Middle School Handbook

Emphasizing Academics in a Safe and Nurturing Environment Plaza Vista Middle School goals for the school year.

We will provide:

  • Curriculum and grading policies that will ensure integrity and high academic standards.
  • A middle school environment that emphasizes encouragement and positive interaction.
  • A safe and nurturing environment fostering cooperation inside, as well as outside the classroom.

academic integrity contract

Please see Middle School Handbook PDF on this page for contract. 

Arrival to school and classes

School starts and attendance is taken promptly at 8:00am. Students who are not in their seats at 8:00 will be marked tardy. A bell will ring at approximately 7:57 to alert you to walk to class. You should be on campus by 7:55. You may not use the office area to enter or exit the building unless you are tardy. If you need to enter any part of the building before school, you must have prior written permission from a staff member who will be directly supervising your activity in the building.

Attendance and Tardies

California State Law requires that children attend school daily unless they have a legal excuse such as personal illness or a medical/dental appointment. A parent or guardian should call the school before 8:30 a.m. each day to notify the office of your absence. Students are expected to be on time to all their classes. Consequences for tardies begin on the third tardy of the school year. Consequences for excessive tardies and unexcused absences include community service on school grounds, and/or detention. Students with excessive absences (including excused absences) or tardies will be referred to the Orange County School Attendance Review Board (SARB). Absences immediately before or after a three-week break are unexcused. Independent study work is not available during an unexcused absence; therefore, no independent study work is provided before or after a three week break. Plaza Vista Middle School is a closed campus. Students may not leave school grounds at any time during the school day without signing out in the office with parent permission. Leaving school grounds during the school day will result in discipline consequences.

Books

If a classroom textbook is damaged but usable, students may be charged 1/2 the cost of the book. If a classroom textbook is lost or deemed unusable, the student will be charged full replacement cost of the book. If library books are damaged or lost; students will be charged the full replacement value of the book. Misuse will result in disciplinary action.

Bicycles/Skateboards/Scooters

You may ride your bicycle, scooter or skateboard to school. However, you must not ride them on campus and you must wear a helmet. In addition, you must properly lock your bike, scooter or skateboard and your helmet. Bicycle and board racks are available. If you need assistance, see a staff member. The school is not responsible for lost, damaged or stolen items – lock your items properly!

Bus and Field Trip

Standard Students are expected to conduct themselves in such a manner as to conform to classroom standards of behavior. Instructions of the driver must be followed.

Cell phones/Telephones/Electronics

Cell phones or other electronic devices are to be turned off (not just placed on silent mode) during the school day. Students who have their phone on or use it during the school day without prior permission from a staff member will have their device confiscated and turned into the office. Only a parent can obtain a confiscated cell phone or other electronic device. Students may use cell phones before and after school. If a medical problem exists, special arrangements can be made with the office for a student to have a cell phone turned on. Students who repeatedly violate the cell phone policy, use their phones to videotape another person without prior permission, or use their device to violate the Academic Integrity Policy will face disciplinary action. School telephones are used by teachers and staff only. You may use school telephones when a teacher deems it necessary and gives you permission.

Contact Sports

Contact sports, including tackle football and dodgeball, are not permitted at any time.

dance pass permission

Please see the ASB page for permission form. 

Discipline & Detentions

Students who disregard Plaza Vista rules may have any of the following consequences which may vary depending on the severity, repetition, or danger of the behavior. Consequences include the following, but are not limited to: 30 minute detention, “in-house” suspension from all classes, individual class suspension, parent notification, campus clean-up, systematic exclusion, exclusion from field trips, dances, parties, end-of-the-year activities and/or assemblies, out of school suspension, and expulsion. Students who fail to attend assigned detention will have their time doubled. If a student fails to attend detention a second time, further disciplinary action will proceed.

Detentions

1st detention 30 minutes (minimum) 2nd detention 45 minutes (minimum) 3rd detention 60 minutes (minimum) 4th detention 60 minutes and community service Any subsequent detentions will result in disciplinary action which may also include parent conference, exclusion from activities, suspension from school (in-house or home suspension) or other disciplinary action as appropriate.

    Dress Code

    The interpretation of these standards is the responsibility of the school staff. Student’s dress is the responsibility of the parents. Inappropriately dressed students will be required to change their clothing or be sent home. Repeated challenges to the dress code will result in disciplinary action.

    DO’S:

    • Clothes should be clean.
    • Blue T-shirts will be required for all PE classes.
    • Appropriate footwear is that which permits participation in all aspects of the school program. Shoes must be worn at all times and appropriate for all activities, including physical education. Middle school students are allowed to wear open toed shoes on non P.E.days. However, if you plan on playing during snack or lunch break, appropriate shoes are required.
    • Hats may only be worn outside and are only for protection from the sun.
    • Shorts and skirts must reach to at least the fingertip of your pinkie finger.
    • Shirts and tops must be within three inches of the base of the neck and always have at least a 1” straps.

    DON'TS:

    • Clothing may not be gang-affiliated.
    • Clothing may not contain images or references to alcohol or tobacco.
    • Clothing may not contain violent or sexual content.
    • Girls are not permitted to wear spaghetti straps, expose undergarments, low neck line tops, halter-tops, off the shoulder tops, expose midriffs (tops shorter than the top of their pants) or excessive make-up.
    • Boys are not allowed to wear baggy pants, tank tops, and may not expose undergarments.
    • Open toe or heel shoes are not permitted on P.E. days or if you play during snack or lunch.  Slip-on tennis shoes are not appropriate for P.E. Shoes must fit appropriately.

    Grades and Promotion

    Students who do not pass a class or receive a “U” in citizenship in middle school may be withheld from attending school events, including field trips, dances, end of the year activities, and other school related functions. 8th Grade students who are suspended from school or receive an F or U on a report card during the year may be withheld from the end-of-the-year field trip and promotion dance/dinner.

    Gum Chewing

    Gum chewing is never permitted at any time on the Plaza Vista campus, including before and after school.

    Lunches

    All lunches being delivered to students must be in the office by 11:25am, supervisors will take lunch bins outside where students may pick up their lunch. Lunches will not be delivered or picked up by students after 11:25 am. In the event that you forget your lunch, you may receive a lunch in the cafeteria. If you do not have funds in your lunch account, you will need to pay for your lunch the following day.

    Misuse of School Property

    Misuse of school property, whether damage occurs or not, is not acceptable. Students who cause damage to a computer, classroom, bathroom, school building, PE equipment, or any other school property will receive consequences and/or may be denied the use of that equipment through the end of the school year.

    Office Use

    Students should not walk through the office unless they are sent by a staff member to do so. Students who have forgotten items at home and need to pick up those items from the office must go to the office during recess, lunch, or before or after school. Students will not be notified when items are dropped off by parents in the office.

    Passes

    To be out of class, at any time, you must have a pass. The only exception to this rule is when you are under the direct supervision of a teacher or during passing period.

    PLAZA VISTA BEHAVIOR EXPECTATIONS

    Suspension and Expulsion

    Fortunately at Plaza Vista, most students consistently contribute to a positive school environment. Utilizing the PBIS model of proactive, positive behavior systems and interventions, suspensions are quite rare. However, it is important to note that certain violations may result in suspension from school, or in extreme cases may be grounds for a recommendation for expulsion. School administrators, working with teachers, counselors and support staff make every effort to intervene with students in order to help them make positive choices. However, on very rare occasions, students make choices that may end up with severe consequences. Please note the following education code violations that may end up leading to suspension or expulsion.

    The Irvine Unified School District strictly prohibits the use of products containing tobacco or nicotine, including, but not limited to smokeless tobacco, snuff, chew, and clove cigarettes, by students on any district campus or while attending school-sponsored activities, or while under the supervision or control of district employees. This prohibition also applies to electronic nicotine delivery systems, such as electronic cigarettes, electronic hookahs, and other vapor emitting devices with or without nicotine content that may mimic the use of tobacco products.

    All prescription or over the counter medications taken by students MUST be administered through the health office and accompanied by proper paperwork. Student use or possession of such products must conform to laws governing student use and possession of medications on school property.

    Students who cause or attempt to cause, or threaten to cause a physical injury to another person may be suspended and in certain circumstances expelled. Students who use force or violence upon the person of another except in self-defense, may also be suspended and recommended for expulsion. Most reported incidents of self-defense at Plaza Vista do not constitute self-defense, they constitute retaliation. Any student who uses physical aggression to retaliate may be suspended or recommended for expulsion. Students are expected to keep their hands and feet to themselves at all times.

    The following acts occurring at school, going to or from school or at any school sponsored activity are considered to be violations of the California Education Code and may lead to suspension and expulsion:

    • Caused or attempted to cause, or threatened to cause physical injury to another person...§48900(a)(1)
    • Willfully used force or violence upon the person of another, except in self-defense...§48900(a)(2)
    • Possessed, sold or furnished any firearm, knife, explosive, or other dangerous object... §48900(b)
    • Possessed, used, sold or furnished, or been under the influence of any controlled substance, alcoholic beverage, or intoxicant...§48900(c)
    • Committed or attempted to commit robbery or extortion...§48900(e)
    • Caused or attempted to cause damage to school or private property...§48900(f)
    • Stolen or attempted to steal school or private property...§48900(g)
    • Possessed or used tobacco or any products containing tobacco…§48900(h)
    • Committed an obscene act or engaged in habitual profanity or vulgarity...§48900(i)
    • Possessed, offered, arranged, or negotiated to sell drug paraphernalia...§48900(j)
    • Disrupted school activities or otherwise willfully defied the valid authority of teachers, administrators, or other school personnel engaged in the performance of their duties...§48900(k)
    • Knowingly received stolen school or private property...§48900(l)
    • Possessed an imitation firearm...§48900(m)
    • Committed or attempted to commit a sexual assault §48900(n)
    • Engaged in an act of bullying...§48900(r)
    • A pupil who aids or abets, as defined in Section 31 of the Penal Code, the infliction or attempted infliction of physical injury to another person...§48900(t)
    • Committed sexual harassment…§48900.2
    • Made terrorist threats against school officials and/or school property §48900.2

    Mandatory recommendation for expulsion include:

    • Possessing, selling or furnishing a firearm…
    • Brandishing a knife at another person…
    • Unlawfully selling a controlled substance…
    • Committing or attempting to commit sexual assault or sexual battery…

    plaza vista anti - bullying pledge

    We, the middle school students of Plaza Vista, agree to join together to stamp out bullying at our school. We believe that everyone should enjoy the school equally, and feel safe, secure, and accepted regardless of color, race, gender, popularity, athletic ability, intelligence, religion, and nationality. Cyber-bullying includes the following misuses of technology: harassing, teasing, intimidating, threatening, or terrorizing another person by sending or posting inappropriate and hurtful email messages, text messages, instant messages, web site postings, or digital pictures or images. Reported incidents of cyberbullying in or out of school which disrupts school activities and/or instruction may have discipline consequences.

    We agree to the following:

    • Value other students and treat them with respect.
    • Be an active participant in the prevention and reporting of bullying.
    • Be aware of all school policies.
    • Support students who may be subjected to bullying.

    Safety

    Treat others as you expect to be treated. We feel very strongly about providing a safe environment at school and in the community. Students are expected to cooperate with teachers, students, and other school personnel at all times. Bullying, intimidating, threatening, or fighting with students or any school personnel will not be tolerated. “Play” fighting, wrestling, or other dangerous contact activity is not appropriate at school. Do not bring dangerous items to school, including but not limited to, sharp objects, lasers, toy weapons, or propelling devices that could cause injury to another student. This policy is in effect while at school, during any school activity, and in route to and from school. All medications must be administered through the health office and are not to be in a student’s possession. Plaza Vista follows the IUSD zero tolerance policy regarding drugs, alcohol, weapons, e-cigarettes, and harassment. Every student has the right to a safe and nurturing environment.

    Student Planner

    Students: In middle school, you will be expected to have your planner with you each day. In addition to being an important tool to help you stay organized with your assignments, your teachers will utilize your planner to assign you to Tutorial. Parents: A recipe for your child’s success throughout the school year is to check his or her school planner every day!

    Student Responsibilities

    We take punctuality, completion of class work, homework and behavior very seriously. Students will receive disciplinary consequences for tardiness, lack of academic responsibility, missing homework, disrespectful behavior toward adults or students, and/or behavior deemed inappropriate. Students will leave the property of others alone at all times. Students will walk inside the building and in the lunch area. Students eat only in the outside lunch area or inside during inclement weather. Students may not go outside lunch boundaries (those areas that are unsupervised).

    Tobacco

    The Irvine Unified School District strictly prohibits the use of products containing tobacco or nicotine, including, but not limited to smokeless tobacco, snuff, chew, and clove cigarettes, by students on any district campus or while attending school-sponsored activities, or while under the supervision or control of district employees. This prohibition also applies to electronic nicotine delivery systems, such as electronic cigarettes, electronic hookahs, and other vapor emitting devices with or without nicotine content that may mimic the use of tobacco products.