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Junior High School Student Handbook

Junior High School Student Handbook

 

STUDENT HANDBOOK

Dear (INSERT SCHOOL NAME) Students,

All of us, children, adolescents, and adults need to know what is expected of us in whatever setting we find ourselves. Students in school should be told, clearly, which kind of behavior is deemed appropriate and which is not. To this end you are presented with this booklet.

Here you will find the school rules and regulations for most situations in which you find yourselves. In addition there are a variety of suggestions and ideas for you to think about, and upon which some of the contents is based. Read through the booklet carefully; it will also be discussed in class. You will find much of what you read to be just plain common sense. The rest will make sense (even the consequences of undesirable behavior) when you give it a moment's thought.

I hope you will make every effort to follow the guidelines presented to you and that you will enjoy a happy and successful year.

                                                                                                                     Sincerely,

                                                                                                                     Dean (INSERT NAME)      

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ACHIEVEMENT/ EFFORT

לפום צערא אגרא

The חכמים teach us the there is no substitute for hard work. If we want to achieve anything it will take effort. Success is determined by the effort we exert. Effort is a student product; it can never be seen as the responsibility of a parent or a teacher.

ATTENDANCE

אם תעזבנו יום יומיים יעזבך

Regular attendance at school is a prerequisite to any kind of achievement. Many a student can find a lame excuse for failing to attend school or a particular class at one time or another. Ultimately, it is the student that loses. They say: "If you miss a day at study of Torah it will cost you two to get back into the proper tempo and spirit of learning.”

BOOKS

הכל בספר!

School books are issued to students on loan. They are put in the care of young people who want to learn, and to use the books to do so. Abuse of books cannot be tolerated. The following constitute abuse:

a)     Books left on desks, shelves, etc., not put away properly;

b)     Books which are not properly covered;

c)     Defacing a book with any manner of writing implement.

d)     Taking a book that does not belong to you.

Teachers may confiscate books if the teacher perceives a book as being abused. The teacher will then levy a fine against the abuser. Any book left on a desk at the end of the day will be brought to the office. A student will have to pay a fine to reclaim it. 

CARING

וכי ימוך אחיך ומטה ידו והחזקת ב ו
There is nothing that a student needs to learn more than the value of caring for another person. All education is meaningless unless one knows how to be a "mench." A student can show he cares by:

a)     helping a friend deal with a problem;

b)     helping a classmate understand something he missed in the day's lesson. (This does not mean sharing answers.)

c)     offering a compliment to a friend about something positive;

d)     calling a classmate who is not well to wish him a רפואה שלמה

e)     by being careful not to say things which hurt other peoples' feelings; 

......and so much more.

A teacher may ask a student to leave the room if he or she makes an inappropriate snide remark to another student. When students care about each other’s' feelings the entire environment becomes one of caring andמדות טובות.In a Yeshiva the דרכי'ה דרכי נועם וכל נתיבותי'ה שלום – should govern all our interpersonal relationships. 

CLASSROOMS

דירהנאה מרחיבה רעתו של אדם

An attractive classroom is a nice place to spend the day; a dirty one is not. While classrooms are cleaned daily, it is incumbent upon the students to maintain order and cleanliness within classrooms.

Prior to the end of any given period, students must spend a moment tidying the room, discarding refuse and straightening furniture.

A student who willingly litters or dirties his environment may be required single handedly to clean up a room or number of rooms.

A student who defaces school property, such as a desk or chair, will be required to scrub all the desks or chairs in the classroom.

In the lower grades, teachers decorate bulletin boards with attractive educationally stimulating things. In the Junior High School, students are expected to assist in this process; it is their environment which the teachers are attempting to beautify and they should take some of the responsibility as well.

CLASSROOM BEHAVIOR

מרבה ישיבה מרבה חכמה

All (INSERT SCHOOL NAME) students know what kind of behavior is appropriate in a classroom and what is not. In the interest of brevity, only some very general rules a student is expected to follow:

a)     give a teacher his/her full attention and not be distracted, and certainly not to distract anyone else;

b)     speak only when called upon and indicate a wish to be heard by raising a hand (this of course means not to interrupt the teacher or another student at any time);

c)     do only assigned work and be diligent about it;

d)     be courteous and respectful of the teacher as well as his/her fellow students. 

DAVENING

ואהי' להם מקדש מעט

Behavior in a Shul demands a recognition of its sanctity and special place in Jewish life. Students are expected to use the Shul only when invited by a schedule or special invitation and may not be in the Shul for any other reason.

דע לפני מי אתה עומד

תפלה demandsכוונה , attention to what is being said and an awareness to whom it is being said. It is not appropriate to chat during or to leave one's assigned seat.

No food may be brought into the shul under any circumstances.

DERECH ERETZ

דרך ארץ קדמה לתורה

Derech Eretz is expected of all students. It precedes any learning and preempts any academic subject. Students need not be told that it is incumbent upon them to speak properly to teachers and classmates, not to interrupt another and in general, be civilized in their behavior. Unfortunately it is the students who have the least Derech Eretz who are neither open to criticism nor understanding of what appropriate behavior is. It is perfectly alright for classmates to point out inappropriate behavior to one another. Students may be punished severely for exhibiting a lack of Derech Eretz, more so than for any other infraction.

DRESS CODE

תלמיד חכם ניכר בלבושו

Proper dress plays a very important role in the dignity and atmosphere of the Yeshiva. As Torah students, young men and women should reflect Torah standards in their dress and appearance.

GIRLS- must wear either dresses or skirts and blouses. Halachic modesty standards require skirt length to reach the knee; sleeveless apparel is not permissible. Socks should be worn at all times as well. Makeup is inappropriate in school. In general, a student's appearance should reflect the dignity of a Bat Torah in a Torah institution.

BOYS- must wear shirts with collars, which must be tucked in. Pants must be neat and pressed. Teeshirts, jerseys, blue jeans, or sweat pants are inappropriate for school. NATURALLY, BOYS WILL WEAR KIPOT AND TZITZIT AT ALL TIMES!

Good grooming is expected for both boys and girls. If a child arrives at school improperly attired, a letter will be sent home for the first occurrence. If this is repeated, the child will be sent home to change.

FRIENDSHIP

קנה לך חבר

Friends made during youth frequently last a lifetime. This is why the friendship of classmates should be cherished and cultivated.

a)     Friends can argue but not permit a verbal fight to become a war.

b)     Friends don't always see things alike but never permit differences to come between them.

c)     Friends know each other's strengths and weaknesses and try to bring out the best in each other, not to provoke the worst.

d)     Friends help each other but permit each other to shoulder separate responsibilities.

e)     Friends know the value of friendship and don't permit unimportant things to spoil a good thing.

The cliquishness and choosing of sides that frequently take place in Junior High School is an indication of immaturity which students should try to outgrow.

GYMNASIUM

היות הגוף ברי מדרכי ה' הוא

The gym is a place where students may engage in physical activity and games of one sort or another, but they must always take place with an adult present. It is not permissible for a student or group to go into the gym to shoot a few baskets when no one is around. A student may be docked from other gym activities for this infraction.

Food is not permissible in the gym. It is not appropriate to eat candy, snacks, soda, etc. in the gym.

HALLWAYS AND STARWELLS

בכל דרכך דעהו

School hallways and corridors have only one purpose-to lead people from one place to another efficiently. We decorate hallways so as to make them attractive and passage into them interesting. We keep them clean and free of litter so as to make them safe.

It is inappropriate to be noisy in a hallway especially when other classes are in session but even when they are not. Running in the hallways or jostling with one another is inappropriate and downright dangerous, and will not be accepted. In stairwells any of the above behaviors are absolutely taboo.

HOMEWORK

יגעת ומצאת תאמין

What students have a right to expect from teachers:

a)     teachers will explain assignments clearly so that every student understands what is expected of him.

b)     assignments will not require the use of books or materials which are not available in the home or readily accessible from the school or public libraries.

c)     homework will be at their ability level and that they will not have to call upon parents or a tutor to be able to complete an assignment.

d)     homework, when completed and turned in will be graded or otherwise marked.

 What teachers have a right to expect from students:

a)     homework will be done neatly so that a teacher does not need to be a hieroglyphics expert to read it.

b)     homework will be done on time and turned in appropriately.

c)     a student will put forth his own best effort and will not "borrow" a friend's homework assignment, transcribe and present it as his own.

LUNCHROOM

זה השלחן אשר לפני ה'

The 1/2 hour a student spends in the lunchroom at midday is meant for lunch and no other activity.

Students are expected to:

a)     sit down, eat their lunch;

b)     be ready to recite ברכת המזון at the proper time and wait to be dismissed;

c)     littering and deliberate messiness will result in the student having to clean the entire lunchroom. Rowdiness will not be tolerated.

NEATNESS

נקיות מביאה לידי טהרה

During the early and formative years, children need to learn to be neat and organized so that they can learn better and function better as people. Unkempt appearance, messy notebooks, disorganized loose leafs and books, prevent a student from reaching his full potential. Therefore, the school requires students to dress neatly and maintain a semblance of organization about them.

Teachers may require students to tuck in a shirt, button and lace themselves properly. They will require students to clean up the mess in their immediate environment so as to help them function better.

Teachers will not accept assignments and papers which are not neatly written and properly presented.

OFFICE

אזיהו חכם המכיר את מקומו

The office is the seat of the school administration and not the domain of students. It is never appropriate for a student to be in the office without permission. Unless sent there by a teacher or invited by one of the office personnel, no student has business in the office.

PLAYGROUND

ונשמרתם מאד לנפשותיכם

The roof playground and the backyard can each accommodate between NUMBER students at one time. They can do so only if play is civilized and the age groups are similar.

Students may not be in the playground without teacher supervision. All play must be kept civilized and fighting is always taboo. If an altercation erupts the teacher should be called immediately.

RESPONSIBILITY

אדם מועד לעולם

In a school environment, responsibilities are divided up among many people. The administration has its set of responsibilities; the janitorial staff has its responsibilities. The teachers, of course, carry most of the responsibility for educating students, and finally, there is the responsibility of the students. Some of the major student responsibilities are:

a)     to be at the school bus stop on time;

b)     to come to school on time, ready to learn

c)     to come to school with all the necessary educational implements- books, papers, pencils, etc. It is not the teacher's responsibility to provide any of these;

d)     to pay attention; to ask questions and to make sure that he is learning. It is not the responsibility of the teacher to constantly jar students from a daydream or to put on the "Sesame Street" act to maintain his interest;

e)     to do all assigned work-class work, homework, etc. and to do so in the manner prescribed. It is not the responsibility of the teacher to badger a student to hand in an assignment.(If a student misses an assignment he must talk to the teacher and get an extension if possible);

f)      to be responsible for his behavior. It is never acceptable for a student to say, "I was provoked into doing..." or, "I did not know the rules..."; student activities, such as graduation, yearbook, plays, carnival, trips, etc. are responsibilities shared between teachers and students. Students should not expect teachers to shoulder all the responsibility for student activities, nor will the students be expected to shoulder them alone. These activities function as a partnership between faculty and students.

 

TALKING

יהא דבורך בנחת עם הבריות

The mark of a refined person and an educated human being is his speech. Every student should strive to learn how to speak appropriately.

A student should use a respectful, natural tone of voice. Raising one's voice does not mean people will stop and listen.

It is appropriate or a student to speak only when he is not interrupting others.

Students are expected to address teachers and all adults respectfully, they are not expected to interrupt one another.

Foul language will not be tolerated and at no time will profanity be condoned. The use of any of these will meet with punishment.

TEACHERS

עשה לך רב! מורה רבך כמורה שמים

Teachers are educated, dedicated people who have chosen the profession of teaching over other professions because of their love for children and for the teaching process. For this alone, teachers deserve the respect, admiration and thanks of every student. Remember:

A teacher may be a friend but cannot be addressed as a pal. A teacher can be a trusted confidante but cannot share a student's gossip. A teacher can help, can guide, prod, probe, chastise, depending upon what the situation requires, but it is always in the student's best interest. A student would be wise to seek the advice of his teacher and carefully follow it.

Most successful adults are fortunate to have had one or two teachers who inspired them and taught them to believe in themselves. Our school has more than its share of outstanding teachers who are eager to help students shape their lives properly.

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