SMS Information & Policies

Stambaugh Middle School policies and procedures are aligned to the Polk County Public Schools School Board Policies, Student Progression Plan and the Code of Student Conduct.  Full items can be found here: https://polkschoolsfl.com/policiesandforms

Supervision for students will start 25 minutes before the start of the school day. Please do not drop students off prior to 8:45am. The side street (Sesaquachita Ave) is closed during school hours with the exception of buses.  Students are to be dropped off and picked up from the back of the school in the parent loop. Students must be picked up at the bus ramp following after-school activities.

Students must remain in authorized and supervised areas at all times. Students are to leave the school building immediately following dismissal unless under the supervision of a teacher.  Students riding a bus are to go directly to the bus loading area upon school dismissal. Loitering on school property by anyone to include students who are suspended or expelled, is not permitted.

A school administrator decides as to whether a student’s absence is excused or unexcused PCPS Code of Student Conduct.

  • If a student is absent from school, he/she must bring a note signed by a parent/guardian explaining the absence.
  • A doctor’s note is required if a student is absent for more than 10 days during a semester.
  • If a student has excessive, unexcused absences, the school may refer the student to the school social worker.  If the student continues to miss school, the school may refer him/her to Children and Family Services for truancy.
  • If a student knows he/she will not be able to attend school for an extended period of time, teachers should be notified in advance.  All missed work will be available to the student upon his/her return.  The student will have the number of days, PLUS 2, to complete the missing work.
  • See the Code of Student Conduct if a student plans to miss school in order to take a trip with his/her parents/guardians.

Punctuality and attendance are necessary for the student to take full advantage of the available educational opportunities. When tardiness constitutes a pattern of behavior disruptive to the educational process, they will be dealt with as disruptive behaviors and/or minor infractions as set forth in the Code of Student Conduct.  Excessive absences may result in retention or legal action.  Upon the 5th unexcused absence the school will send notification to the parents/guardians.  A doctor’s note will be required for any absence exceeding 10 days.

An awards program is held at the end of the school year.  Various students are honored for their successful achievements in academics, behavior, attendance and activities.  We do not do an 8th grade graduation.

Bicycles must be parked in the assigned bicycle area at the back of the school.  The school is not responsible for loss, theft, or vandalism of bicycles. Students are not to ride bicycles on campus. Motorized vehicles, roller blades, skateboards and skates are not permitted.

BOOK-BAGS ARE NOT PERMITTED. Females may carry a small purse for personal items (must be no larger than a sheet of notebook paper). Students participating in athletic activities after school, may bring a bag to carry a change of clothes, however, the bag must be dropped off in the designated location upon arrival to campus.

Only regularly scheduled bus students are to ride the school bus. Bus students are to go immediately to the bus upon dismissal from school. The school bus is an extension of the school. The bus drivers have the responsibility to deliver students safely to and from school. This requires the drivers’ complete attention, they cannot be distracted by inappropriate student behavior. Proper conduct is expected at all times. Students who create a potentially dangerous situation and/or violate rules of conduct will face disciplinary action that may lead to suspension from the bus.

A    100-90  Superior Achievement
B    89-80  Good Achievement
C    79-70  Average Achievement
D    69-60  Passing, Below Average
F    59-00  Failing
Z – Incomplete/Can be made up
X – Does not count

All personal electronic devices are to be used responsibly by students at appropriate times.  This includes when directed by a staff member.  Students who abuse the school-wide policy will lose the right to have their electronic device on campus.  In addition, if the electronic device becomes a distraction, administration will take the device and it must be picked up by a person on the emergency card. Students are responsible for their electronic devices. The school will not take financial responsibility for lost or stolen devices.

We are dedicated to empowering students toward success.  To ensure we can support our students, we have developed a Student Success Team (SST). The team is comprised of success coaches, school counselors, dean, and led by an Assistant Principal.  SST will identify students’ barriers to success, create an individualized action plan for student improvement and monitor the action plan implementation.  Students, families and staff members can reach out to our Student Success Coaches or School Counselors to begin the process of adding a student to the SST.  SST may recommend different actions plans for students and families; such as, participation in a pro-social or academic improvement group or other activities to assist the student in being successful.

No employee, student, applicant for admission or applicant for employment shall on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, language spoken, homelessness, disability, marital status, age, religion, or any other basis prohibited by law be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of or be subjected to discrimination/harassment under any educational programs, activities, services, or in any employment conditions, policies or practices conducted by the Polk County Public Schools.

Regular school breakfasts and lunches are served FREE of charge for Polk County Public School students.  Students must have money available in their lunch accounts to purchase additional food or cookies.  Students are expected to exhibit proper conduct in the cafeteria and follow posted rules.  Students will report to the cafeteria during their assigned time.  Students are not allowed on other parts of the campus during lunch.  Parents/guardians are welcome to visit their student during the student’s assigned lunch time, if space is available.  Parents/guardians are requested to sit outside at the round picnic tables.  Parents/guardians can only provide lunch for their custodial child and those allowed contact per the emergency card on file.  Food purchased from outside “fast food” restaurants must remain in the original packaging and is not permitted inside the cafeteria.  Students cannot have food delivered to the school by parents/guardians or professional delivery services.  Students can only consume outside food if brought by a person listed on the emergency contact card, and that person stays to eat with the student.

If a student becomes ill during the school day, they may report to the clinic with a pass from their teacher.  Students may not enter the clinic between classes.  Parents/guardians are requested to make certain the school has at least one emergency number on file.  The clinic’s purpose is to dispense medication, administer first aid, and assist ill students who need to go home.

School personnel will not administer any medication, including over-the-counter medication, to students unless SMS has received a medication form properly completed and signed by the doctor/nurse practitioner and the medication has been received in an appropriately labeled container. The school nurse must approve medication brought to the school. Students must leave their medication in the office upon arrival to school.

SMS has a variety of school clubs available. Club sponsors will establish and announce procedures and requirements for membership, field trips, and sponsored activities.

Students who are not on track for promotion and/or not meeting behavioral expectations will not be allowed to participate in school clubs.

SMS has a zero-tolerance policy for bullying and harassment as defined in the Code of Student Conduct.  Any infractions are to be reported in person to an administrator, online through the school’s web page, or in writing and submitted to an administrator or dean.  Reports may be made anonymously.

One of the most important lessons education should teach is self-regulation and discipline. While it does not appear as a subject, it underlies the whole educational structure. Discipline is the cornerstone to develop self-control, personal character, orderliness, and efficiency. It is the key to good conduct and consideration of other people. Students are expected to exhibit a positive attitude by doing their part to conduct themselves responsibly and respectfully at school to create an effective place for learning.

Polk County Board of Education requires each student to adhere to the Polk County Code of Student Conduct and to comply with such disciplinary measures as assigned for infractions. The Code of Student Conduct requires all students to: Conform to reasonable standards of socially acceptable behavior

  • Respect the personal property and rights of others
  • Respond and comply with the instructions of those persons responsible for order and maintenance of the educational process

Students not in compliance with the Code of Student Conduct and SMS expectations will be subject to disciplinary measures implemented in accordance with the Code of Student Conduct and SMS Discipline Plan. Students assigned discipline in the form of a Work Detail will be assigned a higher level of discipline if the student does not fulfill their discipline assignment.

Students are required to wear a school uniform per assigned grade level and in accordance  with the district-wide dress code policy. School administrators are final authority in determining if the student’s clothing complies with the dress code policy.  Student found in repeated dress code violations will be disciplined as disruptive behavior and/or minor infractions per the Code of Student Conduct. SMS will notify the parents/guardians if dress code violations are becoming a repetitive disruptive behavior.

The use of the elevator is restricted to staff members and students with handicaps or injuries. Students requiring the use of the elevator must secure an Elevator Pass from the main office. Students in violation of this policy will face disciplinary action.

Safety drills are very important in the school environment. The safety drills are held at various intervals throughout the school year to help develop proper safety practices and procedures ensuring a high-level safety preparedness. Remember these basic rules:

  • Check the instructions posted in each classroom
  • Walk silently and move quickly to the appropriate designated areas instructed
  • Remain with your class at all times

Students are expected to conform to accepted levels of personal and public safety at all times. Students are expected to be respectful of others, respect the rights of others and maintain a safe learning environment.  Administrators, counselors, teachers, and a School Resource Officer (SRO) are available to assist students as needed.

The SRO is a resource with respect to delinquency prevention, provide guidance on ethical issues, provide individual counseling to students, and explain the role of law enforcement in society to students. The School Resource Program demonstrates to the parents and faculty that the criminal justice community has a genuine interest in the community’s youth.

SMS has two school counselors:

GRADE 6 & 7           Ms. Ruby Walker

GRADE 7 & 8            Ms. Shannon Salyers

School counselors are available to meet with students as needed based on a self-referral, teacher request or parent request.  A student must have a hall pass to enter the counseling office, except in cases of emergency.  Counselors are available to meet with students individually and in groups.  The counselors are available to discuss personal, academic, and social problems.  Withdrawal from SMS procedures are conducted through this office.  For School Counseling information call: 863-965-5494 and choose option 3.

Students must have a hall pass dated, timestamped, and signed by a staff member when they are out of class at all times.  Students without a pass will be escorted back to class.

  • Hands to yourself.
  • Always WALK on the right. Do not run or “horseplay” with others.
  • Look where you are going.
  • Low volume.

Lockers are not issued to students.  Students are responsible for carrying their supplies, binder, and agenda to each class every day. A class set of books are provided for use in the classroom.

Report cards are released approximately two weeks after the end of the nine weeks.  Interim progress reports are released every two to three weeks.  Parents/guardians and students have access to grades through parent and student portal.

Parent Portal allows parents/guardians information regarding their student’s classes, grades, and attendance at any time.  Parents/guardians may contact the School Counseling Office to obtain information regarding access to the portal.

Articles found in and around the school are turned in to office where the owners may claim their property with proper identification.  The school will hold lost items for 30 days. The items will be donated to charity if not claimed within this time.

The media center opens for students 25 minutes prior to the start of school.  Students must have a pass to go to the media center during classes and lunch.

SMS is a closed campus.  Students are to remain on campus upon arrive on school grounds until dismissal.  Once a student arrives on campus, under no circumstances are they to leave without permission of school authorities.  If a student leaves campus without permission from school authorities the student will receive a strong discipline consequence as this is a clear violation of safety protocols.  Students are not authorized to open any door or gate to the outside under any circumstances.  A student found opening doors or gates will face severe discipline consequences as this jeopardizes the safety of all on campus.

The following items are disruptive and may interfere with the learning environment of our school. Do not bring such items to school, to include but not limited to the following:

  • Pagers, electronic games, MP3 Players, speakers and/or other musical devices
  • Items of distraction such as toys, trading cards, water guns, whistles, balloons, any sprays, rubber bands, nail polish, perfumes, markers
  • Expensive items of jewelry or large sums of money
  • Dangerous items such as knives, sharp objects, lighters, matches or any item/device that can be determined as an object to hurt people

The above items do not make any positive contribution to academic achievement and therefore are prohibited. These items are often  an invitation to theft and have no place at school. Items considered harmful will be given to the SRO and students may face legal consequences in addition to school discipline.

Punctuality to school and to each class is necessary for the student to take full advantage of available educational opportunities.  When tardies constitute a pattern of behavior, the student’s behavior will be dealt with as a minor infraction as set forth in the Code of Student Conduct.  SMS will notify the student, then the parent/guardian, if tardies become a repetitive behavior.  After 4 unexcused tardies in a quarter discipline will be assigned

The office phone is available for students for emergencies only. Students must have a hall pass dated, timestamped, and signed by a staff member to use the phone.

In certain courses students are assigned an individual textbook.  These textbooks are loaned to students during the school year. Books and equipment distributed to students for their use is the property of Polk County Public Schools and SMS. Students assume the responsibility and care for these items upon issue and are expected to pay for any damages or losses for this property.  Damaged or misplaced school property, or if it is stolen, the student and their parents/guardians are responsible to pay for the damages before the school will issue additional property.

Tutoring options are provided before and after school on designated days.  For more information on tutoring, listen to the daily announcements, watch for flyers/posters, check the school calendar, or contact individual teachers for their availability.

All visitors must report to and enter the school building through the Entry Office.  Visitors are required to present a picture ID and will be issued a visitor pass to be worn while on campus.  No one will be permitted to visit a student without permission from the administration.  The school has the authority to deny access to any visitor at any time.

We encourage students to exhibit positive behavior.  When you are a H.O.U.N.D., you will be rewarded!

TOP DOG

Criteria:

  • Miss no more than 3 days, or 21 periods, per grading period (excused or unexcused).
  • Make only As, Bs, and Cs on report card
  • No suspensions: Bus, ISS, or OSS
  • No office discipline referrals
  • No more than 4 Dress Code infractions per quarter
  • No more than 4 unexcused tardies per quarter

Reward:

  • A Top Dog tag with your name etched. The dog tag is your pass for special privileges for an entire quarter such as:
    • No uniform days
    • Surprise rewards announced over the intercom
    • Early dismissal at the end of the day

Behavior Incentives

Students who meet discipline expectations are rewarded with behavior incentives at the end of each month.  At behavior incentives students can play games, socialize with grade-level peers, and listen to music played by a school member.  In addition, students will have access to purchase drinks and snacks from the concession stand.