Hello RCMS parents, guardians, and students. We want to keep you informed of several changes starting January 3rd, 2022, which is the start of the 2nd semester.
NEW RCMS “CELL PHONE” POLICY EFFECTIVE JANUARY 3, 2022
During the instructional day at RCMS, students may only utilize these devices in the following manner:
Beginning January 3, 2022, the Rosemary Clarke Middle School (RCMS) will have some changes to our policies on cell phones. These new policies are being implemented due to the severe disciplinary issues we have had and the necessary need to see proactive positive change on our campus.
Personal technology and communication devices, such as cell phones or tablet computers, are utilized in many ways and have become a component of the educational setting. At school, it is critical that students only access personal technology and communication devices when allowed and only for the intended purpose(s). The NCSD considers bringing
personal electronic devices (PED’s) to school or extra-curricular activities a privilege. However, use of PEDs will be restricted to emergency, academic, or school use.
At RCMS, students are allowed to use personal technology and communication devices ONLY during lunch breaks and while on district buses. Students are expected to comply with no video recording, no taking of pictures, no inappropriate or disruptive behavior, and no making/answering phone calls while on the NCSD bus.
Students’ cell phones and personal electronic devices must be turned off, or in silent mode, and remain silent or off, during the instructional day and passing periods. Cell phones may only be used during lunch periods, at the inside or outside tables, as directed. This will allow students to speak directly to one another and build social skills. When usage of devices is not allowed, devices must be turned off, or in silent mode, and stored in a non-visible location such as in a backpack/bag. If a backpack is not available, the phone will be placed in the office or in a secure location in the classroom. Due to issues, cell phones are not allowed in pockets. Confiscated devices will only be returned to the student at the end day.
Cell phones must remain off, or in silent mode, during a school evacuation, lockdown, or drill. During these situations, tell your child NOT to try to contact you by cell phone until given the approval by school staff, thus allowing emergency communication channels to remain open.
A major concern by parents is that “my child will not have access to their phone during an emergency.” That is not correct, students will still have access to their phone, but their phone will be in their backpack with immediate access.
NEW RCMS “TARDY” POLICY EFFECTIVE JANUARY 3, 2022
Beginning January 3, 2022, the Rosemary Clarke Middle School (RCMS) will have some changes to our policies on tardiness. These new policies are being implemented due to the large number of tardies we have had and the necessary need to see proactive positive change on our campus.
Hopefully, the exclusive use of cell phones during lunch time only will also allow many of our students to arrive at class on time. Many students have received tardies, and we have made adjustments to ensure students can comply. Our next attempt at reducing the amount of tardies is instituting an after school detention. Students who accumulate 3 or more tardies in a week OR 8 tardies in a month will earn after-school detention. Students will report to the main office to check-in for their assigned after-school detention and will sit with an administrator/designee until 3:30 PM. Students in after-school detention are to be picked up at the main office at 3:30 PM by a parent/guardian or may walk home if previously told to school by the parent/guardian. If detention students cannot be picked up, they are to report to SAFE, and follow all SAFE rules and regulations. Also, if a detention student does not attend the after-school detention, a referral will be written and one day Out-of-School Suspension (OSS) will be given with a required parent conference (RPC). After two one-day OSS’s for tardies, the 3rd will be a 3-day OSS and the same thereafter. We hope that this new policy will reduce or eliminate students from being tardy to classes and help each one to realize the importance of time management and academics. In addition, no more lunch detentions will be given for tardies.
One more change is in regards to the Opportunity Period. For the first semester, all students have had the opportunity to see their teachers between 7:05 AM and 7:31 AM to make-up assignments and/or seek assistance. There has been a lack of use of this opportunity and most students use it to wander campus creating disciplinary issues. We are adjusting how the Opportunity Period will be utilized.
The new Opportunity Period will allow students to report directly to class from the bus or arriving at school. Once in their first period teacher’s classroom, attendance will be taken, and students will have time to conduct work. Teachers use time in their rooms for announcements, grade checks, passing out items, beginning lessons, opportunity time within the classroom, etc. Teachers will not allow students to be on cell phones during this time. Breakfast will still be conducted, but students will be called down to the cafeteria in groups to help all students be in the exact location they should be: in a classroom or in the cafeteria. All students have the opportunity to eat, but will not be allowed to come down unless they are eating breakfast.
Our goal with these adjustments in the second semester is to allow the best educational environment for all students. Our hope is that the change in the cell phone policy and tardy policy will also limit the amount of bullying/cyberbullying by and toward the students. We aim to provide a rigorous and in-depth education by taking away the distractions that the digital era has brought forth, especially during COVID. We will use this opportunity to also incorporate more SEL (social emotional learning) within our academics to enhance personal, social, and environmental communication we feel have been lost by our children staring at screens instead of at each other.
Thank you for working together with us to help our students become more aware of their environment and each other, while becoming more involved in their academics. Our goal is to provide a safe place and to produce kind and productive citizens. All of your support is greatly appreciated as we head into 2022. Thank you!