Knox News September 2019

A PDF copy of the September 2019 Knox News is available to print.

Opening Day at Knox Jr. High School 2019-20

collage of photos of students by lockers, principal addressing students, students posing next to entry doors

Message from the Principal

Dear Parents,

Welcome back to a new and exciting year at Knox. The Knox News, our monthly newsletter, is posted on the school district website www.johnstownschools.org.  Paper copies will be available in the  guidance office. The newsletter will provide you with much of the important news and happenings at Knox and throughout the district.

This newsletter includes information that will be important to you in the year ahead.  Please save it, along with the student guidelines booklet your child was given, to use as a reference during the upcoming school year. We realize that there are many forms to fill out and a lot of paperwork to complete during the first weeks of school.  We do, however, ask your cooperation in getting these forms back to us in a timely manner so we have the most up to date information concerning your child.  If something changes during the year, (address, phone number, etc.)  please let us know.

Many important correspondences will be coming home with your child. Progress Reports and Report Cards will be sent home with your child.  If you do not seem to be receiving informational items from school, please question your child. You may also pick up additional copies at school.

As parents/guardians of a junior high student, you may see many rapid changes in your child throughout the school year. It is very important that you keep lines of communication open during these very formative times. Take the time to talk to your child and do not hesitate to call school with questions or concerns.

I look forward to a very productive year here at Knox.

Sincerely,

Robert Kraemer
Principal

Some Upcoming Important  Dates:

The district calendar is posted on the school district website www.johnstownschools.org. Please take a few moments to make yourself aware of dates, activities, and events that pertain to your child.

  • Sept. 7-Drive 4UR School 8:00am-4:30pm at JHS
  • Sept. 14-PTSA Golf Tournament
  • Sept. 18 -Knox School PTSA 6:00pm in Library
  • Sept. 20 -Knox Welcome Dance 6:00pm-8:00pm
  • Oct. 3- Knox Open House
  • Oct. 7-One Hour Early Dismissal-Knox Ends at 1:10pm
  • Oct. 11-Knox First 5-Week Progress Reports Distributed to Students
  • Oct. 14- Columbus Day-School is Closed
  • Oct. 15-Superintendent’s Day-No School for Students
  • Oct. 18-Knox PTSA Mtg. 6:00pm Library
  • Oct. 26 – Knox Halloween School Dance 7:00pm-9:00pm

Report Cards and Progress Reports are distributed to students on the following dates:

  • Oct. 11-1st 5-week progress report
  • Nov. 15 -1st qtr. report card distributed
  • Dec. 13 -2nd 5-week progress report
  • Jan. 31 -2nd qtr. report card distributed
  • March 6 -3rd 5-week progress report
  • April  9 -3rd qtr. report card distributed
  • May  22-4th 5-week progress report
  • June 26-4th qtr. report card distributed

If you are not receiving progress reports and report cards home with your child,  or have any questions regarding access to Parent Portal, please contact the guidance office at 518-762-3726.

All 9 All the time!

Expectations of Knox Students

to promote and encourage a positive and safe learning community

  1. Always use polite language and a respectful voice.
  2. Follow directions of ALL school staff without arguing.
  3. Dress in a way that encourages a positive learning community and does not interfere with others’ learning opportunities.
  4. Carry your agenda  SIGNED and correctly DATED by a staff member in order to be out of class.
  5. Drinks and food must be stored in lockers until lunch or after school.
  6. Be prepared and on time to ALL classes, including study hall and lunch.
  7. Behave safely: keep hands, feet, and objects to self.
  8. Walk at all times in the halls and cafeteria.
  9. Electronic devices must be kept in lockers at ALL times.

Knox Student Creed

I am an intelligent and assertive student.
My destiny is in my hands.
I will overcome all obstacles which stand in my way.
The decisions I make today will affect the rest of my life.
I will have respect for myself and others.
I will also set a good example for my peers.
Education is my ticket to success.
If I say it can be done, I will achieve my goals.
I am a Knox Junior High School student!

Source: www.greatexpectationsok.org/implementation_creeds.php

Your Knox student should be able to discuss with you and explain the meaning of the Knox Student Creed and the expectations of Knox Students.. Ask your child about it today!

Academic Expectations

The classroom is a setting for learning.  It is the student’s responsibility to:

  • Arrive to class on time;
  • Use class and study time for learning;
  • Complete assigned work on time;
  • Prepare thoroughly for each class;
  • Respect the rights of other students;
  • Participate in the class discussion and activities;
  • Respect the authority of the teacher or substitute;
  • Follow classroom procedures as determined by the teacher;
  • Use textbooks, school technologies, and other class materials appropriately and with care.

Citizenship

School provides an opportunity to learn to communicate with others, to respect the rights of others and to operate within certain rules for the common good.  It is the student’s responsibility to:

  • Treat other people as you wish to be treated;
  • Respect the rights, property, and safety of others;
  • Assist in keeping the school clean and free from litter and vandalism;
  • Understand that the school operates within established rules and regulations and these rules and regulations must be followed;
  • Respect the property of the school;
  • Follow the directions of people in authority;
  • Avoid inappropriate physical contact;
  • Behave appropriately;

Good Neighbors

Let’s all show what good neighbors Knox students are. Please remember not to loiter (hang out) on people’s property, be boisterous (loud and noisy) or “play” (fight, exchange bad words, smoke, etc.) on or near their property. “Horseplay” (pushing, shoving) may not be so amusing to people living near the school. Also, the Johnstown Police Department is requesting that people walk on the sidewalks, not in the street. This request is made for safety and the police will be enforcing the regulation.

Student Agendas

Students are provided agendas on their first day of school.  This agenda is your passport for the school year.  Put your name in it immediately.  Keep it safe and in good condition. You will be required to have it in all your classes.  You will use it to record your assignments, keep track of your school obligations, and to help you keep organized. It is also used as your hall pass.

You will not be able to use another student’s agenda.  Nor will you be allowed to loan your agenda to another student.

Backpacks

Although backpacks and large pocketbooks help students carry their belongings and study materials to and from school, students are not authorized to use them while in school.  Students are encouraged to plan their day in advance, including times when it will be necessary to stop at their lockers to exchange learning materials and supplies for their classes.  Students should not carry their backpacks or large pocketbooks to and from classes, but should store them in their lockers while in school.

Lost and Found

There is lost and found table in the front hallway. Students should report losses to the main office It is strongly recommended that valuables and significant sums of money not be brought to school.  The school is not responsible for loss or theft of property.

Use of Knox Telephones

Students are not authorized to use any telephones in the Knox building.  There is a telephone available for student use in the main office and may be accessed with permission from the office secretary.  Access to this telephone should be limited to emergency use only.  Students who regularly depart from school at the end of the day via a ride from a parent or guardian should arrange in advance a convenient time for pick up.  Daily telephone calls from students to parents for pick up times crowds the main office and makes it very difficult to carry on regular school business.

Lockers

With the start of the school year, each student is issued a hall locker, gym locker, and combination locks for each.  Each pupil is responsible for maintaining both lockers in good condition.  It is the student’s responsibility to report to the office any condition which would prevent the normal operation of the locker.  The following guidelines apply for locker usage:

  • Pupils are cautioned not to share lockers or lock combinations.
  • The school does not take responsibility for personal or other articles lost or removed in connection with the use of lockers.
  • The storage of illegal or dangerous items such as medication, drugs, firearms, flammable substances, or explosives in the locker is strictly forbidden.
  • Pupils are not to bring their own locks for the lockers.  Only school supplied locks are to be used; all others will be removed.
  • Misuse or mistreatment of the lockers may result in the denial of locker privileges.
  • No decoration or writing is permitted on the interior or exterior of the locker door.  Pupils will be held financially responsible for locker cleaning or repairs caused by abuse.
  • Lockers are the property of the Greater Johnstown School District and may be opened and inspected by authorized personnel at any time.
  • Pupils should maintain their lockers in a clean and organized fashion.
  • Pupils should clean out their lockers in June prior to final examinations.

Although there is no charge for the first locks issued to students, there is a $5.00 charge for replacement locks in the event they are lost, misplaced, stolen, or broken due to abuse.

Unauthorized Items

  • The use of cell phones, and all other electronic devices are prohibited between the start of school and the end of school.
  • The use of skateboards, roller blades, inline skates, and other such devices are prohibited inside the school and on the walks leading up to the school doors.  Students using these to come and go from school may store them in the closet opposite the main gymnasium doors.
  • Sunglasses, beepers, laser pointers, water pistols, and similar devices and toys are prohibited in school.
  • Wallet or other similar chains are prohibited.
  • All other such equipment will be confiscated and held until the student or parent comes in to pick it up or until the end of the school year.
  • Food or drink is not permitted outside the cafeteria.
  • Any item that is potentially disruptive to the educational process or presents a safety concern will be confiscated and the student will be subject to disciplinary action.

Student Dress

An individual’s First Amendment rights of freedom of expression extend only to the point where they begin to impinge upon the rights of others.  In this vein, all students are expected to give proper attention to personal cleanliness and to dress appropriately for school and school functions.  Students and their parents have the primary responsibility for acceptable student dress and appearance.

A student’s dress and grooming, including hair style/color, jewelry, make-up, and nails, shall be safe and appropriate and not disrupt or interfere with the educational process.  In addition, students must understand that:

  • Extremely brief garments and see-through garments are inappropriate.
  • Bare midriffs are not permissible.
  • Underwear must be completely covered with outer clothing.
  • Footwear must be worn at all times.  Footwear that is a safety hazard will not be allowed.
  • References that are vulgar, obscene, libelous, or that denigrate others because of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, sexual orientation or disability are unacceptable.
  • The promotion and/or endorsement of alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs and/or encouragement of other illegal or violent activities is unacceptable.
  • Wallet chains are considered dangerous and will be confiscated.

Students who violate the student dress code will be required to modify their appearance by covering or removing the offending item, and if necessary or practical, replacing it with an acceptable item.  Any student who refuses to do so shall be subject to disciplinary consequences.

Knox Dances

The PTSA sponsors monthly dances.  All Knox students in good academic and behavioral standing are welcome and encouraged to come.

There are some rules and procedural guidelines we follow for dances in order to make them as safe and as pleasant as possible for everyone.  They are as follows:

  • Only current Knox students and Wheelerville Junior High students are permitted to attend Knox dances.
  • Students may purchase their dance tickets in advance or at the door. They are made available at lunchtime outside the cafeteria on the day of the dance. Tickets are $5.00.
  • The school doors open at 6:00 o’clock for the dance and all students are expected to enter by 6:15.  If your child is held up for any reason and is unable to arrive by 6:15, we ask that a parent or legal guardian accompany him or her to the door.
  • All children are expected to remain in the school for the dance until 8:00 o’clock.  If a child must leave early, a parent or legal guardian must come to pick him or her up.  Prior to the end of the dance at 8:00 pm we will not release any child without the physical presence of a parent or legal guardian.  This is for their safety and your peace of mind.
  • Any student who receives a day of ISS or OSS in the two weeks prior to the dance will be prohibited from that month’s dance. For the May Dance, any student who receives a total of 20 points throughout the year (1 point for a detention, 3 points for one day of ISS and 5 points for each day of OSS) will not be able to attend.
  • Students who misbehave at the dance will be asked to leave in the company of their parents and may be prohibited from attending subsequent dances.

Attendance Policy

Absent from Class

  • A student absent from class without an excuse will be assigned an after-school detention.
  • A student absent from class without an excuse for a 2nd time will be assigned 2 after-school detentions.
  • Further class cutting by a student will result in a review of the student’s academic program and further punitive sanctions.
  • Parents will be notified by letter of each of these consequences.

Truancy

  • A student who is truant from school will be assigned an after-school detention for each period missed.
  • Parents will be contacted as soon as the child is confirmed as absent or missing from school.

Absent from Detention

  • Students who are assigned a detention by a teacher and who do not attend this detention with the teacher will be assigned 2 detentions by the principal.  Teacher-assigned detentions typically last until 3:00 pm.  Administrative detentions last until 3:00 pm.
  • Students absent from an administrative detention will be assigned a full day of in-school suspension.  In-school suspension lasts until 3:00 pm.

Chronic Absences and Tardies

Chronic school absences and tardies have serious academic consequences that are spelled out in the GJSD BOE’s Policy #7109.  Additionally, chronic absenteeism may result in a Hot Line to the Department of Social Services. Questions about the GJSD’s Attendance Policy and it’s implementation

Homework Guidelines

Homework is an integral part of the educational process.  When effectively planned, assigned, and evaluated, it encourages and measures the development of basic skills, self-discipline, and associated good work habits.

Homework can be assigned to a group or to an individual; it may be required or voluntary; and should serve one or more of the four purposes listed below:

  • As practice to help students master specific skills (limited to materials presented in class)
  • As preparation for future lessons
  • As extensions to help determine if students can transfer specific skills or concepts to new situations
  • As assignments involving creativity to integrate many skills and concepts

Teacher Responsibilities

To ensure the desired results, all homework assignments should be evaluated by the teacher prior to their assignment according to the following “standards”:

  • Is the assignment of positive educational benefit to every student involved in it?
  • Does the assignment take into consideration the difference in abilities and rates of learning of every child involved in it?
  • Is the assignment given in such a way that every child understands fully what is to be accomplished?
  • Does the time allotted for this assignment take into consideration other long range assignments which have been previously given?
  • Is there a sound, educationally defensible reason for this assignment?  (Homework should never be assigned as a penalty for poor behavior)

Student and Parent Responsibilities

Students are responsible for their own learning.  They have the responsibility to make a reasonable attempt at doing their homework, seeking help when needed, and taking the initiative for obtaining and making up assignments when they have been absent.

Parents can assist students by providing an appropriate place and the proper conditions for study.

Transportation/Busing

Passing School Busses:  It is illegal to pass a stopped school bus with its red lights on while on the high way or in the school driveway.   (Effective November 1, 1990, Chapter 62 of the Law of 1990 amends Section 1174(a) and (b) of the Vehicle and Traffic Law dealing with the overtaking and passing of a school bus).

For many students the school day begins with a bus ride.  The school’s responsibility starts when the student boards the bus in the morning and does not end until the student is returned home safely in the afternoon.  A safe, pleasant trip to and from school helps foster positive student attitudes toward school.  A very important tip for parents is to be sure that your child knows what bus he/she rides.

Bus Stops:

Students should be at the bus stop prior to arrival of the bus.

Safety:

Safety measures pertaining to transportation include carefully planned student instruction.  Please review the following at home:

  • Be ready to board the bus when it arrives.  Students should always pass at least ten feet in front of the bus when the driver signals them to cross the street.  Go immediately to your seat and remain there until the bus comes to a complete stop at your destination.
  • Bus aisles should be kept clear of all objects—including legs, arms, and heads.
  • Windows are not to be opened unless the driver grants permission.
  • Students should keep all parts of the body inside the bus at all times.
  • Students are not allowed to eat or drink on the bus.
  • Students are asked to speak quietly so that the driver will not be distracted.  Refrain from speaking to the bus driver when the bus is in motion, except in the case of emergency.
  • No articles are to be thrown from or on the bus.  Throwing anything from the bus is not only a bus violation, but also a violation against the state littering laws, subject to a $50.00 fine.
  • No glass (bottles, jars, etc.) is allowed on the bus.
  • No pets, including snakes, frogs, bugs, worms, etc., are allowed on the bus.  Parents may seek permission to personally bring animals to school by contacting their child’s teacher for approval.
  • No skateboards, roller blades, skis, golf clubs, fishing poles, plants, portable radio/tape/CD players, trading cards and the like are allowed on the bus.
  • Follow all directions from the bus driver.
  • Respect the health, safety, and morals of others in language and actions.

Bus transportation is a privilege extended to students provided that conduct is acceptable.  If a violation occurs, the driver will take reasonable action to prevent further difficulties.  These actions may include a reprimand, a seat reassignment, parent contact, and/or a written discipline referral to the student’s principal.

More serious cases may require termination of bus-riding privileges either temporarily or long-term.  This decision will apply particularly to situations in which the behavior causes a clear and immediate threat to the safety and welfare of others.  Persistent problems will result in the withdrawal of transportation privileges for an increasing length of time.  The Superintendent will determine the removal of transportation privileges beyond five consecutive days.

Safety Drills:

A minimum of three emergency bus drills will be held during the school year.  These drills will include information on the following:  1) use and operation of the emergency doors and windows;  2) fire extinguisher and two-way radio;  3) first aid equipment.

Change in Transportation Requests:

Any request for a change in transportation due to a change in address may be initiated in the main office.  This request will be forwarded to the transportation director and may take a few school days to a week to arrange.  Plan accordingly.  Students who regularly take the bus to and from school may request a temporary change in bus arrangements in an emergency only.  In this case, a written note from the student’s parent or guardian is required.  This note should be turned in to the main office prior to the start of school.  The principal will review the request and sign it if approved.  The secretary will photocopy the request and return it to the student who will present it to the bus driver when he/she boards the bus.  Students who are not regular bus riders are not authorized to use them for any reason.

Dropping Off and Picking Up Students Before and After School

Please be aware that traffic and parking are always an issue in and around Knox.  There is NO PARKING ON THE EAST SIDE OF PERRY STREET DURING THE SCHOOL DAY. That area is reserved for school busses.

In the morning, students should be let out at the curb and observe all safety rules when crossing the street. Crossing after being dropped off on the street or between parked cars on both Perry St. and First Ave. are major safety concerns.  Parents need to adhere to all traffic rules and be alert to students crossing the street.  Be aware that the closer it gets to 7:25 am, risky behaviors increase as more people are in a hurry. Please be careful.

In the afternoon at dismissal, many students are rushing to get out of school and may not be paying attention. Please be alert to the potential of a student wandering into the street as you are traveling near the school.

Do not double park at any time.  Remember, it is illegal to pass a stopped school bus when the lights are flashing.

Other Important Information

Monday – Friday Bell Schedules

Physical Education

All students are to bring a change of clothes and sneakers for physical education classes.  State Education Law mandates that each child must average 2 ½ periods of physical education per week.  Therefore, if your child misses a class, he/she will have to make up the time.

Parent Participation in School Life Through PTSA

Knox has an open PTSA and all parents and students are urged to join.  If you are interested in helping, please see the information included in this packet. You may also contact one of the following officers:

Co-Presidents—Stacy Laird & Jamie Tallon
Vice President—Catarina Rapp
Secretary—Danielle Bramer
Treasurer—Emily Cheney
Corresponding Secretary—Kathi Lewis
Appreciation Chair– Eileen Kurtz
Teacher Representative-Jessica Stock, Jennifer Olsen

Emergency School Closings

You should have arrangements made by September for supervision of your children on days school closes early in the event that you are at work or not at home.  The name and telephone number of your emergency contacts should be listed on the student/parent/contact information form that was sent home with your child. Any necessary changes to that information should be made and returned to school immediately.

In the event of a school closing or delay, you should receive a call from the All Call Emergency Phone System. School closings and/or delays will also be posted on the school website www.johnstownschools.org and will be  broadcast on the following stations:

WIZR 930 AM TV CHANNEL 6
WGY 810 AM TV CHANNEL 10
WENT 1340 AM TV CHANNEL 13

It is important to note that whenever there is a delay, students will not be able to come to school or enter the building prior to the announced starting time.  There are not any school personnel available to supervise students prior to the opening of school.

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