- Principal's Message
- CMS Administration & Counselors
- School Office Hours
- Middle School Objectives
- Bell Schedules
- Emergency and School-Family Communication
- Emergency School Closing
Welcome to the new school year. This handbook has been prepared to provide you with important information regarding procedures, programs, and regulations. Please take time at the beginning of the school year to review the contents with your child.
The intent of the rules and regulations is to ensure the safety of all and to provide a school climate where every student can reach their full academic potential without interference from others. Please review this handbook with your child to guarantee that they are well informed regarding expectations for the year.
CMS has a wonderful staff, eager to help students in every way. Students are encouraged to seek assistance from their teachers, guidance counselors or administrators when a need arises. Your child is important to us, and we will make every effort to meet their academic and emotional needs. If you have a question or concern, I encourage you to communicate with us.
After reviewing this information with your child, please verify your completion by “signing” the Release Form accessed electronically via PowerSchool.
The faculty and staff look forward to working with you and your children this year. We thank all of you in advance for your ongoing cooperation, involvement, and focus on learning.
Robert J. Fahler
Colonial Middle School Administration
Principal: Mr. Robert J. Fahler, Jr., ext. 7150
Assistant Principal (A-L): Mr. Phil Chang, ext. 7152
Assistant Principal (M-Z): Mrs. Tara Collice, ext. 7151
Grade 6 (A-F), Grades 7 & 8 (A-G): Mrs. Ann Carracappa, ext. 7169
Grade 6 (G-O), Grades 7 & 8 (H-O): Mr. Matt Doroshow, ext. 7165
Grades 6, 7 & 8 (P-Z): Mrs. Ginny Simonetti, ext. 7167
Community Counselor: Ms. Andrea Tarantella, ext. 7166
Counselor/Behavior Specialist: Mr. Adam Hoover, ext. 7171
Main number: 610-275-5100
Fax number: 610-278-2447
Attendance phone: 610-275-5100, ext. 7149
Attendance fax: 610-828-7616
Superintendent of Schools: Dr. Michael Christian
Director of Pupil Services: Mrs. Karen Berk
Supervisor of Special Education, K-5: Dr. Caitlin Gilmartin
Supervisor of Special Education, 6-12: Mr. Timothy Murch
Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment: Mrs. Rosemarie Gregitis
Director of Transportation: Mr. Christopher Brown
Director of Food Services: Mrs. Lori McCoy
To effectively nurture the growth and development of adolescent students, the following objectives are applied:
provide an environment where the child and the program are equally important
provide an environment where all students have the opportunity to succeed
provide a curriculum that emphasizes the basic skills of communication and computation as well as the expansion of knowledge and understanding in the sciences and the humanities
focus on the principles of growth and development, especially those relating to children of middle school age
be concerned with the personal development of the individual child
promote close relationships among the child, the teacher and the counselor
encourage a close relationship between the home and the school
provide, through the team concept, a “home base” for each child
provide for the development of values along with the development of a child’s self-esteem
allow the child more time for guided exploratory learning and independent study
understand the child’s needs, interests, background, motivation, and goals as well as his stresses, strains, frustrations and fears
The regular bell schedule has a customized schedule for every grade level.
The 6th grade bell schedule has three core periods and one Unified Arts period.
The 7th grade and 8th grade bell schedules have four core periods and one Unified Arts period.
- Every bell schedule also includes a 30-minute lunch and a 25-minute activity period.
- Students begin their day by reporting to their first class by 8:03 a.m. each day, dismissal is at 2:55 p.m.
Assembly programs, late starts, or early dismissals due to inclement weather, parent/guardian conferences and other special circumstances require adaptations to the regular schedule. The regular schedule is indicated below.
Please note that each student is provided with an agenda book to begin the year. These books are graciously provided by our CMS Student Council. These books contain the bell schedules listed below for student reference throughout the year. Additional agenda books can be purchased for $5 in the attendance office.
Professional Learning Time (PLT) schedule
In the case of a one or two hour delay due to weather, there will be no early dismissals for Professional Learning Time. PLT exists to provide professional development and collaboration time for CMS staff; students will be dismissed early. These dates can be found on the District Calendar and on our website calendar.
Minor adjustments to special schedules may be required on an as-needed basis. Other schedules will be distributed when necessary. Seventh grade students are permitted to bring a small snack to one of their morning classes due to their later lunch time. All students are permitted to carry clear container, water bottles with them throughout the day.
Colonial Middle School uses the SwiftK-12® service, our school-to-family communications service. With the SwiftK-12 service, our schools can send periodic and personalized voice messages to parents/guardians within minutes. The SwiftK-12 service will also be used for our emergency preparedness procedures and early dismissal notification due to inclement weather. The system will also be used to contact parents/guardians regarding student absences and to notify them of upcoming school events.
The Student’s Emergency Contact Form should be returned with your student the first day of school. It is important for you to review all the information printed on the form, correct any errors, and provide updated information. Please label the phone numbers with a # 1, 2, and 3 indicating your preference in the order that calls are made. An extension cannot be dialed through SwiftK-12 so please include only direct lines. It is suggested that if you have a mobile phone, you list that as #1. This will help us update our new SwiftK-12 service to make sure we are calling the correct phone number. Additionally, we will have the ability to send an email of the message. If you would like an email of the message being sent, write your email address at the bottom of the form.
Some important delivery notes: Background noise may cause the system to stop and start as it is calibrated very delicately to determine whether a person or answering machine has picked up the phone. You may use the mute button on your phone to minimize background noise. If you miss any part of the message, staying on the line and pressing “*” (star) will replay the message.
It is important that you contact the school office with any changes to this information throughout the year so our database is kept current. Our priority will be to make sure phone numbers are accurate, emails will be a secondary update. Email will not replace a direct phone call. The school secretaries will have the ability to make any changes necessary to keep this information current.
In the event of inclement weather, a decision to close or delay the opening of school is made by 5:30 a.m. The decision is made by the Superintendent after information is obtained from weather forecasts, local police departments, neighboring school districts and District staff who check school parking lots, sidewalks and area roads. All decisions are made with the safety of students in mind.
In the event of a weather-related delay or closing:
Check the District Website.
A notice will appear on all pages of the website, and an alert news will be posted in District news and the announcements for each school.
Sign up for the District's Email News List
An email regarding the delay or closing will be sent to those who have signed up for the District email news list.
An alert will be posted on CITV, Comcast cable and Verizon FiOS channel 28.
Call the school district.
The greeting on the main line of the District Office (610-834-1671) will indicate if there is a delay or closing. Note: If you call the office of one of our schools, you will need to select Option #7 on the phone menu to hear the closing announcement.
In the event of an emergency or weather-related early dismissal:
Receive a call and email via the District's parent/guardian notification system (Blackboard Connect).
All parents/guardians who have provided a phone number and/or email address will be informed via voice message and/or email with details.
Check the District website.
An alert news item will appear near the top of the District and each individual school’s home pages.
An alert will be posted on CITV, Comcast cable and Verizon FiOS channel 28.
Parents/guardians: Consider making emergency arrangements with your children in the event that conditions do not allow you to arrive home in time to meet your child. Make certain that your child understands what to do if they come home to an empty house (go to a specific neighbor's house, get hidden key, etc.).
Visitors must sign in at the desk in the lobby when entering the building in order to provide for the security and welfare of students. Individuals with legitimate business will be given visitation privileges and a visitor's pass which must be worn in plain sight. These visits will be limited to the location scheduled. All visitors must be escorted by a Colonial Middle School employee to and from their desired location. Student visitors from other schools will not be permitted unless circumstances are extenuating and advance administrative approval has been given.
Purpose and Rationale
All of the schools and buildings in the Colonial School District are important places. These buildings house our most precious commodity, the children of Conshohocken, Plymouth and Whitemarsh. This procedure is designed to assist in avoiding incidents of consequence by controlling the ﬂow of visitors, parents/guardians, vendors and guests within our classroom buildings and hallways. The secondary but equally important purpose is to document who is in our buildings if there is a catastrophic event. A third purpose is to perform a cross check of visitors against Pennsylvania's Megan’s Law registry.
In order to maintain and enhance the level of safety that the school has enjoyed, a visitor management system is installed at all CSD schools to control the ﬂow of visitors to our buildings, document speciﬁc locations visited and perform name checks against the Pennsylvania’s Megan’s Law Registry. Each building has signs posted at the entrance noting that all visitors, including parents/guardians, school district employees, vendors, and guests must be signed in before entering the building.
The visitor will go to the sign-in kiosk and scan their driver’s license as directed by the visitor management system prompts. After scanning their license, the visitor should present their license to the receptionist for comparison to the entered information, to state their business. PWHS implements a guest log submitted by the teacher and/or personnel expecting the visitor that is pre-approved; unannounced visitors will take time for approval. If the visitor does not have a driver’s license, they may manually enter their name and date of birth into the visitor management system, however a photo identiﬁcation must be presented to gain access. If the visitor has no photo ID, an administrator must approve the visit. The administrator’s name shall be entered on the visitor badge signifying approval was received for access. District employees from other buildings must also show ID. Upon leaving the building, the visitor will sign themselves out by scanning the visitor badge with the visitor management system.
- Introduction to CMS Academics
- ADVANCED MATH PANEL
- Course of Studies Outline
- Grading Procedures
- Homework Responsibility
- Honor Roll
- Kinesthetic Learning Activities
- Library Media Center
- Report Card and Progress Report Schedule
- Unified Arts/Electives
- STUDENTS OF THE MONTH, PERSONAL BESTS, & RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS
The following outline is an overview of the instructional program at the Colonial Middle School. The middle school program is based upon the team concept at each grade level. Each team is comprised of approximately 100-115 students with a common set of four teachers who are responsible for planning and supervising their instructional programs. All major academic courses except remedial reading and foreign languages/study skills are taught by team teachers. These courses are scheduled on a daily basis all year.
Team teaching provides a closer teacher-student-parent/guardian relationship within a much larger school setting. Teachers, students and parents/guardians are therefore provided with the opportunity to know each other better. Parents/Guardians are encouraged to contact team leaders and to meet with teachers during regularly scheduled team meetings during the school week.
In addition, students experience various subjects in the areas of the related arts and other special area courses. These courses meet daily on a rotating basis each marking period.
At the conclusion of grade 6, students will be recommended for 7Adv Math for 7Math. 7Adv Math covers 3 years of math in 2 years, and 7Math covers 2 years of math in 2 years. For a 6th grade student to be recommended for advanced math in 7th grade, the following criteria will need to be met: 1) the student's average score on three trimester assessments must be at least 93%, 2) the student's average score on five classroom unit tests before corrections must be at least 93% and 3) a teacher's recommendation based on analysis of the individual's attributes regarding mathematical practices such as communication, reasoning, and problem solving.
Core Courses – meet daily all year for 75 minutes
- Language Arts
Core Courses – meet every day for 75 minutes during one semester (90 days/ 1.5 trimesters)
Unified Arts – meet for 75 minutes every other day for one trimester
Students will have an introductory experience in three of the five Unified Arts areas in grade 6.
- Information Technology
- Music (instrumental lessons optional)
- Family and Consumer Science
- Technology Education
Encore Courses – meet for 30 minutes every other day for the year
- Exploratory Language (Latin, French, Spanish) or Reading
- Health / Physical Education (90 days/1.5 trimester for each)
Core Courses – meet daily all year for 55 minutes
- Language Arts
Unified Arts – meet for 75 minutes every other day for one trimester
Students will have an introductory experience in two of the five (ones they didn’t have in grade 6) Unified Arts areas.
- Information Technology
- Music (instrumental lessons optional)
- Family and Consumer Science
- Technology Education
Encore Courses – meet for 30 minutes every other day all year
- World Language (Latin, French, Spanish) or Reading
- Health / Physical Education (90 days/1.5 trimester for each)
Core Courses – meet daily all year for 55 minutes
- Language Arts
Unified Arts – meet for 75 minutes every other day for one trimester
Students will choose each of their three Unified Arts courses in grade 8
- Information Technology
- Music (instrumental lessons optional)
- Family and Consumer Science
- Technology Education
Encore Courses – meet for 30 minutes every other day for the year
- World Language (Latin, French, Spanish) or Reading
- Health / Physical Education (90 days/1.5 trimester for each)
The school year is divided into three report periods with grades issued on report cards approximately every 60 school days. Teachers use a variety of techniques to assess student achievement including tests and quizzes, projects, laboratory and other hands-on experiences, performance observations, homework assignments, discussion participation, group work, etc.
Marking Period Grades
School work relative to incomplete grades must be made up within the midway date of the trimester following the marking period where the work was missed. At the end of each report period, points awarded during assessment activities are converted into letter grades to evaluate student performance according to the following scale.
A = 90% to 100% Excellent Performance
B = 80% to 89% Above Average Performance
C = 70% to 79% Average Performance
D= 60% to 69% Below Average Performance
F = 50% to 59% Unsatisfactory Performance (0% to 59% - 4th Marking Period)
I = Incomplete Performance
NG = No Grade. Medical, Homebound or Other Extenuating Circumstances
Final exams are given in all major subject areas in sixth, seventh and eighth grades and are averaged into the third trimester report card grade. An exam schedule will be communicated to students and parents/guardians.
Final grades for subjects held throughout the entire school year will be determined by averaging the numerical grade from each marking period.
The Colonial School District has formulated and endorsed a general homework policy statement regarding its belief in the value of homework assignments. In summary, it is believed that homework will reinforce classroom work, enhance the student's understanding of the subject, and prepare the student to increase his/her skills in the subject area. Parents/Guardians should be aware of the role that homework plays in the total classroom setting and provide the appropriate supervision for the completion of assigned work outside the classroom.
Finding time to complete assigned work is often a matter of budgeting time available. Establish a daily routine of study time in a location within the home conducive to productivity.
It is the student's responsibility (1) to know the date that an assignment is due and (2) to clarify any other pertinent details necessary for the successful completion of the assignment. Students should ask the teacher for clarification if there is any question.
Each teacher will explain homework expectations relative to his/her class during the first week of meetings. Credit for homework, due date(s), and other details will be distributed to each student.
Helpful Homework Hints
1. Have a definite time for study every day. Work on a schedule.
2. Select a quiet place, away from disturbance.
3. Concentrate-give all your attention to the work at hand.
4. Organize the contents, relating details to major topics.
5. Take notes on important points.
6. On long term assignments, organize early enough so that you can have a conference with the teacher before the project is due.
7. Have an assignment notebook and write down each assignment accurately as given.
8. Use a definite method in studying. Survey the lesson as a whole and review it by parts and learn the main points. Finally review the whole lesson rapidly. Make written outline for difficult and lengthy lessons.
Homework Make Up
When a student is absent from school one or more days due to illness, it is the student's responsibility to secure homework assignments from another student or see the teacher for make-up work upon returning to school. All assignments missed must be made up.
Students are encouraged to identify “Homework Buddies” and record their names and phone numbers in the front of their Agenda books. These should be the first source of homework information when you are absent.
Students are also encouraged to access PowerSchool to view daily assignments and other pertinent information. Click here to go to PowerSchool.
Type in your username and password
Access your child’s HW information and grades for each course
Contact us at 610 275-5100, ext. 7285, if you need assistance
A Colonial Middle School Agenda Book will be provided to every student. This book must be kept up to date and with the student at all times. Part of the book will include pages to be used as a hall pass. Without the book, the student may not be sent from the classroom. A lost Agenda Book may be replaced for the cost of $5.00 in room 249.
The honor roll is computed after each marking period and the criteria are as follows:
- Distinguished Honor Roll – *Student must earn all A’s (1 B is allowed)
- Meritorious Honor Roll – *Student must earn all A’s and B’s (the majority of grades must be A’s)
*Grades of: NG, P or F in any course excludes a student from receiving academic honors for that marking period
During the school year, many of our teachers create and facilitate kinesthetic activities to enhance the learning experience of our students. These kinesthetic activities may occur in or out of the physical classroom setting and involve kids physically moving and interacting with each other. Some examples of these kinesthetic, hands-on activities include: reenacting civil war battles, participating in Greek Olympic games, sports day, testing water in a nearby stream, launching air propelled rockets, etc. Safety of our students is always our priority; however, accidents can happen. Please contact your child's teacher if you have concerns about their participation in kinesthetic learning activities.
All library materials (books, magazines, vertical file, and audio visual) are available for assigned reading and research as well as leisure reading. Regular library books circulate for a two week period; reference books circulate overnight only. Students failing to return materials or pay fines or obligations will not be permitted to borrow materials until all obligations are satisfied. Back issues of magazines circulate for a one week period. In addition to regular school hours, the LIbrary Media Center is available to everyone before and after school.
Report Card Schedule
Report Period 1:
- Marking Period Ends on 11/27/19
- Report Cards Distributed on 12/14/19
Report Period 2:
- Marking Period Ends on 3/6/20
- Report Cards Distributed on 3/20/20
Report Period 3:
- Marking Period Ends on 6/11/20
- Report Cards Distributed on 6/25/20
*Please note that report cards will be sent electronically through SwiftK12 this year. Please contact us if you require a hard copy.
Progress reports regarding student progress can be accessed through PowerSchool as desired. To receive these reports, parents/guardians need to log into PowerSchool via the Parents/Guardians link on our CMS home page. Automated reports can be requested through PowerSchool as well. If you need assistance in accessing PowerSchool, please contact us @ 610 275-5100 and we will be happy to assist you. A job aide for accessing PowerSchool will be included in the summer mailing.
Teacher grades will be updated at the midway dates for each trimester as follows. Please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teachers with any grade questions.
October 17, 2019
January 24, 2020
April 30, 2020
Unified Arts Courses for Choice (Electives)
Grade 7 choose one. Grade 8 choose three.
This design course will advance students’ technical skills and knowledge. Students will use new technologies (iPads, photography, digital printing) along with traditional art materials (painting, drawing, sculpture) to create art, express themselves, and problem solve. Students will work independently and collaboratively, discovering and developing their artistic expression. This class builds on the skills and ideas, started in Exploring Art and is perfect for students who are looking to continue with art in the high school or simply have an interest in art while here at CMS.
This art course will encourage students to create and reflect on the visual world that surrounds their everyday lives. Students gain the understanding that the artwork they create represents their world, community and self. Projects are designed around the continued conversation about beauty and meaning in art, using traditional and 21st century skills and materials. This continues the skills and ideas, started in Exploring Art and is perfect for students who are looking to continue with art in the high school or simply have an interest in art while here at CMS.
Family and Consumer Science
Investing in Life
In this elective, students will learn steps to manage, save and spend money wisely considering their current and future personal financial goals and values. This will include credit cards and debt, investing in stocks, and navigating the world of shopping considering the influence of advertising. In addition, students will experience the responsibilities involved in caring for, feeding and nurturing babies and young children. This could be the most practical course you can’t live without. FCS, where the classroom meets the real world!
The Science of Food
Explore a variety of cooking techniques, experience and engage in the preparation of different food items. Recognize the science going on behind the scenes. Celebrate your culinary success and share delicious results of your accomplishments.
Principles of Gaming
Video game development is a multi-billion dollar industry and a popular career path. Many kids grow up dreaming of being an athlete, actor, or singer; a new generation is growing up wanting to make video games as a profession. This course will teach students about the history, different career paths, and some of the common terminology of game development. Students will understand the importance of documentation in game development and be introduced to game structure and mechanics. Students will create their Game Design Document with sections on design theories, level design and development of story and characters by building their own full physics launcher game in 3 Step Studio.
App Design Startup - Pathways to Success
Students will use GameSalad to make their own mobile game. Activities include using tutorials, “modding” games, wireframing, storyboarding, and playtesting. Students will explore game design principles such as game objectives, feedback, and progression.
Band class is open to all students at CMS who play a band instrument (flute, clarinet, trombone, etc.). Band class gives students the opportunity to explore and learn about instrumental music. This course works in conjunction with Instrumental Music, which includes group lessons, rehearsals and public concerts throughout the year. There is no experience is necessary to enroll in a band class (new students are welcome to join!). Students should provide their own instrument in order to participate. A limited number of school instruments are available for those who are unable to rent their own.
Chorus class is open to all students at CMS who can sing!! This class will focus on training and developing good singing skills in the context of singing in a chorus. Students will engage in a variety of activities designed to improve their vocal quality and music reading skills, while also participating in projects to further improve and enhance their vocal experience. Chorus class gives students the opportunity to explore and learn about vocal music, while working collaboratively with their peers to produce a product. This course works in conjunction with the school chorus activity, which includes rehearsals and public concerts throughout the year. There is no experience necessary to enroll in a chorus class (new students are welcome to join!).
Orchestra class is for any student who plays violin, viola, cello, or string bass. Students will continue their musical learning through a variety of orchestral styles such as classical, modern, fiddle, and contemporary. This class will accompany small group lessons and orchestra rehearsals. This class will also have an emphasis on solo works, conducting, and music history through the correlation of orchestra music. There is no experience necessary to enroll in orchestra class (new students are welcome to join!). Students should provide their own instrument in order to participate. A limited number of school instruments are available for those who are unable to rent their own.
Drama: Stage and Screen
Did you ever want to be on stage, in the movies, or on TV? Discover the technical and artistic skills you need to be a successful actor and director. Students will learn communication skills, character development, improvisation, pantomime, performance techniques, how to read, and perform from a script. Through class activities, rehearsals, and projects, students will work collaboratively and independently to produce, act, and write. This is a participatory class where every member will get the opportunity to act in front of their peers both individually and in groups.
Guitar: Today’s Pop
Here’s your chance to perform songs you hear on the radio. Learn how to play melodies and easy chords on guitar using today’s music. Take guitar lessons during the school day, and entertain your friends!
This STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) elective is a course intended to challenge a student's understanding of the world around them while utilizing the content they have learned in all of their other courses. Deeply rooted in the 4 “C’s” identified in the 21st Century Skills document: Collaboration, Creativity, Critical Thinking, and Communication, this course will provide students with a chance to “DO”, using knowledge gained throughout their educational experiences. The framework for this course will be provided by TSA (Technology Student Association) competitive events, which are designed to provide students with the opportunity to explore the 4 C’s, engineering design, and leadership while solving real world problems. Students who take this course will leave with many skills needed to be competitive in our ever evolving technological world and global economy. This course is for any student who is intrinsically motivated while desiring to “lead in a technical world”, apply their knowledge, and make a difference in our local/global communities.
Engineering and Robotics
This course consists of instructional units that motivate students to become creative innovators. Students use industry standard 3D modeling software to create a virtual image of their Co2 dragster design. Students will then utilize the fabrication lab to construct their product, including the use of injection molders to make parts of the CO2 dragster. During the testing phase, students will explore aerodynamic principles through the use of a wind tunnel. Through supplemental activities students will explore how the design of a vehicle ensures passenger safety. Finally students will learn finishing techniques to enhance vehicle efficiency and overall aesthetic look. During the robotics experience, students will program robotic mechanisms and explore programming as it affects mechanical devices. Students will develop robotic solutions to given problems. Students who enjoy active learning concepts should enroll in this course.
Each CMS team chooses a Student of the Month each month. Team teachers choose these students based on the following criteria: cooperation/teamwork, work ethic, kindness, empathy, growth. These students have their picture displayed in the main office hallway and receive recognition from their teachers.
Personal Bests and Random Acts of Kindness are awarded each week. Five students' names are randomly drawn from a box containing teacher submissions for each of these. Submissions are made by staff members when they note great academic growth and/or achievement in their class or when they observe an unsolicited act of a student supporting someone in need. Recipients of these awards receive a $5 Barnes & Noble gift card, provided by the CMS Student Council.
The purpose of the Child Study Team is two-fold. One, the Child Study Team meets to brainstorm and develop action plans to address students’ academic and behavioral concerns within the classroom that affect their classroom performance. Two, the Child Study Team also serves as the Student Assistance Process Team, a group of trained school personnel mandated by the state that directs families and students to counseling and support services for students who experience problems inside and outside of the school environment that continue to pose a barrier to student learning. They are two separate entities that have been combined into one meeting time as sometimes students cross from IST to SAP.
A guidance counselor is assigned to a section of the alphabet based on the first letter of students' last names. This person is to help with home, school, and/or social concerns. The guidance counselor is always available to help. Your discussions are confidential. If a student wishes to speak with their counselor, they is to make an appointment with the secretary in the guidance office. Students are urged to seek counseling services at ANY time.
Guidance counselors are assigned as follows:
Mrs. Ann Carracappa, 6th grade (A-F), 7th & 8th grade (A-G), ext. 7169
Mr. Matt Doroshow, 6th grade (G-O), 7th & 8th grade (H-O), ext. 7165
Mrs. Ginny Simonetti, 6th, 7th & 8th grade (P-Z), ext. 7167
Andrea Tarantella, Community Counselor, ext. 7166
Adam Hoover, Counselor/Behavior Specialist, ext. 7171
Pupils unable to attend school, and who anticipate confinement to their homes because of illness or injury for a period of ten school days or more may apply for homebound instruction through the Guidance office. In order to initiate this procedure parents/guardians must submit a letter from a medical doctor stating the need for homebound instruction.
Homeless Children/Youth Have the Right to a Free, Appropriate Public Education
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act is federal legislation that protects “homeless” school age children/youth by ensuring school stability. Entitlements such as transportation, free lunch program, and immediate enrollment assist in removing barriers to their education.
Eligibility is determined on a case-by-case basis.
Who is homeless?
Children/youth are considered homeless if they lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence and have lost their “permanent” housing due to a causal event such as: eviction, fire, flood, natural disaster, domestic violence situation, substandard housing or economic hardship. A youth who has run away, been thrown out of their home by their parents or who is living on their own may also be defined as homeless. These families may be “doubled up” with family or friends (not by choice) or living in a shelter, transitional housing, motel, vehicle or on the street due to a lack of housing.
Is there any reason to delay enrolling a homeless child/youth?
No! One of the entitlements under McKinney-Vento is the right of immediate enrollment, even if parents/students lack records normally required for enrollment such as birth certificates, academic records, medical records (including immunizations) and proof of residency. Enrollment is defined as attending classes and participating fully in school activities.
Does residency have to be proven?
No. Because homeless families are unable to establish a “home” on a permanent basis, a school cannot require proof of residency that might prevent or delay enrollment of school-age children.
How is it decided where the student will attend school?
The law indicates that the Local Education Agency (LEA) shall, according to the child/youth’s “best interest”, continue the student’s education in the school of origin (where they were attending when they lost their permanent housing) for the duration of the homelessness or assist in the enrollment process to the school district where they temporarily are housed. It is the right of the parent/guardian to choose which school, although it is in the best interest of the student, for stability purposes, to stay in the school of origin as long as it is feasible.
Colonial School District's Homeless Liaison
The Pennsylvania Department of Education mandates that every LEA in Pennsylvania designate a district Homeless Liaison. The Colonial School District’s Homeless Liaison is Ellen Reilly, Home/School Visitor. If you have any questions, concerns or information about a student’s housing circumstances as it may pertain to possible homelessness, contact Meghann Radick at 610-834-1670, ext. 2108, or click here to email email@example.com.
Numerous Strategies for Success exist at the Colonial Middle School to assist students in danger of failing a course. These programs are initiated through many avenues including teacher and guidance counselor recommendation, individual and parent/guardian request requests and evaluation by the Child Study Team. These programs are in place now and it is likely that other possibilities will evolve as necessary.
Specific support programs include:
- Agenda Book: An Agenda Assignment Book will be provided for each student at the beginning of the year. They will be required to keep all assignments in this book. Parents/Guardians may review the book on a daily basis to determine their child’s progress. Messages to each teacher may be written in the book by the parent/guardian to maintain a line of communication between home and the school. Teachers will respond to such messages.
- Child Study Team: This Team meets weekly to discuss the needs of our students. Referrals and support emanate from the Team's review.
- Team Meetings: Academic teams meet with students and parents/guardians to review needs and to recommend action and support.
- Coach Program: Any student who is failing a class at any time during the year will receive an academic coach. This process will be initiated by the student’s team leader.
- C.A.R.E. After School Homework Program: This program meets every Wednesday until 4:15 p.m. Students work on assignment with the assistance of teachers and volunteers. Students may ride the activity bus home at the end of the session.
- Mandatory Activity Program (MAP): Meeting during the activity period, students work with teachers in subjects in which the students are having difficulty. This is a non-voluntary program, replacing another activity with one intended to meet the defined academic needs of the child.
- Pupil Enrichment Program (PEP) Meeting in close to a 1:1 ratio, teachers work with students to enhance their study skills in specific courses.
- At-Risk Tutorial Program: Providing a Support for Success Sessions (PASS): This program meets after school several times each week in the spring. A teacher monitors and tutors up to fifteen students who have been identified as being at risk of failing the year.
- Peer Tutoring Program: Students with academic needs meet with student tutors recommended by teachers. This voluntary program meets during the activity period.
- Group Counseling: Groups are identified by counselors to meet a variety of concerns.
- Individual Counseling: Students meet one-on-one with their assigned or other guidance counselor.
- Individual Teachers During School Hours: Teachers meet with students during activity period and homeroom.
- Individual Teachers After School Hours: Teachers may meet with their students on an individual basis to work on achievement. Students may ride the activity bus home or make individual arrangements for transportation.
- Progress Reports: These are emailed to parents/guardians, who provide their email addresses on their child’s emergency form, weekly. Hard copies of progress reports will only be provided, at mid-trimesters, to parents/guardians who do not provide their email address. Parents/Guardians can access students’ grades 24/7 via PowerSchool.
- Individual Communication with Parents/Guardians: Parents/Guardians are kept advised of progress by teachers, teams, and counselors.
The Guidance Department will forward to the Principal a list of students' names for both retention and promotion. If a student fails any core subject at the conclusion of the school year, they may be retained. The ultimate decision for retention and promotion rests with the Principal.
In accordance with state and federal regulations and standards, Colonial School District actively seeks to identify students who are eligible for special education or gifted programs.
Classroom teachers, guidance counselors, reading specialists, school nurses, and speech clinicians conduct screenings to determine the needs of children who are thought to be exceptional. Child Study Teams, convened by building principals, act as a pre-referral system to special education. Child Study Teams may request that a multi-disciplinary evaluation be conducted to determine a student's eligibility for special education programs.
Parents/Guardians who believe that their child is in need of either special education or gifted services may request that a multi-disciplinary evaluation be conducted. The request shall be in writing, addressed to the building principal, and should explain why the parents/guardians believe that an evaluation is necessary. The multi-disciplinary evaluation is a collection of data about the child as provided by the parents/guardians, teacher, principal, certified school psychologist and any other professionals who work with the child. No specific tests are required to be administered nor must a formal psychological battery be included in this evaluation process. Parents/Guardians shall be presented with a comprehensive report of the findings.
An Individualized Education Plan (IEP) shall be jointly developed by the parents/guardians and appropriate school personnel for every eligible student. Colonial School District maintains its Special Education Plan, as approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, at the Administrative Office, 230 Flourtown Road, Plymouth Meeting, Pa. 19462. This plan is available for inspection upon request.
Parents/Guardians may contact the Special Education Office at (610) 834-1670 for further information.
- Book/Gym Bags
- Bus Transportation Policies
- Cafeteria Regulations
- Change of Address or Employment
- Computers (Acceptable Use)
- Copying & Printing
- Electronic Devices
- Environmental Control Plans
- Fire and Emergency Drills
- Home Use of Technology/PowerSchool/EDMODO Parent/Guardian Information
- ID Cards
- Lockers/Lost and Found
- Parent/Guardian Pick-up at Dismissal
- Physical Education
- Requirements for Promotion
- Residency/Guardianship District Requirements
- School Pictures
Assembly programs are part of the school program and provide both educational and enriching experiences. Programs will include professional entertainers, guest speakers, awards presentations, dramatic plays, school music programs, programs that promote healthy and safe school environments and programs sponsored by school organizations. Students will report to the auditorium or gymnasium and be seated according to instructions given by administrators and staff. Courtesy and respect to classmates and performers is essential.
Immediate attention should be given to the presiding administrator or teacher. Students exhibiting disruptive behaviors will be removed from the assembly program. Proper appreciation for program participants may be given through applause.
Many assemblies are sponsored by the CMS Home and School Association. The normal period schedule may be altered slightly on assembly days.
Bicycle racks are provided near the main entrance of the school for students who wish to ride bicycles to school. Bikes must be parked in areas provided. All bikes must be locked. The Colonial School District DOES NOT assume any responsibility for damage, tampering or theft of bicycles. Students use bike racks at their OWN RISK. Students riding bicycles to and from school are required to ride on sidewalks and cross Belvoir Road at the designated crosswalk area.
PANDEMIC UPDATE: During the pandemic, students will be permitted to carry backpacks in the building. Backpacks with wheels are also acceptable for student use. Lockers will not be used.
Students may find it convenient to use a book bag or gym bag to carry their possessions to and from school and/or gym class. This practice is encouraged as it provides protection for school and personal property, and is a convenience for the student.
However, students are not permitted to carry their book or gym bags with them during the school day as they can be distracting and a safety hazard to the educational program. All book bags and gym bags are to be kept in lockers between 8:00 a.m. and 2:55 p.m. Students found carrying book and/or gym bags will have them confiscated and may be subject to disciplinary action.
Book bags with wheels are not appropriate for CMS students for space and safety reasons. The dimensions of student lockers are: 46” high, 6” wide and 14” deep.
Pupil transportation is not mandated in public schools and, in the State of Pennsylvania, it is considered a privilege. Colonial School District provides transportation for resident students, public and non-public, who live more than two (2) miles from their assigned secondary schools (grades 6 through 12) and more than one and one-half (1 ½) miles from their assigned elementary schools (grades K through 5). The district may also provide transportation service to students who live along roads which have been certified as hazardous by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and will provide service to students with approved Individual Education Programs (IEP’s) that require that accommodation.
While the law permits the school district to furnish transportation if it elects to do so, it does not relieve parents/guardians of students of their responsibility to supervise their children until the child boards the bus in the morning and after the child leaves the bus at the end of the school day.
Guidelines for Providing Transportation Service
Stops will generally be located no closer than 1,500 feet from each other. However, on hazardous roads, stops may be scheduled as close as, but no closer than, 500 feet of each other.
Stops will generally be located at intersections and not at a student’s home. Exceptions may be made for students with approved IEP’s requiring special transportation accommodations or for students living on roads which are certified hazardous by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
Walking Distances to Approved Bus Stops
Resident students, public and non-public, at all grade levels, may be required to walk up to (1) one mile to the location of their school bus stop.
Transportation Assignment of Students
The district will assign each student eligible for transportation to a route and a bus stop based upon the location of their home address. Students will not be permitted to transfer to another bus stop or route without prior approval of the district’s Transportation Office. The district will consider special transportation requests within the home school attendance area only if parents/guardians complete, sign, and submit a “Transportation Request Form”. These forms are available at all district schools. The district will not provide transportation outside the student’s home school attendance area. An exception to the home school attendance area rule may be made for district municipalities that are offering community programs for district students. Requests for more than one pick up and drop off location will not be granted. Approved requests will be effective only for the school year for which they are submitted. Parents/Guardians should submit special transportation requests for each school year to the District’s Transportation Office on or before August 1st of that year. Students who reside within the designated walking area for their schools are not eligible for transportation.
All changes in transportation become effective only after adequate time has been given for their review and approval and proper notice has been given to all parties concerned. It will take approximately three (3) school business days after the request is received in the District’s Transportation Office to make appropriate busing arrangements.
All students will need to ride their assigned bus only. Bus passes to ride home on other students’ buses will not be granted. Families will be responsible for making transportation arrangements for special situations.
The Transportation Department and/or Building Principal will review and consider requests for changes in transportation to or from locations other than a student’s designated home area bus stop within the student’s home school attendance area based on the following criteria:
- The route operates from the student’s assigned school.
- The route will not have to be changed or extended.
- The load of the vehicle will not exceed the legal limits for the vehicle.
- The change will not increase the cost to the school district.
All approved special requests within the student’s home school attendance area will be subject to the terms set by the district’s Transportation Office and/or Building Principal and given to the parent/guardian. Failure to follow these guidelines may result in a student being denied transportation to requested location within the home school attendance area.
Behavior and Discipline Guidelines on the Bus
Previous to Loading
The district has developed the following guidelines to enable drivers to practice safe driving habits and minimize distraction from student passengers. Students and parents/guardians will be held responsible for knowing and abiding by the following provisions. Students must:
- Be on time at the designated bus stop. Arrive five (5) minutes before the bus is due.
- Wait for the bus at a safe place that is well off the road on the side of the street on which the bus stop is located.
- Respect the property rights of people who reside at or near the bus stop.
- Respect the school bus “danger zone”, a 10 foot wide area surrounding the bus on all sides. When waiting to board, they must remain far enough away from the bus so that they can clearly see the driver’s face. When they are sure that the driver has seen them, and the bus has come to a complete stop, they should approach the bus in a single line without running or pushing.
- When it is necessary to cross the street to board the bus, wait for the driver to signal that it is safe to cross and walk far enough away from the bus so that they can see the driver’s face (a minimum of 10 feet).
- Enter the bus in an orderly manner and take their seats.
- If the bus driver has assigned seats, sit where they are assigned.
- Students must be at the bus stop no less than (5) minutes before the scheduled bus arrival time.
- If the school bus does not arrive at the bus stop on time because of mechanical failure, road or weather conditions, students are expected to wait a reasonable length of time (at least ½ hour) before returning to their homes.
- Waiting students are to be visible to the driver and prepared to board the bus when it arrives.
School Bus Discipline Rules
The school bus is an extension of the school classroom. The district expects appropriate behavior on the part of all students riding the school bus. Although the prime responsibility for a student’s behavior rests with the administrator of the school, the school bus driver is responsible for the health, safety, and welfare of all passengers while they are in transit. The driver has the same type of responsibility on the bus as the classroom teacher has in the classroom. The driver has full authority over the riders on the bus. If a serious violation of the Code of Conduct occurs and, depending on the outcome of a comprehensive investigation, the student will be suspended from both school and the bus. The length and duration of the suspension should be correlated to the seriousness of the offense. Additionally, since overt behavior is often symptomatic of other issues, an evaluation/assessment of the student’s social/emotional stability may be recommended and possible placement outside of the district based on the evaluations may result. Furthermore, an internal team will assist the building leadership in accessing community services and coordinating instructional/operational resources.
The PA School Code authorizes the board of school directors to adopt and enforce rules and regulations regarding the conduct of pupils during such time as they are under the supervision of the board of school directors and teachers, including the time necessarily spent in coming to and returning from school.
The school bus is an extension of the school – all school rules apply. Students must observe regular classroom conduct, except for ordinary conversation and follow the driver’s instructions.This means that students are responsible for abiding by the CMS discipline code from the time that they leave their home in the morning until they return to their home in the evening. This includes walking to and from the bus stop or school, waiting at the bus stop, while riding the bus, and waiting for the bus at CMS.
Students are to abide by rules of good conduct. Parents/Guardians will be informed of their child’s misbehavior when they are referred to the school for discipline.
At all times, students must remain in their seats facing forward. They may not change seats at bus stops.
Students must keep their hands, head and feet inside the bus at all times.
Loud talking, boisterous laughter and other similar conduct are not permitted. Such conduct can distract the driver’s attention and may result in a serious accident.
Students are to treat bus equipment as they would valuable furniture in their homes. Damage to seats, windows, etc. will result in disciplinary action. Students and parents/guardians will be held responsible for damage caused by students.
Students must always keep the aisle clear.
Students must never throw anything inside the bus or out of the bus window.
Scuffling, fighting, eating, drinking, the use of tobacco and the use of profane language are strictly forbidden.
Live animals, water guns, fireworks and similar items that may distract the driver’s attention are not permitted on the bus.
Students are expected to be courteous to fellow students and the bus driver. When the bus driver gives them directions, they are to follow them.
Audio and Video Taping
Please be advised that students may be video and audio-taped while receiving school provided transportation. This practice is implemented to promote a safe environment for all of our students.
Late buses are provided for students involved in interscholastic sports and after school activities. This year activity buses will be provided at 5 p.m. on Monday through Thursday and at 4:30 p.m. on Fridays. Students are required to sign up in the cafeteria during lunch, each day, to indicate their need for transportation. This will allow us to schedule transportation efficiently and cost effectively. Buses are also provided for students assigned to after school detention according to the schedule established for that detention period.
Students may be asked to provide identification when boarding buses. Students remaining after school as spectators at approved events must possess their own current ID card and valid Privilege Card or Sports Pass.
Transportation Request Form
If your child is to be transported to and/or from school to a location other than your designated home area bus stop, please complete the Transportation Request Form and return it to the Transportation Office located in the Colonial Elementary School or mail to: 230 Flourtown Road Plymouth Mtg., PA. 19462. Forms may also be picked up at each school.
Requests for Colonial School District bus transportation from locations other than the student’s home will be considered only if the student is eligible for transportation and the stop is on an existing bus run located in the school attendance area to which the student is assigned.
Students will be assigned to bus stops based on the consistent application of a process that involves no more than one accommodation or transition per student. We cannot honor requests for transportation that will vary day to day or week to week.
Requests for a change in transportation will become effective only after adequate time has been given to properly notify all persons concerned and make the necessary changes, approximately (3) three School Days.
Building principals may approve temporary changes for emergencies such as illness in the family, parent/guardian out of town, etc. Telephone requests will not be taken for permanent changes. Requests must be submitted on a “Transportation Request Form” and submitted to the Transportation Office. Notes requesting transportation changes signed by parents/guardians will not be accepted by bus drivers.
Requests for transportation to a child care provider will be granted only if the child care provider is on an established bus route in the school attendance area.
For safety reasons students will be permitted to ride only the bus to which they are assigned and to get on or off the bus only at the stop to which they are assigned.
Special Note: Child Care/Day Care/Dual Home Transportation Request Forms should be submitted BEFORE July 1st of each school year. Student bus stops revert back to the home location at the end of each school year. Special requests for transportation to child care providers must be made annually.
While this procedure may cause parents/guardians temporary inconvenience, we know that you will understand our serious commitment to transporting students to and from school safely, and how our need to know at all times which children are on our buses. We appreciate your cooperation in this matter. If you have any questions you may call the Transportation Office at 610-834-1670, ext. 2141.
All students will use the cafeteria for lunch unless otherwise assigned. Students may bring their lunch or purchase all or part of it as they desire.
Students are expected to conduct themselves as ladies and gentlemen as they would in any other public eating establishment. The following procedures are to be followed:
- All eating is confined to the cafeteria. Students are not permitted to eat lunch anywhere except in the dining area unless granted permission by a CMS staff member. Picnicking on school grounds is prohibited. Food, snacks or beverages are not permitted to be taken out of the dining room without authorization. Glass containers of any kind are prohibited for safety reasons.
- Upon completion of eating, students must remain in the cafeteria until the end of the lunch period or dismissal by the cafeteria supervisor.
- Students are not to leave the cafeteria to loiter in the lobby or halls adjacent to the instructional areas of the building. Students in violation of this regulation are subject to disciplinary action.
- Students must remain in school during lunch.
- Students are responsible for disposing of trash in the trash containers.
- At times, students forget their lunch money and may continue to charge their account resulting in insufficient funds. There will be a $5.00 cap on breakfast and lunch account charges. Once a student reaches $5.00, no lunch can be charged until the outstanding balance is paid. If a student attempts to charge with an overdrawn balance, the charge will be denied. The student will be expected to clear the obligation the next school day. The account will remain frozen until sufficient funds are deposited into the account. Checks should be made payable to CMS Cafeteria.
- Breakfast and lunch charges will not be accepted one week before the last day of school. Cash only purchases may be made during the last week of school.
- It is the student’s responsibility to check on their individual account for any outstanding obligation.
All inappropriate conduct in the cafeteria will be dealt with according to provision in the Discipline Code.
Families who move within the school district are required to inform the guidance office of their new address, telephone number, etc., so that new transportation arrangements can be made and to keep the schools records current. Please report any change in cell phone numbers. Parents/Guardians who change employers during the school year should also contact guidance with the new phone number so that they can be notified in case of an emergency.
The development and use of computer skills are an integral part of your child’s education in the Colonial School District. The Middle School possesses five complete computer labs and at least one computer is installed in every classroom. All computers are linked by network and possess internet capabilities. The appropriate and ethical use of these devices is taught and expected. The Discipline Code addresses potential violations of proper use.
It is the policy of the Colonial School District that its computers, networks, the Internet, electronic communications and information systems (collectively CIS systems) must be used for education-related purposes. Student use of the CIS for any other purpose may result in the cancellation of the privilege to use the network and equipment of the District and may also result in disciplinary consequences. Steps have been taken to ensure student safety; all access to the internet is through an internet filter that screens out inappropriate websites, chat rooms and games. This filtering meets the requirements of the federal regulations.
Parents/Guardians have the right to deny individual internet access for their children. If you do not want your child to have internet access at school, please complete the Internet Permission Agreement in the PowerSchool Parent/Guardian Portal at the beginning of the school year.
Colonial School District uses individual student data for state and federal reporting purposes in accordance with state and federal laws, including the federal No Child Left Behind Act, state assessments, state aid, special education and program participation as well as to satisfy other data requests needed for managing the district instructional programs.
The Superintendent or designee has the authority to establish a system that maintains data in accordance with FERPA and other relevant state and federal laws. Procedures used to ensure the confidentiality of student information and data have been implemented by the Colonial School District. The process does not expand or in any way change the allowable uses by staff or the availability of student data to any other educator or member of the public.
IMPORTANT: Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure, or distribution is prohibited. If you have access to any data other than your own, please report to the school building front office.
With an implemented district-wide initiative to reduce costs, a consolidated printing model is in effect. Students will only be permitted to copy and print in dedicated student printing areas located in the CMS library. Students will be permitted to utilize this printing center before the school day, during lunch, and during activity period. Only black and white printing will be available. As a result, students should plan accordingly when printing resources or assignments for class and should NOT expect to print in their classrooms or in color.
PANDEMIC UPDATE: Students will be permitted to bring their own personal laptops or Chromebooks to school this year. They will be permitted to use the Colonial School District Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) network for school business during their time at school.
Electronic devices that could interrupt the educational process are not permitted in school. These devices will be confiscated and returned only to a parent/guardian. Electronic games and personal music players with headsets are permitted on the bus, before and after school. Upon arrival to school through dismissal, cell phones, electronic games, personal music players and other electronic devices must be kept in the student's locker. These items should not be visible in the school building at any time. Calculators capable of playing games may not be used for such during the school day.
Laser Pointers are potentially dangerous devices and are not permitted in school. Such devices will be confiscated and returned only to a parent/guardian. Other disciplinary measures may be taken under the Discipline Code.
Students are permitted to bring cell phones to school under the following condition: they must be turned off and stored out of sight upon a student’s arrival to school, 7:40 a.m. – 2:55 p.m. Please note that cell phones should not be used to take photographs, video tape, or audio record at any time. Cell phones should not be visible in school at any time. Students are permitted to use phones on the bus to access games/music with earbuds; however students may not use these devices to take pictures, video, or audio recordings at any time. Students are not permitted to make calls, send tests, or visit inappropriate sites as well. Remember students are accountable to school rules until they enter their homes. A violation of this policy will result in the confiscation of these items until the end of the school day or a loss of privilege of bringing their phone to school in the future. Repeat violations will receive penalties as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct. A mandatory parent/guardian meeting will be held.
The school will not accept responsibility for lost, stolen, or damaged equipment.
The school will assume no responsibility for lost, stolen or damaged cell phones or other devices.
The District maintains plans and has programs in place to safely contain, manage and/or remove the relatively small amount of potentially hazardous materials remaining in our schools. In accordance with AHERA guidelines, passed by the federal government in 1986, information pertaining to the inspection and disposition specific to one of these materials is provided in a management plan. A copy of the management plan is available in the custodial office in our school. In addition, a master copy of the management plan for all district schools is available in the Facilities Management Center located at 4118 Franklin Way, Lafayette Hill Pa. Those interested in reviewing the district’s management plan should contact the Custodial Supervisor of the school or the Facilities Management Office for the district. They will provide access to the management plans.
Students are permitted to carry/use water bottles throughout the school day. Seventh grade students will be permitted to carry and use a small snack (granola, rice krispie treat, etc.) that can be accessed and eaten quietly during their CORE 3 class only. The meaning of “quietly” is at the discretion of the classroom teacher. At all other times and for all other students, food is prohibited outside the cafeteria or student lockers.
We realize that fidgets can be a positive support for some students. At the same time they can also be a distraction to the user and others around them. As a result the following guidelines will be used to govern the appropriate use of fidgets: 1) Students are not permitted to supply their own fidgets (exceptions can be made with teacher approval). 2) Teachers will supply fidgets that they endorse in their classroom. 3) Appropriate use of a fidget means the fidget is out of sight and silent.
To insure the safety of our students, staff and faculty, emergency drills are practiced throughout the year. Students will be instructed on procedures for fire, severe weather, bus evacuation and other emergencies. Fire drills are held once a month, as required by law. In addition, weather emergency and lockdown drills are held in preparation for other possible emergencies. If you are visiting or volunteering at the time of a drill, you are to follow staff direction for procedures for the drill.
We recognize that we have no power to regulate home computer use by students; however, we recommend that parents/guardians closely monitor their child’s use of the internet-specifically social networking sites. These sites include: Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, etc. Each year the Colonial Middle School addresses incidents of harassment and bullying that commence through texting or social networking at home. These inappropriate comments are hurtful and cause stress to students. They also become a distraction to our educational program. We are recommending that parents/guardians closely monitor their child’s participation on these sites and remind families that threats and other hurtful comments can be subject to our discipline code and/or police involvement.
PowerSchool Parent/Guardian Account Information
Power School is our primary data management system for student assignments, student grades, student attendance, and student lunch balances. Power School is a resource that is available to parents/guardians to view details regarding this information as desired. Please note that it is crucial that parents/guardians register their current email addresses in PowerSchool in order to receive important Connect-Ed messages that are sent throughout the year. Directions for registering in PowerSchool are included below. If you experience any difficulties in establishing an account, please contact one of our secretaries at 610 275-5100 ext 7285 or 7903 and they will be happy to assist you.
PowerSchool Parent/Guardian Portal
Colonial School District utilizes PowerSchool Single Sign-On for access to Student Information.PowerSchool Single Sign-On allows parents/guardians with multiple children to combine their sign-in into one Parent/Guardian Account. Click here to access PowerSchool.
If you have not set-up a Single Sign-On account, (or if you are new to the District), click here for a step by step guide for you to follow to complete your PowerSchool Single Sign-On set up.
Please frequent the District Website in late August for the exact date the PowerSchool Single Sign-On Portal will become accessible.
If you have created a Single Sign-On account but forget you username or password, select the “Having trouble signing in?” link located on the Parent/Guardian Portal Home Page.
How to Log into PowerSchool's Parent/Guardian Portal
2. Click Create Account. The Create Parent/Guardian Account page appears.
3. Enter your first name.
4. Enter your last name.
5. Enter your email address.
6. Enter your desired user name. It must be unique. If the name you choose already exists, you will be prompted to enter a different one after you press the enter button.
7. Enter your desired password; it must be at least 6 characters long
8. Re-enter your password.
9. Enter your student's first and last name.
10. Enter the Access ID listed on the Transportation Letter.
11. Enter the Access Password listed on the Transportation Letter.
12. Enter your relationship to the student.
13. If you have an Access ID and Password for another student, you may enter them on the next line.
14. When all student information has been completed, press the enter button.
15. If successful, you will be directed to the login screen. If you receive an error message (forgot to fill in a field, your user name or email address are not unique, etc.), you must correct the error(s) AND re-enter the parent/guardian password(s) for all students listed. You may then press the enter button again. Continue correcting errors until you see the login screen after pressing the enter button.
Once you log into the PowerSchool website, you may sign up for alerts to be emailed directly to you. These alerts will be triggered by attendance/ account balances based upon the selections you make using the Email Notification link. You may change your alert status at any time. You may also change your email address or password by clicking on Account Settings.
information Found on Powerschool
Upon logging in notice the ICON MENU on the Left. These icons are direct links to each of the main functions for your PowerSchool Parent/Guardian Access. You can always get back to the main page (grades and attendance) by clicking on the POWERSCHOOL logo in Blue.
Grades and Attendance
Upon successful login to PowerSchool, the Grades and Attendance page displays. The student’s current grade is listed to the right of each course. If you click on the grade you are reviewing, assignment and assessment information for that course will appear. Here you will also find a link that you can use to access specific assignment information for that course. The student’s most current attendance record including the previous week will appear at the bottom of the page. Attendance codes and descriptors are also visible for your review.
Email to Teachers
Notice Teachers' names are highlighted in blue. Click on one of the teacher names to email the teacher directly. Note: If you are using a free email service such as Yahoo or Hotmail, you will need to copy the address after opening link and email from your personal account.
Grades and Grade History
Clicking on any of the grades/numbers highlighted in blue will open the "Class Score Detail" page for that specific class. This sheet displays the due date of assignments, the type of work, and the score received for each assignment. Any grade from the current week viewed from the Grades History page found on the main ICON.
Click on the link to this page to view overall attendance for the selected for all classes your child is enrolled in. The Legend at the bottom of the page describes attendance codes.
You can choose to have daily, weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly emails sent to your e-Mail account. The notification screen allows the user to customize automated notification of student information.
This page allows you to read any comments entered by teachers. This information is identical to comments printed on report cards.
The School Bulletin page will be used at the discretion of the Comments Bulletin Balance building administrative staff and can display any general information that applies to the building as a whole.
This page allows you to view the current Lunch Balance for your student.
Please Note: Always be sure to click the "Logout" button when you are done using PowerSchool Parent/Guardian Access to keep others from accessing your child's information online. Additionally, CSD is currently not using the My Calendars. If you encounter difficulties accessing PowerSchool, please contact: Kim Santoni at ext. 7285.
Some of our teachers may be using Edmodo in their classroom. Edmodo is a free and secure social learning network for teachers, students and schools. It provides a safe and easy way to connect, share content and access homework information.
Edmodo also offers free parent accounts. With Parent Accounts, you can view announcements such as your child’s homework assignments and upcoming due dates.
Edmodo is accessible online and on any mobile device with Internet capabilities (they also offer a free iPhone, iPad and Android app). You can access your account on the go, and adjust your notification settings within Edmodo to receive alerts via text or email.
To create your Edmodo Parent Account, follow these steps:
Retrieve your unique parent code by having your child login to their Edmodo account. The parent/guardian code will be located on the right panel, below the notifications section.
Select “Parent Signup.” (The link is located below the student and teacher sign up buttons.)
Key in your unique code: [XXXXXX] in the Parent Code field, then create your unique username and password.
Select Sign Up. That’s all there is to it!
After you sign up for the first time, you will no longer need the parent code. You’ll login using your unique username and password to login.
Please note: Edmodo does not take the place of PowerSchool. It is simply another communication device teachers may choose to use. All CMS teachers use PowerSchool to update their students’ grades and homework assignments. If you have problems accessing PowerSchool, please call the main office at 610-275-5100 and someone can assist you.
Students and staff will be issued identification cards bearing a photograph, name and school identification information. (Fee for student ID replacement is $3.00.) Staff will wear the identification so that it is plainly visible at all times.
Visitors to the building will be issued a Visitor’s Pass that must be worn so that it is plainly visible at all times. Please see VISITORS.
PANDEMIC UPDATE: Students will not be issued lockers during the pandemic. Students will be permitted to use backpacks during the school day. Movement between classes will be minimized to keep students and staff safe. Please be aware that schools do have the legal right to search student backpacks when there is cause to do so.
At the beginning of each school year, each student shall be assigned a locker in which to keep books, lunch and outdoor clothing. Hall lockers will be assigned by the homeroom teacher from the office of the assistant principal. All students will be assigned a combination locker. No other locks will be permitted on hall lockers unless approved by a building administrator.
Students shall be assigned another locker in the locker room for gym and athletic equipment. Locks will be issued by Physical Education teachers. It is the responsibility of students to keep lockers locked. DO NOT SHARE LOCKERS.
The administration and teachers are not responsible for the loss of money or property. Large sums of money and other valuables should never be brought to school. Students are required to keep lockers clean and neat at all times. Decals, stickers or other markings on the locker are prohibited. All lockers made available for student use on school premises are the property of the Colonial School District. Lockers are made available for student use in storing school supplies and personal items necessary for use at school. Lockers are not to be used to store items which cause, or can reasonably be foreseen to cause, an interference with school functioning or which are forbidden by state law or school rules.
The student's use of the locker does not lessen the School District's ownership or control of the locker. The School District retains the right to periodically inspect the locker and its contents to insure that the locker is being used in accordance with its intended purpose, to eliminate flammables or other hazards, maintain sanitary conditions, attempt to locate lost or stolen material, to prevent use of the locker to store prohibited or dangerous materials such as weapons, illegal drugs, alcohol, contraband or any other material not specifically related to school purposes or an educational function of the School District.
In the event that any weapons, illegal drugs, alcohol, contraband or other material not specifically related to school purposes are uncovered during an inspection of the locker being used by a student, the student shall be deemed to have consented to the removal of any such item(s) from the locker.
Lost and Found
Students seeking lost articles should check for these items in the Guidance Office, and the "Lost and Found" located behind the Main Office. Found textbooks will be returned to the student by the classroom teacher. Students are responsible to list their name on the inside cover. Lost items not claimed at the end of each marking period will be donated to a worthy cause.
Bus transportation is provided to and from school. Due to appointments and personal preference parents/guardians can choose to transport their children personally. If you choose this option, please review and follow the guidelines and diagram below. These procedures have been established to ensure the safety of our students.
Colonial Middle School student pick-up procedures
Please follow the direction of the arrows upon entering the parking lot. The first car in the lot should line up at the area marked with the star. All cars should line up, in single file, in the direction of the arrows. All students must remain on sidewalks at all times and enter cars on the passenger side only. Staff members will be assigned to the parking lot to assist with procedures. No buses will be picking up students from the front parking lot area.
PANDEMIC UPDATE: During the pandemic, students will not change attire for gym class. Locker rooms will not be used. It is recommended that students wear athletic clothes and footwear to school on the days that have Phys Ed class.
Students are required to have an appropriate change of clothes for Physical Education class. Acceptable gym attire includes gym shorts/sweat pants, a t-shirt (solid color preferred), and sneakers. Tank tops and leggings are not permitted. If a student prefers to wear sweatpants, they must be approved by their Physical Ed Teacher.
Physical Ed t-shirts and shorts can be purchased through the CMS school store, but similar items can be purchased outside of school as long as they are school appropriate. Students may not wear the same clothes they wore to school in the Physical Education class.
If a student cannot participate in PE class, a note is required from a parent, guardian or physician and must be presented to their Physical Ed teacher. Students who do not participate and do not provide a note will receive a zero for the day.
Gym locks are issued to students to lock their belongings. Replacement charge for a lost lock is $10.00. Students are responsible for locking up their belongings before, during and after class.
Photos, videotape footage and personal interviews with Colonial students who are involved in various school-related activities are often used as part of the District’s community relations efforts (e.g., District publications, CITV programs and on the District’s Website).
Parents/Guardians who do NOT want photos, videotape footage or interviews featuring your child used in District publications, CITV programming or on the Website will need to complete the photo permission agreement in the PowerSchool Parent/Guardian Portal at the beginning of the year. Be advised that signing this form prevents intentional use of your child’s photo or videotape footage.
In situations in which large groups of people are participating, it may be impossible not to photograph or videotape certain students, and therefore we cannot prevent the use of photos or videotape footage that unintentionally includes your child.
All students must pass all of their subjects with an average grade of sixty percent or better in each course, in order to be promoted to the next grade. Summer school may be made available based upon the needs of the district each summer. In order for students to participate in promotion, all outstanding obligations must be cleared. This includes, but is not limited to, classroom books or learning tools, library books and fines, unpaid cafeteria balances, gym locks and sports equipment.
Students should be dressed appropriately; no shorts, tank tops, very short skirts, flip-flops or sneakers. Boys should wear slacks (no jeans) and a collared shirt; girls should wear a dress, skirt or slacks that are appropriate for a morning event.
Students must live in Colonial School District in order to be enrolled in any of our schools. Colonial School District is required by the Pennsylvania Public School Code to keep on file verification of residency on all students. Families who lease or rent property in our District or whomever accepts guardianship for a student must keep a current lease or guardianship affidavit on file with the school building the student is attending for that school year. Parents/Guardians are also required to keep the school informed of any change in a child’s residency throughout the school year.
If you should have any question concerning Colonial School District residency requirements, you can contact Lenore Ciccolone – Residency Investigator at (610) 834-1670, extension 2150.
Please advise the school as soon as possible if you are moving and complete the Student Withdrawal Form obtained from the office. We must have written permission to forward the records to the new school. Records can only be sent with written permission from the parents/guardians and any debts accrued (library books, etc.) must be paid.
PANDEMIC UPDATE: Due to the pandemic, school pictures are scheduled for the spring. Check our website announcements for dates TBD.
Each fall pictures of individual students are taken by a professional photographer. At minimal cost, several different packets of pictures are available to each student and his or her family. A retake session is scheduled for those students who are absent on the scheduled day.
In the spring, a group class picture will be taken and offered to all 8th grade students. Additional photo opportunities may be scheduled.
- Activity Period
- After School Activities
- Extracurricular Clubs and Groups
- Field Trips
- National Junior Honor Society
- Parent Teacher Organization
- Student Council
Students may remain after regular school hours only when they are in a supervised activity. Academic enrichment and remedial programs, after school assistance, athletics, music and drama programs are part of the diverse and richly rewarding offerings provided to students. Supervision is critical, however, and all students in these programs must remain with their supervising teachers while in school. Early dismissal from such a program requires that transportation be arranged for that dismissal time.
Students may remain after school to cheer at athletic and similar events but must remain with that event at all times. Sports passes are required for any student remaining after school to watch a sporting event. Violation of any part of the discipline code or a lack of cooperation with staff members will result in the revoking of this pass and the privilege it provides.
Students who leave school property after school may not return to school that day unless arrangements have been made with the Main Office in advance.
Athletes and spectators are not permitted in the main building at any time after school. Students in other programs are to remain only in those areas designated for each individual program.
See "Sports Pass."
Periodically throughout the year, school dances are held in the gymnasium or cafeteria. The dates are noted on the district activities calendar, but may have to be postponed or canceled due to inclement weather or lack of interest. Permission slips to buy tickets can be obtained in school or on the CMS website.
Normally tickets are sold in advance during lunch periods to cover costs. Dances are open to sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students as indicated on the district and CMS calendars. School dances are normally held on Friday evenings and begin at 7:00 p.m. and end promptly at 9:00 p.m.
Parents/Guardians are required to arrange transportation to and from school dances for their children.
PANDEMIC UPDATE: During the pandemic the following activities/clubs will be available for student participation.
- Mon: Student Council & Chorus
- Tues: Math Club & Art Club
- Wed: TSA & School Newspaper
- Thurs: Band & Math Club
- Fri: TSA & Orchestra
The following is a list of some of the clubs and groups at CMS. It is hoped that this will help inform parents/guardians and students about some of the many options available to students. Many of these groups meet during activity period, but this is NOT a list of all activity period choices. That list will be given out in school prior to each activity session. That list is significantly larger than this list. This list was compiled from information provided at the end of the previous school year. There may be changes, additions, and deletions during this school year. Parents/Guardians who have concerns about their child participating in any of these groups should contact the principal.
Please note that some of these activities will meet during activity period only, while others will meet after school. For those activities that meet after school, the Colonial School District does provide bus transportation home. Extracurricular activity buses will be available to students at 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Students requiring transportation will need to sign up in the cafeteria, during lunch, indicating their need that day. If you prefer to transport your child home personally, please report to CMS by 5 p.m. If activities run past 5 p.m., then parents/guardians will be required to pick up their child at the conclusion of the activity.
MISSING CLASS TIME FOR EXTRACURRICULAR PARTICIPATION
Academic class time is crucial to learning: however, there are occasions when extracurricular activities require students to miss academic class time. These activities include music practices, music performances, sports games, club competitions, etc. If your child is involved in an extracurricular activity and you have concerns about them missing academic class time to participate in music practices, music performances, sports games, club competitions, etc, please contact the activity's director/coach. Please note that any time a student misses class time for any reason, it is their responsibility to make up whatever they missed in class.
Students work on special projects outside the typical art curriculum. Work is both independent and in groups, using traditional and unusual art materials. Art Club ends the year with a field trip to the “Grounds for Sculpture” and the all school Art Show at CMS in May.
Meeting time: 1, 2 or 3 (student choice) activity periods per week activity sessions 1, 2 & 3.
Sponsor: Miss Horwitz and Mrs. Rovinsky
Sign-up: each activity session
Requirements: members are chosen by the sponsor
Mathcounts is a national math enrichment and competition program that promotes middle school mathematics achievement. Interested students will be a member of the Mathcounts team that will compete in a regional competition in the spring. Winning teams can compete at higher levels. For more information, click here to visit www.mathcounts.org.
Meeting time: one activity period, session 1 & 2
Sponsor: Mrs. Nitka-Johnson
Sign-up: Session 1 sign-up sheet or see the sponsor
Requirements: interest in math
Students compete in an international mathematics competition. Students complete math problems in each monthly (November-March) competition. This is held at CMS. Click here to visit www.moems.org for more information.
Meeting time: one activity period per week, session 1. Students do not need to attend the activity to compete.
Sponsor: Mrs. Hurlburt
Sign-up: Activity session 1 sign-up sheet or see sponsor
Requirements: 6th grade competes at the elementary level, 7th & 8th at a higher level
There are three music groups, which are open to all interested students: Chorus, Orchestra, and Band. These groups meet twice a week, once with the entire group and once in a small group called a sectiona, during activity period and/or learning time for the full year. In addition, instrumental music students take instrumental lessons weekly on a rotating schedule. These groups perform at both the winter and spring concerts.
Meeting time: Activity period, sessions 1, 2, & 3
Sponsors: Chorus: Miss Venkus, Orchestra: Mrs. O’Connor, Band: Mr. O’Neill
Sign-up: beginning of the school year. Students who wish to join during the school year may do so with permission from the group sponsor.
In addition to the 3 large music groups, there are smaller groups for motivated students who wish to perform more challenging music. These groups may require an audition and are composed of selected students.
Students that are interested in singing and performing pop and broadway show tunes are encouraged to sign up for the Clefnotes. Students will participate in the Spring Concert, Elementary Tour, and the annual Trills and Thrills Competition. Students from this group may be selected to participate in area festivals and the PMEA District 11 Middle School Chorus.
Meeting time: activity period once a week and after school rehearsals once a month beginning in January
Sponsor: Miss Venkus
Sign-up: Will occur in late December/early January, open to all students, 6th – 8th grade
The "CMS Scoop" is the school newspaper. Students create and publish the newspaper for distribution to students and staff several times throughout the school year.
Meeting time: one or two activity periods per week, session 1, 2 & 3.
Sponsor: Mr. Josh Rothstein
Sign-up: each activity session sign-up sheet
Requirements: approval of the sponsor
Open to any student, grade 6-8 who likes to read. Students are required to read books from the Middle School Reading Olympics list. Click here to go to the library page to access the reading list. Students compete as a team in the middle school Reading Olympics competition held in April.
Meeting time: optional activity period during Session 1 & 2. There may be meetings in the weeks before the competition.
Sponsor: Mrs. Brooke Carpenter
Sign-up: beginning of school year. Students may join later-see sponsor.
Requirements: students must read the minimum number of books from the list and attend the mandatory meeting in the spring.
8th grade students interested in science will study oceanography and then have the opportunity to study at the Wallops Island Marine Science Center. Students will have required work to be eligible to go to Wallops Island. Space is limited.
Meeting time: one activity period per week, session 2 & 3
Sponsor: Mrs. Kelly Wistreich
Sign-up: information handed out in science class
Requirements: 8th grade only, satisfactory completion of Oceanography work, grade of C or better in all classes.
A team of 15 students competes in the regional Science Olympiad Competition against approximately 40 other teams. Top schools compete at the state competition. Each team member competes in 3-4 events such as Bottle Rocket Building, Bridge Building, Mystery Architecture, Can’t Judge a Power-and many more. Visit www.soinc.org for more information.
Meeting time: one activity period, Session 1 & 2.
Sponsor: Mrs. Kelly Wistreich
Sign-up: activity session sign-up sheet
Requirements: final team of 15 will be selected from the students who sign up.
SPRING MUSICAL PRODUCTION
Students are selected to participate in the CMS Spring Production during an audition process that begins in November of each school year. This year’s scheduled performance is TBD.
Meeting time: The cast and crew (stage and technical) will practice after-school three days a week and Saturdays for a total of 8 hours a week from January to April
Sponsor: Miss Venkus
Sign-up: audition times are announced in school
Requirements: audition and consistent attendance at rehearsals
Two representatives are elected from each homeroom to attend meetings and present announcements to their homerooms. All other interested students can join a committee- Sales, Special Events, Advertising and Service. Officers are elected the previous year. Representatives are elected in September. Committee members join after homeroom elections.
Meeting time: Representatives and Committee members meet monthly during Activity Period year long. Officers-Activity period, Session 1, 2 & 3.
Sponsors: Mrs. Penrice
Sign-Up: beginning of school year
Requirements: Grades of C or better, no suspensions, regular attendance at meetings
TECHNOLOGY STUDENT ASSOCIATION (TSA)
The CMS chapter of the national TSA organization prepares members for the challenges of a dynamic world by promoting technological literacy, leadership and problem solving resulting in personal growth and opportunity. Students interested in technology have the opportunity to compete in regional, state and national competitions.
Meeting time: Activity period, Session 1, 2 & 3.
Sponsor: Mr. Rickert, Mr. Engle
Sign-up: end of previous school year (required for officers) & beginning of current year
Requirements: GPA 2.0, to compete GPA 2.5, officers 3.0
Open to students who are sincerely interested in creating the CMS Yearbook.
Meeting time: one or two activity periods, sessions 1 & 2
Sponsor: Mrs. Horwitz
Sign-up: see sponsor
Requirements: members are chosen by the sponsor
School sponsored field trips are recognized to be a valuable part of each student's school experience. Trips are sponsored by individual grade level teams, and by related arts and subject area departments. Some costs are defrayed by the Home and School Association, while others must be paid for by participating students.
Information about trips is normally sent home by faculty sponsors to eligible students well in advance of the trip. Students who participate in a field trip activity must submit a permission form signed by his or her parent or guardian. This form will normally be included as part of the trip information packet. If any school work or tests are missed as a result of the trip, students will be required to arrange to make them up.
Some trips may require a certain mode of dress to which students will be asked to comply. School trips should be considered as a privilege. Field trip privileges may be withheld from students who are having academic or disciplinary difficulties.
All fundraising activities done in school must be under the sponsorship of recognized school organizations and with the permission of the school administration. Such activities are to be conducted in such a manner as to not interfere with or disrupt the instructional program. Items for sale may not be sold within the confines of individual classrooms. Individuals and outside organizations will not be permitted to raise or solicit funds in school.
The Independents' Chapter of the National Junior Honor Society is an organization whose membership is honorary. Eighth grade students may be considered for membership by exhibiting outstanding performance in scholarship, citizenship, leadership, service and character. Students who have earned distinguished honor roll status for every marking period in both 6th and 7th grade are invited to submit information about the activities in which they are involved to the sponsor. The faculty is polled about the character of each potential member and a faculty committee acts on new members. The organization is affiliated with the National Junior Honor Society and maintains its good standing as a chapter member of that prestigious group. Eligible students will be contacted by Mrs. McCracken, the sponsor.
Colonial Middle School has a very active Parent Teacher Organization whose major focus is to provide activities and materials to extend the educational thrust of the curriculum. Parents/Guardians and students are encouraged to participate in all PTO activities. Click here to email the PTO at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Officers of the PTO for 2020-2021
Two major publications are produced: the school newspaper is published four times yearly. It contains photos and articles written by students about student activities. The school's yearbook is published in the spring of each year. It contains photos of individual students and school organizations. Additional publications are produced by the administration, individual departments and academic teams which include news and information about activities programs and opportunities for students.
The Student Council is an organization of students, elected by students to serve as their official representatives in all matters of concern to the entire school.
Each spring officers are elected to carry on the work for the following year. In the fall, two representatives are elected in each homeroom. It is the duty of the representatives to bring to the Council's attention complaints and suggestions from their classmates and to report to their homeroom the actions of the Council.
In addition, any student maintaining a "C" average or better, and who has not received and suspensions may also join Student Council as a committee member.
Student Council representatives serve as role models for other students. Suspensions or poor conduct will result in removal from the position.
- Arrival at School
- Attendance Policy
- Early Dismissals
- Class Attendance
- Lates to Class
- Lates to School
- Transfer/Withdrawal Procedures
During the pandemic, students will enter the building through specific entrances:
- Grade 6 2nd floor bridge
- Grade 7 Main lobby
- Grade 8 Lower entrance near cafeteria.
Upon entry students will proceed directly to their first period class. They will take their belongings with the. No lockers will be used this year. All belongings will remain in their classroom for the day.
We do not have a homeroom period. As a result it is crucial for students to arrive to school on time. Students are expected to report directly into the school building when they arrive at school. Normally, buses begin arriving at 7:40 a.m. at which time walkers and students who are dropped off are admitted. Students who must be dropped off earlier must have special permission to enter the school building. Students who arrive later than 8:03 a.m., the official beginning of period 1 classes, must report immediately to the reception desk in the Main Lobby and will be considered tardy. Arrival after 11:45 will result in one-half day of absence. Students who do not attend school on a given day will not be eligible to participate in any extracurricular activity on that day. Please note that students who arrive to school, go to the nurse’s office prior to the end of their first class, and subsequently are sent home will be coded as absent for a full school day. A student must complete attendance in at least one class to receive partial credit for school attendance.
PANDEMIC UPDATE: During the pandemic attendance will be taken whether virtual or in person. All regular attendance expectations/policies remain in effect whether virtual or on campus.
In the event that a child is absent from school please DO NOT call the attendance office to report the absence.
Children who are on time and attend school regularly make the best progress. Regular attendance also assists in developing a sense of responsibility, discipline and good work habits in the student.
Following the absence, an excuse must be provided. Click here to complete an absence note form online or for access to printable forms. Please complete the form or return your note regarding the reason for your child’s absence within three days. If a note is not received within three days, your child’s absence will be marked unlawful.
A written doctor’s note is requested for an absence of three days or more. Please note that if your student is absent from school, they may not participate in any extracurricular programs for that day.
In the event you have not reported your student’s absence in the morning, Connect-ED will be utilized to make the contact home. It is vital that the school has all of your current telephone numbers so that you will not miss out on any important communications.
Only the following absences are excused by state law: personal illness, health care (doctor’s appointment), death in the family, quarantine, religious holidays, recovery from an accident, required court attendance and family educational trips with ten days prior approval of the principal.
No more than five school days per student will be approved as an educational trip request in any school year. Special requests with unusual circumstances or exceptional opportunities for learning should be discussed with the building principal well in advance of the requested dates for absence. Educational trip requests can be made by visiting www.colonialsd.org/absent.
Guidelines for Educational Trips
Parents/guardians who are planning to take their children on an educational trip during the time that school is in session may request an excused absence for their student(s). Consideration of such a request is dependent on these conditions:
Approval of each request will be based on attendance records, previous requests and academic performance.
Unless there are unusual or emergency circumstances, such requests will not be approved for the first ten (10) school days of the year, during semester examination periods at the secondary level, during the Districts standardized testing period or the State’s testing periods.
A properly completed request form must be submitted to the Principal(s) a minimum of ten (10) school days prior to the trip (except in an emergency). Parents/guardians will be notified if the request is approved or denied.
One request for an absence must be completed for each student and submitted to the building principal(s).
Students are responsible to secure and complete all classroom assignments during the period of absence.
Educational Trip absences will count toward a student’s total days of absence for the school year. Please note that after 10 total days of absence, a doctor’s note is required for each subsequent day out in order for the absence to be considered excused.
If the student’s absence extends beyond the approved time, then such days will be classified as unlawful.
Make-Up Policy for Excused Absences
For every day of excused absence from a class, a student will be afforded two days to make up any missed work / assessments that occurred that day. It is the absent student’s responsibility to communicate with his/her teacher to determine what work was missed and when they can make it up. This means that if a student is excused absent during a scheduled assessment on Monday and returns to school on Tuesday, they will need to make up the missed assessment by Wednesday.
It is important to a student’s overall success to be on time each and every day. Moreover, state law requires tardiness to be recorded. Parents/Guardians of students with excessive tardiness (more than four in a single marking period) will be reported to the Home and School Visitor. It is important that when a child is tardy they are escorted to the main office by a parent or guardian to be signed in.
All absences without an acceptable excuse will be recorded unlawful.
Unlawful absences may result in the loss of make-up work privileges including examinations. Unlawful absences are subject to legal ramification and possible fine. The State Legal Code permits up to three (3) days of unlawful absence before a legal notice is issued. On the fourth (4) such absence a fine, plus legal costs, may be imposed. “Unlawful Absence / Tardiness” is the absence/lateness of a pupil due to an unacceptable reason.
Unacceptable Reasons for Absence
- No written, faxed or written explanation from parent/guardian
- Traffic (If CMS buses also experience delays due to traffic situations, then exceptions can be made.)
- Missed bus
- Unapproved Trips
- Summer Camp
- Helping family to move
Truancy: Student being absent from school without parental/guardian knowledge or permission.
Illegal Employment: Student employed during school hours.
Excessive or Habitual Absence: A maximum of ten days of cumulative lawful absences verified by parental/guardian notification may be permitted during a school year. All absences beyond ten cumulative days require an excuse from a physician.
Make-Up Policy for Unexcused Absences
Students are not permitted to make up work/assessments they miss due to an unexcused absence.
Parents/Guardians are encouraged to schedule medical and other appointments at a time other than school hours. Requests for an early dismissal should be made to the Attendance Office in writing prior to homeroom. Emergency requests may be made by telephone or in person. Students are to be picked up in the Main Lobby at the time of the dismissal. Only parents, guardians, or adults identified on a student’s emergency form will be permitted to pick up a student, unless prior arrangements are made and approved by the Administration. Please note that photo identification is required to pick up a student early. Early dismissals prior to 11:45 a.m. or late arrivals after 11:45 a.m. will be considered a one-half day of absence.
The staff of the Colonial Middle School is committed to providing the finest educational experiences possible to our students. Therefore, students are expected to be in their assigned classes at all times.
Class attendance for students shall be taken by teachers every class period and checked against the daily attendance sheet. At the end of the school day, names of students absent from class that do not appear on the morning attendance sheet or the afternoon attendance sheet will be forwarded to the appropriate assistant principal for investigation and/or disciplinary action.
Unauthorized absence from class, lunch or activity period is one of the most serious violations of which a student can be guilty. Each class cut is reported in writing to the appropriate assistant principal. The student may not make up the work missed. The student's grade may be lowered for non-participation in class.
Other disciplinary consequences for cutting class are as indicated in the Code of Student Conduct & Discipline.
Students are allotted three minutes passing time to class. Three lates to the same class = 1 pink slip. Any additional late to that same class will result in an additional pink slip. Please note that lates to class do not reset to zero at the beginning of a new trimester. Lates to different classes are independent of each other. If a student arrives to a class late by 5 minutes or more, a pink slip or discipline referral can be assigned immediately. Students should always report to their class to check in with a teacher if they have a circumstance that could result in them being late to class.
Students late to school are to report to the entrance lobby for a late slip. Students must have a note from a parent/guardian detailing the reason for the child’s lateness or the late will be coded as unexcused. Unexcused lateness is subject to disciplinary consequences. After three (3) unexcused lates have occurred, the student will be issued a pink slip. Every additional occurrence of (3) unexcused lates during that trimester, will result in an additional pink slip. Tardiness will be recorded on student attendance records.
Please note that unexcused late minutes will accumulate. Once 360 minutes of unexcused lates have accumulated, an unexcused absence will be recorded.
Students who transfer to another school district or private school must officially withdraw from the Colonial Middle School to afford the smooth transition of official records.
The procedure is as follows:
- Parents/Guardian must contact the Guidance office to inform school of transfer and give date of the student’s final day at CMS.
- Students transferring during the school year will obtain a deletion form from the Guidance office to be signed by each teacher and the guidance counselor on the student’s last day at CMS. This form is signed by the student’s teachers as all school books, materials, equipment and library books have been returned and any money owed to the cafeteria or any other obligation is paid. A current grade as of the student’s last day at CMS will also be recorded on this form by his/her teachers.
- This form must be returned to the Guidance office for their counselor’s signature and will then be sent home with the student to be taken to the student’s new school.
- The student’s Parent/Guardian must sign a Release of Records Form when registering at the new school. All academic and health records will be transferred directly to the student’s new school when this form is received by the Guidance office at CMS.
- NO RECORDS WILL BE TRANSFERRED UNTIL ALL OBLIGATIONS ARE PAID OR MATERIALS ARE RETURNED TO CMS.
If a student is absent from school without parental/guardian permission, the absence shall be considered a truancy. Truant students have forfeited their right to make up work missed during the period of absence. In the case of any student who has not yet reached his or her seventeenth birthday, the absence is also illegal. The school's disciplinary response will generally be two days of In School Suspension for each day of truancy.
Repeated truancy for students will result in local proceedings at the District Justice's Office and may result in ISS or OSS.
- Athletic Programs
- Athletic/Extracurricular Eligibility
- Conflict Resolution (ATHLETICS)
- FAQ about CMS athletics
- SPORTS PASS
PANDEMIC UPDATE: During the pandemic, the status of middle school athletics are TBD.
Seventh and eighth grade students will have the opportunity to compete in an interscholastic sports program with other middle schools. The Colonial Middle School is a member of PIAA Montgomery County Independent Scheduling Group.
7th grade teams and 8th grade teams are Field Hockey, Volleyball, Soccer, Basketball, Lacrosse, Softball.
Combined 7th/8th: Track & Field and Tennis.
7th grade teams and 8th grade teams in Soccer, Basketball and Baseball. Combined 7th/8th: 120 Football, Open weight Football, Wrestling, Lacrosse, Track & Field and Tennis.
Practices for interscholastic sports teams are held Monday-Friday each week of the season. Practices begin during activity period and conclude at 4:50 p.m. The Colonial School District does provide bus transportation home for students who participate in after school activities. Activity Buses will be available to students at 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and at 4:30 p.m. on Fridays. Students requiring transportation will need to sign up in the cafeteria during lunch, indicating their need that day. If you prefer to transport your child home personally, please report to CMS by 5 p.m. If activities run past 5 p.m., then parents/guardians will be required to pick up their child at the conclusion of the activity.
Students are eligible to participate in sports, music programs or other extracurricular activities provided they are not failing any subjects and maintain acceptable conduct according to the CSD discipline code and Code of Ethics.
Student athletes may continue to practice with teams during a period of ineligibility, but cannot dress for, travel to or participate in interscholastic athletic events or public presentations. INELIGIBLE STUDENTS will not be permitted to participate in any type of extracurricular activity sponsored by the Colonial School District.
Academic eligibility lists are compiled weekly. Students who are failing (below 59.5%) one subject are in warning. Students who are failing two subjects, or failing the same subject for two consecutive weeks, are ineligible until they have achieved a passing grade again in that subject(s). Students who become ineligible repeatedly may be removed from that team or activity, and may be placed into a remedial program to improve their school performance. Students with more than two (2) weeks of consecutive or three (3) weeks of total ineligibility may be considered for removal from a team following consultation with the activities director.
If a student fails one or more of their subjects for a trimester, they will be ineligible to participate in extracurricular activities for 15 school days beginning on the day after report card grades were submitted.
Students on athletic teams must practice with the team a minimum of five (5) school days, unless fewer practices have been available due to school-wide circumstances, prior to participating in any competitive athletic activity.
Students who are absent for an entire school day are ineligible to participate in extracurricular activities for that day, unless the principal determines that unique circumstances exist. Students who arrive to school after 11:45 a.m., unexcused, are ineligible to participate in extracurricular activities that day.
Any concerns regarding your child and his/her athletic experience should follow the procedures listed below. Issues not appropriate to discuss with coaches are playing time, team strategy, play calling, and other athletes.
- Playing time issues can be discussed between the athlete and the coach. If this has taken place and the athlete is still unclear or has concerns, then a parent/guardian meeting can be set up with the coach.
- Student athlete contacts the coach to discuss the issue.
- Parent/Guardian contacts the coach to set up an appointment. If the coach cannot be reached call the Athletic Department and we will set up a meeting. Please do not attempt to confront a coach before or after a contest or practice. These can be emotional times for both the coach and the parent/guardian. Meetings of this nature usually do not promote positive resolution.
- Contact the Athletic Department for an appointment with the Athletic Director to discuss the situation.. (If previous step did not provide a satisfactory resolution)
- Contact the school for an appointment with the Principal to discuss the situation.
Remember, our coaches are professionals. They make judgment decisions based on what they believe to be in the best interest of the total program. As your children become involved in the athletic programs at Colonial School District they will experience some of the most rewarding moments of their lives. It is important to understand that there also may be times when things do not go the way you and your child wish. At these times, discussion with the coach is encouraged.
What is required before a student may participate in a school sponsored sport?
The student must have a completed PIAA Physical and Concussion Packet. Click here to access this packet. This packet must be completed, signed, and dated in its entirety. Section Six requires a signature from an authorized medical examiner (doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant) which indicates that the student is cleared for physical activity. The authorized medical examiner (AME) must also date the physical. Please note that physicals cannot be dated earlier than June 1, 2018 in order to be eligible to participate in athletics during the 2018-2019 school year.
Students and parents/guardians must also complete the emergency information card (p. 9 of the packet), Colonial School District Athletic and Information Form (p.11) and the Colonial School District Parent/Student-Athlete Concussion Statement (p. 12), this form must be initialed and signed several times by both the student and the parent/guardian. Page 10 is not required for Colonial Middle School Athletes. Page 14 (Colonial School District Concussion Return to Play Protocol) is only required if an athlete is returning from a concussion and page 15 (Section 8: Re-Certification by Licensed Physician of Medicine) is only required if an athlete is returning to play from an injury in which they were under the care of a doctor.
The student must also take the computerized ImPACT Concussion Test. This test is a sophisticated measure of cognitive abilities. Click here to learn more about the test at www.impacttest.com/about. Many students completed the ImPact testing in June 2018. Additional testing times will be available before each season. There will be fall dates for ImPact testing. The ImPact testing only needs to be completed one time per year, regardless of how many sports a student plays.
Where can I take a student for a physical?
1. Your primary care physician can complete this packet.
2. There will be physicals at Colonial Middle School in early fall 2018. These physicals will all take place at the nurse’s office.
3. Urgent Care Centers and CVS Minute Clinics have licensed AME’s as well.
What if a student plays multiple sports during one school year?
- If your child is going to play a subsequent sport in the same school year the following steps need to be take place:
- Parent/Guardians must sign off and give permission to play the sports listed on Section 2 (A). The parents/guardians may sign off on all of the sports in case your child is unsure of what sports they may play.
- On Section 6, the sports must all be listed for the AME to sign off on as well. Parents/Guardians may list “Any sport” or “Any sport except…” as an answer under this line.
- Parents/Guardians must complete the Consecutive Season Packet. This packet is also available under the Sports Forms and Documents Section of the Colonial Middle School Athletics Homepage. This packet contains a Section 7 form, which must be signed by the parent/guardian that certifies the student for the next season. Section 8 is only required if a student was injured during the previous season.
- The student also needs to complete the Student-Athlete Emergency Information sheet and the Colonial School District Athletic and Intramural Insurance Form.
Where should a student turn in the completed PIAA paperwork?
All completed paperwork must be turned into the CMS Nurse’s Office. All paperwork that is not completed fully will be returned for completion prior to being collected.
Where can I find the sports schedule?
Click here to go to the sports schedule on the CMS Patriot webpage.
Can I get alerts to updates on the sports schedule?
Yes, you can. Click here to sign up for e-mail alerts to changes in sports schedules on the CMS Patriot website.
What time are Activity Buses?
The Activity Bus is at 5 p.m., Monday-Thursday, and 4:30 p.m. on Fridays. Students must sign up for the Activity Bus during their lunch period. Please note that games may run beyond 5 p.m., and parents/guardians should plan transportation needs accordingly.
Students desiring to stay after school to watch an athletic event must obtain a Sports Pass. An application must be submitted for each season on a form available in the Main Office or the Attendance Office. The form, contained in the summer mailing, is to be signed by the student and parent/guardian and returned to the Athletic Director for approval.
Once the pass is issued, the student will be permitted to remain after school contingent upon the rules described in the application. Students may be denied a pass if conduct is not appropriate at any time. The student must also present a valid Colonial Middle School Identification Card with the Pass.
- Adapted Physical Education
- Audiometer Testing
- Gym Excuses
- Insect Sting Emergency Kits
- Illness and Injury
- Physical Examinations
- Sports Physicals
1. A student who becomes ill during the day shall report immediately to the school nurse. Students requesting to see the nurse from class and between classes must use a medical pass which can be obtained from the classroom teacher. Hall passes are not acceptable. Students who are ill are not to report to any other place in the school and are not to call home on a public phone requesting a parent/guardian to pick them up. If necessary, the school nurse will notify parents/guardians who must arrange for transportation to the home. If a student leaves school without following this procedure, they will be subject to the penalty for unauthorized class absence.
2. If someone is seriously injured during the school day, notify the nurse's office at once. If a serious injury occurs after school, immediately contact the school office.
Medications can be administered at school, if necessary. Parents/guardians are encouraged to work with their student’s health care provider to time medications to be given at home, if at all possible.
For medications to be given at school, the Colonial School District medication policy must be followed. To comply with the state regulations, the following is the Colonial School District Medication Policy:
- Students are not allowed to transport any medication, either over-the counter or prescription, to or from school. A parent/guardian must deliver the medication to the school nursing office personally. When delivering medication, please ensure that the medication is kept in its original pharmacy container. A parent/guardian must also personally pick up all medications from school once the medication is discontinued, or at the end of the school year.
- Any medication that a parent/guardian delivers to school, either over the counter or prescription, requires the Medication Dispensing Form to be signed by both a parent/guardian AND the attending physician.
- Emergency medications, such as asthma or allergy medications, may be carried and self-administered by a student if the student is deemed capable of doing so by their physician, parent/guardian and school nurse. The Medication Dispensing Form must be completed in the appropriate places and signed by physician, parent/guardian and school nurse.
Some over-the counter medications are kept on hand in the school nursing office. Parents/guardians may indicate the over-the-counter medications for which they give permission on the yearly Student Emergency Form.
Medications on Field Trips
If your child takes daily medication, an alternative plan for administration on field trips must be planned; please discuss this with your child’s physician. No daily medication will be sent on field trips from the nurse’s office. In the event of a medical emergency during a field trip, Colonial School District staff will call 911.
1. It is a state mandate that all 6th grade students have a physical examination including hearing and vision tests and 7th grade students have dental checkups. We encourage all students to have their physicals and dental exams performed by their family physician or dentist. Private Report of Physical Examination and Dental forms were given to students in the spring of previous school year. Completed forms are due in the nurse's office by October 15. Any student who has not returned the form will be scheduled for a physical in school with the school physician or dental exam by school Dentist. Students are obligated to report for their physicals or dental exams as scheduled since the school physician and dentist is available on a limited basis. Any student who fails to report will be subject to disciplinary action.
2. If a physical defect is detected in an examination, notification will be sent home through the nurse's office.
3. A student may be excused from regular or special examinations on presentation of written evidence to the school administration that such examinations are contrary to religious beliefs of the parents or guardian of the student.
Physical exams are required for the following grades:
- Entry into school (Kindergarten/First Grade)
- Sixth Grade
- Eleventh Grade
Exams completed the school year prior to the required grades are acceptable.
1. If a student desires to sign up for any of the teams, they are given a student health history update/sports physical card to be signed by the parent/guardian.
2. A physical examination is required by the family doctor or school doctor before a student is permitted to practice or participate each season.
3. Students must pre-register in the nurse's office for sports examinations given by the school doctor.
4. Students who have had their physical examination administered by their family doctor must provide proof. The private Physician's Report Form will be kept in their health records in the nurse's office. Forms are available in the nurse's office.
- Chewing Gum and Candy
- Corporal Punishment and Physical Force
- Dress and Grooming
- Drug Paraphernalia
- Drug/Controlled Substance Policy
- Party Invitations
- Student Obligations
- Textbooks, School Equipment and Obligations
- Title IX Sexual Harassment Reporting
The Colonial School District is committed to providing a safe, positive learning environment for district students. We recognize that bullying creates an atmosphere of fear and intimidation, detracts from the safe environment necessary for student learning, and may lead to more serious violence. Therefore, bullying is prohibited by district students.
Bullying means an intentional electronic, written, verbal or physical act or series of acts directed at another student or students, which occurs in a school setting and/or outside a school setting, that is severe, persistent or pervasive and has the effect of doing any of the following:
Substantial interference with a student's education.
Creation of a threatening environment.
Substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the school.
Bullying, as defined in the district’s policy, includes cyberbullying.
School setting means in the school, on school grounds, in school vehicles, at a designated bus stop or at any activity sponsored, supervised or sanctioned by the school.
Consequences for Violations of the District’s Bullying Policy
A student who violates this policy shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action consistent with the Code of Student Conduct, which may include:
Counseling within the school.
Loss of school privileges.
Transfer to another school building, classroom or school bus.
Exclusion from school-sponsored activities.
Counseling/Therapy outside of school.
Referral to law enforcement officials.
To review the district’s bullying policy in its entirety, please click here.
A person is bullied when they are exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons, and they have difficulty defending him or herself. Expressed in more everyday language one might say: Bullying is when someone repeatedly and on purpose says or does mean or hurtful things to another person who has a hard time defending him or herself. Students should refrain from bullying others and all times. Students who are victims or witnesses of bullying should share this information with an adult at school immediately. Following this notification the following procedures will occur:
A school counselor or administrator will investigate the incident by speaking with the alleged victim, witnesses, and student exhibiting the bullying behaviors.
The counselor or administrator will contact the parents/guardians of the students involved.
An administrator will be notified in cases where disciplinary consequences are warranted.
Consequences may include:
- Verbal warning/reprimand
- Written warning/reprimand entered in student’s file
- Growth Program participation
- An apology to the victim
- Counselor referral (School / Community)
- A parent/guardian/student/administrator conference
- Police involvement
- Loss of privilege to participate in extracurricular activities for a specific period of time
- Other consequences deemed appropriate by the school or district
- Notification of Superintendent of Schools
Parents/Guardians will be kept informed throughout the process.
Chewing gum can be destructive to students clothing, school furniture, and floors. Proper disposal of these items and or their packaging is expected. Gum chewing and candy policies will be established by individual teachers. Students are required to adhere to each teacher’s policy while under their supervision.
Good conduct is merely a matter of constantly following a few simple rules and treating others as you would have them treat you.
Be courteous at all times to other students, teachers, bus drivers, and substitute teachers. Have respect for each other!
It’s your school; help keep it clean and free from vandalism.
Move through hallways in an orderly and courteous manner. Be on time to class.
Enjoy your lunch, and respect the rights of others to do the same.
Cigarettes, smoking, drugs, or alcohol are not permitted on the school bus, school grounds, or in the school.
Observe all school rules and procedures which are for the purpose of having a good and safe school atmosphere.
Know that fighting, cheating, lying and being disrespectful will not be tolerated.
Remember our two CMS goals: 1) Be nice 2) Do your best
As a means of modifying student behavior, corporal punishment is not considered educationally or psychologically sound. Corporal punishment is lawful in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania but is prohibited in this district. Physical force used under the following circumstances shall not be considered as corporal punishment; with the further qualification, that the force used should not be extreme, excessive or unreasonable in type or purpose:
To quell a disturbance
To obtain possession of weapons or other dangerous objects.
For the purpose of self-defense.
For the protection of persons and property.
For restraint of a student
In all cases where physical force is necessary, it must be reported immediately to the principal. In cases when deemed appropriate, local authorities will be asked to remove students to a detention facility.
Formal detentions are two hours long and will be held after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays until 5:00 p.m.
A teacher may wish to detain a student any day after school after making arrangements with parents/guardians for transportation. Bus students will be dismissed in time to meet the activity bus.
PANDEMIC UPDATE: During the pandemic, there will be consequences for behaviors. The consequences may include loss of class privilege/participation or any appropriate consequence in our Student Code of Conduct and Discipline. Appropriate behavior is crucial in the virtual environment. Disruption to the learning of others will not be tolerated. Please remember a student’s behavior is subject to CMS discipline during school hours, minutes to and from school, during extracurricular activities/events. If a student’s behavior after hours causes a threat, distraction, or disruption to our school program or the ability of another student to learn or teacher to teach, school consequences and /or police involvement are applicable.
A necessary component of every school in America is discipline. It is this process that helps develops self-control, character, orderliness, and efficiency. These are all factors that need to be present to maintain any large organization. When alleged incidents of discipline code violations occur, teachers/counselors/administrators will investigate and render a decision based on the information they obtain. Administrators/teachers will then assign consequences as warranted. Please note that video footage will be used during investigations when available. Cameras are installed to protect our students, staff, and property throughout the Colonial Middle School. These cameras are live and recording 24/7.
Students must adhere to the established school rules. Abuse or refusing to follow established discipline guidelines will not be tolerated and will result in the teacher issuance of a “pink slip.” This progressive disciplinary system is defined below. Any questions regarding the pink slip should be directed to the issuing teacher or team leader of your child’s team.
Pink slip consequences are as follows:
1 Slip: Warning, call made to parent/guardian
2 Slips: Lunch detention, call made to parent/guardian
3 Slips: 2 hour detention, team calls parent/guardian
4/5 Slips: Lunch detention
6 Slips: Growth Program
7/8 Slips: Lunch detention
9,12,15 Slips: Growth Program, 1 day Out-of-School Suspension, and/or 2-hour detention, and a parent/guardian conference is scheduled with the team and/or administrator
Students begin each new marking period with pink slips reset to zero.
Pandemic Update: All staff, students, and visitors to Colonial schools must wear a face mask, including when riding school buses. Mask breaks will be given when it is safe to do so, and students/staff may remove masks to eat or drink. If someone forgets their face mask or their mask becomes compromised, disposable masks will be available from the school nurse.
Students of other schools and the public judge our schools by what they see and hear. Extremes in dress, speech and conduct create an impression that is not complimentary. Therefore, it is recognized that parents/guardians and the home must take the responsibility in the development of good habits in the areas of safety, health, decency, and cleanliness. It is also recognized that students, and young adults, must assume responsibilities for the implementation of an acceptable dress code.
Good habits of body hygiene and grooming are essential. Health and safety used in the context of the dress code policy is defined as any clothing style in the judgment of the administration in accordance with state and local laws that would be dangerous to any student carrying out an educational task (i.e.: Science labs, woodshop). In any activity where hair might be unsafe or unsanitary hair shall be controlled by hair nets or adequately tied back.
Please review the list (not exhaustive) below as a reference for appropriate and inappropriate dress:
Students Must Wear:
• Shirts that cover chest, back, and midriffs
• Bottom: pants/sweatpants/shorts/skirt/dress/leggings that start at the waist and are of appropriate length.
• Shoes: activity-specific shoes requirements are permitted (for example for sports)
• Courses that include attire as part of the curriculum (for example, professionalism, public speaking and job readiness) may include assignment-specific dress, but should not focus on covering girls’ bodies or promoting culturally-specific attire.
Students Cannot Wear:
• Images/phrases that reference violence, weapons, sexuality, suicide, tobacco, drugs, alcohol or illegal substances.
• Hate speech, profanity, pornography.
• Images or language that creates a hostile or intimidating environment based on any protected class or causes a distraction that interrupts the educational program.
• Visible undergarments. Visible waistbands or straps on undergarments.
• Bathing suits.
• Helmets or headgear that obscures the face (except as a religious observance or medical reasons).
• Hats, bandanas and full head coverings are not permitted to be worn in the building during school hours.
• All outer garments, such as coats and jackets, must be placed in student lockers upon arrival and retrieved from lockers at departure. They may not be worn or carried in the school building at any other time. This policy is a requirement of our safe school initiative.
• Sunglasses may not be worn in the building unless required by a physician.
If a student’s dress violates the dress code, the student will be dismissed from the remainder of his/her schedule for that day until the clothing in question has been changed. The student will be expected to cooperate in securing appropriate clothing. Parents/Guardians will be notified if a student is uncooperative.
Standards of Dress for Special Events
Examples of events: Music, Awards programs / ceremonies, and Promotion programs (Additional 8th grade dance expectations are noted.)
Ideal: blouse, dress shirt, skirt, dress, dress slacks, jacket, tie
Acceptable: blouse, polo shirt, sweater, pants suit, khakis, collared shirt, sweater (No tank tops, jeans or shorts or t-shirts)
8th Grade Dance: Semi-formal wear, dress, skirt, jacket, shirt, tie, slacks
Other events and expectations for appropriate attire may be announced at any time. Field trips may require special clothing and footwear for comfort and safety.
The possession of drug paraphernalia is often symptomatic of a larger, more serious concern such as drug usage. The possession of drug paraphernalia is therefore considered a serious disciplinary infraction. This infraction will result in an Out-of-School Suspension and immediate referral to the Student Assistance Program (CARE)
The Board recognizes that the abuse of controlled substances is a critical problem with legal, physical, social and public health implications for the entire school community. As an educational institution, the District shall strive to prevent the abuse of controlled substances through preventative education; enforcement of applicable laws, regulations, policies and disciplinary procedures; and assistance with treatment and behavioral and mental health counseling.
In the event that a student voluntarily acknowledges his or her need for assistance to confront the use of, abuse of, or addiction to a controlled substance, it is the policy of the Colonial School District to provide the student with school resources, such as the CARE Team, and where necessary, referral to community agencies.
In those cases where there is cause to question whether a student is involved with a controlled substance, this concern will be communicated to the students and to his or her parents/guardians. It is important to understand that this communication is not intended to be accusatory but is intended to place the issue in the family format where it can be appropriately addressed.
For purposes of this policy, controlled substances shall include all:
1. Controlled substances prohibited by federal and state laws.
2. Look-alike drugs.
3. Alcoholic beverages.
4. Anabolic steroids.
5. Drug paraphernalia.
6. Any volatile solvents or inhalants, such as but not limited to glue and aerosol products.
7. Substances that when ingested cause a physiological effect that is similar to the effect of a controlled substance as defined by federal or state laws.
8. Prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter) medications, except those for which permission for use in school has been granted pursuant to Board policy.
For purposes of this policy, under the influence shall include any consumption or ingestion of controlled substances by a student. For purposes of this policy, look-alike drug shall include any pill, capsule, tablet, powder, plant matter or other item or substance that is designed or intended to resemble a controlled substance prohibited by this policy, or is used in a manner likely to induce others to believe the material is a controlled substance.
Violations of this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including expulsion and referral for prosecution.
First Offense – Use or Possession
For a first violation of the prohibition against use or possession of a controlled substance, the student will be (1) suspended from school and all school activities for a period of time ranging from ten school (10) days to expulsion; (2) required to cooperate in an alcohol/other drug assessment and comply with any recommendations that derive from that assessment; and (3) agree to participate in follow-up activities of the CARE Team.
For repeated violations of the prohibition against use or possession of a controlled substance, the student will be (1) suspended from school and all school activities for a period of time ranging from 45 school days or expulsion as determined through a hearing by the Board of School Directors. If the student has not been permanently expelled, they will be required to meet specific stipulations before they are eligible to apply for readmission.
The stipulations include but are not limited to the following:
- Successful completion of the alternate educational program determined by the middle school principal;
- Cooperation in an assessment to address the concern and compliance with any recommendations that result from that assessment;
- Agreement to provide evidence of a clean drug screening prior to readmission; and
- Agreement to participate in follow-up activities of the CARE Team.
Transfer, Distribution or Sale
The Board prohibits students from using, possessing, distributing and/or being under the influence of any controlled substances during school hours, at any time while on school property, at any school sponsored activity and during the time spent traveling to and from school, and/or to and from school sponsored activities.
The Board recognizes that the abuse of controlled substances involves public and mental health issues. Accordingly, the Board may require participation in drug counseling, rehabilitation, testing or other programs as a condition of reinstatement into the school's educational, extracurricular or athletic programs resulting from violations of this policy. In the case of a student with a disability, including a student for whom an evaluation is pending, the District shall take all steps required to comply with federal and state laws and regulations, the procedures set forth in the memorandum of understanding with local law enforcement and Board policies.
This policy shall also apply to student conduct that occurs off school property and would otherwise violate the Code of Student Conduct and Board policies if any of the following circumstances exist:
1. The conduct occurs during the time the student is traveling to and from school and/or traveling to and from school-sponsored activities, whether or not via transportation furnished by the District.
2. The student is a member of an extracurricular activity and has been notified that particular off campus conduct could result in exclusion from such activities.
3. Student expression or conduct materially and substantially disrupts the operations and educational mission of the school, or the administration reasonably anticipates that the expression or conduct is likely to materially and substantially disrupt the operations and educational mission of the school.
4. The conduct has a direct connection to attendance at school or a school-sponsored activity. For example, this policy would apply to a transaction in controlled substances conducted outside of school pursuant to an agreement made in school, that would violate the Code of Student Conduct and District policies if conducted in school.
5. The conduct involves the theft or vandalism of school property.
6. There is otherwise a connection between the proximity or timing of the conduct in relation to the student's attendance at school or school-sponsored activities.
For a violation of the prohibition against transfer, distribution or sale of a controlled substance, the student will be (1) excluded from school for a period of time ranging from one year or expulsion as determined through a hearing by the Board of School Directors. If the student has not been permanently expelled, they will be required to meet specific stipulations before they are eligible to apply for readmission. The stipulations include but are not limited to the following:
Successful (satisfactory academic performance, excellent attendance, excellent behavior record) completion of the alternate educational program as determined by the middle school principal;
Cooperation in an assessment to address the concern and compliance with any recommendations that result from that assessment;
Agreement to provide evidence of a clean drug screening prior to readmission; and
Agreement to participate in follow-up activities of the CARE Team.
School administrators will refer all credible reports of violations of these policies to the appropriate law enforcement agency. School discipline is enforced independent of any charges which may be filed with the police.
If based on the student's behavior, medical symptoms, vital signs or other observable factors, the building principal has reasonable suspicion that the student is under the influence of a controlled substance, the student may be required to submit to drug or alcohol testing. The testing may include but is not limited to the analysis of blood, urine, saliva or the administration of a Breathalyzer test.
The school has a compelling interest in maintaining a safe, orderly environment which is supportive of its educational program. As a result, students who engage in fighting are subject to an immediate and firm disciplinary response. In general, such students will be suspended from school for a minimum of three days. In addition, students may be cited by local police authorities for disorderly conduct and possibly fined. The student's parents/ guardians will be notified to removed the student from school immediately or they will be assigned to the I.S.S. for the remainder of the day. (See also Student Rights, Responsibilities and Discipline Code.
It is recommended that students do not distribute party invitations in school. This can cause social conflict and hurt feelings for those students who are not invited. We know that parents/guardians cannot invite everyone to a party and are only requesting that invitations be distributed outside of school. Thank you.
The Board acknowledges the need to respect the rights of students to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures while fulfilling the district’s interest in protecting and preserving the health, safety and welfare of the school population, enforcing rules of conduct and maintaining an appropriate atmosphere conducive to learning.
School officials have the authority to lawfully search students or their belongings, including lockers, automobiles, electronic devices, purses, backpacks, clothing and other possessions, without a warrant, when in school, on school grounds or when otherwise under school supervision, if there is a reasonable suspicion that the place or thing to be searched contains prohibited contraband, material that would pose a threat to the health, safety and welfare of the school population or evidence that there has been a violation of the law, Board policy or school rules. The scope and extent of searches must be reasonable in relation to the nature of the suspected evidence, contraband or dangerous material and to the grounds for suspecting that it may be found in the place or thing being searched.
The District has a compelling interest in protecting and preserving the health, safety and welfare of the school population, which under certain circumstances may warrant general or random searches of students and their lockers, vehicles or other belongings without individualized suspicion, for the purpose of finding or preventing entry onto school property of controlled substances, weapons or other dangerous materials.
Delegation of Responsibility
The Board authorizes the administration to conduct searches of students or their belongings, including lockers, automobiles, electronic devices, purses, backpacks, clothing and other possessions in accordance with the standards set forth in this policy.
Individualized Suspicion Searches
In determining whether reasonable suspicion exists, the principal or designee always should be able to articulate what is being looked for and why it is thought to be located in the particular place to be searched. The scope of a search should be limited to the place or places the item sought is believed to be.
Examination by school staff of text messages, call logs, files, images or other data contained in a student’s mobile telephone or other electronic device, without the student’s consent, normally constitutes a search that must be justified by reasonable suspicion that material in violation of law, district policy or school rules, or evidence of such a violation, is contained in the particular files, directories or other data locations being examined in the device.
Random or General Searches Without Individualized Suspicion
Under certain circumstances, random or general searches of students and their belongings, including student lockers or vehicles parked on school property, may be conducted during the school day or upon entry into school buildings or school activities, in the absence of suspicion focused on a particular student or students, for the purpose of finding or preventing entry onto school property or activities of controlled substances, weapons or other dangerous materials. Such searches normally will be conducted in a minimally intrusive manner using screening methods such as dogs or other animals trained to detect controlled substances, explosives or other harmful materials by smell, as well as metal detectors and other technology. When such screening methods provide a reasonable suspicion that particular students, items or places possess or contain controlled substances, weapons or other dangerous material, screening may be followed by physical searches of those particular students, items or places on an individualized basis.
Random or general searches for weapons may be conducted when there are circumstances, information or events tending to indicate increased likelihood that students may be armed or headed for physical confrontation because of community strife or tensions, or as a continuation or escalation of a prior incident, in or out of school, which threatens to spill over into school, into a school-sponsored activity, or into other times and places that students are under school supervision.
Random or general searches for controlled substances may be conducted when there are circumstances, events or information tending to indicate significant drug use, possession or trafficking among students in school.
Random or general searches not based on individualized suspicion must be approved in advance by the Superintendent or designee, in consultation with the district solicitor. Coordination with law enforcement officials will be accomplished as provided in the memorandum of understanding with the applicable law enforcement agency.
Searches Upon Consent
Searches may be conducted at any time, with or without reasonable suspicion, if the student has given knowing and voluntary consent specific to the place to be searched. The administration may establish rules and procedures governing certain privileges enjoyed by students, such as the privilege of parking a vehicle on school grounds, that make the student’s consent to random.
Searches by or at the Request of Law Enforcement Officials
The legal standards governing searches initiated by school officials are less strict than the standards applicable to law enforcement authorities in many situations. When searches of students, student belongings, vehicles or lockers are conducted by or at the request of law enforcement officials, with or without the involvement of school staff, the law enforcement officials are solely responsible for ensuring that a warrant has been issued or that the circumstances otherwise permit the search to be lawfully conducted in accordance with the standards applicable to law enforcement actions. School staff will not interfere with or obstruct searches initiated by law enforcement, but may assist when law enforcement officials have requested such assistance and have represented that a warrant has been issued or that they otherwise have proper authority for a lawful search.
The Colonial School District has adopted policies prohibiting the smoking or carrying of lighted tobacco (in any form), a lighted pipe or a lit cigarette on school property and on school buses. Whitemarsh and Plymouth Townships adopted ordinances prohibiting the smoking or carrying of lighted tobacco (in any form), a lighted pipe or a lit cigarette in school buildings and on school buses.
Further Act #128 of 2000 forbids possession of tobacco, tobacco products, tobacco paraphernalia or a nicotine delivery system (e-cigarette, hookah pen, etc.) by students in school. See the reference at the end of the discipline code.
Smoking, possession of tobacco, possession of smoking paraphernalia or a nicotine delivery system is a disciplinary issue and is discussed as part of The Code of Conduct and Discipline.
Students are responsible for all school district property placed in their care. They will be assessed for obligations which include money owed for damaged or lost books, for equipment and materials that have not been returned, for the willful destruction of school property and for other obligations incurred by the student. If the material(s) cannot be found, the assessed replacement cost of the material(s) must be paid.
Failure to do so may result in consequences including the withholding of report card and/or exclusion from activities. Any unsatisfied obligations will remain with each student while at Colonial Middle School and may prevent participation in school activities including the graduation/promotion ceremony.
Textbooks are the property of the school and are on loan to students. These must therefore be kept covered for protection. New covers should be put on books at the beginning of the school year, and any other time when necessary. Students must pay the replacement value for lost or damaged books.
Students are to write their name and classroom teacher's name in each assigned book according to the teacher’s directions.
Likewise, the abuse of other school equipment or property may be charged against the student who causes the damage, and disciplinary action may be taken.
Students with such obligations that are unpaid may be denied access to many school benefits and privileges. Unpaid obligations will follow the student through their career in the Colonial School District and may prevent participation in graduation.
The Colonial School District strictly prohibits discrimination and harassment in any form.
To report an incident of sex-based harassment or discrimination, please click here and complete the online Title IX Reporting Form. If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Colonial School District Title IX Coordinator Gerald James for guidance.
Title IX Coordinator
Diversity, Equity, and Instruction Officer
Colonial School District Administrative Offices
230 Flourtown Road
Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462
Phone: 610-834-1670, ext. 2151
Click here to send an email to email@example.com.
What is Title IX?
Title IX is a federal civil rights law that protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance. Passed as part of the Education Amendments of 1972, Title IX states that:
No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.
Colonial School District Nondiscrimination Policies
Note that these policies are currently under review by the Colonial Board of School Directors.
Students are strictly prohibited from possessing a weapon or replica of a weapon on any school property, any school sponsored activity or any public conveyance providing transportation to a school or school sponsored activity, and/or within a school zone. The term “weapons” shall include, but not be limited to firearms, shotguns, rifles, knives, metal knuckles, razors of any type, razor blades, cutting instruments or tools of any nature including those individually fabricated, explosives, mace, noxious irritating or poisonous gasses, poisons, destructive devices, drugs, any other tools or instruments, fashioned with the intent to use or sell which could be used to harm, threaten or harass students, staff members, parents, guardians or others legally upon School District premises. The possession of cutting instruments, drugs, tools or instruments shall be considered possession of weapons only in cases where harm, threats, harassment or intent to harm are demonstrated or may be reasonably inferred.
The term "firearm" means any weapon which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive, the frame or receiver of any such instrument, any firearm muffler or firearm silencer, or any destructive device.
The term “destructive” device means any explosive, incendiary or poisonous gas, including but not limited to: any bomb, grenade, rocket, missile, mine or device similar to any of the aforesaid instruments.
Violations of this policy will be immediately reported to the appropriate law enforcement agencies for investigation of violations of and possible prosecution under the Federal and/or the Pennsylvania Crimes Codes. Notwithstanding referrals of violations to law enforcement agencies, the school officials are authorized to conduct investigations relating to disciplinary action for violations of this policy and further authorized to make any immediate actions required to protect the health, safety and welfare of the school community
Further, in accord with Act 26 of 1995, in the event that any student is determined to have possessed a weapon as defined above, the student shall be expelled from school for not less than one year provided that the superintendent may recommend discipline short of such expulsion on a case-by-case basis. In the case involving an exceptional student, the superintendent shall take all steps necessary to comply with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
- Administrator Responsibilities
- Bus Misconduct & Consequences
- Code of Student Conduct and Discipline
- Definitions of Discipline Terms
- Parent/Guardian Responsibilities
- Student Rights and Responsibilities
- MIddle School Science Lab Safety Contract
- Municipal Police and Colonial School District
- Smoking Policy
- Special Education Students and Discipline
- Student Records
- Teacher Responsibilities
- Types of Discipline
The principal, as the educational leader of the school, will:
Participate in developing a sound and healthful atmosphere of mutual respect within the school.
Assure the continuing evaluation of the program of instruction in the school to achieve a meaningful educational program.
Work with students and staff to formulate school regulations.
Assist in the orientation of new teachers and work with all staff members to resolve problems which may arise.
Work closely with parents/guardians in establishing a cooperative relationship between home and school.
Use all district resources and community agencies where appropriate to help parents/guardians and students identify problems and seek solutions.
Provide for the health and safety of all by establishing the necessary building security.
Provide the opportunity for student, parents, guardians and staff to approach the principal directly for the discussion of grievances or other concerns.
Assume the responsibility for the enforcement and consistent application of the Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities and Discipline and insure that all discipline cases are resolved in a timely manner.
As the educational leaders of the school system, the superintendent and respective directors must:
Reinforce and extend the indicated responsibilities of the principals and make them applicable to the school system from grades K-12.
Recommend to the Board of School Directors appropriate policies and actions to achieve optimum conditions for positive learning.
Develop and implement an effective Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities and Discipline supportable by students, parents, guardians, staff and community.
Continued student referrals by a bus driver to a building principal may result in the suspension of a student’s bus riding privileges. If inappropriate student behavior continues, the duration of the riding suspension may increase. The following are recommended levels of suspension enforceable by the building principal:
- First Referral: Warning to student and phone notification to parent(s)/guardian(s)
- Second Referral: Assigned seat for 1 week and phone notification to parent(s)/guardian(s)
- Third Referral: Assigned seat for 1 month and phone notification to parent(s)/guardian(s)
- Fourth Referral: 1 day suspension from bus + 1 month assigned seat and phone notification to parent(s)/guardian(s)
- Fifth Referral: 1 week suspension from bus + 1 year assigned seat and phone notification to parent(s)/guardian(s)
- Sixth Referral: 1 month suspension from bus + 1 year assigned seat and phone notification to parent(s)/guardian(s)
- Seventh Referral: Suspended from bus for the remainder of the year and phone notification to parent(s)/guardian(s)
Fighting or damaging a bus may be cause for skipping steps through the system as deemed appropriate by the building principal. Depending on the severity of the infraction, steps may be skipped. Additional consequences may also be assigned based upon the infraction. Please be advised that students may be video and audio recorded while receiving school provided transportation. This information will be utilized to support investigations of alleged inappropriate bus behavior.
The CSD Board of School Directors maintains a Code of Student Conduct and Discipline which applies to conduct that occurs while students are in attendance at school, while students are going to school from home and from school to home, and to conduct at other times which impacts on the School District. The following is a summary of that Code.
Level One Misconduct:
Level One misconduct on the part of the student is misconduct which: (1) impedes orderly classroom procedures, (2) infringes upon the rights of others to learn or teach, or (3) interferes with orderly operation of the classroom or school. Level One misconduct may occur outside the classroom and school.
- Disruptive classroom behavior
- Classroom tardiness
- Failure to complete assignment
- Unprepared for class
- Failure to follow established procedures for the cafeteria, including eating in the wrong cafeteria, the halls and field trips.
- Failure to follow established procedures at co-curricular and extracurricular activities
- Failure to follow reasonable directions
- Inappropriate speech or behavior in hallways/cafeteria
- Any form of distraction
- Inappropriate use of a computer or computer network
- Failure to serve teacher detention
- Use of cell phone during school hours
- Violation of dress guidelines
- Other offenses not listed, but fitting the definition of Level 1 misconduct
Level 1 Disciplinary Options
- Verbal reprimand
- Personal conference
- Restorative Practices
- Behavioral contract
- Involvement with grade counselor
- Withdrawal of privileges within the classroom
- Telephone call to parent or guardian
- Suspension or revocation of parking privileges.
Level Two Misconduct:
Level Two misconduct on the part of the student is behavior or seriousness of which disrupts the learning climate of the classroom and/or school.
- Continuation of Level 1 misconduct
- Profane and/or obscene language (obscene is defined as offensive to feelings of modesty or sense of decency of the school community; lewd)
- Disrespectful speech or action
- Obscene gestures or actions
- School tardiness
- Classroom disturbance
- Cutting class
- Failure to cooperate with substitute teacher
- Failure to identify oneself correctly
- Leaving school or assigned area without permission
- Violation of driving privileges
- Misconduct going to and from school
- Failure to serve Level 1 school detention
- Abusive Language
- Unauthorized possession of a telephone paging device, scanner, laser or any other electronic device
- Disruptive hallway behavior of a physical nature
- Throwing food and/or other items
- Installation of games, programs or other files not owned or authorized by the district on computers or networks
- Using data networks for lobbying and non-school related activities
- Possession of pornographic material at school or during school related activities
- Other offenses not listed but fitting the definition of Level 2 misconduct
Level 2 Disciplinary Options
- Any appropriate disciplinary option or response from Level 1
- Withdrawal of privileges
- Class schedule change
- School Detention
- Parental/Guardian conference
- Suspension from student activities
Level Three Misconduct:
Level Three misconduct on the part of the student is behavior directed against persons or property of whose consequences may seriously endanger the health or safety of others. These acts are considered serious and may result in the intervention of the law enforcement authorities.
- Continuation of Level 2 misconduct
- Defiant or insubordinate behavior
- Threat to others
- Turning in false alarms
- Obscene and/or threatening calls, letters or email
- Using and/or supplying forged notes or illegal excuses
- Using or supplying plagiarized materials
- Altering or use of school documents with intent to defraud
- Smoking or possession of tobacco or tobacco product paraphernalia
- Possession/use of firecrackers, smoke/stink bombs, etc.
- Disrespectful speech or action to a staff member
- Transmitting or receiving offensive materials, messages, obscene or pornographic materials on the internet, computer network or single computer
- Modifying files or other data on a computer or on the data network
- Changing passwords belonging to other users or misrepresenting other users on any computer or data network
- Using the data network to disrupt the work of others
- Modifying the computer hardware or software
- Violence and/or force
- Other offenses violating PA crimes code
- Failure to serve Level 2 school detention
- Failure to serve Saturday School
- Other offenses not listed but fitting the definition of Level 3 misconduct
Level 3 Disciplinary Options
- Any appropriate disciplinary option or response from Level 2
- Restorative Conference
- Temporary removal from class
- Suspension from school
- Homebound instruction
- Alternative program
- Work-study program
Level Four Misconduct:
Level Four Misconduct on the part of the student is behavior that result in violence to another’s person or property or which poses a direct threat to the safety of others.
- Continuation of Level 3 misconduct
- Bomb threat
- Conspiracy involving dangerous weapons
- Sexual harassment
- Institutional vandalism
- Theft-possession/sale of stolen property or conspiracy to commit theft
- Disruptions resulting in endangerment
- Illegal distribution, reproduction and/or use of copyrighted software
- Using data networks for illegal activity, commercial or profit-making purposes
- Theft of computer hardware or software
- Abusing or destroying computer hardware or software
- Using, furnishing, selling or possession of over-the-counter medications, including supplements. (All medication must be dispensed by the school nurse.)
- Other offenses not listed violating PA Crimes code
- Other offenses not listed but fitting the definition of Level 4 misconduct
- Offenses not listed
Level 4 Disciplinary Options
- Any appropriate disciplinary option or response from Level 3
- Alternative school
- Other Board action which results in appropriate placement
Level Five Misconduct:
Level Five misconduct on the part of a student is misconduct which involves the possession, sale, furnishings, use or involvement of any nature with an unauthorized substance. These acts may be criminal and always require administrative action which may result in the immediate removal of the student from school, the intervention of law enforcement authorities and action by the Board of School Directors.
- Use of an unauthorized substance
- Furnishing an unauthorized substance to others
- Selling an unauthorized substance
- Possession of an unauthorized substance
- Involvement of any nature with an unauthorized substance
Level 5 Disciplinary Options
- Alternative school
- Restorative Conference
- Other Board action which results in appropriate placement
Level Six Misconduct:
Level Six misconduct on the part of a student is misconduct that involves the act of bring a weapon to school, on school property, to any school sponsored activity or upon any conveyance providing transportation to a school or a school sponsored activity. Such an act is criminal and will always require administrative action which may result in the immediate removal of the student from school, the intervention of the law enforcement authorities and action by the Board of School Directors.
- Possession of a weapon in school
- Bringing a weapon to school or on school property
- Bringing a weapon to any school sponsored activity or upon any conveyance providing transportation to school or a school sponsored activity
Level 6 Disciplinary Options
One year or longer mandatory expulsion, unless the superintendent determines, on a case-by-case basis, that there are extenuating circumstances in a particular case, under which circumstances the superintendent has determined to recommend a lesser discipline. The student and their parents/guardians may also be expected to participate in a Restorative Conference.
The Code addresses certain steps that must be taken if a student eligible for special education is determined to be guilty of misconduct, including the involvement of the student’s IEP team, the possibility of the involvement of the multidisciplinary team and additional rights to a hearing. Additionally, all Level 6 consequences are subject to disclosure on School Report Form as required by college admission guidelines.
Disciplinary Change in Educational Placement: An exclusion of an exceptional student from the educational environment for more than ten (10) consecutive school days or more than fifteen (15) cumulative school days in a school year.
Exceptional Student: The definition adopted by the State Board of Education and is set forth in 22 PA. Code 14.1.
Firearm: For the purpose of this Code, the term firearm means:
Any weapon (including a starter gun) which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive;
The frame or receiver of any such weapon;
Any firearm muffler or firearm silencer, or
Any destructive device, which means any explosive, incendiary or poisonous gas bomb, grenade, rocket, mine or similar device.
Formal Hearing: A formal hearing is a hearing held before the School Board under the provisions of 22 Pa. Code, Section 12.8. A formal hearing is required in all expulsion actions, and requires formal due-process requirements as enumerated in the Pennsylvania Code.
Homebound Instruction: Homebound instruction is individual instruction to students excluded from school.
Informal Hearing: An informal hearing is a hearing held either pursuant to 22 Pa. Code, Section 12.6 for students excluded from school for more than three (3) days but less than ten (10) days, or for students subject to in-school suspension for a period of time in excess of ten (10) consecutive days. Informal hearings for students excluded from class for a period of time in excess of ten (10) consecutive school days must be offered to the student and the student's parent or guardian prior to the eleventh (11th) school day of exclusion. Informal hearings for students excluded from school for more than three (3) days and no more than ten (10) days must be offered to the student and the student's parent or guardian prior to the fifth (5th) school day of exclusion. If an informal hearing is requested, it must conform to the procedures outlined in 22 Pa. Code, Section 12.8 for formal hearings.
Principal: The term principal as used in this Code, refers to the chief administrator in any of the schools in the School District, or an individual appointed to act in such capacity under this Code, by either the Superintendent or a principal.
Removal of Privileges: Removal of privileges is a disciplinary action which, if invoked, prevents the student from participating in those activities which are privileged, such as extra-curricular activities, attendance at social school events and other functions.
Special Education: Designed instruction to meet the needs of an exceptional student who is not gifted.
Unauthorized Substance: Any substance included in the definition of the word "drugs" as defined in the Controlled Substance Device and Cosmetic Act of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, or represented to be such a substance.
Weapon: For the purposes of this Code, weapon includes, but is not limited to, firearms or replicas of firearms, knives or replicas of knives, metal knuckles or replicas of metal knuckles, straight razors or razors of any type, razor blades, cutting instruments of any nature, including those individually fabricated, explosives, mace, noxious and/or irritating or poisonous gasses, poisons or drugs. Also considered to be weapons are other items fashioned with the intent to use, sell, harm, threaten or harass students, staff members, parents or guardians or others legally upon School District premises.
Instill an enthusiastic attitude in children from their first day of school.
Build a good working relationship among children, parents/guardians, teachers and the school. Contact school personnel with any issue or concern regarding their children.
Recognize that the teacher deserves the same consideration and respect that parents/guardians should insist upon as parents/guardians.
Insist upon prompt and regular attendance. Teach children to respect themselves so that they will understand why they should show respect for law, the rights of others and public property. Parents/Guardians are financially responsible for their children's misdeeds.
Be knowledgeable of the school rules in the family handbook. Help children to understand that rules are a necessary part of our society.
Investigating and clearing any outstanding obligations (ex. books, library, cafeteria, gym locks, sports equipment).
Cooperate with the school in resolving the problems if children become involved in infractions.
Contact student’s administrator with any rumor, hearsay or concern that could affect your child’s welfare or the welfare of other students. Many times administrators may be able to head off trouble at the school building level. In all cases, parental/guardian anonymity will be maintained to avoid embarrassment that your child may feel toward your call.
Keep in mind that parental/guardian attitudes and opinions often become those of the children. Parents/Guardians are encouraged to cooperate with the school's philosophy of respect for and tolerance of cultural and ethnic diversity.
Encourage children to take pride in their appearance.
Set realistic standards for children. Be careful not to expect more than their capabilities will allow. Encourage them to do the best they can. Praise them for their accomplishments.
Stimulate the individual thinking of children.
Provide a place for children to do homework assignments. Be available to give assistance if needed.
Philosophy of the Disciplinary Code
The philosophy of the Colonial School District is based on the fundamental belief that as educators we are responsible for providing each individual with opportunities to mature intellectually, creatively, emotionally, socially, ethically and physically, and that each individual can grow within their spectrum only if they are encouraged to identify and develop his or her unique attitudes, abilities and interests. Such opportunities for growth are best provided in a positive learning environment characterized by an atmosphere of openness and mutual respect for the personal worth and dignity of each person.
In a democratic society, each individual must learn to work with others and share with them the privileges and responsibilities of good citizenship. The development of self-discipline and acceptance of individual responsibility is one of the important goals of education.
An effective discipline code in a school is directly related to the excellence of the total educational program. Individuals who are motivated and who possess a sense of responsibility are an inspiration to others. It is the responsibility of the school and the community to provide an atmosphere of purpose and concern for education and for well-being of every person in the school environment. Such an atmosphere ensures a free and unhampered opportunity for teachers and students to grow and achieve their mutual goals.
Goals of the Disciplinary Code
- To guarantee the rights of all students and staff by providing a discipline code that establishes rules and regulations prohibiting speech or action that is disruptive to the work of the school.
- To guarantee the rights of each individual through fair and reasonable treatment of violators of the discipline code.
- To teach self-discipline by clearly communicating to students their rights and responsibilities as outlined in the discipline code.
- To respect the rights and personal dignity of all students and staff by providing a discipline code that will ensure a safe school environment.
- To work collaboratively with parents/guardians to help students behave appropriately.
- To protect and maintain school property.
- To reduce the occurrence of discipline problems by:
- Creating an atmosphere within the school of mutual respect and a productive interdependence.
- Striving for a large measure of daily success for each student.
- The use of diagnostic and prescriptive learning activities geared to the unique attitudes, abilities and interests of students.
- Referral to pupil personnel for counseling, examination and other measures, as necessary.
- To comply with State and local laws.
- To ensure all students the right to complete the course of study prescribed by State and local school authorities.
Purpose of the Disciplinary Code
In order to promote the achievement of these goals, the faculty and staff of the Colonial School District believe that certain rules, regulations and procedures must be established to develop and maintain the proper environment in which the educational process can take place. As a result, all persons involved in the educational program at the Colonial School District schools will recognize their rights and responsibilities and conduct themselves accordingly. The implementation of discipline codes will take into account the rights accorded to all special education students as outlined by State Board Regulations.
Rights and Responsibilities
It is the responsibility of the total school community (which includes all students, parents, guardians, faculty, administration and School Board members) to create and to maintain a safe atmosphere that is conducive to teaching and learning. Everyone in the educational process has the right to expect that the environment shall be safe, pleasant, and well organized. The climate should produce security and consistency through the establishment of reasonable rules and guidelines that require an interaction based upon mutual respect and cooperation. The emphasis should be on respect, courtesy, consideration and the fulfillment of all necessary obligations at all times.
Students do have rights. They have legal rights as persons and citizens. These rights include the right to an education, the right to express their opinions and to have their opinions respected, the right to be free from discrimination and the right to due process. They also have human rights as persons and participants in the educational community. These rights include the right to be treated with dignity by other members of the school community and the right to contribute to the educational program.
When a student believes that a school policy or classroom procedure violates a student's rights, then that student may take the following steps:
- Speak to a teacher (or the teacher concerned).
- Speak to a guidance counselor.
- Speak to an administrator.
- Speak to the school principal.
- Student council is an appropriate forum for discussing issues regarding school policy.
Minors are compelled by law to attend school until they are 17 years of age. STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES INCLUDE REGULAR SCHOOL ATTENDANCE, CONSCIENTIOUS EFFORTS IN CLASSROOM WORK AND CONFORMANCE TO SCHOOL RULES AND REGULATIONS. Most of all, students share with the administration and faculty a responsibility to develop a climate within the school that is conducive to learning and living.
NO STUDENT HAS THE RIGHT TO INTERFERE WITH THE EDUCATIONAL PROCESS. It is the responsibility of each student to respect the rights, as well as the cultural differences, of all who are involved in the educational process.
Students should express their ideas and opinions in a respectful manner intended not to offend but encourage discussion. Differing opinions should also be received in a respectful manner.
While in school, as well as during any school sponsored activities, students must recognize that the administrators and teachers assume a parental/guardian role in matters of behavior and discipline.
Among the students' responsibilities are:
Obeying school regulations and rules that are made by the school authorities and by the student governing body.
Assisting the school staff in running a safe school for all students enrolled therein.
Assuming that until a rule is waived, altered or repealed, it is in full effect.
Being aware of and complying with state and local laws.
Protecting and taking care of school's property.
Attending school daily, except when excused, and being on time at all classes and other school functions.
Making all necessary arrangements for making up work when absent from school according to handbook guidelines.
Pursuing and attempting to complete the course of study prescribed by state and local school authorities.
Avoiding inaccuracies and the use of indecent or obscene language in student publications.
Refraining from using disrespectful, indecent or obscene gestures or language in direct contact with other persons.
Dressing and grooming so as to meet standards of safety, health and decency.
Investigating and clearing any outstanding obligations (ex. books, library, cafeteria, gym locks, sports equipment).
Cooperating with school officials by volunteering information in serious disciplinary cases.
Cooperating with school personnel should they have knowledge of importance in relation to cases involving physical or psychological harm to self or others.
To be kind to others and to give their best effort.
- I will not misbehave in the laboratory or play with laboratory equipment or materials. I will not engage in behavior that is disruptive or dangerous or that interferes with another student's right to learn.
- I will protect my eyes, face and hands while engaging in lab activities by wearing safety goggles and, when needed, gloves or other protective gear.
- I will work only at my assigned station.
- I will follow all written and oral instructions. I will wait until I receive my teacher's permission to begin a lab activity.
- I will not carry out unassigned lab experiments without my teacher's permission.
- I will not eat, drink or taste anything in the laboratory. This includes food and drink, as well as chemicals.
- I will wash my hands thoroughly after using chemicals and lab equipment. When using chemicals, I will not touch my mouth, lips or eyes until after I have washed my hands.
- I will report any injury or accident to my teacher immediately.
I understand that failure to comply with these safety guidelines may result in my being removed from class and that I will lose credit for the work that is done during my absence.
Act 26 of 1995
Act 26 of 1995, commonly referred to as the Possession of Weapons Act, amends Pennsylvania School Code and implemented the Federal Gun Free Legislation. In addition to creating the Pennsylvania Office of Safe Schools and many other initiatives such as transfer of student disciplinary records, a subsection of Act 26 required “all school entities to develop a Memorandum of Understanding with local law enforcement which sets forth procedures to be followed when an incident involving an act of violence or possession of a weapon by any person occurs on school property.”
The Colonial School District complied with Act 26 by creating a Memorandum of Understanding with our three municipal police departments: Whitemarsh Township, Plymouth Township and Conshohocken Borough. The Memorandum of Understanding is signed by both the Superintendent of Schools and the Chief of Police for each municipality. Three priorities are contained in the memorandum and address investigation of crimes protocol, identification of persons responsible for commission of crimes and assisting school personnel in the prevention of crimes of violence and crimes involving the possession of weapons through a variety of preventative measures including education and deterrence.
The Colonial School District, in accordance with township ordinances and the Pennsylvania State Law, Act 128, has adopted prohibiting the use of tobacco on school property and on school buses. “Tobacco is defined as a lighted cigarette, cigar, pipe or other lighted smoking product and smokeless tobacco in any form.”
The Colonial School District, in accordance with Whitemarsh Township ordinances and Pennsylvania State Law, Act 128 of 2000, has adopted policies prohibiting the use of tobacco on school property and on school buses.
All persons, including students, employees and visitors are prohibited from using tobacco in any form in school buildings, on school vehicles and on school property. The prohibition against student tobacco use includes possession of tobacco in any form. The prohibition includes a lighted or unlighted cigarette, cigar, pipe or other smoking product or materials and smokeless tobacco in any form. This prohibition applies to all buses, vans and other vehicles owned by, leased by, or under the control of the District. The prohibition further extends to all school buildings, stadiums, bleachers or any other form of property owned by, leased by or under the control of the District. School districts may further establish a policy governing the use of tobacco at school sponsored events that are held off school property.
Any person violating this policy shall be guilty of a summary offense and shall be subject to prosecution initiated by the district and shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine plus court fees.
Students who violate this policy will be subject to the following consequences:
First offense: one day out-of-school suspension; citation by the police department in whose jurisdiction the offense occurs, fine and court costs
Repeated offenses: three day out-of-school suspension; citation by appropriate police department in whose jurisdiction the offense occurs, fine, and court costs; mandatory parent/guardian meeting and referral to a smoking cessation group.
The Colonial School District recognizes the need to protect the confidentiality of personally identifiable information in the education records of children. The School District Records Policy approved by Colonial School Directors meets the requirement of the State Board of Education and the Family Education and Privacy Act of 1974 and subsequent revisions.
All student records are kept in locked files in the school where the student attends. No disclosure, except in specific instances, or personally identifiable information from students records to outside sources will be made without prior written consent of the parent/guardian or eligible student. An eligible student is a student who has reached 18 years of age.
Parents/Guardians and/or eligible students have the right to inspect or review the student’s records by appointment after a written request is received.
Parents/Guardians and/or eligible students have the right to request that a record be amended if they believe that information contained in the record is inaccurate or misleading or violates privacy.
Parents/Guardians and/or eligible students have a right to a student records hearing to challenge the content of educational records.
Parents/Guardians and/or eligible students have a right to file a written complaint with the Family Education Rights and Privacy division (FERPA), United States Department of Education, Switzer Building, 330 C Street, S. W. Washington, DC 20201, regarding possible violations of the rights accorded them under these provisions.
The Colonial School District maintains copies of its student records policy as approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education in each school building (principal’s or guidance office) and at the administrative office. This plan is available for inspection. Please contact the Director of Pupil Services, Mrs. Karen Berk, at (610) 834-1670, ext. 2109 with questions regarding school records.
Promote a climate of mutual respect and dignity in relationships with students, parents, guardians, staff and administrators.
Seek to develop a cooperative relationship with parents/guardians for the educational benefit of the student.
Teach common courtesies by example. Teachers' attitudes and opinions should set a good example for their students.
Help students cope with negative peer pressures.
Be sensitive to changing behavior patterns. Talk to students about their problems or make an appropriate referral when necessary.
Be willing to discuss students' own problems with them.
Communicate frequently with parents/guardians and keep them informed.
Be conscious of professional ethics in relationship with students, parents, guardians, teachers, and administrators.
Plan and conduct a program of instruction that will make learning interesting.
Utilize classroom routines which contribute to the total instructional program and to the students' development of civic responsibility.
Recognize that disciplinary problems may be caused by a variety of personal, as well as school-related, factors.
Distinguish between minor student misconduct best handled by the teacher and major problems requiring the assistance of the administration.
Handle individual infractions privately and avoid punishing the group for the misbehavior of one or two.
Report to the administration any student who jeopardizes his/her own safety, the safety of other students or of the teacher, or who seriously interferes with the instructional program of the classroom.
Exhibit professionalism when interacting with the school community.
Maintain an updated grade book for eligibility purposes.
Discipline may take many forms. What is important is that the disciplinary response be appropriate to the infraction and that it be designed to eliminate any disruption within the school and to adjust any personal problem involved.
We have worked very hard to create and maintain a positive school climate. Students are rewarded for positive behavior and attitudes in a variety of ways.
Students with no disciplinary infractions can receive rewards. This allows certain privileges within the school. These students’ names are entered into a lottery making them eligible to receive a variety of prizes which include gift cards, trips, postcards, parties, etc.
All adult staff members are encouraged to submit names of students to our “Random Acts of Kindness” and “Personal Best” boxes. Each Friday names are drawn and students receive a gift card to Barnes and Noble.
Types of Discipline
Direct contact with a pupil and parent/guardian to work out a problem is frequently the most productive response to an offense. A simple written warning or reprimand to a student and parents/guardians may be an appropriate approach. In some cases, where it is felt appropriate, school counselors and other school personnel or outside social agencies may be called in for help in this procedure.
In certain cases a student may be required to remain after the conclusion of the normal school day for a teacher detention or a school detention. In all cases, a detention cannot be held without one day's prior notice to the student unless parent/guardian contact is made and the detention agreed to by the parent/guardian for that same day.
3. Lunch Detention
Students are excluded from eating lunch in the cafeteria with their peers for reasons such as misbehavior in the cafeteria or pink slip accumulation. When students are issued a lunch detention, they report directly to a classroom where their lunch is delivered. During the detention, students are expected to remain quiet under the supervision of a CMS staff member.
4. Growth Program
The Growth Program is an after school program designed as an alternative to punitive consequences to help promote behavioral change when a student’s behavior is interfering with learning. The Growth Program is available Mondays through Thursdays except PLT days and requires the student to stay until 4:45pm when administratively assigned. The growth program can be individual or in groups and is facilitated by our community counselors.
The purpose of the afterschool Growth program is to offer an alternative to punishment that helps build skill and understanding.
Students will be administrator assigned after any incident in which they feel the student would benefit from a more restorative approach to discipline.
The after school program is typically 3-4 days but this can vary based on a student’s level of progress/need.
Counselors may assign students to the afterschool growth program with a parent’s/guardian's verbal consent.
Students in the after school program due to an administrator mandate will attend from 3:00-5:00 p.m. Each growth program session may consist of individual counseling time and time in a traditional detention setting.
Students who have not been administrator assigned and are there through parental/guardian permission are free to be picked up earlier than 5 p.m. as long as the counselor walks the student to their car.
This program may have an individual or group format and will focus on coping strategies and replacement behaviors. It will have a psychoeducational format and may involve peer to peer processing. The end goal is for students to build a tool box of skills in order to regulate their emotions.
5. Disciplinary Measures for Vandalism
When an offense involves vandalism, a student may be asked to rectify the problem by related service to the school. The student will also be required to make restitution.
6. Removal of Privileges/Disciplinary Probation
School privileges may be withdrawn for a designated period of time. These may involve removal from extra-curricular activities (both athletic and non-athletic) and school social events as well as restriction applied to other school privileges.
7. In-School Suspension (ISS)
A student may be removed from the normal classroom situation and assigned to a special area under the direct supervision of a staff member. A student is not permitted to participate in any school related activity on the day of an In-School Suspension.
8. Modified In-School Suspension
A student will serve two (2) after school detentions and five (5) lunch detentions to minimize loss of instructional time.
9. Out-of-School Suspension (OSS)
The school principal or assistant principal may temporarily suspend any student for disobedience, misconduct or infraction of school rules upon informing the student of the reasons. Students involved in disciplinary action which warrants out-of-school suspension, will be suspended in conformance with the procedures outlined in the student handbook.
10. Referral to Police or District Justice
If an offense is of a serious nature, the school has the authority to refer the matter to the police in addition to the normal school penalties. Referral to the police for legal charges will generally occur for possession of narcotics or alcohol, underage drinking, disorderly conduct, theft, assault, theft and other serious offenses. Additionally, students may be referred directly to the District Justice for smoking or illegal absences.
- No student may receive a temporary suspension unless the student has been informed of the reasons for suspension, and has been given an opportunity to respond before the suspension becomes effective. All full suspensions require a prior informal hearing and all expulsions require a prior formal hearing.
- The maximum period a student may be suspended for an offense shall not exceed ten school days. A temporary suspension may be followed by a full suspension for the same offense provided that the ten school day limitation is not exceeded. Temporary or full suspensions may not be cumulated or made to run consecutively beyond this ten school day limitation.
- During the period prior to the temporary suspension, the full suspension, or the hearing and decision of the Board of School Directors in an expulsion case, the student shall be placed in his or her normal class.
- Students shall be permitted to make up, without penalty, exams and work missed while being disciplined by temporary or full suspension.
- If, when expulsion proceedings are initiated, it is determined, after an informal hearing, that a student's presence in his or her normal class would constitute a threat to the health, safety, morals or welfare of others, and it is not possible to hold a formal hearing within the period of "full suspension," the student may be excluded from school for more than ten school days. This exclusion is based on the provision that the formal hearing is not unreasonably delayed. Any student so excluded shall be provided with alternative instruction.
- Students who are less than seventeen years of age are still subject to the compulsory school attendance law even though expelled, and must attend school. The responsibility for placing the student in school rests initially with the student's parents or guardians. However, if the student is unable to attend another public school, cannot afford to attend or is unable to be accepted at a private school, the school district has the responsibility to make some provision for the child's education, either through instruction in the home or by readmitting the child.
Expulsion means the removal of a student from the school for a period of more than ten days. It is a very serious step which should only be ordered for the most serious offense and follow strict adherence to the requirements of due process of law. Only the Board of School Directors can permanently expel a student.