TABLE OF CONTENTS
MISSION STATEMENT AND PHILOSOPHY
STUDENT ACTIVITIES AND ATHLETICS
- Residential Expectations
- Residential Life Staff
- Student Health
- Student Safety and Building Security
- Housekeeping and Inspections for Cleanliness
- Leaving Campus
- Dormitory Guidelines
- Dress and Grooming
- Frequently Referenced MSSM Policies, Rules, and Procedures
- Disciplinary Procedures and Guidelines
- Disciplinary Process
MISSION STATEMENT AND PHILOSOPHY
The Maine School of Science and Mathematics (MSSM) brings together and helps a group of Maine's most academically motivated high school students become innovative, well-rounded scholars with the ability to develop, investigate, and communicate critical ideas that improve the human condition and benefit the state of Maine. The school builds and shares a rigorous curriculum that exceeds state educational standards while emphasizing connections between science, mathematics, and the humanities. MSSM extends its mission by fostering a statewide, year-round community of innovative learners that includes many of Maine's students, educators, and the general public.
MSSM achieves its mission by:
- Providing a rigorous, immersive, student-centered curriculum that emphasizes the connections between math, science, and the humanities; including post-AP courses; and culminating in opportunities for authentic research and community service
- Presenting students with supportive opportunities to realize their personal and professional aspirations in Maine both through nurturing, challenging on-campus programs and through partnerships with research and higher education institutions throughout the state and beyond
- Creating a supportive, residential environment and academic community that promotes personal development, leadership, service, and academic success
- Developing special programs to inspire younger students while also serving as a professional development partner for Maine's teaching community
The administration, faculty, staff and Board of Trustees of the Maine School of Science and Mathematics (MSSM) are committed to providing academic excellence to enhance previous student knowledge, as well as to prepare students for future studies. The opportunity to attend MSSM is a privilege, and each student can make the most of this experience by being dedicated to the academic and residential programs. Graduates of MSSM have experienced a well-defined curriculum based upon academic standards fostering both academic discipline and honesty.
All students live in residence to fully participate in this scholastic program of excellence with students who share similar interests. The nurturing of this educational community - the integration of the academic and residential components - is crucial to success at MSSM. Students are responsible for taking advantage of the academic and extra-curricular pursuits available at MSSM and for supporting community members in both their academic and personal development.
MSSM recognizes the importance of timely and transparent communication. To facilitate this we publish information through the following means:
- Announcements at dorm meetings, wing meetings and advisory lunch
- MSSM Website
- MSSM Facebook Page
- MSSM Academic, Co-Curricular, Athletics and Activities Calendars
- Traditional Bulletin Boards
Any creation, or use of a publication, website, or social media account using the name, Maine School of Science Mathematics, its abbreviation (MSSM), or its logos must be approved by the Executive Director/designee.
With the involvement of the Student Senate, MSSM Administration has established a minimum amount of notification time for students regarding routine campus events:
- Action and Preparation Required: 2 weeks before event
- Attendance Required: 48 hours before event
- Policy Change or Decision: Upon Implementation
We strive to be readily available to answer questions and receive feedback from each member of our community. If there is a problem, concern, or conflict, all are encouraged to start communicating as close to the source as possible. Those immediately involved are in the best position to act quickly and effectively. Only when those attempts have been exhaustively pursued are individuals encouraged to broaden the scope of involvement. To this end, a student resource tree is provided on the back cover of this document. For residential life concerns, parents/legal guardians are asked to use the same tree beginning with the Residential Instructor. Parents/legal guardians are urged to help their sons or daughters become skilled and confident self-advocates by encouraging them to voice any questions or concerns to the appropriate staff member. We recognize that face-to-face communication is ideal, but when it is not possible, phone and email can be effective alternatives.
The academic staff consists of a teaching Director of Residential Life, Academic Support Coordinator and Special Education Consultant, Registrar, and Full and Part-time Faculty. The structure of oversight includes department chairs for Mathematics, Science, English and Fine Arts, and Social Sciences and World Languages.
Student Educational Records
MSSM is in compliance with all State and Federal rules and regulations regarding student information, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Two of MSSM's policies that parents/legal guardians and students should be familiar with are Student Educational Records (Policy Code JRA) and Notification of Rights Under FERPA (Policy Code JRA-E). They can be found on the MSSM website under the Board of Trustees webpage.
All students should dedicate themselves to fulfilling the potential which MSSM recognized through their initial acceptances as students. Students, regardless of ability or grades, are expected to adhere to the philosophy of MSSM, which requires a total effort toward maximizing learning and a commitment to academic integrity. A high level of effort and exemplary attitude toward the learning process generally equate to success at MSSM. Students who do not meet the school's expectations may be encouraged to withdraw or may be dismissed from MSSM.
Students receive an MSSM diploma by successfully completing MSSM's graduation requirements. Students earn a one-half credit for each one-semester course in which they earn a passing grade for the semester. Students earn 1 credit for each year-long course in which they earn a passing grade for the year. Students who do not pass a year-long course for the year will not receive any credit and must repeat the entire course. No partial credit shall be awarded for any course.
In order to receive an MSSM diploma, students must have successfully completed the following credits (1 credit equals one year) and have met all of the (additional enrollment) requirements outlined below:
- 4 mathematics (with a minimum of Before Calculus)
- 4 lab-based sciences (including one credit each of biology, chemistry, and physics)
- 4 English (including 1 credit of MSSM composition and research (at any level)
- 1 US History
- 1 social science elective
- 2 foreign language (the same language)
- 1 fine arts
- ½ junior seminar one-half senior seminar
- ½ study skills (a.k.a. first year seminar)
- ½ wellness ( a.k.a. health)
- Students earn a ½ credit for each one-semester course in which they earn a passing grade for the semester, while students earn 1 credit for each year-long course in which they earn a passing grade for the year. Students who do not pass year-long courses for the year will not receive any credit and must repeat the entire course. No partial credit shall be awarded for any course.
- *Beginning with the class of 2021, seniors who have completed either AP Calculus BC OR both AP Calculus AB and AP Statistics can petition to be exempted from the annual mathematics requirement.
Additional Enrollment Requirements
Students must be enrolled in a minimum of 4 core classes each semester which must include mathematics, laboratory science, and English. (At MSSM, other core classes include any social science, computer science, or world language classes as well as electives in math, science, and English. Certain fine arts courses that are cross-referenced with other departments may be considered core courses.)
Students must successfully complete work assignment and fitness each semester at MSSM.
Students must successfully complete J-Term each year at MSSM.
Course of Study
Placement of first year students will be determined by students' transcripts, past work, standardized test scores, and MSSM placement exam results. Subsequent placements for math, science, English, and world languages will be determined by each department based on performance while at MSSM.
The maximum number of high school mathematics, science and English classes a student may transfer to MSSM depends on entry grade to MSSM.
- Freshmen - None
- Sophomore - 1 math, 1 science, 1 English
- Junior - 2 math, 2 science, 2 English
- Senior - 3 math, 3 science, 3 English
These and credits of world language, social science and fine arts will transfer to MSSM provided the student earned a C- or better, or demonstrated proficiency (by a proficiency-based report card) in the courses.
MSSM does not grant credit for courses taken at another high school while a student is enrolled at MSSM.
After entering MSSM, transferred credit is limited to pre-approved courses taken at a college or university.
The Department chairs will approve these courses. Students will only receive credit for courses in which a grade of C- or better is earned. This applies to a course taken at the student's initiative and/or for a course being repeated as required by the School when a student fails to earn a C- or better in a course. Transferred courses will be documented as such in the student’s Transcript Analysis Form.
Course registration starts with the academic advisor. Advisees will meet with their advisors to review their placement recommendations and transcript analysis forms. The transcript analysis tracks classes taken/required for graduation. After discussion, students and advisors will complete a course registration form which indicates student requests. An enrollment in excess of 5 core classes or 2 AP classes requires an approved overload permission form. These forms are provided by the academic advisor. In conjunction with the student, the student's advisor, relevant teachers, and the student's parents/legal guardians, the Academic Support Team will determine if the overload is in the student's best interest and what, if any, supports are necessary in order for the overload to be successful both academically and personally. MSSM’s Student Support Team consist of the The Director of Health Services, The Academic Support Coordinator/Special Education Consultant, The Director of Residential Life, and Department Chairs. In order to enroll in a course that requires a prerequisite, students must earn at least a grade of C- in the prerequisite, or receive department permission. Advisors will send copies of course requests to students and families.
The procedure for adding/dropping a class begins with the academic advisor. After a conversation with the advisor, the student confirms the request via email to the advisor and parents/legal guardians. The advisor then confirms with the instructor(s) then submits the request to the Registrar using the Add/Drop Google Form. The deadlines and guidelines for adding and/or dropping courses are as follows:
- Deadline to add: seventh class day of a semester
- Deadline to drop without a grade: twenty-fourth day of a semester
- After the twenty-fourth class day of a semester, withdrawal from courses will be shown on students' transcripts with the indicator of W for withdrawal plus an indication of the letter grade on the date the student withdraws
- Faculty-initiated add/drop may occur after the sixth week of a semester with the approval of the respective Department Chair in consultation with the advisor and appropriate faculty members
- No class changes are permitted after the Academic Updates are released
- Any overloads initiated in the Add period must follow the same procedure as outlined above
MSSM believes in the importance of being a positive and active member of the MSSM community. Work assignments provide MSSM students with a formal opportunity to engage in that role. All students are required to participate in a campus work assignment for two hours each week. Work duties are generally based upon a mutual request by students and supervisors.
The Director of Residential Life oversees the work assignments and is responsible for finalizing assignments and communicating with campus work program supervisors regarding students' performance, attendance, attitude, and punctuality.
Students needing to miss their scheduled work assignments must notify their supervisors at least 24 hours in advance. If students have conflicts with other school commitments, they must switch shifts with other students or arrange to work at different times. Changes must be approved by work assignment supervisors. Scheduled shifts that fall on breaks or vacation days are not required to be made up.
Seniors who receive an F in the spring semester do not receive their diplomas until they have satisfactorily completed a term's worth of work.
Independent studies are designed to provide additional challenges for students with exceptional interest in a given topic not available to them in MSSM’s regular course offerings. Independent study classes are reserved for students with a proven record of academic excellence, including the demonstrated ability to work independently. Students must make arrangements to meet with the appropriate instructors to develop Independent study proposals.
The completed proposal should be submitted to the Department Chairs as part of course registration for the following semester (link to proposal form).
Department Chairs and Academic Dean will meet with the student, the academic advisor, and sponsoring faculty member to consider approval of the directed study class. The following information should be considered when submitting a proposal for Independent study:
- An Independent study class may not be used as credit for a core class required for graduation
- In general, students will be allowed to participate in only one Independent study class per semester
- An Independent study class may not serve as an option for acquiring credit lost through a failed course except under extenuating circumstances
- Depending on the nature of the Independent study, the class may or may not count towards a student’s academic load
- The product of the independent study (paper, etc.) will be presented to the MSSM Community at the end of the semester
- Students are not eligible for Independent study classes during their first year at MSSM
- Students have until the end of the semester to complete the Independent study class. If not completed by that time, a grade of F will be recorded.
Concurrent College Enrollment
University of Maine at Presque Isle Credit
Under a Partnership Agreement with the University of Maine at Presque Isle (UMPI), MSSM students may receive college credit for many of their MSSM classes. An MSSM student who wishes to receive UMPI credit for an MSSM course must be matriculated and deemed eligible for any relevant coursework according to MSSM's placement procedures. MSSM students not matriculating in the UMPI Liberal Arts A.A. Program (see below) will receive 12 credit hours per academic year tuition free as outlined by the Maine Department of Education. However, any credit hours over 12 will be charged the Early College rate of $138.25 per credit hour.
Associate's Degree Program
Students interested in pursuing a dual degree should notify their advisor who will arrange a meeting with the MSSM College Counselor. As part of that process students will develop a plan that will specify the courses required at each institution, with equivalent courses noted, to earn an Associate of Arts at UMPI and a diploma at MSSM. In the weeks following graduation from MSSM, students who have successfully completed all qualifications for the Science and Mathematics concentration within the Liberal Studies plan of study (minimum of 64 UMPI credit hours or their equivalent) shall receive an Associate of the Arts degree from UMPI.
- Student Enrollment Concurrent enrollment is initiated via ExplorEC, the portal for Early College at Maine's Public Universities. Once students register through the Early College program, they can select from a list of available UMPI/MSSM Dual Enrollment courses.
- Reporting of Grades The instructor of each UMPI concurrent enrollment course will submit their grades to MSSM by the regular deadline established by MSSM. Within seven business days of that deadline, the MSSM Registrar will report the grades of each student enrolled in each UMPI approved course to the UMPI Registrar.
- Student Services Concurrent enrollment students will have access to all college academic and student support services including, but not limited to libraries, electronic library resources, writing centers, tutorial services, assessment, admissions, and academic advisement. Some services are available only on UMPI’s campus. Concurrent enrollment students will be issued a free UMPI ID card that is good for 3 years, a replacement charge for lost ID's will be assessed. Students have the option of purchasing a $45 semester sticker to utilize the Gentile Hall facilities. Students with disabilities may be provided services as identified by their IEP through the high school. At no time may accommodations exceed those offered by UMPI as a college-level course, or exceed those allowable by law.
- Transcripts MSSM students wishing to receive transcripts of their UMPI credits may do so by submitting a Transcript Request to the UMPI Registrar’s Office.
- Leaves of Absence/Withdrawals MSSM will notify the UMPI Registrar in writing if a student is granted a leave of absence or withdraws from an UMPI concurrent enrollment course. If the student does so prior to UMPI MSSM’s deadline for add/drop withdrawing from a class, then the UMPI Registrar will not enter a grade for the course. If the student does so after UMPI MSSM’s deadline, then the UMPI Registrar will assign a “W/grade” for the course.
- Financial Considerations MSSM students who are matriculating in the UMPI Liberal Arts A.A. Program will be charged $70 per credit hour for credit hours over the 12 credit hours offered free, but only for courses outlined in the Liberal Arts A.A. Program agreement between UMPI and MSSM. Any courses taken outside of the UMPI Liberal Arts A.A. Program will be charged the Early College rate of $138.25 per credit hour.
University of New England (UNE) Transfer Partnership Program
In this partner program, MSSM students who earn college credit with Maine School of Science and Mathematics Advanced Placement (AP) courses and transfer credits from University of Maine at Presque Isle (UMPI) get a head start on a bachelor’s degree at the University of New England.
By completing designated AP and UMPI courses students receive priority consideration for admission and merit scholarships to enter with sophomore standing at the University of New England. The information that follows is taken directly from the UNE Partnership Program flier.
Qualifying scores necessary to receive credit for advanced placement are recommended by the academic departments and are approved by the University Registrar. They are treated as transfer credit in accordance with the following table.
Non-MOU College Classes taken for MSSM Credit
Students desiring to be concurrently enrolled in college classes for MSSM credit must obtain permission and signature of their academic advisor and appropriate department chair. These additional college classes are not considered part of a student’s normal MSSM course load, so students still need to be enrolled in a minimum of 4 core MSSM classes. It is highly likely that students will not be approved to take more than one non-MOU class per semester. Students and their families shall pay all fees for courses not offered by MSSM.
At MSSM, students and staff take great pride in academic honesty and a supportive academic environment. All are expected to maintain habits of rigorous debate, healthy inquiry, and the vigorous pursuit of truth. Academic dishonesty, in any of its forms, disrupts the learning process and tarnishes the integrity of our community. As a result, MSSM will treat instances of academic dishonesty very seriously.
If an instructor grants permission, students may collaborate in completing assignments and homework. Any unauthorized collaboration, copying, using of notes on exams/major assessments, storing of non-permitted information on calculators or on computers, or any other unacceptable activity that gives a student or a group of students advantages over others is cheating and will not be tolerated.
While the assimilation of ideas from many sources is basic to academic research and intellectual development, students must always reference the use of any non-original materials. Failure to do so is plagiarism and this dishonesty impairs an instructor's ability to accurately evaluate a student's performance. Plagiarism is using someone else's ideas, wording, or data without proper or complete acknowledgment. Credit must be given for ideas and information that belong to someone else, whether it is quoted, summarized, or paraphrased. Faculty members may require that notes, drafts, and a list of sources be submitted along with the finished project. Failure to provide evidence of the work process may constitute an admission of plagiarism.
If students have questions regarding the use of materials or the appropriateness of their use, they should consult the appropriate faculty member. The following list provides an overview of some situations that are considered inappropriate use of materials:
- The verbatim reproduction or rephrasing of the content of any source that is not original as if it were one's own
- The use of any thought, research, organization of material, presentation, or phrasing of another person as if it were one's own — i.e using a source without proper credit
- The use of another person's laboratory data or conclusions without documenting that use
- Falsifying data or research
- Any collaboration on assignments which are intended to be completed independently
- Copying the work or answers of others on assignments or tests
- Allowing others to copy one's work or answers on assignments or tests
- Sharing test questions or answers with another student
- Multiple submissions of one's own work from another school or another class are not permissible, unless the work is the product of an interdisciplinary assignment with permission from both instructors — (For example: a student cannot take a paper that he/she did in English and submit it for a History class)
Investigations of academic dishonesty will begin with the class instructor. The advisor, department chair, and parent/guardian will be informed if there is reason to believe a student has violated the academic honesty policy. The student’s advisor will assist the student in navigating the process involved in investigating situations of academic dishonesty. If a student is found to have committed academic dishonesty (after investigation by the department chair, advisor, and course instructor), that information (and appropriate penalty) will be reported to the parent/guardian, Director of Residential Life, Executive Director, and be recorded in the student information system. Typically, the penalty for a first instance of academic dishonesty will be based upon language in the instructor’s syllabus. A second infraction will be treated as a major school violation, while a third infraction will likely result in dismissal from MSSM. Disciplinary actions may be reported to colleges.
MSSM strives to provide students with the support they need to develop and implement life-long skills required for the challenges at MSSM and beyond. MSSM is committed to student success and provides numerous academic supports available to all students.
First Year Seminar
All first year students are enrolled in first year seminar during the fall semester. The goal of this course is to ensure students have the academic and residential skills needed to be successful at MSSM.
MSSM instructors and staff are expected to return all correspondence and communication within two business days during the academic year.
Faculty Office Hours
Each full-time faculty provides a minimum of three scheduled office hours each week and often more by appointment. Students do not need an appointment to drop in and ask questions or work in the classroom during office hours.
Academic Advisors play an important role in the success of MSSM's students. They receive all academic and disciplinary alerts and are the "hub" of student support. They act as an advocate for the student, a liaison for parents/legal guardians and the school, and can initiate team meetings and academic supports for struggling students. Advisors, along with the Director of Residential Life and Residential Staff, will help to ensure that students are making use of the appropriate and/or assigned supports available to them throughout the school.
Learning Center (LC)
MSSM's Learning Center is located in the LCS/MSSM Library and provides a quiet and constructive space to work on assignments, study, and work in small groups. There, MSSM's Academic Support Coordinator is available for a wide variety of general assistance such as locating appropriate resources, developing schedules, and bolstering time management skills. The Learning Center is open to all students during study hours and throughout most weekdays. The schedule is posted outside of the library.
As an institution dedicated to academic excellence, MSSM takes great pride in its tutoring program and considers it an outstanding leadership opportunity. Each weeknight (Sunday-Thursday) during the Structured Study period, student tutors will be available in the Learning Center to provide academic support to students in most subjects offered at MSSM.
The tutors are all experienced MSSM students who have successfully navigated the academic rigors of at least one year at the school and have shown themselves to be skilled in offering constructive support. After providing feedback and help as appropriate, they document their assistance in a shared document, giving the faculty and staff access to the amount and type of help that individual students receive outside of class.
Students may apply to be tutors at the end of their first year at MSSM. and, with the recommendation of their teachers, enter into a selection process. Exceptionally skilled and experienced tutors may be offered the position of "Lead Tutor". These tutors comprise a small group within the larger tutoring program and function as team leaders, supporting the tutors and providing mentorship for less experienced tutors. Students may serve as tutors for multiple years and may do so as their work assignment or as a volunteer. All tutors are held to the same high standards.
Structured study is a dedicated two-hour evening time block providing students an opportunity to focus on their academics and help them achieve success at MSSM. Structured Study is scheduled five days each week, Sunday to Thursday.
All new students are required to participate in structured study at the start of their first semester at MSSM. Additionally, students having a grade of C or less in one or more classes are given a status of "academic concern" and may be placed in a structured study environment. In addition, faculty may request a student be placed on structured study. This environment can be at the Learning Center, in the student's room, or in another location that provides the supervision and support needed. Students' advisors, teachers, parents/legal guardians, and Director of Residential Life determine the structure most effective to improve their academic standing.
Students who will routinely miss structured study due to evening classes will reschedule the missed structured study hours in the Learning Center. These hours will be rescheduled at the beginning of each semester with the advisor, who will inform Director of Residential Life, and the Academic Support Coordinator.
Note: It is not intended that established study hours are the only times students should study. To be successful, students need to set aside additional study time each day.
Academic Team Meetings
Students who are failing a core course or have more than one C in core classes on their progress reports or academic updates will have a team meeting with their advisor(s), the appropriate staff, and the parents/legal guardians to discuss the academic struggles that the student is encountering at MSSM. Any of these individuals may request team meetings or other additional supports at any time. The academic team meetings are organized and facilitated by the Director of Residential Life, working in concert with the student's academic advisor. At this meeting, an academic plan is developed and put into place. Additional team meetings will follow if necessary. Some of the supports in this plan could be, but are not limited to:
- Mandatory office hours
- Structured Study
- Mandatory use of the Learning Center
- Tutoring sessions with student tutors during study hours
Because we believe the best interest of the student may vary on a case-by-case basis, we do consider many variables when determining when to add or remove academic supports. Some of these include:
- Year in School
- Year at MSSM
- Recent Academic Performance
- Past Academic Performance
- Course Load
- Extracurricular Commitments
- Personal Circumstances
Support Exit Timelines
By MSSM graduation, we expect all students to demonstrate success in an autonomous learning environment. As such, we provide a timeline for exiting from supports which is contingent upon grades and advisor input. This is summarized in the following table and explained further in the text that follows.
Structured Study and Learning Center Assignments/Exit Review Timeline
Status for first year freshman/sophomores is first reviewed after spring Progress Reports. For first year juniors/seniors Structured Study status is reviewed after the fall Academic Update. Subsequently, assignment to Structured Study and/or the Learning Center remains in effect until the conclusion of the next grading period, at which time a student’s status may be reviewed. This review of formal grade reports takes place immediately following the release of grades at each marking point in the semester (progress reports, academic updates, and semester grades.) After grades are reviewed, the Director of Residential Life will contact each student's advisor regarding Structured Study/Learning Center status. Once a conversation has been had with advisors and other members of the faculty, students' advisors will notify them regarding their status, including the date on which the changes will become effective. Students being added to Structured Study or Learning Center who have evening classes will be required to see the Academic Support Coordinator in the Learning Center to schedule their make-up time. Students who fail to make up this missed time will receive an unexcused absence.
Students assigned to the Learning Center who improve their grades, transition to structured study for one complete grading period before this academic support is removed.
Students are expected to attend all classes and school-wide events in a punctual and attentive manner. All attendance issues are reset at the end of each semester. Should there be absence issues in consecutive semesters, the Director of Residential Life may take necessary action.
Unless otherwise specified in the course syllabus, if students must be absent from class, assignments due on that day must be submitted to course instructor(s) electronically or given to the on-duty residential life instructor who will place them in the appropriate instructor mailbox in the main office. It is the student's responsibility to obtain class notes and assignments from missed classes, whether excused or unexcused.
Short term excused absence, defined as up to two consecutive days, are as follows:
- Physical Illness: Students may request an excused absence by visiting the school's Director of Health Services. The Director of Health Services will not excuse any absence after the class (or a portion of the class) has already been missed. Students are not authorized to excuse themselves from class. If a student becomes ill when the Director of Health Services is not on duty, he/she should contact an on-duty residential staff member. The residential staff will inform the Director of Health Services as well as the Director of Residential Life.
- A student excused from classes due to illness should be in his/her room recovering and is expected to follow the instructions of the Director of Health Services for the remainder of the day. The Director of Residential Life will meet with any students who disregard the Director of Health Services' instructions. Residential staff will check in with excused students regularly throughout the day. Additionally, excused students fill out a meal request form to have food arranged to be brought from the dining hall.
- Wellness Days: Wellness days are intended for students who are struggling with recognized mental health issues that prevent them from going to class. Examples include depression, thoughts of self harm and external issues such as family emergencies. Lack of sleep due to poor planning/misuse of time, not being prepared for class/having work done or returning late from off-campus trips/school functions are not appropriate uses of wellness days. Wellness days are excused absences.
- Students who take a wellness day will be required to meet with the school counselor, the Director of Health Services, or the Director of Residential Life as soon as they are available that day. A student plan will be developed, documented, and shared with Residential Life staff, Student Support Team, advisor, parents/legal guardians, and the student. The student's health history will be taken into consideration. Specific stipulations may be put in place depending on the reason for the wellness day.
Potential plan specifics/requirements may include:
- Going to meals in the cafeteria
- Moving freely throughout the dormitory
- Going to the Learning Center during the day
- Going to the Learning Center in the evening during Structured Study
- Attending fitness classes or extracurricular events
- Meeting outside of the academic wing with any adults in the community - all faculty and staff are welcome in the dormitory at anytime.
- Family Emergency: Requests for an excused absence for family emergency (illness or death of a family member) should be made through the Director of Residential Life office.
- Pre-arranged: A short term (two school days) excused absence may be permitted for events such as school-sponsored activities, sports competitions, family events, or religious holidays. In such cases a student must complete and turn in a Short-Term Absence Form (“Green Form”) to the Director of Residential Life. These requests should be made at least forty-eight hours in advance. The request will be reviewed and approved if the Director of Residential Life has no serious concerns with the student missing classes. The request may be denied if the appropriate paperwork is not complete prior to missing class and/or when the Director of Residential Life has serious concerns with the student missing classes. An absence of three days or more requires a leave of absence which must be requested at least five school days prior to the requested departure. Emergency leaves can be granted on a case-by-case basis.
- First and Second Unexcused Absence: A notice is mailed to the student, and his/her parents/legal guardians, advisors, and teachers indicating the recording of an unexcused absence.
- Third Unexcused Absence: In addition to a notice being sent to the student, and his/her parents/legal guardians, and teachers, the student will have a conference with his/her advisor.
- Fourth Unexcused Absence: A conference is held with the student, his/her advisor, and the Director of Residential Life. Following the conference, a letter is sent to all necessary people summarizing the meeting and outlining consequences/supports.
- Fifth Unexcused Absence: The Director of Residential Life have a joint conference with the student's parents/legal guardians of the student, the student, and his/her advisor to determine how to prevent further unexcused absences and the appropriate response.
- Sixth Unexcused Absence: Any student acquiring six unexcused absences is required to meet with the Director of Residential Life, and his/her advisor. A student who has accumulated six unexcused absences should expect to receive a short-term suspension.
- Seven or more Unexcused Absences: Any student acquiring his/her seventh unexcused absence will meet with the advisor, Director of Residential Life, and the Executive Director. Long- term suspension or dismissal from MSSM is the possible outcome of this meeting.
- Medical Leave of Absence: The school medical staff, Director of Residential Life or student's parents/legal guardians and/or primary care physician at home may request a medical leave. Medical leaves are decided on an individual basis and are typically not granted for more than two weeks. Once a medical leave has been granted, the student's medical team and academic team will work together to determine a course of action. Should the team decide the student needs to return home, the team will determine the conditions, if any, of return.
- Personal Leave of Absence: In unusual circumstances, a personal leave of absence may be granted at the request of the family or required by the school. The decision to allow or require a personal leave is made by the Director of Residential Life with input from faculty, RI's, medical staff, and administrative staff as needed.
- Absence Due to Suspension: Students suspended from school are allowed to complete daily assignments missed provided pre-arrangements are made between the students and their teachers. If a major project or paper is due during the time of suspension, students must turn the paper in on time in order to get credit (this can be by email, fax, etc). If the work is turned in late, regular rules for lateness will apply. Without exception, if a test has been scheduled before the start of the suspension then the student should return from the suspension with an arranged time to take the test. Tests announced during the suspension must be rescheduled with the teacher immediately upon returning to school with the assistance of the advisor, if necessary.
Students who are excused for a wellness day can expect that they will not attend classes, office hours, or meetings/visiting of any kind in the academic wing. Nor, will they participate in any sporting or competitive school events for the day.
Students who need a second wellness day in a semester may have a team meeting with their advisor, parents/legal guardians, RI and administration to ensure all mental health needs of the student are being met. At this point, further evaluation may be required.
Make-up Work Due to Excused Absences
A student whose absence from class has been excused will be permitted to make up all work and assessments missed during the absence. On the first day the student returns to class, he/she must make arrangements with the instructor(s) to complete outstanding work. The time period is generally one day for each day absent depending on the length of the illness.
If an excused absence is pre-arranged, all work due on the day(s) of absence is due in advance of the absence, unless otherwise agreed upon by the teacher. If an absence is due to illness, any work due that day must still be turned in on time.
Failure to fill out the form correctly or hand it in within the timeline may lead to an unexcused absence. The request will be reviewed and approved if the Director of Residential Life has no serious concerns with the student missing classes. The request will be “not recommended/approved” if the Director of Residential Life has concerns that missing classes will be detrimental to the students. The request will be denied if the Director of Residential Life has serious concerns that missing classes will be detrimental to the students.
Missing courses, required meetings, sleeping in class, or being asked to leave a class may be considered unexcused absences. Arriving to class ten or more minutes late may also be classified as an unexcused absence. This should not be interpreted as a ten-minute grace period, as students are expected to be prompt. Teachers are not required to provide an opportunity to make up work missed due to unexcused absences. Unexcused absences are cumulative across all courses and required meetings. Unexcused absences reset each semester. The following procedures will be implemented each semester following any unexcused absence:
Excessive Excused Absences
There is a direct correlation between class attendance and a strong comprehension of class materials. For this reason, students shall not accumulate more than five (5) excused absences in a given class. While the school does permit absences for such things as family events or religious holidays, we reserve the right to limit the number of excused absences for such events. While we recognize that it is still the family's decision to take a child out of school, absences beyond five for any given class may be treated as unexcused and handled accordingly. This determination will be made by the Director of Residential Life after hearing from all involved parties.
Students who are reported as being late for class three (3) times will receive an unexcused absence.
Long Term Absences (3 or more school days away from campus)
Students may be extended a temporary leave of absence from school for a variety of reasons. Students begin the process of requesting leave by meeting with their advisors. Approval requires the completion of a Request for Leave of Absence Form where students document work that will be missed, propose a plan for completion, and review this plan with instructors. Final approval will be determined by the Director of Residential Life. We encourage open communication with families when these occasions arise. By working together, we will determine the nature and duration of leave. The length of time away from classes has varying degrees of impact on students' academic situations. Knowing this, teachers take steps to be as supportive as possible.
In the case of a health-related absence it may be possible for students to attend classes remotely from home. This is entirely at the instructor’s discretion, and no guarantees of remote learning should be assumed. Some types of activities (science labs, for example) may not lend themselves to an on-line format. Instructors may or may not be willing to provide remote on-line exams, quizzes, or other types of assessments. If possible, discussions regarding remote learning need to occur prior to the student leaving campus.
Following are typical forms of leave:
The following table defines MSSM's grading system. Numerical averages are first rounded to the nearest whole number.
- F(Below 70)
- W/Grade (Withdrawal**)
*Incomplete (An Incomplete is issued when a student is unable to complete sufficient assignments for a faculty member to accurately assess the student's knowledge and skills. Incompletes are only issued in the case of illness or other extenuating circumstances.)
- If a student receives an Incomplete for a course, a plan must be developed by the instructor, advisor, and student that sets out a timeline for finishing the class. This timeline should then be shared with the appropriate department chair and the Registrar.
**Withdrawal from a course If withdrawal is after the first six weeks of the semester twenty-fourth class day, the W will be accompanied by the grade at the time of withdrawal (e.g. W/B).)
MSSM Effort Grade Rubric
The effort grade is an internal tool to help assess whether students are meeting MSSM's academic expectations. MSSM's effort grade will be issued on progress reports and grade cards for all classes. Following is the grading rubric for effort grades:
3 - Student models an exemplary work ethic that includes punctuality, few or no unexcused class absences, excellent and timely preparation of all homework and other assignments, a noteworthy level of class participation, and an exemplary attitude toward learning, as evidenced by a desire to go beyond the minimum requirements of the class. The student models a willingness to implement teacher recommendations for improvement.
2 - Student models an acceptable work ethic that includes punctuality, few or no unexcused class absences, consistent and timely preparation of homework and other assignments, an acceptable level of class participation, and a positive attitude toward learning, as evidenced by a willingness to try to meet all of the course expectations. The student models a willingness to implement teacher recommendations for improvement.
1 - Student fails to model an acceptable work ethic on a regular basis. Behaviors that would indicate this include some combination of the following - frequent tardiness, several unexcused absences, consistently poor homework preparation (including a failure to turn in a number of assignments), poor or ineffective class participation due to lack of preparation or an unwillingness to contribute to the class, failure to show a willingness to implement teacher recommendations for improvement, and/or a negative attitude toward learning (as evidenced by some or all of the aforementioned behaviors).
Work Assignment Grading Rubric
The work assignment grading scale is based on attendance, participation and effort. The left column indicates the number of unexcused hours and the top row identifies the quality of work. Separate effort grades are not given for work assignment, as effort is already included in this grading rubric.
|Unexcused Hours||Student always
tasks and displays an
|Student usually follows
assigned tasks and displays
a good attitude most of the
completes assigned tasks
and the student's attitude
can be inconsistent.
tasks and displays a
Grades are posted three times each semester at approximately the 1/3, 2/3, and at the end of each semester. The first is known as the "Progress Report", the second as "Academic Update", and the third as "Semester Grade". In addition, a "Final Grade" is posted at the end of the semester for semester long courses and the end of the year for year-long courses. Final grades may be different from the semester grades depending on how the final grade is determined as explained in the course syllabus. All grade communications are released as "Report Cards", found in our student information system.
Progress reports are submitted by faculty once per semester (after approximately 5 weeks, as indicated by the school calendar) and are released on the student information system to students, parents/legal guardians, academic advisors and administrators. The progress reports include a narrative of academic strengths and weaknesses, effort, and letter grades. The official transcript, which contains semester letter grades for semester courses and year-end letter grades for year-long courses does not include effort grades.
Academic updates are released on the student information system once per semester (roughly 5 weeks following the progress reports). Every student will receive a letter and effort grade. Narratives on academic strengths, weaknesses, and suggestions for improvement will be written for students who had a C or lower on their progress report or who have slipped to a C or lower since the progress reports.
Academic Alerts and Kudos
Academic Alerts may be written any time s faculty member observes that a student misses assignments, appears sleepy in class, scores poorly on a test, has a below passing average or is otherwise not meeting MSSM academic expectations. The alerts will be used to denote the areas of concern as well as to make recommendations for improvement.
Academic Kudos may be sent to reflect outstanding work done by students.
Copies of these communications are forwarded to students, student files, parents/legal guardians, students' advisors, residential staff, administration, and all other people for whom it may be important to inform of students' academic performance.
Semester and Final Grades
Report cards denote the end of term grades earned by students. Fall report cards are released on the student information system by December 31. J-term/spring report cards are released on the student information system by June 15. Exemplary students will receive one of two letters of commendation from the Executive Director. The Renaissance Scholar letter is for students who have a B or higher in all of their classes. The Polymath Scholar is for students who have all A's in their classes.
Students will be placed on Academic Probation at the end of a semester if they receive a grade of F in any course. Students who end semesters with multiple C-'s may also be placed on Academic Probation.
All students placed on Academic Probation must meet with their academic teams to review their progress and to develop an academic plan. Students, in conjunction with their academic teams, will outline appropriate actions to help them reach their potential. Scheduled time with students' instructors, time in the Learning Center, structured study or a recommendation to return to students' sending schools are all possible results of these reviews. Parents/legal guardians are invited to attend in person or via phone conferencing. Notes from the meeting will be forwarded to the student, parents/legal guardians, and other members of the academic team. Approximately every four weeks, probationary students' progress will be evaluated by their advisors and the Department Chairs. Modification to the plans may be made after these evaluations.
MSSM recognizes that the school's learning environment is not appropriate for all students. Many factors are involved in the success or lack of success of a student, including, but not limited to: inherent ability, work ethic, level of commitment, effort, family support, willingness to seek and accept help, and prior opportunities. MSSM assumes the right and responsibility to evaluate student performance to determine whether continued enrollment at MSSM is in the best interest of a student. Students may forfeit the privilege to continue attending the school at any time their performance or conduct falls short of school standards or academic expectations. Please see the Residential Life section of the handbook for expectations of residential conduct for continued enrollment.
The status of students placed on Academic Probation is reviewed at the end of the probationary semester. Students' potential for graduation from MSSM will be of major consideration during this review. Other factors, such as attendance and overall performance in areas unrelated to the failed course(s), may also be considered.
Students may be required to leave MSSM if they:
- Earn two or more F's at the end of the semester.
- Previously spent at least one semester on academic probation and are facing another semester of probation.
Students and parents/legal guardians will be notified in writing by the Registrar of an Academic Dismissal. MSSM will make such notification within seven (7) business days following the deadline for the receipt of semester grades.
If a student is dismissed, the School reserves the right to immediately enroll a waitlisted student in the place of the dismissed student. In these circumstances, the dismissed student will be removed from all internal lists, e.g, class registration requests, room assignments, etc. Appeals shall be made in writing to MSSM's Executive Director. The written request must be received within seven (7) business days of written notification of dismissal to students by MSSM. The Executive Director will review the written appeal, the student record, and any other information deemed appropriate. Students and parents/legal guardians will be notified of the Executive Director's decision within seven (7) business days of receiving the appeal. The Executive Director's decision is final. If the appeal is granted and there is no space available, the student will be given priority on the current enrollment waitlist.
The College Counseling Office prepares students for college by assisting them in finding their most appropriate college matches. This is accomplished through a combination of personal meetings, individualized exploration and planning, and intensive seminar courses that begin in the spring of the junior year. College planning, standardized testing, and college financial aid information are all organized through the College Counseling Office.
Junior and Senior Seminar
Seminars begin in the spring of the student's junior year. In Junior Seminar, the students learn about some of the resources available to them when researching colleges and they begin investigating how to complete some of the more difficult portions of the college application. A major focus is placed on writing attractive and insightful admissions essays and completing the Common Application which is accepted by almost 900 colleges and universities across the nation. During the fall of their senior year, all students enroll in Senior Seminar. In this course students concentrate on perfecting their college applications for submission.
Transcripts are requested and submitted through MSSM's Naviance Family Connection website. Transcript Request Forms are available in the College Counseling Office. Upon written request from students or their parents/legal guardians, the Registrar sends official transcripts to scholarship programs and other agencies or institutions. Personal copies of transcripts are not considered official. No official transcripts are furnished to students or alumni/alumnae who have outstanding financial obligations to MSSM.
Colleges and universities utilize standardized tests as one part of the application process, as well as for scholarship competition and placement. The SAT and ACT are used by colleges to help them compare students from different educational systems. MSSM is a testing site for PSAT, SAT, ACT, and AP exams.
Fees for national testing programs vary and are assessed by the individual agencies. Parents/legal guardians are required to pay the fees for SAT I, ACT, and AP tests. A limited number of fee waivers are available from the College Counseling Office. No student should let finances keep him/her/them from testing. The College Counselor should be advised of any financial hardships or special situations.
Please remember that some testing opportunities take place when MSSM is not in session. If students choose to test when MSSM is not in session, they should select the site closest to their homes.
The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test is co-sponsored by the College Board and National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). The PSAT/NMSQT measures the critical reading, math problem solving, and writing skills that students have developed throughout their lives. MSSM requires and pays for all juniors to participate in the PSAT testing program. Freshmen and sophomores may also opt to take the PSAT, but are required to pay for the exam. ($18.00)
The SAT is a globally recognized college admissions test that enables students to demonstrate their reading, writing, and mathematics skills to colleges. Most students take the test more than once during their junior or senior year.
The ACT is the test of choice in the Midwest. It is subject-based, measuring skills in English, mathematics, science, reading and an optional writing test. The ACT may sometimes be substituted for the SAT, but policies vary from college to college. The ACT test with writing is highly recommended for students who may not be satisfied with their SAT scores or who believe they might benefit from a different testing format.
The Advanced Placement (AP) Program is a cooperative endeavor between high schools, colleges, and universities. It allows high school students to demonstrate their mastery of college-level material through AP exams. Colleges and universities may then grant credit, advanced placement, or both to students who have performed well. AP exams occur in May. Registration is done in the first week of AP class, through the student College Board account.. Students who enroll in AP courses are expected to take the AP exam for those courses. Parents/legal guardians will be invoiced, by the business office, ($97) for the cost of these exams. Invoicing will occur in April. Though there are no fee waivers for AP exams, students who qualify for free/reduced lunch pay a discounted price. ($54)If a student decides not to take the AP exam, the AP designation will be removed from their course transcript. The college Board applies fees for late registration and unused exams. https://www.apreviewbook.com/ap-exam-fees/
In order to register to take the SAT or ACT tests (described above) at the Maine School of Science and Mathematics, students will need the following codes:
- MSSM School Code: 200574 for both ACT and SAT
- MSSM Test Center Code for the ACT Test: 155210
- MSSM Test Center Code for the SAT Test: 20-217
Reporting Disciplinary Infractions to Colleges
Any issue of academic integrity and disciplinary offenses that result in suspension will be reported to colleges.
For infractions occurring prior to the application:
- The student should declare infractions in the appropriate sections of their college applications
- The student should provide a detailed description of the event which highlights his/her personal growth as a result of the incident. Students should see the college counselor for support and advice while creating this document..
- The college counselor will also report incidents that occur while attending MSSM and provide an update of the student's current behavior, reflection, and growth.
For infractions occurring after the application submission through the date of graduation:
- Students should report infractions to colleges within 7 days of receiving consequences.
- The college counselor will then contact all of the student's colleges to inform them of the event. This conversation will focus on the generalities of the incident and the student's behavior, reflection, and growth since the event.
Maine Residents Only
- MSSM is a public “magnet” school. What does it cost to attend?
- How Do I Pay?
- Are there any other expenses?
- When Must I Pay?
- Is Financial Aid Available?
- IS THERE A REFUND POLICY
MSSM is a public “magnet” school. What does it cost to attend?
How Do I Pay?
Are there any other expenses?
When Must I Pay?
Is Financial Aid Available?
IS THERE A REFUND POLICY
- MSSM is a public “magnet” school. What does it cost to attend?
- How Do I Pay?
- Are there any other expenses?
- When Must I Pay?
- Refund Policy for Student Withdrawals or Early Departures
MSSM is a public “magnet” school. What does it cost to attend?
How Do I Pay?
Are there any other expenses?
When Must I Pay?
Refund Policy for Student Withdrawals or Early Departures
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY USE AGREEMENT (ITUA)
MSSM and its Information Technology (IT) Department take pride in supporting the community in achieving its educational mission, vision, and instructional goals. Computer hardware must be used by the MSSM community over a number of years before it is updated or replaced thus community respect for the sensitivity of this equipment is essential. Likewise, stable operation of the school’s network relies on proper use. MSSM’s computer and network policies are instituted to ensure efficient network access for everyone.
This Information Technology Use Agreement (ITUA) covers the use of MSSM hardware, software, and access to the MSSM network, the internet, and MSSM Google® domain applications. Since compliance with this agreement is mandatory, parents/legal guardians and students must submit the Community Handbook signature form before students are given network access.
Anyone who violates the ITUA will have their network access immediately disconnected for a period of no less than seven (7) consecutive calendar days while school is in session, and, in some cases, their computers thoroughly searched for offending programs and files. Such violations may also result in disciplinary action by the appropriate administrator, referral to law enforcement, and/or legal action. After a full investigation has taken place, the Director of Technology and the Director of Residential Life will have the final authority to decide whether a user’s network privileges will be limited, suspended, or revoked based upon the circumstances of the particular case, prior disciplinary record, and any other pertinent factors. Students, parents, and advisors will be notified after the decision has been made. Violations will carry from year to year until the student is no longer attending MSSM.
Basic Guidelines for Computer Facilities
The IT Department supports MSSM’s educational mission by providing a Computer Lab for student and staff use and has the following rules when using MSSM Lab Computers:
- Food or drink is not allowed at any computer workstation
- Respect those around you by using headphones to avoid excessive loud music or noise
- Request prior approval from the IT Department before installing software of any kind
- Report any IT issues to a staff member or the IT Department as soon as possible
- Do not attempt to service, alter or deface hardware, peripherals, equipment, etc.
MSSM monitors all traffic in real time and can access all transmissions on its network. Encrypted websites and passwords are not visible to MSSM. Students are responsible for any personal information they distribute on MSSM’s network. As such, students should use extreme caution. Refusing to allow an MSSM administrator or designee to conduct a computer search will be taken as an admission of guilt. There may be no warnings prior to being disconnected from the network for investigatory reasons, though notification to parents/legal guardians and students from the Director of Technology or the Director of Residential Life will be made within 48 hours.
To guarantee the stability of MSSM’s network and to protect students from accessing age restricted materials, network security must not be compromised. All threats to the orderly operation or integrity of MSSM’s network and all threats to network privacy constitute a violation of the ITUA. Examples of violations include, but are not limited to:
- Probing the network to gain access to unauthorized network areas
- Sharing MSSM account credentials
- Lack of or outdated virus protection
- Accessing a network other than MSSM’s
Electronic security breach and network issues must be reported immediately to the Director of Technology. All attempts to defeat security or to acquire or use system privileges above that originally designated are considered major violations and are reported to the Director of Technology.
Each student is assigned, by the IT Department, one IP address to be shared between a maximum of three computers. Statically assigning an IP, on the user side, is not allowed on MSSM's network - computers must remain in DHCP at all times. Changing (spoofing) the MAC Address or Host/Computer Name is not allowed without re-registering the device.
It is a violation to use any network service or utility that attempts to spoof, mask or hide its identity from the school network security, such as proxy sites. This activity is characterized as attempting to access sites that, under normal network activity, would be banned by the school network security.
In order to ensure the safety and protection of MSSM, its students, staff, and faculty from legal or other harm, the network must be kept free from illegal activity. All usage of MSSM’s network that violates Local, State, or Federal Law, or that has the potential to invoke legal action against MSSM, its students, staff, or faculty, constitutes a legal violation. Examples of legality violations include, but are not limited to:
- Unauthorized copying, possession, or distribution of copyrighted materials
- Unauthorized access to age-restricted material
- Unauthorized access of a remote computer or server
- Unauthorized sharing of files
MSSM is especially vigilant about preventing the violation of copyright laws by downloading, uploading, or having in your possession unauthorized digital data. This is a major violation and could cost MSSM its Internet services. Other penalties from Local, State, or Federal Agencies may apply to cyber-crimes and MSSM will cooperate fully with any agency that is within its legal rights to request log information for any account on our network that has been implicated in a cyber-crime of any type.
Unauthorized duplication of computer software is illegal and unauthorized downloading, copying, or sharing materials (i.e., music, games, movies) is a copyright violation and is considered theft. Penalties may be pursued by those companies or corporations injured outside of MSSM. In addition, all files or programs either installed or used by students must be registered with the publisher or otherwise in compliance with U.S. copyright law.
Violators will be responsible for compensating MSSM for any losses, costs, or damages incurred by MSSM for violations of the ITUA , including the cost of investigating such violations. MSSM assumes no responsibility for any unauthorized charges or costs incurred by anyone while using MSSM's network.
Students who have their computers disconnected from the network due to disciplinary reasons may continue to use MSSM computer facilities, but they shall not use computers belonging to other students.
Internet access is available at MSSM via Ethernet and Wi-Fi during normal network hours: Sunday through Thursday from 6:00am till 11:00pm - Friday and Saturday from 6:00am till midnight. MSSM complies with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), a federal law enacted by Congress to address concerns about access to offensive content over the Internet on school and library computers. MSSM’s Information Technology Use Agreement is put in place to insure the safety of the student and supply uninterrupted Internet access for academic purposes.
MSSM takes precautions to prevent access to inappropriate material via content filters and firewalls, but the World Wide Web is so vast that there may be times when inappropriate materials are not caught. The IT Department has the ability to manually block these sites. Intentional use of MSSM’s network to locate or acquire inappropriate material is considered a violation of the ITUA . Examples of such violations include, but are not limited to:
- Inappropriate Materials:
Accessing, submitting, posting, publishing, forwarding, downloading, scanning or displaying defamatory, pornographic, abusive, obscene, vulgar, sexually explicit, sexually suggestive, threatening, or discriminatory content; gambling, and commercial activities for monetary gain.
- Violating Copyrights:
Copying, downloading, uploading or sharing any type of copyrighted materials (games, music, video, etc.) - Torrenting (BitTorrent, kTorrent, LimeWire, µTorrent, Vuse, etc.) is not allowed.
Any material represented as one’s own work obtained from the Internet (term papers, essays, articles, music, video, etc.). When Internet sources are used, the author, publisher and web site must be identified/referenced.
- Misuse of Passwords/Unauthorized Access:
Sharing passwords, using other users’ passwords, and accessing or using other users’ accounts. Unauthorized attempts by a user to gain access to any account or computer resource not belonging to that user (cracking, hacking, brute force attacks, etc.)
- Malicious Acts:
Causing disruption or harm to MSSM's computers, network or Internet services, including, but not limited to, hacking, creating and spreading viruses, worms, chain letters, or Trojans. Holding of MSSM (and its affiliates) or their employees up to public scorn, ridicule, or defamation. Harassment via technology (cyber bullying) falls under the Harassment Policy as well as MSSM’s ITUA.
Other inappropriate uses may be designated at the discretion of the Director of Technology.
A limited number of computers connected to a printer are available in the academic building. These are located in the Learning Center and in A226(PC Lab). No school computers or printers are available in the dormitory.
In addition to Ethernet, MSSM provides Wifi network access to registered devices throughout the residential and academic buildings.
MSSM is powered by Google Apps for Education®, which is available for all students and MSSM staff. All MSSM staff members and students use Google Apps® for communication and using your MSSM appointed Google App® account is expected. Failure to use your school-issued Google® account in an appropriate manner can result in the suspension and/or termination of the account. As all parties at the school use email as a direct form of communication, it is very important that students maintain their MSSM.org email account.
Graduates of MSSM will always have an active MSSM account.
Devices and Guidelines
Desktops and laptops -
- All operating systems are compatible on MSSM’s network
- Students are expected to password protect their devices
- Students are responsible for their device’s activities, whether authorized or not
Antivirus software is paramount. Every Windows based PC must have an up-to-date anti-virus program and current security patches. Anti-virus for Apple and Linux are optional, but recommended.
Smart devices - Android, iPad, etc. (these count as a computer system)
Accessing other networks (including cell towers) other than MSSM’s, creating ad-hocs, hotspots or tethering, is not acceptable and is considered a major violation.
Students in violation of smart device technology (3G, 4LTE, etc.), may be subject to:
- Permanent removal of smart device from campus
- Further discipline by the Director of Residential Life
For MSSM network access, each device must be registered with the IT department. The Device Registration Form is available via the technology page on the MSSM website.
Analog telephones (Plain Old Telephone System)
- Each student at MSSM has an extension with PIN protected voicemail which is automatically sent to the student’s email account
- In the Veterans’ Memorial Gym Dorm, each room has only one phone-capable jack so roommates may want to coordinate with each other regarding whose phone they will use to access the extensions
- Caller ID is available
- Long distance calls are available via phone card, collect, or other prepaid options
Each student has access to an ethernet jack in his/her dorm room. A minimum length of 6 feet of cable is recommended to connect a student’s computer to a dorm room Ethernet jack.
For personal or school printing at times when school printers are unavailable. MSSM does not provide ink or paper for personal printers.
MSSM does not take on liability for personal property, electronics or otherwise, housed at MSSM during the school year.
- Wired or wireless routers, switches, servers, etc.
- Mobile hotspots
- Devices of any kind that can connect directly to an Ethernet connection and/or that have the potential of transmitting IP addresses either through cabling or Wifi
Questions concerning MSSM Electronic Technology, Computing, and Internet issues including the curtailment of computer services and internet access should be addressed to the Director of Technology. Issues concerning disciplinary suspensions shall be addressed through the office of the Director of Residential Life
STUDENT ACTIVITIES AND ATHLETICS
MSSM does not provide medical, injury, or accident insurance to students and requires that families provide proof of medical insurance before participation in any school activities.
MSSM encourages students to balance their academic pursuits through participation in the variety of clubs, organizations, and extra/co-curricular activities available to the MSSM community. Ideas for new programs or activities should be suggested to MSSM’s Director of Student Activities, Athletics and Transportation (DSAAT), a residential life staff member, student activity board members, or placed in the activities suggestion drop box located in the dormitory.
MSSM’s DSAAT oversees all athletics.
The following sports are available for both male and female athletes (based upon funding and student interest):
|Fall Sports||Winter Sports||Spring Sports|
|Cross Country||Nordic Skiing||Outdoor
Track and Field
|Soccer||Intramural Basketball||Aroostook League
Students who will miss a meal due to an extracurricular activity or sporting event may fill out a Meal Request Form found on Google Drive and in the Residential Life office. These forms must be submitted to the ResLife office at least one meal in advance.
Veterans’ Gym Use
The gymnasium is used for a variety of activities throughout the day, evening, and weekend, provided an event or special activity has not been scheduled through the MSSM office. Students are expected to respect visiting groups and the facilities when they use the gym.
For safety reasons, shoes must be worn at all times in the gym even when in transit to the fitness room, multipurpose room or while socializing on the stage.
The pool is available to students multiple days each week. Pool hours are posted in the dormitories and on the MSSM Extracurricular Activities Calendar. Students are expected to wear seasonally appropriate clothing when travelling to and from the pool.
Extra/Co-Curricular Activities Code
All students wishing to represent the Maine School of Science and Mathematics in an extra/co-curricular activity must agree to follow this code in order to provide an organized, healthy, and safe atmosphere for all participants.
For the purpose of this code, extra/co-curricular activities include but are not limited to, all varsity and intramural sports, Youth in Government, Robotics, Key Club, and other such groups that represent MSSM externally.
Eligibility:Students wishing to participate in varsity sports and co-curricular activities should be passing all classes. For athletics, participation in fall sports will be determined based on final semester grades for the previous spring semester. During the school year, athlete eligibility will be checked by the Director of Student Activities, Athletics, and Transportation (DSAAT) at each grading period on the school calendar: progress reports, academic updates, and final grades. Referrals to the student’s academic team will be made for students who are failing.
Academic alerts (sent by a faculty member) can also prompt an academic team meeting to discuss extra/co-curricular participation.
Team meetings will be scheduled for students who are struggling. Academic plans may include reducing or ending participation in extra/co-curricular activities. A probation period, during which time a student can continue to participate but must improve their grade to passing, may be determined by the student’s academic team at this meeting. If ending participation is an outcome of an academic team meeting, an effective date will be communicated which will not exceed one week from the meeting date. Students will be allowed to participate in previously scheduled games/events that occur within 72 hours of the team meeting.
Staff advisors of clubs and official school organizations can set additional eligibility standards for their groups. Groups/teams with outside affiliations (examples: Youth in Government, Civil Rights Team Project, VEX Robotics) may have additional eligibility requirements.
For students participating in varsity athletics, all Maine Principals Association (MPA) eligibility standards apply. MPA eligibility standards may be found at www.mpa.cc
The Director of Residential Life will have final authority to determine student eligibility.
Parent/Guardian Permission:Parents or guardians must give consent for their students to join athletic teams or to travel with co-curricular groups. This consent may be submitted via applicable permission forms or emailed to the appropriate staff member supervising the activity or trip.
Athletes:Every student athlete must submit proof of physical examination before they can participate in MSSM sponsored athletic programs. Physicals must be completed by a Doctor (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathy (DO). Should this not be possible, either a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) or a Physician’s Assistant (PA) may do the physical under the supervision of either a MD or a DO. All documentation must be on the school physical examination form. Physicals are valid for one year.
In addition to the physical form, an athletic department medical form must also be completed by a parent or guardian prior to the start of the sport season. This form is specifically for coaches and will travel with each student athlete to away games/meets.
All MSSM athletes are required to participate in concussion baseline testing. MSSM partners with the Maine Concussion Management Initiative (MCMI) to offer ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing).
Conduct (Ambassadorship & Sportsmanship):Representing MSSM externally is a privilege and our behaviors reflect on our school. Students should always conduct themselves in such a way that demonstrates respect for themselves, their team/group, and the community. The Director of Residential Life (DoS), DSAAT, and/or Coaches/Advisors of extra/co-curricular teams/groups may exclude a student from participation if inappropriate behavior or unsportsmanlike conduct occurs at any time during the school year or during school-sponsored travel.
When participating in Maine Principals Association athletic events, MSSM will abide by their rules for unsportsmanlike penalties of players.
The Director of Residential Life will have final authority to determine student participation.
Commitment/Attendance:Students who join extra/co-curricular activities should make a meaningful commitment to the group. For athletics, this means attending a minimum of three (3) practices each week and all meets/games/competitions during the season. Coaches and advisors of co-curricular activities may set reasonable attendance expectations. Students will be excused from classes for games/meets/competitions but not for practices/meetings. When missing class for a game/meet/competition, proper excused absence procedure must be followed (see page ## of Community Handbook).
School Transportation:All participants of school activities will travel to and from events by school authorized transportation, when provided. With prior written notification, parents/legal guardians may provide transportation from events. Exceptions must be approved by the Director of Student Activities, Athletics, and Transportation (DSAAT) or Director of Residential Life (DoS) at least one day prior to the event.
Uniforms/Equipment:Students are responsible for all equipment and uniforms issued to them. Lost or damaged school property must be paid for at current replacement prices.
A residential school is a cooperative living environment. MSSM's program reflects a comprehensive approach to student development by providing support for both the academic and non-academic pursuits of students.
In order to enjoy the benefits of this residential community, students need to accept responsibility for the health and well-being of its members. The living environment of MSSM is based upon the following principles:
- Everyone at MSSM deserves to be treated with courtesy and respect
- Self-discipline, self-motivation, and continuing personal commitment are cornerstones for success
- The MSSM opportunity is a privilege extended by the citizens of Maine
- MSSM students will:
- Be honest with themselves, faculty, and staff
- Understand that responsibilities and accountability for actions accompany privileges
- Participate in protecting themselves, their property and the property of others
- Exhibit behaviors that promote personal and community cleanliness and health
- Be confident, caring, generous and contributing members of the community
All students are expected to dedicate themselves to fulfilling the potential MSSM recognized through their initial acceptance. Students, regardless of ability or grades, are expected to adhere to the philosophy of MSSM, which requires a total effort toward maximizing learning and a commitment to residential integrity. A high level of effort and exemplary attitude toward living in the dormitories generally equates to success at MSSM. Students who do not meet the school's expectations may be encouraged to withdraw or may be dismissed.
Residential Life Staff
The residential life staff consists of a full-time Director of Residential Life, Director of Student Activities, Athletics, and Transportation, a team of Residential Instructors (RI), Senior RI's, and the school's Director of Health Services. Below are some of the responsibilities charged to the residential staff:
- Uphold the overall health, safety and well-being of all MSSM students
- Provide a variety of non-academic opportunities to the community
- Ensure the rules in this handbook, relevant to residential life, are followed and enforced consistently
- Demonstrate compassion and empathy to the students' needs and concerns
MSSM employs a Director of Health Services who is available in the dorm Monday through Friday. The Health Services' office is located within the dormitory and office hours are posted on the door. Staff perform first aid services, provide health care counseling, oversee the distribution of medication, and aid students in making unavoidable medical and dental appointments while at MSSM. Routine health care appointments should be scheduled during times when students are at home. Students and their families are responsible for all costs incurred by these appointments.
MSSM offers a walk-in clinic for mental health and counseling needs. This clinic is staffed eight hours each weekday, through the Aroostook Mental Health Center (AMHC). Information discussed with AMHC staff is confidential unless a student is found to be a danger to him/her self or others. Students can access additional counseling services (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) by speaking with MSSM’s Director of Health Services.
For the safety of the community and its individuals, students must immediately report any injury or illness to the Director of Health Services' office. If students become ill or injured when the Director of Health Services is not available, they report to the residential staff. Students are expected to arrive on time at the Health Services office or the designated location to pick up regularly scheduled medications.
If a student becomes sick while home on break he/she is to remain home until well. This not only speeds the student's recovery, but also drastically minimizes exposure to the rest of the community. Such an absence would be an Excused Absence, as described in the Academic Section of the Handbook. If this were to be necessary, students or parent/legal guardian should promptly contact either the Director of Residential Life.
Parents/legal guardians must sign permission forms allowing their children to receive treatment in the event of an illness or accident. Parents/legal guardians of students taken to the emergency room shall be notified by an MSSM staff member as soon as the situation allows. In most cases, parents/legal guardians are called before students are brought to the emergency room.
Student Safety and Building Security
For their health and wellbeing, MSSM requires that all students wear properly fitting helmets at all times while operating or riding any wheeled device. This applies to use in any school building, on campus grounds, and in the local communities.
An appropriately certified, on-duty lifeguard must be present at all times any MSSM student is swimming, wading, or playing in any body of water within Limestone or the surrounding towns. MSSM staff will have final authority regarding whether or not conditions are safe to be in the water.
Open flames, incense, knives, sling-shots, weapons, archery, martial arts equipment, metal darts, similar items or realistic replicas are not allowed in the dormitory. Any violation of this safety principle is a major violation. Students who would like to have knives for use in the kitchen will be allowed to store these knives in the Residential Staff Office. Students will be able to sign them out when needed.
All students must be aware of the impact of their behavior on the safety of other students. It is imperative that residents never tamper with smoke detectors or fire alarms. Students should never deactivate the system by tampering with or covering smoke detectors, sprinkler heads, or pipes. No items are to be hung from sprinkler pipes.
In order to be prepared for unexpected emergencies, students are expected to dress for the weather. During winter months, closed toe shoes shall be worn when leaving the dormitories. Long sleeves, jackets, hats and gloves should be worn when appropriate. MSSM staff will assist students who struggle with identifying when these times are. Students are expected to follow the directions of staff in this regard.
Animals (including those visiting from home) are not allowed in the dormitory without permission from the Director of Residential Life.
For emergency preparedness fire drills are held periodically in the academic building and dormitory. The faculty and residential life staff provide detailed instructions during student orientation at the beginning of the year.
Emergency procedures require serious and prompt response. Failure to abide by fire alarm procedures may be considered a major violation.
During a fire alarm in the dormitory, students are reminded to wear shoes and proper clothing when able. They are expected to leave the dormitory quietly, and to gather at previously assigned location(s).
Students may not reenter the building until instructed to do so by an MSSM staff member.
Students must accept the primary responsibility for safeguarding property and preventing theft, as MSSM does not take on liability for personal belongings. Labeling valuables is advised. MSSM suggests parents/legal guardians list their children's belongings on their homeowners' or renters' insurance policy.
All students are encouraged to adopt an attitude of "community watch" on campus and to report persons or events that are cause for concern. In order to maintain the maximum level of security, students should keep their rooms locked when they are not present. Tampering with locks is a major violation. The school is not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged items. Any incident of theft or loss should be reported to a residential staff member immediately.
Key Card and Room Keys
All students receive RFID key cards that allow them entry to the dormitory, their wings, and the academic building. They will also receive separate keys to their dorm rooms. Students are expected to use these cards and keys responsibly. If students lock their keys in their rooms, they should ask a member of the residential staff to open their door for them. Kicking or forcibly opening a locked door is a major violation. Additionally there will be a $50 fee (higher for repeat offenders) that will be charged as well as community service hours that will need to be completed with the MSSM Maintenance Team. Kicking or forcibly opening any Residential Life staff’s apartment will result in dismissal. Entering any Residential Life Members apartment without permission will result in dismissal. Lost keys and cards must be reported immediately. Cards and keys are the property of MSSM and must be returned upon departure from MSSM. Key deposit funds will be credited to families once all move out day paperwork is filed with the MSSM Business office. When/If it has been established that a student has lost his/her key at any point during the year, and once charges have been submitted through the business office, no refunds will be issued.
Keys must be kept with students or in a secure location at all times. Athletic coaches can assist students with keeping keys secure during practices.
An important part of the residential experience is learning how to share living space. Changing roommates or rooms is strongly discouraged and will be approved only when all avenues have been exhausted and all parties agree that a change is in everyone's best interest. Residential Assistants can be an initial resource for roommates who are having difficulties living together. After attempting to resolve their conflicts, students should contact their Residential Instructors for mediation.
Decorations / Room Arrangements / Examples of Prohibited Items
Students are encouraged to make their rooms comfortable; however, it is important to realize there are state codes that must be followed by the school. Therefore, the residential staff has the right to determine the appropriate decoration of rooms. These guidelines are not intended to limit room personalization, but are necessary to ensure the safety of occupants and emergency personnel.
Students are not allowed to decorate or arrange their rooms in a manner that interferes with the operation, maintenance, or use of smoke detectors, sprinkler heads or pipes. They may not decorate their rooms in any manner that creates a fire hazard or is otherwise deemed unsafe. No items are to be hung from sprinkler pipes.
- No candles, matches, lighters, incense, flammable or hazardous chemicals are allowed in rooms or other areas of the dormitory.
- No coverings on light fixtures are allowed
- Arrangement of furniture must meet safety and dormitory maintenance requirements
- Doors must be able to open fully, with a clear path from the door to the window and from the door to the beds
- The heating system cannot be interfered with or blocked
- All room furnishings must remain in the room unless permission has been granted by an RI- MSSM is not able to store provided desk chairs to make room for personal office chairs
- Beds may only be raised with approval of the Director of Residential Life
- Mattresses may not be placed on the floor-Only one mattress per bed is permitted
- Wall decorations cannot cover more than 20% total wall space, must be 18" below the sprinkler heads, and are not allowed outside of rooms
- Students' names must be clearly displayed on the outside of their room doors
- Decorations that promote alcohol and drugs are not permitted
- Pushpins, 3M strips/hooks, and poster putty are the only three items allowed to hang posters and/or pictures
- Ceiling tiles may not be moved for any reason
- Halogen lamps are not permitted
- Traffic signs and street signs are not acceptable decorations
- Decorations that show nudity or are overtly sexual are not permitted
- Sofas, futons, and other similar types of furniture are permitted by prior approval
- Due to allergies and breathing sensitivities, MSSM highly recommends that students do not bring aerosol spray cans into the dormitory
- Toasters/toaster-ovens are not allowed in student rooms
- Tattoo and piercing gun/needles
- Electric Skateboards
- Electric Pressure Cookers (Instant Pots)
During the final weeks of the year, returning students will have the opportunity to participate in MSSM's Room Draw. This is an event which provides students the ability to select their rooms for the following academic year. Although MSSM will do its best, rooms selected during room draw are not guaranteed.
The order of room draw is decided by class as well as the number of years a student has attended MSSM. Certain wings of the dormitory may require specific criteria and permission from residential life staff. These areas will typically be held for upperclassmen and students who have shown themselves to be responsible, trustworthy, and mature.
Students who sign up for a double or triple room with an open bed should understand they will likely be assigned a new student to their room at some point during the summer or that they may be moved to accommodate incoming students.
Students who choose not to participate in Room Draw may be placed in a room and with roommates not of their choosing. Residential staff will attempt to contact students who do not participate in Room Draw to ask for their preferences. It is in all parties' interest that students give some input into this process. If students are unreachable or do not respond to inquiries they will be placed in an open bed appropriate to age, grade, and sex.
Housekeeping and Inspections for Cleanliness
Students are responsible for cleaning their own rooms and common areas. Rooms are expected to be maintained in a healthy, neat and clean manner at all times. To ensure that rooms are kept up to the MSSM standards, a residential staff member will conduct room inspections on a regular basis. In the event that rooms continue to fail inspection, students will meet with the Director of Residential Life to develop a support plan.
To pass room inspection, a student's room needs to have:
- Floors neat and clean at all times; clothes and other items need to be kept off the floor
- Beds made
- Trash cans emptied
- Refrigerators clean
- Furniture location approved
- Clutter picked up, including under the bed
- Clothes put away neatly
All students are responsible for helping maintain the family common areas and dorm kitchen in a clean and orderly manner. If these areas are not kept clean, access may be restricted.
Approximately eight students share each bathroom in the dormitory. The school provides regular cleaning of bathrooms; however, it is the students' responsibility to keep their bathrooms picked up in order to facilitate these cleanings. Personal items are not to be left or stored in the bathrooms. It is vital that students clean up after themselves and leave the bathroom in the same condition, or better, than they found it. Please report any and all maintenance needs to the residential staff immediately.
Residents are responsible for the condition of their rooms, wings and other areas of the dormitory. Damages (malicious or not) incurred during the school year will be charged to the students. Malicious damage will have additional consequences. All roommates/wing residents will jointly share responsibility for room/wing damage unless individual responsibility can be established. During check-in at the beginning of the year, each RI will take the time to carefully note the room and furniture condition. If damage occurs during the year, it is the students' responsibility to notify their RI so the damage can be documented and repaired.
Sign In/Out Procedure
While MSSM cannot guarantee knowledge of all students' whereabouts at all times, regulations governing signing out are designed to give the staff a reasonable knowledge of each student's location, and thus a way of reaching him/her in the event of an emergency.
The sign in/out log requires each student to note his/her name, destination, time of departure, and time of arrival in a legible manner.
Students must sign out any time they leave campus. The one exception to this rule is the weekly trip to the Presque Isle Mall. Permission from the residential life staff is needed for any unsupervised trip lasting longer than two hours or extending outside of Limestone town limits. All students must have permission on the Automobile Permission Form to travel with anyone other than their parents/legal guardians.
Students seeking permission for an overnight excursion are required to submit an Overnight Permission Form along with written permission from parents/legal guardians to the residential life staff by 2:00 on Friday afternoon or at least 24 hours in advance of a non-weekend overnight trip. Students given permission to go on an overnight trip must sign out prior to leaving campus. If staying overnight with a local family, a written invitation from the family is required.
Students do not need Overnight Permission Forms or parental permission to leave campus if they are going:
- Home for mandatory closings such as extended weekends and holidays
- On day trips with MSSM staff to school-approved functions and activities (e.g., sports trips, competitions, etc.)
Automobiles on campus are a privilege and not a right. The purpose of this privilege is to facilitate trips home at the start of extended weekends and breaks. Written permission from parents/legal guardians is required.
Students must have prior approval to bring a car on campus. When students arrive on campus with vehicles, they must park their vehicles in the assigned area and report directly to the residential staff to turn in all keys for the vehicles. Students who have brought cars to school may use their cars only when departing for extended weekends or vacations. All exceptions to this must be approved by the Director of Residential Life.
MSSM students are allowed to provide transportation to other MSSM students for breaks. In order to do so, both driver and passenger(s) must have written parental/legal guardian permission. As stated on the Automobile Permission Form, this is the only time the MSSM allows a student to drive with a non-immediate family member under the age of 21. Any exception must be approved by the Director of Residential Life.
Failure to abide by these regulations may result in loss or suspension of automobile privileges and may be considered a major school violation.
Quiet hours are times when noise is kept at a level that allows students to study, rest, or sleep. They occur during Structured Study, on the weekends before and during midterm and final exams, and every night from 10:00 pm - 8:00 am.
Structured Study Dorm Expectations
Structured study hours are from 6:30 p.m. through 8:30 p.m., Sunday through Thursday evenings.
During structured study, all students are expected to maintain a quiet environment in the dormitory and allow others to study and complete their homework. Common areas and lounges must also remain quiet during Structured Study. Group sizes in lounges may be limited by the residential life staff to maintain this quiet environment.
Students specifically assigned to structured study will use this time to study in their rooms with their doors open. These students who wish to work in groups or on class projects may use one of several areas in the dormitory after seeking permission from a residential staff member. If Structured Study students wish to use the learning center during this time, they must sign out on the Structured Study sign out sheets.
On Campus Curfew
- Sunday - Thursday: All students must be on campus between 8:30 pm and 6:00 am.
- Friday & Saturday: All students must be on campus between 10:00 pm and 6:00 am.
Please see the campus boundary maps provided to all students during orientation.
In Wing Times/In Building Times
- Sunday - Thursday: All students must be in their wings between 9:30 pm and 6:00 am.
- Friday & Saturday: All students must be in their wings between 11:00 pm and 6:00 am.
In Room Times
- Sunday - Thursday: All students must be in their rooms between 10:30 pm and 6:00 am.
- Friday & Saturday: All students must be in their rooms between 11:45 pm and 6:00 am.
Lights Out Times
- Sunday - Thursday: All lights in students' rooms must be turned off for the night by 11:00 pm.
- Friday & Saturday: All lights in student rooms must be turned off for the night by 12:00 am.
Lights Out includes all lights other than small book lights or headlamps for reading. Computers and electronic devices must be turned off at this time.
Late Lights Requests
Students may request an extension for lights out for academic reasons. This request must be made by In Wing. Students must have been studying during Structured Study for this request to be granted. If granted, this extension will last for no more than one hour after lights out. Under special circumstances, extensions are also possible for non-MSSM sponsored off-campus activities. Students should contact the On-Duty RI if they have such a request. In certain cases, students need written parental permission for off-campus activities.
Friday and Saturday evenings from 7:30 to 10:45 are designated for inter-wing visitation. During these times, students may invite members of the opposite sex in to their wings. This is a privilege that permits students to entertain and socialize in their wings with other MSSM students of the opposite sex. Students will need parental permission in order to participate in inter-wing.
Signing in with the residential duty staff is required. All inter-wing visitors must be with their hosts when signing in with the residential staff. Inter-wing visitors are required to stay with their hosts at all times.
Appropriate visiting areas are the hallways and lounges only. Students and parents/legal guardians will be presented with guidelines for appropriate inter-wing behavior during student orientation.
All guests must be signed in by their hosts at the residential office immediately upon entry to the dormitory. All guests must adhere to MSSM rules and are the responsibility of their hosts. Guests must remain with their hosts at all times. Hosting or visiting privileges may be revoked at any time.
A guest is defined as anyone who does not live in the dormitory, or is not employed by MSSM.
Guests are allowed in the dormitory within the following guidelines:
- Guests are permitted in the common areas including the gym and wings (male guests in male wings, female guests in female wings
- Guests may not participate in inter-wing
- Guests are not allowed during Structured Study
- There are to be no more than two guests per MSSM host
- No one should admit non-MSSM community members into a dormitory without staff approval
- Day guests should not arrive before 8:00 am
- Day guests must depart by in-wing time
Overnight guests are allowed in the dormitory within these guidelines:
- Hosting students have submitted completed Guest Information Sheets to the Director of Residential Life by Wednesday at 4:00 pm
- The guest is over 12 years of age and under 18 years of age
- The Director of Residential Life has received written parental/legal guardian permission from both the host(s) student's parents/legal guardians and the guest's parents/legal guardians
- The stay can only include Friday and/or Saturday nights
- Check-in cannot occur before 4:30 p.m. on Friday. Checkout must occur before 6:30 p.m. on Sunday
Approval of all guests is at the discretion of the Director of Residential Life and may include, but not be limited to the following factors:
- Number of people in the dormitory
- Misconduct record or past behavior of the MSSM student
- Misconduct record or past behavior of guest
- Late request
- Incomplete Guest Information Sheet
- Restrictions by parents/legal guardians
- Exceeding number of guests per room or number of nights
- Lack of roommate agreement on Guest Information Sheet
Visiting other MSSM Student Rooms
To respect all community members, MSSM students may not enter a dorm room that is not their own without being accompanied by someone who permanently resides in the room.
Certain weekends throughout the school year are designated as being "closed." A "closed" weekend means that visitors are not permitted on campus for an overnight visit. In addition, students are encouraged to stay on campus as some of these days count as official school days.
Examples of closed weekends:
- Move-in weekend
- Weekend after first week classes in the fall
- SAT testing weekends
- Weekends prior to semester or final exams
- Prom (requests may be made to the Director of Residential Life for exceptions)
- Graduation Weekend
Rated R movies should only be watched by students who are 18 or older and never shown in public areas without approval from the Director of Residential Life.
To support adolescents in delaying sexual activity until they are ready for a mature and healthy relationships, MSSM prohibits sexual activity and overt displays of public affection. During orientation, students and parents/legal guardians will be presented with guidelines of what are acceptable and unacceptable public displays of affection. MSSM strongly advocates abstinence, resistance to peer pressure, and offers educational sessions offered by the Director of Health Services. MSSM encourages students who are considering sexual activity to speak with their parents/guardians, a counselor, or a health educator about the issues of intimacy, accountability, and responsibility.
Dress and Grooming
In choosing apparel, please keep in mind that the academic building is shared with the Limestone Community School (LCS) which is a pre-K to grade 8 facility.
Dress and grooming standards while in the academic building, in the residential building, and at official school functions are:
- No see-through apparel, bare midriffs, bare-back tops, short shorts, and micro skirts
- Footwear with soles must be worn in the academic building and on school grounds. Students without proper footwear cannot be served in the dining hall nor permitted to do their work assignments. No spikes or cleats may be worn in the academic or residential buildings
- No obscene/offensive language or images on articles of clothing or accessories. This includes advertising that promotes products illegal to minors
- No items that could be interpreted as drug paraphernalia, weapons, or as being gang-related
- Hats are prohibited in the Limestone Community School building. In the interest of promoting a congenial community, please remove headwear in areas shared with LCS
The final authority regarding dress and grooming standards is left to the discretion of school administration. Any attire considered indecent, disruptive, or inappropriate must be changed.
Senior Privileges may be granted after the fall progress reports. These privileges will be determined by the Residential Life Staff and the Director of Residential Life and may change from year to year.
Frequently Referenced MSSM Policies, Rules, and Procedures
Notice of Non-Discrimination
MSSM does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, ancestry, national origin, genetic information, or disability in its programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies:
- Dr Greg Hamlin (he/him/his)
- Title IX Coordinator, Affirmative Action Officer
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Cell: 1-413-370-4769
For further information on notice of non-discrimination you may contact the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights. Web: https://www.hhs.gov/ocr/index.html; Phone: 1-800-368-1019; Email: OCRMail@hhs.gov; TDD: 1-800-537-7697
No employee of the Maine School of Science and Mathematics (MSSM) may accept any monetary gifts (including cash, checks, debit cards, gift cards, gift certificates, or any negotiable instrument) from parents/guardians, board members, students, suppliers, vendors, etc., in any amount whatsoever. In the event that a monetary gift is offered, the employee should refer the donor to the Director of the MSSM Foundation, Inc.
It is against MSSM policy for an employee to accept gifts from any person or business that conducts business, or expects to conduct business, with MSSM.
Further, it is unlawful for persons or businesses to give gifts to School staff and for School staff to accept gifts that are intended to improperly influence the School staff in the exercise of their duties.
For the purpose of administrative guidance, gifts do not include advertising items of nominal value such as calendars, pens, or pencils. However, goods and services which involve a pecuniary benefit should be considered to be gifts.
Drugs and Alcohol Policy
Reference: Title 17-A M.R.S.A. Sections 602, 604, 605 and 606 Drugs and Alcohol
MSSM supports a safe and healthy learning environment for students that are free of the detrimental effect of drug and alcohol.
Maine State Law and the Maine School of Science and Mathematics prohibit the use, possession, or distribution of controlled substances, such as drugs and alcohol on school grounds. Any person possessing, using, distributing or aiding in the distribution of illegal drugs, alcohol or drug paraphernalia shall be subject to disciplinary action as defined under the Disciplinary Procedures and Guidelines section of this handbook.
If a student is suspected of purchasing, possessing, using, distributing, or aiding in the distribution or use of alcohol, drug paraphernalia, illegal drugs, or in the misuse of legal prescription or nonprescription drugs, parents/legal guardians will immediately be contacted. Two administrators will then approach the student to conduct a full investigation. Depending on the findings the administration will notify the appropriate law enforcement officials and take disciplinary action if needed as defined in the Disciplinary Procedures and Guidelines section of the Community Handbook.
Possession is defined as having in one's room, vehicle, on one's person, or cached on or off the premises.
Use is defined as the consumption of drugs or alcohol as determined by direct observations, the emission of the odor of drugs/alcohol, or the positive reading produced via drug/alcohol tests. In addition, other corroborating signs of using include slurred speech, uncoordinated bodily movements, disorientation, and/or incoherence. Students believed to have consumed drugs/alcohol who deny it may be asked to take an alcohol breath test/drug urine test administered in private by an MSSM staff member or a law enforcement official. Refusal to take the test may result in the student being charged with the violation.
Distribution is defined as buying, giving, or aiding in the purchase or distribution of alcohol, drug paraphernalia or drugs to anyone, regardless of whether they attend MSSM.
In order to promote the health, welfare, and safety of students, staff, and visitors and to promote the cleanliness of MSSM facilities, the Board of Trustees, and Maine law prohibits smoking and all other use of tobacco products in School buildings and other School facilities, on School buses, and on School grounds at all times by all persons.
In addition, students are further prohibited from possessing, selling, distributing or dispensing tobacco products in School buildings, facilities, on School grounds, and buses during School-sponsored events and at all other times.
Employees and all other persons are also strictly prohibited, under law and Board of Trustees policy, from selling, distributing or in any way dispensing tobacco products to students.
Under MSSM policy, metal darts, guns, slingshots, archery equipment and knives are considered dangerous weapons and are not allowed at MSSM. In addition, no guns of any kind (including facsimiles of real guns) are allowed at MSSM. Other items not listed here may be considered dangerous weapons. If you have questions about an item, please see an MSSM administrator for clarification.
Possession, distribution, or use of a dangerous weapon is a major violation.
Where MSSM is a residential School where students are in close proximity for extended times, it is particularly important that students are immunized.
All students who enroll in the School are required by Maine law to present a certificate of immunization or evidence of immunization or immunity against poliomyelitis, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella (chicken pox). MSSM requires in addition that all students be immunized or show evidence of immunity from hepatitis A and meningitis. MSSM also recommends that students be inoculated with the appropriate flu vaccine every year.
Non-immunized students shall not be permitted to attend School unless one of the following conditions is met:
- The parents/legal guardians provide to the school written assurance that the child will be immunized within 90 days of enrolling in school or his/her first attendance in classes, whichever date is earlier. This option is available only once to each student during their school career; or
- The parents/legal guardians provide a physician's written statement each year that immunization against one or more diseases may be medically inadvisable (as defined by law/regulation); or
- The parents/legal guardians state in writing each year that immunization is contrary to their sincere religious or philosophical beliefs.
- The parents/legal guardians grant written consent for their child to be immunized by a public health officer, physician, Director of Health Services or other authorized person employed by or acting as an agent of the School.
The Executive Director shall exclude from the School any non-immunized student when there is a clear danger to the health of students, staff, and the general public as provided by law. If a student is absent from the School due to conditions in this paragraph for more than ten days, the Executive Director shall make arrangements to meet the educational needs of the student.
Any student not immunized shall be sent home in the event of an outbreak of any illness or disease stated above-stated for which the student is not immunized. Unvaccinated students in the case of an outbreak of disease in which they are not vaccinated against will be excluded from School for at least 16 days from the last identified case. The student will be allowed to return to the School once the School's medical personnel deem it appropriate. In the event that the student is sent home due to the conditions in this paragraph, the School is not required to provide tutoring, off-site classes, or other academic accommodations.
The Executive Director, in consultation with School medical personnel, has broad authority to modify the requirements of this policy as conditions and events change.
MSSM's Medication Policy applies to both prescription and non-prescription drugs, as well as over-the- counter (OTC) medications. ALL medications (prescription/non-prescription) that students bring to MSSM must be turned in to MSSM's Health Center within three (3) hours of arriving on campus.
With parental permission, students are allowed to self-medicate the OTC's listed on the health form. Small amounts of OTC medications may be kept in student rooms. The amount of OTC medications students are permitted to keep in their rooms is determined by the kind of medication they wish to have. Generally, medical staff allows students to possess the amount of medication that would be recommended for a particular week. If more than that is needed, the parents/legal guardians will be contacted. Students found with more than the allowable amount of OTC medication will receive consequences. Consequences will range from a verbal reprimand to restriction, and in some cases may include dismissal from school.
With parental permission, students may have emergency prescription medications such as asthma inhalers and Epi-pens™ in their possession, but need to bring their own supply and demonstrate to Health Center personnel that they know how to use them.
With prior approval of parents/legal guardians and the Director of Health Services, certain non-emergency prescription medications, such as birth control and acne medications, may be kept by students.
To ensure the health and safety of everyone in the community, students will NOT be allowed, under any circumstances, to have in their possession the following non-emergency prescription drugs:
- Schedule I drugs (example: prescription pain-killers)
- Schedule II drugs (example: ADHD/ADD medications)
- Psychotropic medications such as antidepressants, mood stabilizers, anti-psychotics, etc.
These medications must be kept under lock and key in the Health Center and given only by the Director of Health Services or trained medication administration staff. Students found in possession of any of the above medications will receive consequences. Consequences will range from a verbal reprimand to restriction, and in some cases may include dismissal from school.
Most students prefer the convenience of regular medication times. However, in keeping with confidentiality laws (HIPPA), students may request to take their medicine in private. Appointments are made and students are expected to keep all appointments. If students miss medication appointments, members of the trained medication staff will attempt to find them and make sure they take their medication as prescribed. Habitually missing medications appointments is not acceptable. Consequences will range from a verbal reprimand to restrictions, and in some cases may include dismissal from school.
All medications must be brought to school in their original containers. Prescription medication labels must identify the prescribing doctor, the name of the medication, dose, route, and frequency of administration.
Parents/legal guardians are required to hand deliver or mail all prescriptions directly to MSSM's Director of Health Services or send prescription orders to the Frontier Pharmacy in Caribou (207) 493-7771 ). In the latter case, it is necessary to have a photocopy of BOTH sides of the insurance card and make an arrangement to have the prescription co-pay prepaid before MSSM's staff member can pick up the medication. Failure by parents/legal guardians to provide prescriptions and/or payment of may lead to students being sent home until prescription and/or payment is received.
It is the policy of the Maine School of Science and Mathematics that all employees and students are able to enjoy a work, educational, and living environment free from all forms of distraction, including discrimination and harassment based on race, color, religion, age, sect, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, status as a veteran, or other protected status. Offensive or harassing behavior is not tolerated against any student or employee. Harassment is illegal under state and federal laws. This policy covers vendors, visitors, and others who enter our facilities, as well as all students and employees. Administrative personnel are responsible for taking proper action to end such behavior. In an effort to prevent harassment from occurring, this policy against harassment will be communicated to each student and employee. No student or employee of MSSM is exempt from this policy. Offensive conduct or harassment is strictly prohibited. This may include, but is not limited to:
- Offensive physical actions, written or spoken, and graphic communication (i.e., obscene hand gestures or sexually explicit drawings)
- Any type of physical contact when the action is unwelcomed by the recipient; i.e., brushing up against someone in an offensive manner
- Expectations, requests, demands, or pressure for sexual favors
- Slurs, jokes, posters, cartoons, and gestures that are offensive
- Inappropriate or offensive email
All such offensive conduct is considered a form of harassment when any of the following is true:
- There is a promise or implied promise of preferential treatment or negative consequence regarding employment, educational decisions, or status
- Such conduct has the effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or living environment; or unreasonably interferes with a person's work performance
- A third party is offended by the sexual conduct or communications of others
Harassment is a form of misconduct. Disciplinary action, including termination of employment or expulsion from MSSM, may be taken against any employee or student engaging in this type of behavior. Any employee who has knowledge of such behavior and does not report it to an MSSM official is also subject to disciplinary action.
Anyone who believes he/she is being discriminated against as a result of harassing behavior based on any protected status is encouraged to report it. Complaints should be made to a school official. Once notified, an immediate investigation of the allegations will be conducted and necessary corrective action will be taken. All complaints will remain as confidential as possible.
Maine statute defines injurious hazing as "any action or situation, including harassing behavior, that recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health of any School personnel or a student enrolled in a public School."
Injurious hazing activities of any type, either on or off School property, by any student, staff member, group or organization affiliated with this School, are inconsistent with the educational process and shall be prohibited at all times.
"Harassing behavior" includes acts of intimidation and any other conduct that recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health of a student or staff member.
"Acts of intimidation" include extortion, menacing, direct or indirect threats of violence, incidents of violence, bullying, statements or taunting of a malicious and/or derogatory nature that recklessly or intentionally endanger the mental or physical health of another person, and property damage or theft.
No administrator, faculty member, or other employee of the School shall encourage, permit, condone, or tolerate injurious hazing activities. No student, including leaders of students' organizations, shall plan, encourage, or engage in injurious hazing activities.
Students who violate this policy may be subject to disciplinary action which may include suspension, expulsion, or other appropriate measures. Administrators, professional staff, and all other employees who violate this policy may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.
In the case of an organization affiliated with this School that authorizes hazing, penalties may include rescission of permission for that organization to operate on School property or to receive any other benefit of affiliation with the School.
Persons not associated with this School who fail to abide by this policy may be subject to ejection from School property and/or other measures as may be available under the law.
These penalties shall be in addition to any civil or criminal penalties to which the violator or organization may be subject.
The Executive Director/designee shall be responsible for administering this policy. In the event that an individual or organization disagrees with an action—or lack of action—on the part of the Executive Director/designee as he/she carries out the provisions of this policy, that individual or organization may appeal to the Board of Trustees. The ruling of the Board of Trustees with respect to the provisions of this policy shall be final.
A copy of this policy shall be included in all School, parent, and employee handbooks or otherwise distributed to all School employees and students.
Disciplinary Procedures and Guidelines
To ensure a safe environment for each and every student, MSSM has the responsibility to enforce school rules and policies. MSSM believes that healthy and appropriate relationships between students and staff as well as the guiding principles throughout this handbook are cornerstones to avoiding major disciplinary issues. As such, staff do all they can to support students by building relationships, explaining rules and maintaining an open dialogue with them. Parents/guardians are often invited to participate when disciplinary issues arise.
The absence of a specifically defined rule, regulation, procedure, or policy should not be viewed as an indication of acceptable behavior. Students should always ask themselves how their behavior will affect the community and should ask for clarification before participating in questionable behaviors.
Students enrolled at MSSM are considered under MSSM jurisdiction, regardless of whether they are on campus or not.
MSSM works to avoid punitive consequences by treating students as individuals, providing opportunities for them to acknowledge mistakes, and listening to their concerns. Meetings with faculty, residential and administrative staff help to identify the root of disciplinary issues. When their actions have impacted the community, MSSM will make every attempt to provide students the opportunity to accept responsibility by participating in restorative practices and rebuilding relationships.
Students are encouraged to self-refer by taking the initiative to contact any school employee regarding disciplinary infractions in which they may have been involved. For students who self refer, an individual health/safety plan will be developed. Self-referral is not a guarantee that students will be fully exempt from potential consequences as our students' health and wellbeing will always be MSSM's top priority.
While this handbook provides a guide for disciplinary action, none of the procedures are guaranteed. MSSM reserves the right to proceed with a disciplinary response as it sees necessary depending on the circumstances. The school imposes consequences appropriate to the rule broken, taking into account a student's disciplinary history. In addition to consequences, the school provides support and requires counseling when necessary. Failure to adhere to the assigned consequences for any violation will result in additional disciplinary action.
Students are expected to cooperate honestly during investigations and will be held accountable for failures to comply. The level of cooperation and honesty a student exhibits influences MSSM's response to infractions. In the event students deny involvement, the school takes disciplinary action when reasonable evidence exists. Dishonesty or failure to cooperate during an investigation could result in the student being suspended or dismissed.
Because MSSM has a unique mission, attendance is a privilege and not a right. MSSM insists on high standards of performance and conduct both academically and residentially. Termination of the privilege to attend MSSM may occur for reasons not necessarily applicable in local school administrative units.
Examples of minor violations include but are not limited to:
- Disregard for sign-in and/or sign-out procedures
- Use of inappropriate language
- Failure to comply with curfews and lights out
- Failure to adhere to campus boundaries
For minor violations, consequence(s) may be assigned and monitored by the residential life staff or the matter may be referred to an administrator. If an incident occurs in which there are multiple violations on the same level, staff may count each violation separately or consider the incident as one violation for the purpose of determining the consequence(s). However, if an incident occurs in which there are multiple violations on different levels, then the most severe consequence may apply. While the system of consequences is generally progressive, MSSM reserves the right to impose more severe consequences when the administration determines aggravating factors are present. Minor violations are cumulative throughout the entire academic year and are not carried over to the following year.
Consequences may include written reprimand, restriction, loss of privilege, and/or completion of community service tasks that are usually closely related to the infraction. Multiple/egregious occurrences of minor violations are handled as a major violation.
Examples of major violations include but are not limited to:
- Assault or battery
- Hazing or bullying
- Sexual assault and/or sexual harassment
- Possession, distribution, and/or use of a dangerous weapon
- Theft or vandalism
- Illegal substance use/abuse or distribution
- Gambling for profit
- Possession of pyrotechnics or other dangerous substances
- Acts that compromise safety (e.g. tampering with safety equipment, possession of lighters or other incendiary objects in the dormitory or other buildings, etc.)
- Unauthorized possession of any dormitory or school building key
- Exiting/entering the dormitory through windows
- Possession of pornography
- Possession and/or use of tobacco products inside or outside of school buildings
- Presence in non-authorized areas such as rooftops or other exterior structures
Students are expected to obey state and federal laws as all illegal activity is reported to local law enforcement and could result in immediate dismissal and criminal prosecution. This includes but is not limited to:
- Assault and battery or other acts of violence
- Sexual assault and/or sexual harassment
- Any act or threat of violence against an individual or against the school
- Distribution and/or sale of drugs or alcohol
- Possession of dangerous weapons
All major violations are referred to the administration for action that may include suspension and/or dismissal. All investigations relating to Title IX will be lead by MSSM's Title IX Coordinator. Two or more major violations at the same time or an accumulation of major violations may lead to dismissal. Students who commit major violations may be placed on restriction until the administration determines appropriate response. Major violations are carried over from year to year and remain with the student while attending MSSM.
Practical Jokes or Pranks
Students participating in practical jokes or pranks are often bordering on the line of hazing or harassment. To protect the community and individuals, this type of behavior is not permitted and may be addressed as a major violation.
End of Year Violations
Graduating students who commit a major violation within the week prior to graduation may be immediately suspended from school and jeopardize their ability to participate in graduation ceremonies.
Non-graduating students who commit a major violation face consequences upon their return the next academic year. Students will be required to leave campus immediately following their last exam and will lose the privilege of attending graduation ceremonies.
The Director of Residential Life is responsible for establishing and maintaining disciplinary procedures and monitoring all disciplinary matters at MSSM. The Residential Director oversees day-to-day disciplinary decisions as they relate to minor rule infractions in the dormitory.
MSSM expects all students to follow the rules, guidelines, procedures, and policies outlined in this handbook and will implement steps described in these sections should other avenues of support fail.
Notification of Violations
Students and parents/legal guardians will be notified of minor and major violations. Major violations will be logged into MSSM's student information system. The Residential Director or a Residential Instructor will meet with the students to discuss minor violations. Students suspected of major violations will meet with the Director of Residential Life . A student’s advisor will be invited to this meeting. If the Director of Residential Life determines a major violation has taken place, he/she will present the case to MSSM’s Disciplinary Team for review.
Except when circumstances dictate otherwise (further investigation needed, availability of students, etc.), notification will occur within twenty-four (24) hours of the staff's awareness of the violation. For a major violation students will receive written notification of the outcome within three (3) business days.
All major violations will be reviewed by MSSM’s Disciplinary Team. The Disciplinary Team consists of members of the faculty and staff. A pool consisting of these individuals will be created to ensure availability and avoid conflicts of interest. A five member team will be created, including at least two representatives from each group (determined by availability and appropriateness) for any given case-review. The Director of Residential Life is responsible for disciplinary team pool member training, is a non-voting member, and facilitates the disciplinary team meetings.
The purpose of the Disciplinary Team is to ensure a fair and transparent process for all students while upholding school rules. The Team has two objectives:(1) to review the facts of the case and make a determination as to whether or not a school rule has been broken. (2) when appropriate, recommend a fair and reasonable school response to the infraction. Determinations and recommendations are made in writing to the Director of Residential Life who reserves the right to accept or modify the recommendation.
A thorough review of the events shall be conducted by the Disciplinary Team. A student’s entire school record that includes, but is not limited to, grades, attendance, incident reports, dormitory infractions, and community contributions are examined. The Director of Residential Life
shall provide written statement(s) from the student(s) in question as well as documentation of other relevant information collected during the investigation. Students’ advisors are invited and encouraged to act as their advisees' advocate during investigative and Disciplinary Team meetings. Both the student’s advisor and the Director of Residential Life depart once the Disciplinary Team has reviewed all relevant information and begin the deliberation and voting stages of the meeting.
Under certain circumstances, the Director of Residential Life may approve a student’s request to have an additional or alternative advocate participate in investigatory meetings. This advocate may be requested to attend the Disciplinary Team meeting.
Searches and Inspections
To protect and promote student safety, health and well-being, student rooms, dormitory common areas, and student vehicles must be free of drugs, alcohol, tobacco, weapons, and any other substances that may be harmful to the community. To this end, MSSM shall have access and retain ultimate control of student rooms and vehicles, reserving the right to inspect and search student rooms/contents and vehicles at any time without prior notice. When reasonable suspicion arises, individuals may be searched along with their personal items, including, but not limited to: garment bags, handbags, book bags, athletic bags, and suitcases.
Searches or inspections may include, but are not limited to, the following circumstances:
Maintenance: MSSM maintenance personnel have access to student rooms at all times in order to perform their duties as assigned by MSSM. They are expected to report any inappropriate activities or items they observe while performing their duties.
Room Inspections: Staff will conduct scheduled room inspections with prior notice to students, and will inspect each room after the Residential Hall is closed for long weekends and vacation periods.
Unannounced inspections: From time to time, staff will conduct unannounced inspections of student rooms.
Enforcement of school rules: The administration may authorize entry of student rooms or vehicles at any time without prior notice to ensure compliance with school rules and state law. As much as is possible, students will be present for such searches.
Canines, metal detectors, and devices: In conducting room or vehicle searches or inspections, MSSM may utilize methods designed to detect the presence of illegal substances or objects.
MSSM may also utilize the services of law enforcement personnel or other qualified persons who have expertise in these matters.
If any activity violating MSSM rules or state law is discovered during the course of any inspection or search, the student(s) will face the consequences described in this handbook.
Students may be placed on restriction for school rule violations. Students placed on restriction must be in their rooms by 6:30 pm and remain there for the remainder of the night. Neither students placed on restriction nor their roommates may have guests in their room. All computer use must be for academic reasons. Students who fail to comply with this computer use regulation may have their computers confiscated or its use confined to designated areas under close monitoring by the residential staff. Failure to comply with restriction rules may result in additional disciplinary action including weekend restrictions.
Weekend restriction begins at 6:30 on Friday evening and lasts all weekend. Students are not allowed to leave campus or participate in school events. Students may leave the dormitory between 10:00 am and 6:30 pm. They must have a face to face interaction with a residential staff member before doing so. Students must be in their rooms after 6:30 pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday night. Neither students placed on restriction nor their roommates may have guests in their room. If students need to go to the Learning Center on Sunday night, they may do so after checking in with a residential staff member on duty. All computer use must be for academic reasons. Students who fail to comply with this computer use regulation may have their computers confiscated or only be allowed to use their computers in designated areas under close monitoring by the residential staff. Failure to comply with weekend restriction rules may result in additional disciplinary action including additional weekend restrictions.
Suspension and Dismissal
The Director of Residential Life may issue at-home suspension or recommend dismissal for major violations, frequent minor violations, or when a student's behavior is detrimental to the welfare of the school. Students and parents/legal guardians are informed in person and/or via phone of the incident(s), then given an opportunity to respond.
Within 24 hours, the Director of Residential Life or available administrator will meet with the student to determine the appropriate response. If suspension or recommendation of dismissal is deemed warranted by the Director of Residential Life, students and parents/legal guardians are informed immediately.
A written report specifying the reasons for the consequences is sent to students and parents/legal guardians as soon as possible, but no later than five (5) business days from the date of notification. Once students are notified of the suspension or recommendation of dismissal, they are placed on restriction until they leave campus. Students must leave campus within 24 hours of the decision unless other arrangements are made with MSSM administration.
Students who are issued long-term suspension, or dismissal, or who withdraw from MSSM forfeit all rights to further academic evaluation by the school and normally do not receive credit for the semester in which the dismissal or withdrawal occurs.
When an administrator becomes aware of serious student misconduct and feels that immediate removal of the student is necessary to restore order, to protect persons on the school grounds, to protect school property, or to uphold medical safety protocols (such as those related to COVID-19) he/she will meet with the student to assign and explain the purpose of the suspension and to allow the student to respond. This constitutes an informal hearing. Parents/legal guardians will be made aware of this and are expected to pick up their child from campus that day, or make other arrangements that will immediately remove the student from school grounds. The student is placed on restriction until the time of departure. The student must leave campus as soon as possible. Transportation expenses are the responsibility of the student's parents/legal guardians. A written follow-up outlining the reason(s) for the emergency suspension are sent to the student and parents/legal guardians within three (3) business days.
While the student is suspended, an administrator will conduct a complete investigation. All parties involved are informed of the results and any further disciplinary action that might be needed.
Integrated Pest Management Notification
Because pesticides pose risks, the school uses an alternative approach to merely applying pesticides. Control of insects, rodents, and weeds at our school focuses on making the school buildings and grounds an unfavorable place for pests to live and breed. Through maintenance and cleaning, we will reduce or eliminate available food and water sources and hiding places for the pests. We will also routinely monitor the school area to detect pest problems and prevent the pests from becoming established. Some techniques we will use include pest monitoring, sanitation, pest exclusion, proper food storage, pest removal, good turf and plant care, and--as a last resort--pesticides. This holistic approach is often called Integrated Pest Management (IPM).
Sometimes pesticide use may be necessary to control a pest problem. When that happens, the school will use the lowest risk approach available. If higher risk pesticides must be used, notices will be posted at application sites and advance notice will be sent home with students.
Your Right to Know
Parents/legal guardians, and school staff will be notified about certain pesticide applications made at the school. Notification will be given at least five days before planned pesticide applications during the regular school year. In addition, for pesticides applied anytime during the year, notices will also be posted in the school and on school grounds two working days before until 48 hours after the application. Notification need not be given for pesticide applications recognized by law to pose little or no risk of exposure to children or staff.
The school also keeps records of pest monitoring, pesticide applications and information about the pesticides used. You may review these records, a copy of the School's Integrated Pest Management Policy and the Pesticides in Schools regulation (CMR 01-026 Chapter 27) by contacting our IPM coordinator at 207-325¬3794.
If you have any questions, please contact the Maine School of Science and Mathematics' Maintenance Director at 207-325-3794. For further information about pests, pesticides and your right to know, you may call the Board of Pesticides Control at the Maine Department of Agriculture at 207-287-2731 or visit the Maine School IPM web site at www.thinkfirstspraylast.org/schoolipm .
If information in this handbook is contrary to MSSM policy, the policy supersedes this handbook.