SEVIERVILLE MIDDLE SCHOOL
Student & Parent Handbook
Director of Schools: Dr. Jack A. Parton
Principal: Donna Rolen
Assistant Principals: Tina Carmichael, Joel Wolfe
Address: 520 High Street, Sevierville, TN 37862
System Web Address www.sevier.org
SMS Web Address: www.sms.sevier.org
A Message from the Principal
On behalf of the administration and faculty, we welcome you to Sevierville Middle School. During the 2021-2022 school year, we will strive to keep growing, learning, and succeeding to create a great climate for this community of learners. This handbook is published in order to provide students and parents with a quick reference to information necessary for the operation and needs of the school. It is essential that all students and parents read the information contained in this handbook so everyone can contribute to a safe, positive, and proactive process for the teaching and learning environment. We hope you have a great year at Sevierville Middle School.
We encourage and empower all students to achieve their highest academic, civic, emotional, physical, and social potential.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- OPPORTUNITIES TO LEARN
- STUDENT DISCIPLINE
- STANDARDIZED DRESS AND GROOMING
- COUNTY, STATE, & FEDERAL GUIDELINES
- PARENT NOTIFICATION & SIGNATURE PAGE
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Sevier County School System has been exploring different ways to provide services to all students. The District has worked with state and local agencies, including our local health department, to draft and implement guidelines moving forward regrading cleaning, screening, social distancing, etc. Though the District and its agents will work hard to implement and abide by our guidelines, we cannot guarantee an environment that is entirely free of COVID-19 related risks. Please remember that these guidelines may change over time as the Sevier County Schools system receives different guidance from federal and /or state agencies.
When students return to schools for the fall semester, we must all understand that their attendance will require physical interaction with staff members, other students, and even our volunteers. Such interactions may pose some degree of risk to you, your child, and your family due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The purpose of this organization is to bring the home and the school into a closer relationship so that parents and teachers can cooperate more intelligently in the training of our children. The membership of this organization shall consist of the people interested in pursuing the goals of the organization. One very important purpose of the SMS PTO is to recruit parent and community volunteers to help with every phase of life at Sevierville Middle School. We are always looking for and asking for volunteers to help in the cafeteria and library with student events. We look for volunteers that can help display student successes and help with fundraising activities. The tasks are endless, the opportunities are great, and the personal reward and satisfaction you can receive are limitless. Be an active member of the SMS PTO. Please feel free to contact the school if you are interested in the PTO.
Sevierville Middle School teachers believe that parent-teacher communication is essential in the educational process of children. Throughout the year, personal contacts will be made with you, the parent/guardian, in order to keep you informed of your son/daughter’s academic and social progress. Contacts will come in the form of phone calls, emails, postcards, and personal notes. Parent-Teacher conferences will be scheduled during the school year; however parents are encouraged to contact the school whenever the need arises. We request that you call the school to schedule a meeting because our teachers' schedules do not allow time for drop-in conferences. We plan on making sure you know where your child is academically and socially and what we are doing to try to improve your child’s life. It is extremely important to be sure to make use of the school website for school information and daily class assignments. (www.sms.sevier.org)
We encourage parents to visit Sevierville Middle School; however, all visitors are required to check in at the school office and obtain a guest pass. Appointments for conferences with administrators, a counselor, or classroom teachers should be scheduled through the SMS office. Scheduled appointments will save everyone valuable time. Students from other schools may not visit school or classes during the school day.
Visitor Check-In- The school system is committed to a safe campus without interruption of the instructional process. Except on occasions such as school programs, athletic events, open house and similar events, open house and similar events, all visitors will be asked to display a driver’s license or government issued photo identification before entering the building, report to the school office upon entering the school, and to sign a guest log.. Authorization to visit elsewhere in the building or on the school campus will be determined by the principal and his/her designee. Through the KeepnTrack Program, guest passes will be issued for all persons other than students and employees of the school.
We will be unable to deliver messages to students, except in cases of an emergency. We understand that parents may feel the need to get in touch with students during the school day, but we cannot stop the instruction of the other students in the class for any reason other than an emergency. The nature of the emergency must be specified to a school official before classroom activities will be interrupted. After school arrangements, meeting places, pick-up times, etc. should be made between the child and the parent before the student arrives at school in the morning. Students must bring a note if they are riding a different bus, or if they are riding a bus for the first time. Bus notes need to be taken to the office in the morning. Students will pick up a bus pass during their lunch period in order to ride that particular bus.
Office phones at SMS are for school business purposes only. Students will not be permitted to make phone calls by land line or cell phone during the school day unless it is an emergency. Also, students will not be called to the office to receive incoming phone calls. Students are not allowed to have cell phones at school according to board policy.
We must have a copy of any legal documents that concerns custody of our students. If a child’s natural parent is prohibited from picking up a child, we must have a legal document of file attesting to that fact.
Parent Teacher Conference Dates
First Semester: September 9, 2021 3:30-6:30 pm
November 18, 2021 3:30-6:30 pm
Second Semester: January 20, 2022 3:30-6:30 pm
March 17, 2022 3:30-6:30 pm
Please call the office 865-453-0311 to set up an appointment. Parent and Guardians that are unable to attend Parent-Teacher Conferences night(s) can make arrangements to meet with the teacher(s) before school, during planning times, or after school by making appointments.
- Opportunities to Learn
A Focus on Learning
Sevierville Middle School’s academic goal is to meet the students at their current achievement level and improve their academic, physical, emotional, and social awareness. All students can learn and will learn if they desire. We will meet the challenge and provide an education that meets students on their level and foster their growth throughout the year. The task of improving educational ability is a serious one and we promise to work at furthering all learners’ growth at Sevierville Middle School.
Classwork / Homework
We believe classwork and homework are important tools to learning because they are valuable aids in helping students make the most of their experience in school. We do however understand that time constraints, family situations, and proper balance to one’s life factor in to assignments and homework. It is imperative that teachers, students, and parents/caregivers help promote a culture where all students learn and reach their full potential.
Classwork and homework are assigned to check for understanding and should be completed as an individual activity unless assigned differently by the classroom teacher. Your child’s teachers will be sending home a grade level policy that includes repercussions for not completing assignments as directed. The policy will need to be signed and returned to your child’s teacher.
All students will receive instruction in language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, physical education, art, music, computer technology, and guidance. Special courses include band, and accelerated mathematics. Enrichment opportunities will also be provided in every subject area with school, county, regional, and nationwide competitions and/or activities. Physical Education is a required portion of a well-balanced educational program. Students are expected to participate in all physical activities unless excused by a doctor’s note. Band is an elective subject offered to students in grades six through eight. Enrollment in band is for the full year. Each student will provide his own instrument. If a lease-purchase agreement is desired, please contact one of the band instructors for details.
Guidance is an integral part of the total middle school program. Guidance will come from teachers, the administration, and the guidance department. The primary function is to provide a comprehensive guidance program for all students and to specifically provide activities to meet the needs of the individual student. Teachers, administrators, and counselors will be available to meet with students and parents to provide support and enhance the educational opportunities for the student.
The SMS Library is located in the center of the academic wing of our building and is the focal point of the academic learning environment. The library is a fully equipped technological facility with computers and projection units designed to support and expand the academic programs while also providing enjoyable recreational reading material for all students. The library is available for both individual student research and class research projects. Books may be checked out on a two-week basis. Students must have a library pass from the teacher if coming without a class. If a library book is lost or damaged, the student who checked it out is responsible for paying for it. Grade cards will not be issued nor cumulative records sent to a new destination until all student obligations are cleared.
All grades at SMS will participate in educational field trips in accordance with our service clubs. The same good manners, dress code, and rules of conduct that apply at school will be expected of students participating on field trips. Expenses for these trips will be the responsibility of each student in working with our service clubs. Information concerning the purpose of the trip, place to be visited, cost, chaperones, etc., will be sent to parents in a timely manner. Students participating in field trips must turn in a signed permission slip from parents. Phone calls for permission will not be accepted.
Students experiencing situations with poor grades, poor conduct (U’s) who have been suspended out of school, placed at the Alternative School or Parkway Academy, placed in in-school suspension for multiple offenses, or who have accumulated excessive absences will NOT be allowed to go on field trips . Parents are encouraged to participate and are welcomed as chaperones on SMS field trips. Because these outings require seating space on buses and reservations for many of the attractions to be visited, adults accompanying each group will have to pay depending on rules of bus companies and attractions. Please also note that students pre-paid monies are not refundable when situations arise such as poor behavior, truancy, and other situations that result in a student being withheld from going on the trip.
School Volunteers and Chaperons
The Sevier County Board of Education welcomes and encourages community and family members to act as school volunteers and field trip chaperones. With that encouragement however, come the need to maintain a safe environment for Sevier County students. Therefore, all school volunteers and field trip chaperones must:
- Be willing to treat all Sevier County students and staff members with dignity and respect;
- Be willing to provide proof they are 21 years of age or older;
- Be willing to sign in and out at the front office when entering/exiting a school building;
- Be willing, whenever possible, to remain in the presence of a staff when students are present;
- Be willing to truthfully complete and return a Volunteer/ Chaperone Release;
- Be willing to acknowledge the authority of staff members at school or on field trips;
- Be willing to take direction from and perform tasks assigned by school staff members;
- Be willing to refrain from disciplining, striking or inappropriately interacting with students;
- Be willing to refrain from using tobacco, alcohol or illegal drugs while a volunteer/chaperone;
- Be willing to dress appropriately and use no vulgar language while a volunteer/chaperone.
The Sevier County Board of Education and its staff members retain full and absolute authority to determine whether volunteers and chaperones have complied with the above-directives. Serving as a school volunteer or field trip chaperone remains a privilege and not a right; therefore, the Sevier County Board of Education, the Director of Schools, or a building level supervisor may unilaterally determine to strip all volunteer/chaperone privileges without recourse or appeal, including, but not limited to, a determination based on failing to comply with the above-directives. The Sevier County Board of Education, the Director of Schools, or a building level supervisor may also unilaterally determine to reject a school volunteer/chaperone for any reason allowed by the law.
Programs will be scheduled during the school year. Students and parents will be notified of any cost. If there are assembly programs that require a cost it will be optional and a free event will be offered as an alternative. Recognition and awards programs for achievement, leadership, and improvement will also be scheduled during the school year.
Special Activities / Clubs
Students are encouraged to be a part of a group or activity. Students with a group or activity have a great opportunity to feel a part of the school and enhance their chances for success. Sevierville Middle School offers a wide range of special interest activities designed to both awaken and deepen interests of our students. These offerings may be of several venues. We have outstanding vocal/instrumental music and arts programs with teachers that are very creative in involving and enriching the lives of our students. Throughout the year singing programs and art classes are announced that will make students feel a part of something special that can enrich their life for years to come. Such courses combined with other activity programs like the S-Club, BETA Club, 4-H, Student Council, and special event days at SMS will provide all students an opportunity to be actively involved.
Each club has it’s own governing policies and procedures that will be sent home with club members. Please check website www.sms.sevier.org for club meeting dates.
As passed in the 2014 General Assembly, Public Assembly, Public Chapter 892 requires the Tennessee Department of Education as well as school districts to post a calendar of all state and district mandated tests each school year beginning July 31, 2014. This information is available on the district’s website at www.sevier.org. Individual student test results from sate testing processes will be released to students and parent by the Sevier County School System promptly upon receipt of the information form the Tennessee Department of Education.
Questions about assessment processes should be referred to your child’s teacher, principal, or Mr. Tony Stinnett, District Testing Coordinator. Mr. Stinnett can be reached at email@example.com or at 865-453-4671.
Regular attendance at school and promptness for classes are necessary if each student is to benefit from the programs and instruction offered at SMS. Each student should strive for a perfect attendance record. State law requires a student to attend school for three hours and thirty minutes to be counted present for that day. The following is a summary of the current Sevier County Board of Education policy.
Absences and tardies will be classified as either excused or unexcused as determined by the principal or his/her designee using the following criteria as set forth by the Board. Excused absences and tardies result from the following:
- Personal illness;
- Illness of immediate family member;
- Death in the family;
- Extreme weather conditions;
- Religious observances;
- School bus failures;
- Circumstances which in the judgment of the principal create emergencies over which the student has no control.
Please note that other absences and tardies will be unexcused.
Each semester students are allowed to provide 5 parent notes for absences. Each parent note may cover one day (example: 3 days outs=3 parent notes). After 5 parent notes are used, students must provide a doctor’s note in order for absences to be excused. The State School Compulsory Attendance Law, TN annotated 49-6-3006, requires the school system to file a juvenile truancy petition once a student accrues 5 unexcused absences from school. Please note that the attendance record does not start over with the spring semester. Students participating in school-sponsored activities will not be counted absent. All missed class work or tests must be made up when a student has an excused absence or is out of class on a school-sponsored activity. When a student’s absence is unexcused, the student will be allowed to make up tests missed.
Notes will be accepted by the principal for each event of student illness in a semester or term for up to 5 days. Such events will be considered excused. If the illness becomes extended, the principal may request a medical statement to verify the illness. After four occasions in a semester or term, medical or other professional statements provided by a doctor, dentist, etc, may be required by the principal for each occasion. If requested by the principal, failure to provide the statement will cause the absence to become unexcused.
Sevier County School System Truancy Intervention Plan
All students must follow the new state law, which requires school personnel to intervene with services for students who accrue five (5) or more unexcused absences during the school year. A student’s first five (5) absences in each semester may be excused with a note from a parent.
Tier One (3+unexcused Absences)
Schools will check attendance and connect students and families with a school attendance team to create an attendance contract and monitor progress.
Tier Two (Continued Accumulation of Unexcused Absences 4+)
A school based attendance team member will check student needs through an individualized assessment, will schedule follow up meeting with the student and parent as needed, and will connect families with appropriate and available service/agencies if necessary.
Tier Three (Continued Accumulation of Unexcused Absences 5+; Noncompliance with Tier 1 and Tier 2 Mandates)
The school-based attendance team will check student progress, review effectiveness of current interventions, and determine appropriate next steps, which could include filing a petition with juvenile court if previous connections with the student and parent have failed.
A total of five (5) school days per school year may be excused by the building level administration for a family vacation prior to the student going on vacation. Approval will be dependent upon student’s attendance and academic record. Longer periods of time must be requested and approved by the Superintendent of Sevier County Schools. Please do not request a vacation during standardized testing.
Daily Schedule & Tardies
The school day at SMS begins at 8:05 a.m. and ends at 3:05 p.m. Students who arrive before 7:50 a.m. must go directly to the assigned grade level area. Students will be dismissed from the gym at 7:50 to report to class. No student should arrive at school before 7:15 a.m. The front doors will open at 7:00. If a student is late for school and arrives after 8:05 a.m., he or she must bring a note signed by the parent including a phone number where the parent can be reached. Unexcused tardies will result in disciplinary action.
Tardies will be excused for the following reasons: personal illness, illness of family member, death in the family, extreme weather conditions, religious observances, school bus failure, doctor’s appointments, and other circumstances which the principal deems as an emergency over which the student has no control. *Medical notes may be required for illness.
Students are allowed 4 unexcused tardies per semester. Examples of unexcused tardies include oversleeping, car trouble, power outage, missing the school bus, etc.
The SMS Tardy Policy is:
- Four unexcused tardies per semester - parent notification by school personnel.
- After four unexcused tardies a student will have 1 day of ISS each time he/she is tardy.
If it is necessary for a student to leave school early, a parent or an adult listed on the authorization card must come in to the office to check the student out. The parent or adult must show a form of identification each time the child is checked out. Classes missed will be excused for the same reasons as full day excused absence. Any student absent for an excusable reason is responsible for completing work missed as a result of leaving early. No student is to be picked up after 2:30 P.M. unless he/she has a doctor’s appointment in order to be fair to all parents who wait due to traffic. Please do not ask our front office to be lenient on the policy unless one has proof of a doctor’s appointment and please keep in mind that learning is our focus and it is very hard to learn when one is missing valuable instructional time.
Afternoon dismissal begins at 3:05 p.m. Students who ride first load buses will go to the back parking lot and load at that time. Parents will pick up students who are car riders at the front entrance to the building. Students who have parent permission to walk will also be dismissed at 3:05. At 3:10 p.m., second load bus riders will be dismissed from the team areas to report to the commons area to wait for buses. Students not picked up by parents (car riders) will report to the commons area where parent/guardians can pick them up.
School Closing & Severe Weather
Announcements by the Director of Schools, Dr. Jack Parton, concerning the closing of schools in Sevier County due to inclement weather will be made on local radio and TV stations as well as the school system website (http://www.sevier.org/home) and app. In the event of an emergency or abrupt closing, a phone service will be utilized. When the primary phone number for a student changes, the primary parent or guardian should contact school officials and request that the child’s phone numbers to be updated on all enrollment information as well as in the district’s messaging system.
Make-Up Work Pertaining to Absences
Students who receive an excused absence are required to make up work missed in each class (Board Policy 623). In grades 7-12, it is the student’s responsibility to obtain all make-up work from teachers immediately upon returning to school. Students in grades K-6 may receive prompts from teachers to ensure that work is completed on time. Student’s have a least the same number of days absent to complete the make-up work. Teachers and principals may extend this make-up time if situations warrant an extension.
Students who receive an unexcused absence will not be permitted to make up missed daily work. Instead the student will receive a zero for this daily work. Major tests may be made up.
At Sevierville Middle School, parents may request needed assignments for students who have been absent for more than 3 days. These assignments may be picked up in the school office after 3:15 with prior arrangements having been made with the student’s teachers before 9:15 A.M.
- Student Discipline
As stated in Board Policy 608 (Student Conduct), the staff is authorized to take reasonable measure to establish appropriate school behavior. Any professional employee will have the authority to control the conduct of any student while under the supervision of the school system. This authority will extend to all activities of the school, including all games, and public performance of athletic teams and other school groups, trips, excursions, and all other activities under school sponsorship and direction. For more information, refer to Board Policy 608 which can be found at www.sevier.org.
Discipline is the development of self-control, character, responsibility, restraint, fair play, and consideration for the feelings and welfare of others. School rules and regulations are based upon Sevier County Schools Code of Student Conduct and Discipline and will be followed at all times - both at the school and at school sponsored activities. During the first week of school, teachers will review The Code of Student Conduct and Discipline with all students. All students are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that reflects consideration for the rights and feelings of others, in addition to pride in our school and self-respect. Blatant disregard for, or continued violation of these rules will result in appropriate disciplinary action to include, but not limited to: removal of extra-curricular privileges, parent notification, campus cleanup, isolated study, in-school suspension, bus suspension, Alternative School placement, out-of-school suspension, or expulsion.
- All SMS Staff members have not only the right, but also the responsibility and duty to reprimand or correct a student who is misbehaving. Disrespect by students toward any staff member will not be tolerated. We believe students should show respect to all staff members at all times.
- Students should be present and on time each school day. Daily attendance and punctuality are essential for good work and progress.
- In class, good citizenship means students always do assignments, bring materials to class, and in general, conduct themselves in an acceptable manner.
- Boy-girl relationships are a natural part of growing up. However, we feel that obvious or open displays of affection (kissing, handholding, arms around each other, etc.) are not appropriate in the school, buses, school grounds, or field trips.
- Obscene/vulgar language/gestures will not be allowed. Name-calling is unacceptable.
- Damage, destruction, or defacing of school property at SMS will not be tolerated.
- Chewing gum is not permitted on campus.
- CD players, radios, tape recorders, cameras, collectable cards, tapes, CD’s, cell phones, laser pointers, MP3 players, IPODS, and other valuable possessions should not be brought to school except with special permission and for a special purpose. Students are not permitted to bring items to sell at school.
- Students may not drive any motorized vehicle to school.
- Students cannot take part in any after-school activity if they were absent from school, in ISS, ALC, or suspended.
- Skateboards or roller blades are not to be brought to school at anytime.
- The school prohibits bullying and sexual harassment. Bullying and sexual harassment conduct includes any unwelcome physical or verbal confrontation of an unwelcome or sexual nature.
- The school understands that if a student is a victim of a violent crime at school, parents will be notified and the child has the right to attend another grade-appropriate public school in the county.
- No item will be given to a student unless the person bringing the item is on the student’s registration card.
According to Board Policy 625, the principal may suspend a student from attendance to school for as long as ten days or from riding a school bus for ten days if the conduct of the student is such to warrant such action. The suspension will be reported to the Central Office on forms provided and student’s parent or guardian will be notified by presentation of the parent copy of the suspension form to the parent in person or by letter (registered if necessary). The suspension form will not be given to the student to deliver to the parent/guardian. If the suspension is for more than five (5) days, the principal shall develop and implement a plan of behavior which shall be made available for the Superintendent or his/her designee upon request.
An offense that warrants expulsion will be reported in writing as a recommendation for a Superintendent’s hearing. After the Superintendent’s hearing the student may be assigned to additional suspension of up to ten days, assigned alternative placement, or expelled. The parent(s) or guardian(s) may appeal any suspension or expulsion as outlined in Board Policy 606.
Disciplinary Hearing Authority
A Disciplinary Hearing Authority (DHA) shall conduct appeals for students who have been suspended for more than ten (10) school days. Upon receiving notification of the request to appeal the suspension decision, the DHA shall provide written notification to the parent(s)/guardian(s) of the student, the student and any other appropriate person of the time, place, and date of the hearing. The hearing must be held no later than ten(10) days after the beginning of the suspension. Within five (5) days of the DHA rendering a decision, the student, principal, principal-teacher, or assistant principal may request a review by the Board, and the Board shall review the record.
Zero Tolerance Offenses
In order to ensure a safe and secure learning environment, the following offenses will not be tolerated:
Weapons & Dangerous Instruments
Students will not possess, handle, transmit, use or attempt to use any dangerous weapon in school buildings or on school grounds at any time, or in school vehicles and/or buses or off the school grounds at school-sponsored activity, function, or event.
Dangerous weapons for the purpose of this policy shall include, but are not limited to any firearms, explosive device, explosive weapon, bowie knife, hawk bill knife, ice pick, dagger, slingshot, switch-blade knife, blackjack, or brass(metal) knuckles.
Violators of this section will be subject to suspension and /or expulsion from school for periods up to one calendar year.
Firearms (as defined in 1 8USC 921)
In accordance with state law, any student who brings or possesses a firearm on school property shall be expelled for a period of not less than one (1) calendar year. The Director of Schools has the authority to modify this expulsion requirement on a case-by-case basis. TCA 49-6-4018
In accordance with state law, any students who unlawfully possess any drug including any controlled substance or legal drug will be expelled for a period of not less than one (1) calendar year. The Director of Schools has the authority to modify this expulsion requirement on a case-by-case basis. TCA 49-6-4018
In accordance with state law, any student who commits battery upon any teacher, principal, administrator, any other employee of the school system or school resource officer will be expelled for a period of not less than one (1) calendar year. The Director of Schools has the authority to modify this expulsion requirement on a case-by-case basis. TCA 49-6-4018
When it is determined that a student has violated this policy, the principal of the school will notify the student’s parent or guardian and the criminal justice or
juvenile delinquency system as required by law.
The Superintendent of Schools, pursuant to Tennessee law, has the final authority to modify the punishment for these offenses on a case-by-case basis.
A partnership between the Sevier County School System and the Sevier County Sheriff’s Department provides a tip line where callers remain anonymous. The phone number is 865-453-0312. Students are also encouraged to contact the principal, school counselor, or other trusted adult with issues around bullying, cyberbullying, threats, and violence, or other social or emotional issues.
Sevier County Schools is committed to protecting the health and well-being of all students and understands that physical, behavioral, and emotional health are integral components of student achievements. Students are strongly encouraged to report if they, or a friend, are feeling suicidal or in need of help. Students will be provided and information will be posted regarding The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) and other available resources.
- Standardized Dress & Grooming
Board Policy 628 (Standardized Dress and Grooming Code for Grade Pre-K through 12) provides recognition of the effect which student dress and grooming have upon student behavior and commitment to learning. Attire considered disruptive to health or safety is not appropriate. Rules concerning dress and grooming are mandatory in grades Pre-K-12 and are available for review in Board Policy 628 on www.sevier.org. They are also found below.
Bottom Wear (Waist and Below-pants, skirts, shorts, skorts).
Bottom wear must be size appropriate for the wearer, with no sagging or bagging, and must be
worn securely at and around the waist so as not to reveal undergarments and to prevent pant legs
from touching the floor. Large bell-bottoms that expose less than one-fourth of the foot, large
pockets (pockets that are excessively large or expand to be excessively large) are not permitted.
Leggings and other similar bottom wear may be worn with a top which covers the student’s
buttocks and torso base.
Bottom wear must exceed the length of the wearer’s fingertips when arms/hands are fully
extended. Tears/rips/frays are allowed in bottom wear when they are located on the garment
beyond the wearer’s fingertips when arms/hands are fully extended; otherwise, exposed skin
areas must be covered. No undergarments can be exposed.
Top Wear (Waist and Above)
Shirts must be size appropriate for the wearer. Sleeveless topwear is permitted as long as the
shoulder area is covered with a non-see-through material; straps of less than the child’s hand
width and tank tops do not meet these requirements. Bare midriffs shall not be allowed. Size appropriate
fleece pullovers; light jackets; long sleeve crewneck, v-neck, or cardigan sweater
vests; or sweatshirts may be worn over an approved shirt.
Girls may wear dresses appropriately sized for the wearer and the length must exceed the length
of the wearer’s fingertips when arms are fully extended; otherwise, exposed skin areas must be
covered. No undergarments can be exposed. Dresses may either have sleeves or be a sleeveless
dress as long as no undergarments are visible. Dresses will not have string or spaghetti straps,
but will have straps that come to the edge of the shoulder. Straps of less than the child’s hand
width will not meet these requirements.
Shoes must be worn at all times.
Coats, heavy jackets, or raincoats shall not be worn inside the building unless otherwise directed
by the school principal or his/her designee in an unusual situation.
Articles of clothing shall not be worn which imply or promote alcohol, sex, drugs, tobacco,
violence, gangs, racial slurs, or offensive language.
No headgear or sunglasses will be worn in the building (except those worn for obvious medical
reasons or religious purposes).
Any accessory that presents a potential danger to self or others is prohibited.
Tattoos, whether permanent or temporary, will be covered if possible. Visible body piercing
jewelry (except of the ears) is prohibited. Hair is not to be sprayed or dyed in unnatural colors
(such as blue, pink, green, orange, yellow, etc.).
Schools may develop special dress days for occasions at the direction of the school principal.
If a student cannot comply with the standardized dress code based on special conditions or
religious beliefs, his or her parent or guardian may write a letter explaining the situation to the
Superintendent or his/her designee, with a copy to the school principal or his/her designee. Each
case will be dealt with on an individual basis. To insure the health and safety of students, the
school principal or his/her designee is allowed to further restrict manner of dress or style of hair
in specific curriculum areas (shop, chemistry lab, etc.).
Bookbags must be constructed from materials that allow the contents of the bookbag to be
visible. Any band instrument or necessary sports bags must be dropped off at an area designated
by the building level principal.
Any student not attired in accordance with the foregoing policy shall be subject to disciplinary
consequences as per board policy. In addition to the foregoing, when a student is attired in a
manner that is likely to cause disruption or interference with the operation of the school, the
principal shall take appropriate action.
Legal Reference: T.C.A. 49-6-4215
Approved November 13, 2017
Any student not attired in accordance with the foregoing policy shall be subject to disciplinary consequences as per board policy. In addition to the foregoing, when a student is attired in a manner that is likely to cause disruption or interference with the operation of the school, the principal shall take appropriate action. Legal Reference: T.C.A. 49-6-4215
Accidents & Illnesses
Accidents or illnesses, which occur during the school day, should be reported immediately to the teacher in charge. Office personnel should also be notified. The school nurse or office personnel will provide temporary care. Parents will be notified at home or at work. Names and phone numbers of a relative or neighbor should be provided on the emergency card and the authorization card. These people will be called if the parent cannot be reached. If emergency medical attention is required, the student will be taken to the nearest medical facility. Please sign the portion of the enrollment card that allows us to care for your child and designate the medical doctor you prefer. Office personnel will place calls concerning an accident or illness. Students will not be allowed to call home requesting to be picked up. Parents and students also need to have up to date contact and emergency phone numbers at all times. A student without proper contact numbers will not be allowed to attend school due to the fact that schools have to be able to contact parent/guardians in case of illness or emergency. Please notify the school immediately if contact numbers change and/or address change.
Bus Conduct- The school bus is an extension of school activity; therefore students must conduct themselves on the bus in a manner consistent with the established standards for safety and classroom behavior.
Students are under the supervision and control of the bus driver while on his/her bus and all reasonable directions given by the drives will be followed. The principal of the student transported will be informed by the bus driver of any serious discipline problem and may be called upon to assist if necessary. A student may be denied the privilege of riding the bus if the principal determines that his/her behavior is such as to cause disruption on the bus, or if the student disobeys state or local rules and regulations pertaining to student transportation. The suspension of a student from the riding the school bus will follow the same general procedures as any other school suspension.
Any student wishing to ride a bus other than his/her designated bus or to get off at a non-standard location must present written parental permission AND the written approval from the student’s principal. The same rule applies to any student who wished to get off at any point between the pick-up point and the school. The student’s bus drive shall be required to turn the singed note(s) over to the Transportation Director as soon as practicable after completion of the route.
Sevier County provides bus transportation for students according to state guidelines. Riding a bus is a privilege and students are expected to observe proper rules of conduct and good manners at all times. Failure to do so will result in appropriate disciplinary action. The transportation department determines bus schedules, routes, and drivers. Questions related to transportation should be made to that department at 453-3568.
In the operation of the child nutrition program, no student will be discriminated against because of race, sex, color, nation origin, age, or disability. A student enrolled in the Sevier County School System may be eligible for free or reduced-price meals and/or free milk if income eligibility criteria are met. These criteria are posted annually on www.sevier.org or can be found on the Free and Reduced Meal Application distributed by the school.
Both breakfast and lunch are served daily at Sevierville Middle School for all children. The cafeteria staff provides attractive, well balanced, nourishing meals. All students are encouraged to participate in our lunch program. Payment is made daily or in advance for extended periods.
Students who forget their lunch money will be allowed to charge, but must be paid back as soon as possible. Unpaid breakfast/lunch charges can result in a child loosing extracurricular privileges throughout the school year and the holding of report cards. Students who do not wish to eat in the SMS cafeteria may bring a lunch from home. Leaving the SMS campus during the lunch is not permitted. Beverages should be brought in a thermos. Drinks in cans or bottles are not permitted. No soft drinks or catered food is to be brought in during lunch times. Parents are welcome to eat lunch with their son or daughter at Sevierville Middle School provided they sign in the front office and inform the person supervising lunch. Anyone eating or providing lunch for a student(s) must be listed on that child’s enrollment card.
Forms are available to all students for free or reduced breakfast or lunch. These may be obtained from the office or from the cafeteria manager. Please complete the information and return it to the school as soon as possible.
Student Fee and Fines
Based on Sevier county Board of Education Policy 638 (Wavier of Student fees), students who receive free or reduced cost lunches are eligible for waiver of school-related fees. School fees are fined as fee for activities that occur during the regular hours, fee for activities and supplies required to participate in all courses required for credit or grade, fees for a copy of the student’s record, refundable security deposits, an fees or tuition applicable to course taken by resident students for credit or grade in the summer. School fees do not include fine imposed for lost textbooks, late returning library books, abuse of school property, debts incurred costs for extracurricular activities occurring outside the regular school day, etc. Documentation of parent content for the waving of confidentiality on applications for free and reeducated meals will be required.
Students are not permitted to have electronic devices such as cell phones, or any other non-academic related items during school hours. If these devices are seen, they will be taken up by the teacher and turned in to the office. A parent must come to the office to claim the confiscated device. If it is necessary for the student to have such devices, then it must be turned off and secured in his/her locker until the end of the school day. The school assumes no responsibility for lost, stolen, or broken items.
Sevier County Internet Policy
The Sevier County Board of Education (“Board”) remains committed to providing staff members and students with access to both a system-wide network and the Internet. However, use of the Board’s network is a privilege, not a right. Therefore, any and all network users are responsible for knowing, understanding, and abiding by this Network and Internet Policy (“Policy”)
Only current staff members employed by and students enrolled in the Sevier County School System may access and utilize the Board’s network and Internet service. However, students may only access the network and Internet service while under the direct supervision of a staff member(s).
The Board’s Internet service should only be used for education purposes or other school-related activities. As such, prohibited activities include but are not limited to the following:
Uploading and /or downloading files without permission from an administrator
Accessing pornographic and/or offensive material
Utilizing the Internet for personal or commercial financial gain or fraud
Participating in any form of harassment
Introducing or attempting to introduce viruses to the network
The Board retains full ownership and control of its computers. As such, using those computers to access the Internet should be accomplished with the full knowledge that said access is not private. In fact, Internet access to school computers remains subject to monitoring and review.
Access to the internet via the Sevier County System’s network shall be filtered to block access to visual depiction that are obscene, pornographic, inappropriate for students, or harmful to minors, as defined by the Federal Children’s Internet Protections Act.
Internet Safety Instruction
Students will be given appropriate instruction in Internet safety annually as part of curriculum and instruction either through guidance counselors, school resource officers, and./or other designated staff. This instruction will include education of students about appropriate online behavior, including interactions with other individuals on social networking sites and in chat rooms and cyber bullying awareness and response. School system personnel will be given appropriate professional development opportunities during the school year. Parents, students, caregivers, and community stakeholders will be provided with material to raise awareness of the dangers posted on the Internet and ways in which the Internet may be used safely.
The Board’s Internet service should be used only for educational purposes or other school-related activities. As such, prohibited activities include but are not limited to the following:
Accessing staff members/student’s private information for personal use
Utilizing the network for personal or commercial financial gain or fraud
Destroying network data without permission
Introducing or attempting to introduce viruses to the network
The Board retains full ownership and control of its network. As such, using the network should be accomplished with the full knowledge that said usage is not private. In fact, network usage remains subject to monitoring and review.
Electronic mail messages (e-mail) addresses shall be provided to Board’s current staff members. E-mail addresses may also be issued to designated students. However, staff members and students should only use their school e-mail addresses for educational purposes or other school-related addresses.
Please understand that emails are records. Therefore, school e-mail addresses should be used professionally and with the full knowledge that said e-mails are not private communications. In fact, messages sent and received from school e-mail addresses remain subject to monitoring and review.
Any violation of this Policy may result in the termination of network, Internet, and/or e-mail privileges. Penalties may also include but are not limited to the following:
Restitution by a parent, guardian, or staff member
Appropriate legal action
The Board makes no warranties of any kind regarding network, Internet and e-mail services. As such, the Board is not responsible for any damages, including but not limited to, the loss of data. Further, the Board is not responsible for the accuracy or quality of any information obtained by staff members or students via the Internet.
The Sevier County School System is committed to the safety of our learners, especially when it comes to the use of online resources. Technology is a critical part of today’s classroom. We believe there is great potential for the use of online apps/tools to improve teaching and learning. The ever-increasing availability of online teaching and learning resources comes with inherent risks and concerns regarding student data, privacy, and student work. We as a district have a responsibility to ensure that student’s data and privacy is adequately protected while using online digital resources for school work.
SCSS safeguards a wide range of information about its students. SCSS manages each student’s personally identifiable information in accordance with Tennessee and Federal privacy laws, including FERPA and COPPA. SCSS will not share personally identifiable information with third-party provider unless there is a “legitimate education interest” for student(s).
In efforts to continue protecting student information, SCSS has adopted a set of standards for the use of new online resources in the classroom. These standards include the use of a vetting process to evaluate new apps/online tools for potential adoption. Only online apps/tools that are appropriate to meet instructional goals, that are well designed, and that meet the legal requirement to protect student privacy/data will be approved for use by students.
Grading Policies & Grade Cards
Academic policies governing the school state that 2/3 of the academic grade will be accrued through daily assignments and homework; while 1/3 of the academic grade will be from testing. Grade cards will be sent on the sixth instructional day following the end of the six weeks grading period. The grade card must be signed by the parent or guardian and returned to the teacher as soon as possible. Midgrading period progress reports will be sent to the parent or guardian by the seventeenth day of the grading period for all academic subject areas.
The following grading scale will be used:
A 93-100 B 85-92 C 75-84
D 70-74 F 0-69 I Incomplete
Lost & Found
Any items which are found at SMS,should be turned in to the office. Items which have been lost should be inquired about in the office. It will be helpful if personal items such as jackets, purses, book bags etc. are marked with the student’s name. If the items are found, they can be returned to the proper person.
Lockers or cubicles are assigned to students during the first week of school. They are the property of the school and can be inspected at any time. Students need to keep them in good condition. No posters or stickers are allowed--inside or out. Students may bring book bags to school; however, they must be clear or mesh. School locks will be provided and no other locks may be used by students other than school locks due to safety and efficiency in case of students needing assistance or in case of emergency.
Board Policy 627 clearly states that the Sevier County Board of Education acknowledges the fact that students occasionally must take prescription medication during school time as prescribed by a licensed physician or dentist or non-prescription medicine as requested by a parent/guardian. When medicines must be taken during school hours, the student must be competent to self-administer the mediation with assistance and must adhere to procedure communicated by school officials.
If a student is taking any type of medication, it should be brought to the office on arrival to school. A signed note from the parent should accompany the medication. If a child is taking prescription medication the following procedures must be used:
- The medication must be clearly labeled in the original packaging with the child’s name, directions for dosage, and the physician’s name.
- The medication is to be brought to the office and left there until it is to be taken.
- The student will be responsible for returning to the office to take the medication at the appropriate time.
- At the end of the day the remaining medication should be picked up and taken home.
- No more than 5 days of medication should be sent to the school at a time.
- Medicines must be in their original packaging; ziploc bags will not be accepted.
Textbooks and Chromebooks are furnished to each student in Sevier County at no cost to the individual. Each person signs a textbook agreement and Chromebook agreement at the time of enrollment and agrees to pay for any damage or loss of the book according to a scale adopted by the Sevier County Board of Education. All books and Chromebook must be returned to the appropriate teacher at SMS before grades or cumulative records will be released. Records and notice of promotion will not be released until all obligations are removed.
Tobacco, Alcohol, & Drugs
Students shall not consume possess, use, sell, distribute, or be under the influence of illegal drugs or alcoholic beverages in school building, on school grounds, in school vehicles or buses, or at any school sponsored activity, function, or event, whether on or off school grounds.
Disciplinary sanctions shall be imposed on students who violate this standard of conduct. Such sanction shall be consistent with local, state, and federal laws up to and including suspension/expulsion as well as referral for prosecution. Completion of an appropriate rehabilitation program may also be recommended. Information about drug and alcohol counseling and rehabilitation programs shall be made available through the school office.
Athletics is an area where many of our students find an opportunity to excel, thus developing physical involvement in their success as a student. Opportunities abound throughout the year for participating in athletics. Sevierville Middle School supports boys and girls basketball and girls volleyball under the guiding principles of the Sevier County Board of Education and the TSSAA. All three teams participate in regular season games and tournaments. We have been very successful, having won multiple county championships and experiencing other successes throughout the years, so please become involved.
VII. County, State, & Federal Guidelines
A Sevier County Board of Education website is available at www.sevier.org. The website features a copy of the Sevier County Board of Education Policy Manual as well as other meaningful school relating information. A link is available from the website to our school’s website.
The Sevier County School System does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, color, creed, religion, national origin, genetic background, age, disability, or veteran status in provision of educational opportunities, program, activities, or employment opportunities and benefits. Inquiries or completed grievances forms should be referred to Tony Ogle; Tony Stinnett, Title VI Coordinator or Whit Helton, Title IX Coordinator; at 226 Cedar Street, Sevierville, TN 37862.
The Sevier County Board of Education does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age (40 and over), sex, special education status, religion, pregnancy, military/veteran status, or genetic information in provision of education opportunities, programs, activities, or employment opportunities/benefits. Inquiries, questions or complaints related to students or disabilities should be referred to your principal or to the Director of Students Services, and ADA/Section 504/Title II Coordinator: Tony Ogle, (865) 453-0311, 226 Cedar Street, Sevierville, Tennessee 37862. Inquiries, questions or complaints related to Title IX (sex discrimination) matters should be referred to Dr. Whit Helton and issues related to Title VI (race, color, or national origin discrimination) should be referred to Mr. Tony Stinnett at 865-453-4671, 226 Cedar Street Sevierville, TN 37862. Inquiries, questions or complaints related to employees should be referred to your principal or to the Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Human Resources: Karen King, (865)453-0311, 226 Cedar Street, Sevierville, Tennessee 37862. If you have questions or concerns regarding any of the above please call the main office 865-453-4671.
The Sevier County Board of Education is committed to taking immediate action to eliminate harassment on the basis of disability, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects. The Sevier County Board of Education does not tolerate harassment on the basis of disability. Students and school personnel who believe they have been subjected to harassment on the basis of disability are encouraged to report the harassment to the school district. Those students, parents, and school personnel who believe they have been subjected to harassment on the basis of disability are encourage to contact their principal or the Director of Student Services and ADA/Section 504/Title II Coordinator, Tony Ogle, (865)-4671, 226 Cedar Street, Sevierville, TN 37962. Those students or employees who have been found to engage in acts of harassment on the basis of disability will be promptly disciplined up to and including suspension and or dismissal. Students, parents, and school personnel are encouraged to work together to prevent harassment on the basis of disability.
Refer to Board Policy 649 and Board Policy 603 for information about student enrollment. With few exceptions, students residing outside of Sevier County are not eligible to attend Sevier County Schools. A “ non-resident student” is a student who legal residence is located outside of Sevier County. “Legal residence” is defined as the primary residence of the student’s custodial parent(s) or guardian(s). Board Policy 603 ( Student Assignment and transfers within the System) also addresses several enrollment issues. The Sevier County Board of Education has established no attendance zones for schools in our system; however, bus transportation will be provide to the local school only. Parents who reside in Sevier County may transport their children to nay school they choose.
After the first five days of school, parents of elementary students may not transfer their children from one school to another unless the apparent move into a new community. For secondary students there will be no more than three days of open enrollment per term. An exception may be made to this statement if both gaining and losing principals believe that the transfer is in the best interest of the student(s) and the schools. If either or both principals disagree, the parent may appeal to the Superintendent’s hearing officer.
No students entering school, including those entering kindergarten or first grade, those from out-of-state, and those from nonpublic schools, will be permitted to enroll without proof of immunization. Immunization requirements can be found at www.sevier.org.
Per state law, the Sevier County School System is required to provide information to parent(s)/guardian(s) as to the following diseases.
Meningococcal meningitis is an inflammation of the tissues and fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. It can be caused by bacteria or viruses. Symptoms can include fever, sudden severe headache, stiff neck, rash, nausea, and vomiting. The bacteria that causes meningococcal meningitis is very common. Most people will carry this bacteria in the back of their nose and throat at some point in their lives without ever getting sick. In a few people, the bacteria overcomes the body’s immune system and passes through the lining of the nose and throat into the blood stream where it can cause meningitis. Meningitis is spread through exchange of respiratory droplets or saliva with an infected person. Only a small percentage of people who are exposed to the bacteria will develop meningitis. The bacteria that cause meningitis is not spread by casual contact or by simple breathing the air where a person with meningitis has been. There is a vaccine that will decrease the risk of some types of meningococcal meningitis, but it does not totally eliminate risk of the disease.
Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness cause by influenza viruses that infect th nose, throat and lungs. Symptoms can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, feeling tired, and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea. Flu viruses are spread mainly by droplets made when someone with the flu coughs, sneezes, or talks. A person can also get the flu by touching something that has the flus virus on it and then touching his/her mouth, eyes, or nose. There is a vaccine that can be received in the form of a flu shot or by nasal spray that can protect against the flu.
To receive addition information regarding these diseases, including location to receive the vaccinations, contact Mr. Steve Branton, School Health Coordinator.
If the inability to speak and understand the English language excludes a student from effective participation in the educational programs offered by the Sevier County School System (SCSS), the SCSS shall take reasonable actions to provide the student equal access to its programs. Students who are English learners (EL) shall be identified, assessed, and provide appropriate services. No student shall be admitted to or excluded from any program or extracurricular activity based on the student’s surname or EL status.
Students in Foster Care
Board Policy 653 (Procedures for Students in Foster Care) clarifies that the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) contains key protections for students in foster care that are designed to promote school stability, student success, and collaboration between local education agencies (LEAs) and child welfare agencies.
The Sevier County School System shall provide all students in foster care, to include those awaiting foster care placement, with a free and appropriate public education. Students in foster care, to include whose awaiting foster care placement, shall immediately enrolled, even if the student is unable to produce records normally required for enrollment (i.e. academic records, immunization records, health records, proof of residency). Placement shall be determined based on the student’s best interest. At all times, a strong presumption that keeping the student in the school of origin is in the student’s best interest shall be maintained.
Students from military families
A student who does not currently reside within the District shall be allowed to enroll if he/she is a dependent child of a service member who is being relocated to Tennessee on military orders. To be eligible for enrollment, the student will need to provide documentation that he/she will be a resident of the district on relocation. Within 60 days of enrollment, the parent(s)/guardians(s) of the student shall provide proof of residency within the District.
Title I School
Sevierville Middle School is a Title I school-wide project school requiring governmental policies to be followed in accordance with Title I standards and regulations. In accordance with this title, this requires that parents of students must receive notification if the school hires a teacher for four or more consecutive weeks who is not highly qualified. Also, in accordance with Title I regulations, school monies funded through Title I must be linked to school improvement plans and must be used to augment regular education programs. Expenditures using Title I funds must also take into account the experiences for the economically disadvantaged.
Also, in accordance with Title I regulations, English language learners or LEP can opt-out of language instruction programs no later than thirty (30) days after the beginning of the school year. The school alongside the opt-out provision must notify the parents of an LEP child selected for participation. If students are selected for language instruction services during the year, the school must notify the parents within two weeks of identification.
ESSA & Parents Right to Know
Sevierville Middle School, under ESSA requirements, wants parents to know that you have the right to request and receive timely information on the professional qualifications of their children’s teachers and paraprofessionals.
The current TENNESSEE REPORT CARD is available at the State Department of Education website (http:// www.state.tn.us/education/report-card.html) and on the school system’s website at www.sevier.org. The Tennessee Report Card provides information about demographics, statistics, and performance indicators for both the system and school.
Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act
Sevierville Middle School is in compliance and will follow all the privacy protections afforded parents and students under Section 444 of the General Provisions Act as added by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). In 1974, the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (Buckley Amendment) Public Law 93-380, 438 was passed to ensure confidentiality of school records. FERPA requires that the Sevier County School System with certain exceptions, obtain the written consent of parent prior to disclosure of personally identifiable information from a child’s education records. Parents should be encouraged to carefully review the FERPA notice which is distributed for parent signature at each school annually. The notice especially deals with the access of military recruiters. In 2015, The Sevier County Board of Education modified student Records policy (BP 122). Parents are encouraged to review the modified policy online at www.sevier.org.
The Sevier County Board of Education is committed to maintain equitable employment/educational practices, services, programs, and services that are accessible and useable by qualified individuals with disabilities and will meet or exceed all requirement of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1974 and the American with Disabilities Act of 1990. Complaints alleging non-compliance with the laws of alleging any actions that would be prohibited by the Acts should be referred to Tony Ogle at 865-453-4671 or my email to firstname.lastname@example.org
In compliance with state and federal law, the Sevier County School System will provide to each protected student with a disability without discrimination or cost to the student or family, those related aids, services or accommodations which are needed to provide equal opportunity to participate in and obtain the benefits of the school program and extracurricular activities to the maximum extent appropriate to the student’s abilities. In order to qualify as a protected student with a disability, the student must be of school age with a physical or mental disability, which substantially limits or prohibits participation in or access to an aspect of the school program. These services and protections for “protected students who are disabled” are distinct from those applicable to all eligible or exceptional students enrolled (or seeking enrollment) in special education programs.
For further information on the evaluation procedures and provision of services to protected disabled students, contact:
School Section 504 Coordinator: Vicki Butcher Sevierville Middle School 865-453-0311
Safe School Choice
Sevierville Middle School will notify parents if your child is the victim of a violent crime at school. If this does indeed occur, the child has the right to attend another grade-appropriate public school in the district.
Children & Youth in Transition
The Sevier County School System will ensure that all children and youth receive a free appropriate education and are given meaningful opportunities for success in school. The system will follow the requirements outlined in the Mckinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act. A copy of the policies related to Mckinney-Vento is available in the school office.
Sexual, Racial, Ethnic, and/or Religious Harassment
Sevierville Middle School will not tolerate harassment. SMS does not condone and will not tolerate acts related to these topics. If a student is being harassed, please report any acts to a teacher, counselor, or administrator in the event that a situation does occur.
Child Abuse & Neglect
Sevierville Middle School staff members are required by state law to watch for signs of child abuse and neglect. They are also required by law to report any information or suspicions to the proper authorities. Once such reports are made to outside agencies, however, please understand that those agencies- and not the school system-will remain in charge of any related investigations and/or actions.
Child Advocacy Group
CHILD ADVOCACY GROUP contact information is accessible on the Special Education page of the district’s website at www.sevier.org. Organizations available to help with information, training, and advocacy are noted. Links are also provided as a service to individuals seeking additional avenues for help and information. The Sevier County School System does not intend this as an endorsement or recommendation or any individual, organization, or service represented on the pages.
School Safety & Security Act, School Discipline Act, TCA 49-6-2008
Parents please be aware of the following laws that relate to persons on campus.
Personal searches may be conducted if the principal has a reasonable suspicion that a student or visitor has in his possession drugs, drug paraphernalia, and/or dangerous weapons.
Vehicles parked on school property by students or visitors are subject to search for drugs, drug paraphernalia, and/or dangerous weapons.
A student may be subject to physical search because of the results of a locker search or because of information received from a teacher, staff members, student, or other person, if such action is reasonable to the principal.
Felony: State law prescribes a maximum penalty of six years (6) imprisonment and a fine not to exceed three thousand dollars ($3,000.00) for carrying weapons onto school property.
No person shall enter onto the grounds or into the buildings of any school during the hours of student instruction, except students assigned to the school, the staff of the school, parents of the students, and other persons with lawful and valid business on the school premises.
Smoking: Chapter 410 of Public Acts of 2007
Smoking is not permitted in any form inside the school building. State law prohibits the use of tobacco in any form after regular school hours in any public seating areas, including, but not limited to, bleachers for sporting events, concession stands, or public restrooms. Smoking may be permitted in designated areas at outdoor athletic events, but such smoking must be restricted to a place far enough away from the seating areas, concession, and restrooms so that smoke will not drift back into these areas.
Photography & Video
Throughout the school year, there may be school sponsored programs and events where photographs or videos may be taken by the media or school district staff. These photographs and /or videos may then be cablecast on the district’s educational access channel, or website, thereby making it available to anyone with local cable or internet access. It is the policy of the Sevier County School System that neither students nor their works be identified by name when featured on the district’s educational access channel or the district website without prior consent. Your consent to these types of group photographs or videos is assumed, UNLESS YOU NOTIFY YOUR CHILD’S SCHOOL IN WRITING that you do NOT want your child included in such photographs or videos.
The Sevier County Board of Education (SCBE) authorizes the use of external video surveillance equipment on SCBOE property as part of a multifaceted approach to protecting the safety and security of students, staff, and property. Video surveillance shall be used only to promote the order, safety and security of students, staff and property. The SCBE shall comply with all applicable state and federal laws related to video recording when such recordings are considered and relied upon as part of the student’s behavioral record as determined by school administrators.
Video cameras will be utilized on property of the SCBE as approved by the Director. The SCBE shall notify students, staff, and public that video surveillance may occur on school property. Such notifications will occur through incorporation in the school parent/student handbook and through the SCBE’s website.
No concealed cameras will be installed. Equipment will not monitor areas where the public and employees have a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as locker rooms and adult and students restrooms. Video recording equipment may be in operation 24 hours per day, but this not guaranteed.
The use of video surveillance equipment on school grounds shall be supervised and controlled by the building principal or his/her designee. Audio shall not be part of the video recording made, reviewed, or stored by the staff of the SCBE.
Further in-school audio or video recordings (including surveillance or live feeds) initiated by an individual student, parent, staff or community member are strictly prohibited. The SCBE takes the protection of its students and their confidentiality seriously, thus it takes steps to ensure students are not recorded or in any way monitored by third-parties while under the supervision of Sevier County Schools.
Staff and students are prohibited from unauthorized use, tampering with or otherwise interfering with video recordings and/or video camera equipment and will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.
Disciplinary action shall be consistent with standards of the SCBE an may include, but is not limited to written reprimand, suspension, demotion or expulsion depending upon the nature and severity of the situation.
Interrogation and Searching
Board Policy 607 (Interrogation and Searches) outlines procedures for the questioning and searching of students. Students may be questioned by teachers or principals about any matter pertaining to the operation of a school and/or the enforcement of its rules. Questioning should be conduction discreetly and under circumstances which will avoid unnecessary embarrassment to the student being questioned. Any student answering falsely, evasively or refusing to answer a proper question may be subject to disciplinary action, including suspension.
An principal (or his/her designee) having reasonable cause for a search may search any student, place, or thing (including student lockers or cars) on school property or in the actual or constructive possession of any student during any organized school activity off campus, including buses, if the principal receives information which would cause a reasonable suspicion that the search would lead to the discovery of:
- Evidence of any violation of the law;
- Evidence of any violation of school rules or regulations or proper standard of student conduct;
- Any object or substance which, because of its presence, presents and immediate danger of harm or illness to nay person.
For more information, refer to board Policy 607 at www.sevier.org.
Canine Unit Training
As part of the school system’s ongoing efforts to work collaboratively with local and regional law enforcement agencies, the Sevier County Sheriff’s Department, and our local police departments will be conducting a series of trainings in our local schools. Officers working with canine units will be training on our campuses and in our buildings. These units will periodically patrol our school hallways and our parking lots. These trainings are designed to increase the efficiency of these units and to help ensure the safety of our students and communities.
Asbestos Management Plans
Parent(s)/guardian(s), upon request, shall be given the opportunity to review the Asbestos Management Plan. The Sevier County School System’s AHERA management Plan is available for public inspection upon request at the Sevier County School System Maintenance Department at 405 Catlett Rod, Sevierville, TN 37862. Anyone interest in reviewing this plan should contact Kevin McClure or Roger Shorter at 865-453-4140.
The school system defines “hazing” to mean any intentional or reckless act, on or off Sevier County Board of Education property, by one student acting alone or with others, that is directed against any other student, that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of that student or that induces or coerces a student to endanger that student’s mental or physical health or safety. This policy focuses on those actions taken and situations created in connection with initiation into or affiliation with any school-sponsored or school-affiliated group/team. “Hazing” does not include customary athletic events or similar contests or competitions.
The Sevier County Board of Education expressly prohibits “hazing” as it is defined above. Any students found to have violated this policy will face disciplinary action, including, but not limited to, suspension or expulsion. Any employees found to have violated this policy will also face disciplinary action, including, but not limited to, reprimand, suspension, or dismissal.
Harassment, Intimidation, Bullying, or Cyber-Bullying
The Sevier County School System has determined that a safe, civil, and supportive environment in school is necessary for students to learn and achieve high academic standards. In order to maintain that environments, acts of bullying, cyber-bullying, discrimination, harassment, hazing, or any other victimization of students, based on any actual or perceived traits or characteristics, are prohibited.
Sevier County students will be provided a learning environment free from sexual, racial, ethnic, gender, national origin or religious based discrimination, intimidation, harassment, bullying or cyber-bullying. It will be a violation of this policy for any employee, volunteer, parent or student to discriminate, harass, bully or cyber-bully a student for any reason (complaints of disability discrimination, harassment, bullying, cyber-bullying and/or retaliation remain governed by Board Policy 016. All school system employees and volunteers are required to report alleged violations of this policy to a building level administrator or the Director of Student Services.
This policy will be published in parent/student handbooks distributed annually to every student. Building level administrators are also responsible for education and training of their respective staffs and students as to the definition and recognition of discrimination, harassment, bullying, intimidation and cyber-bullying.
Discrimination/Harassment- includes, but not limited to, conduct, advances, gestures, or words whether written or spoken that:
- Unreasonably interfere with a students’ educational opportunities
- Create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive learning environment
- Imply submission is an explicit/implicit term of receiving benefits
- Imply submission or rejection of such inappropriate acts will be used as basis for determining a student’s grades and or participation in an activity.
Bullying/intimidation- includes, but is not limited to, physically harming a student, damaging a student’s property, knowingly placing a student in reasonable fear of such, or creating a hostile educational environment.
Discrimination/harassment and bullying/intimidation include acts taking place on school grounds. For the purpose of this policy, school grounds includes any school property, school-sponsored activity (including “away” or “travel” activities), school provided transportation, or any official school bus stop immediately before boarding and immediately following deboarding.
Cyber-bullying- means bullying as described above undertaken through the use of electronic devices. Electronic devices include, but are not limited to, telephones, cellular phones or other wireless telecommunication devices, personal digital assistant (PDAs), computers, mobile device applications, electronic mail, instant messaging, social media services, text messaging, and web sites. The Sevier County Board of Education will not tolerate cyber-bullying on school grounds or via school-provided equipment, devices or accounts. The Board will also not tolerate cyber-bullying off school grounds if it is directed specially at a student (s) and had the effect of creating hostile educational environment or otherwise creating a substantial disruption to the education environment or learning process.
Any parent or student may complain of harassment, intimidation, bullying or cyberbullying to a teacher, counselor, administrator, or directly to the Director of Student Services.. A student’s parent(s) or legal guardian will be informed immediately if their student is involved in an act of intimidation, harassment, bullying, or cyberbullying. The student’s parent or legal guardian will be informed of the availability of counseling and support services necessary for the student. Any complaint or report will be fully investigated by either a building level administrator or someone designated by the Director of Student Services within forty-eight (48) hours of receiving any complaint or report. Please refer to board Policy 648 which can be found at www.sevier.org for more detailed information.
SCBE Policy Manual Availability
A Sevier County Board of Education website is available at http://www.sevier.org/home. The website features a copy of the Sevier County Board of Education Policy Manual as well as other meaningful school related information. A link is available from the website to our school’s website.
The Sevier County School System, in keeping with the mandate from the Individuals with Disabilities Education (IDEA), aims to provide the least restrictive environment of all students. We recognize and encourage parent participation as an essential and vital element of the total education process.
As noted in Board Policy 510, the Sevier County Board of Education will identify, locate, and provide a free appropriated education to all disable children ages 3-21, inclusive, residing within the jurisdiction of the school system. The plan for implementation of appropriate instruction and services will be in accordance with the current Rules, Regulation, and Minimum Standards of the State Board of Education, as well as state and federal law.
The Board will develop and periodically update a local plan for providing special education services for all disabled students. Specifically, the Board assures that:
- All disabled children living within the school system have available to them a free, appropriate public education which emphasizes special education and related services to meet their unique needs provided in the least restricted environment; and
- Educational services will comply with state and federal law to ensure the rights of disabled children and their parents are protected.
A plan developed pursuant to the IDEA, 34 C.F.R. § 300.324 will aim toward meeting the following objectives:
- To develop and conduct a comprehensive screening and assessment plan emphasizing the early identification and evaluation of disabled students that are administered in accordance with the requirements and parameters of the IDEA.
A parent may seek an independent educational evaluation (IEE) if the parent disagrees with all or part of the assessment completed by the System; such an IEE may be paid for by the System if the IEE meets the System’s criteria; however, the System may, at its option, initiate a due process hearing to show the System’s evaluation was appropriate; if the System prevails in the hearing, the parent still may obtain an IEE but not a System expense;
- To use the individualized education program (IEP) team for reviewing assessment, formulating programming, and determining placement for every disabled student;
- To ensure that placements are made which educate disabled children in the least restrictive environment;
- To provide each disabled child with an individual educational program (IEP) specifically designed to meet his/her needs, including class sizes that are in compliance with the required BEP formula (such class sizes will be monitored periodically.);
- To ensure that procedural safeguards required by state and federal laws are adhered to; and
- To involve parents of disabled children in a meaningful, ongoing dialogue.
A plan developed pursuant to Section 504 will aim toward meeting the following objectives:
- To develop effective 504 teams to assist in providing accommodations to students with physical or mental impairment(s) that substantially limit one or more major life activity.
- To use the 504 team to evaluate students by reviewing information from a variety of sources, such as teacher observations, standardized test scores, report cards, and information from parents and medical providers;
- 504 teams will reevaluate students every three years, before any significant changes in placement, or at the request of the parents or school personnel;
- To ensure that procedural safeguards required by state and federal laws are adhered to; and
- To involve parents of disabled children in a meaningful, ongoing dialogue.
CLASS SIZE REQUIREMENTS
Students with disabilities placed in the general education classroom will receive a free appropriate public education. The instructional needs of all students will be met. Equitable and educationally sound placement of all student including students with disabilities will be achieved. The state’s BEP formula will be utilized in determining class size for all classrooms.
FREE AND APPROPRIATE PUBLIC EDUCATION
The provisions for a free appropriate public education and the requirements under state law and IDEA are met following the listed criteria.
- Make educational placement decisions for all students, including students with disabilities, based on the instructional needs of the students.
- Provide joint staff development and training of general education and special education teachers (models, strategies and interventions) for maintaining an inclusive classroom;
- Facilitate interactive planning session with general education and special education teachers as well as paraprofessionals regarding each disabled student’s IEP;
- Train general education teachers on modifications and accommodations to the IEP;
- Provide the technical assistance needed to general education teachers in order to address the needs of individual students;
- Train for paraprofessionals is provided to ensure that they acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to assist students in the general education classroom;
- Provide all students in the general education classroom access to the standard textbooks and instructional materials used in the class with alternative and supplemental materials provided as necessary;
- Integrate qualified handicapped students into the general education classroom and/or extracurricular activities to the maximum extent appropriate to the needs of the handicapped student.
- Provide resources and support such as supplemental aids and materials for students to progress in the general curriculum and be successful in the general education classroom (e.g. assistive technology devices and services paraprofessional support, adaptations in the classroom).
Disciplinary Exclusion of Student with a Disability
- A disciplinary exclusion of a student with a disability from school is a significant change in placement if
- the exclusion is for more than 10 consecutive school days; or
- a series of exclusions that are each of 10 days or less in duration creates a pattern of exclusion.
- Factors that should be considered in determining whether a series of exclusions creates a pattern of exclusion include, but are not limited to:
- the length of each exclusion,
- the proximity in time of the exclusions to one another,
- the total amount of time the student is excluded from school,
- and similarities of one behavior to another which resulted in the disciplinary actions.
- Before implementing a disciplinary action that constitutes a significant change in placement under Section 1, the District will convene and conduct a manifestation determination meeting with a multi-disciplinary team of individuals knowledgeable about the student, the student's evaluation data, and the placement options, in accordance with the requirements of 34 C.F.R. § 104.35. The multi-disciplinary team will conduct the manifestation meeting as follows:
- Make a determination as to whether the student's misconduct is a manifestation of the student's disability;
- Make a determination as to whether the student's misconduct is due to inappropriate placement;
- Make a placement decision.
- If the student's misconduct is either a manifestation of the student's disability or is due to an inappropriate placement, the multi-disciplinary team must determine what, if any, modifications to the student's educational placement are necessary and the student may not be disciplined.
- If the student's misconduct is not a manifestation of the student's disability or is not due to an inappropriate placement, the student may be disciplined in the same manner as similarly situated students without disabilities would be disciplined;
- Provide the student's parents or guardian notice of both the manifestation determination and the placement decision in a prompt manner. The student's parents or guardian also must be provided with a copy of their procedural safeguards and rights related to the disciplinary action in a prompt manner.
Surveys, Analyses, and Evaluations of Students
Surveys, analyses, and evaluations for research purposes shall be allowed by the Sevier County Board of Education (SCBE) when the project is viewed as contributory to a greater understanding of the teaching-learning process, the project does not violated the goals of the SCBE, and the disruption of the regular school program is minimal.
No student shall be required to submit to a survey. Per state and federal law, prior to the dissemination of a survey, analysis, or evaluation to students, parent(s)/guardian(s) shall be notified of their ability to review the materials. Such notification shall include information indication the purpose of the survey, analysis, or evaluation as well as who will have access to the results. Following such notification and prior to the administration of the survey, analysis, or evaluation, parent(s)/guardian(s) may opt their student out of participation.
VIII. Parent Notification & Assurance
Student, Parent, & School Agreement
The purpose of this handbook is to provide information to students and parents regarding the policies of
Sevierville Middle School. Students and parents need to have an understanding of the school’s policies and procedures which have been formed in accordance with county, state, and federal laws and regulations. Students and parents must agree to and abide by the policies set forth by Sevierville Middle School and the Sevier County Board of Education. It is my expectation that parents will support their child’s academic, social, physical, and emotional growth in order to foster his/her success.
The administration and teaching staff will uphold the policies set forth by Sevierville Middle School and the Sevier County Board of Education to the best of our ability. We will serve and guide in order to enhance academic, social, physical, and emotional learning for all stakeholders associated with Sevierville Middle School.
The handbook is being provided to you to highlight certain policies and procedures for students and parents. For a complete copy of the Sevier County School System’s District Student/Parent Handbook, please visit our website at www.sevier.org. Should you desire a printed copy of the complete handbook as shared online, please contact your child’s principal.
Student, Parent, & School Agreement
I (we) have read and understand the policies and information pertaining to the policies and procedures of Sevierville Middle School. I (we) understand that these policies are formed in accordance with school, county, state, and federal laws and regulations. I (we) agree to follow the policies set forth by Sevierville Middle School and the Sevier County Board of Education during the 2021-2022 school year. I also agree to support my child’s academic, social, physical, and emotional growth in order to foster his/her success.
Student Signature _____________________________________________ Date___________________________
Parent/Guardian Signature _____________________________________ Date __________________________
I understand and will abide by Sevier County Board of Education Policy 519 (Network and Internet use). I further understand that any violation of the regulation noted in the policy is unethical and may constitute criminal offense. Should I commit any violation, I understand that my access privileges may be revoked or school disciplinary action may be taken, and/or appropriate legal action
Student Signature ____________________________________________ Date ___________________________
As parents or Guardians of this student, I have read Sevier County Board of Education Policy 519 (Network and Internet Use) and agree to its teams and conditions. I understand that this is designed for educational purpose. I will not hold the Sevier County School System responsible for controversial materials acquired on the network. Further, I accept full responsibility for supervision if and when by child’s use is not in a school setting. I herby give permission to allow Internet access for my child.
Parent/Guardian Signature _______________________________________ Date______________________________
Please place an X by an statement below that describes something you want to opt out of on behalf of your child. Opting out means that you do not want your child to participate or information to be distributed as noted.
____ The release of your child’s name for honor roll, academic, or other school-related functions. By checking this box, your child’s name will not appear in the yearbook or any school, programs, including graduation program.
____ The release of your child’s photo for use by the media or for website publication.
_____ The release of your child’s directory information.
_____ The participation of your child in student surveys, analyses, and evaluations, including school climate surveys.
_____ The access to electronic media by your child while at school.
Message From Our Principal
On behalf of the administration and faculty, we welcome you to Sevierville Middle School. During the 2020-2021 school year, we will strive to keep growing, learning, and succeeding to create a great climate for this community of learners. This handbook is published in order to provide students and parents with a quick reference to information necessary for the operation and needs of the school. It is essential that all students and parents read the information contained in this handbook so everyone can contribute to a safe, positive, and proactive process for the teaching and learning environment. We hope you have a great year at Sevierville Middle School.
We encourage and empower all students to achieve their highest academic, civic, emotional, physical, and social potential.