Student Handbook 2012-2013
To Students and Parents:
The Great Falls Public Schools Student Handbook contains information that students and parents are likely to need during the school year. The handbook is organized alphabetically by topic. Throughout the handbook, the term the student's parent is used to refer to the parents, legal guardian, or other person who has agreed to assume school-related responsibility for a student; the term Superintendent is used to refer to the Superintendent or his designee; the term principal is used to refer to the principal or his/her designee.
The Student Handbook is designed to be in harmony with Board policy. Please be aware that this document is updated annually, while policy adoption and revision are ongoing processes. Therefore, any changes in policy that affect student handbook provisions will be made available to students and parents through newsletters and other communications. These changes will generally supersede provisions found in this handbook that have been made obsolete by newly adopted policy.
Please note that references to policy codes are included to help parents confirm current policy. A copy of the District's Policy Manual is available in the school office or on the District's web site at www.gfps.k12.mt.us/boardpolicy.htm
In case of conflict between Board policy and any provisions of student handbooks, the provisions of Board policy that were most recently adopted by the Board are to be followed.
GFPS Board Policy, References & Regulations 3210, 3215, 3225, 2161-2161R
The Great Falls School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, or disability in providing education services, activities, and programs, including athletic and vocational programs, in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. The following District staff member has been designated to coordinate compliance with these requirements.
Director of Special Education and Student Services (phone 268-6026).
In compliance with Federal Law and No Child Left Behind (NCLB)/Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) Reporting, the District Report Card can be accessed in the main office in each building or the Office of Public Instruction website www.opi.state.mt.us.
Great Falls Public Schools is fortunate to have a very qualified teaching staff. By law you have the right to know the qualifications of your child’s teacher(s).
You may ask:
- if the teacher has met state qualifications and licensing rules for the grade levels and subject areas he/she teach,
- if the teacher is teaching under emergency or other provisional status through which state qualifications and licensing rules have been waived,
- the degree major of the teacher,
- any other certifications or degree held by the teacher.
- If your child works with paraprofessionals (tutors, for example), you may ask about their qualifications. You also have a right to know these qualifications for any substitute teacher who is in your child’s classroom for four consecutive weeks.
If you would like any of this information please write to:
Human Resources Manager
P.O. Box 2429
Great Falls, MT 59403
Please give your child’s full name and the school he or she attends as well as your name(s) and an address where we can reach you. Great Falls Public Schools respects your right to know and values your involvement in your child’s education.
GFPS Board Policy, References & Regulations 5232, 41-3-201, 41-3-202, M.C.A. 41-3-203, M.C.A. 41-3-205, M.C.A. 41-3-207
A District employee who has reason to suspect that a student may be an abused or neglected child shall report such a case to the Montana Department of Family Services (1-866-820-KIDS (5437) Department of Family Services central intake). The employee shall notify the Superintendent or principal that a report has been made by the employee. An employee does not discharge the obligation to personally report by notifying the Superintendent or principal.
Any District employee who fails to report a suspected case of abuse or neglect to the Department of Family Services, or who prevents another person from doing so, may be civilly liable for the damages proximately caused by such failure or prevention and may be guilty of a misdemeanor. The employee will also be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
GFPS Board Policy, References & Regulations 3120, 3122, 3122R, 3130, M.C.A. 20-5-106
Parents are responsible for seeing that each of their children who have attained the age of seven (7) or more years prior to the first day of school in each year attend school, until the later of the following dates:
The Board believes and research supports that students who attend school regularly are more successful than those who do not. Students are responsible for attending class. The learning experiences that take place in the classroom environment are an essential part of the educational process. Absences and tardiness tend to disrupt the continuity of the instructional program and the time lost from class is irretrievable, particularly in terms of opportunity for interaction and exchange of ideas between students and teachers. Missing class hinders a student’s ability to master the subject matter, and this may be reflected in the grade. Grades earned in any course shall reflect the student’s fulfillment of academic requirements, achievement, and daily participation. The administration does not condone absences that detract from our academics. The Board’s attendance policy is designed to prepare students to become self-reliant and responsible citizens. The Board recognizes the diverse needs of students. Consequently, administrative practices allow for flexible paths to graduation, which may include alternative attendance plans.
It is the student’s responsibility to come to school on time and prepared each day. Daily notification to the school from either a parent or legal guardian is necessary when a student is absent or late. Any absence must be verified within 48 hours of the absence or the absence will be recorded as unverified. All absences will be recorded on the report card.
Activities or Preplanned Absences
Participation in school activities is an important factor in a student’s success in school. It is the parents’/guardians’ and student’s responsibility to notify the school prior to being absent. Absences for the participants in school-sponsored activities are excused, but students are responsible for the work missed.
A student is excused when the absence is due to:
The Board establishes this Uniform Complaint Procedure as a means to address complaints arising within the District. The District requests all individuals should use this grievance procedure when an individual believes that the Board, its employees or agents have violated the individual’s rights under: (1) Montana constitutional, statutory, or administrative law; (2) United States constitutional, statutory, or regulatory law; or (3) Board policy.
An individual with a complaint is encouraged to first discuss it with the teacher, counselor, or building administrator involved, with the objective of resolving the matter promptly and informally. An exception is that complaints of sexual harassment should be discussed with the first line administrator who is not involved in the alleged harassment.
If the complaint is not resolved at Level 1, the individual may file a signed and written complaint stating: 1) the nature of the complaint 2) a description of the event or incident giving rise to the complaint, including any school personnel involved; and 3) the remedy or resolution requested. This written complaint must be filed with the principal within thirty (30) calendar days of the event or incident, or from the date an individual could reasonably become aware of such event or incident.
If either the complainant or the person against whom the complaint is filed appeals the administrator’s decision provided for in Level 2, the Superintendent will review the complaint and the administrator’s decision. The Superintendent will respond in writing to the appeal, within thirty (30) calendar days of the Superintendent’s receipt of the written appeal. In responding to the appeal, the Superintendent may: (1) meet with the parties involved in the complaint; (2) conduct a separate or supplementary investigation; (3) engage an outside investigator or other District employees to assist with the appeal; and/or (4) take other steps appropriate or helpful in resolving the complaint.
9-12 students at CMR and GFHS who are absent as a result of an out-of-school suspension have the right to make up the work missed. They will make arrangements to complete the work within a reasonable amount of time.
9-12 Paris Gibson Education Center students who are absent as a result of an out-of-school suspension may continue their work upon re-enrollment.
Teachers are not expected to reconstruct lessons taught while students are suspended.
to quell a disturbance;
to provide self-protection;
to protect the pupil or others from physical injury;
to obtain possession of a weapon or other dangerous object on the person of the pupil or within control of the pupil;
to maintain the orderly conduct of a pupil including but not limited to relocating a pupil in a waiting line, classroom, lunchroom, principal's office, or other on-campus facility; to protect property from serious harm.
Electronic mail address
Date and place of birth
Parents’/guardians’ names and addresses
Enrollment status (e.g., undergraduate or graduate; full-time or part-time)
Academic awards, degrees, and honors
Information in relation to school-sponsored activities, organizations, and athletics
Weight and height of members of athletic teams
Major field of study
Dates of attendance
Most recent educational agency or institution attended
Alcohol and other drugs rule will be ineligible to participate in any extracurricular or co-curricular activity for calendar year the date of the infraction of the rule.
Students who do not participate and successfully complete the chemical awareness program will be subject to the enforcement of the one year (12 months) ineligibility from all extracurricular or co-curricular activities.
Participants are required to follow the established team activity rules and adhere to the same practice routine required of all participants in that activity.
The principal ordinarily will make reasonable efforts to notify parents unless
the interviewer raises what the principal considers to be a valid objection. The principal ordinarily will be present unless the interviewer raises what the principal considers to be a valid objection.
Students must be discouraged from making life threats, even in jest.
· Immunization as provided by the Department of Health & Environmental
School authorities may use a Passive Alcohol Sensor device when they have reasonable suspicion that a student has used alcohol based upon such factors as alcohol on breath, impairment of speech and motor control, admission by the student or reports of the student's consumption of alcohol by reliable sources.