Policies and Practices for Falcon Families
This is a summary of policies and practices to inform parents. This information was compiled based on frequently asked questions. If you have a suggestion of additional topics or information to include, please email Principal Neill. We want parents to have all the information they need to engage with the school.
Student Rights, Responsibilities and Character Development Handbook
The Code of Student Conduct has been developed to help your child receive quality instruction in an orderly educational environment. The school needs your cooperation in this effort. Therefore, please review and discuss the Code of Student Conduct with your child.
The CMS Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Character Development Handbook is available by here: http://www.cms.k12.nc.us/mediaroom/backtoschool/Pages/documents.aspx
- All visitors - including parents - must register in the front office and sign in and out using the Lobby Guard system.
- Visitors must wear a Lobby Guard visitor sticker, CMS ID badge, or PTSA badge when in the building.
- To check out a student, a visitor must show a valid photo ID (State Driver’s License, Passport, State Issued Identification Card, School ID - must be over 18).
- The visitor must be on the approved list in PowerSchool to check out the student.
- Regardless of the frequency with which a parent visits the school, a photo ID will still be required to check out a student.
Custody Agreements and Other Legal Documents
We understand that custody agreements change over time. It is important that parents provide the school with copies of court rulings to ensure we honor the expectations of the judge. Unless a court order is provided to the school, we will not stop a parent from engaging with a student if the parent is listed on the student’s birth certificate. A parent who does not have physical custody of a student usually still has the right to access educational records for the student. We will consult with the CMS Legal Department to interpret documents as needed to ensure we honor all parents and follow all court orders.
Forgotten items may be dropped off at the school at any time. To avoid unnecessary interruptions to instruction, students will not be called to the front office to receive forgotten items. The front office staff will add the student’s name to a list on the QHMS Google Drive. The list will be displayed in the cafeteria and the student can report to the front office during lunch to pick up the forgotten item. If the item is dropped off after the student’s lunch time, the student may pick up the item at dismissal time.
Early dismissal practices are in place to minimize the interruption of instructional time for all students. There will be no early dismissals before the end of the first period of instruction. There will be no early dismissals after 3:45 pm. Students should report scheduled early dismissals to the front office with a note during morning arrival. The student will be given a pass to submit to the teacher at the scheduled time of departure for the early dismissal. Unscheduled early dismissals will need to occur at class change. In the case of an emergency, we ask that the family call the school as soon as possible. To honor the education of all students, we will not interrupt a class to call a child to the office for early dismissal.
Student Absences & Tardies
Each student is expected to attend school every day. In the event of an absence, a student must bring a note signed by a parent or guardian within five days of the absence stating the reason for the absence, the date of the absence, and any other pertinent information. Excused absences include: medical appointments, illness, death in family or court appointments. All other absences are unexcused. For medical appointments, please provide a note from a medical professional.
This note must be presented to the attendance secretary in the front office when the student returns to school. The attendance secretary will file the note in the office. If a note is not presented within five school days, the absence is considered unexcused.
If an absence is academic in nature, it may be excused by the principal as a Valid Educational Opportunity. To receive this credit, the paperwork must be submitted at least one week in advance with documentation of how the learning experience is linked to the North Carolina Standard Course of Study for the student’s grade level and courses.
A student who is absent more than half a day is considered absent for the entire day.
Parents or guardians will be notified as absences accumulate.
Students who arrive tardy (not in their classroom, in their assigned seat ready to work at 9:15 AM) must report to the office for a pass. Students who are tardy because of a medical/dental appointment or court appointment must bring a note into the office in order to excuse the tardy. Students will receive an unexcused tardy for sleeping late, missing the bus (not related to CMS transportation issues), car issues, and other reasons not related to a medical, dental, or court appointment. Unexcused tardiness to school and/or to class periods will result in consequences that are determined by the school.
ATHLETIC ELIGIBILTY/PARTICIPATION: A student must be in attendance at school the day of competition for at least one-half of the instructional day in order to participate. Also, a student must have 85 percent attendance in order to be eligible to participate in sports.
We recognize that sitting in line to drop off or pick up students in carpool can be frustrating. We work to keep the carpool line moving as quickly as possible. That said, we prioritize the safety of all students. To maintain student safety and to respect our neighbors, we ask that families wait in line to drop off their students in front of the main doors to the school from the carpool lane.
- Parents should enter the second school parking lot (the lot furthest from Park Road and closest to Smithfield ES) and follow the traffic flow for carpool.
- Parents may not park in front of the locked gate near the entrance to the parking lot. This interferes with cars that need to exit the parking lot.
- Parents may not pick up or drop off students from the bus parking lot. This interferes with bus traffic. This lot is not supervised for student drop off.
- Please do not use the driveways to Quail Hollow Presbyterian Church or Southminster Retirement Community to drop off children or to turn around after dropping off children. These organizations partner with us to support our students and it is important that we respect their property. Turning around in these locations can also block traffic for other drivers.
We want all students to have the option of riding the school bus to and from school to ensure students have a safe method to arrive to school on time and to return home in the evenings. Bus transportation is a privilege for all students and the privilege can be revoked at any time if a student fails to meet expectations for bus behavior. In most cases, there is one adult on the school bus - the driver - and the driver needs to keep his or her attention on the road to drive safely.
Students are expected to…
- sit in their assigned seats (if seating assignments are made),
- sit in the seats in a traditional manner (bottom on the seat, feet on the floor, facing forward)
- stay seated for the duration of the route
- maintain a low volume when speaking with nearby peers
- refrain from throwing any objects at any time
- use positive language
- keep hands and feet to themselves
- treat the bus driver with respect and appreciation at all times
If a student loses the privilege to ride the bus, it is up to the family to arrange alternate transportation to and from school.
Drop Off and Pick Up
Student arrival is from 8:45 until 9:15 in the morning. Students may not be dropped off before 8:45. Before 8:45 am, there is not a staff member available to supervise students. Students who arrive after 9:15 am are considered tardy and must sign in with the front office. For a tardy to be excused, the parent must provide written documentation.
A student may report to school early for before-school tutoring if the tutoring was scheduled with a teacher in advance. In the case of tutoring, the teacher will have told the student where to meet the teacher so the student can enter the building and be supervised by an adult. In most cases, students will be asked to report to the doors at the end of the grade level hallway for before-school tutoring.
Student dismissal is at 4:15 in the afternoon. All students are expected to have a method of transportation home at 4:15. Our faculty and staff is not scheduled to stay at school past 4:30, so it is imperative that all students are picked up on time.
Families who have received an alternative school assignment to Quail Hollow MS are required to provide their own transportation for their students to and from school. If there is a pattern of early drop off or late arrival, the family may lose the privilege to attend our school.
Athletic Events and Concerts/Performances
Students frequently want to stay after school to support their peers who participate in middle school sports and/or the arts. We encourage students to show their school spirit and we require students demonstrate a high level of personal responsibility to attend evening events at school without a parent.
To attend a concert or performance, students must attend the event with a parent. If a parent is chaperoning his or her student at an event, the parent may also take responsibility to supervise up to three additional students. In this case, all four students are expected to sit with the parent for the duration of the performance and that parent chaperone is responsible for ensuring all students under the parent’s supervision have transportation home at the conclusion of the event.
Students may always attend an athletic event with their own parents. Students may attend an athletic event without a parent under the following conditions:
- The student has a Spectator Contract signed by his or her parent on file with the school
- The student is demonstrating that he or she is on the PATH to college (passing grades in all classes, no ISS or OSS assignments in the current athletic season, endorsement of the student’s teacher team)
- The student has requested a wristband from his or her Homeroom Teacher at the start of the school day (wristbands will not be given out at dismissal time)
- The student moves directly from class to the event location when spectators are called as part of the dismissal routine. If a student leaves campus, the student must have a parent with him or her to return for the event.
- The student has a plan for transportation home no later than 7:00 PM
- Students who are not picked up by 7:15 PM will lose the privilege to stay after school for evening events for the remainder of the athletic season
- Students will not be allowed to walk home after athletic events. In most cases, it is dark and there is no crossing guard.
All of the same expectations for student behavior that are in place during the school day still apply. Students are subject to the same consequences for misbehavior if there is a violation of the CMS Code of Conduct at an evening events. Students who do not demonstrate positive behavior at evening events will lose the privilege to attend future evening events.
Students are expected to be in compliance with the dress code at all times of day. Whenever a dress code violation is noticed, it will be addressed and students will be held accountable. When there is a dress code violations, students may try to fix the issue themselves by adjusting their clothing, adding a layer of clothing, changing into a PE uniform, or borrowing clothing from a peer. If students cannot resolve the problem on their own, students may borrow clothing from the front office if clothing is available. If students cannot resolve the problem in any of the aforementioned ways, they can have a parent bring them a change of clothes. If a new dress code violation is created in a student’s attempt to resolve the initial dress code violation, the problem is not resolved.
Students cannot return to class until they are in compliance with the dress code. Students will wait in the In-School Suspension class and work on assignments independently until they are in compliance with the dress code.
All adults in the school at all times of day are expected to reinforce the dress code. Since some dress code issues are more obvious than others, random dress code checks will occur throughout the school year to ensure all students are held accountable for complying with the dress code. The dress code applies to all students in all situations to ensure decisions are made objectively.
If a students has a pattern of dress code violations or refuses to comply with an adult when a dress code violation is addressed, the student may receive consequences for insubordination or other relevant offenses.
Food at School
We are pleased to provide free breakfast and lunch to all students. Complete meals are free. There are charges for a-la-carte items. Students who choose to bring their lunch to school are expected to keep all items in a secure bag until lunch time. Food and beverage items should not be in the main backpack compartment to avoid leaks or spills that could damage Chromebooks.
Students may have clear water in a container with a lid outside of the cafeteria. If the student’s class has a designated “snack time,” food items may be out during this time. Otherwise, all food items should be stored away during the school day.
Paying Cafe Balances
The easiest way to pay financial obligations to the cafeteria is to use the online PayPAM system. Parents may use the computer in the front office to access the PayPAM system. Cash payments may be submitted to the Cafeteria Manager. Visitors should report to the Front Office and the Cafeteria Manager will come to the office to receive payment.
Confiscated Electronic Devices
Items that are confiscated from a students to be held overnight should be submitted to the front office where the items will be labeled and locked for safekeeping. Items may only be picked up by a parent or guardian listed in PowerSchool for the student between 8:30 am and 5:00 pm.
We welcome and encourage parents to be visible in the school. We require that parents schedule classroom observations with an administrator or counselor in advance so we ensure the confidentiality of all students in the classrooms is honored. In most cases, a member of the school staff will accompany the observer to the class.
We appreciate our volunteers! All volunteers must register on the CMS website. This registration process includes a background check to maintain the safety of all students in our building. Parents must register to volunteer when engaging with students other than their own children. This includes chaperoning a trip. Volunteer registration typically takes 48 hours, so please submit the online form in advance: CMS Volunteers.
Parent Communication with Other Students
Parent volunteers are appreciated and they will communicate with students as they are fulfilling their volunteer role as agreed to by the school administration. Communication about individual student matters such as disagreements between children may only be handled by school staff.