Welcome to Hillsboro Elementary Middle School for the 2021-2022 school year! We are dedicated to providing all our students with an exemplary educational experience. We ask that all students and parents read through the content of this handbook to familiarize themselves with school policies and helpful information about HEMS.
HEMS Policies and Procedures
For any athlete to play in a game, he/she must have attended school for at least one-half of the school day on game day. The half-day mark is 12:05 PM.
Academic Eligibility Requirements
To be eligible to try out or participate on an athletic team, students must pass (70% or above) all four academic subjects: Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies in the previous 9-week grading period. The previous 9-week grading period is the last 9-week grading period school was in session. Once a student makes a team, academic eligibility must be maintained.
To ensure this is accurate, during the sports season the following will occur:
- Coaches will provide teachers and Hillsboro administration with team rosters once teams are formed.
- Hillsboro administration will set up an activity group in Skyward with the team roster for coaches to access and monitor their players' grades throughout the season.
- Hillsboro administration, coaches, and academic teachers will certify those students with a passing grade (70% or above) at the end of each progress report period (4 ½ weeks) and at the end of each grading period (9 weeks).
- Students whose grades in any of the four academic subjects listed above fall below 70% for the progress report period (4 ½weeks) will be placed on probation through the end of the grading period (9 weeks). Students on probation may practice, but not dress out or play in a game. As soon as the grade has improved to an average of 70% or above, the student will be allowed to participate on the team, except that a student shall not dress out or play for at least one week after being placed on probation. If the grade has not improved to an average of 70% or above by the end of the grading period (9 weeks), the student will be ineligible for participation in any athletic team for the upcoming 9-week grading period. Student grades will be reassessed at the end of the upcoming 9-week grading period to determine future re eligibility.
- Students whose grades in any of the four academic subjects listed above fall below 70% for the grading period (9 weeks) will be placed on probation through the end of the next progress report period (4 ½ weeks). Students on probation may practice, but not dress out or play in a game. As soon as the grade has improved to an average of 70% or above, the student will be allowed to participate on the team, except that a student shall not dress out or play for at least one week after being placed on probation. If the grade has not improved to an average of 70% or above by the end of the progress report period (4 ½ weeks), the student will be ineligible for participation in any athletic team for the remainder of the current 9-week grading period to determine future re-eligibility. Student grades will be reassessed at the end of the 9-week grading period to determine future re-eligibility.
- Hillsboro administration is responsible for enforcing probation and ineligibility
NOTE: This new policy will not affect athletes trying out for a sports team prior to the start of the second 9-week grading period of the 2021-22 school year.
Beginning at the first progress report period (4 ½ weeks) in September of 2021, this policy will be in effect for all athletic teams.
(Refer to WCS Board Policy 6.200)
Consistent attendance and punctuality is a cornerstone of student progress and success. If students repeatedly miss school or are often tardy, it puts them at risk for misunderstanding concepts that are taught and reinforced while they are not present. Additionally, student attendance is one of the categories the federal and state governments use to evaluate schools and assess whether they are making adequate yearly progress. Consistent attendance is a priority at Hillsboro.
Excused and Unexcused Absences
Students will learn if they are in school. The Juvenile Court Services and Williamson County Schools work very closely to encourage regular school attendance. Parents and students will be held accountable for attendance.
Conditions for which a student's absence may be excused are:
Illness of a student. The principal may require a doctor's note.
- Illness in the immediate family that requires the absence of the student from school. The principal may require a doctor's note.
- Death in the immediate family.
- Religious holidays - the principal may require a statement from the minister or another recognized by the given religious group.
Absences for other reasons may be excused, if in the judgment of the principal, circumstances warrant. (For complete language see Board Policies).
After 8 absences, a doctor's note will be required to be excused.
Student attendance will be taken daily. Students who have 5 unexcused absences during a school year will have violated the attendance law of the State of Tennessee. In these circumstances, truancy petitions will be filed with Juvenile Court by the administration and reported to The Department of Children's Services. Therefore, it is very important that your child's absences are excused by either a parent or doctor note.
The new Tennessee Department of Education Accountability Regulations (ESSA), which defines students as "chronically absent" after 18 absences per year, regardless of excused or unexcused. Students who accumulate 18 or more absences will be considered "chronically absent" and reported to the state.
In response to the new legislation regarding chronic absenteeism, there are provisions for pre arranged absences. Family trips should be scheduled during regularly-planned breaks. Parents may excuse up to 8 absences per year before a doctor's note is required. Family trips will not be excused except for Principal approved emergencies or in exceptional circumstances with prior approval.
Tardies and Early Dismissals
Late arrival and early dismissal may be excused for the following reasons: (1) illness, (2) death in the family, (3) recognized religious holiday, (4) doctor or dentist appointment, or (5) Principal approved emergency or exceptional circumstances. Transportation issues for car riders are not excused. If school buses arrive late, students are not tardy.
Students are tardy if they are not in their classrooms by 8:30 AM. A student who arrives after 12:05 PM will be considered absent for that day.
Early dismissal is considered as missing instructional time. Early dismissals before 12:05 PM will be considered an absence for that day. The parent must sign the student out in the office at dismissal time stating time and reason, and office personnel will call the student to the office when the parent arrives to pick up the student. No early dismissals are permitted between 3:10-3:30 PM.
WCS Board Policy 6.200 requires written parental or medical documentation for all absences, tardies , and early dismissals. This documentation ensures that school personnel are fully and accurately informed about your child. All absences are considered "unexcused" until a note is sent, preferably within 48 hours of the student's return to school. When a student's absences exceed 8 days, a
doctor's note will be required to excuse all future absences. Notes are kept on file for the school year. Parents may also send an email with all appropriate information to their teacher AND our Attendance Secretary, Diane Miller.
Notes should state:
- homeroom teacher's name
- date(s) of absence
- reason for absence
- doctor's note attached (if applicable)
- parent or guardian signature
Making Up Missed Work and Tests
All missed class work and tests from absences are expected to be made up in a timely manner upon returning from school. All make-up work should be completed within three days after the student returns to school. Make up work for days missed in succession will be due in the succeeding days following the third day. Please do not request work prior to a student's absence or during their absence. Parents may request work if a student has missed 3 consecutive days. Students are expected to make-up all tests and quizzes once all of the work related to the test or quiz has been completed. If a student misses a scheduled test, the student will be expected to take the test upon returning to school as long as the information being assessed was not presented during the absence.
When a student accumulates a total of 8 excused absences, all other absences will be considered unexcused unless a doctor's note is presented upon the day of returning to school.
In accordance with new state guidelines regarding attendance as it relates to truancy, Williamson County Schools has implemented a three-tiered system to monitor attendance and truancy. Parents will be notified when absences begin to accumulate.
- 3 unexcused absences - parents will be notified via email or phone.
- 5 unexcused absences - a meeting will be held with family and school personnel. The team will create a plan to support the family and ensure subsequent school attendance. Follow-up meetings will be planned to monitor progress.
- If the student continues to accumulate absences, additional interventions will be established.
The new Tennessee Department of Education Accountability Regulations (ESSA) defines students as "chronically absent" after 18 absences per year, regardless of excused or unexcused. Students who accumulate 18 or more absences will be considered "Chronically Absent" and reported to the state.
Williamson County students participate in both formative and summative assessments. Formative assessments are ongoing classroom assessments utilized to inform instruction. Examples include exit tickets, quizzes, unit tests, universal screeners and benchmark assessments. Summative assessments typically take place at the end of a course. They are utilized to guide the school on overall approaches and strategies for instruction.
Students in grades K-5 take Math and ELA screeners in August, January and April through Aims Web. Students in grades 6-8 take Math and ELA screeners in August, January and April through STAR. These assessments are nationally-normed and give students a percentile rank that compares their performance to students across the country. Students in grades 3-8 will also take TCAP assessments in April.
During assessment windows we ask that parents make every attempt to have students at school on time. Please check the WCS assessment calendar.
Behavior & Code of Conduct
Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS)
Hillsboro is committed to establishing and sustaining a positive school climate each academic year. Through the use of our PBIS program, we encourage and reinforce positive decision-making behavior in order to maximize the academic engagement and achievement of our students. We expect students to RESPECT themselves and others, be RESPONSIBLE for their academic achievement and personal choices, and TAKE PRIDE in their Hillsboro School community.
Hillsboro believes in positively reinforcing students when they make great choices, particularly when they exceed the school's expectations. Students can earn Scholar Dollars throughout the year when going above and beyond in the areas of being respectful, responsible, and taking pride. Students can use their Scholar Dollars to enter drawings for giveaways at Scholar Hollers, purchase items at the Scholar Store, and to earn a variety of school-wide or classroom-specific incentives. Our goal is for students to be respectful, responsible, and take pride, regardless of whether they earn Scholar Dollars. Scholar Dollars serve as a fun way to celebrate making good, positive choices.
In addition to praising and rewarding students for meeting our behavioral expectations, we utilize a structured consequence system to respond to student misbehavior.
Level 1 Student Expectations
Level 1 Expectations establish a baseline for appropriate choices and actions which allow students to be on task and engaged in academic and social settings (including bus).
- Follow grade level "Essential" behaviors
- Arrive to class on time and be prepared with required materials
- Complete all classroom and homework in a timely manner
- Be an active participant in class
- Remain on task when using technology
- Sign up for Scholar Hour sessions
- Transition through hallways appropriately
- Follow the school's dress code
- Be aware of, and respect, the personal space of others
- Speak positively to and about others
- Handle school supplies, equipment, and materials with care
- Follow adult directions the first time they're given
- Demonstrate the Habits of a Scholar
Level 1 Behavioral Choices
The following offenses are examples of behavior that do not meet Level 1 Expectations:
- Tardy to class
- Leaving a Chromebook at home
- Bringing a Chromebook without a full charge
- Minor classroom/hallway disruption requiring teacher redirection
- Not following school rules or teacher directions (may include excessive talking, being off task, refusing to work, etc.)
- Engaging in name-calling or negative conversations directed to students or staff
- Unprepared for class
- Dress code violation
- Unauthorized use of cell phone or another electronic device
- Leaving a Chromebook at home or bringing it to school without a full charge
- Horseplay that doesn't result in student injury
- Referral from a bus driver
Level 1 Consequences
When student behaviors do not align with Level 1 Expectations, the learning environment is disrupted and one or more of the following consequences may be used:
- Verbal correction and other in-class interventions
- Re-direct and re-teach appropriate behavior in a brief student conference
- Confiscation of inappropriate item
- Withdrawal of technology or other privileges
- Teacher Referral through PBIS Rewards and parent contact
- Teacher referrals will reset after each 9-week period.
- Three teacher referrals per 9-week period will result in a Friday After-School Detention (assigned by administration).
- Five teacher referrals per 9-week period will results in an additional Friday After School Detention and team meeting with teachers, parents and student (organized by administration).
- Teacher referrals will reset after each 9-week period.
- Reflection/Goal Setting during Scholar Hour
- Referral to PBIS team for recommendation of additional interventions
Level 2 Student Expectations
Level 2 Expectations represent behaviors more crucial than Level 1 Expectations to the integrity of the learning environment.
- Attend classes as scheduled
- Consider the feelings of others
- Respect the privacy of others
- Use language appropriate for all ages and audiences
- Speak and act in a truthful and honest manner
- Play in a manner that will not result in injury
- Show respect for the property of others and the school
- Admit mistakes, accept responsibility and respond to correction by a staff member
- Report misbehavior to an adult
Level 2 Behavioral Choices
The following offenses are examples of behavior that do not meet Level 2 Expectations
- An accumulation of 5 or more Teacher Referrals in the same 9-week period
- Skipping class
- Cheating, lying or stealing minor items
- Profanity or language that provokes a negative reaction from others
- Damaging or defacing school property
- Public display of affection
- Taking and/or distributing pictures of students or staff taken during the school day
- Horseplay that results in injury
- Refusing to comply with correction or redirection from a staff member
- Selling items that are not part of an approved school fundraiser
- Non-compliance of a behavior contract
- Failure to serve a detention
Level 3 Student Expectations
Level 3 Expectations are critical to the physical and emotional safety of students and staff.
- Be NICE
- Remain on campus during school hours
- Respect the opinions of others
- Seek to understand rather than to judge or blame
- Walk away from someone who is being verbally or physically offensive and do not engage with their behavior
- Refrain from making sexually inappropriate jokes, gestures, or touching
- Seek help from an adult when a conflict could result in a physical altercation
- Immediately report threats, harassment or bullying behavior to an adult
Level 3 Behavioral Choices
The following offenses are examples of behavior that do not meet Level 3 Expectations
- Harassment, Intimidation, or Bullying. See WCS Board Policy 6.304
- Sexual harassment
- Racial Slurs
- Assault of another person
- Threats of personal injury
- Major vandalism of school property
- Selling, delivering, or distributing a counterfeit controlled substance
- Possession or distribution of pornography
- Possession or use of vaping/tobacco products*
- Possession of firearms or other weapons, alcohol, drugs/drug paraphernalia**
- Students are further forbidden to be in possession of or use any instruments or substances, including but not limited to nonprescription drugs, chemicals, inhalants, pencils, scissors, razors or compasses, with the intent to do harm to self or others or in a manner which renders the item dangerous in school buildings or on school grounds, or on any grounds used for school purposes at any time, or in school vehicles and/or buses or off the school grounds at a school sponsored activity, function or event.
- Making or circulating a false report of bomb, fire, or other emergency will also carry with it discipline up to a year's suspension and a report to law enforcement.
Level 3 Consequences
Behaviors that do not align with Level 3 Expectations represent a serious disruption to the learning environment and jeopardize the safety of self and/or others. An Office Referral will be submitted to administration who will investigate and determine appropriate consequences for behavior. One or more of the following consequences will be used:
- 1-5 Days of In-School Suspension (ISS)
- 1-10 Days of Out-of-School Suspension (OSS)
- Behavior contract and loss of privileges, including extracurricular activities
- Referral to Juvenile Court/Alternative Learning Center
- Expulsion to the Alternative Learning Center***
- ***3 days OSS with tobacco citation issued by School Resource Officer
- ***Zero Tolerance Offence. See WCS Board Policy 6.309.
Bus Behavior and Safety (Refer to WCS Board Policy 3.400)
Students have the right to ride the school bus to and from school and should recognize that it is a privilege. Students have the responsibility to follow school bus rules and regulations or lose the privilege of riding the bus.
- The bus drivers together with the school administration, have full responsibility for discipline of students riding the buses. The driver shall report any disciplinary problems to the administration of the school. It is the duty of the driver, in case of any infraction of rules by any student, to notify the administration. Notification should be made in writing on the appropriate School Bus Behavior Report form. The school administration shall determine punishment.
- Any misbehavior on the bus. at the bus stop, walking to or from the bus stop, or arriving to school and leaving school at bus locations may result in temporary or permanent loss of bus riding privileges. In this case, transportation to and from school becomes the responsibility of the parent/guardian. Certain offenses may result in more severe punishment such as suspension/ expulsion from the bus or school.
- Students are not allowed to ride a different bus home with a friend or get off at a different stop without a written note from a parent/guardian. The parent note must be brought to the office in the morning and the student will receive a "bus pass" to give to the bus driver that afternoon. In addition, the daily pick-up/drop-off location for the bus must be the official address listed for school enrollment.
When riding the bus, students should:
- Obey the driver.
- Stay in their seat while the bus is in motion.
- Report any teasing incidents to the driver.
- Refrain from alcohol, tobacco, illegal drugs, eating, chewing gum, or drinking soda.
- Observe classroom conduct: low voices, no profane language or obscene gestures.
- Keep aisles clear of musical instruments, book bags, and should not contain glass containers.
- Keep hands, head, and other body parts inside the bus and not out of the window.
- Be responsible for any damage student causes to the bus seats, windows, equipment, etc.
Chromebooks and Technology
WCS-issued Chromebooks will be provided at the beginning of the school year. Before students are issued a Chromebook, both the child and parent must read and sign the Acceptable Use Policy, the Video Conferencing form and the Authorization District Device form. These forms will be made available in Skyward prior to the start of school for review and acceptance.
Students must act responsibly with their Chromebooks. Teachers will review proper practices with students to maintain good condition. If a student willingly and intentionally damages a Chromebook, the student may be charged for repairs up to the total cost for replacement. Charges will be determined by administration. Students should take their Chromebook home nightly to charge the device, use the device for any assigned homework, and to be prepared for any transition to Remote Learning. Student-issued Chromebook charge cords are not needed at school.
Cell Phones and Apple Watches
Teachers may allow students to use their cell phone for instructional purposes only. Cell phones, Apple watches and cameras may not be used to take pictures or video in the school setting unless requested by the teacher for instructional purposes. Unless otherwise directed by a teacher for instructional use, cell phones are to remain in your child's backpack and turned off during the school day. Student cell phones or Apple watches are not to be used to text or call parents/guardians at any time. If a student needs to contact a parent during the school day they must come to the office. If you need to contact your student during the school day, please call the office and we will bring them to the office to call you.
Parents are encouraged to attend any community meetings regarding digital citizenship.
Bully Free School
Bullying is not tolerated.
Bullying may occur face-to-face or via on campus cyber bullying. We ask all parents and students to report any bullying to a teacher or staff member in the building. The report will be investigated by administration within 48 hours. The investigation and required intervention will be implemented within 20 calendar days. Administration will notify the parent/guardian of any students involved immediately. Administration will also provide information regarding any support services available. Administration will follow investigation procedures and definitions set forth in policy
6.3032. Behavior that is found to be in violation of this policy shall be subject to discipline, up to and including suspension as deemed by administration.
Bullying is defined by Tennessee law as any repeated act that substantially interferes with a student's educational benefits, opportunities or performance and has the effect of:
- Physically harming a student or damaging a student's property
- Knowingly placing the student or students in reasonable fear of physical harm to the student or damage to the student's property.
- Causing emotional distress to a student or students; or
- Creating a hostile educational environment.
If a student needs help with resolving a conflict or if a student feels that he/she is being bullied, he/she should communicate with a staff member such as a teacher, counselor or administration.
Students are prohibited from intentionally submitting a statement they know to be false or intentionally falsely accusing another of bullying or bullying-related behavior. Any student violating this prohibition shall be disciplined.
Retaliation against a victim, witness, or person with reliable information for reporting a bullying offense or for providing information in any manner is strictly prohibited. Any student violating this prohibition shall be disciplined.
Families may also report bullying to a WCS toll free tip line or through the WCS app. The toll-free number is 1-855-284-0669. Incidents can also be reported via email to the Bullying Tip Line. Please reference School Board Policy 6.3032
Please send items in your child's lunch that can be easily managed by the child. Carbonated drinks, glass bottles and food brought from anywhere other than home are not allowed in the cafeteria.
Lunch money may be sent to school on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Students are responsible for their money until it is turned into the cafeteria. Please send lunch money in an envelope you're your child's full name and their ID number written on the envelope. Funds can also be added to the
student's account online at My School Bucks.
When depositing funds online, there is a service fee added to every transaction.
Please note that breakfast and lunch are provided free-of-charge to all students. A-la carter items (chips, drinks, etc.) are still available for purchase.
Prices for the 2021-22 School Year
(only for a student's additional lunch)
- K-12 Breakfast $2.75
- K-12 Lunch Breakfast $2.75
- Adult Lunch $3.75
Breakfast will be served from 8:10 - 8:25 AM daily. Students will be served on a first come, first served basis. Breakfast service will stop at 8:25 AM daily except in the event of a delayed bus. Car riders will not be served breakfast after 8:25 AM. Delayed buses will be announced at morning announcements.
Parents and immediately family members may eat lunch with their child during the school year. Only students of that family member are permitted to attend. Visitors will eat at the round tables in the front lobby.
We love to honor and celebrate students at Hillsboro. There will be two elementary class parties scheduled during the year. The parties will be a time for students to participate in fun activities with their classmates. It is vital that staff and parents be mindful of food allergies when planning for
celebrations. Food allergies can be life threatening and are a serious concern to all schools. We have several students with serious food allergies. Therefore, we will make every effort to protect students with allergies while not taking away from traditional childhood celebrations. The guidelines listed below are in accordance with the district's Wellness Policy.
All celebrations must be pre-planned with the classroom teacher. All foods for scheduled schoolwide and classroom celebrations must be pre-packaged with ingredient and nutritional values listed. Food made from home may not be distributed during the school day or brought into the classroom. Room
parents may assist in the planning and execution of class parties, but other parents are not permitted
Students love to celebrate birthdays at school, as it is a memorable time to share with teachers and friends. In an effort to abide by the WCS Wellness Policy as well as address the increasing number of students with food allergies or diabetes, we are asking all parents to follow these simple guidelines when planning for your child's birthday this year. The Hillsboro staff feels strongly that by following these guidelines, we are promoting a healthy lifestyle and maximizing learning:
- Send in a non-edible treat for everyone in the classroom such as pencils, bookmarks, etc. or
- Donate a book in your child's name to our school library or
- Donate an educational game or book to your child's classroom teacher in their honor.
- Have a family member come and read to the class.
Your child's birthday will also be recognized on our school-wide announcements. Again, the emphasis is on honoring your child on their birthday without a focus on food.
Individual invitations to private birthday parties may not be distributed during school hours.
Child Find is how Williamson County Schools identify students who may be having problems. This may include children who are gifted as well as students who have trouble seeing or hearing, need special education services, or need supports to learn. It is important to find these children and give them the help they need as early as possible. Families concerned about how a child is doing can refer the child for screening by calling Student Support Services at 615-472-4130.
We are very fortunate to have a full-time nurse on staff. She is committed to serving all students and staff. If a student becomes ill or injured at school, the teacher will have the student evaluated by the school nurse. Through her examination and in accordance with the district illness policy, the nurse will
determine treatment or if the student does not meet criteria to stay in school. The nurse will notify parents if a student becomes significantly ill or injured. The school is not equipped for prolonged care of your sick child. We ask that you or an emergency contact pick up your child within the hour that you are called. The school nurse may only administer medications that are provided and authorized by the parent/guardian. Refer to the WCS Medication Administration Protocol for guidance.
Students who become ill during the day must report to the school clinic to be dismissed.
Students will be checked for head lice by the school nurse when demonstrating symptoms of infestation. Parents of students with live lice or an active infestation will be asked to pick up their child as soon as possible to begin the treatment process. The student may return to school only after the hair has been treated appropriately and the parent presents proof of treatment.
When determining whether your child is well enough to attend school, please refer to the Williamson County Schools Illness Guidelines. Please note that your child should not be sent to school until he/she has been fever free for at least 72 hours without taking a fever reducing medication.
If you have any other questions regarding health services, policies or procedures, please visit the Williamson County Schools Health Services Site.
Medication procedures are consistent with State of Tennessee Law 49-5-415 and are implemented in all WCS schools. Medications should be limited to those required during school hours to assure safe administration of medications for those students who require them. Please be aware of the following:
- The school must have a medication authorization form completed each school year for both prescription and non-prescription medications. These forms are available in the office.
- Parents, or legal guardians, must bring their child's medication into school. Students are not allowed to bring in their own medication. This includes prescription as well as non prescription medication. Empty prescription bottles may be given to the student to take home, unless you inform the school otherwise.
- Prescription medications must be in the original, pharmacy labeled container and match the doctor's orders exactly (up to 30-day supply at a time). If your child is taking an antibiotic that is prescribed for three times per day, parents should administer the medication before school, after school, and at bedtime. DO NOT send the antibiotic to school.
- All over-the-counter medications must be in the original, unopened manufacturer's packaging with the child's name affixed. You can supply over-the-counter medication with an expiration date that will not expire during the school year. Only FDA approved medications can be administered at school.
- Designated school personnel will be trained to assist students with their medications on field trips. If you do not want your child to receive medication on a field trip, please notify your school nurse in writing.
- Medications must be kept at school no longer than the expiration date or end of the school year, whichever is sooner. All medications not picked up by the last school day will be destroyed.
Hillsboro School has three counselors that are available to help and support students throughout the year. The school counselors meet regularly with the teachers as a part of the team effort in planning for the positive progress of all students.
School Counseling services include:
- Individual and group counseling
- Classroom Lessons and Anti-Bullying Programs
- Student Support
- Parent Support
- Testing Consultation
Custodial Issues or Parenting Plans
Custodial parents must inform the school immediately upon any changes in custody, especially court restraining orders. Non-custodial parents requesting information for a student should provide the child's teacher with self-addressed, stamped envelopes for periodically mailing information or arrangements may be made for the child's teacher to collect information to be transported with the student to the non-custodial parent. All families with a parenting plan must have that plan on file in our office along with any subsequent orders or changes to the parenting plan. Students will be unable to register for school without a parenting plan or court order establishing the primary care parent, should any court order exist.
Director of Schools or a public relations designee from the district will use the phone system to notify you of emergency closings. The school will follow the dismissal plan on each child's emergency dismissal card on file in the office if school is dismissed early due to weather or other emergency conditions. Please make sure that the emergency dismissal information remains up-to-date so there will not a need to call the front office to inquire about school dismissing early.
The school's phone system cannot handle the volume of last- minute phone calls to give students individual directions. Generally, it is best for the plan to be that the student will ride the bus home on any day school must close early. On such days, the buses are dismissed early enough to get the students home safely. Every family should have a plan in place in case school should close early due to inclement weather. All students should have a key or some other method of access to their homes in case of emergencies. All after school events are automatically cancelled if school closes early or there is no school.
Fire, tornado, and emergency drills are necessary for the safety of the students and staff; therefore, we practice them throughout the year. The following safety drills are scheduled: fire drills, tornado drills, and security lockdown drills.
It is vitally important in times of emergency that the school is in possession of information that will enable us to promptly and directly reach the parents. If there are any changes in your contact information throughout the year, you must notify the office immediately.
Fees and Fines
Fees approved by Williamson County School Board may be charged by schools for activities that occur during regular school hours, supplies required for participation in all courses offered for grades, equipment, and supplies required to participate in interscholastic athletics and band, and fees or tuition for summer school. The payment of school fees is voluntary. No fee will be charged to any student as a condition of attending school, but students shall be responsible for normal school supplies, such as pencils and paper. School fees are waived for students who are eligible to receive free or reduced-priced school lunches. Applications are available in the school office. Fines may be charged for overdue library books, lost, damaged or destroyed textbooks, library books, workbooks, or other school property.
Students have the opportunity to participate in several field trips as extensions of classroom activities throughout the year. Teachers will notify parents concerning field trips and send home permission forms for parent's signature. The school must have on file written permission from the parent before a student may go on a field trip. If the written permission slip is not returned by the due date, the child will not be able to attend the field trip. Students will travel by bus to and from all trips. Any exceptions to this procedure must be approved by the principal. Chaperones are not permitted to ride on the bus with students. Therefore, chaperones should plan to follow the bus in their car.
Chaperones are welcome and needed for field trips. For the safety of our Hillsboro students, no siblings are allowed on school field trips. According to Williamson County School Board Policy, all chaperones must be Tier 3 Volunteers.
Grades and Records
Parents and students are expected to set up a Skyward Family Access account to monitor students' academic performance as grades are entered in the teachers' grade books. Through Skyward Family Access, triggers can be set so that an email is sent when your child's grade drops below a designated numerical average. To set up a Skyward Family Access account. Choose the Parents and Students tab and click WCS Family Access. You will need a WCS-issued username and password to activate your account.
Progress Reports grades are updated in Skyward Family Access for progress reports at the halfway mark (4.5 weeks) of the 9 weeks reporting period. Parents can access these grades electronically through the Family Access account.
Report Cards Report Cards are generated at the end of each nine-week grading period into a PDF file in your Family Access account.
Grading System for Kindergarten - 1st Grade
Kindergarten- 1st Grade Core Content Areas (Literacy, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies):
5 - The student has mastered grade level standards for this component and is engaged in deeper study.
4 - The student has mastered the standard.
3 - The student has been introduced to the standard and is making expected progress toward mastery.
2 - The student has been introduced to the standard and is not making expected progress toward mastery. (Parent communication required.)
1 - The student has not mastered the standard. The standard has not been introduced and/or assessed.
Kindergarten Non-Core and Work Skills/Habits
S: Satisfactory (Has met expected outcomes)
P: In Progress (Is working towards expected outcomes)
Grades 1st - 5th Non-Core and Work Skills/Habits
S: Satisfactory (Has met expected outcomes)
P: In Progress (Is working towards expected outcomes)
U: Unsatisfactory (Not working towards expected outcomes)
Grading System for Grades 2nd-8th Grades
The grading system for grades 3-12 shall be the following:
A 91 - 100
B 81 - 90
C 72 - 80
D 70 - 71
I - Incomplete (must be removed during the next grading period)
P/F Credit by Examination
Refer to WCS Board Policy 4.603 for specific information about promotion and retention.
The purpose of retention is to benefit the educational development of the individual. Administration has authority to assign retention, and decisions on retention will be made with great care. Retention will be based on the following guidelines: teacher's recommendation, judgment, evaluation; grades and daily work; effort; maturity, and mastery of grade-appropriate skill in the core curriculum. When in doubt about retention, please confer with administration about the Light's Retention Scale.
Research shows that retention benefits very few students. If a student is to be retained, a conference will be scheduled with the parents, teacher(s), and principal. The entire team will discuss the evidence and probable best decision. The final decision of whether to retain a student must be made by the principal.
Technology and Chromebooks
Interscholastic activities in Williamson County Schools are an important part of the overall educational process. The athletic programs offer students expanded learning opportunities including self-discipline, self-esteem and teamwork. Students who participate in extracurricular activities tend to get higher grades, have better attendance and pose fewer discipline problems.
Annual Public Notices
Annual Public Notices including FERPA, Child Advocacy Groups Contact Information, Homeless Education, Rights of Children with Disabilities and Parent Responsibilities, Section 504 Notice, State Statutory Rights of Parents and Students, Teacher Information, and the Williamson County Schools Statement of Non-Discrimination can be found on the Annual Public Notices posted to the WCS website.
Statement of Non-Discrimination
Williamson County, in compliance with federal and state law, performs a countywide Child Find. Child Find uses screening to find students in both public school or private school located in the geographic region who may need special education services and supports.