Welcome To Portola Middle School  -  Character Counts at Portola -- Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring and Citizenship
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
School Policy
PROGRESS REPORT/REPORT CARDS
Portola Middle School notifies parents of their children’s progress every five weeks with a Progress Report or Report Card. The school reminds parents of these reporting dates via our school newsletter. Unfortunately, some students hide progress reports when they see their grades. Parents need to anticipate the arrival of these reports. Please call the school if your child’s report card does not arrive home.

BEHAVIOR AND DISCIPLINE
Students are expected to behave appropriately and follow all school rules at all times. This includes appropriate language and respect of staff, students, and property. For minor uncooperative behavior, generally the teacher will first contact parents. However, if such misbehavior continues or if the behavior is not minor, immediate referral will be made to the Dean’s, Counseling or Magnet Office. In cases of repeated and/or serious misbehavior, appropriate consequences will be assigned and parent contact will be made.

CULTURE OR DISCIPLINE and STUDENT EXPECTATIONS
1. Learn and follow school and classroom rules.
2. Solve conflicts maturely, without physical or verbal violence.
3. Keep a safe and clean campus that is free of graffiti, weapons, and drugs.
4. Be good role models and help create a positive school environment.
5. Report any bullying, harassment, or hate motivated incidents.
6. Display good sportsmanship on both the athletic field and playground.
7. Attend school on time, have school books and supplies, and be prepared to learn.
8. Keep social activities safe and report any safety hazards.

CODE OF CONDUCT
  1. Students are to be courteous and cooperative with all school personnel. 
  2. Portola's “Hands Off” policy does not permit physical contact of any kind between students.
  3. Students shall not fight or incite others to fight.
  4. Students shall not threaten or attempt extortion.
  5. Disrespect, profanity, verbal abuse, racial slurs and/or threatening language directed toward any group or individual is prohibited.
  6. Stealing or possession of another’s property without their permission is prohibited.
  7. Possession of weapons or dangerous objects on campus is prohibited.
  8. Selling or use of tobacco, alcohol, dangerous drugs and/or controlled substances is prohibited by law.
  9. No form of bullying or harassment, including sexual harassment, will be tolerated.
  10. Skateboards, unauthorized games, cameras, radios, iPods, trading cards and any other items that interfere with the educational process are not allowed on campus.
  11. Writing on or damaging school property is prohibited.
  12. Running, pushing, shoving, hitting games, or other activities that could lead to injury or destruction of property is prohibited.
  13. Students are required to carry a hall pass or a summons when out of class during class time.
  14. Gambling is forbidden anywhere on campus.
  15. Littering and walking through planted areas are prohibited.
  16. Gum chewing is not allowed anywhere on campus.
  17. All students must obey rules as posted in individual classrooms.
  18. All students must obey the Portola Dress Code.
  19. Balloons on campus are prohibited. They will be held in the Main Office until the end of the school day.
  20. Cyber-bullying on or off campus could, by law, lead to consequences up to and including suspension and expulsion.
ATTENDANCE POLICY
When returning from an absence, the student must report to the Attendance Office before school with a note of explanation signed by his or her parent or guardian. If a student returns without a note, the absence becomes a truancy on the student's attendance record. A student may clear the truancy by bringing a note to the Attendance Office the next day.

LEAVING SCHOOL EARLY
If a student needs to leave school early for an appointment or other necessity, he or she must present a note to the attendance clerk from his or her parent or guardian before reporting to Homeroom. The clerk will give the student an early dismissal slip, which will excuse him or her from class at the appropriate time.

The parent or guardian named on the Emergency Card must then meet the student in the Attendance Office at the appropriate time.

EMERGENCY CARDS
At the beginning of each school year, Emergency Cards are sent home to each student's parent or guardian. This needs to be filled out and returned. If at any time during the school year, home, work or emergency phone numbers change, the parent or guardian must inform the Attendance Office or the Magnet Office. This card enables the school personnel to contact someone to give approval for emergency care.

TARDY POLICY
Students are marked tardy if they are not in their assigned seats and ready to work when the bell begins to ring. Three tardies in a grading period may earn a "U" in work habits on the report card. Each teacher has his or her own policy for allowing students to remove a tardy from their records.

IDENTIFICATION CARDS
Each student will receive an identification card with his or her name, grade, homeroom, and picture on it after school pictures are taken each year. This card is to be carried at all times on campus and is to be shown to staff upon request. Identification cards are required for activities on campus.
The replacement cost for a lost or stolen card is $3.00; these may be obtained in the Main Office.

HEALTH OFFICE
If a student becomes ill or injured during school hours, he or she should report, with a pass from the teacher, to the Health Office. A student who needs to take medication during school hours must have a statement to this effect, signed by the prescribing physician and the parent or guardian, on file at the school. The required forms are available from the school nurse. Medication must be in original prescription containers. This includes all non-prescription medications as well. The nurse is not allowed to administer any other medicines.

If a student is in a cast or is on crutches, he or she must have a note from a doctor and see the school nurse before he or she can be admitted into school.

COUNSELING OFFICE
Your grade level or magnet school counselor is available to assist students and parents with developmental, social adjustment and peer relationship issues. Students who would like to see the counselor must first obtain a hall pass from their classroom teacher. Parents who would like to speak with the counselor should call to schedule an appointment.

LOST AND FOUND
There are four places where lost articles may be turned in or recovered. Lost backpacks and articles of clothing will be found in the Student Store. It is open only in the morning before school, at noon, and after school. Students should look for lost textbooks in the Textbook Room. Valuables, such as purses or keys, are turned in to the Main Office. Eyeglasses are turned in to the Health Office.

Students should not leave their belongings unattended, nor should they share their lockers or locker combinations with others; this hopefully will eliminate the need to look for lost articles.

MONEY AND OTHER VALUABLES
Expensive personal equipment, including but not limited to iPods, game players, and expensive cell phones, should not be brought to school. The school cannot and does not accept responsibility for any damage to or loss of these items. If it is necessary for a student to bring a large sum of money to school, he or she should bring it to the Main Office or the Magnet Office, where it will be locked up. Students are requested to leave their toys (such as yo-yos, trading cards, playing cards) at home.

The Board of Education allows schools to establish guidelines for student cell phone use. The Portola Middle School Leadership Council (composed of administrators, teachers, parents and students) has established the following guidelines:
 
     1. Students may use cell phones before school and after school off campus only.
     2. Students may not use cell phones at any other time. Pictures are never to be taken.
     3. Cell phones must be turned off by 7:50 AM and stored where they are not visible until the 3:00 PM bell.
     4. Cell phones are never permitted in the PE locker rooms.
     5. The school is not responsible for cell phones that are damaged, stolen, or lost.
 
Confiscated cell phones will be turned in to the Assistant Principal in the attendance office. A parent must come to school to pick up the phone.

MEAL PROGRAM
Applications for the Federal Meal Program are available through the LAUSD.NET homepage at the beginning of the school year. Throughout the school year, hard-copy applications are available in the Main Office.  The easiest way to apply is online at the LAUSD.NET website. 

TEXTBOOKS
All students are to write their name and teacher’s name in the front of the textbook.  Students will receive a textbook for every academic class.  Textbooks should be covered at all times.  California Education Code Section 48904 provides that the parent or guardian of a minor is liable to a school district or private school for all property loaned to and not returned or willfully damaged by the minor.  It also authorizes local school districts to adopt a policy whereby the marks, diploma, or transcripts of these students would be withheld until the pupil or the parent/guardian pays for the damages or returns the property.

Students are responsible for any damage to or for replacement of lost books. If a textbook is lost, a student should check with their classroom teacher and the textbook room to see if someone else has found the book. A replacement book will not be issued until the book has been paid for. Report cards will not be issued to students who "owe" for textbooks.

HOMEWORK POLICY
Specific homework policies are set by individual teachers and will be communicated to students and parents at the beginning of the school year. When a student is absent from school, he or she must ask the teacher about any work missed. 
Assignments may also be checked on line at www.portolams.org for those teachers who post homework.

HOMEWORK REQUESTS
Students should record in their Agenda the names and phone numbers of at least three responsible students in each class. These students, known as "Study Buddies", can be called upon for help with homework assignments, especially when the student has missed the class. For absences of one or two days, study buddies must be used for finding out about current assignments. If the absence is anticipated to be three days or more, homework assignments may be requested by calling the counseling office or the Magnet office.  We also suggest checking online at www.portolams.org for those teachers who post homework. All efforts will be made to provide assignments within 24 hours of request.  Students have one day for each day of absence to hand in makeup work.
 
AFTER-SCHOOL ACTIVITIES
Portola offers after-school programs, which begins approximately five weeks into the semester.
     • The Youth Services Plus program offers after school classes for a range of interests.
     • Youth Services Plus provides athletic opportunities.  Check their calendar on this website for more information.
     • Portola may also offer classes for those in need of additional academic support.
Counselors or the personnel in the Main Office can provide details. If students are having difficulty in particular subject(s), they are encouraged to seek help from their teachers. No after-school transportation is provided.

GYM LOCKERS
Gym lockers are assigned through PE class. Books and backpacks should be left in the hall locker.

HALL LOCKERS
Locker assignments are made through Homeroom, generally during the first week of school. Students are reminded NOT to give out their locker combinations to anyone. Students are not to share lockers; if they do, they may lose the privilege of having one. Problems with hall lockers are handled at the Student Store.

GYM CLOTHES
Students may purchase gym clothes (shorts for $12.00, T-shirt for $8.00, and socks for $3.00) in the Student Store. Students do not have to purchase gym socks; any white athletic socks are acceptable. Sweatshirts and sweatpants are also available for $15.00 each. Students must wear white-soled athletic shoes.

SCHOOL PROPERTY
We are proud of the way our school looks. It is the responsibility of each and every student to keep our school in good condition. Walk on sidewalks, and please stay out of the planted areas. Report vandalism and safety concerns. We are a gum-free school.

TRANSPORTATION
Students must conduct themselves properly on the bus at all times - to and from school - for regular day and after school activities. Failure to do so may result in verbal warnings, citations, and suspension from the bus, and/or conference with parent, student, bus driver and school. Defiance of the driver’s rules and directions is a serious offense. A bus pass is issued to each student; if a bus pass is lost, a replacement will be provided for $3.00 in the Counseling or Magnet Office.
 
Bus schedules have been carefully worked out; however, concerns, including late buses, may be addressed by calling 1-800 LA BUSES or 1-323-342-1340. 

STUDENT-TO-STUDENT VISITS
A 24-hour notice is required for students who wish to go home after school with a friend or need to get on or off at a bus stop other than their own. Students must obtain and complete the appropriate form and return it with a parent's signature to the Attendance Office or Magnet Office by 10:30 a.m., THE DAY BEFORE.

MTA BUS PASSES
The Metropolitan Transit Authority sells student bus passes. This pass is good for unlimited riding on most lines within Los Angeles County. Applications may be obtained in the Attendance Office.

"C" AVERAGE ELIGIBILITY
Students must maintain a "C" average to participate in extra-curricular activities involving out-of-class performances.

HALL PASSES
Each student must have a signed hall pass from his or her teacher whenever leaving class. Students who need to go to any office must first report to class and obtain a pass from their teacher.

GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS
To be eligible to receive the regular middle school diploma and participate in the graduation ceremony and other graduation activities, students must meet the following conditions:
 
     1. Pass all classes.
     2. Earn no more than 2 U's in Cooperation and 2 U's in Work Habits for the year
     3. Fill out the Matriculation Form completely and return it to the Attendance office
     4. Clear all fines and stop clearances including textbooks and library books before culmination.
     5. Frequent or serious violations of school regulations may disqualify a student from receiving a regular diploma.
 
CALIFORNIA JUNIOR SCHOLARSHIP FEDERATION
CJSF is an organization that honors students who demonstrate high academic performance and character. It is the junior arm of the California Scholarship Federation, which is at the high school level. Membership is noted on the student's cumulative record. Application periods will be announced.

VISITORS
A fundamental concern of all members of our school community is to provide a safe, secure, positive environment on our campus for all students, staff, faculty, and guests. In order to do so, it is imperative that parents and/or visitors to Portola follow these guidelines: obtain a visitor's pass at the main gate.  All visitors will sign in and out at the front gate when they enter the campus and indicate destination and the reason for visiting campus.  Upon conclusion of business on campus, inform the gate attendant of their departure and return their visitor's pass. Parents who would like to visit specific classrooms should call the counselor the day before the planned visit to schedule the visitation.  Visitors must be 18 years of age, or accompanied by an adult.
 
Any parent or visitor who acts in an inappropriate manner will be asked to leave campus and could be subject to restricted campus access.

UNIFORM COMPLAINT PROCEDURES Many programs in our school are covered by the Uniform Complaint Procedures set forth by the Los Angeles Unified School District. In our school, complaints relating to Special Education, English as a Second Language, or Gifted Programs can be filed in this way. Each student and parent will receive a copy of the District brochure on the topic to which they can refer for more detailed information. If you do not have a copy, you are welcome to contact the Main Office or the Magnet Office at any time and another copy will be made available to you. Complaint forms are available in the Main Office.

CHILD ABUSE REPORTING
State law identifies all staff members of our school as mandated reporters of child abuse. Child abuse includes the physical or sexual abuse of a child, the neglect of a child, or the willful cruelty or life endangerment of a child. Reporters of child abuse are protected from identification in order to avoid any inappropriate treatment by others. Policies and reporting procedures are available for review in the Main Office.

NON-DISCRIMINATION
Portola Middle School and the Los Angeles Unified School District comply with the following State and Federal laws that relate to issues of nondiscrimination. Title VI compliance states that no person shall be denied any benefits or be subjected to discrimination because of race, color, or national origin. Title IX Compliance states that there will be no discrimination practiced on the basis of gender. Section 504, Title II of the ADA, and other State laws and District policies relating to discrimination are also supported at all times. You may gain further information on each of these in the Main Office.

SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICY
Both our school and our District hold to a strict Sexual Harassment Policy that protects all students and staff from being subjected to differential treatment based on gender or sexual orientation. Sexual Harassment is defined as any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal, visual, or physical contact of a sexual nature made to someone in our educational setting. This policy is posted in all classrooms and offices.

CHARACTER COUNTS
Character Counts is a program of character education taught at Portola Middle School. Character development is established in the home and then nurtured at school as young people develop. Their involvement in character activities contributes to their development. As part of our commitment to character at Portola, each student is asked to pledge himself or herself to being the best person they can be by practicing the Six Pillars of Character Counts:

Trustworthiness Respect
Responsibility Caring
Fairness Citizenship
© Gaspar De Portola Middle School, 18720 Linnet Street
Tarzana, CA 91356
Phone: (818) 654-3300 - Fax: (818) 996-0292
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