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Thomson-McDuffie Junior High School

Message from the Principal

It is with genuine excitement and optimism that I welcome you to Thomson-McDuffie Junior High School! Offering an added level of support to the eighth and ninth grade students in McDuffie County, I pledge to you my personal commitment as principal that this will be an OUTSTANDING school year.  We expect and support success for every student, and I am confident you will be pleased with the genuine care and concern that our staff has for your child! Our school opened last year and during the first year, we observed wonderful results. The following achievement gains were made: increases in 8th grade science, language arts, and reading; gains in 9th grade Biology and English; and, writing scores were above the CSRA and Georgia state averages. We are very proud to say that during the first year, the school made adequate yearly progress (AYP)!

The following are some of the advancements our school offers:

- The facility encompasses 140,000 square feet of instructional space;

- T-MJH is a GREEN facility, utilizing green products such as eco-friendly cleaning detergents, paper towel dispensers, dry-heat hand dryers, and motion-activated soap dispensers;

- Each classroom features a ceiling-mounted visual projector and screen, emergency safety call buttons, remote wireless tablets with EasiTeach software, document cameras, digital DVD players, and flat screen computer monitors. Additionally, located on each hallway is a 30-station computer lab and modern science lab complete with ventilation hoods, safety eye-wash stations, and standards-based lab equipment;

- Security devices scan the parking lot and school with stored digital imaging, entrance doors require monitoring for visitors to gain full access to the school building, and a centralized visual checkpoint enables administrators to monitor all hallways simultaneously;

- With an occupancy rating of 2,224, the gymnasium is the largest in McDuffie County and is equipped with electronic auto-retracting bleachers and "soft" hardwood floors to help prevent injuries.

These features enhance the delivery of a standards-based curriculum and facilitate an optimal teaching environment for our teachers. As the ONLY junior high school in the state for grades eight and nine, we have embarked upon a revolutionary endeavor of providing rigorous programs in a nurturing environment, and consequently, we anticipate great results.

We ask parents/guardians for stanch support and volunteerism. First and foremost, please help us by ensuring that your child is present and on time each day. Attendance impacts achievement more than any other variable; in order to maximize learning, please impress upon your child the need to be at school on time every day.

The school website may be accessed from the district site at www.mcduffie.k12.ga.us. Please refer to the school system calendar frequently to learn of parental involvement opportunities available in our school.  We ask that you join us at after-school meetings, academic pep rallies, club meetings, and other school functions. If you are interested in volunteering during the school day, please contact the main office at 706-986-4300.

The faculty and staff at T-MJHS are exemplary, and we will do everything possible to provide a positive learning environment for your child.  As a McDuffie County resident, I take great pride in our schools and community. You have my promise that at Thomson-McDuffie Junior High, we will expect success from every student and make every effort to afford optimal learning each and every day.

Personnel

New team members joining our faculty this year will be Trevor Roberson as assistant principal; Sonya Strong as mathematics coach; Florina Rogers, Grace Smith, and Kenya Waltower in grade eight; and Keila Eady-Tucker, Katie Sutherland, Jessica Nicholson, and Gracie Costello, and Commander Robert Brewer in grade nine.

New Beginnings

Open House At the beginning of the school year, at no cost to parents/guardians, all T-MJHS students will receive agenda books detailing expectations, school rules, and policies. Moreover, the agenda book will serve as a calendar, a homework notebook, and a line of communication for teachers and parents. Students will also receive a picture ID which they will be required to wear at all times.

Student Transportation - All bus routes will be available for review at open house.

Students who ride to and from school with parents should not arrive prior to 7:25 a.m. and should be picked up at 3:12 p.m. Transportation changes for students must be submitted in writing from parents with appropriate information provided so that changes may be approved. For the safety of our students, phone messages will not be accepted to change a child's mode of transportation.

Dress code

In order to foster a climate conducive to academic achievement, students will be required to follow the guidelines of the Thomson-McDuffie Junior High School Dress Code. With the understanding that a student's behavior is influenced by the way the student is dressed and with the understanding that no student should dress in a manner that is disruptive or has an adverse effect on the ongoing school activities, the following guidelines have been developed with input from councils, faculty, administration, and students.

- Hats, head coverings, headbands, bandannas, curlers, picks, hairnets, and sunglasses are not to be worn on campus. No body piercing except in ears. No grills are to be worn.

- No see-through, mesh, or sheer garments are allowed. Torn or ripped clothing is not allowed.

- Proper and acceptable undergarments must be worn and must not be visible to others. Cleavage must not show.

- Shoes or sandals must be worn. Thong-styled shoes, high-heeled shoes, bedroom shoes, mesh shoes, and athletic sandals are not allowed at school.

- Shirts or blouses must have sleeves; shirts and blouses must be tucked in. Off-the-shoulder garments are not allowed. Belt line must be visible at all times. Any shirts or blouses that cannot be tucked in may not be worn.

- Skirts must be fitted at the waist. Skirts and dresses must be long enough to touch the top of the kneecap. When student is standing up straight, slits in skirts, dresses, or jumpers can be no higher than the point where the longest extended finger ends.

- Shorts/pants must be long enough to touch the top of the kneecap. Shorts/pants must be fitted at the waist and not be baggy or frayed at the bottom. Pants with holes above the knee or with frayed bottoms are not allowed. Belts must be buckled and through belt loops in pants if pants have loops; sashes must be tied, straps strapped, and suspenders and other fasteners fastened. No hoods are to be worn in the building.

- Clothing or jewelry with obscene or provocative language, profanity, or with any references of a sexual nature, is not allowed.

- Clothing, jewelry, or other articles which promote/advertise alcohol, tobacco, guns, violence, drugs, or gang-related activity are not allowed.

- All students must wear identification badges properly at all times.

- Personal grooming should be done at home, not at school.

- The interpretation and decision of this policy by the principal shall be final.

- The principal shall have full discretion to schedule special dress days.

- The principal of the school has a right to prohibit any item of clothing he deems to be inappropriate.

- Penalty for failure to comply with dress code: First offense - correction (if possible) or ISS and 3 hours detention. Second offense - correction (if possible) and one (1) day of Saturday School. Third offense - three (3) days ISS and required parent conference. A Fourth offense is considered Defiance and will result in three (3) days suspension minimum.

Cell Phone Policy

Cell phones and pagers are not allowed in the building from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. - No area, county, or independent Board of Education shall permit any pupil to carry a pocket pager or electronic communication device in school except for health or other unusual reasons approved by the Board of Education. Penalty: First offense - Confiscated for seven (7) school days, three (3) days ISS, parents contacted, and device returned to parent after seven (7) school days. Second offense - Confiscated and held permanently, five (5) days ISS, and parents contacted. Third offense - Confiscated and held permanently, five (5) to ten (10) days ISS, five (5) to ten (10) days suspension, or ten (10) days suspension, parents contacted, and possible tribunal request.

Attendance Policy

It is the responsibility of the student and parent to see that students attend school on a regular basis. Excessive absences will adversely affect grades, promotion, and/or graduation. A student must be present 45 minutes out of a 60-minute class period or 75% of any shortened period to be counted present.

McDuffie County Board of Education Policy JB-R states that a student will lose credit if he/she is absent unexcused from a class more than five (5) times in a semester. Once credit has been lost, the student must still attend all class sessions. Non-compliance will be treated as skipping. Any exception to this policy must be appealed to the principal.

On the first day a student returns to school after an absence, he/she should bring a written excuse from his/her parent or guardian explaining why he/she was out. The excuse is to be brought to the main office and marked excused or unexcused by the principal, an assistant principal, or the attendance secretary. The original excuse will be filed in the attendance office. The student will be given a form marked excused or unexcused to show his/her teacher for make-up work permission. The student has three (3) school days to bring a written excuse. At the end of the third school day, the absence is considered unexcused.

Excused absences are: (1) personal illness, (2) death in the immediate family, (3) religious holidays, (4) instances when attendance to school is hazardous (snow, ice), (5) court appearance (subpoena or letter from court official required), and (6) parent(s) home on military leave for overseas deployment.

Prior Approval of Absences - When a student is going to be absent from school for personal reasons at the request of their parent or guardian, the principal must grant prior approval. If this is done, the student will be allowed to make up missed assignments even though the absences will be considered "unexcused."

Making Up Work - Schoolwork missed during an absence may be made up by the student at the teacher's convenience. Make up work should be completed within five (5) school days after the student returns. It is the student's responsibility to make arrangements with his/her teachers for make up work. Students will not be given an opportunity to make up work or minor assignments missed because of an unexcused absence or because of a disciplinary suspension unless approved by administration; major assignments from unexcused absences may be made up at the teacher's convenience for a maximum grade of 75.

Leaving School Early - All students who must leave school before the end of the school day due to doctor or dentist appointments or other valid reasons must be signed out by a parent, or guardian. Students will only be released to parents, guardians, or persons authorized in writing by parents and guardians to pick up students. Authorizations will be verified by office personnel before students are released. The following procedure must be used for signing out early:

Present the note to the secretary in the attendance office before school when applicable.

You will be asked to notify those teachers whose classes you will miss before signing out. You must sign out in the office before actually leaving campus.

Students who are waiting to be picked up during the school day must wait in the office.

When a student signs out during the school day, it is still necessary to bring a note from the parent or guardian explaining the absence from class before the absence will be excused.

Failure to follow these procedures may result in three (3) days detention hall for the first offense and three (3) days in-school suspension for the second offense.

Perfect Attendance - A student must have perfect attendance and no tardies in all seven (7) classes for 180 school days in order to qualify for a perfect attendance certificate for the school year.

Extra-curricular Activities - Students who are absent from school all day may not appear for any after-school practice sessions or other school events unless special approval has been given by the principal.

Tardy Policy

A student will be considered late when he/she arrives at school after the first tardy bell. All students arriving after the first tardy bell must sign in through the office. Students arriving late must have a written note from a parent explaining their tardiness. The student has three (3) school days to explain his/her tardiness; otherwise, it will be considered an unexcused tardy.

Excused tardies are: (1) bus arriving late to school, (2) a court appearance, and (3) illness (parent note required; approved at the principal's discretion). Oversleeping, running out of gas, and car trouble are unexcused tardies.

All TMJHS students are expected to change classes and arrive at their next class before the tardy bell sounds. Students are allowed four (4) minutes to change classes. Students arriving late after the tardy bell will be marked tardy for that class. Tardies will be cumulative by class for each nine weeks.

Penalty for tardies: Tardies 1 through 3 - official warning on third offense. Tardy 4 - one (1) day detention hall. Tardy 5 - three (3) days detention hall. Tardy 6 - one (1) day Saturday School. Tardy 7 - three (3) days ISS. Tardies 8 and beyond - assignment to ISS; may lead to out-of-school suspension.

When students arrive at school on a late bus, they are not counted tardy. Students arriving late from lunch should have a note from an administrator in order to not be counted tardy.

School Business Partners

We welcome new business partners! If your business would like to join our growing list of partnerships, please contact the school at 706-986-4300. We would like to thank the following constituents for their support:

Amigos Mexican Restaurant

Augusta Coca-Cola Bottling Company

Badcock Home Furnishings & More

Bi-Lo, Inc.

City of Thomson

Krystal

McCorkle Nurseries, Inc.

Mr. Charlie Newton

Peacock Hill Gifts

Popeye's

Rhinehart's Oyster Bar

Thomson Construction Supply Company, Inc.

Wal-Mart Supercenter

TMJHS School Supply Lists

Eighth Grade

General Supplies

Mechanical pencils

Lead for mechanical pencils

Ruler with metric and standard units

Colored pencils

Blue or black pens

Loose leaf paper

Flash drive

Hand sanitizer

Tissues

Language Arts

Composition notebook

200-page spiral notebook,

8 1/2" x 11" pages, with plastic covers

Math

5-subject spiral notebook

100-page Composition notebook

Science

Composition notebook

See individual teachers for additional supply lists.

Social Studies

Two 100-page spiral notebooks, 8½" x 11" pages, must have plastic covers

Ninth Grade

Math

3-ring binder with pockets, at least 1½"

Loose leaf notebook paper

Graph paper

Single-subject spiral notebook

Pencils

Scientific calculator

More specific supplies may be requested by teacher.

Biology

1-1 1/2" 3-ring binder

Notebook paper

Pencils or pens (blue/black)

Colored pencils

Glue stick

Individual teachers may request other specific supplies.

English/Literature

1-1 1/2" 3-ring binder

Loose leaf notebook paper

#2 pencils

4 Dividers for notebooks

3 Pocket folders

Highlighter

Post-it Notes

NO spiral notebooks!

World History

Highlighters

Pens (blue and black)

1-1 1/2" 3-ring binder

Composition notebook (for writing across the curriculum)

Loose leaf notebook paper

Colored pencils

#2 pencils

Notebook dividers



Web posted on Thursday, July 30, 2009













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