Sweetwater One School District Outlines New Attendance and Cell Phone Policies

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The 2019-2020 school year will bring about some new changes in the attendance and cell phone policies in Sweetwater School District #1.

ROCK SPRINGS — With the start of school Monday, there will be new policies in place for both attendance and cell phone usage in the Sweetwater No. 1 School District.

The district issued the new policies for students’ and parents’ review today. These are the FAQs in regard to both policies:

Sweetwater School District Number One Attendance Policy Facts

How many absences can I have?

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Students in grades K-6 are allowed 5 excused absences a semester per a.m. or p.m. session. Students in grades 7-12 are allowed 5 excused absences per class period per semester.

What if I miss school for hockey or a non-sanctioned sport or activity?

As long as the student is meeting the same eligibility requirements that students participating in sanctioned school sports and activities, along with the club verifying the tournament or event, the absence will not count against the student. Siblings that travel with the family, their absence will count as one of the 5 excused absences.

What if I am sick, but not sick enough to go to the doctor?

Parents and/or legal guardians make the choice for their children on whether they need to stay home due to an illness. If you choose to keep your child home and not go to the doctor it counts as a parent-excused absence. Five parent excused absences are allowed per semester per am or pm session, or five per class period per semester for grades 7-12.

If I have eight unexcused absences, will I lose credit?

After five unexcused absences the school will set up a meeting to set up an intervention for a student. If three more unexcused absences are accrued then a student will lose credit for a class, unless the student qualified for a credit appeal process as an additional intervention.

What absences do not count against a student?

Medically excused absences, school related absences, or absences for non-sanctioned school activities and sports do not count against a student as long as they meet the set eligibility requirements.

Parents and/or legal guardians make the choice for their children. If a student misses for vacations, hunting trips, or other traveling events the absences count as part of the 5 parent excused absences. Five parent excused absences are allowed per semester per a.m. or p.m. session, or five per class period per semester for grades 7-12.

What absences do not count against a student?

Medically excused absences, school related absences, or absences for non-sanctioned school activities and sports do not count against a student as long as they meet the eligibility requirements.

Sweetwater School District Number One Cell Phone Procedures

Is my child allowed to have their cell phone at school?

Photo courtesy of andrewscampbell.com

Yes, every child has the choice to bring a personal communication device to school. The School District is not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged personal communication devices if one chooses to bring this on to school grounds.

For grades K-8 (grade K-5 for Farson), a personal communication device may be used before school hours and after school hours, but during the school day the personal communication device must be stored in a backpack or locker during school hours, this includes lunch time.

For grades 9-12 (grades 6-12 for Farson) a personal communication device may be used before school hours, after school hours, during passing periods, and during lunch. During scheduled instructional time, all personal communication devices will be turned off and stored in a student’s backpack or designated place in the classroom.

What is considered a personal communication device?

A personal communication device is a device that is able to transmit telephonic, electronic, digital, cellular, or radio communications. Examples of personal telecommunication devices include, but are not limited to mobile telephones, smart watches, and personal laptop computers or tablets.

What if a parent needs to contact a student throughout the day or a student contact a parent?

Messages can be left at the office for the student to be delivered between class periods, or a student can go to the office to make a call home.

What are the consequences if someone chooses not to follow these procedures?

•For a first violation, a warning will be issued by a teacher or other staff member, and the school office will be notified of the warning.
• Students not following teacher or other staff directives related to this procedure will be deemed to be acting in open defiance of school authority. This may result in a disciplinary referral.
• Any violation will result in the device being confiscated and sent to the school’s office. A confiscated device will be returned as follows:
§ For a first offense, students may pick up the device at the end of the school day.
§ For subsequent offenses, parents must pick up the device.

Why is this procedure being put in place?

This is not a new procedure for grades K-6. Cell phone use when not appropriate, distractions during class, increased behavior incidents have all increased significant over the last couple of years. With concern from employees and administration, procedures are being put in place to limit the many distractions brought on by cell-phone or personal communication devices during school hours.