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Policies & Procedures
George Washington Middle School
Dreams are born; leaders are made; kindness is valued.
 
General School Information
 
School Hours
7:30 A.M. -  Cafeteria opens for breakfast
7:45 A.M. - Students enter the building
7:57 A.M. - Warning Bell
8:00 A.M. -  First Period Bell
2:53 P.M. -  Dismissal Bell
(On minimum days, dismissal is at 12:15.)

Doors open at 7:30 a.m. into the entrance vestibules and cafeteria only. Please do not arrive earlier as doors are locked and there is NO supervision in the school prior to that time!  
 

 
ATTENDANCE AND ABSENCE PROCEDURE  The absence line is open 24 hours/day.  Parents/Guardians must notify the Absence line at 201-670-2784 by 7:55 am to report a Student’s absence. A note to the teacher or guidance counselor is NOT sufficient notification. If the Main office does not receive a phone call regarding a student’s absence, every attempt will be made to contact the parents. An automated call will go out at 9am to all phone numbers on file. It is the parents’ responsibility to call the school after receiving the call to verify the student is with you. If the parent has not reached the school for verification, the Ridgewood Police Department will be called and asked to go to the student’s house to see if he/she is home. If no one is home, GW Administrators will be forced to file a Missing Person’s Report with the Ridgewood Police Department. 
HOMEWORK PROCEDURE WHEN YOUR CHILD IS ABSENT If your child is absent less than 3 days and feels well enough, he/she can contact their teachers by e mail to request work. If they are absent for 3 days or more, parents may request homework through the Guidance Department at 201-670-2790 extension 40533.
TARDY POLICY Students are expected to be in their classroom when the 8:00 bell has rung. If your child will be tardy for any reason, you must call the Absence line at 201-670-2784 prior to 7:55 am. All reasons for tardiness  require a phone call.  If a student does not make it to class by 8 am, he/she will be marked tardy and must report to the Main office to sign in and obtain a late pass. Ongoing tardiness may be dealt with at the discretion of the Administrators.

 
EARLY DISMISSAL PROCEDURE  If your student needs to be dismissed before the end of the school day, you must give them a signed note indicating the reason for the request. This must be brought to the Main Office by the student at the start of the school day. The student will receive an Early Dismissal pass. At the start of the designated period, they will show the teacher the pass so they can leave the class at the designated time and report to the Main Office to await pick up. A parent, guardian or Emergency Contact must come to the Main Office to sign the student out. There are no exceptions.

It is important to recognize that if your student does not have a note in the morning this may delay the dismissal of your child. Classes often meet in various non-classroom locations including the gym, the auditorium and Citizens Field. These locations do not have phones therefore it may take some time to reach your child’s class. 

EMERGENCY SCHOOL CLOSING In the event of an emergency school closing, the district will send out a phone blast to alert parents. The closing will also be announced on Channel 5 and Channel 12 and the following AM stations: WOR-710, CBS-88, WINS-1010. You may also check the district’s web site for up-to-date school closing information.

BICYCLES, SKATEBOARDS Bicycles and skateboards are not to be ridden on school grounds or through the parking lots. Students must lock their bike on the rack outside the gym. Skateboards and roller blades used within one block of school may be confiscated. According to state law, students 16 years of age and younger must wear a bicycle helmet. Scooters, skateboards, and roller blades must be kept in lockers.
ELECTRONIC DEVICES Students are not permitted to use cell phones or iPods during the school day, unless specified for educational use by a teacher during a particular class, or during lunch and recess. During lunch, students may use their phone or iPod to listen to music or play games, but may not make phone calls or text. Other than the exceptions stated above, if a student is found with his/her cell phone or iPod, it will be confiscated. The student may pick up the phone at the end of the school day in the office of the Assistant Principals. If a device is confiscated more than once, a parent must pick up the device from school.

DRESS AND APPEARANCE Students are expected to dress neatly and appropriately for school. If your appearance disrupts learning, you will be asked to change your clothes. The wearing of hats is not allowed during the school day.

GUIDANCE Guidance services are provided for each student within the framework of the house system. One counselor is assigned to each house and remains with his/her counselees for grades 6 through 8. This structure supports efficient and effective communication for parents, teachers, and students. The guidance department provides the following services: orientation, counseling, student appraisal, planning and placement, and parent conferences.

NURSE’S OFFICE ILLNESS IN SCHOOL  If you need to see the nurse during the school day, you must have a pass from a teacher. If you are too ill to stay in school, the nurse will call your parent/guardian (s) and arrange for you to go home. You cannot be dismissed from school for illness without the permission of the nurse. Students should not call their parents to come get them without having reported to the nurse’s office. If your child calls you and asks for you to come get them, tell them to report to the nurse’s office. The nurse will call you if the child should go home.

MEDICATION IN SCHOOL  If you need to take medicine during the school day, you must give the nurse a note from your parent/guardian(s) and a note from your doctor. The nurse will administer the medicine and store it in the Medical Office.

PHYSICAL EXAMINATIONS  Physical examinations are required for all new pupils, and recommended for all eighth graders, and all students participating in an interscholastic sport. You must have all the immunizations required by the State before you can attend school.

IMMUNIZATIONS  New 6th graders will NOT be allowed to attend the first day of school and all subsequent days if the nurse does not have documentation of all mandatory immunizations! PHYSICAL EDUCATION PASSES --You can be excused from Physical Education for up to one week by giving the nurse a note from your parent/guardian(s). You need a note from your doctor to be excused for more than a week. If you are excused from Physical Education, you cannot participate in intramural or interscholastic sports. P.E. passes are issued in the nurse’s office before school.

BUS INFORMATION Students eligible for bus transportation will receive a pass which they must present upon boarding the bus. When on the bus, students must remain in their seats and obey the driver. Inappropriate behavior may result in suspension of riding privileges for at least one week. Students interested in riding the New Jersey Transit bus can pick up ticket information in the Main Office. Students are expected to follow the school’s rules for conduct while on the bus. Please note that GWMS does not have any control over the New Jersey Transit schedule, policies, or procedures. Additional information, including contact information, can be found on the GW website.

CAFETERIA PROCEDURES The following rules have been established to provide for an orderly and comfortable lunch period:
1. All students must report to the cafeteria for their regularly scheduled lunch period immediately after dismissal from the previous class.
2. Students may only purchase food during their regularly scheduled lunch period.
3. Lunches dropped off from home may not be picked up by students until their scheduled lunch time. Lunch deliveries from restaurants is not permitted.
4. Food should be eaten at the tables, each place cleaned, and leftovers properly placed in nearest trash can or recycling container before a student may go outside or to the lavatory. Food is not to be taken outside the cafeteria.
5. The boys’ and girls’ rooms at the Monroe Street end of the basement are the only ones to be used during lunch periods. Students must ask permission to use them and are to return promptly after using them.
6. Students may not leave the basement/cafeteria area during lunch periods without permission.
7. When weather permits, students may go outside.
8. GW does not have the ability to adjust lunch accounts. Any inquiries or concerns with lunch accounts should be directed to: onlinepayments@ridgewood.k12.nj.us

LOCKERS At the beginning of each school year you will be assigned a locker near your homeroom. It is important that you use only the locker assigned to you and do not share it with other students. You are also responsible to keep your locker neat and organized. You will be assigned one of the school’s combination locks to use on your locker. (No other locks are permitted). A $5 fee is required from students who lose or damage a school lock. It is important that students NEVER share their locker combination with friends and are careful not to allow others to watch them unlocking their locks. A locker and lock for Physical Education will also be assigned to each student. All valuables should be locked in the assigned locker. Lockers remain the property of the school and may be inspected by school officials throughout the school year in accordance with Board Policy No. 5770 (Pupil Right of Privacy). Pupils have no expectation of privacy that would prevent examination of desks, lockers or other storage facilities by school officials.

LOST AND FOUND Found articles should be taken to the Main Office immediately. Lost and found articles are kept in a box in the cafeteria. Each year, many valuable articles such as eyeglasses, watches, phones, and sweaters are unclaimed. Always write your name and homeroom number of your books, notebooks, and somewhere in your wallet or purse. This will facilitate the quick return of your property.

STUDENT VISITOR’S PASS Requests for student visitation must be processed through the principal’s office well in advance of the visit.

SKYWARD Skyward is the online information system used by Ridgewood Public Schools. All parents and students are given a username and password to access important information regarding attendance, emergency contacts and grading. Checking Skyward regularly is highly recommended so that students and parents can monitor grades, missing assignments, and messages from teachers. Questions regarding access should be directed to the Guidance Office at 201.670.2790 ext. 50533.

STUDENT BEHAVIOR All students are expected to become familiar with and adhere to the Middle School Student Code of Conduct on the following page. In addition to the Code of Conduct, seventh and eighth graders will receive demerits for any consequences given. Any eighth grader who receives a total of 5 demerits during the course of their 7th and 8th grade years will not be able to participate in the 8th Grade End of the Year Celebration. Those with 6 demerits will not be able to attend the 8th Grade overnight trip to Washington, D.C.