Robert J. Kaiser Middle School Student Handbook

Table of Contents


Welcome to RJK Middle School for the 2023-2024 school year.

Middle school presents students with many great opportunities and an equal number of challenges. Students at RJK are encouraged to participate in a myriad of extra-curricular activities.  We offer various clubs, sports, musical events and tutorials to expand upon the normal school day.  Students are also encouraged to join the Boys & Girls Club, which meets at RJK daily after school. 

In Monticello, we encourage our students to set bold goals.  To achieve these goals, students must have a road map to success.  We ask our students the following questions:  What kind of school do you want to belong to?  What culture and climate do you want in your school?  What are you doing to make that happen?

With careful planning, determination and hard work, we know our students will become life ready.  We aim to nurture leaders who inspire others to THINK (Is it Truthful, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary and Kind). This planner is designed to inform and support our students with life readiness.   Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with our policies and procedures contained in this planner. Be well and make it a great year!

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The Robert J. Kaiser Middle School Mission Statement

Our mission is to improve student achievement and enable our students to successfully transition from childhood to adolescence by developing academic, personal, and social skills.

We will accomplish this by using multiple sources of data and research to:

  • Create a school culture that will foster good citizenship, respect, and responsibility.
  • Actively engage all students in learning.
  • Encourage students to be lifelong learners.
  • Provide a safe and clean environment.

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Our Pledge to Our Students

We care deeply about every person in this school. We promise to do our best every single day to provide the most positive and caring school environment possible.  We do this so that our students can reach their potential for academic and personal growth.

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Dignity for All Students Act Overview

The Dignity Act states that NO student shall be subjected to harassment or discrimination by students or employees on school property or at a school function based on their actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender, or sex.  If this is happening to you, report it to administration, guidance, nurse, or an adult. Our DASA coordinator is the school principal.

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Announcements Daily 

Announcements will be made during AM Homeroom. We ask that all students remain quiet and listen carefully while announcements are on.

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Students are expected to get breakfast and then go directly to homeroom.  Tardiness (lateness to school) will not be excused without a note explaining the cause of lateness.  Students with unexcused lates will be given a discipline referral with appropriate consequences.  Subsequent lates will result in additional referrals and progressive discipline.

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Appropriate Dress

Students are expected to dress in a manner that is conducive to the educational environment. Attire may not promote items illegal for minors such as alcohol, drugs, and tobacco products.  Any attire that is disruptive, distracting or does not meet the code of conduct will need to be changed immediately to avoid disciplinary consequences.  Students who come to school wearing clothes that are determined to be offensive and/or in conflict with the guidelines set forth will be given an opportunity to change, call home for replacement clothing, or report to ASPIRE for the remainder of the school day.  Please refer to the Code of Conduct for specific dress code requirements.

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Good manners and proper behavior for assemblies include staying with your class at all times, taking your assigned seat quickly, talking quietly until the program begins, remaining quiet during the program, and showing appreciation through polite applause.  There is to be no yelling, whistling, or foot stomping.  Food, beverages, and gum chewing are not permitted in the auditorium. 

All middle school students attending any concerts or musicals must be accompanied by an adult and sit with that adult throughout the event.

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To be eligible to participate for a sports team an athlete must dress and participate in Physical Education class.

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Attendance Information

School attendance is vital to your school success and you should make every effort to be in school every day. Parents/Guardians of absent students will be called each day by the automated attendance system.   A written excuse from your parent/guardian is required for each absence. Such excuses should contain the reason and date of absence and a parent/guardian signature.  The written excuse is to be given to your homeroom teacher or to the attendance clerk in the assistant principal’s office as soon as you return to school. Legal reasons for absences include the following:  personal sickness, sickness or death in the family (or family emergencies), quarantine, religious observances, attendance at court, doctors’ appointments, and approved school-sponsored trips.

Any student who becomes sick during the school day must report to the school nurse with a pass from a teacher. The nurse will call home if a child’s condition warrants.  A parent/guardian will be asked to pick up students that are too ill to finish the day.

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Making Up Work When Absent

When you are absent you will be given a fair amount of time to make up assignments missed.  For example, if you miss 3 days of school, you will be given 3 days to make up the work you missed during the absence.  Students should contact a friend, classmate, or access schoology to obtain coursework information for a one or two day absence.  For absences of 3 or more days, requests for coursework should be directed to the guidance office 796-3058, ext. 20951.  Students will not be allowed to participate in any extracurricular activities on the day they are absent from school or not signed in by 8:00am and remain in school for the entire day.  This includes but is not limited to dances, practices/games, and club events. 

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Academic Eligibility

Following each progress report or report card, a student who has two or more failing/incomplete grades is considered to be on academic probation and will be placed on the ineligibility list. The Assistant Principal will meet with ineligible students to explain their responsibilities to continue to participate in extracurricular activities. 

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    Book Bags

    Students are permitted to carry appropriate materials to and from school in a book bag. Book bags are to be stored in lockers during the school day.  Any purse or bag that can hold a textbook will be considered a book bag.

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    Breakfast Program

    All students may report to the cafeteria to pick up breakfast prior to homeroom.  Students who arrive late to school will be served breakfast until 8 a.m. 

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    Bullying Prevention

    We have nice students in our school. Generally, our students are focused on succeeding in school and get along well with each other. Our bullying prevention program strives to encourage students who see bullying or are victims of bullying to report this to an adult. Through class meetings which will be held during Mindful Mondays, and practice, we hope that students develop strategies to tell a bully that we do not bully here and that we do not want it in our school or community. We also hope that the bullying will stop and that students who have bullied will be integrated in a positive way back into the larger group of students who enjoy being at school.  If you would like to report an incident, please use the Bully Button located at 

     Definition of Bullying: When someone repeatedly and on purpose says or does mean or hurtful things to another person who has a hard time defending him or herself.  It is intended to cause distress upon one or more students in the school, on school grounds, to and from school, at school activities or sanctioned events.

    Bullying can be physical, verbal, psychological, or a combination of all three. Some examples of bullying are:

    • Verbal Bullying:  A student is taunting, maliciously teasing, insulting, calling names, or threatening.
    • Physical Bullying:  A student is hitting, kicking, spitting, pushing, taking and/or damaging personal belongings, extorting money, blocking or impeding student movement, or engaging in unwelcome physical contact.
    • Psychological Bullying:  A student is spreading rumors, manipulating social relationships, coercing, or engaging in social exclusion/shunning, extortion, or intimidation.
    • Cyber Bullying: Using the Internet or interactive/digital technology to harass, humiliate or embarrass another person. Typically, schools will not be involved in the resolution of cyber bullying which occurs outside of school unless it creates a reasonable threat of material and substantial disruption at school.

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    Our School’s Anti-Bullying Rules

    • We will not bully others.
    • We will try to help students who are bullied.
    • We will try to include students who are left out.
    • If we know that somebody is being bullied, we will tell an adult at school and an adult at home.

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    Bus Information

    Riding the bus is a privilege; therefore, the following procedures should be reviewed and understood.

    Safety is first and foremost. Traveling to and from school students are expected to adhere to the MCSD Code of Conduct.

    Don’t Lose Your Riding Privilege! Follow These Rules:

    • Observe same conduct as in the classroom.
    • Be courteous, profane language is not allowed.
    • Food and/or drink may not be consumed on the bus.
    • Keep the bus clean.
    • Cooperate with the driver.
    • Do not be destructive.
    • Stay in your seat.
    • Keep your head, hands and feet inside the bus.
    • The bus driver is authorized to assign seats.
    • Students may only ride the bus they are assigned to ride, unless given specific permission to ride another bus by their school administrator.

    All student agenda book rules apply while students are riding the bus and at bus stops.

    For the safety of every student who rides the bus, the bus driver must be given complete cooperation. Should a student choose not to follow the rules regarding the school bus, consequences will be implemented in alignment with the MCSD Discipline Matrix.

    *Please be aware that in circumstances where the behavior of the student seriously compromises the safety of the other students or is destructive or vulgar in nature, the Principal and/or Assistant Principal may automatically suspend bus privileges for a period deemed appropriate for the infraction. Misbehavior on the bus may also result in other consequences, up to and including suspension.

    Late Buses:  Late buses will be provided daily at 4:30 for those students who participate in extracurricular activities.  Students who participate in extracurricular activities must obtain a bus pass from their advisor/coach to ride on the late bus.  Students without passes will not be permitted to ride the late bus.

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    Cafeteria Behavior

    • Find a seat quickly and remain seated.
    • Following directions and requests of all staff members.
    • Clean up after yourself.   
    • No food or drinks are allowed out of the cafeteria.
    • Students must have a pass to leave the cafeteria.  
    • Students must sign out to use the bathroom and must use the bathroom closest to the cafeteria.
    • Going to lunch is like changing classes, arrive on time.  If a student arrives late to lunch without a pass, they will be assigned a seat for the remainder of the lunch period.

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    Administrative Lunch Detention: Students will report to the designated room at the beginning of their lunch period.  No locker or bathroom passes will be given during this time.  Students are to remain in their assigned seat and not talk during the detention.  Students are encouraged to work quietly on classroom assignments, draw, or read during their assigned time. 

    Administrative After School Detention: After school detention is a consequence for misbehavior.  It is held on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  It begins at 2:30 p.m. and students will be assigned either to 3:30 p.m. or 4:30 p.m. detention.   Students should take care of any personal business (bathroom, phone calls, locker, etc.) prior to detention.  After school detention will be assigned a minimum of 1 day in advance.  Students are responsible for notifying parent/guardian of detention prior to the school day the detention is assigned. Students will be dismissed at 3:30 p.m. or 4:30 p.m.  If a student misses detention without first being excused the detention is considered “cut.” A disciplinary referral will be written, and the student will receive further consequences.  Students are not to leave the building between 2:15-2:30 p.m.

    • Students will be assigned a seat by the supervising teacher and remain seated.
    • Talking is not permitted during detention.
    • Students may not bring food or drink to the detention room.
    • Students are encouraged to bring coursework that they can quietly complete. 
    • Students should bring a book to read once they’ve completed their coursework.

    *Please note – It is up to the discretion of the administration to alter any of the above disciplinary actions depending upon circumstances.

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    Once school dismisses, you are expected to leave school and board your assigned bus as quickly as possible.  Buses depart approximately nine minutes after school dismisses. 

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    Teachers and administrators have the ability to receive e-mail in their classrooms/offices.  In most cases, the e-mail address consists of the first letter of the individual’s first name followed by his/her last name and the e-mail extension (  In instances where you have not received a response to your e-mail, please contact the individual by telephone.

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    Electronic Equipment

    Use caution when bringing electronic devices such as cell phones, cameras, laser pointers, or PSP players to school. The school will not assume responsibility for lost or stolen items and will not investigate alleged theft of such items.  Cell phones will be confiscated immediately if it is used during class time and a parent/guardian will need to pick it up in the main office.  Any electronic device in use that interferes with the educational process will also be confiscated and a parent must pick it up in the main office.

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    Emergency Plans/Evacuation Drills

    Each year we conduct “test” drills of the District’s emergency management plan, including evacuation drills, lock down drills, and an early dismissal drill.  Students should regard all drills as if they are actual emergencies.  The evacuation (fire)  alarm signal is a loud buzzer coupled with flashing lights.  Each room in the building has been assigned a plan and a route for leaving the building. Your teacher will explain the plans and the routes for each room in which you attend classes.  Talking is not permitted during drills.  All students are expected to stay with their teachers and to cooperate with all directions given during all drills.  Distracting behavior will be subject to either teacher or administrative discipline.

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    Grading System

    We use a 0-100 numeric grading system with 65 as the minimum passing grade.  The lowest numeric grade that will be displayed on the report card is 50. This will allow students the opportunity to pass the course with marked improvement in the subsequent quarters.   However, if a student’s actual grade is lower than a 50 for the 4th marking period, it will be recorded as the actual grade.  Students will take a final exam at the end of the 4th marking period.

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    Hallway Behavior

    • Students are to follow all staff instructions.
    • Walk in a safe and orderly manner. NO HORSEPLAY!
    • When classes are in session, students must have a pass and walk quietly so as not to disturb others.
    • tay to the right.
    • No food or drink in the hallways.
    • Students must be out of the building no later than 2:15 unless supervised by teacher. 

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    Honor Roll

    Honor Roll – All students who achieve an 85-93.9 average or better and with no grade below a 65 and no incompletes.

    High Honor Roll – All students who achieve a 94.0-97.9 average with no grade below a 65 and no incompletes.

    Principal’s List – All students who achieve a 98.0-100 average with no grade below a 65 and no incompletes.

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    iPad Acceptable Use Agreement

    Students will be able to use iPads in the classroom. Students are expected to take good care of and use two hands while carrying their iPad.  Students should not load any apps, games, or programs without the direct instruction from their teacher or use the camera for personal use.  All iPads must be returned to their homerooms by the end of the day.

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    Lockers are for the storage of garments and school materials.  Lockers are not a place to store valuables.  The school cannot assume responsibility for personal items lost or stolen in school.  Each student must use a school issued lock and should not share the combination with others.  Lockers are not to be shared.  School lockers are the property of the school district and as such may be subject to random inspection by school officials with or without probable cause.  Any illegal substances or paraphernalia, weapons, and/or dangerous instruments or substances not permitted by school rules will be removed, and the student assigned to the locker will face appropriate disciplinary consequences.

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    Lost and Found

    All items found in school are to be turned into the Assistant Principal’s Office.  Students should check for missing items immediately. Found clothing will be located in the cafeteria in a box near the stage area.

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    School personnel may administer prescribed drugs only if the parent/guardian gives the school nurse a written order from the physician, which includes the following information:

    • The name of the medicine.
    • The reason for taking the medication.
    • The dosage(s), times and number of days for the medication to be administered.
    • In addition, the medication must have a professional label and must be brought directly to the school nurse by an adult.  A parent may pick up any unused medications after the final dosage is given.  If the medication is not picked up by the last day of the school year it will be destroyed.
    • Please be advised that students are not permitted to have any type of prescription or over-the-counter medication in their possession under any circumstances.  Students found in possession of these items may be subject to appropriate discipline consequences.

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    Music Lessons

    Students are scheduled for a music lesson once per week on a rotating schedule.  Students are required to attend their lesson unless they have an exam in the period’s class.  Students should report to their lesson at the beginning of the period.  Students must ask their teacher for any missed classwork and homework from that day.  A student’s class participation grade will not be affected by his/her attendance at the required music lesson.

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    Each time you are required to be in the hallway during a scheduled class time you must have a signed pass from the teacher in your agenda book. 

    No exceptions!

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    Parent Portal

    Parents/guardians will be able to securely access to their child’s information in our student management system (School Tool) via the internet.  Viewable information through this portal includes: your child’s schedule, attendance (daily & course), discipline, progress reports, report cards, individual class averages and assignments (as determined by the teacher). In addition, parents/guardians will be able to e-mail teachers from within the portal.

    If you are interested in having access to School Tool, please do the following:

    • Send an e-mail to  from the email address you will be using.  In other words, if you are going to use the e-mail address “” to access School Tool then you must send the e-mail to request parent portal access from “sally” not from another e-mail address you use, such as your work e-mail.
    • In the e-mail you send, put “parent portal access” in the subject line
    • In the body of the e-mail simply write your name and your student’s name as indicated on their student record and the school your student attends.  If you have students in both the MS and the HS you must send two separate e-mails to two different e-mail addresses to request access. Each school is keeping their own database of student e-mail addresses.  Approximately two weeks after you have submitted your e-mail you will receive an e-mail instructing you to go to the district webpage ( and click on the “parent portal” icon listed to the right.
    • Please follow the directions.  The directions will lead you through the setup of your account. 
    • You will be asked to enter your e-mail address (the one you sent the original request from) in setting up a new account. 
    • A temporary password will be e-mailed to your account.

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    Physical Education

    All students are scheduled for physical education.  The state of New York requires that all students participate in physical education.  Those students with a long term exclusion are required to obtain a written excuse from their physician indicating reason and dates of exclusion.

    All students are required to bring gym attire (shorts, sweatpants, a shirt, and sneakers that tie) and change for each class session.  Failure to dress for gym will result in a loss of credit for the date(s) on which the student does not dress. Students may only bring roll on deodorant or cologne. Students should not bring glass containers or spray on fragrances.  Some students have allergies; let’s respect each other’s needs.

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    Personal Property as Pertaining to Gym Use

    When engaged in physical education, money, jewelry, and other valuables must be secured in the assigned gym locker for safe storage during class. The school will not be held responsible for any items left non-secured in the locker room area.

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    School Closings

    The Monticello Central School District communicates school closings and delays through a School Messenger system which allows the district and the Robert J. Kaiser Middle School to send messages by telephone, e-mail and text.  Parents can also access closing and delay information on the homepage of the district website – The following radio and television stations carry our announcements: WALL, WVOS, WJFF, Thunder 102, WSUL, WELV, WDNH, WRRN-TV, WGYN, WPDH, WHUD, and FOX 5.

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    Staying After School 

    Do not stay after school unless you are on a sports team, participating in a club, a member of the musical, or you have permission to stay with a teacher, you have detention, or you have a note signed by your parent indicating that you are going to be picked up by an adult. Students who wish to attend a sporting event starting after school hours need to go home and return at the proper time with adult supervision. Students may NOT stay and wait for the game to begin. If you miss your bus, report to the office immediately so that we can help you get a ride home.

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    Student Drop Off and Pick Up

    Middle School students being dropped off between 6:30 and 7:20 a.m. must be dropped off in the high school parking lot (near the athletic fields) to access the auditorium.

    No personal vehicles are allowed to enter the school bus loop between 7 and 7:20 a.m. to ensure the safety of everyone’s children.

    After 7:20 a.m., you may drop off your child at the student entrance, which is located at the front of the building. Pull as far forward as possible to allow space for other parents. Follow the rules of courteous and defensive driving. Watch for children, pedestrians, school buses, and other vehicles. Obey our safety personnel.

    If picking up students, please arrive before 2 p.m. in the parking lot in the back of the middle school.

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    All students are issued textbooks/iPads and should place their name inside the front cover of the textbook. Students are responsible for loss or damage to any school books/school property. If a book/ iPad is lost or damaged, the student will be assessed the prorated cost of the textbook/iPad.

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    Student’s absence without the knowledge and consent of the parent is considered truancy.  Truancy is a violation of New York State Law and results in disciplinary consequences and a possible referral to social agencies and/or Family Court. During the school day, no student is allowed to leave school grounds (this includes going to the parking area) except by permission from the Principal.  The school district is legally responsible for each student’s welfare and cannot assume the additional task of protection when a student leaves school property.  If a person leaves the grounds without permission he/she becomes truant and is subject to the rules governing truancy. If a student arrives at the building by school district transportation, he/she must remain on school property.

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    Student Discipline

    Discipline in the middle school is a planned process for encouraging and helping students to set reasonable behavior standards and to deal with the reality of their behavior in a responsible manner. It is based on a three-way involvement between the student, parents, and school staff.  At the start of the school year, teachers will be setting aside time to carefully review with students the behavioral expectations at RJK. The teacher will manage most student behavior problems, with parents being involved as needed. It may be appropriate to utilize the student conference, parent conference, detention, and/or school suspension for encouragement of improved behavior.

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    Range of Disciplinary Action

    Disciplinary actions include, but are not limited to the following:

    • Problem solving meeting
    • After school detention
    • Reflection activity
    • ASPIRE 
    • Conference with student and/or parent/guardian
    • Out-of-school suspension (1-5 days)
    • Intervention or Peer mediation
    • Police Contact
    • Behavior Plan/Contract
    • 3214 Hearing

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    Some behaviors cannot be tolerated in our middle school. Students who are serving suspensions are not to be on or near school grounds, or present for any school-sponsored event. In addition, students who are suspended from school for any reason will lose the privilege of attending after-school activities and/or field trips. Re-entry to school may include a parent meeting.  Students who are suspended out of school have a right to continue their education in our 2:30-4:30 p.m. academic support setting Monday-Friday.

    PLEASE NOTE:  The infractions and consequences listed in the student handbook and/or the Monticello CSD Code of Conduct are guidelines for the determination of each case by the administration. All relevant factors are to be taken into consideration determining an appropriate consequence or penalty. Therefore, the administration, when supported by relevant facts, reserves the right to modify the consequence or penalty for the infraction. Parent/guardian notification regarding out of school suspension will be carried out as per regulation. 

    It is important to note that the middle school employs a progressive model of discipline.

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