Kent County Public Schools 2015-2016 District Student Handbook Board of Education 5608 Boundary Avenue Rock Hall, Maryland 21661

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Kent County Public Schools


District Student Handbook

Board of Education

5608 Boundary Avenue

Rock Hall, Maryland 21661




Kent County High School 778-4540 Kent County Middle School 778-1771

25301 Lambs Meadow Road, Worton, Md 21678 402 Campus Avenue, Chestertown, MD 21620

Tracey Williams, Principal 778-4540 Janice Steffy, Principal 778-1771

Mary Jones, Principal’s Secretary 778-4541 Lisa Orem, Asst. Principal 778-1771

Steve Weller, Asst. Principal 778-7163 Marie Robertson, Secretary 778-1771

Joe Wheeler 778-3800

Kelly Ireton, Finance 778-7158 Alternative School

Sharon Wertz, Front Office Secretary 778-4541 25301 Lambs Meadow Road, Worton, MD 21678

Tynette Whiting, Guidance Secretary 778-7153 High Roads 810-3844

Galena Elementary School 810-2510 Millington Elementary School 810-2552

114 S. Main Street, Galena, MD 21635 172 Sassafras Street, Millington, MD 21651

Dawn Vangrin, Principal 810-2510 Tracey Rodney, Principal 810-2552

Kerissa Arkins, Secretary 810-2510 Sandy Emory, Secretary 810-2552
H. H. Garnett Elementary School 778-6890 Rock Hall Elementary School 810-2622

320 Calvert Street, Chestertown, MD 21620 21203 Sharp Street, Rock Hall, MD 21661

Stacey Clark, Principal 778-6890 Brenda Rose, Principal 810-2622

Cindy Moore, Secretary 778-6890 Janice Nordhoff, Secretary 810-2622

Donna Bedell, Judy Center 810-3903

Worton Elementary School 778-2164 Office of Superintendent

11085 Worton Road, Worton, MD 21678 5608 Boundary Avenue, Rock Hall, MD 21661

Tina Washburn, Principal 778-2164 Dr. Karen M. Couch, Superintendent 778-7113

Dorvonda Warren, Secretary 778-2164 Paula Yiannakis, Executive Assistant 778-7113
Division of Education Services Division of Administrative Services

5608 Boundary Avenue, Rock Hall, MD 21661 5608 Boundary Avenue, Rock Hall, MD 21661

Gail Manley, Secretary, Edu. Services 778-7116 Angela Councell, Supervisor, Finance 778-7123

Janet Pauls, Coordinator, Title I 778-6594 Sandi Sheahen, Accounts Payable 778-4257

Tracey Gulbrandsen, Adm. Asst. 778-7120 Ed Silver, Supv, Human Resources 778-7135

Gina Jachimowicz, Supv. Elem. Edu. 778-2355 Mirelle Cain, Secretary, HR 778-7140

Nina Newlin, Supv., Secondary Edu. 778-6902 Meredith Grussing, Benefits Secretary 778-3644

Wendy Keen, Supv., Special Edu. 778-6422 Tammy Hall, Spt. Supv, Transp. 778-7117

R. Ted Demarest, School Psychologist 778-0637 Donna Gorman, Secretary 778-7117

Gary Betters, School Psychologist 778-5947 Robin Cannon, Spt, Supv, Food Svc 778-7126

Pat Archer, Secretary, Spec. Edu. 778-7164 Raye Jones, Secretary 778-7174

Darlene Spurrier, Supv., Student Serv. 810-3170 Wayne Bedwell, Coord. Bldgs & Grnds 778-7142

Cheryl Smith, Secretary, Student Serv. 778-7138 Hannah Kelley, Secretary, Env. Serv. 778-7125

Monica Sipes, Pupil Personnel Worker 778-7167 Susan Martinez, Adm. Asst., Payroll 778-7134

Dan MacLeod, Supv., Edu. Technology 778-7139 Ginnie Walls, Adm. Asst. Computer Opr 778-7136

Terri Smith, Technology Secretary 778-7111 Jane Towers, Accountant I 778-7121
A Message from the Superintendent 4

Meet Your 2015-2016 Board of Education 5

Understanding the School System 7

Eligibility for Extracurricular Activities in High School 7

Student Attendance Policy 8

Communicating with the School 10

KCPS Website 11

Use of Computer, Internet, Cell Phone and Other Communication Devices 11

Care of School Property 12

Counseling, Guidance, and Mental Health Services 12

Drug Free Work Place 13

Early Arrival at School 13

Early Release of Student From School 13

Emergency School Closings, Cancellations, and Delays in Opening 13

Emergencies and Student Safety 14

Field Trips and Student Accident Insurance 14

Food Service and School Lunch Program 15

Graduation Requirements 16

Health Policies 17

Homework 17

Integrated Pest Management Program 18

Special Education Programs/Improved Learning Experience 18

Legal Notifications 19

Lockers and Locks 21

Parental Involvement Policy 22

Parental Involvement Procedures 23

Parking on School Property 24

Photo Policy 24

School Bus Transportation 25

Sexual Harassment 26

Sports Schedules for Kent County High School 27

Standards for Student Dress 27

Student Behavior Guidelines and Discipline 28

Bullying, Harassment, and Intimidation 28

Gangs, Gang Activity or Other Similar Illegal Behavior 29

Title I Complaint Policy and Procedure 29

Website Resources 30

Where Do I Go If I Have Questions About… 31

School Schedules 33

A Message from the Superintendent

Dr. Karen M. Couch
Dear Kent County Families,
The District Student Handbook provides important information about Kent County Public Schools (KCPS) for you and your child. Recently, our mission statement and core values were updated to mirror what you can expect from KCPS.

Anchored in excellence, Kent County Public Schools will provide personal learning experiences within a collaborative community of learners, that inspire our students to reach their highest potential and become engaged global citizens.
Core Values

These are the principles we believe and drive all our decisions.

Students First - Developing positive relationships and providing individual learning experiences within a digital environment will meet the diverse needs of our students.
Collaboration - Our success is dependent upon effective teamwork of students, staff, parents, and community members.
Commitment - Promoting a culture of excellence and accountability will demonstrate our commitment to students.
Community - Uniting our community requires respectful understanding of our diverse heritage and valuing the natural beauty and resources of our environment.
Fiscal Responsibility - Through responsible spending of the funds entrusted to us, the needs of all students will be achieved.
Trust - Trust and confidence will be acquired through integrity, competence, and transparency.
Welcome to the KCPS family.

Dr. Karen M. Couch

Superintendent of Schools
Meet Your 2015-2016 Board of Education

The members of the Kent County Board of Education for the 2015-2016 school year are (from left): Jeff Reed, President; A. Bryan Williams, Vice President; J. Brian Kirby, Member; Wendy Costa, Member; Trish McGee, Member; Maggie Jones, Student Member

Role of the Board of Education

The Board of Education of Kent County is the official educational policy-making body in the county. The Board is responsible for the direction and operation of the public school system. It determines the policies of the county school system under the general guidance and direction of the State Board of Education and the State Superintendent of Schools.
The Board consists of five county residents elected countywide by voters for a four-year term as full voting members. A student member is a non-voting member and is elected by secondary school students for a one-year term. The Superintendent of Schools is a non-voting member of the Board who serves as the executive officer, secretary, and treasurer of the Board. The role of the Board includes the following:

  • Set the direction for the Kent County Public School System, authorizing the Superintendent of Schools to lead the system in that direction.

  • Provide support to enable the school system to move in the set direction.

  • Ensure accountability over student learning and the use of public and private resources.

  • Act as community leaders to advocate for public education and address community concerns about public education.

Mission of the Board of Education

To provide leadership and oversight for a high quality educational system with community-supported goals, policies, and resources committed to benefit our diverse student population.

The Board of Education develops and maintains a set of policies. Before any policy is approved, the public is allowed to provide input during a public meeting. The approved policies of the Board of Education are also posted on the website Open meeting agendas as well as pending approval and approved minutes from Board of Education meetings are posted on the Board of Education section of the website.

Authorities and Responsibilities of the Board of Education

The powers and mandatory duties of the Board of Education are defined in the Education Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland and Title 13A of the Code of Maryland Regulations. The Board’s primary responsibilities, aligned to support the strategic plan of the school system include, but are not limited to:

  • Setting goals for the district;

  • Establishing policies for operation of local schools;

  • Hiring and evaluating the Superintendent of Schools;

  • Acting on personnel matters;

  • Approving curriculum guides and courses of study;

  • Formulating and interpreting policies;

  • Adopting operating and capital budgets;

  • Communicating with citizenry, staff, and students; and,

  • Acting in a quasi-judicial capacity, in particular, deciding appeals.

Board Members Authority

State law determines power belongs not to individual members of a Board of Education but to the Board of Education itself. Board Members have authority only when acting as a Board of Education in a legally constituted session, a quorum being present. The statement or action of an individual member or group of members of the Board of Education does not bind the Board of Education itself, except when that statement or action is authorized by an official act of the Board.
Responsibility and Duties of the Superintendent of Schools

The Superintendent of Schools is responsible for the administration of his/her office and carries out the laws, bylaws, and policies of the Maryland State Board of Education as well as the rules, regulations, and policies of the county’s Board of Education. The Superintendent of Schools advises the Board of Education on educational policies of the school system, school attendance areas, curriculum guides and courses of study, and any question under consideration by the Board. The Superintendent of Schools recommends contracts, to the extent required by law, and other documents for Board approval. The Superintendent of Schools also informs the Board in advance of administrative reorganizations, including transfers of functions, establishment of positions and offices, and consolidations of positions and offices. The Superintendent of Schools proposes annual operating and capital budgets to the Board of Education. The Superintendent of Schools attends all meetings of the Board and its committees, unless his/her tenure or salary or the administration of his/her office is under consideration, and, except when the Board is considering appeals in its quasi-judicial role in closed session. In the absence of the Superintendent of Schools, a designee fulfills these duties. By contract, the Superintendent of Schools is evaluated annually.

By law, the Superintendent of Schools serves as executive officer, secretary, and treasurer of the Board, keeping a record of the proceedings of each meeting of the Board and of all actions taken by the Board.
The Superintendent of Schools recommends the appointment of administrative and supervisory personnel to the Board of Education for its approval. The Superintendent of Schools also informs the Board in advance of transfers of administrative and supervisory personnel. The Superintendent of Schools also recommends approval of personnel appointments, terminations of personnel, and disciplinary actions.
Meetings of the Board of Education

All meetings of the Board of Education are public meetings, except for closed sessions as permitted under state law. The meetings are held at the Administrative Building of the Board of Education at 5608 Boundary Avenue, Rock Hall, Maryland, unless otherwise designated. The public is invited to attend all public meetings. The Board typically conducts one business meeting on the second Monday of the month, beginning at 5:30 pm. and moving immediately into closed session. The public session begins at 6:30 pm. Anyone needing special accommodations to participate fully in the meeting should notify the Superintendent’s Office at 410-778-7113 by noon on the Wednesday preceding the meeting.
Public Participation

At every business meeting, time is set-aside for public participation. Speakers should limit their comments to three (3) minutes. The President may limit the public participation section to no more than 30 minutes. Speakers should sign up prior to the meeting. Comments about the actions or statements of individual staff members are not appropriate for public participation and should be referred to the Superintendent of Schools or processed through available channels: teacher, principal, and/or central office personnel. If submitting written comments, speakers are requested to provide 10 copies.

To help ensure effective public participation in the decision-making process, the Board:

  • Makes agendas available to the public via the KCPS website in advance of the evening business and special meetings.

  • Involves citizens and students on advisory committees.

  • Holds public hearings on the operating and capital budgets and on issues of wide public interest.

  • Provides time at its business meetings for the public to comment on educational issues and other matters before the Board.

  • Encourages citizens to communicate with Board Members by publishing public telephone numbers, fax numbers, addresses, and e-mail addresses.

  • Circulates proposed policies for comment.

Special Meetings

Special meetings may be called at any time. Whenever a special meeting is called or there is a change of meeting date or location, information will be posted in the lobby of the Administration Building, on the KCPS website, and, if time permits, in the Kent News, the Chestertown Spy, and WCTR radio.

The Board holds retreats from time to time for such purposes as to provide orientation to newly elected Board Members and to provide the opportunity for members to discuss Board operations, goals, and priorities.
Closed Sessions

Meetings of the Board and its committees are subject to the Open Meetings Act. Under Title 10 of the State Government Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland, the Board of Education is authorized to meet in closed session and retreats to discuss personnel matters, acquisition of real estate, pending litigation, collective bargaining issues, matters protected from public disclosure by law, and other issues including consultation with counsel to obtain specific legal advice under Section 4107 of the Education Article and Section 10-508(a) of the State Government Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland.
Rules of Order

The Board of Education observes Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised in conducting its meetings. Moreover, its own rules, state statutes, and Maryland State Department of Education bylaws guide the Board.
Meeting Schedule for 2015-2016

July 13, 2015

January 11, 2016

August 10, 2015

February 8, 2016

September 14, 2015

March 14, 2016

October 12, 2015

April 11, 2016

November 9, 2015

May 9, 2016

December 14, 2015

June 13, 2016


What can parents do when they have a question or concern?

Teacher – the first person you should go to with a concern about your child.

  • Talk with your child’s teacher; the more he/she knows about your child, the more he/she can help.

  • Give the teacher information about your child so you can work as a partner with the teacher.

  • You may also want to speak with your child’s school counselor for additional assistance.

Principal – the second person you should contact with issues and concerns that the teacher cannot resolve.

  • Principals are responsible for supervising the whole school.

  • Principals help teachers, staff, and students to be successful.

  • An important part of each principal’s job is working with parents to improve the education of each child.

Support Supervisors of Transportation and Food Service – Contact these individuals whenever you have issues the principal cannot resolve in the areas of transportation or food service.

  • The supervisor schedules all bus routes and resolves any concerns about times and routes.

  • The supervisor manages the breakfast and lunch programs.

Supervisor of Elementary Education – Contact this individual if unable to resolves matters involving an elementary school.

Supervisor of Secondary Education- Contact this individual if unable to resolves matters at the middle or high school.

Supervisor of Student Services – Contact this individual if unable to resolve student behavior or discipline issues with the principal.

Supervisor of Finance – Contact this individual if you have questions regarding school finances.

Superintendent of Schools – When you are unable to resolve a concern with the teacher, principal, or supervisor.


 Definition:  Extracurricular Activities – Activities available to students beyond the regular school day, which are voluntary and not required for the satisfactory completion of a particular class. Participation in meaningful extracurricular teams or activities is a beneficial activity for students. These procedures outline the eligibility requirements for participation in extra curricular teams or activities.
To participate in extracurricular activities and athletics at the high school, students must meet the following expectations:


  • Student must be enrolled in Kent County Public Schools, and must attend at least one class on the campus of Kent County High School

  • Student must be present the entire day to participate in that day’s after-school extracurricular activity, including athletics. Exceptions may only be made by the principal or designee.

  • Students must meet all school criteria for eligibility.

  • Students must meet all standards set by coaches/sponsors for participation as well as rules and guidelines outlined in the Eligibility for Participation in High School Extracurricular Activities Procedure and in the current student athletic handbook.

  • Any student may be denied permission by the school principal to attend or participate in any extracurricular school activity. Reasons for such actions shall be communicated to the student and the parent/guardian of the student.

  • Students participating in extracurricular activities away from school and returning to school at 9:00pm or later will be given a grace period of one day for assignments, including tests and quizzes, made the day of the event for the next school day. This does not apply to students attending events as spectators. Students are still responsible for all work assigned prior to the day of the event. All work must be made up within the grace period to receive credit.

  • Students attending or participating in home or away school-sponsored events, in the afternoon, evening, or on the weekend are subject to all school rules, regulations, and guidelines in the student code of conduct.

  • Kent County Public Schools, as a member of the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA), shall abide by the rules and regulations of that association, and by the constitution, by-laws, and policies of the Bayside Athletic Conference (BAC)

  • Kent County Public Schools will be governed by all other regulations and policies of the Bayside Athletic Conference (BAC) as written, without change, in it’s handbook.

  • The Kent County Eligibility for Participation in High School Extracurricular Activities Procedure supersedes Article I-Eligibility of the Bayside Athletic Conference policies. All items in the procedure are either comparable to or are more stringent than the present Bayside Athletic Conference policy.

Academic Eligibility Requirements

  • Probation:

Report Card:

  • If the student who was in good standing at the last report card or interim but now has 1 failing grade and/or a GPA below 2.000, they are placed on probation until the next grade report card.

  • At the next report card, the student on probation may not have any failing grades and must have a GPA of 2.000 or better to remain on the team.

  • A student while on probation may continue to practice and play with the team, or participate in the extra-curricular activity.

Interim Report:

  • A student on probation from his/her last report card may become eligible at the interim if he/she has above a 2.0 GPA and no failing grades.

  • An interim will not result in ineligibility


  • A student who has two or more failing grades on their report card will be automatically ineligible until the next reporting period (interim/report card).

  • The student will become eligible/ineligible on the day that interim/report cards are issued/mailed.

  • Grades used to determine eligibility/ineligibility will be based on interims and Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4, and Y2.

  • Eligibility for fall participation is based on Q4 and Y2 from the previous school year.

  • Eligibility for participation is determined at the beginning of the season. Roster amendments may not occur after the submission date to the Bayside Conference. Eligibility to return to a team will be evaluated on an individual basis by the coach and athletic director, with final approval by the principal if necessary.

  • A student who is ineligible may not practice or play with the team during the period of ineligibility.

  • If a student fails a class for Y2, they may become eligible for fall semester by taking and passing the failed course(s) in summer school.

  • All incoming 8th grade students will be considered eligible upon entering high school.

Behavioral Eligibility Requirement

  • If a student is charged with committing a reportable offenses act under the Safe School Law of 2010, on school property, off school property or during non-school hours, and assigned to an alternative placement due to this offense, the student is ineligible for one calendar year from the date of the reportable offense.

  • If a student is convicted of a crime classified as a felony under Maryland or Federal law, he or she is not eligible to participate in any extracurricular program from the date of conviction through the end of the student’s high school career. This will include rising freshmen after they have been promoted from KCMS in June.

  • Students placed on home detention by a Judge or Court shall not participate in any extracurricular activity (including athletics) until the Judge or Court terminates the home detention.

  • Students suspended from school, in-school suspension included, are not eligible to participate during this time period.


The Board of Education of Kent County strongly believes that success in school is dependent upon continuous and consistent classroom instructional experience. Therefore, students must attend school and all classes regularly and be punctual if they are to maximize their educational experience.

There is a significant relationship between regular attendance and academic achievement and completion of a school program. Regular attendance assists students in the development of self-discipline and good work habits. These habits generally remain with the students as they enter the world of work. It is essential to teach the benefits of and encourage good attendance and punctuality during a student’s educational career.

Regular attendance is a shared responsibility by the community, the home, the students, and the school personnel, and we must work together to promote it to the fullest extent possible.


Absence: The failure of a student to be physically present in school/class or at a school-related activity during the school day

Attendance: The act of being physically present at school or a school-related activity during the school day

Attendance Source Documents: Records that are maintained by classroom teachers, homeroom teachers, substitute teachers, or other staff members that document the students’ attendance

Full Day: A student is counted present for a full day if the student is in attendance for more than four hours of the school day

Half Day: A student is counted present for a half day if the student is in attendance for two hours or more, but less than four hours of the school day

Tardy: A student who arrives after the official start of the school day will be considered tardy

Early Leave: A student who is picked up from school and/or leaves before the official end of the school day is considered to have early leave

Chronically Absent: A student who is absent from school for more than 10% of the school days in any given marking period, semester, or academic year for unlawful reasons

Habitually Truant: A student who meets ALL of the following criteria during the school year:

  1. Was age 5 through 20 year of age

  2. Was enrolled in the Kent County Public School System for 91 or more days

  3. Was unlawfully absent for 20% or more of the total days of enrollment

Lawful Absence: An excused absence for any portion of the day under the following conditions:

  1. Death in the immediate family

  2. Illness of the student

  3. Court summons

  4. Hazardous weather conditions

  5. Work approved or sponsored by the school

  6. Observance of a religious holiday

  7. State emergency

  8. Suspension

  9. Lack of authorized transportation

  10. Other emergency or set of circumstances which, in the judgement of the Superintendent or designee, constitutes a good and sufficient cause for absence from school

Unlawful Absence: An unexcused absence, including absence for any portion of the day, for any reason other than those cited as lawful are presumed as unlawful and may constitute truancy. Students unlawfully absent are considered truant.

School-related Activity: Any school system activity, whether held on or off school property, in which a student directly participated, or in which the student does not directly participate but represents the school or student body simply by being there.

Truant: A student who is absent for a day or any portion of a day for any reason other than those cited as lawful in COMAR 13A.08.01.03 and/or failure to bring a note written by a parent/guardian to verify a lawful absence

  • The minimal standard is 94% attendance per marking period for all students. This standard considers both lawful and unlawful absences.

  • A student shall not be absent from school in excess of three (3) days in any single marking period for reasons coded as unlawful. Half days will accumulate. Two half days will equal one full day.

  • Any absences coded as lawful will not count against the three (3) day limit, but will be considered when implementing interventions.

  • Students who are tardy to school more than 20% of any marking period will be referred to Student Services for possible involvement from the Kent County States Attorney’s Office.

  • The parent/guardian of each student must provide the necessary certification for lawful absences on the day that the student returns to school following the absence. If the necessary certification is not received by the school within three (3) school days, the absence(s) will be coded as unlawful, and the student will be considered as having been truant.

  • Parent notes may be used to excuse a maximum of three (3) absences in any marking period. Additional absences in any marking period require legal or medical documentation.

  • A visit to a post-secondary institution may be coded as a lawful absence by a high school administrator provided the student produces written confirmation of the visit.

Actions or Consequences for Not Meeting the Standard

Any student who has been unlawfully absent from school in excess of three (3) days in any single marking period will receive a failing grade in all subjects for that marking period. Parents will be notified when a student has any absences coded as unlawful. Interventions with regard to student attendance may include one or more of the following actions (school officials may waive these actions when they are aware of circumstances beyond the student’s control such as documented chronic illnesses, etc.):

  1. Parents/Guardians will be notified via telephone upon a student’s absence from school

  2. Continued absence and/or tardiness of the student will result in the initiation of one or more of the following actions:

    1. Conference with parent, student, and the principal or designee

    2. Letter to parent/guardian

    3. Referral to school-based Student Services Team

    4. Referral to County’s Truancy Diversion Program

    5. Referral to Supervisor of Student Services

    6. A requirement to make up lost instructional time

    7. Written contract

    8. Removal of school privileges

    9. Restriction of extracurricular activities

    10. Failure of all classes for the marking period

    11. Referral to Kent County State’s Attorney’s Office for violation of the compulsory attendance law

Reinstatement of Grades

A student who has failed all subjects due to exceeding the three (3) day limit of absences coded as unlawful in a marking period, shall have the earned grades reinstated providing the student does not exceed the three (3) day limit in the next marking period. Students who fail all subjects in the 4th marking period due to exceeding the three (3) day limit of absences coded as unlawful will be unable to get those grades reinstated. If a student is a senior, this may affect their ability to graduate.

Make-Up Work

Lawful absences

A student absent for lawful reasons will be permitted to make up work for full credit as long as it is completed within the time frame as stated in the make- up provisions of the grading criteria distributed to the student and submitted to the principal by the teacher. If work is not completed within this timeline, the student will receive a failing grade for the missed assignments.

Unlawful absences

Students will be permitted to make up work missed due to unlawful absences as long as the work is completed within the time frame as stated in the make-up provisions of the grading criteria distributed to the student and submitted to the principal by the teacher. As long as the assignments are completed within this time frame, the student will have the grade lowered one letter grade below the grade earned.

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