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Policies & Expectations

2019-2020 TAFT STUDENT EXPECTATIONS & POLICIES


Our Mission: Educate Global Citizens   Our Vision: Create a Better World


EXPECTATIONS

You are expected to know and follow the rules of Taft High School and understand all of your rights and responsibilities outlined in Chicago Public Schools’ Student Code of Conduct:


http://www.cps.edu/Pages/StudentCodeofConduct.aspx. Specifically, we ask that you conduct yourself and represent Taft, and the entire Taft community, while on and off campus, in a manner that reflects our culture of Respect, Responsibility and Rigor.



ACADEMIC HONESTY

Each student must accept responsibility for his or her personal conduct in both social and academic endeavors. Academic honesty means that students produce work that is their own.  Academic dishonesty, in contrast, is a student’s attempt to claim someone else’s work as theirs, or to claim academic knowledge that they do not possess. Academic dishonesty can take many different forms and all are subject to disciplinary action. See the Taft Academic Honesty policy for more information.



IDENTIFICATION

You are required to keep your Taft ID on your person AT ALL TIMES. You are required to show it every time you enter the school. Staff will NOT confiscate your ID (although there are times when they may hold it temporarily while you are present, i.e. in the Library, Deans' Office, etc). However, you must show it to any staff member upon request.


If you do not have your ID card when you enter the building, you must purchase a temporary ID that is good for one day only; a fee will be charged to your account. Defaced, altered, lost, stolen or misplaced ID cards are replaced at your own expense. Color replacement ID cards are $10. Prices are subject to change. You are not charged when you have a program/schedule change that requires your ID card to be replaced. New ID cards can be ordered at the Security Desk at each campus.



ATTENDANCE

Research tells us that good school attendance is the foundation for a student’s success. You are required to attend school and all your programmed classes and to be prompt. Repeated absences, truancy, and/or tardiness to school or classes will lead to consequences that could include loss of privileges such as field trips, dances, internships, graduation tickets, etc.  Parents of truant students may be fined up to $500 (IL School Code).  Note: Missing two classes counts as ½ day of attendance. Missing three+ classes is counted as a FULL day.


Please be aware that, according to CPS policy, there are six acceptable causes of student absence:

  • Illness

  • Death in the immediate family

  • Family emergency (must explain)

  • Observance of religious holidays

  • Circumstances which cause reasonable concern for the safety or health of the student (on a case by case basis)

  • Other situations beyond the control of the student (on a case by case basis)

 

Students who are absent for any other reason are considered truant. When a student is to be or has been absent from school, there is no need for the parent to phone the school in advance to report that absence.

 

To Report an Excused Absence:

Parents must submit a note (NOT an email) explaining the absence IMMEDIATELY UPON THE STUDENT'S RETURN.  Any notes submitted after two weeks from the date of the absence will not be accepted and the absence will remain unexcused. The note should include the student's name and homeroom (division), the date(s) of absence, the reason for the absence, and the parent's name and contact information. This is the only one way to report an absence.  Absence notes from parents may be submitted to the Attendance Office by the student upon his/her return to school. The absence notes will be verified by Attendance Office staff as needed. Feel free to contact us by phone at (773) 534-1005 with any attendance related questions.

 

To Arrange an Early Dismissal

  • When a child needs to leave school early, the parent must visit the Attendance Office and sign the child out. Attendance Office staff will then arrange to get the child out of class.

  • Early dismissal of students does not need to be arranged in advance.

  • Taft can only release a student to the custody of his/her legal guardians (w/photo ID) unless an alternative person (w/photo ID) has been previously arranged on the "Emergency Information form" by the guardian.

  • If the student is returning to school on that day, there is no need for the parent to accompany the child into the building. However, the student should report to the Attendance Office immediately upon their return - BEFORE returning to class.



ARRIVAL

At the Freshman Academy, you may enter via one of the Link entrances (Door 1 or Door 6). For your safety and the building’s security, no other doors are to be used for entry. 


At the Varsity Campus, you may enter via the Bryn Mawr entrance (Door 1) or the Hurlbut entrance (Door 4). After 9:00 AM, you must enter via the Bryn Mawr entrance. Visitors, generally, must use the Bryn Mawr entrance. For your safety and the building’s security, no other doors are to be used for entry. 



CELL PHONES/SMART PHONES

All Taft students are permitted to use phones in the building/on each campus before and after school, during each individual’s lunch period and between classes. 


NEW: Students at the Taft Freshman Academy (grades 7-9) may not use cell phones or any electronic devices, except Chromebooks, in classrooms at any time. Devices should be turned off and put away/not visible. Earbuds are permitted only with instructor approval. 



Students at the Taft Varsity Campus (grades 10-12) may not use or charge any electronic devices or wear earbuds during any classes/periods of instruction without an instructor’s permission.


If you use a cell phone, electronic device, or earbuds in a classroom without permission, the item may be confiscated until the end of that class. 


Note: Students are responsible for their personal belongings. Taft is not responsible for any lost or stolen items.         



DRESS CODE

While we encourage individuality and self-expression among students, we are also in an educational setting that requires students to come to school dressed within certain limits. 


The Deans or Administration will determine the appropriateness of clothing worn by students. 


  • Dress slacks or khakis, jeans, sweatpants/joggers, leggings, yoga pants, skirts, skorts or shorts may be worn.

  • Items may not be transparent or reveal any undergarments. 

  • NEW: Head coverings (hats, visors, headbands, bandanas, scarves, etc.) are generally permitted. For security reasons, however, wearing hoods is NOT permitted when in the school.

  • Suggestive, abusive, inappropriate language or designs, or language that includes put-downs (i.e. I’m with Stupid, etc.) or hate-speech may not be worn.

  • Clothing or jewelry that projects violence, drugs or sexual innuendo or represents gang affiliation are inappropriate. This includes any items with references to alcohol, tobacco or weapons.



Students not adhering to the dress code will be sent to the Deans’ Office and will be required to change into a Taft shirt or pants until the end of the day. At that time, they can return the Taft item(s) in exchange for their own clothing. Students returning damaged Taft clothing will be charged a fee. 



On Halloween students are encouraged to wear costumes to school. The dress code should still be followed. Additionally…

  • Complete costume preparations at home. Dressing up or applying makeup or colored hairspray should take place before school starts.

  • Costumes should not interfere with learning. They should not restrict your movement or vision or prevent you from participating in class.

  • Costumes may not be demeaning or offensive to any group.

  • No weapons, toy weapons, or props replicating weapons are to be brought to school.

  • No costumes are allowed that would completely hide the identity of the student, i.e. gorilla suit, "Scream" character. 

  • No masks are permitted.





RESTORATIVE PRACTICES 

Taft is a Restorative Practices School. Our approach is based on a philosophy that provides the framework for a set of practices and values that promote a positive climate. CPS has adopted the term “Restorative Practices” to move towards a focus on prevention as well as intervention. Restorative Practices are ways of thinking about, talking about, and responding to issues and problems by involving all participants to discuss their feelings and opinions, identify what happened, describe how it affected everyone, and find solutions to make things better. Restorative Practices are “ways of doing business” that focuses on making things – relationships – better. 


The use of Restorative Practices helps strengthen relationships among students and between students and staff; reduces behavioral disruptions, de-escalates volatile situations, decreases suspensions and detentions; and supports students impacted by violence. Over time, Restorative Practices can improve the overall health of a school community, can help to increase student attendance and academic achievement, and provide youth with opportunities for social and emotional skill development. 



SAFETY

Safety at Taft is paramount. This is why we ask everyone to show identification when they enter the building and also why we ask that you not prop open any exterior doors or open any doors for any unknown individuals trying to enter the building. 


If, for any reason, you do not feel safe, physically or mentally/emotionally, please let a trusted adult in the building know right away so the matter can be addressed. We cannot help if we do not know what is happening. Thus, it is important for our entire community for you to say something if something you see or hear about doesn’t seem right. You can also report an issue to the school anonymously. Use our Anonymous Tipline on the Taft Website. Click on Eagle Eyes on the left of our main page or go to this link:  https://tafths.org/apps/forms2/?f=3266



The image below shows you, in order, who to contact/speak to if you have an idea for Taft, would like to express gratitude for something a staff member has done, express a concern, or resolve a difference of opinion.





GRADING SCALE

Taft High School follows one of the CPS approved grading scales. The grading scale may differ for special programs such as IB or AP or for 7th grade, non-credit classes. See the classroom teacher for details.

Generally, the Taft grading scale is as follows:

  • A - 90 to 100

  • B - 80 to 89

  • C - 70 to 79

  • D - 60 to 69

  • F - 59 and below



CREDIT RECOVERY 

Taft offers online credit recovery/summer school for students who need to make up credits and we usually have a few seats for students just interested in learning a new subject. Credit Recovery classes are $100.00 per ½ credit course. Contact the Counseling Office at 773-534-1040 for further information and/or to sign up. Students must be passing all of their current classes to take an online class.  



FEES

All outstanding fees must be paid before a student is eligible to take an online credit recovery class, go to Prom, walk the stage for Graduation, or attend Six Flags Grad Night.  



CLOSED CAMPUS

You may not leave campus at any time during the school day. If you have an illness or family emergency, you must obtain an Early Dismissal in the Attendance Office. You will be released into the custody of a parent/guardian or emergency contact person ONLY. If you are 18, we must have verbal consent from a parent for you to leave. 



CAFETERIA

To create a safe, clean, and pleasant cafeteria, students are asked to abide by the following guidelines:

  • Show your ID to Security when you enter.

  • Enjoy your breakfast/lunch and friends! Feel free to use your electronic devices quietly.

  • Your meal must be eaten in the cafeteria. When you are done, put all of your trash in one of the garbage cans. 

  • Avoid physical activities or playing games that include hacky sacks or any other objects.

  • If you plan to meet with a teacher during your lunch period, you must obtain a pass before you come to lunch.

  • For health and safety reasons, ordering take-out or having food delivered is not permitted by students.


At the Varsity Campus, if you wish to leave the cafeteria early during your lunch period, to go to the library, the couches at Door 1, the computer lab or Deans' Office, see the Security Officer at Lunchroom Door 1. 



LIBRARY

At the Varsity Campus, if it is available, you may use the library before school, during your lunch period, and/or after school. 



ELEVATORS

Elevators are for staff and for students with temporary or permanent conditions that make navigating stairs difficult. 



BANNED ITEMS

Students may not have in their possession any item or device prohibited by CPS and Taft while in the building or in attendance at any event under Taft auspices. All banned items will be confiscated; those which are legal will be returned to parents of minors or student owners who are at least 18. Banned items include but are not limited to: Any product associated with the application of graffiti such as magic markers, shoe polish daubers, spray paint, gambling paraphernalia, mace/pepper spray, pocket knives, etc. 


Possession or use of alcohol or tobacco/nicotine products, any device used to inhale substances, and/or any other drugs in school, on the campus, or at a Taft event is not permitted. NEW: Because these items are illegal for those under 21 (including vapes with nicotine), any equipment confiscated will be turned over to the police or destroyed. Students may also be ticketed by the Chicago Police Department.



LOST AND FOUND

At the Varsity Campus, the Lost and Found is located just west of the Main Entrance under the stairs. Electronics/expensive items are kept in the Main Office or at the Security Desk (Door 1). At the Freshman Academy, the Lost and Found is located at the Main Entrance Security Desk. Any items unclaimed beyond the last day of school will be donated or discarded.



PARKING

Taft’s parking lots are reserved for staff and driver education. Street parking is available for all others. Unauthorized vehicles in parking lots will be ticketed and towed at the owner’s expense. 



PASSING PERIODS

Each passing period lasts five minutes. A one minute warning bell will sound after four minutes have elapsed. 



SUSPENSION

Students who are suspended from school are prohibited from entering the school building and may not attend or participate in any activities during that time. 



LOCKERS

Lockers are the property of Taft High School and are subject to search without notice.  Any items left behind beyond the last day of school will be donated or discarded.

  • You are required to use your assigned locker and are responsible for any damage incurred during the year. 

  • Lockers are to be secured by a Taft lock that can be purchased in the Main Office. Unauthorized locks may be removed.  Cash, jewelry or other valuables should not be stored in lockers. 

  • Skateboards, roller blades and/or any sports equipment must be kept in a student’s locker. If an item does not fit in a locker, make arrangements to leave it elsewhere, i.e. the Main Office, Deans' Office, etc. Any of these items seen out during the school day may be confiscated.


HALL PASSES

Any students in the hallway during class time are required to have an official Taft hallway pass. 



SUPPLIES

On the Varsity Campus, Band-aids, ice packs and feminine hygiene products can be obtained at the following locations:


166 - Main Office 270 - Counseling Office

112 - Case Manager’s Office 126 - Physical Education Office

256 - Deans’ Office


Epi-pens are located at the Main Entrance Security Desk



DISMISSAL

Except for those participating in school sanctioned activities/events, students should leave the grounds at the end of their scheduled day. Those participating in post-school activities must take all belongings with them and will be dismissed from the activity by their coach/sponsor via the nearest exit. Students may not remain in the building, including the gyms, without adult supervision.



VISITORS

All visitors are required to present a valid photo ID and sign in at the security desk. The visitor must wear a Visitor’s Badge in the building and will be directed or escorted to their destination. Parent meetings with teachers are by appointment only. CPS staff wanting to speak with a teacher must have principal approval.  



PARENT-TEACHER CONFERENCES AND REPORT CARD PICKUP

CPS policy stipulates release of 1st and 3rd quarter grades to a parent or guardian only. Those unable to pick up grades in the library on the designated days may do so during regular school hours. 

 


NAVIANCE

New to CPS, the Naviance program has been used by schools across the country to help students plan their academic, college and career life. Although counselors and teachers will be working with students on ways to use Naviance, we encourage parents to visit the site with their child and make it a part of the family discussion. Simply go to cps.edu/naviance and start exploring. Tasks for your child to complete are on the top of the page shaded in blue. Start Naviancing today! 



ASSISTANCE/SUPPORTS

If, at any time during your career at Taft, you are feeling overwhelmed academically or socially/emotionally, please let a trusted adult in the school know. We have numerous resources at our disposal and can help link you to them, e.g. tutoring, support groups (grief, coping, anger, trauma, substance abuse) and individual counseling.

07.31/kh



Please direct any questions or comments to Kat Hindmand, Taft's Director of Climate and Culture. You may email Ms. Hindmand via the Staff link at right.


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Educational Networks is currently designing a new website for Taft High School. It will look beautiful when we finish it. But it will take a few weeks.

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Go to: http://tafths.enadmin.org

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