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Student Handbook

    Grow.  Excel.  Achieve.

Our student handbook outlines important details about our school's policies and procedures. Parents receive a copy of the handbook at the start of the school year, however you can access a copy here any time.


Handbook Access


The undersigned student/parent/guardian has been provided electronic access to the South Dearborn Community School Corporation’s handbook for South Dearborn Middle School.

STUDENT NAME: ______________________________________________________

GRADE:        7        8

(circle one)

STUDENT SIGNATURE: _________________________________DATE: ___________

PARENT/GUARDIAN SIGNATURE: ________________________DATE: ___________

South Dearborn Middle School

Mission Statement

The mission of South Dearborn Community School Corporation is to Grow, Excel, and Achieve.

Vision Statement

Our vision of the South Dearborn Community School Corporation is that of a leading school corporation with a shared commitment to a continuous improvement process that engages and challenges all stakeholders.  Students are immersed in a rigorous, personalized curriculum supported by a 21st century learning environment.  A culture of excellence is sustained with a dedicated team working collaboratively toward common goals.  South Dearborn is fiscally responsible and provides a safe and secure learning environment where parents choose to send their children and staff desire to work.



Cheek, Jason


Marine, Andrea


Mann, Megan


Steelman, William


Bevis, Jaime


Thomas, Micah


Bruns, Jodi


Lyon, Matt                            


Helton, Sally


Cheek, Kristie


Dennis, Randy


Smith, Sarah Wegman


Dole, Monte


Downard, Barbra


Gardner, George


Combs, Kate

McCune, Carrie


Wagner, Shane


Brinkman, David


Meyer, Ashley


Mitchell, Michele


Mosier, Natalie


Mullalley, Tammy


Powell, Sara


Strotman, Dave 

Sutherlin, Leslie


Tucker, Denise


Walton, Katherine


White, Tricia


Wynn, Brad



Student Handbook

Accepted by South Dearborn Community School Board on June 8, 1998

Revised:  April, 2016

Foreword:  As with any well regulated institution, rules and regulations are mandatory to insure optimum results.  In almost every national public opinion survey, parents have listed school discipline as the number one concern in our public schools.  The administration and staff at South Dearborn Middle School share this concern and will work to maintain a climate conducive to learning.  To do this, students receiving discipline referrals will be subject to a variety of corrective measures as outlined further in this handbook.
The relationship between effective discipline in the home and effective discipline at school is well documented.  This responsibility requires mutual support and respect for best results.  Please help our students to have the best learning environment possible.  
This booklet has been prepared for the purpose of presenting information which should be helpful to parents and students in becoming acquainted with the rules, regulations, and policies in place at South Dearborn Middle School.  Both parents and students should read this book carefully.

Administrative Staff:

Dr. John Mehrle,  SuperintendentMr. Jason Cheek, Principal
Mr. Eric Lows, Administrative AssistantMrs. Andrea Marine, Associate Principal

Phone Number Information:
Central Office:  (812) 926-2090
South Dearborn Middle School:  (812) 926-2090; option 2
School Day:  Students who are dropped off by the parent in the mornings should be dropped off at the high school loop entrance of the building between 7:30 A.M. and 8:12 A.M.  The bus loop front entrance of the building is reserved for bus drop-offs.  Students are to enter S.D.M.S. when they arrive on school grounds.  Arrival time should not be before 7:30 A.M.  Students are to gather in the designated area until the bell rings at 8:05 A.M.  At that time, students are free to enter the hallways of their respective wings in the building and go to their lockers.
The school day will begin at 8:14 A.M.  Students will be counted tardy if they arrive after 8:14 A.M.  A half-day absence will be assigned to any students arriving any time between 9:30 A.M. and 1:30 P.M.  Afternoon dismissal is 2:45 P.M.  Students who are picked up should also be picked up at the high school loop entrance of the building.
Students must be in attendance at school by 10:00 A.M.  to participate in extracurricular activities in the evening or on Saturday.
Attendance Policy:   South Dearborn Community School Corporation believes that regular school attendance is crucial to  academic success, and that time lost from classroom instruction impacts the learning experience of  each and every student.  Students with poor school attendance tend to lose interest in school, and may  choose to drop out of school later in their educational career.  Poor school attendance has a  tremendous impact on the student socially and academically; therefore, students are expected to be in  attendance at South Dearborn Community School Corporation for each day of the regular school year.   Although the primary responsibility for regular attendance resides with the parents/guardians and the  individual student, the following procedures and regulations shall be adopted and implemented in order to ensure student punctuality and attendance.
Grades K-8 Absences: Excused absences are defined as a student missing school for one of the following reasons:  1)  Students are excused for personal injury or illness with a medical excuse from a doctor within three (3) days of absence; 2)  Students are excused for religious observance with appropriate documentation; 3)  The school will allow five (5) calendar days for bereavement leave for an immediate family member.   Immediate family is classified as mother, father, sister, or brother.  The school will allow two (2) calendar days for bereavement leave for all other family members; 4) court appearances will be considered an excused absence with the appropriate documentation.  Unexcused absences are defined as a student missing school for one of the following reasons:  1)  Absences without a verified excuse (see above); 2) Vacations are unexcused absences.  Parents are encouraged to make every effort to schedule family vacations during those times that school is not in session; 3) Truancy is considered an unexcused absence.  A student is truant when he/she is absent without the knowledge or consent of the parent/guardian.  If a student is truant from school, a truancy affidavit will be submitted to the local probation department.  The attendance counselor (or superintendent’s designee) and/or resource officer are authorized to bring any child to school found to be truant.  When a student misses five (5) unexcused absences in any one semester, the parent/guardian will be notified of the student’s attendance.  The Dearborn County Probation Department may be notified of the student’s attendance for grades 6 - 8.  When a student misses nine (9) unexcused absences in any one semester/year, the parent/guardian will be notified of the student’s attendance information.  The parents/guardians may be required to conference with the school by phone or in person.  If the conference is requested and does not occur, the student can be suspended for the remainder of the respective semester and/or remainder of the school year.
Indiana Code 20-33-2-11 defines a habitual truant as “a student who has more than ten (10) unexcused absences in one school year.”  The school shall initiate a referral to the local probation department and/or the Department of Child Services for “educational neglect” and/or “truancy” when a student accumulates ten (10+) absences at any time throughout the school year, or earlier if total absences are excessive, and the student would be considered for expulsion. Dearborn County Probation can include both adult and juvenile probation.  Truancy is defined as “a student missing all or part of a school day without the consent or knowledge of the parent/guardian and school officials.  The school shall also initiate a referral to the local probation department when a student is truant from school.  Any student, who misses in excess of twenty (20) days of the school year (excused and/or unexcused), will be considered a candidate for retention, pending appeal by the parent/guardian.
Tardies Grade 1 - 8:  Tardies are defined as arriving late to school and/or leaving school early.  When a student is tardy, they miss out on valuable class time and cause a disruption to the class lesson.  Excused tardies are defined as a student missing part of the school day for one of the following reasons:  1) Medical appointment (doctor, dental, vision) will be an excused tardy with a medical excuse from a physician within three (3) days of tardy; 2) A child sent home by the nurse due to illness will be classified as an excused tardy.  A medical excuse from a physician may be requested if numerous health related tardies are occurring within a given semester; 3) Court appearances/appointments resulting in the student arriving late or leaving early from school will be an excused tardy with court documentation.  Unexcused tardies are defined as a student missing part of the school day without an excuse (see above).  Students/parents receiving ten (10) or more unexcused tardies per semester may be result in a referral to the local Probation Department and/or the Department of Child Services for Educational Neglect and/or Truancy.  Continued poor school attendance will result in school officials pursuing the Indiana Compulsory Attendance Law, Indiana Code 20-33-2.  (Perfect attendance is affected by absences and/or tardies.)
Grades and Grade Cards:  Grade cards are issued every 9 weeks.  Mid-term reports may be sent home with students approximately four weeks into each grading period.
Academic Grading System
A = 90 – 100%  (90-91 = A-; 92-99 = A; 100 = A+)
B = 80 – 89%    (80-81 = B-; 82-88 = B; 89 = B+)
C = 70 – 79%    (70 - 71 = C-; 72-78 = C; 79 = C+)
D = 60 – 69%    (60-61 = D-; 62-68 = D; 69 = D+)
F = 59 & below
The honor roll is published each quarter.  To be eligible, a student must receive a letter grade of “A” or “B” in all subjects.
Some subjects are offered on a quarterly or semester basis.  Grades earned in a semester will be the final semester grades.
Calculation of High School Credit Completed Before Grade 9:   The purpose of allowing students to take high school courses before 9th grade is to allow them to advance to higher courses during their high school career, including Dual Credit and AP (Advanced Placement) courses that will benefit their pursuit of a college degree.   The Indiana Department of Education requires that courses and credits that are completed before Grade 9 and that count toward the diploma requirements must appear on the high school transcript and factor into the cumulative graduation GPA.  The high school grade earned in middle school shall be reflected and incorporated into the middle school report card as well.  NCAA eligibility rules provide that high school courses taken before Grade 9 must appear on the transcript with a grade and credit to satisfy core curriculum requirements for college athletic eligibility.  South Dearborn High School recommends that the student earn an “A” or “B” at the middle school level to progress to the next level course.  If students choose to retake the course in their freshman year of high school, the grades will not be placed on the high school transcript, but will be reflected on the SDMS report card and record.  The middle school grades will figure in overall class rank and all SDMS academic awards.  The course must be repeated for high school credit during the freshman year.  Students that earn high school Algebra I Honors credit, but do not pass the ECA (end of course assessment), may continue in sequence to take Geometry Honors.  However, the student must take one trimester of Algebra I concurrently (or equivalent remediation) to retest on the Algebra I ECA.  The student may also have the option to retake Algebra I and not immediately continue to Geometry Honors.  Grades will be weighted on the high school transcript commensurate with the cohort entry of the high school class.  Rules that apply for calculation of class rank and graduation requirements will be set for the time that the students enter high school with their cohort class.
Behavior Code:  The Board of Education of the South Dearborn Community Schools has legal responsibility of this school and has, in turn, set policies in regard to school behavior and appointed administrative officers to insure these policies are carried out.  Authority for such Board responsibility is included in the School Powers Act and Students Due Process of the Indiana Assembly, and in the Policy Manual of the South Dearborn Community School Corporation.  All students are to follow school and district policies.
The types of student conduct mentioned below constitute grounds for suspension/ placement in the A.C.D.C. program up to ten consecutive days or expulsion from the school program as outlined in Indiana law:  “Student misconduct and substantial disobedience are grounds for expulsion or suspension.”    
All students placed on short-term (1 – 10 days) out of school suspension are subject to assignment to the Alternative Classroom for Dearborn County {A.C.D.C.} at the discretion of the school.   A.C.D.C. is a county-wide program that provides an alternative to out-of-school suspension in which students are required to report to the A.C.D.C. location to serve their suspended days.  Parents are responsible for transportation to the program and students are required to report with all necessary materials for the completion of class work and are required to bring a sack lunch.  Since this is an alternative educational placement, and student attendance is mandatory, failure to report to A.C.D.C., or behave in an appropriate manner while there, could result in the student and parents being summoned to appear in court.  Students will receive credit for class work completed while in A.C.D.C.  The A.C.D.C. day runs from 8:30 A.M. - 2:30 P.M.., and includes time for completion of class work in the morning, a supervised lunch, and community service in the afternoon.  Specific information about the A.C.D.C. program will be provided at the time of the suspension.  
The list includes but is not limited to the following:
  1. Occupying or blocking the entrance or exits of any school building, school grounds, or part thereof to deprive others of its use. Contacting emergency services, dialing 911, etc., without the permission of school personnel.
  2. Setting fire or damaging any school building or property, or attempting to set fire or cause damage.  This includes the use or attempted use of pipe bombs, “Molotov cocktails,” or other explosive or incendiary devices.
  3. Prevention of or attempting to prevent by physical act the convening or continued functioning of any school or educational function, or of any meeting or assembly on school property or at a school-related activity, including the making of a false report of a bomb, fire, or uncommon disease-producing organism, as well as triggering a false alarm and delivering or sending an actual or look-alike uncommon disease-producing substance to any school property, vehicle, or activity
  4. Intentionally making noise or acting in any manner so as to interfere with the ability of any teacher or any other person to conduct or participate in an educational function.  Through any means of communication, including gestures, symbols, or signals, placing any student, teacher, employee, or other person in fear of harm to oneself, a family member, or personal property.  This includes by way of example such conduct as threatening “to get” the person, creating a “hit list” of persons who are to put in fear of harm, and warning the person that a family member could get hurt or one’s personal property could be damaged.
  5. Firing, displaying, or threatening use of a firearm, explosives, or other weapons as determined by state and/or federal statutes under the Gun Free Schools Act.  Student may be expelled per Indiana law.
  6. Indiana law allows for the suspension or expulsion of a student for engaging in unlawful activity on or off school if (1) the unlawful activity may reasonably be considered  to be an interference with school purposes or an educational function, or (2) the student’s removal is necessary to restore order or protect persons on school property, including an unlawful activity during weekends, holidays, other school breaks, and the summer period when a student may not be attending classes or other school functions.  This also applies if conspiring to violate the law.
  7. Misconduct by a student representing the school, at a school sponsored function, whether at home or away, shall be subject to consequences as outlined in this handbook.
  8. A violation or repeated violation of rules adopted by school officials.
Furthermore, pursuant to Indiana law, a parent of a child (who lives with the parent and over whom the parent has custody) is liable for up to $5,000 in actual damages arising from each instance of harm to any person or damage to any property that is knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly caused by the child.
Breakfast/Lunch Cafeteria Procedures:  All students utilizing the free/ reduced or prepaid breakfast/lunch programs at S.D.M.S will receive credit into their school breakfast/lunch accounts.  S.D.M.S officials encourage students utilizing the prepaid breakfast/lunch program to apply funds to the account in advance.  Make checks payable to “S.D.M.S. Cafeteria.”  Students may also pay on a daily basis.
Building Rules, Guidelines, and Information:   (Not Inclusive):
  1. Devices, books, and/or supplies are not to be left throughout the building.
  2. Student book bags are to be used only when transporting materials to and from school.  During the entire school day, all book bags are to remain in the student’s locker.
  3. Students are responsible for checking the school’s digital announcements for information and postings.
  4. Students are not to leave the school grounds except by permission from the principal or designee.
  5. Any student late to school must report directly to the office and receive a pass.
  6. All students must pay for their lunches daily or weekly.  Students must eat lunch at school (bring or buy).  Students are not permitted to leave school with other students or students’ parents to eat lunch; parents/guardians may eat breakfast and/or lunch with their children in a private school setting.
  7. Students on suspension/A.C.D.C. from school (in or out) are not permitted to attend school activities before, during, or after school, including all South Dearborn Community School activities.  
  8. Perfect attendance is defined as not missing any school at any time during the attendance period.
  9. Students are not permitted to wear hats in the school building.  Hats should be removed before entering the school or may be confiscated and placed in the office for a time determined by the principal or designee.
  10. Running is not permitted in the school building.
  11. Each SDMS student must have his/her school-provided electronic device, device charged, school-issued device bag, and other materials each class period.  Headphones/earbuds may be used, however, students must follow the SDMS/SDCSC technology recommendations/policies.  It is recommended all students check their school-provided emails and school announcements each day.  When utilizing earbuds/headphones in classrooms, cafeteria, gym, etc., students may only use one earbud/headphone at a time.  When moving throughout the building, e.g., hallways, stairs, etc., students are not to use earbuds/headphones at all due to safety concerns.
  12. Playing or trading cards are not allowed to be used by students outside of lunch.
  13. Students will not possess or use a laser pointer while on school property or while attending a school-sponsored activity on or off school property unless under the supervision of a staff member in the context of instruction.
  14. Attendance must be taken prior to a student leaving the classroom to go to the office, clinic, etc.  
  15. South Dearborn Middle School students, faculty, and staff shall adhere to the South Dearborn Community School Corporation technology policies.  (See #12 above for additional clarification.)  Families should be aware that some material accessible via the Internet may contain items that are illegal, defamatory, inaccurate, or potentially offensive to some people.  In addition, it is possible to purchase certain goods and services via the Internet which could result in unwanted financial obligations for which a student’s parent or guardian would be liable.  While the District’s intent is to make Internet access available in order to further educational goals and objectives, students may find ways to access other materials as well.  Even should the District institute technical methods or systems to regulate students’ Internet access, those methods could not guarantee compliance with the District’s acceptable use policy.  That notwithstanding, the District believes that the benefits to students of access to the Internet exceed any disadvantages.  Ultimately, however, parents and guardians of minors are responsible for setting and conveying the standards that their children should follow when using media and information sources.  Toward that end, the South Dearborn Community School Corporation makes the District’s complete Internet policy and procedures available on request for review by all parents, guardians, and other members of the community; and provides parents and guardians the option of requesting for their minor children alternative activities not requiring Internet use.  Any parent or guardian who does not wish for their student to have access and/or usage of the Internet while at school must notify South Dearborn Middle School, in writing, by September 1 of the current school year.
  16. PSAT tests may be offered and given to all 8th grade students.  Test costs may be at the parent/guardian’s expense. If interested, contact SDMS Student Services.
  17. When moving through the hallways and on the stairs, students are expected to walk, to keep their hands and feet to themselves, refrain from yelling, and walk on the right side of the hall.  
  18. During morning activity time, students are to be seated and speak quietly.  Students are to decide, prior to entering the school, whether they wish to go into the gym, go to the library, or go to cafeteria for breakfast.  Once a decision has been made, students are to remain at their chosen location.
  19. Buses:  School bus drivers are to have control of all children carried between their homes and the school.  Students must ride the bus they are assigned.  Bus transfers take place at the schools that feed into South Dearborn Middle, but students are to ride their assigned bus from South Dearborn Middle to home.  The drivers have been directed to refuse to transport any student assigned to another bus without prior approval.  Any transfer to another bus must be arranged by having a parent contact the office in writing to request a change, (i.e. a note must be sent to the office for any child wishing to ride home with a friend).

The driver shall keep order, maintain discipline among all children while on the bus or along the route, treat all children in a civil manner, and see that no child is imposed upon or mistreated while in his/her charge.  Students may be assigned seats by the driver and are not permitted to change seats without the driver’s permission.  School bus drivers shall assure that the following regulations are observed by all bus passengers:
  1. Each pupil shall be seated immediately upon entering the bus in the place assigned by the driver.
  2. Pupils shall not stand or move while the bus is moving.
  3. Loud, abusive, boisterous or profane language, or indecent conduct will not be tolerated.
  4. Windows and doors shall not be opened or closed except with permission of the driver.
  5. Students shall not enter or leave the bus until it has come to a full stop and the driver has opened the door.
  6. The child should be waiting at his/her boarding station when the school bus arrives.
  7. Upon recommendations of the bus driver, school authorities will deny school bus riding privileges to any pupil who refuses to conduct himself or herself in an orderly manner on the bus.  Furthermore, bus drivers have the authority to deny the riding privileges of a student for one day by notifying the student and parents.  The above rules are established within Indiana state law.
  8. Disaster Drill:  Disaster drills are conducted several times a year to familiarize students with the methods of dismissal.  Directions are given to each teacher at the beginning of the school year for dealing with each type of disaster.
Expulsion:  A student may be expelled from school if the student engages in unlawful activity on or off of the school grounds that interferes with an educational function or school purpose including the removal of the student as necessary to restore order or protect the safety of persons on the school grounds.  
Scheduling Changes:   No schedule changes shall be made after the last day of the previous school year.  Scheduling exceptions will be made for academic reasons only and must be with approval of the building administration.
Student Agenda:  Students shall have electronic access to their student handbook.  Students should have their assignments for each class entered into their personal electronic calendar, and should be able to reference such at all times.  
Summer School; Retention of Students:  SDMS wants all students to achieve academic growth.  Some students need additional remediation in order to reach that level.  To assist in that area, SDMS shall hold Remedial Summer School.  Students shall be recommended for Summer School based on classroom grades and testing data.  Summer School dates will be announced each spring.  These classes will cover Indiana Academic Standards and will be intense in nature.  Therefore, attendance is vital.  Attendance parameters, as well as transportation and practice work/homework, will be clarified upon assignment of Summer School.  Some students may need further assistance in achieving academic progress.  Students requiring additional support may be retained in their current grade.  Notification of retention shall also be announced during the last nine week period of each school year.
S.D.M.S Discipline Code

Discipline Referrals:  As a general rule, the following steps may be followed when a student behaves inappropriately.  However, the administration may choose to implement any steps of this plan whenever inappropriate misbehavior warrants such action.
NOON DETENTION – Noon Detention will be assigned by the administrative staff or teacher and recorded.  Notification will be made by phone and/or note to the student of the assigned detention and the reason it was assigned.
AFTER SCHOOL DETENTION – After school detention will be assigned by the teacher or administration and recorded.  Phone and/or letter of the assigned detention and the reason it was assigned will notify parents.  Failure to serve an office-assigned after school detention will result in an automatic assignment of one (1) TGIF (Friday School).  Detentions may only be rescheduled by a parent’s phone call prior to 3:00 pm on the date of the detention.
TGIF (TEACHER-GIVEN INSTRUCTIONAL FORUM) – TGIF will be held on Friday evenings after school from 3:00 PM to 6:00 pmin a school designated room.  Students will be assigned TGIF after detention has been exhausted or the severity of the infraction necessitates it.  Excessive tardies to school or class shall be cause to place a student in TGIF and more than one TGIF may be assigned at one time.  Students in TGIF should bring class work for the assigned time or written work will be given by the instructor.  If a student is sick the day of a TGIF, the consequence will be moved to the following Friday that school is in session.  If a student misses an assigned TGIF without knowledge of the administration, he/she may be suspended from school.  Friday Schools may only be rescheduled by a parent’s phone call prior to 3:00 P.M. on the date of the Friday School.  Students may be assigned multiple Friday Schools at the discretion of the Administration.
SUSPENSION FROM CLASS - A student may be suspended from a particular class if it is warranted under the following disciplinary guidelines.  The student will report to ACP for that class, and Administration is to be notified.
ALTERNATIVE CLASSROOM PLACEMENT (ACP) - ACP shall be a one to five day assignment by the building Administration. The student will not be counted absent and will be provided with work, for which the student will receive credit.  While in ACP, the student  will be served lunch or may bring a lunch from home.
OUT OF SCHOOL SUSPENSION/PLACEMENT AT A.C.D.C. – If a student has not corrected the behavior causing disciplinary action or the severity of the infraction is SEVERE, the school will suspend the student from school/place the student at A.C.D.C.  At this point, the administrator will notify a parent/guardian that any further problems, infraction, or violations of school policies, procedures, or regulations by the students may result in the student being expelled from school.
EXPULSION At this point, exclusion procedures will be implemented to remove the student from school for up to one calendar year to prohibit the student from further interference with the educational function of the school.

*Special NoticeStudents suspended out of school/placed at A.C.D.C. shall not be on any South Dearborn Community School Corporation school grounds or attend any school-sponsored activities during their suspension (24 hours a day) including all South Dearborn Community Schools’ activities.  Students assigned to ACDC, or out of school suspension shall be placed on the ineligible list, and would be ineligible to participate in any extracurricular activity/event/contest/production/ceremony/etc.  Students assigned to ACDC/suspended out of school shall be ineligible for a period of twenty (20) calendar days, commencing with the beginning of the time served.  This would include any SDMS student, as well as any grade 4, 5 or 6 student participating in productions, activities, swimming, wrestling, track, and/or cross country at SDMS.

Furthermore, parents and students should be informed that school officials will contact law enforcement authorities whenever, in their discretion, there is a reason to believe that a student’s conduct is unlawful and has caused substantial damage to the property of another, including the school corporation.

Food/Beverage/Items in the Mouth:  Food items and /or beverages should not to be consumed in the hallways or classrooms at South Dearborn Middle School, this includes water bottles/sports drinks, etc. (Unless documentation is provided by a physician, IEP, or Section 504 Plan.)   Food and drink may not leave the cafeteria.
Bullying:  Every student should feel safe, secure, and accepted regardless of color, race, gender, popularity, athletic ability, intelligence, religion, and nationality.  Bullying, which includes physical bullying (pushing, tripping, shoving, spitting, etc.), relational bullying (use of peer pressure and manipulation to isolate a person and hurt their feelings), and verbal bullying (taunting, threatening, mocking, name calling, teasing, etc.) is never justifiable or excusable.  Using data or computer software that is accessed through a computer, computer system, or computer network of the school corporation is prohibited.  This includes on school grounds immediately before, during, or after school hours, or at any other time when the school is being used by a school group; off school grounds at a school activity, function or event; traveling to or from school or a school  activity, function, or event; using property or equipment provided by the school; using data or computer software that is accessed through a computer, computer system, or computer network of the school corporation; bullying by a student or groups of students against another student with the intent to harass, ridicule, humiliate, intimidate, or harm the other student through overt, repeated acts or gestures, including verbal or written communications transmitted, and/or physical acts committed, or any other similar behavior is prohibited.  Parents or students who suspect that repeated acts of bullying are taking place should report the matter to a school principal or designee.  School personnel will investigate all reports of bullying.  Counseling, corrective discipline, and/or referral to law enforcement will be used to change the behavior of the perpetrator.  This includes appropriate intervention(s), restoration of a positive climate, and support for victims and others impacted by the violation.  (Educational outreach and training will be provided to school personnel, parents, and students concerning the identification, prevention, and intervention in bullying.  All schools in the corporation are encouraged to engage students, staff, and parents in meaningful discussions about the negative aspects of bullying.  The parent involvement may be through parent organizations already in place in each school.)

Step 1 - Administrative After School Detention
Step 2 - Friday School (TGIF)
Step 2 - 3 Days ACP
Step 3 - 3 Days Suspension
Step 4 - 5 Days Suspension
Step 5 - Further instances will be dealt with on an individual basis and could include additional days of suspension or possible expulsion.
Cheating:  Any observation made by a teacher that gives an indication of an attempt to cheat will be treated as an incident of cheating.  The following procedure will take place when a student is caught cheating.
Penalty:  Documentation of the incident by the instructor, an automatic “0” for the assignment, parent notification of the incident made by the teacher.
Dress: Today, most states have laws that allow school boards to make dress code rules for students within their district to promote a safe, disciplined school environment, prevent interference with schoolwork and discipline, and to encourage uniformity of dress code.  Any styles that detract from the educational process are inappropriate.   This includes sleeveless tops, spaghetti strap shirts, tube tops,very short skirts, and shorts (both to be worn “finger-tip” length, or longer). If tights/leggings are worn, they must have an article, e.g., shirt, jacket, etc., of clothing that covers them at finger-tip length. Clothing which is torn, ripped, or altered in such a manner as to be revealing or a safety issue may not be worn.  Students not conforming to the SDMS dress code may be required to call parents for a change of clothing or may wear items provided by the school.  Additionally, during extracurricular activities/athletic events/practices, students are to adhere to the prescribed code; and are to refrain from bare chests/tank tops/sports bras/etc. Clothing which is determined to promote/advertise alcohol, tobacco, weapons, or drugs is unacceptable as well as clothing promoting violence, profanity, obscene language, or inappropriate messages. Any detractions from the educational process, or violations of those items deemed unacceptable, shall be dealt with by school administration or designee.
Drugs-Alcohol:  (Revised May 1, 2000) Includes, but not limited to:  alcohol, intoxicants, narcotic drugs, controlled substances, stimulant drugs, and counterfeit or look-alike drugs.  
A student shall not possess, sell, transmit, or be under the influence of any alcohol, intoxicants, narcotic drugs, controlled substances, hallucinogenic drugs, amphetamines, barbiturate, marijuana, alcoholic drinks, stimulants, or depressants of any kind.  This includes counterfeit or look-alike drugs, which a student believes to represent at the time of sale, purchase, or acquisition to be a drug, narcotic, or controlled substance, stimulant, or alcohol.  (The only exception to this policy would be for a student who is taking prescribed medication under a doctor’s direction.  It is required by lawthat all medications be transported by the parent to and from school unless the parent annually files an authorization with the principal for the student to possess and self-administer the medication.  This authorization must include a physician's statement that states the particular student's chronic disease or medical condition, that the student has been instructed on how to self-administer the medication, and that the nature of the medical condition requires emergency administration of the medication.  In all other cases, medications must be kept in the office while the student is in school.)
This policy applies:
A.  On the school grounds during and before or after school hours.
B.  Off the school grounds at a school activity, function or event.
C.  On school buses or rented carriers.
Drug/Alcohol paraphernalia:
A student will not use, possess, deliver or sell drug/alcohol paraphernalia.  Drug/alcohol paraphernalia includes any instrument, device, article, or item that is used or intended for the following purpose:

A.     Preparing a controlled substance for ingestion, inhalation, or other introduction into the human body.
B.      Ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing a controlled substance into the human body.
C.      Enhancing the effect of a controlled substance upon the human body.
D.     Testing the strength, effectiveness, or purity of a controlled substance.
The administration reserves the right to search students, vehicles, lockers, book bags, or possessions at school or at school-sponsored activities off school property.  Lockers in the South Dearborn Community School Corporation are considered property of the Board of Education.  Lockers and the contents, thereof, are subject to random searches at any time without regard to any reasonable suspicion.  The principal and/or the principal’s designee will conduct searches.  The administration reserves the right to request the assistance of law enforcement personnel and canine units when deemed appropriate.
Testing under “Reasonable Suspicion”:

The Administration reserves the right to test any student, at any time, based on “reasonable suspicion” of drug and/or alcohol use, possession or sale.  A refusal to submit to a drug/alcohol screening test by a student under “reasonable suspicion” will be considered the same as if they had tested with positive results.  Students who use or abuse drugs and/or alcohol often exhibit negative behaviors and other indicators of their problem.  

As used in the policy, “reasonable suspicion” includes, but is not limited to, observation of the negative behaviors and actions set out above as indicators of a problem; specific observations concerning the appearance, behavior, body odors or speech of a student; information received from teachers, parents, students, employees or detection devices/services; the past record of a student in connection with any of the above listed factors; and/or an accident involving a motor vehicle before, during or after school hours, at school or at any school function.

First Offense:  Suspended from school for a period of up to 10 consecutive school days and attend and successfully complete an approved drug/alcohol rehabilitation program.  Failure to immediately and satisfactorily enroll, attend, and complete the program will result in expulsion from school.  The student is responsible for transportation and all costs of the program.  Participation in all extracurricular activities will be suspended pending successful completion of the program.
Second Offense:  Expulsion from school for a period of up to 180 consecutive school days.
Selling/Dealing Offense:  Expulsion from school for a period of up to 180 days.

(Effective July 1, 2014)

The South Dearborn Community School Corporation Board of Education has adopted a corporation policy outlining the steps, procedures, and policies regarding drug evaluation and drug testing in grades 7 – 12.  
SDCSC  believes that the public school is to provide the best possible educational opportunities for all the youth of the community and for all adults who desire and want to pursue additional training or re-training.  These opportunities must focus on the individual in terms of his/her interests, needs, abilities, and capacities.  It is the goal of SDCSC to provide experiences which will equip the student to meet the responsibilities required of every citizen in our American democratic society. It shall also be the goal of the school to help the individual to acquire basic skills and attitudes necessary for him/her to live a full, productive, and satisfying life.
We also believe the school should make a concerted effort to affect ways of helping all individuals in human understanding and relations, tolerance, and respecting the dignity of a person.  Ways must be found to help individuals strive for peace among nations, peoples, and cultures.
Since the schools are only one agency in a community contributing to the education of individuals, the school must join hands with the home and all community agencies and organizations to make a wholesome and healthful environment for all people.
The effective date of this program is July 1, 2014.  This program does not affect the current policies, practices, or rights of SDCSC with drug and/or alcohol possession or use, where reasonable suspicion is obtained by means other than drug testing through this policy.  SDCSC reserves the right to test any student who at any time exhibits cause for reasonable suspicion of drug and/or alcohol usage.

SDCSC has a strong commitment to the health, safety, and welfare of its students.  Results of studies throughout the United States, and an increased substance abuse problem in Dearborn County, Indiana, indicate that education alone,a preventive measure, is not effective in combating substance abuse.  Statistics show that the mission of SDCSC has not been realized.  Our commitment to maintaining the extracurricular activities in SDCSC as a safe and secure educational environment requires a clear policy and supportive programs relating to detection, treatment, and prevention of substance abuse by students involved in extracurricular activities.

The drug testing program is not intended to be disciplinary or punitive in nature. Students involved in extracurricular activities need to be exemplary in the eyes of the community and other students.  It is the purpose of this program to prevent students from participating in extracurricular activities while he/she has drug residues in his/her body.  And it is the purpose of this program to educate, help, and direct away from drug and alcohol abuse and toward a healthy and drug free participation.  No student shall be expelled or suspended as a result of any verified “positive” test conducted by his/her school under this program other than stated herein.

Participation in extracurricular activities is a privilege. This policy applies to SDCSC students in grades 7 - 12 who wish to participate in extracurricular activities that are listed in the current student handbook and any other school sponsored extracurricular activities not listed.  It also includes any student who wishes to drive to school, from school, or during school.

Indiana Code 20-8.1-7 sets forth health measures to be governed by school officials.  Most specifically, IC 20-8.7-2 establishes the responsibility of schools to assist children found to be ill or in need of treatment.

The sponsor or coach of each extracurricular activity will require the attendance of all prospective participants at one or more drug education sessions.  Each prospective participant shall receive a copy of this policy.  The policy will be explained to them at that time.  An educational presentation will also be made to educate the student about the harmful effects and consequences of alcohol and other drug abuse.  Students will receive information as to where they can seek professional help, if needed, for a use or abuse problem.

It is Mandatory that each student who participates in extracurricular activities signs and returns the “consent form” prior to participation in any extracurricular activity.  Failure to comply will result in non-participation.  Each extracurricular participant shall be provided with a “consent form,” which shall be dated and signed by the participant and by the parent/guardian.  In doing so, the student is agreeing to participate in the random drug testing program at SDCSC’s Middle School and High School.

Testing Procedure:  1)  The selection of participants to be tested will be done randomly by the principal/administrative designee, and selections will be made from time to time throughout the school year.  Names will be drawn from one large pool of those agreeing to be tested.  Testing may occur on a different day, Monday through Saturday.  This variable schedule will keep students conscious of the possibility of being tested at any time during the year.  Each student will be assigned to a number that will be placed in the drawing.  2)  If the student shows signs of reasonable suspicion, the principal/administrative designee may call the student’s parent/guardian and ask that the student be tested.  Factors will include, but are not limited to, excessive discipline problems and/or excessive absences from school.  Also, a parent/guardian may request testing of his/her student.   3)  No student will be given advance notice or early warning of the testing.  In addition, a strict chain of custody will be enforced to eliminate invalid tests or outside influences.   4)  Upon being selected for a urinalysis test under this policy, either by random draw, reasonable suspicion, request of a parent/guardian, or a “follow up test,” a student will be required to provide a sample of “fresh” urine according to the quality control standards and policy of the laboratory conducting the urinalysis.   5)  All students will remain under school supervision until they have produced an adequate urine specimen.  If unable to produce a specimen, the student will be given up to 24 ounces of fluid.  If still unable to produce a specimen within two hours, the student will be taken to the principal’s office and told he/she is no longer eligible for any of the extracurricular activities.  In addition, the parent/guardian will be telephoned and informed the student is unable to produce a sample for the testing procedure and that he/she may be tested at a later date to be reinstated for eligibility.   6)  All specimens registering below 90.5 degrees or above 98.8 degrees Fahrenheit will be invalid.  There is a heat strip on each of the specimen bottles indicating the validity of the urine specimen by temperature.  If this occurs, the student must give another specimen.   7)  If it is proven that tampering or cheating has occurred during the collection, the student will become ineligible for all the extracurricular activities for the remainder of the school year.  This will be reported to the parent/guardian.   8)  Immediately after the specimen is taken, the student may return to class with an admit slip or pass with the time he/she left the collection site.  The principal/administrative designee must time and sign the pass.   9)  The specimens will then be turned over to the testing laboratory, and each specimen will be tested for alcohol, nicotine, and “street drugs,” which may include all drugs listed as controlled substances under the law of the State of Indiana.  Also, “performance enhancing” drugs, such as steroids, may be tested.   10)  The laboratory selected must follow the standards set by the Department of Health and Human Services. It must be certified under the auspices of the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act (CLIA) and the Joint Commission of Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).

Chain of Custody:   1)  The certified laboratory will provide training and direction to those who supervise the testing program, set up the collection environment, and guarantee specimens and supervise the chain-of-custody.  To maintain anonymity, the student’s number, not name, will be used.   2)  The principal/administrative designee will be responsible for escorting students to the collection site.  The student should bring all materials with him/her to the collection site and should not be allowed to go to his/her locker.  (The administrator should not bring all the students drawn from the pool to the collection simultaneously.  Calling four or five students at a time allows the collections to be carried out quickly and will not cause students to wait a long time, thereby preventing a loss of important time from class.  Athletes may be called after school, perhaps during practice time.)   3)  Before the student’s urine sample is tested by the laboratory, the student will agree to fill out, sign, and date any form which may be required by the testing laboratory.  If a student chooses, he/she may notify the administrator that he/she is taking a prescription medication.   4)  A sanitized kit containing a specimen bottle will be given to each student.  The bottle will remain in the student’s possession until a seal is placed upon the bottle.  The student will sign that the specimen has been sealed.  The seal may be broken only by the lab testing the specimen.   5)  If the seal is tampered with or broken, after leaving the student’s possession and prior to arriving to the lab, the specimen is invalid.  The student will be called again as soon as possible.  The student will remain eligible for extracurricular activities subsequent to a retest.   6)  The supervisor obtaining the urine specimen will be of the same gender as the student.  Students will be instructed to remove all coats and wash their hands in the presence of the supervisor prior to entering the restroom.  The door will be closed so that the student is by himself/herself in the restroom to provide a urine specimen.  The supervisor will wait outside the restroom. The student will have two minutes to produce a urine specimen.  The commode will contain a blue dye so the water cannot be used to dilute the sample.  The faucets in the restrooms will be shut off.   7)  After it has been sealed, the specimen will be transported to the testing laboratory by lab personnel.  The testing laboratory will report the results back to the principal/administrative designee.   8)  In order to maintain confidentiality, the container which contains the urine specimen to be tested will not have the name of the student on the container.  Also, the results sheet for the urinalysis will be mailed back to the principal/administrative designee with no name attached; only the student’s random identification number will appear on the results sheet.

Test Results:   1)  This program seeks to provide needed help for students who have a verified “positive” test.  The student’s health, welfare, and safety will be the reason for preventing students from participation in extracurricular activities.   2)  The principal/administrative designee will be notified of a student testing “positive” (that is, if the test shows that drug residues are in the student’s system after using at least two different types of analysis).  The principal/administrative designee will notify the student and his/her parent/guardian.  The student or his/her parent/guardian may submit any documented prescription, explanation, or information which will be considered in determining whether a “positive” test has been satisfactorily explained.  In addition, the student or parent/guardian may appeal by requesting that the urine specimen be tested again by the certified laboratory at a cost to the student or his/her parent/guardian.   3) If the test is verified “positive,” the principal/administrative designee will meet with the student and his parent/guardian at a school corporation facility.  The student and parent/guardian will be given the names of counseling and assistance agencies that the family may want to contact for help.  The student will be prevented from participating in extracurricular activities until after a “follow-up” test is requested by the principal/administrative designee and the results are reported.  A “follow-up” test will be requested by the principal/administrative designee after such an interval of time that the substance previously found would normally have been eliminated from the body.  If this “follow-up” test is negative, the student will be allowed to resume extracurricular activities.  If a second “positive” result is obtained from the “follow-up” test, or any later test of that participant, the same previous procedure shall be followed.  In addition, SDCSC reserves the right to continue testing at any time during the remaining school year any participating student who tested “positive” and did not make satisfactory explanation.   4)  Information on a verified “positive” test result will be shared on a “need to know” basis with the student’s coach or sponsor.  The results of the “negative” tests will be kept confidential to protect the identity of all students being tested.   5)  Drug testing result sheets will be returned to the principal/administrative designee identifying students by number and not by name.  Names of students tested will not be kept in open files or on the computer.  Result sheets will be locked and secured in a location that only the principal/administrative designee has access to.

Financial Responsibility:  1)  Under this policy, SDCSC will pay for all initial random drug tests, all initial reasonable suspicion drug tests, and all initial “follow-up” drug tests.  (Once a student has a verified “positive” test result and has subsequently tested negative from a “follow-up” test, any future “follow-up” drug tests that must be conducted will be paid for by the student or his/her parent/guardian.   2)  A request of appeal for another test of a “positive” urine specimen is the financial responsibility of the student or his/her parent/guardian.   3)  Counseling and subsequent treatment by non-school agencies is the financial responsibility of the student or his/her parent/guardian.

Confidentiality:   Under this drug testing program, any staff, coach, or sponsor of SDCSC who may have knowledge of the results of a drug test will not divulge to anyone the results of the test or the disposition of the student involved, other than in the case of a legal subpoena being made upon that person in the course of a legal investigation.  Once again, this will underscore SDCSC’s commitment to confidentiality with regards to the program.
Electronic Device:    Personal electronic devices that interfere with the learning environment are prohibited.  NO electronic device is permitted in restrooms or locker rooms.   The school holds no responsibility for loss or damage to any personal electronic device.
No cell phone/personal device usage in class, unless for teacher-directed academic reasons.  Students may use personal electronic devices before and after school, at lunch, and between classes (transition times).  

Step 1 - Administrative After School Detention; parent notified of first offense.
Step 2 - Friday School; device confiscated; parent notified; parent/adult must retrieve device from the school.
Step 3 - 3 Days ACP; device confiscated; parent notified; parent/adult must retrieve device from the school.
Step 4 - beyond:  3 Days suspension; device confiscated; parent notified; parent/adult must retrieve device from the school.

Fighting:  SDMS is committed to be a school which is safe for all students and that no one feels threatened.  Fighting will not be tolerated.

Step 1 – 3 Days Suspension
Step 2 – 5 Days Suspension
Step 3 – 10 Days Suspension and Begin Expulsion Proceedings

Notes on fighting:

  1. The administration may increase or decrease consequences in any situation depending on the circumstances of the situation.

  2. Hitting back is not required to defend oneself.

  3. Participants may not be allowed to return to classes for the remainder of the day.

  4. Students will be held accountable for any statements that are made to the staff while being separated or while being taken to the office.  Profanity will not be tolerated and consequences will be given.

Gang/Gang Activity: The South Dearborn Community School Corporation prohibits criminal gang activity and similar destructive or illegal group behavior on Corporation property, on buses owned by the Corporation or used to transport Corporation students, and at school-sponsored functions.  The Corporation prohibits reprisal or retaliation against individuals who report criminal gang activity and similar destructive or illegal group behavior or who are victims, witnesses, bystanders, or others with reliable information about an act of criminal gang activity and similar destructive or illegal group behavior. Students engaging in gangs/gang activity:

Step 1 - 3 Days Suspension; notification to law enforcement
Step 2 - 5 Days Suspension; notification to law enforcement
Step 3 - 10 Days Suspension; begin expulsion proceedings; notification to law enforcement
Insubordination/Interference With Authority:  Students shall not be insubordinate, confrontational, or disrespectful to those in authority.  Students also shall not interfere with members of the staff in the discharge of their duties which would include failing to completely and truthfully respond to questions from a staff member regarding school-related matters, including potential violations of the student conduct rules or state or federal law.

Step 1 - TGIF
Step 2 - 3 Days ACP
Step 3 - 3 Days Suspension
Step 4 - 5 Days Suspension
Step 5 - Begin Expulsion Proceedings

Profanity, Abusive Language/Actions:  No person shall use profanity, abusive language, direct an obscene gesture, or make a threat of injury to persons or damage to property, regardless of whether there is a present ability to commit the act. (This includes the possession of a threatening or intimidating statement written or in any other form, including verbal, which may intentionally or unintentionally come into another student’s or staff member's possession.).  Furthermore, Indiana law requires that any individual who has reason to believe that a school employee has been threatened or intimidated must notify the principal and the principal, in turn must report this to the local law enforcement agency. The students, faculty, and staff of S.D.M.S should not feel threatened while in school or on school property. Students are prohibited to photograph, video record, and/or audio record other students, faculty, or staff members to and from school, at school, or at a school related function without their permission.  No person shall target or intimidate others, or urge others to engage in such conduct, based on race, ethnicity, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, religious or political beliefs, national origin or other personal characteristics.  Using violence, force, noise, coercion, threat, intimidation, fear, passive resistance, or other conduct constituting an interference with school purposes including, but not limited to the possession or transmission of sexually related materials, or urging other students to engage in such conduct which follows under this rule.  (Derogatory remarks/profanity/gestures/intimidating statements/etc., directed to an adult, including, but not limited to, faculty/staff/coaches/referees/etc., shall result in more severe consequences.  Such shall be determined by the Administration.)

Step 1 - 1 Day ACP
Step 2 - 3 Days ACP
Step 3 - 3 Days Suspension
Step 4 - 5 Days Suspension/Possible Expulsion

Stealing/Theft:  Any student committing or attempting to commit a theft of school property or property belonging to others will be dealt with on an individual basis.

Tardiness to Class:
 To address the issue of student promptness to class, students are reminded that continued tardiness to each class will result in student documentation and/or consequences.   Any student leaving class without permission may be counted as truant.  This policy is per class, per quarter.

Tardy 1:  Verbal Warning to student by teacher; documentation kept.
Tardy 2:  Verbal Warning to student/Parent Contact made by teacher; documentation kept.
Tardy 3:  Verbal Warning to student/Parent Contact made by teacher; documentation kept.
Tardy 4:  Friday School (TGIF)
Tardy 5:  1 Day Suspension
Tardy 6 - beyond:  3 Day Suspension

Threat/Intimidation:  The students of SDMS should not feel threatened while in their studies.  Every student should feel safe secure, and accepted regardless of color, race, gender, popularity, athletic ability, intelligence, religion, and/or nationality.  Bullying, which includes physical, relational, and/or verbal is never justifiable or excusable.  Using violence, force, noise, coercion, threat, intimidation, fear, passive resistance, or other conduct constituting an interference with school purposes, or urging other students to engage in such conduct falls under this rule *NOTE:  Depending on the severity of the offense, consequences may be altered.

Step 1 - Administrative After School Detention
Step 2 - Friday School (TGIF)
Step 3 - 3 Day ACP
Step 4 - 3 Day Suspension
Step 5 - 5 Day Suspension
Step 6 - Further instances will be dealt with on an individual basis and could include additional days of suspension or possible expulsion.

Tobacco Policy:  The use of tobacco products is not permitted on school property or at school sponsored activities by students of the South Dearborn Community School Corporation.  Tobacco use is defined as:

  1. Having in possession a lit or unlit cigarette or tobacco item held within the hand or mouth, including any tobacco related package, any look-a-like item,vape device and/or vape juice, dip, “fake dip,” smokeless pouches, “fake smokeless pouches, “e-cigarette” or other such device, as well as in or on any wearing apparel or personal items.

  2. Disposing of, destroying or voiding any lit or unlit cigarette or tobacco item (including, but not limited to, tobacco, packaging, or lighting instruments) into a container, commode, or other receptacle to include the floor.  

  3. Tobacco smoke detected on the breath of a student or in the area of a student.  

To clarify the school’s position on smoking, students shall not carry tobacco items or lighting devices at any time while on the grounds of the South Dearborn Community School Corporation.  Tobacco possession and/or use is also a violation of Indiana law for individuals under the age of eighteen.  Upon the second infraction, students will be turned over to the appropriate law enforcement agency for issuance of a citation.  Tobacco violations will be dealt with as follows.

Step 1 - TGIF
Step 2 – 2 Days ACP and referral to appropriate law enforcement agency
Step 3 - 3 Days Suspension and referral to appropriate law enforcement agency
Step 4 - Further instances will be dealt with on an individual basis and could include additional days of suspension or possible expulsion; referral to appropriate law enforcement agency.

Truancy:  Truancy is defined as a student missing all or part of a school day without the consent or knowledge of the parent/guardian and school officials.  A student who is truant in school (skipping class) will be assigned a TGIF.

Step 1 - 1 day ACP
Step 2 - 3 days ACP
Step 3 - 5 days ACP
Step 4 - beyond - 3 day Suspension

Vandalism/Destruction of Property:  No person shall intentionally cause or attempt to cause damage to district, school, or personal property at any time.  Damage done to the school, equipment, buses, devices, device bags, or books must be paid for by the student’s parents or guardian (See “Behavior Code” section of this handbook.).  When appropriate, court referral will be made.

Step 1 - 3 Days ACP
Step 2 - 3 Day Suspension
Step 3 - 5 Day Suspension
Step 4 - Begin Expulsion Proceedings

Videotaping/Photographing Incidents:  Students may not record with video camera, cell phones, or any other electronic devices any incidents/classrooms/other locations involving students, faculty, and/or staff,  taking place on school grounds or school buses without prior written permission of the administration. Students may also not take photographs with any type of electronic and/or other device without the written permission of the administration (see above).  This may include, but is not limited to, general student behavior, bullying behavior, fights, verbal disagreements, etc.  (Depending on the circumstances of the situation, consequences may range from TGIF  up through and including expulsion from school.)  Please be aware: • The Child Abuse/Neglect Law requires school personnel to report to law enforcement or child protective services whenever there is reason to believe that any person/student is involved with “child exploitation” or “child pornography” as defined by Indiana Criminal Statutes. • It is “child exploitation,” a Class C felony under I.C. 35-42-4-4(b), for any person/student (1) to exhibit, photograph or create a digitalized image of any incident that includes “sexual conduct” by a child under the age of 18; or (2) to disseminate, exhibit to another person, or offer to so disseminate or exhibit, matter that depicts or describes “sexual conduct” by a child under the age of 18. • It is “child pornography,” a Class D felony under I.C. 35-42-4-4(c), for any person/student to possess a photograph, motion picture, digitalized image, or any pictorial representation that depicts or describes “sexual conduct” by a child who the person knows is less than 16 years of age or who appears less than age 16. • “Sexual conduct” is defined by I.C. 35-42-4-4(a) to include sexual intercourse, exhibition of the uncovered genitals intended to satisfy or arouse the sexual desires of any person, or any fondling or touching of a child by another person or of another person by a child intended to arouse or satisfy the sexual desires of the child or other person. • The Indiana Sex Offender Registration Statute at I.C. 11-8-8-7 and the Sex Offender Registry Offense Statute at I.C. 35-42-4-11, as of May 2009, require persons convicted of or adjudicated as a juvenile delinquent for violating the Child Exploitation Statute at I.C. 35-42-4-4(b) to register as a sex offender. • Because student cell phones have been found in a number of Indiana school districts to have contained evidence of “sexual conduct” as defined above, it is important for parents and students to be aware of the legal consequences should this occur in the South Dearborn Community School Corporation.

Weapons:   Students are forbidden to bring any kind of weapon to school.  This includes knives, razor blades, firearms, explosives, ammunition, look-a-like or toy weapons, etc. that may be on the person or stored in a locker.  Any student using, possessing, transmitting, or otherwise being involved with the use of a weapon of any kind on school grounds, buses, or at any school related function may be expelled for a period of one (1) calendar year.  Furthermore, any students using, possessing, transmitting, or otherwise being involved with the use of an explosive device will be subject to suspension or expulsion as outlined in Indiana state law.

Other Situations:  The administration has made every attempt to develop rules and regulations in the Code of Conduct, which will address most of the situations occurring at South Dearborn Middle School, or school sponsored activities.  If a situation occurs which has not been addressed, it is the responsibility of the administration to take prudent and responsible action to protect the educational process from disruption and /or to maintain the safety and welfare of students and staff in the building.


SQUIRE C.O.R.E.:  Civility, Order, Respect, Excellence.      To show Respect.   To be Responsible.  To display Readiness.   A positive behavior system improves school social behavior, helps in the reduction of bullying, improves conflict resolution and communication skills, restores relationships, and encourages student connectedness.  Students learn appropriate behavior through instruction, practice, feedback, and encouragement.  The SDMS Faculty and Staff will:

  1. Address behavior through positive interactions.

  2. Provide support and interventions for students.

  3. Praise what behaviors should be repeated.

  4. Provide direct and specific instructions on behaviors in all areas of the school, i.e., hallways, cafeteria, classrooms, restrooms, at arrival, at dismissal, on the school grounds, etc.

Students will receive recognition through several venues, i.e., “Squire Bucks,” tangible rewards, class wide recognition, school wide recognition, etc.

Athletic/Activity Eligibility:  Please reference the athletic and activity handbook.  
Student Council:    The South Dearborn Middle School Student Council shall consist of 20 members..  The executive committee will consist of a president, vice-president, treasurer and a secretary.  These positions could be filled by either seventh or eighth graders.  Each position will be elected by the council members only.  If a student council member or executive member receives two (2) or more “F’s” (accumulative), or becomes ineligible any time during the year because of out-of –school suspension, this student will forfeit his/her membership for the remainder of the year.
National Jr. Honor Society: Please refer to the South Dearborn Middle School NJHS bylaws.
Students Against Destructive Decisions:  The vision of Students Against Destructive Decisions is to have a world in which young people make positive decisions that advance their health and safety.  The mission is to empower young people to successfully confront the risks and pressure that challenge them in their daily lives.  This may be accomplished by creating, equipping, and sustaining a network of student-led chapters in schools focused on peer-to-peer education.  SADD fosters a sense of belonging and promotes resiliency, leadership, and advocacy skills so that young people make positive life decisions.  SADD welcomes all youth seeking support for healthy and safe development.  SADD is an inclusive, not exclusive, organization; SADD recognizes that the pressures on young people to drink, use illicit drugs, and engage in other unhealthy behaviors are strong.  SADD seeks not to punish or alienate those students who make unfortunate choices, but rather aims to inform, educate, support, and empower young people to make positive decisions in their lives.  SDMS students interested in SADD may be required to pay a nominal fee.
Athletics:        SDMS offers a variety of athletic opportunities for students, including:

       Fall - Football, Volleyball, Cheerleading, Cross Country, Swimming

       Winter - Girls Basketball, Boys Basketball, Wrestling, Cheerleading

       Spring - Track, Golf
Please reference the SDMS Athletic/Activities Handbook for other SDMS Offered Clubs, Activities, Events, etc.

Other SDMS Information

Notice for Directory Information:

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a Federal law, requires that South Dearborn Community School Corporation, with certain exceptions, obtain your written consent prior to the disclosure of personally identifiable information from your child’s education records. However, South Dearborn Community School Corporation may disclose appropriately designated “directory information” without written consent, unless you have advised the District to the contrary in accordance with District procedures.

"Directory information" means information contained in an education record of a student that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed.

(a) Directory information includes, but is not limited to, the student's name; address; telephone listing; electronic mail address; photograph or other video image; date and place of birth; major field of study; grade level; enrollment status (e.g., undergraduate or graduate, full-time or part-time); dates of attendance; participation in officially recognized activities and sports; weight and height of members of athletic teams; degrees, honors and awards received; and the most recent educational agency or institution attended.

The primary purpose of directory information is to allow the South Dearborn Community School Corporation to include this type of information from your child’s education records in certain school publications. Directory information, which is information that is generally not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if released, can also be disclosed to outside organizations without a parent’s prior written consent. Outside organizations include, but are not limited to, companies that manufacture class rings or publish yearbooks. In addition, two federal laws require local educational agencies (LEAs) receiving assistance under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) to provide military recruiters, upon request, with three directory information categories – names, addresses and telephone listings – unless parents have advised the LEA that they do not want their student’s information disclosed without their prior written consent.

If you do not want South Dearborn Community School Corporation to disclose directory information from your child’s education records without your prior written consent, you must notify the District in writing by September 1.

A complete copy of the school district’s notice regarding directory information was made available at registration and is available by contacting the school.

School Provided Electronic Devices:  Students are to come to school with their provided device each day; “loaner” devices are to be provided only to those students whose school provided device is being repaired.  School-provided devices are to be kept in the device bag/container provided by the school.  Only the device and the charger are to be housed in this bag/container.  All school provided devices are to be fully charged upon entering school.  Students are prohibited to use personal emails on school-provided devices/SDCSC server, etc.

Homework/Make-up Work:   Homework is considered to be an out-of-school assignment that contributes to the educational process of the student.  Except for student suspensions, all homework missed is to be completed and given to the teacher in a timely manner, i.e. the number of days missed equals the number of days to complete the missed work.  It will be evaluated and recorded in the same manner as the work submitted on time.  It is the responsibility of the student to check with teachers as to what work, if any, has been missed.  The teacher’s homework policy  will be discussed with the students at the beginning of the school year.

Parents are to contact the office by 9 A.M. the day the student is absent from school to obtain work for the day.  Homework submitted for unexcused absences is subject to credit being withheld.  Homework that is submitted for excused absences shall be given credit. (Please see Attendance information above.)

Lockers:  Each student is responsible for his/her locker and lock.  All lockers must be kept locked with a school supplied or principal approved lock when not in use.  All unapproved locks will be removed and destroyed.  Lockers are to be kept clean inside and out and lewd or obscene posters are not to be hung in the lockers.  Locker use is limited and determined by the school.  All lockers and other storage areas provided for student use on school premises remain the property of the school and are subject to inspection and search when the administration has reasonable suspicion for search of the locker.  Students are not permitted to share lockers.

Lost & Found:  All items found should be given to a teacher or the designee.  Items may be reclaimed by identifying them in the office.

Medical Notice:  Information relevant to school requirements pertaining to meningococcal disease and pertussis may be found on the school’s website.  Questions concerning these requirements should be directed to the school nurse.

Medication:  The administration of medicine during school hours is discouraged.  However, if a student is to be taking medication during the school day, it must be left in the office along with written permission and directions from the parent.  The consent of the parent shall be valid only for the period specified on the consent form and in no case longer than the current school year.    Prescription medicines must be accompanied by a pharmacy label and will be administered as the physician orders.  Prescription medicines should be delivered to the school by a parent or guardian.  Any student transporting or carrying medication may be punished under the drug policy section of this handbook.  The school will not give students any medication that is not supplied by the student or parent.

Library Information:   The SDMS library welcomes students to browse and check out items before and after school, as well as on passes from teachers during classes.   Teachers may bring their classes on a regular basis.  Each student is responsible for all items he or she checks out, and shall follow established Library guidelines and policies.  Students may visit the library website at library.sdcsc.k12.in.us and log in with their computer login information.  The catalog will allow students to renew and/or hold books remotely, as well as browse for resources.  

Parent-Teacher Conference:  When requesting a parent-teacher conference, please call the school to set up the conference.  As a courtesy to faculty for making necessary arrangements for after school conferences or planning use of preparation time, a conference will not be set up for the same day the call is made.

Promotion:  Promotion is determined after evaluation by Academic Instructors and Building Administrators.  The principal leads evaluation sessions and has the final determining voice on promotion.  The following criteria are used in evaluation of students:  grades, absentee record, social and emotional maturity, readiness, and achievement test scores.

School Visits and Student Pickup for Appointment:  All school visitors are required to report to the office.  Visitors and parents will be directed on the procedures used during their visitation or release of their student from school for the appointment.  Parents are required to send a note with the student to give to the office by 8:12 AM. on the day the student is to leave school early.

Fees:  Each student shall be assessed school fees.  Fees may vary depending on student’s schedule.  Fee sheet issued to each family prior to the start of the school year.

Weather:  When conditions are such that cancellation or delaying of school becomes necessary, listen for information from notices made by SDCSC, on radio station WSCH-FM (99.3), as well as local Cincinnati television stations = Channels 5, 9, 12, and 19. If weather conditions necessitate a delay in the start of the school day, this will be announced by calling for “Plan B” which means that school will start two hours later than usual.

Search/Seizure:  Per South Dearborn Community School Corporation Policy…

*Grades K-12

A.As used in this section, “reasonable suspicion” means circumstances which would cause a reasonable person to believe that the search of a particular person, place, or thing will lead to the discovery of:

1.  evidence of a violation of the student conduct standards contained in the student handbook;

2.  anything which, because of its presence, presents an immediate danger of physical harm or illness to any person.

B.  All lockers and other storage areas provided for student use on school premises remain the property of the school corporation and are provided for the use of the students subject to inspection, access for maintenance, and search pursuant to this section.  No student shall lock or otherwise impede access to any locker or storage area except with a lock provided by or approved by the principal of the school in which the locker or storage area is located.  Unapproved locks shall be removed and destroyed.

1.  The principal, or designee, may search a locker and its contents where the person conducting the search, or the principal designating the person to search, has reasonable suspicion for a search of the locker.  Where the locker to be searched is assigned to a particular student and that student is on the school premises at the time of the search, the student shall be notified prior to the search and given the option to be present at the search.

2.  The principal, a member of the administrative staff, or a teacher may search a desk or any other storage area on school premises other than a locker when the person conducting the search has reasonable suspicion for a search.

C.The principal, or designee acting at the direction of the principal, may search the person of a student during a school activity if the principal has reasonable suspicion for a search of the student.  Searches of the person of a student shall be limited to:

1.  searches of the pockets of the student

2.  any object in the possession of the student such as a purse or book bag, and/or

3.  a “pat down” of the exterior of the students clothing

Searches of the person of a student which require removal of clothing other than a coat or jacket shall be referred to law enforcement officer in accordance with sub-section G of this section.  Searches of the person of a student shall be conducted in a private room by a person of the same sex as the student being searched.  At least one, but not more than three additional persons of the same sex as the student being searched shall witness, but not participate, in the search.  At the request of the student to be searched, an additional person of the same sex as the student designated by the student and then reasonably available on school premises, shall witness the search.  The parent or guardian of any student searched shall be notified of the search as soon as reasonably possible.

D. The privilege of bringing a student-operated motor vehicle onto school premises is hereby conditioned on written consent by the student driver, the owner of the motor vehicle and the parent or guardian of the student to allow search of that motor vehicle.  Refusal by a student, parent or guardian, or the motor vehicle owner to provide or allow access to a motor vehicle on school premises as the time of a request to search the motor vehicle, shall be cause for termination, without further hearing, of the privilege of bringing a motor vehicle onto school premises.  The principal or designee may request a law enforcement officer to search a motor vehicle on school premises, subject to sub-section G of this section.

E. Anything found in the course of a search conducted in accordance with this section which is evidence of a violation of the    

                 student conduct standards contained in the student handbook may be:

1.  seized and admitted as evidence in any suspension or expulsion proceeding if it is tagged for identification at the time it

                    is seized and kept in a secure place by the principal or principal’s designee until it is presented at the hearing.

2.  returned to the parent or guardian of the student from whom it was seized.

3.  destroyed if it has no significant value, or

4.  turned over to any law enforcement officer in accordance with sub-section G.

F.  Anything found in the course of a search conducted in accordance with this section which by its presence presents an

                 immediate danger of physical harm or illness to any person may be seized and:

1.  returned to the parent or guardian of the student from whom it was seized,

2.  destroyed, or

3.  turned over to any law enforcement officer in accordance with sub-section G.

G.The principal, or designee, may request the assistance of a law enforcement officer to:

1.  search any area of the school premises, any student, or any motor vehicle on school premises;

2.  identify or dispose of anything found in the course of a search conducted in accordance with this section.

Sexual Harassment:  Per South Dearborn Community School Corporation Policy…

“It is the policy of the South Dearborn Community School Corporation to maintain a learning and working environment that is free from sexual harassment.  It shall be a violation of this policy for any employee/student of the South Dearborn Community School Corporation to harass another employee or student through conduct or communication of a sexual nature as defined in Section II.  It shall also be a violation of this policy for students to harass other students through conduct or communication of a sexual nature as defined in Section II.  The use of the term “employee” also includes non-employees and volunteers who work subject to the control of school authorities.

Types of Sexual Harassment:
Sexual harassment shall consist of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other inappropriate verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when made by any employee to a student, when made by any employee to another employee, or when made by any student to another student, or when made by any student to an employee, when:

1.  Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of any individual’s employment or education;

2.  Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for academic or employment decisions affecting that individual;

3.  Such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s academic or professional performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive employment or educational environment;

4.  Denial of an employment or educational opportunity occurs directly because an employee or a student submits to unwelcome requests for sexual favors made by a supervisor or teacher which results favorably for that particular employee or student;

5.  Such conduct is engaged in by volunteers and/or non-employees over which the school corporation has some degree of control of their behavior while on school property.

Unwelcome Conduct of a Sexual Nature

1.  Conduct of a sexual nature may include verbal or physical sexual advances and/or comments regarding physical or personality characteristics of a sexual nature.

2.  Verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment when the allegedly harassed employee/student has indicated, by his or her conduct or verbal object that it is unwelcome.

3.  An employee/student who has initially welcomed such conduct by active participation must give specific notice to the alleged harasser that such conduct is no longer welcome in order for any such subsequent conduct to be deemed unwelcome.

Examples of Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment may include but is not limited to the following:

1.  Verbal harassment or abuse.

2.  Repeated remarks to a person with sexual or demeaning implication.

3.  Unwelcome touching.

4.  Pressure for sexual activity.

5.  Suggesting or demanding sexual involvement by implied or explicit threats concerning one’s grades, job, promotion, and/or salary increase.

Specific Prohibitions

Administrators and Supervisors

1.  It is sexual harassment for an administrator or supervisor to use his or her authority to solicit sexual favors or attention from subordinates when the subordinate’s failure to submit will result in adverse treatment, or when the subordinate’s acquiescence will result in preferential treatment.

2.  Administrators and supervisors who either engage in sexual harassment or tolerate such conduct by other employees/students shall be subject to disciplinary actions, as described below.

 Non-administrative and Nonsupervisory Employees

1.  It is sexual harassment for a non-administrative and nonsupervisory employee to subject another such employee/student to any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature.  Employees who engage in such conduct shall be subject to disciplinary actions as described below.


1.  Any person who alleges sexual harassment by any employee or student in the school corporation may use the complaint procedure explained below in Section III.C. or may complain directly to his or her immediate supervisor, building principal, or the Title IX complaint designee of the school corporation.  Filing of a complaint or otherwise reporting sexual harassment will not reflect upon the individual status nor will it affect future employment, grades, or work assignments.

2.  The right of confidentiality, both of the complainant and of the accused, will be respected consistent with the school corporation’s legal obligation and the necessity to investigate allegations of misconduct and to take corrective action when the conduct has occurred.

3.  Reporting Sexual Harassment

    All reports of sexual harassment shall be handled in the following manner:

A.  Reports must be in writing on forms supplied by the Corporation.

B.  Reports must name the person(s) charged with sexual harassment and state the facts;

C.  Reports must be presented to the building principal where the alleged conduct took place.  The building principal shall inform the superintendent, or his/her designee, of all filed reports;

D.  Reports may also be presented to the superintendent.

E.  The building principal who receives a report shall thoroughly investigate the alleged sexual harassment;

F.  The report and the results of the investigation will be presented to the superintendent.  The superintendent shall review the report and make recommendations to the Board of School Trustees of any action s/he deems appropriate.

G.  The Board of School Trustees will take whatever action it deems appropriate.  The alleged victim’s name will not be released to the public unless required by law.


1. A substantiated charge against an employee/student in the school corporation shall subject such employee to disciplinary action including but not limited to reassignment, suspension, or discharge.

2. A substantiated charge against a student in the school corporation shall subject that student to disciplinary action including suspension and/or expulsion consistent with the Student Conduct Code.”
South Dearborn Community Schools

Policy of Respect
Statement of Respect:    “We acknowledge the dignity and worth of one another and strive never to diminish anyone by our conduct or our attitudes.  We acknowledge the difference in one another and strengthen our community by practicing friendliness, courtesy, and respect.”

Respect Policy:    Respect is the cornerstone of positive human interaction and behavior.  All staff members of South Dearborn Community School Corporation will demonstrate and model respect in their daily communications, interactions, and instruction.  All South Dearborn students will be instructed in the value of human respect and will be accountable for practicing it at school and school-related activities.

Violation of Respect:  Any physical, spoken, or written act of abuse, violence, harassment, intimidation, extortion, destruction of property, vandalism, use of vulgarity, cursing, making remarks of personally destructive nature toward another person, or any restriction or prevention of free movement of an individual constitutes a violation of human respect.  A violation of respect occurs whether the act is deliberate, intentional, unintentional, or is directed toward an individual or group regarding race, color, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, political or religious ideology.

Corrective Action:  Depending upon the severity of the violation, any of the following disciplinary actions may be taken:  discipline file entry, parent notification, student counseling, detention, short or long term suspension, expulsion, restitution of property, police notification, civil or criminal charges filed.

(Approved by the SDCSC Board;May, 2016)


5850 Squire Place, Aurora, IN 47001   T: 1-812-926-2090   F: 1-812-926-2149   E: middleschool@sdcsc.k12.in.us
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