LIVINGSTON, NJ — As part of the American Education Exploration Program, Heritage Middle School (HMS) students recently had the opportunity to share their language, culture and school with nine exchange students from China.
The students visited from Zhuhai, which is located in China's Guangdong Province, and attended classes with HMS students and stayed with host families during their two-week trip. While the students were in Livingston, their teacher and chaperone Hong Lei shared a bit of Chinese culture with HMS students by presenting a dance performance at the school.
The goal of the program is to “enhance friendship between the US and China, and deepen mutual understanding of each other.”
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The exchange students noted several differences between school in America and their school back home. For one, eighth grader Li Jingze said that his school in China does not provide a computer for each student, which HMS does as part of the district’s 1:1 technology initiative. In addition, the Chinese students remain in one classroom all day, so class bells and travelling in crowded hallways from room to room was a new experience for them.
The exchange students also saw a big difference in the amount of homework students receive and the load of textbooks they have to carry. Lu Jianyi (also known by her American name, “Cici”) said that in China, she carries heavy textbooks and, on a busy night, can do up to three hours of homework.
Although there may be several differences between middle schools in the US and in China, the importance of great teachers and good friends is the same across the globe. Cici commented that her HMS computer teacher has been the best part of her visit.
“She’s kind to me,” said Cici.
Li Jingze, who is known as “Leo,” chimed in, saying that the best thing about his visit has been meeting HMS students.
FMS General Policies and ProceduresAcademic Awards
Awards are intended to encourage students in their pursuit of academic excellence. The following academic honors have been established:
Principal’s List - A's in all courses
Honor Roll - A's and B's in all courses
Student of the Month -Team teachers select one student a month who has demonstrated respect, responsibility and independent learning skills.
Marking Period Awards - Teams select students each marking period for a variety of awards.
Grade 8 Awards
The following are awarded at graduation:
Amer. Legion Award
Citizenship VFW DAR Award
Content Area Awards
Felicia Lebrun Award
Martin Luther King Jr Award.
Paul E. Schroeder Award
Perfect Attendance Award
Robert D. Henry Character Award
W. H. Danforth “I DARE YOU! Award
Students will be assessed on the merit of their own work. Students who submit work that is not their own, share their work with others, violate testing procedures or plagiarize will receive a failing grade for the assignment. The teacher will notify the parent of the immediate academic consequence. If the incident warrants, the teacher may assign an additional disciplinary consequence.
Students who fail multiple subjects may be retained pending a retention conference with staff, administrators, and counselors. Eighth grade students who fail more than one subject may not be eligible to walk at the graduation ceremony.
Activity Buses and Late Runs
Activity buses are provided for students enrolled in after-school activities at 4:00 pm.
Buses are also provided for student athletes involved in games at approximately 5:30 pm.
These routes are not as extensive as the regular bus routes and students may have to walk longer distances from the bus stop to their homes. Activity bus routes will be posted in the lobby. If students have difficulty locating their bus, a duty person will assist them.
Arrival and Dismissal
When let off the bus, students will go directly to their designated entrance.
When leaving their designated areas, students will go directly to their lockers and then report to homeroom.
When students arrive late to school (after 7:55), they are required to report to the Attendance Office before going to homeroom.
When the school day is over, students will go to their lockers, and then report directly to their bus or after-school activity.
Students must be in good academic and behavioral standing to remain eligible to participate in any clubs/activities/sports. Eligibility for all extra curricular activities is determined by several criteria that are reviewed at the beginning of each marking period.
The criteria include:
Attendance and punctuality - students must maintain a pattern of regular attendance and punctuality to school and class. This will be monitored through the attendance office.
Discipline record – students will be restricted from participating in extra-curricular activities if their behavior or conduct warrants it.
Academic effort and good standing – students must maintain at least a C average in each class.
Parents must accompany any students that wish to stay for any sporting events
Students must remain with their advisors throughout the activity. Advisors will escort students to their buses and remain with them until all have boarded or are picked up by their parents. Students should never remain in an area unsupervised.
If a Morris School District student who attends an out of district school wants to participate in an athletic/extra-curricular activity, please contact Marc Gold at
(973)-292-2200 ext. 8051 for information.
Athletic Code of Conduct
As an athlete representing Frelinghuysen Middle School, all students must adhere to specific behavioral and academic guidelines as established in conjunction with the Morris School District Athletic Director. This Code of Conduct will be reviewed by all coaches and distributed to all athletes and parents to be signed prior to participation in the program.
Board of Education policy states that students must be in attendance for 164 days in order to be considered to have successfully completed the instructional program requirements. Therefore, all students are expected to be prompt and in attendance when school is in session. The only absences which are considered “excused” include the following reasons: death in the family, an appointment with a doctor (if it cannot be made outside of school hours), any long-term illness or hospitalization, religious holidays and unforeseen emergencies.
Parents must notify the Attendance Office at 292-2200 ext, 8066 when their child is absent. Furthermore, the child is required to bring a note when he/she returns to school. These notes will be kept on file and serve as verification of absences in the event that they are needed for an attendance meeting, which is held after sixteen absences.
Students are expected to:
be respectful of the driver and bus aide.
be at their designated bus stop ten minutes before pick-up time in the morning.
board their assigned bus quickly and in an orderly manner.
wear their seat -belts.
remain seated in their assigned seat during the entire ride. keep the aisles clear. refrain from excessive noise and use of inappropriate language.
Students not in compliance may loose their privilege of bus transportation.
Due to the fact that many buses are at the legal capacity allowed by law, students must ride home on the bus that has been assigned to them by the Transportation Coordinator. Under No Circumstances can the school permit a student to ride on another bus. Any requests for a change of bus must be directed to the Transportation Department at 973-292-2066.
Student behavior is used to determine choice or assigned seating.
Students are expected to thoroughly clean their area at the conclusion of the lunch period.
Students must follow directions and requests given by all adults in authority.
All food and beverages must be consumed in the cafeteria and may not to be taken into the halls or classrooms. This includes gum and candy.
Crisis Management Plan
A Crisis Management Plan has been put into place. Teachers and students have been informed of the procedures that must be adhered to during any crisis situation. Lock-down drills will be practiced periodically throughout the school year. Complete cooperation is required by all.
Signed permission slips are required in order to purchase tickets for any school function or dance.
Students must have pre-arranged transportation for pick up at the conclusion of the dance. Students must adhere to all rules for appropriate dress and student conduct throughout the dance. If a student is absent from school on the day of a dance, he/she will not be allowed to attend.
Students are expected to dress in a manner that is neat, clean and appropriate for school. Clothing must not be disruptive to the educational process or pose a hazard to the health and safety of oneself or others. Hats and clothing designed primarily for outdoor wear must be stored in lockers. Abbreviated clothing or clothing and accessories that contain profane or inappropriate language with references to alcohol, drugs or sex, or that is demeaning to specific groups are not acceptable. In addition, all students are not permitted to wear the following:
Bandanas, head rags, sweatbands
Backless halters, tube tops, and shirts with spaghetti straps (UNLESS the shirt with spaghetti straps is worn over another shirt or tank top so that undergarments are not exposed)
One-sleeve shirts and strapless tops/dresses
Revealing shirts that expose the midriff and/or cleavage
Shorts, pants, sweatpants, or skirts that are rolled down to expose the midriff
Shorts that are more than 5 inches above the top of the knee
Shorts and/or pants which hang lower than the hip line
Any fashion which exaggerates, reveals, or calls attention to anatomical details, such as cleavage
To be sensitive to current fashion, students can wear tights, leggings and jeggins with a shirt or skirt that is no higher than 5 inches above the top of the knee.
Additionally, tank tops and racer-back tops can be worn only if no cleavage or undergarments are exposed and only if the tank top is flush to the underarm.
The school reserves the right to ask students to change inappropriate clothing. Parents may be called to bring in additional clothing when necessary.
Appointments should be scheduled outside school hours or on school holidays. Students who need to leave the building during the school day must bring an excuse, signed by a parent/guardian, to the Attendance Office before homeroom on the morning of the day they are to leave early. All students must be signed out of the building by the parent/guardian in the nurse’s office. Justifiable excuses may include: medical or dental appointments, medical disability, and family emergency or court appearance.
Emergency Drills/Fire Drills
When the alarm sounds, students must walk quickly and quietly to the exit to which they are directed.
Students must remain quiet while attendance is being taken.
Students who are away from their classroom when the alarm sounds must exit with the nearest group and stay with that teacher. Students may then report back to their teacher after entering the building.
Re-entry to classrooms should be done quickly and quietly.
All school rules apply to field trips.
When in public, students represent their school and are expected to be on their best behavior.
Students who choose to demonstrate inappropriate behavior may be excluded from future trips.
Student academic progress is evaluated periodically during the school year using a variety of techniques designed to measure knowledge and skills within each area.
The following grading scale is used to indicate the quality of the work for each student:
A+ 100-98 C+ 79-78 P Pass
A 97-93 C 77-73 F Fail
A- 92-90 C- 72-70 I Incomplete
B+ 89-88 D+ 69-68 M Medical
B 87-83 D 67-63
B- 82-80 D- 62-60
Gym Locker Rooms & Locks
Each student will be assigned a gym locker and a lock to secure their belongings during physical education classes. Care should be taken to ensure that lockers are closed and locked at all times. It is strongly recommended that students never bring large sums of money, valuable jewelry or expensive equipment to school. The school cannot assume responsibility for the safety of such items. Students will not be allowed in the locker room unless supervised.
Students are to enter the locker rooms in an orderly manner under the supervision of the teachers. Students are responsible for returning their locks at the end of the year or a replacement fee will be charged. Students are responsible for returning their locks at the end of the year or a replacement fee will be charged.
Harassment, Intimidation, Bullying
The Morris School District Board of Education prohibits acts of harassment, intimidation, or bullying against pupils (5512.01). Harassment, intimidation, or bullying means any gesture, written, verbal or physical act, or any electronic communication that is motivated by any actual or perceived characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or a mental, physical, or sensory disability.
The Morris School District Board of Education and professional staff recognize regular, purposeful homework as an essential component of the instructional program and educational process. The timely, successful completion of homework is one component of a student's grade. It is strongly recommended that students complete homework on the day it is given so that they may request assistance, if needed, prior to the due date.
be assigned with regularity
clearly relate to the curriculum and daily classroom instruction or explore new and related subject matter
help pupils develop good study skills, work independently or in small groups, organize and budget time, and develop a positive self-image.
All students are provided with a homework planner that serves as a way to record daily assignments. If a student loses or destroys his/her book, it must be replaced at the student’s expense.
Late to Class
Lateness is defined as arriving after the period has begun. Continued lateness creates a disruption to the learning process. Penalties for unexcused lateness will be left to the teacher’s discretion.
Each student is assigned a school locker and combination. Students should not share their combination. Lockers are the students’ responsibility and are to be kept neat and clean. School personnel may inspect lockers at any time.
*In accordance with district policy, the administration reserves the right to inspect and/or search lockers at any time. This may include the periodic use of the K-9 Unit in conjunction with the local Police Department. The student assigned to the locker will be held accountable for the contents of the locker.
Lost and Found
Items lost will be stored in several locations. Check in the main office first.
Make- up Work
For short absences (less than 3 days) students should contact a classmate or check “Homework Hero” for any missing assignments. If students are going to be absent 3 or more days, parents may call the guidance office (292-2200, ext. 8070) by 8:00 on the third day to arrange for work to be picked up at the end of the school day. All work sent home must be handed in the day the student returns unless otherwise arranged with the teacher. Students and parents are also encouraged to check “Homework Hero” daily for an overview of that day’s homework.
These are considered unexcused absences. Parents who choose to remove their children from school must provide advanced written notice explaining the reason and length of the trip. The classroom teacher will only be required to provide a general listing of materials to be covered. It is not reasonable to provide detailed assignments when the student is not present for the daily instruction. Any missed tests or quizzes will be made up at the teacher’s discretion.
Only school related items should be brought to school. Games, toys, water bottles, laser pointers or electronic devices are not permitted in school. If any of these items are found in a student’s possession during the school day, they will be confiscated and only returned to a parent.
All students are issued progress reports four times a year to notify parents of test grades, classroom performance, preparation, attitude and behavior. Parents should review, sign and have their child return each progress report to their teacher. Additional reports may be sent home, as needed, throughout the marking period. Anyone who wishes to schedule a conference with a teacher may call the Team Leader.
Report cards are issued approximately 7-10 days after the close of the first three marking periods. The last report card is mailed home after the end of the school year and does not need to be returned. Anyone who wishes to schedule a conference with a teacher may call the Team Leader.
The scheduling process begins in February. Students meet individually with their guidance counselors to review their course selections. In June students will receive their Course Requests and in August the final schedule is mailed home.
A pupil who uses, possesses, or distributes a substance, on or off school premises, will be subject to discipline. Discipline will be graded to the severity of the offenses, the nature of the problems and the pupil’s needs. Discipline may include suspension or expulsion. The Board may establish consequences for a pupil not following through on the recommendations of an evaluation for alcohol or other drug abuse and related behaviors.
Staff members including coaches and extra curricular advisors are required by law to report any student suspected of being under the influence of or having problems related to drug or alcohol use in accordance with the district procedures. Students shall be informed annually of the regulations protecting the confidentiality of records pertaining to drug and alcohol interventions in their August packet.
Tardiness to School
Students who are not in their homeroom by the 7:55 AM bell are tardy and the attendance card will be marked as such. Students entering the building after 7:55 must pick up an admission slip from the Attendance Office. Approved reasons for tardiness are the same as for early dismissal. Late bus arrival will not be marked on a student’s records. All others are unexcused and will warrant an administrative referral after five tardies.
Buses are provided to allow students to participate in a variety of after school programs. Due to the fact that many buses are at the legal capacity allowed by law, students must ride home on the bus that has been assigned to them by the Transportation Coordinator. Under No Circumstances can the school permit a student to ride on another bus. Any requests for a change of bus must be directed to the Transportation Department at 973-292-2066.
2NDFLOOR® New Jersey’s Youth Helpline
The New Jersey Youth Helpline, 2NDFLOOR, is a toll free, anonymous and confidential helpline available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to all New Jersey young people, ages 10 to 24. Youth can call 2NDFLOOR at 1-888-222-2228 to speak with professionals and trained volunteers who listen attentively, non-judgmentally and compassionately to issues and problems they are facing. Visit www.2NDFLOOR.org for more information and try the message board!
School rules, published in this handbook, are subject to such changes that will ensure continued compliance with federal, state or local regulations. They are subject to such review and alteration as becomes necessary for the routine operation of the school. Not all rules of behavior can be written and inserted in a handbook; however, we expect students to exhibit reasonable behavior and not violate the rights of others.