Procedures and Guidelines

Click on the topics below to learn more about our procedures and guidelines.

Activities and Athletics

 

Activities and Athletics

At Westwood, we find it very important and encourage all of our student body to get involved and participate in school life. Students that participate in additional school activities have a strong sense of belonging and connectedness. After school activities and athletics are an opportunity to learn to work and get along with new people and to explore a wide range of activities. Academic competition and a variety of clubs are available along with our interscholastic sports program. An activity bus is provided for students who stay after school and participate in after school activities. If you stay after school, you must be with a teacher/advisor.

Click here to learn more about Westwood Activities and Athletics

Questions on Westwood Athletics and Activities? Contact Chris Lammers at clamme@district16.org or Pete Yelle at pyelle@district16.org.

There are also a number of Spring Lake Park High School Athletics that students in grades 7-8 can participate in. Click here to visit our SLP Activities and Athletics webpage

Academic Eligibility for Participation at High School Activities

In order to participate in Minnesota State High School League sanctioned athletics/activities at Spring Lake Park, each participant must make satisfactory academic progress.  Students wishing to participate in MSHSL sanctioned athletics and activities must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 1.75.  If a student does not have this minimum requirement, they will not be eligible to tryout.

Individual cases may arise where it is necessary for the appropriate administrators, teachers, and deans to handle those situations on a case-by-case basis.

To be eligible for active participation a student must meet a 2.0 Term Grade Point Average (C average) the previous six week grading period.  A student who has failed to meet the 2.0 Term Grade Point Average will be placed on academic probation according to the following conditions: 

  • Academic Probation: The student is permitted to practice or rehearse and may compete or perform in a contest(s) or performance(s) during the period of academic probation. The period of academic probation will be the next three week grading period.
  • Regain Eligibility or Ineligible: Following the three week period of academic probation, if a review of the student’s academic performance indicates the student is performing at a satisfactory level (2.0 Term GPA minimum), eligibility without probation will be restored. 

If the review indicates that the student continues to not meet the 2.0 Term Grade Point Average requirement, he/she will not regain eligibility and will only be able to participate in practices and/or rehearsals.  The student would be considered ineligible for participation in games, contests, events, performances, etc. until the next academic review.  This review would occur at the end of the next three week grading period.  This three week review process would continue until the student was able to regain appropriate eligibility.

In addition, the student must be earning passing grades in all core courses.  If a student becomes academically ineligible at the end of the school year, that student will serve the above mentioned academic probation during the first three weeks of the next school year specific to the season in which they are participating in their first sport or activity.

 

Arrival and Dismissal Guidelines and Transportation

Students Coming and Leaving

If your child is not going home as he/she usually does, it is necessary to notify the office in writing, giving permission right away in the morning. If a student is going to another child’s home after school, each child’s parent must send a written permission note. Encourage your child to return directly home after school without stopping to play until he/she has reported his/her whereabouts to you.

Student Drop off and Pick-up

Buses will drop-off and pick-up in the designated area of the school. We ask that you do not drop off your children in the bus only area. If you are driving children to and from school, you will use the parking lot or drop-off lane in the front of the school and your child will enter through the main entrance. Parents can either park in the parking lot and walk their child into the school or stay in the drop-off lane and let the child out in front of the school. 

For safety reasons we ask parents to not drop their child off in the parking lot and have them walk across the street of their own or park in the drop-off lane and walk their child into school

Bicycles, Roller Blades, Scooters and Skateboards

Riding bicycles, roller blades, scooters, or skateboards to school is allowed. Bikes must be walked to the end of the bus line on the way home. Roller Blades, Scooters, and Skateboards are not allowed to be road on school property.

Bus

Buses will drop-off and pick-up in the designated area of the school. Riding the school bus is a privilege, not a right. Click here to learn more about bus transportation and read bus conduct and consequences for misbehavior.

After School Procedures 

All students remaining in the building after 2:45 p.m. must be under the direct supervision of a teacher, coach, advisor, or other school staff member.  Students must obtain permission from a dean or administrator to stay in other areas of the school.  If students are waiting to be picked up they must main in the front lobby area.

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Attendance

Attendance (School Board Policy 503)

The School Board believes that regular school attendance is directly related to success in academic work, benefits students socially, provides opportunities for important communications between teachers and students and establishes regular habits of dependability important to the future of the student. The purpose of this policy is to encourage regular school attendance. Regular attendance in school is mandatory; therefore, all absences are subject to verification by school officials. Absences of all students must be verified by telephone; no notes please. The school will excuse—or not excuse—students according to district policy and state law. Parents/guardians should notify the school anytime they are placing another adult in supervision of their child (e.g., they will be out of town, hospitalized, etc.) or if their contact information has changed.

Click here to read School Board Policy 503

Student’s Responsibility:  (1) attend all assigned classes every day the school is in session and to be aware of and follow the correct procedures when absent from an assigned class; and (2) request any missed assignments due to an absence.

Parent/Guardian’s Responsibility: (1) ensure the student is attending school; and (2) inform the school in the event of a student absence, and to work cooperatively with the school and the student to solve any attendance problems that may arise.

Absence Procedures

It is the student’s responsibility to have his/her parent or guardian telephone the school attendance office (763-600-5109) on the day of the student’s absence. If it is not possible to call on the day of the absence, place the call as soon as possible. This is a 24-hour telephone number, and you may leave a message if the attendance secretary is not available. When leaving a message, be sure to include the parent name, student name, grade, date of absence and the specific reason for the absence. When a student returns to school following an absence, he/she should report directly to class. After an absence of five (5) or more consecutive days, a physician’s statement will be required when a student returns to school.

Reasons for absence from school or class that are considered excused are:

  • Serious illness of the student which causes him/her to remain home or go to the doctor, illness which prompts the school nurse to send the student home, legal quarantine or serious illness in the family demanding the student’s presence at home
  • Death of a family member or close friend or relative
  • Medical, dental or orthodontic treatment, or counseling appointment or a condition that requires ongoing treatment for a mental health diagnosis
  • Court appearance occasioned by family or personal action
  • Religious instruction, not to exceed three hours in any week
  • Physical emergency conditions such as fire, flood, storm, etc.
  • Religious holiday (please inform the school ahead of time)
  • An official school field trip or other school-sponsored outing, which may include dean approved college visits
  • Removal of a student pursuant to a suspension
  • Family vacations
  • Family emergencies
  • Other reasons as approved by the building principal

A few examples of unexcused absences are:

  • Oversleeping
  • Missing the bus
  • Car trouble
  • Working
  • Day off of school

All parents/guardians and students need to be familiar with these procedures.

Backpacks

Students are prohibited from carrying any type of bag to transport belongings to classes. Students may use a bag to transport their belongings to and from school only. Teachers will work with students on organizational skills throughout the school year by showing them how to use a planner and folders to help organize their academic day. 

Building Security - Visitors

 

For the safety and well-being of all of our students, we have the following rules and guidelines regarding visitors in the building:

  • All visitors, including parents, must check in and sign out in the school office
  • All visitors will be given a visitor’s badge or pass to wear so that staff and students know you have been cleared through the office
  • Some form of identification may be requested by office staff, i.e. a driver’s license
  • The school will not release a student to a non-custodial parent without a custodial parent’s consent
  • No teacher will release a student from class to the custody of an adult without the written or verbal consent from the office staff
  • All students must be dismissed from the school office after he/she is signed out

The purpose of this policy is to inform the school community and the general public of the position of the School Board on visitors to school buildings and other school property.

The School Board encourages interest on the part of parents and community members in school programs and student activities. The School Board welcomes visits to school buildings and school property by parents and community members provided the visits are consistent with the health, education and safety of students and employees and are conducted within the procedures and requirements established by the school district.

The School Board reaffirms its position on the importance of maintaining a school environment that is safe for students and employees and free of activity that may be disruptive to the student learning process or employee-working environment.

Click here to read School Board Policy 903

 

Communications

District and School News

The school district and schools publish news on a weekly basis throughout the school year. Parents can expect to receive a Parent Connections email every other Thursday throughout the school year as well as newsletters from their schools. Spring Lake Park High School shares their weekly newsletters via email to families on Wednesdays, along with student announcements that will be shared via email on Mondays and Fridays. 

Be sure to follow Spring Lake Park Schools on social media. Click here to view the social media hub

Telephone Calls

To maximize learning time, phone calls will only be forwarded to voicemail and not directly to the classroom when class is in session. Teachers will check for messages and return calls at an appropriate time. Students may use the phone for emergencies only. Please make arrangements for after-school activities prior to the school day. 

Parent Hub

Click here to visit the Parent Hub, where you'll find more information about important school-home communications, such as Schoology, Campus Parent Portal and more! 

Data Privacy

 

Spring Lake Park Schools, its schools, and departments frequently highlight student successes and the many good things taking place in schools. This includes, but is not limited to, annual yearbooks, articles and photographs in newsletters or the website, video of a student program shown in school or on the district’s cable channel, or other school and district-approved media. Pictures or video may be of large groups of students or individual students singled out for achievement. Students’ names may or may not appear with an image. 

If a parent or eligible student wants any or all of the directory information to remain private, the parent, guardian, or eligible student must make a written request to the building principal within thirty days after the date of the media permission/directory notification is sent out each fall. This request must include the name of student and parent, as appropriate; home address; school presently attended by student; parent’s legal relationship to student, if applicable; specific category or categories of directory information which is not to be made public without the parent’s or eligible student’s prior written consent.

If you have questions please contact your building principal or the principal’s assistant. 

Click here to read School Board Policy 515

 

Emergency Procedures

Bus Evacuation Procedures

  • Be silent, remain seated, do not panic
  • Listen for the driver’s instructions
  • Move quickly from your seat to the designated exit upon the driver’s instructions
  • Exit carefully
  • Help each other and use the buddy system
  • Walk to a safe waiting area and remain with the group
  • Wait for further instruction

Fire Evacuation

The state of Minnesota requires all public schools to conduct five drills per school year. The fire drill signal is a continuous sounding of the alarm horn. Students should follow the directions of their classroom teacher during these drills. Signs with exit locations are located in all classrooms. Students should immediately move outside in an orderly manner. Once outside, students are to move at least 50 feet from the building and stay there until further directions or a signal to reenter is given. No one is to return to the building until after the signal (the regular school bell) is heard. If a student should pull a false alarm, he/she will be disciplined in accordance with School District policy and procedures and legal authorities will be notified. School officials may impose further consequences.

Containment

  • Classroom containment is conducted when no immediate threat exists, but a circumstance makes it impractical to move throughout the building or when people need to be kept away from a certain area
  • Site containment occurs when there is a potential threat outside the building and law enforcement or district administration determine a site containment is warranted. No one is allowed to leave or enter the building during site containment.

Lockdown

The state of Minnesota requires all public schools to conduct five lockdown drills per school year. Classroom expectations for students during these drills are as follows:

  • Students who are in the hallway will be required to move into a nearby classroom
  • All doors and windows are to be locked. Do not answer your door if there is a knock.
  • Students are to remain orderly and follow the instructions of staff members. Students should stay away from windows and doors.
  • Under no circumstances will students be released until staff is instructed by administration to do so, even if the bell rings
  • Do not poke your head out to see what is happening. The lockdown will end with an announcement over the loud speaker.
  • Turn off lights in your classroom unless your room becomes black and therefore unsafe
  • There will be an announcement made by security that the drill is a practice. Security will also announce when the drill is completed.
  • Classrooms with an outside window should turn off all lights
  • Students are not to be talking during the lockdown
  • Do not stand or sit in a chair where you are visible by someone from the hallway

Tornado/Severe Weather Shelter

Each year our school participates in a mandatory tornado drill. A repeated series of short pulses on the alarm system is the tornado alarm. When this alarm is sounded, students are to accompany their teacher, in a prompt and orderly manner, to the designated shelter area. Students should be prepared to take the position of maximum safety (kneeling and bent forward with hands locked behind the head and neck). Students should never go to the gyms or the cafeteria during a tornado drill or tornado alarm. The school does have tornado drills, and students are expected to conduct themselves as if it were a genuine alarm.

Grading and Reporting System

The purpose of the progress reports and grading system is to provide information to allow students, teachers, and parents to reflect on strengths and needs in student learning; demonstrate progress; and evaluate mastery of course learning targets.  Regardless of innate ability, it is the goal of classroom teachers that all students master all the learning targets for the course. Therefore, all students have the opportunity to earn an A.

It is also important to consistently communicate student learning and behaviors to students, parents, and others (teachers, deans, administrators, coaches, etc.)

In order to do so, Westwood reports two grades: the Academic grade and the Career & Life Skills grade.

Academic Grading Scale              

The Academic grade is based on the student’s mastery of learning targets.  Career and Life Skills grades are reported to parents at the end of each trimester. Career and Life Skills grades reflect learning work, homework, and meeting deadlines. Departments may also include The Panther Way behavior (being prepared, being respectful, being a good classmate) in the Career and Life Skills grade. Each department will define what is include in their Career and Life Skills grade on their syllabus. Syllabus will be placed on each teachers Schoology page at the start of the school year. 

Career and Life Skills Grading Scale     

  • M – Meets expectations (80% of the points/time)
  • S – Sometimes meets expectations (60% - 79% of the points/time)
  • I – Inconsistently meets expectations (59% of the points/time) 

Honor Roll Criteria         

Students are eligible for the A or B honor roll if they have met the academic and career and life skills requirements in grading.  Students must hold a specific GPA requirement along with having met the requirements of the career and life skills grade. 

A Honor Roll requirements:

Grade Point Average (GPA) requirement - 3.70 - 4.0

Career and Life Skills requirement for Honor Roll – students must meet one of the following:

  • All “M’s” in the career and life skills grade
  • One “S” and the rest “M’s” in the career and life skills grade
  • Two “S” and the rest “M’s” in career and life skills grade
  • One “I” and the rest “M’s” in the career and life skills grade

B Honor Roll requirements:

Grade Point Average (GPA) requirement - 2.70 - 3.699

Career and Life Skills requirement for Honor Roll – students must meet one of the following:

  • All “M’s” in the career and life skills grade
  • One “S” and the rest “M’s” in the career and life skills grade
  • Two “S” and the rest “M’s” in career and life skills grade

One “I” and the rest “M’s” in the career and life skills grade

Graduation Requirements

A total of 64 credits are required for graduation. Students must also pass all required courses as outlined for their specific graduating class.

Required Courses: 

  • Language Arts:
    • Language Arts 9 (3 credits)
    • Language Arts (3 credits)
    • American Literature 1 & 2
    • Speech or Theater
    • Senior Writing
    • Senior Literature
    • Language Arts Elective
  • Mathematics: 
    • Quadratic Algebra (3 credits)
    • Geometry (3 credits)
    • Algebra 2 (3 credits)
    • Physical Science 9 (3 credits)
    • Biology (3 credits)
    • One year of chemistry or one year of physics
  • Social Studies:
    • Human Geography (2 credits)
    • Civics (1 credit)
    • U.S. History (3 credits)
    • World History (2 credits)
    • Economics (1 credit)
    • U.S. Government (1 credit)
    • Social Science Elective (1 credit)
  • Physical Education:
    • Phy. Ed. 1 and Phy. Ed. 2
  • Health Education:
    • Teen Health 1 and Teen Health 2
  • Arts: three total credits

Health Services and Medications

The Health Services webpages have important information about immunization, head lice, health resources and more.Click here to visit the Health Services Pages

  • Medications sent to school must be sent in their original prescription or over-the-counter container. It is preferred all medications are brought to school by a parent or guardian. If a student must bring their medications themselves, they need to go directly to the health office with the medication upon arrival to school. The medication bottle must be in a sealed envelope with the student's name, the name of the medication, and the number of pills/doses.  Students cannot carry medication throughout the building.  
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers are not available from the Health Care Specialists at any school. 
  • Per the Minnesota Department of Health, no essential oils are allowed to be carried by students in any school because they are not FDA regulated. If you feel your child may need essential oils for a particular reason, please speak with your school's Health Care Specialist. Medication administration forms are available online or from the health office. Any requests for students to self-carry medications (asthma inhalers or epi pens) must be accompanied by a doctor’s note, as well, as a signed student agreement. 
  • Students in grades 7-12 may be allowed to self-carry and self-administer Tylenol or ibuprofen only if a signed form to self-carry has been received by the health office, a student agreement has been signed and reviewed with the student and Health Care Specialist, and the medication is in it’s original packaging. If a student is abusing this privilege in any way, the school may revoke their ability to self-carry over-the-counter pain relievers.

Click here to read School Board Policy 516

Make-Up Work Procedure

It is the student’s responsibility to ask for and turn in all make-up work.

  • If a student is absent on the day that work is assigned, they will have two days to hand in the work missed, not two days for each day absent. This includes those students who are returning from a suspension. Exceptions to this procedure may be made with the approval of the classroom teacher and the dean.
  • If a student is absent on the day that the work is due; it is to be turned in the day they return to school. This includes those students who are returning from a suspension.
  • Student’s homework assignments can be located on Schoology

Students who are absent for a class or a full day are given the work missed and assistance to complete it. Students will receive full credit for all work used in calculating the grade.

Nutrition Services and Food Allergies

School breakfast/lunch

Spring Lake Park Schools provides both breakfast and lunch service to students.  The breakfast/lunch program is computerized, and a computerized management program eliminates the use of tickets. Each student is assigned an account number (PIN) to be used to make food payments and purchases. The purchase price of your child’s meal is then automatically deducted from the account. If your child brings cold lunch, you might want to put money into their account to cover milk purchases. 

The Nutrition Services Department sends out a weekly caller system to notify of low funds. Students may deposit money into their account by check or cash at school or by credit card through the website.Checks should be made payable to ‘Spring Lake Park Schools Nutrition Services’. Households with more than one child in a school need to designate the amount of money to be placed into each child’s account. 

If your student(s) leaves the district and there is a positive balance in their account please complete the refund/transfer form. If the balance goes unclaimed, it will be transferred into an angel account. Graduating students must request a refund/transfer by Monday, July 16, 2018.

Click here to visit the nutrition services webpages

Application for Educational Benefits (Free and Reduced-Price Meals)

Spring Lake Park Schools provides free and reduced-price meals for qualifying children. Families must complete a new Application for Educational Benefits each school year. The application is mailed to each household in August and can be found on the nutrition services webpages. A parent or guardian may apply at any time during the year. Families will be notified with the status of your application by mail. If you have questions about qualifications, please contact the Nutrition Services department at 763-600-5041.

Food Allergies

The Nutrition Services Department is aware of the increasing number of children who are affected by a food allergy. As a way to help parents know what ingredients are in food served at district schools, ingredient statements for menu items are available online or by request akimme@district16.org. 

School district staff works to protect these children with food allergies from potential reactions.  The process starts with the school nurse who communicates to the kitchen manager about students with food allergies. Then, the kitchen manager notes the allergy on the student’s school meal account, which is linked to the point of sale to notify the cashier.   If a food allergy is prompted by the computer, together, the cashier and student will review the meal.   

Peanut and Tree Nut Allergies

  • Peanut butter sandwiches are served prepackaged to prevent cross contamination
  • All bakery items received from the bread company to include sliced bread for sandwiches and toast, hamburger buns and hot dog buns are manufactured in a tree nut and peanut free facility
  • For all other items on the menu it’s recommended the parent view the ingredient statement to determine if a food is “safe” for their child to eat

Families are always welcome to provide lunch from home for their student. 

Personal Property, Lost and Found

 

Common sense and consideration is the best guide in determining whether or not to bring personal possessions (valuables, iPhones, headphones, handheld games, etc.) to school. The school staff is not responsible for valuables that students bring to school. It is recommended that students leave all valuables at home. If special circumstances make it necessary for a student to bring money or other important possessions to school, please have your child let his/her teacher know and leave the belongings in the office.

Lost and Found

If students find articles or items that are not their own, they are asked to turn them in to the main office. If a student loses an article, check with the front office to see if it has been turned in. The school is not responsible for lost or stolen property and advises students not to bring valuables to school.

 

Pesticide Application Notice

 

The school district may plan to apply pesticide(s) on school property. To the extent the school district applies certain pesticides, the school district will provide a notice by September 15 as to the school district’s plan to use these pesticides. A parent may request to be notified prior to the application of certain pesticides on days different than those specified in the notice. Additional information regarding what pesticides are used, the schedule of pesticide applications, and the long-term health effects of the class of pesticide on children can be requested by contacting the District Facilities Supervisor at 763-600- 5045.

 

Photography

 

Photography or videography taken by students or parents at school or school events – with or without district issued technology – is prohibited if prior consent has not been received from the subject of the photo/video. Cameras are prohibited in restrooms and locker rooms.

Parents are allowed to have their student opt out of photography that may be taken for the district website, print publications or classroom activities. Parents that do not want their child used in any photograph need to complete the Technology Responsible Use Policy Notification that is handed out on Open House night or parents may request a copy from their school’s front office.

 

School Closings

The district makes every possible effort to keep schools open, in most weather conditions, if bus travel is safe. Unless we announce otherwise, assume that school will be in session.

It is always up to parents to make the final decision about whether or not to send their children to school if they believe weather conditions present a safety issue. No school credit is lost, and it is an excused absence if a parent decides to keep their child home because of extreme cold or inclement weather.

Click here to learn more about when and how we make school closure announcements

State Testing

Minnesota Statutes, section 120B.31, subdivision 4a, requires school districts to include a form for parents and guardians to complete if they refuse to have their student participate in state-required standardized assessments in their district student handbooks.

Click here to view the parent/guardian guide to statewide testing and the refusal for student participation in statewide assessments form.

Student Records

The purpose of this policy is for the district to recognize its responsibility in regard to the collection, maintenance and dissemination of pupil records and the protection of the privacy rights of students as provided in federal law and state statutes. 

Click here to read School Board Policy 515

Students in Good Standing

 

Good Standing has been created at Westwood Middle School as a reflection of its commitment to supporting students in meeting high standards of academic success for all.

A student in Good Standing will be passing all classes and is not excessively tardy to classes.  Additionally, students who have been suspended in or out of school for any reason may not be considered in Good Standing. 

Students may not participate in or attend school sponsored activities, including but not limited to non-academic trips, when it has been determined that they are not in Good Standing with the school.  Students have the opportunity to correct their standing/status by correcting their choices.

Students may meet with an administrator to discuss other ways to correct their Good Standing status.  Students and families will be notified of their Good Standing status.

 

Supplemental Student Accident Insurance

Spring Lake Park Schools and all of its employees work hard to ensure that every student has a safe and rewarding experience while attending our schools. Even with this environment and the many precautions we take, accidents can happen while students are at school.

You may or may not be aware that the school district does not provide insurance coverage for students during the time they spend on school grounds. If a child has an accident while attending school during the day or while participating in after school activities, the family’s health insurance carrier would cover any related expenses. 

The district has made it relatively convenient for families to purchase Student Accident Insurance through Special Markets Insurance Consultants, Inc. and underwritten by Sentry Life Insurance Company (https://www.k12specialmarkets.com/) for the upcoming school year. This program is completely voluntary. Each family should examine their health insurance coverage as well as co-pays and deductible limits to determine if this supplemental coverage would be a benefit to them.

If you are interested in exploring a supplemental insurance coverage, by August 15, we will have a link on the school district’s website that will make available a variety of insurance coverage options for families to consider for their students. If you have questions about this service, you can call the Business Office at 763-600-5033.