Rockvale High School

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Student Handbook




Attendance (Rutherford CO. Policy)

After five unexcused absences, students will be referred to the county attendance office. Court action against parents may result. Out-of-School Suspension days are considered unexcused absences.

Excused Absences (Documentation Required)

  1. Doctor or Dentist Appointment (Student Only)
  2. Death in the Immediate Family (Father, Mother, Brother, Sister, Aunt, Uncle, or Grandparent)
  1. Personal Illness
  2. Required Court Appearance
  3. Religious Observances
  4. Extenuating Circumstances (Must be Approved by School Administration)


Unexcused Absences

1. Truancy                                         


3. Working

4. Car Trouble                                   

5. Interviews                      

6. Driver’s License

7. Lack of Transportation                  

8. Oversleeping                

9. Family Vacations


Student Procedures to Receive an Excused Absence

To receive an excused absence, you must take your note to the attendance office before school or during your lunch period within five days of your return to school.

Make-Up Work Policy

Make-up work must be completed with the classroom teacher within five (5) days after a student returns to school. This is for excused and unexcused absences. This includes days missed for a field trip. The time to complete the work may be lengthened at the teacher’s discretion. If a student is to be absent three or more days, make-up work may be requested through the counseling office; however, a 24-hour notice is required.


Unexcused Tardies to School / Unexcused Checkouts

Students are expected to be in their first period class when the 8:30 a.m. bell rings. Late students should sign in through the attendance office immediately upon arrival to school. The following list outlines the penalties assessed for unexcused tardies/checkouts (each semester):

First Offense:   Warning

Fourth Offense: ISS (1 Day)

Second Offense: Supervised Study   

Fifth Offense: ISS (2 Days)

Third Offense: Supervised Study

Sixth Offense: OSS (3 Day)


The consequences for unexcused tardies/checkouts apply collectively.

Excessive tardies/checkouts will result in notification to the county attendance off officer. Tardies/checkouts are excused for the same reasons as absences, with parent verification and/or official documentation required.

Unexcused Tardies to Class

Students are expected to be in their assigned classroom when the bell rings. If a student is more than five minutes late, without prior teacher authorization, the tardy will be considered a class skip. The following list outlines the consequences for tardies to class (each semester):

First Tardy: Warning/Documentation

Second Tardy: Warning/Documentation

Third Tardy: Supervised Study - 1 Day

Fourth Tardy: Supervised Study - 1 Day

Fifth Tardy: SS - 1 Day


Continued tardiness to class will result in serious disciplinary action.


Tardy Stations

For second through seventh period, students tardy to class will report to the closest Tardy Station. These stations are located throughout the building. Tardy machines automatically track a student’s tardies each semester and will issue the appropriate warning or consequence. For the third and fourth tardy, the student is automatically assigned the date for which he or she should attend Supervised Study. If a Tardy Station is out of service for any reason, students should report to the Attendance Office.

Senior Attendance Policy

Students may not have more than eight (8) unexcused absences from school to participate in:

  • Senior Week Activities
  • Prom
  • Graduation Ceremony

Note that (per policy) parent notes and other excuse notes must be turned in to the attendance office within five days of your return to school.

Seniors who exceed the allowed number of absences will be able to pick up their diplomas in the counseling office as early as the school day following the graduation ceremony when all other graduation requirements are met.

Early Dismissal / Checkout Procedures

  1. Students must sign out through the attendance office when leaving campus.
  2. Students eligible for early release must leave campus when dismissed.
  3. Students who become ill at school are expected to get permission from classroom teacher to report to the school nurse or attendance office.
  1. Remaining in the restroom will be considered skipping class.
  2. Students are not allowed to check out to eat lunch off campus.
  3. It is recommended that all appointments be made before or after school hours.
  4. A school official must excuse the student any time it becomes necessary to leave campus. The procedure is as follows:
  • Bring a note stating the reason necessary to leave school to the attendance office before 8:30 a.m. or between classes. Make sure a parent’s phone number is on the note.
  • Pick up a “Permit to Leave Campus” form from the attendance office.
  • Sign out in the attendance office as you leave.
  • If you return to the school, sign back in.
  • The full responsibility for completing this procedure rests with the student.
  • Dependent students who have reached the age of majority (18) must still have written parent/guardian permission to leave campus.

Before and After School

Entrances and hallways are to remain clear each morning. Students who arrive early must move to the cafeteria or designated holding area. Students must leave campus by 4:00 p.m. unless involved in a school sanctioned activity.

Procedure for College Day

Seniors are allowed one college day. Seniors must have a good attendance record

and be in good standing.

One week prior to the college visit, students should:

  1. Call the college admissions department to set appointment.
  2. Bring a signed letter from parent to the RHS Counseling Office stating the date of the visit and the name of the college student will be visiting.
  1. Student will be given a College Day Request Form that must be signed by the counselor, the attendance office, and each of student’s teachers.
  1. Return completed form to RHS Counseling Office.
  2. On the day following the college visit, student must present a dated verification from the college that was visited to the RHS Attendance and Counseling Offices.

Perfect Attendance

To be eligible for perfect attendance, student must be in attendance for a length of time equal to the state’s minimum hourly requirement for a school day. To have perfect attendance in a class, student must be present every day for over half the class period. Any student with four years of perfect attendance will receive recognition of this achievement.


Attendance Incentives

Final Exam Exemptions: Eligibility for exam exemptions begins the first day of school in each class and is determined on an individual class basis. A student who has been suspended (ISS or OSS) is not eligible for exemptions.

Guidelines for Final Exam Exemptions

Full Year Class                                      One Semester Class

8 Absences   A Average                       4 Absences   A Average

6 Absences   B Average                       3 Absences   B Average

4 Absences   C Average                       2 Absences   C Average

2 Absences   D Average                       1 Absence     D Average



The following regulations were developed to create a school environment conducive to learning. To maintain a safe learning environment, students observing any of the infractions listed below should immediately contact school staff. These policies apply in school buildings, on school grounds, in school vehicles or buses, bus stops, and at any school-sponsored activity, at any time, whether on or off school grounds. The disciplinary actions listed below are minimum consequences.

Subsequent offenses will result in more serious disciplinary measures.


  1. Students are expected to follow instructions, school rules, and cooperate with the school staff at all times (including substitute teachers). Students violating this policy will have appropriate disciplinary action.
  2. Any student who refuses to accept disciplinary action, fails to give his/her correct name when asked by any staff member, or refuses to present ID when asked, will receive disciplinary action.
  4. Students who make obscene gestures or use profanity or vulgarity in a threatening manner to any member of the school staff will be suspended.
  5. Participating in, inciting, advising, or conspiring with others to engage in any act disruptive to regular school activities on or off campus will result in serious disciplinary measures.
  6. Students are expected to show respect for others.
  7. No horseplay allowed. Those who engage in horseplay will be appropriately disciplined.
  8. Students fighting on school grounds are subject to immediate suspension and may be transported to a detention facility and prosecuted.
  9. Written or verbal threats to another student or staff member will not be tolerated. The student will be removed from the school setting pending the results of an investigation. Following the investigation, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.
  10. All substance abuse is prohibited, including a student using, furnishing, possessing, transferring, or being under the influence of:
  1. Any narcotic, stimulant, or prescription drug or any other controlled substance (including marijuana). See Zero Tolerance Behavior (Page 25)
  2. Any intoxicant, drug paraphernalia, or any substance, which is represented to be a controlled substance.

If a student is under the influence or possessing alcohol, he or she will be remanded to alternative school

Offending students will be referred to the proper law enforcement authorities.

11. Tobacco: By state law, students are not allowed to use or possess tobacco in any form on campus or at any school activity.

First Offense: ISS - 1 Day, Parent Contact

Second Offense: ISS - 3 Days, Parent Contact, Referral to Law Enforcement

Electronic cigarettes (including vapor) are prohibited.

Possession of a lighter is prohibited.

12. Possession of any lethal or dangerous weapon (even a replica of such a weapon will fall under Zero Tolerance Behavior (Page 25).

13. Possession, use, or transfer of fireworks or self-defense devices (mace, pepper spray, shockers, etc.) will result in immediate suspension of up to 9 days and will  be subject to remandment to an alternative school.

14. Gambling will result in serious disciplinary measures.

First Offense: ISS - 1 Day                Second Offense: ISS - 3 Day

15. Theft of any kind will result in automatic suspension. The offending student will be held responsible for compensation of stolen property and law enforcement authorities may be notified.

16. Any form of cheating, including copying, will be subject to suspension. Students will still complete the assignment.

17. Once a student has arrived on school grounds, leaving campus at any time before  dismissal without permission will result in suspension. Students leaving campus without permission may have their driving privileges revoked.

First Offense: ISS - 1 Day          Second Offense: ISS - 3 Days

18. Remaining out of class, leaving without permission, or not reporting to an assigned Rocket Time without an authorized excuse note will be considered skipping. This includes remaining in the restroom, counseling office, SRO’s office, library, cafeteria, gym, or any other area.

First Offense:1 Day of Lunch Restriction

Second Offense: 3 Days of Lunch Restriction

19. Excessive Public displays of affection is not allowed. Offending students will be

      disciplined, and parents will be contacted.

20. Non-school publications may not be distributed or posted without prior approval of  the school administration. Students who have received permission are not  permitted to tape signs or posters on school walls or glass. Anything posted must  be signed by an administrator. Students cannot bring fliers advertising parties, etc. Students who pass out this type of material are subject to suspension.

  1. Students who destroy or damage personal property of others shall pay for such damage according to the value set by school authorities and be subject to  suspension from school and referral to law enforcement.
  1. Any student who brings inappropriate materials or items to school will be  disciplined. Students cannot bring stuffed animals, pillows, balloons, or blankets (including early-dismissal and testing days). Accordingly, the school cannot accommodate deliveries (e.g. flowers/balloons/etc.) for special occasions.
  1. Food deliveries from outside the school are not allowed without administrative approval.
  1. Gang activity will not be tolerated. This includes gestures, clothing,       writings, or materials suggestive of or related to gangs. Violators are subject to  serious disciplinary action.
  1. Students who litter any area of the building or campus will be subject to disciplinary action.
  1. Conduct that poses a risk to self or others will be subject to appropriate     disciplinary action.


Bullying/ Hazing/ Harassment

Students shall be provided a learning environment free from sexual, racial, ethnic, disability, and religious discrimination, bullying, cyber-bullying, hazing, and harassment. Refer to Rutherford County Policy 6.304. The bullying of other students or staff will not be tolerated regardless of the method or medium used (Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, texting, or other social medium). Students violating these policies will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including expulsion from school.

BUS CONDUCT (Rutherford CO. Policy) / HARASSMENT

The school bus is an extension of school activity; therefore, students shall conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the established standards for safety and classroom behavior. Students are under supervision and control of the bus driver while on his/her bus, and all reasonable directions given by him/her shall be followed. A student who is suspended from riding a bus cannot ride another bus until the suspension is complete. Parents are responsible for transporting students whose bus privileges have been suspended or denied for disciplinary reasons.

Multiple offenses, of any nature, will be treated as second and/or third step offenses. Bus riding is a privilege, which may be revoked. Parents are urged to discuss this privilege with their child. By doing so, you will help to provide the safest transportation possible for children.



Students are expected to help maintain the school environment, preserve school property, and exercise care while using school facilities. Students who destroy, damage, or lose school property shall be responsible for the cost of replacing or repairing such materials or equipment. Graffiti is considered destruction of school property. School property is defined as any item under the jurisdiction of the Board of Education. The district will withhold the grades, diplomas, and/or transcripts until the student or the student’s parent/guardian has paid for the damages. Students will be subject to suspension from school.


Cell Phone/ Electronic Devices

Cellphones use is restricted in all areas except in the cafeteria during breakfast and lunch. A teacher may grant permission for the use of these devices to assist with instruction in his/her classroom and to integrate these devices into their coursework. The principal or his/her designee may also grant a student permission to use such a device at his or her discretion. Students must adhere to the Rutherford County Board of Education’s Acceptable Use Policy when using personal communication devices as permitted in this policy.

Additionally, students may not walk around with headphones, headsets, or earbuds around their neck or in their ears. The school accepts no responsibility in the event of a theft of any of these items. Students bring them at their own risk. Subsequent use of the phone/device will warrant severe disciplinary action. Students may use their phones on campus after 3:30 p.m. each day. Any student who uses their phone or a recording device to video during the school day without permission will be suspended a minimum of 5 days OSS. Students may be remanded to alternative school and/or referred to law enforcement based on the nature of the video.

Computer/Network Usage

Prior to attaining an account for computer/network usage at Rockvale High School, every student and his or her parent/guardian must sign a Rutherford County User Agreement policy. Upon violation of this policy students are subject to consequences ranging from loss of user privileges to suspension, expulsion, and/or criminal prosecution.

Dress Code and Grooming

The following rules will be enforced for all RHS students, male and female:


  1. Clothing and accessories with slogans, symbols, or displays about or suggestive of drugs, alcohol, sex, obscenities, gangs, sororities, fraternities, or which prove to be a disturbing influence, shall not be allowed.
  1. Appropriate footwear and shirts must be worn at all times.
  2. Sleep and lounge wear are not appropriate. This includes house shoes. Exposed undergarments are not allowed.
  1. Bare midriffs, sheer or see-through clothing, bare backs, off-the-shoulder tops, tank tops, cut-out tops, spaghetti straps, muscle shirts, and other revealing garments are not allowed. Visible cleavage is not allowed.
  1. No headwear may be worn or visible inside the building (except for special events or as part of the school uniform). Hooded sweatshirts may be worn, but students may not wear the hood. Students violating this policy will have the article confiscated and repeat offenses will result in discipline steps. Hats that are taken up may only be picked up by a parent/guardian. Please note that confiscated items may only be picked up in the main office between 8:00 a.m. and 3:45 p.m.
  1. Rakes, picks, combs, curlers, bandanas, chains, or sunglasses may not be worn on campus Students violating this policy will have the article confiscated and returned at the end of the day. Repeat offenses will be held until the end of the year.
  1. The length of shorts and/or skirts (including open slits in skirts) must be equal to or longer than the fingertips of the individual while standing in a relaxed position and must be able to stay (not ride up) at an appropriate length when walking, sitting, or participating in classroom activities.
  1. Running/soccer shorts are prohibited unless worn as part of the school uniform during an athletic contest.
  1. Leotards, spandex, Lycra, leggings, jeggings, yoga pants, and form-fitting clothes are not suitable school attire. However, they are allowed if worn in conjunction with other garments that adequately cover the shoulders and chest and meet school requirements for length.

10.Baggy pants should be cinched with a belt and worn properly at the waist. No pants sagging below the waist will be allowed. Hanging off-the-shoulder suspenders are not allowed. Students whose pants sag will be sent to the appropriate administrator.

  1. Long outerwear, such as trench coats, should be removed upon entering the building and may not be worn during the school day.
  1. No holes, tears, or rips above the student’s fingertips will be permitted. There can be no exposed skin above student’s fingertip when the individual is standing in the relaxed position. This includes pants with see through mesh.
  1. No face paint, ornamental makeup, masks, costumes, or costume accessories allowed.


In keeping with the educational purpose of the school, students are expected to dress and groom themselves appropriately.


First Offense: Warning-student removed from the population.

Second Offense: Supervised Study -1 Day (student removed the from the population)

Third Offense: ISS - 1 Day

Continuous Violations will result in removal from Population



Administration may make changes in order to better accommodate student needs.