Manual of Expectations
Stephen Decatur Middle School 35
The Magnet School of Leadership, Exploration, and the Arts
Manual of Expectations
2023 - 2024
Table of Contents
Student Attendance Policy 10
Grading Policy and Categories 12/13
To ensure continuity of learning, Middle School 35 educators will have time to coordinate instruction and plan together. Planning periods will provide teachers who are working together to support a group of students (e.g. in person and all-remote, ICT, SETSS and, etc.) time to plan for a coordinated, seamless instructional approach.
In order to address the social-emotional needs of our students, we will begin our academic year by getting to know our students and their individual needs as well as establish a system of trust in their new way of learning. As noted in the Addressing Unfinished Learning after COVID-19 document the "social emotional well being, agency, identity, and belonging are more important than ever.” Indeed as focus narrows and there is re-commitment to what matters most academically. We will focus on the four learning mindsets that are important in addressing students' academic development: students' sense of belonging and safety, efficacy, value for effort and growth and engagement in work that is relevant and culturally responsive. Relationships are imperative to creating a sense of community, so students feel safe, engage fully, and work hard. Students need help knowing that caring adults believe in them and that their ability and competence will grow with their effort. Students need to see value and relevance in what they are learning.
English Language Arts and Social Studies Curriculum-Students will spend a lot of time actively reading content-rich, complex text. Close reading of complex text is concentrated, demanding work that helps students discover how to learn from reading (and grow their knowledge, vocabulary, and understanding of syntax).
Students should have a volume of reading to build knowledge and be exposed to academic language in the content areas. That volume of reading needs to be at a range of complexity levels so every student can read with minimal or no teacher support. Much of this volume should be with information-rich text, either full-length books or conceptually connected shorter texts (groups of texts that cohere together to create a picture of topic, historical event, etc.)
Mathematics and Science curriculums will account for and leverage human difference to promote rich and connected mathematics learning experiences and hands-on science virtual labs experience. Common shared mathematics and science learning experiences benefit all children. All children will have access to grade level mathematics content centered on learning mathematics with understanding, actively building new knowledge from their informal experiences and prior knowledge. Science instruction will focus on grade specific content as outlined in the Next Generation Standards. Interventions will focus on content that is connected with and promotes grade level curriculum through problem solving and reasoning and not just a review of basic facts or procedural skills or procedural applications.
All students will receive instruction on a weekly basis in Visual Arts, Dance, Physical Education, Health and French.
School Visitor Policy
All visitors must present a valid proof of identification when visiting the Stephen Decatur Middle School 35 campus.
Student Roles & Responsibilities
As an active participant in the learning process, and to ensure your success, you must adhere to the following policies and procedures:
- The instructional day begins at 8:00 a.m.
- ALL students must wear their uniform when they are in the school building.
- ALL students must submit their assignments on the date that it is due.
- ALL students must check Google Classroom, JupiterEd, and their for any updates from their educators Daily.
- ALL students must ensure that they are submitting quality work by following the rubrics that are provided for each content area assignment.
- ALL students are expected to be actively participating during the instruction time.
Attendance is taken on a daily basis, no later than 9:30am. Attendance will continue to be reviewed on a daily basis by the attendance committee and principal to check for accuracy.
The attendance committee designates personnel to send letters to the homes of those who are chronically absent and or late during their weekly meetings. These letters are followed up with phone calls, emails, mailings and parent meetings are scheduled with school personnel to review attendance data and set up interventions for improvement. In cases of no contact, home visits and additional outreach methods will be utilized.
School Associates and/or Paraprofessionals make the initial call when a student is absent. If there is no response and that child is still absent, the Attendance Committee follows up on the third day of absence. The Committee attempts to reach the student's home through phone calls, emails as well as mail correspondence. If no contact has been made and the student is still absent, the attendance teacher receives the referral for further outreach.
Please feel free to contact a member of the attendance committee with any questions and/or concerns regarding your child’s attendance via emailing them directly or on Jupitergrades. The attendance committee members areas follows:
Questions & Help Desk Numbers
Parent/Guardian Roles & Responsibilities
- Check JupiterEd daily for school updates and communication from teachers.
- Establish routines and expectations with your child. Example: class start time, organization of school materials, completion of assignments by designated due date.
- Assist your child with identifying a space where they can work without distractions.
- Monitor your child to ensure that they are checking their Google class pages daily and completing assignments in a timely manner.
- Engage your child in daily discussions to determine if they have any questions or needs support.
- Ensure all contact information (phone numbers, email addresses) are updated via Emergency Contact Card (Blue Card), and JupiterEd.
Teacher Roles & Responsibilities
- Teachers will provide both synchronous and asynchronous instruction to students Monday through Friday.
- Provide students and their families with regular communication and updates per parent preference. For example, email, text, Google Classroom postings, Jupitergrades, etc.
Log-In Guide & Information
In our commitment to ensure that students continue to receive effective instruction, we have decided to use Google Classroom. With the use of Google Classroom, we will be able to deliver uninterrupted instruction to your child on a daily basis. Each student is expected to join the Google Classroom for each one of their instructors in order to receive the assignment for that class.
If you have trouble logging on please contact Mrs. K. Lewis at [email protected]
or your educator immediately so no instructional time is lost.