Spring 2016 Backpack Policy
All students are reminded to refer to the student handbook concerning the dress code. Teachers are reminded to send students to the office or contact Mr. Lewis or Mrs. Spencer if you have students who are in violation of the dress code. Students in violation will be required to call home to have appropriate attire delivered to them.
 
Although Keyser High School’s primary purpose is to provide a state-recognized educational program, students’ safety and security are paramount. There is a sacred trust with parents and the community to provide this educational program in a safe and secure environment. Just like educational programs, the school safety and security program must be guided by best practices and evidence-based programming. A new book bag policy is just one component of a much larger initiative to ensure students’ safety and security. Therefore, beginning Wednesday, January 6, all book bags must be stored in lockers upon entering school and must remain there until the school day concludes. There has been great feedback from the students and these frequently asked questions are a result of their inquiries and a productive conference with the student council.
 
Why must book bags be stored?

Book bags interfere with movement during emergencies prohibiting unobstructed access to and from the classroom. Even just one large book bag in the aisle can have serious consequences if it leads to accidents. In addition, book bags create opportunities to conceal inappropriate materials and contraband.

What is the difference between a “book bag” and a “purse/pocketbook?”

Anything that is big enough to carry books will be considered a book bag under this policy including: drawstring bags, satchels, tote bags and laptop cases. Laptop sleeves in which a laptop can be held will be permissible to protect the laptop.

Why now?

From the first day of school, carrying book bags has been a safety concern. However, the tipping point came when the Sheriff’s Department and State Police arrived with their dogs to complete a random sweep of the school. The school was locked down, and they swept the building and parking lots. During the course of the sweep, they checked several lockers and found all of them empty. To complete a school security sweep, every single classroom must be entered. This is neither feasible nor conducive to a safe school. Having the ability to complete a thorough and rapid sweep is critical in all emergency situations.

What if students do not know locker locations or combinations?

Students may pick up this information from their advisory teachers.

What if students do not have lockers or lockers are broken?

Students should see Mrs. Jordan in guidance.

Do students have enough time between classes?

There are five minutes between every class. Every student has just four classes. It is not unreasonable to expect students to carry one or two books with them until they have time to reach their lockers. Carrying book bags burdens students with a day’s worth of books and materials all at once.

Do students have enough time to return to lockers and still board buses on time?

Yes. Mr. Baker, Director of Support Services, and Deputy Ellifritz, School Resource Officer, have confirmed that buses may not leave before students have the opportunity to get to their lockers and to their respective buses. This really affects only the first few buses that leave within the first five minutes following dismissal.

How does this apply to students attending the Mineral County Technical Center (MCTC) and/or the Mineral County Alternative School (MCAS)?

Students attending the MCTC and/or the MCAS first block (8:05 am) may keep their book bags in their possession until they return to The KHS. At that time, they store their book bags. Furthermore, students attending the MCTC/AS during second or third blocks have five minutes necessary to retrieve items from their lockers and to reach buses. Finally, students returning to The KHS from the MCTC/AS for lunch must first store their book bags before reporting to the cafeteria.

Where may students store my gym bags for extracurricular activities?

B104 has been converted to an athletic storage room. All KHS athletes may store equipment there. Coaches have keys to secure the area. In addition, students may have lockers assigned to them in the appropriate locker rooms.

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MINERAL COUNTY SCHOOLS: 1 Baker Place, Keyser, WV. 26726      |      Phone: 304-788-4200      |      Fax: 304-788-4204
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