How do I contact a staff member?
You may contact a staff member via e-mail. Staff e-mail addresses are posted on our website. This is the most efficient way to communicate with staff, but it is also fine to leave a message in the main office.
How do I request a schedule revision for my child?
If a request is made for a special areas schedule change then the change must be made by the parent in writing and shared with the teacher. At that time either all involved agree that a schedule change should occur or a parent conference is scheduled. If the decision is made to change a schedule, then the new or receiving teacher will also be consulted prior to the schedule change. If an issue occurs in which a parent/student/staff member requests a schedule change ALL avenues of resolution will be employed to keep the student in their regularly scheduled class. If, as a result of mediation, no solution can be reached, then a student schedule may need to be changed as determined by the grade level assistant principal and counselor.
What do I do if my child is absent from school?
The parent(s)/guardian(s) of a student must provide the necessary documentation for absences on the day that the student returns to school. If the necessary documentation is not received by the school within three (3) school days, the absence(s) will be coded unlawful. Absences can be reported in a variety of ways: reporting the absence to either the nurse or attendance secretary; sending a note or email; or using the “Report A Student Absence” link on our school’s website. Appropriate documentation on absence notes should include the child's full name, date of absence, reason for absence, and parent's signature. The following reasons are deemed lawful absences:
- Death in the immediate family;
- Student illness, for which the principal may require a physician's certificate;
- Court summons;
- Hazardous weather conditions;
- Work if approved or sponsored by the school;
- Observance of a religious holiday;
- State of emergency;
- Lack of authorized transportation; and
- Other circumstances which, in the judgment of the principal or designee, constitute a good and sufficient cause for absence from school.
Absences, including absences for any portion of the day, for any reason other than those cited as lawful are presumed to be unlawful and may constitute truancy.
How do I pay for lunch for my child?
To pay for lunches for your student, you can visit the site www.myschoolbucks.com and deposit directly into your child’s lunch account or send a check or cash to school for deposit into their lunch account. You may put as much money as you want in their account. Applications for Free/Reduced meals must be completed. Students receive an application on the first day of school. Additional applications are available in the main office or at www.smcps.org.
|Reduced Price Meals||$.20 Cents||$.30 Cents|
Can my child have a cell phone or other electronic devices at school?
According to county policy, students may have electronics (cell phones, I-Pods, laptops, PSP’s, etc.) in school although they must be off during instructional time unless given permission by a teacher for a specific educational purpose. A phone specifically for student use is located in the main office at no charge to the student if an occasion arises that a student needs to contact a parent or guardian. If electronic devices are brought to school, the school is NOT responsible for investigating their loss and return.
What is BYOD?
BYOD stands for Bring Your Own Device. As we become a more technological society it is important that students learn to work as they will in their future work places. In early September students will receive information to bring home sharing how students can “sign up” their devices in order to use it in our building via our secure server for instructional purposes. Students do NOT need to have a device to be fully involved in any instructional activity but through this initiative they are permitted to.
How often and when can I expect grades to be published on HAC?
There are two types of grades issued, Process and Product. Process grades provide evidence that students are learning the material taught such as homework and classwork. Product grades provide evidence of mastery of the content taught such as a tests, quizzes, or lab reports. Assignments should be documented in HAC on the date they are assigned. Classes meeting daily should have a minimum of twelve process grades per quarter and six product grades. Classes meeting either A or B days should have a minimum six process grades and three product grades per quarter. In general, grades should be issued and recorded in HAC within ten days of collection of the work by the teacher. However, projects and extended writing assignments and /or assessments may take longer for grade publication.
What is the Progressive Discipline Plan and how and when is it used?
All teachers follow the Progressive Discipline Plan with all students for minor classroom disturbances such as not following directions; talking out of turn; or not being prepared for the class with proper materials. The Progressive Plan is reviewed with all students the first week of school by both the classroom teachers as well as the grade level administrative team and posters are located around the school as a visual reference.
The following are the steps of the Progressive Discipline Plan:
Conference with Student/Parent Conference
Conference with Assistant Principal/Counselor
If students commit offenses such as fighting and sexual harassment are not considered minor offenses and are issued direct referrals that are processed using the SMCPS Code of Conduct. A copy of the Code of Conduct is issued to each student on the first week of school and can also be found on the county website.
What medications can my student transport to school?
NONE. Absolutely no medication is allowed to travel with your child to school. Please bring all medications to the school nurse. No medication, even Tylenol, is allowed to be transported on the bus.
Under what circumstances can my child ride to or from school on a bus other than the one they are assigned?
Students may only ride on buses other than the one they are assigned to in emergency situations. Play dates and sleep-overs are not emergencies. Parents must send in a signed request that includes full student name, bus number, and contact information. All bus requests will be approved/denied by administration.
Can I eat lunch with my child?
Our space is limited in the cafeteria. Therefore, we discourage this and request that special occasions are celebrated outside of school hours.
Can I as a parent/guardian or my child(ren) bring in items like cupcakes or other food to share at lunch?
No. We ask that you please keep any food celebrations limited to your home. We have many students with food allergies and/or parents of other students that want to monitor what their children eat.
What process must I follow if I want to visit one of my child’s classes?
You will need to contact your child’s grade level assistant principal to arrange a classroom visit time that works for the schedule of all involved. Please note that a counselor, assistant principal or the principal will also be in the classroom with the parent to answer any questions that they may have during the visit.
How do I join PTA?
You may join our PTA for $6.00. This is a wonderful gift you can give to your child by becoming a member of their school’s PTA.
Does LMS have a dress code?
Yes. See Appendix 4: Students Dress Code for St. Mary's County Public Schools in the Code of Conduct or visit the Dress Code link on this website.
How do you interpret absences as recorded on the report card?
When checking attendance on report cards, please look at the bottom left corner where it states Year to date (YTD). This is where your child’s daily absences are reflected. The absences listed next to an individual class is your child’s attendance for individual periods. For example, if your child was absent from both 1st and 2nd period, 5 times in a marking period their attendance will be doubled to equal 10.
What happens if, because of weather, we have no school, a delayed opening or early dismissal and I have a scheduled IEP or PST meeting?
If school is cancelled then the meeting will be rescheduled and you will be contacted. If the meeting is scheduled for a time when students are in the school building, your meeting will continue as planned. If a delay or early dismissal occurs when your meeting was scheduled, and students are not in the building , the meeting will be rescheduled and you will be contacted.
What time does my child eat lunch, have science, etc.?
How are GPA’s calculated at the middle school level?
GPA’s are weighted with those classes that meet more often being weighted more than those that meet less often. For example, Language Arts classes meet each day of the week for two class periods while Physical Education classes meet every other day of the week for one class period. Therefore, Language Arts is worth four times more than the Physical Education class. A grade of an A is worth 4 points; B’s are worth 3 points; C’s worth 2 points; D’s worth 1 point and an F earns no points.
A sample GPA calculation for a 6th grader is as follows:
Language Arts B (2 weight x 3 points)
Mathematics B (2 weight x 3 points)
Social Studies A (1 weight x 4 points)
Science A (1 weight x 4 points)
PE A (0.5 weight x 4 points)
Art A (0.5 weight x 4 points)
Students’ weighted/points ÷ Total weights possible = 24 ÷ 7 = 3.42 GPA
What is the protocol to follow should I have a concern?
We encourage you to contact us as soon as you become concerned about any issue that involves your child. We cannot help what we do not know. We always ask that you contact the teacher first if the issue involves a classroom grade, a classroom incident, or something a teacher saw or heard. If you do not hear from the teacher within 48 business hours or are not satisfied with the conversation you had with the teacher, contact the grade level counselor. Likewise, if you do not hear from the counselor within 48 business hours or need additional support, please contact the grade level administrator and then the principal.
How do I schedule a parent conference?
Please contact your child’s grade level counselor to set up a parent conference. The counselor will then set-up a conference date and time for you with your child’s teaching team. Please note that the counselor will ask you if there is a concern and if there is what it may be. The counselor may also ask if you have talked to a teacher regarding this concern. If you haven’t talked with the teacher previously they may ask you to do so prior to scheduling a conference.
How do I or how does my LMS student get our Home Access Center (HAC) access information?
As a parent you can get your HAC access information by visiting our main office during regular office hours. Please note due to the confidentiality of the information on HAC, a picture ID must be presented if you are requesting this access. A student may stop by the office at any time during their school day (provided that they have permission from their teacher) to ask a secretary for their HAC information.
When do after-school clubs start and what is the process for participation?
In general, after-school clubs begin in October and end in May. Information regarding club information and sign-ups will begin in mid-September and will be shared during morning and afternoon announcements. Any flyers that clubs issue will be available through the homeroom teacher. Some clubs have limited space so it is important that if interested, students bring in the required paperwork as soon as they are able to. Please note that some clubs may have a wait list.
How does my child get invited to be in National Junior Honor Society (NJHS)?
NJHS is a service-organization in which students are invited to apply at the end of their 7th grade year. Students are invited to apply if they have a 3.5 or better cumulative GPA for each of their 6th and 7th grade years. Students must also have a clean discipline record. Applications will be reviewed by the NJHS Faculty Council for selection into the organization.
Can I park at LMS during the school day?
All cars parked in the school lot in designated spaces must have an LMS parking pass which are to be hung off the rear view mirror or displayed on the dashboard. If you are not a staff member but are volunteering, meeting with staff, or are a substitute, please ask for a temporary pass when you sign in at the main office. Cars not displaying a pass may be issued a parking citation by our School Resource Officer. Please return the pass when you leave the building as there is a cost associated with purchasing these passes.
What are the procedures for either dropping off my child in the morning or picking him/her up in the afternoon?
Parents dropping off students will enter the right parking lot (when facing the school) and pull by the cafeteria entrance where a staff member will be present to monitor students as they walk into the school. Please note that this parking lot is one-way. Parents wishing to park and walk in with students may do so by entering through the main entrance of the school. All visitors must sign in, show identification and obtain a visitors badge from the main office personnel. Students may not walk through the parking lot without a parent and are not to be dropped off at school prior to 6:55 a.m. When exiting the parking lot following drop-off, please use the same entrance that you used to enter. No cars are permitted in the bus loop once buses begin to arrive.
For pick-up in the afternoon, you must contact the school by 1:00 p.m. if you need us to get a message to your child that they will be picked up. Students that are to be picked up will be called to the cafeteria prior to dismissal. A staff member will be present in the cafeteria to check parent identification and sign out students. Cars are not permitted in the bus loop, so please do not park in front of the main entrance to pick up your child. Cars that are in the right parking lot for student pick up are asked to circle around and exit through the same entrance. This ensures an efficient procedure and guarantee that cars, buses, and students are not interacting.