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Student Handbook

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West Hills Middle School 

8270 South Grizzly Way 
West Jordan, Utah 84081 
Main Office - (801) 412-2300 
Attendance Office - (801) 412-2340 
Counseling Center - (801) 412-2337 
Fax machine - (801) 412- 
Web Address - westhills.jordandistrict.org 
Principal - Ms. Cynthia VanderMeiden 
Assistant Principals -
Mr. Matt Lindsey (A-K by last name)
Ms. Marni Davis (L-Z by last name) 

A Message from the Administration 

Dear Student, 

Welcome to West Hills Middle School, home of the Wildcats! We are honored and excited to work with you throughout the school year. In middle school, you will encounter many changes. We are here to help you in whatever way we can; our greatest desire is to help you be successful and accomplish your goals. 

In this handbook, you will find explanations of our rules and procedures along with contact information so you know who can help you when you have questions. Read this information with your parents and return the disclosure slip to your second period teacher. Please come to us with your questions! 

Again, welcome to West Hills! We will have a great year together; remember – It’s always a great day to be a Wildcat! 

Most sincerely, 

Ms. VanderMeiden, Principal 

Mr. Lindsey, Assistant Principal 

Ms. Kilcrease, Assistant Principal 

Student Handbook 

General Information 

Contact Information 

We hope you feel welcome to contact us with your questions, concerns, and comments. If you need to contact anyone, do so in one of three ways: 

      1. Arrange time for a face-to-face conversation. 
      2. Call the Main Office. A secretary will connect you to a teacher’s 

voicemail. You can leave a message, and the teacher will return your call as soon as possible. 

      1. Send an email. You can find email addresses for teachers, counselors, 

and administrators on the website. www.westhills.jordandistrict.org 

Change of Address or Phone Number 

If you change your address or phone number, your parent/guardian needs to call the Attendance Office as soon as possible. We need accurate contact information in case of an emergency. 

Loss of Personal Property 

WHMS is not responsible for anything that is lost, stolen, vandalized, or given to an WHMS employee for safekeeping. This is true for ALL items – even expensive items such as personal electronics, skateboards, scooters, bikes, jewelry, wallets, etc... KEEP THESE EXPENSIVE AND VALUABLE ITEMS AT HOME! 

Visitors 

WHMS welcomes parents and community members to visit classrooms and teachers. All visitors must check in at the Main Office. 

Unfortunately, former students or students from other schools can not visit classrooms and teachers during school hours. The only exception is when the school or a teacher has invited other students to help with a school activity or lesson plan. 

Attendance 

We want to see you in school every day. You have much to learn, and what you learn, discuss, and question in class is important! (Not to mention difficult to make-up. Just 1 day = 7 classes/assignments!!) 

Utah law requires you to attend school (Utah Code 53-A-11-101). If you miss school for a legitimate reason, make sure that your parent or guardian excuses the absence. Too many absences will lead to legal action. (Legitimate reasons to miss school include: illness, medical appointments, family wedding or emergency, death of a relative or close friend, family activity/travel, court appearance.) 

Excused Absence 

When you are absent, make sure your parent/guardian excuses the absence via phone call or note. Excused absences ensure that you can make up work missed in classes. 

Check-in to School 

If you arrive to school more than 10 minutes late or sometime during the day, check-in at the attendance office. Bring a note from your parent/guardian, orthodontist, dentist, or doctor. The secretaries will excuse the absence/tardy. If you arrive between 7:50 – 8:00, just go straight to class and give your teacher the note. If you do not have a note, your tardy or absence will not be excused. 

Check-out of School 

For safety reasons, your parent/guardian or other person listed on your registration card, must come into the school and show photo ID to pick you up. 

Tardies 

You are considered tardy if you are not in your seat when the tardy bell rings. If you are tardy, first you need to find an administrator in the 200 hall. They will take your name and give you a tardy pass. Then, you will go directly to your class, enter quietly, and follow your teacher's procedure for recording your tardy in their class. WHMS tardy policy is as follows: 

1 tardy = warning 

2 tardies = phone call home with teacher and/or administrator 

3 tardies = phone call home with an administrator AND 2 days of lunch detention 

4 tardies = phone call home with and administrator and 5 days of lunch detention 

5 tardies = phone call home and 2 days of after school detention 

6 tardies = parent conference and 1 day of ISS 

7+ tardies = parent conference and behavior intervention plan/contract 

Truancy (“Sluffing”) 

You need to be in every class, every day. Truancy is when the teacher or school cannot account for you. Some examples include leaving school without permission, coming to school but not attending class, obtaining permission to go to a certain place but not reporting there, or leaving class without permission. Truant students receive consequences from the administration. Law enforcement may also be involved. 

Vacation Leave 

If you are going on vacation or leaving town for any reason, let the school know before you leave. Bring a note from your parent (or have them call the Attendance Office) letting us know what dates you will be gone. You will receive a form to take to your teachers to sign. Return the form to the office. You can have up to ten days of vacation time. 

Home and Hospital Services 

If you are going to be out of school for more than ten days because of medical conditions (surgery, illness, mental health treatment, etc...) you can receive home and hospital services. This allows you to receive schoolwork and help from a teacher while you are out. A doctor’s note is required to receive this service. 

Make-Up Work 

If you are absent, for whatever reason, it is YOUR responsibility to approach your teachers and make a plan for missed work to be completed in a timely manner. Each teacher reserves the right to require an alternative or additional assignment if the original assignment is difficult to replicate (e.g., a lab) or has already been graded (to avoid academic dishonesty). 

Academic Dishonesty (Cheating and Plagiarism) 

You are expected to be honest in all of your schoolwork. If you copy another student’s work (without teacher permission), share your work with another student to copy (without teacher permission), or in any way try to take credit for work you didn’t do (plagiarism), you will receive an alternative assessment. The assessment will be provided at a time convenient for the teacher. The student will also be referred to an assistant principal for possible disciplinary consequences. 

What-I-Need (WIN) 

We know that sometimes you need extra time to learn a concept, or you want to learn more about a topic. On most school weeks, 30 minutes of each day are devoted to advisory or intervention. 

Monday is Advisory. During this class you check Skyward, set goals, determine 'What-I-Need' to do to improve my learning, and make a plan for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Sometimes, you have a social-emotional learning lesson. 

Tuesday - Thursday is Intervention. You use this time to get extra support for learning. Students who are demonstrating proficiency attend enrichment classes. 

VIP: Very Important Policies 

We have high expectations for you. We expect you to earn good grades and make great friends. You have the support of your family, your teachers, your counselors, and everyone working at the school. We are here for you! We want you to be successful. You can start to do this by remembering to be SAFE, RESPECTFUL, and RESPONSIBLE all the time, everywhere. Everyone has the right 

to learn in a positive, safe environment. When you exhibit safe, respectful, and responsible behaviors, you may earn rewards and privileges. Some of those include... Wildcash to buy stuff from the school store, extra activities, public recognition, phone call or postcards home, praise, and a happy environment. Not to mention that you will feel good about yourself! 

There are some specific policies and rules you should know. West Hills Middle School strictly adheres to Jordan School District policies. The most important ones to you are the following: 

AS67 Drugs & Alcohol 

AS90 Discipline of Students 

AS98 Bullying & Cyber-bullying 

AA419 Student Conduct & Dress 

This handbook will provide you with a brief explanation of these policies. You can find the complete policy on the JSD website.

Consequences for policy violations may include, but are not limited to: 

      • reprimand/counsel/apologies
      • truancy court referral 
      • parent conference
      • guidance counseling 
      • character reflection journal
      • special course completion 
      • lunch detention
      • behavior contract 
      • in-school suspension (ISS)
      • district-level hearing 
      • out-of-school suspension (OSS)
      • Habitual Disruption citation 
      • restitution 
      • referral to West Jordan Police 

AS67 Drugs and Alcohol 

Illegal substances are a disruption to the educational environment. You may not possess, use, or distribute any illegal substances (e.g., alcohol, tobacco, e-cigs, marijuana - in any form). They are forbidden on school property, during school hours, and at any school-sponsored activity – even those held off school property. You will receive consequences as outlined in the policy and a referral to South Jordan Police. 

AS90 Discipline of Students 

This policy is more widely known as the “Safe Schools Policy”. Its purpose is to preserve order among students and protect school property. It requires administration to discipline students who engage in activities that disrupt the educational environment, threaten or harm persons or property, or disrupt school activities. While many behaviors are defined and prohibited in the policy, you should definitely know the following: 

    1. Abusive Language: Keep it clean and G-rated. You may not use language that is offensive to the general population. This includes put- downs of any nature, lewd innuendos, derogatory comments, or foul language. You cannot excuse such comments by saying “just kidding” afterwards.
    1. Disruption of Class or Insubordination of Faculty/Staff: You are expected to comply with the safe and reasonable request of teachers and staff. When you refuse a safe and reasonable request from an adult in the building, you are being insubordinate. Always follow school and classroom behavior expectations.
    1. Fighting: Fighting is NEVER permitted at school. If you are in conflict with someone, get help before it turns to violence. If you engage in fighting as a physical participant, you will be referred to administration for consequences, including a mandatory 2 day suspension.
    1. Vandalism: Vandalism is willfully defacing, cutting, marring, injuring, damaging, or losing school or staff property. Restitution is often a consequence of vandalism, as well as a referral to West Jordan Police.
    1. Gang–related Activity: Gang-related behaviors, dress, language, paraphernalia, recruiting, jumping in, or other illegal activities are not allowed. You will be referred to West Jordan Police.

AS98 Bullying and Cyber-bullying 

Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. This policy defines elements of bullying, prohibits bullying, and gives guidelines for discipline. 

    1. Bullying is aggressive behavior that is intentional and involves an imbalance of power or strength. You are being bullied when you are exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more students. Bullying can be physical, verbal, non-verbal (body language), or emotional.
    1. Cyberbullying is bullying that is sent via internet, cell-phone, or other electronic devices. It can be a text, image, or video that is sent with the intent or knowledge that the post will hurt, embarrass, or threaten someone. It doesn’t matter if the post is sent directly to the intended victim or if s/he consented to the conduct. Best advice? Don’t do it.
    1. Harassment is when you repeatedly communicate to another person statements that contribute to a hostile working or learning environment. It is demeaning and disparaging, not to mention illegal.
    1. Retaliation is ‘getting back’ at someone who has reported something against you. It includes intimidation – trying to influence the investigation of, or the response to, a report of inappropriate behavior.

All of these behaviors are immediately investigated by the administration, and sometimes the police. We can’t investigate what we don’t know, so always report bullying, harassment and retaliation. You can do it anonymously to the SafeUT app

If you are having a serious problem with someone, tell an adult (parent, teacher, hall monitor, counselor, administrator, etc...). We want to help you! Do not confront the other person. This usually leads to more serious problems. 

AA419 Student Conduct and Dress Code 

Please come to school dressed in clothes that show respect for the educational environment. This means that your clothes meet health, safety, and school standards, and that you use standard personal hygiene. 

If your clothes do not comply with standards, you may either: 

      1. call home and wait in the ISS room, until a parent brings you appropriate clothes,

    or

      1. change into something else, you have in your PE locker, that is school appropriate

Please wear: 

    • clothes that are clean and in good condition 
    • shirts/tops that cover your chest, shoulders, back, and midriff (belly) 
    • pants, shorts, skirts, dresses that are clearly past finger-tip length (those are generally appropriate). If you are unsure about the length or shreds, wear leggings underneath. 
    • Hard-soled shoes 

Please do not wear: 

    • clothes that show underwear, excessive skin or cleavage (sagging pants, short skirts, short-shorts, miniskirts, halter tops, tank tops, spaghetti straps, etc...) Your underwear must be fully covered at all times! 
    • Clothes that have several holes or are mutilated to show excessive skin, particularly above the knee 
    • Clothes that have vulgar, profane, obscene, or violent images or messages 
    • Clothes that have tobacco, alcohol, or drug slogans, logos, or symbols 
    • Hats or hoods. Do not dangle hats from your belt, backpack, or other parts of your attire. Hats are not allowed in school
    • Gang-related clothes, colors, or paraphernalia (bandanas, hats, hairnets, monochromatic (all the same color) clothing, etc...) This is based on the current information from the Metro Gang Police Unit and the guidance of the School Community Council. 

These are general highlights. School officials are given the responsibility of making sure your clothing, hair, or jewelry are not a health or safety hazard or a distraction from the educational purpose of school. Make wise choices when dressing for school. When in doubt – don’t wear it out. 

General Campus Behavior & Information 

Be SAFE, RESPECTFUL, AND RESPONSIBLE 

Outside 

School dismisses at 2:50. You are expected to be off-campus by 3:10. The only exceptions are if you are working with a teacher or attending a school activity. Offices close, teachers leave, and the custodians need to finish their cleaning assignments. Also, for your safety, stay on the sidewalks and use the crosswalks in the parking lot. You are responsible for securing your equipment for the day (bike, skateboard, scooter, etc...). Do not use your equipment in the building or in high traffic areas (in the front of the school). 

Hallways 

Please follow the Safe, Respectful and Responsible behaviors for the Hallways. You have 5 minutes of passing time between each class. This is plenty of time to get to class without running or shoving. You should not be in the hallways during class unless you are with an adult or you have a hall pass. 

Classrooms 

Please follow the Safe, Respectful and Responsible behaviors for each classroom. All teachers post classroom rules that are specific to the learning space. They also post positive and negative consequences. 

Cafeteria 

Please follow the Safe, Respectful and Responsible behaviors for the Cafeteria. We are a closed campus – you may not leave campus during lunch. You may not order delivery. You may use your electronic devices during lunch. 

If weather is permitting and enough supervisors are present, you may be allowed to go outside. If so, please follow instructions posted on the door and stay in line-of-sight of the cafeteria doors. Also, remember to stay out of the ditch and do not disturb PE classes. 

Auditorium 

It is a privilege to attend events in the auditorium. Please follow the Safe, Respectful and Responsible behaviors for the Auditorium. 

Media Center 

Please follow the Safe, Respectful and Responsible behaviors for the Media Center. Mrs. Haight welcomes you to use the Media Center before and after school, during passing time, with a teacher, and/or at lunch (you must see her before school to secure a Media Center Lunch Pass). 

Gym 

Please follow the Safe, Respectful and Responsible behaviors for the Gym. The gym is NOT open to students during lunch and is not for use as a short-cut. 

Computers 

Please follow the Safe, Respectful and Responsible behaviors for the Computer Lab. Computers are used for educational purposes only. Food and drinks are not allowed near the computers. To use a computer, you must sign an Acceptable Use Agreement. Be sure you know what is in the agreement; you are held strictly accountable. A copy of the agreement is posted in each lab, the Media Center, and on-line. 

Lockers 

You are assigned a locker for the year. Use it to store your schoolbooks and school equipment. You are responsible for keeping it neat and clean – both 

inside and out. If you do not, you may have to pay for any damage done to the locker (e.g., scratches, dents, writing). For your own safety and protection, DO NOT SHARE YOUR LOCKER COMBINATION WITH ANYONE ELSE!!! WHMS is not responsible for lost or stolen items. We may also confiscate illegal items that are stored in lockers. The locker owner receives the discipline for such items. 

Personal Electronic Devices (PED's) 

Always practice safe, respectful and responsible digital citizenship. Turn off notifications and put them away during class. Occasionally, a teacher will allow you to use it for an educational purpose. If a teacher has not given permission and your device is visible, s/he may confiscate it. Consequences depend upon how many instances of device abuse. Remember, these are privileges at school. Your privilege may be taken away if abused. WHMS is NOT responsible for your PED's. 

Teachers, Staff, Volunteers, Guests, Substitutes 

Whether paid or not, these adults are in our building to help you. They deserve your utmost respect. Speak respectfully to them. Be polite, helpful and follow their requests. If you have a concern about someone in particular, please bring it to an administrator’s attention. 

Please ask teachers, counselors and administrators when you have a question regarding a rule or procedure. When in doubt, always remember: 

Be Safe, Respectful, and Responsible