Policies

Attendance Guidelines

Calling in for absent students: 

Any time a student is absent from school, the parent or guardian of the student should call the school attendance office by 10:00 a.m.  Please leave a message with the reason for the absence, name (please spell last name), and grade. Students are allowed 3 call-ins or parent notes for the school year in order for the absence to be excused.  All absences are considered unexcused if we do not receive a parent call or note. Teachers are not required to allow students to make up work due to an unexcused absence .  We do accept parent notes or a phone call from the parent or guardian.

Attendance Office Secretaries:

 Lorie Parkerson:  972-882-7974

Jackie Graham-Chapman: 972-882-7982    

Patti Smith: 972-882-7915               

Krisol Almont (Spanish Speaking): 972-882-6176

Diana Vasquez (Spanish speaking): 972-882-6190 

 
Assistant Principal – Attendance

Dr. Vic Nixon:  972-882-7900, email: vnixon@mesquiteisd.org

 Excused absences: 

Absences are excused if a student attends a doctor/dentist appointment or has a court date and can provide original documentation upon return.  Students who are ill are excused if the parent calls in for them on the day of the absence.   Students are allowed 3 call-ins or parent notes per school year.  If a student is excessively absent due to illness, he or she will need a doctor’s note for any future absences.   A student who misses three days of school consecutively must have an original doctor’s note to excuse the absences.  Students who attend the funerals of family members and provide original documentation such as the program from the service will be excused for that one day.

Missing school for a doctor/dentist appointment or required court appearance: 

According to the State of Texas, a student who is in attendance for a portion of the school day (in our case, at least half of one period) and then attends a medical appointment or a required court appearance will be counted present if the student submits an original and dated doctor’s note or court paperwork upon his or her return.  This allows the student to maintain his or her semester exam exemptions in the classes they missed.  We allow students up to one week to return the doctor/court note, but the absence is marked “unexcused” until the note is turned in to the office. Please note that unexcused absences prevent students from doing any make-up work from the class (es) missed.  Unexcused absences that accumulate could result in a complaint being filed with the court for truancy.  Also, forgery or tampering of doctor/dental notes is a crime and will be prosecuted if discovered.

Unexcused absences:

 Going out of town, interviewing for a job, taking the driving test, visiting family, running errands, baby sitting, taking vacations, or other “personal” reasons are not considered excused absences; and students will not be permitted to make up assignments missed.  Our expectation at NMHS is that our students will be present every day that school is in session.  Still, certain situations arise which require students to miss school. We ask that parents work with the school to keep those situations to a minimum.  Please make every effort to schedule personal business appointments outside the school day.

Arriving late or leaving early: 

When situations do arise where students miss a portion of the school day, it is essential that they sign in or out.  This is the school’s documentation of their whereabouts when they are not in school. Students that need to leave early will sign out at the front desk in the main office.  Students who leave early or arrive late without signing in or out will be marked “unexcused” from the classes missed.  We ask that parents or guardians to call the school in the morning if a student will be late to school that day due to illness or other extenuating circumstances.  As a general rule, we do not excuse absences for students who leave school early for reasons other than their own medical needs.  If a student feels ill and needs to go home, he or she must first go to the clinic.  Our school nurse will make parent contact and release the student from school.  Students should never leave of their own accord during the school day without receiving parental permission and signing out. To do so will result in an unexcused absence being recorded and an appropriate disciplinary measure being assessed. 

*Students will not be released early after 3:15 PM; they will wait until regular release time

Tardies: 

The State of Texas does not distinguish between a student being tardy and being absent.  It is a courtesy that NMHS does provide a tardy policy which provides some flexibility for the times that students are a few minutes late to class.  However, if a student is excessively late to class (20 minutes is considered excessive during 1st period and 10 minutes is considered excessive 2nd, 3rd, and 4th period), they will be counted absent and it will be unexcused.  These absences will be counted when identifying students that will be considered truant.  The expectation is that students will be in class and be on time.

Truancy Laws: 

According to the State of Texas, children between the ages of six and eighteen are required to attend school each day for the entire period that the school’s program of instruction is provided.  If a student is eighteen or older and they are enrolled in school, they are held accountable for their attendance under Texas law.  Students who accumulate ten or more unexcused absences in a class in a six-month period are considered truant by the State of Texas.  When this occurs, it is the legal responsibility of the school district to file a complaint with the proper court against both the parent or guardian and the student.

This information is found on page 1 of the Student Handbook.

Credit for Classes: 

The State of Texas requires that a student must be in a class 90% of the time it meets in order to receive credit.  On block scheduling means that a student can only miss a class 5 times (whether excused or unexcused) and still receive credit for that class.  If unusual circumstances cause a student to exceed this limit, he or she can make up lost time through our recoup program.  Announcements are made periodically, and signs are placed throughout the building which give the times and dates.  Students are encouraged to see their administrators for more details.  Important:  Credits are awarded and denied at the end of each semester, and recoup cannot be served for a class after credit has already been denied.  Therefore, recoup for first semester classes must be done during the first semester.  This information is found on page 1 of the Student Handbook.

NOTE:  Truancy laws deal with unexcused absences only.  Credit for classes involves unexcused and excused classes.  A student going to recoup in order to make up lost time does not effect whether a truancy case has or will be filed. 

College Days: 

Each junior and senior is allowed to take two college days per school year and still maintain his or her semester exam exemption status.  The spirit of the college day policy is to allow a student to travel out of town to visit a school that could not be seen fully in an afternoon after school.  Students are advised to speak with the attendance office before making arrangements, in order to ensure that the college visit will be honored.  Upon returning, an original letter or other requested documentation from the visited college or university must be submitted which verifies the student’s visit on that day.  We do not accept faxes or photocopied letters.  This information is found on page 37 of the Student Handbook.

Exemption Policy: 

A student may be exempt from the semester exam in a class if he or she meets the following criteria:

*Perfect attendance for the semester in the class –

            **A student may be allowed one absence per period if they are making an 85 or better in that class

*Passing the course for the semester in the class

*No placement in ISS, ISIP, Challenge, etc. during the semester

*Must be present from the 1st day of school.

Students who are exempt must still attend their classes on exam days in the fall, but do not have to attend classes for exams in the spring. This information is found on page 42 of the Student Handbook.

Automated Calling System: 

North Mesquite utilizes a system (School Messenger) to make a courtesy call  when a student misses any portion of the school day.  A call will also be made when a student is counted tardy in a class.  This system uses the contact information that we have on file at the school.  Therefore, it is very important to keep these numbers updated if they change during the school year.

 


Career and Tech Nondiscrimination

Mesquite Independent School District offers career and technology education programs in agriculture, business, health/science technology, family and consumer sciences, marketing, technology, and trade and industry. Admission into a career and technology program is dependent upon interest and aptitude, age appropriateness, and availability of class space.

It is the policy of Mesquite I.S.D. not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex or handicap in its vocational programs, services or activities as required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.

Mesquite I.S.D. will take steps to assure that lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission and participation in all educational and vocational programs.

For information about your rights or grievance procedures, contact the Title IX Coordinator, Dr. Denise Kutch, and/or the Section 504 Coordinator, Mrs. Treva Franklin, at 405 East Davis, 972.288.6411
 

No Discriminatión en Programas de la Educación de le Carrera y de la Tecnología

Mesquite Independent School District ofrece programas de la educación del carrer y de la tecnología en agricultura, negocio, ciencia de la salud, ciencias de la familia y del consumidor, la comercialización, la tecnología, y comercial e industria. La admisión en un programa de la carrera y de la tecnología es dependiente sobre interés y aptitud, apropiada edad, y la disponibilidad del espacio de la clase.

Es la política de Mesquite I.S.D. a no discriminar debido a la raza, del color, del origen nacional, del sexo o de la desventaja en sus programas, servicios o actividades vocacionales segín los requisitos del Título VI del Acto de las Derechas Civiles de 1964, segín la enmienda prevista; Título IX de las Enmiendas de la Educación de 1972; y Sección 504 del Acto de la Rehabilitación de 1973, segín la enmienda prevista.

Mesquite I.S.D. tomará medidas para asegurar que la carencia de las habilidades de lenguaje inglés no será una barrera a la admisión y a la participación en todos los programas educativos y vocacionales.

Para información sobre sus derechas o procedimientos del agravio, entre en contacto con el Coordinador del Título IX, Dr. Denise Kutch, y/o el Coordinador de la Sección 504, Mrs. Treva Franklin, en 405 East Davis, 972-288-6411.


Cell Phone and Electronic Devices

Cell phones and all other Electronic Devices within the school building before or during school hours are to remain off during the school day.

If a student's Phone, iPod, or other Electronic Device was turned in, due to being in violation of the "Student Code of Conduct", the electronic device will be available for pick up the next business day from when the device was taken up. Cost at pick up is $15.00 from 8:00-8:30 am and 3:45-4:00 pm only. No exceptions!! If you get out early you may pick up your device before school. A Photo ID must be shown. Driver's license, school id or any official documentation with your name and picture on it will be accepted.


Equal Opportunity

No employee of the Mesquite Independent School District, acting in his/her official capacity, may discriminate on the basis of ethnicity, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, military status, or any other basis prohibited by law regarding such personnel practices as assigning, hiring, promoting, compensating, and discharging employees, use of facilities, awarding contracts, and participating in programs.

No qualified handicapped person shall, on the basis of handicap, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subject to discrimination under any program or activity sponsored by this school district as specifically provided by law in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and in the Title IX Implementing Regulations.

Inquiries regarding any of these policies should be directed to the Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Linda Henrie, 405 E. Davis, Mesquite, Texas 75149, whose office phone number is 972-288-6411.


Exemptions

Any student in grades 9 - 12 may be exempt for the semester exam for that class, if the following requirements are met:

  • Students cannot have four or more tardies for the semester in the class.

  • Students must have a passing average for the semester in the class.

  • Students cannot have been assigned ISS, MIC, or been suspended from school

  • Students must have perfect attendance in the class for the semester.

Exempt students are not required to attend their exempt class for the Spring semester exams.


Honor Code

Open and clear communication among educators, students, and parents is the heart of North Mesquite High School's educational expectations. It is the goal of the NMHS staff for all students to achieve academic success. So that student success can be achieved and all Stallions can embrace academic integrity, these guidelines will be endorsed by all staff and students.

  1. Students will be honest and trustful.

  2. Students are expected to come to class prepared to work on all classroom assignments.

  3. Students will be personally responsible for the completion of their classroom assignments.

  4. Students are expected to do their own work at all times.

  5. Students will keep their papers covered during tests and keep up with their homework so that another student cannot copy answers.

  6. Students will not be permitted to share assignments unless a teacher has given permission for a collaborative project.

  7. Students will accept the grade they have earned on assignments. Each student may politely discuss possible grading errors or mistakes individually with his/her teacher before or after class.

  8. Students will show respect to all NMHS staff and to other students.

  9. Students will follow the classroom policies of each teacher and the NMHS Code of Conduct policies set in place by MISD.

  10. NMHS teachers and staff will clearly communicate to students their classroom expectations for behavior and assignments.

Choosing to disregard these guidelines could result in the loss of credit for an assignment or the reduction of the student's citizenship grade. Participation in school organizations could be jeopardized, and a letter of recommendation from NMHS staff could be denied. Above all, each NMHS student must protect his/her reputation and guard it wisely as it related to classroom participation and assignments.

Definitions

Honesty occurs when a student...

  1. Completes his/her own work

  2. Gives credit for another's words, pictures, facts, and ideas

  3. Keeps his/her eyes on his/her own paper, assignment, or exam

  4. Does not copy work form another person or source

Dishonesty occurs when a student...

  1. Misrepresents his/her own personal work by plagiarism or cheating Encourages or assists in an act of plagiarism or cheating Allows other students to claim his/her words or work as their own Has wandering eyes during individual classroom assignments or tests Copies printed material, videos, or images without crediting the source and thus willingly violates copyright laws

  2. Communicates either verbally or nonverbally with another person(s) during non-collaborative situations. This communication includes but is not limited to talking, writing, signing, or text messaging.

  3. Individual student assignments are defined as any classroom activities given when the teacher has communicated to students that they must complete their work by themselves.

  4. Collaborative student assignments are defined as any classroom activities given when the teacher has communicated to students that they may complete their work with the help of a peer(s), parent(s), or resource(s).

NMHS teachers must take an active role in discouraging student dishonesty because:

  1. It is the teacher's responsibility

  2. Employment expectations encompass academic honesty

  3. As a role model to students, teachers must have high standards for behavior

  4. Student accountability and responsibility are very important to producing good citizens and lifelong learners

Suggested Consequences for Student Dishonesty:

  1. A parent will be notified by NMHS staff when student dishonesty occurs in class.

  2. NMHS staff will notify other teachers if they have gained knowledge of student dishonesty involving another teacher's classroom.

  3. Proper documentation of student dishonesty will be kept on file with the teacher.

  4. Consequences for student dishonesty will be on a year to year basis will not start over at semester.

For the first offenses that involve daily classroom homework assignments, the teacher may:

  1. Notify parent(s)

  2. Reduce citizenship grade one letter

  3. Conduct an individual student conference

  4. Deduct points, provide an alternate assessment, or award a zero

  5. Assign a teacher detention

For the second offenses that involve daily classroom homework assignments, the teacher may:

  1. Give a grade of zero on the assignment

  2. Automatically deduct one letter grade in citizenship

  3. Schedule a parent and student conference

  4. Notify appropriate NMHS staff and sponsors

  5. Deny to write letters of recommendation for that student

For the third offenses that involve tests, major assignments, or research projects, the teacher may:

  1. Have written guidelines for student work and evaluation

  2. Have proper documentation of student dishonesty for parents and administrator's examination

  3. Consult with campus administrators if appropriate

  4. Have the power to give a zero on a research paper, tests, or major assignments

  5. Lower citizenship grade

  6. Deny to write letters of recommendation for that student

  7. Notify appropriate NMHS staff and sponsors


Religious Holidays

In order for religious holidays to be considered for approval, it must be submitted at least a week prior to the event. Contact the attendance office for more information.


Tardies

All classes: Doors will be closed after the tardy bell. Any student not inside the classroom when the tardy bell stops ringing will be considered tardy.

Within the first 10 minutes of class, students will report directly to classroom and sign in on the tardy sign in sheet. These incidents will have the following consequences.

Disciplinary Action — Starts over each 6-weeks

  • Tardy 1 — Teacher Warning

  • Tardy 2 — Teacher issues detention and contacts parent

  • Tardy 3+ — Student receives office referral

After the first 10 minutes of class, students are considered excessively tardy and will report to the attendance office and sign in. These incidents will result in an office referral immediately.


Open Carry Law

Due to the new Open Carry Law,* signs will now be posted at entrances of each Texas business establishment that will NOT allow guns on the premises.  Mesquite ISD campuses, buildings and athletic facilities will be among those that post the weapons prohibitive signage.

Teachers, staff, students, parents and other visitors cannot bring a gun onto the premises of a school or school facility. It is still illegal for anyone, including licensed gun holders, to carry a firearm to school or district functions such as sporting events, field trips or board meetings.

For more information, please reference Chapter 46.03 and 46.035 of the Texas Penal Code for an inclusive list of places where weapons are prohibited.

The City of Mesquite also has information about the new Open Carry Law at this link:
http://www.cityofmesquite.com/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=354

*The Open Carry Law went into effect on Jan. 1 in Texas. It allows a licensed gun holder in Texas to carry his or her firearm openly in a holster on hips or shoulders. This is a change from the law that required a licensed gun holder to carry the firearm in a concealed holster.
The new law does not replace the Texas Penal Code Section 46.03, which states that a person commits an offense if he or she carries a firearm “on the physical premises of a school or educational institution, any grounds or building on which an activity sponsored by a school or educational institution is being conducted, or a passenger transportation vehicle of a school or educational institution.”


Envision Payment Solutions

Envision Payment Solutions™ is pleased to have been selected by Mesquite Independent School
District as its check service provider.

Please be aware that if your check is returned, it may be re-presented electronically. Also, in presenting a
check for payment, you authorize service charges and processing fees to be debited from the same
account should the check be dishonored. These fees, as permitted by state law, may be debited as a paper
draft or an electronic funds transfer, at our option. Each dishonored item is subject to the applicable state
returned check fees.

Specifically, per Texas Business & Commerce Code Annotated § 3.506, the service fee for returned
checks is $30. (Note that the fee structure will change according to any amendments made to TX
law during a school year.)

If you wish to inquire about a returned check written to Mesquite Independent School District, please
contact Envision Payment Solutions™ directly at the information listed below.

Thank you. We wish you and your children all the best for this year and beyond.
Sincerely,

Envision Payment Solutions™