Old Town Elementary School
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  Old Town Elementary School


221 SE 136th Avenue
Old Town, Florida 32680
Phone:  (352) 541-6253
Fax:  (352) 469-3035

District Website:  www.dixie.k12.fl.us

School Time/Office Hours
Official School Hours
7:55 AM - 2:15 PM
         7:55  Students Report to Homeroom
8:05  Tardy Bell

Office Hours
7:55 am - 3:00 pm
*Parents will not be admitted to the office prior to 7:55

Karen Tillis, Principal

          Remember to read every night for 20 minutes!

We challenge students to reach for their Dreams of Greatness.

We believe it is important to provide an environment that will encourage each student to reach his/her optimum physical, social, emotional, intellectual, and aesthetic level of development.  We recognize the importance of coordinating the efforts of the community, school, and home to best meet the needs of each student.  Our goal is the development of responsible citizens who will value the dignity of each human being and become contributing members of a democratic society.

The staff, students, and parents of Old Town Elementary School are on a quest to develop positive attitudes towards learning.  We will prepare students to become responsible citizens and productive member of their communities.  By increasing their knowledge and understanding of themselves and their world, they will be prepared for college and future careers.

                                                                                                  ****VERY IMPORTANT***

Old Town Elementary School will provide supervision to its students according to FL Statute 1003-31 (2):
  • During the time he/she is attending school.
  • During the time the student is on the school premises participating in a school-sponsored activity.
  • During a reasonable time (30minutes) before and after school.

School Operating Procedures
  • Students who want to eat breakfast must be dropped off by 7:45AM.  Students will be considered tardy if they are eating breakfast after 8:05.
  • If dropped off before 7:55 AM, students must go straight to breakfast even if they are not going to eat breakfast.  
  • Except for Pre K, buildings will not open for parents until 7:55.
In order to ensure student safety and maximize instructional time, students arriving to school after 8:15 will be escorted to class by school personnel.  Students being checked out prior to 2:00 will be called to the office by school personnel.
  • Parents should exit all classrooms by 8:15.
  • All transportation changes must be made by 1:30 PM

                                                                                                       COUNTY DIRECTORY

School Board Members
Tim Alexander, Chairperson
Paul Gainey, Vice Chairperson
Crystal Bush
Chuck Farmer
Dwayne “Top” Rollison

Superintendent of Schools
Michael Thomas  498-6131

District Personnel
Buddy Schofield,
 Director of Secondary and Elementary Education 498-6135

Jerry Wayne Evans,
 Director of Support Services & Special Projects        498-6150

     Alexa Mills
     Student Services & Exceptional Student Education  498-6146

Linda Fowler,
Director of Food Services       498-6284

P. J. Hope
Transportation Coordinator      498-6160

Marilyn Philmon
Early Intervention Coordinator  498-6112

Tonya Howell,
Finance Director        498-6106

Carol Ann Forehand,
Title I Director        498-6137

School Directory (352) 542-7818
Karen Tillis, Principal
Chris Lord, Assistant Principal
Christy Sache, Counselor
Dianna Robsinson, Data Entry
Kim Tucker, Bookkeeper
Gail Rains, Reading Coach

School Telephone 542-7818
Attendance      Ext. 6311
Cafeteria       Ext. 6380
General Information     Ext. 6300
Guidance        Ext. 6311
Health room     Ext. 6363
Principal       Ext. 6301
Assistant Principal     Ext. 6302

General School Information Procedures

Currently, Dixie District schools provide universal free breakfast and lunch to all students.

Nutritionally balanced breakfast is served daily.  A menu of at least 4 items is offered. PK and K are required to take 4 items. Other students are encouraged to take at least 3 of the food items.
LUNCH :              
Nutritionally balanced lunches are served daily.  Each lunch menu consists of at least 5 items.  PK and K are required to take 5 items. Other students are encouraged to take at least 3 of the food items.  Students in grades PK-5 are offered a choice of 2 different menus each day.

Enrollment requirements
  • A child must be 5 years old on or before September 1st to enter Kindergarten.
  • To register for first grade, a child must be 6 years old on or before September 1st and must have successfully completed Kindergarten.
  • A school entry physical exam
  • A Florida certificate of immunization. In compliance with section 232.032, Florida Statutes, and School Policies 5.103 and 5.104, all students, regardless of grade level, must have a Florida Certificate of immunization or be in the process of getting one.  Student not complying with the law will be subject to suspension until the necessary immunization is begun.
  • Birth Certificate

If a student is withdrawing for any reason, we request that the parent come see guidance.  There is a form that faculty and staff should fill out before the child enters another school.  In addition, if a child is being placed into homeschool, the parent must call 131 and speak to Sharon McCall.

The Exceptional Student Education Program serves students in a self-contained or resource room capacity.  Our program includes three self-contained Varying Exceptional Units and resource room when deemed by the IEP team in the best interest of each child.
It is the policy of the Board of Education to provide a free and appropriate public education to each disabled student within its jurisdiction, regardless of the nature or severity of the disability.  It is the intent of the district to ensure the students who are disabled within the definition of Section 504 / ADA of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 are identified, evaluated and provided with appropriate educational services.  Students may be disabled even though they do not require services under this policy pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  Due process rights of disabled students and their parents under Section 504 will be enforced.  The coordinator of Section 504 / ADA activities is:  Alexa Mills  (352)

Alexa Mills
ESE and Student Services,
Instructional Services Building
(352) 498-6146     FAX: (352) 498-1308

FLAG - PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE                                                  
Florida Statutes require that the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag be recited at the beginning of the day in every public elementary and secondary school in the state. Exemption – from participation may be provided upon written request of the parent/guardian.

         GUIDANCE PROGRAM                                                                       
The Guidance Program offers to each student instruction in life skills, small group counseling, individual counseling, parent consultation, and referrals for support services such as psychological testing and mental health counseling.  The Guidance Program helps coordinate the efforts of the Student Service Plan.

The Media Center is open for student use at various times throughout the school day.  The Media Center supports and supplements the instruction in the classroom by supplying additional books and materials to teachers.

As always, OTES wants to keep parents informed of their child’s academic progress.  However, parent/teacher conferences shall not occur without prior arrangement to minimize unnecessary instructional interruptions.  Please check the calendar for prescheduled parent conferences in the fall and spring.

Students are required to attend PE 150 minutes every week.  To be exempt from PE a student must bring a note signed by his/her doctor or parent/guardian.  Students are also required to receive 20 minutes of free play daily.

A Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten program serves 4 years old students. The Handicapped Preschool Program serves identified assessed 3 or 4-year-old students with an active IEP.  

From time to time, we at OTE, recognize students' names/pictures/achievements in the public domain (newspaper, radio, and/or Internet).  If you prefer NOT to have your child recognized publicly, please submit your wishes in a written letter to the principal.

HEALTH PROGRAM                                                                         
The Dixie County School System has a comprehensive health program that includes the following for Kindergarten, and First Grade – vision, hearing, height/weight and dental screenings, and Second and Third grades are screened for height/weight and dental.  School health technicians provide services such as: first aid administration, issuance of doctor ordered medications, evaluations, referral of medical situations, and maintenance of mandated medical records.  A medical team consisting of a medical doctor/physician’s assistant/or an advanced nurse practitioner, and possibly an LPN, who are employed by the Dixie County Health Department evaluates and treats students for one-two hours in the school clinic free of charge, as scheduled.  The students must have a notarized parental consent form in order to be seen by the medical team.

An RN coordinates the school health program and provides age appropriate health education programs to various grade levels. Programs may include: alcohol/drug prevention, violence/suicide prevention, AIDS prevention, healthy habits program, a child abuse prevention program, an asthma health education program and hygiene/puberty Program.  If you have questions concerning the Health Program, please call 542-7818 EXT 363 (school clinic)

Epinephrine Use and Supply

A student who has experienced or is at risk for life-threatening allergic reactions may carry an epinephrine auto-injector and self-administer epinephrine by auto-injector while in school, participating in school-sponsored activities, or in transit to or from school or school-sponsored activities if the school has been provided with parental and physician authorization. The State Board of Education, in cooperation with the Department of Health, shall adopt rules for such use of epinephrine auto-injectors that shall include provisions to protect the safety of all students from the misuse or abuse of auto-injectors. A school district, county health department, public-private partner, and their employees and volunteers shall be indemnified by the parent of a student authorized to carry an epinephrine auto-injector for any and all liability with respect to the student’s use of an epinephrine auto-injector pursuant to this paragraph.
The school district and its employees, agents, and the physician who provides the standing protocol for school epinephrine auto-injectors are not liable for any injury arising from the use of an epinephrine auto-injector administered by trained school personnel who follow the adopted protocol and whose professional opinion is that the student is having an anaphylactic reaction:
a.Unless the trained school personnel’s action is willful and wanton;
b.Notwithstanding that the parents or guardians of the student to whom the epinephrine is administered have not been provided notice or have not signed a statement acknowledging that the school district is not liable; and
c.Regardless of whether authorization has been given by the student’s parents or guardians or by the student’s physician, physician’s assistant, or advanced registered nurse practitioner.


                                Administration of Emergency Medication                                            
School Board Policy 5.15                          

Administration of Emergency Medication (a) Schools may purchase and maintain a supply of epinephrine auto injectors to use when a student is having an anaphylactic reaction. The medication shall be kept in a locked, secure location accessible only to trained personnel. (b) The School Board shall adopt a protocol, developed by a licensed physician, for the administration of epinephrine in emergency situations. (c) Only school personnel who are trained to recognize an anaphylactic reaction and certified to administer an epinephrine auto-injector or a person who is authorized by an authorized health care practitioner shall be permitted to administer this medication; however, the auto-injector may be given to a student who is authorized to self-administer an epinephrine auto-injector. (d) Under the provisions of Florida Statutes, the District trained and certified personnel, or an uncertified person who administers an epinephrine auto-injector under the authorization of an authorized health care provider shall not be liable for any injury resulting from the administration of an auto-injector provided that school personnel were trained or authorized as provided by law, followed the established protocol and believed that the student was having an anaphylactic reaction

Head Lice are a common occurrence in the school setting.  The Dixie County Health Department has a “nit” policy regulation meaning that a student can have dead nits and may return to school.  However, students may not have live nits anywhere near the scalp of the head.  School-wide head checks are not made at Old Town Elementary School.  If a student is sent home with lice, he/she will have three excused absences to be seen by the school nurse and be cleared for reentry.  After three days, the absences become unexcused.         

Students in grades K--5 must demonstrate mastery of the Math, Reading, English Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, and Health State Standards and Benchmarks. Mastery of standards will be determined through teacher observations, classroom assignments, teacher-made test, state-mandated tests, norm-reference tests and portfolios.

Each student will receive a letter grade in each subject at the end of each grading period based on the following scale.

Kindergarten            S – Satisfactory
                        W – Working but not yet satisfactory
                        N – Needs Improvement
                        U - Unsatisfactory

Grades 1-5                              A        90-100                                I - Incomplete
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        B     80-89                              S - Satisfactory
                                                 C     70-79                                  U - Unsatisfactory
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         D      60-69                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         F      0-59

Make-Up Work:  It is the responsibility of the student/parent to make arrangements for completing classroom assignments during his/her absence.  Students are allowed ample time to make-up work.  Students are allowed two school days for each absence.  Example:  three days absence equals six school days to make-up work.  However, if the end of a grading period or semester is near, the student/parent needs to be aware of assignments due.

The comprehensive program for student progression must include: 1. Standards for evaluating each student’s performance, including how well he or she masters the performance standards approved by the State Board of Education. 2. Specific levels of performance in reading, writing, science, and mathematics for each grade level, including the levels of performance on statewide assessments as defined by the commissioner.  3. Appropriate placement for a student who has been retained two or more years.  Each student should participate in the statewide and district assessments required by law.  Each student who does not meet specific levels of performance as determined by the Dixie District School Board or Florida Department of Education in ELA, Mathematics, and Science for each grade level, will be provided strategies for appropriate intervention and instruction.  If a student doesn’t meet the requirements of the school Board or State of Florida, Old Town Elementary school, in conjunction with the parent, will implement a progress-monitoring and assessment plan.  The student shall be covered by one of the following plans to target instruction and identify ways to improve his or her academic achievement:

A)  A school wide system of progress monitoring for all students.
  • An individualized progress-monitoring plan.  (RtI/MTSS)  
  • An individual education plan (IEP

The plan chosen must be designed to assist the student or the school in meeting district       
and state expectations towards proficiency.  If the student has been identified as having a     
deficiency in reading or math, the plan shall include instructional strategies and support to    
be provided to meet the desired levels of performance.  Each student who does not meet
the minimum performance expectations defined by Dixie District and State of Florida in   
ELA, Mathematics and Science must continue to be provided with remedial or supplemental instruction until the expectations are met.

Elimination of Social Promotion:   1. No student may be assigned to a grade level based solely on age or other factors that constitute social promotion. 2. The district school board may only exempt students from mandatory retention, as provided in paragraph (5) (b), for good cause. Good Cause exemptions shall be limited to the following: a. Limited English proficient students who have had less than 2 years of instruction in English for Speakers or Other Languages program. b. Students with disabilities whose individual education plan indicates that participation in the statewide assessment program is not appropriate, consistent with the requirements of State Board of Education rule. c. Students who demonstrate an acceptable level of performance on an alternative standardized reading assessment approved by the State Board of Education. d. Students who demonstrate, through a student portfolio, that the student is reading on grade level as evidenced by demonstration of mastery of the Florida Standards in reading equal to at least a Level 2 performance on the FSA. e. Students with disabilities who participate in the FSA and who have an individual education plan or a Section 504 plan that reflects that the student has received intensive remediation in reading for more than 2 years but still demonstrates a deficiency in reading and was previously retained in kindergarten, grade 1, grade 2, or grade 3. f. Students who have received intensive remediation in reading for 2 or more years but still demonstrate a deficiency in reading and who were previously retained in kindergarten, grade 1, grade 2, or grade 3 for a total of 2 years. Intensive reading instruction for students so promoted must include an altered instructional day that includes specialized diagnostic information and specific reading strategies for each student. The district school board shall assist schools and teachers to implement reading strategies that research has shown to be successful in improving reading among low-performing readers. 1) Documentation shall be submitted from the student’s teacher to the school principal that indicates that the promotion of the student is appropriate and is based upon 11 the student’s academic record. In order to minimize paperwork requirements, such documentation shall consist only of the existing progress monitoring plan, individual educational plan, if applicable, report card, or student portfolio.
2) The school principal shall review and discuss such recommendation with the teacher and make the determination as to whether the student should be promoted or retained. If the school principal determines that the student should be promoted, the school principal shall make such recommendation in writing to the district superintendent. The district school superintendent shall accept or reject the school principal’s recommendation in writing.

Retention K-3:  IOWA/FSA is not the sole determinant for promotion/retention of students. Therefore, a final placement decision will rest with the teacher AND the principal.  In most cases, when a student appears to have an achievement problem early in his/her school career and when retention is a possible action, it should normally be considered in the primary years. No more than two retentions shall occur in grades K-3. When it has been determined that a child will be retained, the parent or guardian will be notified in writing. Every effort will be made to conference with the parent prior to the final decision. The communication between the parent and teacher should be on–going throughout the school year.  Students in grades K through two may be considered for retention if they do not successfully complete the requirements of their ELA and mathematics courses.  The basic requirement in grades K-2 includes (but not limited to) attendance, student grades, mastery of Florida Standards, student scores below the 40th percentile in Total Reading and/or Total Math on a district used nationally normed reference test. (such as SAT10) or IWOA)  An LEP or ESE student may be exempt from this criteria if there is documentation from an articulation staffing containing the recommendation and reasons for the student’s exemption
Retention Grades 4-5:  FSA is not the sole determinant for promotion/retention of students.   Students in grades 4-5 may be retained for attendance, student grades, mastery of Florida Standards, or scoring Level 2 or below on FSA: ELA, Mathematics, or Science.

Third Grade Reading Requirements  FSA (Florida Standards Assessment)
  • What FSA Reading score does a third grade student need to achieve for promotion to the fourth grade?
Reading scores affect students in grade 3 for promotion and retention purposes. Students in grade 3 must score Level 2 or higher on FSA Reading, with achievement levels ranging from 1-5, to be promoted [Section 1008.25(5), Florida Statutes (F.S.)].  It is possible for a third grade student to be exempted from the retention requirement and be promoted prior to the beginning of their fourth grade year using a good cause exemption; however, some districts may have additional requirements for promotion as part of their local Student Progression Plan adopted by their local school boards.

  • What promotion options are available for grade 3 students who have not achieved a level 2?
Some students in grade 3 who score Level 1 on FSA Reading may be exempted from the retention requirement and be promoted to fourth grade [Section 1008.25 (6), F.S.]. This is called a “good cause” exemption.  Please read section Elimination of Social Promotion.

  • Will students scoring Level 1 on the FSA Reading be retained in other grades or only in third grade?
Third grade is the only grade at which there is a state-mandated retention for public school students [Section 1008.25(b), F.S.]. School districts must establish a comprehensive program for student progression that includes specific levels of performance in reading, writing, science, and mathematics for each grade level, including the levels of performance on statewide assessments, below which a student must receive remediation or be retained within an intensive program that is different from the previous year’s program and takes into account the student’s learning style. The promotion/retention policy for all grade levels must be specified in the district’s Student Progression Plan.

Parents have the right to know their child's level of academic achievement in all subject areas. Also parents have the right to know if their child’s teacher meets the criteria for a “highly qualified” professional teacher.
Parents/guardians who wish to check students out from school before the end of the school day may do so by signing them out at the front desk. A driver's license (or picture identification) will be asked if the parent/guardian is unknown to the front desk personnel.  If a parent/guardian possesses court orders prohibiting another person from having contact with their child, please bring the original court orders to the front desk. Copies will be made for the student's records and proper school officials will be notified.   Court orders must be updated each year.

All visitors to the school must first report to the school office.  Permission to visit the school campus will be given only to parents/guardians of enrolled students and office approved individuals with school business. No student visitors are allowed.  All visitors are required to have a visitor's pass from the office while on campus. All unregistered visitors will be escorted to the front office.
Speak Out
It is the goal of Old Town Elementary School that all students and school employees have an educational setting that is safe, secure, and free from harassment and bullying of any kind.  The most powerful weapon any student has is their mouth!  If you know of any person that is being bullied or you are being bullied, please notify faculty, staff or administration immediately.  You can also call the hotline at (352 498-6130.  
The student incentive program recognizes students who demonstrate outstanding academic performance (“A”, “A-B”, “S” Honor Rolls), outstanding behavior, citizenship and attendance.
Students are responsible for all books issued or checked out during the school year.  Students are expected to pay for books lost, damaged, made unusable and/or not returned.
Buses transport the majority of the students at OTES.  Students should follow the bus rules listed.  Improper behavior on the bus could endanger the lives of the children and result in an office referral.    Students will not normally be permitted to ride a different bus or dropped off at any place other than a regular bus stop.  In an emergency situation, such as family illness, etc., please contact the school office to make other arrangements.  If a student has a note not to ride the bus, the person to pick up that student must be at school before the student’s bus leaves or the student must ride the bus home.  All transportation changes MUST be made prior to 1:30 or be approved by administration.

Field Trips are considered to be an essential part of our educational program.  Trips are planned as a part of the school’s curriculum. At least 75 % student participation is required.

All school-sponsored field trips are subject to the following conditions:
  • The parents/guardians of the student understand that they are requesting their child be allowed to participate in a voluntary school sponsored field trip.
  • The parents/guardians understand that it is not mandatory for any student to participate in a field trip.
  • The parents/guardians of the child recognize that the Dixie District School System provides this field trip as an educational enhancement opportunity.
  • The parents/guardians of the child authorize the Dixie District School System to transport the student to and from the field trip in a manner authorized and approved by the school system.
  • The parents/guardians, or heirs and assigns hereby release the school system from any and all liability which may arise as a result of the students participation in a field trip to any and every extent recognized under the law.
  • The parents/guardians of the child realize that while the student is on a field trip that he/she is still subject to all the rules set forth by Dixie District School Board Policy/Student Code of Conduct and would result in suspension from school.
The guidelines for parents/guardians to participate on a field trip as a chaperone are as follows:
  • Chaperones may not bring any other children on the trip, whether by school bus or private transportation.
  • Chaperones may not smoke or use tobacco products in the presence of children.
  • Use of alcohol or drugs on a field trip is prohibited.
  • Only pre-approved parents and/or guardians may serve as chaperones (must complete volunteer affidavit unless on approved volunteer list.)
  • Parents who drive private cars (unless requested to do so by a teacher) will not be considered chaperones and are not eligible for discounts and/or special privileges.
  • Students must stay with their assigned chaperone.
  • All children are required to ride the bus to the field trip.  Special permission from the principal is required for parents to bring their children home from a field trip.
OTE has an active Volunteer Program.  Volunteers must complete a volunteer information sheet and affidavit.  If you are interested in becoming a volunteer in your child’s education in this way, please call the school office.   All volunteers must check in at the office to sign in and pick up a volunteer badge.
Old Town Elementary has a very active and supportive PTO that provides both parents and teachers the opportunity to communicate on a regular basis.  Membership is free.  Meetings are held monthly.  All parents are encouraged to join and become active in the PTO.


Old Town Elementary School
    Student Code of Conduct
Grades PK – 5

The primary purpose of education in Dixie County is to maintain, perpetuate and improve our American way of life.  The school is the social agency through which this purpose is to be achieved.  In order to maintain a “school climate” in which the children and youth of our county can live, learn and flourish, it is vitally necessary for all students to assume responsibility for their behavior while enrolled in the public schools in Dixie County.
Therefore, in order to aid students in making appropriate decisions governing their behavior, a code of conduct identifying the rules and procedure has been established.  While these rules are not intended to be “all-inclusive” of all possible behavior, they do implement the philosophy of our system, and are illustrative of the types of behaviors that are consistent with the proper maintenance and function of an effective program in our system.
This code of student contact is to be applied and enforced in addition to other rules which may be in effect at any individual school with due respect for the constitutional rights of every student.  It should be pointed out that although parents and students may have rights guaranteed by stated and federal laws and court decisions, these rights end when and where they begin to interfere with the rights of others.  It must be pointed out that this document does not outline all of the possibilities of misconduct, therefore students and parents need to realize that the school administration has the right to view other student behavior as unacceptable and deal with it accordingly.
Most importantly, students need to know that every right carries with it the responsibility to exercise that right wisely, and that failure to do so may result on the loss of privileges.  Essentially then, the responsibility for conduct is in the hands of each individual student, and when an action by a student is not in line with an accepted standard, specified consequences shall be applied as outlined in this document.  The intent, then, of this document is to help provide an instrument, which shall sustain an atmosphere that will enable students to achieve the goal of basic education, thus allowing them to be competitive in the adult world.

All students will follow instructions of all personnel, including but not limited to:  teachers, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, and others regardless of school hours.

Another name for fairness of process.  Fairness of procedure is due process in the primary sense.  Due process is the right guaranteed to all by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution.
Individuals must have proper notice and an opportunity to be heard, and the hearing conducted fairly.  Students must be informed either orally or in writing of the rules which have been violated

The basic ingredients of due process procedures are as follows:
1.      Individuals must have prior opportunity to know that their actions would be in violation of established rules and regulations.
2.      Individuals must have the opportunity to know the specific charges or complaints being made against them.
3.      Individuals must have notice of the charge or complaints being made against them.
4.      Individuals must be given a fair and impartial hearing.

A grievance is defined as an alleged violation of the School Board of Dixie County Policies on unlawful discrimination or harassment.  A grievance process is available to all students and applicants for admission.  Throughout the student grievance process the claimant, accused and all others involved in the investigation are guaranteed confidentially and protection from retaliation. .  for further information on all areas covered under the Grievance umbrella, please refer to School Board Policy 2.16."

Such grievance may be filed in the following manner:

Step One – If an individual public school student believed that an action by the school or by the school representative has violated his/her rights, the student shall seek within sixty (60) school days of the alleged occurrence a resolution through informal discussion with a teacher, guidance counselor, or assistant principal of the school who shall in turn mediate on the student’s behalf with the individuals alleged to have committed the violation.
Step Two – If informal discussion does not resolved the issue, the aggrieved student will submit a written statement of the grievance to the school principal or the district Equity Coordinator within ten (10) school days after the informal discussion of the alleged occurrence.  The statement shall include a description of the specific rule/regulation allegedly violated, the date of the violation, the resolution sought and the signature of the student and the parent/guardian

Step Three – Within ten (10) school days of receipt of the written grievance, the principal or the district Equity Coordinator shall render a written response to the aggrieved student and parent/guardian, which shall uphold, modify, or deny the resolution sought.

Step Four – If the student is not satisfied with the response issued to step three, the student may within ten (10) school days of the response submit in writing the alleged grievance to the District School Superintendent.

Step Five – Within ten (10) school days, the Superintendent shall issue a written response to the aggrieved student and parent/guardian.  The decision of the Superintendent shall be final.

Philosophical Basis:
A well-developed student record file contains information needed for making appropriate educational decisions for the student.  Student records are to treat confidentially and should contain information that is relevant, accurate, and appropriate.

Access to Student Records:
In general, a student’s records are available to parents of minor students (under age 18) and to students who have reached age 18 or are attending a postsecondary education institution (eligible student).  In addition, Federal and State statutes allow student records to be made available to certain others who have a bona fide need of information.
Copies of the District’s policies regarding student records are available at each school and at the School Board office.  These policies will always be in compliance with State and Federal regulations concerning student records.
Eligible students and parents of minor students have the right to inspect and review permanent education records of the student.  The parent or eligible student may request access to the records through the school principal.  The principal will make records available for review within thirty (30) days of such request.  Information regarding the cost is also available from the school.
    A parent or eligible student may challenge information in the records.  A parent may refuse to permit the designation of any or all categories of directory information with respect to his child by notifying the principal within ten (10) calendar days of the beginning of the school.  Unless there is specific written request in the cumulative folder, directory information on the student may be released.  Parents or eligible students will be provided a list of types of directory information included in student records, upon written request to the office of the Superintendent.  Purging, transferring and copying the student records are done in accordance with Federal and State statutes and Federal, State and Local procedures.

Responsibilities of Student, Parents, and Guardians:
  • To inform the school of any information that may be useful in making appropriate educational decisions.
  • To authorize release of pertinent information to those individuals or agencies who are working actively and constructively for the benefit of the student.
  • Release of records of students 17 years of age or younger who attend elementary or secondary schools requires the signature of the parent or guardian.
Rights of Student, Parents, and Guardians:
  • To inspect, review, and challenge the information contained in records directly relating to the student.
  • To be protected by legal provisions which prohibit the release of personal identifiable information to other than legally authorized persons without the consent of the parent, guardian, or eligible student (Eligible students are those 18 years of age or over and/or those attending a post-secondary institution).

The School Board of Dixie County is committed to the principle and practice of equal opportunity and affirmative action.  The School Board of Dixie County complies with the letter and spirit of federal, state, and local laws and regulations prohibiting discrimination and/or harassment based on race, color, religion, political affiliation, national origin, sex, disability, age or marital status or social and family background.  Employment and educational opportunities for students, employees and applicants are provided under the principles, equal opportunity and affirmative action.  Dixie District Schools’ designee to coordinate compliance with Educational Equity Act is:
                                        Buddy Schofield
                                      Cross City, Florida 32628
                                         (352) 498-6135

Limited English Proficient (LEP) students who meet program eligibility criteria shall have equal access to all programs. No national origin minority or limited English proficient student shall be subjected to any disciplinary action because of his or her use of a language other than English. Disciplinary actions for LEP students are common to non-LEP students.

Textbooks/Library books are the property of the School Board of Dixie County and are loaned to the students of Dixie County.  The students must pay for lost and damaged textbooks and/or library books before other books will be issued.  All books should be cared for with extreme care by the students.  Periodic book checks will be made to examine the condition of books and check for lost books.  Students are held personally responsible for their books, whether lost, stolen, or damaged.

Dixie District Schools extend the supervisory responsibilities of school personnel over students on school property to 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after the students’ school day.  School personnel will also be responsible for supervision 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after school sponsored activities (including the time during which the activity occurs).  School personnel are not responsible for supervising students beyond that point.

We believe that discipline is an on-going process, involving both the school and the home. Our goal is to help children learn to be responsible individuals, capable of making choices that are in the best interest of others as well as themselves. We also believe children need guidance and consistency in the enforcement of rules. The staff at OTES has worked many hours to develop a strong discipline program.  Together, the faculty and administration have established rules and consequences.  Students are informed any time they are sent to the office what will happen if they choose to break the rules again.  In this way, students will learn they must take responsibility for their own behavior.  We rely heavily on parent support, as we believe the education of a student is a team effort.  


Student Code of Conduct –Offenses /Possible Consequences

Administrators may deviate from the possible consequences with discretion.

  • Any other behavior deemed unacceptable by administration in a school setting  
  • Alcoholic Beverages – Possession, use, or sale of alcoholic beverages.
  • Bomb Threat – Students involved in initiating or executing a bomb threat
  • Bullying- Please refer to page23
  • Classroom/Campus Disruption – This area includes any classroom or campus infractions that could not be handled by the classroom teacher or assigned adult.   
  • Causing and/or Inciting Fighting, Physical Contact – Students involved in causing and/or inciting fighting or other physical contact that could result in injury.
  • Disrespect – A student’s refusal to follow faculty or staff’s direction
  • Dress Code Violation – See Dress Code
  • Drugs – Possession, use or sale of mood change drugs or substances.
  • Fighting – Students involved in fighting or other physical contact that could result in injury.
  • Fighting, Threatening with a Weapon (real or fake) – Students involved in fighting, threatening someone with, or displaying any weapon.
  • Fire Alarm – Students involved in initiating or executing a false fire alarm.
  • Insubordination – Students guilty of insubordination (verbal attack) toward any staff member
  • Leaving Campus Without Permission – Once a student arrives on campus for the school day, he/she must remain until the end of his/her school day.  Leaving class without permission and remaining on campus is skipping.
  • Physical Attack on School Related Personnel – Students involved in a physical attack on any school related personnel or instructional personnel.
  • Profanity- spoken or written it will be interpreted as profane, vulgar, or unnecessarily cruel utterance or gesture.  
  • Skipping – Absent from class without permission
  • Stealing, Extortion – Students involved in stealing or extortion.
  • CD Players, Phones, Tablets or Video Games - are not permitted (on campus) during the school day without permission from administration.
  • Tobacco -  possession or sale
  • Trespassing
  • Unacceptable Contact of a Sexual Nature.
  • Vandalism – Students involved in vandalism.
  • Violation of the District Internet Use Policy
  • Weapons & Ammunition – Possession of any ammunition and/or weapons (included)
        but not limited to pellet, “BB” guns, razor blades, and box cutters.

  • Counseling by Administration
  • Parent Notification/Parent Conference
  • Parent Conference/Notification of Law Enforcement
  • Detention/PE Detention
Corporal Punishment – shall be administered only by the principal or designee in the presence of another adult employee of the school.
In-School Suspension
Out-of-School Suspension

Consequences – Any of the above Unacceptable Behaviors will be handled through administrative action by the principal or designee.  This discipline is subject to progressive disciplinary action for each referral. Parents of students being suspended will be notified within 24 hours of the school suspension.  This notification can verbal or written.

On September 13, 1994, the Florida State Board of Education adopted a new “Zero Tolerance for School Related Violent Crime.”  The rule requires each school district to ensure that students or adults found to have committed the following offenses on school property, school sponsored transportation, or during a school sponsored activity shall receive the most severe consequences provided by law and School Board Policy:
  • Homicide
  • Sexual Battery
  • Armed Robbery
  • Aggravated Battery
  • Battery on School Personnel
  • Kidnapping
  • Arson
  • Possession, use, or sale of any firearm
HB702 adds to the required contents of the district adopted Code of Student Conduct to specify that simulating a firearm or weapon or express an opinion regarding a right guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution is not grounds for disciplinary action or referral to the criminal justice or juvenile justice system. Simulating a firearm or weapon while playing includes but not limited to:
  • Brandishing a partially consumed pastry or other food item to simulate a firearm or weapon.
  • Possessing a toy firearm or weapon that is 2 inches or less in overall length.
  • Possessing a toy firearm or weapon made of plastic snap-together building blocks.
  • Using a finger or hand to simulate a firearm or weapon.
  • Vocalizing an imaginary firearm or weapon.
  • Drawing a picture, or possessing an image, of a firearm or weapon.
  • Using a pencil, pen, or other writing or drawing utensil to simulate a firearm or weapon.

Bullying, Cyber-Bullying, Cyber-Stalking and Harassment
“Bullying” means systematically and chronically inflicting physical hurt or psychological distress on one or more than one student or employee.  It is further defined as unwanted and repeated written, verbal, or physical behavior, including, any threatening, insulting, or dehumanizing gesture, by an adult or student that is serve or pervasive enough to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment; cause discomfort or humiliation; or unreasonably interfere with the individual’s school performance or participation.  “Cyber-Stalking” as defined in s. 784048(1) (d), F.F., means to engage in a course of conduct to communicate, or to cause to be communicated, words, images, or language by or through the use of electronic mail or communication, directed at a specific person, causing substantial emotional distress to that person and serving no legitimate purpose.  “Cyber-Bullying” means systematically and chronically inflicting psychological distress on one or more students or employees though electronic mail or communication.

Conduct that constitutes bullying and harassment is defined further in the Dixie County School Board Policy 5.1001.  Consequences for investigated and confirmed incidents of bullying and/or harassment may range from positive behavior interventions up to and including, but not limited to, suspension, expulsion, or criminal charges as warranted.  Reporting bullying can be done by seeing any faculty and staff member.  Also, you can report at our website or call anonymously (352) 498-6130.

Students have the right to be able to learn without being offended and or distracted by clothing or appearances of others. Students have the right to wear clothes that are attractive, fashionable, modish, or "in fad" provided they are properly fitted and are not hazardous or harmful to themselves or others, and are within the guidelines of appropriate wear for school.  Students will dress in attire which does not distract from the learning process or the educational environment.  The principal, or his/her designee, is the final authority for interpreting and applying the Student Dress Code.

  • Students are not to wear inappropriate clothing; inappropriate meaning suggestive and/or distracting , such as bare midriff,  shorts that are too short, and tank tops that have straps less than 2 inches wide.  Teachers will make the decision if a student’s dress is inappropriate.  If a child has on clothing deemed inappropriate, they will be given a shirt to cover their clothes or clothing will have to be brought from home for the student.   
  • Students are to wear appropriate shoes at all times.  No shoes with wheels or metal cleats.  Also, NO FLIP FLOPS!  Students go to PE 5 days a week and FLIP FLOPS are dangerous.
  • Hats and sunglasses are not to be worn by students on campus except on days approved by administration
  • In the interest of safety, no student shall wear any earrings or other jewelry that pierces the skin and is visible outside of the clothing of the student with the exception of earrings located in the earlobe.
Students living two (2) miles or more from the school have the right to transportation by school bus or other school provided transportation.  Students have the right to be informed of the transportation rules, regulations and laws regarding the transportation of the students by school bus.
Transportation Rules:
1.      Students must obey the bus driver.
2.      Students much have no foreign objects in their mouths.
3.      Students must remain in their seat, face forward, keeping hands, feet, and other objects to themselves at all times.
4.      No objects will be brought on the bus without the permission of the bus driver.
5.      Students must be at the bus stop five (5) minutes before stop time.  They should stand 10 feet off the road in an orderly manner.  When crossing the street, they must cross 10 feet in front of the bus.  School conduct rules apply while students are at the bus stop.
6.      Students must be absolutely quiet when the bus is stopped at a railroad crossing.
7.      Students must board and leave the bus in an orderly manner at their regular stop, except with the permission of parent and principal or his/her designee.
8.      Profane language or gestures may not be used on the bus.

Offenses would be divided into two levels based on the severity of the incident.
  • Level 1 offense would be incidents such as not sitting in seat properly, spitting, loud talking, etc…
  • Level 2 offenses would be incidents of a more severity such as fighting, gross insubordination, weapons, etc…
Level 1 Offenses  
Each bus driver will keep a roster of kids that ride their bus.  This form would contain blanks on it for drivers to make notes and mark checks by the students’ names.
1st step = Indicates that bus drivers have given student a verbal warning in private.  Bus driver should pull student aside and discuss the inappropriate behavior.  This conversation should be documented by posting the date the conference took place on the student roster.
        2nd step = Parent notification.  The bus driver will attempt to contact the parent by phone to have a conference regarding the child’s inappropriate behavior.  If the driver is unable to verbally speak to the parent, written notification can be made.  Parent notification should be documented by posting the date contact was made on the student roster.
   3rd step (Offense) = Office Referral.  Driver must bring in referral along with documentation steps one and two above.  Administrator will have choice of punishment.  Punishment may include warning, time spent in internal, etc…
4th step (Offense) = Office Referral -Administrator’s choice of punishment
5th step (Offense) = Office Referral - Minimum of 3 days bus suspension/or other punishment
6th step (Offense) = Office Referral - Minimum of 5 days bus suspension.  
7th step (Offense) = Office referral - Minimum of  7 days bus suspension.  
8th step (Offense)  = Office Referral – 10 days suspension  A Certified/Return Receipt letter will be mailed to parent notifying them that on the next offense expulsion from the bus will be administered.
9th step (Offense) = Office Referral - Expulsion from bus.
**ESE students who are unable to provide private transportation to school may be referred to the special needs bus at any time the administrator deems necessary after the
***When a student begins on the special needs bus the number of offenses will start over.

Level 2 Offenses
1st Offense = Office Referral – Minimum of 3 days bus suspension.
2nd Offense = Office Referral – Minimum of 5 days bus suspension.
This will continue in the same fashion as Level 1 offences.

Pursuant to 232.271, F.S., which took effect on July 1, 1996, any teacher has the authority to remove a student from his/her classroom for repeated disruptive or a violent behavior.
Teachers who invoke the provisions of this statute must document that a student’s behavior repeatedly interfered with the learning process in the classroom or the student’s behavior was so unruly, disruptive, or abusive that it interfered with the effective conduct of the class.
Principals may not return a student to that class when the teacher removed the student under the provisions of this statute, without the permission of that teacher or the direction of the placement review committee, which may determine that returning the student to that class is the best and/or only available alternative for that student.

Florida Statutes state the school attendance is mandatory between the ages of six (6) and eighteen (18) unless the student has his or her parent/guardian file a formal intent to terminate school enrollment with the district School District.  Rules and regulations pertaining to those laws as well as those regarding admissions of transfers, pupil transfers into and out of the county shall be available to all students and parents.  Regular attendance and a cooperative attitude are necessary ingredients in an environment that promotes learning.  If a student is absent from school the parents/guardians are responsible to contact the school or send a note with the student when he/she returns. Each absence is considered unexcused or excused.   Only absences deemed valid by the school principal or designee will be considered excused.  Students who arrive after the tardy bell must sign in through guidance.  

According to state statue, a child is considered habitually truant when he or she has 15 or more unexcused or permissible absences from school within 90 calendar days.  Therefore, OTES will take the following steps for truancy:
  • Once a child misses 5 unexcused days of school within a period of one month, a letter and/or phone call will be made to the student’s parents notifying of the truancy.
  • Once a child has missed 10 unexcused days of school within a 60 day period, contact will be made home about the student’s non-attendance by certified mail.  In addition, a meeting will be set up to discuss attendance contracts between parent, student, and school.
  • If a child misses 15 or more unexcused days, notification to the superintendent and school resource officer will be made.  The school resource will perform a home visit.
  • Once these conditions have been met and documented, a child missing over 20 unexcused days of school within a period of 90 days will have a truancy petition filed with the court.
Excused Absences:       school is provided with written documentation from a medical doctor, death or funeral of immediate family member, or established religious holidays or instruction, and court appearances.
Unexcused Absences:  students returning to school without documentation.
Tardies: Students who arrive at school after the tardy bell or check out of school before the dismissal bell will be counted as being tardy for the day.  

Any non-student or student under school suspension who is on school campus during the school day or at a school function without permission from the office will be considered trespassing.  The person will be told to leave campus immediately and not to return.  If this fails or if the person returns, law enforcement officials will be called to remove the individual.

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