Student and Parent Handbook 2017-18

School Closings and Delayed Start Times

If our district closes schools or delays start times, announcements will be made on local television and radio stations, on the APS Emergency Line, 303-326-1080, and sent to parent phones using Connect-Ed.

When inclement weather hits Aurora, APS Support Services staff work to determine how the weather will impact the school day.

How Weather Conditions are Assessed

When inclement weather hits our city, APS staff members assess conditions beginning just after midnight to determine the impact on operations. Should we need to close schools or delay the start of the school day, Superintendent Rico Munn and staff will make the decision as early as possible.

Once a decision is made, information about the decision is shared as soon as possible with all media, posted on the APS Web site, recorded on the APS Emergency Line-- 303-326-1080, and sent to parent phones using Connect-Ed.

Delayed Start Times

Should APS staff make the decision to delay school, the school day would begin one hour later than normal. Staff members are expected to arrive at school as close to their regular start time as is safely possible as some students will arrive on time.

APS buses will pick up students one hour later than normal.  Our top priority is to keep students and staff as safe as possible.

Please note: A delayed start does not change regular pick-up times at the end of the school day.


Columbia Middle School Discipline Policy:

Among the goals of the staff of Columbia Middle School is the desire to help students develop a sense of personal pride and self-discipline. This maturing process can only occur in a supportive encouraging, positive, respectful and well-disciplined environment. Unity of purpose, cooperation, and communication between staff, students, and parents will enable all of us to achieve this goal.

In order to be successful, a student needs to be:

  1. Prompt -- to each and every class;
  2. Prepared -- materials in hand, homework complete;
  3. Positive -- negative, self-defeating thoughts set aside;
  4. Attentive -- open-minded, ready to participate and learn; and
  5. Respectful -- of self and others, teachers and classmates.

Student behavior contrary to these keys for success result in an infraction of school rules. Depending on the severity of the infraction, the staff response will usually follow the procedure below:

Responses by teachers and other staff:

  1. Verbal warning, student/teacher conference
  2. Written warning
  3. Parent phone call
  4. Teacher/team detention
  5. Teacher/team/parent conference
  6. In-team suspension
  7. Administrative office referral

Administrative responses:

  1. Conference
  2. After school detention
  3. Behavior contract and parent contract
  4. In-house suspension*
  5. Out-of-School suspension
  6. Re-entry conference
  7. Recommendation for expulsion from school

*A suspension where students are supervised in a room and are given work assigned by their teachers. Any student who is disruptive during in-house will be suspended.

The goal of any discipline procedure is to change student behavior. Unwillingness to change often leads to repeated infractions that accelerate the discipline procedure. The student must realize the procedure ends the moment he/she chooses to follow the rules and take responsibility.

Tempering our procedure is the desire to understand the student's stage of development and the circumstances surrounding each situation. Each viewpoint will be heard before a judgment is made. Please follow our lead in waiting until all the "facts" are known before making a judgment. We expect behavior which is "reasonable" and in turn will allow the student to "start over" following an infraction.

Parental support and cooperation is extremely important in helping students learn from mistakes and mature into young adulthood. We will do our best to communicate with parents. Students receive official discipline forms for many infractions and are expected to share these with their parents. Some will even require a return signature. Besides making frequent phone calls to parents, we will appreciate receiving calls from parents when clarification is needed or we have overlooked something.

For additional information regarding discipline, please refer or to the Columbia Middle School Handbook.

Dress Standards:

Students need to wear clothing to school that is appropriate and not a distraction.

Students will be required by staff to change into more appropriate attire prior to returning to classes or activities. (This may include putting on sweatshirt, wearing a Columbia shirt, contacting parent(s) or guardians to bring acceptable clothing to school, etc.) The administrative team will make all final determinations about the appropriateness of clothing.

Specific guidelines:

  1. Students are not to wear hats or head gear in the school building. This includes, but is not limited to, ball caps, stocking hats, scarves, bandanas, do-rags, hairnets, beanies, headbands, visors, etc. Exemptions and special circumstances will be handled by the administrative team on a case-by-case basis.
  2. Sagging pants and exposed underwear (boxers, bras, thongs, etc.) are not allowed. No wristbands or legbands.
  3. Spaghetti straps, low cut tops, jersey shirts without undershirts, bare midriffs, house slippers, pajama pants, and short shorts or skirts are not allowed. Skirt and short length are to be mid-thigh.
  4. Clothes with offensive puns, language or graphics (including, but not limited to, profanity, music groups, drug or alcohol logos) are not allowed.
  5. Certain belt buckles, "dangling" belts, chains (wallet chains, pants or belt chains) shaved eyebrows, and gloves are not allowed.
  6. Dressing alike for the purpose of intimidation or disruptive behavior will not be allowed.
  7. These rules apply at all times (24/7) that a student may be in the building or at lunch (during classes, activities, athletics, conferences, etc.).

Medications at School:

Prescription and non-prescription medications may be administered during the school day by district personnel according to the procedure outlined in School Policy JLCD and JLCD-R.

For all non-prescription medications, a student's parent or guardian shall make a written request for school personnel to administer medications by providing a completed medication administration authorization form. For all prescription medications, both parent/guardian and physician signatures are required. Middle school students may carry one day's worth of non-prescription medications for self-administration during the school day when developmentally appropriate. Prescription medications supplied by the student's parent or guardian must be in the original container from the pharmacy with a label that includes the student's name, name of medication, dosage, time and number of days, and doctor's name. Non-prescription medications must also be in the original labeled container, and should include the student's name.

Open Enrollment:

Students who live within the attendance boundaries of a school will be given first priority to enroll in that school, followed by students who live within the Aurora Public Schools boundaries, but not within the attendance boundaries of the school in which they wish to enroll (Intra-District). If the school still remains below its program capacity after these students have had the opportunity to enroll, students who do not live within the Aurora Public Schools boundaries will be considered (Inter-District).

Open enrollment is based on program building capacity. Approval is granted or denied at the end of the first two weeks of school for both intra and inter-district applicants and again at the beginning of each semester for intra-district applications. An application must be completed every year for continued open enrollment. Approval is for ONE YEAR ONLY and may not be granted in successive years if the school requested for open enrollment reaches capacity or its capacity is redefined. The final decision for granting open enrollment is made by the principal of the requested school.