which fails to make such report.
In accordance with M.G.L. c. 76, s. 5, the Sturgis Charter Public School affirms its non-tolerance for harassment or discrimination. The Sturgis Charter School is committed to equal employment and educational opportunities for all employees, students, and members of the school community without regard to race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, age, homelessness or disability. Discrimination based of these qualifiers is illegal under state and federal law and will not be tolerated.
“Harassment” means any abusive or harassing conduct (including speech) that creates a hostile learning or work environment and may include insulting words, slurs, or rude / discourteous speech inconsistent with habits and manners of civil discourse. Verbal harassment is threats, gestures, or verbal attacks directed at one’s racial, ethnic or religious background, gender identity, sexual preference, or mental or physical disability. Sexual harassment is sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment when such conduct is unwelcome and creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive learning / work environment. This can include sexual jokes, written references to sexual conduct, gossip regarding one’s sex life, displaying suggestive objects, pictures, or cartoons, unwelcome leering or brushing against one’s body, inquiries into one’s sexual experiences, or discussions of one’s sexual activities. What one person may consider acceptable behavior may be viewed as sexual harassment by another person. To protect the rights of both parties, it is important that the target make it clear to the harasser that the behavior is bothering him or her and its continuation will not be tolerated.
Any violation of this policy should be brought in writing to the attention of the Assistant Principal or Principal, who will accept all complaints and then investigate and resolve them within five days of the written submission of the complaint. Sanctions for violations of this policy of discrimination and harassment may range from a parent conference to suspension from school to a recommendation for expulsion to the Board of Trustees, depending on the severity of the violation. Retaliation based on any complaint is unlawful and will not be tolerated.
Bullying Policy: The following is a synopsis of the key components of the Sturgis Bullying Prevention and Implementation Plan. The full policy can be found on line at http://www.sturgischarterschool.org
Sturgis Charter Public School expects that all members of the school community will treat each other in a civil manner and with respect for differences.
Sturgis Charter Public School is committed to providing all students with a safe learning environment that is free from bullying and cyberbullying. This commitment is an integral part of our comprehensive efforts to promote learning, and to prevent and eliminate all forms of bullying and other harmful and disruptive behavior that can impede the learning process.
We understand that members of certain student groups, such as students with disabilities, students with cultural and linguistic difference, students who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender, and homeless students may be more vulnerable to becoming targets of bullying, harassment, or teasing. Sturgis Charter Public School will take specific steps to create a safe, supportive environment for all populations in the school community, and provide all students with the skills, knowledge, and strategies to prevent or respond to bullying, harassment, or teasing.
Sturgis Charter Public School will not tolerate any unlawful or disruptive behavior, including any form of bullying, cyberbullying, or retaliation, in our school building, on school grounds, or in school-related activities. We will investigate promptly all reports and complaints of bullying, cyberbullying, and retaliation, and take prompt action to end that behavior and restore the target’s sense of safety. We will support this commitment in all aspects of our school community, including curricula, instructional programs, staff development, extracurricular activities, and parent or guardian involvement.
The Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan (“Plan”) is a comprehensive approach to addressing bullying and cyberbullying, and Sturgis Charter Public School is committed to working with students, staff, families, law enforcement agencies, and the community to prevent issues of violence. The plan applies to students and members of a school staff, including, but not limited to, educators, administrators, school nurses, custodians, athletic coaches, advisors to an extracurricular activity and paraprofessionals.
Definition of Bullying
“Bullying” is the repeated use by one or more students or member of a school staff of written, verbal, or electronic expression (i.e. Instagram, Snapchat, text messages, etc.) or a physical act or gesture, or any combination thereof, directed at a target that:
- causes physical or emotional harm to the target or damage to the target’s property
- places the target in reasonable fear of harm to himself or herself, or of damage to his or her property
- creates a hostile environment at school for the target
- infringes on the rights of the target at school
- materially or substantially disrupts the educational process or the orderly operation of a school
Bullying is prohibited:
- on school grounds, property immediately adjacent to school grounds, at a school-sponsored or school related activity, function, or program whether on or off school grounds, at a school bus stop, or other vehicle owned, leased or used by a school, or through the use of technology or an electronic device owned, leased, or used by a school district; and
- at a location, activity, function, program that is not school-related, or through the use of technology or an electronic device that is not owned, leased, or used by a school, if the bullying creates a hostile environment at school for the target, infringes on the rights of the target at school or materially and substantially disrupts the education process of the school.
Retaliation is any form of intimidation, reprisal, or harassment directed against a person who reports bullying, provides information during an investigation of bullying, or witnesses or has reliable information about bullying. Retaliation is prohibited. Reports of bullying or retaliation may be made anonymously; provided, however, that no disciplinary action shall be taken against a student solely on the basis of an anonymous report. A student who knowingly makes a false accusation of bullying or retaliation shall be subject to disciplinary action.
Procedures for Reporting and Responding to Bullying and Retaliation
- Reporting Bullying or Retaliation. Reports of bullying or retaliation may be made by staff, students, parents or guardians, or others, and may be oral or written. Oral reports made by or to a staff member shall be recorded in writing. A Sturgis Charter Public School staff member is required to report immediately to the Assistant Principal or Principal any instance of bullying or retaliation the staff member becomes aware of or witnesses. Reports made by students, parents or guardians, or other individuals who are not Sturgis Charter Public School staff members, may be made anonymously. Sturgis Charter Public School will make a variety of reporting resources available to the school community including, an Incident Reporting Form, emailing the Assistant Principals at firstname.lastname@example.org for East
or email@example.com for West, and drop boxes throughout the school where students can report bullying, either anonymously or with their signature.
Use of an Incident Reporting Form is not required as a condition of making a report. However, Sturgis Charter Public School will: 1) include a copy of the Incident Reporting Form on the forms page of the school website for students and parents or guardians; 2) make it available in Sturgis Charter Public School’s main office, the counseling offices, and the school nurse’s office; and 3) post it on Sturgis Charter Public School’s website with this plan.
Reporting by Students, Parents or Guardians, and Others
Sturgis Charter Public School expects students, parents or guardians, and others who witness or become aware of an instance of bullying or retaliation involving a student to report it to the appropriate Assistant Principal or Principal. Reports may be made anonymously, but no disciplinary action will be taken against an alleged aggressor solely on the basis of an anonymous report. Students, parents or guardians, and others may request assistance from a staff member to complete a written report, specifically the attached Incident Reporting Form (see end of document). Students will be provided practical, safe, private and age-appropriate ways to report and discuss an incident of bullying with a staff member, or with the Assistant Principal or Principal.
Consequences of Student Misconduct or Disobedience
Any student who engages in misconduct or disobedience may be suspended or expelled from school, depending on the severity of the misconduct or disobedience and the student’s past disciplinary record. Misconduct means intentional wrongdoing or conduct that a student knows or reasonably ought to know is wrong or prohibited, and includes a violation of the rules of behavior as stated above. Disobedience means refusing or neglecting to follow the lawful instructions of an administrator, teacher, or other school employee.
A suspension may be short term (10 school days or less) or long term (more than 10 school days). The Assistant Principal or Principal may impose a short-term suspension or a long-term suspension. The power to expel (i.e., permanently exclude a student from school) is reserved for the Executive Director except in the case of the principal’s statutory authority to expel a student for certain offenses (see section below on principal’s authority).
Release of Student Disciplinary Information to Colleges
In keeping with The National Association for College Admissions Counseling’s (NACAC’s) statement of good practice, Sturgis “reports any significant change in a candidate’s academic status or qualifications, including personal school conduct record between the time of recommendation and graduation.” This includes but is not limited to changes in curriculum, violations of academic integrity, suspension or dismissal. When such actions occur, after allowing a seven day window of opportunity for the student to initiate communication with colleges, the student’s guidance counselor will write to the colleges to inform them of the student’s change in status and the reason for the change.
It is Sturgis’ policy to refrain from reporting any disciplinary infractions to colleges and universities unless the student has been adjudicated guilty or convicted of a misdemeanor and/or felony and/or Sturgis administration is aware of information that the student is a safety risk to others. In these cases, the student is encouraged to work closely with their guidance counselor to ensure that both are communicating with college admissions offices in a consistent and thoughtful manner. We counsel students to provide colleges with further information, including any extenuating circumstances and any subsequent effects that the action may have had on them.
In compliance with Commonwealth of Massachusetts Regulations (603 CMR 46.00), Sturgis Charter Public School ensures that every student attending our school is free from the unreasonable use of physical restraint. Physical restraint shall be used only in emergency situations, after other less intrusive alternatives have failed or been deemed inappropriate, and with extreme caution. School personnel shall use physical restraint with two goals in mind:
- to administer a physical restraint only when needed to protect a student and/or a member of the school community from imminent, serious, physical harm; and
- to prevent or minimize any harm to the student as a result of the use of physical restraint.
- Use of restraint – Physical restraint may be used only in the following circumstances:
- when non-physical interventions would not be effective; and
- when the student’s behavior poses a threat of imminent, serious, physical harm to self and/or others.
- Limitations on use of restraint – Physical restraint in a public education program shall be limited to the use of such reasonable force as is necessary to protect a student or another member of the school community from assault or imminent, serious, physical harm.
- Prohibitions – Physical restraint is prohibited in the following circumstances:
- as a means of punishment; or
- as a response to property destruction, disruption of school order, a student’s refusal to comply with a school rule or staff directive, or verbal threats that to not constitute a threat of imminent, serious, physical harm.
As used in 603 CMR 46.00, these terms shall have the following meanings:
- Extended restraint is a physical restraint the duration of which is more than twenty (20) minutes. Extended restraints increase the risk of injury and, therefore, require additional written documentation as described in 603 CMR 46.06.
- Physical escort is the touching or holding of a student without the use of force for the purpose of directing the student.
- Physical restraint is the use of bodily force to limit a student’s freedom of movement.
Training is required for all staff. Such training shall occur within the first month of each school year, and for employees hired after the school year begins, within a month of their employment.
At the beginning of each school year, the administrative team shall identify staff authorized to serve as a school-wide resource to assist in ensuring proper administration of physical restraint. Such staff shall participate in in-depth training in the use of physical restraint.
DUE PROCESS FOR DISCIPLINARY REMOVALS and SERVICES DURING REMOVALS
Student disciplinary offenses resulting in removal from the classroom (i.e., suspensions and expulsions) are subject to due process procedures, including notices, hearings, appeals, and educational services during removals. The following sections provide you with information about these rights.
Please note that students have the right to be represented counsel or a lay person of the student’s choice, at the student’s/parent’s expense, at any and all hearings concerning student discipline. If you wish to bring an attorney to any hearing or meeting at the school, please inform STURGIS CHARTER PUBLIC SCHOOL immediately. If you fail to inform the school prior to bringing an attorney to a hearing, and STURGIS CHARTER PUBLIC SCHOOL’s attorney is not present, then STURGIS CHARTER PUBLIC SCHOOL will exercise its right to cancel and reschedule the meeting to ensure that its attorney can attend. This rescheduling may delay the hearing or meeting, and if so, your child’s disciplinary removal will be extended until a decision is rendered following the rescheduled hearing or meeting. STURGIS CHARTER PUBLIC SCHOOL hereby notifies you that it may have its legal counsel present at any hearings and meetings involving student discipline.
- NOTICE OF STUDENT AND PARENT RIGHTS UNDER G.L. c. 71 §37H
This Notice of Student and Parent Rights applies to student misconduct that involves weapons, drugs, assault on school staff.
Specifically, any student who is found on school premises or at school-sponsored or school-related events, including athletic games, in possession of a dangerous weapon, including, but not limited to, a gun or a knife, may be subject to expulsion from the school by the Principal. Any student who is found on school premises or at school-sponsored or school-related events, including athletic games, in possession of a controlled substance, including, but not limited to, marijuana, cocaine, and heroin, may be subject to expulsion from the school by the Principal. Any student who assaults a Principal, administrator, teacher, teacher’s aide or other educational staff on school premises or at school-sponsored or school-related events, including athletic games, may be subject to expulsion from the school or school district by the Principal.
Any student who is charged with any of the misconduct detailed above has an opportunity for a hearing before the Principal. At the hearing, the student may have representation at his or her own expense, along with the opportunity to present evidence and witnesses at said hearing before the Principal. After said hearing, the Principal may, in his discretion, decide to suspend rather than expel a student who has been determined by the Principal to have committed the misconduct detailed above.
Any student who has been expelled from a school district pursuant to GL c. 71 §37H shall have the right to appeal to the Executive Director. The expelled student shall have ten days from the date of the expulsion in which to notify the Executive Director of his appeal. The student has the right to counsel, at his or her own expense, at a hearing before the Executive Director. The subject matter of the appeal shall not be limited solely to a factual determination of whether the student has violated any provisions of this section.
Students who are suspended or expelled under §37H are entitled to receive educational services during the period of suspension or expulsion under STURGIS CHARTER PUBLIC SCHOOL’s Education Service Plan, which is described below in Section D. If the student withdraws from the Sturgis Charter Public School and/or moves to another school district during the period of suspension or expulsion, the new school/district/district of residence shall either admit the student to its schools or provide educational services to the student under the new school or district’s education service plan.
- NOTICE OF RIGHTS UNDER G.L. c. 71 §37H½
This Notice of Student and Parent Rights applies to student misconduct that involves student criminal or felony delinquency charges, findings, or admissions.
Suspension Following Criminal or Felony Delinquency Complaint
Upon the issuance of a criminal or felony delinquency complaint against a student, the Principal of a school in which the student is enrolled may suspend such student for a period of time determined appropriate by the Principal if he or she determines that the student’s continued presence in school would have a substantial detrimental effect on the general welfare of the school. The student is entitled to receive written notification of the charges and the reasons for such suspension prior to such suspension taking effect. The student shall also receive written notification of his right to appeal and the process for appealing such suspension; provided, however, that such suspension shall remain in effect prior to any appeal hearing conducted by the Executive Director.
The student shall have the right to appeal the suspension to the Executive Director. The student shall notify the Executive Director in writing of his request for an appeal no later than five calendar days following the effective date of the suspension. The Executive Director shall hold a hearing with the student and the student’s parent within three calendar days of the student’s request for an appeal. At the hearing, the student shall have the right to present oral and written testimony on his behalf, and shall have the right to counsel. The Executive Director shall have the authority to overturn or alter the decision of the Principal, including recommending an alternate educational program for the student. The Executive Director shall render a decision on the appeal within five calendar days of the hearing. The Executive Director’s decision shall be the final decision of SCHOOL with regard to the suspension.
Expulsion Following Felony Adjudication or Admission
Upon a student being convicted of a felony or upon an adjudication or admission in court of guilt with respect to such a felony or felony delinquency, the Principal of a school in which the student is enrolled may expel said student if the Principal determines that the student’s continued presence in school would have a substantial detrimental effect on the general welfare of the school. The student shall receive written notification of the charges and reasons for such expulsion prior to such expulsion taking effect. The student shall also receive written notification of his right to appeal and the process for appealing such expulsion; provided, however, that the expulsion shall remain in effect prior to any appeal hearing conducted by the Executive Director.
The student shall have the right to appeal the expulsion to the Executive Director. The student shall notify the Executive Director, in writing, of his request for an appeal no later than five calendar days following the effective date of the expulsion. The Executive Director shall hold a hearing with the student and the student’s parent within three calendar days of the expulsion. At the hearing, the student shall have the right to present oral and written testimony on his behalf, and shall have the right to counsel. The Executive Director shall have the authority to overturn or alter the decision of the Principal or headmaster, including recommending an alternate educational program for the student. The Executive Director shall render a decision on the appeal within five calendar days of the hearing. The Executive Director’s decision shall be the final decision of STURGIS CHARTER PUBLIC SCHOOL with regard to the expulsion.
Students who are suspended or expelled under §37H½ are entitled to receive educational services during the period of suspension or expulsion under STURGIS CHARTER PUBLIC SCHOOL’s Education Service Plan, which is described below in Section D. If the student withdraws from the Sturgis Charter Public School and/or moves to another school district during the period of suspension or expulsion, the new school/district/district of residence shall either admit the student to its schools or provide educational services to the student under the new school or district’s education service plan.
- NOTICE OF STUDENT AND PARENT RIGHTS UNDER G.L. c. 71 §37H¾
This section governs all student offenses that may be subject to short- or long-term suspensions that do not involve dangerous weapons, controlled substances, assault on school staff, felony or felony delinquency charges, and/or felony delinquency findings or admissions, all of which are governed by G.L. C.71 §§37H and 37H½, as detailed above.
In every case of student misconduct for which suspension may be imposed, the Assistant Principal or Principal is required to exercise discretion in deciding the consequence for the offense; consider ways to re-engage the student in learning; and avoid using long-term suspension from school as a consequence until alternatives have been tried. The following document outlines student and parent rights when the Assistant Principal or Principal is considering and/or decides to implement a removal from school as a consequence for student misconduct.
Students who are suspended under §37H¾ are entitled to receive educational services during the period of suspension or expulsion under STURGIS CHARTER PUBLIC SCHOOL’s Education Service Plan, which is described below in Section D. If the student withdraws from the Sturgis Charter Public School and/or moves to another school district during the period of suspension, the new school/district/district of residence shall either admit the student to its schools or provide educational services to the student under the new school or district’s education service plan.
Notice of Suspension and Hearing under §37H¾
Unless the Assistant Principal or Principal determines that an emergency removal is required (see Emergency Removals section below) or decides to implement an in-school suspension of ten or fewer consecutive days (and no more than 10 cumulative days per school year) (see In-School Suspension section below), the Assistant Principal or Principal may not impose a suspension as a consequence for a disciplinary offense without first providing the student and the parent with verbal and written notice, and providing the student an opportunity for a hearing on the charge and the parent an opportunity to participate in such hearing.
The Assistant Principal or Principal is required to provide this verbal and written notice to the student and the parent in English and in the primary language of the home if other than English, or other means of communication where appropriate. The notice must set forth the following information:
(a) the disciplinary offense;
(b) the basis for the charge;
(c) the potential consequences, including the potential length of the student’s suspension;
(d) the opportunity for the student to have a hearing with the Assistant Principal or Principal concerning the proposed suspension, including the opportunity to dispute the charges and to present the student’s explanation of the alleged incident, and for the parent to attend the hearing;
(e) the date, time, and location of the hearing;
(f) the right of the student and the student’s parent to interpreter services at the hearing if needed to participate;
(g) if the student may be placed on long-term suspension following the hearing with the Assistant Principal or Principal, the student’s short and long term suspension hearing rights and the right to appeal the decision to the Executive Director (see Hearing Rights section below).
The Assistant Principal or Principal is required to make and document reasonable efforts to notify the parent verbally of the opportunity to attend the hearing. The Assistant Principal or Principal is presumed to have made reasonable efforts, and therefore may conduct a hearing without the parent present, if the Assistant Principal or Principal has sent written notice (by hand delivery, first-class mail, certified mail, email, or any other method of delivery agreed to by the Assistant Principal or Principal and parent) and has documented at least two attempts to contact the parent in the manner specified by the parent for emergency notification.
A Principal has the authority to remove a student from school temporarily when a student is charged with a disciplinary offense and the Principal determines that the continued presence of the student poses a danger to persons or property, or materially and substantially disrupts the order of the school, and, in the Principal’s judgment, there is no alternative available to alleviate the danger or disruption. The Principal is required to notify the Executive Director immediately in writing of an emergency removal and the reason for it, and describe the danger presented by the student. The temporary removal shall not exceed two (2) school days following the day of the emergency removal, during which time the Principal is required to:
(a) Make immediate and reasonable efforts to orally notify the student and the student’s parent of the emergency removal, the reason for the need for emergency removal, and the Hearing Rights outlined below;
(b) Provide written notice to the student and parent;
(c) Provide the student an opportunity for a hearing with the Principal that complies with the rights outlined below in the Hearing Rights section, as applicable, and the parent an opportunity to attend the hearing, before the expiration of the two (2) school days, unless an extension of time for hearing is otherwise agreed to by the Principal, student, and parent.
(d) Render a decision orally on the same day as the hearing, and in writing no later than the following school day.
The Principal may not remove a student from school on an emergency basis for a disciplinary offense until adequate provisions have been made for the student’s safety and transportation.
Principal’s Hearing under §37H¾: Short-term Suspension
Short-term suspension means the removal of a student from the school premises and regular classroom activities for ten (10) consecutive school days or less.
The purpose of the hearing with the Assistant Principal or Principal is for the Assistant Principal or Principal to hear and consider information regarding the alleged incident; provide the student an opportunity to dispute the charges and explain the circumstances of the alleged incident; and determine if the student committed the disciplinary offense, and if so, the consequences for the infraction. At a minimum, the Assistant Principal or Principal is required to discuss the disciplinary offense, the basis for the charge, and any other pertinent information. The student and parent both shall have an opportunity to present and offer information, including mitigating facts, that the Assistant Principal or Principal should consider in determining whether other remedies and consequences may be appropriate. Based on the available information, including mitigating circumstances, the Assistant Principal or Principal shall determine whether the student committed the disciplinary offense, and, if so, what remedy or consequence will be imposed.
The Assistant Principal or Principal is required to provide written notification to the student and parent of the determination and the reasons for it, and, if the student is suspended, the type and duration of suspension and the opportunity to make up assignments and such other school work as needed to make academic progress during the period of removal.
Principal’s Hearing under §37H¾: Long-term Suspension
Long-term suspension means the removal of a student from the school premises and regular classroom activities for more than ten (10) consecutive school days, or for more than ten (10) school days cumulatively for multiple disciplinary offenses in any school year.
The purpose of the long-term suspension hearing is the same as the purpose of a short-term suspension hearing. At a minimum, in addition to the rights afforded a student in a short-term suspension hearing, the student shall have the following rights during a long-term suspension hearing:
- In advance of the hearing, the opportunity to review the student’s record and the documents upon which the Principal may rely in making a determination to suspend the student or not;
- the right to be represented by counsel or a lay person of the student’s choice, at the student’s/parent’s expense;
- the right to produce witnesses on his or her behalf and to present the student’s explanation of the alleged incident, but the student may not be compelled to do so;
- the right to cross-examine witnesses presented by the school district; and
- the right to request that the hearing be recorded by the Principal, and to receive a copy of the audio recording upon request. If the student or parent requests an audio recording, the Principal shall inform all participants before the hearing that an audio record will be made and a copy will be provided to the student and parent upon request.
The Principal shall provide the parent, if present, an opportunity to discuss the student’s conduct and offer information, including mitigating circumstances, that the Principal should consider in determining consequences for the student.
Based on the evidence, the Principal shall determine whether the student committed the disciplinary offense, and, if so, after considering mitigating circumstances and alternatives to suspension, what remedy or consequence will be imposed, in place of or in addition to a long-term suspension. The Principal shall send the written determination to the student and parent by hand-delivery, certified mail, first-class mail, email to an address provided by the parent for school communications, or any other method of delivery agreed to by the Principal and the parent. If the Principal decides to suspend the student, the written determination will:
- Identify the disciplinary offense, the date on which the hearing took place, and the participants at the hearing;
- Set out the key facts and conclusions reached by the Principal;
- Identify the length and effective date of the suspension, as well as a date of return to school;
- Include notice of the student’s opportunity to receive education services to make academic progress during the period of removal from school;
- Inform the student of the right to appeal the Principal’s decision to the Executive Director or designee (only if the Principal has imposed a long-term suspension). Notice of the right of appeal shall be in English and the primary language of the home if other than English, or other means of communication where appropriate, and shall include the following information stated in plain language:
- a) the process for appealing the decision, including that the student or parent must file a written notice of appeal with the Executive Director within five (5) calendar days of the effective date of the long-term suspension; provided that within the five (5) calendar days, the student or parent may request and receive from the Executive Director an extension of time for filing the written notice for up to seven (7) additional calendar days; and that
- b) the long-term suspension will remain in effect unless and until the Executive Director decides to reverse the Principal’s determination on appeal.
Executive Director’s Hearing under §37H¾
A student who is placed on long-term suspension following a hearing with the Principal has the right to appeal the Principal’s decision to the Executive Director.
In order to appeal the Principal’s decision to impose a long-term suspension, the student or parent must file a notice of appeal with the Executive Director within five calendar days of the effective date of the long-term suspension (in the alternative, within five calendar days of the effective date of the long-term suspension the parent may request and receive from the Executive Director an extension of time for filing the written notice for up to seven additional calendar days). If the appeal is not timely filed, the Executive Director may deny the appeal, or may allow the appeal in his or her discretion, for good cause.
The Executive Director shall hold the hearing within three school days of the student’s request, unless the student or parent requests an extension of up to seven additional calendar days, in which case the Executive Director shall grant the extension.
The Executive Director must make a good faith effort to include the parent in the hearing, and will be presumed to have made a good faith effort if he or she has attempted to find a day and time for the hearing that would allow the parent and Executive Director to participate. The Executive Director shall send written notice to the parent of the date, time, and location of the hearing.
The Executive Director will conduct a hearing to determine whether the student committed the disciplinary offense of which the student is accused, and if so, what the consequence will be. An audio recording of the hearing will be made, a copy of which shall be provided to the student or parent upon request.
The student and parent shall have all the rights afforded them at the Principal’s hearing for long-term suspension, as detailed above in the sections entitled Principal’s Hearing under §37H¾: Short-term Suspension and Principal’s Hearing under §37H¾: Long-term Suspension.
The Executive Director shall issue a written decision within five calendar days of the hearing. If the Executive Director determines that the student committed the disciplinary offense, the Executive Director may impose the same or a lesser consequence than the Principal, but shall not impose a suspension greater than that imposed by the Principal’s decision. The decision of the Executive Director shall be the final decision of the school.
In-School Suspension under §37H¾
The Assistant Principal or Principal may use in-school suspension as an alternative to short-term suspension for disciplinary offenses.
The Assistant Principal or Principal is required to inform the student of the disciplinary offense charged and the basis for the charge, and provide the student an opportunity to dispute the charges and explain the circumstances surrounding the alleged incident. If the Assistant Principal or Principal determines that the student committed the disciplinary offense, the Assistant Principal or Principal must inform the student of the length of the student’s in-school suspension, which shall not exceed 10 days, cumulatively or consecutively, in a school year.
On the same day that the Assistant Principal or Principal decides to impose an in-school suspension, the Assistant Principal or Principal must make reasonable efforts to verbally notify the parent of the disciplinary offense, the reasons for concluding that the student committed the infraction, and the length of the in-school suspension.
The Assistant Principal or Principal shall also invite the parent to a meeting to discuss the student’s academic performance and behavior, strategies for student engagement, and possible responses to the behavior. Such meeting shall be scheduled on the day of the suspension if possible, and if not, as soon thereafter as possible. If the Assistant Principal or Principal is unable to reach the parent after making and documenting at least two attempts to do so, such attempts shall constitute reasonable efforts for purposes of verbally informing the parent of the in-school suspension.
The Assistant Principal or Principal shall send written notice to the student and parent about the in-school suspension, including the reason and the length of the in-school suspension (and inviting the parent to a meeting with the Assistant Principal or Principal, if such meeting has not already occurred). The Assistant Principal or Principal shall deliver such notice on the day of the suspension by hand-delivery, certified mail, first-class mail, email to an address provided by the parent for school communications, or by other method of delivery agreed to by the Assistant Principal or Principal and the parent.
Removal from Privileges and Extracurricular Activities
The Assistant Principal or Principal may remove a student from privileges, such as extracurricular activities and attendance at school-sponsored events, based on the student’s misconduct. A removal from privileges and/or extracurricular activities is not subject to the procedures set forth herein.
Education Services and Academic Progress under §37H¾
Students serving an in-school suspension, short-term suspension, long-term suspension, or expulsion have the opportunity to earn credits, as applicable, make up assignments, tests, papers, and other school work as needed to make academic progress during the period of his or her removal from the classroom or school.
Student who are expelled or suspended from school for more than ten (10) consecutive days, whether in school or out of school, have an opportunity to receive education services and make academic progress toward meeting state and local requirements, through the school-wide Education Service Plan.
- SERVICES DURING REMOVALS AND SCHOOL-WIDE EDUCATION SERVICE PLAN
Students who are suspended from school for 10 or fewer consecutive days, whether in or out of school, have the opportunity to make academic progress during the period of suspension; make up assignments; and earn credits missed including, but not limited to, homework, quizzes, exams, papers and projects missed.
STURGIS CHARTER PUBLIC SCHOOL has developed a school-wide Education Service Plan for all students who are expelled or suspended from school for more than 10 consecutive school days, whether in or out of school. Principals shall ensure these students have an opportunity to make academic progress during the period of suspension or expulsion, to make up assignments and earn credits missed, including, but not limited to, homework, quizzes, exams, papers and projects missed.
STURGIS CHARTER PUBLIC SCHOOL’s Education Service Plan is subject to change, and may include, but is not limited to, tutoring, alternative placement, Saturday school, and online or distance learning.
If STURGIS CHARTER PUBLIC SCHOOL expels a student or suspends a student for more than 10 consecutive school days, STURGIS CHARTER PUBLIC SCHOOL is required to provide the student and the parent or guardian of the student with a list of alternative educational services. Upon selection of an alternative educational service by the student and the student’s parent or guardian, the school or school district shall facilitate and verify enrollment in the service.
Procedures for Disciplining Special Education Students
Federal and state laws govern the disciplining of students with disabilities eligible for Special Education and the regulations promulgated there under. These laws include the Individuals with Disabilities Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1400, et seq., 34 C.F.R. § 300.519-529 et seq., and Massachusetts General Laws, c. 71B. Students with disabilities eligible for Special Education who violate school rules are subject to removal from their current placement for up to ten (10) days, to the extent that such a removal would be applied to students without disabilities, without a prior determination as to whether the misconduct is related to the student’s disability. Additionally, in certain circumstances, special needs students may be removed for additional periods of up to ten (10) consecutive school days in the same school year for separate incidents of misconduct. School personnel may also order a change in the placement of a student with a disability to an interim alternative educational setting for not more than forty-five (45) days if a student:
1) carries a weapon to school or to a school function; or
2) possesses or uses illegal drugs, or sells or solicits the sale of a controlled substance while at school or school functions.
Additionally, a Massachusetts Department of Education Hearing Officer, under certain circumstances, may order a change in the placement of a student with disabilities eligible for Special Education to an interim alternative educational setting for not more than forty-five (45) days. Under the circumstances described in this paragraph, or if the removal of a student will constitute a change in the student’s placement, as defined by Federal Special Education Law, a student’s IEP Team may convene to review the student’s educational program, conduct a manifestation determination, change an existing IEP, conduct a Functional Behavioral Assessment and/or develop and implement a Behavior Modification Plan.
Procedural Requirements Applied to Students not yet Determined to be Eligible for Special Education
- If, prior to the disciplinary action, Sturgis had knowledge that the student may be a student with a disability, then Sturgis makes all protections available to the student until and unless the student is subsequently determined not to be eligible. Sturgis may be considered to have prior knowledge if:
- The parent had expressed concern in writing; or
- The parent had requested an evaluation; or
- Sturgis staff had expressed directly to the special education director or other supervisory personnel specific concerns about a pattern of behavior demonstrated by the student.
Sturgis may not be considered to have prior knowledge if the parent has not consented to evaluation of the student or has refused special education services, or if an evaluation of the student has resulted in a determination of ineligibility.
- If Sturgis had not reason to consider the student disabled, and the parent requests an evaluation subsequent to the disciplinary action, Sturgis follows the procedures consistent with federal requirements to conduct an expedited evaluation to determine eligibility.
- If the student is found eligible, then he/she receives all procedural protections subsequent to the finding of eligibility.
Notice of Non-Discrimination
The Sturgis Charter Public School hereby gives notice that it does not discriminate in admission to, access to, treatment in, or employment in its programs and activities, on the basis of race, color or national origin, in accordance with the Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI); on the basis of sex, in accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; on the basis of disability, in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA); or on the basis of age, in accordance with the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1974 (ADEA). Sturgis Charter Public School also affirms its non-tolerance for harassment or discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, homelessness, or religion, in accordance with M.G.L. c.76 § 5 and M.G.L. c. 151B.
Inquiries regarding compliance with this non-discrimination policy may be directed to
Meg Morris, Title IX Coordinator
Sturgis Charter Public School
427 Main St.
Hyannis, MA 02601
Meg Morris, Title IX Coordinator
Sturgis Charter Public School
105 West Main St.
Hyannis MA 02601
whom Sturgis Charter Public Schools has designated to coordinate the school’s efforts to comply with Title VI, Title IX, Section 504 and M.G.L. c.76 § 5; to the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR), 33 Arch St., Suite 900, Boston, Massachusetts 02110-1491, (617) 289-0111; to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, John F. Kennedy Federal Building, 475 Government Center, Boston, MA 02203, (800) 669-4000 (TTY (800) 669-6820); to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148-5023 (781) 338-3300 (TTY (800) 439-2370); or to the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination at One Ashburton Place, 6th Floor, Room 601, Boston, MA 02108, (617) 994-6000 (TTY (617) 994-6196).
The exchange of ideas is an essential part of education. Students are encouraged to do research and discuss their work with their peers and teachers but are also reminded that if their education is to be meaningful and valuable, each student’s work must ultimately be her or his own. Thus academic honesty and integrity are also essential parts of education. Integrity in academic matters is the foundation of an academic community. Cheating and plagiarism, therefore, are strictly forbidden. It is always the responsibility of the student to know and work within the guidelines prescribed by each teacher. For clarification of rules for citing sources, the student should consult a writing reference guide such as the MLA Handbook or Writers Inc. or ask a teacher. If there is ever doubt as to what is appropriate, again, the student should consult a teacher. Each teacher will set her or his own guidelines about collaboration for each specific assignment. Cheating includes but is not limited to:
- Intentionally using or giving unauthorized aid on any work, for example, homework, projects, tests, quizzes, exams, term papers, lab reports, computer programs.
- Passing information, either general or specific, about a test or quiz to any student who has not yet taken it.
- Taking someone’s idea or words and presenting them as your own work.
- Copying the school’s software, using illegally copied software in computer rooms or the library, or copying an electronic file.
NOTE: Violations of academic integrity may result in loss of credit for the work, parent contact, and/or disciplinary action.
Academic Honesty Policy
Academic Honesty can be described as a set of values and skills that ensures reliability and integrity in the communication and evaluation of knowledge. This is a fundamental part of Sturgis, a community of caring and trust in which the opinions of others are valued and the ownership of work is respected. As Sturgis students strive to become more knowledgeable and to communicate their knowledge, awareness of the sources of information is essential to evaluating its authority, purpose and value; therefore, Sturgis students embody Academic Honesty as they strive to work with integrity, responsibly producing their own work and properly citing the work of others.
Sturgis’ focus is to provide an environment in which acting in a principled manner is the norm, and Sturgis faculty are dedicated to helping students develop skills that will allow them to avoid academic misconduct, whether it be intentional or inadvertent. Students must be aware of the severe repercussions of academic misconduct according to the International Baccalaureate Programme and according to Sturgis. This document defines examples of misconduct (collusion, duplication, and plagiarism) and consequences in the case of academic misconduct. To help students avoid collusion or misconduct in their academic work, citation requirements are outlined and links to specific citation techniques are provided.
While much of the language of this policy refers to IB DP, the policies and procedures in this document extend to grades 9 and 10.
Definitions and Examples of Academic Misconduct
Generally, the IBO identifies misconduct as, “behaviour (whether deliberate or inadvertent) that results in, or may result in, the candidate or any other candidate gaining an unfair advantage in one or more components of assessment, (IBO, 2014, p. 12). The IBO defines collusion, duplication, and plagiarism as the following:
Collusion is, “supporting academic misconduct by another candidate, for example, allowing one’s work to be copied or submitted for assessment by another (IBO, 2014, p. 13)
Examples of collusion include but are not limited to:
- Sharing answers to a test or allowing a fellow student to copy an assignment that is to be submitted individually for assessment.
- Students who are aware of collusion that occurs and do not report it to a teacher are facilitating the misconduct.
IBO (2014) defines the duplication of work as the “presentation of the same work for different assessment components and/or DP core requirements” ( p. 13). As each assessment is designed to promote learning, duplication or using the same assessment to fulfill the requirements of two separate assignments can compromise the learning process.
Examples of duplication include but are not limited to:
- If a student turns in a piece of work for a history assignment and later hands in the same, or almost the same, piece of work for his or her Extended Essay, it is a case of duplication.
Plagiarism is “the representation, intentionally or unintentionally, of the ideas, words or work of another person without proper, clear and explicit acknowledgment” (IBO, 2014, p. 13). Consulting the work of others provides a foundation for obtaining knowledge and developing critical thinking; presenting another’s work as one’s own does not allow for the opportunity to build understanding. Using another person’s published work without proper citation constitutes plagiarism. Sources of work include words, graphics, data that are published in print, video, audio, or electronically (online).
Examples of plagiarism include, but are not limited to:
- Copying directly from a source without using quotation marks or without citing the source
- Copying phrases that are minimally altered from the original source without citation
- Paraphrasing or restating another person’s thoughts or ideas without citing
- Using an online translator for a foreign language assessment
- Presenting the work of a friend, tutor, relative, or work found online as one’s own
- Presenting “mined” data or published figures for a lab without citing the source(s)
- Downloading or “cutting and pasting” another student’s IB assessment and presenting it as one’s own work
- Not acknowledging the sources which inspired/influenced their creative work when required according to each assessment’s formatting requirements
- Using a chart, photo, or other images or clip art without proper citation
IBO (2012) states that in the Arts, work, words, images, and ideas of others must be acknowledged “in a style that clearly identifies the section of the body of work that is being attributed and its origin,” (p.1). For example, in Research Investigations such as the Musical Links Investigation, the Theater Research Investigation, and the Visual Arts Journal.
It is always the responsibility of the student to know and work within the guidelines provided by the teacher. At Sturgis, four different citation styles are commonly used: MLA, APA, Turabian and CSE. Departments decide which citation style is appropriate for their discipline. For more information and specific citation examples, please use the resources listed below. If ever there is a doubt as to what is appropriate, the student should consult the teacher.
The Sturgis Student’s Guide to Works Cited http://www.livebinders.com/media/get/NjI3ODkzNw==
Guidance and specific examples for using MLA and APA formats at OWL: Purdue University Online Writing Lab http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/
MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (available in the Library) http://www.mla.org
Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (available in the Library) http://www.apastyle.org
A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations (available in the Library) http://www.press.uchicago.edu/books/turabian/turabian_citationguide.html
Effective citing and referencing http://www.ibo.org/globalassets/digital-tookit/brochures/effective-citing-and-referencing-en.pdf
For CSE citations:
Authentication of Work
The International Baccalaureate Organization encourages schools to use online services such as Turnitin.com to help students improve their writing and also to avoid plagiarism and overreliance on other people’s work. Sturgis requires students to submit most IB written assessments through the Turnitin.com web site in order to ensure the students are conforming to the School’s academic honesty policy before submitting their assessments to the IBO.
Students sign authenticity declarations of their IB assessments, including the Extended Essay, verifying that the assessment is the student’s own work and that the ideas, work and words of others have been properly cited. Once the authenticity declaration is signed, students may no longer alter the work in any way. It is, therefore, essential that all authentication of work by teachers and use of services such as Turnitin.com take place before the authenticity declaration is signed.
Prior to sitting IB examinations, students review the procedures and regulations for IB testing and sign a document acknowledging they are responsible for understanding and adhering to the exam regulations of the IB Diploma Programme.
Consequences of Academic Misconduct
Academic misconduct is considered to be extremely serious as it devalues student learning and is contrary to the culture of Sturgis. Consequences for misconduct will be both internal to Sturgis and, if an IB assessment is involved, the misconduct may be reported to the IB. Students who are suspected of academic misconduct will be approached by the teacher to discuss the situation. The teacher will notify the Assistant Principal or Principal. Violations of academic integrity may result in loss of credit for the work, parent contact and/or disciplinary action. Additional discussions with student, faculty, parents, and administration will reinforce the value of Academic Honesty and outline how academic misconduct can be avoided in the future. Prior offenses will be considered in determining consequences for the offense in question
If academic misconduct involves any IB assessment the student may no longer be qualified for IB credit on that assessment and may lose the opportunity to obtain an IB Diploma. The International Baccalaureate does not distinguish between intentional or unintentional breach of Academic Honesty. It is the student’s responsibility to make certain all works are properly cited. Upon receiving notice from either Sturgis or an IB examiner that misconduct is suspected, the International Baccalaureate Organization will commence an investigation. If it is determined that misconduct has taken place on an IB Assessment, the IBO may deny credit for that piece of work and may, depending on the misconduct, deny credit for the entire assessment and possibly the IB Diploma as well.
(available at http://sturgischarterschool.org/academics/ibacademics.html)
IBO. (2014). General regulations: Diploma Programme.Cardiff: International
IBO. (2012). Academic Honesty in Diploma Programme Arts. Cardiff:
IBO. (2015). The conduct of IB Diploma Programme examinations May 2015
and November 215. Cardiff: International Baccalaureate.
STUDENT NETWORK AND ACCEPTABLE USE GUIDELINES (AUP)
Technology Resource Access
The Sturgis Charter Public School provides access to computers, laptops, tablets, Chromebooks and Internet. Sturgis strongly believes in the educational value of electronic services and recognizes the potential to support the curriculum and student learning by facilitating resource sharing, innovation, and communication. Sturgis will make every reasonable effort to protect students and teachers from any misuses or abuses as a result of their experience with the information network, but there is no system in place to totally protect students. Use of school computers and internet is a privilege – not a right – and access is provided to those who agree to the terms of this contract. It is the responsibility of any person using Sturgis technology resources to read and follow the Sturgis AUP. Students and parents are asked to discuss the following use guidelines and sign where indicated. Student and parent signatures will indicate acknowledgement and understanding of these services. As users of this network, students will be expected to abide by the generally accepted rules of network etiquette noted below.
Student Internet Access
The Web is a global database system providing access to information from around the world. Sturgis students have access to Internet information resources and the local network through their classroom, library, school computer labs, and personal Internet connections. There is an Internet protection and network security system in place, but this system is not intended to replace appropriate student use.
Student iPads: Students who have access to Sturgis iPads understand there is an additional and separate iPad Acceptable Use Policy and Student Pledge that must be signed by both student and parents.
The following uses of the Sturgis network are considered unacceptable:
1.Personal Safety and Personal Privacy including but not limited to:
- Providing personal contact information about yourself including but not limited to: your home address, telephone number, school address, photos, personal information of other people;
- Agreeing to meet with someone you have met online.
NOTE: Exception: when required to meet school expectations.
NOTE: Promptly inform your teacher or other school employee any message you receive or Web site you encounter that is inappropriate or makes you feel uncomfortable.
2.Email, Chat, Instant Messaging, Web Publishing Guidelines including but not limited to:
- Using the Sturgis networks to use personal Web-based mail (Hotmail, Gmail, YahooMail, etc.) on any school computer, or any type of instant messaging.
- Using online Web-based chat rooms or social networks is not permitted online unless it is part of coursework or collaborative sharing project under the supervision of a teacher;
- All students receive a school email address. Students should communicate with teachers through this email address. Any content, including personal profiles and pictures, are subject to the Sturgis Code of Conduct.
NOTE: Exception: when required to meet school expectations.
NOTE: Web page creators or authors are responsible for ensuring that the information contained on their pages is of the highest editorial standards (spelling, punctuation, grammar, style, etc.), and is appropriate, factually accurate, and current. If errors are observed, the Sturgis Technology Coordinator or Webmaster should be contacted to make the necessary corrections. Sturgis will have limited liability.
3.Vandalism, illegal and inappropriate activities include but are not limited to:
- Attempts to gain unauthorized access to the network to any other computer system through the system or go beyond the student’s authorized access. This includes intending to log in through another person’s account or to access another person’s files;
- Deliberate attempts to disrupt the computer system or destroy data or equipment by spreading computer viruses or by any other means;
- Use the Sturgis network to engage in any other inappropriate act such as threatening the safety of another person, etc.
- Installation of software on Sturgis owned machines such as keyloggers or malware.
- Students may not join listservs on any Sturgis owned machine or while connected to the Sturgis Network.
NOTE: Violations will be referred to a school administrator for disciplinary or legal action. Building administrators will determine the consequence for inappropriate use that includes, but is not limited to loss of computer/Internet use. Some consequences may be based on policies established in the Sturgis Student Handbook. Other violations may be covered by Federal and State Law.
4.Respecting Resource Limits including but not limited to:
- Use of the Sturgis network systems for non-educational and/or non-classroom activities. This excludes guided searching as assigned by a teacher or staff member, and extends to using the Internet for personal recreation;
- Use of video and audio for recreation purposes will not be allowed. This includes radio station feeds, movie trailers, etc. except when required to meet school expectations;
- Intentionally wasting resources, such as paper, ink cartridges, ribbons, storage space, diskettes, etc.
5.Copyright and Plagiarism including but not limited to:
- Disrespecting the rights of copyright owners. Copyright infringement, including logos and trademarks, occurs when you inappropriately reproduce a work that is protected by a copyright. If a work contains language that specifies appropriate use, students should follow the requirements. When unsure of copyright requirements,
- Ask a teacher;
- Request permission from the copyright owner;
- Plagiarize works that you find on the Internet. Plagiarism is taking the ideas or writings of others and presenting them as if they were yours. Students are advised to use resources such as www.turnitin.com to avoid plagiarism.
6.Inappropriate Access to Material
- Use of the Sturgis network to access material that is profane or obscene, that advocates illegal or dangerous acts, or that advocates violence or discrimination towards other people.
- Use computers/Internet for the transmission of material in violation of U.S. or Massachusetts regulation. This includes, but is not limited to: copyrighted material, threatening or obscene material, or materials protected by trade secret.
NOTE: Students should inform a teacher if you mistakenly access inappropriate information. This will protect students against a claim that you have intentionally violated the Internet and Network Use Guidelines.
- Participating in “Cyber-bullyling”
Please see http://www.malegislature.gov for details.
- Students should expect only limited privacy in the contents of student personal files or record of Web research activities on the Sturgis network. Routine maintenance and monitoring of the network traffic may lead to discovery that you have violated this Policy, the Sturgis disciplinary code, or the law. Sturgis will cooperate fully with local, state, or federal officials in any investigation related to any illegal activities conducted through the Sturgis network.
NOTE: In the event there is a claim that a student has violated this Policy or the Sturgis disciplinary code in the student’s use of the Sturgis network, the student and his/her parents will be provided with notice and opportunity to be heard in the manner set forth in the Sturgis disciplinary code.
NOTE: Students may lose their privilege of using the Sturgis network if students violate the standards and expectations stated in this document.
Limitation of Legal Liability
- Sturgis makes no guarantee that the functions or the services provided by or through the Sturgis system will be error-free or without defect.
- Sturgis will not be responsible for any damage you may suffer, including but not limited to, loss of data or interruptions of service. Sturgis is not responsible for the accuracy or quality of the information obtained through or stored on the system.
- Sturgis will not be responsible for financial obligations arising through the unauthorized use of the system. Parents can be held financially responsible for any harm to the system as a result of intentional misuse.
Resource Library Use
The Reference / Library Room may only be used with faculty supervision. A room use calendar will be kept and posted by the Librarian noting hours available for use. Anyone using this facility must return all furniture to original positions, turn off any computers and other such equipment used, and save data to disks and not on hard drive. No one may use the Librarian’s desk and / or computer without permission.
Attendance and Tardiness
Student attendance is an important predictor of school achievement. Students with consistent attendance are also more likely to enjoy school and be involved in school activities. The effects of missed learning time are often cumulative. Missing the first day of a long term project can make it difficult to understand the objectives and overall process over the weeks that follow. Missing the class in which a strategy for solving a math problem not only hurts the student’s ability to solve that problem, but also those that will build upon that problem solving strategy over the coming months and even years. The frustration that may result can be demotivating. For these reasons, we are committed to working with students and families to support consistent attendance as well as making up the learning that has been missed as a result of absence or tardiness.
If a child is absent, a parent or guardian must contact the school before 10:00 a.m. on the day of absence. Per state policy, only absences documented in writing by a doctor, court/legal official, college registrar, or a parent/guardian concerning a religious holiday or extreme family emergency as determined by the administration will be recorded as excused absences. A contagious illness or chronic, recurring health condition will be considered excused once documented. All other absences will be recorded as unexcused. When an absence is excused, teachers will provide materials to support a student’s learning while he or she is unable to attend school. Upon returning to school, a reasonable amount of time will be given for the student to complete assignments.
If a student incurs or exceeds five (5) absences in any given quarter, the student and the parent(s)/guardian(s) may be contacted by the administration in order to be made aware of concerns regarding missed learning time and potential consequences of additional absence. In any quarterly marking period, a student reaching six (6) unexcused absences may receive a failing grade in his or her courses for that quarter. In semester courses, students may receive a failing grade for the entire course upon reaching eleven (11) unexcused absences in that given semester. Furthermore, a student may fail a full year course upon reaching twenty-one (21) unexcused absences for the year. This policy applies to total excused and unexcused absences from school as well as total absences for individual courses.
It is understood that there are days when a student may not feel well or for other reasons, legitimately will miss school. It is for this reason Sturgis allows for a maximum of five (5) unexcused absences per quarter. However, if a student is truant, he or she will be subject to school disciplinary measures.
Adjustment for seniors
Seniors taking a second semester course may fail upon reaching their tenth (10th) unexcused absence. During the fourth quarter, seniors may fail the quarter upon the fifth (5th) unexcused absence, and may fail for the year upon reaching twenty (20) unexcused absences.
Tardy to School
Students not in class by 8:20 are considered tardy to school. Tardiness can have similarly negative impacts on student learning as absence. If a pattern of tardiness becomes apparent, a student’s advisor may work with the student to address the underlying cause of the problem. If the problem persists, a Student Success Plan may be developed through a conversation between the student and an administrator. This plan may be shared with the parent or guardian and may include consequences for additional tardies such as Make Up Learning Time (MULT).
Note – classes missed due to tardies and/or dismissals are considered absences for those classes and count as unexcused unless they fall under the guidelines for excusable absences outlined above.
A student’s absence from school without knowledge or permission of the parents/guardians is considered truancy. Absences from a class without permission shall also be regarded as truancy. The student’s parent or guardian will be notified when a student is truant. Truancy is a violation of Sturgis’ rules of conduct. Additionally, in accordance with state law, as appropriate Sturgis may seek a truancy application for any student up to the age of sixteen.
Student Absence Due To Vacation Plans
Student absence due to family vacation is discouraged and is recorded as an unexcused absence. We ask that students communicate about the intended absence with their teachers and the administration as far in advance as possible. Teachers are not required to provide additional support to students making up assignments and instruction missed as a result of vacation related absence.
Attendance and Participation in School Activities
Students must be in school by 9 am (first period runs from 8:20 to 9:40) in order to participate in dances, activities and athletics. All student athletes must attend every class in order to participate in after school athletics practices or games. Students may not “sign themselves out” in the afternoon and participate in athletics. Medical appointments, college visits, and other legitimate excuses will be reviewed by the Assistant Principal, Principal or Athletic Director.
Students are expected to communicate with teachers in advance of an absence resulting from a school activity, such as field trip or athletic competition. Students are expected to make up missed class-work and complete assignments given on the day of the absence.
Dances and Other Social Functions
Prom is the only school dance where students may bring a guest. All guests must be registered and approved no later than two days before the function. A guest who has not already graduated from high school must be a student in good standing at another school. At the discretion of the administration, students may be required to purchase tickets prior to the day of the function. All non-Sturgis attendees are subject to the school’s rules. Failure to follow the rules will result in removal from the event.
One of the advantages of Sturgis’ downtown Hyannis location is the opportunity it affords us to interact with the larger community. With parental permission, students may leave the campus at lunchtime. They understand that leaving to buy lunch in a local establishment is a privilege. It can be withdrawn if the student behaves in a way which discredits the school’s standing in the community or fails to return from lunch ready to begin class on time. Those students who do not have a parent’s permission, or who lose lunch privileges eat in supervised situations.
Sturgis offers a set lunch program that can be ordered in the morning prior to 8:20 a.m. Students who opt for the set lunch program can pick up their lunch at the main office at the beginning of the lunch period.
Safety is a major concern for students at all times, including lunch, on Main Street and West Main Street. Students should cross the street ONLY on crosswalks and only when WALK signs are displayed at intersections. On crosswalks one must never assume that cars will stop in accordance with the signs and wait for all traffic to come to a complete stop before crossing.
Sturgis provides a free or reduced price lunch to students who qualify.
Sturgis students living in the town of Barnstable may be transported on Barnstable school busses under the terms of the Barnstable Public Schools’ transportation policies. Students living outside Barnstable may also arrange for transportation on Barnstable school busses but may also use public transportation, most commonly through the Cape Cod Transit Authority’s H20 and Sea Lines. For more information, call the CCTA at (508) 385-8326. Students and their families also arrange car pools. To get more information about the Sturgis car pool network, call the school and speak with the office staff. Questions about the Barnstable buses should be directed to The Barnstable Public Schools at (508) 790-6237.
Students who wish to have lockers are assigned them. Students are responsible for supplying locks and are highly encouraged to do so. The school is not responsible for replacing stolen/lost articles or their monetary value. School administrators have the authority, as deemed necessary, to interview students and to conduct searches of desks and lockers assigned or used by students. Maximum effort will be made to protect each student’s constitutional rights, his/her private property, and protection from coercion by others. Students must remember, however, that lockers are school property and may be inspected by authorized school personnel at any time without notice. Stickers or other decorations are not permitted on the outsides of lockers.
By the start of school, each new Sturgis student is required to present his or her medical records and a complete immunization record signed by a parent or guardian and by a personal physician. The state also mandates that a physical exam be completed within the first year of entering a new school. Returning students’ medical records must be kept current. Sturgis employs a full time registered nurse. Students taking medications must do so through the school nurse. Neither the nurse, nor any other individual, may administer medication without written consent from
home and physician. The nurse is able to administer a few specific medications with parental consent only. A more complete policy regarding medication is available from the nurse. Students who play sports must have a recent physical, and all students must file a medical emergency card each year. To access the Head Injury Policy please visit the school website www.sturgischarterschool.org. Questions and concerns regarding the administration of medication or other medical issues should be made directly to the school nurse.
By choosing to attend Sturgis, a student has made a commitment to a rigorous, college preparatory program. For all students, standardized testing begins with the PSAT in the fall of the sophomore or junior year; many also take achievement tests at the end of the 9th and 10th grades. Formal college counseling with students and their parents or guardians begins midway through junior year. The goal of the college counseling program at Sturgis is to match each student with the college or university that best fits her or his needs.
In accordance with Massachusetts Education Law, a parent, guardian or other individuals or groups who believe that a charter school has violated or is violating any provision of M.G.L. c. 71, § 89, or 603 CMR 1.00 may file a complaint with the Sturgis Board of Trustees. Please refer to 603 CMR 1.10 for a full description of complaint procedures as they pertain to Massachusetts Education Law and charter schools.
Notification of Rights under FERPA
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords parents and “eligible students” (those 18 and over) with certain rights with regard to the inspection and dissemination of education records. This federal law was designed to protect student privacy and it applies to all school districts and schools that receive federal financial assistance through the U.S. Department of Education. The rights include:
- Right of access: Parent of students or eligible students may inspect and review the student’s education records upon request. Parents or eligible students should submit to the school director a written request which identifies as precisely as possible the record or records he of she wishes to inspect. The director will make the needed arrangements for access as promptly as possible and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. Access must be given in 45 days or less form the receipt of the request.
- Right to written consent for disclosures of information from a student’s education record except:
- To school officials who have a legitimate educational interest in the records
A school official is: a person employed by the District as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member; a person elected to the Board; a person employed by or under contract to the District to perform a special task, such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist.
A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official is: performing a task that is specified in his or her position description or by a contract agreement; performing a task related to a student’s education; performing a task related to the discipline of the student; providing a service or benefit relating to the student or student’s family, such as health care, counseling, job placement, or financial aid.
- To school officials of another school, upon request, in which a student seeks or intends to enroll
- To certain officials of the U.S. Department of Education, the Comptroller General, and state and local educational authorities, in connection with certain state or federally supported education programs
- In connection with a student’s request for or receipt of financial aid as necessary to determine the eligibility, amount, or conditions of the financial aid, or to enforce the terms and conditions of the aid
- If required by a state law requiring disclosure adopted before November 19, 1974
- To organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the District
- To accrediting organizations to carry out their functions
- To parents of an eligible student claiming the student as a dependent for income tax
- To comply with a judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena
- To appropriate parties in a health or safety emergency
- Directory information so designated by the District
- Right to request a correction of education records: Parents or eligible students have the right to ask to have records corrected that they believe are inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of their privacy rights. Following are the procedures for the correction of records:
- Parent or eligible student must ask the school to amend a record. In doing so, they should identify the part of the record they want changed and specify why they believe it is inaccurate, misleading or in violation of the student’s privacy or other rights.
- The school may comply with the request or it may decide not to comply; it if decides not to comply, the school will notify the parents or eligible student of the decision and advise them of their right to a hearing to challenge the information believed to be inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student’s rights.
- Upon request, the school will arrange for a hearing, and notify the parents or eligible student, reasonably in advance, of the date, place, and time of the hearing.
- The hearing will be conducted by a hearing officer who is a disinterested party; however, the hearing officer may be an official of the school district. The parents or eligible student shall be afforded a full and fair opportunity to present evidence relevant to the issues raised in the original request to amend the student’s education records. The parents or student may be assisted by one or more individuals, including an attorney.
- The school district will prepare a written decision based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing. The decision will include a summary of the evidence presented and the reasons for the decision.
- If the school district decides that the challenged information is not inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student’s right of privacy, it will notify the parents or eligible student that they have a right to place in the record a statement setting for the reasons for disagreeing with the decision.
- The statement will be maintained as part of the student’s education records as long as the contested portion is maintained. If the school district discloses the contested portion of the record, it must also disclose the statement.
- If the school district decides that the information is inaccurate, misleading or in violation of the student’s right of privacy, it will amend the record and notify the parents or eligible student, in writing, that the record has been amended.
Record of Requests for Disclosure
Sturgis Charter Public School will maintain a record of all requests for and/or disclosure of information from a student’s educational records. The record will indicate the name of the party making the request, any additional party to whom it may be disclosed, and the legitimate interest the party had in requesting or obtaining the information. The record may be reviewed by the parents or eligible student.
Sturgis Charter Public School designates the following items as Directory Information: student name, parents’ name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, most recent previous school attended, photograph, video images, grade level, electronic mail address, and post high school plans. The school may disclose any of these items without prior written consent, unless notified in writing to the contrary.
Grievance Procedure Addendum to the Student Handbook
A grievance is defined as a dispute or controversy involving the meaning, interpretation, or application of the specific terms of the Employment Agreement for Sturgis Charter Public School. Grievance complaints could include but are not limited to allegations of discrimination from students or staff members regarding race, color, sex, religion, national origin or sexual orientation.
The purpose of this grievance procedure is to define a process of initial to culminating steps by which a grievance can be reviewed and addressed. If the grievance has not been addressed to the satisfaction of the employee or student at a specific step, then the employee or student may proceed to the next step in the procedure. The employee or student is allowed to bring an observer during any step of the procedure.
Steps in the Grievance Procedure
Step 1: The employee or student shall discuss the grievance directly with the individual whose action or decision resulted in the grievance. If the grievance is the result of an action or decision of the Executive Director and is not resolved in Step 1, then the procedure moves to Step 4.
Step 2: The employee or student shall discuss the grievance with the lead teacher or administrator who has supervisory responsibility over the area of concern.
Step 3: The employee or student shall discuss the grievance with the Executive Director.
Step 4: The employee or student shall submit a description of the grievance in writing to the Grievance Committee. The employee or student shall then discuss the grievance with the Grievance Committee, which consists of the Principal, the Director of Finance and Operations, the Faculty Representative to the Board of Trustees, the Civil Rights Coordinator, two faculty members elected by the faculty at large with one acting as the regular member and one to serve as an alternate in cases of conflict of interest or absence, and the Executive Director.
Step 5: The employee or student shall submit the grievance in writing to the Board of Trustees, which will give the employee or student a hearing at an executive session during a meeting of the Board of Trustees within five weeks upon the receipt of the grievance.