ELEMENTARY STUDENT-PARENT HANDBOOK 2012-2013

ELEMENTARY
STUDENT-PARENT
HANDBOOK
2012-2013
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PARENT CONSENT TO ACCOUNTABILITY
I understand and consent to the responsibilities outlined in the McAllen ISD Student Parent
Handbook and the Student Code of Conduct. I also understand and agree that my child shall
be held accountable for the behavior and consequences outlined in the Student Parent
Handbook and the Student Code of Conduct at school and school-sponsored activities,
including school-sponsored travel and any school-related misconduct, regardless of time or
location. I understand that any student who violates the rules in the Student Parent Handbook
and the Student Code of Conduct shall be subject to disciplinary action. I am also aware that
the use of tobacco products by any individual is prohibited on all District property.
Regarding student records, federal law requires that ‘directory information’ on my child be
released by the McAllen ISD to anyone who requests it unless I object in writing to the
release of any or all of this information. This written objection must be filed within ten
school days of the time this handbook was given to the student. Directory information
ordinarily includes the student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth,
participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of
athletic teams, dates of attendance, awards received in school, enrollment status, and most
recent previous school attended. In exercising my right to limit release of this information, I
have marked through the items of directory information listed above that I wish the District
to withhold about my child.
Student’s Last Name, First Name (Printed)
_________________________________
Signature of Parent (Required by law)
______________________________
Date
___________
ID#
_____________
________________________________________________________________________
PARENT ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF RECEIPT OF HANDBOOK/CODE OF CONDUCT
This form indicates that the parent named below has received a copy of the 2012-2013 MISD Elementary
Student/Parent Handbook/Code of Conduct.
Please be advised that by signing the Parent Acknowledgment Form, the Student/Parent agrees to abide by
all standards, policies, and procedures referenced in the McAllen ISD Acceptable Use Policy. A copy of
McAllen ISD Technology Acceptable Use Policy may be read or downloaded from MISD Board Policy
Online.
McAllen ISD Technology Acceptable Use Policy Online:
CQ (EXHIBIT)
CQ (REGULATION)
CQ (LEGAL)
CQ (LOCAL)
_____________________________________
Parent’s Last Name (Printed)
_________________________________
School
____________________________________
Parent’s First Name (Printed)
____________
Grade
________
Date
_____________________________________
Parent Signature
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McAllen Independent School District
Fulfilling Our Promise
The McAllen Independent School District (MISD) is a multicultural community in
which students are enthusiastically and actively engaged in the learning process. Students
demonstrate academic excellence in a safe, nurturing and challenging environment enhanced by
technology and the contributions of the total community.
VISION
MISSION STATEMENT The mission of the McAllen Independent School District
(MISD) is to educate all students to become lifelong learners and productive citizens in a
global society through a program of educational excellence utilizing technology and
actively involving parents and the community.
GOALS
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Rigorous and relevant instructional programs
Resources to protect the instructional core
Support systems to ensure students, teacher, and principal achievements
Services and products to meet campus needs
Board of Trustees/superintendent maintain focus on student achievement
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MCALLEN INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT
MCALLEN, TEXAS
2012-2013 BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Hilda Garza-DeShazo
President
Erica de la Garza
Vice President
Javier Farias
Member
Debbie Crane Aliseda
Secretary
Dr. Joseph M. Caporusso
Member
Daniel D. Vela
Member
Sam Saldivar, Jr.
Member
This material is published early in the preceding school year, so some changes in procedure,
policy, or course offerings may be required. Students and parents may access updates
at: http://www.mcallenisd.org/
It is the policy of McAllen Independent School District not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin,
sex, or handicap in programs, services, or activities as required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as
amended; Title IV of the Education Amendments of 1972; and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as
amended.
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DISTRICT ADMINISTRATION
James J. Ponce, Ed. D.
Superintendent
Rachel Arcaute
Assistant Superintendent Instructional Services
Dr. Mike Barrera
Assistant Superintendent District Operations
Connie Lopez
Assistant Superintendent Business
Dr. J. A. Gonzalez
Associate Superintendent Instructional Leadership
Dr. Matt Weber
Associate Superintendent Instructional Services
Cynthia Medrano-Richards
Chief Financial Officer
Norma Zamora-Guerra
Director Community Information
2000 N. 23rd Street, McAllen TX 78501 Ph. (956) 618-6000 Fax (956) 631-7206
www.mcallenisd.org
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2012-2013 ELEMENTARY CAMPUSES
Francisca Alvarez Elementary
2606 Gumwood Street 971-4471
Socorro Espinoza, Principal
Leticia V. Sanchez, Asst. Principal
Reynaldo G. Garza Elementary
6300 North 29th Street 971-4554
Dr. Cynthia Noel, Principal
Oralia Cantu, Asst. Principal
James Bonham Elementary
2400 Jordan Street 971-4440
Jennifer Saenz, Principal
Nilda Barrera, Lead Teacher
Leonelo H. Gonzalez Elementary
201 East Martin Street 971-4577
Christina Hernandez, Principal
Jennifer Alaniz-Lopez, Asst. Principal
Dr. Carlos Castañeda Elementary
4100 North 34th Street 632-8882
Marú A. Falletich, Principal
Anissa Guerrero, Asst. Principal
Lucile McKee Hendricks Elementary
3900 Goldcrest Street 971-1145
Sandra Salinas, Principal
Carlos Mora, Asst. Principal
Jose De Escandon Elementary
2901 Colbath Street 971-4511
Sandra Saenz, Principal
Teresa Trdla, Asst. Principal
Victor Fields Elementary
500 West Dallas Avenue 971-4344
Cynthia Hatzold, Principal
Dolores Ueckert, Asst. Principal
Sam Houston Elementary
3221 Olga Street 971-4484
Debra Loya Thomas, Principal
Elizabeth Reynoso, Asst. Principal
Andrew Jackson Elementary
501 Harvey Street 971-4277
Sylvia Ibarra, Principal
Pedro R. Garcia, Asst. Principal
Christa McAuliffe Elementary
3000 Daffodil Street 971-4400
Sandra Pitchford, Principal
Katherine Buentello, Asst. Principal
Theodore Roosevelt Elementary
4801 South 26th Street 971-4424
Diane Hinojosa, Principal
Myra Garza, Asst. Principal
Ben Milam Elementary
3800 North Main Street 971-4333 2901
Linda McGurk, Principal
Sylvia Ramos, Asst. Principal
Blanca E. Sanchez Elementary
Incarnate Word Street 971-1100
Cynthia Rodriguez, Principal
Clarissa Partida, Asst. Principal
Jose Antonio Navarro Elementary
2100 Hackberry Street 971-4455
Leticia Infante, Principal
Michelle Cardoza, Asst. Principal
Juan Seguin Elementary
2200 North 29th Street 971-4565
Diana Cortez, Principal
Gerardo Gonzalez, Asst. Principal
Dr. Pablo Perez Elementary
7801 North Main Street 971-1125
Louann Sarachene, Principal
Cecilia Boyd, Asst. Principal
Thigpen/Zavala Elementary
2500 Galveston Avenue 971-4377
Maria Elva De Leon, Principal
Sam Rayburn Elementary
7000 North Main Street 971-4363
Nancy Dillard, Principal
Rachel A. Villanueva, Asst. Principal
Woodrow Wilson Elementary
1200 Hackberry Street 971-4525
Kristine Garza, Principal
Juan Montes, Asst. Principal
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PREFACE
To Students and Parents:
Welcome to school year 2012–2013! Education is a team effort, and we know that
students, parents, teachers, and other staff members all working together can make this
a wonderfully successful year for our students.
The McAllen ISD Student Handbook is designed to provide a resource for some of the
basic information that you and your child will need during the school year. In an effort
to make it easier to use, the handbook is divided into two sections:
Section I—PARENTAL RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES—with information to
assist you in responding to school-related issues. We encourage you to take some time
to closely review this section of the handbook.
Section II—OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR STUDENTS AND
PARENTS—organized alphabetically by topic for quick access when searching for
information on a specific issue.
Please be aware that the term “the student’s parent” is used to refer to the parent, legal
guardian, or any other person who has agreed to assume school-related responsibility
for a student.
Both students and parents should become familiar with the McAllen ISD Student Code of
Conduct, which is a document adopted by the board and intended to promote school
safety and an atmosphere for learning. That document will be sent home with your child
and available in the principal’s office.
The Student Handbook is a general reference guide only and is designed to be in
harmony with board policy and the Student Code of Conduct. Please be aware that it is
not a complete statement of all policies, procedures, or rules that may be applicable in a
given circumstance.
In case of conflict between board policy (including the Student Code of Conduct) and any
provisions of the Student Handbook, the current provisions of board policy and the
Student Code of Conduct are to be followed.
Also, please be aware that policy adoption and revision may occur throughout the year.
The district reserves the right to modify provisions of the Student Handbook at any time,
whenever it is deemed necessary. Notice of any revisions or modifications will be given
as is reasonably practical under the circumstances.
After reading through the entire handbook with your child, keep it as a reference during
this school year. If you or your child have any questions about any the material in this
handbook, please contact your child’s school.
Also, please complete and return to your child’s teacher the Student and Parent
Acknowledgement form in Appendix A.
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SECTION I: PARENTAL RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT
Working Together
Both experience and research tell us that a child’s education succeeds best when there is
good communication and a strong partnership between home and school. Your
involvement in this partnership may include:
o Encouraging your child to put a high priority on education and working with your
child on a daily basis to make the most of the educational opportunities the school
provides.
o Ensuring that your child completes all homework assignments and special
projects and comes to school each day prepared, rested and ready to learn.
o Becoming familiar with all of your child’s school activities and with the academic
programs, including special programs, offered in the district.
o Monitoring your child’s academic progress and contacting teachers as needed.
o Attending scheduled conferences and requesting additional conferences as
needed. To schedule a telephone or in-person conference with a teacher,
counselor, or principal, please call the school office to make an appointment. The
teacher will usually return your call or meet with you during his or her conference
period or before or after school.
o Becoming a school volunteer. For further information on becoming a volunteer
please contact the Parental Involvement Specialist at your child’s school.
o Participating in campus parent organizations such as PTO or PTA.
o Serving as a parent representative on the district-level or campus-level planning
committees, assisting in the development of educational goals and plans to
improve student achievement.
PARENTAL RIGHTS
Obtaining Information and Protecting Student Rights
Your child will not be required to participate without parental consent in any survey,
analysis, or evaluation- funded in whole or in part by the U.S. Department of Education –
That concerns:
o Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or the student’s parent.
o Mental or psychological problems of the student or the student’s family.
o Sexual behavior or attitudes.
o Illegal, antisocial, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior.
o Critical appraisals of individuals with whom the student has a close family
relationship.
o Relationships privileged under law, such as relationships with lawyers,
physicians, and ministers.
o Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or parents.
o Income, except when the information is required by law and will be used to
determine the student’s eligibility to participate in a special program or receive
financial assistance under such a program.
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You will be able to inspect the survey or other instrument and any instructional materials
used in connection with such a survey, analysis, or evaluation.
Accessing Student Records
You may review your child’s student records (FL Local). These records include:
o Attendance records
o Test Scores
o Grades
o Disciplinary records
o Counseling records
o Psychological records
o Health and immunization information
o Other medical records
o Teacher and counselor evaluations
o Reports of behavioral patterns
o State assessment instruments that have been administered to your child
Removing a Student Temporarily from the Classroom
You may remove your child temporarily from the classroom if an instructional activity in
which your child is scheduled to participate in conflicts with your religious or moral
beliefs. The removal cannot be for the purpose of avoiding a test and may not extend for
an entire semester. Further, your child must satisfy grade-level requirements as
determined by the school and by the Texas Education Agency.
Requesting Limited or No Contact with a Student through Electronic Media
Teachers and other approved employees are permitted by the district to communicate
with students through the use of electronic media within the scope of the individual’s
professional responsibilities. For examples, a teacher may set up a social networking
page for his or her class that has information related to class work, homework, and tests.
As a parent, you are welcome to join or become a member of such a page.
An employee described above may also contact a student individually through electronic
media to communicate about items such as homework or upcoming tests.
If you prefer that your child not receive any one-to-one electronic communications from
a district employee or if you have questions related to the use of electronic media by
district employees, please contact the campus principal or your child’s teacher.
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Options and Requirements for Providing Assistance to Students Who Have
Learning Difficulties or Who Need or May Need Special Education Services
If a child is experiencing learning difficulties, the parent may contact the school
counselor to learn about the district’s overall general education referral or screening
system for support services. This system links students to a variety of support options,
including referral for a special education evaluation. Students having difficulty in the
regular classroom should be considered for tutorial, compensatory, and other academic or
behavior support services that are available to all students including a process based on
Response to Intervention (RtI). The implementation of RtI has the potential to have a
positive impact on the ability of school districts to meet the needs of all struggling
students.
At any time, a parent is entitled to request an evaluation for special education services.
Within a reasonable amount of time, the district must decide if the evaluation is needed.
If the evaluation is needed, the parent will be notified and asked to provide informed
written consent for the evaluation. The district must complete the evaluation and the
report within 60 calendar days of the date the district receives the written consent. The
district must give a copy of the report to the parent.
If the district determines that the evaluation is not needed, the district will provide the
parent with prior written notice that explains why the child will not be evaluated. This
written notice will include a statement that informs the parents of their rights, if they
disagree with the district. The district is required to give parents the Notice of Procedural
Safeguards—Rights of Parents of Students with Disabilities. Additional information
regarding the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is available from the
school district in a companion document, A Guide to the Admission, Review, and
Dismissal Process.
Student Records
Both federal and state laws safeguard student records from unauthorized inspection or use
and provide parents and eligible students certain rights of privacy. Before disclosing any
personally identifiable information from a student’s records, the district must verify the
identity of the person, including a parent or the student, requesting the information. For
purposes of student records, an “eligible” student is one who is 18 or older OR who is
attending an institution of postsecondary education (FL Local).
Virtually all information pertaining to student performance, including grades, test
results, and disciplinary records, is considered confidential educational records. Release
is restricted to:
■ The parents—whether married, separated, or divorced—unless the school is given
a copy of a court order terminating parental rights or the right to access a
student’s education records.
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Federal law requires that, as soon as a student becomes 18, is emancipated by a court, or
enrolls in a postsecondary institution, control of the records goes to the student. The
parents may continue to have access to the records, however, if the student is a dependent
for tax purposes and under limited circumstances when there is a threat to the health and
safety of the student or other individuals.
■ District school officials who have what federal law refers to as a “legitimate
educational interest” in a student’s records. School officials would include trustees
and employees, such as the superintendent, administrators, and principals; teachers,
counselors, diagnosticians, and support staff; a person or company with whom the
district has contracted or allowed to provide a particular service or function (such as
an attorney, consultant, auditor, medical consultant, therapist, or volunteer); a
parent or student serving on a school committee; or a parent or student assisting a
school official in the performance of his or her duties. “Legitimate educational
interest” in a student’s records includes working with the student; considering
disciplinary or academic actions, the student’s case, or an individualized education
program for a student with disabilities; compiling statistical data; reviewing an
educational record to fulfill the official’s professional responsibility; or
investigating or evaluating programs.
■ Various governmental agencies, including juvenile service providers.
■ Individuals granted access in response to a subpoena or court order.
Records may be inspected by a parent or eligible student during regular school
hours. The records custodian or designee will respond to reasonable requests for
explanation and interpretation of the records.
A parent or eligible student who provides a written request and pays copying costs of
ten cents per page may obtain copies. If circumstances prevent inspection during regular
school hours and the student qualifies for free or reduced-price meals, the district will
either provide a copy of the records requested or make other arrangements for the parent
or student to review these records.
The parent’s or eligible student’s right of access to and copies of student records do not
extend to all records. Materials that are not considered educational records—such as a
teacher’s personal notes about a student that are shared only with a substitute teacher—do
not have to be made available to the parents or student.
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SECTION II: OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR
STUDENTS AND PARENTS
Topics in this section of the handbook contain important information on academics, school activities, and school operations and requirements. Take a moment with your child to become familiar with the various issues addressed in this section. It is organized in alphabetical order to serve as a quick‐reference when you or your child has a question about a specific school‐related issue. Should you be unable to find the information on a particular topic, please contact John Wilde at 956‐618‐
6031.
ABSENCES/ATTENDANCE
Regular school attendance is essential for a student to make the most of his or her
education-to benefit from teacher-led and school activities, to build each day’s learning
on the previous day’s, and to grow as an individual. Absences from class may result in
serious disruption of a student’s mastery of the instructional materials; therefore, the
student and parent should make every effort to avoid unnecessary absences. Two state
laws – one dealing with compulsory attendance, the other with attendance for course
credit – are of special interest to students and parents. There are discussed below.
Compulsory Attendance
State law requires that a student between the ages of six and 18 attend school, as well
as any applicable accelerated instruction program, extended year program, or tutorial
session, unless the student is otherwise excused from attendance or legally exempt.
Students enrolled in prekindergarten or kindergarten are required to attend school.
State law requires attendance in an accelerated reading instruction program when
kindergarten, first grade, or second grade students are assigned to such a program.
Parents will be notified in writing if their child is assigned to an accelerated reading
instruction program as a result of a diagnostic reading instrument.
A student in grades 3–8 will be required to attend any assigned accelerated instruction
program, which may occur before or after school or during the summer, if the student
does not meet the passing standards on the state assessment for his or her grade level and
applicable subject area.
Exemptions to Compulsory Attendance
State law allows exemptions to the compulsory attendance requirements for several
types of absences if the student makes up all work. These include the following
activities and events:
■
■
■
■
■
Religious holy days;
Required court appearances;
Activities related to obtaining United States citizenship;
Service as an election clerk; and
Documented health-care appointments, including absences for recognized services
for students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. A note from the healthcare provider must be submitted upon the student’s return to campus.
In addition, a junior or senior student’s absence of up to two days related to visiting a
college or university will be considered an exemption, provided the student receives
approval from the campus principal, follows the campus procedures to verify such a
visit, and makes up any work missed.
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Failure to Comply with Compulsory Attendance
School employees must investigate and report violations of the state compulsory
attendance law. A student absent without permission from school; from any class; from
required special programs, such as additional special instruction, termed “accelerated
instruction” by the state; or from required tutorials will be considered in violation of the
compulsory attendance law and subject to disciplinary action.
A court of law may also impose penalties against both the student and his or her
parents if a school-aged student is deliberately not attending school. A complaint
against the parent may be filed in court if the student:
■ Is absent from school on ten or more days or parts of days within a six-month
period in the same school year, or
■ Is absent on three or more days or parts of days within a four-week period.
For a student younger than 12 years of age, the student’s parent could be charged with a
criminal offense based on the student’s failure to attend school.
If a student age 12 through age 17 violates the compulsory attendance law, both the
parent and student could be charged with a criminal offense. See policy FEA(LEGAL).
Attendance for Credit
According to FEC (Local): A student and the student’s parent or guardian shall be given
written notice prior to and at such time when a student’s attendance in any class drops
below 90 percent of the days the class is offered. When a student’s attendance drops
below 90 percent but remains at least at 75 percent of the days the class is offered, the
student may earn credit for the class by completing a plan approved by the principal. This
plan must provide for the student to meet the instructional requirements of the class as
determined by the principal.
If the student fails to successfully complete the plan, or when a student’s attendance
drops below 75 percent of the days the class is offered, the student, parent, or
representative may request award of credit by submitting a written petition to the
appropriate attendance committee. Petitions for credit may be filed no later than ten days
after the student and parent receive notice. The attendance committee shall review the
student’s entire attendance record and the reasons for absences and shall determine
whether to award credit. The committee may also, whether a petition is filed or not,
review the records of all students whose attendance drops below 90 percent of the days
the class is offered. Students who have lost credit because of excessive absences may
regain credit by fulfilling the requirements established by the attendance committee.
For further information please refer to district policy FEC (Local).
Parent or Doctor Note after an Absence
When a student must be absent from school, the student—upon returning to school—
must bring a note signed by the parent or doctor that indicates the reason for the absence.
Should the student develop a questionable pattern of absences, the principal or attendance
committee may require a statement from a doctor or health clinic verifying the illness or
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condition that caused the student’s absence from school. The final decision as to whether
an absence is considered excused or unexcused will be made by the campus principal.
BULLYING
Bullying occurs when a student or group of students engages in written or verbal
expression, expression through electronic methods, or physical conduct against
another student on school property, at a school-sponsored or -related activity, or in
a district operated vehicle, and the behavior:
■ Results in harm to the student or the student’s property,
■ Places a student in reasonable fear of physical harm or of damage to the student’s
property, or
■ Is so severe, persistent, and pervasive that it creates an intimidating,
threatening, or abusive educational environment.
Bullying is prohibited by the district and could include hazing, threats, taunting, teasing,
confinement, assault, demands for money, destruction of property, theft of valued
possessions, name-calling, rumor-spreading, or ostracism. In some cases, bullying can
occur through electronic methods, called “cyberbullying.”
If a student believes that he or she has experienced bullying or has witnessed bullying
of another student, it is important for the student or parent to notify a teacher,
counselor, principal, or another district employee as soon as possible to obtain
assistance and intervention. The administration will investigate any allegations of
bullying or other related misconduct.
CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE AND OTHER MALTREATMENT OF CHILDREN
As a parent, it is important for you to be aware of warning signs that could indicate a
child may have been or is being sexually abused. Sexual abuse in the Texas Family Code
is defined as any sexual conduct harmful to a child’s mental, emotional, or physical
welfare as well as a failure to make a reasonable effort to prevent sexual conduct with a
child. Anyone who suspects that a child has been or may be abused or neglected has a
legal responsibility, under state law, for reporting the suspected abuse or neglect to law
enforcement or to Child Protective Services (CPS).
Possible physical warning signs of sexual abuse could be difficulty sitting or walking,
pain in the genital areas, and claims of stomachaches and headaches. Behavioral
indicators may include verbal references or pretend games of sexual activity between
adults and children, fear of being alone with adults of a particular gender, or sexually
suggestive behavior. Emotional warning signs to be aware of include withdrawal,
depression, sleeping and eating disorders, and problems in school.
A child who has experienced sexual abuse or any other type of abuse or neglect should
be encouraged to seek out a trusted adult. Be aware as a parent or other trusted adult
that disclosures of sexual abuse may be more indirect than disclosures of physical abuse
and neglect, and it is important to be calm and comforting if your child, or another
child, confides in you. Reassure the child that he or she did the right thing by telling
you.
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As a parent, if your child is a victim of sexual abuse or other maltreatment, the campus
counselor or principal will provide information regarding counseling options for you and
your child available in your area. The Texas Department of Family and Protective
Services (TDFPS) also manages early intervention counseling programs.
To find out what services may be available in your county, see
http://www.dfps.state.tx.us/Prevention_and_Early_Intervention/Programs_Available_In_
Your_County/defa ult.asp.
The following Web sites might help you become more aware of child
abuse and neglect:
http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/factsheets/signs.cfm
http://sapn.nonprofitoffice.com/
http://www.taasa.org/member/materials2.php
http://www.oag.state.tx.us/AG_Publications/txts/childabuse1.shtml
http://www.oag.state.tx.us/AG_Publications/txts/childabul
Reports may be made to:
The Child Protective Services (CPS) division of the Texas Department of Family and
Protective Services (1-800-252-5400 or on the Web at http://www.txabusehotline.org).
COMPLAINTS AND CONCERNS
Usually student or parent complaints or concerns can be addressed by a phone call or a
conference with the teacher or principal. For those complaints and concerns that cannot
be handled so easily, the district has adopted a standard complaint policy at
FNG(LOCAL) in the district’s policy manual. A copy of this policy may be obtained in
the principal’s or superintendent’s office, or on the district’s Web site at
www.mcallenisd.org.
In general, the student or parent should submit a written complaint and request a
conference with the campus principal. If the concern is not resolved, a parent may submit
a formal complaint at the McAllen ISD Student Support Services Department 2112 N.
Main Street, McAllen, TX Phone 956-618-6031.
CONDUCT
Applicability of School Rules
As required by law, the board has adopted a Student Code of Conduct that prohibits
certain behaviors and defines standards of acceptable behavior—both on and off
campus—and consequences for violation of these standards. The district has disciplinary
authority over a student in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct. Students and
parents should be familiar with the standards set out in the Student Code of Conduct, as
well as campus and classroom rules FNC (LOCAL).
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DRESS AND GROOMING
The District’s dress code is established to instill discipline, prevent disruption, avoid
safety hazards, and teach respect for authority. Students shall be dressed and groomed in
a manner that is clean and neat and that will not be a health or safety hazard to themselves or others.
The District prohibits any clothing or grooming that in the principal’s judgment may
reasonably be expected to cause disruption of or interference with normal school
operations.
The District prohibits pictures, emblems, or writings on clothing that:
1. Are lewd, offensive, vulgar, or obscene.
2. Advertise or depict tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, drugs, or any other
substance prohibited under FNCF(LEGAL).
The student and parent may determine the student’s personal dress and grooming
standards, provided that they comply with the general guidelines set out above and with
the student dress code in the Student Code of Conduct.
If the principal determines that a student’s grooming or clothing violates the school’s
dress code, the student will be given an opportunity to correct the problem at school. If
not corrected, the student will be assigned to in-school suspension for the remainder of
the day, until the problem is corrected, or until a parent or designee brings an acceptable
change of clothing to the school. Repeated offenses may result in more serious
disciplinary action in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.
Acceptable Use of District Technology Resources
To prepare students for an increasingly technological society, the district has made an
investment in the use of district-owned technology resources for instructional purposes;
specific resources may be issued individually to students. Use of these technological
resources, which include the district’s network systems and use of district equipment, is
restricted to approved purposes only. Students and parents will be asked to sign a user
agreement (separate from this handbook) regarding use of these district resources.
Violations of the user agreement may result in withdrawal of privileges and other
disciplinary action. CQ (LOCAL)
Unacceptable and Inappropriate Use of Technology Resources
Students are prohibited from possessing, sending, forwarding, posting, accessing, or
displaying electronic messages that are abusive, obscene, sexually oriented, threatening,
harassing, damaging to another’s reputation, or illegal. This prohibition also applies to
conduct off school property, whether the equipment used to send such messages is
district-owned or personally owned, if it results in a substantial disruption to the
educational environment.
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FEES
Materials that are part of the basic educational program are provided with state and local
funds at no charge to a student. A student, however, is expected to provide his or her
own pencils, paper, erasers, and notebooks and may be required to pay certain other fees
or deposits, including:
o Security deposits
o Fees for lost, damaged, or overdue library books
GRADING GUIDELINES
The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that each campus or instructional level
develops guidelines for teachers to follow in determining grades for students. These
guidelines shall ensure that grading reflects a student’s relative mastery of an assignment
and that a sufficient number of grades are taken to support the grade average assigned.
Guidelines for grading shall be clearly communicated to students and parents. The
District shall permit a student who meets the criteria detailed in the grading guidelines a
reasonable opportunity to redo an assignment or retake a test for which the student
received a failing grade. A student who has a grade of “Incomplete” at the end of a
grading period, and who is eligible under the grading guidelines to redo an assignment or
retake a test, shall complete all work, including any retest, within two school days after
the end of the grading period in order to replace the “Incomplete” grade. EIA
(Guidelines)
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY FOR STUDENTS IN ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE
SCHOOL
In accordance with policies at EHAB, EHAC, EHBG, [and FFA], the district will ensure
that students in fullday prekindergarten through grade 5 engage in moderate or vigorous
physical activity for at least 30 minutes per day or 135 minutes per week.
Students in middle or junior high school will engage in [30 minutes of moderate or
vigorous physical activity per day for at least four semesters OR at least 225 minutes of
moderate or vigorous physical activity within each two‐week period for at least four
semesters]. For additional information on the district’s requirements and programs
regarding elementary, middle, and junior high school student physical activity
requirements, please see the principal.
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HEALTH-RELATED MATTERS
COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOL HEALTH SERVICES
Absences due to Health Care
A student shall be excused for a temporary absence resulting from a health
care appointment, if that student commences classes or returns to school
on the same day of the appointment.
A student who becomes ill during the school day should, with the
teacher’s permission, report to the school nurse. The nurse or campus staff
will notify the student’s parent should it be determined that the student
should be sent home. Because class time is important, doctor’s
appointments should be scheduled, if possible, at times when the student
will not miss instructional time.
BACTERIAL MENINGITIS:
State law specifically requires the District to provide the following information:
WHAT IS MENINGITIS?
Meningitis is an inflammation of the covering of the brain and spinal cord.
It can be caused by viruses, parasites, fungi, and bacteria. Viral meningitis
is most common and the least serious. Bacterial meningitis is the most
common form of serious bacterial infection with the potential for serious,
long-term complications. It is an uncommon disease, but requires urgent
treatment with antibiotics to prevent permanent damage or death.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
Someone with meningitis will become very ill. The illness may develop
over one or two days, but it can also rapidly progress in a matter of hours.
Not everyone with meningitis will have the same symptoms. Children
(over 1 year old) and adults with meningitis may have a severe headache,
high temperature, vomiting, sensitivity to bright lights, neck stiffness or
joint pains, and drowsiness or confusion. In both children and adults, there
may be a rash of tiny, red-purple spots. These can occur anywhere on the
body. The diagnosis of bacterial meningitis is based on a combination of
symptoms and laboratory results.
HOW SERIOUS IS BACTERIAL MENINGITIS?
If it is diagnosed early and treated promptly, the majority of people make a
complete recovery. In some cases it can be fatal or a person may be left
with a permanent disability.
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HOW IS BACTERIAL MENINGITIS SPREAD?
Fortunately, none of the bacteria that cause meningitis are as contagious as
diseases like the common cold or the flu, and they are not spread by casual
contact or by simply breathing the air where a person with meningitis has
been. The germs live naturally in the back of our noses and throats, but
they do not live for long outside the body. They are spread when people
exchange saliva (such as by kissing; sharing drinking containers, utensils,
or cigarettes). The germ does not cause meningitis in most people. Instead,
most people become carriers of the germ for days, weeks, or even months.
The bacteria rarely overcome the body's immune system and cause
meningitis or another serious illness.
HOW CAN BACTERIAL MENINGITIS BE PREVENTED?
Do not share food, drinks, utensils, toothbrushes, or cigarettes. Limit the
number of persons you kiss. Vaccines against pneumococcal disease are
recommended both for young children and adults over 64. A vaccine
against four meningococcal serogroups (A, C, Y, W-135) is available.
These four groups cause the majority of meningococcal cases in the
United States. Also, a vaccine is recommended by some groups for college
students, particularly freshmen living in dorms or residence halls.
The vaccine is safe and effective (85–90 percent). It can cause mild side
effects, such as redness and pain at the injection site lasting up to two
days. Immunity develops within seven to ten days after the vaccine is
given and lasts for up to five years.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU THINK YOU OR A FRIEND
MIGHT HAVE BACTERIAL MENINGITIS?
You should seek prompt medical attention.
WHERE CAN YOU GET MORE INFORMATION?
Your school nurse, family doctor, and the staff at your local or regional
health department office are excellent sources for information on all
communicable diseases. You may also call your local health department or
Regional Texas Department of Health office to ask about meningococcal
vaccine.
Additional information may also be found at the web sites for the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention, http://www.cdc.gov, and the Texas
Department of Health, http://www.tdh.state.tx.us/.
COMMUNICABLE DISEASES / CONDITIONS
To protect other students from contagious illnesses, students infected with
certain diseases are not allowed to come to school while contagious. If a
parent suspects that his or her child has a communicable or contagious
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disease, the parent should contact the school nurse or principal so that
other students who might have been exposed to the disease can be alerted.
Confidentiality will be maintained concerning information or knowledge
about the students, except where required by law.
Schools must exclude a student from attendance while the disease is
contagious and until the re-admittance criteria have been met. The student
shall be readmitted with a written statement by a Texas licensed health
care provider stating the student has been examined, is no longer
contagious, and has been cleared to return to school [See policy FFAD]
The school nurse or the principal's office can provide information from the
Texas Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
regarding these diseases.
There are some conditions that will require a student to be kept at home
while he or she is contagious. Students who have a fever of 100.1 or
greater will be excluded from school. Students who have experienced a
fever of 100.1 or greater must remain out of school for twenty-four hours
and be fever free for 24 hours without the administration of fever reducing
medications. Students who experience vomiting twice or more over a 24hour period, are unable to tolerate normal food and drinks, have repeated
bouts of severe diarrhea or bloody stools should not attend school for at
least a day. If antibiotic therapy for a contagious disease is begun, the
students must remain out of school for the initial twenty four hours.
According to Texas Law a student who has live lice during a head check
will be sent home and will be excluded from school. Parents/guardians
will be advised to pick up the student from school and the student will be
referred for appropriate treatment. The student will be allowed to return to
school after one medicated shampoo or lotion treatment has been applied
and the removal of live lice and nits has been done. All excluded students
will be checked prior to re-admission to school and will be allowed to
return to class if there are no live lice and only a few or no nits are found
on the student’s hair or scalp. The student is then rechecked for head
lice/nits in seven (7) school days. It may be necessary to further exclude a
student when they attempt to return to school and live lice remain present.
All checks for head lice are performed in a confidential manner and the
student’s right to privacy is provided to the extent possible to avoid
embarrassment.
If a student is checked by a Texas Health Care Provider the student must
return with a statement from a physician stating they have been examined
and released to return to school head lice free.
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The following are some of the most common communicable diseases:
Amebiasis
Campylobacteriosis
Chicken Pox
Common Cold w/fever
Fifth Disease
Gastroenteritis, Viral
German Measles (Rubella)
Giardiasis
Head Lice (pediculosis)
Hepatitis
Impetigo
Infectious Mononucleosis
Influenza (flu)
Measles (Rubeola)
Meningitis, Bacterial
Mumps
Pinkeye (Conjunctivitis)
Ringworm (tinea)
Salmonellosis
Scabies
Shigellosis
Streptococcal
Tuberculosis
Typhoid Fever
Whooping Cough
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT METHICILLINRESISTANT STAPHYLOCOCCUS AUREUS (MRSA) IN
SCHOOLS
WHAT TYPE OF INFECTIONS DOES MRSA CAUSE?
In the community most MRSA infections are skin infections that may
appear as pustules or boils which often are red, swollen, painful, or have
pus or other drainage. These skin infections commonly occur at sites of
visible skin trauma, such as cuts and abrasions, and areas of the body
covered by hair (e.g. back of neck, groin, buttock, armpit, beard area of
men).
Almost all MRSA skin infections can be effectively treated by drainage of
pus with or without antibiotics. More serious infections, such as
pneumonia, bloodstream infections, or bone infections, are very rare in
healthy people who get MRSA skin infections.
HOW IS MRSA TRANSMITTED?
MRSA is usually transmitted by direct skin-to skin contact or contact with
shared items or surfaces that have come in contact with someone else’s
skin infection (e.g. towels, used bandages).
IN WHAT SETTINGS DO MRSA SKIN INFECTIONS OCCUR?
MRSA skin infections can occur anywhere. Some settings have factors
that make it easier for MRSA to be transmitted.

These factors, referred to as the 5 C’s, are as follows:
o Crowding,
o Frequent skin-to-skin Contact,
o Compromised skin (i.e., cuts or abrasions),
o Contaminated items and surfaces,
o Lack of Cleanliness.
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Locations where the 5 C’s are common include schools, dormitories,
military barracks, households, correctional facilities, and daycare
centers.
HOW DO I PROTECT MYSELF FROM GETTING MRSA?
You can protect yourself by:
 practicing good hygiene (e.g., keeping your hands clean by washing
with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer and
showering immediately after participating in exercise);
 covering skin trauma such as abrasions or cuts with a clean dry
bandage until healed;
 avoiding sharing personal items (e.g., towels, razors) that come into
contact with your bare skin; and using a barrier (e.g., clothing or a
towel) between your skin and shared equipment such as weighttraining benches;
 maintaining a clean environment by establishing cleaning procedures
for frequently touched surfaces and surfaces that come in direct
contact with people’s skin.
SHOULD SCHOOLS CLOSE BECAUSE OF AN MRSA
INFECTION?
The decision to close a school for any communicable disease should be
made by school officials in consultation with local and or state public
health officials. However, in most cases, it is not necessary to close
schools because of an MRSA infection in a student. It is important to note
that MRSA transmission can be prevented by simple measures such as
hand hygiene and covering skin infections.
SHOULD THE SCHOOL BE CLOSED TO BE CLEANED OR
DISINFECTED WHEN AN MRSA INFECTION OCCURS?
Covering infections will greatly reduce the risks of surfaces becoming
contaminated with MRSA. In general it is not necessary to close schools
to “disinfect” them when MRSA infections occur. MRSA skin infections
are transmitted primarily by skin-to-skin contact and contact with surfaces
that have come into contact with someone else’s skin infection.
When MRSA skin infections occur, cleaning and disinfection should be
performed on surfaces that are likely to contact uncovered or poorly
covered infections.
Cleaning surfaces with detergent-based cleaners or Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) -registered disinfectants is effective at removing
MRSA from the environment.
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SHOULD THE ENTIRE SCHOOL COMMUNITY BE NOTIFIED
OF EVERY MRSA INFECTION?
Usually, it should not be necessary to inform the entire school community
about a single MRSA infection. When an MRSA infection occurs within
the school population, the school nurse and school physician should
determine, based on their medical judgment, whether some or all students,
parents and staff should be notified. Consultation with the local public
health authorities should be used to guide this decision.
SHOULD THE SCHOOL BE NOTIFIED THAT MY CHILD HAS
AN MRSA INFECTION?
It is strongly recommended that parents/guardians inform the school nurse
of a MRSA infection.
SHOULD STUDENTS WITH MRSA SKIN INFECTIONS BE
EXCLUDED FROM ATTENDING SCHOOL?
Unless directed by a physician, students with MRSA infections should not
be excluded from attending school. Exclusion from school and sports
activities should be reserved for those with wound drainage (“pus”) that
cannot be covered and contained with a clean, dry bandage and for those
who cannot maintain good personal hygiene.
I HAVE AN MRSA SKIN INFECTION. HOW DO I PREVENT
SPREADING IT TO OTHERS?
Cover your wound. Keep wounds that are draining or have pus covered
with clean, dry bandages until healed. Follow your healthcare provider’s
instructions on proper care of the wound. Pus from infected wounds can
contain staph, including MRSA, so keeping the infection covered will help
prevent the spread to others. Bandages and tape can be discarded with the
regular trash.
Clean your hands frequently. You, your family, and others in close contact
should wash their hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcoholbased hand sanitizer, especially after changing the bandage or touching the
infected wound.
Do not share personal items. Avoid sharing personal items, such as towels,
washcloths, razors, clothing, or uniforms that may have had contact with
the infected wound or bandage. Wash sheets, towels, and clothes that
become soiled with water and laundry detergent. Use a dryer to dry
clothes completely.
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Food Allergies
The district requests to be notified when a student has been diagnosed with a food
allergy, especially those allergies that could result in dangerous or possibly
life‐threatening reactions either by inhalation, ingestion, or skin contact with the
particular food. It is important to disclose the food to which the student is allergic, as well
as the nature of the allergic reaction. Please contact the school nurse or campus principal
if your child has a known food allergy or as soon as possible after any diagnosis of a food
allergy.
The district has developed and annually reviews a food allergy management plan, which
addresses employee training, dealing with common food allergens, and specific strategies
for dealing with students diagnosed with severe food allergies. When the district receives
information that a student has a food allergy that puts the student at risk for anaphylaxis,
individual care plans will be developed to assist the student in safely accessing the school
environment. The district’s food allergy management plan can be accessed at Food &
Nutrition Services 956-632-3226 Also see policy FFAF.
McAllen ISD REPORTING AND OUTBREAK MANAGEMENT:
As per HCHD, Staph is not typically subject to mandatory disease
reporting in Texas. If more than two staph infections occur in the same
setting (classroom or office), it is possible that transmission is occurring in
that setting.
For more information on MRSA log on to:
www.cdc.gov/Features/MRSAinSchools/.
Emergency Medical Treatment and Information
The school is able to provide basic first aid to students who are injured or become ill
at school. The following topical generic preparations may be available for use in the
nurse’s office. Unless a parent specifically states such preparations are not to be used
on his/her child, they will be administered accordingly.
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Alcohol
Bactine or Medi Quik
Caladryl Lotion
Carmex
Chloroseptic
Eye Irrigation Solution
Hydrogen Peroxide
Orasol Oral Anesthetic
Tinactin/Desenex
Triple Antibiotic Ointment
Warm salt water gargles
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Parents will be called for more severe injuries and illnesses.
Parents/guardians are asked to update their child’s medical history yearly,
especially in regard to medical conditions, allergies, medications, foods,
insect bites, etc. In case of a medical emergency or school related activity
injury, the parent is also asked to give their consent to give/obtain
emergency medical treatment. Neither the school nor McAllen ISD is
responsible for the cost of services provided by an ambulance, private
physician, or hospital. Students may not be treated at the hospital without
the consent of the parent except in life threatening situations. Every effort
is made to locate parents in the event of an emergency. Parents must
therefore provide a current address and telephone number, so that they
may be reached. The district is required to have emergency information
on file. It is strongly recommended that we have at least 3 reliable
emergency contacts in the event we are unable to contact you. Please
contact the school nurse to update any new information that the school
nurse or teacher needs to know.
IMMUNIZATION REQUIREMENTS FOR SCHOOL ENTRY
(2012-2013):
Students cannot register without proper immunizations. A student must be
fully immunized against certain diseases or must present a certificate or
statement that, for medical reasons or for reasons of conscience, including
a religious belief, the student will not be immunized.
The immunizations required are: diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (DTaP or
Tdap), rubeola (German Measles), rubella, mumps (MMR), poliomyelitis
(polio), hepatitis A, hepatitis B, meningococcal (MCV) and varicella
(chicken pox). The school nurse can provide information on ageappropriate doses as needed. History of chicken pox illness can be
accepted in lieu of the vaccine by parents’/guardians’ confirmation and
signature of the disease. Serologic confirmation of immunity to measles,
mumps, rubella, hepatitis B, hepatitis A or varicella is acceptable in place
of the vaccines. Proof of immunization may be established by personal
records from a licensed physician or public health clinic with a signature
or rubber-stamp validation.
If a student is unable to be immunized due to medical reasons, the student
or parent must present a certificate signed by a U.S. licensed physician
stating that, in the doctor's opinion, the immunization required poses a
significant risk to the health and well-being of the student or member of
the student's family or household. This certificate must be renewed yearly
unless the physician specifies a life-long condition. [For further
information, see policy FFAB (LEGAL) and the Department of State
Health Services Web site: http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/immunize/school
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Education code 38.001 sets the standard for an exemption for religious
beliefs that were based on beliefs and practices of a recognized church or
which the student is a member to “reasons of conscience, including a
religious belief.” In order to qualify under this standard, a parent must use
only an official form obtained in writing from the Department of State
Health Services, Immunizations Division, 1100 West 49th Street, Austin,
TX 78756. The form must be notarized and the original document must
be submitted to the principal or school nurse before registration of the
student can be processed. Each child in the family must have a separate
form. Upon student’s withdrawal the original form will be returned to the
parent/guardian.
Students coming from another school district within Texas that are unable
to provide a proper immunization record can be given up to 30 days to
provide a record. However, once an immunization record or a faxed copy
is obtained from another district, physician, or health clinic showing that
the student is deficient, the parents will be notified of the required
immunizations before the student is allowed to return to school. Students
coming from another state or country that are unable to provide a proper
immunization record shall be immunized before they are allowed to
register in school.
HEALTH SCREENINGS/ PHYSICAL EXAMINATIONS
The District will conduct vision, hearing, spinal, dental, and Risk
Assessment for Type 2 Diabetes in Children (Acanthosis Nigricans)
screenings in designated grades as per Board Policies FFAA. A written
referral notice will be sent to parents of any abnormal findings. Other
screenings conducted as needed include head check for lice. Parents have
the option to contact the school nurse if they prefer not to have the
screenings performed at school and instead prefer to have their doctor
conduct the screenings. Parents must submit the results, of the doctorconducted screenings, to the school nurse within 120 days of admission to
school of the current school year.
MEDICINE AT SCHOOL
Often, students have to take temporary prescription medication for a
medical condition. If at all possible, we ask that you schedule the timing
of the doses so that the child takes the medicine at home. If students have
to take medicine at school, an adult parent/guardian must deliver the
medication to the school nurse. Students are not allowed to carry ANY
type of medication, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter
medication, items such as Tylenol, cough drops, etc. Possession of
drugs of any kind can lead to serious disciplinary action as per the
Student Code of Conduct guidelines.
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Student medication may be administered at the health room, under the
following guidelines:
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First dose of a new medication must be administered at home for
health and safety purposes.
All prescribed medication must be ordered by a USA licensed
physician. Only medication approved by the Food and Drug
Administration will be accepted for administration at school.
Medications from Mexico will not be given. The prescription must be
prescribed during the present school year for that individual student.
If a student is transferring from another state a maximum of two
weeks is allowed for the nurse to administer the medication as long as
the medication is in the properly pharmacy labeled container until a
local physician is consulted and new orders are obtained. Parents must
come by the school to sign all necessary medication forms.
The parent must bring the medication to the school nurse and
complete a form indicating written permission to administer the
medication and also noting the time and dosage to give.
Medication must be in the original pharmacy labeled container
indicating the student’s name, name of medication, physician’s or
licensed health care provider’s name, dosage (amount), time and
frequency.
If the prescription changes during the school year, the parent must
obtain new written orders from the physician in order to make
any administration changes in school.
A separate supply of medication must be kept at school. Medication
shall not be transported between home and school on a daily or weekly
basis
Only the nurse or other authorized school employees are permitted to
administer prescription medicines at school. Other than prescription
asthma medicine or anaphylaxis treatment for students with severe
allergies that may result in anaphylaxis, we do not permit students to carry
their own medications. District employees will not give a student
prescription medication, nonprescription medication, herbal substances,
anabolic steroids, or dietary supplements, with the following exceptions:
Only authorized employees, in accordance with policies at
FFAC, may administer:
 Prescription medication, in the original, properly labeled container,
provided by the parent, along with a written request.
 Prescription medication from a properly labeled unit dosage container
filled by a registered nurse or another qualified District employee
from the original, properly labeled container.
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Nonprescription medication, in the original, properly labeled
container, provided by the parent along with a written request. Non
prescription medicine will be administered at the proper time(s) for a
maximum of 5 days without a doctor’s order.
Samples of prescribed medications must be labeled with the child’s
name and accompanied by a Texas licensed physician’s signed order.
Herbal or dietary supplements provided by the parent only if required
by the student’s individualized education program (IEP) or Section
504 plan for a student with disabilities.
In certain emergency situations, the district will maintain and administer
to a student nonprescription medication, but only:
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In accordance with the guidelines developed with the district’s medical
advisor and when the parent has previously provided written consent
to emergency treatment on the district’s form.
If the student has been prescribed asthma or anaphylaxis medication
for use during the school day, the student and parents shall discuss this
with the school nurse and principal.
A student with asthma or severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) may be
permitted to possess and use prescribed asthma or anaphylaxis
medication at school or school-related events only if he or she has
written authorization from his or her parent and a physician or other
licensed health-care provider. The physician or other licensed healthcare provider must be licensed to practice in the U.S. Authorization
from physicians or other health-care providers licensed outside of the
U.S. shall not be accepted. The authorization must be on file with the
school nurse. The student must also demonstrate to his or her
physician or health-care provider and to the school nurse, the ability to
safely use the prescribed medication, including any device required to
administer the medication.
In accordance with HB 984 addressing a student’s individual health
plan for management of diabetes, a student with diabetes will be
permitted to possess and use monitoring and treatment supplies and
equipment while at school or at a school-related activity. A student
with diabetes who needs treatment or care at school must have a
Diabetes Management and Treatment Plan (DMTP) developed by the
physician and parent. A copy shall to be provided to the school; from
this, the principal, nurse, parent or guardian, physician, and teachers
are to develop an individualized health plan (IHP) for the student. The
parent or guardian must sign an authorization form for care to be given
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at school. See the school nurse or principal for information. [See
policy FFAF (LEGAL).]

USDA regulations require that any substitutions or modifications
requiring a special diet in school meals for children whose disabilities
restrict their diets be supported by a statement from a Texas licensed
physician indicating the student’s medical condition or disability.
Annual documentation of revision of special diets will be required.
All medications will be kept in the nurse’s office unless there are written
orders to the contrary. When medication is discontinued or the end of the
school year arrives, medication not taken home by the parent shall be
disposed accordingly.
Psychotropic Medications
A psychotropic drug is a substance used in the diagnosis, treatment, or
prevention of a disease or as a component of a medication. It is intended
to have an altering effect on perception, emotion, or behavior and is
commonly described as a mood- or behavior-altering substance.
Teachers and other district employees may discuss a student’s academic progress or
behavior with the student’s parents or another employee as appropriate; however, they
are not permitted to recommend or discuss the use of psychotropic drugs. A district
employee who is a registered nurse, an advanced nurse practitioner, a physician, or a
certified or credentialed mental health professional can recommend that a student be
evaluated by an appropriate medical practitioner, if appropriate. The use of a
psychotropic prescription medication is a decision to be made between a parent and their
physician.
NONDISCRIMINATION STATEMENT
The McAllen Independent School District does not discriminate on the basis of race,
color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its programs and activities and provides
equal access for all students. The following persons have been designated to handle
inquires regarding the non-discrimination policies:
John Wilde, Director for Student Support Services and Title IX
2112 N. Main Street, McAllen, Texas 78501
956-618-6031
Glenda McClendon, Coordinator of Counseling and Guidance and Section 504
2000 North 23rd Street, McAllen, Texas 78501
956-618-6098
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PLEDGES OF ALLEGIANCE AND A MINUTE OF SILENCE
Each school day, students will recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States flag
and the Pledge of Allegiance to the Texas flag. Parents may submit a written
request to the principal to excuse their child from reciting a pledge.
One minute of silence will follow recitation of the pledges. Each student may choose to
reflect, pray, meditate, or engage in any other silent activity during that minute so long
as the silent activity does not interfere with or distract others. See policy EC(LEGAL)
for more information.
PROMOTION AND RETENTION
Promotion and course credit shall be based on mastery of the curriculum. Expectations
and standards for promotion shall be established for each grade level, content area, and
course and shall be coordinated with compensatory/accelerated services. [See EHBC] In
addition to the factors in law that must be considered for promotion, mastery shall be
determined as follows:
1. Course assignments and unit evaluation shall be used to determine student grades in a
subject. An average of 70 or higher shall be considered a passing grade.
2. Mastery of the skills necessary for success at the next level shall be validated by
assessments that may either be incorporated into unit or final examinations or may be
administered separately. Mastery of at least 70 percent of the objectives shall be required.
Prekindergarten students shall receive the following grades: “Y”= met the grade-level
expectations; “N”= did not meet the grade-level expectations; and “P”=progressing.
Kindergarten students shall receive “Y”=met the grade-level expectations; and “N”=did
not meet the grade-level expectations. No student shall be retained in prekindergarten.
In kindergarten, a student shall be promoted to grade 1 unless the classroom teacher
recommends retention, and a committee composed of the classroom teacher, the
principal, and the parent agree that retention is appropriate.
In grades 1–8, promotion to the next grade level shall be based on an overall average of
70 on a scale of 100 based on course-level, grade-level standards (essential knowledge
and skills) for all subject areas, a grade of 70 or above in language arts and mathematics,
and a grade of 70 or above in either science or social studies.
For more information, please refer to district policy EIE (LOCAL).
RELEASE OF STUDENTS FROM SCHOOL
Because class time is important, doctor’s appointments should be scheduled, if possible,
at times when the student will not miss instructional time.
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SAFETY
Student safety on campus and at school-related events is a high priority of the district.
Although the district has implemented safety procedures, the cooperation of students
is essential to ensuring school safety. A student should:
■ Avoid conduct that is likely to put the student or others at risk.
■ Follow the behavioral standards in this handbook and the Student Code of
Conduct, as well as any additional rules for behavior and safety set by the
principal, teachers, or bus drivers.
■ Remain alert to and promptly report to a teacher or the principal any safety hazards,
such as intruders on campus or threats made by any person toward a student or staff
member.
■ Know emergency evacuation routes and signals.
■ Follow immediately the instructions of teachers, bus drivers, and other district
employees who are overseeing the welfare of students.
SPECIAL PROGRAMS
The district provides special programs for gifted and talented students, homeless students,
bilingual students, migrant students, students with limited English proficiency, dyslexic
students, and students with disabilities. The coordinator of each program can answer
questions about eligibility requirements, as well as programs and services offered in the
district or by other organizations. A student or parent with questions about these
programs should contact your child’s teacher or counselor.
STAAR (State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness)
Grades 3–8
In addition to routine tests and other measures of achievement, students at certain grade
levels will take state-mandated assessments, such as the STAAR, in the following
subjects:
■ Mathematics, annually in grades 3–8
■ Reading, annually in grades 3–8
■ Writing, including spelling and grammar, in grades 4 and 7
■ Science in grades 5 and 8
■ Social Studies in grade 8
The 2011–2012 school year was the first year of implementation of the STAAR
testing program. For students who took the STAAR assessments required for grades
3–8 in spring 2012, parents will be informed of their child’s performance once the
results of these assessments are received by the district, expected in January 2013.
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TARDINESS
School begins promptly at 7:50am. Students are expected to be in their seat, ready for
instruction by this time. Repeated instances of tardiness will result in disciplinary action,
in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.
TELECOMMUNCIATION DEVICES
The district prohibits the use of all telecommunication devices, including, cellular
phones, and pager/beepers, at all schools during the instructional school day.
VANDALISM
The taxpayers of the community have made a sustained financial commitment for the
construction and upkeep of school facilities. To ensure that school facilities can serve
those for whom they are intended— both this year and for years to come—littering,
defacing, or damaging school property is not tolerated. Students shall be responsible for
the care and return of state-owned textbooks and may be charged for lost textbooks.
Students will be required to pay for damages to school property, including furniture and
equipment, they cause and will be subject to criminal proceedings as well as disciplinary
consequences in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.
VISITORS TO THE SCHOOL
General Visitors
Parents and others are welcome to visit district schools. For the safety of those within the
school and to avoid disruption of instructional time, all visitors must first report to the
office and must provide identification so that a visitor’s pass may be obtained and worn
when on school grounds.
WITHDRAWING FROM SCHOOL
A student under 18 may be withdrawn from school only by a parent. The school requests
notice from the parent at least three days in advance so that records and documents may
be prepared. The parent may obtain a withdrawal form from the principal’s office.
On the student’s last day, the withdrawal form must be presented to ensure clearance of
books and equipment. A copy of the withdrawal form will be given to the student, and a
copy will be placed in the student’s permanent record.
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