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 (M.G.L. c. 51A) or Child Requiring Assistance (CRA – M.G.L. 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.” M.G.L. 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.” M.G.L. 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.
Home study is a necessary part of a pupil’s educational program. All students should expect to spend some time each day outside the classroom furthering their studies. Some long-range assignments will require study time planned in advance. A district practice has been developed regarding homework. Guidelines are available on our website on the Falmouth Public Schools website under Curriculum and Instruction.
As a parent/guardian, we ask that you promote:
- Use of agenda
- communication with teachers
- checking student homework
- communicating with your child about school
If you are going to be absent for travel, your parent or guardian should notify the principal’s office one week in advance. Students will be expected to make up missed assignments and classroom work within a reasonable amount of time after as defined by school procedures. The school district discourages students from leaving school for travel because our time with students is so valuable and school vacations are well placed at intervals. Our experience is that providing assignments to be done during vacation is not productive and undermines both the quality of the work and the quality of travel. Therefore, we do not require teachers to design this work in advance. Alternatives may be recommended.
When your child arrives late to school, please escort your child into the main office and let our front office know that your child is late. Your child will be given a pass to proceed to their classroom. Students having excessive tardiness will receive a letter of warning. Excessive tardiness will be identified as five or more days. Before letters are sent, the student's record will be reviewed with the nurse and the classroom teacher to determine if there are special circumstances effecting tardiness. The letter will indicate that the next tardy will result in a detention. A meeting with the student and the counselor will occur. After the detention is served, the tardiness count will go to zero, allowing the student to improve their record. If tardiness continues and reaches an additional five days, a second detention will be issued, indicated by a letter and a call home. After serving the second detention, the student's tardiness will continue to result in detentions. A meeting with parents will be requested.
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 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 or guardian. Any academic distinctions received will be rescinded, if due process procedures uphold the finding of academic dishonesty.