School Policy Guide
The School Policy Guide is a supplement to the District Policy Guide, and is customized for each school. It may include important phone numbers, transportation information, and after-school childcare options. This guide was formerly known as the school handbook.
- Child Care/After-school Information
- Bus Transportation
- Dress Code
- Electronic Devices
- Family Engagement
- Field trips
- Releasing Students During School Day
- Safety & Security
- School Breakfast/Lunch
- Supervision of the building and grounds
- Traffic safety
- Student Personal Property
- Student support services
Hamilton Middle School Recreation Program: Hamilton offers a wide variety of after-school clubs and activities. Most clubs begin in mid-September and meet once a week. Club offerings are given in the daily morning announcements and posted on the MSCR bulletin board. Clubs vary from year to year based on student interest and availability of leaders. Most clubs are free and open to all students on a drop-in basis. Students who choose to participate in clubs must be in their club no later than 10 minutes after the dismissal bell. Students who are not participating in clubs or working with a teacher must leave the building immediately after school. Students who are unsupervised after school will be asked to leave the building. Please coordinate with your child if you wish to pick them up after school. You may contact the MSCR office at Hamilton (204-4739) for further information.
Schools must create a culture in which bullying is not tolerated. We encourage students to take part in this culture by reporting suspected bullying and being helpful to classmates who are bullied. We must support and assist the person being bullied, giving them tools to empower themself and overcome the negative effects of bullying, and we must also intervene with the student who engages in bullying behavior to ensure the bullying behavior stops by (1) teaching new skills of communication and empathy, (2) communicating with parents and (3) providing appropriate, gradual discipline. Students, parents or guardians, and other persons who become aware of suspected bullying incidents are encouraged to make a verbal or written report. Written reports may be made on the form entitled “Report of Bullying Incident” and submitted to any teacher, student services staff or administrator. This form can be found on the MMSD website, in the school office or in the Student Services Office.
Transportation may be provided to students in a variety of ways. For example, students may be transported by yellow bus, city bus or specialized transportation. Regardless of the method of transportation, it is expected that all students will demonstrate safe, respectful and appropriate conduct while being transported to school. Students who do not conform to the rules relating to safe transportation may have their riding privilege withdrawn by the transportation provider. The following actions have been identified by the Board of Education as justification for refusing a student the privilege of riding a school bus:
- Yelling, cursing, obscene language;
- Throwing objects within the vehicle or out of the windows;
- Extending head, arms or hands out of the windows;
- Fighting, scuffling, smoking in the vehicle;
- Moving about in the vehicle while it is in motion;
- Damaging property;
Supplement to the District Policy Guide - Black Hawk Middle School 47.Any other conduct which might jeopardize the health, safety, welfare or rights of other people. Drivers are responsible for the maintenance of order among children being transported and are instructed to use every reasonable means necessary to maintain order on the bus. The District supplies a three-ply “incident report” form to be used by school bus drivers in reporting violations of established rider rules. It is the duty of the driver to immediately report severe misconduct to the principal and to the bus company office. Guidelines for action to be taken in conjunction with the bus company if a student violates the rules for safe bus riding are as follows:
- First Incident–Discuss appropriate behavior with student and forward a copy of incident report to parent/guardian;
- Second Incident–Confer with parent(s) legal guardian(s) and student(s). Students may be refused transportation for one to three days.
- Third Incident–Student may be suspended from transportation for a period of four to seven days.
Parents/legal guardians must be notified in writing of their right to a hearing and/or appeal. Severity of offense may dictate acceleration of progression outlined above. Parents/legal guardians may appeal this decision to the Chief of School Operations. However, students whose bus riding privileges have been suspended are required to attend school, and parents must assume responsibility for alternate means of transportation. Continued refusal to abide by established rules may result in suspension of bus riding privileges for the remainder of the school year. If an adult supervisor from the School District is on the bus, a student may be subject to discipline in accordance with the Behavior Education Plan. The Madison Metropolitan School District is concerned about the health, safety, welfare, and rights of your child. Please go over appropriate school bus riding practices with your child. Student behavior on the school bus and the driver’s management of the behavior are two key elements to a safe and enjoyable bus ride for all students. Your child’s bus may or may not be equipped with video monitoring equipment. The video camera is an aid used to monitor bus discipline. It does not replace the discipline policy, the driver’s authority, or the responsibility of the school officials. If you have any questions, including questions regarding the use of video equipment on board buses, please call the District’s Transportation Office at 663-5288 or 663-5287.
Students are not allowed to use cell phones, iPods, Airpods or other electronic devices/toys during the school day. We strongly suggest that these items remain at home. The school cannot be held liable for any damage or theft of these, or any, items. If your child must carry a cell phone, it should be locked in the student’s locker or on their person with the power off. They may use their cell phone before and after school ONLY. Our school policy is door to bell, meaning devices should be off and away before they enter the building and stay off until the final bell rings. If caught using these devices during the school day (which includes lunch recess) the device will be confiscated and placed in the main office. The first time a student’s electronic device is confiscated the student may pick it up in the office after dismissal. Any and all additional occurrences require a parent/guardian come to school to retrieve it.
Teachers frequently plan field trips and excursions to provide students with educational experiences, which are extensions of the classroom. These trips are essential to the educational program, and all students are expected to participate.
Parents/legal guardians will receive written notification in advance about field trips and should take care to sign all forms and send money to school if requested. Scholarship money is available if payment of field trip fees creates a hardship for a student’s family. In such cases parents/legal guardians should contact their child’s teacher or the school office.
Medications which are normally given to students during the school day will be given by school staff during field trips. No additional permission is required. If your child needs medication on an overnight or extended day field trip which is NOT regularly given at school, Board policy requires written parent permission and a written order from the health care practitioner. This includes over the counter, non-prescription medication. The medication permission forms are reviewed by the school nurse before the overnight or extended day field trip. Some medications (such as inhalers) may be self-administered but a school staff person will give most medications.
When riding a school bus as part of a field trip, students are expected to obey all rules governing school bus transportation.
If your child is going to be absent or late, call 204-4702 (available 24 hours a day) and leave a message. Please give the child’s first and last name (clearly and slowly spelling the last name), grade, reason for absence/tardy and the date. Please remember to speak slowly and clearly. In this way the office can let all teachers know on Infinite Campus that the student is absent. Students returning to school after any absence, tardiness, or appointment, MUST CHECK IN AT THE OFFICE and pick up a return-to-class slip.
All students who will be out of school on a planned vacation MUST complete a “Request for Pre-approval of a Planned Absence” form. These forms are available in the office or on the Hamilton website (https://hamilton.madison.k12.wi.us). A student may stop by to pick up a form to take home for completion and return it to school OR the parent may stop by the office to complete the form. When the form has been completed, the student show a copy to each teacher. The teacher and the student will then make the decision regarding how and when the work missed by the student during the absence will be completed. The specifics of the work to be completed should be noted in the student’s planner.
It is expected that all parents will keep these requests to an absolute minimum to avoid the loss of instructional time.
Tardy Policy: Students reporting late to school at any time of day report to the office and obtain a pass.
- Tardies 1-3: Reminding or redirecting language by the teacher
- 4th tardy: Phone call home by teacher, Full Problem-Solving Conference and/or Fix-It (at lunch or after school) with the teacher that recorded the tardies (minimum of two-week intervention)
- Subsequent tardies after minimum of two-week intervention(s): Phone call home by referring teacher, contact student’s School Counselor (Maddie Schaefer or Boyd Snyder and School Social Worker - Kristin Ensminger) for follow-up (i.e. Restorative Circle involving family if tardies are 1st hour and/or possible Check In Check Out intervention)
- Subsequent tardies: Will result in administrative action.
Students get a fresh start each quarter.
Releasing children from school during the day
Please make sure you give your student a note to bring to the office BEFORE school to get a pass for an appointment occurring during the school day. The note should include the type of appointment and the time the student will be picked up in the office. The student will receive a pass with the time of their pick up and will meet the parent in the office at the appointed time. Due to safety concerns, students will not be allowed to wait in the Breezeway or leave the school without the parent coming to the main office to sign out the student. Students should bring the pass back to the office upon their return to school. The time of their return will be noted on the pass and the student will use this pass to re-enter class.
Families play a key role in school safety. You can read about school-specific resources for helping keep students safe. You’ll find more information on district safety and security, including how we communicate with you in an emergency, at mmsd.org/safety.
In the event that an emergency situation (evacuation, lockdown), occurs at school, parents/legal guardians will be notified via the District’s telephone SchoolMessenger system. The District will send a telephone message or email with information regarding the situation to the student’s emergency contact designees. Additional information and updates will also be available on the school’s website, as well as on the MMSD webpage (www.mmsd.org).
A fire evacuation plan is posted for each room. Students should become familiar with it and listen to additional instructions given by the teacher. When the fire alarm sounds, students should stand and walk from the room in an orderly fashion. Move quickly, but do not run. The first students to reach an outside door are to hold it open until all have left the building. Upon leaving the building, move at least one hundred feet away from it. A teacher will lead the group the desired distance. Stay in that area as quietly as possible until the signal bell sounds for students to re-enter. One fire drill a month is required per state statute.
Before a drill is held, the teacher will notify the class’s designated area of safety. When a drill is held, follow these procedures.
- Go to your designated area in an orderly fashion.
- Absolutely no talking is allowed during the drill.
- Leave books and supplies in your room; do not take them with you.
- An announcement/short bell will signal the end of the drill.
Every classroom in all of our schools has an Emergency Procedures pamphlet which provides directions on responding to a variety of emergencies that may be encountered at the school.
If we are required to evacuate our building because of an emergency (fire, bomb threat, etc.), we will walk to Covenant Presbyterian Church on the corner of Segoe and Mineral Point Roads. (Telephone 233-6297).
All schools in the Madison Metropolitan School District offer breakfast daily. Breakfast is served 15-20 minutes prior to the start of the school day. A school breakfast generally consists of milk, fresh fruit or 100% fruit juice, and an entrée that includes grains and/or a protein source.
Lunch is available daily at all Madison schools. Lunches consist of milk, an entrée containing protein and whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Our Nutrition Team is constantly searching for different and healthy choices to offer our students. We are committed to offering meals that are both great tasting and nutritious. Families may qualify for free lunch as determined by their financial situation. Families may qualify for free breakfast and lunch as determined by their financial situation. For more information, please see the section on Free & Reduced Meals in the District Policy Guide, or visit the district website. Please note: USDA regulations require that we serve a complete meal. Individual items, such as milk, cannot be provided free to supplement a meal from home.
The building is supervised from 7:20 - 3:20. Students are allowed in the building each morning at 7:30. Students have the opportunity to take part in a variety of activities and clubs after the bell rings at 2:47. However, students must be under the supervision of an adult or take part in our after-school program if they are going to be in the building after school.
Families should avoid dropping off or picking up on Waukesha Street, in front of the school as this is the bus pick up/drop off area. Families also should not turn into the parking lots to pick up or drop off as these are spaces in which students congregate prior to school starting. The parking lots are also reserved for staff and individuals in need of handicap accessibility.
Transportation is provided by Badger Bus through yellow bus routes with stops that are placed at centrally located intersections within an acceptable walk distance by students. Riding the bus is a privilege that requires respectful behavior at all times. Specific times and routes can be found at: https://transportation.madison.k12.wi.us/bus-routes. Generally, students who live more than 1.5 miles from the school and within the school’s attendance area meet the criteria and are eligible to ride.
The building and grounds are supervised by school personnel fifteen minutes before classes begin in the morning and during the day when students are participating in scheduled school activities until school is officially dismissed. School personnel do not supervise playgrounds after classes are dismissed in the afternoon.
In accordance with Board of Education policy, the following shall not be allowed on school grounds:
- Hardball or tackle football
- Throwing of stones, snowballs or other missiles
- Tripping, shoving, unwanted touching, fighting or other disturbances
- Thoughtless running or chasing through other activity areas
- Climbing on fences, buildings, ledges, fire escapes, downspouts, swinging gates, etc.
- Making snow or ice slides on walks
- All powered vehicles, including go-karts, powered bikes, mini-bikes, motorcycles, snowmobiles, etc.
- Dogs or other pets.
Every article found should be taken to the Lost & Found Lockers. These lockers are located between the Copy Room (room 157) and the Student Services office (room 159). Those who have lost articles should look for them there. Textbooks will be returned to the homeroom or course teacher. For lost items of considerable value, or small in size, please check with the office to see if it was turned in there. If not, please complete a Report of Loss Form in the office.
Members of the Student Services Team at VHMS assist students, parents, and staff in a variety of ways. Promotion of good mental health as well as academic excellence are the goals of this team. Two full-time guidance counselors, a full-time school social worker, a part-time school psychologist, a half-time PBS Coach, a school nurse, and a nurse’s assistant are available.
The Assistant Principal assumes major responsibility for the coordination and supervision of a Progressive Discipline Program. In addition, they conduct conferences with students on conflict resolution among peers and staff and functions as liaison with staff and parents regarding student affairs.
Each student at Hamilton Middle School has a counselor. A counselor can help you learn more about yourself and others, and can help you adjust to school. If you have concerns about school work, friends or your schedule, you are invited to stop in the counseling office and talk to your counselor.
Hamilton has a nurse and nurse’s assistant on staff who are available to perform a number of health-related services including: administration of medication during the school day, hearing and vision screening, reviewing immunization records and caring for sick or injured students. If a student feels ill during class time, they should get a pass slip from the teacher to go to the health office. The nurse and assistant keep a record of all student contacts. If a student becomes ill when the nurse or assistant is not in, report to the main office.
Note that many items in these guides are specific to teaching and learning within school buildings, and we know that adjustments will need to be made as we go. Please use this as a starting point and connect with your school if you have specific questions about how things will be handled in a virtual setting.