District 123 Family Handbook

Animals on School Property

In order to assure student health and safety, animals are not allowed on school property, except in the case of a service animal accompanying a student or other individual with a documented disability. This rule may be temporarily waived by the building principal in the case of an educational opportunity for students, provided that (a) the animal is appropriately housed, humanely cared for, and properly handled, and (b) students will not be exposed to a dangerous animal or an unhealthy environment.

Cross Reference:

MSH 1.60

Art Education

Our formal art education program is offered to all students in kindergarten through fifth grade. (Art education classes are considered an encore elective at OLHMS.) The art experiences within the program are selected and organized to broaden the abilities of each student to perceive, understand, create, judge, and enjoy art. Through the program children will have experiences using a variety of materials to develop their creative abilities.

Asbestos

In October 1986 the U.S. Congress enacted the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA). Under this law, comprehensive regulations were developed to address asbestos problems in public and private elementary and secondary schools. These regulations require all schools to inspect for friable and non-friable asbestos, develop asbestos management plans that address asbestos hazards in school buildings and implement response actions in a timely manner.

These regulations assign schools many new responsibilities. Our program for fulfilling these responsibilities is outlined in our asbestos management plan. This plan contains information on our inspections, reinspections, response actions and post-response action activities, including periodic re-inspections and surveillance activities that are planned or are in progress.

The management plan is available for review in the school’s district office. The plan may be reviewed during normal school hours. There will be a reasonable charge should you require a copy of the plan.

If you have any questions about the management plan or about planned or in progress asbestos related activities, please contact District 123 at (708) 423-0150.

Attendance

Illinois law requires that whoever has custody or control of any child between six (by September 1st) and seventeen years of age shall assure that the child attends school in the district in which he or she resides, during the entire time school is in session (unless the child has already graduated from high school). Illinois law also requires that whoever has custody or control of a child who is enrolled in the school, regardless of the child’s age, shall assure that the child attends school during the entire time school is in session.

There are certain exceptions to the attendance requirement for children who: attend private school, are physically or mentally unable to attend school (including a pregnant student suffering medical complications as certified by her physician), are lawfully and necessarily employed, are between the ages of 12 and 14 while in confirmation classes, have a religious reason requiring absence, or are 16 or older and employed and enrolled in a graduation incentive program.

Cross Reference:

Board Policy 7:70, Attendance and Truancy

MSH 2.10

Attendance Areas

Students must attend the school in the attendance area in which they reside, unless they are assigned to another school by the superintendent. Individual school attendance boundaries are established by the Board of Education on the recommendation of the Superintendent and may be changed if population conditions warrant it.

Attendance at School Dances

Attendance at school-sponsored dances is a privilege. Only students who attend the school may attend school-sponsored dances, unless the principal or designee approves a student’s guest in advance of the event. All school rules, including the school’s discipline code and dress code are in effect during school-sponsored dances. Students who violate the school’s discipline code will be required to leave the dance immediately and the student’s parent/guardian will be contacted. The school may also impose other discipline as outlined in the school’s discipline code.

Cross Reference:

Board Policy 6:190, Extracurricular and Co-Curricular Activities

MSH 9.20

Athletics & Activities

District 123 is a member of the Southwest Interscholastic Conference and competes in after-school activities at the middle school level for boys and girls. These groups meet to engage in seasonal sports which the Conference schedules. Each participant must have a current physical exam on file with the nurse.

Before and After School Program (FLASH)

“Fee-based” childcare services will be available for those families who require them for full-time kindergarten students as well as students in grades 1-8. Students may be dropped off as early as 7:00 a.m. and picked up as late as 6:00 p.m. Oak Lawn Park District provides these services within each District 123 Building.

Bullying, Intimidation, and Harassment

Bullying, intimidation, and harassment diminish a student’s ability to learn and a school’s ability to educate. Preventing students from engaging in these disruptive behaviors and providing all students equal access to a safe, non-hostile learning environment are important district and school goals.

Bullying on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, national origin, immigration status, military status, unfavorable discharge status from the military service, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender-related identity or expression, ancestry, age, religion, physical or mental disability, order of protection status, status of being homeless, or actual or potential marital or parental status, including pregnancy, association with a person or group with one or more of the aforementioned actual or perceived characteristics, or any other distinguishing characteristic is prohibited in each of the following situations:

  1. During any school-sponsored education program or activity.
  2. While in school, on school property, on school buses or other school vehicles, at designated school bus stops waiting for the school bus, or at school-sponsored or school-sanctioned events or activities.
  3. Through the transmission of information from a school computer, a school computer network, or other similar electronic school equipment.
  4. Through the transmission of information from a computer that is accessed at a non-school-related location, activity, function, or program or from the use of technology or an electronic device that is not owned, leased, or used by the school district or school if the bullying causes a substantial disruption to the educational process or orderly operation of a school.

Bullying includes cyber-bullying (bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication) and means any severe or pervasive physical or verbal act or conduct, including communications made in writing or electronically, directed toward a student or students that has or can be reasonably predicted to have the effect of one or more of the following:

  1. Placing the student or students in reasonable fear of harm to the student’s or students’ person or property;
  2. Causing a substantially detrimental effect on the student’s or students’ physical or mental health;
  3. Substantially interfering with the student’s or students’ academic performance; or
  4. Substantially interfering with the student’s or students’ ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school.

Examples of prohibited conduct include name-calling, using derogatory slurs, stalking, sexual violence, causing psychological harm, threatening or causing physical harm, threatened or actual destruction of property, or wearing or possessing items depicting or implying hatred or prejudice of one of the characteristics stated above.

Students are encouraged to immediately report bullying. A report may be made orally or in writing to the building principal, district complaint manager or any staff member with whom the student is comfortable speaking. All school staff members are available for help with a bully or to make a report about bullying. Anyone, including staff members and parents/guardians, who has information about actual or threatened bullying is encouraged to report it to the district complaint manager or any staff member. Anonymous reports are also accepted by phone call or in writing.

Complaint Managers:

  • Angela Goetz – Oak Lawn-Hometown SD 123 Dist. Office – 4201 W. 93rd St Oak Lawn, IL 60543 – 708-423-0150
  • Michael Loftin – Oak Lawn-Hometown SD 123 Dist. Office – 4201 W. 93rd St Oak Lawn, IL 60543 – 708-423-0150

A reprisal or retaliation against any person who reports an act of bullying is prohibited. A student’s act of reprisal or retaliation will be treated as bullying for purposes of determining any consequences or other appropriate remedial actions.

A student will not be punished for reporting bullying or supplying information, even if the school’s investigation concludes that no bullying occurred. However, knowingly making a false accusation or providing knowingly false information will be treated as bullying for purposes of determining any consequences or other appropriate remedial actions.

Students and parents/guardians should also read the following school district policies: 7:20, Harassment of Students Prohibited and 7:180, Prevention of and Response to Bullying, Intimidation and Harassment.

Cross Reference:

Board Policy 7:20, Harassment of Students Prohibited

Board Policy 7:180, Prevention of and Response to Bullying, Intimidation and Harassment

Board Policy 7:190, Student Discipline

Board Policy 2:260, Uniform Grievance Procedure

MSH 6.40

 

School Board Policy – 7:180

Prevention of an Response to Bullying, Intimidation, and Harassment

Bullying, intimidation, and harassment diminish a student’s ability to learn and a school’s ability to educate. Preventing students from engaging in these disruptive behaviors and providing all students equal access to a safe, non-hostile learning environment are important District goals.

Bullying is contrary to State law and the policy of the District. In accordance with State law and every two years, the District shall conduct a review and re-evaluation of this policy, make any necessary and appropriate revisions, and file the policy with the Illinois State Board of Education.

Bullying on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, physical or mental disability, military status, sexual orientation, gender-related identity or expression, unfavorable discharge from military service, association with a person or group with one or more of the aforementioned actual or perceived characteristics, or any other distinguishing characteristic is prohibited in each of the following situations:

  1. During any school-sponsored education program or activity.
  2. While in school, on school property, on school buses or other school vehicles, at designated school bus stops waiting for the school bus, or at school-sponsored or school-sanctioned events or activities.
  3. Through the transmission of information from a school computer, a school computer network, or other similar electronic school equipment.
  4. Through the transmission of information from a computer that is accessed at a nonschool-related location, activity, function, or program or from the use of technology or an electronic device that is not owned, leased, or used by the School District or school if the bullying causes a substantial disruption to the educational process or orderly operation of a school. This paragraph (item #4) applies only when a school administrator or teacher receives a report that bullying through this means has occurred; it does not require the District or staff members to monitor any nonschool-related activity, function, or program.

Definitions from Section 27-23.7 of the School Code (105 ILCS 5/27-23.7)

Bullying includes “cyberbullying” and means any severe or pervasive physical or verbal act or conduct, including communications made in writing or electronically, directed toward a student or students that has or can be reasonably predicted to have the effect of one or more of the following:

  1. Placing the student or students in reasonable fear of harm to the student’s or students’ person or property;
  2. Causing a substantially detrimental effect on the student’s or students’ physical or mental health;
  3. Substantially interfering with the student’s or students’ academic performance; or
  4. Substantially interfering with the student’s or students’ ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school.

Bullying as defined above may take various forms, including without limitation one or more of the following: harassment, threats, intimidation, stalking, physical violence, sexual harassment, sexual violence, theft, public humiliation, destruction of property, or retaliation for asserting or alleging an act of bullying. The foregoing list is meant to be illustrative and non-exhaustive.

Cyberbullying means bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication, including without limitation any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic system, photo-electronic system, or photo-optical system, including without limitation electronic mail, Internet communications, instant messages, or facsimile communications. Cyberbullying includes the creation of a webpage or weblog in which the creator assumes the identity of another person or the knowing impersonation of another person as the author of posted content or messages if the creation or impersonation creates any of the effects enumerated in the definition of bullying. Cyberbullying also includes the distribution by electronic means of a communication to more than one person or the posting of material on an electronic medium that may be accessed by one or more persons if the distribution or posting creates any of the effects enumerated in the definition of bullying.

Restorative measures means a continuum of school-based alternatives to exclusionary discipline, such as suspensions and expulsions, that: (i) are adapted to the particular needs of the school and community, (ii) contribute to maintaining school safety, (iii) protect the integrity of a positive and productive learning climate, (iv) teach students the personal and interpersonal skills they will need to be successful in school and society, (v) serve to build and restore relationships among students, families, schools, and communities, and (vi) reduce the likelihood of future disruption by balancing accountability with an understanding of students’ behavioral health needs in order to keep students in school.

School personnel means persons employed by, on contract with, or who volunteer in a school district, including without limitation school and school district administrators, teachers, school guidance counselors, school social workers, school counselors, school psychologists, school nurses, cafeteria workers, custodians, bus drivers, school resource officers, and security guards.

Bullying Prevention and Response Plan

The Superintendent or designee shall develop and maintain a bullying prevention and response plan that advances the District’s goal of providing all students with a safe learning environment free of bullying and harassment. The plan must be consistent with this policy and State law as amended, and the requirements listed below; each numbered requirement, 1-12, corresponds with the same number in the list of required policy components in 105 ILCS 5/27-23.7(b) 1-12.

  1. The District uses the definition of bullying as provided in this policy, or if more recently amended, 105 ILCS 5/27-23.7(b).
  2. Bullying is contrary to State law and the policy of this District. However, nothing in this policy or the District’s bullying prevention and response plan is intended to infringe upon any right to exercise free expression or the free exercise of religion or religiously based views protected under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution or under Section 3 of Article I of the Illinois Constitution. Neither this policy nor the District’s bullying prevention and response plan shall be interpreted to prevent a victim of bullying from seeking redress under any other District policy or available law.
  3. Students are encouraged to immediately report bullying. A report may be made orally or in writing to the Nondiscrimination Coordinator, Building Principal, Assistant Building Principal, Dean of Students, a Complaint Manager, or any staff member with whom the student is comfortable speaking. Anyone, including staff members and parents/guardians, who has information about actual or threatened bullying is encouraged to report it to the District named officials or any Building Administrator. The District named officials and all staff members are available for help with a bully or to make a report about bullying. Anonymous reports are also accepted and the Superintendent shall develop, disseminate and cause to be implemented a procedure for such reports.

Nondiscrimination Coordinator:

  • Paul Enderle, Supt. – Oak Lawn-Hometown SD 123 – 4201 W. 93rd Street – Oak Lawn, IL 60453 – 708.423.0150

Complaint Managers:

  • Angela Goetz – Oak Lawn-Hometown SD 123 Dist. Office – 4201 W. 93rd St Oak Lawn, IL 60543 – 708-423-0150
  • Michael Loftin – Oak Lawn-Hometown SD 123 Dist. Office – 4201 W. 93rd St Oak Lawn, IL 60543 – 708-423-0150
  1. Consistent with federal and State laws and rules governing student privacy rights, the Superintendent or designee shall promptly inform the parent(s)/guardian(s) of every student involved in an alleged incident of bullying and discuss, as appropriate, the availability of social work services, counseling, school psychological services, other interventions, and restorative measures.
  2. The Superintendent or designee shall promptly investigate and address reports of bullying, by, among other things:
  1. Making all reasonable efforts to complete the investigation within 10 school days after the date the report of a bullying incident was received and taking into consideration additional relevant information received during the course of the investigation about the reported bullying incident.
  2. Involving appropriate school support personnel and other staff persons with knowledge, experience, and training on bullying prevention, as deemed appropriate, in the investigation process.
  3. Notifying the Building Principal or school administrator or designee of the reported incident of bullying as soon as possible after the report is received.
  4. Consistent with federal and State laws and rules governing student privacy rights, providing parents/guardians of the students who are parties to the investigation information about the investigation and an opportunity to meet with the Building Principal or school administrator or his or her designee to discuss the investigation, the findings of the investigation, and the actions taken to address the reported incident of bullying.

The Superintendent or designee shall develop and cause to be implemented a process that investigates whether a reported incident of bullying is within the permissible scope of the District’s jurisdiction and shall require that the District provide the victim with information regarding services that are available within the District and community, such as counseling, support services, and other programs.

  1. The Superintendent or designee shall use interventions to address bullying, that may include, but are not limited to, school social work services, restorative measures, social-emotional skill building, counseling, school psychological services, and community-based services.
  2. A reprisal or retaliation against any person who reports an act of bullying is prohibited. A student’s act of reprisal or retaliation for a report of bullying will be treated as bullying for purposes of determining any consequences, including discipline, and/or other appropriate remedial actions. Consequences, disciplinary or remedial actions may include, but are not limited to, participation in restorative measures, loss of privileges, suspension or expulsion.
  3. A student will not be punished for reporting bullying or supplying information related to an alleged incident of bullying, even if the District’s investigation concludes that no bullying occurred. However, knowingly making a false accusation or providing information that a student knows or reasonably should know is false will be treated as an act of bullying for purposes of determining any consequences, discipline and/or other appropriate remedial actions. Consequences, disciplinary or remedial actions for knowingly making a false accusation or providing information a student knows or reasonably should know is false may include, but are not limited to, participation in restorative measures, loss of privileges, suspension or expulsion.
  4. The District’s bullying prevention and response plan must be based on the engagement of a range of school stakeholders, including students and parents/guardians.
  5. The Superintendent or designee shall post this policy on the District’s website, if any, and include it in the student handbook, and, where applicable, post it where other policies, rules, and standards of conduct are currently posted. The policy must be distributed annually to parents/guardians, students, and school personnel (including new employees when hired), and must also be provided periodically throughout the school year to students and faculty.
  6. The Superintendent or designee shall assist the Board with its evaluation and assessment of this policy’s outcomes and effectiveness. This process shall include, without limitation:
  1. The frequency of victimization;
  2. Student, staff, and family observations of safety at a school;
  3. Identification of areas of a school where bullying occurs;
  4. The types of bullying utilized; and
  5. Bystander intervention or participation.

The evaluation process may use relevant data and information that the District already collects for other purposes. The Superintendent or designee must post the information developed as a result of the policy evaluation on the District’s website, or if a website is not available, the information must be provided to school administrators, Board members, school personnel, parents/guardians, and students.

  1. The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that the bullying prevention and response plan is consistent with the full implementation of other Board policies, including without limitation, the following:
  1. 2:260, Uniform Grievance Procedure. A student may use this policy to complain about bullying.
  2. 6:60, Curriculum Content. Bullying prevention and character instruction is provided in all grades in accordance with State law.
  3. 6:65, Student Social and Emotional Development. Student social and emotional development is incorporated into the District’s educational program as required by State law.
  4. 6:235, Access to Electronic Networks. This policy states that the use of the District’s electronic networks is limited to: (1) support of education and/or research, or (2) a legitimate business use.
  5. 7:20, Harassment of Students Prohibited. This policy prohibits any person from harassing, intimidating, or bullying a student based on an identified actual or perceived characteristic.
  6. 7:185, Teen Dating Violence Prohibited. This policy prohibits teen dating violence on school property, at school sponsored activities, and in vehicles used for school-provided transportation.
  7. 7:190, Student Behavior. This policy prohibits, and provides consequences for, hazing, bullying, or other aggressive behaviors, or urging other students to engage in such conduct.
  8. 7:310, Restrictions on Publications, Elementary Schools. This policy prohibits students from and provides consequences for: (1) accessing and/or distributing at school any written, printed, or electronic material, including material from the Internet, that will cause substantial disruption of the proper and orderly operation and discipline of the school or school activities, and (2) creating and/or distributing written, printed, or electronic material, including photographic material and blogs, that causes substantial disruption to school operations or interferes with the rights of other students or staff members.

Legal References

405 ILCS 49/, Children’s Mental Health Act.

105 ILCS 5/10-20.14, 5/24-24, and 5/27-23.7.

23 Ill.Admin.Code §§1.240 and §1.280.

Cross References:

2:240 Board Policy Development

2:260 Uniform Grievance Procedure)

4:170 Safety)

5:230 Maintaining Student Discipline

6:60 Curriculum Content

6:65 Student Social and Emotional Development

6:235 Access to Electronic Networks

7:20 Harassment of Students Prohibited

7:185 Teen Dating Violence Prohibited

7:190 Student Behavior

7:220 Bus Conduct

7:230 Misconduct by Students with Disabilities

7:240 Conduct Code for Participants in Extracurricular Activities

7:285 Food Allergy Management Program

7:310 Restrictions on Publications, Elementary Schools

Bus Conduct

Students are expected to follow all school rules when riding the school bus. A student may be suspended from riding the bus for up to 10 consecutive school days for engaging in gross disobedience or misconduct, including but not limited to, the following:

  1. Violating any school rule or school district policy.
  2. Willful injury or threat of injury to a bus driver or to another rider.
  3. Willful and/or repeated defacement of the bus.
  4. Repeated use of profanity.
  5. Repeated willful disobedience of a directive from a bus driver or other supervisor.
  6. Such other behavior as the building principal deems to threaten the safe operation of the bus and/or its occupants.

If a student is suspended from riding the bus for gross disobedience or misconduct on a bus, the School Board may suspend the student from riding the school bus for a period in excess of 10 days for safety reasons.

A student suspended from riding the bus who does not have alternate transportation to school shall have the opportunity to complete or make up work for equivalent academic credit. It shall be the responsibility of the student’s parent or guardian to notify the school that the student does not have alternate transportation.

Cross References

Board Policy 4:110, Transportation

Board Policy 7:220, Bus Conduct

MSH 4.15

Bus Transportation

The district provides bus transportation to and from school for all students living 1.5 miles or more from the school. A list of bus stops will be published at the beginning of the school year before student registration. Students are not permitted to ride a bus other than the bus to which they are assigned. Exceptions must be approved in advance by the building principal.

While students are on the bus, they are under the supervision of the bus driver. In most cases, bus discipline problems can be handled by the bus driver. In the case of a written disciplinary referral, student bus problems will be investigated and handled by the building principal.

Students are expected to follow all school rules while on the bus. Students may be suspended from riding the school bus for up to 10 consecutive school days for violating school rules or for engaging in other gross disobedience or misconduct. The school board may suspend the student from riding the school bus for a period in excess of 10 days for safety reasons. The district’s regular suspension procedures shall be used to suspend a student’s privilege to ride a school bus.

A student who is suspended from riding the school bus and who does not have alternative transportation to school shall be allowed the opportunity to make up all missed work for equivalent academic credit. It is the responsibility of the student’s parent or guardian to notify the school that the student does not have alternative transportation to school.

In the interest of the student’s safety and in compliance with State law, students are also expected to observe the following:

  1. Dress properly for the weather. Make sure all drawstrings, ties, straps, etc. on all clothing, backpacks and other items, are shortened or removed to lessen the likelihood of them getting caught in bus doors, railings or aisles.
  2. Arrive on time at the bus stop, and stay away from the street while waiting for the bus.
  3. Stay away from the bus until it stops completely and the driver signals you to board. Enter in single file without pushing. Always use the handrail.
  4. Take a seat right away and remain seated facing forward. Keep your hands, arms, and head inside the bus.
  5. Talk quietly on the bus. No shouting or creating loud noises that may distract the driver. Tablets, iPods®, iPads®, smartphones, and other electronic devices must be silenced on the bus unless a student uses headphones.
  6. Help keep the bus neat and clean. Keep belongings out of the aisle and away from emergency exits. Eating and drinking are not allowed on the bus.
  7. Always listen to the driver’s instructions. Be courteous to the driver and other students. Sit with your hands to yourself and avoid making noises that would distract the driver or bother other passengers. Remain seated, keeping your hands, arms, and head inside the bus at all times.
  8. Wait until the bus pulls to a complete stop before standing up. Use the handrail when exiting the bus.
  9. Stay out of the danger zone next to the bus where the driver may have difficulty seeing you. Take five giant steps away from the bus and out of the danger zone, until you can see the driver and the driver sees you. Never crawl under a bus.
  10. If you must cross the street after you get off the bus, wait for the driver’s signal and then cross in front of the bus. Cross the street only after checking both ways for traffic.
  11. Never run back to the bus, even if you dropped or forgot something.

Video and audio cameras may be active on busses to record student conduct and may be used for the purposes of investigation into misconduct or accidents on the bus.

For questions regarding school transportation issues, contact the District 123 Business Office at 708-423-0150.

Cross Reference:

Board Policy 4:110, Transportation

Board Policy 7:220, Bus Conduct

MSH 4.10

Communicable Diseases

The school will observe recommendations of the Illinois Department of Public Health regarding communicable diseases.

  1. Parents are required to notify the school nurse if they suspect their child has a communicable disease.
  2. In certain cases, students with a communicable disease may be excluded from school or sent home from school following notification of the parent or guardian.
  3. The school will provide written instructions to the parent and guardian regarding appropriate treatment for the communicable disease.
  4. A student excluded because of a communicable disease will be permitted to return to school only when the parent or guardian brings to the school a letter from the student’s doctor stating that the student is no longer contagious or at risk of spreading the communicable disease.

Cross Reference:

Board Policy 7:280, Communicable and Chronic Infectious Disease

MSH 5.50

Diabetes Care for Students

If your child has diabetes and requires assistance with managing this condition while at school and school functions, a Diabetes Care Plan must be submitted to the building principal and school nurse. Parents/guardians are responsible for and must:

  1. Inform the school in a timely manner of any change which needs to be made to the Diabetes Care Plan on file with the school for their child.
  2. Inform the school in a timely manner of any changes to their emergency contact numbers or contact numbers of health care providers.
  3. Sign the Diabetes Care Plan.
  4. Grant consent for and authorize designated School District representatives to communicate directly with the health care provider whose instructions are included in the Diabetes Care Plan.

For further information, please contact the building principal and/or building nurse.

Cross Reference:

MSH 1.130

Discipline of Students with Disabilities

Behavioral Interventions

Behavioral interventions shall be used with students with disabilities to promote and strengthen desirable behaviors and reduce identified inappropriate behaviors. The School Board will establish and maintain a committee to develop, implement, and monitor procedures on the use of behavioral interventions for children with disabilities.

Discipline of Special Education Students

The District shall comply with the Individuals With Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 and the Illinois State Board of Education’s Special Education rules when disciplining special education students. No special education student shall be expelled if the student’s particular act of gross disobedience or misconduct is a manifestation of his or her disability.

Cross Reference:

Board Policy 7:230, Misconduct by Students with Disabilities

MSH 10.20

Early Dismissal Requests

Early dismissal during school hours should be avoided if at all possible. Parents/guardians shall contact the school office regarding any early dismissal. Parents/guardians or an individual identified as a parent/guardian or emergency contact must enter the school office and sign the child out before they will be released from the school. If the child returns to school, the parent or designee must sign them back into school. This same sign out procedure is to be followed when a child is going home at lunchtime or because of illness.

Education of Children with Disabilities

It is the intent of the district to ensure that students who are disabled within the definition of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 or the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act are identified, evaluated and provided with appropriate educational services.

The School provides a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment and necessary related services to all children with disabilities enrolled in the school. The term “children with disabilities” means children between ages 3 and the day before their 22nd birthday for whom it is determined that special education services are needed. It is the intent of the school to ensure that students with disabilities are identified, evaluated, and provided with appropriate educational services.

A copy of the publication “Explanation of Procedural Safeguards Available to Parents of Students with Disabilities” may be obtained from the school district office.

Accommodating Individuals with Disabilities

Individuals with disabilities will be provided an opportunity to participate in all school-sponsored services, programs, or activities. Individuals with disabilities should notify the superintendent or building principal if they have a disability that will require special assistance or services and, if so, what services are required. This notification should occur as far in advance as possible of the school-sponsored function, program, or meeting.

Cross Reference:

Board Policy 6:120, Education of Children with Disabilities

Board Policy 8:70, Accommodating Individuals with Disabilities

MSH 1.110

MSH 10.10

Education Foundation of Oak Lawn-Hometown School District 123

The Education Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation that was established in 1991 through the good efforts of the School District and dedicated friends in the community. Its purpose is to attract private monies to fund and advance special innovative educational projects/programs that would not normally be supported by tax dollars. A community Board of Trustees governs the Foundation’s activities. Funding for the foundation has been achieved through private and corporate donations, as well as through annual fundraising events including dinner dances, an annual golf outing, and family festivals. Generous community support has enabled the Foundation to fund a variety of educational programs and enhancements. For more information about the Education Foundation please visit:

d123edfoundation.org

Emergency Contact Information

District 123 has the capability of contacting the parents/guardians of current students instantly should an emergency or weather situation arise. Through the Skyward Family Access portal parents may review, edit, or add to their contact information. Please contact your student’s school office should you need assistance updating your information.

Emergency School Closings

In cases of bad weather and other local emergencies, please check d123.org then listen to any local radio or television station to be advised of school closings or early dismissals. School closings for any reason will be announced by 7 a.m. If bad weather or other emergency occurs during the day, please listen to local media stations for possible early dismissal information.

For your child’s safety, make certain your child knows ahead of time where to go in case of an early dismissal.

If we dismiss early for an emergency, generally all after-school functions will be automatically cancelled.

Cross Reference:

Board Policy 4:170, Safety

MSH 1.90

English Learners

The school offers opportunities for resident English Learners to achieve at high levels in academic subjects and to meet the same challenging State standards that all children are expected to meet.

Parents/guardians of English Learners will be informed how they can:

  1. Be involved in the education of their children.
  2. Be active participants in assisting their children to attain English proficiency, achieve at high levels within a well-rounded education, and meet the challenging State academic standards expected of all students.

For questions related to this program or to express input in the school’s English Learners program, please contact the Director of English Learning at 708-423-0150.

Cross Reference:

6:160, English Learners

MSH 12.60

Equal Opportunity and Sex Equity

Equal educational and extracurricular opportunities are available to all students without regard to race, color, nationality, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, ancestry, age, religious beliefs, physical or mental disability, status as homeless, or actual or potential marital or parental status, including pregnancy.

No student shall, based on sex or sexual orientation, be denied equal access to programs, activities, services, or benefits or be limited in the exercise of any right, privilege, advantage, or denied equal access to educational and extracurricular programs and activities.

Any student or parent/guardian with a sex equity or equal opportunity concern should contact:

Complaint Managers:

Angela Goetz – Oak Lawn-Hometown SD 123 District Office – 4201 W. 93rd St Oak Lawn, IL 60543 – 708-423-0150

Michael Loftin – Oak Lawn-Hometown SD 123 District Office – 4201 W. 93rd St Oak Lawn, IL 60543 – 708-423-0150

Cross Reference:

Board Policy 7:10, Equal Educational Opportunities

Board Policy 2:260, Uniform Grievance Procedure

MSH 1.50

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Parent Notices

  1. Teacher Qualifications
  1. A parent/guardian may request, and the District will provide in a timely manner, the professional qualifications of your student’s classroom teachers, including, at a minimum, whether:
  1. The teacher has met the State qualifications and licensing criteria for the grade levels and subject areas in which the teacher provides instruction.
  2. The teacher is teaching under emergency or other provisional status.
  3. The teacher is teaching in the field of discipline of the certification of the teacher.
  4. Paraprofessionals provide services to the student and, if so, their qualifications.
  1. Testing Transparency
  1. The State and District requires students to take certain standardized tests. For additional information please see, “Standardized Testing” in this handbook.
  2. A parent/guardian may request, and the District will provide in a timely manner, information regarding student participation in any assessments mandated by law or District policy, which shall include information on any applicable right you may have to opt your student out of such assessment.
  1. Annual Report Card
  1. Each year, the District is required to disseminate an annual report card that includes information on the District as a whole and each school served by the District, with aggregate and disaggregated information for each required subgroup of students including: student achievement on academic assessments (designated by category), graduation rates, district performance, teacher qualifications, and certain other information required by federal law. When available, this information will be placed on the District’s website.
  1. Parent & Family Engagement Compact
  1. The Parent & Family Engagement Compact can be found on the District 123 website at d123.org.
  1. Unsafe School Choice Option
  1. The unsafe school choice option allows students to transfer to another District school or to a public charter school within the District under certain circumstances. For additional information, see handbook this handbook under, “Unsafe School Choice Option.”
  1. Student Privacy
  1. Students have certain privacy protections under federal law. For additional information, see handbook procedure listed under “Student Privacy.”
  1. English Learners
  1. The school offers opportunities for resident English Learners to achieve at high levels in academic subjects and to meet the same challenging State standards that all children are expected to meet. For additional information please see, “Student Privacy” in this handbook.
  1. Homeless Students
  1. For information on supports and services available to homeless students, see handbook listed under “Homeless Child’s Right to Education”.

For further information on any of the above matters, please contact the building principal.

Cross Reference:

MSH 12.130

Exemption from Physical Education Requirement

In order to be excused from participation in physical education, a student must present an appropriate excuse from his or her parent/guardian or from a person licensed under the Medical Practice Act. The excuse may be based on medical or religious prohibitions. An excuse because of medical reasons must include a signed statement from a person licensed under the Medical Practice Act that corroborates the medical reason for the request. An excuse based on religious reasons must include a signed statement from a member of the clergy that corroborates the religious reason for the request.

A student in grades 7-8 may submit a written request to the building principal requesting to be excused from physical education courses because of the student’s ongoing participation in an interscholastic or extracurricular athletic program. The building principal will evaluate requests on a case-by-case basis.

Students with an Individualized Education Program may also be excused from physical education courses for reasons stated in Handbook Procedure 10.30.

Special activities in physical education will be provided for a student whose physical or emotional condition, as determined by a person licensed under the Medical Practices Act, prevents his or her participation in the physical education course.

State law prohibits the School District from honoring parental excuses based upon a student’s participation in athletic training, activities, or competitions conducted outside the auspices of the School District.

Cross Reference:

Board Policy 7:260, Exemption from Physical Education

MSH 2.80

Family Conferences

Family conferences are a vital part of a child’s educational program. They allow students, parents, and teachers two distinct opportunities to meet and discuss the progress of their child(ren). In the fall, academic and social goals are established, along with plans to achieve them. Then in the spring, students facilitate their own self-assessment conferences where they demonstrate what they have learned and reflect on their progress on achieving the goals that were set in the fall. This type of conferencing reflects the belief that students should be actively involved in their learning and assume responsibility for the learning process.

The strong partnership we have been able to forge over the years is responsible, in large part, for the high quality of education in District 123. Please take advantage of each family conference day and make the effort to stay in touch with the school staff regularly throughout the year.

Facility Rental

It has been the policy of District 123 to allow rental of school facilities to community groups. Groups interested in renting school facilities may start the process by calling the Building Principal for additional information and resources.

Family Life & Sex Education Instruction Classes

Students will not be required to take or participate in any class or courses in comprehensive sex education, including in grades 6-12, instruction on both abstinence and contraception for the prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS; family life instruction, including in grades 6-12, instruction on the prevention, transmission, and spread of AIDS; instruction on diseases; recognizing and avoiding sexual abuse; or instruction on donor programs for organ/tissue, blood donor, and transplantation, if his or her parent or guardian submits a written objection. The parent or guardian’s decision will not be the reason for any student discipline, including suspension or expulsion. Nothing in this Section prohibits instruction in sanitation, hygiene or traditional courses in biology. 1

Parents or guardians may examine the instructional materials to be used in any district sex education class or course.

Cross Reference:

Board Policy 6:60, Curriculum Content

MSH 12.40

Family + Community Resource Center (FCRN)

Family + Community Resource Network (FCRN): The FCRN has been designed as a School District 123 partnering initiative to better consolidate, align and deliver community based resources to students and families. The intent is to bring to the forefront the needs of our families and to more effectively match resources to those needs. The FCRN program will promote the community school approach with the broader population through enhanced awareness, partnerships and collaboration. Its integrated focus on academics, health and social services, youth and community development leads to improved student learning, stronger families and healthier communities.

Larry Fetchko, D123 Community Liaison Officer

Director, Family + Community Resource Network

lfetchko@d123.org   (708)952-4299

For those interested parents and family members, we will provide the avenues and venues for collaborating, sharing and networking ideas and opportunities between families. We understand that our families can be great support for each other as we broaden our network.

Field Trips

Field trips are a privilege for students. Students must abide by all school policies during transportation and during field-trip activities, and shall treat all field trip locations as though they are school grounds. Failure to abide by school rules and/or location rules during a field trip may subject the student to discipline.

All students who wish to attend a field trip must receive written permission from a parent or guardian with authority to give permission. Students may be prohibited from attending field trips for any of the following reasons:

  • Failure to receive appropriate permission from parent/guardian or teacher;
  • Failure to complete appropriate coursework;
  • Behavioral or safety concerns;
  • Denial of permission from administration;
  • Other reasons as determined by the school.

Cross Reference:

Board Policy 6:240, Field Trips

MSH 6.60

Fines, Fees, and Charges; Waiver of Student Fees

The school establishes fees and charges to fund certain school activities. Some students may be unable to pay these fees. Students will not be denied educational services or academic credit due to the inability of their parent or guardian to pay fees or certain charges. Students whose parent or guardian is unable to afford student fees may receive a fee waiver. A fee waiver does not exempt a student from charges for lost and damaged books, locks, materials, supplies, and/or equipment.

Applications for fee waivers may be submitted by a parent or guardian of a student who has been assessed a fee. As student is eligible for a fee waiver if at least one of the following prerequisites is met:

  1. The student currently lives in a household that meets the free lunch or breakfast eligibility guidelines established by the federal government pursuant to the National School Lunch Act; or
  2. The student or the student’s family is currently receiving aid under Article IV of the Illinois Public Aid Code (Aid to Families of Dependent Children).

The Superintendent or a designee will give additional consideration where one or more of the following factors are present:

  1. An illness in the family;
  2. Unusual expenses such as fire, flood, storm damage, etc.;
  3. Unemployment;
  4. Emergency situations; or
  5. When one or more of the parents/guardians are involved in a work stoppage.

The Superintendent or a designee will notify the parent/guardian promptly as to whether the fee waiver request has been granted or denied. Questions regarding the fee waiver application process should be addressed to the building principal.

Additional information regarding waiver of fees can be obtained in your school’s office and on the District website.

Cross Reference:

Board Policy 4:110, Transportation

Board Policy 4:140, Waiver of Student Fees

MSH 3.10

Food Allergies

State law requires our school district to annually inform parents of students with life-threatening allergies or life-threatening chronic illnesses of the applicable provisions of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and other applicable federal statutes, state statutes, federal regulations and state rules.

If your student has a life-threatening allergy or life-threatening chronic illness, please notify the building principal and/or school nurse..

Federal law protects students from discrimination due to a disability that substantially limits a major life activity. If your student has a qualifying disability, an individualized Section 504 Plan will be developed and implemented to provide the needed supports so that your student can access his or her education as effectively as students without disabilities.

Not all students with life-threatening allergies and life-threatening chronic illnesses may be eligible under Section 504. Our school district also may be able to appropriately meet a student’s needs through other means.

Cross Reference:

Board Policy 7:285, Food Allergy Management Program

MSH 1.120

Foreign Language Program

Foreign language opportunities will be made available to students at Oak Lawn-Hometown Middle School. Full year courses in Spanish will focus on development of listening and speaking skills, grammar, and cultural awareness. Students in sixth grade who qualify for a foreign language will be committed to the language all three years at OLHMS.

Freedom of Information Act

The Board of Education permits access to and copying of public records in accordance with the Illinois Freedom of Information Act and within the limited exceptions recognized in the Act to safeguard individual privacy and the District’s efficient operation. Additional information regarding the Freedom of Information Act may be obtained from the Office of the Superintendent or on the district website.

Grading & Promotion

School report cards are issued to students three times a year. For questions regarding grades, please contact the classroom teacher.

The decision to promote a student to the next grade level is based on successful completion of the curriculum, attendance, performance on standardized tests and other testing. A student will not be promoted based upon age or any other social reason not related to academic performance.

Cross Reference:

Board Policy 6:280, Grading & Promotion

MSH 2.60

Head Lice

The school will observe the following procedures regarding head lice.

  1. Parents are required to notify the school nurse if they suspect their child has head lice.
  2. The school will provide written instructions to parent or guardian regarding appropriate treatment for the infestation.
  3. A student excluded because of head lice will be permitted to return to school only when the parent or guardian brings the student to school to be checked by the school nurse or building principal and the child is determined to be free of the head lice and eggs (nits). Infested children are prohibited from riding the bus to school to be checked for head lice.

Cross Reference:

MSH 5.60

Home and Hospital Instruction

A student who is absent from school, or whose physician, physician assistant or advanced practice registered nurse anticipates his or her absence from school, because of a medical condition may be eligible for instruction in the student’s home or hospital.

For information on home or hospital instruction contact your building principal.

Cross Reference:

Board Policy 6:150, Home and Hospital Instruction

MSH 2.100

Homeless Child’s Right to Education

When a child loses permanent housing and becomes a homeless person as defined at law, or when a homeless child changes his or her temporary living arrangements, the parent or guardian of the homeless child has the option of either:

  1. Continuing the child’s education in the school of origin for as long as the child remains homeless or, if the child becomes permanently housed, until the end of the academic year during which the housing is acquired; or
  2. Enrolling the child in any school that non-homeless students who live in the attendance area in which the child or youth is actually living are eligible to attend.

 

Additional assistance and support information for homeless families can be found by contacting the D123 Family and Community Resource Network (FCRN) at 708-423-0150.

Cross Reference:

Board Policy 6:140, Education of Homeless Children

MSH 12.30

Homework

The purpose of homework is to extend the student’s experience by emphasizing activities and skill developments that will create added knowledge and understanding. Homework should meet the following criteria:

  1. It is adapted to the needs of the class or to the needs and interests of the individual.
  2. It may be a continuation or extension of an activity started in school.
  3. It emphasizes activities of a creative nature, and allows for reinforcement of basic skills.
  4. It is definite, clear and meaningful.
  5. It is preceded by attention to appropriate skills.

Specific homework regulations are best left to the individual schools. However, those regulations should reflect the following general interpretations:

  1. In general, there is a limited amount of homework assigned in the primary grades with a gradual increase in the intermediate grades and through middle school, as necessary.
  2. There is coordination of long-term projects when possible.
  3. Homework assignments are not given as punishment.
  4. Homework assignments should be evaluated and returned for students’ review.

Cross Reference:

MSH 2.70

Immunization, Health, Eye and Dental Examinations

Required Health Examinations and Immunizations

All students are required to present appropriate proof of a health examination and the immunizations against, and screenings for, preventable communicable diseases within one year prior to:

  1. Entering kindergarten or the first grade;
  2. Entering the sixth and ninth grades; and
  3. Enrolling in an Illinois school for the first time, regardless of the student’s grade.

Proof of immunization against meningococcal disease is required for students in grades 6 and 12. A diabetes screening must be included as part of the health exam (though diabetes testing is not required). Students between the age of one and seven must provide a statement from a physician assuring that the student was “risk-assessed” or screened for lead poisoning. Beginning with the 2017-2018 school year, an age-appropriate developmental screening and an age-appropriate social and emotional screening are required parts of each health examination.

Failure to comply with the above requirements by October 15 of the current school year will result in the student’s exclusion from school until the required health forms are presented to the school, subject to certain exceptions. A student will not be excluded from school due to his or her parent/guardian’s failure to obtain a developmental screening or a social and emotional screening.

New students who register mid-term have 30 days following registration to comply with the health examination and immunization requirements. If a medical reason prevents a student from receiving a required immunization by October 15, the student must present, by October 15, an immunization schedule and a statement of the medical reasons causing the delay. The schedule and statement of medical reasons must be signed by an appropriate medical professional.

Eye Examination

All students entering kindergarten or the school for the first time must present proof by October 15 of the current school year of an eye examination performed within one year. Failure to present proof by October 15, allows the school to hold the student’s report card until the student presents: (1) proof of a completed eye examination, or (2) that an eye examination will take place within 60 days after October 15.

Dental Examination

All students entering kindergarten, second and sixth grades must present proof by May 15 of the current school year of having been examined by a licensed dentist within the last 18 months. Failure to present proof allows the school to hold the child’s report card until the student presents: (1) proof of a completed dental examination, or (2) that a dental examination will take place within 60 days after May 15.

Exemptions

A student will be exempted from the above requirements for:

  1. Medical grounds if the student’s parent/guardian presents to the building principal a signed statement explaining the objection;
  2. Religious grounds if the student’s parent/guardian presents to the building principal a completed Certificate of Religious Exemption;
  3. Health examination or immunization requirements on medical grounds if a physician provides written verification;
  4. Eye examination requirement if the student’s parent/guardian shows an undue burden or lack of access to a physician licensed to practice medicine in all of its branches who provides eye examinations or a licensed optometrist; or
  5. Dental examination requirement if the student’s parent/guardian shows an undue burden or a lack of access to a dentist.

Cross Reference:

Board Policy 7:100, Health, Eye and, Dental Examinations; Immunizations; and Exclusion of Students

MSH 5.10

Internet Acceptable Use

All use of electronic network use must be consistent with the school’s goal of promoting educational excellence by facilitating resource sharing, innovation, and communication.

The District supports the use of technology and the Internet by students. Accordingly, the District may provide access to students through a variety of means. This includes, without limitation: making District-issued 1:1 devices available for student use, issuing network and email accounts to students, and providing Internet access through public or guest WiFi (collectively referred to as “District Technology”). Additionally, the District may utilize third parties to provide resources and services to students, and those third parties may collect information that is subject to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”).

The district uses content filtering tools to monitor web traffic. Content filtering tools are not completely fail-safe and while at school, constant direct supervision by school personnel of each student using District Technology is not possible. Parents are responsible for monitoring their child’s use of District Technology at home. Students have no expectation of privacy when utilizing District Technology, even outside of school. All District Technology use is subject to District 123 Board Policies including but not limited to 7:180 Bullying, Intimidation and Harassment and 7:190 Student Discipline, as well as local, state and federal laws.

Students are responsible for using District Technology in a responsible and appropriate manner. Student use is a privilege that may be limited or revoked at any time for any reason without notice. Misuse of District Technology whether on or off-campus, during or outside of the school day, may result in the loss of technology privileges, disciplinary action and/or legal action in the event of intentional damage and/or violation of policies or law. If District 123 officials determine that the equipment has been stolen, lost, or damaged through negligence or misuse, it will be the responsibility of the parent/guardian to pay for the cost of the repair or a replacement device. Optional device insurance can be obtained for district issued devices during the yearly registration process.

 

Cross Reference:

Board Policy 6:235, Access to Electronic Networks

MSH 7.10

Kindergarten Program

All D123 schools offer a full-day kindergarten program. As the name suggests, full-day kindergarten is comprised of a full day of learning for kindergarteners that is responsive to their need for content learning, critical thinking, curiosity and discovery, independence, social interaction and movement.

In accordance with Illinois School Code, the District must offer a half-day program to all students. Every student will be working toward the same standards regardless of their program and the half-day program will continue to be a quality learning experience for all students. The full day program allows for more time for instruction, enrichment, reinforcement and intervention. Currently, half-day kindergarten programming occurs during the morning portion of the school day. For more information about half and full-day kindergarten programs, please contact your school principal.

Kindergarten & 1st Grade Admission

To enter kindergarten, a child must reside with their parent(s)/guardian(s) within District 123 boundaries. The child must be 5-years-old on or before September 1 of the school year. Traditionally, to enter first grade, a child must be 6-years-old on or before September 1. When enrolling a child in any grade as a first-time District 123 student, parents must present the child’s original birth certificate and satisfy all enrollment requirements.

Early Entrance

Early Entrance to Kindergarten is the admission of a student to kindergarten who will not yet be five years old by Sept. 1st of that school year.

Early Entrance to First Grade is the admission of a student to first grade who will not yet be six years old by Sept. 1 of that school year and who has not completed kindergarten. Students who are younger than six upon starting first grade but who were admitted early to kindergarten do not need to be reevaluated prior to admission to first grade.

Additional information about early entrance into District 123 can be found on the District 123 Website at d123.org.

Late Start Days

During the school year there are designated days when all district schools will start the school day ONE HOUR LATER than usual.

  • On Late Start Days, school begins at 9:30 a.m. Students should arrive to school no earlier than 9:20 a.m. on Late Start Days. Dismissal time on Late Start Days is 3:20 p.m.
  • Parents who may require before-school childcare should contact the FLASH Program through the Oak Lawn Park District.

Library

The library media center will empower students to be critical thinkers, enthusiastic readers, skillful researchers, and ethical users and creators of information. We are dedicated to providing access to a balanced collection of print and electronic resources for school or at home access. Students in District 123 have access to library resources via an online library program Overdrive. For more information about the Overdrive platform, please contact your child’s Media Specialist.

Make-Up Work

If a student’s absence is excused or if a student is suspended from school, he/she will be permitted to make up all missed work, including homework and tests, for equivalent academic credit. Students who are unexcused from school may not be allowed to make up missed work.

 

Cross Reference:

Board Policy 7:70, Attendance and Truancy

MSH 2.40

Mandated Reporters

All school personnel, including teachers and administrators, are required by law to immediately report any and all suspected cases of child abuse or neglect to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

School Board Member Responsibilities

Each individual Board member must, if an allegation is raised to the member during an open or closed Board meeting that a student is an abused child as defined in the Act, direct or cause the Board to direct the Superintendent or other equivalent school administrator to comply with the Act’s requirements concerning the reporting of child abuse.

Cross Reference:

Board Policy 5:90, Abused and Neglected Child Reporting

MSH 12.90

Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS)

School District 123 utilizes a Multi-Tiered System of Supports as a framework comprised of RtI academic and social emotional supports and PBIS behavioral supports. All D123 students’ developmental needs are met through high quality, research-based instruction and interventions tailored to his or her unique learning style. The MTSS framework involves regular monitoring of student progress by a problem-solving team comprised of school personnel and family. All decisions made by the problem-solving team are driven by child response data and a commitment to ensuring that all students are given equal opportunity to be successful. D123’s MTSS Framework ensures that every individual student’s needs are met in a culturally responsive and systemically consistent manner and is driven by the following guiding principles:

  • Promoting the essential components of MTSS and the significant systemic changes needed to implement MTSS with fidelity
  • Committing resources, time, and energy to building capacity and sustaining the momentum needed for change
  • Supporting collaborative problem-solving approaches with colleagues, families, learners, and community members to build partnerships
  • Inspiring, facilitating, and monitoring growth and improvement, along with holding high standards for everyone

Music

General Music

The general music program begins in kindergarten and builds through eighth grade (as an encore elective). General music concepts are expanded at each grade level and the activities become more complex as students progress. Some of the musical concepts taught are vocal development, music reading, improvisation, and playing instruments. Also, music history is an integral part of the curriculum.

Instrumental Music

Band instruction begins in fifth grade. All band students have class lessons during the school day and full band rehearsals before the regular school day begins. Parents must provide the student’s instrument.

Notification System for Families

District 123 uses a parent notification and communication system to directly communicate with parents and guardians via telephone, email and/or text message. The system is used to send emergency notifications, such as emergency school closings, as well as to notify parents of activities and events at the District and/or building level. District 123 also uses this system to provide parents with occasional email notifications regarding new Virtual Backpack items. Parents should always keep their information up-to-date in Skyward/Skylert. Changes to email address(es) and/or phone number(s) in Skyward/Skylert ensure timely communication, especially in cases of emergency.

Pesticide Application Notice

The district maintains a registry of parents/guardians of students who have registered to receive written or telephone notification prior to the application of pesticides to school grounds. To be added to the list, please contact: the Department of Buildings and Grounds at 708-423-0150.

Notification will be given before application of the pesticide. Prior notice is not required if there is imminent threat to health or property.

Cross Reference:

MSH 12.80

Recess

Elementary level Building Principals will schedule indoor recess on days when there is active precipitation and/or temperatures are between 25 and 90 degrees taking into consideration the wind chill and the heat index. Parents may request, in writing, indoor recess for their child after an illness, but not for more than one school day. If a child must stay indoors for a longer period, parents must provide a note from the child’s physician.

Requests from Military or Institutions of Higher Learning

Upon their request, military recruiters and institutions of higher learning will be given access to students’ names, addresses and telephone numbers. Parents who do not want their child’s name to be released (or students over the age of 18 who do not want their name released) should contact the building principal.

Cross Reference:

MSH 11.40

Release Time for Religious Instruction/Observance

A student will be released from school, as an excused absence, to observe a religious holiday or for religious instruction. The student’s parent/guardian must give written notice to the building principal at least 5 calendar days before the student’s anticipated absence(s).

Students excused for religious reasons will be given an opportunity to make up all missed work, including homework and tests, for equivalent academic credit.

Cross Reference:

Board Policy 7:80, Release Time for Religious Instruction/Observation

MSH 2.30

Residency

Only students who are residents of the District may attend a District school without a tuition charge, except as otherwise provided below or in State law.

Custody exercised by an adult caretaker demonstrates that, in fact, he or she has assumed and exercises legal responsibility for the pupil and provides the pupil with a regular fixed night time abode for purposes other than to have access to the educational programs of the district.

A person asserting legal custody over a student, who is not the child’s natural or adoptive parent, shall complete a signed statement, stating: (a) that he or she has assumed and exercises legal responsibility for the child, (b) the reason the child lives with him or her, other than to receive an education in the District, and (c) that he or she exercises full control over the child regarding daily educational and medical decisions in case of emergency. If the District knows the current address of the child’s natural or adoptive parent, the District shall request in writing that the person complete a signed statement or Power of Attorney stating: (a) the role and responsibility of the person with whom their child is living, and (b) that the person with whom the child is living has full control over the child regarding daily educational and medical decisions in case of emergency.

A student whose family moves out of the District during the school year will be permitted to attend school for the remainder of the year without payment of tuition.

When a student’s change of residence is due to the military service obligation of the student’s legal custodian, the student’s residence is deemed to be unchanged for the duration of the custodian’s military service obligation if the student’s custodian made a written request. The District, however, is not responsible for the student’s transportation to or from school.

If, at the time of enrollment, a dependent child of military personnel is housed in temporary housing located outside of the District, but will be living within the District within 60 days after the time of initial enrollment, the child is allowed to enroll, subject to the requirements of State law, and must not be charged tuition.

Cross Reference:

Board Policy 7:60, Residence

Response to Intervention (RtI)

Please refer to MTSS (Multi-Tiered System of Supports) information contained within this handbook.

Robert Crown Program

The Robert Crown Center for Health Education is dedicated to the encouragement and reinforcement of non-abusive patterns of thought and behavior and better living through better health. It is a unique teaching institution staffed by professionals with tremendous expertise who utilize modern classrooms and the latest technology and exhibits in their presentations.

Students in fourth grade participate in the “Science Behind Drugs and Prevention” program. Fifth grade students participate in the “Life Begins” series which is an age-appropriate section of the Robert Crown Family Living Education program.

Both programs provide content in a challenging and rewarding manner. Frankness, honesty and the proper use of terminology is utilized by experienced staff teachers. Emphasis is placed on the roles of personal decision making and value systems. Problem solving techniques and methods of coping with peer pressure are stressed. All parents reserve the right to request that their children do not participate in these programs. Parents requesting this exemption should notify their school’s principal in writing in advance of the program.

Cross Reference:

Board Policy 6:60, Curriculum Content

Safety Drill Procedures and Conduct

Safety drills will occur at times established by the school board. Students are required to be silent and shall comply with the directives of school officials during emergency drills. There will be a minimum of three (3) evacuation drills, a minimum of one (1) severe weather (shelter-in-place) drill, a minimum of one (1) law enforcement drill, and a minimum of one (1) bus evacuation drill each school year. There may be other drills at the direction of the administration. Drills will not be preceded by a warning to the students.

Cross Reference:

Board Policy 4:170, Safety

MSH 5.40

School Breakfast & Lunch Program

A lunch program is available at all schools. Lunches are planned to provide nourishment and variety. Every meal follows the nutritional guidelines set forth by the National School Lunch Program. Dietary specifications, based on the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans, set specific calorie ranges, sodium restriction, saturated fat <10% total calories, zero trans fat, and minimum meal components to ensure age-appropriate meals for grades K-5 and 6-8 over the week. Meals include 1-2 ounce equivalents of protein, 1-2 ounce equivalents of whole grains, 3/4 cup vegetables, 1/2 cup fruit, and 8 fl. ounces of milk. Families of students who qualify under federal income guidelines may obtain reduced-cost or free lunches for their children. Families must apply for this program. Milk may be purchased by students who bring their lunches.

School Day Schedule

The school day begins at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 3:20 p.m. Certain activities at the middle school take place before or after the regular day. Those activities begin at 7:30 am or 3:30pm. For more information, please visit the calendar page at d123.org.

School Dress Code / Student Appearance

Students are expected to wear clothing in a neat, clean, and well fitting manner while on school property and/or in attendance at school sponsored activities. Students are to use discretion in their dress and are not permitted to wear apparel that causes a substantial disruption in the school environment.

  • Student dress (including accessories) may not advertise, promote, or picture alcoholic beverages, illegal drugs, drug paraphernalia, violent behavior, or other inappropriate images.
  • Student dress (including accessories) may not display lewd, vulgar, obscene, or offensive language or symbols, including gang symbols.
  • Hats, coats, bandanas, sweatbands, and sunglasses may not be worn in the building during the school day.
  • Hair styles, dress, and accessories that pose a safety hazard are not permitted in the shop, laboratories, or during physical education.
  • Clothing with holes, rips, tears, and clothing that is otherwise poorly fitting, showing skin and/or undergarments may not be worn at school.
  • The length of shorts or skirts must be appropriate for the school environment.
  • Appropriate footwear must be worn at all times.
  • If there is any doubt about dress and appearance, the building principal will make the final decision.
  • Student whose dress causes a substantial disruption of the orderly process of school functions or endangers the health or safety of the student, other students, staff or others may be subject to discipline.

Cross Reference:

Board Policy 7:160, Student Appearance

MSH 6.20

School Report Card

The Illinois School Report Card for District 123 is available to view at www.d123.org.

School Visitation Rights

The School Visitation Rights Act permits employed parents/guardians, who are unable to meet with educators because of a work conflict, the right to time off from work under certain conditions to attend necessary school functions such as family conferences. Letters verifying participation in this program are available from the school office upon request.

Cross Reference:

Board Policy 8:95, Parental Involvement

MSH 12.70

Search and Seizure

In order to maintain order safety and security in the schools, school authorities are authorized to conduct reasonable searches of school property and equipment, as well as of students and their personal effects. “School authorities” includes school liaison police officers.

School Property, Equipment, and Personal Effects Left There by Students

School authorities may inspect and search school property and equipment owned or controlled by the school (such as lockers, desks, and parking lots), as well as personal effects left there by a student, without notice to or the consent of the student. Students have no reasonable expectation of privacy in these places or areas or in their personal effects left there.

The Superintendent may request the assistance of law enforcement officials to conduct inspections and searches of lockers, desks, parking lots, and other school property and equipment for illegal drugs, weapons, or other illegal or dangerous substances or materials, including searches conducted through the use of specially trained dogs.

Students

School authorities may search a student and/or the student’s personal effects in the student’s possession (such as purses, wallets, knapsacks, bookbags, lunch boxes, etc.) when there is a reasonable ground for suspecting that the search will produce evidence the particular student has violated or is violating either the law or the District’s student conduct rules. The search itself must be conducted in a manner that is reasonably related to its objectives and not excessively intrusive in light of the student’s age and sex, and the nature of the infraction.

When feasible, the search should be conducted as follows:

  • Outside the view of others, including students;
  • In the presence of a school administrator or adult witness; and
  • By a certificated employee or liaison police officer of the same sex as the student.

Seizure of Property

If a search produces evidence that the student has violated or is violating either the law or the District’s policies or rules, such evidence may be seized and impounded by school authorities, and disciplinary action may be taken. When appropriate, such evidence may be transferred to law enforcement authorities.

Notification Regarding Student Accounts or Profiles on Social Networking Websites

The Superintendent or designee shall notify students and their parents/guardians of each of the following in accordance with the Right to Privacy in the School Setting Act, 105 ILCS 75/: School officials may not request or require a student or his or her parent/guardian to provide a password or other related account information to gain access to the student’s account or profile on a social networking website. School officials may conduct an investigation or require a student to cooperate in an investigation if there is specific information about activity on the student’s account on a social networking website that violates a school disciplinary rule or policy. In the course of an investigation, the student may be required to share the content that is reported in order to allow school officials to make a factual determination.

Cross Reference:

Board Policy 7:140, Search and Seizure

MSH 8.10

Sex Offender Notification Law

State law prohibits a convicted child sex offender from being present on school property when children under the age of 18 are present, except for in the following circumstances as they relate to the individual’s child(ren):

  1. To attend a conference at the school with school personnel to discuss the progress of their child.
  2. To participate in a conference in which evaluation and placement decisions may be made with respect to their child’s special education services.
  3. To attend conferences to discuss issues concerning their child such as retention or promotion.

In all other cases, convicted child sex offenders are prohibited from being present on school property unless they obtain written permission from the superintendent or school board.

Anytime that a convicted child sex offender is present on school property – including the three reasons above -he/she is responsible for notifying the principal’s office upon arrival on school property and upon departure from school property. It is the responsibility of the convicted child sex offender to remain under the direct supervision of a school official at all times he/she is in the presence or vicinity of children.

A violation of this law is a Class 4 felony.

Cross Reference:

MSH 12.110

Sexual Discrimination

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans With Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination against persons with a disability in any program receiving federal financial assistance. In order to fulfill its obligations under Section 504 and the ADA, the Oak Lawn-Hometown School District 123 has the responsibility to avoid discrimination on the basis of disability with respect to admission or access to, or treatment or employment in district programs and activities. No discrimination against any person with a disability will be permitted in any of the district’s programs or activities or in the practices of the school system.

Oak Lawn-Hometown School District 123 has the responsibility under Section 504 to identify, evaluate, and, if the student is determined to be eligible under Section 504, to provide a free appropriate education, regardless of the nature and severity of the student’s disability. If the parent or guardian disagrees with the determination made by the professional staff of the school district regarding the appropriate educational services for the student, he/she has the right to a hearing with an impartial hearing officer.

If there are questions, please feel free to contact the Director of Special Education, Section 504 Coordinator for the Oak Lawn-Hometown School District 123, at 708-423-0150.

Social-Emotional Learning

A District 123 education focuses on the whole child, and Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) is an important component. SEL, as defined by the not-for-profit Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL), is the process through which children and adults develop essential social and emotional skills, knowledge and attitudes related to the core areas of social and emotional competency:

  • Self-awareness
  • Self-management
  • Social awareness
  • Relationship skills
  • Responsible decision-making

SEL supports and boosts academic achievement and provides the foundation for improved social, health and behavioral outcomes. SEL promotes key competencies through instruction and modeling, as well as through the creation of learning environments where students feel safe, cared for and engaged in learning. District 123’s goal is to create a learning environment where students:

  • Are eager to learn
  • Feel a sense of connectedness to their school and teachers
  • Feel safe from being treated poorly
  • Perform to their fullest potential
  • Treat all others with respect
  • Contribute to the well-being of the community.

Special Education Program

District 123 has a continuum of outstanding programs for children between the ages of 3 and 14 1/2 with special educational needs. Available upon request in each school office is an “Explanation of Procedural Safeguards Available to Parents of Children with Disabilities” developed by the Illinois State Board of Education. This guide is free and interested residents are encouraged to request a copy.

The school district in which the child resides is responsible for making sure that the student receives a “free, appropriate public education” in the “least restrictive environment” (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act). Each local school district is responsible for identifying, locating and evaluating all children with disabilities who reside within their boundaries and who are between the ages of birth and 21 years.

District 123 has specific procedures for actively identifying, locating and evaluating children who might need special education and related services. These procedures describe activities for:

  • identifying, locating and evaluating children with known or suspected disabilities from birth through age 21;
  • ongoing coordination with early intervention programs to identify children from birth through two years of age who have or are suspected of having disabilities, in order to ensure provision of services in accordance with applicable timelines;
  • annual screening of children under age 5 in order to identify those who may need early intervention or special education and related services;
  • hearing and vision screening at regular intervals during the child’s school career and annual hearing and vision screening of all special education students;
  • ongoing review of each child’s performance and progress by teachers and other professional personnel, in order to identify those children who exhibit learning difficulties which interfere with their educational progress and/or their adjustment to the educational setting, suggesting that they may be eligible for special education and related services; and
  • coordination and consultation with non public schools located within the district that results in child find activities comparable to those available in the public schools.

Referrals for a case study evaluation to determine eligibility for special education services may be made by school district personnel, the parents of the child, employees of community service agencies, persons having primary care and custody of the child, other professional persons having knowledge of the child’s problems, an employee of the ISBE or the child. Referrals should be made in writing to the building principal and contain pertinent information regarding the nature of the child’s difficulties.

Within 14 school days after receiving a request for an evaluation the school district shall determine whether an evaluation is warranted. Written notice of the decision will be provided to the parents.

If a student is determined to be eligible for special education services as a result of his/her case study evaluation, District 123 provides special education programs and services to meet the educational needs of children with the following exceptional characteristics:

  • Autism
  • Deaf-Blindness
  • Deafness
  • Emotional Disability
  • Hearing Impairment
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Multiple Disabilities
  • Orthopedic Impairment
  • Other Health Impairment
  • Specific Learning Disability
  • Speech or Language Impairment
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Visual Impairment

The specific extent, nature, and degree of special education services provided to a student are determined by his/her Individualized Education Program (I.E.P.) team.

The majority of these services can be provided within the student’s neighborhood school. However, if the student requires a specialized setting, the student may be provided with services, in a special education classroom in another district school, or a private facility.

Three and four year old children who are identified as needing special education early intervention are serviced through the District’s Early Childhood or Blended Program.

Social work services are also available to assist children with social, emotional, and behavioral concerns. School social workers, through their unique training and practice, provide a variety of professional services which foster students’ physical, social, emotional, and academic growth. They promote and support the educational process by meeting the individual needs of students and families within the community. These services include providing crisis intervention and counseling, strengthening and supporting parent and family involvement, planning and developing school-based interventions with educators, engaging community resources, and assessing the need for special services. School social workers are often involved in helping students and their families with learning, behavior, and/or attendance concerns while strengthening home, school, and community partnerships.

Speech-Language therapy is available to eligible children who reside in the district. Speech-Language pathologists screen early in the school year to detect speech-language concerns which may need intervention. All children, upon initial enrollment in a public school in the state of Illinois, are screened. Other students will be screened by referral. If further diagnostic testing is required, the parent will be notified.

District 123 is dedicated to establishing and maintaining exceptional educational programs for all students.

Special Education Classroom Access

Evaluation or Observation

The parent/guardian of a student receiving special education services, or being evaluated for eligibility, is afforded reasonable access to educational facilities, personnel, classrooms, and buildings. This same right of access is afforded to an independent educational evaluator or a qualified professional retained by or on behalf of a parent or child.

For further information, please contact the building principal.

Cross Reference:

Board Policy 6:120, Education of Children with Disabilities

MSH 10-50

Parent/Teacher Conferences

See Family Conferences

Preschool

Developmental Screenings

District 123 offers free preschool and developmental screenings to help parents identify and address potential developmental delays in children ages 0-5. Parents may make an appointment by calling 708-423-0150. Screenings examine a child’s development in speech/language, vision, hearing, cognitive/pre- academic skills, independence, ne and gross motor skills, and social/emotional/behavioral skills. Preschool and developmental screenings can help determine if certain children need further evaluation for potential special education eligibility within the school district.

The screening process also helps to identify children who may be eligible to participate in the District’s Preschool For All program. The Preschool For All program serves children found to be at-risk for future academic failure as the result of environmental, biological, cultural or socio-economic factors. Program eligibility is determined through a child’s participation in the preschool screening process.

Tuition Preschool

The District 123 tuition preschool program has been in operation since 1985. The program is staffed by teachers certified in Early Childhood Education. Classes meet from September through May; classes follow the regular school calendar.

The D123 tuition preschool program has a parent organization the D123 Preschool Association. The purpose of this organization is to assist with the program’s needs. For information about the program, enrollment, and current tuition rates, please contact District 123 at (708) 423-0150

Blended Early Learning

District 123 operates a state funded Pre-Kindergarten At Risk Initiative to serve 3 to 5 year olds who are identified through Early Childhood Screening to be at risk of academic failure. This initiative is blended with the Early Childhood program. The program provides a daily preschool experience for identified students as well as educational and school involvement opportunities for parents. District 123 has provided this initiative since 1993, as part of a continuum of quality experiences for preschool children.

Standardized Testing

Students and parents/guardians should be aware that the State and District require students to take certain standardized tests, including the following:

  • NWEA/MAP
  • Adaptive assessment used as universal screening instrument (grades K-8) to identify students in need of academic supports. Student growth in reading and math reported longitudinally.
  • PARCC
  • State assessment in reading and math (grades 3-8). Measures student proficiency in meeting the New Illinois Learning Standards (including Common Core State Standards).
  • DLM
  • The Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) is the alternate state assessment system for students with significant cognitive disabilities.
  • ISA
  • State assessment in science (grades 5 and 8). Measures student proficiency in meeting the Next Generation Science Standards.
  • ACCESS
  • Individual and group administered assessment designed to measure academic English language proficiency relative to state learning standards and determining EL students’ continued eligibility for EL support services.
  • AIMSweb
  • Progress monitoring instrument used for students receiving academic support interventions. Periodically throughout the year.
  • DRA2
  • An individually administered assessment designed to identify students’ independent reading levels. Data used to inform classroom instruction.
  • Math Recovery Screener (K-2)
  • An individually administered assessment designed to identify students’ MR levels. Data used to inform classroom instruction.

The dates for all of the Assessments listed above can always be found at: d123.org/assessment

Parents/Guardians are encouraged to cooperate in preparing students for the standardized testing, because the quality of the education the school can provide is partially dependent upon the school’s ability to continue to prove its success in the state’s standardized tests. Parents/Guardians can assist their students achieve their best performance by doing the following:

  1. Encourage students to work hard and study throughout the year;
  2. Ensure students get a good night’s sleep the night before exams;
  3. Ensure students eat well the morning of the exam, particularly ensuring they eat sufficient protein;
  4. Remind and emphasize for students the importance of good performance on standardized testing;
  5. Ensure students are on time and prepared for tests, with appropriate materials;
  6. Teach students the importance of honesty and ethics during the performance of these and other tests;
  7. Encourage students to relax on testing day.

Cross Reference:

Board Policy 6:340, Student Testing and Assessment Programs

MSH 12.20

Strategic Plan

District 123’s stakeholder-driven Strategic Plan was developed in partnership with the community. The Strategic Plan was created to be a touchstone, reflecting the priorities of the District 123 community and providing a set of guidelines and parameters to guide future decision-making. More information about District 123’s Strategic Plan is available at www.d123.org.

Student Absences

There are two types of absences: excused and unexcused. Excused absences include: illness, observance of a religious holiday, death in the immediate family, family emergency, situations beyond the control of the student, circumstances that cause reasonable concern to the parent/guardian for the student’s safety or health, attending a military honors funeral to sound TAPS, or other reason as approved by the building principal.

Additionally, a student will be excused for up to 5 days in cases where the student’s parent/guardian is an active duty member of the uniformed services and has been called to duty for, is on leave from, or has immediately returned from deployment to a combat zone or combat-support postings. The Board of Education, in its discretion, may excuse a student for additional days relative to such leave or deployment. A student and the student’s parent/guardian are responsible for obtaining assignments from the student’s teachers prior to any excused absences and for ensuring that such assignments are completed by the student prior to his or her return to school.

All other absences are considered unexcused. Pre-arranged excused absences must be approved by the building principal.

The school may require documentation explaining the reason for the student’s absence.

In the event of any absence, the student’s parent/guardian is required to call the school before 8:30 a.m. to inform the school for the absence. If a call has not been made to the school by 10:00 a.m. on the day of a student’s absence, a school official will call the home to inquire why the student is not at school. If the parent/guardian cannot be contacted, the student will be required to submit a signed note from the parent/guardian explaining the reason for the absence. Failure to do so shall result in an unexcused absence. Upon request of the parent/guardian, the reason for an absence will be kept confidential.

Cross Reference:

Board Policy 7:70, Attendance and Truancy

MSH 2.20

Student Athlete Concussions and Head Injuries

Student athletes must comply with Illinois’ Youth Sports Concussion Safety Act and all protocols, policies and bylaws of the Illinois High School Association before being allowed to participate in any athletic activity, including practice or competition.

A student who was removed from practice or competition because of a suspected concussion shall be allowed to return only after all statutory prerequisites are completed, including without limitation, the School District’s return-to-play and return-to-learn protocols.

Cross Reference:

Board Policy 7:305, Student Athlete Concussions and Head Injuries

MSH 9.30

Student Privacy

The District has adopted and uses several policies and procedures regarding student privacy, parental access to information and administration of certain physical examinations to students. Copies of these policies are available upon request.

Cross Reference:
Board Policy  6:170, Title I Programs

Board Policy  6:170-AP2, Notice to Parents Required by ESSA, McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, and Protection of Pupil Rights Act

Board Policy 7:15

MSH 12.105

Student Privacy Protections

Surveys by Third Parties

Before a school official or staff member administers or distributes a survey or evaluation created by a third party to a student, the student’s parent/guardian may inspect the survey or evaluation, upon their request and within a reasonable time of their request. This applies to every survey: (1) that is created by a person or entity other than a district official, staff member, or student, (2) regardless of whether the student answering the questions can be identified, and (3) regardless of the subject matter of the questions.

Parents who object to disclosure of information concerning their child to a third party may do so in writing to the building principal.

Surveys Requesting Personal Information

School officials and staff members will not request, nor disclose, the identity of any student who completes any survey or evaluation (created by any person or entity, including the school or district) containing one or more of the following items:

  1. Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or the student’s parent/guardian.
  2. Mental or psychological problems of the student or the student’s family.
  3. Behavior or attitudes about sex.
  4. Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior.
  5. Critical appraisals of other individuals with whom students have close family relationships.
  6. Legally recognized privileged or analogous relationships, such as those with lawyers, physicians, and ministers.
  7. Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or the student’s parent/guardian.
  8. Income other than that required by law to determine program eligibility for participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under such program.

The student’s parent/guardian may: (1) inspect the survey or evaluation upon, and within a reasonable time of, their request, and/or (2) refuse to allow their child to participate in the survey. The school will not penalize any student whose parent/guardian exercised this option.

Instructional Material

A student’s parent/guardian may inspect, upon their request, any instructional material used as part of their child’s educational curriculum within a reasonable time of their request. No school official or staff member may market or sell personal information concerning students (or otherwise provide that information to others for that purpose). The term personal information means individually identifiable information including: (1) a student or parent’s first and last name, (2) a home or other physical address (including street name and the name of the city or town), (3) a telephone number, (4) a Social Security identification number or (5) driver’s license number or State identification card.

The above paragraph does not apply: (1) if the student’s parent/guardian have consented; or (2) to the collection, disclosure or, use of personal information collected from students for the exclusive purpose of developing, evaluating or providing educational products or services for, or to, students or educational institutions.

Cross Reference:

Board Policy 7:15, Student and Family Privacy Rights

MSH 11.10

Student Use of Electronic Devices

The use of electronic devices and other technology at school is a privilege, not a right. Students are prohibited from using electronic devices, except as provided herein. An electronic device includes, but is not limited to, the following: cell phone, smart phone, audio or video recording device, personal digital assistant (PDA), iPod©, iPad©, laptop computer, tablet computer or other similar electronic device. Pocket pagers and other paging devices are not allowed on school property at any time, except with the express permission of the building principal.

During instructional time, which includes class periods and passing periods, electronic devices must be kept powered-off and out-of-sight unless: (a) permission is granted by an administrator, teacher or school staff member; (b) use of the device is provided in a student’s individualized education program (IEP); or (c) it is needed in an emergency that threatens the safety of students, staff, or other individuals.

Electronic devices may never be used in any manner that disrupts the educational environment, violates student conduct rules or violates the rights of others. This includes, but is not limited to, the following: (1) using the device to take photographs in locker rooms or bathrooms; (2) cheating; and (3) creating, sending, sharing, viewing, receiving, or possessing an indecent visual depiction or non-consensual dissemination of private sexual images (i.e., sexting).

The school and school district are not responsible for the loss, theft or damage to any electronic device brought to school.

Students in violation of this procedure are subject to the following consequences:

  1. First offense – The device will be confiscated by school personnel. A verbal warning will be assigned. The student will receive the device back at the end of the day in the school office.
  2. Second offense – The device will be confiscated. A detention will be assigned. The student’s parent/guardian will be notified and required to pick up the device in the school office.
  3. Third offense – The device will be confiscated. A detention will be assigned. The student’s parent/guardian will be notified and required to pick up the device in the school. Additionally, the student will be prohibited from bringing the device to school for the next 10 school days. If the student is found in possession of the device during this 10.day period, the student will be prohibited from bringing the device to school for the remainder of the school year. The student will also face consequences for insubordination.
  4. Fourth and subsequent offense – The device will be confiscated. The student will be assigned a detention and will be prohibited from bringing the device to school for the remainder of the school year. The student’s parent/guardian will be notified and required to pick up the device in the school office. The student will also face consequences for insubordination.

School officials may conduct an investigation or require a student to cooperate in an investigation if there is specific information about activity on the student’s account on a social networking website that violates a school disciplinary rule or policy. In the course of an investigation, the student may be required to share the content that is reported in order to allow school officials to make a factual determination.

Cross Reference:

MSH 6.80

Student Behavior

Standards for Student Behavior

Students are expected and required to behave in an orderly and appropriate manner with due regard and respect for the rights of others, the rules and regulations of the School District, the directives of school personnel and all existing laws. Students will be subject to appropriate disciplinary measures for unlawful or improper conduct and, upon demonstration of gross disobedience or misconduct, may be suspended and/or expelled from school in accordance with the provisions of The Illinois School Code, School District 123 rules and regulations, and other applicable laws.

It is expected that students, parents and the school will assume the necessary responsibilities to ensure a healthy and safe learning environment.

The student must:

  • Become familiar with and obey school rules. Respect the rights of others and be responsible for one’s own actions. Attain the best possible level of academic achievement.

The parent must:

  • Become familiar with and discuss with their child/children the importance of following school rules.
  • Recognize that in matters relating to the discipline and conduct of all students, the teacher and school administration act in place of the parent/ guardian of the child.
  • Cooperate with the school in carrying out disciplinary actions taken in the best interest of their child.
  • Stress the importance of students accepting the responsibility to complete all academic requirements.

The school must:

  • State and enforce rules consistently and deal with misconduct quickly, firmly and impartially.
  • Be sensitive to the behavior of students and alert to changes that require additional assistance.

Minor Disciplinary Infractions

Minor disciplinary infractions include, but are not limited to:

  1. Candy/gum chewing
  2. Disobeying bicycle rules
  3. Disobeying general classroom/lunchroom/playground/bus rules
  4. Disruptive or disorderly conduct in halls, classrooms, lunchroom, playground or other public places
  5. Excessive missing assignments
  6. Inappropriate dress
  7. Inappropriate language/gestures
  8. Minor damage to another student’s or school property
  9. Tardiness/excessive absences

Major Disciplinary Infractions

Major disciplinary infractions include, but are not limited to:

  1. Excessive violation of minor infractions
  2. Bus conduct
  3. Cheating or lying
  4. Disrespect for authority figures
  5. Extortion
  6. Fighting
  7. Forgery
  8. Gang Activity
  9. Discrimination, Harassment/Intimidation
  10. Harassment – Sexual, Verbal, Physical, Threats
  11. Leaving school grounds without permission
  12. Engaging in conduct which is prohibited by the District’s computer use/Internet safety policy and/or procedures
  13. Possession of items such as pagers, beepers, laser pointers, lighters, fireworks and matches or any other items which interfere with the educational process
  14. Possession of tobacco, e-cigarettes and/or pipes, controlled substances, cannabis, “look-alike” substances, and/or alcohol and all related paraphernalia
  15. Theft or vandalism
  16. Truancy
  17. Possession or use of weapons or Ammunition
  18. Misuse of cell phones, including violation of permission guidelines.

Disciplinary Interventions

Disciplinary interventions may include but are not limited to the following:

  • Teacher-Student Conference
    Private talk regarding student’s inappropriate behavior.
  • Principal-Student Conference
    Private talk regarding student’s inappropriate behavior.
  • Parent Notification
    The parent/guardian is notified by telephone. A conference may be held if needed.
  • Conflict Mediation & Peer Mediation

Disciplinary Actions

Disciplinary actions may include but are not limited to the following:

  • Removal of the Student from the Classroom
  • A student may be removed from the classroom for behavior that is so disruptive as to interfere with classroom order, the conduct of lessons, or the participation of fellow students in the learning process.
  • Loss of Privileges
  • Removal from the lunchroom, assemblies, dances, field trips, bus, etc.
  • Detention
  • Time served by student after school at the school’s request.
  • Parent Involvement
  • A formal conference is held among the Principal, teacher, parent and school social worker to discuss the student’s behavior. A written record of this meeting will be kept.
  • Internal Suspension
  • Following a conference between the teacher and Principal, the student is removed from class(es) and kept in a supervised area with no activity permitted other than lunch and washroom breaks. Parents will be notified.

Suspension (Up to 3 days)

The Superintendent, Building Principals, and Assistant Building Principals are authorized to suspend a student guilty of gross disobedience or misconduct from school and all school functions for a period of up to and including three (3) school days. In addition to or in place of a suspension from school, a student may be restricted from participation in extracurricular activities, athletics, and other school activities and/or events. Gross disobedience or misconduct includes any behavior listed in Board policy 7:190. Out-of-school suspensions of 3 days or less may be used only if the student’s continuing presence in school would pose a threat to school safety or a disruption to other students’ learning opportunities. A “threat to school safety or a disruption to other students’ learning opportunities” shall be determined on a case-by-case basis by the Administrator suspending the student. If a student is suspended, the Administrator shall, in the written suspension decision, detail the specific act of gross disobedience or misconduct resulting in the decision to suspend. The suspension decision shall also include a rationale as to the specific duration of the suspension. Procedures and provisions for due process for students may be found in Board policy 7:200 and on page 16.

When a student is suspended, the student is excluded from school and/or related activities. Parents, administration and board members are notified of the action taken. Students are responsible for all work missed and shall have the opportunity to make up work for equivalent academic credit. The suspending Administrator shall facilitate the re-engagement of a student who is suspended from school.

The Superintendent of Schools is authorized to review, modify or rescind a suspension prior to an appeal to the Board of Education.

Suspension (More than 3 Days)

The Superintendent, Building Principals, and Assistant Building Principals are authorized to suspend a student guilty of gross disobedience or misconduct from school and all school functions for a period of up to and including ten (10) school days.

The following provisions shall apply in addition to those suspension procedures outlined above in the preceding section.

An out-of-school suspension of longer than three (3) days (but not exceeding ten (10) days) may be used only if other appropriate and available behavioral and disciplinary interventions have been exhausted and the student’s continuing presence in school would either (i) pose a threat to the safety of other students, staff, or members of the school community or (ii) substantially disrupt, impede, or interfere with the operation of the school. A “threat to the safety of other students, staff, or members of the school community” and “substantially disrupt, impede, or interfere with the operation of the school” shall be determined on a case-by-case basis by school officials. The determination of whether “appropriate and available behavioral and disciplinary interventions have been exhausted” shall be made by the suspending Administrator. The Administrator shall make all reasonable efforts to resolve such threats, address such disruptions, and minimize the length of student exclusions to the greatest extent practicable. Within the suspension decision, the Administrator shall document whether other interventions were attempted or whether it was determined that there were no other appropriate and available interventions.

A student who is suspended out-of-school for longer than 4 school days shall be provided appropriate and available support services during the period of their suspension. “Appropriate and available support services” shall be determined by the school. Within the suspension decision described, it shall be documented whether such services are to be provided or whether it was determined that there are no such appropriate and available services.

Expulsion

The School Board is authorized to expel a student guilty of gross disobedience or misconduct from school for up to two calendar years. Gross disobedience or misconduct includes any behavior listed in Board policy 7:190, subject to the following paragraph. In the event that expulsion is considered by the School Board, the student’s parents/guardian will be notified. Procedures and provisions for due process for students may be found in Board policy 7:210.

An expulsion shall be recommended by the Administration and approved by the Board only if other appropriate and available behavioral and disciplinary interventions have been exhausted and the student’s continuing presence in school would either (i) pose a threat to the safety of other students, staff, or members of the school community or (ii) substantially disrupt, impede, or interfere with the operation of the school. A “threat to the safety of other students, staff, or members of the school community” and “substantially disrupt, impede, or interfere with the operation of the school” shall be determined on a case-by-case basis by school officials. The determination of whether “appropriate and available behavioral and disciplinary interventions have been exhausted” shall be made by school officials. The Administrator shall make all reasonable efforts to resolve such threats, address such disruptions, and minimize the length of student exclusions to the greatest extent practicable. Within the expulsion decision, it shall be documented whether other interventions were attempted or whether it was determined that there were no other appropriate and available interventions.

  • The School District may refer a student who is expelled to appropriate and available support services.
  • The School District shall facilitate the re-engagement of a student who is expelled.
  • The Superintendent of Schools is authorized to modify a recommendation for expulsion prior to consideration by the Board of Education.

Corporal Punishment – General Statement
The use of corporal punishment is prohibited in District 123 Schools. Corporal punishment is defined as slapping, paddling, or prolonged maintenance of students in physically painful positions, or intentional infliction of bodily harm. Teachers and other district employees may use reasonable force, as needed, to maintain safety for themselves and others or as deemed necessary to protect against property damage.

School Board Policies

Discipline – Detention
After-school detention may be used with a student as a corrective disciplinary measure, provided that the student’s parents/guardians have been notified by the Building Principal or classroom teacher.

Students who are detained after school shall be supervised by the Building Principal’s designee. Generally, detention for any given day will not extend beyond 4:30 p.m. Students shall spend the hour as prescribed by the building principal. Telephonic notice of the student’s detention shall be given to the parents/guardian within twenty-four (24) hours of the day the detention is to be served. Parents/guardians may be required to provide transportation home for the student or indicate in writing that the student may walk.

In the case of all students who are assigned after-school detention, if the arrangements cannot be agreed upon then an alternate disciplinary measure shall be substituted.

Discipline – Removal from Classroom

Teachers shall maintain discipline in the schools. In all matters relating to the discipline in and the conduct of the school and the school children, they stand in the relationship of parents and guardians to the student. This relationship shall extend to all activities conducted with the school program and may be exercised at any time for the safety and supervision of the students in the absence of their parents/guardians.

Standards and procedures which provide for the removal of a student by a teacher from the classroom for disruptive behavior and which provide due process to students shall be established and maintained by the School Board. Disruptive behavior is defined as behavior that is so disruptive as to interfere with classroom order, the conduct of lessons or the participation of fellow students in the learning process.

The standards and procedures shall ensure the following:

  1. the expectations of the teacher for student behavior are fair, reasonable, and within the District’s guidelines;
  2. the student knows the consequences of violation of the teachers expectations for student behavior;
  3. disruptive behavior by the student shall lead to the removal of the student from the classroom;
  4. continued disruptive behavior by the student shall cause the involvement of parents/guardians, and/or additional appropriate staff, as well as the teacher and student, in the development of a remedial plan;
  5. upon violation of the remedial plan, the Administration should be advised and recommendations for suspension procedures shall be made;
  6. appropriate personnel shall listen to the student should the student be removed from the classroom.

Cross Reference:

520.25; 715.01; 715.02; 715.05 Illinois School Records Act

Legal Reference

105 ILCS 5/24-24

 

School Board Policy – 7:200

Discipline – Suspension Procedures

In-School Suspension

The Superintendent or designee is authorized to maintain an in-school suspension program. The program shall include, at a minimum, each of the following:

  1. Before assigning a student to in-school suspension, the charges will be explained and the student will be given an opportunity to respond to the charges.
  2. Students are supervised by licensed school personnel.
  3. Students are given the opportunity to complete classroom work during the in-school suspension for equivalent academic credit.

Out-of-School Suspension

The Superintendent or designee shall implement suspension procedures that provide, at a minimum, for each of the following:

  1. A conference during which the charges will be explained and the student will be given an opportunity to respond to the charges before he or she may be suspended.
  2. A pre-suspension conference is not required, and the student can be immediately suspended when the student’s presence poses a continuing danger to persons or property or an ongoing threat of disruption to the educational process. In such cases, the notice and conference shall follow as soon as practicable.
  3. An attempted phone call to the student’s parent(s)/guardian(s).
  4. A written notice of the suspension to the parent(s)/guardian(s) and the student, which shall
  1. Provide notice to the parent(s)/guardian(s) of their child’s right to a review of the suspension;
  2. Include information about an opportunity to make up work missed during the suspension for equivalent academic credit;
  3. Detail the specific act of gross disobedience or misconduct resulting in the decision to suspend;
  4. Provide rationale or an explanation of how the chosen number of suspension days will address the threat or disruption posed by the student or his or her act of gross disobedience or misconduct; and
  5. Depending upon the length of the out-of-school suspension, include the following applicable information:
  1. For a suspension of 3 school days or less, an explanation that the student’s continuing presence in school would either pose.
  1. A threat to school safety, or
  2. A disruption to other students’ learning opportunities.
  1. For a suspension of 4 or more school days, an explanation:
  1. That other appropriate and available behavioral and disciplinary interventions have been exhausted,
  2. As to whether school officials attempted other interventions or determined that no other interventions were available for the student, and
  3. That the student’s continuing presence in school would either:
  1. Pose a threat to the safety of other students, staff, or members of the school community, or
  2. Substantially disrupt, impede, or interfere with the operation of the school.
  1. For a suspension of 5 or more school days, the information listed in section 4.e.ii., above, along with documentation by the Superintendent or designee determining what, if any, appropriate and available support services will be provided to the student during the length of his or her suspension.
  1. A summary of the notice, including the reason for the suspension and the suspension length, must be given to the Board by the Superintendent or designee.
  2. Upon request of the parent(s)/guardian(s), a review of the suspension shall be conducted by the Board or a hearing officer appointed by the Board. At the review, the student’s parent(s)/guardian(s) may appear and discuss the suspension with the Board or its hearing officer and may be represented by counsel. Whenever there is evidence that mental illness may be the cause for the suspension, the Superintendent or designee shall invite a representative from the Department of Human Services to consult with the Board. After presentation of the evidence or receipt of the hearing officer’s report, the Board shall take such action as it finds appropriate. If the suspension is upheld, the Board’s written suspension decision shall specifically detail items (a) and (e) in number 4, above.

Cross Reference:

10.08; 710.13; 715.05; 715.06 Illinois School Records Act

Legal Reference

Goss v. Lopez, 419 U.S. 565 (1975) 105 ILCS 5/10-22.6

School Board Policy – 7:210

Discipline – Expulsion Procedures

The School Board is authorized to expel students guilty of gross disobedience or misconduct for up to two (2) calendar years as determined by the School Board. Expulsion procedures will include the following:

  1. Before a student may be expelled, the student and his or her parent(s)/guardian(s) shall be provided a written request to appear at a hearing to determine whether the student should be expelled. The request shall be sent by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested. The request shall:
  1. Include the time, date, and place for the hearing.
  2. Briefly describe what will happen during the hearing.
  3. Detail the specific act of gross disobedience or misconduct resulting in the decision to recommend expulsion.
  4. List the student’s prior suspension(s).
  5. State that the School Code allows the School Board to expel a student for a definite period of time not to exceed 2 calendar years, as determined on a case-by-case basis.
  6. Ask that the student or parent(s)/guardian(s) or attorney inform the Superintendent or Board Attorney if the student will be represented by an attorney and, if so, the attorney’s name and contact information.
  1. Unless the student and parent(s)/guardian(s) indicate that they do not want a hearing or fail to appear at the designated time and place, the hearing will proceed. It shall be conducted by the Board or a hearing officer appointed by it. If a hearing officer is appointed, he or she shall report to the Board the evidence presented at the hearing and the Board shall take such final action as it finds appropriate. Whenever there is evidence that mental illness may be the cause for the recommended expulsion, the Superintendent or designee shall invite a representative from the Dept. of Human Services to consult with the Board.
  2. During the expulsion hearing, the Board or hearing officer shall hear evidence concerning whether the student is guilty of the gross disobedience or misconduct as charged. School officials must provide: (1) testimony of any other interventions attempted and exhausted or of their determination that no other appropriate and available interventions were available for the student, and (2) evidence of the threat or disruption posed by the student. The student and his or her parent(s)/guardian(s) may be represented by counsel, offer evidence, present witnesses, cross-examine witnesses who testified, and otherwise present reasons why the student should not be expelled. After presentation of the evidence or receipt of the hearing officer’s report, the Board shall decide the issue of guilt and take such action as it finds appropriate.
  3. If the Board acts to expel the student, its written expulsion decision shall:
  1. Detail the specific reason why removing the student from his or her learning environment is in the best interest of the school.
  2. Provide a rationale for the specific duration of the recommended expulsion.
  3. Document how school officials determined that all behavioral and disciplinary interventions have been exhausted by specifying which interventions were attempted or whether school officials determined that no other appropriate and available interventions existed for the student.
  4. Document how the student’s continuing presence in school would (1) pose a threat to the safety of other students, staff, or members of the school community, or (2) substantially disrupt, impede, or interfere with the operation of the school.
  1. Upon expulsion, the District may refer the student to appropriate and available support services.

Cross Reference:

Board Policy 7:130 Student Rights and Responsibilities

Board Policy 7:190 Student Discipline

Board Policy 7:200 Suspension Procedures

Board Policy 7:230 Misconduct by Students with Disabilities

MSH 6.30

Legal Reference:

105 ILCS 5/10-22.6(a) Goss v. Lopez, 95 S.Ct. 729 (1975)

Student Medication

Taking medication during school hours or during school-related activities is prohibited unless it is necessary for a student’s health and well-being. When a student’s licensed health care provider and parent/guardian believe that it is necessary for the student to take a medication during school hours or school-related activities, the parent/guardian must request that the school dispense the medication to the child by completing a “School Medication Authorization Form.”

No school or district employee is allowed to administer to any student, or supervise a student’s self-administration of, any prescription or non-prescription medication until a completed and signed School Medication Authorization Form is submitted by the student’s parent/guardian. No student is allowed to possess or consume any prescription or non-prescription medication on school grounds or at a school-related function other than as provided for in this procedure.

Cross References

Board Policy 7:270, Administering Medicines to Students

Self-Administration of Medication

A student may possess an epinephrine auto-injector (EpiPen®) and/or an asthma inhaler prescribed for use at the student’s discretion, provided the student’s parent/guardian has completed and signed a School Medication Authorization Form. The school and district shall incur no liability, except for willful and wanton conduct, as a result of any injury arising from a student’s self-administration of medication or epinephrine auto-injector or the storage of any medication by school personnel. A student’s parent/guardian must agree to indemnify and hold harmless the school district and its employees and agents, against any claims, except a claim based on willful and wanton conduct, arising out of a student’s self-administration of an epinephrine auto-injector and/or asthma inhaler, or the storage of any medication by school personnel.

Students who are diabetic may also self-carry and self-administer diabetic testing supplies and insulin. Students who are diabetic must also have a Diabetes Care Plan on file with the school.

Schools that maintain undesignated epinephrine auto-injectors or opioid antagonists must have parents complete the relevant portion of MSH 5.20-E1 (School Medication Authorization Form) or opt out of allowing school officials to administer an undesignated epinephrine auto-injector or opioid antagonist to their child.

Cross Reference:

Board Policy 7:270, Administering Medicines to Students

MSH 5.20

Student Records

A school student record is any writing or other recorded information concerning a student and by which a student may be identified individually that is maintained by a school or at its direction or by a school employee, regardless of how or where the information is stored, except for certain records kept in a staff member’s sole possession; records maintained by law enforcement officers working in the school; video and other electronic recordings (including electronic recordings made on school busses) that are created in part for law enforcement, security, or safety reasons or purposes, though such electronic recordings may become a student record if the content is used for disciplinary or special education purposes regarding a particular student.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Illinois Student Records Act afford parents/guardians and students over 18 years of age (“eligible students”) certain rights with respect to the student’s school records. They are:

  1. The right to inspect and copy the student’s education records within 10 business days of the day the District receives a request for access.
  1. The degree of access a student has to his or her records depends on the student’s age. Students less than 18 years of age have the right to inspect and copy only their permanent record. Students 18 years of age or older have access and copy rights to both permanent and temporary records. A parent/guardian or student should submit to the building principal a written request that identifies the record(s) he or she wishes to inspect. Within 10 business days, the building principal will make arrangements for access and notify the parent/guardian or student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. In certain circumstances, the District may request an additional 5 business days in which to grant access. The District charges $.35 per page for copying but no one will be denied their right to copies of their records for inability to pay this cost.
  2. These rights are denied to any person against whom an order of protection has been entered concerning the student.
  1. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the parent/ guardian or eligible student believes are inaccurate, irrelevant, or improper.
  1. A parent/guardian or eligible student may ask the District to amend a record that is believed to be inaccurate, irrelevant, or improper. Requests should be sent to the building principal and should clearly identify the record the parent/guardian or eligible student wants changed and the specific reason a change is being sought.
  2. If the District decides not to amend the record, the District will notify the parent/guardian or eligible student of the decision and advise him or her of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the parent/guardian or eligible student when notified of the right to a hearing.
  1. The right to permit disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that the FERPA or Illinois School Student Records Act authorizes disclosure without consent.
  1. Disclosure without consent is permitted to school officials with legitimate educational or administrative interests. A school official is a person employed by the District as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel); a person serving on the School Board; a person or company with whom the District has contracted to perform a special task (such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist); or any parent/guardian or student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
  2. Upon request, the District discloses education records without consent to officials of another school district in which a student has enrolled or intends to enroll, as well as to any person as specifically required by State or federal law. Before information is released to these individuals, the parents/guardians or eligible student will receive prior written notice of the nature and substance of the information, and an opportunity to inspect, copy, and challenge such records.
  3. Academic grades and references to expulsions or out-of-school suspensions cannot be challenged at the time a student’s records are being forwarded to another school to which the student is transferring.
  4. Disclosure is also permitted without consent to: any person for research, statistical reporting or planning, provided that no student or parent/guardian can be identified; any person named in a court order; appropriate persons if the knowledge of such information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other persons; and juvenile authorities when necessary for the discharge of their official duties who request information before adjudication of the student.
  1. The right to a copy of any school student record proposed to be destroyed or deleted.
  1. The permanent record is maintained for at least 60 years after the student transfers, graduates, or permanently withdraws. The temporary record is maintained for at least 5 years after the student transfers, graduates, or permanently withdraws. Temporary records that may be of assistance to a student with a disability who graduates or permanently withdraws, may, after 5 years, be transferred to the parent/guardian or to the student, if the student has succeeded to the rights of the parent/guardian. Student temporary records are reviewed every 4 years or upon a student’s change in attendance centers, whichever occurs first.
  1. The right to prohibit the release of directory information.
  1. Throughout the school year, the District may release directory information regarding students, limited to:
  1. Name
  2. Address
  3. Grade level
  4. Birth date and place
  5. Parent/guardian names, addresses, electronic mail addresses, and telephone numbers
  6. Photographs, videos, or digital images used for informational or news-related purposes (whether by a media outlet or by the school) of a student participating in school or school-sponsored activities, organizations, and athletics that have appeared in school publications, such as yearbooks, newspapers, or sporting or fine arts programs
  7. Academic awards, degrees, and honors
  8. Information in relation to school-sponsored activities, organizations, and athletics
  9. Major field of study
  10. Period of attendance in school
  1. Any parent/guardian or eligible student may prohibit the release of any or all of the above information by delivering a written objection to the building principal within 30 days of the date of this notice.
  1. The right contained in this statement: No person may condition the granting or withholding of any right, privilege or benefits or make as a condition of employment, credit, or insurance the securing by any individual of any information from a student’s temporary record which such individual may obtain through the exercise of any right secured under State law.
  2. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the District to comply with the requirements of FERPA.

The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:

Family Policy Compliance Office

U.S. Department of Education 400 Maryland Avenue, SW Washington DC 20202-4605

Cross Reference:

Board Policy 7:340, Student Records

MSH 11.20

Student Rights and Responsibilities

All students are entitled to enjoy the rights protected by the U.S. and Illinois Constitutions and laws for persons of their age and maturity in a school setting. Students should exercise these rights reasonably and avoid violating the rights of others. Students who violate the rights of others or violate District policies or rules will be subject to disciplinary measures.

Students may, during the school day, during non instructional time, voluntarily engage in individually or collectively initiated, non-disruptive prayer or religious-based meetings that, consistent with the Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses of the U.S. and Illinois Constitutions, are not sponsored, promoted, or endorsed in any manner by the school or any school employee. Non-instructional time means time set aside by a school before actual classroom instruction begins or after actual classroom instruction ends.

Cross Reference:

Board Policy 4:170, Safety

Board Policy 7:130, Student Rights and Responsibilities

MSH 12.120

Student Promotion

The Superintendent shall establish a system of grading and reporting academic achievement to students and their parents/guardians. The system shall also determine when promotion requirements are met. The decision to promote a student to the next grade level shall be based on successful completion of the curriculum, attendance, and performance on the Illinois Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and/or other assessments. Other factors to be taken into consideration are the child’s history, the child’s age, the child’s maturity level, and the child’s ability measure. In accordance with the Board of Education policy, the building principal is the final authority in student placement. For those students with Individualized Education Plans, placement and program will be determined at the student’s annual review conference. A student shall not be promoted based upon age or any other social reason not related to academic performance. The administration shall determine remedial assistance for a student who is not promoted.

Every teacher shall maintain an evaluation record for each student in the teacher’s classroom. Should a grade change be made, the administrator making the change must sign the changed record. Reasons for changing a student’s final grade include:

  • A miscalculation of test scores
  • A technical error in assigning a particular grade or score
  • The teacher agrees to allow the student to do extra work that may impact the grade
  • An inappropriate grading system used to determine the grade or
  • An inappropriate grade based on an appropriate grading system.
  • Should a grade change be made, the administrator making the change must sign the changed record.

Cross Reference:

Board Policy 6:280, Grading and Promotion

Student Social Networking Passwords & Websites

School officials may conduct an investigation or require a student to cooperate in an investigation if there is specific information about activity on the student’s account on a social networking website that violates a school disciplinary rule or policy. In the course of an investigation, the student may be required to share the content that is reported in order to allow school officials to make a factual determination.

Cross Reference:

Board Policy 7:140, Search and Seizure

MSH 6.70

Suicide and Depression Awareness and Prevention

Youth suicide impacts the safety of the school environment. It also affects the school community, diminishing the ability of surviving students to learn and the school’s ability to educate. Suicide and depression awareness and prevention are important goals of the school district.

 

The school district maintains student and parent resources on suicide and depression awareness and prevention. Much of this information, including a copy of school district’s policy, is posted on the school district website. Information can also be obtained from the school office.

Cross Reference:

Board Policy 7:290, Suicide and Depression Awareness and Prevention

MSH 1.140

Summer Programming

District 123 offers summer programming for students in grades PreK – 8. This program is available to any public, private, or parochial student. The programs are designed to offer enrichment opportunities, explore interest-based content, and provide ongoing academic supports. For information, please visit d123.org/summer.

Teacher Qualifications

Parents/guardians may request information about the qualifications of their student’s teachers and paraprofessionals, including:

  • Whether the teacher has met State qualification and licensing criteria for the grade levels and subject areas in which the teacher provides instruction;
  • Whether the teacher is teaching under an emergency or other provisional status through which State qualification and licensing criteria have been waived;
  • Whether the teacher is teaching in a field of discipline of the teacher’s certification;
  • Whether any instructional aides or paraprofessionals provide services to your student and, if so, their qualifications.

If you would like to receive any of this information, please contact the building principal with your request.

Cross Reference:

Board Policy 5:190, Teacher Qualifications

MSH 12.10

Technology

Technology plays a critical role in the learning process for our students. District 123 believes not in the teaching of specific technology skills for the sake of exclusively acquiring technology proficiency, but rather, we believe that technology can serve as a vital conduit to help students learn how to learn. In doing so, gain an understanding of foundational learning skills and content knowledge.

District 123 provides each student in preschool through eighth grade with a device during the school day. Students in grades five through eight will also have the opportunity to take the device home with them each evening. Ensuring that each child has access to the materials outside of the school day is an important part of the D123 learning experience. D123 teachers receive a variety of professional development that helps build the necessary pedagogy in order to effectively utilize technology to create powerful learning experiences both in and outside the classroom for our students.

All the technology integrated as part of our instructional program does not supplant the core foundational learning skills already being addressed through our curriculum, but rather, allows students to learn both the foundational and technological skills necessary to succeed in the 21st century.

Title IX

In order to comply with the mandates of the law in reference to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 the Board of Education has adopted the following policy:

“No person shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance in District 123.”

District 123 affirms non-discrimination on the basis of sex in order to comply with the provisions of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 to ensure that discrimination on the basis of sex not take place in any education program or activity except where necessary to accomplish a specific purpose that does not impinge upon essential equality or fundamental fairness in the treatment of students or employees of this school district. This policy applies to the following:

  1. employment practices;
  2. access to programs, activities, services and benefits;
  3. bestowing awards, honors, scholarships, and financial aid;
  4. marital and parental status;
  5. pregnancy and programs for pregnant students or students who are parents;
  6. sexual intimidation and harassment;
  7. discipline policies and practices;
  8. codes of conduct;
  9. provision of employment opportunities;
  10. cooperative agreements with employers who discriminate against students on the basis of sex;
  11. membership in cooperatives, conferences, and organizations which discriminate on the basis of sex, course content, presentation, and availability;
  12. classroom practices, teaching methods, and instructional materials;
  13. extracurricular programs and after school activities; and
  14. physical education and athletics.

Students and parents shall be notified annually of their right to initiate a grievance or complaint of illegal discrimination and of the person to whom such complaints shall be directed.

Anyone wishing to present an allegation of sex discrimination shall contact the District Coordinator of Non-discrimination.

All complaints must be presented within thirty (30) calendar days of the occurrence of the first event giving rise to the complaint. Within ten (10) working days of receipt of the complaint, the administrator will respond in writing to the complaint and will forward copies of the decision to both the complainant, and the District Superintendent.

For more information regarding the District’s policy on sex equity, harassment, sex discrimination and related grievance procedures, please review

Cross Reference:

Board Policy 5:10, Equal Employment Opportunity and Minority Recruitment

Board Policy 5:20, Workplace Harassment Prohibited

Board Policy 7:10, Equal Educational Opportunities

Transfers

Children transferring to District 123 must present evidence of their grade placement. Children transferring from District 123, or from one school to another within the district, should notify the office not less than two days before the final day of attendance. The new home address and the address of the new school should be supplied. For transfers within District 123 boundaries, proof of residency procedures apply.

Transitional Bilingual Education

TBE is a program model that is defined by the state of Illinois as required for groups of 20 or more children from the same language group who have been identified as needing second language services based upon their scores on the state language proficiency test. Students receive native language support while acquiring English. The goal of this model is to help children acquire the English skills required to succeed in an English-only program.

Treats & Snacks

Due to health concerns and scheduling, treats and snacks for any occasion must be arranged in advance with the classroom teacher. Please also refer to the D123 Wellness Policy listed within this handbook.

Cross Reference:

MSH 1.85

Truancy

Student attendance is critical to the learning process. Truancy is therefore a serious issue and will be dealt with in a serious manner by the school and district.

Students who miss 5% or more of the prior 180 regular school days without valid cause (a recognized excuse) are considered chronic truants. Students who are chronic truants will be offered support services and resources aimed at correcting the truancy issue.

If chronic truancy persists after support services and other resources are made available, the school and district will take further action, including:

  • Referral to the truancy officer
  • Reporting to officials under the Juvenile Court Act
  • Referral to the State’s Attorney
  • Appropriate school discipline

A parent or guardian who knowingly and willfully permits a child to be truant is in violation of State law.

Cross Reference:

Board Policy 7:70, Attendance and Truancy

MSH 2.50

Unsafe School Choice Option

The unsafe school choice option allows students to transfer to another District school or to a public charter school within the District. The unsafe school choice option is available to: (1) All students attending a persistently dangerous school, as defined by State law and identified by the Illinois State Board of Education; and (2) Any student who is a victim of a violent criminal offense that occurred on school grounds during regular school hours or during a school-sponsored event.

Cross Reference:

Board Policy 4:170, Safety

MSH 12.100

Video & Audio Monitoring Systems

A video and/or audio monitoring system may be in use on school busses and a video monitoring system may be in use in public areas of the school building. These systems have been put in place to protect students, staff, visitors and school property. If a discipline problem is captured on audiotape or videotape, these recordings may be used as the basis for imposing student discipline. If criminal actions are recorded, a copy of the tape may be provided to law enforcement personnel.

Cross Reference:

Board Policy 4:110, Transportation

MSH 1.100

Violent Offender & Sex Offender Community Notification Laws

State law requires that all school districts provide parents/guardians with information about sex offenders and violent offenders against youth.

  • You may find the Illinois Sex Offender Registry on the Illinois State Police’s website at: isp.state.il.us/sor/.
  • You may find the Illinois Statewide Child Murderer and Violent Offender Against Youth Registry on the Illinois State Police’s website at: isp.state.il.us/cmvo/.

Cross Reference:

Board Policy 4:170

MSH 12.120

Visitors

We welcome all adults interested in observing our educational program. However, all schools are electronically monitored for our students’ safety and security. We would appreciate having the following rules observed at all times in order to ensure a safe environment for our students and staff.

  1. All visitors shall report to the school office upon entering the building where they will sign in, show photo I.D., and receive a visitor’s tag. Upon leaving the school visitors are to return to the office and sign out. Entrance will be restricted to one location, generally the main entrance.
  2. Parents wishing to visit an individual teacher are requested to make prior arrangements with that teacher or the building principal.
  3. Other adults interested in observing classes should contact the building principal.
  4. Non-enrolled children will not be permitted to visit school unless they have been given prior approval by the building principal.

Cross Reference:

Board Policy 8:30, Visitors to and Conduct on School Property

MSH 1.40

Volunteers

All school volunteers must be approved by the building principal prior to assisting at the school. Some teachers utilize parent volunteers in the classroom. The individual teachers make this decision. Teachers who desire parent volunteers will notify parents. For school-wide volunteer opportunities, please contact the building principal.

Volunteers are required to check in and out and be screened at the main office to receive a visitor badge before proceeding to their destination.

Cross Reference:

Board Policy 6:250, Community Resource Persons and Volunteers

MSH 1.70

Wellness Policy

The Board of Education of Oak Lawn-Hometown School District 123 is committed to providing a learning environment that supports and promotes wellness, good nutrition, and an active lifestyle, and recognizes the positive relationship between good nutrition, physical activity and the capacity of students to develop and learn.

The purpose of the Wellness Policy is to ensure a total school environment that promotes and supports student health and wellness, helps to reduce childhood obesity and meets the requirements of the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004, and the Illinois School Code, this includes without limitation, goals for nutrition education, physical activity, guidelines for foods available during the school day, including reimbursable meals, and a plan for measuring implementation.

The Wellness Policy is available on the district website at d123.org/wellness.

Published for School Year 2018