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Student Handbook

Vista Verde Middle School

Welcome to Vista Verde Middle School. This student planner has been designed to provide each student with an orientation to the school and its rules and policies. It is our goal to encourage a sense of belonging and pride in this school, where students strive to do their best. The policies presented here are designed to protect the learning and safety of others.


Items that are disruptive to the school environment are not allowed and may be confiscated.

  1. Any items that are a disruption to the educational process are prohibited.
  2. Skateboards, roller blades, and all forms of scooters are not permitted on campus during school hours, and are not to be used as transportation to and from school.
  3. Gum is not allowed on this campus at any time.
  4. NO sharpies or permanent markers of any kind.



Each student is expected to be present and punctual for all classes throughout the school year. When a student is absent, parents must call the 24-hour attendance line (602) 449-5301 by 10:00 A.M. each day the student is absent in order for the absence to be excused. If an absence is not excused by 10:00 A.M., it becomes a truancy.

For the safety of our students at Vista Verde Middle School, we will only release students to those persons authorized on the emergency card. Please have your Government issued photo I.D. ready to show before you come to the Attendance Office to pick up your child.



Vista Verde uses C.U.T.S. (Court Unified Truancy Suppression Program) through the Maricopa County Juvenile Court Center. Its primary purpose is to improve school attendance.

Arizona State law 15-803 requires that children must attend school between the ages of 6 to 16 years. Parents are required to ensure that their children attend school during school hours. A child who is habitually truant or who has excessive absences may be issued a citation to court for violation of this law. Absences may be considered excessive when the number of absent days exceeds ten percent of the number of required attendance days. Paradise Valley Unified School District requires 180 days of school attendance for the 2012-2013 school year. Chronic illness and other documentation from a physician will be accepted as an excused absence and will not be considered an excessive absence or a truancy. It is, therefore, important that all documentation for illness or medical appointments be submitted to the nurse and attendance office.


Students are not allowed on the school grounds before 7:30 A.M. unless requested by a staff member. Once on campus, students may not leave without permission from the office. Students should not be on the school grounds after 2:45 P.M. unless they are participating in a supervised activity, waiting for a bus or ride, or seeing a staff member at the staff member’s request. The drop-off and pick-up point before and after school is on Grovers Avenue or 28th Street. Please do not use the parking lots
. The east parking lot on 29th Street is to be used only for after-school activities.



Students are not allowed to ride bicycles on the walkways at any time. While on school property, bicycles must be secured with a lock and chain in the bicycle compound during the school day. The school assumes no liability for lost or damaged bikes or bike parts at any time.



We understand that friends and parents like to celebrate various occasions; however, balloons, flowers, cakes, cookies, candy, presents, and bouquets cause many distractions and are not allowed on campus or on the bus. This policy helps protect instructional time and ensures that all students are treated equal.



If you live 1½ miles or more from Vista Verde Middle School, you are eligible to ride the bus. Anyone making a disturbance is endangering an entire busload of students. Students who misbehave on the bus or at bus stops may be forbidden to ride school buses. Students must always get on and off at the same bus stops and ride only their assigned bus. Guest bus passes will be issued with a written parent authorization on the day of the request from the school’s front office.



  1. Observe the Vista Verde school-wide rule at all times.
  2. Do not eat or drink on the bus.
  3. Keep the bus clean.
  4. Any form of drug/alcohol use is strictly prohibited.
  5. Any form of vandalism to the busses is strictly prohibited.
  6. Stay in your seat and keep head, hands, and feet inside the bus.
  7. The bus driver has the authorization to assign seats and issue referrals.



In order to keep the cafeteria clean, safe, and attractive, the students must observe the following guidelines:

  1. Walk to and from the cafeteria.
  2. Place all trash in the garbage cans.
  3. Students must stay within the yellow boundary lines during the lunch period.
  4. No throwing of any kind.
  5. If a student goes into a teacher’s classroom at lunch he/she must have a pass.



Students are to conduct themselves in such a manner as to respect the learning and safety of others. Every person on campus deserves the utmost respect, consideration, and courtesy. Verbal or physical abuse toward any student or adult will not be tolerated. Consequences appropriate to the conduct infraction will be administered when necessary. The school has jurisdiction over student behavior from the time she/he leaves home in the morning until she/he returns home in the afternoon. Abiding by the rules and guidelines outlined in this planner will ensure student success at Vista Verde.



Counseling services are available for all students. These services include but are not limited to: personal problems, assistance with educational planning, interpretation of test scores, and career information. Students may schedule an appointment directly with the counselor or school psychologist, or parent may arrange an appointment by calling (602) 449-5300.



The Student Council sponsors after-school dances during the school year for all students attending Vista Verde. The last dance of the year is for 8th grade students only. Parents are responsible for providing transportation to and from all school dances.

  1. All dances will require an admission fee.
  2. The school dress code applies for all dances. There are no formal or semiformal dances.
  3. Parents must pick up their child within 15 minutes after the dance has ended, or the student will not be eligible to attend the next dance.



Vista Verde Middle School provides an environment for students, which is educational, safe, and friendly. The ABC Discipline Plan is tailored to meet Vista Verde’s special needs and concerns and will assist the student in changing his/her behavior at the lowest level of intervention. Vista Verde has one rule: Everyone must respect the learning and safety of others. When a staff member (administrator, teacher, or support personnel) determines that a student has not respected the learning or safety of others, the actions of the behavior management plan begins. The actions taken in this plan allow time for student reflection upon his/her current behavior and help the student to choose those actions necessary to improve behavior in order to avoid future behavior problems in the classroom, on campus, or when traveling to and from the campus.

The following actions will be enforced when a student has not respected the learning or safety of others:


Action 1:

  • Isolation within the classroom to reflect on student behavior. (If a team determines that a student has excessive isolations, a separate contract may be designed specifically for that student).
  • Buddy removal (student is sent to a buddy teacher).

Action 2:

  • Isolation within the classroom to reflect on student behavior.
  • Buddy removal (Student is sent to buddy teacher. Teacher will call the parent. If parent is not home, a message will be left, and a written notice will be sent home with the student. Every effort will be made to contact the parent because Action 3 will require the parent to come to the school for a conference.

Action 3:

  • Isolation within the classroom to reflect on student behavior.
  • Student sent to SAC (Student Assistance Center). Parent is required to come to the school for a conference. (The purpose of the SAC room is to provide a “time-out” room for those who choose not to respect the safety or learning of others. When a student enters the SAC room, the student calls the parent to notify them of the classroom removal. The student will remain in the SAC room the remainder of the class hour for the 1st SAC. The 2nd SAC the student will remain in the SAC room until the parent comes to Vista Verde to have a conference with the staff member and student. The goal at this conference is to help the student correct his/her inappropriate behavior. The student will remain in the SAC room no more that two (2) days. If the parent has still not come in to have the necessary conference after two days, the child will be sent home and will remain at home until the parent agrees to come to Vista Verde. The sooner the parent comes in for a conference, the sooner the student will re-enter the regular learning environment. If a student chooses to misbehave in the SAC room, the student will immediately be sent to the office and further disciplinary action will be taken).

Action 4 (and every action thereafter):

·       Referral to the Assistant Principal (Students reaching this step will be considered in defiance of authority and disciplinary action will range from detention to expulsion).

Note: The actions of the ABC Discipline Plan start over each semester. For those students who choose to follow the school-wise rule, a variety of positive incentives will be provided.



Vista Verde is a place of learning; therefore, appropriate attire is required. Decisions as to the appropriateness of dress rest with any staff member. Students in violation of the dress code will be sent to the SAC room and will be required to change into appropriate clothing.

  1. By state law, appropriate shoes must be worn at all times.
  2. Shirts and blouses must have at least 2½ inches of coverage at the top of the shoulder. Anything less is considered a tank top. Necklines may be no lower than 2½ inches when measured from the collarbone.
  3. Shirts must cover the waistline of shorts, slacks, and skirts with no midriff or back skin showing at any time. Tank tops, backless or halter-tops, sheer garments are not permitted. Any clothing allowing undergarments to show is inappropriate.
  4. Shorts and skirts must pass the “fingertip rule” which means they may be no shorter than where the student’s fingertips touch the leg when the arm is naturally hanging straight down. Slits in skirts, pants and shorts must also pass the “fingertip rule”.
  5. “Sagging” is not allowed; pants must be worn at the waist and may not sag below the hip.
  6. Garments, jewelry, or other personal items promoting alcohol, illegal substances, offensive pictures and /or sayings, or gang affiliations are not permitted. Chains around the neck, long chains on wallets or hanging from pockets, and spikes of any kind are not permitted. Any straps on pants that connect the waist to the leg are not allowed.
  7. Hats and bandanas are not allowed at any time, and hoods are not allowed in the classroom at any time.
  8. Any type of dress/attire that interferes with the learning of others is not allowed at any time.
  9. Discretion of dress code lies with school administration.



Fire, emergency evacuation, and lock down drills are conducted periodically. Staff members will give directions for evacuation procedures according to the directions that are posted the classroom. Students are to be quiet and listen for instructions from their teachers. Talking or misbehaving during a drill is dangerous and will be considered a discipline issue. Attendance is taken during these drills, so students need to remain with their teacher at all times, or they will be marked absent.


The possession, use, or sale of drugs, alcohol, “look-alikes,” or paraphernalia at school or on the way to and from school, will result in suspension or expulsion and possible criminal prosecution (ARS 13-3401-3411).



Students are permitted to use cell phones and other electronic devices before/after school and at lunch only. Use of these devices is prohibited in classrooms and during passing period. Students are not allowed to take any photographs or video at school. Devises will be confiscated if used inappropriately, and parents are responsible to pick up these items. Confiscated items will not be returned to the students. Teachers may allow students to use of electronic devises in the classroom for educational purposes. If students misuse electronic devices, the teachers will revoke privileges. Vista Verde is not responsible for the theft, loss or damage of these devises.



Students who associate themselves with gangs or gang-like activity through dress, hand signs symbols or disruptive and/or destructive behavior will be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the Governing Board policy.



Students of Vista Verde Middle School shall have the right to attend school without fear of harm, threat, intimidation, or harassment. Students shall not bother or annoy another person physically, verbally, or mentally. The use of language or gestures, which insult, intimidate, or negatively affect another person’s feelings, will not be tolerated. This includes, but is not limited to, sexual, ethnic, or religious harassment. Consequences will be immediate and consistent with Governing Board policy. Students are to immediately report bullying/ harassment to an administrator.



If a student becomes ill at school, she/he should get permission from a staff member to report to the nurse. The nurse will decide what should be done. Students must not leave the school grounds because of illness without checking out through the Attendance Office. The nurse’s office does not stock any medications except generic Tylenol, which the nurse will dispense when a student has submitted a signed over-the-counter medication permission card. Any other over-the-counter medication must e in its original container with written permission for its use provided by the parent. All medications and inhalers are to be kept in the nurse’s office. Students may carry an inhaler only with a doctor’s written permission. Inhaler must be properly labeled, and the doctor’s note must be reissued at the beginning of each school year. Possession of unauthorized medication of any kind at school is a serious offense and will result in suspension. You may call the nurse at (602)449-5303 for further health issues.


Homework is an essential part of a student’s education, and both students and parents can expect homework to be assigned daily. Parents can monitor their child’s homework by regularly reviewing the student’s planner or our school’s website www.pvschools.net/vvms. Assigned homework is an important part of a student’s overall grade and must be returned on the due date to receive credit. Parents have the capability to look daily at their child’s progress through Infinite Campus. A confidential password may be obtained through your child’s counselor. Infinite Campus Internet access is available through our school’s library or at the local library, if needed. If a parent has any questions concerning his/her child’s homework, please contact the teacher by e-mail or by calling (602) 449-5300.


Academic excellence is encouraged and recognized through the Honor Roll. The Honor Roll is determined at the close of each quarterly grading period. A grade point average of 3.50 is required to earn Honor Roll status, and a 4.0 grade point average is required for inclusion on the Principal’s Honor Roll.



The library is open from 7:30 AM to 3:30 PM Monday through Friday. During lunch periods, a library pass must be obtained from the duty aides. The students may

study, read, do research, internet use, or play games. Students are allowed to check out two books at a time using their photo I.D. and may keep them for two weeks. Lost or damaged books are to be paid by the borrower. Books returned late may result in assigned lunch detentions.



Students are responsible for their personal property. Should you find a personal or school property item, take it to the office. If a student has lost any property, she/he can check with the front office to see if the article has been turned in. Personal items turned in, but never claimed, will be donated to a welfare organization at the end of the school year.



It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that all assignments are obtained and made up upon return from any excused absence. If a student is absent 2 or more consecutive days, a parent may call the Attendance Office at (602) 449-5301 and request homework to be picked up. Students returning from an excused absence will have an amount of time equivalent to the number of days absent to complete and turn in assignments. For prearranged absences, including suspension, makeup work must be completed by the day of return or as individually arranged with the teacher. It is up to the parent and student to make sure that the homework is received by all teachers.



Each year Vista Verde Middle School schedules two formal Parent/Teacher Conferences during the first and third quarters. Parents may also make individual appointments for conferences with teachers, counselors, school psychologist, or administrators by telephoning the school office at (602) 449-5300 or by e-mailing the staff member directly.



Parents are invited to attend school with their child especially if the child exhibits behaviors that are inappropriate. As a courtesy to our faculty, we ask that shadowing initiated by a parent be arranged at least one day in advance. A visitor pass will need to be issued through the office on visitation days. Parents are encouraged to become involved with their child’s education.



Students are not allowed to leave the classroom during class period without their student planner signed by a teacher, or a pass signed by a staff member.



Physical Education (P.E.) is required of all students unless excused with a written request from the family physician. A written parental excuse is required if your child cannot participate in P.E. up to 3 days. If your child cannot participate in P.E. for more than 3 days, a written doctor’s excuse will be required. The excuse must be specific and presented to the nurse prior to the start of class, and the nurse’s office will verify excuses.


Dress Uniform Required

  1. Plain gray T-Shirt-NO LOGOS (Name on left side).
  2. Solid black elastic waist shorts (Name on left outside leg).
  3. “Tennis” shoes, securely tied, NO street shoes.

PE Uniforms available in adult sizes from the PE Department. T-Shirt are $8.00. Nylon tricot shorts are $12.00. Locks can be rented for $5.00.



When at school, appropriate language needs to be used at all times.



Deficiency reports are mailed home at mid-quarter for those students receiving a grade of D or F. The intent is to reflect the student’s current academic standing and to provide the student with ample time to improve his/her grades, if necessary. If you do not receive your child’s progress report in the mail, you are encouraged to contact the Registrar at (602) 449-5312.



All public displays of affections are prohibited.



Report cards are mailed home at the end of each semester. Report cards for the first and third quarters are handed out to students during 8th period.



Students are responsible for the proper care of all books, supplies, furniture, equipment, and school buildings. Students who damage school property or equipment will be required to pay for the damage or replace the item. If the damage is done deliberately, disciplinary action will also be taken.



Tobacco products, lighters, and matches are prohibited on any school property or grounds. Smoking and/or possession of tobacco are in violation of the Arizona State Law ARS 13-3622. Violations of this rule will result in consequences ranging from detention to suspension.



Vista Verde has a variety of clubs and organizations for students of all interests. We encourage students to get involved in activities such as: National Junior Honor Society, School Council, Intramurals, Clubs, and a variety of other activities and sports.



The Student Council is an organization through which the students may provide input regarding school decisions and policies. The Council promotes leadership, initiative, and self-control among its members. Elections are held through the Social Studies’ classes in the fall.



Students are cautioned not to bring large amounts of money to school or any other items of value. The school, is not responsible for their own personal property.



Every student must be in his/her designated classroom by the time the final bell rings, or that student will be considered tardy. Being late to class is a disruption and interferes with the learning of the entire class. School begins at 8:00AM. Parents need to call the school office to excuse a child’s tardy before she/he arrives at school or sign the child in at the Attendance Office. The tardy policy each semester is the following:

·       Tardy#1: Verbal warning

·       Tardy#2: Parent Contact

·       Tardy #3 & every tardy after: Referral to the office with appropriate consequences assigned.



Verbal or written threats to bring harm to any person or group of people are unacceptable. All threats will be evaluated and treated seriously. Disciplinary consequences may include a warning, detention, suspension, or expulsion.



Students will receive consequences for truancies in accordance with Governing Board policy.

A student is truant if she/he:

  1. Is absent from school without prior permission from the parents.
  2. Is absent from class without permission.
  3. Leaves school without signing out in the Attendance Office.
  4. Comes to school but does not attend classes.
  5. Obtains a pass to go to a certain place and does not report there.
  6. Reports to a designated place but does not return to class in a timely manner.
  7. Becomes ill and goes home or stays in the restroom instead of reporting to the nurse’s office.
  8. Is absent more than 10% (or 18 days) of the school year without a doctor’s note (parents cannot excuse a child after the child has missed 10 % (or 18 days) of the school days; at that point, only a doctor’s note can excuse the child).



Visiting teachers are guests in our school. Students are expected to show them the same respect as they would any adult on campus. A student who misbehaves for the visiting teacher will receive a conduct referral to the SAC room for the remainder of the class period. There may be further consequences from the regular teacher upon their return.



All visitors must check in at the front office. No student may have a visitor on campus during class hours unless approved by the administration.



Vista Verde takes pride in providing a safe environment for students and staff members. Weapons of any kind, including, but not limited to, knives, guns, firecrackers, or any other item, which could be perceived as a weapon, are not allowed on campus. Students possessing any item perceived as a weapon will face consequences in accordance with Governing Board policy.