Welcome to Rutherford School. One of the greatest opportunities in our country is an education for all. We are pleased you are receiving your education at Rutherford school. We can assure you Rutherford School is conscious about the safety of our students and has a well-developed educational program that places students’ best interests first. Enjoy the year and take advantage of this opportunity to learn.

This handbook has been prepared for students and parents to become acquainted with our policies and procedures. We believe informed students and parents lead to a more positive and safe school environment. Occasionally during the year there will be a policy or rule change and we will notify you about these.


The mission of Rutherford School is to develop each student’s personal and intellectual potential to its fullest thus empowering each to be a responsible, independent, and productive citizen.

For learning to be the primary focus of our school there are rules that students must follow. These rules are clearly written so they are understood by all. Behavior that is disruptive distracts from the instructional time and interrupts the learning of others. When a rule is broken a student will be disciplined in a fair and consistent way.

MAJORITY TO MINORITY TRANSFER POLICY-The GCSSD shall permit students from other school districts to transfer to the GCSSD if the race of the student who plans to transfer is in the minority at the GCSSD School to which he/she applies for transfer.


There is to be NO TRESPASSING on any school property when school is not in session. Trespassers will be prosecuted.

RUTHERFORD SCHOOL will not distribute materials of any kind to the students, unless they are school related.

Rules will be enforced for the benefit of all.These rules are for all students. It is left to the discretion of teachers to have rules that apply in the classroom and these are to be followed by students without question.

BE PREPARED EVERY DAY – Bring books, paper, pencil, homework, and any required materials to class. Parents need to check often to see if students have the supplies they need. It is not the responsibility of the school or teacher to furnish students with school supplies.

BE RESPECTFUL OF TEACHERS, STAFF, and STUDENTS AND GUESTS IN THE SCHOOL – Being respectful of school property and property of others is demanded.

PROFANITY/OBSCENCE--The use of profanity or making obscene gestures is a serious rule violation and will not be tolerated. Children may be exposed to this at other places but school is to be a positive environment.

DO YOUR OWN WORK – When a teacher finds students cheating both the person cheating and the student helping will be sent to the office.

Students are NOT allowed to work on assignments from other subjects in class without permission from that teacher.

SCHOOL DAY – Every effort should be made to arrive at school before classes begin. Three tardies constitute one unexcused absence and work from an unexcused absence cannot be made up. All students should arrive by 7:45 and are tardy after 7:50 am in Jr. High (grades 5-8) and 8:00 am in Elementary (K-4). They must go to the office for a note to enter the classroom when they are tardy. Each year there are students who are habitually late. 1st unexcused tardy—a warning, 2nd unexcused tardy—loss of one break, 3rd unexcused tardyloss of break or teacher discretion, 4th unexcused tardy—loss of break and parent will be contacted.

DRUGS, ALCOHOL AND TOBACCO are serious rule violations. Students are not to be in possession or under the influence of either. Possession or use of tobacco products by a minor is a violation of state law. The School Resource Officer will petition any minor in possession of these to juvenile court.

Use of Tobacco Use of tobacco will not be allowed on campus at any time during the course of the school day or on any school sponsored activity. (The school day is considered to be from the time a student arrives on campus until he/she goes home after school.) Students also will not be allowed to be in possession of any kind of tobacco product. Chewing of tobacco or dipping will not be allowed during the school day. According to state law, any violation of the above will result in being issued a tobacco citation and appearing in court.

“ZERO” TOLERANCE is the rule for weapons at school. There are to be no weapons of any kind brought to school for any reason. The school resource officer or a police officer will be notified.

OLWEUS Anti-Bullying Program-At Rutherford School we have adopted an anti-bullying program and have trained teachers, staff, and students about the program. Our Schools Anti-Bullying Rules:

  1. We will not bully others
  2. We will try to help other students who are bullied
  3. We will try to include students who are left out
  4. If we know that somebody is being bullied, we will tell an adult at school and an adult at home.

CELLULAR PHONES/BEEPERS—Students will not be permitted to have cell phones throughout the course of the school day. Students must have their cell phones turned off and placed in his/her backpack. Should a student be observed using a cell phone, or a cell phone rings during the school day, the following disciplinary action will take place:

1st Offense Parent Pickup

2nd Offense Parent Pickup

3rd Offense Loss of privilege of phone at RJHS/Parent Pickup

Student abuse of the policy could result in the student losing the privilege to be able to carry a cell phone permanently, or for a period of time as determined by the administrator. Cell phones must be OFF when students are on a school bus. Fire drills, assemblies, or other school evacuations are considered cell phone blackouts. During such contingencies, there will be absolute zero tolerance on cell phone use. No inappropriate Internet downloads will be allowed.

FIGHTING- Students who take part in fighting are held responsible regardless of who starts the fight. Fighting in school is a possible 3-day suspension from school. Punishment may be more severe for a fight that is serious and injuries are sustained. If a student knows he/she is about to be involved in a fight they need to tell a teacher so the fight can be avoided.

GUM AND CANDY are not allowed in our school. Students will be disciplined accordingly. 1st Time—miss break 2nd Time—sent to office for work duty

SECURITY—Security is a must. Every visitor must go through the office to sign in. Parents need to contact the office to set up a meeting with teachers.

ACADEMIC HONOR ROLL (Grades 3-8) Student must maintain a grade point average of 92 and make no grade below an 86 on their report card.

BETA CLUB (Grades 6-8)Student must maintain a grade point average of 92 and make no grade below an 86 on their report card. Grades will be reviewed each six weeks when report cards are generated. Those who fall below the above guideline will be put on academic probation for six weeks. Grades will be reviewed the following six weeks to determine if the student will be eligible for Beta Club. Also students with discipline problems can be placed on academic probation or suspension from Beta Club. Students on probation will not be allowed to attend National Beta Club Convention.

HONOR ROLL—Students cannot make any grade below an 85.

MAKE UP WORK is the responsibility of the student. Students are to ask the teacher what they are to make up and get the work to the teacher. Work that is not made up will result in a zero on the grade. *Students have ONE school day for each day missed to turn in make up work.

Respect the teachers’ rights to privacy. Do not look in their desk, grade book or files. Do not sit at their desk or be in the workroom.

Jr. High students are to keep their belongings in their lockers (except band instruments.) Book bags are kept in the locker and not carried from one class to the next. No Rolling backpacks are allowed in grades 5-8 due to our narrow hallways. The lockers are to be neat and are subject to search at any time. NO STICKERS on the inside or outside of the locker. Locks must be approved through the office. Valuables should not be left in the lockers. P.E. locks must also be approved through the office.

Students are not to bring CD players, MP3, personal games or toys, inappropriate magazines or books, playing cards and any type of trading cards to school.


Students are to be dropped off in the back parking lot and walk into the gym and sit in their assigned areas.

Afternoon pick-up Rules are as follows:

Vehicle parking for afternoon pick-up may only be in the back parking lot in the designed parking area.

Four Rutherford School teachers will be assigned and will supervise the afternoon pick-up process, these school staff members will be in charge of afternoon pick-ups.

Please pick-up your child (student) and leave immediately so the process will go as quickly as possible.

Students will begin releasing at 3:05. Please give your students name to the faculty member when they approach your vehicle and they will call for him/her to be released from the gym. The teachers will load four vehicles at a time.

Students that walk home from school will be released out of the Jr. High hallway on the west side of the building at 3:05. For their safety, we as that all students exiting the building leave the campus immediately in route to their destination


No pets are allowed on the school campus. This is for the safety of our students.


Attendance is a key factor in student achievement and therefore, students are expected to be present each day school is in session.

Absences shall be classified as either excused or unexcused as determined by the principal or his/her designee. Excused absences shall include:

1. Personal illness;

2. Illness of immediate family member;

3. Death in the family;

4. Extreme weather conditions;

5. Religious observances; or

6. Circumstances that (in the judgment of the principal) create an emergency over which the student has no control.

Truancy is defined as an absence for an entire school day, a major portion of the school day or the major portion of any class, study hall or activity during the school day for which the student is scheduled. To view the entire GCSSD Attendance Policy visit their website at http://www.gcssd.org/

DRESS CODE for Students in K-8

All students must be clean and wear appropriate clothing. Clothing must follow the guidelines in this book or be deemed appropriate by the principal or building supervisor.

No large coats (i.e. trench coats) are allowed.

House shoes or shoes with wheels of any kind are allowed.

Sports caps or hats are not allowed for leisure wear, only for cold weather.

No see through tops, spaghetti strap tops, tank tops, halter tops or tops that are excessively low cut (no more than four fingers from collar bone) or tight are allowed. Shirts may not be worn that reveal the stomach or mid-riff in any way. Clothing that advertises drugs, alcohol, and wrestling or displays profane or suggestive language or clothing that is offensive to others may not be worn.

No body or ear piercing is allowed for boys. Only ear piercing is allowed for girls.

Shorts will be no shorter than 2 inches above the knee for grades 5-8.

Skirts will be no shorter than 2 inches above the knee for grades 5-8.

LEGGINS may be worn, but the bottom of the shirt or top must be at finger tips.

PANTS will be worn with the waistband around the waist and not sagging below the waist. Students not following this rule will be given a belt by the office or sent home. No holes in pants above the knee and no holes that are seam to seam are allowed.

PANTS with wording across the back cannot be worn.

No shirts with cut off sleeves can be worn. Sleeveless shirts can be worn as long as the sleeve is hemmed and does not gape in the armhole. Sleeveless shirts must cover the entire shoulder.

For safety purposes, anything that is distracting to the normal school day will not be allowed. This includes large chains, large necklaces, and excessive earrings (girls).

Clothing and/or general appearance (hair, etc.) in the opinion of the principal or staff that is distracting to the learning environment or offensive will not be allowed. This could apply to several different clothing and hair situations.

BUS BEHAVIOR is so important for the safety of everyone! Riding a school bus is a privilege extended to students and this privilege can be removed at any time for disruptive or unsatisfactory conduct. Behavior on the bus is a major concern because of the possible consequence of a driver trying to monitor bad behavior. The same school rules of conduct apply on the bus. Students should be quiet and courteous. No eating or drinking is allowed. Keep arms and feet and other objects inside the bus. Students must obey the driver. Video cameras are placed on the buses and will be used as needed. Failure to obey rules will be dealt with the following ways:

1st offense – Driver warns student

2nd offense- Driver brings student to the principal’s office and appropriate punishment will be administered

3rd offense – Student will be suspended from the bus for an appropriate number of days.

4th offense – Parents will meet with bus driver, principal and transportation supervisor. Student may be denied transportation for the remainder of the year if a workable solution is not found by officials.

Some behaviors such as fighting, profanity, etc. will result in immediate suspension without prior warnings. Students can only ride their assigned bus unless the driver receives a note or call from the parent or school office giving permission to student to ride an alternate bus.

DISCIPLINE – Inappropriate behavior will be dealt with through consequences. The consequences are selected depending on the nature of the behavior that is not acceptable, age of the student and number of prior incidents.

Warnings (only one given to each student)

Contacting parents to notify them of the behavior problem.

School suspension – In-school suspension is when a student is placed in a room near the office. Students that are “Out-of-School” suspended are not allowed on campus at anytime during their suspension.

Parent Meeting-Parents are requested to come to school and discuss the behavior. These must take place when out of school suspension is used.

Corporal punishment – Used occasionally and follows school district policy. A parent has the right to request their child NOT be paddled. This request MUST be written and on file. The request does not carry over from one year to the next. By making this request the parents must take an active part in the discipline and immediately take the student home for a 3-day unexcused suspension. This is also the procedure for a student who refuses a spanking.

Alternative school placement – The student is assigned to a school sight that houses students who need a different setting. The parent is responsible for transportation and lunch.

Due to the seriousness of fighting and the implications that go with physical disagreements, the punishment for a fight is a possible 3 day suspension for students involved in a fight. This applies even when a student hits back since that student has made a decision at that time to take part. Punishment may be more severe for a fight that is more serious and injuries are sustained. Anytime a student feels threatened or is about to be in a fight, he/she needs to make an adult aware of this situation. Students who encourage fighting will also be punished.

VERBAL THREATS/BULLYING – When one student threatens or harasses another student it is very serious. Any type of verbal threats or verbal harassment will be taken seriously by school officials. Students involved will be dealt with on an individual basis.

SEXUAL HARASSMENT-Sexual harassment of any kind is taken seriously. Rutherford School follows the Gibson County School District policy. You may review this policy by visiting the GCSSD website at http://www.gcssd.org/

EARLY DEPARTURE – Any student who leaves school early must be check out through the office. Only a parent or approved guardian will be allowed to check a student out of school. We expect students to remain here until school dismisses unless they MUST leave for an appointment or illness. Please try and make appointments on vacation days or after school when possible.

PROTECTED TIME--In order to have minimal interruptions of instruction time, we ask that you try to schedule appointments so that you will be able to check out your child between classes, during break, or during lunch. Each child’s schedule will be sent home the first day of school. Parents are strongly encouraged to only make appointments in the late afternoon or after school.

INCLEMENT WEATHER-In the case of inclement weather please DO NOT CALL THE SCHOOL. Listen to 97.7 radio and WBBJ-TV/Channel 7 out of Jackson. The radio station is called before the schools and we need our phones to alert bus drivers, etc. In case of early dismissal have a plan made for your child and be sure he/she knows what to do. Rutherford School has an automatic phone system you will be contacted if school is dismissed. It is very important that you keep your contact information up to date, so that you can be notified.

OFFICE TELEPHONE- NO MESSAGES GIVEN TO STUDENTS UNLESS THERE IS AN EMERGENCY. We consider an emergency a sudden illness. Please do not abuse the message system at our school. Please make your children aware of all arrangements before he/she goes to school each day.

GYM GUIDELINES-Rules for behavior in the Rutherford School gym are posted in the gymnasium. Anyone not following these rules will be asked to leave and may not be allowed to attend future events. No one is allowed in the gym after school hours without permission from the Principal.

VISITORS – Parents may walk their children (grades K-4 only) to class the first week of school. This is for the safety of all. The only door visitors may use is the front door beside the playground during the day. We invite parents to our school for lunch. Feel free to come have lunch with your children. It helps our cafeteria staff if you let us know by 10:00 that day or before you are coming to eat lunch.

FIRST AID – We treat minor injuries with first aid supplies. If there is a potentially serious injury your child’s teacher or nurse will notify you. It is vitally important that the information on your child’s emergency form change that you notify us so you can be found in an emergency. We do not give any medication to children without proper paperwork.

BREAKFAST – Full price is $1.15 & reduced $.30; Extra juice or milk $.40

LUNCH – Full price $2.25 per day & reduced is $.30 per day

Lunch money must be paid each Monday. Students are no longer allowed to charge lunches. When you pay for the entire week of lunches and the student misses or brings his lunch, those days are carried over to the following week. Forms for free or reduced lunches are available throughout the year if you should have a need. This form is confidential and those who receive free or reduced lunches are not singled out in any way. Grades 6-8 pay for lunches on Monday during their break. The cafeteria supervisor cannot collect money on other days. Free/reduced forms will be sent home at the beginning of the year and must be completed accurately and certified at the school before a child receives meals. They must list an income or it will only be temporarily approved and will be for only 30 days. During the school year I will have to verify income on a random selection so be sure that you form is accurate. If you bring your lunch remember that no soft drink cans or bottles are allowed in the cafeteria.

MEDICATION PROCEDURE – These are the main points of the operational procedure for medications. Remember medications are to ONLY be given by the school nurse or her designee.

It is necessary to have a signed consent form for ANY medication to be administered at the school. These forms are in the office. No physician’s order has to be signed as long as the medication bottle directions are current and agree with the parental consent directions. All prescription medications must be in the original container. All other medications must be in their original container.

Any changes in prescription medications such as dosage or time will require a new form to be signed.

The school nurse will continue to have the responsibility of administering the medications. She is also available for parent consultations.

No student is to carry any medications at school.

All unused medications must be claimed at the end of the school year or they will be discarded.

BICYCLES- For a student to ride a bicycle to school both the student and parent must sign a form taking responsibility for any damage caused by the bicycle. There have been cars damaged by students riding bicycles and we want to prevent this. The forms are in the office.

TEXTBOOKS- A lost book fee is the cost of the book the school pays to replace that book. Failure to pay a fine for a lost or damaged textbook or library book will result in:

Refusal to issue any additional textbooks until restitution is made.

Not issuing student’s report card or transcripts until fine is paid.

ATHLETICS- Athletic teams are an important part of the total education of students. We encourage students to take part and be involved. For a student to participate in a sport or cheerleading we require them to pass all academic subjects with an acceptable grade. All students planning to tryout for athletics must have a current physical on file with the coach before tryouts begin. Students on these teams are expected to behave at their best at all times. Behavior problems can result in the dismissal of a student from an athletic team by the coach and/or principal.

STUDENT FEES-The school shall not require any student to pay a fee (including a fee for a field trip) to the school for any purpose, except as authorized by the board of education, and no fees shall be required of any students as condition to attending the public school, or using its equipment while receiving educational training.” We appreciate the additional monetary support from all of our families. We hope that you will see the benefit of being partners with the school in this effort.

HEAD LICE – The school district policy concerning head lice is the student must not have any “nits” in their hair. We have no way to detect if the nits are alive and will hatch or treatment was successful. We require proof of treatment after a child has been determined to have head lice. The box top or a note from a doctor or health department is proof. This is embarrassing to children and not healthy for students. Periodic checks of students will be conducted. If a student reaches an excessive amount of days missed due to head lice, he/she will be referred to the Truant Board of the Gibson County Juvenile Judge.

QUESTIONS-If you have questions about anything in this handbook or any other school-related matter, please contact the principal.

Rutherford School is a member of the Gibson County School District. We follow all policies set forth by the GCSSD Director of Schools and Board of Trustees. To view the GCSSD policies visit http://www.gcssd.org/

The success of our students is very important to the faculty and staff. Nothing pleases us more than seeing a child learn and succeed. If your student is having a problem we will work and talk with parents to find solutions to the problem. We ask that you do not drop by to see a teacher because they are busy with students and cannot leave the classroom. Call the office and schedule an appointment or request a phone call. All teachers are willing to visit with parents as needed.

Rutherford School

Code of Conduct

  1. Students have primary responsibility for their actions. We encourage self-control.
  2. Students must observe the safety rules of the school for their own security and that of others.
  3. Students are reminded any teacher or staff member in the school has the right to correct unruly individuals at any place at any time.
  4. Students shall show respect for the person and property of others around them.
  5. Students are expected to show respect for school property and take good care of books, desks, and other furniture and equipment.
  6. Students shall follow the classroom rules established by the teacher(s).
  7. Students shall not wear dress which is distracting, disruptive or dangerous.
  8. Students shall follow all rules and procedures as set forth by the Rutherford School and the Gibson County School District.