Every school has a student handbook. I strongly believe that the handbook is a living, breathing tool that should be updated and changed every year. You keep your student handbook up-to-date – this is essential as a school principal. It is also important to realize that every school is different. They have different needs and their students have different issues. A policy that will work in one district, may not be as effective in another district.  Attendance does matter. Missing a lot of class can create huge holes that could lead to academic failure. The average school year in the United State is 170 days. A student who misses an average of 10 days a year beginning in pre-Kindergarten through twelvth grade will miss 140 days of school. That adds up to almost an entire school year that they have missed. Looking at it in that perspective, attendance becomes increasingly important and without a solid attendance policy it is virtually impossible to deal with. Never in the history of education has it been as important as it is today to have an effective bullying policy. Students across the globe are effected by bullying every single day. 


Policies for your student handbook

Because of bullying are too often, the number of bullying incidents only continue to increase each year. We hear about students dropping out of school or taking their lives. Schools have to make bullying prevention and bullying education a top priority. This starts with a strong bullying policy.  It is time to address it in case you haven't got a anti-bullying policy or it hasn't been updated in several years. Cell phones are a hot topic amongst school administrators. Over the last ten years they have increasingly caused more and more problems. With that said, they can also be a valuable education tool and in a catostrophic situation, they can save lives. It is essential that schools evaluate their cell phone policy and figure out what will work best for their setting.  A dress code is essential unless our school requires your students to wear uniforms. Students continue to push the envelope when it comes to how they dress. There are so many distractions that a student can cause by how they dress. They need to be updated yearly and the community the school is located can influence what is appropriate and what is inappropriate like many of these policies. Last year a student came to school wearing bright lime green contact lenses. It was major distraction for the other students and so we had to ask him to remove them. It wasn't something that we had dealt with before, but we adjusted and added to our handbook for this year. There is no denying that not every student will get along with every other student. Conflict does happen, but it should never get physical. Too many negative things can occur when students engage in a physical fight.