Student Handbook

  • The information below is a summary of Board of Education policies and procedures governing the District. The full Board policies can be found on the District’s website. The handbook and Board policies are subject to change and may be amended during the year.

    To help ensure a successful school year, we encourage parents and caregivers to discuss the Student Handbook with their child along with any expectations shared by your child’s educator(s) and school. 


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Student Handbook Sections

      Communication Protocols

      • Clear communication between the public and the District is vital to ensure student success. Following the communication protocols described below will help resolve questions and concerns in the most effective manner possible.

        When a concern, challenge, or conflict arises for a parent/caregiver of a student in the district, please use the following process for resolving the matter:

        1. Contact the staff member who is directly involved and work with them to resolve the issue. In most cases, this will be your child’s teacher or another school-level staff member.
        2. In the event a solution is not reached, it may be necessary to contact their supervisor. In most cases, this will be the school principal or a department director. Please allow a reasonable amount of time for the supervisor to investigate the situation and follow up with the appropriate parties. If the situation remains unresolved, please contact the district-level supervisor. This will likely be a member of the district’s senior leadership team such as an Assistant Superintendent.
        3. If the issue remains unresolved after exhausting these efforts, please contact the Superintendent’s Office.

        Requests that do not follow this process and are sent directly to the Superintendent or members of the Board of Education will be redirected to the original point of contact.

        If you believe that your child’s physical or emotional well-being is in danger, please contact your child’s principal or the Assistant Superintendent of Schools directly.


      • District 65 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religious beliefs, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, status as homeless, or actual or potential marital or parental status. Pursuant to school board policy, a student, parent/guardian, employee, or community member should notify any District Complaint Manager if they believe that the Board of Education, its employees, or agents have violated their rights guaranteed by federal or state constitution. More information about how to file a complaint and the uniform grievance procedures are outlined in School Board Policy 2:260, available in Section 2 of the Board Policy Manual found on the District website.

      Equal Educational Opportunities

      • Board Policy 7:10

        Equal educational and extracurricular opportunities shall be available for all students without regard to color, race, nationality, religion, sex, sexual orientation, ancestry, age, physical or mental disability, gender identity, status of being homeless, immigration status, order of protection status, actual or potential marital or parental status, including pregnancy. Further, the District will not knowingly enter into agreements with any entity or any individual that discriminates against students on the basis of sex or any other protected status, except that the District remains viewpoint neutral when granting access to school facilities under School Board policy 8:20, Community Use of School Facilities. Any student may file a discrimination grievance by using Board policy 2:260, Uniform Grievance Procedure.

      Sex Equity

      • Sex Equity

      • Administrative Implementation

      Racial Educational Equity Policy

      • Purpose

      • Responsibility

      • Commitment


      • Registration

      • Registration Drop Date

      • Residency

      • Birth Certificate Requirements for Enrollment

      • Children in Temporary Living Situations

      • Transfer Students

      • Part-Time Students

      • Non-Resident Students

      • When a Student Moves

      • Magnet Schools and Selective Enrollment Programs

      • Selective Enrollment Programs

      • Magnet Schools

      • Permissive Transfers


      • District-wide Student Fees

      • Participation Fees and Class Supplies

      • Fee Payment Methods

      • Fee Waivers

      • Nutrition Services and Fees

      • Meal Prices

      • Free and Reduced-Price Meal Applications

      • School-Age Child Care

      • Field Trips

      • Transportation Services and Fees


      • D65 Attendance Goals

      • Attendance

      • Valid Reasons for Student Absence

      • Excused Absences

      • Unexcused Absences

      • Absence Reporting

      • Vacation Attendance Policy

      • Home/Hospital Services

      • Truancy

      Health & Wellness

      • Health & Wellness

      • Health Services

      • Health Requirements - Physical, Eye, and Dental Exams

      • Medications Taken at School

      • Physical Education Excuse/Waiver

      • Head Lice

      • Communicable Disease

      • Vision and Hearing Screenings

      • Wellness

      • When Should a Child Remain Home

      Curriculum, Assessments, & Special Programs

      • Curriculum & Instruction

      • African Centered Curriculum (ACC) Program

      • Bilingual Education

      • Special Services/Special Education

      • Section 504

      • KIDS Kindergarten Individual Development Survey

      • Illinois Assessment of Readiness in Grades 3-8 (IAR)

      • Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM-AA)

      • Illinois Science Assessment (ISA)

      • ACCESS (Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State)

      • Measure of Academic Progress (MAP)

      • Physical Fitness Assessment

      • US and Illinois Constitution Test

      • Student Report Cards

      • State School Report Cards

      School Closings

      • Emergency School Closing

      • Late Start

      • Emergency Contact Information

      Family Involvement

      • Parent/Caregiver-Teacher Conferences

      • Parent/Caregiver Involvement for Title 1 Programs

      • Parent Teacher Association (PTA)

      • Families/Guardians/Visitors

      Student Records

      • Student Records

      • What is a Student Record?

      • Rights and Procedures for Challenging the Content of Student Records

      • Right to Control Access and Release of Student Records

      • Destruction of Records

      • Directory Information

      • Surveys of Students

      • Surveys by Third Parties

      • Surveys Requesting Personal Information

      • Selling or Marketing Students' Personal Information is Prohibited

      • Notices to Parents/Guardians

      • Instructional Materials

      • Report Violations

      • Technology Acceptable Use

      • Middle Schools

      Required Notifications

      • American with Disabilities Act (ADA) Compliance

      • Asbestos Management

      • Integrated Pest Management Notification

      • Sex Education and Curriculum Regarding Recognizing & Avoiding Sexual Abuse

      • Public School Choice and Tutoring

      • Parent/Guardian's Rights to Request Teacher Qualifications

      • Uniform Grievance Procedures

      • Public Information/Freedom of Information Act

      Code of Conduct

      • Discipline Philosophy

      • Benefits of Restorative Practices

      • District 65 Moving Towards Restorative Approaches to Discipline

      • Rights and Responsibilities

      • Participation and Collaboration

      • Notification & Communication


      • Discipline Framework

      • Approach to Student Behaviors

      • Prescribed Conduct Procedures

      • Disciplinary Checklist

      • Due Process Procedures

      • Procedures Following Suspension and Expulsion

      • Procedural Guidelines for Discipline of Students with Disabilities

      • Manifestation Determination Review ("MDR") Requirement

      • Limited Exception

      • Professional Development

      • Data Collection and Monitoring

      • Definitions


      • Bullying, Intimidation, and Harassment

      • Definition of Bullying

      • Cell Phones

      • Gangs and Gang Activity

      • Off-Campus Conduct

      • Search and Seizure

      • Sexual Harassment

      • Bus/Cab Behavior

      Appearance & Attire

      • District 65’s student dress code supports equitable educational access and is written in a manner that does not reinforce stereotypes. In District 65, dress and grooming are important components of an overall positive learning environment that prepares students for operating in a professional and educational setting.

        To ensure effective and equitable enforcement of this dress code, school staff shall enforce the dress code consistently and in a manner that does not reinforce or increase marginalization or oppression of any group based on race, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, cultural observance, household income or body type/size.

        Our guiding values are:

        • All students are able to dress comfortably for school and engage in the educational environment without fear of or actual unnecessary discipline or body shaming.
        • Student dress code enforcement will not result in unnecessary barriers to school attendance.
        • School staff will use student/body-positive language to explain the code and to address code violations.
        • Teachers focus on teaching without the additional and often uncomfortable burden of dress code enforcement.
        • Reasons for conflict and inconsistent and/or inequitable discipline are minimized whenever possible.

        Our student dress code is designed to accomplish several goals:

        • Maintain a safe learning environment in classes where protective or supportive clothing is needed, such as science class (eye or body protection), dance (bare feet, tights/leotards), or PE (athletic attire/shoes).
        • Allow students to wear clothing of their choice that is comfortable.
        • Allow students to wear clothing that expresses their self-identified gender.
        • Allow students to wear religious attire without fear of discipline or discrimination.
        • Prevent students from wearing clothing, shoes or accessories with offensive images or language, including profanity, hate speech, and pornography.
        • Prevent students from wearing clothing, shoes or accessories that denote, suggest, display or reference alcohol, drugs or related paraphernalia or other illegal conduct or activities.
        • Prevent students from wearing clothing, shoes or accessories that will interfere with the operation of the school and/or classroom environment, invade the rights of others, or create a reasonably foreseeable risk of such interference or invasion of rights.
        • Prevent students from wearing clothing or accessories that reasonably can be construed as being or including content that is racist, lewd, vulgar or obscene, or that reasonably can be construed as containing fighting words, speech that incites others to imminent lawless action, defamatory speech, or threats to others.
        • Ensure that all students are treated equitably regardless of race, sex, gender identity, disability, gender expression, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, cultural observance, household income or body type/size.

        The district has established the following guidelines:

        Basic Principle: Certain body parts must be covered for all students at all times.

        Clothes must be worn in a way such that genitals, buttocks, breasts, and nipples are fully covered with opaque fabric. However, cleavage should not have coverage requirements. All items listed in the “must wear” and “may wear” categories below must meet this basic principle.

        1. Students Must Wear*, while following the basic principle above:
          1. A Shirt (with fabric in the front, back, and on the sides under the arms), AND
          2. Pants/jeans or the equivalent (for example, a skirt, sweatpants, leggings, a dress or shorts), AND
          3. Shoes.
          4. Clothing must be suitable for all scheduled classroom activities, including physical education, science labs, and other activities where unique hazards exist.
        2. Students May Wear (as long as it does not violate #1)
          1. Hats facing straight forward or straight backward. Hats must allow the face to be visible to staff, and not interfere with the line of sight of any student or staff.
          2. Religious headwear
          3. Hoodie sweatshirts (wearing the hood overhead is allowed, but the face and ears must be visible to school staff).
          4. Fitted pants, including opaque leggings, yoga pants and “skinny jeans”
          5. Pajamas, as long as underwear and buttocks are not exposed.
          6. Ripped jeans, as long as underwear and buttocks are not exposed.
          7. Tank tops, including spaghetti straps; halter tops
          8. Athletic attire
          9. Visible waistbands on undergarments or visible straps on undergarments worn under other clothing (as long as this is done in a way that does not violate Section 1 above).
        3. Students Cannot Wear
          1. Violent language or images.
          2. Images or language depicting drugs or alcohol (or any illegal item or activity).
          3. Hate speech, profanity, pornography.
          4. Images or language that creates a hostile or intimidating environment based on any protected class or consistently marginalized groups.
          5. Any clothing that reveals visible undergarments (visible waistbands and visible straps are allowed)
          6. Swimsuits (except as required in class or athletic practice).
          7. Accessories that could be considered dangerous or could be used as a weapon.
          8. Any item that obscures the face or ears (except as a religious observance).
        4. Dress Code Enforcement
          1. To ensure effective and equitable enforcement of this dress code, school staff shall enforce the dress code consistently using the requirements below. School administration and staff shall not have discretion to vary the requirements in ways that lead to discriminatory enforcement.
            1. Students will only be removed from spaces, hallways, or classrooms as a result of a dress code violation as outlined in Sections 1 and 3 above. Students in violation of Section 1 and/or 3 will be provided three (3) options to be dressed more to code during the school day:
              1. Students will be asked to put on their own alternative clothing, if already available at school, to be dressed more to code for the remainder of the day.
              2. Students will be provided with temporary school clothing to be dressed more to code for the remainder of the day.
              3. If necessary, students’ parents may be called during the school day to bring alternative clothing for the student to wear for the remainder of the day.
            2. No student should be affected by dress code enforcement because of racial identity, disability, sex assigned at birth, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, ethnicity, cultural or religious identity, household income, body size/type, or body maturity.
            3. School staff shall not enforce the school’s dress code more strictly against transgender and gender nonconforming students than other students.
            4. Students should not be shamed or required to display their body in front of others (students, parents, or staff) in school. “Shaming” includes, but is not limited to:
              1. kneeling or bending over to check attire fit;
              2. measuring straps or skirt length;
              3. asking students to account for their attire in the classroom or in hallways in front of others;
              4. calling out students in spaces, in hallways, or in classrooms about perceived dress code violations in front of others; in particular, directing students to correct sagged pants that do not expose the entire undergarment, or confronting students about visible bra straps, since visible waistbands and straps on undergarments are permitted; and,
              5. accusing students of “distracting” other students with their clothing or body.

        These dress code guidelines shall apply to regular school days and summer school days, as well as any school-related events and activities. Students who feel they have been subject to discriminatory enforcement of the dress code should contact the Principal or Assistant Principal.

      Definition of Terms

      • Aggressive Behavior - Contact between two or more people that threatens the safety and well being of others; hostile actions.

        Arson - The act of intentionally setting a fire in school or on school grounds.

        Assault – An intentional threat of bodily harm coupled with the apparent, present ability to cause such harm.

        AUP (Acceptable Use Policy) - A document that governs all computer use in District 65.

        Battery – A physical attack on another person who is not fighting back. 

        Battery of a School Employee - Physical attack on any employee of District 65.

        Burglary - To break into and enter a building with intent to commit a felony.

        Bomb Threat - Giving false information about the existence of explosives on school property.

        Bullying - Any severe or pervasive physical or verbal act of conduct, including communications made in writing or electronically, toward a student or students, that has or can reasonably be predicted to have the effect of one or more of the following:

        1. Placing the student or students in reasonable fear of harm to the student’s or students’ person or property;
        2. Causing a substantially detrimental effect on the student’s or students’ physical or mental health;
        3. Substantially interfering with the student’s or students’ academic performance; or
        4. Substantially interfering with the student’s or students’ ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school

        Cheating/Plagiarism - Violation of accepted academic ethics, including wrongfully obtaining and/or distributing test copies or scores, deliberately attempting to falsify, fabricate or tamper with data, information, records or other materials to gain academic advantage, using any device, implement, or other form of study aid during an examination, lab experiment or quiz, or failure to use proper citations for the source of information. 

        Coercion - The act of using forcible means or intimidation to dominate or restrain another person.

        Defamation of Character - A written, printed, oral or pictorial statement of individuals or groups because of race, color, religious affiliation, gender, national origin, age, sexual orientation, physical or mental handicap.

        Defiance of Authority - Refusal to listen to or cooperate with an adult in charge of the student activity.

        Disrespect - The act of insulting, calling derogatory names, dishonoring or verbally abusing another.

        Disruptive Behavior - Behavior which interferes with the educational process of other students in the classroom. Disregarding the suggestions and corrective effort of the certified employee and any other person who provides a related service. Engaging in distracting or rowdy behavior on school buses also constitutes disruptive behavior.

        Download - The act of copying an electronic file from one computer to another device

        Drugs - Substance that is a mood alternating.

        Due Process - An established course of proceedings designed to insure that the legal rights of each student has been afforded when dealing with disciplinary issues.

        Email (Electronic Mail) - A way of addressing and sending messages electronically.

        Expulsion - Removal of a student from school for gross disobedience or misconduct for a period of time ranging from in excess of 10 days to a definite period of time not to exceed two school years.

        Extortion - The obtaining of money or information from another by coercion or intimidation.

        Facsimile of a weapon - A copy or look-alike instrument or device used for offense or defense.

        False Fire Alarm - Tampering with fire apparatus.

        Fighting - The act involving hostile bodily contact between two or more people in or on school property, or going to or from school, including any activity under school sponsorship (e.g., dance, athletic event, etc.). The issue of self-defense, if involved, must be validated.

        Fireworks/Explosives - Substance or prepared chemicals that explode or cause explosion and are capable of inflicting bodily injury or damage to school facilities.

        Forgery - The act of fraudulently using in writing the name of another person, or falsifying times, dates, grades, addresses, or other data on school forms or records.

        Gambling - The act of performing any game of chance for money or property.

        Gangs/Gang Activity - A “gang” is defined as any group, club or organization of two or more persons whose purposes include the commission of illegal acts.

        Gross Misconduct - Behaviors listed in Category III on the bus or Category IV.

        Harassment - Persistent and unwelcome and/or unwanted verbal or physical conduct between individuals or groups.

        Indecent Exposure - The act of baring parts of one’s body in ways contrary to commonly recognized standards of propriety, behavior, decency and/or morality.

        Instigation - The act of inciting disruptive behavior or actions on the part of another person.

        Intimidation - Deliberately frightening, disturbing or inhibiting another person by threatening, coercing or stalking him or her.

        Leaving the School Grounds Without Permission - “School grounds,” school building and school property adjacent to the building.

        Loitering - To linger or hang around in school or a public place where one has no particular legal or school business.

        Mob Action – When two or more students take part in aggressive or violent action against a student or a group of students.

        Online - Working on a computer that is linked to other computers and information services over the Internet.

        Possession of Alcohol and/or Drugs - Possessing any mood-altering chemical on school property or at a school-related activity.

        Possession of Tobacco and/or Smoking - Possessing or using any tobacco product.

        Radios, Tape Players, MP3 players, IPods, etc. - For security reasons, and to ensure a productive educational environment, non-instructional electronic devices, including beepers, radios, CD and cassette players, etc., are not to be used during school hours. School personnel will not be responsible for other electronic devices.

        Roller skates, Roller blades, Skateboards and Shoes with Wheels - For safety reasons, skateboards, roller blades or shoes with wheels may not be used on school grounds.

        Robbery - Verbally or physically threatening a person to possess or acquire the property of others without their consent. The school does not assume responsibility for lost or stolen items. Students are responsible for properly securing all personal belongings.

        Safety - Any action which endangers the property or life of any student or staff member.
        Selling Drugs - Intent to sell or actual selling of any mood-altering chemical including alcohol, narcotics, controlled substance, look-alike substance, etc.

        Sexting - The act of sending sexually explicit messages or images between cell phones.

        Sexual Assault/Battery - Intentionally engaging in sexual conduct which would result in bodily harm.

        Sexual Harassment - Any unwelcome, and/or unwanted, and/or inappropriate verbal communication of a sexual nature between individuals or groups, such as pressuring another for sexual activity, displaying sexual graffiti, making inappropriate sexual reference, or using obscene gestures or looks.

        Sexual Violation - Any unwelcome, and/or unwanted, and/or inappropriate physical conduct of a sexual nature between individuals or groups which may include grabbing, patting, pinching, kissing, or hugging.

        Suspension - Temporary removal from school or from riding a school bus for a maximum of 10 days per suspension.

        Suspension Review/Appeal - Requesting a review of a case by the next highest appropriate authority.

        Theft and/or Possession of Stolen Property - The act of taking, possessing or acquiring the property of others without their consent. The school does not assume responsibility for lost or stolen items. Students are responsible for properly securing all personal belongings.

        Threats of violence - Statements indicating one will hurt others.

        Truancy - An accumulation of unexcused absences that total more than ten (10%) percent of the days in the current school year.

        Upload - The act of copying an electronic file from one computer to another.

        Vandalism, Defacing and/or Destruction of Personal, School or Bus Property - Destroying or defacing personal, school, or bus property, including graffiti. The offender will be required to pay for damages.

        Verbal Abuse/Profanity - Vulgar and offensive or abusive language and/or disrespect by words and/or gestures.

        Weapon - An instrument or device used for offense or defense.

        Wheelies - Shoes that appear in the form of regular shoes or gym shoes but contain wheels and for safety reasons are prohibited on school grounds.