Student & Family Handbook

Tardiness:  Any student who arrives in the building after.8:35a.m is tardy and must sign in at the school office.  Tardy students who enter door 5 off Oak Center Drive will be issued a late slip, asked to report immediately to their first period class, and the tardy documented in the main office by school personnel.  Being tardy to school has a detrimental effect on a child’s academic achievement.  It is also a disruption to the learning environment for other students who have arrived on time and are already prepared in the classroom. Excessive tardies will be viewed as a truancy issue and may result in disciplinary actions taken by the administration.

Absent ‘Make-Up’ Work:  Students are responsible for making up all missed work following absence from school.  It is highly recommended that students and guardians access google classroom for additional information on classwork missed. Students may also email teachers for their work.  This request must be made when reporting the absence prior to 8:30 a.m.  Please make arrangements to pick-up all make-up materials in the school office between 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.  Any requested work must be completed and returned to classroom teachers the day the student returns to school.

Books:  Each student may be provided textbooks to help compliment classroom instruction. Students will also have the opportunity to check out books as well as access Ebooks through the OLHMS library.  Students must be responsible with any school-related item brought to and from home, and make sure library books are returned in a timely fashion.  Students are encouraged to take care of their textbooks by using book covers. Fines will be assessed for any late library books, and/or lost, destroyed, or damaged textbooks.

Spectator Expectations:  Spectators at any school-sponsored event are expected to act and behave in an appropriate and considerate manner at all times.  Students who attend school sponsored sporting events must have a permission form signed by a parent/guardian and on file in the school office.  Any student leaving the building during an event will not be allowed to re-enter unless accompanied by a parent/guardian

COMMUNICATION:  School news and other information may be sent home by mail or with students, however in an effort to “be green,” much of our home-school communication will be posted on our school district website and through SchoolMessenger via email, text, and telephone. In addition, the OLHMS Weekly, our parent newsletter, is regularly posted on the website. Parents can access Skyward to communicate with teachers.  The D123 Skyward Database provides parents with student achievement information, lunch account information and current discipline data.

COMPUTER/ CHROMEBOOK USE:  OLHMS students will have access to various modes of computer technology.  The use of district computers, computer networks, and related technology is a privilege, in exchange for which students are expected to abide by all rules with regard to such use.  Specific acceptable use policies are found in the Oak Lawn Hometown School District 123 Disciplinary Policy Handbook and will be defined in an Acceptable Usage Policy agreement sent home for parents/guardians to sign.  Any student found in violation of District policy may be subject to disciplinary action. Fines will be assessed for any lost, destroyed, or damaged device. The purchasing of chromebook insurance is strongly encouraged for all families.

CO-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES:  The aim of our co-curricular program is to provide school related activities as an extension of the regular school day to further enhance classroom learning and student interest.  

Eligibility:  As representatives of OLHMS, all students involved in before/after school activities are subject to eligibility procedures as defined by Oak Lawn-Hometown Middle School.  Students may be restricted participation in any activity on the basis of academic and/or behavioral deficiency, which may include but is not limited to failing grades, suspensionable offenses, and/or repeated disciplinary actions.  

   Participation:  Each student at OLHMS has the opportunity to join and/or try-out for co-curricular activities.  Students absent from more than half of the school day may be deemed ineligible for participation in any co-curricular activity on the day of the absence.  Due to the number of activities available at OLHMS, at times, schedules may overlap.  Coaches/sponsors will make every effort to allow students the opportunity to participate in more than one activity.  Occasionally, students will need to choose between two different activities.

   Physicals:  A state of Illinois statute mandates an annual physical examination for all students participating in interscholastic athletics.  Students will be denied participation in any sport until proof of a current physical is on file with the school. Students must have a current physical on file to try out and participate in interscholastic athletics.

   Spectator Expectations:  Spectators at any school-sponsored event are expected to act and behave in an appropriate and considerate manner at all times.  Students who attend school sponsored events must have a permission form signed by a parent/guardian and on file in the school office.  Any student leaving the building during an event will not be allowed to re-enter unless accompanied by a parent/guardian.

CONFERENCES:  Remaining consistent with our belief that communication between school and home is a necessary component of providing a quality education, we have a variety of conference opportunities to assist students and families with the learning process.

Student- Led Family Conferences are held during the fall and spring trimesters each year for all students.  The purpose of this conference is to provide an opportunity for students to reflect upon their work, discuss areas of improvement, and set specific goals for future success.  Scheduling these conferences is done through advisory teachers.  Information will be sent home prior to conference dates.  

DRESS STANDARD:  OLHMS expects students to be dressed appropriately for academic performance.  Any dress, groom, or accessories that have a distracting effect on the educational environment and/or compromise safety will be prohibited.  Disciplinary action may result for students whose appearance violate the safety, decency, or consideration of others.  The building administrators are the final authority for judging the appropriateness of individual student appearance.

Examples of inappropriate dress and/or appearance include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Clothing/accessories that contain or promote illegal substances, violence, profanity, vulgarity, negativity, or sexually explicit wording or symbolism.
  • Pajamas.
  • Coats, gloves, hats, head coverings, which include but are not limited to sweatbands, headbands, rubber bands, wristbands, and/or bandannas will not be worn in school.
  • No spiked, dangerous, or excessively heavy jewelry including wallet chains, large necklaces/medallions, metallic belts, grills, or loop earrings.  Any jewelry with a diameter greater than that of a school ID card will be deemed excessive.
  • All tops must cover midriff and fall to the waistline, as well as maintain a reasonable neckline.
  • Skirts and shorts must be of reasonable length.
  • Spaghetti straps and tank tops are not allowed.
  • Excessively tight, loose or revealing clothing that exposes undergarments or creates a safety hazard when walking.
  • Drawing, writing, or tattooing on skin is prohibited.  Students may not write on themselves or others.
  • All footwear must be secure and safe on stairs.  No backless, slip on type of footwear, or shoes without soles will be worn.  No flip-flop or beach-like sandals, slippers, or shoes with wheels will be allowed.
  • Excessive make-up, shaved eyebrows, and/or hairstyles that cause disruption to the educational climate will not be permitted.  
  • Body piercing that impede communication, disrupt the educational process, and/or present a safety or health hazard is not permitted.
  • Students must remain symmetrical in appearance.  No tilted caps, uneven pant legs or shirtsleeves, etc.

Not adhering to the OLHMS dress standard may result in a call home to secure appropriate attire and a warning will be given. Repeated violations may result in further disciplinary action.

ELECTRONIC DEVICES/CELL PHONES:  Any electronic device brought to school must be turned off and stored in a locker during regular school hours, unless a teacher has granted a child permission to use the device for a specific educational purpose. Using an electronic device to take or share photos, videos, or images of other people  is prohibited in settings such as hallways, washrooms, or locker rooms, or in any other location for purposes that violate another individual’s rights.  Headphones and/or earbuds are prohibited from being worn or used in the hallways. A parent or guardian will be required to pick-up any device that is confiscated by the school. Continued violation of this policy will result in further disciplinary action.

An electronic device is defined as any device that a student is in possession of which electronically communicates, sends, receives, stores, reproduces or displays voice, image, and/or text communication or data.  These include, but are not limited to cellular phones, pagers, smart phones, music and media players, gaming devices, tablets, laptop computers, e-books and personal digital assistants.  The school is not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged devices.

HEALTH ISSUES:  In the event of illness, children will be sent to the nurse’s office.  The nurse will contact parents/guardians if a child needs to be released from school.  Please note that we do not have the facilities to house ill or injured children for extended periods of time.  If a parent/guardian cannot pick-up a child, please have an alternate plan available.  The school nurse must be notified in writing of any health related issue that requires special medical assistance during the school day. Students are not to call home directly using personal devices and should have the nurse manage communication with the parent when child is sick.  

Emergency Information should be updated in Skyward on an annual basis. Students will not be released to anyone not listed on the emergency form.  Please notify the school office of any changes in emergency contact information as soon as possible.

FIELD TRIPS/ACTIVITIES:  Throughout the school year classes and grade-level teams organize educational field trips or other alternate activities that may take place inside or outside the building.   Students may be required to pay a fee for field trip outings and/or require parent permission.  Students who display poor behavior, or those who do not meet minimum academic standards may be excluded from the privilege of participating.

GRADES:  Grades are earned and reported on regularly throughout the year using the Skyward portal.  At the conclusion of each trimester a report card, listing all courses taken, will be issued to each student. Student achievement will be evaluated according to the Oak Lawn Hometown School District 123 grading scale.  

HALLWAY CONDUCT:  There are no passing bells at OLHMS.  Teachers determine classroom dismissal and commencement times.  When students are dismissed from one class the next class begins.  Students must move to their classes in an orderly, safe, and quiet manner, following the most direct route.  Locker stops are designated for specific times during the school day.  Students must carry a teacher provided hall pass when traveling in the hallways during class times. Students who enter class after instruction has started must provide a pass to enter.  

ID CARDS – STUDENT IDENTIFICATION  Every individual in the building is required to wear a visible school issued ID card and lanyard.  ID cards serve a variety of important safety purposes:

  • Identifying students/teachers by grade level.
  • Entrance into building/school sponsored events.
  • Debit card for hot lunch program.
  • Library checkout card.
  • Bus or walker identification.

ID cards/lanyards are not to be destroyed, cut, or defaced.  A replacement fee of $3.50 will be charged for lost, defaced or destroyed ID cards.  Please encourage your child to be responsible with their ID card.  Students who do have ID fines over $10.00 will be issued a temporary ID until they pay their fines.  

BREAKFAST & LUNCH PROGRAM:  Students at OLHMS have an option each day to take advantage of the hot breakfast and lunch program at school.  A hot  breakfast and lunch program is offered to all students through Arbor Food Service.  The student ID card serves as a debit card for all breakfast and lunch purchases.  No cash exchange is accepted in the cafeteria.  

Students who purchase hot breakfast or lunch with their ID cards must maintain a positive account balance in order to purchase food/drink.  Students must activate food service accounts with at least a $20.00 payment and replenish food service accounts when needed.  Checks should be made payable to School District 123.  The school is not responsible for producing change. Food service account payments can be made during regular school hours in the school office, in the hallway outside the cafeteria each day during lunch periods, as well as electronically via the Skyward database. Students may be denied hot lunch service if account balances Is below $8.00.  

NATIONAL JUNIOR HONOR SOCIETY:  This prestigious organization is available to seventh and eighth grade students who meet and maintain high academic standards and exhibit qualifying behaviors in the areas of citizenship, leadership, service, and character.

Students who meet these criteria will be eligible to petition for membership.  Qualified students who petition for membership and fulfill the minimum service requirement will be selected for membership by a vote of the faculty on the basis of the aforementioned criteria.  Students who qualify for NJHS membership must maintain all of the criteria for the remainder of their academic career in District 123.  NJHS sponsors will monitor members for compliance with all of the related responsibilities.

Members who violate NJHS requirements and/or any school-related expectations may be dismissed from NJHS.

Bus Guidelines: Bus transportation is a responsibility of the school that may be suspended due to inappropriate and/or unsafe conduct, or failure to adhere to the following guidelines.

  • Be on time at the assigned stop.  Students should be at their stop at least 5 minutes before the scheduled pick-up time.
  • Share seating appropriately.  
  • Sit facing forward with both feet on the floor and out of the aisle.  Being seated on the floor, sitting on a backpack, and or standing/kneeling is not permitted.
  • Keep the aisle free of all objects.
  • Respect the rights and property of others.
  • Keep hands, arms, and all other objects inside the bus.  Do not lower windows below the indicated window frame line.
  • Do not throw/shoot items in, out, or at the school bus.  This conduct is unsafe and will not be tolerated.
  • Refrain from any unsafe conduct.
  • Students may NOT ride an unassigned bus or use an unassigned bus stop for any reason.  Notes from parents will not be accepted for exceptions to this policy.
  • Students assigned a bus are expected to ride the bus each day.  Parents/guardians may wave bus-riding privileges for the school year by submitting a written request to the school office.
  • Students should not be using cell phones to record any actions on the bus.  
  • Students should not connect cell phones to speakers to play throughout the bus.  

Parking, Pickup, and Drop Off:  Student walkers who get driven to school must be dropped-off and picked-up using the circular drive outside doors 4 and 5 on the southeast end of the building or park along the north side of Oak Center Drive.  We discourage the use of the 99th Street parking lot for automobile use during student arrival and dismissal times.  This parking lot is used for school bus traffic each day before and after school.  The use of Oak Center Drive for automobile traffic is the safest and easiest option for parents/guardians. After 3:30 pm,  students who have not been picked up will report to the office.  Rides should pick up students at the front office.