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University School

Middle School Students

University School Middle School (USMS)
Student Academic and Conduct Policy 2019-20

USMS Honor Code*

University School middle school (USMS) students are people of integrity.   They will hold to the highest standards of personal honor.  They embrace fairness in all actions.  They will tell the truth.  They will ensure that work submitted as their own is their own, and the assistance received from any source is properly documented.  Students respect school and public property as well as the person property of others.  All work is honest and free from cheating.  This Honor Code represents honor, personal integrity, and honesty.  It serves as a representative of the values we uphold in middle school.  The characteristics valued include those listed below but are not limiting the generalities of other modes of integrity.  


Honor Code Violations

Any act of dishonesty in academic work is an Honor Code violation and constitutes academic misconduct.  Academic misconduct is subject to disciplinary action.  Penalties for academic misconduct vary with the seriousness of the offense and may include, but are not limited to, a grade of “0” on the assignment, a conduct slip, or an office referral.  If further consequences are needed, a conference with administration will be requested.  

Cheating: Cheating is defined as, but not limited to, the giving or receiving of unauthorized aid on an examination or assignment, or otherwise failing to adhere to the assignment instructions as provided by the professor. Examples of cheating include but are not limited to: 

  1. someone, other than the student, completing required homework
  2. possessing or having unauthorized materials such as teacher manuals
  3. listening to or participating in a discussion regarding an examination which the student has yet to take;
  4. attempting to look at another student’s exam;
  5. falsifying documents
  6. unauthorized communication between students during an examination or non-group assignment.

Plagiarism: Plagiarism is generally defined as the submission of another’s work by a student as his/her own. Examples of plagiarism include but are not limited to: 

  1. reproducing someone else’s work, whether it is a published article, chapter of a book, a paper from another individual, or an internet source;
  2. making simple changes, while leaving the general organization, content or phraseology intact, without proper citation;
  3. employing or allowing another person to alter or revise the work that a student submits as his/her own.


In cases where students are unsure about a question of plagiarism involving their work, they are obliged to consult their instructors on the matter before submission.

* Content taken from Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy, Student Handbook, East Tennessee State University, 2017.


A.   Citizenship and Discipline

We, in the USMS, recognize the importance of the role that discipline plays in our schools and our lives.  We believe that good citizenship and discipline cannot be separated.  To guarantee a good social and educational climate, it is important that students, in keeping with the level of their maturity, understand that acceptable standards of behavior are expected at all times. USMS teachers and staff want and expect students to become good citizens.  It is each student’s responsibility to display qualities of good citizenship.  Good conduct is expected in the classroom, in the halls, in the cafeteria, on the playground, when leaving school grounds, and on buses. Consequences are assigned for misconduct when any individual’s actions interfere with the right of teachers to teach and students to learn.

B.   Disciplinary Philosophy

We, in the USMS, believe that a preventive discipline approach facilitates and nurtures self-direction and self-control. Self-direction and self-control are an integral part of our middle school mission. Ideally, the home, the community and the school work together to instill a network of positive, socially accepted values within each child that promotes self-direction and self-control. Pursuant to this, we believe a sound disciplinary code and process incorporates the following components:

  1. Well-defined and understood rules in terms of what:
    1. the school expects of that student;
    2. the student expects of the school;
    3. the parent expects of both the student and the school.
  2. Well-defined and understood disciplinary procedures based upon:
    1. recognition of levels and degrees of seriousness of student’s behavior;
    2. recommended actions to be taken at each level; and
    3. identification of specific personnel to be involved at each step of the disciplinary process.
  3. Fair, firm, and consistent follow-through with discipline.
  4. A belief that student discipline should be treated as a positive learning experience from which students learn to accept responsibility for their action.
  5. A staff commitment to promote dignity, fairness and honesty in the disciplinary process.

Disciplinary Options

Students in the middle school are given every opportunity to make appropriate behavioral choices and decisions. Further, they are to be held accountable for their actions commensurate with their age and other factors.

Teachers, parents, students, administrators, and support personnel are to be aware of the total referral process and the scope of individual actions and responsibilities at each level. The process is progressive and the disciplinary entry level depends upon the seriousness of the offense, the habitual behavior of the student, and actions taken and results attained at previous levels.

For those students having difficulty in choosing acceptable modes of behavior, the following measures have been identified as appropriate:

  • Warnings (oral or written)
  • Parental contact (oral or written)
  • Detention during lunch
  • After school detention (w/administrator)
  • In-school detention

Possible additional consequences:

  • Suspension from school
  • Extracurricular ineligibility
  • Suspension from athletic participation
  • Loss of school sponsored social activities (e.g., attendance at a dance, movies, etc.)
  • Loss of field trip privileges
  • Withdrawal from University School


The following are examples of student behavior(s) that will result in disciplinary actions when they occur at school or during school-sponsored activities. The penalties and consequences set forth below are only guidelines for the determinations of each case by the administration and faculty. Thus, the administration, when supported by relevant facts, reserves the right to modify the consequence or penalty of the infraction and to notify local authorities.
It is important to note that the middle school employs a progressive model of discipline. This means a consequence may reflect the number and severity of previous infractions.

Level One Infractions

Should be handled within the framework of class or school rules by effective action.  Appropriate disciplinary responses may include counseling, warning, and conduct slips (CS); repeated CS will result in additional consequences.

  1. Minor class disturbances
  2. Lateness to class
  3. Inappropriate displays of affection
  4. Violation of general classroom rules
  5. Disruptive or inappropriate behavior
  6. Digital equipment of any sort (i.e: phones, ipods, video games, etc will be collected per school-wide policy)

Continued or More Serious Infractions (including bullying)

Parents or guardians will be contacted via office conduct referral and email or phone call. The student is to be referred to an administrator. Appropriate disciplinary responses could include counseling, lunch detention (LD), after-school administrative detention (ASD), or in-school suspension (ISS) per the University School Handbook.

** Definition of bullying: Bullying/harassment is defined as a repetitive verbal or non-verbal expression of intent to do physical or emotional harm or act out against someone. Actual bullying/harassment can be spoken, written (including online social media), symbolic, or physical. Bullying/harassment is a misuse of power which tends to be repetitive in nature.

*The University School Handbook is under revision and new policies and procedures will be published soon.  Parents and students will be notified via Blackboard when these revisions are complete.


Behavioral Eligibility for Extracurricular Activities

Field trips:

Students who have received ISS or OSS may be ineligible for field trips for the remainder of the grading term.


Students who have received ISS or OSS may be ineligible for non-academic MS clubs for the remainder of the grading term.

Sports and Plays:

Students who have received ISS or OSS will be required to meet with their coach or director to discuss possible ineligibility.


Academic Policy

University School Middle School believes that each student should be presented with a challenging and rigorous curriculum. In the middle school, the amount of content presented increases as students are expected to already possess many basic skills and can process deeper understanding of each content area.

We want to support students as they transition to the demands of high school while maintaining high expectations that fit the needs of the individual. As such, we believe that a strong commitment to doing one’s personal best for class and homework is a necessity.




Grading policy will be as follows:

Each quarter, grades will be calculated by the total number of points accumulated out of the total number of possible points for all assessed activities.

A = 93-100

B = 86-92

C = 75-85

D = 70-74

F = 69 or below

Absences and Make-up Work:

Students may pick up copies of their assignments on the ‘While You Were Out’ board in our class hall. The 6th grade board is across from Mrs. Reis’s door and the 7/8th grade board is in the hallway outside of Mrs. Cromie’s door.  It is the student’s responsibility to pick up work after an absence. Work is due in accordance with the school handbook policy on make-up work.

Homework Policy:

Students who do not complete the homework, not due to absence, will be given a pink homework form, which allows the student to record their explanation for the missing work. This form must be completed by the student and then signed by the student, teacher and parent. The signed paper must be returned to the teacher the following day or it will result in a conduct slip.

Assignments that are one day late, not due to absence, will be accepted for a maximum grade of 70%. Assignments that are turned in two days late, will be accepted for a maximum grade of 50%.

Assignments which are not turned in after two days will require the student to attend the nextweekly session of Study Club, which is monitored by a teacher. Students will complete the work at this time. 50% credit will be given for completed work. 

Study Club:

Will be open after-school on Tuesday (Cromie’s room) and Thursday (Ledbetter’s room) from 3:00-4:00 pm. It is available to students who need assistance with homework. Students will sign in immediately after school and be signed out by a guardian when they are ready to leave campus. All students not picked up will be sent to after school care where a fee will be assessed according to the time of the student’s pickup.

This is an opportunity to ask a teacher for help and to work on homework. This is not an opportunity for socializing; students will be dismissed from it if they are not working diligently.
If you have more than 3 zeros in a subject area, including after absence make-up period, you will be required to attend Study Club. Students will be required to attend Study Club until the next interim or end of quarter. Absence from/misbehavior in assigned Study Club will result in additional consequences.

If a student a 69 or below in one or more subject areas at interim or end of quarter, not due to recent absence, parents will be notified. This is considered a warning. Students will be required to attend Study Club until next interim or end of quarter.

Academic Eligibility for Extracurricular Activities
We, the USMS, believe that academics must be the priority in this school, therefore our standards may be higher than the minimum required by TMSAA for school sports. The guidelines that will be followed for academic eligibility in the Middle School for sports, plays and non-academic clubs are as follows:
If a student has a 69 or below in one or more subject areas at interim or end of quarter, not due to recent absence, parents will be notified. This is considered a warning. Students will be required to attend Study Club until next interim or end of quarter. Study Club attendance is then mandatory and takes precedence over other school extra-curricular activities.

All State and Federal regulations that apply to students with IEPs and 504s will be adhered to.

You will be required to sign on the grade level syllabus that both the student and parents/guardians are aware of and understand the policies described in the Student Academic and Conduct Policy as well as the University School Handbook.


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