• The Falmouth School Committee reaffirms its belief in the Massachusetts laws governing compulsory school attendance and the responsibility of parents/guardians and students to comply with these laws.  State law requires full time attendance for all students under the age of 16 for the entire school day throughout the school year. Excessive absences or tardiness that affects a child’s progress at school may result in legal action in the form of charges of Child Abuse and Neglect (MGL c. 51A) or Child Requiring Assistance (CRA – MGL c. 119).  The Child Requiring Assistance statute defines a “child requiring assistance” as a child “who repeatedly fails to obey the lawful and reasonable regulations of the child’s school or is habitually truant.”  MGL c. 119, § 21.  “Habitually truant” is defined as a “school-aged child, not excused from attendance under the lawful and reasonable regulations of such child’s school, who willfully fails to attend school for more than 8 school days in a quarter.”  MGL c. 119, § 21.  In accordance with this statute, the Morse Pond School abides by the procedure outlined previously in this document in relation to excessive absenteeism.

Continuation of Learning Outside of the Classroom

  • As a community of learners, the Falmouth Public Schools recognizes that meaningful and relevant learning is situated both in the classroom and outside of the classroom. In alignment with the workforce and post-graduation learning environments, to achieve the goals for learning across our curriculum, students continue to engage with course materials and assignments beyond the scheduled times of class meetings or school days. Transfer of learning happens through practice and socialization of ideas. We subscribe to the core value that learning happens anytime, anywhere, and we prioritize student needs and interests and seek ways for them to access learning at a point aligned to their readiness.  

    When we make decisions about learning, we have three key phases on which we focus: learn about it, practice it, and show it through evidence of learning. We use this approach to empower students to take ownership of their learning, including the pace and nature of personalization. Learning, and the work students complete to demonstrate their learning, should reflect their own efforts.

    Falmouth Public Schools emphasizes collaboration within and across our community. Continued learning can be situated in public libraries, local businesses, and students’ homes. With the support of our Falmouth Learning Partners, anywhere you see this logo, please know that all Clippers are welcome to collaborate in that space. As a District, we work to support students’ access to resources, including internet connectivity, across our community. 

    Intentions of Learning Outside of the Classroom

    1. PREPARATION: exposure to a topic as an introduction to new concepts and ideas; such assignments may include reading, viewing a video, and other learning opportunities that do not result in a submittable product but are essential to continued learning.

    2. PRACTICE: an opportunity for students to strengthen skills and concepts taught in the classroom by reinforcing them through continued learning opportunities related to the in-class instruction.

    3. EXTENSION: an opportunity for students to apply, synthesize, problem solve, and/or transfer newly acquired skills to other situations and contexts. Learning and assignments that extend beyond the school day help students situate their learning in real situations to apply skills and concepts as evidence of learning. 

     In addition to the forms of shorter, more routine opportunities to reinforce learning, students are also assigned longer-term projects from time to time. Such assignments extend skills and concepts taught in the classroom. Class time should be allotted for students to research and work on their project. Time spent outside of class on projects should continue as a natural extension of learning. Timelines should be clearly stated and include interim checkpoints at which students receive feedback from their teachers. 

    Upon returning to school after a period of absences, a student has a length of time equal to the number of school days absent to make up missed work. Previously announced assignments/tests must be completed upon return. The responsibility is on the student to meet with the teacher to determine when the assignment/test is to be made up.

    If any extenuating circumstances exist, the parent/guardian should contact the assistant principal or the guidance counselor. The assistant principal and/or guidance counselor will consult with teachers, department heads, the assistant principal, and principal when necessary.


    We believe that within our school community everyone has a role in helping our students achieve success: 

    • School Administration Teams 
      • School administrators are responsible for engaging teachers and staff in active discussions about refining the intent and practice of continuing learning outside of the classroom. 
      • They will invite the voices of teachers, families, and students to inform the ongoing conversation. 
      • School administrators will also support teachers in their intentional design of learning (e.g., unit/lesson development, selection of instructional resources) both in and out of the classroom environment. 
    • Teachers 
      • Teachers are responsible for creating meaningful and reasonable assignments. 
      • When teachers assign learning outside of school, there should be a specific purpose that is relevant to continued growth and fluency with ideas and skills, and teachers should provide feedback to students regarding the assignment and their learning in a timely manner. Such feedback may be in the form of individual, small group, and/or whole class and be formative in nature. 
    • Parents/Guardians are responsible for providing time and space for students to engage in their continued learning. 
    • Students are responsible to do their best and complete such learning and activities within the given deadlines.

    We value time with families and will provide designated times when no additional work will be assigned beyond the school day.

    We understand that there are times when students cannot complete their continued learning and maintain pace with their peers and expectations of the course. We encourage parents/guardians and students to communicate with teachers and administrators when issues arise that impact the student’s ability to maintain progress with their learning. We accept that these exceptions may occur from time to time.

    Students who choose more rigorous classes, especially Advanced Placement (AP) classes, should expect to receive more practice work than other students. Students should consult with families, guidance counselors, and teachers regarding course selections and are responsible for finding balance between their academic and personal lives. Due to the nature of AP courses, there may be times during the school year (e.g., long weekends and vacations) that it is necessary for AP teachers to give student assignments in order to prepare students for AP exams.

Academic Honesty

  • Cheating to complete assignments or tests is a serious violation of school rules. The major forms of cheating are plagiarism and test dishonesty. (Also refer to Honor Code found within this handbook.)

    Plagiarism is copying another’s work and submitting it as if it were the original work of the student.  Whether the source is copyrighted or not, printed or recorded, or a paper used by another student, if it is used without recognizing the author, plagiarism exists.  Academic honesty and respect of copyright laws are also required in use of computer information downloaded from another source.  If you have any questions, check with your teacher prior to completion of the assignment.

    Test Dishonesty is the use of any means not specifically accepted by the teacher to obtain answers to a test or quiz. Test dishonesty includes giving, receiving, passing or using in any way information about a test or quiz, whether in oral or written form.

    Any student found to have been academically dishonest will receive a zero (0) grade on the work in question. The teacher must provide in writing the student’s name and summary of the incident to the principal or designee. Teacher and/or administrator will notify parent/guardian. Any academic distinctions received will be rescinded if due process procedures uphold the finding of academic dishonesty.