McDonough Student Handbook

On behalf of the staff, I take pleasure in saying:


We feel that all students are capable of learning and that they deserve to be challenged to the highest possible achievement. Students need to be active participants with their parents in promoting their social, academic, and emotional growth. Children will be provided with a safe and secure environment that is conducive to learning.

We will continue to encourage parents to actively participate in their child’s education. Together we can make our school #1.

I look forward to working together to provide the best learning experience for your child. If you need anything, please feel free to stop by my office or call me at 624-6373. Thank you and have a wonderful school year!


Kenneth DiBenedetto


Table of Contents

Parent/Student Response Page 2

Message from the Principal 3

Table of Contents 4

McDonough Cares 5

Attendance 6

School Day 6

Student Conduct 6

Safety 7

Emergency Information 7

Playground Behavior 7

Bicycles, Skateboards, and Roller Blades 7

Dismissal Procedures 7

Bus Transportation 7

School Assemblies 8

Parent/Teacher Conferences 8

Progress Reports/Report Cards 8

Parent Teacher Conferences 8

Progress Reports / Report Cards 8

Field Trips 8

Cafeteria Behavior 8

Lunch and Breakfast Programs 9

Health 9

Dress Code 9

Guidance Program 10

Library 10

Art, Music, Physical Education 10

Parent Teacher Association 10

Volunteers 10

Miscellaneous 10

MSD Elementary Code of Conduct 12-16

Closing Procedures for Snowstorms

and/or Other Emergency Situations 17

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act 17

Attendance Policy 18-19

McDonough School

Student Handbook


McDonough School

550 Lowell Street

Manchester, New Hampshire 03104


McDonough School

550 Lowell Street

Manchester, New Hampshire 03104



Our student handbook is now available on line in an attempt to conserve and protect our environment. If you do not have internet access and would like to request a paper copy for your convenience you may do so.

I am requesting a paper copy of the McDonough School Student Handbook. ______Yes ______No

Please sign both sections below and return to your child's teacher.

Student’s name:______________________________

Teacher’s name:_______________________

Student Handbook

I have read and discussed the McDonough School Student Handbook with my parent/child, which I was able to view on the school webpage.


Parent’s signature


Student’s signature


To receive the maximum benefit from classroom and instructional participation, it is extremely important that students arrive and depart from school each day on time.

If a student is going to be absent for any reason, parents must notify the school by calling the office at 624-6373 before 9:00 AM or by sending a note with a sibling or friend. Upon return to the classroom, the teacher will require that the student bring a written note from the parent or guardian stating the reason for the absence. Continual absences not due to illness or other sufficient cause will be considered truancies. Truancy violates state and local attendance laws and will be considered a serious offense. The district attendance policy is near the back of this handbook.

It is important that children develop a good sense of responsibility for arriving at school on time. If a student is tardy, he/she must report to the office stating the reason he/she is tardy before being admitted to class and a parent must sign the child into school. We realize that certain unforeseen circumstances may arise from time to time, but habitual tardiness will not be tolerated.

If a child is present, it is to be expected that he/she be well enough to participate in physical education classes and outdoor recess. If an illness or other circumstances prevent participation in these activities, a doctor's note will be required. Students should not be dismissed from school before the close of the day, except in cases of illness or other emergency. If a child needs to be dismissed early, he/she must bring a note to his/her teacher stating the reason for early dismissal and the time the student will be leaving. Parents must sign the child out at the main office


Students should arrive between 8:15 and 8:30 AM. No student supervision is available prior to 8:15am.

Grades K – 5

Breakfast begins at 8:15 AM

School begins at 8:30 AM

Late bell rings at 8:45 AM

Dismissal at 2:50 PM

~Any change in the regular dismissal routine for any student will require a parental permission note.~

If books or other items are left on the bus, you may contact the Manchester Transit Authority at 623-8801.

Buses generally run on time, however, there may be instances when buses might be delayed due to inclement weather or other circumstances. If this should occur, children will not be allowed to walk home but will wait in an assigned area until the bus arrives.


When students follow the McDonough Cares rules good behavior results. We will not tolerate fighting, disrespect towards others, obscene, vulgar, or otherwise inappropriate language, or destruction of school property. Students must be reminded that poor decisions will lead to consequences. Students who continually break the rules and cause disruption to the learning environment will be sent to the office and handled accordingly. Parental help in resolving disciplinary problems will be requested as the need arises.

All students should be made aware that they are the ones who make the decisions on their behavior in the classroom, playground and all areas of the school setting. It is necessary that they learn self-discipline to facilitate their learning.

The Elementary Code of Conduct as set forth by the Manchester School District and approved by the Board of School Committee will be enforced. The Code defines the rights and responsibilities of students and the disciplinary options that can be enforced by the principal, assistant principal, or teacher when inappropriate behavior impedes orderly classroom operation.

The Code of Conduct can be found near the end of this handbook.


McDonough School has a comprehensive emergency management plan, which prepares students and staff to respond appropriately in the event of an emergency. Drills are conducted periodically throughout the year in cooperation with the Manchester Fire and Police Departments.

In order to maintain a safe and secure school environment, all visitors and volunteers are required to enter the school through the main entrance and report to the school's office upon arrival. Visitors and volunteers must sign in and obtain an identification badge to be worn throughout the visit. Parents are not permitted to escort their children to their classrooms or wait with their children in the gym during inclement mornings.


It is very important to keep the office informed of changes in employment, new telephone numbers or names of persons to be contacted during an emergency situation. Your cooperation in this matter will be greatly appreciated.


Recess time is a learning part of each student's day as well as a time to play. All recesses are monitored by staff members. Students are expected to seek them out if they need assistance. The following guidelines are to be followed by all students to ensure everyone's safety.

Respect is to be shown for each other and the property of others. Tripping, hitting, spitting, shoving, or knocking others down is not allowed. No games involving tackling are to be played. Hands and feet are to be kept to oneself. There is to be no swearing or name-calling.

Fighting or play-fighting is not allowed.

Students are to use the equipment only on their assigned day.

Students are not to enter the school building unless they have permission from a staff member on duty.

Students are to remain on the playground at all times. Stray balls are to be retrieved only under the supervision of a staff member on duty.

All trash is to be placed in a trash barrel or carried back inside the school.

Students must line up quickly at the end of recess and use the time in line to settle down and prepare to enter the school quietly.


Due to the dangerous hills and heavy traffic on our neighborhood streets, bicycles, skateboards, and roller blades will not be allowed at McDonough School. This is not to cause hardship, but to promote the safety and welfare of our student population.

The Board of School Committee policy prohibits skateboards on any Manchester school property at any time of the day.


2:40 PM Kindergarten dismissal

*ALL Kindergarten students exit to the playground. Teachers will wait with the students until they are picked up. Students who are not picked up in a timely manner will be brought to the office to wait for their rides.

2:50 PM Rider and Walker Dismissal

*All students who walk or are picked up will be dismissed to the playground. We ask that parents help promote traffic safety by crossing their children at the intersections of Lowell and Weston. Students who are not picked up in a timely manner will be brought to the office to wait for their rides.

2:45PM Bus 1 & 2 students dismissed to the café/front office hallway ** (no supervision will be available prior to 2:45pm)

2:35 PM Day Care Van Dismissal *All Day Care Van riders will exit from the Lowell or Highland Street entrances of the school


Parents and students must realize that school bus transportation is a privilege and that under NH State statute (NHRSA 189: 9a) students who misbehave can be denied this privilege. Included within this handbook is the Transportation Policy as accepted by the Board of School Committee.

Due to the increased number of bus students, we can no longer be able to allow students who do not qualify for bus transportation to ride the bus to a friend's house. Your cooperation in this matter is appreciated.


School assemblies are held throughout the year in the gymnasium. Assemblies include opportunities for recognition of student talent, school spirit, curriculum-related performers, speakers and presentations.

When a class enters the gym for an assembly, students are expected to keep their voices quiet and sit where assigned. When the person introducing the program begins, it is important for everyone to be silent and pay attention to the speaker. Students are expected to sit still and be attentive and respectful at assemblies. Appreciation is to be shown by clapping only. When the assembly is over, students are to remain seated until instructed to return to their classroom.


Either party throughout the year may request a conference between parents and teacher. These conferences should be scheduled in advance and at such times as is convenient for both parents and teacher. Open House provides the opportunity for parents to meet teachers and view evidence of classroom activities and should not take the place of conferences. Parent Conferences are scheduled by the school in late October.


The academic year will be divided into three marking periods. Progress Reports for the first trimester will be passed out at individual parent-teacher conferences. If parents or guardians do not attend the conference, the progress report will be sent home with the student.

Report cards will be sent home at the end of each trimester. These reports are to be retained at home for the parent's records. The accompanying envelope must be signed and returned to school.

Mid-term progress reports will be sent home during the second and third trimesters.


Teachers sometimes plan field trips for their classes during the year. In order to participate in these activities, your child must display appropriate behavior throughout the year. If your child's behavior is inconsistent with school expectations for student behavior then he/she will not be allowed to attend.

Permission slips will be distributed to the children prior to the trip. These must be returned with a parent or guardian signature indicating approval for participation. Students without a signed permission slip will not be allowed to attend.


During breakfast and lunch, students are generally expected to eat in a relaxed atmosphere as they visit with their classmates. Therefore, the following guidelines are to be followed by all students.

Students are to enter the cafeteria quietly and sit where they are assigned.

Students are to speak in soft voices. They may not call out to others at surrounding tables.

When students need something they are to raise their hand and a staff member will come and help.

Students are expected to listen to and follow the directions of all adults in the cafeteria.

Students are to stay in their seats until they have been dismissed by a staff member.

Students are to eat their own lunch.

It is important for students to remember good table manners which include saying please and thank you, sitting with feet on the floor, keeping their hands and feet to themselves, and leaving their area clean for the next class.

Students are expected to be silent for a few minutes at the beginning and end of the lunch period to facilitate distribution of meals, clean-up, and dismissal for lunch recess.


Students may bring a cold lunch or participate in the school's hot lunch program. Lunch can be purchased by the day or by the week. Students having cold lunch may purchase milk from the cafeteria. Drinks may be brought from home but soda is strongly discouraged and glass containers are not allowed. Although upon occasion a parent may need to bring a fast food lunch in for their child, the practice can be disruptive and is discouraged.

Parents who wish to apply for free or reduced price lunches for their children may do so by completing an application and returning it to the school. Free and reduced lunch applications will be sent home the first week of school. You may re-apply at any time during the school year if your income changes. Just call the school or send a note in with your child.

Lunch money is collected on Friday for the upcoming week. Every effort to have payment available on Friday will be greatly appreciated. No large bills, please. Checks or money orders are encouraged.

Breakfast is available for those who wish to participate. Students who qualify for free/reduced lunch will also receive breakfast at the appropriate rate. There is a minimum fee for breakfast for all other students.

Students who plan on eating breakfast must arrive at school and be at the playground door at 8:05 AM for entry to breakfast. Only bus students will be permitted to participate after 8:05 AM. Breakfast runs from 8:05 to 8:20 AM daily.

Lunch $2.40/day $12.00/week

Reduced Lunch $0.40/day $2.00/week

Milk $0.50/day $2.50/week

Breakfast $1.30/day $6.50/week

Reduced Breakfast $0.30/day $1.50/week

McDonough School has a full time, registered nurse to help provide health services. Any student who feels ill should request permission from their teacher before reporting to the nurse.

Students and parents are requested to keep the nurse informed of any health problems that are ongoing or that should arise during the school year. Periodic vision and hearing tests, physical examinations, and other tests will be conducted through the nurse's office.


Students are not allowed to bring medicine to school including over-the-counter medicines such as cough drops and aspirin. By STATE LAW, you are required to adhere to the following procedure if it is necessary for your child to take medication in school:

Only medicine prescribed by a doctor will be allowed. A doctor's written authorization and instructions must be kept on file.

The medicine must be in the original container and be labeled with the child's name, doctor's name and instructions for dispensing the medication.

Parent's written authorization for the school to give medication must be kept on file.


All students are expected to be neat and clean and to be modestly dressed in clothing appropriate to school. Dress or appearance disruptive to an orderly classroom learning process will not be tolerated and students will be sent home upon contact with a parent or loaned clothing from the nurse's office. Noticeable make-up, including artificial fingernails, is not permitted. All students must wear appropriate footwear that is not dangerous or harmful. Sandals must have a backstrap for safety. Platform sneakers or shoes are not allowed. Socks must be worn with all footwear. Hats and headwear are not to be worn in the school building. Shorts are permitted and must be no shorter than fingertip length when the child’s arms are extended downward. Cut-offs, short gym shorts, short shirts, halter-tops, tank tops, and muscle shirts are not allowed. Clothing with messages in poor taste or that promotes alcohol or other drugs is prohibited. The complete student dress code can be found near the back of this handbook.


McDonough School has a full-time counselor who is available to work with students, parents and staff. Our guidance program offers a variety of services including consultations, individual conferences, group, and classroom work. Students may request appointments or may be referred. It is requested that parents wishing to consult with a counselor make an appointment to do so.


The school library is a resource available to the students and staff of McDonough School. The mission is to enable students to be effective users of information and to promote literacy by providing books that children want to read.

Children are allowed to sign out books. By signing his/her name on the card, the child assumes responsibility for the book and is expected to return it the following week. Overdue notices will be sent home when borrowed material is not returned on time. If the book is lost or damaged, the child will be held responsible and a replacement fee will be assessed.

To support the school curriculum, the library program depends on access to an organized collection of appropriate materials in a variety of formats – books, magazines, videotapes, computer software, pamphlets, and DVD’s. The library program is the responsibility of a media generalist. Volunteer staff is always welcome.


Art, Health, Music, and Physical Education classes are scheduled on a regular basis for students in grades K through 5. Students should wear appropriate clothing and bring sneakers on the day they are scheduled for physical education.


The McDonough School PTA is a non-profit association open to all parents of children attending our school, its teachers, administration and educational assistants. Our goals are to provide a vehicle for communication among the parents, staff, and school administration, as well as, to provide educational enrichment for the students by means of moral, financial, and volunteer support.

To this end we need everyone's input, be it suggestions for new programs, ideas for new and better ways to reach parents, or actual involvement in ongoing functions. We need parents to support our activities if they are to be successful.

Meetings are held monthly, except for December, February and April , at 6:30pm on the second Tuesday of the month. All parents are welcome.


We welcome parents, guardians, and relatives to volunteer in our school. If you are interested, please contact your child's classroom teacher, the school's volunteer coordinator, or the office. The McDonough School Volunteer Program is operated in accordance with the Manchester School District Volunteer Program policy.

If you would like to share your interests, hobbies, profession or other points of interest with your child's classroom, please call the office or your child's teacher. We always welcome guest speakers or readers.


Moving/Change of Address

Please keep the office informed of any change in address, phone numbers, or work information throughout the school year.

If you move to a different Manchester school area during the school year and wish to have your child remain at McDonough School, you must write a letter to McDonough School's principal stating the reason(s) you wish to have your child remain at McDonough School for the remainder of the school year. It should include your child's name and grade as well as your former and new addresses.


To ensure the safety of all our students, automobiles are not permitted on the school playground, before, after, or during school hours. Automobiles should NEVER be left unattended at the main entrance to our school as Special Needs buses and vans arrive and depart from that entrance throughout the day.


Lockers will be assigned to each child for the duration of the school year. Each locker will be shared with another classmate. Locks on lockers are not permitted. Valuable items should not be brought to school. McDonough School is not responsible for lost or stolen items


Due to the heavy flow of incoming calls, students will not be permitted to use the school's telephone to call home except in the event of an emergency. If your child forgets his/her lunch, he/she will be allowed to have a school lunch and payment is expected on the following day. Musical instruments left at home, forgotten sneakers, permission to go to a friend's house, forgotten assignments or projects are not considered reasons for telephone usage. Your cooperation in this matter is greatly appreciated.


Textbooks are provided for all our students. Students are responsible for the proper maintenance of these books. Lost and/or damaged textbooks will require a charge for replacement.

Lost and Found

Lost clothing items, school bags, and lunch boxes are placed on racks along the back wall of the cafeteria. We encourage you and your children to look there for lost items. All unclaimed items are donated to charity at the end of each month.



Students' Rights and Responsibilities

I. Attendance


A student is entitled to a meaningful and useful education, which provides equal opportunity regardless of the student's race, religion, national origin, language, sex or ability.

Whenever possible, counseling and home instruction will be provided for a student during long periods of illness.

Attendance regulations shall be reasonable, enforceable and shall consider the entire program of the school.

Students have the right to a school that will be a safe and healthful place to gain an education. The environment provided the students will be clean and free from hazards.

Students have a right to attend school without fear of sexual harassment. "Sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, non-verbal, verbal and/or physical conduct of a sexual nature will constitute sexual harassment.


Students have the responsibility to attend school daily and to be punctual in reporting to school and to classes.

Students may not attend school when they or others in the home have a communicable disease, unless such attendance is authorized by a qualified health official.

Students must stay off school grounds when on suspension until readmitted by school officials.

Students have the responsibility to insure that the school environment is free from sexual harassment.

Students have the responsibility to maintain a school environment that is free of verbal and symbolic harassment..

II. Discipline and Student Conduct


Each student has the right to fair, consistent and appropriate discipline.

Each student has the right to be informed of school rules and regulations.

Students have the right to due process in disciplinary matters including the right of grievance, a fair hearing, and the right to appeal.


Students have the responsibility to be aware of all rules and regulations and obey them.

Students are responsible to exercise their rights of due process and to pursue their grievances to the orderly process established by the School Board.

III. Free Public Education


Students have the right to attend school in the district in which they reside or as assigned by the School Board.

Students have the right to use free textbooks and necessary educational materials needed in assigned courses of study.


Students are responsible for not placing, keeping or maintaining any illegal item on their persons, or among their papers and effects. The persons, papers and effects of students include book bags, pockets, purses, lunch boxes and like personal property and the person of the students themselves.

Students are responsible for assisting the school staff in running a safe and healthy school.

Students are responsible for applying themselves to the assigned course of study, paying attention to teachers, completing assignments on time, respecting school property, conducting themselves properly and being willing to work at self improvement.

Students are responsible for textbooks and materials issued to them in pursuit of an education.

Students will reimburse the school district for lost, stolen, or damaged materials or property and equipment..

IV. Freedom of Expression


Students have the right to express their opinion without interference from others, as long as such expression does not infringe upon the rights of others to join their mode of expression.

Students have a right to freedom of speech even if such expression is considered unpopular or controversial.

Students have the right to seek the truth by examining opposing ideas and to express such ideas in an orderly manner.

Students have the right to wear political buttons, arm bands, and other badges of symbolic expression.


When speaking or writing, students are responsible for the following:

Not being crude, vulgar or defamatory.

Not ridiculing or causing a person to be ridiculed.

Not causing or encouraging unlawful behavior or a serious disruption to the orderly operation of the school.

V. Dress and Grooming


Students have the right to expect school policies on dress and grooming to be clear and reasonable.

Students have the right to expect school authorities to state their policies on dress and grooming in writing and make such policies widely available to parents and students.

Students have the right to expect that school policies on dress for participation in physical education and other designated activities will not impose a financial hardship upon the student or the student's family.


Dress and grooming should be clean and conform to health and sanitary practices.

Students are responsible for not wearing clothing or styles that can be hazardous to them in their educational activities.

All students are expected to be neat and clean and to be modestly dressed in clothing appropriate to school. Dress or appearance disruptive to an orderly classroom learning process will not be tolerated and students will be sent home upon contact with a parent. All students must wear appropriate footwear, which is not dangerous or harmful. Hats and headwear are not allowed to be worn in the school building. Clothing with messages in poor taste is not allowed. Clothing that promotes alcohol and other drugs is prohibited.

Rules of Conduct and Sanctions for Violations


Minor misbehavior on the part of the student, which impedes orderly classroom procedures or interferes with the orderly operation of the school. These misbehaviors are to be handled by an individual staff member.

EXAMPLES (not limited to)

Disrupting a class or study.

Rude language.

Unwillingness to do assigned or required work.


Violation of the dress code.


There is immediate intervention by the staff member who is supervising the student or who observed the misbehavior.

Repeated misbehavior requires a conference with the administration and/or referral to counselor.

A proper and accurate record of the offenses and disciplinary action is maintained by the staff member.


(Not limited to nor sequential)

Verbal reprimand.

Special assignment.


Withdrawal of privileges.

Behavioral contract



Misbehavior whose frequency or seriousness tends to disrupt the learning climate of the school. These misbehaviors require the intervention of personnel on the administrative level.

A. EXAMPLES (not limited to)

Disruptive behavior.


Using profanity, vulgar expressions and/or vulgar gestures.

Leaving school limits without permission from someone in authority.

Continuation of unmodified Level I misbehavior.

Cheating and/or lying.

Sexual harassment.

Verbal or symbolic harassment that infringes on students' rights to nonthreatening environment.

Excessive tardiness.

Smoking in school buildings, on or around school property.

Using forged notes or excuses or forging or otherwise illegally using school forms.

Cutting class.

Failure to cooperate, or being insubordinate.

Violating properly advertised rules unique to building or school.

Failing to attend assigned detention.

Failing to report to a teacher as requested.

Being in an "off limits" area.


A proper and accurate record of the offense and the disciplinary action is maintained by the administrator.

The administrator meets with the student and/or teacher and effects the most appropriate response

The student is referred to the administrator for appropriate disciplinary action.

The student and teacher are informed of the administrator's action.

A parental conference may be held.

After unexcused absences the home and/or the truant officer may be contacted.

If contraband is involved, it will be confiscated.

C. DISCIPLINARY OPTIONS OR OTHER RESPONSES (not limited to nor sequential)


Suspension (1-5 days)

Teacher/schedule change

Modified day

Behavioral contract

Referral to outside agency.

Transfer for a probationary period for the duration of the school year.

Detention (maximum 5 days).

Homebound instruction.


Acts directed against persons or property but whose consequences do not seriously endanger the health or safety of others in the school.

EXAMPLES (not limited to)

Threatening others.

Defacing or destroying school property.

Throwing rocks, snowballs, or any other solid objects.


Possession of, or using firecrackers and other explosives.

Possession of a knife or any other weapon.

Causing a false fire alarm.


Possession of drugs & alcoholic beverages.

Continuation of Level II misconduct.

Continued sexual, verbal or symbolic harassment.

Possession of look-alike weapons.

Any gross misconduct or refusal to conform to the reasonable rules of the school.

Violation of any city ordinances and/or state laws.

Failure to report to administrator when directed to do so.


If contraband is involved, it will be confiscated.

There is restitution for damages.

Administrator meets with the student and confers with the parent about the student's misconduct and resulting disciplinary action.

A proper and accurate record of offenses and disciplinary actions is maintained by the administrator.

The administrator initiates disciplinary action by investigating the infraction and conferring with the staff on the extent of the consequences.

B. DISCIPLINARY OPTIONS OR OTHER RESPONSES (not limited to nor sequential)


Alternative program.


Call in police.

Temporary removal from class.

Home bound instruction.


Acts clearly criminal always require administrative actions and result in the immediate removal of the student from school and must be reported to law enforcement authorities.

EXAMPLES (not limited to)

Assault on teacher or member of staff or student.

Sale of drugs.



Continued threatening and/or stalking.

Possession of gun, knife, or other weapon.

Setting fires, detonation of explosives, or arson.

Bomb threat.

Possession of mace or similar irritants.



The administrator verifies the offense, confers with staff involved and meets with the student.

The student is immediately removed from the school environment for a maximum of 5 days. Parents are notified.

Law enforcement officials are contacted.

A complete and accurate record is submitted to the Superintendent for possible School Board action.

The student is given a full due process hearing before the School Board if he/she requests it.


Immediate suspension.

Alternative program (if developed).

Other Superintendent of Schools or School Board action which results in appropriate placement.

Due Process in Suspensions and Dismissals


Due process requires that an individual be given a notice of the violation(s) for which that person is charged and be given an opportunity to answer the charges.

In suspensions or dismissals, due process must involve:

II. Examples:

Notification why the proposed suspension and the explanation for it.

All schools have a no smoking rule. Therefore a student found smoking would go through a due process procedure for a three-day suspension. That procedure is as follows:

Evidence – who, where, when, and why.

Hearing - formal or informal depending on the length of the suspension.

Notice - the administrator tells the student what he/she is accused of.

Evidence - the administrator cites who saw him/her and where, with a cigarette in his/her hand.

Hearing - the administrator has an informal give and take with the student. The administrator listens to the student's side.

The administrator then makes the decision and informs the student.



RSA 193.13* provides that a student may be suspended from school for gross misconduct or for neglect to conform to the reasonable rules of the school.


According to NH Statutes, school boards, superintendents, or their representatives have the legal right to suspend or dismiss students from school (RSA 193: 13)*.

Superintendents or their representatives as designated in writing may order short-term suspensions of up to five days.

Superintendents may suspend students from school up to 20 days. Students, parents or guardians have the right to appeal.

Any suspension beyond 20 days must be approved by the School Board.

*Procedures for suspensions and expulsion - see separate exhibit.

*Appeals Procedures – to be considered.

*RSA 193:13 Suspension and Dismissal of Pupils

The superintendent or his/her representative as designated in writing, is authorized to suspend students from school for gross misconduct, providing that where there is suspension beyond 5 school days, the parent or guardian has the right to appeal any such suspension to the local board. Any student may be dismissed from school by the local board for gross misconduct or for neglect or refusal to conform to the reasonable rules of the school and said pupil shall not attend school until restored by the school board.

Any dismissal must be subject to review if requested prior to the start of each school year and further, any parent or guardian has the right to appeal any such dismissal by the local board to the state board of education.


The following procedures shall be followed in student suspensions and dismissals in the Manchester School District.


No student shall be suspended unless and until the student has been informed of the reasons for proposed suspension. After being so notified, the student shall be given the opportunity to be heard on the charges.

After hearing the student, the school administrative officer may suspend the student for not more than 5 days if the administrative officer believes the suspension is proper under the circumstances.

The student shall be notified in person and a parent or guardian, in turn, shall be notified in writing as to the charges against the student and the disposition of the case.


The student and at least one of the parents or guardians shall be furnished, either in person or by mail directed to the student's last known address, a written notice of the charges against him/her and the effective date of the suspension.

1.The student and at least one of the parents or guardians shall be entitled to a hearing within five days of the receipt of the charges and notice of suspension.

2.Waiver. The student together with a parent or guardian may waive a right to a hearing and admit to the charges made by the Superintendent.

3.Should the student request a hearing, the hearing shall be before the Board of School Committee.

4.The formal rules of evidence are not applicable in such hearings. The hearing may be either public or private, the choice being that of the student. The student may retain counsel of his/her choosing to represent him/her and has the right to examine any and all witnesses

The student and at least one of the parents or guardians shall be furnished by the Board of School Committee either in person or by mail directed to the student's last known address, a written notice of the charges against the student and effective date of suspension.


1. The student and at least one of the parents or guardians shall be entitled to a hearing within five days of the receipt of the charges and notice of suspension.

2.Waiver. The student together with a parent or guardian may waive a right to a hearing and admit to the charges made by the Board of School Committee.

3.Should the student request a hearing, the hearing shall be before the Board of School Committee.

4.The formal rules of evidence are not applicable in such hearings. The hearing may be either public or private, the choice being that of the student. The student may retain counsel of his/her choosing to represent him/her and has the right to examine any and all witnesses.

Appeal of dismissal. The student or parent or guardian has the right to appeal any such dismissal by the local board to the State Board of Education as provided by RSA 193:13.

Approved by Board of School Committee February 14, 1994.



Per statutory requirement, the Superintendent of Schools or his designee is responsible for decisions relative to school closings, and/or early dismissals.

The Manchester Superintendent or designee shall arrive at a carefully considered judgment through personal observation, national, state and local weather bureau forecasts and consultation with Highway and MTA Authorities.

The Manchester School Department will use only two alternatives relative to school closing procedures:

All schools are closed for the day and all after school non-athletic activities canceled. Athletic activities scheduled will be reviewed by the Athletic Director and the Superintendent of Schools, and the media will be appropriately notified in advance of the activity.

All schools will open two hours late and all bus schedules will operate two hours late as well.

* In the event of a late opening, all AM preschool and kindergarten classes will be canceled. All other programs will be held, but will begin two hours late.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.

FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children's education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are "eligible students."

• Parents or eligible students have the right to inspect and review the student's education records maintained by the school. Schools are not required to provide copies of records unless, for reasons such as great distance, it is impossible for parents or eligible students to review the records. Schools may charge a fee for copies.

• Parents or eligible students have the right to request that a school correct records which they believe to be inaccurate or misleading. If the school decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student then has the right to a formal hearing. After the hearing, if the school still decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student has the right to place a statement with the record setting forth his or her view about the contested information.

• Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student's education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR § 99.31):

School officials with legitimate educational interest;

Other schools to which a student is transferring;

Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;

Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;

Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;

Accrediting organizations;

Complying with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;

Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and

State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.

Schools may disclose, without consent, "directory" information such as a student's name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance. However, schools must tell parents and eligible students about directory information and allow parents and eligible students a reasonable amount of time to request that the school not disclose directory information about them. Schools

must notify parents and eligible students annually of their rights under FERPA. You may contact your child’s school if you have questions concerning your rights under FERPA.


Attendance Policy Regulations

The regulations described below shall be followed in the Manchester School District to implement the District’s Attendance Policy and to enforce and comply with the New Hampshire laws relative to attendance and truancy. The District’s policy and regulations are to ensure that students are in school and learning.


The Role of the Student

To attend school each day; to be on time; to actively participate in all classes

To provide documentation of the reason for an absence upon return to school

To request make-up work for an absence and arrange to complete it upon return to school within a reasonable and agreed upon amount of time; to request counseling and home instruction when needed

The Role of the Teachers/Guidance Counselors

Teachers shall keep accurate records of all absences and tardies

Student attendance is required in each class

Names of students not present are submitted to the office daily

Teachers shall emphasize the importance of punctuality by beginning class promptly with meaningful instruction

Teachers and Guidance Counselors shall discuss attendance issues with students as they arise, contact parents/guardians according to the Attendance Plan, and inform the school administration if attendance does not improve or contact with parent/guardian yields a lack of results at improving attendance

Teachers and Guidance Counselors shall encourage and model exemplary behavior and attendance

The Role of the Parent/Guardian

To avoid interruptions of the academic year and plan medical appointments and vacations at times that will not require students to be out of school

To show support regarding district policies and state law by expecting regular school attendance for their child(ren)’s success

To ensure that their child(ren) attend school daily

To notify the school on the day of absence if their child(ren) will be absent

To submit written documentation of their child(ren)’s absence on the day they return to school otherwise the absence shall be considered unexcused

The role of the parent/guardian is further summarized by NH Compulsory School Attendance Law, RSA 193:1 (Duty of Parent; Compulsory Attendance by Pupil)

Attendance Policy Regulations

The Role of the Administration

The Administration shall enforce and uphold the NH Compulsory Education Law which may include a referral to juvenile court for excessive absenteeism

Attendance Plan

The Administration shall notify students and parents/guardians of school board policies and school rules regarding attendance through student handbooks and the Manchester School District website

The Manchester School District shall implement Attendance Plans that ensure communication between students, parents/guardians, representatives from social service agencies and the school staff. It is highly desirable to establish this communication prior to disciplinary measures or withdrawal/suspension actions by the school. Attendance Plans shall allow for proactive interventions that will benefit students.

The Administration shall identify students with attendance issues and work cooperatively with parents/guardians, students, school guidance counselors and teachers to improve attendance; parents/guardians shall participate in the development of the Attendance Plan and Interventions to assist their child in improving school attendance

The Administration shall maintain an earnest and persistent effort to improve student attendance through complete implementation of each student’s Attendance Plan

The school staff shall contact parents/guardians if a student develops a pattern of absences. Administration or designee shall place a phone call or write a letter to the parents/guardians and arrange conferences to address the absences and create an Attendance Plan for the student.

The Administration shall encourage and model exemplary behavior and attendance

Administration shall convene a meeting to develop the Attendance Plan with the parent, student and the appropriate youth serving agencies (e.g. Department of Health and Human Services) immediately following the student’s third (3rd) full-day unexcused absence from school.


The Attendance Plan shall include components which monitor, mentor and tutor the student. In order to facilitate a successful Attendance Plan for a student who is regularly absent, the pursuit of interventions is required. These interventions may be one of the following or any other intervention acceptable to administration and parties involved:

Alternative Education Plan

Modification of student schedule

Saturday School from 9 to 12 noon to make up missed work

Counseling services within the purview and ability of the guidance department

Referral to outside agencies

The filing of a truancy or educational neglect petition with the Court

Attendance Policy Regulations

Protocol for Excessive Dismissals

Every third dismissal from class shall constitute one full-day unexcused absence.

Protocol for Excessive Tardiness

Every third tardy to class shall constitute one full-day unexcused absence.

Protocol for Excessive Absences

3 full-day unexcused absences:

The administration or designee shall contact the parent(s)/guardian(s) in writing regarding the continued unexcused absences.

This correspondence shall provide the parents with documentation outlining the unexcused absences and a copy of the Manchester School District Policy and Regulations regarding attendance and a date, time and location for a meeting with parent(s)/guardian(s), student, school staff and applicable youth serving agencies to develop an attendance plan.

The administration or designee shall confirm parent receipt of this correspondence.

A meeting shall be convened to develop the Attendance Plan. If parents are not able to attend the meeting the draft of the plan shall be sent to parents.

At this level the parent or student may appeal the unexcused absences.

Attendance at school is required to participate in school sponsored activities

5 full-day unexcused absences:

Students shall not attend or take part in school sponsored activities on the day of an absence or suspension

The administration or designee shall contact the parent(s)/guardian(s) in writing regarding the continued unexcused absences.

This correspondence shall provide the parents with documentation outlining the unexcused absences. The written correspondence shall advise the parent that, should the absences continue one or more of the following shall take place:

A referral to the truant officer, court, diversion program, Office of Youth Services, Department of Health and Human Services

Filing of a truancy or educational neglect petition with the Court

Loss of credit

At this level the parent or student may appeal the unexcused absences.

Attendance and Participation in School Sponsored Activities