Weekly Update

Shields Middle School

Back To School Edition Week of August 8, 2022

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Rock the Block!

Shields Middle School Instructional Priorities 2022-23

Teachers will provide appropriate grade-level text and student-centered assignments through small group instruction and frequent checks for understanding.​

Shields Middle School and Hillsborough County's Vision Statement

Preparing students for life.

In this issue:

  • District Information
  • Meet your administrators
  • Student Calendar
  • Bell Schedule
  • Student Schedule Pickup
  • Open House on August 8
  • Arrival and Dismissal Procedures
  • Attendance Information
  • School-wide Expectations
  • Tardy Policy
  • Dress Code Policy – Shields NO Longer Requires School Uniforms
  • Bus Information
  • Boys and Girls Club Registration
  • Counselors' Corner
  • Online Tutoring Programs
  • Athletic Information
  • Free School Meal Program
  • Canvas
  • Volunteer Opportunities

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One Mil Referendum

Hillsborough County voters will have the opportunity to strengthen our schools and community by deciding on a one mil referendum in the primary election ballot on August 23rd. The one mil referendum will:

    • Increase salaries to retain and recruit teachers and staff
    • Expand art, music, and physical education
    • Expand workforce development and workforce education programs

Because of inadequate funding from the state and federal government, these additional dollars are necessary to support the 7th largest school district in the nation.

Hillsborough County Public Schools currently has more than 220,000 students and 23,815 employees – of which 14,181 are teachers.

Visit 2022 Millage / Strong Schools (hillsboroughschools.org) for full details.

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We would like to extend a warm "Welcome Back" to our teachers, faculty, students, and families and are excited to start another incredible school year.

Please contact our administration for the following (813-672-5338):

(from left to right in picture above)

Mr. Peacock (michael.peacock@hcps.net ) - Assistant Principal, 6th Grade students (Last names K-Z), School Communication Liaison, Oversees school counseling department, Canvas liaison, RTI/MTSS supports, and new teacher resources/supports.

Ms. Ramos (dietrich.ramos@hcps.net) - Assistant Principal, 6th Grade students (Last names: A-J), Oversees curriculum, instructional faculty and assessment administration.

Ms. Fisher (deanna.fisher@hcps.net) - Principal, Oversees Shields Middle School and Sailfish Academy (6th grade)

Ms. Miller ( jamie.miller@hcps.net) - Assistant Principal, 7th grade students, Oversees athletics, facilities, clubs, instructional support faculty, transportation, debt List, and field trips.

Mr. Flores (gabriel.flores@hcps.net) - Assistant Principal, 8th Grade students, Oversees curriculum, instructional faculty, COVID protocols, and assessment administration.

2022-2023 Student Calendar

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2022-2023 Bell Schedule

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Student Schedule Pickup

A tentative schedule is available on each student's CANVAS page. To access your student's schedule Log into canvas using a computer (cannot access via the Canvas app) and select Courses. Then scroll down to view all courses.

Students can also receive a tentative schedule at Open House on Monday, August 8th from 4:00 - 7:00 pm in the cafeteria. Students can use either schedule to report to their first period on the FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL to receive their OFFICIAL schedule.

On the First Day of School, students can find a faculty member that will have a 1st period locator and assist them with finding their first period where they will receive their OFFICIAL schedule.

Why is the FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL schedule the OFFICIAL schedule? We will be balancing class sizes through the first day of school (and most likely beyond). Our goal is to have the lowest teacher-to-student ratio and balanced class size to maximize the educational environment. A slight chance does exist that a student's schedule on Open House night may be modified before the first day of school.

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Please join us on Monday, August 8th from 4:00 to 7:00 pm. Parking for parents is located on the Northwest (left) side parking lot of the school building with overflow parking at the South Shore Library which is located also on Beth Shields Way.

Students can pick up their schedule in their cafeteria; on the main campus for 7th and 8th grade and in the Sailfish Academy located in the back of the main campus. Students will be free to visit their teachers on their own schedule, no bell schedule will be followed for the event.

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Attendance MATTERS Every Period Every Day!

REMINDER: Attendance Matters Every Period Every Day. We cannot educate our students at an optimal level if they are not present and/or late to school.

Attendance of every student enrolled at Shields Middle School is required in order to benefit from the continuity of instruction and classroom participation. School attendance shall be the responsibility of parents/legal guardians and students. Absences shall be reported to the school attendance office by the parent/legal guardian on the day the absence occurred. The number to be called to report an absence on the day of the absences is 813-672-5338 option 1.

The following factors are reasonable excuses for time missed at school:

A. Personal illness of the student

(A student who has demonstrated a pattern of absences due to illness may be required to present medical verification the principal).

B. Court appearance of the student

C. Medical appointment of the student a note from a health care provider may be required.

D. An approved school activity. Absences will be recorded but not reported.

E. Emergencies that are acceptable to the principal

F. Other absences as approved by the principal. A written request from the parent/legal guardian is submitted to the principal at least three days prior to the date of absence. The parent will be notified of the decision.

G. Attendance at a center under Children and Families Services supervision

H. Accident resulting in injury to the student

I. Significant community events with prior permission of the principal

- When more than one school is involved, the Area Superintendent will determine the status of the absence.

J. Observance of an established religious holiday

K. Death of a close relative. For purposes of this policy, close relatives shall be defined as the father, mother, brother, sister, husband, wife, son, daughter (or in-law), stepfather, stepmother, stepbrother, stepsister, half-sister, half-brother, stepchild, uncle, aunt, niece, nephew, grandparents, grandchild, or members of his/her own household.


State Law requires that students, 14 to 18 years of age, who have not earned a high school diploma, who have 15 unexcused absences in any period of 90 calendar days, be ineligible for driving privileges. School districts are required by this legislation to report to the State of Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV), the names of any students who have accumulated 15 unexcused absences in any period of 90 calendar days. The student who is reported will be informed by the DHSMV that his/her name has been received and he/she may lose the privilege to drive. Should a student be contacted by DHSMV with information, he/she may initiate a request for a hardship waiver or a request for reinstatement of driving privilege through the Office of Student Affairs.

A hardship for employment is based on verification of need. The factor to be considered is the extent to which a student provides a substantial financial contribution for his or her livelihood or his or her family’s needs. A hardship for medical care is based on the need for transportation, for the student or his or her immediate family members living in the same household, to access required treatment. Consideration should be given to whether there are any other licensed drivers residing in the household.

Students who accumulate 15 unexcused absences in any period of 90 calendar days will be reported by the school to the DHSMV. Please follow the attendance procedure that has been established in order that students not be reported unexcused when they should be excused. Please reach out to our Student Services Team and/or Administration with questions and/or concerns.

Whenever any student has a total of 15 days of unexcused absence from school during any semester, the student will be considered habitually absent. The school will inform the parent of excessive absences and the district’s intent to notify the Department of Highway Safety of Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) of the student's excessive absences.

Tardiness to Class: A student is tardy when the student arrives after the beginning of the school day or when he/she is not in his/her assigned seat or station when the tardy bell rings. A student’s tardiness shall be excused when the reason given is acceptable to the principal or designee. Examples of acceptable reasons for tardiness are the same as the examples of acceptable reasons for excused absences.

Sign-in Procedures: Any student arriving to school after the session has begun at 8:40 must report to the Main Office or Office of Student Affairs. An admit shall be issued indicating excused or unexcused tardy or absence. For the student to receive an excused sign-in, a parent or guardian must accompany the student to the Main Office and give an excusable reason. More than two sign-ins in a grading period shall require medical or other documentation. Students will not be allowed to sign out later than 2:45 pm. Please understand that students are close to dismissal and sign-out at these times disrupt the learning and dismissal process.

Secondary Students: Once students arrive on campus, they may not leave without permission from the assistant principal for Student Affairs. Students who must leave school during school hours must have their parent/guardian request this release by phone or in-person to the Office of Student Affairs in order to obtain pre-approval. More than four sign-outs’ in a grading period shall require medical or other documentation and/or a parent/guardian must be present in order to be considered excused.

All students need to take hold of their commitment and potential to be the best they can be for themselves...and that commitment and potential starts with being on time and present to each class Every Day.

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After the tardy bell rings students will report to the Tardy Room (6th grade – Room 604; 7th/8th grade – Room 702)
  • Tardy 1 – 4 : Verbal warning, Parentlink call home​

  • Tardy 5: Tardy letter, Parentlink call home​

  • Tardy 6: After-school detention​

  • Tardy 7: 2 – After-school detentions or Saturday detention​

  • Tardy 8: Considered insubordination and disobedience​

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Shields Middle School will no longer enforce a mandatory uniform policy. Shields will follow the guidelines established in the Hillsborough County Student Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct states the following:

The dress and grooming of students shall be that which contributes to the health and safety of the individual and which is non-disruptive of the educational activities and processes of a school. The definition of appropriate dress shall vary with the age of the student, the program of instruction, and the heating/cooling system of the building.

Students have the right:

  • to dress as they choose as long as their dress meets the approved dress and grooming regulations, does not disrupt school activities, is not obscene or defamatory, and does not endanger the physical health or safety of themselves or others.
  • Students have the responsibility to dress and groom in such a manner to reflect cleanliness, modesty, safety and good taste; become familiar with and adhere to approved dress and grooming regulations of the School Board of Hillsborough County.
In accordance with F.S. 1006.07, students shall not wear clothing that exposes underwear or body parts in an indecent or vulgar manner.

Adherence to the Dress Code and Student Code of Conduct is a condition for participation in extracurricular activities. (F.S. 1006.15)

  • Shoes shall be worn. Skate tennis shoes (Wheelies) and bedroom slippers are unacceptable and not allowed.
  • Clothing that exposes the entire shoulder, tube tops, spaghetti straps, or similar type of clothing may only be worn with a blouse or shirt. Clothing exposing the torso or the midriff, either front, back, or sides shall not be worn. Underwear shall not be visible. Clothing shall not expose the mid-chest area. Clothing not properly fastened or with tears that are indecent shall not be worn. Clothing traditionally designed as undergarments or sleepwear shall not be worn as outer garments. All pants and shorts shall be secured at the waist. Boys’ shirts shall have sleeves. Mini-skirts, mini-dresses, and short shorts shall not be permitted. Hemlines shall be no shorter than fingertip length.
  • Head coverings shall not be worn in the building unless required for religious observance or health-related reasons.
  • Garments and/or jewelry that display or suggest sexual, vulgar, drug, gang, weapons, or alcohol-related wording or graphics, or that provoke or may tend to provoke violence or disruption in the school, shall not be worn. Wallet chains shall not be worn.

When a student is out of dress code the following steps will be taken:

  • Student will be given the opportunity to correct the issue or they will be sent to ISS, and their parent will be contacted​

  • Students that display a pattern of having dress code issues will be referred to the Student Affairs Office for interventions. ​

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The safety of students is the number one priority of the Transportation Department. Students living two or more miles from the assigned school and exceptional education students with specialized transportation need to qualify for transportation services according to state statute. Students living within two miles may qualify for transportation due to hazardous walking conditions as defined by the State.

Students who are eligible for pupil transportation services are assigned to a specific bus and stop. Students must use the bus stop of record that coincides with their residence (as assigned by the student's bus pass) and are not authorized to ride other buses. To locate your student's bus route number and stop please see the list of bus routes attached below. Parent notes authorizing a student to ride a different bus are not accepted. Requests due to a family hardship or emergency situation must be submitted to a school administrator for approval by the principal and the General Director of Transportation or designee.

If a student boards at an unauthorized stop or on an unauthorized bus, the driver will notify a school administrator who will contact the parent. If the student continues unauthorized boarding, a disciplinary referral will be submitted to the school administration.

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Meet Your Guidance Counselors

Mr. Smith (shawn.smith2@hcps.net) - 6th Grade Counselor

Ms. Ambers (twila.ambers@hcps.net) - 7th Grade Counselor

Ms. Brown-Joseph (mary.brown-joseph@hcps.net) - 8th Grade Counselor

Ms. Temperino (lanny.temperino@hcps.net) - English Language Learners Counselor

More information from the Guidance Department and Student Services to come!

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Paper 24/7 Tutoring for Shields students

Help is Here. Anytime. Anywhere.

Hillsborough students grade 6-12 have unlimited, on-demand access to free academic support through Paper. Need someone to talk through a particularly tough math problem? A Paper Tutor will be there to assist students within seconds. Need someone to read an essay and make suggestions on how you can improve it before submitting? A Paper Tutor will be there to assist students.

No matter what a student's academic needs are, Paper’s expert learning assistants are available to help 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. Just log in and ask a question! Students can login through Clever by clicking on the Paper icon.

Unlimited, Expert Support for Students, No Costs for Families.

Paper is a free resource for all Hillsborough students grades 6-12. Any student can connect and speak with a tutor for 30 minutes or 6 hours. Their usage will never be capped and families will not have to pay a cent for seeking assistance.

When working with a Paper Tutor, students should not expect to receive answers. Instead, their tutor will ask them guiding questions to get students thinking critically about what they know, what they’ve tried, where any misunderstandings are, and how to move forward.

Try It Now or RSVP

To speak to a tutor immediately, students can login to their Clever accounts and click the Paper icon.

To learn more about how Paper works, parents and guardians can sign up for Q&A sessions in English and Spanish and speak with a member of the Paper team directly. Should you have any immediate questions, feel free to reach out to parents@paper.com.

https://youtu.be/WT1wB26qb9k (informational video link)

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Athletic Resources

Basketball season begins August 22, 2022, and all students must have a sports physical completed and turned in prior to participation. For information regarding requirements that must be completed in order to participate in an athletic event please visit our athletic resource webpage at Athletics Packet (hillsboroughschools.org)
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Please submit your Household Meal Benefit application

Please review the form below for Student Nutrition Services updates, protocols, and information. Please note that Shields is a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) school, which means that breakfast and lunch are free for all students.

Parents are encouraged to submit a household meal benefit application either online at www.sdhc.k12.fl.us/sns, or via a paper application. A household application means that parents complete only one application for all children in the same home. Parents can learn about the status of their application by calling 1‐866‐544‐5575.
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HCPS will continue to use Canvas as a learning and communication tool in 22/23. The ATTACHMENTS BELOW provides parents and guardians with helpful information for using Canvas to support and monitor student academic progress.
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