Peachtree Student/Parent Handbook

Welcome to Peachtree Middle School! You are part of a wonderful educational opportunity designed to meet the milestones and challenges of early adolescence. The teachers, parents, administrators, and the community, collaboratively create an educational environment that is "Highly Motivated for Success”.

Please read this handbook carefully and completely with your middle school student (s). We recommend you save/bookmark it for future reference as well. It is your guide to Peachtree Middle. It will provide impor­tant school information and will answer many of your questions. This handbook will be revised as policies are developed or amended. We reserve the right to provide revisions as necessary.

For answers to questions and concerns not covered in this handbook, please use the link below to access our “whom to contact” resource and our website with contact information.

Whom to Contact at Peachtree – ENGLISH

Whom to Contact at Peachtee - ESPANOL

www.peachtreems.dekalb.k12.ga.us


The Peachtree staff appreciates your interest, cooperation, involvement and continued support of our outstanding middle school program.

HOW TO BE A PATRIOT

As a student at Peachtree it is your responsibility to:


  1. Be respectful. Treat others how you would like to be treated.
  2. Be courteous. Show consideration for the other students and our school staff.
  3. Be punctual. Get to school and to class on time. Students in the hallways during class must have a pass.
  4. Be prepared. Bring all materials that you need for your classes.
  5. Be proud. Our school is special and so are you!
  6. Be honest. If you see something, say something.
  7. Be yourself. YOU are important to our school.


The rights of the individual student to learn will be protected at all times. Any student behavior which interferes with this right will be subject to the appropriate disciplinary action.

YOU HAVE CHOICES

Most people are faced with unpleasant or seemingly unfair situations in life. These are often the result of conflicts. There are many ways to handle such situations. Some choices are against rules and regulations. Some choices are not effective. The following are some suggestions and ideas to improve the choices you make.


  • Before taking any action, calmly review the situation.
  • Consider if the choice you are about to make is worth risking the consequences of the action.
  • It is not the situation that your peers will remember, but rather, it is how you handle the situation.
  • If you see something, say something. We can’t help if we don’t know something is wrong.
  • No one enjoys being criticized in public. Talk about problems in private with the help of an adult.
  • Touching another student, even when "playing", is inappropriate in school.
  • Fighting is not a mature way to handle problems.
  • Treat other people as you would like to be treated. Bullying/harassment is not tolerated.
  • Ask for adult assistance or mediation when a conflict occurs.

MAKING THE GRADE

The following grading scale for the school will be used:

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TYPICAL DAY/ SCHEDULES

ABOUT SCHEDULES

Schedules are distributed on the first day of school, but you can also visit Infinite Campus to view them online.


  • All students have a total of seven (7) class periods.
  • There are four (4) content classes: Math, English Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies within the same team. To view what team you’re on, click here and look for your teachers on the grid.
  • Students have either ELT (extended learning time), where enrichment and support are offered OR they have a high school World Language course (7th and 8th grade only).
  • Our two (2) elective blocks are offered:

1st and 2nd period for 8th grade

4th and 5th period for 7th grade

6th and 7th period for 6th grade

  • One elective block are 9-week rotations of PE/Health. The other elective block is either a random 9-week rotation of Connections classes OR full-year music.
  • Lunch is offered during 3rd period for 7th grade, 4th period for 8th and 6th grade. Lunch will be in our cafeteria this year where students sit by team in designated sections.


Our bell schedule will be sent to parents within our weekly newsletter and will be posted on our website.


SCHEDULE CHANGES

Things to Know Before Making a Schedule Change Request (link below):

  • We will do our best to make the change requested, but please know that specific teacher and/or team requests will not be honored.
  • Requests to enter the Accelerated Math Program will be accepted throughout the school year but it is STRONGLY encouraged for students to enter the program before August 19th. Requests made after that date will require multiple steps for entry into the program.
  • Connection/elective requests are honored based on class availability and seat capacity.
  • Request for withdrawal of the following programs will be considered up until the date listed below:


World Language Level I - up until the 13.5 week mark (ask counselor/teacher for exact date)**

** Please note requests to withdraw from Level II will require district approval. Please email your counselor for further information.


STEM Academy - up until the 35th day (ask counselor/teacher for exact date) if there are open seats outside of the STEM Academy.


Accelerated Math Program - up until the 35th day.


ESOL and Gifted Waive-Out - up until August 19th.


All other classes - up until August 19th.



Schedule Change Request Form

PHONE USE / HEADPHONES

Our goal is to maximize instructional time and minimize distractions, therefore phones and headphones are not allowed to be used during school, unless specifically directed by their teacher for instructional purposes only.


We recognize that students carry phones in their bookbag as a safety measure and we understand the need for parents to call/text during emergencies. We ask for students to keep their phones in their bookbags throughout the day if they choose to bring them to school. Peachtree Middle is not responsible for personal devices brought to school.


With teacher permission, students may have an opportunity to check their phones during lunch time and at dismissal. If you contact them directly, please be mindful of when they're able to respond. Students with serious medical conditions or other unusual circumstances may be given special permission by the school principal to use an electronic device if it is determined to be essential for the health of the student.


If you need to contact your child during instruction, please call the main office at 678-676-7702.

Please help us support our students by maximizing our instruction and limiting cell phone distractions.

SCHOOL ATTIRE/DRESS

We require attire that supports the learning environment. Peachtree Middle will follow the DCSD dress code as detailed in the Code of Conduct (updated 2022):

  • All shirts must have sleeves. Clothing length must be worn at mid-thigh or lower. Clothing with rips or tears above the mid-thigh are prohibited. Clothing must be suitably fitted to cover all undergarments, including during movement.
  • Students are expected to wear shoes that allow freedom of movement. Flip-flops, slides, between-the-toe shoes without heel straps, bedroom shoes, or other footwear that interferes with freedom of movement or safety are prohibited.
  • Clothing, jewelry, tattoos, piercings, or other body ornaments that disrupt the educational process or endanger the health or safety of other students, staff or visitors are prohibited.
  • The wearing of specific look alike items such as bullet-proof vests are prohibited.
  • Clothing, insignia, symbols, tattoos, piercings, jewelry, or adornments worn or carried on or about a student which promote gangs, or the use of controlled substances, drugs, alcohol, or tobacco are prohibited.
  • Students are expected to wear clothing that is respectful of others. The wearing of clothing, tattoos or other adornments which show offensive and/or vulgar words, pictures, diagrams, drawings, or includes words or phrases of a violent nature, a disruptive nature, a sexual nature, politically/socially controversial words or graphics or words or phrases that are derogatory regarding a person’s background, ethnicity, race, national origin, religious belief, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy status, or disability is prohibited.


Parents, we ask for your support in maintaining the dress code above. If necessary, parents will be called to deliver an appropriate change of clothes or one will be provided by the school if possible.

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PE UNIFORMS

All students must wear the required Physical Education uniform or appropriate Physical Education clothing to class, which may be purchased, at the start of the school year by clicking here. Athletic shoes are also required. If your family needs support with purchasing the uniform, contact our counseling office. Please consider preparing for cold weather in advance.


Students will have the opportunity to change privately in our PE locker rooms. They can lock their personal items in a locker with their own personal combination lock until they return to change back into their school clothes. Locker rooms will be locked during class to provide protection for students’ possessions; however, it is still strongly encouraged for students to have their own locker with their own lock. PE lockers will only be accessible during the PE class period.


Thank you for your cooperation in this matter. If you have any questions concerning Physical Education policies, we always welcome your input. We hope this makes your child's P.E. experience more productive and enjoyable.

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SCHOOL SUPPLIES

We ask that students are prepared for each day of learning with the needed supplies. If your family needs support with school supplies, please contact our counseling office.


Each day ALL students need to have: charged Chromebook and charger (provided by school), headphones/earbuds, water bottle, writing utensils (pencils and pens), paper and personal combination lock for PE.


In addition to those supplies, teachers in each grade level content have requested the items linked here.


Items which distract or disturb others are not to be brought to school. Such items include but are not limited to lasers, electronic games, basketballs, footballs, playing cards, sunglasses, or any other recreational item. If students choose to bring these items to school, they may be confiscated, and parents or guardians will be asked to retrieve the items.

BREAKFAST / LUNCH

We offer both a morning breakfast program and a mid-day lunch program. Free and/or reduced breakfast and lunch applications can be accessed at: https://www.schoolcafe.com/DEKALBCOUNTYSD.


A new form is required each year. All food should be eaten in the cafeteria. While at lunch students are expected to clean-up after themselves, pick up paper and throw trash away in the trash barrels. During lunch, students are expected to remain in their team’s designated section.

TEXTBOOK/CHROMEBOOK

During the first week of school, students will be provided a Chromebook, charger and Chromebook travel pouch. Each student is responsible for the care of each item provided. Please do not place stickers or adhesive décor on the devices. Students will return the devices at the end of the school year.


School-issued devices allow for access to Canvas (see below), textbooks, e-hall pass (see below), and many more academic resources. Students are expected to use the devices responsibly for academic purposes only. The misuse of technology can result in a violation of the DCSD code of conduct and can be subject to consequences. Please note DCSD monitors the use of the devices.


The DeKalb County Policy states:


Students shall be responsible for careful stewardship of school property. Students who lose or destroy school property shall be required to reimburse the DeKalb County School Board of Education for the current replacement value of the item(s). Students who return school property which exhibits wear in excess of that which could be attributed to normal use shall be assessed for damages.


Immediate written notice shall be sent to parents/guardians when a student needs to make restitution for lost, destroyed, or damaged school property.

E-HALL PASS

All students will have access to E-Hall Pass, which will serve as our digital hall pass system. Students are required to have a pass in order to leave their classroom. Hall wanderers without a pass will be escorted back to class or to the appropriate assistant principal's office. During the first week of school, we will teach students how to use E-Hall Pass.

CANVAS/INFINITE CAMPUS

DCSD has adopted Canvas as our digital learning management platform, which will replace Google Classroom. Similar to Google Classroom, each class that is listed within the student’s schedule will be included in Canvas. Teachers will add their syllabus, class information, assignments, due date, etc. Please note that while grades may be visible in Canvas, we strongly encourage the continued use of Infinite Campus to view updated grades.


During the first week of school, we will work with students to learn how to navigate each platform. We will practice how to turn in assignments, access class materials, view deadlines, etc.


Parents have access to view each platform as well and we strongly encourage you to monitor both Canvas and Infinite Campus regularly. For tutorials and guides for the Canvas website and the app, please click here. For tutorials and guides for the Infinite Campus website and the app, please click here. If you need additional support for either platform, please contact our counseling office.

HOMEWORK / MAKE UP WORK

Homework and make-up assignments may be obtained from each individual teacher and accessed in Canvas. It will be the student’s responsibility upon return­ing from an absence to speak with their teachers to determine what assignments were missed and the deadline for making them up. Please check the “attendance” section of this guide for what constitutes an excused absence.


The number of days of excused absence determines the length of time the student has to make up academic work. Normally, stu­dents receive one day of make-up time for each day absent. Arrangements must be made with each teacher if a parent/guardian would like to pick-up any make-up work during the school day. Teachers only address makeup work during their planning period(s), before or after school. Please help us ensure instruction is not interrupted to secure assignments.

MEDIA CENTER

The library/media center, is open each day from 8:15 A.M. to 3:55 P.M., and is designed to enrich our students. It is helpful in all areas of schoolwork - from writing a term paper to preparing a power point presentation. It also provides a pleasant atmosphere for leisure reading and listening.


You must have a pass in E-Hall Pass to visit the media center. Book checkout is for two weeks and three books can be checked out at one time. Fines are charged for late or lost materials.

SAFEKEEPING FOR MY STUFF

During the month of August, our students, parents and staff will each receive a poll to gather feedback on a decision regarding lockers. We will begin the year without lockers and will use our poll feedback to make a decision with our PAC and SGA.

I NEED SOME SUPPORT

Peachtree Middle takes pride in its guidance and counseling programs. Services offered are social and emotional, academic, career and group support, and guidance. Our counseling team will visit classrooms for guidance lessons throughout the year. In addition, the counselor can assist in providing resources to parents about outside agencies and support.


Students wishing to see the counselors are encouraged to ask their teacher for a pass. Parents are welcome to contact our counselors for any support needed for their student as well.


Wellness Wednesdays will continue this year through our ELT courses. Students learn about key skills like healthy ways to manage stress, how to manage conflict, and much more. You are always welcome to contact our counseling department for the resources shared during our Wellness Wednesday activities.

MEDICATION/CLINIC

Written permission must be provided by the parent or guardian requesting the school to comply with the administration of medication. Peachtree employees cannot dispense any medication of any kind without the appropriate training and clearance. Students cannot carry medication on them without explicit school permission.


Please use this link to complete the paperwork needed for medication and provide the completed documents to the school between 9am and 3pm during the week.


If you a student is injured while participating in any school activity, they need to notify their instructor immediately. The teacher will send them to the clinic. Any first aid which is necessary to meet the immediate emergency will be done. Parents will be contacted as well.


Student accident insurance is offered through T.W. Lord & Associates. This coverage provides protection against medical expenses resulting from accidental injury to your child. The link contained on the District's website to the specifics regarding this program can be found here.

TRYING TO MAKE MONEY

All fundraising conducted by school personnel, students, or Booster Clubs, must be approved by the Principal. Students selling/buying candy or any unauthorized items may be subject to consequences through our DCSD code of conduct. There is no selling/buying during school hours of any kind without principal approval.

FIGHTING

Fighting is a no-no! All participants will receive a disciplinary referral. If you choose to fight, you can count on being suspended and losing privileges to our school-wide social events.

ARRIVAL / DISMISSAL

Parent Drop-Off may occur as early as 8:15am.

  • Students may not enter the building until 8:15am.

  • Students participating in clubs/sports in the morning must have a pass for access to their activity

Parent Pick-up must occur no later than 4:20pm.



All students who remain after 4:20 P.M. must be participating in a school activity under the supervision of a teacher or admin­istrator and must have made prior arrangements for transportation home at the conclusion of the activity.


Bus routes can be found here. Please be sure students write down their bus route before the first day of school.

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The map above displays our school arrival and dismissal areas with directions:


BLUE LINES = student walkway areas

YELLOW ARROWS = carpool line

RED CIRCLES = no pick-up/drop-off zones



Important reminders for arrival/dismissal:

  • We have 1300+ students, please be patient and expect traffic. The first two weeks of school and during inclement weather, our carpool line wait can average 20 minutes or more. Please consider the bus if you prefer not to wait.
  • Help us have a smooth carpool experience by pulling up all the way to the next car in front of you. Gaps and spaces create delays for those behind you.
  • Please be mindful of the school environment with speed, loud music, and cell phone use in our carpool lane.
  • Our security officers and teachers are present for safety. Please be courteous and follow directions.
  • The no pick-up/drop-off zones are for the safety of your child. We do not have the personnel to supervise these areas and ask that you use our carpool lane ONLY for pick-up/drop-off.
  • The bus environment and the bus stops are considered an extension of school. Appropriate behavior is an expectation. Any violation of our code of conduct will be subject to consequences.
  • If our dismissal runs behind, or we have late buses, we use our School Messenger to notify families via text. You can also access EduLog to track your student’s bus.

ATTENDANCE

Regular and prompt attendance is the responsibility of the student and the parents. The only valid excuses are illness and medical appointments, a death in the immediate family, mandated court appearances, or an emergency outside the control of the student or student's family.


Absences for reasons other than the above listed ones will be classified as unexcused. Examples of unexcused absences include, but are not limited to, babysitting, car trouble, oversleeping, truancy/skipping, and family vacations.


If your student must be absent, please have your student bring a signed note to school with the date of absence and reason for absence. The note needs to be turned into the attendance office upon return. Notes written in your home language are welcome.


Leaving school for appointments without checking out through the Attendance Office will be treated as truancy/skipping.

CHRONIC TARDINESS

Students are expected to be in school and in class on time. Students who DO NOT have an excuse and arrive at school before 9:00am can go directly to class- the teacher will mark the student tardy.

All students who arrive at school after 9:00am, must sign in with Ms. King Louis in the attendance office. Tardies will be recorded in Infinite Campus upon check-in.

Parents are welcome to come in to check out their child; however, parents do not need to walk their child in if they are tardy. A note will suffice.

Admin is closely monitoring tardiness, so please remind your son/daughter that we will be doing random hall sweeps to ensure that students are getting to class on time. Consequences will be issued.

CHECK-OUT PROCEDURES

Any student leaving the school campus during the day must complete all check-out procedures in the Attendance Office. A secretary or administrator must talk with your parent to verify your check-out. You must wait to be called from class to go to the attendance office.


Check-out Procedures:

  • Early Check-Out: Students may not be checked-out after 3:15 p.m., unless a confirmed appointment has been made with the attendance office (see below). Students will be released at normal dismissal if a parent/guardian arrives after 3:15pm for check-out.
  • Confirmed Appointments: Confirmed appointment notes with your parent's signature and telephone number where they may be reached should be taken to the Attendance Office for confirmation between 8:25a.m. and 8:45a.m. Parents will be able to sign out their student at the scheduled time in the Attendance Office. Proper I.D. must be presented as the person authorized to check out. Any designated adult must be 18 or older.
  • Illness or Other Emergency: If you must leave school during the school day because of illness or other emergency, you must complete all check-out procedures

VISITORS, GUESTS, AND RELATIVES

When entering the building, visitors must always come to the main entrance and sign-in. Please use the Ring button to notify our security personal you have arrived. They will ask how they can help and determine entry to the building. You will be asked to sign in and receive a visitor's pass. Please keep the visitors pass on you at all times while in the building. All outside doors are locked for security reasons.

FORGOTTEN ITEMS/DELIVERIES

Deliveries of forgotten items to students cause interruptions to instruction. In addition to classroom disruption, we do not have enough staff or volunteers to see that forgotten items are delivered in a timely manner. Therefore, such deliveries will be made only if a true emergency exists. Students may check in the Attendance Office between classes for forgotten lunches, assignments, Chromebook, etc. Balloons, flowers and outside food (e.g. delivery of fast food) may not be delivered to students during the school day. Peachtree supports families' efforts in teaching responsibility to students; therefore, we do not deliver non-emergency items.

LOST AND FOUND / VALUABLES

A lost and found bin is located in the front lobby. Students may check this area for lost items. Parents are always welcome to come look for lost items after checking-in at the front office. Unclaimed items are donated monthly to charitable organizations. Students are encouraged to keep their books, purses, jackets, and other personal items in their bookbags or with them at all times. In addition, these items should be clearly marked with the student's name. Peachtree MS is not responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen personal items.

ELIGIBILITY AND ACTIVITIES

We encourage students to get as involved as possible! We have many clubs and sports that support the interests of our students. For an updated list of clubs/sports, please click here.


All extracurricular and athletic activities including Band, Chorus, Plays and Literary activities are regulated under the Constitution and By Laws of G.H.S.A. and the policies and procedures of the DeKalb County School System. The application of these rules and procedures promote competition on a more nearly fair and equal basis. Contact your coach or sponsor for specific information regarding eligibility. You must have a physical examination conducted by a medical doctor, insurance, or waiver, and parent consent prior to participating in any athletic activity.


If you are interested in creating a club:

- gather a list of 10 or more interested students

- recruit a teacher sponsor

- work with your teacher sponsor to meet with the Principal for approval and sponsor training

PROGRESS REPORTS/REPORT CARDS

Throughout a semester, a student and his/her parents/guardians will be informed about his/her progress. Formal progress reports will be issued at the midpoint and end of each nine-week connection rotation. Progress reports will be issued to students in their homeroom class. If a student does not receive their progress report, please contact their homeroom teacher (3rd period class).


Teachers are required to notify parents if a child is at-risk of failing their class. We do this in the form of deficiency reports sent out with progress reports. This report outlines how your child can improve their grade before the class concludes.


Report cards are distributed at the semester mark. If you have any questions related to grades, please contact the teacher first.

SCHOOL AND PARENT COMMUNICATION

Each week you can expect our Pulse on Peachtree Newsletter! This newsletter will provide important information, upcoming dates, school spotlights and so much more. We encourage families to read it together.


Peachtree MS attempts to communicate with parents through many different methods; however, the best means is through direct contact with your child's teacher and/or team. Teachers are available during their planning period, before school or after school. You can make an appointment with the teacher directly. If you have an address or telephone change, please let us know by calling or emailing our registrar.

PARENT SUPPORT

We STRONGLY encourage parents to take an active role at Peachtree Middle School. Parent involvement is crucial to student success. Volunteer opportunities are available for all parents. For information on available opportunities, please visit our PTSO website at pcms.membershiptoolkit.com.


We also have a strong Principal’s Advisory Council (PAC)! The purpose of the Principal Advisory Council is to bring parents, school employees, students and community members together to create a better understanding of and mutual respect for each other’s perspectives and share ideas for increasing student achievement and performance.


Please consider running for a seat on our PAC: 3 parent positions and 1 teacher position available


The candidate declaration window for Fall 2022 Principal Advisory Council elections will be open through 5:00pm, September 2, 2022. Complete the appropriate candidate declaration form using the links below to run for a position on your school's inaugural Council.

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