Whitehorse staff monitor the hallways on a regular basis to ensure student safety, assist students in getting to class on time, and deter violations of hallways behavioral expectations. Students must have a pass to be in the halls during class periods. Running, pushing, play fighting, threatening or making loud noise denies others the right to a safe, comfortable place to learn. It is very important that students display appropriate behavior in the halls. They are expected to walk, keep their hands and feet to themselves and speak quietly and respectfully to their peers. Food and/or beverage is prohibited in the hallways. Trash should be placed in a trash can and students should always get to class on time. Any adult in the building may address student behavior. It is the student’s job to respond to any adult in a positive and respectful manner.
Lunch time should be an opportunity for students to relax and socialize while enjoying a nutritious meal. Following a few simple procedures can make this happen for everyone. Students are to report to the cafeteria in a calm manner, using an “indoor tone of voice”. They are to report to a lunch line and stand single-file without budging. Everyone should be ready with either cash or their student ID number. We suggest that you monitor your student’s lunch accounts and spending habits.
Lunch Recess Expectations
All students must go outside after lunch. Students should go to their lockers and use the bathroom during their passing time before lunch, as they are not allowed to do so once they report to the cafeteria. Students are supervised outside during recess and must remain in the designated school ground areas at all times. They are to be respectful of all elementary students who may be sharing the playground as well as playground equipment that is on school grounds. Food, beverages and electronic devices are not permitted outside. Throwing snow, ice, stones, sticks, etc., play-fighting and tackling are strictly prohibited. Athletic equipment may be checked out with a student ID card and returned promptly when the bell rings to go inside. All students must remain outside until a staff member signals that it is time to return to the building. Students must enter through the designated doors and should enter in a calm manner using a conversational voice tone. All students are expected to report to their next class period on time.
Profanity has no place at school. Inappropriate language, put downs and insults work to compromise the learning environment for all students. Any foul language directed at a student will result in a loss of points. If the behavior continues, more serious consequences will be given. Foul language and/or profanity directed at an adult will result in an immediate referral to our in-school suspension center (AlternativeLearningCenter – ALC) and the student will process with an adult before being able to return to school. The student will be expected to give either a written or verbal apology to the adult. If the behavior is repeated, the student will be placed on an out-of-school suspension with a referral to support services staff.
Harassment and Bullying
Harassment is the persistent annoyance, nagging or teasing of one person by another. At Whitehorse, we take harassment very seriously. Staff will work diligently to supervise students in the hallways and during unstructured time like before and after school and in the cafeteria. However, we cannot stop bullying and harassment without the help of students and families.
Many students give in to the fear of retaliation or the idea that they may be a “snitch” if they come forward. As a result, incidents of harassment often times are not reported to the adults who can help. We are experienced in dealing with harassment, and we will always protect the identity of those students who wish to report situations of harassment and bullying.
Students are encouraged to report concerns about bullying to their classroom teacher, support service staff member, principal or parents/guardians. This can be done in person, by a note, by phone, by e-mail or by filling out a Student Harassment Report Form and turning it in to the main office. Students can fill out their form anonymously if they choose to do so. If students report harassment to an adult and no action is taken they should not give up. They should keep telling until someone actually takes action and the behavior is stopped.
Each situation of harassment is different. We work hard to pair consequences with the necessary educational and social support. We provide the offending student with information about harassment, alternative methods of behavior and the potential consequences for continued harassment or retaliation. If the harassment stops, we have been successful. If it continues, we add increasingly more punitive consequences (possibly including suspension and police involvement) and more ongoing counseling and support.
As parents/guardians, you can help us by keeping the line of communication open with your child. If they report to you that they are being harassed or bullied, report these situations immediately to the school principal.
School is a safe place for all community members. Gang behavior, copying gang behavior, or signaling gang affiliation during the school day or on school grounds will not be tolerated under any circumstances. Students will not be allowed to wear gang colors, display gang symbols, signs or hand gestures, or write gang symbols on personal (including body) or school property. Support will be provided for students who disclose that they are affiliated with a gang. They will be welcomed to school each day and will be expected to leave their gang affiliation outside of school property. Support regarding alternatives to gang affiliation will be provided and students can speak confidentially with the Principal at any time.
Dress Code (Board Policy 4211, 4600)
Students are required to dress appropriately for school in compliance with BOE policy and Whitehorse dress code guidelines. We are aware that there is a close relationship between dress and student attitude toward school. This type of personal expression is especially important for students in the middle school years. Your support with purchasing clothing that expresses individual style and supports an attitude of respect for learning is appreciated. Appropriate dress is respectful of all community members and contributes to a positive learning environment. Clothes that are offensive, tasteless, distracting, overly revealing, or clothing that symbolize gang affiliation are not appropriate for school. Discretion in dress is advised as it relates to short shorts/skirts, low cut tops or tank tops. Other guidelines for appropriate dress follow, though dress code determinations can be made at the principal’s discretion. The following clothing items are prohibited:
- Bare Feet
- Wallet chains
- House slippers
- Visible underwear
- Clothing that is too skimpy or revealing
- Clothing and accessories that depict gang behavior or glorify gang activity
- Hats, bandanas, hairnets, scarves, sweatbands, “do rags”, etc. Headgear worn for religious reasons is allowed
- Clothing promoting alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs
- Clothing with obscene, sexual, violent, racist, tasteless slogans or graphic depictions
- Muscle shirts or tops with straps narrower than three fingers
- Tee shirts that carry profane, obscene, or offensive slogans or pictures
- Spaghetti straps, see-through mesh shirts, backless tops, halter tops, tube tops, tops that expose the stomach, and sleeveless shirts that expose the sides
- Short shorts – shorts should not be shorter than the length of student’s arms
- Sagging pants
A student who wears a shirt that violates the dress code is asked to turn the shirt inside out or is offered a clean replacement shirt. A student who wears sagging pants is offered a belt or a plastic tie that will secure two belt loops together.
Dress Code Violation Consequences
1. Students will be asked to change out of the inappropriate clothing, whether that means turning a shirt inside out or going to the nurse or home to change into appropriate clothing.
2. Resulting disciplinary procedures will depend upon the severity and/or frequency of the violation.
3. Inappropriate accessories (i.e. hats, sweatbands, sunglasses, chains) will be confiscated for one day and held by the Principal for the first violation. Unless it is a serious violation, the object will be returned to the student at the end of the day. Repeated violations will result in confiscation of the item and it will be retained by the Principal until a parent/guardian is able to pick it up.