Student Handbook

Blue Knight Code of Conduct

A Blue Knight will be in attendance and on time.

A Blue Knight will wear the appropriate uniform and abide by dress code policies.

A Blue Knight will be prepared (ID, Agenda, Assignments, Materials).

A Blue Knight will be responsible for knowing what is assigned and turning it in on time.

A Blue Knight will be respectful to him/herself, others, and property.  They will never interfere with another student’s education.

A Blue Knight will be responsible for his/her personal belongings and will only use them when appropriate (If you don’t need it, don’t bring it!).

A Blue Knight will be responsible for his/her own actions (Both physical and verbal).

A Blue Knight will be responsible for completing his/her own assignments.

A Blue Knight will always put forth his/her best effort!

Section 1:  General Information

School Hours

6th Grade:

M, T, W, F 8:26 - 3:00
Thursday 8:26 - 2:00

* Breakfast will be served in the classroom from 8:30am-8:40am

7th and 8th Grades:  

M, T, W, F 8:26 - 3:40
Thursday 8:26 - 2:00

* Breakfast will be served in the classroom from 8:30am-8:40am


Telephone Directory

Main Office 623-691-1700
Attendance 623-691-1705
Principal 623-691-1700
Assistant Principal 623-691-1701
Nurse 623-691-1715
Counselor 623-691-1726
Psychologist 623-691-1718
Student Services 623-691-1701
Police Officer 623-691-1729
Cafeteria 623-691-1730

Arrival/Dismissal on Campus:


Students are not allowed on campus prior to 8:00 A.M. There is no playground supervision before/after school and no students are allowed to be on the playground while waiting for a ride.  It is not permissible for students to wait for older siblings. If your student is picked up, please be here on time. 



2014/2015 Student Dress Code Policy


*Please read carefully as there have been some minor changes for the 2014/2015 school year.


At AMS we are committed to preparing our students for the future.  This preparation includes academics, social skills, and job skills.  The classroom is a student’s “workplace” and therefore we expect them to dress accordingly.  Students who violate dress code guidelines will be required to change into more appropriate clothing immediately and/or be removed from classes until a change of clothes can be brought in by a parent/guardian.


Our expectations for appropriate student dress include:


School ID’s:  should be worn on a lanyard and around neck at all times. Only school-designated lanyards are allowed.

Do not write, cover or alter the ID or the ID cover.


Shirts: Spirit shirts are the REQUIRED school uniform. They are sold in the front office all year long.

*Please note that polo shirts have been eliminated again for this year district office approval.

Undershirts, if worn, must be tucked in at all times. Shirts should not be oversized.


Pants, shorts, and skirts: must be solid dark blue or black and may be of uniform or jean material. 

ALL bottoms must be appropriate sizes. 

Shorts and skirts must be appropriate length. (They may not be shorter than 3” above the knees).

Leggings can only be worn with shorts or skirts of appropriate length.

No excessive or offensive logos.

No rips or cut offs.

No sweat pants are allowed.

No undergarments or shorts should be showing at any time.


Important: There is absolutely no sagging allowed. Pants must be waist high at all times. NO skinny jeans, oversized or baggy pants/jeans will be allowed. Pants must not sag so that undergarments or basketball shorts can be seen at any time. Undergarments/shorts must be completely covered by uniform pants/shorts. It is not sufficient for shirts to cover up undergarments.  This is considered as indecent exposure on school campus and parents will be required to pick students up or bring a change of clothes immediately.


Belts: if worn, must be plain and must not any writing/wording on them. They may not be offensive or have spikes. The buckles must be appropriate sized.  Initial, insignia or other questionable belt buckles are not permitted.


Shoes: must be closed at the toe and must meet safety requirements. Sandals, flip-flops or slippers are not allowed.


Sweatshirts and jackets: Sweatshirts and jackets can be worn outside as long as they do not have initials, pictures, logos or patterns that depict illegal, offensive or gang related references. Only plain sweatshirts or Atkinson sweatshirts may be worn inside the building. Students will be asked to remove jackets and sweatshirts that do not meet the criteria upon entering the building.


Jewelry is strongly discouraged and should be kept to a minimum. Jewelry should not have logos or patterns that depict illegal, offensive or gang related references. Spike earrings are not allowed.


Hats and sunglasses may be worn outside in order to protect from the sun. They must be out of sight and put away at all other times. Bandanas, hats, hairnets, doo-rags, etc. are not to be worn on campus.


Backpacks: should have NO writing and/or graffiti on them. Backpacks with any writing will be confiscated for parent pick-up and will not allowed back to school.


Free Dress Days: During the school year, students will have opportunities to participate in free dress days. On these days, students must adhere to the following guidelines:

* Meet the requirements of the event

* No ripped or cut off clothing

* No questionable logos or writing

* Sandals, flip-flops or slippers are not allowed.

* No logos or patterns that depict illegal, offensive or gang related references

* No undergarments or revealing clothing (i.e. spaghetti straps, mid-drifts, low-cut tops, spandex)

* No leggings or stretch pants


Items which endanger the health, safety and welfare of an orderly school environment are prohibited. 

* The school administration has the right to change, add, or modify the dress code policy at any time.

* The school principal will make the final decision on all dress code issues.



Section 2:  School Procedures


PRIDE Program

 The program is designed to teach students how to take responsibility for academics, come to class on time, and turn in all homework assignments when they are due. It is our goal that no student stays for PRIDE intervention.  Through implementation of the program, it is our intent to instill a sense of responsibility and an awareness that you have to come to school prepared to learn.  For more information, please refer to the PRIDE booklet.


Attendance Policy

Regular and punctual attendance is mandatory for all students. We have a closed campus and students are not allowed to leave during the day without being signed out by a parent or legal guardian.  The person signing out the student must present identification and be on the emergency contact form.



Parent/guardian of students who are absent must call the school attendance office by 9:00 a.m. the day of the absence: (623) 691-1705.  Parents should notify the school of prolonged absences and may be required to provide a note from their physician if out due to illness.  Any student who misses work due to an absence is responsible to contact teachers and work out a plan to make-up missed work.


Repeated Truancies/Absences

Marc T. Atkinson Middle School participates in a truancy program with the Juvenile Court Center of Maricopa County.  If a student has 5 or more unexcused absences or has missed 10% of the school year (18 days) excused or unexcused, the school can issue a citation to the child, the parent, or both. 



Tardy students must report to the Attendance Office.  Tardy students will receive a pass and will not be allowed into class without it. Repeated tardiness may result in consequences.


Students Leaving Early

Parents are requested to arrange medical, dental, and other appointments for their children outside school hours whenever possible.  Parents or guardians must present identification when picking up their child and must be listed on the emergency contact form.  Please keep this form updated at all times. 



Students not involved in a supervised after school activity must leave the campus immediately at the dismissal time.  Students are not allowed to attend any after school activities without adult supervision.


 Bus Transportation

 Riding the bus is a privilege.

 Qualifications for riding a bus to Marc T. Atkinson Middle School include:

  • Students who live within the school attendance area and live more than one radius mile from the school.
  • Students with disabilities who require transportation, as indicated in their respective individual education program.
  • Any infraction from the most minor to the most serious problem can result in a suspension from the bus for 1 to 10 days or more.
  • A more serious case or repeated offenses may result in permanent loss of bus transportation.
  • Students must have their I.D. or a temporary I.D. and must be in uniform to board the bus.
  • Seats may be assigned at the discretion of the bus driver.

Any problems on the bus will be submitted to the school administration for disciplinary action.


Late Buses (Sports/Extra Curricular)

Late buses are provided for students involved in supervised after school activities.  Students must have a school I.D. and late bus pass to be allowed on the bus. The same rules for regular bus transportation apply to the late bus.  PRIDE late buses leave campus around 4:30 p.m. and sports and extracurricular activity late buses leave campus around 5:15 p.m



If it is necessary for your child to receive medication at school, please ensure the following:

  • A medical permission form is completed by the parent or guardian if prescription medicine or over the counter medicine is to be dispensed at school.  Information regarding the dosage and time must be included in the permission form and the form must be signed.
  • Medication should be left in its original prescription bottle or original container.  It should be clearly labeled with the child’s name, medicine name, and instructions.
  • All medication, including prescriptions and over the counter medicines, must be kept in the nurse’s office.  They should not be kept in the classroom or the student’s backpack/pockets.


Fire Drills

City regulations require that regular fire drills be held during the school year. Students are required to be in line and quiet during a fire alarm so they can hear instructions. To turn in a false alarm or to pull a false alarm is a criminal offense and will be reported to the Phoenix Police Department.


Personal Belongings/Electronic Devices

Any items not prescribed for use in the classroom should not be brought on campus and will be confiscated (i.e. personal gaming systems, music players, balloons, water guns, sharpie markers, laser lights, etc.). Electronic devices are not to be brought to school (i.e. iPods, PSP, radios, game-boys, cameras, skateboards, in-line skates, trading card games, and other items not for school use). Confiscated items must be picked-up by parent from the Student Services Secretary. These items will not be kept from year to year.


Cell Phones

 Cell phones are discouraged and may not be used during the school day. They must be turned off and not visible during the school day.  If they are seen in the classroom, hallways, or on campus during school hours they will be confiscated. Parent pick-up is required for all confiscated items.


Students shall be responsible for any money or valuables they bring on campus.  The school will not be responsible for lost or stolen items nor are they able to investigate these matters.

Lost and Found Items

Students should place their names on all personal belongings. Lost items will be kept in the “Lost and Found Box” by the main office. Smaller items such as eyeglasses, keys, jewelry, etc. will be stored in the main office.  Unclaimed items will not be kept from quarter to quarter.


Library Late Fee(s): Students may use the library to check out books with a valid student id.   Any items not returned on time will be assessed a  .10 cent per day fee per item.

Use of School Equipment and Property

Extreme care should be taken in the use of all school property. Students and their parents may be held responsible to pay for any damage to school property. Any intentional damage may be reported to police as well. All financial obligations must be taken care of before a student can participate in any activities or withdraw to go to a different school.  Report cards and/or promotion certificates may be held until obligations are met.


Section 3:  Parental Involvement 

Parent Responsibilities

To ensure the success of our students, parents need to:

  • Provide an area free of distractions to complete assignments.
  • Check student PRIDE book daily and signed weekly.
  • Review student’s homework on a regular basis.
  • Attend conferences, school events, and activities.
  • Maintain accurate and current contact information in the main office.
  • Contact the child’s teacher/team if any concerns arise.

Parent Communication

Communication between parents and teachers is highly encouraged and should be initiated by both the teacher and parent.


Classroom Interruptions

It is the responsibility of the principal to limit classroom interruptions as much as possible. It is critical that we protect instructional time as much as possible. Although parents are welcome to visit classrooms we ask that visits not become too frequent so as to create a distraction from instruction and student learning.


Classroom Visits by Parents/Teacher meetings

For those who wish to visit a classroom or meet with a teacher, during the school day, it is preferred that the teacher be contacted in advance to arrange a day and time for such visit so as to avoid any conflicts with the school schedule. In visiting a classroom, parents must realize that the teacher’s first responsibility is to the class as a whole, and the teacher will be unable to converse at any length with the visitor. If a conference is desired, arrangements will be made by the teacher for an appointment with the parent either before or after school hours. No person may enter onto school premises, including visits to a classroom or other school activity, without approval by the principal.


*Classroom visits should be limited 10-15 minutes. The principal must approve longer visits.

*The principal reserves the right to make all final decisions on a case-by-case basis.

Student Achievement

Progress Reports: Progress reports will be given at the midterm of each quarter.  


Report Cards: Report cards will be given at the end of each quarter.


Promotion: Students must meet academic and behavioral expectations in order to participate in 8th grade promotion. All financial obligations must be taken care of before a student can participate in any promotion activities.  Report cards and/or promotion certificates will be held until obligations are met.  If any of the requirements have not been met, the student may not receive a promotion certificate and may NOT walk during the promotion ceremony!


Section 4: Student Discipline

General Discipline Information

The staff at Marc T. Atkinson Middle School believes the best form of discipline is self-discipline.  Marc T. Atkinson Middle School follows the Cartwright School District Parent Handbook. Students can and will be held accountable for their behavior to and from school even if they are not on school property. Anything that impacts or disrupts the school environment may also result in disciplinary action.


Student Procedures

Walk to the right in the halls.  Keep the flow of traffic moving. Students are expected to line-up outside of each class with ID on. I.D’s with provided color coordinated lanyard must be worn at all times on campus.  Students are expected to begin working as soon as they get into class. Students should have needed supplies with them every day. Follow all directions the first time they are given.  Students must wait in their seat for permission from the teacher to be dismissed.


School Wide Rules

  • Always follow the Blue Knight Code of Conduct.
  • Always follow the 3 R’s (Respect, Responsibility and Readiness)


Other school/district rules:

  • No eating or drinking in the classroom unless teacher has given permission.
  • No gum on campus at any time.
  • Use appropriate language.  No obscenities!
  • No public displays of affection (Hand holding, hugging, kissing, etc).
  • No spreading gossip or rumors.
  • No instigating, play fighting, or fighting.
  • No littering or vandalism on school grounds.
  • No drugs, alcohol, or tobacco allowed on campus.
  • No weapons or any kind allowed on campus.
  • No gang involvement of any kind will be permitted.
  • No bullying of any kind will be tolerated.
  • Students are NOT allowed to sell anything at school unless it is school sponsored.
  • Students will follow the policies for appropriate Internet use.  Teacher approval is required for viewing, downloading, and/or printing any materials from classroom computers.
  • Gambling is not permitted on campus.
  • Cheating or copying school assignments is not allowed.
  • Students are not permitted in the off-limits areas at any time.


Gang Involvement

Marc T. Atkinson Middle School will not tolerate any gang-related behaviors or activities.

  • No hand signs.
  • No tagging or graffiti/gang symbols on school property, textbooks, agendas, notebooks, papers, self or other property brought or used at school.
  • No gang related clothing, apparel, or jewelry.
  • No use of gang related nicknames.
  • No posturing or staring down other students.
  • No gang recruitment.
  • No sharpies, permanent markers, or spray paint materials.


Hands-Off Policy (Fighting)

  • Students will not bother or annoy other students physically, verbally, or visually; this includes language or gestures which insult intimidate or negatively incite another person’s feelings. 
  • Keep hands, feet, knees, elbows, and objects to yourself! 
  • Fighting of any type will not be tolerated at any time (This includes “play fighting”).
  • Instigating, encouraging, or gathering for a fight may result in disciplinary action.



BULLYING will NOT be tolerated at Atkinson Middle School. Bullying is when someone repeatedly and on purpose says or does mean or hurtful things to another person who has a hard time defending himself or herself.  Types of bullying include DIRECT BULLYING: hitting, kicking, shoving, spitting, taunting, name-calling, degrading comments, threatening, obscene gestures; INDIRCT BULLYING: getting another person to bullying someone, spreading rumors, social isolation, cyber-bullying; RELATIONAL BULLYING: damaging reputations or social standing with peers, using threats or loss of relationships to manipulate. Bullying is against our school rules. It’s a serious offense and it will be dealt with accordingly.


Public Displays of Affection (PDA)

Students must refrain from hugging, kissing, holding hands, etc. while on campus.  This display of affection is not appropriate at school and can result in disciplinary action.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is the unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment may include: suggestive or obscene letters, notes, invitations, derogatory comments, slurs, jokes, assault, touching, spreading rumors, impeding or blocking movement, leering gestures, or display of sexually suggestive objects, clothing, pictures or cartoons of a sexual nature.  Sexual harassment is a serious offense and will be dealt with accordingly and may involve a police report.


Off-Limits Areas

Students are NOT permitted in the following areas:

  • Staff parking lots.
  • Post office parking lot.
  • Private properties neighboring the school.
  • Construction areas.
  • Storage areas and other areas used by the custodial staff.
  • Staff work area, staff lounge and department offices used by the teaching and library staff.
  • Unattended classrooms.
  • Teacher mailroom.
  • Tarver Elementary School.

Dance Etiquette

Dances are extracurricular incentives that are offered throughout the year.

  • School dances are held for students who meet the pre-determined criteria for attendance, behavior and academics.
  • Students must dress appropriately. Students must have their I.D. and permission slip to enter the dance.
  • Dirty dancing is NOT permitted.
  • Once a student has entered the dance, they are not allowed to leave until the dance is over.
  • Parents must be on time to pick-up their child(ren).  Students not picked-up on time will not be allowed to attend the following dance.
  • The principal, or designee, will make the final decision on dance related issues


Behavior Rewards

Students attending Marc T. Atkinson Middle School are expected to follow the Blue Knight Code of Conduct, the school rules, and the school procedures.  Students who display good behavior will be rewarded.

Possible rewards include:

  • Dances                                         * Food treats                             *Movies     
  • No uniform days                          *Game days
  • Field trips                                     *Awards        

* Teams/teachers may have additional rewards not listed.


Behavior Consequences

Students attending Marc T. Atkinson Middle School are expected to follow the Blue Knight Code of Conduct, the school rules, and the school procedures.  Students who fail to follow school policies will be subject to disciplinary action.

Possible consequences include:

  • Time-out
  • Parent call/contact
  • Parent/Student conference with administration
  • Alternative Classroom
  • Out-of-school Suspension
  • Loss of school privilege (i.e. riding bus, dance, social etc)
  • Community service
  • Alternative to Suspension Program (ATS)
  • Disciplinary Hearing requesting Long-term Suspension or Expulsion

* Teams/teachers may have additional consequences not listed.

* Failure to complete assigned consequence(s) will result in further disciplinary action.


Maryvale Community Center/Library, Maryvale Park, the Circulator Bus

These locations are not extensions of Marc T. Atkinson Middle School.  Students are not supervised by Cartwright School District Staff in these locations. As there is no supervision at Maryvale Park (51st and Campbell), we advise that students go directly home after school dismisses. Problems continue to arise when students are left unsupervised at these locations.


Final Note

The Marc T. Atkinson Middle School handbook is a supplement to the Cartwright School District Parent Handbook.  All district policies apply to our school.  Please read the “Weapons Policy”, “Internet Agreement”, “PRIDE booklet”, and “Bus Riding Agreement” forms carefully.  You will be asked to sign and return the following forms during the first week of school:           

  • Parent/Student Compact
  • Acknowledgement of Student Agenda/Handbook
  • Bus Rules (required for all students for field trips, after school, sports)
  • Weapons Policy
  • Internet Agreement
  • Office Update Form
  • District Student/Parent Handbook
  • PRIDE Program letter
  • Health Education form


This handbook is intended to be as comprehensive as possible.  However, situations may arise that are not covered by this handbook.  The school administration reserves the right to adjust, modify, add, or delete from it as necessary.


Thank you for your cooperation and support.  We look forward to a great school year!


Dr. Diana Romito