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SFCMS Student Handbook

Seventy-First Classical Middle School School Crest (black print on white background)


Welcome to Seventy-First Classical Middle School. Our students and staff have established standards of excellence in academic and co-curricular accomplishments. We have high expectations of our students, and we challenge you to set high standards for yourself.

Your success depends on the choices you make and is directly related to your efforts. Invest your time and energy wisely each day, and you will be successful in all your endeavors.

The ultimate purpose of education is to help each student become an effective, responsible, and productive citizen in our democratic society. Education is a team responsibility, which begins with your family, extends to the school, and encompasses the entire community. The Seventy-First Classical Handbook is prepared to help you develop and accept the responsibilities and obligations of good citizenship in our school and community. Each student and parent is responsible for knowing and understanding this handbook, as well as the Cumberland County Schools’ Code of Conduct.

Set goals and challenge yourself to excel in academics, attendance, behavior, and co-curricular activities. You may exceed these goals! Have a great year.

Our school is committed to providing a safe and caring environment where students will learn, appreciate diversity, display good character, and become responsible citizens.

To fulfill our mission, the faculty and staff of Seventy-First Classical Middle School have set the following beliefs:

  • Student learning is the first priority of our school.
  • Each student is an important individual with unique intellectual, emotional, social and physical needs.
  • A safe and orderly environment promotes student learning.
  • Character education concepts, a prescribed dress code, and a student code of conduct provide an environment of high expectations within our school.
  • Teachers, staff, parents, students and community members share in the responsibility of providing a cohesive learning environment.
  • High expectations and clear goals for student success should guide the curriculum and the development of instructional strategies.
  • Curriculum and instructional practices should incorporate a variety of activities and strategies to accommodate differences in learning styles.
  • Assessments of student learning should provide a variety of opportunities for students to demonstrate achievement and mastery.
  • The commitment to continuous improvement is the focus, which enables students to become global citizens, problem solvers, creative thinkers and independent learners.

State law and Board policy requires students to attend school daily and be present for all classes. Regular and punctual attendance is critical to student success in school. In order to be counted present, all students must be checked in before 11:00 a.m. or checked out after 11:00 a.m.

In order to be considered in attendance, a student must be present in the school for the school day, or at a place other than the school with the approval of the appropriate school official for the purpose of attending a school activity, which has been officially authorized under the policies of the Board of Education. Such activities may include: field trips, student conventions, musical festivals, or any similarly approved activity. The Cumberland County Board of Education authorizes school principals to record as present those pupils attending school-related activities as designated by the Superintendent, providing the pupil’s attendance at a school-related activity has prior approval of the principal or the appropriate school official.

A student shall be present at least one-half of the school day in order to be counted present for the whole day.

Students are expected to be in school except for lawful reasons as explained below:

  • Student illness or injury
  • Quarantine
  • Death in the immediate family
  • Medical or dental appointments of students
  • Court or administrative proceedings if student is a party to the action or under subpoena as a witness
  • Religious observances
  • Educational opportunity (Prior approval by the principal is required; Requests must be in writing)

Please check for special restrictions under each lawful reason. Documentation will be required for any of the foregoing to be considered lawful. Acceptable documentation can be a doctor’s note with the doctor’s signature, date, and time of appointment, subpoena, or parent/guardian’s note. No more than 10 parent excuse notes will be allowed as “excused.” Documentation should be given to the homeroom teacher the day the student returns to school after an absence. If the note is not received explaining the absence within 5 days after the student returns to school, the absence will be coded as an “unlawful” absence. All other absences not defined above as “lawful” are coded unlawful.

Students are responsible for securing make-up assignments for absences on the day they return. All work missed due to a lawful absence must be made up within three school days upon the student’s return to school. Assignments that are not made up will be reflected in the student’s grade. A student who is present when a test is announced is expected to take the test as scheduled or upon returning to school.

Students will be responsible for submitting all assignments on the due date determined by the teacher. Failure to do so will result in a reduction of one letter grade from the original grade for each day late. 6th graders have 3 additional days, 7th graders 2 and 8th graders 1 day, all for a reduction in grade. Work submitted after the grace period may receive no credit. Exceptions will be addressed on an individual basis.

Promptness to school and class is very important! Students are to be in their seats and ready to work at the beginning bell for class. Students who arrive at school after the 7:30 a.m. tardy bell must report to the school office with a parent/guardian to sign in. No more than 10 parent excused sign-in’s for tardies will be allowed. Tardies to all other classes will be documented by the classroom teacher and parents will be notified. Upon the third unexcused tardy, students will be assigned after-school detention.

If a student needs to leave during the school day, a parent/guardian must sign him/her out in the main office. In order to maximize instructional time, students will be called from class when the parent arrives in our office, except in an emergency. Students will not be dismissed from any class after 2:15 p.m.

In the event of inclement weather, school may be closed or may require a delayed starting time or an early dismissal. Families will be notified via a call system as well as local radio and TV announcements.

It is imperative that the school office be notified immediately of a change of address, home or office telephone number, or of a change in emergency information during the academic school year.

Parents/guardians of students transferring from Seventy-First Classical Middle School should contact the school office two days prior to withdrawing to initiate the withdrawal process. Students are responsible for returning textbooks and library books to the appropriate teachers. Outstanding fees or fines must be paid prior to student’s transfer. Permission to transfer within CCS must be granted by the Student Assignment office.

All textbooks are loaned to students for their use during the school year. Students are held responsible for all textbooks issued to them. These textbooks are to be kept clean and handled carefully. Satisfactory settlement will be required for lost or damaged books.

The media center is open to students from 7:25 a.m. to 2:55 p.m. daily. Students can either visit with their class or individually between classes and during a class with permission from their teacher.

  • Sixth graders can check out check out two books at one time. Seventh and eighth graders can check out three books at one time.
  • Books are checked out for one month and can be renewed once.
  • A fee of $0.05 per book per school day is charged for any overdue books.
  • Students with an overdue book must turn it in or renew it before checking out other materials.
  • All overdue fines and lost book fees must be paid by the end of the school year.
  • Destiny, the online library catalog, can be accessed at
  • NCWiseOwl is a group of subscription online databases for student research and includes full-text journal articles, newspaper articles, and reference materials. Access for free at

Public displays of affection are inappropriate behaviors at school and will be treated as infractions.

Each student will be given a planner to promote organization and communication with parents. Students should bring their planners to each class daily. Students must have their planner which also serves as a hall pass if the student needs to leave class for any reason. Student must maintain an infraction sheet for each nine weeks.  Failure to have an infraction sheet will result in consequences as follows:
1st offense – silent lunch/parent contact
2nd offense – after-school detention/parent contact
3rd offense – administrative referral

High standards of dress promote good citizenship and a positive and safe learning environment. Students are expected to adhere to standards of dress and grooming. Teachers and administrators have discretion in making judgments relating to the appropriateness of dress, to include jewelry and hair. Dress code violations that cannot be resolved will be recorded on the infraction sheet. Repeat offenses will result in administrative referral.

Shirts – solid white or navy polo style (long or short sleeve with collar) or oxford style dress shirt or approved team/club shirt
Slacks/shorts – solid navy, black or khaki of approved style
Shoes – black, brown, or white with closed toe and heel (Shoelaces must be white or the same color as the shoes and must be tied)
Socks – white, navy, beige, black (ankle or knee length)
Sweaters – (pullover or cardigan) solid navy, white, gray or black
Blazers – solid navy, black
Vests – solid navy, white, black, gray
Belts – solid color black, brown or white
Sweatshirts – Plain black or navy. No hoodies.

Shirts – solid white or navy polo style (long or short sleeve with collar) or oxford style dress shirt or team shirt. No sleeveless cap sleeves, see-through or low cut shirts permitted.
Slacks/shorts/skirts/jumpers – solid navy, black or khaki of approved style, no shorter than three inches above the knee
Shoes – black, brown, or white with closed toes and heels (Shoelaces must be white or the same color as the shoes and must be tied)
Socks – ankle or knee length, tights, hose (non-decorative) black, white, navy, natural, beige.
Sweaters – (pullover or cardigan) solid navy, white, gray or black. No solid lace sweaters allowed.
Blazers – solid navy, black
Vests – solid navy, white, black, gray
Belts – solid color black, brown, or white
Sweatshirts – Plain black or navy. No hoodies.


  • Attire will be neat, clean and in good repair.
  • Items not permitted are bell bottoms (denim, jean cut, logos, stretch pants or leggings, “skinny” pants, cargo pants, “jogger” pants (elastic cuff), hip huggers, contrasting  trim, or any other variation to the dress code .
  • Shoes must cover both the toe and heel (i.e. no clogs or sandals) but not enclose the ankle (i.e. hiking or working boots).
  • Socks, tights, or hose must be worn at all times.
  • Overalls (long or short) are not permitted.
  • Winter coats/jackets may be worn to and from school only. Coats/jackets will not be worn in the building or from class to class because they are not part of the prescribed code of dress, unless they are SFCMS approved with SFCMS logo purchased from the school.  Camouflage, army, denim jackets, hooded sweat jackets, or over shirts worn as jackets are not permitted. Hats, headgear or sunglasses will not be worn for any reason during the school day.
    • Please note: All Cumberland County Schools will make any necessary religious accommodations for any type of headgear or head coverings otherwise restricted or prohibited under existing individual school dress codes.
  • Excessive makeup and distracting jewelry may not be worn.
  • Males may not wear earrings.
  • Females may not wear earrings that are larger than two inches long or two inches in diameter.
  • “Sagging” or “bagging” of clothes is not permitted.
  • Shirttails will be tucked in at all times with belt or waistband visible. All shirts must be long enough to tuck in and stay.
  • White dress shirt and tie may be worn.
  • Skirts, shorts, and jumpers will be no shorter than 3 inches above the knee.
  • Belts will be worn with slacks, shorts and skirts that have belt loops. Large buckles, studs, metal rings are not permitted.
  • Hair will be clean, combed and neatly groomed. No unnatural hair colors are permitted (green, blue, etc.) Hair accessories must be navy, white, black or brown and not distracting in style.
  • No bandannas are allowed.

Cell phones and smart devices are not to be displayed at any time or any place while on campus. Devices will be confiscated if seen or heard and will be kept in the main office for parent pick up. No student is permitted to photograph other students at any time to include dances and field trips.

Physical Education is a required class. Students are required to dress out for participation.  “Dressing out” means changing from your school clothes into appropriate clothing for physical activity and changing back into your school clothes after class. To be successful in physical education class it is imperative that you dress out and participate in each class. The items that you need are as follows:

  • T-Shirt – A clean, plain white or gray pullover shirt. Tank tops and half shirts will not be permitted.
  • Shorts – A clean pair of navy athletic shorts that are acceptable in length and fullness for freedom of movement, but will stay in place without being held by the hand or a belt.  Shorts made of denim or other heavy material with zippers or belts are not appropriate.
  • Pants Sweat pants or jogging suits may be worn during cold weather days at teacher’s discretion.  Coats or heavy jackets will not be acceptable.
  • Socks Clean white or black athletic socks only.
  • Shoes  – Rubber-soled tennis shoes, any style or brand are acceptable for PE class only. No open-toed shoes, boots, or other casual shoes will be allowed.

We cannot allow any student to dress in a manner that distracts others from learning, is offensive to others, or violates health or safety requirements.

One of the most important lessons education should teach is discipline. It is the training that develops self-control, character, orderliness, and efficiency. It is the key to good conduct and proper respect for self, other people, and property. All Seventy-First Classical Middle School students and staff have the right to expect to be able to learn and teach in an atmosphere free from unreasonable and unwarranted disruptions. We value our class time and our activity time.

Each student is required to enter each class prepared with pencils, pens, paper, textbooks, planner, and all class-related materials necessary for each class. Non-instructional items are not permitted at school unless directed by a staff member.

Assignments, both class work and homework, are necessary components of the curriculum at SFCMS. Students must complete and turn in these assignments in a timely manner. Assignments should be the work of the individual; copying another student’s work or plagiarisms are honor code violations and may result in an office referral. Students should utilize their planners for all assignments and should have their planners at all times.

Students are permitted to use backpacks, but these must be stored in a locker throughout the school day. Purses may be carried but may not exceed 8 x 8 x 3 inches in size. Back pack style purses are not permitted. Zippered binders may be used but may NOT be worn with a strap. Gym Bags may be used only to transport gym clothes. These must be clear or mesh and may not be used as book bags. PE bags may be carried either before or after the period the student has PE, but should be placed in locker at student’s earliest opportunity. Medical exceptions to these policies must be documented by a note from a physician. Water bottles must be clear, uncolored and non-glass.

Students should be in the halls only at the beginning and close of the school day and while moving from one class to another, unless they have hall passes indicating special permission or special duties that require them to be there. It is the student’s responsibility to ask for and secure a hall pass before leaving the classroom. Students are asked to be courteous at all times and to keep to the right when walking in the halls. Running and shouting are never permitted in the halls or anywhere on campus unless during an approved activity. Students should observe the “up” and “down” staircases during class changes.

“Cumberland County Schools acknowledges that its role is to reinforce traditional values and positive character that originate and are fostered in the home. We will, through collaborative community efforts, teach and model fundamentals of good character to include respect, responsibility, and integrity to all students.”

Respect – I will act with courtesy, tolerance, and dignity.
Responsibility – I will be dependable and accountable for my actions.
Integrity – I will have the inner strength to adhere to high ethical standards.
Caring – I will demonstrate kindness, consideration, and compassion.
Self-Discipline – I will exercise positive self-control.
Trustworthiness – I will be worthy of confidence.
Fairness – I will be impartial and equitable.
Citizenship – I will honor and contribute to the laws, policies, and human rights of the land.

Comprehensive school counseling programs promote students’ academic careers, as well as their personal-social development. Our counselor is available to assist students in attaining maximum benefit from their school experiences. The counselor works in conjunction with 8th grade students, their parents, and prospective high schools to prepare a 9th grade registration. The goals and objectives of effective counseling departments are defined by the American School Counselor Association National Standards for School Counseling Programs. Counseling office hours are Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m. to 2:40 p.m., and appointments are recommended. Please feel free to contact the school.

Students required to take medications during school hours must have an official physician’s medication form properly completed and on file in our office. This medication form requires written instructions, student’s name, name of drug, dosage, time of day medication is to be given, and signatures of the physician and parent.

Parents are responsible for transporting to and from school all medicines to be administered by school personnel in a container properly labeled by the pharmacy or physician. The pharmacy label on the bottle must match the physician medication form exactly. All medication must be kept in the office. No student is to have any medications, whether prescription, or over-the-counter drugs in his/her possession at any time during the school day without proper documentation.

Any student sick or injured at school must immediately notify school personnel. Parents will be notified. In case of injury, an accident report will be completed if medical attention is needed.

Student accident insurance plans selected by the School Board are made available on an optional basis to all students. At the beginning of the school year printed information and application forms will be given to each student. The completed application forms must be mailed directly to the insurance company.

Fire drills are conducted each month throughout the school year. Check the posted instructions in each classroom indicating how to exit the building in case of fire or where to report for safety during a tornado. Remember to walk silently and quickly to the designated area. The fire alarm sounds like a horn. A three-tone bell accompanied by a solid red alert screen on the classroom TVs signals a tornado drill. Students assume a curled position and cover their heads during a tornado drill.

Personal items are the responsibility of the students. Please leave valuables (jewelry, electronic equipment, cameras, large sums of money, etc.) at home. Books and personal items should be safeguarded. Special care must be given to securing band and orchestra instruments. Never leave these instruments unattended. Never leave books, pocketbooks, etc. unattended on bleachers, steps, or in desks. Please ensure your name is on all your property.

Personal belongings found on school grounds should be turned in to the office. Lost and found items may be claimed in the designated area. The school cannot be responsible for any lost items. Items not claimed by the last day of each 9 weeks will be donated to a charitable organization.

Everyone at SFCMS has the right to eat lunch in a clean, safe environment. Students will be encouraged to use and demonstrate acceptable social manners while using the café facilities. Loud or inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated.

Breakfast and lunch are served daily. Lunch menus will be posted at the beginning of each month. Students may prepay (cash or check) for meals. Prepay should be made directly to the cafeteria staff cashier or manager.

All food items brought to school must be consumed during lunch in the café. After eating, students are asked to leave tables clean and carry lunch trays and silverware to the dishwasher area. Trash must be placed in proper receptacles. Food and lunch trays may not be taken out of the café. Skipping line and saving places for others are not permitted. Opened containers or glass bottles should not be brought to school. Chewing gum is not allowed at school.

All student activities must be school-approved and appropriately supervised. Playing cards of all kinds, games, etc. are not allowed unless part of a school-approved activity.

Celebrations are held at the end of each semester to recognize students who have achieved perfect attendance, A and A/B Honor Rolls, and special honors for academics, conduct, and good character. Student performers and professional presenters are often present at these assemblies. Students are expected to be attentive, respectful of presenters and performers, and to sit in designated sections with their teachers and class. You may show appreciation only through clapping hands.

Art Showcase
Battle of the Books
Campus Life
Chess Club
Civic Oration
DAR Essay
Gaming Club
Geography Bee
Mock United Nations
Quiz Bowl
Science Olympiad
Show Choir
Spelling Bee
Student Council
Yearbook Club

School bus transportation is only available to Seventy-First Classical Middle School students residing in the attendance area district. To ensure the safety of all passengers, students must adhere to the following while riding the bus:

  1. Except for ordinary conversation, students shall observe quiet conduct.
  2. Students shall stay in their seats and face forward.
  3. Students shall refrain from throwing waste paper on the floor of the bus.
  4. Students shall not consume food or drinks on the bus.
  5. No part of the body shall be extended through the bus window at any time.
  6. Students must be quiet while the bus is stopped for railroad crossing.
  7. Students shall not open the emergency door unless an emergency exists.
  8. Students must sit in assigned seats at the discretion of driver or administrator.
  9. Students are liable for all damages to school property.

Students may not ride a bus not assigned to them. Non-bus students cannot ride the bus.

To provide for the safety and proper supervision on campus, students should not arrive before 7:00 a.m. and must be picked up by 2:55 p.m. each school day. Each morning ALL students will exit private vehicles in the car drop-off lane. Morning drop off is NOT to take place in the parking lot in front of the café due to safety issues. If an emergency should cause a delay in pick up, parents/guardians should telephone the school so that supervision can be arranged. Failure to adhere to this policy could result in the student being transferred to the middle school in his/her attendance area. Students remaining after school for scheduled supervised activities must have prearranged transportation for departure at the announced ending time.

Daily announcements related to school and student affairs will be made each morning during homeroom. Students who desire to have activities announced must submit the information in writing and secure a sponsor’s approval.

Only school-approved clubs and organizations are entitled to have fundraising activities. All fund-raising activities must be pre-approved by the Seventy-First Classical Middle School Administration.

90-100 = A
80-89 = B
70-79 = C
60-69 = D
Below 60 = F

Students will have approximately 20 minutes of homework (per teacher) per evening. Projects and long-term assignments are not included in this time frame.

In order to preserve valuable instructional time and to promote the safety of our students, personal calls and deliveries of any kind to students will be allowed in an emergency only.  School phones are used for sickness and emergencies only. Student deliveries of flowers, balloons, food orders, etc. will not be accepted.

Progress Reports will be given to students once during each nine-week period.

(CCS Board Policy IHE)
In order to be promoted from grade 6 to grade 7 and from grade 7 to grade 8, each student must earn a passing grade of 60 in:
• Reading
• Language Arts
• Math
• Science
• Social Studies
• One other course
In order to be promoted from grade 8 to grade 9, each student must demonstrate Mastery equal to or greater than a Level III on the North Carolina Reading, Writing and Mathematics End-of-Grade Tests and must earn a passing grade of 60 in:
• Reading
• Math
• Science
• Social Studies
• Two other courses

Extreme care should be taken in the use of all school equipment and property. Microscopes, band and orchestra instruments, physical education equipment, textbooks, computers, lockers, and even chairs and desks should be used with proper care. You may be held responsible to pay for damages to school property assigned to you which has been negligently abused.

At SFCMS students who have turned in an “Internet Use Agreement” will be allowed to access the Internet. When you use the computers, you have a responsibility to use them correctly. This means that they should not be used to access or create materials that don’t belong at school. This includes, but is not limited to, images and messages that are sexually explicit, grotesquely violent or seek to demean or harass others. Please be aware that the privilege of computer use depends on your ability to use them correctly. You may lose that privilege if you are unable to act responsibly.

Lockers are provided for students’ convenience to keep books and other property needed at school. Each student will be assigned a locker. All books and personal items, when not in use, including heavy coats, are to be kept in your locker. All lockers must maintain a school lock. Please adhere to the locker schedule.

1. Use only lockers assigned to you, and do not share lockers.
2. All lockers must have a lock. Only locks purchased at school may be used on your locker.
3. Do not give locker combinations to other students.
4. Lockers must be kept clean at all times. Writing on the outside or inside of lockers is prohibited.
5. Lockers must be kept in good condition. If a locker is knowingly abused, you will lose the use of the locker and pay for damages.
6. Lockers remain the property of SFCMS and may be subject to inspection by the school administration at any time.
7. Storage of inappropriate or illegal items is not allowed.
8. Students will be charged for loss or damage of school property or equipment placed in their care.

We are proud to offer school sponsored dances and other after-school events for our students to enjoy. All parents/guardians are expected to pick up their children promptly at the conclusion of the event. All after-school dances and events will end no later than 4:30 p.m.

School hours are from 7:30 a.m. until 2:40 p.m. each day. Students should NOT arrive earlier than 7:00 a.m. or remain on the campus later than 2:55 p.m. unless they are participating in supervised activity. SCHOOL DOORS WILL NOT OPEN UNTIL 7:00 am EACH SCHOOL DAY. Supervision WILL NOT be provided for students prior to 7:00 a.m. or after 2:55 p.m. These procedures are designed for the safety and well- being of our students.

Our school policy is to welcome only visitors who have legitimate business at school. Guests and visitors must report to the main office and sign in for authorization before proceeding through the school. Students may not bring visitors to school. Parents are always welcome at Seventy-First Classical Middle School. Parents are encouraged to make appointments to see a teacher during his/her planning time. All approved visitors must sign in at the main office and will be issued a visitor’s badge.

No otherwise qualified individual with a disability shall, solely by reason of his or her disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination from any program or activity of the school. Qualified students with a disability are entitled to a free appropriate public education. Schools actively seek to locate and identify disabled persons ages three through twenty. Compliance with the requirements of Section 504/ADA is coordinated by the Director of the Exceptional Children’s Program of Cumberland County Schools.

Published by Mary Potter on April 30, 2020