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School Handbook




DeKalb Middle Schools mission is wiring students to learn, achieve, and succeed.  DeKalb Middle School is accredited as a middle school by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and by the Tennessee State Department of Education.



DeKalb Middle School exists to serve the children of DeKalb County and to make society better for all.  We believe that all children can learn.  In response to its mission, DeKalb Middle School will maintain a strong curriculum and high standards of capabilities and talents. The administration and staff of DeKalb Middle School believe that the most important thing we can do for our students is to help them develop a positive self-concept.  Every student will be recognized as a unique individual.  Since learning is an individual matter, the learner will be helped to assume responsibility for his or her learning.  All students are capable of intellectual growth.  Along with the teaching of basic skills, emphasis will be placed on helping students develop personal values, social attitudes, and group behaviors.  By being a guiding influence, the teacher will try to help each child find his or her place in this changing society through exploration, discovery, creativity, and self-discipline.  Fundamental to this philosophy is a rapport between students and their peers; students and staff; faculty and co-workers; and the school and community.



The faculty and staff of DeKalb Middle School believe that:


  • 1. A child's education is the shared responsibility of parents, teachers, community, and students.
  • 2. We believe that all students should have the right to a safe and secure learning environment.
  • 3. Each student is a valued individual with unique physical, social, emotional, and intellectual needs.
  • 4. All children have the right to learn, to succeed, and to become productive citizens based on their abilities.
  • 5. Positive attitude and self-respect are the foundation of a well-balanced education.
  • 6. Students learn best when given appropriate opportunities for success.


The Mission Statement and Statements of Belief of DeKalb Middle School are closely aligned with the mission and goals of the DeKalb County School System.  Please visit DeKalb Middle School on-line at



The policies and procedures contained in the handbook are the results of a concerted effort on the part of the faculty and the administration.  This information has been carefully prepared and presented so that it will be of great value in helping you to adjust to our school and to become an integral part of it.  The ultimate purpose of education is to help each student become an effective and happy citizen.  Developing and accepting the responsibilities and obligations of good citizenship will help us to participate successfully in the world tomorrow.  We hope that you will participate in our varied activities and thus find those things within our school, which will prepare you to live a better life.  Remember that your success in this school will depend largely upon your efforts. The policies set forth in this student handbook apply during regular school hours, sports events, field trips, and other school sponsored activities.



  • 1. All students are expected to conduct themselves in such a way as to cast a good reflection on their parents, their home, and school. Additionally, their behavior should reflect self-respect and consideration for the rights and property of others.
  • 2. All DeKalb Middle School staff members have not only the right but also the responsibility and duty to reprimand or correct a student who is misbehaving. Disrespect to any staff member will result in strict disciplinary action.
  • 3. Students should be present and on time each day. Daily attendance and punctuality are essential for good work and progress. A call may be made to each student's home or parent's workplace on the day of an absence to verify the absence.
  • 4. The school encourages wholesome boy/girl relationships. Such friendships are natural and normal. However, all students to avoid violation of accepted standards of behavior should use discretion. Visiting secluded areas with arms around each other, kissing, holding hands, or any other public demonstration of affection or physical contact is not acceptable at school.
  • 5. Students should walk in an orderly manner inside the building. Running, walking fast, and loud noises are not permitted inside the building.
  • 6. Cell phones, radios, ipods, laser pointers or other items that could cause disruption should not be brought to school unless authorized by the principal.
  • 7. Students should not trade, swap, sale, or take orders for any items while on school property.
  • 8. Obscene or vulgar language or thievery will not be tolerated.
  • 9. No beverages are to be taken into the carpeted areas of the building. Water, however, is permitted inside the classroom.
  • 10. The office telephone is for school business and may be used by students in cases of emergencies. Permission and a pass must be obtained from a teacher prior to using the telephone.
  • 11. Mid 9-week reports are sent out each nine (9) weeks.



92 - 100                  A                                                                             E - Excellent

83 - 91                    B                                                                             S - Satisfactory

75 - 82                    C                                                                             U - Unsatisfactory

70 - 74                    D

Below 70                 F

Incomplete               I



Regular attendance and punctuality are essential for success in school as well as any vocation chosen in life.  Parents are encouraged to schedule doctor and dentist appointments after school hours.  When a student has five unexcused absences, they will be referred to the Attendance Supervisor.  An excessive number of unexcused absences will be grounds for legal action in accordance with the attendance laws of Tennessee.  An excessive number of absences may result in the school requiring a doctor's excuse for every absence.  Five (5) unexcused absences during the school will be reported to the Attendance Supervisor.  The four (4) conditions under which a child's absence from school shall be excused are:


  • 1. Student's personal illness (a physician's statement will be required after 5 parent notes to excuse absence).
  • 2. Death in family.
  • 3. Special, recognized religious holidays regularly observed by persons of the child's faith.
  • 4. Extenuating circumstances, when upon the written request of the parent or guardian, in the discretion of the principal and/or, when necessary, the Attendance Review Board, composed by Director of Schools, Supervisor of Special Education, and the Attendance Supervisor.


Upon returning to school after an absence, the student shall bring a doctor or dentist statement or a note from home signed by the parent or guardian, explaining the reason for the absence.  The homeroom teacher will fill out an absentee form and attach the note or statement to the form to be turned in to the office.  The student is expected to make up all missed work. If a student is out for an extended period of time, the parent may call the office to request that the student's teacher's lesson plans to be copied, which can be picked up after 2:00 PM.  Also, time absent from school because of tardies and leaving school early will accumulate on the student's attendance record, even though the absence or tardy may be excused.  However, if a student is tardy or leaves school early very often, this can add up to a whole day's absence after a period of time.  A student can only qualify for perfect attendance is if he/she is present at school from 7:45 AM till 2:45 PM every day.




Students should report to school on time and be on time for each class throughout the day.  School begins at 7:45 AM.  All students tardy to school after the 7:45 AM bell, which marks the beginning of homeroom, must report to the office to sign in and receive a tardy slip to be given to the appropriate teacher.  The consequences for tardiness in a given semester are a follows:


  • 1. 1st - 5th = Warning
  • 2. 5th & Additional tardies = Before School Detention, After School Detention, or In-School Suspension


Any student tardy beyond five (5) times in a semester will be considered a chronic tardy student and more drastic disciplinary action will be considered.




If a student needs to leave school during the day, the parent or guardian must come into the office and request that the child be excused.  Students may NOT be picked up by anyone other than parents or guardians unless the school has been given written permission from the parent or guardian. 




Everyone at DeKalb Middle School is expected to dress each day with good taste.  All attire must meet normal standards and pose no threat to safety, health or call attention in a way that disrupts the academic process.   Students shall observe the following guidelines:


  • 1. Body cleanliness is required at all times.
  • 2. Headbands, do-rags, and sunglasses are not to be worn at school.
  • 3. Shoes are to be worn at all times.
  • 4. The back, shoulders, and mid-section of the body are to be covered at all times. Tank tops, tube tops, strapless tops, spaghetti straps, or muscle shirts are not permitted. Clothes that are too tight including yoga pants are not permitted, and low cut tops are not permitted.
  • 5. Shorts, skirts, and dresses must be no shorter than four (4) inches above the middle of the knee. Cut off shorts, spandex shorts, and boxer shorts are prohibited.
  • 6. Mesh/see-through clothing is not to be worn at school.
  • 7. Clothing or jewelry with suggestive or offensive lettering, pictures, or symbols will not be permitted. Clothing with scenes of violence including wrestling shirts, vulgarity, sex, alcoholic beverages, tobacco, skulls, crossbones, gang, or drug depictions will not be allowed.
  • 8. Proper undergarments are to be worn at all times.
  • 9. Excessive baggy pants are not to be worn to school. Trousers and shorts must be worn and secured at the waistline. Pants should not drag the floor.
  • 10. Inappropriate make-up, hair color, or visible body markings are not permitted.
  • 11. Body piercings other than ears are prohibited.
  • 12. No long chains around the neck or on clothing should not be worn.
  • 13. Pajamas are not to be worn at school.
  • 14. All groups will follow the dress code policy.


Administrators and teachers will check students for dress code violations at the beginning of school and during first period.  Even though violations of the dress code are rare, when a violation is committed the following procedures will be followed:

  • 1. 1st violation - student may call parent to bring appropriate clothing to school.
  • 2. 2nd violation - student may call parent to bring appropriate clothing and will be required to attend one (1) day of In-school Suspension.
  • 3. 3rd violation - In-School Suspension, After School Detention, or Before School Detention.
  • 4. 4th violation - In-School Suspension, After School Detention or Before School Detention.
  • 5. 5th violation - Suspension (up to 3 days).




At times it becomes necessary for a child to take prescription or non-prescription medication while at school.  The medication, along with the completed necessary form, must be delivered to the school in person by a parent or guardian of the student unless the medication must be retained by the student for immediate administration (i.e., student with asthma).  At the end of the school year, parents are responsible for picking up all medicine not taken by the student.




DeKalb Middle School will be a safe place for all students.  Fighting among students is a form of violence and will not be tolerated at school.  Fighting will result in suspension for up to ten (10) days.  DeKalb Middle School is a safe school free of violence and threats of violence.  Bullying is a violent behavior that will not be tolerated at DMS.  Bullying makes for an unsafe learning environment and is not acceptable behavior at school or during any school sponsored event.  Any student engaging in bullying behavior will receive disciplinary action ranging from verbal reprimand to expulsion.




Every student has the right to feel safe at school.  Threatening, harassing, or intimidating another student will not be tolerated.  A student found guilty of threatening, harassing, or intimidating another student will result in disciplinary action ranging from verbal reprimand to suspension and/or expulsion dependent on the severity of the offense and the offenders prior record.





All uses of tobacco and tobacco products, including smokeless, are prohibited in all of the school district's buildings.  Smoking shall be prohibited in any public seating area, including but not limited to, bleachers used for sporting events or public restrooms.  The use of tobacco or tobacco products, including smokeless tobacco, will be prohibited in all vehicles, owned, leased, or operated by the district.  District students enrolled in the district's schools will not be permitted to use tobacco or tobacco products, including smokeless tobacco, while they are participants in any class or activity in which they represent the school district. The school principal/resource officer shall issue any student who possesses tobacco products a citation.  The Director of Schools, in cooperation with the juvenile court and the local police/sheriff's department, is responsible for developing procedures for issuance of the citations, which shall include the content of citations and methods of handling completed citations. Parents and students shall be notified of these citation requirements at the beginning of each school year.  Signs will be posted throughout the district's facilities to notify students, employees and all other persons visiting the school that the use of tobacco and tobacco products is forbidden.  The following notice shall be prominently posted (including ticket booths) for elementary or secondary school sporting events: "Smoking is prohibited by law in seating areas and in restrooms".  Any student violating this policy shall be subject to the citation as prescribed in Tennessee Code Annotated 39-17-0505 and the following punishment:


  • First Offense - Parent/school official conference and before or after school detention.
  • Second Offense - Maximum 10 day In-School Suspension.
  • Third Offense - Assigned or remanded to the Alternative School for the remainder of the school year.




Students shall be provided a learning environment free from sexual, racial, ethnic, and religious discrimination/harassment.  It shall be a violation of this policy for any employee or any student to discriminate against or harass a student through disparaging conduct or communication that is sexual, racial, ethnic, or religious in nature.  The following guidelines are set forth to protect students from discrimination/harassment.

Student discrimination/harassment will not be tolerated.  Discrimination/harassment is defined as conduct, advances, gestures, or words either written or spoken of a sexual, racial, ethnic, or religious nature which:


  • 1. Unreasonably interfere with the student's work or educational opportunities.
  • 2. Create an intimidating, hostile or offensive learning environment.
  • 3. Imply that submission to such conduct is made an explicit or implicit term of receiving grades or credit.
  • 4. Imply that submission to or rejection of such conduct will be used as a basis for determining the student's grades and/or participation in a student activity.


Alleged victims of sexual, racial, ethnic and religious discrimination/harassment shall report these incidents immediately to a teacher, counselor, or building administrator.  Allegations of discrimination or harassment shall be fully investigated by a complaint manager. The privacy and anonymity of all parties and witnesses to complaints will be respected.  However, because an individual's need for confidentiality must be balanced with obligations to cooperate with police investigation or legal proceedings, to provide due process to the accused, to conduct a thorough investigation or to take necessary action to resolve a complaint, the identity of parties and witnesses may be disclosed in appropriate circumstances to individuals with a need to know. A substantiated charge against an employee shall result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.  A substantiated charge against a student may result in corrective or disciplinary action up to and including suspension. There will be no retaliation against any person who reports harassment or participates in an investigation.  However, any employee who refuses to cooperate or gives false information during the course of any investigation may be subject to disciplinary action.  The willful filling of a false report will itself be considered harassment and treated as such. Any student disciplined for violation of this policy may appeal in accordance with disciplinary policies and procedures.  This policy shall be published in the parent/student handbook distributed annually to every student.  Building administrators are responsible for educating and training their respective staff and students as to the definition and recognition of discrimination/harassment.




  • 1. Filing a complaint:


Any student of this school district who wishes to file a written or oral discrimination/harassment grievance against another student or an employee of the district may file a written or oral (recorded, if possible) complaint with the complaint manager.  Students may also report an allegation of discrimination/harassment to any teacher or other adult employed in the school who shall inform a complaint manager of the allegation.  The complaint should include the following information:


  • a. Identity of the alleged victim and person accused.
  • b. Location, date, time, and circumstances surrounding the alleged incident.
  • c. Description of what happened.
  • d. Identity of witnesses.
  • e. Any other evidence available.


  • 2. Investigation:


Within twenty-four (24) hours of receiving the student's complaint, the complaint manager shall notify the complaining student's parent/guardian and the principal who shall inform the Director of Schools.  The parent/guardian shall be given the right to attend an interview of the student in a non-intimidating environment in order to elicit full disclosure of the student's allegations.  This interview shall take place within five (5) school days from the time the complaint was first made.  If no parent/guardian attends the interview, another adult, mutually agreed upon by the student and the complaint manager, shall attend and serve as the student's advocate.  After a complete investigation, if the allegations are substantiated, immediate and appropriate corrective or disciplinary action shall be initiated.  The complaint and identity of the complainant will not be disclosed except (1) as required by law or this policy, or (2) as necessary to fully investigate the complaint, or (3) as authorized by the complainant.  A school representative will meet with and advise the complainant regarding the findings, and whether corrective measures and/or disciplinary action were taken.  Copies of the report will be sent to the student, principal, Federal Rights Coordinator and Director of School.  One copy shall be kept in the complaint manager's file for one (1) year beyond the student's eighteenth (18) birthday.  The Director of Schools shall deep the Board informed of complaints.


  • 3. Decision and Appeal:


If the complaint is not in agreement with the findings of fact as reported by the complaint manager, an appeal may be made within five (5) workdays to the Director of Schools.  The Director of Schools will review the investigation, make any corrective action deemed necessary and provide a written response to the complainant.  If the complainant is not in agreement with the Director of Schools finding of facts, appeal may be made to the Board of Education within (5) working days.  The board shall, within thirty (30) days from the date of appeal was received, review the investigation and the actions of the Director of Schools and may support, amend, or overturn the actions based upon review and report their decision in writing to the complainant.


The Director of Schools shall appoint at least two complaint managers, one of each gender.  The Federal Rights Coordinator may serve as a complaint manager.  The Director of Schools shall insert into this policy the names, address and telephone number of current complaint managers.

This policy shall be published in the parent/student handbook distributed annually to every student.  Building administrators are responsible for educating and training their respective staff and students as the definition and recognition of discrimination/harassment.


The current complaint managers are:


                Mr. Joey Reeder, Complaint Manager                                    Mrs. Gina Arnold, Complaint Manager

                110 South Public Square                                                         110 South Public Square

                Smithville, TN  37166                                                             Smithville, TN  37166

615-215-2102                                                                         615-215-2105




State law prohibits any type of weapon on school grounds or property.  The maximum penalty for violation of this law is up to five years imprisonment and a $2,500.00 fine.  Law enforcement officers will be notified when this law is violated.

The penalty for the possession of a gun shall be a one-year suspension from school.  Prior to the beginning of the succeeding school year in which the suspension began, the student shall be given a hearing to show cause why he should be readmitted at the beginning of the school year.




Students are responsible for the proper care of all books supplied by the school.  T.C.A. 49-609 allows schools to withhold all grade cards, diploma, certificates of progress, or transcripts until restitution is made for lost or damaged textbooks.  Any student found guilty of marking, carving, defacing, or abusing the building and /or equipment will be subject to disciplinary action which will include restitution; in addition, a written assignment, paddling, suspension, or request for expulsion may be included.




Riding the school bus is a privilege to students.  However, the privilege may be removed for disruptive and unsatisfactory conduct.  All students being transported are under the authority of the school bus driver and must obey reasonable orders from the driver, including sitting in seats assigned by the driver.  The following rules and regulations insure the safest, most enjoyable and efficient transportation for all students:


  • 1. Students must be at bus stop on time. Students should be at bus stop at least 5 minutes before bus arrives. The bus operates on a fixed schedule.
  • 2. While waiting at the bus stop, students must wait on sidewalk, driveway, or as far off traveled portion of the road as possible.
  • 3. Students must wait in an orderly manner and wait until bus comes to a complete stop before approaching the bus.
  • 4. If it is necessary to cross street or roadway, students must wait until driver signals them to cross and cross 10 - 15 feet in front of the bus to ensure that the driver sees them.
  • 5. Students must enter bus single file and be seated as quickly as possible.
  • 6. Upon leaving the bus, wait until the bus comes to a complete stop before standing to exit. Standing is not permitted on a moving bus.
  • 7. Exit single file in an orderly manner and walk away from the bus.
  • 8. Upon leaving the bus, cross the road in front and never behind the bus. Make sure all traffic stops.
  • 9. The bus driver shall be responsible for the order and conduct of the pupils transported.
  • 10. The bus driver has the responsibility to assign seats and will be directed to do so as a matter of policy.
  • 11. Pupils should obey promptly and willingly any reasonable directive of the driver.
  • 12. Outside of ordinary conversation, classroom conduct is to be observed. Vulgar language or gestures are not permitted. The school bus is an extension to the classroom.
  • 13. Pupils must remain seated with feet on the floor in front of them; not in the aisle or draped over the seat back. Students must sit facing forward while the bus is in motion as if they were wearing seatbelts.
  • 14. Students may not board or depart from a bus at any other stop than that which has been properly authorized by parents or school authorities.
  • 15. Pupils will not extend hands, arms, heads, or objects from the bus window at any time.
  • 16. Pupils are not permitted to shout or gesture to passing vehicles or pedestrians from the bus.
  • 17. Students may adjust windows only when permitted to do so by the driver.
  • 18. Pupils may not throw any object including trash or paper from within or out of the bus while waiting for, riding, or after leaving the bus. A trashcan is usually provided.
  • 19. Pupils must never sit in driver's seat, doghouse, or step area and never tamper with any operating equipment.
  • 20. Pupils may not exit from the emergency door unless directed to do so by the bus driver.
  • 21. EATING AND DRINKING FOOD AND BEVERAGES ON THE BUS IS PROHIBITED. Neither food nor liquids are permitted on the bus except those stored in school lunch bags or lunch pails.
  • 22. The use of tobacco, drugs, or alcohol in any form shall not be permitted on the bus.
  • 23. Animals, knives, matches, lighters, flowers, balloons, hats and caps, radios, CD players, firearms including cap and water pistols, explosives, glass, and other similar items creating a safety hazard are not permitted on the bus. Necessary schoolbooks and backpacks are permitted. Other items can and will be taken away from pupils at driver's discretion.
  • 24. Students needing to ride any bus other than their regular assigned bus must give a note to their bus driver from their principal or parent.
  • 25. Students desiring to take another student home with them who does not normally ride a particular bus must obtain prior permission from the bus driver or authorization from their principal to assure the bus is not overloaded.
  • 26. Teachers and coaches, especially sponsors of activity trips, need to be aware of bus regulations.
  • 27. Absolute quiet is required at railroad crossings. The driver will turn off all radios, fans; heaters, etc. and illuminate the dome light to alert students to be quiet. This is a requirement of the State of Tennessee, Pupil Transportation Division, and DeKalb County School Bus System.
  • 28. Any vandalism to the interior or exterior of the bus is prohibited and will require payments for amount of damage along with bus suspension.
  • 29. Fighting, hitting, pinching, etc. is not permitted and will be dealt with accordingly.
  • 30. All Dekalb County School Buses are equipped with Silent Witness camera systems. These cameras record at all times and video will be used as needed to settle misbehavior problems on the bus.




Minor violations such as getting out of seat, pushing/tripping/excessive mischief, etc will receive the following discipline:


                1st Offense - 1-Day Suspension

                2nd Offense - 3 Days Suspension

                3rd Offense - 10 Days Suspension

                4th Offense - Suspended for Balance of School Year


Major violations such as fighting/assault, smoking, and obscene language will receive the following discipline:


                1st Offense - 5 Days Suspension

                2nd Offense - 10 Days Suspension

                3rd Offense - Suspended for Balance of School Year





The regular teachers may be absent from time to time.  However, DeKalb Middle School is fortunate to have capable substitutes to help us with our school program.  A substitute teacher is an important person in our school, and such is entitled to all the respect, courtesy, and cooperation as the regular teacher.  Students who are disrespectful or uncooperative with substitute teachers will be subject to strict disciplinary action.




The cafeteria, besides being a lunchroom, is also a place where good human relations can be developed.  Students should observe the following rules and pay close attention to the teacher's instructions in order to insure a proper lunchtime.


  • 1. Normal conversation will be permitted. However, if the noise level becomes too high, all talking may have to stop.
  • 2. Students should practice good manners at all times.
  • 3. Students should not visit from table to table.
  • 4. Students are to pick up their own papers and any spilled food. They are to return their own tray to the dishwashing area.
  • 5. No more than four students shall be in the serving line at one time.
  • 6. Students should not remove food or drinks from the cafeteria.
  • 7. Students are not to leave the cafeteria to go to the restroom.


The price for breakfast is $1.00 ($0.30 for reduced); lunch is $1.75 ($0.40 for reduced). Students must pay as they go through the line.




We believe that field trips are an integral part of the school program.  We encourage students to participate in field trips when they are offered.  In order to participate in any field trip, students must follow the guidelines as established by the respective teachers.  In addition, an activity release for must be signed by the parent and returned to the school prior to any student participating in any field trip activity.




Search of lockers, persons, containers, and vehicles, T.C.A. 49-9-404, 405, 406, 407, .... When individual circumstances in a school dictate it, a principal may order that the above be searched in his presence or a member of the staff.




Students may possess personal communication devices, such as cell phones, while on school property.  However, the personal communication device must be in the off mode and must be kept in a backpack, purse, or similar personal carryall and may not be used during school hours.  The principal or his/her designee may grant a student permission to use a personal communication device at his/her discretion.  A device used outside of this parameter shall result in confiscation of the device until such time at it may be released to the student's parent or guardian.  A student in violation of this policy is subject to disciplinary action.  Use of camera on personal devices is strictly prohibited on school property or at school functions.  A student in violation of this policy is subject to disciplinary action.




  • 1. First offense - Parent may pick up phone.
  • 2. Second offense - Phone will be held for five (5) days.
  • 3. Third - Phone will be held for (10) days.

•4.        Fourth/Other Offense - Phone will be held for (30) days.




In order to insure the safety of all concerned, all visitors must report directly to the office upon entering the building.  All visitors are required to sign-in at the office and obtain a visitor's tag before going into other parts of the building.   Any student who is suspended is not allowed on school property except to come directly to the office for business.






In order to withdraw from DeKalb Middle School in good standing, it will be necessary to complete the following:


  • 1. Report to the office to pick up a withdrawal form.
  • 2. Report to the librarian before going to homeroom in order that your library record may be cleared during the day.
  • 3. As you go to your classes, return your textbooks to your teachers and have them initial your withdrawal form.
  • 4. If your parent is not bringing you in to withdraw, you will have to take your withdrawal form home so your parents can sign it. We must have a parent's signature before we can officially withdraw a student. (You may come in and get the form and take it home first then do steps 1 to 3.)
  • 5. Report to the principal for final clearance.




One of the most important lessons education should teach is self-discipline.  While it does not appear as a subject, it underlies the whole educational structure.  It is the training that develops self-control, character, orderliness, and efficiency.  It is the key to good conduct and proper consideration for other people.


With an understanding of the purpose in a school, you should use a correct attitude toward it, and not only do your part in making your school an effective place of learning, but develop the habit of self-restraint which will make you a better person.


Students who receive multiple disciplinary infractions may result in students being prohibited from attending school related activities, during and after school hours (example: football games, basketball games, dances, etc.)





The DeKalb County School System maintains high expectations that our students will conduct themselves appropriately at all times.  At the heart of Code of Behavior and Discipline are the virtues found in our Character Educational Program.  Students are expected to use the Character Education Virtues of the DeKalb County School System to model positive behavior.  In order to assist students, parents, teachers, and administrators, one should understand what is expected by positive behavior.  The Character Education Virtues are as follows:

  • 1. Kindness - the desire to show genuine sympathy and interest in others' well being.
  • 2. Courtesy - the ability to display positive behaviors that may be interpreted as being considerate, respectful, generous, polite, and mannerly in school, home, and community.
  • 3. Fairness/Justice - the conviction to consider the individual work of each citizen as an important contribution to the common good of the school or the community.
  • 4. Honesty - the conviction to say and/or do the morally right thing, regardless of public recognition.
  • 5. Self-Discipline - the ability to control one's self for the sake of improvement.
  • 6. Respect - the recognition of the basic worth and value of all human beings, which results in an individual relating to others in a manner which reflects dignity and honors humanity.
  • 7. Responsibility - the ability of a person to think, respond, and be accountable for his/her actions and behaviors in any given situation.
  • 8. Courage - the internal strength to actively support convictions and beliefs.
  • 9. Perseverance- the ability to pursue worthwhile goals in spite of obstacles and distractions.
  • 10. Self-respect - the ability to use a belief in self worth to recognize that choices exist in all situations and to resist negative peer pressure in making positive choices.


In order to insure that students behave in an appropriate manner and to insure that all students and teachers can learn and teach in a safe environment, the DeKalb County Board of Education has established a Code of Behavior and Discipline.  Teachers, administrators, and any school employee are authorized to take just and reasonable measures to establish effective school discipline.  The authority to control student behavior shall extend to the buses and all activities of the school.  Each school principal shall be responsible for implementation and administration in his/her school.  He/she shall apply the Code of Behavior and Discipline uniformly and fairly to each student at the school without partiality or discrimination. Students will receive punishment ranging from a verbal reprimand to the zero-tolerance policy being applied depending on the severity and nature of the misbehavior.  Infractions are as follows:


  • 1. Assaulting a principal, teacher, student, or any school employee with vulgar, obscene, or threatening language.
  • 2. Immoral or disreputable conduct toward a principal, teacher, or any school employee.
  • 3. Engaging in fighting.
  • 4. Violence or threatened violence against a person or property of any personnel or any student attending or assigned to any school.
  • 5. Possession of a pistol, gun, or firearm on school property.
  • 6. Possession of a knife or other weapons, etc., as defined in TCA 39-6-1701, on school property.
  • 7. Willful or malicious damage to or the theft of real or personal property of the school or the property of any person attending or assigned to the school.
  • 8. Unlawful use or possession of barbital or legal drugs as defined in TCA 53-10-101.
  • 9. Unlawful use, possession, sale and/or distribution of drugs and alcohol.
  • 10. Engaging in behavior, which disrupts a class or school sponsored activity.
  • 11. Assault or battery on school employees.
  • 12. Willful and persistent violation of the rules of the school or truancy.
  • 13. Off-campus criminal behavior resulting in felony charges or when such behavior poses a danger to persons or property or disrupts the educational process.
  • 14. Use of or the unlawful possession of tobacco.
  • 15. Any other conduct prejudicial to good order or discipline in the school.




In order to ensure a safe and secure learning environment free of drugs, violence and dangerous weapons, any student who engages in the following behaviors will be subject to suspension for a period of not less than one (1) calendar year.  Expelled means removed from the pupil's regular school or removed from school attendance altogether.  Nothing in this code shall be construed to prohibit the assignment of expelled students to the alternative school.


Zero Tolerance acts are as follows:


  • 1. Students who bring or unlawfully possess a narcotic, stimulant, prescription drug, or other controlled substance (including alcohol) or dangerous weapon on the school bus, on school property or to any school event or activity.
  • 2. Any student who, while on a school bus, on school property or while attending any school event or activity:
  • a. Unlawfully possesses a narcotic, stimulant, prescription drug, or any other controlled substance (including alcohol), or dangerous weapon; or

•b.  Commits battery on a teacher or any other employee of the system.





Students will not possess, distribute or be under the influence of illegal drugs or alcoholic beverages in school buildings or on school grounds, in school vehicles or buses, or at any school sponsored activity at any time, whether on or off school grounds.  Students will not market or distribute any substance which is represented to be or is substantially similar in color, shape, size, or markings of a controlled substance in the school building or on school grounds, in school vehicles or buses, or at any school-sponsored activity at any time, whether on or off school grounds.

Upon information that a student is suspected of violating this policy, the principal of the school shall be notified immediately.  If it is determined that board policy had indeed been violated, the principal shall notify the student's parent or guardian and the appropriate law enforcement officials, and the student shall be subject to suspension for a period of not less than one (1) calendar year.  The Director of Schools shall have the authority to modify this suspension requirement on a case-by-case basis.




The student and his/her parent(s) or guardian(s) are provided an opportunity to transfer to another school within the local agency that is safe for the student.  To the extent possible, the LEA shall allow the transferring student to transfer to a school that is making adequate yearly progress.  Again, we are pleased to announce that all the schools in DeKalb County meet all state requirements for a Safe School.  If you would like to receive additional information or have any questions, please call Dr. Danielle Collins at (615) 215-2116.




DeKalb Middle School may perform school-wide or grade level hearing screenings, eye screenings, blood pressure checks, scoliosis, and head checks for lice.  This is provided as a service to you and your children.  If you do not wish for this service to be performed on your child, please contact the school office. 

As a parent of a student at DeKalb Middle School, you have the right to know the professional qualifications of the classroom teachers who instruct your child.  Federal law allows you to ask for certain information about your child's teacher and requires us to give you this information in a timely manner if you ask for it.  Specifically, you have the right to ask for the following information about each of your child's classroom teachers:   1). Whether the Tennessee Depart of Education has licensed or qualified the teacher for the grades and subjects he or she teaches in.; 2.) Whether the Tennessee Department of Education has decided that teacher can teach in a classroom without being licensed or qualified under state regulation because of special circumstances; 3.) The teacher's college major, whether the teacher has any advanced degrees, and if so, the subject of the degrees; and  4.) whether any teacher's assistants or paraprofessionals provide services to your child and, if they do, their qualifications.

We are pleased to announce that the teachers at DeKalb Middle School meet all state and local requirements.  If you would like to receive any additional information, please call Danielle Collins at (615) 215-2116. DeKalb Middle School is pleased to be a school wide Title I school. The DeKalb County Board of Education encourages the involvement of parents, both as individuals and as groups, to act as advisors and resource people in the following ways:


  • 1. With specific talents to complement and extend the instructional services of the classroom teacher.
  • 2. To serve as advisors on curriculum development projects.
  • 3. To express ideas and concerns by responding to surveys and other information gathering devices.
  • 4. To be actively involved in parent-teacher groups.
  • 5. To serve on citizen's advisory committees.


This policy has been developed through consultation with parents.  Participation documentation will be maintained.  This policy will be distributed to parents of each Title I School at a joint annual meeting.

Under the Federal Projects Director the system shall have: 1.) Parent consultation and 2.) Committee Representation.

Assist schools in planning and implementing effective parent involvement and build the schools and parents' capacity for strong parent involvement as described in Section 1118(e) of Title I by providing:


  • 1. Staff Development
  • 2. Coordination
  • 3. Technical Assistance

4.     Funding

5.     Training

  • 6. Materials and Supplies


 Coordinate and integrate parental involvement strategies under Title I with strategies under other programs, such as Head Start and Adult Education by:


  • 1. Consultation with program directors
  • 2. Joint parent meetings
  • 3. Shared training sessions when appropriate.


Conduct, through parent questionnaires and surveys, an annual evaluation of the content and effectiveness of the parental involvement policy:


  • 1. To determine the effectiveness of the policy in increasing the participation of parents.
  • 2. To identify barriers to greater participation by parents in activities authorized by Title I.
  • 3. Use the findings of the annual evaluation in designing strategies for school improvement and revising, if necessary, LEA and school parent policies through committees.




The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords parents and students over 18 years of age ("eligible students") certain rights with respect to the student's education records.  These rights are:


  • 1. The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of the day the School receives a request for access. Parents or eligible students should submit to the school principal (or appropriate school official) a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. The school official will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
  • 2. The right to request the amendment of the student's education records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate or misleading. Parents or eligible students may ask the school to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the school principal (or appropriate official), clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the school decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent or eligible student, the school will notify the parent or eligible student of the decision and advise them of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the parent or eligible student when notified of the right to a hearing.
  • 3. The right to consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorized disclosure without consent. One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the school as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel); a person serving on the School Board; a person or company with whom the school has contracted to perform a special task (such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant; or therapist); or a parent or student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. Upon request, the school discloses education records without consent to officials of another school district in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.

(NOTE: FERPA requires a school district to make a reasonable attempt to notify the parent or eligible student of the records request unless it states in its annual notification that it intends to forward records on request.)

  • 4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the school to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA are:


Family Policy Compliance Office

U.S. Department of Education

400 Maryland Avenue, SW

Washington, DC  20202-460


Report cards on statewide academic assessment can be found at:  Once this page has been pulled up, click on Chamber of Commerce.  After reaching the Chamber of Commerce's home page click on schools.  The link can be found at the bottom of the page.




Beginning with the school year 2005-2006, a Truancy Board has been established to control excessive unexcused absences in the DeKalb County Schools.  Students will be referred to the Truancy Board after obtaining four (4) unexcused absences or twelve (12) unexcused tardies or early sign outs during the school year. Truancy Board meetings will be held as needed at DeKalb Middle School. T.C.A. 49-6-3001© (1) Every parent, guardian or other legal custodian residing within this state having control or charge of any child or children between six (6) years of age and seventeen (17) years of age, both inclusive, shall cause such child or children to attend public or non-public school, and in event of failure to do so, shall be subject to the penalties hereinafter provided.





The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA), 20 U.S.C. 1232h, requires DeKalb County School System to notify you and obtain consent or allow you to opt your child out of participating in certain school activities.  These activities include a student survey, analysis, evaluation or screenings that concerns one or more of the following nine areas ("protected information surveys"):


  • 1. Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or student's parent;
  • 2. Mental or psychological problems of the student or student's family;
  • 3. Sex behavior or attitudes;
  • 4. Illegal, anti-social, self incriminating or demeaning behavior;
  • 5. Critical appraisals of others with whom respondents have close family relationships;
  • 6. Legally recognized privileged relationships, such as with lawyers, doctors, or ministers;
  • 7. Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or parents; or
  • 8. Income, other than as required by law to determine program eligibility.
  • 9. Vision or health screenings.


This requirement also applies to the collection, disclosure or use of student information for marketing purposes ("marketing surveys"), and certain physical exams and screenings.  Receive notice and an opportunity to opt a student out of:


  • 1. Any other protected information survey, regardless of funding;
  • 2. Any non-emergency, invasive physical examination or screening required as a condition of attendance, administered by the school or its agent and not necessary to protect the immediate health and safety of a student, except for hearing, vision, or scoliosis screenings, or any physical exam or screening permitted or required under State Law; and
  • 3. Activities involving collection, disclosure, or use of personal information obtained from students for marketing or to sell or otherwise distribute the information to others.
  • 4.

Inspect, upon request and before administration or use:


  • 1. Protected information surveys of students;
  • 2. Instruments used to collect personal information from student for any of the above marketing, sales or other distribution purposes; and
  • 3. Instructional material used as part of the educational curriculum.


These rights transfer from the parents to a student who is 18 years old or an emancipated minor under State law. DeKalb County schools perform school-wide or grade-level hearing screening, vision screening, and head checks for lice.  This is provided as a service to you and your children.  If you do not wish for this service to be performed on your child, please notify the school by August 31st.




The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a Federal Law, requires that DeKalb County Schools, with certain exceptions, obtain your written consent prior to the disclosure of personally identifiable information from your child's education records.  However, DeKalb Schools may disclose appropriately designated "directory information" without written consent, unless you have advised the District to the contrary in accordance with local procedures.  This would be in the form of a written letter telling us to allow the schools to include this type of information from your child's education records in certain publications.  Examples include:

  • A playbill, showing your student's role in a drama production;
  • The annual year book;
  • Honor roll or other recognition lists;
  • Graduation programs; and
  • Sports activity sheets.

Directory information, which is information that is generally not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if released, can also be disclosed to outside organizations without a parent's prior written consent.  Outside organizations include, but are not limited to, companies that manufacture class rings or publish yearbooks.  In addition, two federal laws require local education agencies receiving assistance under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to provide military recruiters, upon request, with three directory information categories: names, addresses, and telephone listings; unless parents have advised the school that they do not want their student's information disclosed without their prior written consent.

If you do not want DeKalb County Schools to disclose directory information from your child's education records, you must notify the school in writing by August 31st.  Signing the cover letter will give your consent for directory information to be released.


DeKalb County School System Parent Information

Mark Willoughby

Director of Schools

110 South Public Square

Smithville, TN  37166

Phone: 615-597-4084


The DeKalb County School System is committed to providing the best education possible for each student.  We realize that parents play a vital role in the accomplishment of this mission so we encourage their involvement and strive to keep them informed of their rights.


  • DeKalb County School System does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, age, or handicap in the provision of educational opportunities, activities, or other administered programs
  • A parental involvement policy and parent-teacher-student compact will be distributed to parents by each Title I school. A copy of each document may also be obtained by contacting the school office. In schools eligible for Title I funds, a written parental involvement policy will be developed jointly with and distributed to parents of children participating in Title I programs. Each Title I school will also hold at least one annual meeting for parents to inform them of the school's participation in programs funded under the No Child Left Behind Act. All elementary/middle schools in Dekalb County are identified as school-wide Title I schools.
  • Parents have the right to request information regarding the professional qualifications of classroom teachers who instruct their child. If students are provided services by paraprofessionals, parents may also request information regarding the qualifications of paraprofessionals. Teacher certifications can be found by accessing the Tennessee Depart of Education Licensing Web site ( or by contacting the school principal or the school system's Federal Programs Director.
  • Parents must receive notification if their child has been assigned or has been taught for four or more consecutive weeks by a teacher who is not highly qualified.
  • Parents will have access to system and school report cards as developed by the State Department of Education (usually available in late fall of each year) through the web site ( or at the school and/or system office. Results will also be publicized through local media.
  • Parents must receive information on the achievement level of their child on each of the state academic assessments as practicably possible after the test is taken. The child's school will distribute assessment results.
  • Parents have access to district and school information and reports through the media (local newspaper and radio), the System/School Report Cards available on the State Department of Education website (, or at the school or system's administrative offices.
  • Parents may visit the State Department of Education web site ( or visit the school to access a description of the Tennessee Curriculum Standards, assessment information, and proficiency levels students are expected to meet.
  • Parents must be notified if their child is enrolled in a school identified for improvement, corrective action, or restructuring. Currently no school in DeKalb County has been identified as in need of improvement.
  • If a school fails to make adequate yearly progress, parents will be informed regarding the availability of school choice options and supplemental education services.
  • Under the Tennessee State Board of Education's Unsafe School Choice Policy, any public school student who is the victim of a violent crime as defined under Tennessee Code Annotated 40-38-111(g), or the attempt to commit one of these offenses as defined under Tennessee Code Annotated 30-12-101, shall be provided an opportunity to transfer to another grade-level appropriate school within the district.
  • Parents of a student identified as having limited English proficiency (ELL-English Language Learner) must be notified in a timely manner of the child's participation in the ELL program, details of the program, right to waive participation, and specific information on the child's level of English proficiency.
  • Parents will be notified of their child's eligibility for service in migrant, homeless, or Limited English Proficiency programs.
  • Parents must be informed of and involved in violence and drug prevention efforts including program content and activities. Parents may request in writing their child's exemption from participation in such activities.
  • Parents will be notified regarding their rights before any third-party surveys are distributed to students.
  • Schools in which at least 40% of the children are from low-income families have school-wide program authority under which schools may consolidate funds from federal, state and local sources to upgrade the entire educational program of the school.
  • Parents of secondary school students have a right to requests that their child's name, address, and telephone number not be released to a military recruiter without their prior written consent. Request should be addressed to the Federal Programs Director at address shown on brochure.
  • Federal law affords parents and students over 18 years of age certain rights with respect to educational records. School Board Policy relating to student privacy and parental access to information is available in the School Board Policy Manual located at each school and at the central office. Notification of Rights and Release of Directory Information under FERPA (Family Education Rights and Privacy Act) will also be conducted through local media announcements.





The DeKalb County Schools District does not discriminate against students because of their homelessness.


  • 1. Students who become homeless have a right to continued enrollment in their school while they are homeless. They may enroll in any public school that is eligible for attendance by other students who live in the attendance area in which the homeless student is currently living.
  • 2. No homeless student is required to attend a separate school for homeless students.
  • 3. Homeless students shall be provided services comparable to those provided for others, including transportation services, educational services, and meals served through school meal programs.
  • 4. Homeless students may not be stigmatized by school personnel or within school programs.
  • 5. The local school district must identify a staff person to be responsible for homeless students in the district.
  • 6.

 If you have questions or concerns, please contact Mr. Joey Reeder, Homeless Liaison for DeKalb County Schools, at 615-215-2102.



Nondiscrimination Notice


DeKalb Middle School does not discriminate in employment, and student services on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, handicap, or age. Grievances should be addressed to Director of School Office, 110 South Public Square, Smithville, TN 37166.