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General Information Regulations and Procedures
 
ABSENCES FROM CLASS
1. If a student is absent from school, a parent/legal guardian must contact the school that day or send a note explaining the reason for their son/daughter’s absence the following day.
2. If a phone call is made, the parent/legal guardian can call the school (736-2149 Press 1) and leave a message regarding the absence. Please be sure to spell the first and last name of your son/daughter and indicate the reason for their absence. In addition, please leave a phone number where we can contact you.
3. If a note is submitted, please indicate your son/daughter’s first and last name and the reason for their absence. Please date the note and indicate the date of the absence(s). The student must report to the Attendance Office with the note. An admit slip will be issued to the student and will be used to gain admission to classes for the remainder of that day. If the student does not have a note, she/he will be marked truant and assigned detention(s).
4. Forged documents and/or parent/guardian impersonations via phone contact are a serious violation of trust and will result in disciplinary action.
5. It is the responsibility of a truant student to meet with the teacher to make up any missed class assignments, homework, notes, tests.
6. Once a pattern of truancy is established, parents will be notified to help resolve the problem. Should the pattern continue beyond this point the student may be suspended.
Should the pattern persist, the student may be invited to seek out an alternate school setting or educational environment.
7. If the student must leave the school early or for part of the day, parents must send a note excusing the student from classes. Students must get an excusal slip before 8:20 a.m. and present this to the teacher before leaving the building. If a student leaves the building without permission from the attendance office, the student will be considered truant.
8. If a student should become ill, she/he must report to the Attendance Office. The parent, guardian or emergency contact will be notified and arrangements will be made for his/her release from school. Any student leaving school for the day must report to the attendance office to Sign Out.
9. Students who reach the age 18 will be held accountable for their attendance and academic progress.
10. Explained absences due to field trips, hospitalization, illness or school activities are recorded as explained absences.            
11.  School Sanctioned Event - A student must be at school for the entire day in order to participate in a school sanctioned event after school unless the Vice-Principal or Principal has approved the absence. 
12: LATES  If you arrive at school, between 8:25 AM and 8:30 AM you must report immediately to class. If a student arrives to school after 8:30 AM you must report directly to the attendance office for an Admit Slip. If you arrive late for any other classes your teacher will record the late and inform the office on their attendance. Lateness for an invalid reason (e.g. “I slept in”) may result in disciplinary action. As well, it is your responsibility to be in class on time. Persistent lateness will result in progressive discipline that may include suspension from school.  
AFTER SCHOOL ACTIVITIES:
Attendance in school is mandatory in order to participate in any after school activity (i.e. sports team, clubs etc.) according to WECSSAA Code of Conduct. Students cannot participate in these activities without teacher supervision.   
ASSESSMENT & EVALUATION
Refer to the school website for a complete review of the schools Assessment & Evaluation Policy.  Go to:  www.gecdsb.on.ca   Proceed to Tab named <Schools>. Click on <School List>.   Scroll down to <General Amherst High School>.  Click on sidebar tab <School Planner>.  Click on  <Assessment & Evaluation Policy>.
 AUTOMOBILES AND PARKING:    
Parking is provided across Sandwich Street as a convenience and all drivers must proceed slowly and cautiously. The school parking lot is not a social area for students.  Students are not to loiter in the parking lot or in their cars during the school day, including lunch.  The school assumes no responsibility for damage or loss to vehicles or their contents.  Any violation of these rules, or any rules of good driving, can result in immediate and permanent suspension of the privilege to park on school property. 
BUS TRANSPORTATION: 
Riding a school bus is a privilege and not a right. Bus routes are set to service all students as safely and efficiently as possible. Bus stops are located in accordance with Board and Ministry guidelines.  Alternate drop-off points are not available. Students are to be picked up at one designated stop and dropped off at one designated stop during the year. Other students and “friends” are not allowed on the bus. When inclement weather occurs and schools are to be closed or transportation routes delayed or canceled, an announcement will be made on local radio and TV stations. Students are expected to display respect, responsibility and citizenship while on any school bus. Smoking, eating or drinking while on the bus is strictly prohibited. Students will be held liable for any damages to seats and/or equipment. Any behavioural infractions will be reported to school administration by the bus driver. Students can lose the privilege of riding the bus.                                                                            
CAFETERIA, FOOD & DRINK:
In an effort to maintain a neat and sanitary school environment, all food, snacks and beverages are to be consumed in the Cafeteria, outside and in designated areas, specifically the English hall only during inclement weather.  Backpacks are not to be brought into the cafeteria.  After eating, students are expected to clean up and dispose of their garbage in a responsible manner.  Failure to comply will lead to such consequences as helping to clean the Cafeteria, detentions and possible suspension from school.   Only travel cups with lids are to be used in the hall ways.  All beverages in disposable cups must  be consumed in the cafeteria or outside. 
CELLULAR PHONES, PERSONAL COMPUTING DEVICES  
Computing devices such as cellular phones, Smart Phones, laptops, Netbooks or other electronic communication and computing devices have value and can be used effectively to support learning. However, within the confines of the school environment, their use has the potential to be disruptive when it undermines the integrity of an individual’s right to privacy; adversely affects the quality of teaching or learning; and/or interferes with the safe and efficient operation of the school.
1) Use of personal communication and/or computing devices is only permitted during instructional time when permitted and supervised by a staff member for educational purposes.
2) Students who choose to bring personal communication and/or computing devices to school do so with the understanding that:
i) Personal communication and computing devices that are brought to school are the responsibility of the owner. The GECDSB and/or the school are not liable for damage, loss or theft of the device or data that is stored on the device.
ii) Personal communication and computing devices that are brought to school, are to be off during instructional time unless use is approved by a staff member;
iii) Personal communication and computing devices may not be used at any time where individual privacy must be protected such as washrooms, locker or change rooms.
iv) Unless expressly permitted by a staff member, personal communication and computing devices are not to be used during a curriculum assessment or evaluation (test or examination).
3) Students will be subject to progressive discipline including confiscation of the device, suspension, expulsion and/or police involvement, as per the school and board policy, for the inappropriate use of personal communication and computing devices including the sharing of inappropriate sexual material.
CHANGE OF ADDRESS, TELEPHONE NUMBER or EMERGENCY CONTACT:
Any student who has a change of address, telephone number or emergency contact must report this information to the Main Office.   
COATS, JACKETS, BAGS & BACKPACKS: 
Coats, jackets, bags and backpacks are not allowed in the classroom as they represent a safety concern.  These items are to be stored in student lockers during class time. Backpacks are not permitted in the cafeteria during lunch time.  Students are permitted to use bags/backpacks to carry their uniforms/equipment to their physical education class. 
COMPUTER/SOCIAL MEDIA USE :
Students are required to fill out and sign an Acceptable Computer Use Form. Students who use computers/phones in an unacceptable manner (i.e. chat rooms, computer games, inappropriate websites, cyber bullying etc.) may be disciplined or lose the privilege of using a computer for an extended period of time. Students are not to post comments with the names of staff members in them without explicit permission.  Hurtful comments directed towards staff or students will be considered as bullying and disciplined accordingly.  If you have an issue with an individual that you cannot resolve yourself, seek out an appropriate adult to assist you.  For example, guidance counsellor, CYW, LST, teacher, principal or vice principal.
DETENTIONS:
A detention may be assigned by the Main/Attendance Office or by school administration.  Students will be given a day’s notice in order to arrange alternate transportation on the day of the detention.  School detentions are to be served on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday from 2:30-3:10 in Room 118. Students are to sit and complete their homework quietly.  Failure to serve a detention may lead to further disciplinary action.   
DRESS CODE POLICY 
Students are expected to take pride in their appearance by dressing cleanly, neatly and appropriately.  In general, all clothing worn to school must be conducive to an academic environment. Clothing or accessories containing inappropriate or objectionable pictures and/or words such as references to alcohol, drugs, profanity, obscene language, statements promoting violence, racism or illegal behaviour, sex (including words or phrases with double meaning), or gender-offensive language are not acceptable.
​Specific dress requirements for technical classes, physical education classes and co-operative education will be outlined by your teacher.  For health and safety reasons, shoes must be worn at all times. Sandals are not permitted in the technical shops and technical class rooms.   
This dress code policy must be adhered to at all times including during exams, field trips, sporting events and excursions to other school events.  In all cases, any dispute regarding what is or is not appropriate, will be decided by school administration. Students may be required to change any improper clothing at school, or if necessary, be sent home to change.

EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITY POLICY

Activities provided by our schools are meant to complement and enhance the academic program so that all students have an opportunity to enjoy a well-rounded educational experience.  Extra-curricular programs are a privilege for students to enrich their school lives.
Students who wish to participate in extra-curricular activities are subject to the expectations and standards outlined in the new Greater Essex County District School Board policy and that of any policies, expectations and standards found within the governing sport bodies: WOAA, WECSSAA, SWOSSAA and OFSAA.  The criteria for eligibility in extra-curricular activities include the following three areas:

Academics: 

Although there is not a set average to determine eligibility, it is expected that all student participants strive towards academic success.  School administration will review the eligibility of any student failing one or more courses.  IPRC and SECC students may be exempted by the Principal.  Reviews will be held prior to major sports season and will be based on the last full report.  Interim progress reports may also be used to determine eligibility.  For all fall activities, the previous year’s results will be used.  In the event that a student was successful at summer school in a course failed during the previous academic year, that course will no longer be considered a failed course.   Elementary marks will not determine a student’s first eligibility in high school.

Citizenship: 

Student participants must be in good standing (ie. behaviour and deportment etc.) at the school as outlined in the pages of the school’s current student handbook.

Attendance: 

Student participants are required to attend all classes and arrive to class on time.  Unacceptable attendance patterns and lack of punctuality may cause a student to be deemed ineligible.  Excessive absences and/or unexcused absences will not be tolerated.  Student participants must attend school for the full day on game days in order to play. 
Based on the criteria outlined above, school administration will declare a student eligible or ineligible.
a) Eligible – The student has met all three criteria and is therefore eligible to participate in all organized extra-curricular activities or events.  If the student fails to maintain any one of the three eligibility criteria during the term, the student will be immediately declared ineligible.
b) Ineligible – The student has not met one or more of the criteria and is unable to participate in any extra-curricular activities during the present term.  Should the student improve and meet all three criteria, the student may be declared eligible pending a written appeal to the Principal.


Appeal Process

Students who have been declared ineligible due to extenuating circumstances may appeal their eligibility in writing to the Principal.  Once the appeal is received it will be reviewed by school administration and a final decision will be made.  Students may be deemed to remain ineligible or eligible for participation in the extra-curricular activity.
 FUNDRAISING EVENTS: 
Any fundraising events such as a bake sale, pizza sale or ticket sale must be approved by the Principal.  Requests to hold a fundraising event must be submitted in writing to the Principal at least one week prior to the event. 
GYM USE: 
Students cannot access the gymnasium/weight room and/or classrooms without direct teacher supervision. 
HALLWAYS:
Students are expected to show courtesy while walking quickly and quietly to class.  To maintain the best learning environment possible, students are not to congregate or sit in the hallway during class time.  Food, snacks or drinks are strictly prohibited in the hallways and in classrooms during instructional time.
HORSEPLAY, PLAY FIGHTING, PUSHING, SHOVING etc: 
All students have the right to be treated with courtesy and respect in a safe, enjoyable learning environment.  All instances of horseplay, play fighting, pushing, shoving, bullying etc. must be reported immediately to the nearest teacher or the Main Office.  Students involved in such behaviours risk disciplinary action. 
LOCKERS: 
Each student will be assigned a locker for his/her own use.  Locks sold by the school are the only acceptable lock to be used. Any other locks will be removed at the owner’s expense   Lockers are provided for storage of personal property and school-related materials.  Students are not to share lockers. To ensure safety, it is important that students not reveal their combination to anyone.  Lockers must also be kept locked at all times.  Students are responsible for maintaining both the inside and outside of their locker and will be held responsible for any damages.   Changes to locker assignments may be made with permission from school administration.  Students are encouraged to keep all money and valuable items at home.  The school does not assume responsibility for personal property that is lost or stolen.  School administration reserves the right to examine any locker at any time when deemed necessary. 
LOST AND FOUND: 
Articles which have been found are to be taken to the Resource Centre/Library where they can be claimed by the owner.  The school assumes no responsibility for lost or stolen items.  Students are encouraged to keep all valuable items at home.   
PHOTOGRAPHIC AND VIDEO RECORDING DEVICES: 
The use of any photographic or video recording devices shall be strictly prohibited except for instructional purposes as outlined in the Ontario curriculum. 
PAGED TO THE OFFICE: 
Students who are paged to the Main Office must report as directed.  Failure to report is a serious offence and may result in disciplinary action.   
PERSONAL ENTERTAINMENT DEVICES:
Use of I pads, cell phones, and devices that broadcast music are restricted in school.  Students may use these devices before school, during lunch time and after school.  Music is to be listened to with headphones, not speakers.  These items are to be stored in student lockers or backpacks during class time.  For safety purposes earphones or ear buds are not to be worn in the hallways except for the English hallway during lunch.
SENT OUT OF CLASS: 
Students are to proceed to the Attendance Office and complete a Class Dismissal Form.  Once completed, students are to submit their Class Dismissal Form to the Attendance Secretary.  They will then wait quietly in the office until the Vice Principal reviews the reason(s) for the dismissal from class.  Depending on the nature of the incident/infraction, the student will receive instruction from the Principal or Vice Principal on what to do for the remainder of the day.  Failure to report to the Main Office is a serious offence and will result in disciplinary action. 
SKATEBOARDS, ROLLER BLADES, HEELIES AND TRICK BIKES:
Skateboards, roller blades, heelies and trick bicycles are not to be used on school property at any time. All property is the responsibility of the owner. Neither the Greater Essex County District School Board, the School or its employees are liable for the safe keeping of these items. 
SMOKING/VAPING:
According to Board Policy and the Smoke Free Ontario Act, smoking/vaping including any type of e-cigarette is not permitted on designated school board property, property adjacent to the school including the sidewalk at the front of the school, the bus or at school sponsored events and activities. Students will be suspended from school and/or fined for smoking/vaping. Under the Act, individuals who are not students can also be fined for smoking on school property.
SNOW & SNOWBALLS:
Serious injuries can happen when students throw snowballs or loose snow.  Students who throw snowballs or loose snow may be suspended from school. 
STAFF INQUIRIES:
Students are not to access the staff mailboxes, work areas or lunch areas at any time throughout the day.  Students who wish to contact a teacher should seek assistance from the Main Office.
STUDENT FEES:
All students are required to pay a student fee.  Student fees are collected with option sheets. The fee is used to supplement the costs of a yearbook, student card, and student activities such as: clubs, dances, graduation, assemblies, athletic teams and student council.  If there is more than one son/daughter/ward per family registered as a student at GAHS please contact the office for family rates.   
STUDENT WALKERS:
Students who walk to and from school are expected to displaying courtesy to our neighbours by respecting their privacy and property.  Please do not litter, loiter and or take shortcuts through their yards.  For safety reasons, students are not allowed to congregate on the adjacent properties around the school, including across Sandwich Street. 
STUDY PERIODS:                                                                                                                          
Grade 12 students with 23 credits may be assigned a study period on their timetable.  Students with study periods are to spend this time on school work in the Resource Centre, the Cafeteria or outside.  Students must not wander the halls or interrupt classes.  If the study period is at the start of the day, the student is required to sign in at the Attendance Office prior to the start of their first scheduled class. 
TEAM UNIFORMS:
Team uniforms are issued to students on a loan basis. Team uniforms remain the property of the school and must be returned at the end of the scheduled season. Students will be required to pay for any lost or damaged uniforms.  Report cards, transcripts, diplomas or textbooks will be withheld until all outstanding items have been accounted for. 
 TEXTBOOKS: 
Textbooks are on loan to students. A replacement cost will be applied to lost or defaced books and to books that are returned in such poor condition that they are no longer useful. Report cards, transcripts, diplomas or textbooks will be withheld until all outstanding items have been accounted for. 
 VANDALISM:
Any property damage will result in discipline up to and including criminal charges.
 VISITORS and TRESPASSING: 
Students registered at General Amherst High School, their parents/guardians and employees with the Greater Essex County District School Board can access our building and school grounds between 8:00 am and 2:30 pm. All visitors must report to the Main Office, obtain permission from school administration and wear a Visitor’s Pass while on school property.  Individuals without permission risk being charged with trespassing and police will be called. Any person without a Visitor’s Pass must be reported to the nearest teacher or the Main Office