Handbook


Introduction

A Preface to Students From The Faculty

Pembroke Hill’s motto is Freedom With Responsibility. This handbook contains policies that reflect this basic philosophical position. We, the faculty, intend to help you further your sense of responsibility for the well-being of the larger community. To that end, we encourage freedom, with reasonable limitations, and will enforce rules defining those limitations, those necessary to maintain relative freedom for all.

We use the term community here in a very particular way. We believe that the learning experience offered to you at Pembroke Hill School extends well beyond the bounds of the formal classroom and the scheduled academic day. Therefore, we must consider the greater good of the community wherever and whenever we are involved in activities that are formally or informally related to the community.

Students, faculty members, administrators and staff members must commit themselves to ensuring a healthy learning environment. We all realize that there are many pressures in such an environment, and we all must commit ourselves to maintaining a healthy atmosphere at all times. From you, the student, we expect respect, compassion, scholarship and integrity in and out of the classroom.

In this handbook we attempt to define your privileges and responsibilities so you will know what is expected of you as a member of the Pembroke Hill community.


The Academic Program

Grade Reporting System

Report cards are available online at the end of each quarter. In addition to quarter grades, students are evaluated on homework, classroom performance and citizenship. Optional written comments from the teacher are included when appropriate. The grading system in the middle school is A, B, C, D and F. Plus and minus grades may be used with A, B, C and D.

Mid-quarter reports are sent by email when students are working below their capabilities, when students’ overall class performances have dropped significantly or a grade is below C-. All new seventh and eighth grade students will receive a mid-quarter report in the first quarter.

Communication will be sent directly from faculty anytime there is a concern with student behavior or academic performance.

Academic Probation

A student is considered for academic probation if, at the end of the semester, the student:

  • Has failed a course;
  • Has a grade point average in the academic courses (English, math, science, history, foreign language) below C-.

Students considered for probation are evaluated by a committee of grade-level faculty, counselors and the administration. The committee examines all aspects of the student’s record, both curricular and co-curricular, before recommending that a student be placed on probation. The committee is chaired by the principal of the division, and the final decision regarding probation is the responsibility of the principal.

The parents of all students who are considered for academic probation will receive a letter from the principal informing them of the reasons that their son/daughter was considered and the decision on the probation. The letter will communicate the concerns of the faculty and make specific suggestions on how to improve. Contingent on improvement, a student on probation could be reassessed at the end of the next semester.

Failures and Incompletes

Students who fail a course must retake the course, receive tutoring or make it up in summer school. In the case of summer school or tutoring, the student must retake a final exam and may receive a maximum grade of D- for the course.

A grade of incomplete will be allowed only in the case of extreme hardship (illness, death in the family). It is the student’s responsibility to talk with teachers and make arrangements to make up the incomplete work within a reasonable length of time.

Homework

Although there are many variables in establishing guidelines for the amount of time a sixth, seventh or eighth grade student should spend on schoolwork outside of class, our experience tells us that 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours per night is about average. This will increase with above average or accelerated course loads and when students are preparing for major exams.

Care should be taken that students not over extend themselves with outside activities to the point of encroaching on time needed to study. In addition, time for fun and relaxation is also needed. Students cannot continuously work under pressure. Parents should be concerned also when students regularly have no homework. We suggest that if there is a concern, you should contact the school.

Parents and tutors should take care when providing guidance with homework assignments. The help should be limited to assistance, encouragement and support. Students should always do their own work.

Testing and Weekly Test Schedule

To prevent student overload on any given day, major tests, major papers and major projects are assigned according to the following schedule:

MONDAY
FOREIGN LANGUAGE
TUESDAYHISTORY
WEDNESDAY
ENGLISH
THURSDAYSCIENCE
FRIDAYMATHEMATICS






This schedule does not apply to daily quizzes (less than a full period evaluation), and may be departed from if the teacher has checked with the assigned-day teacher to determine that another major test, paper or project is not being given on that day.

Semester Exams

At the end of each semester, seventh and eighth grade students are required to take a 1 1/2 hour comprehensive examination in each academic course. These exams may count as much as 1/8 to 1/3 of the semester grade. Semester exams are given on a special schedule, and students are required to be present only for their scheduled exams.

Semester exams in the middle school serve a two-fold purpose. The exam is a tool to evaluate student achievement. It is also an experience that teaches students the process of gathering material, organizing it, preparing and taking a large comprehensive exam.

Sixth grade students do not take semester exams.They will be on the same exam schedule and will complete comprehensive review material during this time.

Grade Scale

A+ 97-99

A 93-96

A- 90-92

B+ 87-89

B 83-86

B- 80-82

C+ 77-79

C 73-76

C- 70-72

D+ 67-69

D 63-66

D- 60-62

Failing Below 60


Attendance And Absences

Attendance

Students are expected to attend school every day, except in cases of illness. When students are absent, they are limiting their ability to do their best in both their classes and extracurricular activities. When at school, students must attend class unless they have permission to be absent from their teacher or an administrator. If a student is absent from school due to illness, a parent should call the office before 8:30 a.m. that day.

If students are absent for two or more days, they may need to confirm that they have all their assignments and know what work they have missed. Students should refer to the course syllabus, online calendar or contact their teachers directly. If additional assistance is needed, students should call their advisers for help.

Students are expected to arrive at school and class on time. If students show a pattern of tardiness, parents will be contacted and students may be subject to disciplinary action.

School Operating Hours

In an effort to ensure the supervision and safety of all students, please be mindful of the school hours. Unless previously arranged, students are to arrive no earlier than 7:20 a.m. At 3:45 p.m., students who are on campus and not working with a coach or teacher will be asked to go to Extended Day Study Hall. On late start Wednesdays, if students arrive before 9:15 a.m., they are to immediately report to the Commons for attendance.

Students who stay beyond 4 p.m. will be charged the daily drop-in rate ($15) if they are not signed up for the year extended day contract.

Homework Policy For Absences

If your child is absent from class, he/she should review the class homework calendar posted on the school's website.

If a student is absent, he/she may have two days to make up a test. Students may have a day for every day absent to make up daily work. Due dates for long-term reports and projects should be discussed with the teacher.

When students are absent for an extended period of time and have a significant amount of work and tests to make up, they should consult with their adviser and their teachers and schedule the make-up work

Leaving School Before Dismissal

Students will not be allowed to leave school before dismissal time without a written request, email or a telephone call from the parents to the middle school office. The student should sign out in the office before leaving. If the student returns to school before the end of the day, he/she should also sign in on the clipboard in the office and request a pass to class.

Eligibility For Extracurricular

According to the Missouri State High School Activities Association ruling on eligibility (see Athletic Handbook for more details), students must be passing five subjects to participate in co-curricular events. This includes required classes and electives. If students are absent from school on the day of an athletic event or co-curricular activity, they must have permission to participate from the department chair (performing arts and athletics) or activity sponsor (clubs and organizations) and the principal. If students are absent from a class or study hall without an excuse, they may not participate in co-curricular practices, events or games on that day. (See Athletic Handbook for more details concerning athletic department policies.)


General Conduct And Discipline

It is everyone’s responsibility to help maintain an environment in which all can realize their fullest potential. Thus, Pembroke Hill fully expects students to endorse the school’s motto, Freedom With Responsibility, by accepting responsibility for their behavior.

Students must represent the school consistent with its standards and principles at all times, both on and off the campuses. Pembroke Hill students are expected to uphold the core values that are an integral part of the school’s culture: respect, compassion, scholarship and integrity.

Never permissible are misuse of technology, hazing, discrimination, harassment, cheating, plagiarism, stealing, destruction/defacing of property, possession of a dangerous weapon, threats of violence, violence, possession, use, or being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or any behavior not in accordance with the school’s mission or core values.

Responsibilities Outside The School

A student enrolling in Pembroke Hill automatically becomes a representative of
the school in the community. Therefore, students should conduct themselves at all times in ways that will honor the school, obeying all laws and observing the norms of social behavior expected of Pembroke Hill students.

When a student’s misconduct outside of school is brought (with supporting details)
to the administration’s attention, the school will notify the parents. At this point, it is the responsibility of the parents to determine appropriate action.

A student’s actions outside school that exhibit a propensity or possibility of danger or harm to the members of the school community, the community at large or school property and/or which result in serious damage to the reputation of the school are a breach of contract between the family and the school. In such instances, the principal and the head of school will determine whether to take action that could result in disciplinary consequences, including but not limited to suspension or expulsion.

Harassment And Discrimination

The Pembroke Hill School does not discriminate in its practices or policies on the basis of race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, disability, sex, sexual orientation or age. Moreover, Pembroke Hill School does not discriminate against otherwise qualified students in any of the school’s programs or activities on the basis of race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, disability, sex or sexual orientation of the student consistent with the school’s goal of maintaining a diverse student body.

We expect all members of the Pembroke Hill School community to conduct themselves
in a manner that is respectful to all individuals. Therefore, harassment or hazing of any type will not be tolerated.

Harassment is defined as:
Any unwelcome, overt or covert gesture, written, verbal or physical act, or any electronic communication that is reasonably perceived as being motivated by characteristics such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin ,gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or mental, physical or sensory disability, or by another distinguishing characteristic, that takes place on the property of The Pembroke Hill School or at any function sponsored by PHS and that negatively affects an individual of one or more of the aforementioned groups.

Specifically, these behaviors may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Repeated, unwanted/unsolicited contact that includes face-to-face contact, telephone calls, voice messages, text messages, electronic video and/or photography,
    electronic mail, instant messages, written letters, unwanted gifts;
  • Verbal or written abuse, threats, harassment, coercion, or any other conduct that
    places another individual in reasonable fear of his/her safety through words or
    actions, directed at that person, or substantially interferes with the educational or personal environment of the individual;
  • Persistent offensive, threatening communication through the internet via e-mail, chat
    rooms and other electronic devices.

In order to raise general awareness, members of the school community must be educated on the topic of harassment on a continuing basis. Methods of an educational component may include speakers, corporate panels, videos and assemblies.

Any person who subjects a member of the school community to harassment will face
consequences. Disciplinary action may include (but is not limited to) verbal warnings, parental notification, education on the topic of harassment ,counseling, detention or possible suspension. Disciplinary action will increase in severity in cases of repeat offenses or depending on the severity of the case. Any person with knowledge or information of harassment involving any member of the school community should report the incident to the person with whom he/she feels the most comfortable (adviser, teacher, class sponsor, school counselor, head of school, upper school principal, upper school assistant principal, dean of students). Confidentiality is ensured.

Weapons Policy

No student or visitor to campus or school-sponsored functions regardless of where
held may possess, transport, display, offer for sale, barter, use, threaten to use, or exchange any gun, bomb, knife, or other dangerous weapon, or any object that might have a reasonable “look-alike” resemblance to a dangerous weapon. A dangerous weapon may be defined as any object that may cause a serious injury or fatal wound.

Violations of this policy will result in discipline consequences and could include notification of the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department and expulsion.


Academic Dishonesty

One should not copy or allow to be copied homework, test, quizzes, papers or any
academic work. Working together on problems or making editorial suggestions on a paper is a good learning process, but loaning or making use of another’s finished work is
dishonest.

Plagiarism is always dishonest. If one uses the exact wording or paraphrased wording, or
even the ideas of another writer without giving proper credit in a footnote or other form of documentation, that person is guilty of plagiarism.

Possession or use of unauthorized notes or copying answers from another on an exam or making unauthorized material available to others is dishonest.

In a case of academic dishonesty, a grade of F can be assigned to the work and violations of this policy will result in disciplinary action. If students are found guilty of academic dishonesty a second time, they will be considered for expulsion.

Smoking and Use of Tobacco/Nicotine

Students may not smoke, use or be in possession of tobacco/nicotine in any form. This
includes smokeless tobacco products and electronic cigarettes. Violations of this policy will result in discipline consequences.

Alcohol And Illegal Drugs

The consumption of alcohol by anyone under the age of 21, in the state of Missouri, is prohibited by law. State and federal laws strictly prohibit the use of illegal drugs or controlled substances. Students may not drink, be in possession of, or be under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs, or controlled substances (for which the student does not have a prescription) at school, on school property or at school-related functions. A student will be considered “under the influence” if it is detectable in any way. The school may request the student to voluntarily submit to testing for drug or alcohol usage, with prior parental permission. All violations are considered serious. Parents will be notified immediately when a suspected violation has occurred. All violations of the drug/alcohol policy will be handled through the middle school principal.

Electronic Devices

Cell phones may not be on or seen or heard in class. No electronics including, but
not limited to, phones and iPads are not allowed at lunch or in the athletic or physical education locker room. If possible, students should leave their phones in their middle school lockers during P.E.

Backpacks

Students are not permitted to carry backpacks in Boocock Middle School unless they are leaving the building or they have just entered the building and are on their way to their lockers.

Dress
The aim of the dress code is to create a reasonably informal atmosphere and to influence student dress without requiring all to dress alike. The school believes that standards of neatness and appropriateness in clothing encourage an atmosphere that is conducive to learning, working, and discipline.

Furthermore, it is felt that pride in one’s school and in one’s self is, in part, influenced by appearance. The cooperation of parents and students in adhering to the letter and the spirit of the code is both expected and appreciated. Students are to be neat, clean, well-groomed and appropriately dressed when attending school.

The following clothing items may not be worn at a school or any school-sponsored
event:

  • any article or apparel that displays obscene words, pictures or designs;
  • any article that conveys a sexually suggestive remark, a
    pro-alcohol message, a tobacco and/or drug message;
  • shorts, skirts or dresses of unreasonable length;
  • tank, tube, or halter tops;
  • stretch lycra, spandex, leotards, or yoga pants worn as outer
    garments is discouraged. Jackets, shirts, or tops of appropriate length are
    suggested to be worn in conjunction with leggings;
  • athletic attire (the notable exception is sweatshirts);
  • any item of clothing that exposes underwear;
  • torn or tattered clothing (no frayed clothing or clothing
    with holes);
  • bare feet at any time;
  • any item that may be considered disruptive to the educational
    process.

PE students are required to wear a uniform for class. This uniform is available in the Bookstore. On game days, students will dress up in accordance with the coach's recommendation. Students who are not dressed in a manner consistent with this policy may be asked to call home for a change of clothing or sent home to change. Repeat offenders may have further disciplinary action.

Internet and Acceptable Use Statement

Pembroke Hill’s intent is to make Internet access available to further its educational goals and objectives. PHS does not have control of the information on the Internet. Certain sites have been blocked, but we realize it is impossible to limit access to all potentially objectionable material. Pembroke Hill believes that the benefits to educators and students having access to the Internet far exceed any disadvantages of inappropriate use. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the student to use the Internet in an acceptable and ethical manner. The use of the Internet at school is a privilege, not a right, and inappropriate use will result in disciplinary action. Any unauthorized use that includes, but is not limited to, hacking of the PHS computer network, the school's servers, computers or others' files will be viewed as a major violation of privacy and will result in disciplinary action.

Disciplinary Action

Although much of the responsibility for discipline falls to the principal and faculty, the head of school assumes ultimate responsibility. The head of school has complete discretion to dismiss any student who, in his judgment, after consultation with members of the faculty and administration, should be separated from the school for academic reasons or for unsatisfactory behavior.Infractions of school rules and not adhering to content defined in this handbook, can lead to disciplinary action or a recommendation from the principal to the head of school for permanent dismissal from the school. Each disciplinary infraction is taken into consideration by the principal and other administrators on a case by case basis. Detailed consideration of the infraction and other circumstances will be reviewed before disciplinary action is chosen.

Disciplinary actions can include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In-school suspension
  • Out-of-school suspension
  • Expulsion
  • Disciplinary probation
  • A requirement to undergo an evaluation by a professional
    counselor (i.e., with assistance from school counselor)
  • Requiring an educational component concerning disciplinary
    infraction. (i.e., written research paper)
  • Restrictions from participating in co-curricular activities
  • Dismissal from school
  • Lunch room duty
  • Detention
  • Other appropriate actions determined by the administration

Student Services And Support

Middle School Advisory Program

All middle school students are assigned to advisers and to a 10-to-12 student advisory group made up of sixth, seventh and eighth grade students. The students meet everyday with their advisers and advisory groups.

The primary purpose of the advisory groups is to provide mutual support, encouragement and assistance in making progress in all areas of school life. They are a source of long-term, caring peer relationships within which students are committed to each other’s success. We expect students to learn and practice important social and collaborative skills. We hope that advisory activities will also provide a degree of monitoring, accountability and constructive peer pressure.

There will be regular, specific tasks assigned to all advisees such as taking care of routine school business. In addition, there will be discussion and collaborative activities designed to achieve developmental and affective objectives. The role of the adviser and the counselor is to facilitate the activities and provide assistance and support.

The Adviser

Advisers have the responsibility for 10-to-12 student advisees. They are advocates for
advisees and liaisons between parents, faculty and administration. Advisers monitor students' progress in all areas of school life. They keep a file on each advisee that contains a copy of all conference notes and report cards. Advisers are representatives and sources of information to other faculty during grade level faculty meetings.

The Middle School Counselor

Middle school counselor Lindsay Kobolt, a licensed professional counselor, is available to assist advisers, teachers, parents and students. She is a source to help with problems that prevent students from succeeding. This support is provided through classroom lessons, individual short-term counseling, small group counseling, consulting with faculty and parents and being active in school-wide initiatives. While she does not provide long-term counseling services to students, she is able to direct persons who consult her to appropriate resources that provide such assistance.

Middle school students may access the counselor in several ways. They can stop in for a short visit; they can make an appointment for a more extensive visit; or they can be referred by a teacher, an adviser or a parent.

During a student’s first visit to the counselor, he/she is orally advised of the rule of confidentiality. Information divulged to the counselor is confidential except in cases where the student is suicidal, harming her/himself (i.e., eating disorders), being abused or has plans to harm someone else.

Parents can consult with Lindsay regarding parenting issues and adolescent concerns.
She is able to provide referrals to additional sources, if needed.

The Learning Specialists

The learning specialists will work individually with students referred by the Student Services Team to evaluate their records/testing and to make recommendations and write accommodation plans to assist teachers in providing students with an effective educational program. The learning specialists also provide training and support for faculty.

School Nurse

The school nurse will be available from 7:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Mellon Building on the Wornall campus. The nurse provides medical services to students including health appraisals, health education and first aid.

Emergency Information Forms: These forms must be completed for each individual student attending PHS. Please include student allergies and special health concerns on this form.

Health Physical Forms: All students entering sixth grade students and all new seventh and eighth grade students must have a current physical form on file. Please use the MSHSAA physical form found on the parent portal on the PHS website. Students who participate in sports must have their physical forms updated annually.

Over-the-Counter Medicine Forms: An Over-the-Counter Medicine Form must be filled out for each child. Over-the-counter medicine dosages are determined by age and weight according to medication package instructions. Any over-the-counter medication dosage requests that exceed these guidelines require a written doctor’s permission.

Prescription Medications

Antibiotics and Daily Medications: Please send only the amount to be given to the student at school. Medications must be in the original container. You may obtain an extra-labeled medication bottle from the pharmacy at the time the prescription is filled. Any dosage change requires a signed note from your child’s physician. Only the appropriate dosage of medication according to the PDR recommendations will be dispensed.

Inhalers: All inhalers, whether used daily or as needed, require a Student Asthma Action
Form signed by parent and physician. Any dosage change requires written permission from the doctor.

Sending Sick Children Home From School

Children will be sent home if they:

  • Have a fever of 100 degrees or above;
  • Are vomiting;
  • Have diarrhea;
  • Have unusual rashes;
  • Have green or yellow nasal drainage; or
  • Have red or draining eyes.

Children may return when free of the above symptoms for 24 hours. These guidelines are for the well-being and protection of your child.

Bookstore

Students may charge books, school supplies, clothing and athletic gear in the Bookstore. You should establish a clear understanding with your child about this privilege.

Wen you pay tuition, a deposit for Bookstore charges is included. In April, accounts are closed and students must pay by cash or check after that time. If your child has spent less than the deposit, you will receive a credit. If the charges have exceeded the deposit, you will receive a bill in May.

To The Parent

Student Transportation Policy

The school has adopted a student transportation policy that dictates how students will be transported to school-sponsored events. (This policy only applies to participants, not spectators, and to situations in which students leave from school.) All parents have received a transportation permission form prior to the start of school. This form must be on file at the school in order for students to be transported to an event.

Policy Highlights

  • Parents may transport their own children to activities.
  • PHS parents may transport students who are not their own if the parents of the students being transported provide the school written permission.
  • Students may transport themselves to an activity if the school has written permission from the students’ parents.
  • Students may transport other students to activities if both parents have given written permission to the school.
  • Students will not be allowed to drive to activities outside the Kansas City metropolitan area. In these cases, they will be transported by school-arranged transportation or by parent-driven vehicles.

The complete transportation policy is available in the business office.

Drop Off/Dismissal Guidelines

For the safety of the children and to facilitate the best traffic flow, please follow these guidelines:

  • Students may not be dropped off or picked up in the center lane.
  • Please do not “cut” in line.
  • Please do not leave your cars to visit with people in other vehicles. This causes traffic jams!
  • Students should only exit cars “curbside.” This is for student safety and smoother traffic flow.
  • Drivers should watch and yield to pedestrians.
  • Drivers should be attentive to cars moving forward. When the car in front moves up, you move up.
  • Drivers should pull up to the sign or the vehicle in front to drop off students.
  • Students should be prepared to exit the car quickly at the drop-off point. Backpacks and other books should be organized.
  • Give last minute instructions earlier so that long goodbyes do not interrupt the flow of traffic.
  • Drivers should drive slowly and cautiously.

Conferences

There will be fall conferences following the first quarter marking period. At this time we will dismiss students early in the afternoon to accommodate student-led, parent-adviser conferences. Any other time that you need to confer with a teacher, you should contact the teacher, adviser or principal. They will assist you in scheduling the conference. In addition to problems with academics, you may be concerned about your child’s involvement in sports or other activities. The student’s adviser can schedule a conference with a coach or activity sponsor as well.

Guardianship

While students are enrolled in the school, they must live with a parent or legal guardian. If, for some reason, students must live outside the home, the school should be consulted and a mutual agreement reached. We are concerned with the welfare of our students at all times.

Parents Out-Of-Town

If you are planning to be out of town and your child is going to be staying with a sitter, relative or friend, please notify the school. We need this information in case of emergencies.

Middle Schoolers At Evening Activities

If you drop your child off at an all-school activity such as a ball game, there will be administrators or faculty present. However, there will be no specific supervision for your child as there is during a school day. It is especially important that students remain at the site of the activity and not wander elsewhere on campus where there is no supervision.

Child Abuse And Neglect Policy

The safety of our students is of utmost importance to us. All PHS faculty and staff members are mandated reporters of any suspected abuse and must comply with the Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect laws. PHS will report any physical or verbal abuse, and/or neglect of a child to the Missouri Division of Family Services Child Abuse Hotline.

Additional Expenses

Parents of children at PHS, like parents of children at all schools, will encounter expenses in addition to enrollment expenses (tuition, Bookstore deposit for books and supplies, lunch, Parents Association dues and class dues) as their children progress through school. The school has worked to minimize these extra costs while creating a tuition structure that is as inclusive of these costs as possible.

Some additional expenses are required of a student if he/she chooses to participate in an activity such as athletic, co-curriculars or a specific course. Other expenses are for items that are voluntary with the degree of student involvement and family decision. Parents are always encouraged to contact the school if they have a concern about an expense.

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