Students are responsible for attending school on time every day and for attending every class. Parents are responsible for making sure their children attend school every day, maintaining regular contact with school, and sending a note to school explaining the reason for absence or lateness.
Students not in their rooms prepared to work at 8:10 am (Grades 6–8) and 8:25 am (PK–5) are listed as tardy. Students who are tardy must obtain a late pass from the office.
The following are permitted reasons for absence:
- Illness of the student (Physician’s certificate required for ongoing absence due to illness)
- Death in the immediate family
- Court summons (for the student)
- Observance of a religious holiday
- State emergency
- Hazardous weather conditions
- Lack of authorized transportation
- Approved work or activity sponsored by the school
The Mount Washington School strongly discourages cell phones and other portable electronic devices (iPods, electronic game devices, etc.) being brought to school. If a parent has a need for the student to have a cell phone, the student may not carry the phone throughout the day, but must store it in their locker. The school and staff do not accept responsibility for the loss or damage of phones or electronic devices brought to school.
If a cell phone or other portable electronic device is found to be with the student the school reserves the right to confiscate the phone or electronic device. The parent/ guardian will be notified and will be required to come to the school in order for the phone to be returned.
The school district distributes a Code of Conduct Handbook for all students the first week of school. This handbook outlines specific behaviors and consequences the school will issue if students do not adhere to the expectations. All students are expected to know and follow the City Schools’ Code of Conduct. Parents and students must sign off that they have received and reviewed the handbook.
Students are expected to strive to do their best work possible and promote an environment where all students can learn to their fullest potential. The Code applies to all students at all times while on City Schools property during school hours, before and after school, while traveling on vehicles funded or owned by City Schools and at any school-sponsored event, including field trips.
A few examples of how students might act inappropriately include disrupting a class, damaging school buildings or school materials, disruptive behavior on a school bus, taking property belonging to another student, engaging in physical violence, threatening other students or school personnel, etc.
When students are disruptive or act inappropriately, school staff and administrators respond to this behavior logically, appropriately, and consistently. School staff and administrators will follow the levels of interventions and responses outlined in the Code of Conduct when handling disruptive or inappropriate behavior. To encourage students to follow the rules, teachers develop incentives to help students work together to adhere to classroom expectation.
The Dress Code, as outlined in the BCPS Code of Conduct, addresses issues related to the safety of students. It represents a cooperative effort between the Board, the CEO, school principals, and the students of City Schools.
Students in Middle School must adhere to the following uniform requirements:
- Red polo shirt with collar (long, short, or cap sleeve)
- Khaki pants, shorts, or skirt (boys must wear a belt)
- Dark purple polo shirt with collar (long, short, or cap sleeve)
- Khaki pants, shorts, or skirt (boys must wear a belt)
In general, students in Pre-K to grade 5 may dress in any style they desire, but there are some restrictions. Clothing may not disrupt other students. Clothing may not be excessively distracting (no provocative messages). Some important rules include:
- Footwear such as slippers, thongs, flip-flops and “Heelys” are not allowed during the school day or during school-sponsored activities.
- Shorts and skirts may not be shorter than fingertip length.
- Shoulders should be covered – halter tops, tank tops, spaghetti straps, muscle shirts or see-through tops are not allowed.
- No pajama-type attire, undershirts or other bedtime attire is allowed during the school day or during school-sponsored activities.
- No real or imitation leather, fur or animal-skin jackets, coats, vests, pants or skirts are allowed.
- No hats or kerchief/bandanas inside the building, unless head coverings are required for religious purposes.
- Because theft and loss are school security concerns, the wearing of jewelry in schools is prohibited (exceptions: non-visible metal religious items and medical identification bracelets).
The following outlines specific clothing/garments that are prohibited:
- No clothing designed or altered to expose undergarments or parts of the body except arms or legs, as defined throughout these rules, is allowed. Pants should be worn appropriately at the waist, without undergarments showing.
- No undergarments worn as outerwear are allowed. Clothing should be worn so that undergarments are not exposed.
- No apparel printed with vulgar statements or statements promoting the use of drugs, alcohol, or violence or gangs is allowed.
- Because theft or loss is a school security concern, the wearing of precious jewelry in our schools is prohibited.
- No metal chains, ropes, necklaces, bracelets or rings are allowed.
- No large or extravagant earrings are allowed.
- No multi-fingered rings are allowed.
Jewelry that is allowed includes:
- Non-visible metal religious items.
- Medical identification bracelets.
All students are expected to adhere to this policy. If a student is found not in compliance with the above list, then a parent/legal guardian will be notified and the student will be required to change in order to remain in school.
A homework policy for grades K – 5 has been developed by school staff and approved by the School Improvement Team. The policy includes the purpose, role of student, parents, and teachers and methods of communication. Teachers use the policy to guide their plans for homework for students. The policy for grade 6–8 students is in process of being developed and will be distributed in September in The Mount Washington School Middle Grades Handbook.
Purpose/Philosophy of Homework
- Reinforce and review skills taught (ensures mastery)
- Apply skills
- Develop personal responsibility
- Integrate cross-curricular concepts (long term projects)
- Prepares students for tests
- Experience reading for personal enrichment (book logs, book reports)
Explained in grade level handbooks/back to school letters including information such as: time, frequency, grading scale, absence policy for students and how homework is assigned when the teacher is out, long-term projects, purpose, due dates, rubric, etc.
Homework is assigned Monday through Thursday.
Kindergarten: 10 to 20 minutes, including reading
Grade 1: 10 to 20 minutes including independent reading
Grade 2: 10 to 30 minutes plus independent reading
Grade 3: 15 to 30 minutes plus independent reading
Grade 4: 20 to 30 minutes plus independent reading
Grade 5: 30 to 60 minutes plus independent reading
Grades 6 & 7: Outlined in the Middle Grades Handbook
- Review skills recently taught as well as from previous units
- All subjects: reading, writing, math, science, social studies
- Daily homework
- Long term project homework
- Parent signature of homework sheet, planner, etc
- Homework acknowledged by teacher with check marks, sticker, rubric
- Parent is contacted if there is a pattern of missed or incomplete homework
- Long term project may address more than one subject area
- Homework passes for daily assignments are sometimes given as part of an incentive plan in classrooms but are not used for long term projects
Role of the Student, Parent, and Teacher
- Attempts all homework, completes and does their best on assignment
- Returns assignment on time
- Is aware of assignment, understands requirements, including the format
- Asks questions of teacher, parent, or study buddy
- Supports the policy of the classroom teacher
- Provides a quiet place with desk, chair, supplies, good lighting
- Grades K–2: provides assistance as needed
- Grades 3–5: monitors and checks for completion
- Communicate concerns regarding homework to teacher
- Ensures every assignment is relevant and directions have been provided/explained
- Provides and follows homework routines
Snow, ice or other weather emergencies can create a situation that makes it unsafe for students, parents and staff to travel to and from school. Also, because many of City Schools’ buildings lack air-conditioning, extreme heat can at times cause health concerns, especially for those with asthma or other respiratory problems.
How to Find Out If Schools and Offices Are Closed
- City Schools website. Notifications of closings and delayed openings will be posted to the homepage as early as possible – usually no later than 6 a.m. Early dismissals are posted as soon as the decision to close schools is made.
- School websites. Announcements are posted to website homepages of all affected schools as early as possible – usually no later than 6 a.m. for full-day closings and delayed openings and, for early dismissals, as soon as possible after a decision to close is made.
- Local television and radio stations. The local Fox, ABC, CBS and NBC stations, along with local radio stations, will broadcast school schedule changes as early as possible – usually beginning shortly after 6 a.m. and running till 10 a.m. for full-day closings and delayed openings and as quickly as possible for early dismissals.
- Twitter. Follow @BaltCitySchools on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news and announcements. Closings and delayed openings are usually announced by 6 a.m., and early dismissals are announced immediately when the closing decision is made.
- The Baltimore Sun’s school closing database. District office staff ensures that the database is up to date as quickly as possible.
How Decisions Are Made
- Well before daybreak, staff from City Schools’ Department of Facilities assesses road conditions, neighborhood sidewalks, school parking lots and school walkways, and also obtains input from the Baltimore City Department of Transportation and the Maryland Mass Transit Administration.
- City Schools’ CEO reviews the assessment and the most current weather forecasts available, and makes the decision whether to open schools on schedule, delay opening of schools for two hours or close schools. The CEO also determines whether conditions are sufficiently severe to warrant a closing or delayed opening of district offices that do not serve students directly (e.g., the district office building at 200 E. North Ave.).
- Schools and offices remain open if, based on the condition assessments and weather forecasts, it is determined that students and staff can travel safely to their City Schools’ destinations.
Special Notes about Delayed Openings and Early Dismissals
- Schools may open two hours late when travel conditions at 5 a.m. are deemed to be potentially unsafe but are expected to improve.
- When travel conditions are safe at 5 a.m. but are forecast to deteriorate, an initial announcement of a two-hour delayed opening may be made. In this case, depending on how the weather develops, there may be a subsequent decision to close schools. If you learn of a delayed opening, please check this and school websites, Twitter or local media right before beginning your trip to school, to make sure there has been no further change in schedule.
- A delayed opening means that all morning half-day early learning programs are canceled and school breakfast will not be served.
- When schools open as schedule and weather subsequently deteriorates (or, in summer, if the temperature exceeds 85 degrees by 9 a.m.), schools may close early – usually 2.5 hours ahead of the regularly scheduled dismissal time. Announcements are made via websites, Twitter and local media as soon as transportation can be arranged for students who travel on City Schools-provided buses.
- When schools close early, afternoon early learning programs, extended-day and after-school programs and all interscholastic athletic events are canceled, but lunch is served in all schools.
Some students require medication and or medical treatment while they are in school. Health staff is available in school to provide this service. In order to provide this service, the appropriate form (found in the appendix or the Health Suite) must be completed, signed by the student’s medical provider and the parent/legal guardian and brought to the health suite. A completed form from the medical provider is required for both prescription and over-the-counter medication. Students may not possess, dispense, or distribute medication on their own. The medicine should be brought to school in the original container. The container should include the following: name of medication, directions for use, time, strength, and dose for dispensing, name of ordering medical provider, and the student’s name and grade. Medication and treatment supplies are to be brought to the health suite by the parent/legal guardian.
Medication and treatment will be performed according to standard nursing practice. All medications delivered to the school nurse must be picked up by the parent/legal guardian on the last day of school. Failure to pick up medication by the last day of school may result in disposal. If you have any questions, please call the school and ask to speak to the health suite staff.
Students living outside the school’s zone may request approval to attend The Mount Washington School. The School Family Council has developed a process for all out of zone students.
The purpose of this policy is to outline the criteria and process regarding the application, acceptance, and post-acceptance process for out of zone students.
Process and Timeline for Acceptance
- Special consideration to attend MWS must be requested by contacting the school office at 410-396-6354.
- All requests will be placed on a wait list.
- Parents/legal guardians will be notified of the decision to approve or deny their request by the last week in August for grades one to six and by the third week of September for kindergarten.
- Decisions for acceptance in each grade will be based on the availability of student seats per grade. A sibling of a student already accepted as out of zone and students with administrative transfers made by central office staff will be given first priority followed by children of Baltimore City Schools employees and then other students on the list at the Office of Student Placement.
- Students are accepted on an annual basis. Attendance for the following school year will be based on the availability of student seats per grade as well as adherence to post acceptance requirements outlined below. Priority will be given to returning students and siblings.
- Students are expected to attend school regularly and on time.
- Students must put forth, at minimum, satisfactory effort with school work.
- Students are required to follow all classroom/school rules and procedures.
- Failure of a student to abide by any of the above requirements may result in losing enrollment privileges at The Mount Washington School. The principal reserves the right to withdraw a student when attendance, performance and/or behavior interfere with the student’s academic program and/or with the academic program of other students.
Students may use telecommunications (Internet) in Baltimore City Public Schools for educational purposes only. Students are allowed to access curriculum-related information and research topics and ideas that promote innovation in learning. Teachers and staff will make every attempt to ensure that the Internet is a safe learning environment. Students will be supervised while using the Internet and will be instructed in the appropriate and safe use, selection, and evaluation of information. Students are expected to follow and adhere to the terms and conditions for acceptable policy use as outlined in the Code of Conduct handbook. The Student Acknowledgement of Review: Acceptable Use Policy, located in the City Schools Code of Conduct, is to be signed and returned to your child’s homeroom teacher the first week of school. Signing this form indicates that parents/legal guardians and students agree to the policy, terms, and conditions of Baltimore City Schools.
Classroom teachers will issue textbooks for use in the classroom, as well as those for home use. Students should make sure that textbooks receive appropriate care. Under the guidance of the parent/legal guardian, the student is expected to:
- Keep each textbook free of all markings.
- Take proper care of each textbook while traveling to and from school.
- Bring the textbook(s) to class as directed by the teacher.
- Report loss of the textbook(s) to the teacher as soon as a loss is discovered.
- Return the textbook(s) to the teacher when asked to do so, or before transferring from a school.
If a textbook is lost or damaged then the parent / student is responsible to pay the cost to replace the textbook. If the replacement cost for the textbook is not recovered then the final report card may be withheld.
Replacement cost of a lost book is:
- Hard cover textbook: $50
- Soft cover workbook: $20
Parents/legal guardians are always welcome to visit The Mount Washington School.
- All visitors must enter through Door A (Main Door) in the Upper Building or Door B in the Lower Building.
- Parents/legal guardians and visitors to the school are required to report to the front office for sign-in.
- All visitors MUST wear a Visitor’s Badge in a visible place while in the school building. The school maintains the right to ask for identification from any visitor. Any suspicious individuals seen on school property should be reported to the front office immediately.
Parents are always welcome to visit their child’s classroom. Teachers should be given notice at least 24 hours prior to the visit. Before and after school conferences may be scheduled throughout the year by making an appointment with your child’s teacher.
We at The Mount Washington School enjoy recognizing children’s birthdays. If you are interested in recognizing your child’s birthday during school hours please adhere to the following guidelines:
- Teachers should have at least 24 hours written notice that you are sending in a treat.
- Please make sure to send in only one treat for each student in your child’s homeroom class (for example, one cupcake or one rice krispy treat or one lollipop, etc.). A sheet cake that needs cutting should not be sent in unless a parent / legal guardian will be present to cut, distribute and clean up.
- Treats will be distributed in the classroom and not in the cafeteria.
- No invitations to parties outside of the school may be distributed during the school day.