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School Rules and Expectations



General Campus Rules:Newhart Middle School is proud of its students and their behavior. High Standards are set for the students both academically and behaviorally. In order to attain these high standards and keep privileges, students are expected to show respect toward one another and all adults, thus creating a positive learning environment.

In an effort to protect instructional time and limit distractions, any items forgotten at home such as homework, Chromebook, PE clothes, lunches, water bottles, etc. May NOT be dropped off at school. Students who forget their lunch will be provided a hot lunch from the cafeteria, at no charge.  All classrooms have loaner Chromebooks for Students who forget theirs.  We have loaner PE clothes for Students who forget theirs.  Homework/ projects may NOT be dropped off.  Items from delivery services such as GrubHub and DoorDash are NOT permitted under any circumstance. Items for large groups of students - fast food, cakes, and party items are NOT permitted.  Students are not permitted to meet cars or parents in the parking lot or at the gate during school hours, including lunch/break. Newhart is a closed campus. All visitors must check in and out at the front desk.

  • Cell phones must be turned off and out of sight at all times during school hours (unless specifically directed otherwise by a teacher/staff member).
  • Be in your seat and ready to learn when the bell rings to start class.
  • Follow CUSD Dress Code guidelines at all times.
  • Follow our school Positive Behavior Matrix at all times.
  • Do not play games that are dangerous (rough-housing, tackle football, play fighting).
  • Cameras are not allowed on campus without administrative permission.
  • Leave expensive electronics or toys at home such as cell phones, I-pods, handheld games, mp3 players, sporting equipment, etc. FNMS is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged items that a student has brought from home.
  • Students may not bring laser pens/pointers, spray paint, sharpies, paint pens, or any other permanent markers to school.
  • Bicycles are only permitted to be ridden to school. Students MUST wear a helmet.  Skateboards, rollerblades, razors, etc. are not allowed on campus at any time.
  • Throwing objects (food, water bottles, pencils, rubber bands, rocks, etc.) is not allowed.
  • Weapons (including toy versions of these objects), tobacco products (including e-cigs), drugs, or drug paraphernalia are forbidden.
  • No loitering, exit campus promptly when school ends (unless assigned to Homework Club or After School Detention). We can provide supervision for only 10 minutes after school.
Lockers will be issued on student schedules. Each student is responsible for the upkeep and cleanliness of the locker. Lockers are not to be shared unless students are directed by the administration. Students are responsible for all items stored in their locker. Locker combinations should not be shared with anybody except parents of the student. Students are required to keep their belongings in their locker when they go to PE. The school is not responsible for the loss or damage to any property, including cell phones, iPods, or other electronic devices brought to school. School administration reserves the right to search lockers if there is suspicion of illegal, dangerous, or stolen property. Any misuse of lockers may result in the loss of your locker privilege.
  • No stickers or tape – only magnetic devices to hold up pictures, notes, etc.
  • No storage of food to prevent ants.
  • No open containers with liquid (will leak to the bottom lockers).
  • No sharing lockers or combinations.
  • Be sure to check books when it rains to make sure they are dry.
  • Do not leave valuables in lockers.
Field Trips
Students may not participate in any field trip without a signed permission slip. Any students with a D or F or excessive absences will not be permitted to attend field trips. Students with home suspensions or excessive discipline may be prohibited from attending field trips. Students are expected to follow all school and district rules while on field trips. Students who do not follow school and district rules will be subject to disciplinary action and may be prohibited from attending future field trips.
VISITORS: *All visitors must sign in at the front office.
Lost and Found:
Our lost and found is located in the far right corner of the library, on top and inside of the file cabinet drawers. Students may check the lost and found area during break, lunch and after school.


Capistrano Unified School District strives to be Bully Free!
CUSD schools proactively construct and maintain a social atmosphere which addresses all forms of bullying through:  
  • Creating a positive school culture via a school-wide implementation of Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS).
  • A beginning-of-the-year school-wide assembly which defines bullying and its consequences.
  • Ongoing, school-wide student and staff educational opportunities 
Definition of Bullying– Board Policy 5141(d):
Bullying shall mean unwelcome, pervasive, and/or severe verbal, written, or physical conduct, though any means (including social media, texting, etc.) which is directed at a student or staff member by a student or staff member that has the effect of any or all of the following:
  • Creating an intimidating and/or hostile environment that substantially interferes with a student’s educational opportunities, or the ability of a staff member to perform his or her duties;
  • Damaging, extorting, or taking a student or a staff member’s personal property;
  • Placing a student or staff member in reasonable fear of physical, emotional, or mental harm;
  • Placing a student or staff member in reasonable fear of damage to, or loss of, personal property.
What to do if you feel you are being bullied:
  • Talk to your parents or other trusted adults.  They can help stop the bullying.
  • Talk to your teacher, school counselor, or principal. Telling is not tattling.
  • Don’t fight back. Don’t try to bully those who bully you.
  • Try not to show anger or fear.  Students who bully like to see that they can upset you. Calmly tell the student to stop…or say nothing and then walk away.
  • Limit the interaction.
  • Limit your message to five (5) words or less.  Example: “Leave me alone.”
  • “Three Strikes you’re out” rule. Repeat your five (5) words or less three times then walk away.
  • Try and avoid situations in which bullying is likely to happen.
Newhart Middle School Uses the Say Something App.
Make reports of:
  • Abuse
  • Bullying
  • Depression
  • Drug sales/ Drug use
  • Fights/ Pre-fights
  • Safety concerns about a friend
  • Suspicious activity
  • Thefts
  • Threats to campus safety
  • Vandalism
Together, we can make our campus safe!
Middle School Policies and Procedures
How to Report Bullying? 
Students can report any incidents of bullying or harassment which may include:
  • Say Something App (On the School Website)
  • Incident Report Form in the office
  • Online Bully Form or “Bully Box”
  • Speak to or email a staff member
  • Referral from staff member or bystander who witnessed event
Assistant Principal and/or Counselor will investigate the incident.
  • Ensure all parties are familiar with Board Policy 5141(d) as it relates to bullying
  • Follow up with concerned party and discuss results of investigation
Consequences for Bullying may include, but are not limited to:
  • Situation logged in discipline file
  • Bullying complaint report completed
  • Situation logged in Bully Log filed both at school and at the District office
  • Counseling
  • Conflict Mediation
  • Detention, Suspension, Involuntary Transfer, Expulsion
  • Behavior Contract
  • Notify School Resource Officer


CUSD Middle Schools subscribe to the Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) approach.“PBIS is a systemic method to proactive, school-wide behavior based on a Response to Intervention (RtI) model. PBIS applies evidence-based programs, practices and strategies for all students to increase academic performance, improve safety, decrease problem behavior, and establish a positive school culture. Schools implementing PBIS build on existing strengths, complementing and organizing current programming and strategies.”
Our goal is to help each student become a positive and responsible citizen. We know that the majority of students will work toward this goal by respecting the rights of others, respecting personal and school property, and by practicing acceptable behavior. The following rules and regulations are in effect on or near school grounds, off campus during school hours, at school-sponsored functions, bus stops, and while on the way to or from school or school activities. Unless otherwise noted, the discipline consequences apply for the entire current school year.
Interventions are intended to review the major infractions and usual consequences; however, CUSD recognizes that some actions not listed below may cause a disruption to the instructional process and/or environment. In those cases, the school administration reserves the right to take disciplinary action at their discretion.
All administrative decisions regarding student behavior and resulting consequence(s) are administered within strict adherence to California State Education Code and CUSD Board Policy.
CUSD is not responsible for damaged, lost, or stolen items that a student has brought from home.  Administration and staff will investigate incidents involving these items at their discretion.  Parents may be asked to personally retrieve confiscated items.
Progressive Discipline Interventions
CUSD follows a system that includes positive interventions and progressive discipline where the severity of the consequence depends on the severity of the behavior and/or the pattern of behaviors a student exhibits. All interventions are at the discretion of the school administration and take into account individual student needs and the circumstances of each incident.
When multiple interventions are listed in the Student Intervention Matrix, such as CSI/ATS/Suspension, administration will determine the appropriate consequence (including number of days) depending on the severity of the infraction.
Middle School Policies and Procedures
Positive Reinforcements:     Incentives both verbal and tangible achieving and exceeding
                                             school-wide expectations.
Classroom Interventions:     Teachers will assign the consequence in accordance to their
                                             classroom discipline plan.
Counseling:                          Meeting with the school-site counselor, referral to community resources, conflict mediation, etc.
Parent Conference:              Meeting with parents, teachers, students and other appropriate personnel wherein the team discusses student challenges and possible interventions.
Student Study Team:           A meeting with parents, teachers, students and other appropriate personnel to create a plan for intervention strategies and supports for student success both behaviorally and academically.
Campus Clean-up:                Students will pick-up litter, wash off pencil and/or ink marks, wash windows, sweep floors, etc.
Referral:                               The student’s behavior is reviewed by an administrator.  The administrator determines the appropriate intervention based on the student’s progressive discipline status.
Detention:                            Teacher and office detentions are made in writing with a copy going home in advance for parent notification and signature.  Detentions may take place before/after school and/or during lunch.
Class Suspension:                 Students will be removed from class for the period indicated and supervised on campus.
Behavior Contract:               If a student’s behavior pattern continues, administration will place student on a Behavior Contract appropriate to address the student’s behavior.
Parent Escort:                       A parent or guardian will attend all or part of the school day as determined appropriate by the administrator.
In-House Suspension:          Student will be supervised on campus in an assigned area. (CSI)
Suspension:                          Student is excluded from school and school activities for the duration of the suspension. 
Alternative to Suspension:   A District operated classroom for students who are suspended for California Education Code §48900 violations.  Students are under supervision of credentialed teachers and counselors.
Involuntary Transfer:           Revoke School of Choice and/or Inter-District Transfer.
Expulsion:                            A recommendation that the student is removed from CUSD.
When a student earns a consequence, a student also earns a demerit.  This demerit system reflects the behavior of the individual student.   Points are assigned by consequence and reflective of time served. 
Demerit System
Administrative Counsel/Warning       =          0 demerit
Detention                                            =          1 demerit
Class Suspension                                 =          1 demerit
In-School Suspension (CSI)               =          2 demerits
Alternative to Suspension (ATS)        =          2 demerits
Home Suspension                               =          3 demerits
Students with more than FIVE demerits in a single quarter or TEN demerits over-all will not be permitted to participate in extra-curricular or special school activities.  In order to retain eligibility for activities, points may be worked off at a rate of 1 (one) point for each 1 (one) hour of school service if approved by administration.  To regain eligibility, demerits must be worked off at least one week prior to any activity.  Although the school discipline record does follow the student, the demerits do not carry over from year-to-year.
Mandatory Administrative Action
The Board of Trustees and the Superintendent of the CUSD have adopted a position that maintains that our schools will not tolerate weapons, drugs, or behavior that threatens the safety of another person.  The offenses listed below require mandatory action by the school administration:
  • Possession of firearm, when the principal or superintendent and the Board confirm the pupil was in knowing possession of the firearm, and an employee of the District verified such possession; or
  • Brandishing a knife at another person; or
  • Selling or furnishing a controlled substance; or
  • Committing or attempting to commit a sexual assault or committing sexual battery; or
  • Possessing an explosive
The mandatory action for a first time offense of any of the above is:immediate five-day suspension, notification of law enforcement, and recommendation for District expulsion.While a District expulsion hearing is pending, a student’s suspension may be extended.
Please Note:
  • The school practices a policy of progressive discipline where consequences increase as a result of repeated patterns of behavior or with increasing severity of behavior.
  • The school official executing the discipline policies and procedures exercises the right to adapt his/her decision to meet the fair and appropriate consequence that fits each individual situation.
  • The school initiates Behavior Contracts when a pattern of disruptive behavior has been established. Upon violating the Behavior Contract, a student may lose privileges such as school activities (i.e., dances, field trips, etc.) or possibly be recommended for transfer to an alternative middle school.
  • School officials may search individual students and their property when there is a reasonable suspicion that the search will uncover evidence that the student is violating the law or the rules of the District or the school. Board Policy 5154(a).
  • During investigations, students will be questioned and may be requested to write a “Statement of Facts”.  If these statements are used in an expulsion case, parents may utilize an Anonymous Witness Statement form. If law enforcement is involved in an investigation, the school will attempt to contact parent.
  • Law enforcement officers have the right to interview students on school premises.  If the officer needs to interview the student immediately, the principal or designee shall accommodate the questioning in a way that causes the least possible disruption to the school process and gives the student appropriate privacy. Board Policy 5153 (a).


policies and procedures


As parents, you have the responsibility to make school a #1 priority for your child.  An average absence rate of more than one day per month is considered excessive.  By making sure your child is in school every day, you ensure his or her opportunity to learn.  Research indicates that when parents actively participate in their child's education, the quality of learning improves.  Such participation also improves student test scores and creates an atmosphere that enhances student success.
Regular attendance at school is critical to the success of all students.  Please call or email the school to report your child’s absence and provide the following information:
  • The date(s) of the absence
  • The person calling
  • Your child’s full name
  • The reason for the absence
If you do not call in or email regarding your child’s absence, your child must have a note with your signature indicating the above information for the day(s) he/she was absent from school.  If you do not contact the office by 11:00 a.m. on the day of the absence, an automated calling and/or e-mail system will contact you regarding your child’s absence.
Excused Absences may include: illness, medical or dental appointments, death or serious illness in immediate family, religious holidays, quarantine, or immunization exclusion.  If your child will be out of school for five school days or more, you can request an Independent Study Contract.
Per Board Policy 5112 Absences and Excuses, when a student reaches 14 excused absences in the school year for illness, any further absences for illness shall be verified by a physician.  If a student continues to be absent without verification, the absences will be unexcused.
Truants/Unexcused Absences: Students who are on campus but miss their assigned class without permission from school staff are considered truant.  If a student is more than 30 minutes late, the student is truant.  Also, those students who leave campus, stay home without permission from a parent/guardian, or have an absence that remains unexcused after 72 hours, will be recorded as truant.  Discipline may be administered in each of these cases.
Middle School Policies and Procedures
Unexcused absences include all absences or truancies which may include but are not limited to: traffic, vacations, shopping, staying home to visit with friends or family, transportation breakdown, working, missing the bus, negligence, truancy, too tired, etc.
A total of three days of unexcused absences or truancies can trigger the School Attendance Review Board (SARB) process and may receive disciplinary actions at school for truancy.  Parents will be sent a letter notifying them that their child is habitually absent/ truant.  Additional unexcused absences/truancies will prompt a mandatory meeting with the District Attorney’s office and potential prosecution.
Tardy-Late to School: Any student who arrives late to school must check in to the attendance office to get a pass to enter class. Students who arrive to class late create a disruption, regardless of the reason, and will be marked tardy.  California State law excuses tardies for illness and medical appointments; unfortunately, we are unable to excuse tardies for traffic, rain, car difficulties, or any other circumstance not listed under “Excused.”
Tardy-Late to Class: A student is tardy when he/she is not in a seat in class when the first bell rings to begin class.  The only way to excuse a tardy is for a student to have a note (with the student’s name, date, and time) signed by a staff member. Since classroom tardies disrupt the educational environment and affect the classroom teacher directly, parents cannot excuse classroom tardies.  *An absence is recorded if a student is more than 30 minutes late to class.
Dismissal for Medical, Dental, or Personal Appointments: If your child must leave during the school day, you may send a note with him/her indicating the time and nature of the early dismissal.  Your child will bring the note to the office before school and receive a “Special Excuse” slip.  He/she will show this slip to the classroom teacher at the beginning of the appropriate class period. The teacher will send him/her to the attendance office at the designated time.  A parent or guardian must come in to the office to sign the student out before he/she may leave campus and may be asked for photo ID.  Your child may not leave campus in the custody of anyone other than a parent or guardian or person authorized on the emergency card.  This is for your child’s protection.
Illness at School: If your child becomes ill at school, he/she is to request permission from his or her teacher to report to the office. If the child is too ill to continue his/her day at school, the health office will call the parent or guardian to pick up the child.  UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES is a child to call his/her parents/guardians to pick him/her up and leave the premises without the school personnel being notified.
Independent Study Contract (ISC): Students who will be away from school for five or more days, other than illness, may be able to receive class work and remain up-to-date.  To request an ISC, please notify the office AT LEAST TEN SCHOOL DAYS PRIOR TO THE FIRST DAY OF ABSENCE so that the request can be reviewed, and if approved, class assignments may be organized. This process helps students to keep up with school work, but there is no substitute for teacher instruction and class interaction.  Please schedule vacations appropriately.


Ethics is defined as moral principles or practice. CUSD students, teachers, administrators and parents are encouraged to base relationships on a fundamental notion of trust.  With trust comes the ability to establish productive staff-student-parent relationships.  Therefore, academic dishonesty (“cheating”), in any form (including students working together in pairs or groups unless specifically directed to do so by the teacher), will not be tolerated.  Cheating undermines the academic process, destroys students’ integrity, and shatters the trust necessary for productive relationships. Teachers are often required to indicate violations of Academic Integrity on applications and recommendation forms. 
Cheating may include but is not limited to the following:
  • Copying another student’s homework
  • Copying another student’s answers on a test
  • Using an unauthorized prompt sheet
  • Using unauthorized technology (including a calculator) during a test or quiz
  • Making homework available to another student so they may copy the answers
  • Plagiarizing another author’s work
  • Cutting and pasting passages from the Internet into an assignment without notation for the author
  • Forged notes (student signing his or her parents’ name)
Consequences for breaking the Ethics Policy are cumulative for all classes.


Independent Physical Education (IPE): Students who compete in an individual sport to an exceptional degree of competition, may request District approval for IPE. 
  • The student must be a nationally ranked athlete, or equivalent, performing or competing at a nationally recognized level (see Sports Qualifications).
  • Team sport participation does not qualify for IPE.
  • Students who meet the criteria for IPE will be scheduled into Online Independent Physical Education; IPE applications must be submitted at least three weeks prior to each semester. 
For additional information and to apply for IPE, review the IPE Link located on the CUSD website on the Athletics page.