Student Code of Conduct 2021 – 2022

The purpose of our Student Handbook is to give students and their parents/guardians an understanding of the general rules and guidelines for attending and receiving an education in our school. Students and parents/guardians should be aware that this document is reviewed annually since policy and procedure adoption is an ongoing process. The most recent adopted policy or procedure will always prevail. The handbook may be amended at any time and those changes will be communicated by the administration to the staff, students and parents/guardians. 

You can also find the Code of Conduct on Polk County Public School’s website here.

We believe that our students, staff and stakeholders have certain rights and responsibilities.  Our core values will ensure that we are all working for the same common goal and sharing the bigger purpose.   We believe every member in our learning community has a responsibility to SOAR by:  

  • Successfully meeting learning goals  
  • Modeling Outstanding Attendance   
  • Holding ourselves and others Accountable  
  • Exemplifying Respect for everyone 

I am a Phoenix
I will RISE and
Respect everyone including myself. I will
Ignite the flame of brilliance as I
Seek to understand and
Endeavor to learn something new every day.

McLaughlin Middle and Fine Arts Academy inspires students to reach their highest potential and develop a respect for the arts through an innovative educational experience preparing them to meet the challenges of the global community. 

Every student, every day will strive for academic excellence, social responsibility, and civic pride. 

Your Administrators

I love the students and staff that I serve.  I have high expectations for your academic and personal development.   I am a Polk County native, born in Lakeland and educated in the public school system.  As a child, I adored teaching like my great grandmother and mother.  In 2009, I made a career change and became a 7th grade English Language Arts teacher at Kathleen Middle School.  Although, I enjoyed my five (5) years as a classroom teacher, I yearned for an opportunity to impact the student population at-large.  In 2014, I joined the administrative team at Westwood Middle School in Winter Haven where I served as their Dean of Students.  I continued to work aggressively for towards the academic advancement of the students of Westwood for several years serving as their assistant principal, II as well as assistant principal of curriculum.  In the summer of 2019, I was appointed Acting Principal at McLaughlin.  As your principal, I vow to make decisions that serve our students’ best interest and protect your welfare.    

 

EDUCATION 

Doctorate Degree Program          2015-2021

National Louis University    Chicago, Illinois 

 

Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) Degree Program   2012-2014 

National Louis University                                                  Tampa, Florida 

 

Master of Business Administration            2008-2010 

Southeastern University                     Lakeland, Florida 

 

Bachelors in Arts & Sciences 1995-1999 

Florida State University                Tallahassee, Florida  

 

Kathleen Senior High School 1991-1995 

 Lakeland, Florida 

I believe education is a gateway to success, and my passion and love is to see our students succeed. My expectation is for my students to thrive academically and develop personal skills to be productive citizens in a global society. I am a Polk County native, born and raised in the small town of Waverly. It was here at McLaughlin a teacher spoke into my life and set me on a path for success, and this has driven my passion to help kids make positive decisions that increase their life chances. I began my educational career as a 6th grade Social Studies teacher at Discovery Academy of Lake Alfred for 2 years, and later joined Lake Alfred Addair Middle School in 2011 in the same capacity. Although, I enjoyed my three (3) years as a classroom teacher, I aspired to impact the student population at-large. In 2012, I joined the administrative team at Fort Meade Middle-Senior High School where I served as their Dean of Students for 5 years. I then joined Crystal Lake Middle in 2017 as their Dean of Students for one (1) year. It was in August 2014; I was selected to serve as Denison Middle School’s Assistant Principal II and concluded my 3 year tenure with them this summer before joining McLaughlin as the Assistant Principal of Administration. I am entering my 13 year in education, and I look forward to working with each of you.

EDUCATION
Master of Science in Educational Leadership, 2012
Nova Southeastern University
Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, 2009
University of South Florida
Associates of Arts in Liberal Arts, 2007
Polk Community College
High School Diploma, 2005
Lake Wales Senior High

  1. Before accessing ClassLink for Students, close all browser windows (Internet sites/pages) that are open. 
  2. Open your browser and go to https://polkschoolsfl.com/classlink/ 
  3. Type your username + @mypolkschools.net in the Authentication Request box. (Example: pennyc@mypolkschools.net) Then type in your password. (In some instances, you may have to do this twice.)
  1. Open your browser and go to https://polkschoolsfl.com/classlink/ 
  2. Type your username + @mypolkschools.net in the Authentication Request box. (Example: pennyc@mypolkschools.net) Then type in your password. (In some instances, you may have to do this twice.) 
  3. Click on “Outlook Online.” 

The Nest is charged with affording due process to students and investigating all allegations of student misconduct. The Nest’s practices are based on principles that emphasize the importance of positive relationships as central to building community and involve processes that restore relationships when harm has occurred.  

The Nest is available to assist parents/guardians with any questions or concerns regarding any misconduct.  McLaughlin’s expectations are designed to establish clear, appropriate, and consistent expectations and consequences to address harmful student behaviors and to ensure fairness, equity, and consistency at McLaughlin.   

McLaughlin requires each student to adhere to the expectations and procedures established by the administration and to comply with reconciling measures as assigned for infractions of harm to our community.  Accordingly, McLaughlin requires that all students: 

  • Take meaningful accountability 
  • Respect the rights and property of themselves and their community 
  • Respond appropriately to directions of those persons responsible for the implementation and progression of the educational process 

Students who do not adhere to McLaughlin’s expectations will be subject to consequences implemented in accordance with the Polk County School Board Code of Conduct. (See Code of Conduct at https://polkschoolsfl.com/wp-content/uploads/mainsite/PCPSCodeOfStudentConduct_ADA_Rev1907.pdf ) 

McLaughlin is committed to the well-being and safety of our students and staff.  When deciding the action to be taken, the principal or designee will consider the student’s age, exceptionality, previous conduct, probability of reassurance, intent, attitude, severity of the offense, current supports in place/implemented and, whenever possible, shall impose disciplinary action to mend the harm. 

Telephones located in Main Office are made available to students for emergency purposes only.  Students may possess personal communication devices (PCDs) in school, on school property, during after-school activities (e.g., extra-curricular activities), and at school-related functions. 

Personal communication devices (PCDs) include computers, tablets, electronic readers, cell phones, smartphones, earbuds, headphones, and/or web-enabled devices of any type. 

Student possession of a PCD at school during the school hours is a privilege that may be forfeited by a student who fails to abide by the terms of this policy, or otherwise abuse of this privilege such as the recording of anything that violates the code of conduct may result in immediate termination of cell phone privileges for the entire school year. (See Code of Conduct https://polkschoolsfl.com/codeofconduct/) 

McLaughlin students may possess PCDs in school as follows:

  • Limited use of phones will be allowed before school and after school.  PCDs may also be used during lunch when communicated by an administrator.   
  • All devices must remain off and in student backpacks in the designated classroom area.  PCDs must be turned off and put away before school starts. 

Portable speakers are not allowed on campus. 

 

***THIS DOCUMENT SERVES AS YOUR WARNING***  

 

Students that do not adhere to this policy will be issued a consequence by The Nest in the following manner depending on severity and frequency in accordance with the Code of Conduct. 

1st Violation: PCD is confiscated by administration and MUST be picked up by the parent/guardian (over the age of 18) documented in FOCUS.  

2nd Violation: PCD is confiscated by administration and MUST be picked up by the parent/guardian (over the age of 18) documented in FOCUS. 

3rd Violation: Consequence(s) will be issued in accordance with the Polk County Code of Conduct  

 

Students are personally and solely responsible for the care and security of their PCDs.  Neither McLaughlin NOR Polk County School Board will assume any responsibility for theft, loss, damage to, misuse of, or unauthorized use of PCDs brought onto its property.

Work Detail will be offered on school days Monday-Thursday from 4:15pm-5:30pm starting Tuesday, September 7th.  Work Detail will be suspended on Early Release and Student holidays.  Students and parents will receive an email notification of work details.  A parent/guardian can request the rescheduling of work detail by sending an email to McLaughlinworkdetail@polk-fl.net.  The email request for Work Detail Rescheduling must include the following: 

  1. Student First and Last Name 
  2. Student Identification Number 
  3. Date of originally scheduled Work Detail 
  4. Date that you would like to reschedule your Work Detail 

Students assigned work detail must report directly to the cafeteria after school and sign in with the appropriate staff member.  If students who do not sign in, WILL BE MARKED ABSENT.  If a parent does not reschedule, and/or student does not show up for work detail, the student will be disciplined according to the Code of Conduct.   

Students are expected to always conform to personal and public safety rules.  Students need to be respectful of others’ rights and safety. If a student needs assistance with a problem, an administrator, counselor, teacher, or School Resource Officer will be available. McLaughlin’s PBIS school-wide expectations are:  

SOAR – Be Successful, Outstanding Attendance, Accountable and Respectful. 

The School Resource Officer is on campus to assist the students, staff, parents, and the community of McLaughlin.  His/her main responsibility is to assist the school with the prevention of criminal activities.  McLaughlin is a closed campus.  Students are to remain on campus from the time they arrive in the morning, until they are dismissed in the afternoon.  After students arrive on campus, they can under no circumstances, leave without checking out through the front office.  

During the school day, doors and gates will be closed and locked.  All guests are screened in the front office through our RAPTOR system. Everyone at our school wears either a District-issued ID badge or a guest sticker.  If you see something out of place, say something to an administrator, counselor, teacher or School Resource Officer. 

Students in class that need to use the bathroom, will be accompanied by an escort. There are NO bathroom escorts during the following times: 

  • During the regular straight 8-period schedule: first and last 15 minutes of class 
  • During the block schedules: first and last 20 minutes of class 
  • Bathroom escorts end at 3:30pm daily 

If a student has a medical condition that requires him/her to frequently use the restroom they will need to provide a written doctor’s note to the school nurse.  The School Nurse will validate and communicate the information to the teachers and in the student’s agenda that will allow him/her to freely use the restroom without constraint. 

It is important for students to report to every class for instructional, attendance and safety reasons.  If students skip class, they will be disciplined as followed: 

***THIS DOCUMENT SERVES AS YOUR WARNING** 

1st Violation:  Warning  

2nd Violation: Work Detail 

3rd Violation: In-School Suspension 

4th Violation:  Consequence(s) will be issued in accordance with the Polk County Code of Conduct 

Once students are on campus, they are not to leave campus unless checked out by a parent/guardian.  This is for safety and attendance reasons. Loitering on school property by anyone, including students who have been either suspended, expelled, or attending other schools, is not permitted.  Parents who desire to check their child out of school must do so prior to 3:30pm.  If a student leaves campus without permission, they will be disciplined as followed: 

***THIS DOCUMENT SERVES AS YOUR WARNING** 

1st Violation:  Warning  

2nd Violation: Out of School Suspension 

3rd Violation: Consequence(s) will be issued in accordance with the Polk County Code of Conduct 

McLaughlin has a zero-tolerance policy for bullying.  Bullying is defined in the PCSB Student Code of Conduct, as any repeated behavior that is unwanted, offensive, threatening, intimidating, insulting, causes discomfort or humiliation, or interferes with the individual’s school performance, resulting in the victim feeling stressed, injured, or threatened creating an imbalance of power. 

Any infractions can be reported anonymously online through the McLaughlin or the District website. http://bullying.polk-fl.net An Incident Form can be completed and returned to the Nest.  

Students are expected to exhibit proper conduct in the cafeteria and follow verbal and posted rules.  NO food or beverage items are to be taken outside of the cafeteria. Any visitors who desire to eat lunch with a student must sign in at the office first and be listed on the student’s emergency card. 

When entering the cafeteria, students will adhere to the following procedures: 

  • Voice level of a 0 entering the cafeteria until advised differently. 
  • Students will sit in assigned areas. 
  • Students will remain seated and facing forward.  
  • If students need to get up for any reason, such as the bathroom, forgotten item in line etc.… they must raise their hand and ask staff on duty BEFORE they move.   
  • Students will pick up all trash in their area when dismissed to dump trays.
  • Students will be at a voice level 0 during lunch dismissal. 
  • Students will remain seated until released by a staff member. 

Student Identification badges will be provided to every student.  Just as a driver’s license authorizes driving a vehicle, a student ID badge authorizes a student to be on campus.  Every student must wear their ID badges at all times while on school grounds. The ID badge must be presented to any school board employee or person of authority when seeking student identification. 

ID badges are to be worn on a breakaway lanyard hanging around the student’s neck.  School IDs cannot be worn on a shirtsleeve, pants, outside of pockets, belts, under a coat/jacket, or at the bottom of the shirt.  If a student is wearing a jacket, the lanyard must be on the outside of the jacket and visible. The front and back of the ID badge must remain plain and free of stickers, markers, or other photos, etc.  

Lost, stolen, altered, damaged and defaced ID badges must be replaced IMMEDIATELY. The cost for ID badge loss or replacement is $5.00. An ID Replacement Form is available from any teacher. Students will obtain new ID badges before school at the bus loop.  Temporary ID badges are available at the bus loop before or after school. Students are encouraged to obtain their ID Badges or temporary ID badges before school to avoid loss of instructional time. 

The following are the procedures that all teachers and administrators will use to encourage our students who need assistance in complying with the policy. 

All students must wear their ID badges in order to: 

  • Be in class 
  • Move between classes and to the restroom 
  • Checkout library books 
  • Participate in campus activities (field trips, field day, dances, etc.) 
  • To receive breakfast and lunch 

 

***THIS DOCUMENT SERVES AS YOUR WARNING** 

1st Violation:  Warning (Replacement Sticker Provided) 

2nd Violation: Parent Call (Replacement Sticker Provided) 

3rd Violation:  Work Detail (Replacement ID Badge issued and fees assessed) 

The Main Office is located to the right of the school main entrance. All visitors to the school must report and register with their formal identification at the front desk upon arrival. A visitor’s pass will be issued and must be worn while in the school.  Parents are encouraged to visit campus and are welcome to join their son/daughter for lunch. 

School bus transportation is a privilege. Only regularly scheduled bus students can ride the school bus.  Students are NOT permitted to ride any bus other than their regularly scheduled bus for any reason.  If there is an emergency; the parent is responsible for contacting the Transportation Department (863) 534-7305 to request alternate transportation arrangements.  

Students are to report directly to the bus area as directed during the afternoon announcements.  School busses are an extension of McLaughlin and will be respected accordingly.  Bus drivers have the responsibility of delivering students safely to and from school. This requires their complete attention; therefore, they cannot be distracted by inappropriate behavior.  Proper conduct is expected at all times and students who create a potentially dangerous situation and/or violate rules of conduct will face disciplinary action that may result in temporary or permanent suspension from the bus. 

Bicycles must be placed in the assigned bicycles area.  A chain and lock are required and must be used every day.  The school is not responsible for the loss, theft, or vandalism of bicycles.   

Supervision begins at 8:30am in the cafeteria. Students who arrive before 8:15am, will wait outside the Kappa gate on the bus loop. Punctuality is necessary for students to take full advantage of available educational opportunities. After breakfast, students will report to their designated area in either the cafeteria, the patio or black box theater until released.  Students will be dismissed by an administrator and report directly to their first period class. All late students will check in at the front office and receive a pass to their scheduled classroom.  

Car riders, walkers, and bikers must enter campus through the Kappa gate.  

Parents will drop off and pick up students in the front of the school off 4th Street. All car riders are to enter through the Kappa gate unless they are tardy.  

All students must be checked out through the front office. Adults must present photo identification and be listed on the student’s emergency card to check out a student from school. Parents who desire to check their child out of school must do so prior to 3:30pm.   

A school administrator will determine if student’s tardy is excused or unexcused.  According to the Polk County School Board (PCSB) Code of Conduct, a tardy is the absence of any student at the start of class.  When tardiness constitutes a pattern of disruption, the tardy will be addressed as a behavior and/or minor infraction as set forth in the PCSB Code of Conduct. Administrators will adhere to progressive discipline for tardy infractions. 

Administration will assign consequences per semester: 

***THIS DOCUMENT SERVES AS YOUR WARNING** 

1st Violation:  Warning  

2nd Violation: Work Detail 

3rd Violation:  Two Work Detail 

4th Violation: Consequence(s) will be issued in accordance with the Polk County Code of Conduct

If a student is absent from school, he/she must bring a note signed by his/her parent/guardian or physician explaining the absence.  If a student is absent for more than ten days per semester, the school will request a written doctor’s note.  If a student has excessive, unexcused absences, the school will refer the student to the school social worker.  If the student continues to miss school, the school will refer him/her to Youth and Family Alternative for truancy.   

Attendance letters will be mailed home for: 

5 unexcused absences 

10 excused or unexcused absences 

Students are expected to make up all work missed due to excused absences.  Students and parents have the responsibility to request makeup work from their teachers on the first day upon returning to school. 

Work missed during the student’s first three (3) days of unexcused absences during a semester is expected to be made up.  This includes absences caused by an out-of-school suspension. The right of students to make up work on the fourth (4) unexcused absence, and all other days of unexcused absences per semester, may be denied by the teacher. 

The student will have no fewer than the number of days absent plus two (2) to complete and hand in work for credit.  For example, if a student is absent two (2) days, he/she will have four (4) days after returning to school to hand in work for credit.  The teacher can provide additional time for makeup work to be completed and turned in for credit. 

If a student becomes ill during the school day, he/she will report to the clinic with a pass from his/her teacher.  Students may not enter the clinic without a pass. Parents are requested to make certain that the school has at least one working phone number on the emergency card in case of emergencies. The sole purpose of the clinic is to dispense medication, administer first aid, and assist students who need to go home.     

If a student has a threatening or contagious illness, they will remain in the clinic until his/her parent/guardian pick them up. If a student has a light fever, he/she will be allowed to wait thirty (30) minutes in the clinic. If his/her parent doesn’t arrive, the student will be advised to report back to class. School personnel will not administer any medication, including over the counter medication, to students unless McLaughlin has received a Medication Form. The form must be properly completed and signed by a doctor/nurse practitioner, and the medication has been released in an appropriately labeled container.  Parents must bring the medicine to school, he/she must leave it in the office as soon as he/she arrives.

A – 100-90 Superior Achievement 

B – 89-80 Good Achievement 

C – 79-70 Average Achievement 

D – 69-60 Passing, Below Average 

F – 59 Failing 

Student Support Services, also known as student services, pupil services, or specialized instructional support, include prevention, intervention, transition, and follow-up services for students and families. Student Support Services professionals provide direct services for all children and youth, especially those who are experiencing problems that create barriers to learning. Direct services are provided such as education, counseling, consultation, and individual assessment. In addition, student Support Services personnel provide in-service training, parent education, community collaboration, and carry out student service programs. Student support services are a vital part of comprehensive school program success. 

McLaughlin has one (1) School Counselor. Students can meet with a counselor as the result of self-referral, teacher request, or parent request.  Counselors are available to discuss personal, academic, or social concerns with students.  Students who would like to see a counselor should complete a School Counselor Request Form.  Student Counselor Request forms are available from a teacher and/or Student Services Office.  The student can submit the completed form directly to the Student Services Office or a teacher. 

 

Students can check their grades and more with the Student Portal. If you don’t know your student account name or password, check with your homeroom teacher for support. 

Progress reports are issued between report cards and interim reports.  Interim Reports are issued at the midpoint of each grading period for students, grades K-12.  Progress of student performance will be sent home approximately every two weeks in the form of a progress report.   

Every student will be required to completely daily homework.  Homework is used to improve student achievement, and to hold students accountable for learning outside the classroom.  Homework will focus on reading, writing, vocabulary enrichment and/or math practice.  All homework will meet the following criteria: 

  1. Homework tasks will align to the Florida State Standards. 
  2.  Students should be able to successfully complete the tasks independently. 
  3. Students will receive feedback and grades concerning their homework tasks. 

All McLaughlin Middle School students are required to participate in the Accelerated Reader Program.  Students are expected to read for thirty (30) minutes nightly, complete a daily reading log, and take monthly quizzes. 

All textbooks and library book are loaned to students during the school year.  Textbooks and library books are to be kept clean and handled carefully.  Books and equipment distributed to students for their use are the property of the School Board of Polk County and McLaughlin.  Students assume responsibility for these items and are expected to pay for any damages or losses.  If a student damages or misplaces any school property, or if it is stolen, he/she is responsible to pay for it before another book is issued.

Each student is required to maintain a daily agenda itemizing tasks for each subject. 

  • Student agendas are issued free of charge at the beginning of the year.  There is a $5.00 replacement fee for all lost or stolen agendas.  Replacement agendas are available for purchase before/after school at the bus loop. 
  • Students are required to have their agendas with them every day to record classroom assignments and school-related events, as well as to place any important announcements, flyers, or documents being sent home. Excellent reference guides are included in the agendas to aid students in various subject areas. 
  • Parents/guardians are required to check their son/daughter’s agendas daily for communications from his/her teachers. 
  • Homework is recorded in the agenda daily.

Articles found in and around the school should be turned in to the Attendance Office where owners may claim their property with proper identification. The school will hold lost items for 30 days.  Unclaimed items will be donated to a charity

The media center is open before school from 8:35 a.m. until the bell.  Students must have a pass to go to the media center. Morning passes are available from an administrator in the cafeteria. 

All school financial obligations must be satisfied before a student is eligible to participate in any extra-curricular activity or field trip.  Obligations include lost, stolen, or damaged textbooks and/or library books, uniform and/or instrumental rental fees, fundraising items, and/or identification card replacements. 

A student at McLaughlin Middle School and Fine Arts Academy is a scholar and is always learning to better himself for the future. A Phoenix is a distinguished student who is highly educated and has an aptitude for study. A Phoenix holds high standards for himself, his school, and those he associates with. A Phoenix strives to be a successful person with high standards and good social etiquette. A Phoenix is respectful of himself, others, and the school by being kind, being helpful, and keeping the campus clean.

I am a Phoenix!

eSchool Dress Code Expectations, Technology Needs & More

Dress Code Expectations
Students are expected to be respectful of the virtual classroom environment.
Clothing that is appropriate for the virtual classroom: All eLearners plain red t-shirts until September 18th.  McLaughlin uniforms required by September 21st.
No clothing that is inappropriate for the virtual classroom: hats, shirts with offensive logos or messages, ripped or torn clothing, nor pajamas.

Things to Remember
Follow your school course schedule.
Create a schedule for yourself with breaks included.
Login on time
Communicate with your teacher if you have questions.
Academic integrity is important in campus and online learning. Students are expected to do their own work and should not cut, copy, or plagiarize Internet content.

Technology Needs
Computer (this excludes phones and Chromebooks).
Internet access
A webcam or built-in camera.
Full keyboard
Headphones may be needed when meeting with teachers online.

Be Ready for Back-to-School

View our Reopening Information page to view the latest information for orientation, eSchool Device Distribution, and more!
https://mclaughlin.polkschoolsfl.com/reopening-information/

Supply List

Find out what supplies you will need for the school year.

Please contact the front office if you have any questions or comments concerning the supply list.

Resources

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions concerning the supply list or uniform information. You can also view the school district’s uniform information on their website listed below.