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Student Handbook

Welcome to the 2023-2024 School Year!

Welcome to Clewiston Middle School! Being in middle school is an exciting time in your life! The entire staff is committed to making CMS a positive experience for each of you. In order to be successful, it will take a commitment by you as a student, the CMS faculty and staff, as well as by your parents or guardians. With all of us working together, we will provide the best education possible in a school setting that is caring and orderly.

Please review all of the information in this handbook with your parents or guardians to ensure understanding and provide the necessary direction for making this a great year.

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Every accident in the school building, on the school grounds, at practice sessions, or at any event sponsored by the school must be reported immediately to the person in charge and to the school office. Please provide the office with phone numbers so that we may contact parents in the event of an emergency, including home, work, and cell numbers as well as the numbers of a second emergency contact person. School insurance information is available at the beginning of each school year. Please check the Hendry County Schools website for more information.


It is necessary that you attend school every day! Being in school each day is the first step to being successful, both in school and in life.

Absences due to the following reasons will be excused:

  • Illness (A student continually ill and repeatedly absent must be under the supervision of a physician to receive an excused absence.)
  • Death in family
  • Religious holiday
  • Subpoena
  • Other justifiable reasons with prior approval by administration

Parents may submit up to three parent notes per quarter to excuse up to 3 days total, for absences for personal illness of the student. After that, documentation will be required in order to be considered excused. Unexcused absences are any absence that is not excused for one of the verified reasons listed above.

What do you do if you are absent?
Your parent(s) or guardian will need to write a note giving the reason for your absence. You will need to take the note directly to the attendance clerk in the Guidance Office within 48 hours.

How do you get make-up work following an absence?
You will have two days for every excused absence to complete your work. The school has procedures in place for make-up work. The teachers will follow the same procedures in each class in order to make it easier for you to make up your work.

What do I do if my family has a situation that requires me to be out of school for an extended period of time?
If your family has an emergency situation that requires you to be out for an extended period of time, you will need to have your parent or guardian come to the school and meet with administration to get permission for an extended leave.

What if you are late to school?
All students are expected to be in class on time! If you arrive late to school you will need to go to the Front Office for a tardy pass. Students with 3 or more tardies will be assigned a disciplinary consequence.

Where do you go when dropped off at school?

  • ALL students Report to the cafeteria.

The ONLY place for student drop-off is at Gate 4 (closest to the gymnasium). Students CANNOT be dropped off in any other area. THIS IS A SAFETY ISSUE TO ENSURE PROPER MONITORING AND SUPERVISION OF STUDENTS.


Clewiston Middle School is on its way to becoming an AVID school. Through this process we are able to increase the academic success of our students by providing them with peer tutoring, organization, team building and the development of study skills in order to prepare them for college and career readiness. Please keep the following in mind as you use your planner:

  1. Organization: The school has provided you with a binder and a planner, which we expect you to use to record your assignments, class activities, important dates, and other information throughout the year. It is an important communication tool between parents and school personnel.
  2. Every box, every day. You should be writing SOMETHING in your content area box every day. This can be homework, the objective, learning goals, etc. Please make sure you are using the planner to keep learning organized.
  3. Hall Passes: Your teacher has hall pass lanyards for designated areas. You must have a hall pass at all times when leaving the classroom. Students should never be in the hallway during class time without permission.
  4. Take care of your planner: You will be expected to treat your planner like school property. Consequences may follow for deliberate defacement of school property. The replacement fee for a damaged/lost agenda is $5.00.

Students are expected to bring a backpack to school every day!!! Students can have one backpack and one small drawstring bag(for gym clothes). There are currently no aesthetic limitations to backpacks, but administration may deem it necessary to alter this policy at any time. Fanny Packs will not be allowed.


Bullying and harassment of any kind will NOT be tolerated at Clewiston Middle School, and strict consequences are in place for those who violate the policies. Bullying and harassment is defined as unwanted and repetitive verbal comments and non-verbal gestures from one or more students to another and is one-sided. It is systematically and chronically inflicting physical hurt or psychological distress on one or more students or employees, and may involve but is not limited to teasing, social exclusion, threat, intimidation, stalking, physical violence, theft, sexual, religious harassment, racial harassment, public humiliation, and destruction of property. This includes

The Hendry County School Board Bullying/ Harassment Policy can be viewed in its entirety in the Hendry County School District Policies and Procedures. Forms for reporting Bullying/Harassment may be obtained from any Hendry County School Office or the District website. Bullying/Harassment may be reported anonymously.

Everyone has the right to feel physically, mentally, and emotionally safe at school. We will do everything possible to create and  preserve a physically, mentally, and emotionally safe environment. Bullying offenses will be taken very seriously and will be reported to the Administration and the School Resource Officer.

What do I do if I feel I am being bullied or harassed?
You need to tell an adult. The first place to start would be with your teacher if it is happening at school or your bus driver if it is occurring on the bus. If the situation continues, you will need to bring it to the attention of school administration. We will do everything possible to remedy the situation. No student should ever be afraid to come to school!

Campus Travel

You are responsible for creating a nice campus environment for everyone by following
these school-wide expectations for hall travel:

  1. Have your hall pass visible while in the hallway.
  2. Use the sidewalk at all times.
  3. Walk on the right hand side of the sidewalk.
  4. Leave space between you and the person in front of you.
  5. Keep noise to a minimum.
  6. Keep hands, feet, and other objects to yourself.
  7. Food, candy, snacks, etc. are prohibited during bell exchanges.

How do hall passes work?
You must have a pass when you are outside of the
classroom during school hours.


You must have a pass from your teacher in order to visit the clinic. If you are ill, the clinic staff must call home for you. Students are not to use their cell phones or smart watches to contact parents concerning their illness. The school nurse will call home as needed. Please make sure the office/clinic has the correct emergency contact information at all times. Parents must sign the consent form from the nurse in order to receive care.

What if you have to take medicine at school?
Your parent(s) must sign an authorization form approved by the Hendry County School Board, which is available in the school clinic and the main office. The medication, in the original prescription container, must be turned into the school nurse along with the authorized form by the parent/guardian. The medication will be administered in the clinic where records are kept on all medication use. You are responsible for remembering to come to take your medication at the appropriate time. Remember that no student is permitted to carry medication of any kind (except inhalers) with them at school.

Clubs / Activities / Athletics

What rules govern clubs, activities, and athletics?

  1. Students must maintain a 2.0 GPA each semester per the FHSAA.
  2. All athletes must have less than 5 unexcused absences and no more than 8 tardies to class (or school) per semester in order to participate.
  3. Students must be in attendance the entire day in order to participate in any after school practice or event. If the after-school activity is scheduled for Saturday, the student must be in attendance the previous school day.
  4. Athletic teams are governed by the CMS Athletic Handbook.
  5. For any fall sport or activity, eligibility will be determined by the final GPA from the previous semester.
  6. All regular school rules are in effect during all school-related activities.
  7. Only students who attend Clewiston Middle School, Clewiston Christian School, New Harvest Academy, and Home-School students associated with the county, are welcome to participate in after school socials. Any non-traditional students must obtain approval from administration.
  8. All clubs have specific guidelines for participation and will be upheld accordingly
Dress Code

The goal of the CMS dress code is to create a culture of academic excellence by establishing a safe atmosphere for student success. This dress code supports students in expressing their individuality through their personality and academic achievements, rather than outward appearance. Students are expected to come to school well-groomed, neatly dressed and prepared for classes. Students should convey a neat, serious and studious image. It is the joint responsibility of every student, parent/guardian, teacher, and administrator to see that the attire of the student is appropriate and does not interfere with the teaching/learning process. Any time missed due to dress code violations will be unexcused.

The Clewiston Middle School (CMS) student body will adhere to the following dress code.

  1. All students are required to have their ID Badge around their neck and visible at all times.(Students must wear IDs without markings or stickers on them at all times while on CMS campus. Damaged or defaced IDs will be confiscated and the student will have to buy a new one. Replacement cost is $3.00 for the ID, $2.00 for a lanyard.. Failure to wear an ID may result in disciplinary actions.)
  2. TOPS:
    1. Garments with hoods are not allowed.
    2. All students are required to wear a SOLID colored top with a SOLID collar. NO GRAPHICS.
    3. Collars MUST be visible at all times.
    4. Clothing must cover the chest to ensure that cleavage is not exposed. Shirts must extend 3 inches below the waist OR be tucked in.(No exposed skin around the waist.)
    5. Jackets and sweatshirts without hoods are allowed but must be solid in color. (NO GRAPHICS except CMS school spirit items.)
    6. CMS sweatshirts (sold by CMS) are allowed.
    7. CMS House shirts, CMS Club shirts, and Clewiston Tiger Shirts may be worn on ANY day!
    1. Solid color pants, shorts, jeans, slacks, dresses, and skirts.
    2. Shorts, skirts, or dresses must reach mid-thigh or below. Apparel should not be higher than fingertips (in front AND back) with extended arms.
    3. Holes or frays of any kind will not be permitted. (One example of clothing not allowed would be ripped jeans.)
    4. Leggings, yoga pants, athletic spandex, gym shorts, athletic joggers, or pajama pants are NOT permitted.
    5. ALL must fit snug at the waist and be of an appropriate size/fit. There will be ZERO TOLERANCE for the exposure of underwear and/or undergarments (shorts) of any kind. ANY exposure of undergarments will result in an immediate referral to ISS
  4. Intentionally altered clothing or unbuttoned and ill-fitted garments are not acceptable. Ill-fitted garments include, but are not limited to, those that are too small or too large.No skin-tight, oversize, baggy or drop styles are allowed. Students will be sent to ISS to call home for a change of bottoms if out of dress code.
  5. All clothing and other items must be free of words, symbols or graphics that violate common decency, are offensive, profane, suggestive, discriminatory, or promote alcohol, tobacco, anything sex related, violence/death-oriented, drugs or gang affiliation. (Including what is written on skin, backpacks or other items). Administration has the final say on what is considered inappropriate. Administration determination of what is considered inappropriate is final.
  6. NO sunglasses, caps, hats, hoodies, visors, stocking caps, bandanas, bonnets, hair nets or head coverings of any kind. Students who wear these items will have to remove them and they will be confiscated. TIGER CAPS and SPIRIT WEAR can be worn on Fridays only. Tiger Caps must be taken off when indoors.
  7. Safe footwear shall be worn at all times. NO OPEN TOE SHOES, BEDROOM SLIPPERS or CROC STYLE shoes are permitted. All shoes must have a back at the heel. (Proper lace up athletic shoes must be worn during P.E.)
  8. Cell phones must remain powered off and in your backpack while on campus. If seen they will be confiscated and will result in being sent to ISS. The phone will be held in the office and a parent/guardian will have to pick them up at the end of the day. At the end of the day, once students ARRIVE at parent pick up or the bus loop, they will be allowed to use their phones.
  9. NO PERSONAL ELECTRONICS: (No air pods or other Bluetooth or wireless style headphones or earbuds, smart watches, gaming devices or similar.) All electronics will be confiscated and held in the office for parent/guardian pick up.
  10. Some examples of things NOT ALLOWED include (but are not limited to): backless shirts or dresses / bare skin at the waist, abdomen, back or chest / spaghetti strap tank-top shirts / costumes / sleepwear / camisoles / bandanas / tops that completely expose the shoulder / short-shorts (shorts that “ride up” when walking)/ exposed undergarments / clothing that is see through (no mesh, lace or cut outs)
  11. Outerwear shall not be used to cover up dress code violations.

Please Remember. . .

  • If there is a question on appropriate dress, the final decision will be made by the administration.
  • Any personal items, clothing or accessories (including jewelry, hair styles or color, or other adornments) that cause a distraction or disruption in the learning process, or constitute a safety hazard, are considered inappropriate.
  • Students who do not comply with the dress code will not be admitted to class and may receive disciplinary action up to suspension from school and their parent/guardian will be contacted.

CMS administration reserves the right to prohibit the wearing of any article of clothing, accessory or grooming that is considered disruptive to the educational process and to make changes to the dress code at any time, if circumstances dictate.

Electronic Devices

Students will be issued a chrome book for their educational needs. There will be strict consequences for students found using their chromebooks inappropriately. It is expected that all other electronic devices (cell phones, I-pods, tablets, headphones, earbuds, apple watches, etc.) be left at home during school hours. If seen using any electronic device during instructional hours, the device will be taken to the principal’s secretary and only a parent can pick it up from the school at the end of the school day. All devices brought from home are the individual student’s responsibility. The school will not be responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged devices.

Expected Student Conduct

Students will earn consequences for inappropriate behavior, including (but not limited to) warnings, conferences, time-outs, ISS, out of school suspension, alternative placement and/or expulsion. You have a responsibility to yourself and to others to conduct yourself appropriately throughout the school day. Listed below are some of the school rules for Clewiston Middle School:

  1. Students are not permitted to display gang-related drawings or writings on any possessions, including but not limited to clothing, notebooks, or book bags
  2. Loitering, or sitting on campus, is not permitted before or after school.
  3. Students are not permitted to embrace or display other overt signs of affection.
  4. All non-school items should remain at home, such as: rubber bands, toys, stuffed animals, trading cards, laser pointers, fidget items, large amounts of money, expensive jewelry, items to sell, etc. Non-school items will be sent to the office and a parent must pick them up. Items not claimed within 48 hours will be discarded.
  5. Permanent markers and whiteout are not permitted on campus.
  6. Gum is not to be used during school hours.
  7. Consumption of candy, food, and drinks is not permitted in the building unless supervised by a teacher. Water is permitted in a clear container only. It must be kept away from school technology.
  8. Students are not permitted to engage in activities related to gambling.
  9. Food and drinks may not leave the cafeteria at the end of the lunch period.
  10. Students are not permitted to have their cell phones or personal electronics (smart watches, airpods, headphones, etc.) on or visible during the school day. All cell phones and personal electronics must be turned off AND must be kept in a backpack

All fees (IDs, lost and damaged Chromebooks, books, library fines, restitution, cafeteria costs, etc.) and monies will be collected by the bookkeeper. Fees may be paid before, during, or after school by students and at any time by parents. Checks and cash will be accepted as a form of payment. Fees will carry over from year to year

Guidance Services

What can the guidance counselors do for me? The counselor can help you understand your problems, educational plans, vocational plans, personal development, home, and family relations. Many other topics of interest are explored through both group counseling and individual conferences. Counselors will keep information  onfidential unless disclosure is legally required to prevent danger to the student or others.

How can I see my guidance counselor?
Students may fill out a counselor request form that is located in the front office or may request a meeting via email.


The school has no accident insurance. Students are offered inexpensive insurance at the beginning of the school year. All students should be covered on some insurance policy. The Florida KidCare Program also offers health insurance to those who qualify. Information on insurance is available on the Hendry County Schools website.

Lost and Found

All lost and found items should be brought to the main office. If you lose something, check with the school secretary in the main office. Items not claimed are donated to charity following the winter break and again after the school year ends.

Media Center

Students may use the Media during selected times unless otherwise noted.

What happens if you lose or damage a library book?
Many of our library books are new and very expensive. Please help us keep our library book collections new and in good shape. The media specialist will check the condition of the returned book. If there is damage, it will be you and your parent’s responsibility to pay for the damages.

Parent Drop Off / Pick Up Area

The ONLY place for student drop-off is at Gate 4 (closest to the gymnasium). Students CANNOT be dropped off in any other area. THIS IS A SAFETY PROCEDURE TO ENSURE PROPER MONITORING AND SUPERVISION OF STUDENTS AT ALL TIMES.

Where do you go when dropped off at school?
ALL Students must report to the cafeteria. Students will not be permitted to use the front office as an access to the campus in the morning or afternoon. All gates other than these gates will be locked.

Physical Education

All students scheduled into PE are expected to participate in class activities. Students will be required to change for gym class into a PE uniform . All students will be required to wear blue gym/athletic shorts with a 9 inch inseam and a gray t-shirt. Gym sets will be for sale at the beginning of the year for $25. Gym clothing must meet CMS dress code requirements listed in the dress code section. Students must also wear sneakers that are flat and safe, which tie or Velcro. Students who do not dress out will receive a zero in the gradebook unless previously approved by the P.E. teacher. Parental notes for legitimate, short-term excuses from physical activity will be accepted for a maximum of 2 days. If a student needs to be exempt from PE for a longer period, a doctor’s note or a PE Waiver must be turned in to the office stating the reason.

Report Cards/Progress Reports

Report cards are distributed at the end of each nine-week grading period. Report cards contain academic grades as well as attendance data. Scholastic or academic grades will be given according to the following scale: A= 90-100, B= 80-89, C=70-79, D=60-69, F=0-59. Progress Reports are issued 4 ½ weeks after the beginning of each nine weeks. Teachers will expect parents to sign and return progress reports and report cards the following school day.

Parent/ Teacher Conferences will be scheduled after the progress reports are distributed. This is an important meeting to attend especially since there is time to improve grades before report cards are distributed. You can find the dates of the conferences on our web-site or a call out will be made regarding the dates a few days prior. All parents have access to student grades via our FOCUS Portal. It is very important that you monitor your child’s progress weekly!

Students who fail 2 or more core subjects will not be promoted to the next grade level , will not be permitted to participate in 8th grade graduation or gradventure, and will be required to attend summer school.

Safety Drills

Several safety drills will be conducted during the school year for the safety of our students. These drills will include; fire drills, hazardous weather drills, and active assailant drills. Each time a new drill is introduced, your teacher/s will give you detailed explanations of what is expected of you, what you can expect, and the procedures you will need to follow. Drills are opportunities to practice what to do in case of an emergency. We understand, as parents, that it is uncomfortable to hear that these types of drills need to be addressed. However, we want to prepare our students here at Clewiston Middle School should any such situation arise. If an emergency situation ever arises, parents/guardians will be notified via Remind App. It is imperative that you keep the office updated with any changes in contact information!

Please note that during drills or if a situation would ever occur and we would have to go into a lock-down situation, parents will not be permitted to check students out of school until law enforcement has the situation under control and grants us permission to do so. Please know that our staff at Clewiston Middle School puts the safety of your child first!

School Hours

TEACHER DAY – 7:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. | STUDENT DAY 7:20 a.m. – 2:20 p.m

  • 7:00 a.m. - Student supervision begins, Students may arrive on campus, Students report to cafeteria, Office Opens
    • *Earliest Drop-Off time – 7:00 a.m. (Gate closes at 7:15am)
  • 7:20 a.m. - Tardy bell / Classes begin
  • 1:30 p.m. - NO student check-out or dismissal changes after this time
  • 2:20 p.m. - Dismissal
  • 2:30 p.m. - Teacher supervision ends
School Resource Officer

A School Resource Officer from the Hendry County Sheriff's Office is assigned to CMS. He/ She will be monitoring our campus throughout the day.


Self-Discipline is being responsible for your choices and thinking about the  consequences of those choices before taking action. We expect you to be responsible and make proper choices for yourself by:

  • accepting consequences for your actions
  • concentrating on your work and developing good study habits
  • ignoring, asking them to stop, or telling an adult when someone acts or speaks unkindly
  • learning to LISTEN when others are speaking
  • learning to show emotions in appropriate ways
  • setting realistic goals and striving to reach them
  • showing respect for all people of all ages
  • using self-control at all times

Telephones are available for teacher use in each classroom. Phones are not available for general business that should be handled at home before coming to school. Students may not use their personal phones to make calls or text. Parents wishing to speak to a teacher should schedule a time during their conference period.


Students are expected to properly care for textbooks and assume full responsibility for the care of books loaned to them. If you lose or damage a textbook, you will be assessed a fee to replace or cover the damage. Upon payment for a lost book, another book will be issued. If your original book is found and returned undamaged, a full refund will be made.

Title I

Clewiston Middle School is a Title I school. All students receive supplemental services through staff, materials, and supplies supported with Title I funds. The purpose of Title I is to help ensure that all children have the opportunity to obtain a high-quality education and reach proficiency on challenging state academic standards and assessments


All visitors on campus will be expected to produce a driver's license or other form of approved identification.Visitors must check in, obtain approval and a pass from the office before continuing onto campus. Passes must be visible at all times while on campus. Students are not allowed to bring guests to school during regular school hours.