2016 – 2017
200 N. Massachusetts Avenue
Cumberland, MD 21502
Kendra Kenney Principal
Lora Puffenberger Assistant Principal
Chris Cassell Assistant Principal
Betsy Eastham Secretary
Krista Walker Clerical Assistant
Autumn Livengood Counselor
Shawnee McElfish Counselor
Amy Allison Health Nurse
FROM THE DESK OF THE PRINCIPAL
On behalf of the faculty, staff and administration, I extend our warmest welcome to you. Washington Middle School is a positive and supportive student-centered learning environment. We want our students to have fun, love learning, achieve their individual potential and care about each other. We emphasize a passion and love for learning, respect for others and responsibility for our actions. We strive to provide a safe, orderly and respectful environment where our students experience academic success through appropriately challenging, diverse and engaging learning opportunities.
*FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL: Tuesday, August 23rd - will be a 3 hour early dismissal.
*OPEN HOUSE: WMS will host an Open House, Tuesday, August 23rd from 6:00 until 8:00 pm. The evening begins in the auditorium, where you will meet our administration. Then you will follow your child’s schedule and move from classroom to classroom to meet teachers. Refreshments will be served in the cafeteria during “lunch period”. A bell will be used to signal when you are to “change classes”. We look forward to meeting you.
*OPENING DAY ASSIGNMENTS: Students to the following areas by 7:50 am:
Unregistered students and students without schedules report to the library with the school counselors.
Grade 06 students report to the cafeteria
Grade 07 students report to the auditorium
Grade 08 students report to the gymnasium
*SCHOOL TIMES: Doors open by 7:30 am. Students should be in the gym or auditorium between 7:30 and 7:45 am. Homeroom begins at 7:50 am. At the end of the school day, dismissal begins with bus students at 2:50 pm. Walkers are dismissed by 3:00 pm. (IF YOU ARE PICKING A CHILD UP PRIOR TO DISMISSAL, PLEASE ARRIVE BY 2:30 PM SO YOU DO NOT INTERFERE WITH DISMISSAL PROCEDURES OR IMPEDE THE TRAFFIC FLOW.) In the interest of student safety, those dropping students off in the morning or picking them up at dismissal should drive in behind the buses and pull in to the right curb .
*DRESS & APPEARANCE: Appropriate dress and grooming are required at WA. The following rules are strictly enforced: Shoes must be worn. Clothing or accessories with profane, vulgar, or inappropriate words, pictures or meaning are not permitted; this includes items which suggest or depict illegal drugs or alcohol. Hats will not be worn in the building. Bandannas, gloves, pants worn below the waist, or anything that relates to gang identification are not permitted. Clothing that is revealing or shows undergarments is not allowed. This includes, but is not limited to, holes in jeans and tops, strapless tops , spaghetti straps, halter tops, bare midriffs, backless tops, or mesh clothing.
Absence: When a student is absent, parents should call the office by 8:30 am indicating the reason for the absence. You will be notified by letter when absences total 5-9-12 days. Tardiness: Students coming to school after 7:50 am are tardy and must sign in. They should be accompanied by a parent/guardian or a written note explaining their late arrival. Excessive absence or tardiness will result in disciplinary action. Early Dismissal: Students leaving school early must present a note from a parent to the office by 8:00 am explaining the reason and time of dismissal. For safety reasons, parents must come into the office to sign their child out. Walkers/Carpool: Parents are reminded, when picking up a student at the end of the school day, do not arrive before 3:00 pm. This keeps the dismissal area clear so we do not delay school bus arrivals and departures. Please keep to the right as you pull up to the building so that traffic may pass freely on your left. If you need to come into the building, please park in the available spaces to your left at the front of the school or at either end of the school in the available parking lots; do not park along the curb in front of the school. Thank you for being considerate to parents and students and the teachers and staff on duty.
*Extracurricular Activities: Students must be in good standing in attendance and behavior to attend extracurricular school activities. Those absent from school on a given day may not attend or participate in a school function that evening. Students must attend at least half-a-day of school in order to be marked “present”. A student under suspension cannot attend or participate in any extracurricular events during the period of suspension. Only WMS students are permitted to attend dances.
*FIELD TRIP GUIDELINES: Students must be in good standing in grades, attendance, behavior and obligations in order to participate in field trips. An administrator will make the final decision regarding student participation.
*MAKE-UP WORK: A student missing class for 1-5 days has the same number of days to make-up work. Those absent more than 5 days must make arrangements with teachers or guidance counselor. Credit may not be given for work that is not completed on time or work missed due to unexcused absences.
*ASSIGNMENT NOTEBOOKS: Each student is responsible for keeping track of their assignments and will receive an assignment notebook for that purpose. Parent/teacher communication is encouraged, via phone calls, written notes, and emails.
* DISCIPLINE POLICY: Washington Middle follows the guidelines established by The Maryland Guidelines for a State Code of Discipline. All members of the school community have a role in creating a safe learning environment. The school focus is on the Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) system. Our students follow the Go RED slogan: R- respect yourself and others, E- exhibit responsibility, D- display a positive attitude.
*TRANSPORTATION: The Board of Education is committed to the safety of students who ride a school bus to school. It is, therefore, required that there be appropriate and proper conduct, attitudes, behavior and discipline on the part of all bus passengers. It is imperative that students conduct themselves in the expected manner that will in no way interfere with or distract the driver from driving and operating the bus in a safe and prudent manner at all times. It is essential that parents take an active role in being responsible for their child's conduct on the school bus. ACPS drivers utilize 10 basic rules to maintain appropriate student behavior (obey driver, remain seated, keep head and arms inside bus, keep bus clean, no eating or drinking, no yelling, screaming or fighting, no profane language, no throwing objects, do not damage bus, do not block aisle). It is recognized by the Board that the opportunity to ride the school bus is a privilege extended to students, a privilege which may be denied or suspended when and if a student’s conduct on the bus potentially affects the safety of other students, the driver, or the motoring public.
*CUMBERLAND CITY POLICE SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICER: All Allegany County schools are assigned a school resource officer. Officers work with students who are habitually absent, drug problems and discipline problems. They make home visits and have authority to arrest offenders, as warranted. Officer Chris Fraley is based at WMS and covers all schools in the WMS/Fort Hill district.
*STUDENT SEARCH: Administration may conduct a search of a student and/or their locker/possessions if there is reasonable cause to believe the student has in his/her possession an item which is in violation of school rules or which constitutes a criminal offense under the law.
*TOBACCO-FREE SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT: The sale, use and possession of any form of tobacco product is prohibited in the Allegany County School System’s owned and leased buildings and on school grounds at all times.
*BULLYING/HARASSMENT: All students should be respectful and courteous to fellow students. Maryland State Department of Education(MSDE) definition: Bullying, harassment and intimidation mean any intentional conduct, including verbal, physical or written conduct, or an intentional electronic communication, that creates a hostile educational environment by substantially interfering with a student’s educational benefits, opportunities or performance, or with a student’s physical or psychological well-being. The conduct must (1) be motivated by an actual or a perceived personal characteristic including race, national origin, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, ancestry, physical attributes, socioeconomic status, familial status, or physical or mental ability or disability, or (2) be threatening or seriously intimidating. Electronic communication means communication transmitted by means of electronic device, including a telephone, cellular phone, computer and pager.
*PUBLIC DISPLAY OF AFFECTION: Displays of affection ( i.e. - kissing, hugging, holding hands, inappropriate touching, etc…) have no place in our school and are not tolerated. Students observed displaying this behavior face disciplinary action. Parents will be notified.
*MEDICATION: Whether prescribed by a physician or purchased over-the-counter, all medications must be delivered to the school nurse by the student’s parent, along with instructions from a physician for proper dosage. If a student brings any medication to school, he/she will be suspended and could be arrested. If the student gives medication to another student, that student will also be charged & disciplined. If a parent is unable to bring medication to school for their child, the school will accept deliveries from pharmacies.
*CELLPHONES, PERSONAL ELECTRONICS, & OTHER EXPENSIVE ITEMS: Cellphones and other personal electronics or expensive items (iPods, tablets, cameras, etc…) may be brought to school but must be placed in locker prior to homeroom, and remain in the locker, turned off, during the school day. Students carrying personal electronics to class will have them confiscated and the parent may be required to retrieve the device from school. Students found in violation of this policy will consequently receive 4 days detention. The school assumes no responsibility for students’ personal property.
*MESSAGES & DELIVERIES: No flower or balloon deliveries are accepted for students during the school day. Please have personal items like this delivered to your home. Only emergency messages are delivered to students. Please make clear to your student any special arranagements for dismissal prior to the student leaving for school in the morning.
*LOCKERS/PERSONAL PROPERTY/LOST ITEMS: Each student is assigned a lock and locker. The school assumes no responsibility for personal or assigned property of students. Students are responsible for the replacement of lost, stolen or abused materials. Replacement locks cost $5.00. Lost & Found is located in the cafeteria. Obligations must be paid as soon as possible. If the obligation is not paid by the end of the school year the obligation carries over to the next year. Students may not participate in non-academic activities until all obligations are paid.
*TEXTBOOK PRESERVATION POLICY: Each student is responsible for the care and condition of his/her own textbooks. Any textbook found neglected in the school will result in disciplinary action for the owner. WMS requires restitution for lost or damaged books.
*COMPUTER LAB: Students will comply with all provisions in the Allegany County Public Schools Information Technology Responsible Use Policy - Students (Policy File: JIK).
*SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM/FOOD & DRINK: School lunches will be sold beginning August 24th. Individual cafeteria cash register PIN’s are the same as last year. Students who participated in the Free & Reduced Lunch program last year continue on the program until new applications are evaluated. Forms are mailed home prior to the first day of school. If you are eligible and do not receive a form, you may obtain one in the school office. Students who forget their lunch or money will receive a lunch, but must pay the following day. If the cost of the lunch is not repaid, the student is denied lunch. Students may not purchase a-la-carte items on credit or when a balance is due on their account. ALL students will be served breakfast free-of-charge during homeroom every day. Cafeteria prices are: Breakfast: Free to all students Lunch: Regular - $2.75, F/R - $.40, 2nd lunch - $2.80, Milk: $.50. Adult Meal: Breakfast: $2.10, Lunch: $3.80. Food and drink are only permitted in the cafeteria. Students may carry bottled water with them throughout the day, especially in warm weather. Other drinks are only permitted as part of a packed lunch.
*PARENT TEACHER ORGANIZATION: Parents are invited to join our PTO to discuss school issues, assists with various school programs & view informational programs for parents. Fundraising is not a requirement. Please join us for our first meeting: SEPTEMBER 20TH at 6:00PM
*ESSENTIAL SCHOOL INFORMATION: There are several essential forms sent home with your child within the first few days of school. Please watch for the following forms: Internet Use Permission form, pink emergency card for the nurse, emergency form for the office, Pest Management/Asbestos form, PBIS behavior form, school photo form and School Insurance form. Forms should be completed and returned to school in a timely manner.
*SCHEDULING: All efforts have been made to place your son/daughter in appropriately challenging classes. There will be no schedule changes unless considered necessary by our school administration and guidance department.
*SCHOOL STORE: The WMS School Store is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 until 7:50 am. The store offers a variety of school supplies for our students’ convenience.
*SCHOOL SUPPLIES: The following items are reccommended for your child’s first day of school: loose-leaf 3-ring binder, standard ruled notebook paper, subject dividers, blue or black ballpoint pens, 2 or more #2 pencils, colored pencils, erasers, pencil pouch. “White-Out” and laser pointers are prohibited.