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It is very important that you and your child review and understand certain Berrien County Board of Education policies. For your convenience, we have listed the policies below. You may view these polices and other policies on the Berrien County webpage or you may obtain a copy of the policy in the front office. Please read these policies and review them with your child.





  1. IHE:  Promotion and Retention
  2. JCDA:  Student Behavior Code
  3. JCDAA:  Student Tobacco Use
  4. JCDAB:  Student Alcohol and Other Unauthorized Drug Use
  5. JCDAD/EDCB:  Bus Conduct
  6. JCDAE:  Weapons
  7. JCDAF:  Electronic Devices by Students
  8. JCDAG:  Bullying
  9. JCDB:  Student Dress Code
  10. JDD:  Student Suspension
  11. JDD-2:  In-School Suspension
  12. JGCD:  Medication
  13. JGI: Child Abuse or Neglect
  14. JGJA: Suicide Prevention Policy
  15. JR:  Student Records








Central Office Personnel


Superintendent:  Dr. Lilli Drawdy


Assistant Superintendent:  Mr. Mark Morgan


Title One Coordinator:  Mrs. Debbie Strickland


Personnel Director:  Mrs. Donya Gillespie


Curriculum Director:  Mrs. Robin Marcrum (K-5) and Mrs. Margaret McMillan (6-12)


Section 504 and Americans with Disabilities Act Coordinator:  Mr. Jamie Taylor




Student and Parent Handbook Table of Contents



Arrival and Dismissal Times


Balloons/Gifts at School

Board Policies

Bus Conduct


Checking Out Students during the School Day

Classroom Placement

Communication/Homework Folders

Counseling Services


Electronics/Toys/Personal Items/Money


Field Trips

Food Services


Hand Sanitizer

Head Lice

Honor Roll

Hospital Homebound

In-School and Out-of-School Suspensions


Lost and Found

Make-Up Work/Incomplete Work

Media Center


Moment of Silence/Pledge of Allegiance

Notice of Title II

Office Hours


Parent Center

Parent Conferences

Physical Education

Program for Exceptional Children/Modifications

Promotion Requirements

Pyramid of Interventions


Report Card

Section 504 Procedural Safeguards


Student Code of Conduct

                Behavior Cards

                Discipline Glossary

                Progressive Discipline Plan

Student Dress Code






Title One


Transportation Changes/Car-Riders





Should a student get injured during the school day, at a school function, or on a bus, he/she should notify the person in charge. That person will complete a school accident report before leaving campus that day. The student's parent/guardian will be notified from the office if the injury warrants medical attention.


Parents/guardians should be sure the school office has up-to-date medical information on their children, especially an emergency contact name and number should the school not be able to contact the parent/guardian in the event of a medical emergency. The registration form completed on each student entering BES requires a parent/guardian signature that authorizes school personnel to seek medical care for the minor child in the event no one can be contacted if necessary.  Please see policy JGFG on the Berrien County school webpage or you may obtain a copy of the policy from the front office.



The school day begins at 8:10 a.m. and ends at 3:10 p.m.  Duty teachers will be on duty beginning at 7:30 a.m.  Parents are asked not to bring their children before that time. If a student arrives after 8:10 a.m., a parent/guardian must go to the office with the child to sign in and to get a tardy slip before the student can go to the classroom.


Parents bringing and picking up their children should do so at the front entrance. Parents arriving after 3:30 p.m. will need to report to the office to pick up their child.


Due to afternoon traffic, unless there is an emergency situation, students may not be checked out after 2:45. If your child has an appointment, he/she will need to be checked out prior to 2:45.



Regular attendance and promptness are vital to student success.  Frequent absenteeism and tardiness often result in poor achievement even if a student makes a concerted effort to make up the work. 

To accrue credit for one school year, a student may not be absent from any class for more than 14 days per year in grades K-12. (Please refer to Policy JBA).  In cases involving absences in excess of 14 days per year, parents must request an attendance appeals meeting with the school.  Please refer to the Berrien County Schools Attendance Policy. (JB-R, JBA and JB)

A student whose parent or legal guardian is in military service in the armed forces of the United States or the National Guard, and such parent/guardian has been called to duty for or is on leave from overseas deployment to a combat zone or combat support posting, shall be granted excused absences, up to a maximum of five school days per school year, for the day or days missed from school to visit with his or her parent/guardian prior to deployment or during such person's leave. Other reasons for excused absences are listed in the Berrien County Schools Attendance Policy.



Students will not be allowed to accept flowers, balloons, or other gifts sent to the school during the school day.



Copies of the policies of the Board of Education can be found on the BOE website, or you may request a copy from the secretary in the front office.



The school has the authority to discipline a student for any misconduct occurring on the way to or from school.  The school bus is an extension of the classroom.  Once the student boards the bus, the student is expected to conduct him/herself on the bus in a manner consistent with the established standards for classroom behavior.


The bus driver shall bring students who do not conduct themselves properly on a bus to the attention of an administrator through a bus referral.  The bus driver is responsible for the safety of all who ride the bus.  Students are expected to comply with reasonable instructions given by the bus driver.  The bus driver has the authority to assign seats either temporarily or permanently. 


A student who cannot conduct him/herself properly on a bus may have their riding privileges suspended.  In such a case, the parent or guardian of the student involved shall be responsible for transporting the student to and from school.  For more information, please see policies JCDAD and JCDAD-R on the Berrien school system webpage or you may obtain a copy from the front office.


Due to custodial issues and alerts, parents are invited to eat lunch on the stage with their child ONLY.



Parents who need to check-out students during the day should report to the school office.  FOR SAFETY AND

SECURITY reasons, students may not be checked-out by anyone other than the parent/guardian listed on the student registration form unless the parent contacts the school personally and has the person's name added to the list of people authorized to check-out the student.  Only the person who has lawful custody of the child may make changes to the check-out list. Written notes will not suffice in this situation.  A picture ID may be required to complete the check-out process if the office personnel are unfamiliar with the person checking out the student.



BES strives to provide each student with the highest quality of educational services possible.  BES reserves the right to reassign students to a different class/teacher in order to create the best possible educational atmosphere. Parents/guardians will be notified any time it becomes necessary to make a change in services provided to students.



The Communication/Homework folder is sent home on Mondays. The folders should be signed and returned on Tuesday.



The school guidance and counseling program is based on needs identified by students, teachers, and parents.  These needs are addressed through individual counseling, small group counseling, classroom guidance lessons, and consultation with parents, teachers, and administrators.  Parents may contact the counselor by calling the school to discuss any concerns they have for the student's personal/social adjustment or academic progress.


Parents are urged to get to know the school counselor.  The elementary school counselor is a professional who provides guidance services to all students and who assists children in their academic, personal, and social development.



The Georgia Standards of Excellence in Math, and ELA, along with the Georgia Performance Standards in Science and Social Studies, provide the scope and sequence of our instruction.  These standards specify the objectives and skills our students should master - the essence of our accountability.  Smart-boards, textbooks, and other resources are used to provide content in mastering these skills.  In addition, all students in grades 3 - 5 are administered the Georgia Milestones end of grade state assessment.  



Electronics and other personal belongings such as toys, electronic games, cell phones, baseball cards, and cameras should not be brought to school or on class field trips unless they have been approved as part of a class assignment.  If such items are brought to school, they may be taken up and kept in the school office until parents come to claim them.  Students are discouraged from bringing large sums of money to school. Breaking this rule a second time may result in disciplinary action.  The school is not responsible for replacing any of these items if they are stolen at school.



The English to Speakers of Other Languages program goals are to help students obtain English language proficiency and to meet age and grade appropriate academic achievement standards for grade promotion.  The program aids students to succeed in all four language skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing) both socially and academically.  The ESOL program is federally mandated and was established to ensure equal access to the school system's instructional program for those students who have limited English proficiency.



Field trips during the year are scheduled to supplement the instructional program.  School rules of conduct apply on field trips and exemplary behavior is expected of all students.  Students who participate on a field trip with a class or club from BES must go with their class or club.  If a parent wants to pick-up their child after the field trip, the parent or legal guardian must sign out the student at the school prior to departure.  

Students can only leave with the person who has been designated by the parent or legal guardian.  Written permission from the school will be given to the teacher or sponsor informing them of who can pick-up students attending the field trip.




Berrien Elementary School will provide one free breakfast and one free lunch to all students. If a student wishes to have more than one breakfast, lunch, milk, etc. then there will be a charge.



Berrien County Schools provide gifted services to students who have been identified eligible under the GA gifted eligibility criteria.  These services are provided in grades K-12.  The Berrien County Gifted/Talented Program utilizes student/teacher designed contracts which describe the objectives, activities, and products required to complete an appropriate program of study.  Students work under the guidance of a certified gifted teacher. 



Hand Sanitizer is used in many classes at BES with the supervision of the teacher or paraprofessional; however, we know many parents send their students to school with hand sanitizer, so we wanted to provide you with the following information:


  • Most hand sanitizers contain more than 60% ethyl alcohol (ethanol).
  • Drinking ethanol based hand sanitizer can cause alcohol poisoning sending children to the emergency room.
  • The Georgia Poison Control center recommends that children not be in possession of hand sanitizer.


According to the Georgia Poison Control Center, all hand sanitizers are safe and effective when used properly, but there is a potential for abuse. The alcohol in this product has been altered to make it taste bad, but this may not discourage some children from purposely drinking it.



Head lice infestation poses little risk to others and does not result in additional health problems.  The management of pediculosis (head lice) should proceed so as to not disrupt the education process.  As of February 1, 2015 new regulations were implemented in Berrien County schools to aid in the control of head lice. When a student is initially found to have live head lice, parents or guardians will be notified of the finding and the student will be allowed to remain at school for the rest of that school day. The student should be treated that evening and may return to school the next day if they are free of live bugs. The student should report to the school nurse upon arrival at school. If the student is free of live bugs, he/she may remain at school. If live bugs are found, the parent will be notified and asked to come to the school to check out the students. If a parent cannot be reached by phone, the school social worker will make a home visit. Once treated, the student may remain at school with nits as long as no live bugs are found. The third time a student is found to have live bugs, the parent will be notified and the child will not be allowed to return to school until they receive clearance either from a physician's office or the health department.



Grades earned by students in all academic subject areas and PE will be averaged to determine honor roll.  EACH grade earned in Math, Reading, Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies will account for 18.6% of a student's average, for a total of 93%.  The Physical Education grade will account for the remaining 7% of a student's average.  In this manner, all academic grades will carry an equal importance in determining a student's overall average.  Those students who make honor roll ALL three nine weeks will be recognized on Honors' day.  In order to be recognized for Honor Roll the following must be met:


  • Maintain an average GPA (Grade Point Average) of 90 or above in math, reading, language arts, science, social studies, and PE (which counts only 7%).
  • Have no conduct grade below S (Satisfactory). Parents will be notified prior to an unsatisfactory conduct grade. Conduct grades are based on the following:
    • E - 0 to 5 punches on behavior card
    • S - 6 to 11 punches on behavior card
    • NI - 12 to 15 punches on behavior card
    • U - 16 or more punches on behavior card


  • Since students only attend Music and Art one time per week and these subjects are not required by the state, these grades will not count towards Honor Roll.





Hospital/homebound services are available through the school for students with extended, non-communicable illnesses.  Parents should contact the school counselor to obtain the proper paperwork if a child faces an extended medical absence.



In-school suspension is used as an alternative to suspension at home.  It is a time for students to complete their classroom work, make-up any missed work, as well as a time to think about their actions that got them there.  We want our students in their classrooms, but we want them to make good, responsible decisions.

Students may be assigned to the In-School Suspension (ISS) program for up to 15 days per semester.  

Students report to ISS at the beginning of homeroom and spend the entire day in ISS completing the class work they are missing for that day.  The work is supervised by the ISS teacher and must be completed before the student is released from ISS.

ISS rules and regulations are explained to the student by the ISS teacher on the first day.  The breaking of any ISS rule results in a day being added.  If a student can not follow the ISS rules, they will receive out-of-school (OSS) suspension for the remainder of the day and/or up to 5 days. 


Out-of-school suspensions are reserved for serious and/or repeated offenses and can be from one to ten school days, at the administrator's discretion.  Out-of-school suspension days are unexcused absences and work may not be made-up.



At the beginning of the school year an independent insurance company offers student accident insurance coverage to students. Neither the local school board nor Berrien Elementary School serves as an agent for the insurance company.  After receipt of insurance information, all communication concerning the insurance will be between the parent and the company.  The Berrien Board of Education insurance does not cover your child if they have an accident at school.



Each school has a "Lost and Found" area where lost items are turned in and may be claimed.  All items of clothing that are to be removed, such as coats, sweaters, and caps should be labeled with student's name.  Any items in the "Lost and Found" that are not claimed by the end of each nine weeks will be given to charity.



It is the student's responsibility to check with their teacher about make-up work when they are absent.  Students will be allowed to make up work within a certain amount of time.  For each excused absence, a student will have three days to complete the work. If a parent expects their child to be absent for three or more days, the parent may phone the school by 10:00 a.m. and a list of assignments will be ready to be picked up by 3:00 p.m.



The media center will be open for student use from 8:25 a.m. - 2:45 p.m.  Students must have a pass from their teacher when visiting the media center.  Acceptable behavior and time on task will be required of students in the media center, or they will be asked to return to class.  Students may check out two books for a two week time period, which may be renewed up to one month.  Overdue notices will be sent home with report cards to request the return of the book or a replacement cost.  Fees may be assessed at the discretion of the media specialist for damaged books or missing bar codes.



The school nurse will be responsible for keeping and dispensing all medication for all students. (Per Berrien Board of Education policy JGCD-R)



State law requires a moment of silence during the school day.  Students will have a moment of silence prior to their first class.


State law requires that each student in the public schools be afforded the opportunity to recite the Pledge of Allegiance each day.  All students at BES are expected to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance unless there is a letter on file in the principal's office explaining the reason why participation is unacceptable.  Students with legitimate reasons are asked to sit quietly while the rest of the students are involved with the ceremony.



In compliance with the requirements of Title II, the Berrien County School District informs parents that you may request information about the professional qualifications of your student's teachers.  The following information may be requested:

  • whether the teacher has met the Georgia Professional Standards Commission requirements for certification for the grade level and subject areas in which the teacher provides instruction;
  • whether the teacher is teaching under an emergency or other provisional status through which Georgia qualifications or certification criteria have been waived;
  • the college major and any graduate certification or degree held by the teacher;
  • whether the student is provided services by paraprofessionals, and if so, their qualifications.


If you wish to request information concerning your child's teacher's qualification, please contact the principal at 686-2939.



The school office is open from 7:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. each school day.  Because there are NO adults on duty until 7:30, students should not be dropped off at school prior to 7:30 a.m.



Because many of our students may be allergic to certain types of animals, students and teachers may not bring any type of organism to school.



The media center houses Berrien Elementary's Title One Parent Center.  Parents may check their child's progress using the computer that is located in the center along with monthly parent newsletters on school and home communication strategies.



We believe that close communication between home and school is essential for a quality education. Hence, we encourage and welcome parent contacts.  A parent may schedule a conference with teachers by calling the school office at 686-2939 or coming by the office.  Our receptionist will arrange convenient times and dates.  Because teachers have morning duty assignments and/or other responsibilities they must attend to in the mornings, we are requesting that no parent conferences take place from 7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.  We certainly understand this is a convenient time for parents to ask a quick question or briefly discuss something, but it causes teachers to be pulled away from their morning duties.  When arriving at school for a conference, parents need to report to the school office and the teacher(s) will be contacted from the office.  We encourage parents to try to solve any problems with their child's teacher before contacting administration.




Students have the following grading system in Physical Education:

  • 25 points for following directions
  • 25 points for getting along with others/sportsmanship
  • 25 points for wearing the proper shoes for physical activity (no flip flops, boots, sandals, etc.)
  • 25 points for participation



The program for Exceptional Children is operated to serve students in Berrien County.  Exceptionalities served under the program include mental retardation, sensorial impaired, learning disabled, behaviorally maladjusted, and chronic illnesses resulting in excessive absences. 



According to policy, students are required to pass Math, Reading, and Language Arts with no grade below a 70, and they must pass either Science or Social Studies with no grade below a 70. In 3rd grade, students must meet the state requirement for reading on the Georgia Milestones end of grade assessment, and in 5th grade, students must meet the state requirement for reading and mathematics on the Georgia Milestones end of grade assessments.







At Berrien Elementary School, we know that every student can succeed, but students are not the same.  Some need more intensive support, while others achieve with minimal intervention.  To help identify all of our students' needs, we have implemented The Pyramid of Interventions, a step-by-step process that uses both prevention and intervention techniques to help students achieve to the best of their ability.  The Pyramid of Interventions helps create and maintain ideal learning environments where all students can thrive both academically and behaviorally. The Pyramid of Interventions provides additional help for students who need more support.  There are three levels of interventions, as shown below:


Tier One: Supports all students in the school

Tier Two: Provides additional support for smaller groups of students who need more targeted help

Tier Three: Provides intensive support for individual students not successful with Tier One and Two                interventions




Students are recognized throughout the year at BES for student of the month, citizenship, character, perfect attendance, and reading. In addition, BES has a Beta Club and 4-H Club for fifth graders.



Report cards will be issued on a nine weeks basis.  These dates will be announced by newsletters sent home by homeroom teachers and in the local paper.  Parents have the option to receive their child's grades daily through the parent portal. Progress reports will be sent home to parents halfway through each nine week period.  Grades on the report card are reported as numeric grades as defined as follows:

90 - 100 = A

80 - 89 = B

70 - 79 = C

Below 70 = F




Notice of Rights of Students and Parents under Section 504

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, commonly referred to as "Section 504," is a nondiscrimination statute enacted by the United States Congress. The purpose of Section 504 is to prohibit discrimination and to assure that disabled students have educational opportunities and benefits equal to those provided to non-disabled students.
For more information regarding Section 504, or if you have questions or need additional assistance, please contact a school administrator, the school counselor, or the Berrien Board of Education's Special Education Director.



Snack time is not a required time at Berrien Elementary School. It is at the discretion of the teacher when and if he/she has a daily snack time.




The Berrien Elementary School Code of Conduct has been developed in accordance with the Berrien County Board of Education discipline policy JCDAB.  Disciplinary action for violations of expected behaviors will include appropriate hearings and reviews.  In all cases, the rights of individuals will be ensured and protected.  BES will make every reasonable effort to administer the discipline code consistently.  Students and their parents need to know and understand this code in order to achieve their goals.


Students should participate fully in the learning process, avoid behavior that impairs his/her own or others' educational achievement, show respect for the knowledge and authority of teachers, administrators, and other school staff, and recognize and respect the rights of all students and adults.


A positive approach to discipline and learning is used at Berrien Elementary School.  Specific rules for proper behavior are explained and discussed by all teachers on a continuous basis.  Students are expected to abide by these rules and all directions given by school personnel. 





BES Behavior Cards:  Behavior cards will be issued school-wide on certain dates.  When a student breaks school rules, cards are punched and the offense is documented.   When a teacher punches the card, he or she will record each student's infractions of rules and/or disruptive behavior.  Teachers will notify parents through email, notes, agenda, etc. on the 5th punch in a student's card.  If the parent has not acknowledged notification, then the teacher will notify the parent by phone. After the 5th punch, the student does not get to participate in Rebel Rampage Day.  On Rebel Rampage Day, students will be offered the opportunity to buy snacks and have additional recess.  Students who do not earn Rebel Rampage Day will have detention.  Students will automatically lose fun day if they have been administratively placed in ISS.


The card is not used for "automatic office offenses" such as fighting, extremely disrespectful to teacher, hurting another student, hitting, throwing objects, etc.




General Terms:


Bus Suspension - The student is suspended from the bus for a specified period of time by the local school administrator. The student is expected to attend school, but the parents are responsible for providing transportation to school.


Discipline Tribunal - A three-member panel composed of certified personnel, which hears evidence presented by the school, the student, parents, or legal counsel when a student is referred by the local school system. The tribunal has the authority to make decisions ranging from returning the student to the local school to recommending to the Board of Education for permanent expulsion of the student.


Due Process - A student is afforded oral or written notice of the charges against him/her and is given an opportunity for a review, hearing or other procedural rights in accordance with state and federal laws.


In-School Suspension - The student is removed from regular classes for a specified period of time at the local school. The teachers send class work assignments to the student. A student is limited to 15 total days of ISS per semester.


Long-Term Suspension - The student is suspended out-of-school for more than ten (10) school days.


Non-Prescription Drug - Over-the-counter drugs not authorized by a registered physician and not prescribed for the student. Student use is prohibited except in accordance with local school policy.


Search and Seizure (Students) - School officials may, according to law and board policy, have access to student lockers, automobiles, and personal belongings when there is reason to suspect that the welfare of students and other personnel may be threatened. Discovery of dangerous or illegal materials shall be reported to proper authorities.


Search and Seizure (Non-students) - In accordance with Georgia Law any vehicle entering school grounds is subject to a complete search by school officials without the need of search warrants. When the request is made to search a vehicle, that vehicle must remain on campus until the search is completed. Failure to comply with such request will result in referral to law enforcement officials.


Short-Term Suspension - The student is suspended out of school up to ten (10) school days by the local school administrator. The student may be suspended for an accumulation of offenses, as well as a major offense. Days suspended will be unexcused absences and any grades taken may be recorded as zeros.


Progressive Discipline Plan/Discipline Violation Terms: The purpose of the Student Code of Conduct is to provide students at Berrien Elementary School an effective and safe learning environment.  Included in this section are prohibited behaviors and consequences for such behavior.  A number of factors must be considered in determining the degree of disciplinary action to be taken.  These factors include the severity of the misbehavior, the age of the student, and the student's disciplinary history.  Please read the plan carefully and become familiar with each component.  After several offenses, the principal or assistant principal may include, but are not limited to, any of the discipline management techniques below.  If a student is guilty of an offense not listed below, they may receive an administrative conference, corporal punishment, detention, ISS, and/or OSS. Because a student's disciplinary history is taken into account, punishment imposed may vary from student to student for the same offense.








Abusive language, obscene words, gestures, or materials (including written or spoken words):

Language, writings, drawings, speech, and gestures that are considered to be abusive, obscene, sexually suggestive, derogatory, or profane will not be tolerated.

  • Teacher warning, no recess, administrative warning, corporal punishment, lunch detention, or ISS may be considered a minimal punishment if the administrator believes that such discipline is appropriate for a minor offense. Behavior cards will be "punched" for each minor offense.
  • Depending on the severity of the incident, the student at anytime may receive expulsion from school.
  • Law enforcement may be contacted and possible charges filed.


Activating a fire alarm under false pretenses: Law enforcement will be notified and charges may be filed.

  • First offense: A minimum of 2 to 5 days of OSS
  • After first offense: A minimum of 3 to 10 days of OSS


Alcohol and Illegal Drugs: There shall be no use of alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs anywhere on the school premises. Parents and law enforcement will be notified and charges filed.

  • First offense: A minimum of 3 days OSS
  • After first offense: A minimum of 5 to 10 days OSS


Assault on a school employee: No student shall cause or attempt to cause physical injury or behave in such a way as could reasonably cause injury to a school employee or make physical contact of an insulting or provocative nature. Parents and law enforcement will be contacted and charges may be filed.

  • A minimum of 3 days OSS.


Terroristic threats towards a school employee or student: Parents and law enforcement will be contacted and charges may be filed.

  • A minimum of 3 days OSS.


Bomb Threat Parents and law enforcement will be notified and charges filed.

  • A minimum of 3 days OSS.


Bullying Bullying is any willful attempt or threat to inflict injury on another person, when accompanied by an apparent present ability to do so or any intentional display of force such as would give the victim reason to fear or expect immediate bodily harm. Disciplinary action may also be necessary if on-campus or off-campus cyberbullying results in a disruption to the school environment.  For more information, please see policy JCDAG on the Berrien County School Website.  With any offense, law enforcement may be notified and charges may be filed.


  • First offense: 2 days ISS or corporal punishment. Parents of all students involved will be contacted.
  • Second offense: 3 - 5 days of ISS. Parents of all students involved will be contacted.
  • Third offense: A minimum of 2 days of OSS. Parents of all students involved will be contacted.
  • Fourth offense: A minimum of 3 days of OSS and charges will be filed. Parents of all students involved will be contacted.


Cell phones Students may not use cell phones on the school campus unless for teacher directed educational purposes.

  • First offense: Verbal warning by teacher. Student may have the phone at the end of the day.
  • Second offense: Verbal warning by administration. Student may have the phone at the end of the day.
  • After second offense: Administrative Warning. Parent will be called and phone can be picked up at their convenience.


Cheating :  A student shall not cheat on any test, project, homework, report, or other assignment which the student is expected to do on his/her own. Plagiarism is considered cheating.

  • First offense: Teacher will contact parent.
  • After first offense: A grade of zero will be given and teacher will contact parent.


Class or school disruptions:  No student shall behave in a manner that interferes with the educational learning or activities of others.  Behavior Cards may be "punched" for each offense.

  • First Offense: Teacher Warning and punch in behavior card
  • Second offense: Teacher Warning and/or recess taken from student by the teacher
  • Third offense: Teacher-Parent conference
  • After third offense: Administrative Warning/Lunch Detention/ISS/OSS






Computer/IPad or Similar Device Trespassing Using the Internet on the computer or a similar device without permission or going to a forbidden Internet site.

  • A minimum of one day ISS and Internet privileges may be revoked. Use of IPad or other device may be revoked.
  • Depending on the severity of the incident, the student may be expelled from school.


Damage or destruction of private or public property is defined as intentional damage or destruction of private property or public property at school, at a school activity, or on school sponsored transportation.

  • Penalty will be determined based on the severity of the offense and restitution may be required. In default of such payment, the student may be suspended and not allowed to re-enter without permission from the superintendent or designated personnel. Depending on the severity, law enforcement may be contacted and charges may be filed.


Dishonesty is defined as lying to school officials, altering documents or presenting false information in the form of notes or phone calls. Behavior cards may be punched for each offense. Teacher will contact parent, and corporal punishment, lunch detention, ISS, or OSS may be considered depending on the severity of the incident.


Disregard for directions/insubordination:  A student must comply with reasonable directions, requests, or instruction of teachers, substitute teachers, paraprofessionals, administrators, custodial staff or other authorized personnel. Behavior cards may be punched for each offense. Teacher will contact parent, and corporal punishment, lunch detention, ISS, or OSS may be considered depending on the severity of the incident.


Disrespect/insubordination:   Responding in a rude and impertinent manner to any adult while on campus or at a school sponsored function will not be tolerated. Teacher will contact parent, and corporal punishment, recess detention, or ISS may be considered a minimal punishment if the administrator believes that such discipline is appropriate for a minor offense. Behavior cards may be punched for each minor offense.


Fighting/physical abuse/assault: Fighting is the mutual participation of one or more students involving physical violence. This does not include verbal confrontation, tassels, or other minor confrontations.  Fighting offenses are cumulative and law enforcement agencies may be contacted at any time and charges possibly filed. Because fights vary in intensity, the administration has the right to use discretion in handling fighting offenses.


Gambling :  Such activities are prohibited on school grounds and on school sponsored transportation. Teacher will contact parent, and corporal punishment, recess detention, or ISS may be considered a minimal punishment if the administrator believes that such discipline is appropriate for a minor offense. Behavior cards may be punched for each minor offense.


Gang Activity Gang activity is not tolerated on campus or school sponsored transportation, or at school sponsored activities. This includes symbols, actions, graffiti and the like.

  • First offense: A minimum of 1 day of ISS. Administrative-parent contact.
  • Second offense: A minimum of 3 days of ISS. Administrative-parent contact.
  • After second offense: A minimum of 5 days of ISS or one day of OSS. Administrative-parent contact.


Horseplay:   Horseplay is defined as rough or rowdy play or pranks. Teacher will contact parent, and corporal punishment, recess detention, or ISS may be considered a minimal punishment if the administrator believes that such discipline is appropriate for a minor offense. Behavior cards may be punched for each minor offense.


Harassment of Other Students Harassment of students is defined as activities that do not reach the level of bullying. Teacher will contact parent, and corporal punishment, recess detention, or ISS may be considered a minimal punishment if the administrator believes that such discipline is appropriate for a minor offense. Behavior cards may be punched for each minor offense.


Inappropriate Dress:  Inappropriate dress is defined as any violation of the student dress code. Because dress code violations vary in intensity, the administration has the right to use discretion in handling inappropriate dress.


Sexual Harassment Sexual harassment has no place at school and is illegal (Federal Register, Vol. 62, No. 49). If a student believes he/she has been sexually harassed, he/she should report such behavior to the school administration.  The school administration will begin a prompt investigation of the complaint. Upon completing a thorough investigation, the administration will take appropriate action. Students making false charges and students retaliating for being reported will be disciplined as warranted.

  • Suspension from school, notification of parents and law enforcement. Disciplinary action could include long term suspension, placement in the alternative school or expulsion.


Solicitation:   You are not allowed to sell things such as toys, electronics, Girl Scout cookies, candy bars, gum, or baseball cards to other students or teachers at school. You are also not allowed to trade or give away these things at school. Teacher will contact parent, and corporal punishment, recess detention, or ISS may be considered a minimal punishment if the administrator believes that such discipline is appropriate for a minor offense. Behavior cards may be punched for each minor offense.


Stealing/Theft and extortion A student shall not steal private or school property. A student may not threaten or force another person to hand over money or property. Theft and extortion offenses are cumulative and law enforcement agencies may be contacted at any time and charges possibly filed. Because theft incidents vary in intensity, the administration has the right to use discretion in handling theft offenses.


Tobacco:   A student shall not possess or use tobacco in any form or related paraphernalia (matches, lighter, papers, pipes, etc.), in any school buildings, on school campus, on school buses, or off the school grounds at a school activity, function or event. Parents will be contacted. Law enforcement may be notified and charges may be filed. Items will be confiscated.

  • First offense: 2 days ISS. Parents will be notified.
  • Second offense: 3 days ISS. Parents will be notified.
  • Third offense: 4 days ISS. Parents and law enforcement will be notified.
  • After 3rd offense: 1 day OSS and law enforcement will be notified and charges filed.


Truancy/Skipping:  Truancy/Skipping is defined as being out of class or school without permission.  Because truancy offenses may vary in nature, administrators have the right to use discretion in handling these offenses.


Vandalism:   The willful destruction, damage or defacement of public or private property, real or personal, without the consent of the owner or the person having custody of it.

  • First offense: 2 days ISS or OSS and restitution
  • Second offense: 4 days ISS or OSS and restitution.
  • Third offense: 64 days ISS or OSS and restitutiion.
  • Law enforcement may be notified depending on the circumstances.

Videotaping Occurences:  Defined as using a smart phone and/or technology to videotape an inappropriate incident.  Since these offenses vary in nature, administration has the right to use discretion in handling these offenses. If videotaping a fight, the student videotaping the fight will receive the same punishment as the person fighting.


Weapon: "Weapon" means and includes any pistol, revolver, or any weapon designed or intended to propel a missile of any kind, or any dirk, bowie knife, switchblade knife, ballistic knife, any other knife having a blade of two or more inches, straight-edge razor, razor blade, spring stick, metal knucks, blackjack, any bat, club, or other bludgeon-type weapon, or any flailing instrument consisting of two or more rigid parts connected in such a manner as to allow them to swing freely, which may be known as a nun chahka, nun chuck, nunchaku, shuriken, or fighting chain, or any disc, of whatever configuration, having at least two points or pointed blades which is designed to be thrown or propelled and which may be known as a throwing star or oriental dart, or any weapon of like kind, and any stun gun or taser as defined in subsection (a) of Code Section 16-11-106. This paragraph excludes any of these instruments used for classroom work authorized by the teacher. DISCIPLANRY ACTION COULD INCLUDE SUSPENSION FROM SCHOOL, NOTIFICATION OF LAW ENFORCEMENT, OR EXPULSION.



The purpose of this dress code is to assist administrators, teachers, students, and parents in fulfilling the mission of Berrien County Schools to provide all students quality educational opportunities that enable them to become successful, responsible, and contributing citizens.  To accomplish this mission, the learning environment must be one that is safe, disciplined, and free of distractions.  Students are required to be neat and clean in both dress and person.   The dress code regulations that follow are not designed to inhibit personal taste but to encourage learning, good behavior, and safety. 


1.    Any clothing, hairstyle, jewelry, chains, body carving/piercing, tattoos, or attire that is distracting, or causes a disruption or constitutes a safety issue will not be permitted at school.  Jewelry may not pierce the skin except in the ear. 

2.       Shorts, skirts, dresses, and spirit wear must be of reasonable length; e.g., mid-thigh if they are to be worn at school.  If a shirt is to be worn un-tucked, it should not be excessive in length. 

3.       Clothing such as skirts, pants, trousers, etc., must be worn at the waist and must cover all undergarments.  All fasteners, belts, zippers, suspenders, etc., will be worn as intended.  Pajamas and bedroom shoes will not be allowed. 

4.       Clothing and/or jewelry, which advertises or displays any insignia of alcohol, illegal drugs, or tobacco is not permitted. 

5.       Clothing and/or jewelry with words or symbols which are offensive, insulting, embarrassing, sexually suggestive, obscene, gang-related, or promote violence, terrorism, or abusive behavior will not be permitted at school. 



6.       Clothing that exposes or accentuates the body, such as spandex pants, see-through garments, halter or tube tops, backless dresses, muscle shirts, tank tops, bare midriff outfits, or shirts, blouses, etc., or that are tied at or may rise above the waist, will not be permitted at school.  Girls' sleeveless tops must have a two inch wide shoulder strap as a minimum.  The neckline on clothing should not be revealing. 

7.       Sunglasses, caps, hats, and other head-coverings such as bandannas and hoods will not be worn inside the school building.

8.       Appropriate shoes must be worn at all times at school.


Discretionary Statement: The Principal has the authority to interpret the dress code and make a case-by-case determination for appropriateness of dress and appearance, which is or is not covered in these dress code standards. Principal may make occasional, school-wide exceptions to these standards for such events as "hat days" or "spirit days." 



All students should come prepared with the necessary school supplies; however, school supplies are sold between 7:30 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. at the school store.



If a student accumulates 10 or more unexcused tardies and/or early checkouts, a school administrator and/or designee will contact the student's parent/guardian advising them of the number of tardies/early checkouts attributed to their child and the school's concern.  If a student accumulates 15or more unexcused tardies and/or early checkouts, a school administrator or designee will contact the student's parent/guardian to inform them of a referral to the school social worker.  After 15 unexcused tardies and/or early checkouts, a referral will be processed through the Juvenile or Superior Court System. (Policy JB-R) Since students in grades 3-5 changed classes, it is very important for them to stay all day, so they will receive instruction in all classes.



The school telephone is for school business.  Excessive use by a student could result in his/her not being allowed the privilege of using the phone. A parent/guardian needing to get a message to his/her child may leave the message with office personnel who will relay the message to the student prior to the afternoon dismissal.  Please do not call with messages after 2:30 p.m., as we may not be able to deliver them before afternoon dismissal. Emergency messages will be relayed immediately.



The state of Georgia has a comprehensive testing program for schools.  These different test batteries assist the schools, district, and state in evaluating the instructional programs and in more accurately meeting each student's needs.  In the spring, all students at Berrien Elementary School take an End of Grade state assessment which assesses the Georgia Standards of Excellence in Math and ELA. In addition, fifth grade students take an End of Grade state assessment on the Georgia Performance Standards in Science and Social Studies. Futhermore, third grade students will take a student learning objective pretest and posttest in ELA, Math and Music. Fourth grade students will take a student learning objectives pretest and posttest in Art and PE.



Textbooks are the property of the school and are loaned to students to use during the school year.  Students are expected to handle books carefully and to keep them in good condition. All textbooks should be covered when issued and remain covered during the year.  These books are assigned to students by number when issued and are taken up by number at the end of the year.  Students will be required to pay the cost of any textbooks they lose or damage.  If a student loses a book, he/she will not be given a replacement until he/she pays for the lost textbook.



Berrien Elementary School is a Title I school. Title I is a federal program that provides funds to schools and districts based upon the percentage of students qualifying to receive free or reduced price (school) meals.  The purpose is to ensure that all children have access to quality instruction and resources that will enable them to meet state academic standards.



The speed limit on campus is 10 M.P.H.  Parents and visitors enter and exit on Middle School Circle until 8:25 a.m. and after 3:10 p.m. From 8:25 a.m. to 2:45 p.m., parents and visitors enter from the Tifton Highway. Parents and visitors should park in the spaces provided in the parking lot at the front entrance and not in the emergency vehicle lanes.  Buses load and unload at the back entrance of the school.  No private vehicle traffic is allowed in this area.





Students may not make any changes in the way they usually go home unless they bring a note signed by their parent/guardian.  In the note, the parent should give specific instructions and dates to explain any change to the way their child should be transported home.  The administration or administrative designee will verify the note and administration will sign off only after verification is complete.  Once the note is approved, the student should show it to his or her teacher, who will either keep it on file or return it to the student to show to the bus driver if he or she is riding a bus.


All afternoon car riders will be picked up in a designated area in the front of the school.  For the safety of your child, all vehicles must have a display of the school decal with the student's name before a child can be placed in the car.  If a car does not have a Berrien B displayed, the teacher on duty will ask for identification and contact the office to make sure the person in vehicle is allowed to pick-up.  



Visits from parents/guardians are welcomed and encouraged.  If the purpose of the visit is to see teachers, the visitor needs to call in advance for an appointment.  Parents who drop by without an appointment to see a teacher may be unable to do so if the teacher is responsible for a class at that time.  As required by Georgia law for safety and security purposes, all visitors to the school must report to the school office when they arrive.  All visitors must sign in and must wear a visitors pass while in the school or on the campus. No student visitors are allowed.