School Policies

School policies are formulated through the collaborative efforts of Tottenville High School staff members, the School Leadership Team, and the Consultative Council and/or are mandated by the New York City Department of Education. They are designed to provide clarity and assistance for both students and parents on a wide range of important topics. Throughout the school year, parents will be informed of any additional policies or changes in current policies. Please familiarize yourself with the following policies as they will enable both parents and students to facilitate a smooth transition into high school.

ATTENDANCE POLICY

Rationale: Daily attendance is essential to full participation in all learning experiences as well as in establishing a work ethic that will benefit students at higher levels of education and future employment.

The New York State Department of Education has set a standard of 90% attendance for promotion to the next grade level. Parent(s)/guardians will be notified of absence from school via our automated calling system; therefore, it is important for student biographical information to be updated and correct. Our school attendance plan also provides for the effective implementation of attendance outreach, follow-up and support services if the 90% attendance standard is not being met.

Parent(s)/guardians are expected to submit a note or letter explaining their child’s absence from school. Absence from school is excusable for personal illness, religious observance, attendance at special events authorized by the school, or a family emergency beyond the student's control, such as fire or death in the family. A note from a doctor or health-care professional should be provided in cases of extended or frequent absence due to illness. If students are absent form school for reasons other than those listed above, documentation of the reason for the absence must be presented to the school (e.g. court order, college visitation, etc.).

Students must present their absence notes to all their teachers. Subject area teachers will sign the absence note, document the excuse, and return the note to the student. Once all teachers have signed a student’s note, the student must return the note to either his/her 3rd period teacher or to the Attendance Office (A121D).

Parent(s)/guardians should also call their child’s Guidance Counselor in cases of extended absences due to illness or the death of an immediate family member. Guidance Counselors will make the necessary notifications to subject area teachers and coordinate a plan for the make up of missed schoolwork.

Family vacations should be planned to coincide with vacation days and weeks of the annual school calendar. Teachers are not obligated to make prior arrangements for assignments, projects, and other instructional activities involving work that has not yet been presented. Student absence for vacation will be treated as an unexcused absence. Teachers will not be expected to extend their normal workday to provide remediation or to administer tests for students who have been on vacation. Teachers will not be required to repeat lessons that were given during the vacation period.

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DISCIPLINE POLICY

Rationale: The staff of Tottenville High School is committed to ensuring a safe and nurturing environment that facilitates effective teaching and meaningful learning and which fosters a sense of responsibility, good citizenship, and accountability. It is, therefore, necessary that students understand that there are standards of behavior with which all students are expected to comply and that there are consequences if these standards are violated.

Students should be aware that rules which govern their behavior come in a variety of formats. These include:
    The Tottenville High School Code of Conduct
    The New York City Department of Education Discipline Code
    Subject Class Contracts
    Student Athlete Contracts
    Extra Curricular Activity Contracts

Each year, students will receive an updated THS Code of Conduct and the citywide Discipline Code that provides a comprehensive description of unacceptable behaviors and the range of permissible disciplinary and intervention measures which may be utilized when students choose to engage in such behaviors. The Discipline Code also includes a Student Bill of Rights and Responsibilities that promotes responsible behavior and an atmosphere of dignity and respect by establishing guidelines for appropriate and acceptable conduct, dress, and language. The complete Discipline Code is also available for viewing and downloading by logging on to the New York City Department of Education website: http://schools.nyc.gov/.


TOTTENVILLE HIGH SCHOOL CODE OF CONDUCT

  • Students are responsible to abide by all the rules and regulations of Tottenville High School found in this handbook and the New York City Department of Education Discipline Code. Students are also responsible to abide by the individual classroom rules established by subject area teachers and listed in subject class contracts. Students must comply with the standards of behavior described in these documents and not engage in any unacceptable behavior that is disruptive to the educational process. This includes, but is not limited to: scholastic dishonesty, harassment, vandalism, fighting, theft, bullying, gambling, insubordination, and drug, alcohol or weapon possession.

  • Students must be on time for all classes. Students should be in their seats when the second bell rings. Students entering the building late or remaining in the hallways after the second bell will be escorted to a Sweep Room where lateness will be documented, parents contacted, and detention assigned. Students arriving to school after 9:00 a.m. must report to the Attendance Office, A121D, for a late pass.

  • Students may not wear hats, headbands, bandanas or any other head coverings in any area inside Tottenville High School. These items are subject to confiscation by school personnel and will be returned only to parents during the regularly scheduled PTA meetings held each month. Hats not picked up within 30 days will be donated to charity.

  • Cellular phones, beepers, walkmans, radios, and other electronic devices are not permitted in the building. These items are expensive and should be left at home. The school is not responsible for their loss or theft. These items will be confiscated if they are used and/or visible during school hours and will be returned only to parents during the regularly scheduled PTA meetings each month. Prohibited items not picked up within 30 days will be donated to charity.

  • Students may not leave the school grounds during their instructional day as indicated by their program card. Students caught off school grounds may be subject to a referral from the NYPD or the Division of School Safety and/or brought to the TRACK center. Students brought to the TRACK center must be picked up by their parents.

  • Students must carry their program card and T.H.S. photo I.D. card at all times. Students must show their I.D. card when entering the building. Students must also show these items upon the request of any school staff member. Failure to identify oneself upon request is considered insubordination, and parents will be notified. Student and parent(s) will also be required to participate in a Guidance conference with an Assistant Principal.

  • Students should limit the use of the classroom bathroom pass. Time out of class results in a loss of valuable instructional time. Parents will be informed if requests for the bathroom pass are excessive. Passes are not issued Period 2 and the first 20 minutes of Periods 3 – 9. Emergency passes may be issued during these times; however, requests are strictly monitored. Basement bathrooms are open at all times including the change of periods, and students should take advantage of their accessibility during their lunch, study, or change of periods. Students may also use bathrooms in the locker rooms during their Physical Education period. The bathroom in the Medical Room is restricted for use only by students with medically documented conditions.

  • Hallway lockers may not be used unless assigned by an Assistant Principal. Unauthorized hallway lockers will be clipped. Gym lockers are for use during students’ physical education periods or for after school extracurricular activities exclusively. Students must present their program cards to the teachers monitoring the locker rooms during the regular school day in order to gain entry. Students found in the locker room at any other time will be brought to the Deans’ Office, and parents will be notified.

  • Smoking is prohibited on school grounds at all times. Students found to be in violation of Chancellor’s Regulation B12, which is a Level 2 infraction, will be subject to appropriate disciplinary measures which may include detention, parent conferences, and/or Principal’s suspension.

  • Students are invited to visit the Deans’ Office, Room D011, Council For Unity Office, Room D005, or the Peer Mediation Center, D152, should they be experiencing any personal problems or conflicts. Students should utilize their lunch periods for this purpose unless it is an emergency. Students are also invited to utilize their lunch or free periods to visit the library, work for a teacher or Guidance Counselor, or attend tutoring. Students should report to these activities at the beginning of the period.

STUDENT RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES


I know that I have a right to:
  • be in a safe and supportive learning environment, free from discrimination, harassment and bigotry;

  • know what is appropriate behavior and what behaviors may result in disciplinary actions;

  • be counseled by members of the professional staff in matters related to my behavior as it affects my education and welfare within the school;

  • due process of law in instances of disciplinary action for alleged violations of school regulations for which I may be suspended or removed from class.

I agree to:
  • come to school on time;

  • appear for each of my classes at the start time, ready to begin work;

  • be prepared with appropriate materials and assignments for all classes;

  • show respect to all members of the learning community;

  • resolve conflicts peacefully, and avoid fighting inside or outside of the school or at program sites;

  • behave respectfully, without arguing, and cooperate when a staff member gives direction or makes a request. I understand that I will be given an opportunity to voice my concerns at an appropriate time if I do not agree with the request;

  • take responsibility for my personal belongings and respect other people’s property;

  • dress appropriately and do not wear any suggestive clothing (including skinny tank-tops, midriffs, short-shorts, or mini-skirts);

  • refrain from wearing clothes which have any signs of gang affiliation (e.g., scarves, bandanas) and refrain from using gang signs, calls, chants, movements, handshakes;

  • refrain from bringing weapons, illegal drugs, controlled substances and alcohol to school;

  • refrain from bringing personal possessions that are disruptive (e.g., cell phone, electronic games, beeper) in school;

  • share information with school officials that might affect the health, safety or welfare of the school community;

  • keep my parents/guardians informed about school-related matters and make sure I give them any information sent home;

  • follow all rules in the THS Code of Conduct and the Discipline Code;

  • behave responsibly as described in the Bill Of Student Rights and Responsibilities.


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DRESS CODE POLICY

Rationale: “Dressing for Success” applies not only to the workplace, but also to school. Research has shown that the adoption of a dress code instills students with discipline, decreases violence, and helps youth resist peer pressure.

In accordance with NYC Department of Education policy, students do have the right to determine their own dress except where such dress is dangerous or interferes with the learning and teaching process. Inappropriate dress can cause unnecessary distractions in classrooms and, more importantly, convey unintended wrong messages that are misinterpreted by peers. Adolescents need clarification and reinforcement in matters of appropriateness, particularly in appropriate attire for school. Clothing that may be appropriate for non-school related social activities may not be proper school attire.

The following is a list of inappropriate apparel and accessories that should not to be worn in the school building:

low cut blouses
halter tops
midriff tops
super low riders
muscle T-shirts
short shorts
short skirts
metal wallet or pants chains
metal spike bracelets and necklaces

NO HAT POLICY

The New York City Department of Education has established a policy which prohibits students from wearing head coverings such as such as hats, sweatbands, doo-rags, and scarves in school buildings during the instructional day. The staff of Tottenville High School actively enforces this policy and is authorized to confiscate these prohibited items. Confiscated head coverings will be returned only to parents during the regularly scheduled PTA meetings held each month. Items not picked up within 30 days will be donated to charity.

ELECTRONIC DEVICES

Cellular phones, beepers, walkmans, radios, gameboys, and other electronic devices are also not permitted in the building. These items are expensive and should be left at home. THS is not responsible for their loss or theft. These items are also subject to confiscation and will be returned only to parents. Parents who need to contact their children during the school day in emergency situations can do so by calling the Attendance Office (356-2220 Extension 1042) or their child’s Guidance Counselor.

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EARLY EXCUSE POLICY

Rationale: Tottenville High School’s Early Excuse Policy and procedures have been created to ensure the safety of our students and to minimize any breaks in the continuity of instruction.

Procedures:
  • Arrangements for the early excuse of students from school should be made in advance whenever possible. Parents can contact the Attendance Office at 356-2220 Ext. 1042 and speak with a staff member regarding the time and reason for the early excuse. Parents can also leave a message if they are calling before school hours. Our staff will return your call to verify the request, so it is important to leave a contact phone number.

  • Alternate Arrangements: Students may present a note to the Attendance Office staff upon arrival to school stating the time of the early excuse and reason for it. However, a contact number for our staff to verify the request must be included, or arrangements will not be made until a parent arrives to the building. The Attendance Office is located in Room A121D by the main lobby.

  • Whenever possible, the time of the early excuse should correspond with the changing of the periods (see Bell Schedule), and students should know in advance that they are expected to report to the Attendance Office (A121D) at that time. This eliminates the need for our staff to locate and remove students from their classes during instructional time. Locating students during their free periods, (study or lunch), is also problematic, as our students are able and encouraged to report to one of the many tutoring centers located throughout the building during their free time.

  • It is important to note that all requests for Early Excuse must be verified by our staff members through oral communication with a student’s legal guardian.

  • Parents/guardians must inform the Attendance Office staff if someone else has been designated to take their child out of school. Students will not released to anyone other than a legal guardian if prior notification was not made and verified. Students will not be released to other minors.

  • Parents, guardians, or other authorized family members or neighbors picking up children for early excuse from school must report to the main lobby, produce proper I.D. to the School Safety Agent or designee at the main desk, and sign in the Visitors’ Log.

    STUDENTS WILL NOT BE RELEASED TO ANYONE WHO HAS NOT BEEN GIVEN AUTHORIZATION BY A PARENT OR LEGAL GUARDIAN. STUDENTS WILL NOT BE RELEASED TO ANYONE WHO CANNOT PRODUCE VALID IDENTIFICATION.

  • Students will receive a white Early Excuse Pass from the Attendance Office staff. This pass must be shown to the teachers of the subject classes that were missed. Teachers will make a notation of this excused absence in their records, and students will not be penalized. Parents should keep these passes for their records once they have been shown to the teachers in case a question of attendance arises.

  • Early Excuse from school results in a loss of valuable instructional time. Whenever possible, appointments for doctors or other important matters should be made after your child’s school day is over.

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GRADING POLICY

  • PHILOSOPHY:

  • Grades are used as indicators of student progress and accomplishment within a subject area. All grades are based on objective criteria which include but are not limited to:
    • examinations
    • homework
    • class work
    • class participation
    • reports/projects
    • laboratory reports (science)

    Each department has a policy that indicates the relative weights of these criteria within the classes in their department. Students receive this policy in a form of a class contract during the first week of classes. Students are required to show these contracts to their parents and return them signed to their teachers.

  • Class Examinations
  • are given at appropriate intervals during the term. They are a measure of student growth and development and a reflection of the progress of instruction. Mid-term and Final examinations may be given by particular departments as part of this series of examinations. All examinations are used as a means of ascertaining student competency and for the teacher to make decisions on what, if any, material must be reviewed for more complete understanding.

  • Standardized Examinations:

  • Regents and Advanced Placement examinations are given at the conclusion of courses that offer such examinations.

  • Alternative Means of Assessment:
  • Individual teachers and departments may utilize alternative means of assessment for students within their classes. These may include but are not limited to:

    Skills assessment, laboratory reports, portfolio evaluation, oral presentations, internship evaluation, projects, research papers, and performance evaluation.

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HOMEWORK POLICY

In accordance with the Chancellor’s regulations, homework is considered to be a vital component of the education process. It is a reflection of the classroom activity which:
  • Enhances the academic growth of the student.
  • Prepares the student for subject lessons.
  • Reinforces concepts taught in the classroom.
  • Stimulates and furthers individual interests.
  • Develops independent study skills to foster initiative, responsibility and self direction.

The total average homework assignment for all subjects should be about two hours daily.

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INTERNET USAGE POLICY

Rationale: The Internet Usage Policy of the Department of Education has been created to ensure that Internet resources are used appropriately and that our educational community may benefit from the exciting resources available on-line in a manner that will not jeopardize the safety and well being of any individual, group, or entity.

The purpose of access to or use of the Internet through Department of Education connections or equipment is solely educational; therefore, students who utilize these connections must foster that purpose by using Internet resources only for educational purposes and in an appropriate and legal manner.

All students using the Internet through Department of Education connections or equipment are specifically prohibited from:
  • Sending or receiving personal messages
  • Using the internet for commercial purposes, advertising or similar objectives
  • Utilizing copyrighted materials without permission
  • Lobbying for political purposes or soliciting votes
  • Accessing pornographic or obscene materials
  • Sending or receiving messages that are racist, sexist, inflammatory, hateful or obscene
  • Vandalizing data, software, or equipment
  • Requesting or providing home phone numbers, addresses, photographs or other personal information without authorization

Students who violate this policy may be subject to disciplinary and/ or legal action.

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LATENESS POLICY

Rationale: Lateness to class has a significant negative impact on the educational process.

It results in:
  • a loss of meaningful instruction for the offending students
  • a break in the continuity of instruction for teachers delivering their lessons
  • a distraction for students engaged in meaningful instruction due to the entry of latecomers to their classrooms
  • a breach in the security of the hallways during the instructional period.

Lateness to subject class may also result in a lower class average due to the loss of instructional time in activities such as: do now completions, classroom participation opportunities, examinations (quizzes/full period exams), dialogues, speeches, group work, lab work, etc.

The following disciplinary actions may be imposed for any student reporting late to a subject class:

1st lateness: Warning from teacher.
2nd lateness: Parent(s)/guardian informed of offenses and of subsequent disciplinary action for the next offense.
3rd lateness: Mandatory 2-hour after school detention.
Repeated lateness: Guidance Conference scheduled with parent(s) and student.

LATE ROOM PROCEDURES

Students arriving to school after 8:20 a.m. are directed to the morning late room where they will remain until the end of Period 2 (8:45 a.m.). This procedure is necessary to ensure the continuity of instruction in Period 2 classes for the majority of our students who do arrive to school on time prepared to engage in meaningful instruction. Attendance in the late room is documented, letters are mailed home to parents, and Guidance Conferences are scheduled for chronic offenders.

EXCUSED LATENESS TO SCHOOL

Students who report to school late because of early morning appointments must present a Doctor’s note, Road Test slip, Court Order or some other form of official documentation to the staff in the Attendance Office (A121D). Students will be issued an excused late pass and their official school attendance record will be corrected. Students must present their excused late passes to the teachers of the classes they missed.

Students will not be excused for lateness due to transportation problems, unless the problem is confirmed by the MTA. The Tottenville High School Transportation Coordinator will make the determination of excused lateness through direct communication with the MTA and will issue excused late passes if warranted. Our school building opens at 7:00 a.m., and students are permitted to report to both cafeterias when they arrive early to school. It is strongly suggested that students board early buses or trains, so the potential for lateness due to transportation problems can be minimized. (For more information regarding transportation to and from school refer to the section Transportation Policy.)

SWEEP ROOM PROCEDURES

Students found by Deans and/or Safety Agents loitering in the hallway after the late bell has sounded will be escorted to the Sweep Room where they will remain until the end of the period. This procedure is necessary to ensure that the halls are clear of students and free of any possible distractions to the educational process. Attendance in the Sweep Room is documented, letters are mailed home to parents, and Suspension Conferences are scheduled for chronic offenders.

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TRANSPORTATION POLICY

Tottenville High School is provided with extensive public bus service for transporting students to and from school each day. Students may also use the Staten Island Rapid Transit for transportation to and from school. All students will receive an updated public bus schedule on the first day of classes for the buses that service our school: S55, S56, S59, S78, S56/74 (a special school route servicing the Bloomingdale Road and Rossville Road areas). Train schedules are also available in the Transportation Office, (A121C), or by logging on the MTA website: http://www.mta.nyc.ny.us

Parents should review the bus schedule carefully and select the bus route and estimated pick up time that will best transport their children to school well before the start of their children’s school day. Parents and students are cautioned not to select the latest bus on the schedule, as this will increase the likelihood of students arriving to school late (please refer to the section Lateness Policy).

Please note: Students who live closest to THS are frequently passed by buses that are filled to capacity with students who boarded the buses towards the beginning and middle of the bus routes. In addition, traffic around the Huguenot area increases tremendously from 7:40 – 8:00 a.m. causing minor traffic delays.

METROCARDS

General Education students are eligible for Metrocards depending on the distance their home is from Tottenville High School. The New York City Department of Education Office of Pupil Transportation determines this distance and the type of Metrocard each student receives.

Eligibility Requirements:
  • Students living less than ½ mile from Tottenville High School are not eligible for Metrocards.
  • Students living between ½ mile and 1 ½ miles from THS are eligible for half fare Metrocards.
  • Students living more than l½ miles from THS are eligible for free full fare Metrocards.

Any change of address should be brought to the attention of the Transportation Office. Official documentation (e.g., utility bill, mortgage statement) will be required for any changes to a student’s biographical information.

All students eligible for Metrocards will receive their Metrocard on the first day of classes for both the Fall and Spring term. Students will also be issued a bus stop map for dismissal and a list of rules addressing the proper use of their Metrocards. Proper behavior is expected of all students on the buses and trains. Buses may be taken out of service if students misbehave. Students who misbehave may face disciplinary action and/or legal action.

METROCARD RULES
  • A student Metrocard is only to be used by the student to whom it is issued, and whose name appears on the card. Students may not loan their card to another student. If someone else uses or borrows your Metrocard, Police Officers or Transit personnel can confiscate the Metrocard. If your Metrocard is altered, damaged on purpose, or used in any other way than intended, it may be confiscated, and students may be subject to arrest or a fine.

  • Metrocards are only to be used for transportation to and from school or for school related activities during the hours of 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Students may not use their metrocards on weekends and holidays. Students who are members of teams may be entitled to additional 2-trip Metrocards for transportation to practices and games. Team members must report to the Athletic Director’s office for more information about these special Metrocards. Metrocards for other special programs are available to students participating in those programs. Report to the Transportation Office for more information regarding these special Metrocards.

  • A full fare Metrocard provides three trips on both train and surface bus lines. On most trips, students can use their Metrocard freely to transfer from bus to bus, train to bus, or bus to train. A half-fare Metrocard is only good for bus transportation and is also valid for three trips per day.

  • If a student loses or damages a Metrocard, this must be reported to the Transportation Office, Room A121C, during a student's lunch period. Lost Metrocards will be replaced after a one week penalty period. Students are responsible to provide for their own transportation to and from school during the penalty period. Damaged Metrocards will be exchanged for a new Metrocard immediately. The damaged Metrocard must be brought to Room A121C for an even exchange to take place.

  • If a student's Metrocard is stolen, it must be reported to the Transportation Office immediately. A report must be filed in the Dean’s office, Room D011, and a copy must be submitted to the Transportation Office. Once all the information is verified, a replacement card will be issued in three school days.

  • The Transportation Office is open during all official lunch periods: Periods 4, 5, 6, and 7. Students must produce a photo I.D. card and a current program card to be serviced by the Transportation Office staff.

TRANSPORTATION FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION STUDENTS

State Education Law mandates that the New York City School District provide transportation for special education students to and from the school they attend. Transportation may be on a school bus, or on public transportation with a Metrocard. The mode of transportation each special education student receives will be determined by his/her Individual Education Program (IEP). Questions regarding transportation services should be directed to the Instructional Support Services Compliance Coordinator.

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VISITORS POLICY

Rationale: The New York City Department of Education and the N.Y.C. Police Department have established a uniform visitor control standard with required procedures that all schools must implement and include in their School Safety Plans. The Tottenville High School School Safety Committee has also established additional protocols to ensure the safety of our students and staff members and to facilitate visits by parents and other members of the community.

Procedures:
  • Visitors must enter the building using the Luten Avenue main entrance during school hours. Visitors are not permitted to utilize the staff parking lot during school hours. All minors must be accompanied by a parent/guardian. Unaccompanied minors will not be permitted to enter the building or remain on school grounds.

  • Visitors must report to the School Safety Agent assigned to main lobby reception desk located in the A-wing front entrance lobby.

  • Visitors must present a valid picture I.D. Parents may not pick up children early from school without presenting a valid picture I.D.

  • Visitors must register in the Visitors Log Book once their identification has been verified by a School Safety Officer.

  • Visitors must specify the exact nature of their visit and the name of the person/office to be visited. (Visitors who are unsure of the person they wish to speak with or the office they wish to visit will be assisted by staff members in the Parents’ Center.)

  • Visitors will be issued a Visitor’s Pass that must remain visible and be worn at all times.

  • Visitors will be directed to the Parents’ Center (A121) where they will remain until their appointment has been verified or other arrangements have been made. Parents may visit the Parent Coordinator located in the Parents’ Center for additional assistance.

  • Visitors must report to the Reception Desk after their visit is completed, sign out and return their Visitor’s Pass.

  • Visitors are prohibited from visiting any office other than the office indicated on the Visitors’ Pass. If further assistance is needed, visitors must report back to the Reception Desk and wait in the Parents’ Center until an appointment can be scheduled or other arrangements are made.

  • Visitors in violation of these procedures or whose conduct jeopardizes the safety of students and staff, interferes with programs in the school or endangers property are subject to immediate removal from the school by order of the Principal and possible arrest.

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Please respect our “No Hats Policy” at Tottenville H.S. We ask that everyone visiting our school kindly remove their hats!