MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENT HANDBOOK
Welcome! We are so glad you are at the Singapore American School Middle School. This handbook explains the opportunities that the middle school offers you. Each of these opportunities is designed in alignment with the vision and mission of the entire SAS community. We want to inspire you to confidently learn, interact, and grow so that you make the most of your special middle school years. These years are all about YOU and what you have to offer the world. The middle school schedule, activities, curriculum, and atmosphere are all designed around the things that make middle school students unique. You make the middle school special.
MIDDLE SCHOOL PHILOSOPHY
- As middle school students, you are going through a lot of changes and transitions. You’re no longer children and you’re not yet adults. This makes you quite different from elementary and high school students—in ways that we appreciate. We value all middle school students and respect that you are now old enough to take responsibility for your choices and actions.
- We have high standards for you because we want you to be challenged and have a sense of achievement and satisfaction in life. We also want to make sure you understand the importance of balance in your life, so we provide you with many opportunities to do things outside of academics.
- We know you come from all different cultural backgrounds. That’s one reason why we talk so much about cultural competence and why we encourage you to see yourself as part of a global community. Both in the classroom and through service opportunities, you will begin to grow into your future roles as global citizens.
- We know everyone is unique, with special skills, interests, talents, and experiences. You have the right to equality, without distinction on account of race, religion or national origin.
- Make a Big School Feel Small
- Advisory List
- Services for Students
- Technology, Reporting on Student Learning, and Homework
- Maintaining a Positive Learning Environment
- Selected Examples of Conflicts with the Core Values
- Drug Policy Regulations
- Security and Emergency Procedures
- Singapore Laws and You
- Beyond the Classroom
- Information for Your Parents
Make a Big School Feel Small
The middle school is a big school. We want you to get to know your classmates, your teachers, and your school community. To make our school feel smaller, we first divide our students by grade level. Each grade is unique in their learning and social needs. To make our learning group even smaller, we divide each grade level into three teams. Your team of approximately 100 students is your school family for each middle school year. We often refer to these teams as A, B, and C sides. Each team has a group of teachers assigned to it; they are there to help you have the best school year possible.
Your schedule rotates through a six-day cycle. This allows you to learn in your core classes at different times, thus avoiding sleepy mornings in the same subject week after week. You need a chance to learn at your peak learning time in every academic class. A typical day begins with eighteen minutes of advisory. After that, the sixth grade operates on a different schedule than the seventh and eighth grades. When you read schedule charts, make sure you are looking at your specific grade level. Sometimes special events, assemblies, and activities call for changes to the schedule. You’ll know about these special schedules in advance, and again, your advisory teacher will help you know where to go. It may look overwhelming at first. Don’t worry; your advisory teacher will help you know where to go each day and after a week or two, you’ll have it all under control.
One hundred students is still a large group of people. We want you to always have someone to go to with your questions and concerns, whether they are academic or social. We also want you to have a caring group of peers to support you. advisory is a smaller unit within each team. These families of approximately twelve students begin every day together. One teacher serves as the advisor for each home base advisory. Advisory is where you learn about the weekly events and announcements, plan for your Classroom Without Walls excursion, grow in social skills and study habits, and develop an inclusive, safe, supportive community within a big school. Each advisory member is expected to participate fully and to model the core values; this is where you set the tone for your school day. It’s an important time!
Many people comment that the food in the middle school cafeteria is the best school food they’ve ever tasted. You can choose from a huge variety of freshly made nutritious food, and enjoy it with your friends in a clean and attractive cafeteria. This privilege is yours to keep by being polite to your peers and lunchroom staff, calmly enjoying your food at a table, and cleaning up after yourself when finished. Unless you have permission from an adult, all food should remain in the cafeteria.
You also have free time during lunch. Please remain in the supervised areas during this time. When moving from one location to another, please use the fire lane or the second floor hallway at the front of the school to avoid ongoing classes. The supervised areas are:
- The cafeteria
- The squishy court
- The middle school foyer
- The middle school library
- The upper play field
After eating you can drop off valuables in your locker, but you must then go to a supervised area.
Hallways can be crowded during peak times. For the safety and comfort of others, you should not run, shout, or play in the hallways. There are designed spaces for being active and playing games. Also, work with those that have a locker around you so everyone can get what they need and get to their next class.
AFTER SCHOOL CAMPUS HOURS
The middle school has areas available for you to study and relax from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. You may stay on campus after school from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in supervised locations if you are waiting for activities to begin or transportation to arrive. In order to ensure you’re safe, you are expected to be in a middle school supervised location until 4:15 p.m.:
- After school club or teacher sponsored activity
- Middle school cafeteria
- Middle school library
- Middle school squishy court
If you remain on campus after the 4:30 p.m. activity buses depart, you should be under the supervision of a parent or an adult representative from the club or activity that you are waiting on or participating in (i.e. Community Athletics and Activities, Scouts, etc.).
MOBILE PHONES AND OTHER PERSONAL BELONGINGS
If you choose to bring a mobile phone to school, it is our recommendation that you secure this and other valuable items in your locker during school hours. Mobile phones may be used only during non-instructional times unless directed by your teacher. If the use of your mobile phone causes a distraction to the learning environment, it could be temporarily confiscated. We are not responsible for mobile phones that are lost, stolen, or misplaced.
If items you bring to school are not necessary for your learning, we ask that you leave them at home.
VISITORS TO CAMPUS
Guests are welcome to the middle school, but our first priority is that student learning is not interrupted. We want your visitor’s experience to be positive for everyone at school. If you have a special guest in town and wish him or her to join you for a portion of the school day, you will need to complete the student visitor permission form at least one full day prior to the visit. The form will ask you to select the half-day your visitor will spend at SAS. You will then need to gain permission from a deputy principal and from each teacher whose class the guest will visit. Exchange your completed form for a visitor’s pass on the day of your guest’s visit. The student visitor form is available in the MySAS Portal on the SAS website.
SCHOOL SPONSORED EVENTS
The middle school provides opportunities for you to learn in unique settings. This allows you to expand your comfort zones, take new risks, and grow closer to your school community members. We believe that you need to apply what you learn at school to real-world situations through academic and community focused field trips and Classroom Without Walls excursions.
FIELD TRIPS When an opportunity arises for you to participate in an enriching experience outside of school, your teachers may organize a field trip. Any time students leave campus, you will be asked to submit a parent-signed permission slip granting permission for you to join your classmates in a new learning opportunity. Depending on costs, you may also be asked to pay for a portion of the trip.
Field trips are extensions of SAS classrooms; regardless of venue, we expect each middle school student to be an ambassador for SAS. You represent our core values and our student body; you are held to the same standards of character and behavior both on and off campus.
CLASSROOM WITHOUT WALLS The Classroom Without Walls (CWW) program is an important part of the middle school experience at SAS. These multi-day experiences involve a variety of fun and challenging experiences that are designed to help you build relationships with both your peers as well as the teachers on your side. In addition to these fun activities, CWW includes an overnight component ranging from one night in sixth grade to three night in eighth grade. CWW takes place early in the school year as it helps set the tone for the rest of the school year. As your team prepares for its adventure, your will receive information from your advisory teacher on how you can prepare, pack, and contribute to the success of the event.
TRi Time TRi Time is dedicated time during the regular school day for middle school students to pursue their own curiosities and interests in a supportive environment guided by their Advisory teachers. Over three to four weeks each semester, students question, investigate, create, and reflect as they pursue topics of their own choice while honing their skills at creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication. Depending on the topic a student chooses, they may work in a space on campus appropriate to their investigation, such as the library maker space, the art room, a gym, or the music practice rooms. Students may also reach out to mentors both within the community and beyond to provide additional support. As students pursue their investigations -- and experience both successes and setbacks -- they have the opportunity to develop a growth mindset and nurture their own joy of learning. While TRi Time is not graded, students are expected to share their reflections with an authentic audience both within their Advisory and during Student-Led Conferences. TRi Time also serves as a stepping stone to programs like Catalyst and Quest in the high school where students pursue their own independent investigations over a longer period of time.
Services for Students
STUDENT HEALTH SERVICES
The middle school has a full time nurse available during school hours every day. The nurse is also available during after school activity time until 4:30 p.m. If you are not feeling well, you may visit the nurse during your break times. In cases of extreme illness, you may request a note to visit the nurse from a teacher if you are too ill to continue with class. In addition, if you require prescription medications to be taken at school, your parents will need to give your medication to the nurse for him or her to administer to you. Because losing medication puts your health at risk, we do not allow students to carry their own prescription medication during the day. If you do fall seriously ill at school and the nurse deems that you need to recover at home, the nurse will contact your parents and only send you home once your parent or guardian signs out for you at the middle school office.
The middle school library welcomes all members of the SAS community from 7:15 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., Monday through Friday. We currently have 23,000 print books, 8,000 eBooks, and 14 online databases. Our eBook collection is undergoing rapid expansion. We also offer a wide variety of tools and resources through our Learning Design Studios which support differentiated learning through a multiple intelligences approach.
The Top Ten Den: New top ten books from each genre are displayed each month.
The Wellness Zone: A space to encourage movement and exercise.
The Central Connection: A smaller meeting and presentation area.
The Note Pad: A fully equipped music studio.
The Tiger's Eye: A photography and videography studio.
The Living Room: A quiet reading area highlighting nature and science.
We hope to offer all guests a dynamic and supportive setting for exploratory learning and knowledge creation. The goal of our staff is to assist students in becoming thoughtful users and creators of information.
The Collaborative Side: Maker spaces and non-fiction books.
The Quiet Side: Fiction books, large classroom like area and bean bag cubbies.
Library members may borrow up to ten items at a time for a three week loan period. Most of our equipment, tools and devices are intended for use within the library so our studios can remain fully functional. Food and beverages are only allowed for designated special events. You can learn more about the library by visiting our website linked to the middle school homepage, or better yet, stop by and see it for yourself.
The middle school wants you to feel safe and supported as you journey through these unique years. Our counseling office is staffed by counselors that understand the changes and complexities of being a young adult at Singapore American School. The counselors help with a variety of academic issues: student schedules, tutoring assistance, and preparation for the transition to high school. However, they do a lot more than just support you as a student. They are also resources for assistance on dealing with whatever adolescence might throw at you. Whether it’s a disagreement with friends, anxiety over schoolwork, or a problem at home, the counselors can provide guidance. Each grade level has a counselor assigned to it; you are always welcome to make an appointment.
You do not need to purchase any school supplies at the beginning of the school year. The middle school helps you feel ready for your first week by providing a start-up bundle of supplies, and an individual lock for your hallway locker. On your first day of classes, your advisory teacher will distribute these items, help you organize them, and give you time to attach your lock and learn your combination. If you need to replace items later, or wish to buy additional supplies, you can visit the school store before school from 7:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. at break, during lunch, or after school until 3:15 p.m. Please see your advisory teacher if you need a replacement lock.
LOST AND FOUND
You can model the core values of SAS by helping return belongings to their owners. If you find an unattended item at school, please take it to the lost and found in the middle school office. In the case that you are missing something, the lost and found is one of the first places you want to check. The PE office also has a lost and found for items that are collected in the locker rooms or on the sports fields.
The middle school provides you with a locker and lock, so that you have a safe, convenient spot to store your belongings throughout the day. Using your locker responsibly entails:
- Using only the locker that is assigned to you
- Keeping your locker clean
- Labeling all your personal items
- Storing your belongings only in your locker and not in other school spaces
- Safeguarding (not telling others) your combination
You are asked to store your backpack/bookbag in your locker and take with you only necessary items for a few classes at a time. This way, the classrooms and other school spaces remain uncluttered, and your back and neck are free of the strain that a heavy bag puts on them.
You are welcome to ride your bike to school. However, once you reach school grounds, please walk your bike to avoid collisions with other students and/ or vehicles. Your safety matters! Bike racks are available on campus. You will need to provide your own lock, as your bike’s security is your responsibility.
WHEELED TRANSPORTATION SAFETY
Because we have a busy campus, we cannot allow skateboards, bicycles, wheeled shoes, roller blades, scooters, roller skates, or other similar gear to be used in the halls on campus. Please store these items at the designated racks or in the middle school office if they won’t fit in a locker.
We want you to have a safe and respectful experience on your rides to and from school. Safe, comfortable bus service is available to all students for getting to and from school. In addition, there is an after school activity bus to conveniently get you home when you stay for any of the after school supervised activities. You are expected to model the SAS core values when on the bus. This makes for a pleasant bus ride for everyone. Your bus driver has an important job transporting a busload of energetic students to school and home. We need you to help your driver:
- Wear your seatbelt and remain seated in your seat at all times.
- Understand that there are many people on one bus; use a quiet voice and classroom appropriate language.
- Model the core value of respect: be courteous to the bus driver, attendant, and other riders. Respect everyone’s belongings and personal space.
- Help keep the bus stay clean by not eating or drinking at any time.
- Disembark and load at your assigned stop; if you need to alter your route, your parents may make changes at the bus office.
- Remember that students are assigned to each bus; you may not bring guests on the school buses.
- Ensure that everyone gets home on time by boarding before 3:12 p.m.
When students do not follow the expectations, they may be suspended from riding the bus. For consequences for students not following the core values please refer to the section “Maintaining a Positive Learning Environment.” The bus office can be reached at 6360 6770.
We all dress differently for a variety of occasions. If your parent is in a business meeting they dress differently than when attending a sporting event. Our school uniform helps create a comfortable and focused learning environment and identifies you as part of the middle school team. It reflects a seriousness of purpose and a concern for your academic experience. Our uniform is intended to minimize distraction so that you can be comfortable, and focused on your school activities. Unless otherwise stated, you need to wear your uniform for the entire school day. Please keep the following expectations in mind:
- The SAS uniform consists of a white SAS polo shirt and navy blue bottoms with the embroidered SAS logo, available for sale in the Eagle Stop. You show your respect for your school by wearing a uniform that is clean, neat, properly sized, and free from holes, tears, or frayed areas.
- School uniforms must be worn as purchased and may not be altered in any way. This includes rolling-up shorts and rolling-down skirts.
- Uniform pants can be ordered through Lands' End. Click on "Find My School Using My Preferred Number." The SAS preferred school number is 900054461. Lands’ End offers delivery to Singapore.
- The embroidered school logo (on the bottom hem of shorts & skirts) must be visible at all times.
- A solid white undershirt or white SAS t-shirt may be worn under your official SAS uniform polo shirt.
The following skirts are no longer approved as part of the SAS school uniform:
- Underwear may not be visible at any time.
- For your safety, shoes must be worn at all times.
- Only appropriate and safe footwear with heels lower than 4cm or 1.5 inches are permitted.
- Single plug flip-flops, beach, or sport sandals are not permitted unless a doctor has indicated that they are necessary due to injury or illness.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION UNIFORMS
- The regulation PE uniform helps you fully participate in all athletic activities in your PE class. You must wear the SAS logo PE shorts and red uniform PE t-shirts with socks and gym or sports shoes.
- Hats, caps, sunglasses, and sunscreen are strongly encouraged for all outdoor activities.
- Accessories must be removed before PE classes if they pose a potential safety risk.
It is your responsibility not to bring any valuables to the locker room, including money and cellphones.
- Your swimsuit may be any color, but it must be one piece and a modest style.
- Swim shirts are encouraged to protect against the sun, but two-piece swimsuits are not permitted.
- Swim goggles are permitted but not recommended.
A white or blue "SINGAPORE AMERICAN SCHOOL" sweatshirt (purchased at the Booster Booth or PTA) may be worn over an SAS uniform shirt.
- Kindly note the sweaters below are not allowed:
- Jewelry may not be distracting or offensive.
- Hats and sunglasses are strongly encouraged to be worn outside or during PE; sunglasses and hats are not permitted indoors unless under a doctor’s orders.
ALTERNATE DRESS DAYS
- Two Wednesdays of each month are designated as alternate dress days. Students do not have to wear the school uniform but must conform to the guidelines below. Please check the school calendar or eNews for specific alternate dress days.
- Clothing depicting drugs, alcohol, profanity, or sexual innuendo is not permitted.
- Shorts and skirts should be mid-thigh or longer.
- Spaghetti straps, strapless, or midriff tops are not permitted.
- Students must conform to the general guidelines on grooming, shoes, and accessories.
- Students must have PE-appropriate clothing and footwear at school if PE classes fall on alternate dress days.
SPECIAL DRESS / HOLIDAY DRESS / GAME AND PERFORMANCE ATTIRE
Jerseys, club, and performance recognition shirts may be worn in the place of the white SAS uniform polo shirt on special occasions as approved by the administration. On special holidays or school sponsored spirit days when the administration approves a change in dress code, you will want to follow a few guidelines:
- Wear your uniform bottoms with a top that aligns with the school dress code and the spirit/holiday dress requirements.
- Wear a full costume that aligns with the school dress code and the spirit/holiday dress requirements.
- Please do not consider spirit/holiday dress days as alternate dress days. You are expected to be in uniform if you choose not to participate fully with the theme of the day.
VIOLATION OF DRESS CODE REGULATIONS
If you do not conform to the regulations, you will be referred by your teacher to the middle school office. Depending on availability, appropriate attire may be provided by the school and your parent may be notified of the violation.
We want you at school! Your teachers have great things planned for you each day. Our middle school program is designed specifically for the active needs of eleven to fourteen year olds. Your learning at the middle school takes place in hands-on demonstrations, laboratories, interactive lessons, performances, response groups, and student-driven discussions. If you are not here to participate, you miss significant learning opportunities that may impact your overall achievement.
We hope that you are at school every day. Your daily participation matters. However, if you are absent, one of your parents will need to complete the report absence form located in the MySAS portal to inform the school that you will not be attending. This form can only be accessed with a parent login. Students cannot complete the form.
You will want to take responsibility for your absence by checking online to gather information on missed assignments and activities. Makeup work is your responsibility and needs to be completed.
If you are absent as a result of a school sponsored event or function (service-learning trip, field trip, etc.), you will be granted an excused absence. In these cases (as in any pre-arranged absence), you are expected to contact the teachers of the classes you will miss prior to the absence in order to collect and complete your homework in advance.
EXCUSED ABSENCES FOR RELIGIOUS HOLIDAYS
Singapore American School honors and respects the rich cultural diversity of its school community. An aspect of this diversity is the range of religions in which its community is engaged. Singapore formally recognizes holidays for its major religions and these Singapore holidays are required school holidays.
Students of other religious faiths at SAS may be excused from school for their significant religious observances. Please have your parents contact the school two weeks prior to the planned absence. The administration will inform teachers of these student absences, and opportunities will be made available by teachers to make up any tests or class work missed.
EARLY DEPARTURES / LATE ARRIVALS / PRE-ARRANGED ABSENCES
As with any absence, your parents need to inform the school when you miss any part of a school day. Your parents may use the report absence form in the MySAS portal or send you to school with a note. Anytime you arrive late, please check in directly with the counseling office before heading to your locker or class. Because we are a closed campus, anytime you need to depart early you must get a release slip from the counseling office and show it to your teacher in order to leave.
You are expected to be on time for advisory and each class each day. We do not want you to miss important learning opportunities and instructions. However, if you arrive late to school, check in with the counseling office directly. If you do not have a note from a parent, your tardy will be marked as unexcused. It is rare for students to have unexcused tardies, to avoid them students should head to their classes as soon as the first bell rings. If you are repeatedly tardy, you will need to meet with a principal to develop a plan to ensure you are in class on time.
Technology, Reporting on Student Learning, and Homework
You are in middle school now, and you are able to take greater responsibility for your learning. You are expected to be in charge of missing work, homework, and make-up work from absences. You’re not on your own though. Your teachers empower you to take responsibility by updating and using relevant online learning tools like PowerSchool and various Google applications. When used properly, these tools help you grow in your maturity as a student.
The middle school recognizes that technology serves as a dynamic tool for learning that optimizes productivity, connectivity, collaboration, and creativity. The 1:1 laptop program in the middle school increases your access to laptops with the goal of further integrating information technology and literacy into our curriculum. The program provides enhanced learning opportunities in our classrooms and promotes the development of responsible digital citizenship.
Whenever you use technology at the middle school, you are agreeing to the digital citizenship agreement. It is important that you understand this policy and that you take your role as technology user seriously. You are expected to keep your passwords private and secure and to model respectful, responsible, academic computer use at all times.
The middle school uses a program called PowerSchool so that you can check your academic progress online. During most of the school year, you can access PowerSchool any time of day.
PowerSchool is essentially an open gradebook; you can monitor your own progress. This open communication allows you to take responsibility for missing assignments, catch up on homework when you’re absent, and monitor your academic gains.
At the start of every year, the middle school will send a letter home to your parents with instructions for accessing PowerSchool. Your student credentials for Google and for accessing the SAS wifi are the same ones you’ll use for PowerSchool. A link to PowerSchool can easily be found on the middle school website.
It is important that you understand that when you login to PowerSchool and view your personal gradebook that you are viewing a brief snapshot in time. Your final score will change throughout each semester; your grade is not final until the end of the term date determined by each subject’s teacher.
PowerSchool is meant to give YOU more responsibility. You are in charge of following through on your assignments, explaining your learning to your parents, and advocating for yourself. Your teachers will update grades a minimum of every 10 working days. We want you to become a self-advocate, so if you have questions or concerns about your grades then you should respectfully approach your teacher for assistance.
Why do we give grades and create report cards in the middle school?
Two times per year, you and your parents receive a report with information, or feedback, on your achievements and progress in your middle school studies. The reports also serve as official school records/transcripts if you need to move to another school. In addition, your parents will be invited to meet your teacher midway through the first semester and will be sent comments at the end of second semester.
Why are some reports paperless?
- You are becoming more and more responsible for your own learning. In order for you to take such responsibility, you need feedback on how you’re doing. Feedback is essential for learning. Without it, it’s hard to feel pride in your achievements and motivation to improve.
- That is, you need feedback in order to be successful. Assessment is a form of feedback, and grades are a kind of assessment.
- In an effort to be ecologically responsible while remaining current with technology uses and applications, we use paperless reports for the first three reporting periods.
How does all of this happen?
- A letter is sent home to you and your parents with instructions for accessing grades before the end of the first semester.
- If teachers are concerned about your learning, they may contact your parents at any time to support your progress and update parents on your current grades. In addition, we encourage you to seek out a teacher and have a conversation about how you can better learn.
- The middle school grading scale is a standards based approach, focusing on specific student outcomes.
One way for teachers to help you to learn and to be successful is to assign appropriate and meaningful homework. In middle school, teachers may give you homework for several reasons:
- To reinforce (get it into your head) learning through further practice and application of material
- To enrich (make even better) your learning through independent study, individual research, and experimentation
- To develop your independent reading and study habits
- To enable you to complete assignments that you weren’t able to complete in class
- To work on projects of a long-term nature
The amount of time you spend on homework is contingent upon many factors: how quickly you read, how much you did (or didn’t) finish in class and the knowledge base you’ve brought with you from other experiences and schools. This means that it’s difficult to put a precise, standard number of minutes on the amount of time you should be studying. If you are having difficulty judging the amount of time you need to spend on homework, the middle school suggests the “10 minute rule” as a loose guideline. That is, ten minutes per grade level per evening, taking into account that some electives might require you to spend additional time on independent study.
- Grade six: about 60 minutes daily
- Grade seven: about 70 minutes daily
- Grade eight: about 80 minutes daily
If you find that the amount of time you’re spending varies drastically from the above guidelines, you may want to seek help from your teachers or counselor.
Organization is the key to successful independent study. Some good tips:
Regularly check Google Classroom for announcements, classwork assignments, and materials. On a daily basis you should:
Check the class tiles page
Check each class stream for announcements
Check the Classroom tab for assignments
Check the Google Classroom calendar
Check your email
- For courses that meet every other day, do your homework on the night it’s assigned. This keeps you one step ahead, and gives you a day in between to seek help from the teacher.
- Do your homework in a quiet place with no distractions. It is impossible to gauge how much time you’re spending on homework if you’re also multitasking on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.) or watching a movie. In fact, turn off the internet unless you’re specifically using it for your homework.
- Keep all of your supplies where you’ll need them for homework. Return them so you won’t waste time locating them.
- Work in chunks of time and take short breaks in between.
A few other things you should know:
- Tests will not be given, nor long term assignments due, on the first day of school after a long holiday weekend or school vacation.
- Homework will not be assigned on extended holidays such as Thanksgiving, Winter Break, Chinese New Year, Fall Break, or Spring Break. The holidays allow students, as life-long learners, the opportunity to explore and expand their various interests.
- If you are absent from school, you are responsible for making up missed assignments. In case of absences, we will give you adequate time to make up missing work or assessments.
- Try new things! Become involved in the middle school outside the classroom. Participation in activities helps you identify your interests and allows you opportunities to make friends with students who share your interests.
Maintaining a Positive Learning Environment
At Singapore American School, we believe middle school is a place where students are accepted, heard, and free to be themselves.
SAFE AND CARING ENVIRONMENT
In order to ensure that the middle school is a positive and supportive environment for you to learn and enjoy your school, all members of the community need to exhibit our core values:
Sometimes members of a community make decisions that do not align with an accepted set of core values. When this happens with a student he/she will undergo a process that will give them an opportunity:
- To accept responsibility for their actions.
- To clarify personal and school values.
- To reflect on their actions in order to learn from the situation.
- Make amends to those that were affected by their actions.
- To return to the community as a positive contributing member.
Depending upon the nature of the behavior there may also be further consequences to ensure that the student has a clear understanding of the responsibilities associated with being a member of the SAS community.
TYPES OF CONFLICTS WITH THE CORE VALUES
When students engage in behavior that is in conflict with the core values the following categories guide the principal and deputy principals in their work with students. Consequences will be aligned with the categories and other variables.
When students engage in behavior that is in conflict with the core values the following categories guide the principal and deputy principals in their work with students. Consequences will be aligned with the categories and other variables.
CATEGORY ONE This category represents the vast majority of disciplinary incidents. These are the day-to-day reminders or warnings to students to be safe or to act appropriately. Examples of incidents in this category include, but are not limited to, dress code violations, running or shouting in the hall, unsafe play, and behavior disruptive to a positive learning environment. In most of these cases, the learning or reinforcement of good behavior takes place on the spot and students are asked to make verbal plans to avoid repeating the behavior. Repeated category one behaviors can lead to more serious consequences.
CATEGORY TWO This category covers incidents at the middle level of concern. Examples include, but are not limited to, excessive tardiness, rude behavior, use of profanity, cutting class, dangerous behavior, and disruptive behavior on the bus. These are referred to the administration; parent(s) may be contacted and counselors are informed. Teachers are involved if their awareness of the incident will support the student. Category two offenses may result in detention, and in serious or repeated cases, suspension, at the discretion of the principal or deputy principal. If the student is suspended, parent(s), the student’s teachers, and the superintendent will be notified. The student may be asked to complete a values learning plan relating to the incident.
CATEGORY THREE This category represents the most serious discipline cases in the school, those which threaten the community’s moral fabric. Acts of intimidation, fighting, drug and alcohol use, stealing, lying, bias-based language, hate speech, and cheating are examples of category three behaviors. We are fortunate that such incidents are rare. Following a thorough investigation and a values learning plan, offenders are disciplined accordingly and the superintendent may be notified. The school counselor is involved and outside counseling may be recommended. In order to best support the student, his or her teachers may be notified. These cases are referred to the administration, parents are contacted, and a parent conference may be arranged. Given repeated offenses or in an extreme case threatening the physical safety of self or others, a student may lose the right to continue to be a member of the school community. This is the superintendent’s decision, and as all disciplinary decisions, is based on balancing the welfare of the student and that of the broader school community.
Values Learning Plan (VLP)
Students involved in a discipline incident may be asked to draft a values learning plan (VLP), in addition to other consequences. The format of the VLP provides the opportunity for students to describe what happened, reflect on the results of their actions, clarify personal and school values and design a strategy to avoid repeating such behavior. This is an important part in the process of values guidance, learning, and support. In addition, it offers parents and the adults at school a common foundation in guiding students. In cases where the VLP involves a suspension from school, a parent conference will be arranged to discuss the VLP and a copy shared with the student’s teachers and counselor. For some serious situations or repeat offences students may need to conference with the adults in their life, including parents, an administrator, counselor and teachers to discuss their actions and their plan to improve.
Consequences for Conflicts with Core Values
When a student’s actions are in conflict with the school’s core values the consequences could include but would not be limited to, a verbal plan, parent call, parent conference, loss of privileges (field trips, CWW), loss of free time (detentions), temporary removal from a class, service to the community, in-school suspension, out of school suspension, permanent exclusion from a class, and in serious or repeated cases, expulsion (permanent removal from school).
Singapore American School disciplinary infractions can result in consequences for participation in Eagle Activities and Athletics.
- Eagle Activities and Athletics disciplinary infractions can be reported to Singapore American School and can result in further disciplinary action taken by the school.
DETENTION For some infractions students may lose some or all of their free time at school. This is generally done in cases where a student hasn’t shown an ability to manage his or her own behavior during unstructured time. This typically is a lunch and/or break detention. Students can bring their lunch to the office, but will be separated from their normal lunch or break activities.
SUSPENSION Membership at SAS is dependent on learning and living by our core values. In support of this expectation, a student may be suspended should he or she exhibit behavior that:
- Poses an immediate or continuing threat to the safety of others.
- Clearly demonstrates a conscious failure to live within and abide by SAS core values.
- Deliberately, significantly and consistently disrupts and impedes the learning of others.
The length of a suspension is relative to the severity of the incident and the circumstances. The principal can approve up to a five day suspension. Any longer suspensions would be approved by the superintendent.
Suspensions remove a student from the learning community to provide time for reflection on the core values and their commitment to abide by them. A student on:
- In-school suspension is in the office for the duration of the suspension.
- Out of school suspension is picked up by their parents and would not be allowed on campus for the duration of the suspension.
During both in and out-of-school suspension students are not allowed to participate in any school sponsored after school activities. Students on suspension may complete and turn in any work they miss as a result of their time away from classes.
EXPULSION A case may arise where a threat to safety, or breach in conduct is so significant that a student will be required to leave school and not return. Depending on circumstances, a student may have a pre-expulsion hearing with the principal, deputy principal, parents and superintendent. Expulsions occur by decision of the superintendent.
Selected Examples of Conflicts with the Core Values
MEAN AND DISRESPECTFUL BEHAVIOR AND BULLYING
We are committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment, conducive to learning. Mean behavior and bullying are against our core values and unacceptable at Singapore American School. Disrespectful and mean behaviors are defined as actions that are intended to hurt others through physical, verbal, or written/electronic means. Meanness becomes bullying when these behaviors are repeated.
Some specific examples of disrespectful and mean behavior may include:
- Physical Aggression: pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any use of violence, attacks on the property of another person
- Verbal Aggression: put downs, sarcasm, spreading rumors, name calling, mocking, teasing, notes or messages, racial taunts, ethnic or sexual orientation slurs, extortion of money or possessions
- Cyber Aggression: teasing, putdowns, all forms of electronic information, such as email, chat room, SMS, text messages, telephone calls, abusive web pages, or inappropriate photo taking and/or sharing
- Relational Aggression: spreading rumors, sharing secrets, deliberate isolation, putdowns, social exclusion, using relationships as a weapon, tormenting, hiding others belongings, threatening gestures, building coalitions that deny an individual from healthy relationships with others, non-verbal gesturing, eye rolling, mean looks, silent treatment
HOW CAN WE AS STUDENTS AND MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY ENSURE THERE IS A SAFE AND CARING ENVIRONMENT IN OUR MIDDLE SCHOOL?
By agreeing to:
- Being kind
- Helping other students
- Including students who are left out by inviting them to join groups or activities
- Let an adult at school or a parent know if someone is being treated disrespectfully (this can be a trusted teacher, your grade level counselor or another adult)
- Follow the guidelines of digital citizenship: if you wouldn’t say it, don’t send it
HOW WILL THE ADULTS HELP?
Faculty handle situations constructively, using a comprehensive range of approaches involving thoughtful decision making about the most appropriate course of action, keeping the social-emotional needs of the students involved as the focus. This may include advisory discussions, smaller group or individual meetings with the counselor, mediation. We have explicit curriculum through advisory as well as health class to support students in social problem solving.
Our goal is to be restorative in nature, allowing students the opportunity to fix their mistakes and learn from them. In more extreme cases, or based on repeated behavior
Where bullying has occurred, an administrator may intervene to ensure the safety of the students involved. This could involve parent contact, restorative practices, detention, suspension, or, in serious cases, a long term suspension, or expulsion.
BEHAVIOR OFF CAMPUS
Our support, guidance and concern for students developing into responsible citizens does not stop at the school gates. Students engaged in unlawful activity, acts of intimidation, digital bullying or harassment, or physical violence, may be held responsible under school disciplinary guidelines. This is true especially when other SAS students are involved, and the action off campus affects the climate or learning of students on campus.
The use of profane or abusive language is in direct conflict with the core values (respect and responsibility) and will subject the student using such language to disciplinary consequences.
PUBLIC DISPLAY OF AFFECTION
These types of behaviors are not appropriate at the school. They can make other others feel excluded or uncomfortable.
It is important for students to attend school each day and when at school to be in all classes on time. If for some reason you will be late or absent your parents should notify the school before the school day begins. If you arrive at school late you must check in at the counseling office before going to class. Appropriate disciplinary action will result for excessive tardiness.
A missed class results in a conversation with a principal. If the absence is unexcused, it is skipping, and parents will be contacted and a detention will be assigned to make up for lost class time. On a second incident, parents will be contacted and multiple detentions assigned.
It is important that we consistently demonstrate respect for school and personal property. Any student who marks, defaces, breaks or destroys school property will be responsible for cleaning, repairing or replacing the damaged item. Parents will be notified. Appropriate disciplinary action will result.
The SAS community is founded on the core values of respect and responsibility. Any person stealing demonstrates a lack of respect for peers and themselves. Any student engaged in theft may be suspended, and subject to other appropriate consequences. The most effective way to ensure that we as a community are safe from theft is to take individual responsibility for our belongings. To that end, we offer each student a lock, hallway locker and PE locker. Students should not leave any belongings unattended. To minimize the risk of loss, please:
- Mark all belongings, including your book bag
- Only bring small amounts of money and needed valuables to school
- Keep your bag in your locker during the day
- It is recommended that you keep valuables such as your mobile phone in your locker unless it is required for class use
- Report all losses to the office
ACADEMIC HONESTY: KNOWING YOUR I’S & C’S
Learning to work on your own (independently - I) and with others (collaboratively - C) are both important lifelong goals. In general, school assignments will be directed to either develop your independent working skills or your ability to work collaboratively with others. Teachers design assignments, projects and learning opportunities so that you have a rich experience. If you cheat you rob yourself of the chance to learn. To use outside help or materials not allowed in an independent assignment is cheating. If you are unclear about whether an assignment is ‘I’ or ‘C’, it is your responsibility to ask your teacher.
As an example, it would be cheating if you:
- Turn in someone else’s work as your own
- Turn in work that was completed by another person
- Copy someone’s work
- Allow someone to copy your work
- Get information from notes or another student during a test or quiz
- Give information to another student during a test or quiz
- Obtain information from another student about a test they have already taken
- Give information to another student about a test or quiz you have already taken
- Copy published material without giving credit to the source
- Do not follow specific guidelines concerning cheating given to you by your teacher
Because cheating is considered a serious offense (category three), parents will always be contacted if a student chooses to cheat. If it is a first time offense, the teacher will contact the parents. For multiple offences, the student will be sent to the office. In addition:
- The teacher will always inform the principal and there will be a record kept of the cheating behavior.
- The principal or deputy principal will be involved if the teacher requests his/her support or if it is the second time a student is engaged in cheating.
- When the principal or deputy principal is involved, a Values Learning Plan will be developed by the student which will identify appropriate consequences.
- If caught cheating, students will not earn credit for the assignment or test.
- Students will be given the opportunity to be re-assessed on the work.
Students may not bring dangerous items to school. Any item, or use of an item, that can be used to harm or injure our community members is considered to be a “dangerous item”. These items will be confiscated and parents may be called. Appropriate disciplinary action will result.
ALCOHOL AND SMOKING
Alcohol and tobacco are illegal for persons under the age of 18. Any student found at school or a school sponsored event in possession of, or having ingested, alcohol will be immediately suspended from school. Students who are reinstated may be barred from participation in any school related events. Students holding esteemed positions (officers, captains, leaders, etc) may have those privileges taken away. Smoking, including e-cigarettes, is not allowed on our campus. Students found smoking or using e-cigarettes on campus are subject to disciplinary action which may include suspension and loss of travel privileges.
Drug Policy Regulations
DRUG AND NARCOTIC OFFENCES
Any student found to be in the possession of, taking or using, buying or selling, giving or trafficking in any narcotics, inhalants, stimulants, barbiturates, suppressants, hallucinogenic drugs, or marijuana is subject to expulsion from school. All students may be subjected to hair follicle testing and search of their person, possessions or lockers at any time. All parents of students intending to enroll at SAS are required to sign on the application forms indicating their understanding and agreement of the school drug use policy at the time of enrollment.
As part of the policy on drug abuse, a screening and detection procedure utilizing hair follicle samples will be conducted in grades 8-12 on a random basis or where suspicion of use exists. The principal or designee will inform parents that a hair follicle sample was obtained.
If the results of the laboratory analysis are positive, the student will be suspended from school for a period of up to three weeks. During the period of suspension, the school administration (deputy principal, principal and superintendent) will make a determination on re-admittance or expulsion. Any program of re-admittance will include the following:
- A conference with the parent or guardian during the period of suspension.
- A drug test within ten days of the parent conference. If the results of the drug test reveal continued use, the student will face immediate expulsion.
- The student and parents will be urged to seek professional assistance. Names of approved professionals will be provided.
- The student and parents must agree to periodic drug testing for a period not exceeding six months.
Second Offence: Two positive test results, sufficiently spaced in time that they cannot both arise from a single dosage, will result in student expulsion. A refusal to take a hair follicle test will be construed as a positive test.
Security and Emergency Procedures
Security is of prime concern to all schools and institutions at SAS. We acknowledge the need to have emergency procedures in place in the event that we have to move staff and students out of the building and/or off of the school grounds, or lock down the facility in the event of an intruder. Following is a brief outline of the school emergency procedures. A detailed review of emergency procedures will take place in Advisory classes and practice exercises will occur periodically.
EMERGENCY/FIRE DRILL PROCEDURES
- The signal for an emergency/fire drill will be a long continuous ring.
- Students are to line up and immediately leave the classroom, remaining in single file.
- Students should follow the directions on the emergency exit maps located in each classroom.
- Teachers should be the last to leave their classes and should turn off all electricity and close both doors on their way out.
- Students and teachers should then proceed directly to the playing field behind the stadium. Do not stop at your lockers. Students and faculty will group by Advisory on the field. Students will report directly to their Advisory teacher for attendance. Attendance will be taken by the Advirsory teacher and reported immediately to the attendance monitor. Students and staff will remain in the Advisory groupings for further instructions.
In the event of an intrusion into the school by any unwanted element bent on harming members of the SAS school community, the school should immediately move into a lockdown procedure.
Lockdowns begin when the staff and students hear the superintendent or designate call on the intercom to lock down their classrooms. The normal operation signal will be when the superintendent comes on to the intercom and signals the end of the drill.
General lock down rules to be followed:
- Close blinds – blinds should be closed as soon as the signal is heard
- Lights in the room should be turned out immediately.
- Teachers should quickly check the hallway outside their rooms and bring in any students who may be in the vicinity.
- Teachers should then lock all of the doors to their assigned area from inside.
- Students should then move out of sightlines from any of the uncovered windows in the room.
- Everyone remains very quiet until the signal to return to normal operation is given.
- ALL mobile phones must be turned off as soon as a lockdown is called.
Certain locations in the school may have instructions which are specific to that location.These specific instructions will be reviewed by the teachers in these areas.
EMERGENCY SCHOOL CLOSURE
In the event of an emergency closure of the middle school, we will respond in the following manner:
- The closure of the school will be confirmed by the superintendent and a message will be posted to that effect on the SAS school website. In addition, an SMS message will be sent to the hand phones of all community members.
- The school staff will be directly informed of the school closure through the use of our staff phone tree and SMS service.
- Staff members will immediately initiate contact with all of their students through their Google account. At this time, students will be:
- Alerted to monitor the school websites for ongoing updates;
- Informed by their teacher of how their course will continue to be offered
- Encouraged to stay in constant contact with their email account;
- Given directions and/or assignments.
Singapore Laws and You
We are guests of the Republic of Singapore while living here. As such we need to be aware of the laws and our responsibilities while residing here. All people in Singapore, whether citizens or expatriates, are subject to the same laws and consequences if the laws are broken. The following information is shared with you and your parents in order to ensure you will be well informed in this country. This information is not intended to focus on the negative but rather to support the goal of all SAS students being knowledgeable and exemplary guests of the Republic of Singapore.
The following information was provided by the Singapore American Community Action Council (SACAC) to serve as advice. It should not be considered as replacement for legal counsel, where necessary:
LOITERING AND CONGREGATING Loitering and/ or congregating is not an offense, but it is an offense if you are unable to explain the purpose of your being at a certain location. Examples of acceptable explanations are “waiting for friends” or “waiting to see a movie”. Loitering and/or congregating with the intent to commit a criminal act are offenses.
UNLAWFUL ASSEMBLY A group of five or more persons congregating with the intent to commit a crime is considered an “unlawful assembly”. Being part of an unlawful assembly is an offense.
ALCOHOL PURCHASES AND CONSUMPTION You must be 18 years old or older to legally purchase alcohol. Drunkenness is an offense. First time offenders may be punished with a fine not exceeding $1000 or imprisonment of no more than one month, although imprisonment is unlikely. Subsequent offenses may be punished with a fine of $2000 or imprisonment of no more than three months.
POSSESSION AND USE OF FALSE IDENTIFICATION showing false identification, whether or not it is to a police officer, when trying to purchase alcohol or attempting to enter a club, is an offense punishable with a fine and/or imprisonment.
POSSESSION OF WEAPONS Possession of any weapon listed on the schedule to the Dangerous Weapons Act is punishable with a minimum of three months jail and mandatory three strokes of the cane. Listed weapons include air guns, switchblades, flick knives, hunting knives, buck knives, knuckle-dusters, brass knuckles and Nunchucks.
SHOPLIFTING Shoplifting is considered theft and is punishable with a mandatory imprisonment for a minimum of one day, which is usually detention in the court until the end of the business day. There is no probation for minors.
VANDALISM AND MISCHIEF Vandalism is defined as willful or malicious damage to public property, while mischief is willful or malicious damage to private property. Both vandalism and mischief are offenses, but vandalism is considered more serious of the two. Vandalism with an indelible substance (e.g. spray paint) is punishable by mandatory caning, fine and imprisonment.
SMOKING If you are below 18 years of age, carrying a cigarette in public, lit or unlit it is an offense. First time offenders face a maximum fine of $1,000.
GUM Although it is not illegal to chew gum, doing so may give the police a reason to stop you for questioning. It is illegal to sell or buy gum.
POLICE PROCEDURES AND INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS
POLICE QUESTIONING If the police stop you for any reason, it is strongly advised that you be cooperative, friendly and courteous. Your attitude should be one of respect.
RIGHT UPON ARREST If arrested, you have the right to legal counsel, but only at a time when the investigating officer feels it is appropriate. Therefore, you may be allowed to exercise your right to legal counsel only after the investigation is complete or during a break in the investigating process. You do not have the right to a telephone call.
PARENT OBTAINING INFORMATION ON CHILDREN WHO HAVE BEEN ARRESTED Parents will not be notified about a child who has been arrested, except in the case of juveniles (younger than 16 years old). Parents may call the police station which has jurisdiction over the area of the arrest to request information about the child. The station’s duty officer will identify the investigating officer. The investigating officer is not required to provide any information to parents, but may be willing to do so. When going to the police station, parents should be accompanied by their lawyer or an official representative of their embassy.
POLICE CUSTODY If arrested, you may be brought before a magistrate or released within 48 hours after the arrest, except if the investigating officer requests the magistrate extend the detention.
- Female Police Officers If you are female, and arrested, detained, or taken into police custody, you are not entitled to have a female police officer present unless you are searched. If searched, the search must be conducted by a female officer.
SOME FACTS ABOUT SINGAPORE LAW
Trafficking, which carries severe penalties up to, and including the death penalty, can be charged merely on the basis of the possession of 2g (0.07oz.) of heroin, 15g (1/2 oz) of marijuana.
Possession can be charged even if a person is not caught with the drug on his person:
- If one is in possession of a key to a locker or room in which an unlawful drug is found.
- If a person is with someone else who has drugs with your knowledge and consent. (Note: Knowledge and consent are very difficult to disprove).
Consumption is established by a positive test.
Legal Authority, Police, or Central Narcotics Bureau officers may enter and search premises or may search any person without a warrant if they have a reasonable suspicion of the presence of illegal drugs.
U.S. citizens can have no protection by any agency of the US government if guilty of breaking Singapore law, and are subject to the prescribed penalties. Students may have passports confiscated pending the results of tests. Compulsory departure from Singapore and denial of any future entry follows proof of illegal drug activity. For unauthorized consumption, there is a maximum of ten years jail or fine of $20,000, or both.
Beyond the Classroom
Success in school is about more than just academics. Middle school is a time when you learn about your talents, interests, and potential both in and out of the classroom. The school wants to help you discover non-academic areas in which you thrive. The middle school thus offers extra-curricular opportunities designed just for you.
INTRAMURAL AND REPRESENTATIVE SPORTS
When you participate in an athletic program you are developing skills, enjoying a physical outlet, and learning to work with others in a unique environment. Because we are all different people with different levels of athletic skill and interest, the school offers three levels of after-school sports: Drop-in Intramurals, middle school intramural leagues and representative sport.
Everyone is welcome to participate. The emphasis is on learning the game or sport under recreational and friendly conditions. Attendance is optional, making the commitment more casual.
Everyone is welcome to participate (with a possible cap on numbers). Soccer/volleyball/basketball leagues set up for twice-weekly sessions. A jersey, high school coach, and competition amongst the SAS middle school students is what makes this option ‘robust.'
Try-outs determine who will be selected to teams.
The emphasis is on competitive play for more experienced players. In the 12U categories, students just learning the game or developing are often chosen to be involved. Players compete in interscholastic leagues in the Athletic Conference of Singapore International Schools (ACSIS).
Get involved! You will find school more enjoyable when you make the most of the co-curricular activities; they are designed especially for you. You can learn more about our sports program from the activities and athletics booklet, online or in the middle school office.
Each semester a new guide of the club offerings is published. You can view it online or pick up a copy in the middle school office. In addition, pay attention to the daily announcements for information on club meeting times and offerings. The clubs offered at the middle school are widely varied to make sure that there is something for everyone.
The school offers dances after the regular school day. Dances may be tailored to a specific grade level or specific purposes. As with any school-sponsored event, we want you to have the best time possible in a safe and inclusive environment. You’re expected to model the core values and comply with school guidelines.
PEER COUNSEL / STUDENT COUNCIL
The middle school believes in the power of students helping students. You understand the needs of your classmates better than anyone else. Peer Counsel students are there to assist when new students join our school, old friends move away, holidays need celebrating, school functions need to be hosted, or other changes and events and take place in our building. Peer Counsel is also the middle school’s student government. They aim to continuously improve the culture of our school. Each year Peer Counsel seeks friendly students who desire to help others to join their team of middle school ambassadors. New members are accepted each April for the following school year.
SPECIAL SCHOOL EVENTS
Celebrations and commemorations may be demonstrated throughout the year with special dress days, festive activities at breaks, all-school activities, or other breaks from the normal schedule. Peer Counselors, the PTA, clubs, teachers, and classes may organize events for the student body throughout the year. At the middle school, you can expect a few special dress days, school-wide endeavors like field day, and spirited lunchtime happenings. Whether it’s language week or the Cancer Awareness Run, we show our school pride and our concern for our learning community in energetic and respectful ways.
SERVICE LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES
You are capable of bringing about positive change. The middle school wants to equip you to be an active citizen in your community and your world. You have many opportunities to put the core values of fairness, respect, and responsibility into action at the middle school. Through service you may discover hidden talents, interests, and passions.
Pay attention to the daily announcements for information on fascinating clubs, exciting service trips, and other powerful ways that you can be involved in bettering your school, community, and world. From house-building in Cambodia to managing the recycling program at school, you CAN make a difference in your world.
RAISING FUNDS FOR OTHERS IN NEED
We recognize that student clubs sometimes need to raise funds for service projects; we want to ensure that clubs are able to do so without causing disruptions to the regular school day. If your club or group needs to raise funds for service projects, we have set aside a limited number of days per quarter, before or after the school day, for this purpose. These times will be awarded on a first come first served basis. Please see one of the principals for more information.
Information for Your Parents
ABSENCE POLICY GUIDELINES
Regular daily attendance is necessary for all students to fully benefit from the educational opportunities provided in our middle school. The curriculum is established to meet the unique needs of the eleven to fourteen year old. As such, the students are needed in the classroom every day. The hands-on laboratory based science curriculum, the response groups in the reading and language arts curriculum and the cooperative learning, interdisciplinary experiences in the core and elective courses are negatively impacted when students are not at school fully participating in the daily educational experiences. We suggest students not miss more than five days in a semester. We will work with families when extenuating circumstances exist.
While teachers will make every effort to support students in the case of absences, students who miss class time miss out on valuable learning experiences that are difficult to replicate outside of the classroom environment. Parents must notify the school in advance of planned absences, so that proactive planning can take place. It is the responsibility of the student to approach teachers in advance and to complete work missed as a result of their planned absence. Make-up work shall be completed in a timely fashion according to the schedule established by the teacher. There is an electronic absent notification feature in the MySAS portal for your convenience.
When students are absent, they miss valuable learning opportunities. If a student misses a significant amount of school, and therefore learning, this may be reflected in their report card.
The school maintains commercial insurance coverage for customary risks including comprehensive liability, property loss (school-owned property only), and fire, among others. The school does not maintain medical or accident insurance for students, parents, or guests, or for theft or loss of personal property such as laptops and mobile phones. Parents are encouraged to arrange such insurance with one of the many carriers in Singapore.
To attend SAS, a student must reside either with his/her parent or with a private family wherein a guardian has been designated by the student’s parents. Parents are responsible for their child(ren). Parents must inform the admissions office, in writing, of the names, address, and telephone number of a contact person in Singapore who will be responsible for their child(ren)'s activities in case any emergency should arise where guardian contact is necessary during the parent’s extensive absence from Singapore. When both parents are absent from Singapore for short periods of time, it is requested that the counseling office be given prior notification. There is an electronic absent notification feature in the MySAS portal for your convenience.
EARLY DEPARTURE PROCEDURES
Students who need to leave prior to the end of the school day must have a note from home requesting an early release. The note should be given to the counseling office. Any student leaving early at any time must sign out in the main office before leaving campus. If a parent needs a student released without prior notification, the parent should report to the receptionist in the counseling office where arrangements can be made.
AFTER SCHOOL ACTIVITIES (ADDITIONAL COSTS)
In order to encourage students to try different activities as they develop into young adults the middle school intramural, club, and after school activity programs are offered to our students at no charge. While there are not tuition costs for these programs, we do on occasion need to ask parents to purchase costumes for performances or costs associated with field trip excursions. These costs are minimal and we attempt to keep them as low as possible.
THE STUDENT HANDBOOK
While the majority of this handbook is written to an audience of students, we hope you will find information that will assist you in working with your child. This section, “Information For Your Parents,” is specifically for you to ensure you have the information you need.
The middle school offers parent coffees approximately once a month, typically on the first Monday. The purpose of these coffees is to build collaborative relationships in an effort to better serve the students, offer the school’s educational and human resources in support of parents, share common experiences and learning from the parent community as it relates to successfully raising young adolescents and share timely information.
Please check the middle school calendar for dates. Topics will also be sent via SAS eNews.
HOW TO ENJOY LIVING WITH A PREADOLESCENT (H.E.L.P.)
Incoming sixth grade parents will receive two booklets from the National Middle School Association. Each booklet offers helpful advice on living with and supporting students who are 10-14 years old. We have extra copies in the middle school office for anyone who would like them.
During the first semester, all parents will receive an invitation for parent-student-teacher conferences, which occur over a three day period corresponding with elementary school conferences. Students are required to attend with their parents. The point of the conference is to give your child an opportunity to share what they have been doing at school, and talk about their strengths and areas for growth as a learner. The teacher will help facilitate the discussion, and answer any questions that parents may have. Specific concerns relating to student learning can be addressed at any time by contacting your child’s teacher directly.
During second semester, all parents will receive an invitation to a student-led conference. The purpose of conferences is for students to share examples of their current learning, describe their strengths and challenges as a learner, and develop next steps with their parents and teachers. Unlike fall conferences, students will not meet with each teacher, but will instead meet with their Advisory teacher, and lead their parents through a reflection on their celebrations, areas for growth, and short-term and long-term plans moving forward. Students will also present on their TriTime project to a small group of peers and their parents.
We invite all parents to contact the school with questions or if you need support. We offer the following methods of communication:
- PowerSchool/Google Calendar
- Back to School Night
- Parent Coffees
- Parent-Teacher Conferences
- Report Cards
- Emails/Phone Calls
- Daily Bulletin for students, but published daily online
- School Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
- School Phone: 6363 3405
- School Fax: 6362 1878
- Booster Store Hours: 7:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday to Friday
- PTA Office Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Monday to Friday
- Alternate Dress Days: The second and fourth Wednesday of every month
A world leader in education
Cultivating exceptional thinkers
Prepared for the future
The Singapore American School is committed to providing each student an exemplary American educational experience with an international perspective.
In each classroom you will see five traits displayed on the walls. We believe that if each person modeled these traits, we would create the best possible learning environment together. Each student is expected to learn about, learn from, and demonstrate these traits: Compassion, Honesty, Fairness, Responsibility, and Respect.