2016-2017 TMS Student Handbook

2016 - 2017

Talawanda Middle School Student Handbook

Welcome to Talawanda Middle School and the 2016-2017 school year!  We are so pleased to have you as part of our family. There have been many exciting changes at TMS and we know this will be your best year yet. The staff and I want you to have a successful school year. One way you can do this is to read and understand the information in the school handbook. It is your guide to having a successful year at TMS and understanding our expectations for you. Please feel free to check with any of our staff members if you need help. We look forward to working with you this year!

Mr. Mike Malone, Principal


This student handbook was developed to answer many of the commonly asked questions that you and your parents may have during the school year and to provide specific information about certain Board policies and procedures. Please take time to become familiar with the important information contained in this handbook and keep the handbook available for frequent reference by you and your parents. If you have any questions that are not addressed in this handbook, you are encouraged to talk to your teachers or the building administration. This handbook replaces all prior handbooks and other written material on the same subjects. This handbook does not equate to an irrevocable contractual commitment to the student, but only reflects the current status of the Board’s policies and the school’s rules as of May, 2015. If any of the policies or administrative guidelines referenced herein are revised, the language in the most current policy or administrative guideline prevails. Copies of current Board policies and administrative guidelines are available on the Talawanda web site.


This District provides an equal educational opportunity for all students. Any person who believes that s/he has been discriminated against on the basis of his/her race, color, disability, religion, gender, or national origin while at school or a school activity should immediately contact the Building Principal, Mr. Mike Malone, 513-273-3306, malonem [at] talawanda.org and/or fill out a Bullying Report by clicking on Student Report Bullying on the Middle School webpage. Any student making a complaint or participating in a school investigation will be protected from retaliation. The building principal can provide additional information concerning equal access to educational opportunity.


There are three marking periods of twelve weeks each in the school year. Students receive grade reports at the conclusion of each grading period. This report also includes teacher comments and a report of absences for each subject. In addition, students and parents are issued an Interim Progress Report during the sixth week of each trimester. Students and parents may also view daily student progress via the web with GradeBook. If you have not received your login and password, contact the Main Office

The calculation of the final average is on a 4.0 grading scale and is based on the following grade scale.

% Range           Letter Grade         GPA

90­-100             A             4.00

80­-89                 B             3.00

70­-79                 C             2.00

60-­69                 D             1.00

59-0                F             0.00


Students requesting to withdraw from a course (complete a schedule change) should do so within the first ten days of the trimester. Beyond that time, a meeting between the student, parent(s), and counselor should be scheduled.

The student will earn a grade of “Withdraw/ Fail” (WF) for any course in which they are removed after the first ten days of the trimester.  Exceptions will only be made for medical reasons as requested by a physician or for poor course placement made by a school counselor/ teacher/ administrator.


Regular attendance is necessary for success in school. Developing this habit will be of great benefit to you throughout your life.  If you are going to be absent, your parents are asked to call the School Attendance Line, 273-3660 by 9:00 am. The school, by law, must call the homes of absent students whose parents have not called in. A limit of 10 days of absences can be parentally excused.  Excuse notes must be submitted to the office within five days of returning to school.

A student may be excused for vacation purposes up to Five Days per year. If a student is going to be absent more than Five Days, the parent must notify the principal prior to the vacation and receive approval from both the building principal and superintendent. If the parent fails to contact the principal, the student absence will be unexcused.

Students that have 14 consecutive school days of unexcused absences will be withdrawn from school.



Below is the state of Ohio legislation regarding school attendance (SB 181):

A student with five or more unexcused absences on consecutive school days, or seven or more unexcused absences in one school month, or 12 or more unexcused absences in one school year, may be considered "habitual" truant, under Section 3321.191 of the Ohio Revised Code.

A student with seven or more unexcused absences on consecutive school days, or 10 or more unexcused absences in one school month, or 15 or more unexcused absences in one school year, may be considered a "chronic' truant, under Section 3321.191 of the Ohio Revised Code. In the case of either "habitual" or "chronic" truants, the Talawanda School District Board of Education may:

Assign the student to an alternative school

Require the student to participate in a truancy prevention program

Require the student to receive appropriate counseling

Require the parent, guardian or other persons having care of the student to attend a parental involvement 
program under section 3313.472 or 3312.63 of the Ohio revised code.

Require the parent, guardian or other persons having care of the student to attend a truancy prevention 
mediation program

Notify the registrar of motor vehicles of a habitual truant under section 3321.13 of the Ohio revised code.

Take legal action under section 2919.222, 3321.20, or 3321.38 of the Ohio revised code.

Students who are habitual or chronic truants may receive a citation to the appropriate court. The student's 
parent(s) may also receive a citation to the appropriate court.

We realize that the majority of our students never have a problem with truancy. We value our partnership with you 
in providing an excellent educational experience for your child. Please know that we will work with you to continue that partnership.



If you are tardy to school, you will need a pass from the office to enter your first class of the day.  To get this pass, you will need a note from home explaining your tardiness. For every unexcused tardy to school, a student will receive 1 Behavior Point. Excessive tardies will be handled through mediation and/or court referrals for truancy. Be advised that 3 unexcused tardies will count as one unexcused day of absence for truancy purposes. If you are late to a class, go directly to that class. If you are late because another teacher detained you, get a pass from that teacher.



In order to administer medication at school, prescription and non-prescription, we must have a Student Medication Permit signed by the physician and parent. This form and the medication in the original bottle, properly labeled, should be brought by the parent to the school office.



Upon arrival on the bus in the morning students should enter the school and move quickly into the cafeteria. If your parent brings you, you should arrive between 7:10 and 7:25 a.m. Parents should drop students off at the south commons doors to avoid interference with bus arrivals.  From the commons and auditeria, you will be dismissed to your first period class. No students are to be in the hallways until dismissed from the cafeteria.



Students dismissed from their classrooms at the end of the day are expected to leave the building unless they are staying for a supervised activity. Buses park in front of the school in designated areas, and parents are to use the building’s south commons entrance when picking students up in the afternoon. If you need to leave before the end of the day, you must have a parent meet you in the office to sign out. Do not leave your classroom early. An office worker will get you when your ride arrives.



Students are encouraged to participate in and attend school sponsored activities after school. No student should be in the building without adult supervision. Transportation should be arranged ahead of time and all students should be picked up within 30 minutes of the end of an event.

Students attending activities (home and away) are expected to dress and act in accordance with established rules, practices, and school policy. Students must attend school a minimum of five periods to participate in after-school activities. Students who have accumulated 35+ points in any trimester or have been excluded due to suspensions/expulsions, are not permitted to participate in after school activities.



Each student is issued a hall locker located near his/her 7th period class and is expected to follow these simple rules:

Use only the locker assigned to you (one person per locker).

Do not share your locker or combination with others. Keep it written in a safe place for reference.

Valuables should not be kept in lockers. (For safety, keep them at home.)

Keep your locker neat and orderly.

Store books carefully so they will not be damaged.

Report any locker problems to your touchpoint teacher. He/She is here to help you.

Backpacks are to be used for carrying items back and forth to and from school, but should be kept in lockers during the day.

Remember that all lockers are the property of TMS and may be searched if concerns or suspicions arise.

The school will not be held liable for the students who alter their lockers to bypass the combination lock.



Be responsible for what you bring to school.  Lost or stolen items are your responsibility. Although lockers are provided, they are not theft-proof. The lost and found is located in the cafeteria, but don’t risk losing your valuable possessions. Leave them at home.  Be sure to mark or label your coats and belongings so they can be returned if found.



The superintendent of schools or his/her designee shall have the authority to determine when curricular and/or extracurricular activities will be delayed or cancelled as a result of inclement weather or hazardous road conditions.

In the event of bad weather check www.talawanda.org. In the event of a delay on a Wednesday, we run a regular delay schedule with no early dismissal for professional development. We appreciate you not calling the school in the early morning hours to check on closings and delays. We need to keep these phone lines open for staff and emergency communications. Parents and students are responsible for knowing about emergency closings and delays.



When school has been cancelled due to inclement weather or hazardous road conditions, the superintendent or his/her designee will determine whether road conditions are safe enough for afternoon or evening activities to be held. Coaches and sponsors will be responsible for contacting students when an activity has been cancelled.



Fire, tornado, and emergency drills are a state required precaution and are to be practiced on a regular basis.  Each room has posted directions on procedures during a drill. Any deviation from these directions and procedures could cause serious confusion and possible injury in the event of a real emergency. For this reason, we expect serious cooperation on the part of all students in practicing these drills.



All visitors must report to the office when they arrive at school.

All visitors are required to sign in and wear a building pass while they are in the building.

Staff are expected to question people in the building whom they do not recognize and who are not wearing a building pass, and to question people who are “hanging around” the building after hours.

Students and staff are expected to immediately report to a teacher or administrator any suspicious behavior or situation that makes them uncomfortable.

As many unneeded outside doors as possible are locked during the school day.

Portions of the building that will not be needed after the regular school days are closed off.

All district employees are to wear photo-identification badges while in district schools and offices or on district property.



Some events in a school setting that may pose a threat or health/safety risk may require that a school facility be evacuated.  In the event that a crisis would require that students be evacuated from the building, students will be relocated to a safe place.  Parents will be notified via phone (through both voice and text messages) with directions to the safe location and a procedure for how parents can pick-up their child.  Please note parent identification will be required.



Between classes, some hallways can be crowded. To enable hall traffic to move smoothly, stay to the right of center, and do not stop to talk with friends in the middle of the hall. This will enable a smooth flow of traffic and allow everyone to arrive at class prior to the tardy bell. If a student cannot abide by the rules for the hallway, they may be placed on the “No Pass List”. TMS students will be placed on the “No Pass List” upon recommendation of their team or an administrator.



Lunch should be a pleasant, relaxing time in the day. The following rules are meant to ensure a safe, comfortable environment for all students.

The residents of each table are responsible for keeping the table and its surrounding area clean and free of trash.

Students will sit at their assigned tables and be dismissed by tables into the cafeteria line.

When you finish eating, dispose of all lunch items and return your tray.  Return to your seat to await dismissal. Besure that the area is clean for the next group of students before you leave.

At no time should food (or other items) be thrown in the cafeteria.  At no time should food or drinks be taken from the cafeteria. Lunchtime is an opportunity for you to socialize with your friends in a mature, respectable manner. Enjoy your lunch!

If a student does not have lunch money, the student may take a lunch charge for both a breakfast and a lunch on the same day to a maximum charge of $4.75. Students may only charge for reimbursable meals, breakfast and/or lunch. Students may not charge any other meal until the payment is made.

If a student fails to repay meal charges and continues to appear at the register with a full meal, the student will be referred to the school administration. A phone call will be made to the home, informing the family of the outstanding charge. The student and the parent will be also notified that if the payment is not made, the student must see the cafeteria manager prior to entering the lunch line so that a meal can be provided to the student.

Students are expected to repay this charge within 48 hours.

Failure to repay school meal charges at the end of the school year, the charge will be included as a school fee and carried over to the next school year.



All students are expected to be seated in the classroom and prepared for the day’s class when the bell rings. Readiness for the class includes such things as: having appropriate books, texts, and writing materials, having the agenda planner to copy assignments and homework information, and so forth.



Administrators may search a student or his/her property (including vehicles, purses, knapsacks, gym bags, etc) with or without the student’s consent, whenever they reasonably suspect that a search will lead to the discovery of evidence of a violation of law or school rules. The extent of the search will be governed by the seriousness of the alleged infraction and the student’s age. General housekeeping inspection of school property may be conducted with reasonable notice. Student lockers are the property of the district and students have no reasonable expectation of privacy in their contents or in the contents of any other district property including desks or other containers. School authorities may conduct random searches of the lockers and their contents at any time without announcement. Unannounced and random canine searches may also be conducted.  Additionally, students have NO reasonable expectation of privacy in their actions in public areas including but not limited to, common areas, hallways, cafeterias, classrooms and gymnasiums. The district may use video cameras in such areas and on all school vehicles transporting students to and from regular and extracurricular activities. Anything that is found in the course of a search may be used as evidence of a violation of school rules or the law, and may be taken, held or turned over to the police. The school reserves the right not to return items that have been confiscated.



The Talawanda School District recognizes that access to technology in school gives students greater opportunities to create, collaborate, communicate, and develop critical thinking skills that will prepare them for life, work, and citizenship in the 21st century. To that end, the District will provide a device for each student enrolled in school that will function as a platform upon which 21st century learning will occur. Students and parents should read and sign the Acceptable Use Policy acknowledging their understanding and acceptance of its terms as a requirement to being issued a 1:1 device.

Students who take their Chromebook home will bring it to school everyday, charged, ready to be used in class at their teacher's discretion. These devices are the property of Talawanda School District, and the Board will hold students financially and legally responsible for any loss, damage, and theft. Accidental damage and normal wear and tear will be addressed by Talawanda using funds collected from the annual technology insurance charge. Students are responsible for paying an annual insurance charge which will be used to fund repair and maintenance necessitated by normal wear and tear and accidental damage.



In order to provide an atmosphere in which there is a focus on safety and learning, students are expected to show respect for, and consideration of the rights, privileges, feelings and needs of themselves and others.

The TMS Student Code of Conduct is designed for such reasons, and students are expected to adhere to it. Each student will have an opportunity to read, review, and ask questions relating to the TMS Code of Conduct at the beginning of the year. Through cooperation and shared responsibility, the student, school and parents can ensure that good behavior habits are developed and rewarded.


Expected Behaviors

Students are expected to:

Act courteously to adults and fellow students;

Be prompt to school and attentive in class;

Work cooperatively with others when involved in accomplishing a common goal regardless of the other’s ability, gender, race, or ethnic background;

Complete assigned tasks on time and as directed;

Help maintain a school environment that is safe, friendly, and productive;

Act at all times in a manner that reflects pride in self, family, and in the School.


Classroom Environment

It is the responsibility of students, teachers, and administrators to maintain a classroom environment that allows:

A teacher to communicate effectively with all students in the class

All students in the class the opportunity to learn.




A major component of the educational program (at the school) is to prepare students to become responsible citizens by learning how to conduct themselves properly and in accordance with established standards. Students are expected to behave in accordance with federal, state and local laws and rules and Board policies and Administrative Guidelines, and in a way that respects the rights and safety of others. Staff will take corrective action to discipline a student and/or to modify the student’s behavior when a student’s behavior does not fall within these parameters. School staff may report suspected criminal misconduct by a student to law enforcement. Law enforcement officers will be permitted to carry out necessary law enforcement functions in the schools, including the removal of a student from school grounds in appropriate circumstances.


Rule 1 - Disruption of School:  

A student shall not use violence, force, noise, coercion, threat, intimidation, fear, passive resistance, or any other conduct to cause the disruption or obstruction of any lawful mission, process or function of the school.  Neither should a student urge other students to engage in such conduct.


Rule 2 - Damage, Destruction or Theft of School Property;

A student shall not cause or attempt to cause damage to public property or steal or attempt to steal public

property either on school grounds or during a school activity, function, or event off school grounds.


Rule 3 - Verbal Assault:

A student shall not possess, handle, or transmit any object that can reasonably be considered a weapon or dangerous object. A student shall not direct verbal or written words, phrases or gestures which are threatening, vulgar, obscene, or degrading while on or off school grounds or at any school activity, function or event.


Rule 4 - Physical Assault

Acting with intent to cause fear in another person of immediate bodily harm or death, or intentionally

bullying, inflicting or attempting to inflict bodily harm upon another person.  Physical assault of a staff

member, student, or other person associated with the district, regardless of whether it causes injury, will not be tolerated. Any intentional, harmful or potentially harmful physical contact or bullying initiated by a student against a staff member will be considered to be assault. Assault may result in criminal charges and may subject the student to expulsion.


Rule 5 - Misconduct off school grounds:

Students may be subject to discipline for their misconduct even when it occurs off school property when the misconduct is connected to activities or incidents that occurred on property owned or controlled by the district. Misconduct is defined as any violation of the Student Discipline Code.


Rule 6 - Inappropriate Materials:

Possession of material that is offensive to accepted standards and is inappropriate to a school is prohibited.

Vulgar, inappropriate, profane and offensive words, gestures, actions, are prohibited. Students shall not

possess pornographic matter or commit sexual acts on school property.


Rule 7 - Failure to Follow Reasonable Requests:

A student is expected to comply with directives school personnel or other authorized personnel during any period of time when he/she is under the authority of school personnel.


Rule 8 - Weapons and Dangerous Instruments:

A student shall not possess, handle, or transmit any object that can reasonably be considered a weapon or dangerous object.


Rule 9 - Knowledge of Drugs, Dangerous Weapons or Threats of Violence:

Because the Board believes that students, staff members, and visitors are entitled to function in a safe school environment, students are required to report knowledge of drugs, dangerous weapons or threats of violence to the Principal. Failure to report such knowledge may subject the student to discipline.


Rule 10 - Narcotics, Alcoholic Beverages, and Drugs

A student shall not possess, use, transmit or be under the influence of any narcotic drug, hallucinogenic drug, and amphetamine, barbiturate, marijuana, inhalant, alcoholic beverage, intoxicant, mood altering chemical, controlled substance, or look alike of any kind. Paraphernalia used to administer substance abuse is prohibited.  

Use of a drug authorized by a registered physician to that individual may not be a violation of this rule: however, physician prescribed medications must be delivered immediately to the health clinic and will be dispensed by the school nurse or designee. The school medication permit must also be completed and submitted to the health clinic.

Students may use over-the-counter medications at school with written permission of the parent and physician.  Such written permission will be kept on file in the clinic.  No person may sell, give, deliver or offer any such over-the-counter or prescription drugs to any other person at school or school events.  


Rule 11 - Gambling:

Gambling by students on school property is prohibited.


Rule 12 - Displays of affection/sexual activities:

Affection between students is personal and not meant for public display. This includes touching, petting, or any other contact that may be considered sexual in nature. Sexual activity of any nature is prohibited and will result in disciplinary action.


Rule 13 - Use/Possession Tobacco Products, Electronic Smoking Devices, Look Alikes, and/or


Students shall not possess or use tobacco products, electronic smoking devices, look alike products or smoking paraphernalia on school grounds or at any school events at any time.


Rule 14 - Cheating:

Students shall not transfer or participate in the unauthorized transfer of any information that would impacts student evaluations. Students shall not participate in plagiarism.


Rule 15 - Dress and Appearance:

Dress and grooming should be neat, clean, and appropriate. It should not constitute a safety or health hazard or be

such that it might hamper the educational process.

Students’ clothing shall thoroughly conceal all undergarments.

Clothing must cover the torso, including the back (both upper and lower), midriff, sides, and chest. Sleeveless shirts shall be permitted, but the fabric between neck and shoulder must be at least as wide as a dollar bill and the arm holes must be small enough that the wearer’s sides are covered.  The upper leg must be fully covered as well, at least to the length of the wearer’s thumbs when standing erect with arms straight down at the sides.

Students’ heads must be uncovered and eyes unconcealed.

Any clothing or jewelry deemed disruptive, unsafe, or items/clothing with drugs, drug paraphernalia, alcohol, profanity or sexually related, or otherwise disruptive symbols are not permitted.

Violation of dress code is listed in the TMS Behavior Management System as a 2 - 4 point offense, and additionally, the student will be asked to rectify the violation immediately; by calling a parent/guardian to bring  a new article of clothing (if possible) or with the student will be provided clothing from the office.


Rule 16 - Harassment and/or Aggressive Behavior (including Bullying/Cyberbullying):

The Board encourages the promotion of positive interpersonal relations between members of the school

community. Harassment and/or aggressive behavior (including bullying/cyberbullying) toward a  student, whether by other students, staff, or third parties is strictly prohibited and will not be tolerated. The law defines harassment, intimidation or bullying as any intentional written or verbal, electronic or physical act that a student has exhibited toward another particular student more than once and the behavior both:

Causes mental or physical harm, and

Is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening or abusive educational environment for the other student.

Bullying can be reported anonymously: Online Reporting


Rule 17 - Lying:

A student shall not lie, tell falsehoods, accuse others falsely, or give false testimony to school personnel.


Rule 18 - Extortion, Bribery, Forgery:

A student shall not take or attempt to take money or valuable possessions from another person by physical force or the threat of physical force. A student shall not offer money or favors to any person for his or her personal gain. A student shall not falsely use in writing the name of another person or falsify times, grades,

dates, addresses, or other data on school forms or correspondence directed to the school.


Rule 19 - Trespassing:

Although schools are public facilities, the law allows the Board to restrict access to school property. Being present in any Board-owned facility or portion of a Board-owned facility when it is closed to the public or when the student does not have the authorization to be there, or unauthorized presence in a Board-owned vehicle; or unauthorized access or activity in a Board-owned computer, into district, school or staff computer files, into a school or district file server, or into the Network.  When a student has been removed, suspended, expelled, or permanently excluded from school, the student is prohibited from being present on school property without authorization of the principal.


Rule 20 - Attendance:

Students should report to school on time, and be in the areas indicated by their schedule.


Rule 21 - Other Policies and Procedures:

Students shall adhere to other policies and procedures as stated in this handbook. Repeated minor

violations of policies and procedures in the discipline code of conduct will be considered a major violation and will result in a suspension. Violations of federal, state and local laws may also result in disciplinary action.



TMS Behavior Management System

The TMS Behavior Management Program is intended to recognize and reward respect and responsibility while providing appropriate consequences to discourage misbehavior and ensure that the school provides a safe and learning based climate.

The program has two major components, Braves Bucks – which are rewards and incentives for good attendance, academic achievement, and behavior, and Accumulation of Behavior Points, with subsequent consequences for violation of school rules and policies.



__ Failure to return Parent Communication

__ Gum/Food

__ Lack of Materials

__ Tardy to Class

__ Disrespectful

__ Dress Code

__ Excessive Talking

__ Inappropriate Behavior

__ Inappropriate Language

__ Lack of Cooperation

__ Lying / Dishonesty

__ Sleeping in Class

__ In Hall Without Pass

__ Other




__ Disruptive Behavior

__ Failure to Serve a Detention

__ Harassment / Bullying

__ Insubordination

__ Intentionally Leaving a Supervised Area

__ Misuse of Personal / School Property

__ Profanity

__ Rude / Discourteous Behavior

__ Encouraging/Cheering Fighting

__ Other



(may also result in immediate suspension)

__ Acts of Immorality

__ Possession / Use of Tobacco Products /Paraphernalia

__ Skipping Class

__ Theft

__ Other


Note to Staff: For any violations of multiple points, please include explanation and documentation of parent contact below.


Automatic 10-day suspension

(Possibly resulting in 10 day suspension with recommendation for expulsion Violations)


Possession, use, or sale of alcohol, drugs, and/or look-alikes

Physical assault of student/staff

Possession/use of weapons (and/or look-alikes)

Fighting (subjective decision by Administrator based on severity or violence of act)


If a student receives a suspension for a non-point violation, he/she will have to apply to participate in any extracurricular activities including, but not limited to, athletic participation, athletic event attendance, dances, assemblies, and field trips. The application will be reviewed by, and a decision made by the group in charge of the activity and the administration. It is the responsibility of the student to initiate this application process.


Number of Points Accumulated and Consequences:

5 Letter Mailed Home requiring Parent Signature (additional behavior point and phone call if not returned)

10 Detention

15 Detention
20 One day assigned to Behavior Intervention Center (BIC)

30 One day assigned to BIC & letter requesting conference

35 Consequences may result in additional discipline such as: BIC/Suspension/Expulsion/Placement in the

    Alternative School/etc.



Should you have questions or concerns regarding school buses, please contact Peterman Transportation at 273-3150 between 7:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.



Students are not permitted to ride home on any bus other than their home bus. The single exception to this policy would be a situation involving child care for the student. In this case, a written request stating the situation must be submitted by the parent to the office in the morning, and the office will issue a bus pass that may be picked up by the student during lunch. Students will not be permitted to board a different bus without a pass.



All students in the Talawanda School District who ride a bus to school are subject to their school’s code of conduct and district-wide regulations at their bus stop and while riding on the bus. Misbehavior that distracts the driver is a hazard to the safe operation of a vehicle and jeopardizes the safety of all passengers. Unsatisfactory conduct may result in a suspension and/or expulsion from the school bus and/or school. The following guidelines must be followed to provide safe transportation for all.


School Bus Rules

1.    Be courteous, use no profane language.

2.    Do not eat or drink on the bus.

3.    Keep the bus clean.

4.    Cooperate with the driver.

5.    Do not smoke or use tobacco products.

6.    Do not be destructive.

7.    Stay in your seat, keeping aisle way clear.

8.    Keep head, hands, and feet inside the bus.

9.    Do not throw objects from or on the bus.

10. Be quiet at railroad crossings.


Consequences for Student Misconduct on the School Bus

Note that bus drivers will address minor infractions with students and/or parents without the involvement of building administrators. However, if the infraction is of a serious or chronic nature, a written referral will be given to the respective building administrator. At that time, the following consequences will be considered.

Note that if there is a serious incident involving verbal or physical violence, the administrator may immediately remove riding privileges from the student. Students who are riding to and from school on District-provided transportation must follow all basic safety rules. This applies to school-owned buses as well as any contracted transportation. The driver may assign seating or direct students in any reasonable manner to maintain transportation safety. Students must comply with the following basic safety rules:

Prior to loading (on the road and at school) each student shall:

Be on time at the designated loading zone (5 minutes prior to scheduled stop);

Stay off the road at all times while walking to and waiting for school transportation;

Line up single file off the roadway to enter;

Wait until the school transportation is completely stopped before moving forward to enter;

Refrain from crossing a highway until the driver signals it is safe to cross;

Properly board and depart the vehicle;

Go immediately to a seat and be seated;


It is the parents' responsibility to inform the bus driver when their child will not be aboard school transportation. Drivers will not wait for students who are not at their designated stops on time.


During the trip each student shall:

Remain seated while the school transportation is in motion;

Keep head, hands, arms, and legs inside the school transportation at all times;

Not push, shove or engage in scuffling;

Not litter in the school vehicle or throw anything in, into, or from the vehicle;

Keep books, packages, coats, and all other objects out of the aisle;

Be courteous to the driver and to other riders;

Not eat or play games, cards, etc.;

Not use nuisance devices (e.g., laser pointers) on the bus in a way that disrupts the safe transportation of students and/or endangers students or employees;

Not tamper with the school vehicle or any of its equipment (including, but not limited to emergency and/or safety equipment).


Exiting the school vehicle each student shall:

Remain seated until the vehicle has stopped;

Cross the road, when necessary, at least 10 feet in front of the vehicle, but only after the driver signals that it is safe;

Be alert to a possible danger signal from the driver. The driver will not discharge students at places other than their regular stop at home or at school unless s/he has proper authorization from school officials.


Penalties for Infractions

A student who misbehaves on the bus shall be disciplined as follows:

First Referral – Will result in a verbal warning and a conference between the student and building administrator. Documentation of the referral and meeting will be mailed home.

Second Referral- Will result in a conference between the student and a building administrator, a phone call/letter to parent, and documentation of student misconduct report mailed home.

Third Referral- Will result in a conference with the student, phone conference with parent, and 3–day suspension. The administrator will document and mail home the conference summary.

Fourth Referral – Will result in a conference between the student, parent, driver, and administrator with a 5-day bus suspension.

Fifth Referral – Will result in a conference between the student, parent, driver, and administrator with a removal from the bus until the end of the semester or for a minimum of 10 days.

Note: For students that receive a ten-day suspension during the first semester, discipline will result in a different infraction second semester. Please refer to the following infractions:

Four or less referrals during the first semester allow students to start over in the discipline system second semester.

Six or More Referrals - Will result in a student, parent, driver, Transportation Director, principal conference with 5 or more days of bus removal. A behavior modification plan is to be written. Note: An administrator will determine if he/she should ride the route before a student is permanently removed from the route. If a student is being considered for permanent removal, the HR Director or Superintendent must be in attendance during the bus discipline hearing.





Mission Statement

The mission of the Talawanda Athletic Department is to create opportunities for our student-athletes to be involved in positive learning experiences through athletic competition. This will lead directly toward individual and group growth. By cooperating in the search for excellence through athletic competition, the student- athlete will have the opportunity to develop the following desirable life skills: a strong work ethic, a positive attitude, sportsmanship, leadership skills, and an ability to have fun in a competitive atmosphere. The Talawanda Athletic Department is committed to providing the best available coaches, equipment and facilities to enhance this growth. We will strive to work cooperatively with student-athletes, and families, to create an enriching environment based upon mutual respect and responsibility. In addition, we remind everyone that participation in interscholastic sports is a privilege, not a right, and that this privilege must be constantly earned.


Academic Eligibility

Student-athletes must initially achieve eligibility according to the guidelines of the Ohio High School Athletic Association. A student must pass 5 classes the prior grading period to be eligible for athletics. Once a student is eligible, they must maintain a 2.0 GPA to stay eligible in the Talawanda School District.

Once this standard has been met, the student-athletes will be subjected to a bi weekly grade check of all classes. After the initial two week grade check, if their GPA falls below a 2.0, they will be placed on a two week probationary period (still eligible to participate). After the two week probationary period, if the GPA is still below 2.0, the student-athlete will be denied participation in sanctioned contests for two weeks (may still practice). After the two week “denial” period, if the GPA is still below 2.0, the student-athlete will be removed from the activity for the remainder of the season.  Guidelines to assist students who are on probationary periods will be established between the coaches and athletic director. Student-athletes will only be allowed one probationary period per season.



Students must abide by the Student Code of Conduct. It should be noted that this code not only refers to serious offenses, but also to the accumulation of minor ones. At TMS, 1) any student who has received 35 or more points in a trimester will be excluded from extracurricular activities; 2) if a student is excluded due to behavior, NO refund of the pay-to-play will be issued; 3) any violation is subject to “denial of participation “ by the coach or administrator; 4) “participation denials” may be appealed first to the Athletic Director.


Personal Conduct

You will be expected to conduct yourself in a manner, which reflects favorably upon yourself, the team, and Talawanda Middle School. Violations may result in denial of participation, removal from the team, or other disciplinary action as determined by the coach, athletic director, or principal.


Physical Examination

Before students may participate in any sport, they must have had a “sports physical examination” (our form is from the OHSAA), and return it signed by you, your parents and your physician, with the emergency medical authorization by parents, and acknowledgement form provided. Physical exams are good for one calendar year.



In sports where tryouts are necessary, selections for teams will be based upon, not only ability, but, also, classroom performance, attitude, and behavior. Wherever possible, coaches will use objective, as well as subjective means for evaluation of potential team members.



Tryouts: A student that is unable to participate in a least one day of tryouts cannot be considered for a place on the team, except in cases of extenuating circumstances as determined by the coach, athletic director or principals. In sports where no tryouts are held, the coach may establish a date after which no student may be added to the team.

Practices: Students that are present at school must attend practice unless permission has been granted beforehand by the coach. Consequently, a person who is not in school, should not be at practice.  Failure to comply could result in suspension from the team.

Game Day Attendance: Student-athletes are expected to be in attendance at school all day, every day unless excused. To be eligible for an athletic contest, a student at TMS, must be in attendance at least five periods, unless written permission for an excusable absence is granted by the principal. Note: Students are not permitted to loiter on school grounds. When practices or games are scheduled at times other than right after school athletes should go home, or leave school grounds and return in time for practice or game as required.


Participation Fee

For the 2014-15 school year, the “extra-curricular participation fee” at THS is $150.00 for the first sport and $75.00 for the second. At TMS it is $100.00 for the first sport and $50.00 for the second.  The third sport is free for a student. The family maximum is $500.00. This fee helps to offset the cost of our extracurricular programs and is set by the Talawanda Board of Education. This does not “guarantee” a certain minimum amount of “game-time participation”.  This fee is also paid once for the entire year’s participation and is due prior to the beginning of the first sport season the student-athlete is participating in. Also, ALL school fees must be paid and up to date through the current quarter.


Participation & Playing Time

Athletics, by nature, are competitive. We will attempt to give each student-athlete an opportunity to participate as much as possible. Student-athletes are given the opportunity to participate and perform in every practice. They are evaluated in a wide variety of ways, but their practice evaluation is extremely important. “Game-time participation” is based upon a student-athlete’s ability to compete and perform, and this ability is demonstrated and refined in practice. A student-athlete is not guaranteed a certain amount of playing time just because they are a member of the team. “Game-time participation” must be constantly earned.



Teams will always travel to away games as a team, on school transportation vehicles. Behavior expectations are the same as in school. Additionally:

No food is to be eaten on the bus.

Each student returns on the bus UNLESS a written note from parent/guardian, or direct contact between parent/coach occurs.

Students may not ride home with another parent without a parental note, “signed by the building principal” in advance.

Following athletic events, PLEASE be responsible for a quick pick up. Coaches cannot be expected to transport kids home and should not be required to stay an excessive period of time.



The athlete/cheerleader is responsible for all equipment, at all times, issued for their use.  It should be returned clean at the end of the season for storage. You will be charged with an approximate “replacement cost” for any lost items.



Students are expected to demonstrate good sportsmanship at all times!!!  Watch your language and your body language. The coaching staff would appreciate parental support in teaching this important value!



Awards will be given upon completion of the season. Failure to complete the season, including attendance at award program or meeting, will cost loss of letter points and/or any award that may have been deserved.




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