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JW Leary Junior High

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Student Handbook



Mrs. Quinlan Principal

Mr. Norris Dean of Students

Mrs. Block School Secretary

Mrs. Gilman School Nurse

Ms. Barse Guidance Secretary

Mrs. Zaza Counselor for last name A-K

Mr. Alexander Counselor for last name L-Z


PHONE NUMBERS 315-764-3720

Main Office 3201

Guidance Office 3202

Nurse’s Office 3203

Fax Machine 764-3723



Report cards and mid-marking reports are mailed home.  Please allow at least one week from the dates shown below.

FIRST: September 6 - November 11

Progress Reports: October 7

Report Cards: November 11

SECOND: November 14 - January 27

Progress Reports: December 16

Report Cards: January 27


THIRD: January 30 - April 21

Progress Reports: March 10

Report Cards: April 21

FOURTH: April 24 - June 23

Progress Reports: May 19

Report Cards: June 23     



7:30-7:45 Advisory

7:45-8:27 Period 1

8:30-9:12 Period 2

9:15-9:57 Period 3

10:00-10:42 Period 4

10:45-11:27 Period 5/6

11:18-12:00 Period 6/7

11:30-12:12 Period 7/8

12:03-12:45 Period 8/9

12:48-1:30 Period 10

1:33-2:15 Period 11

Lunch A: 10:45-11:15

Lunch B: 11:30-12:00

Lunch C: 12:15-12:45


Classes Begin September 6

Curriculum Night September 14

School Pictures October 25

Parent Teacher Conferences November 17

Washington Trip May 18 - 21


The purpose of the Massena Central School District is to educate students, promote self-esteem, and develop a sense of personal accountability and achievement.


Our students will possess the skills needed to become contributing members of society, who respect individual differences and who are committed to excellence.


Massena Central Schools will provide a comprehensive, integrated curriculum delivered in a nurturing and orderly environment by a qualified staff who believes that all children can learn.


The official school day extends from 7:30 a.m. (when students are expected to be in advisory) to 3:00 p.m.  Students who have no obligations (extra-curricular activities, detention or extra help sessions) from 2:30-3:00 may be dismissed at 2:28.

Teachers responsible for students from 2:30-3:00 will issue bus passes for the second bus run.  Students not under the supervision of a teacher from 2:30-3:00 must leave the building and school grounds at the 2:28 dismissal.  Those waiting for parents must do so in the area in front of the lobby.


If parents choose to transport their child to and from school, it is best to use the parent loop to drop off and pick up the student.  The circular driveway is for school buses only.  School buses generally use the driveway from 7:10 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. and from 2:15 p.m. to 2:35 p.m.

Passing a school bus which is stopped and has lights flashing is a violation of the State’s traffic law and will result in a substantial fine, even if the bus is in the school driveway.


Bicycle racks are located in the back of the school and adjacent to the parking lot.  Please be sure bicycles are locked at all times.  Bicycles are not to be ridden on walkways.  Students are encouraged to register their bicycles at the police station.


Backpacks, book bags and sports bags may be used by students for carrying books and other required materials to and from school.  When the student arrives at school they must be stored in the student’s locker.  Students are not permitted to carry these bags from class to class during the school day.


Parents are welcome to visit the school.  Persons who are not students or staff members must report immediately to the main office when they enter the school.  Students from other schools are not permitted in the building unless they have prior approval from the principal.  Visitors to our school must follow the procedures detailed below.

  1. Visitors other than parents must contact the principal to receive approval for the visit. 
  2. All visitors must report to the main office and obtain a visitor’s pass which will be displayed at all times. 
  3. Parents are encouraged to visit teachers, guidance counselors, the school nurse and other personnel by appointment to discuss any problems or concerns the parent may have regarding a student.


If a textbook is lost, please see Mrs. Whitton.  For all other items, see Mrs. Block in the main office.


Regular attendance is essential to the learning process.  Leary Junior High is the student’s place of work.  Unless the student is ill or has another legitimate excuse, he/she is expected to be present every day.

ABSENT  If a student is absent from school, the parent or guardian should call Mrs. Gilman, the school nurse, at 764-3720 extension 3203 to explain the absence or fill out the absence form on the website.  When a student returns to school from an absence, he/she must bring a written excuse from home to the main office explaining the reason for the absence.  

A student who is absent from school may not participate in any school activity on that day.  Mrs. Gilman contacts the parents of all absent students for safety as well as attendance reasons.

EXCUSED  Students who must be excused during the school day must bring a note from home to the main office indicating the time to be excused and explaining the reason.  If a student needs to ride a bus home to any address other than their own, they must bring in a note from their parent, have it signed in the main office and then present it to the bus driver when they get on that bus in the afternoon.

SCHOOL CLOSING  In the event of inclement weather tune into the radio and television stations.

MOVING  Please notify the guidance office secretary of a new address or telephone number.  If a student is moving out of the school district, a records release form must be secured.  Return all school owned books to your teachers, return all library books and clean out lockers.

TRUANCY  Truancy is a willful violation of the Compulsory Education Law.  Disciplinary action will be taken for truancy.  


Prescription medication:  If a student must take prescription medication at school, a School Medication Order form must be completed by a doctor.  The form includes space for the physician’s order and the parent’s permission.  The original prescription bottle must be brought to school. Any over the counter medication is required to be brought to the school nurse.

Only the school nurse has the authority to dismiss a child from school because of illness.  Students should report to the nurse’s office when they are ill.

Immunizations:  New York State law now mandates that all 7th and 8th grade students be immunized.  Any student who has not been completely immunized for this disease will delay their enrollment.


Since it is sometimes important for students to contact their parents during the school day, phones are available in the office for student use.  Permission to use the phones must be obtained from the secretary.  Students are not to call home because they feel ill.  The school nurse will make that phone call.  Inappropriate use of the phone will result in the loss of this privilege.


Textbooks are issued to students for their use during the school year.  Students are responsible for the condition of all of the textbooks loaned to them.  Lost or damaged textbooks must be paid for by the student.


Students will be provided with two lockers - a hall locker and a gym locker.  Locks for both lockers are provided by the school.   

Students must have both of their lockers locked at all times.  Students are not to give their lock combination to others.  Students are not to share lockers. 

Do not use either locker to store money or other valuable items.  The school does not assume any responsibility for objects stolen from your locker.  School lockers are the property of the school district and as such, are subject to search if circumstances warrant it.


The library/media center is available to all students for reference, required class assignments and reading for enjoyment.  Students may use the library/media center during study hall with permission from the study hall teacher or at 2:30.  Books may be taken out for two weeks.  Students will be required to pay for lost or damaged library books.




English 40 Weeks

Social Studies 40 Weeks

Math 40 Weeks

Science 40 Weeks

Family & Consumer Science 20 Weeks

Art 20 Weeks

Music         20 Weeks 

Technology 20 Weeks

 Physical Education 40 Weeks



English 40 Weeks

Social Studies 40 Weeks

Math 40 Weeks

Science 40 Weeks

Modern Language 40 Weeks

French, Spanish

Health 20 Weeks

       Art 20 Weeks

Technology 20 Weeks

Physical Education 40 Weeks

Electives are available as schedule and interest allows.


At this point in time J. William Leary students will take the following state assessments:

  • ELA – April.19- 26—Grade 7 & 8
  • Math – May  2-9—Grade 7 & 8
  • Science - Performance – May 23-June 2—Grade 8
  • Science - Written – June 5 —Grade 8

Tests are based on skills developed and content.  

Good attendance and conscientious attention to daily class work and homework provide the best preparation for these tests.  Students whose scores indicate weakness in any area will be provided with academic intervention services.


Field trips are designed to enhance the instructional program.  While it is our hope that all students will be able to participate in field trips, students must demonstrate responsible and courteous behavior and be up to date on academic work.


Homework assignments are designed by each teacher to be appropriate for the grade level and subject matter being taught.  The length and type of assignments will vary from class to class.  

Long range assignments, projects and research papers become more prevalent at this level and require more careful budgeting of the student’s time.  When no specific written assignment is due, students are expected to review their material or read independently.  

Students are encouraged to develop good study habits by budgeting their time properly, reading independently and using a suitable place to study at home.  

When students are absent for short periods of time, it is their responsibility to make up missing assignments and tests.  If a student is absent 2 days or longer, please contact the school secretary at 764-3720 by 11:00 a.m. to request homework.  Assignments may be picked up at 3:00 p.m. on that day.  If a student knows they are going to be out of school they are required to obtain their homework from their teachers.

Homework is an important extension of class work. Parental cooperation and supervision is an essential part of establishing good homework habits.  Parents should expect students to bring home textbooks and this student planner each day.  This planner is designed to serve as a link between school and home.



  1. Provide a proper home environment that encourages and assists the student to do his/her assignments effectively.
  2. Contact with teachers and guidance counselors after notification has been received that the student does not do his/her assignments satisfactorily.
  3. Recognition of the implications of deficiency notices and report card results.
  4. Parent involvement when students are in difficulty would include:

- checking planner daily,

- assisting student with homework by talking with them about what they have learned and helping them to navigate their daily notes and other resources provided by the teacher,

- having student recite material to be memorized,

-  reviewing prior learning with student.

5. Schedule a conference with your child’s teaching team by calling your child’s guidance counselor at 764-3720 and asking for the guidance office.



Exceptionally able students may be placed in the Honors Program for math and science.  Students entering eighth grade are placed in honors on the basis of the following criteria:  A teacher’s recommendation, standardized test scores and academic achievement.  Students who begin in the regents program but need greater academic challenges may be recommended into honors.  Students enrolled in 8th grade math and science honors will be required to take a New York State regents exam.  Those who successfully complete 8th grade honors math and science will receive high school credit for each course.  A final average of 88 or higher is necessary to remain in the honors program.


The high honor roll and honor roll are published in the Courier Observer following each ten week grading period.  

High Honor Roll:  Students who have an overall average of 92 or higher.

Honor Roll:  Students who have an overall average of 85 or higher.


English - Students read at least one full-length novel with their class and read several novels independently. Class activities emphasize reading literature and nonfiction for comprehension and analysis.  Students explore various types of writing at each level.  Ongoing writing activities include reader response writings, poetry, reflective journals, research based writing and expository essays.

Social Studies

Grade 7:  Students explore American roots in European and Native American cultures.  The course continues from Colonial times through the Civil War.  

Grade 8:  Students continue the study of American History from Reconstruction through present day.  The year concludes with an in depth study of the U.S. Constitution. 

Math - The Mathematics Department offers two levels for each year’s students; the grade appropriate Regents level course and the accelerated Honors course.  Math labs are scheduled for both grade levels to provide practice and concept review.

Science - Grade 7 science explores the life sciences.  Students study the classification of organisms, their life activities and their interactions.

Grade 8 science explores the physical sciences; chemistry and physics.  This involves the investigation of matter and energy, as well as their relationship.

Grade 8 Honors students take the Earth Science Regents course, an investigation of astronomy, meteorology, geology and paleontology.  The New York State Regents exam in Earth Science is the final exam.

Modern Language - New York State requires that all students begin the study of a language other than English no later than grade 8.  We offer French I and Spanish I to 8th graders.  In all languages students are taught the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing with an emphasis on listening and speaking.  New York State requires that students pass level one of the language for high school graduation.

The unit of high school credit will be received by students who successfully complete the proficiency exam at the end of the 8th grade with a score of at least 65 and the course with a minimum grade of 70.

Home and Careers - This grade 7 course helps students develop skills which lead to effective decision making, problem solving and management in the home, school, community and workplace.

Technology - This grade 7 & 8 course guides students through a progression of modules that will help them define technology in their lives, develop problem solving abilities and make connections with other disciplines in real world situations.

Students also investigate the world of work, explore career options and develop personal skills intended to enhance employment potential in the future.

Physical Education - All students are required to take physical education.  The curriculum is designed to assist students to increase their fitness level as well as develop a healthy lifestyle.  Physical education is offered on an every other day basis for the entire school year.   A written doctor’s excuse is required for cases in which a student is unable to participate due to a medical reason.  Please contact the school nurse for assistance if your child needs a medical excuse from physical education.  Students who are excused from physical education may be required 

to complete an alternate activity arranged by the physical education teacher.

Music - Students are able to meet their music requirements by participating in band, chorus, orchestra, or by completing a General Music course.  

Band and orchestra students meet as full rehearsal groups and receive individual or small group lessons.  Lessons are mandatory and part of the student’s grade.  Missed lessons can be made up by arrangement with teachers.  Chorus students meet on an every other day basis.  All three performing groups give a concert twice a year.  Concert attendance is mandatory and part of the student’s grade.  Once committed to a performing group, students must remain as part of that group for the school year.  


Students are not permitted to sell any items nor raise funds in any manner on school property without authorization from the principal.


All students are encouraged to participate in the many co-curricular activities offered at Leary.  Participation will serve to enrich your school experience and make your middle school years more enjoyable.  


Student Council - Student Council is the student governing body of our school.  To become a member of this group, a student must be elected as a representative from his/her advisory.  Representatives are required to attend two meetings a month during activity period from 2:30-3:00 p.m.  Advisory representatives keep their homeroom informed of the topics of business discussed in the Student Council meetings and they bring suggestions from their homerooms to the Student Council.

Student Council officers are elected by the student body in a manner designed to extend awareness of the American political process.  In order to run for office, students must be in good academic standing.  The president must be in the 8th grade and Vice President in the 7th grade.

The main purposes of the Student Council are to:

-  promote pride in our school, 

-  conduct special activities and opportunities for social development and recreation, 

-  work with the administration and faculty to improve our school,

-  work toward appropriate physical improvement of our school.


Student of the Month - Students are nominated by the faculty and selected by a faculty advisor group to recognize students from J. W. Leary Jr. High who display qualities aligned to the theme of the month.


Career Day - Once during a student's two years at Leary a Career Day is organized in which people from many professions are invited into the school to provide students with valuable information about potential occupations


Curriculum Night - September 14th at 6:30 p.m.


Picture Day - October 25th from 8-11 a.m.


Parent/Teacher Conferences - November 17th from 12:30-3:30 p.m. and 4:00-7:00 p.m. There will be an early dismissal on that day.  


Field Experience - This four day voluntary field trip in May takes the school on the road.  Grades 7 and 8 students have the opportunity to learn about history in a direct way.  This trip alternates yearly between Boston, MA and Washington DC. This year the trip is going to Boston. The trip is costly and students should assume some of the financial responsibility by saving birthday, Christmas and allowance money.  Scholarships for students unable to afford the trip are usually available.  Students will have the opportunity to participate in a fundraiser to defer some of the cost of the trip.  An informational meeting for parents will be held in October.  


  • Cell phone use is prohibited in the school building and on school provided transportation.
  • Cell phones will be considered as in use if they are “on” or are in sight.
  • Use of cell phones in the school building or school transportation will result in the phone being confiscated, and may result in further disciplinary action.   Confiscated phones will be returned only to the student’s parent or guardian.
  • Massena Central School will assume no responsibility for lost, stolen or broken cell phones after they have been confiscated.
  • Due to time constraints, the school will not investigate stolen cell phones.  Their security is the sole responsibility of the student.
  • Each student is encouraged to develop and achieve individual educational goals.  The District will provide every student with equal educational opportunities, regardless of race, color, creed, sex, national origin, religion, age economic status or disability.  No student will be excluded on such a basis from participating in or having access to any course offerings, student athletics, counseling services, employment assistance, extracurricular activities or other school resources.
  • This should be considered the student’s workplace and students should dress accordingly. 
  • Attire should not be offensive, provocative, outlandish, or distracting to the school environment.  
  • Attire that interferes with the educational process or impinges upon the rights of others will not be tolerated. 
  1. Be safe, appropriate and not disrupt or interfere with the educational process.
  2. Recognize that extremely brief garments such as tank tops, tube tops, halter tops, spaghetti straps, mesh shirts, muscle shirts, midriff shirts, plunging necklines (front and/or back) see through garments, shorts or skirts above mid-thigh, and jeans with holes are not appropriate (with arms at one’s sides, fingertips are considered mid-thigh).  Tank tops must have straps that are at least 2 inches wide and fitted sleeves.
  3. Ensure that underwear is completely covered with outer clothing.  This would include such items as bras, bathing suits, halter tops, or tank tops if worn underneath outer clothing. 
  4. Include footwear at all times.  Footwear that is a safety hazard will not be allowed. Appropriate footwear for Physical Education and Technology class are required.
  5. Not include hats of any style other than in the corridor. Hoods must remain down at all times. Bandanas of any kind are not allowed in the building.
  6.   Not include items that are distracting or offensive, vulgar, make sexual reference, or degrade others on account of race, religion, nationality, gender, sexual orientation or disability.
  7. Not include any clothing that advertises alcohol, other substances, tobacco, or illegal drugs and/or encourages other illegal and violent activities.
  8. Not include chains, sharp dog collars, or bracelets or anything that could cause injury.
  9. Not include baggy or sagging pants (waistband must rest on the top of the hip bones).
  10. Not include sunglasses.
  11. Not include pajamas.
  12. Not include coats or jackets during the school day. Hooded sweatshirts are not considered outerwear.
  • William Leary Junior High School is dedicated to the safety and security of all students.  Video cameras, monitored hallways, restricted entrances, and visitor passes are a few measures used to meet this goal.  Students who see or hear suspicious activity that may compromise safety should immediately contact a teacher or administrator.  Such activity may include but is not limited to:  threats, violent language/behavior, suicide ideation, severe depression, weapon possession and perceived intruders in the building.
  • The Board of Education expects all students to conduct themselves in an appropriate and civil manner with proper regard for the rights and welfare of other students, District personnel and other members of the school community, and for the care of school facilities and equipment.
  1. Follow the directions of all staff members.  This includes prohibitions against gum and candy.
  2. Speak in a respectful manner to all staff members and to fellow students.  Use conversational voices and appropriate language at all times.  Refrain from speech that is slanderous, malicious, vulgar, or disruptive to the educational process.
  3. Refrain from harassment of any kind.
  4. Respect the personal space of all people.  No inappropriate contact: no pushing, fighting, or other behavior considered to be unsafe or violation of the rights of others will be tolerated.
  5. Respect school property, one’s own property, and the property of others.  No dangerous, unnecessary and illegal items will be permitted at school.  These may include objects or materials used to cause distraction or discomfort.
  6. Be at school and in all classes on time and attend school unless ill or absent with a legitimate excuse.
  7. Obtain a teacher’s signature in his/her planner for permission to move from one area of the building to another.
  8. Be prepared for classes, do their homework and participate in their classes to the best of their ability.  
  9. Not to use or be in possession of tobacco products, alcohol, illegal substances, matches or cigarette lighters.
  • The  Board  recognizes  that  the  misuse  of  alcohol,  drugs,  tobacco, electronic  cigarettes  (e- cigarettes), and other illegal substances is a serious problem with legal, physical, emotional, and social implications for our students, as well as the entire community. Therefore, the consumption, sharing, selling,  use,  or possession of alcoholic  beverages, tobacco  products,  e-cigarettes,  illegal  drugs, counterfeit and designer  drugs, or paraphernalia  for the  use  of these  drugs is  prohibited  at any school-sponsored function,  on school grounds, and on school buses at all times. The unauthorized use or misuse of prescription and over-the-counter drugs vitamins, supplements, herbs, or other similar substances is also prohibited. 
  • Students are not permitted to be under the influence of alcohol or other prohibited substances on school grounds or at school-sponsored events.  A school-sponsored function includes a school sponsored or school-authorized extracurricular event or activity regardless of where the event or activity takes place. 
  • Non-Medical Use of Prescription Drugs
  • Non-medical use of prescription drugs is prohibited. If a student is found to be in possession of these substances, he or she will be disciplined in accordance with the District Code of Conduct. 
  • Disciplinary Measures
  • Disciplinary measures for students consuming, sharing, selling, using or possessing alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, e-cigarettes, illegal drugs, counterfeit and designer drugs or paraphernalia for the use of these drugs are outlined in the District’s Code of Conduct.
  • Students have no right or expectation of privacy in school lockers.  School lockers are the sole property of the Massena Central School District.  Periodic general inspections of lockers, including the use of drug detecting canines, may be conducted by school authorities for any reason and at any time, without notice, without student consent, and without a search warrant.
  • Designated school officials may search a student’s person and/or his or her personal effects (e.g. purse, backpack, etc.) when there is reasonable suspicion to believe that the student possesses an item which violates federal or state law, school board policy, or which may be harmful to the school or its students.  Searches of the person of a student shall be limited to:
  • The contents of a student’s pockets,
  • Any object in the possession of the student, including but not limited to a purse, wallet, shoes, socks, outerwear or backpack.
  • This section refers to the use or possession  (in school, on school property, at school sponsored activities, on school buses) of a weapon, which constitutes a firearm or destructive device, a knife, or any object intended to be used as a weapon which poses a danger to the safety and welfare of others.
  • In accordance with applicable Federal and State laws and Board policy, the punishment for possession of a weapon which constitutes a firearm or destructive device shall be a suspension upon instruction for a period of not less than one calendar year, unless the Superintendent determines to modify such punishment.  The Superintendent’s determination shall be on a case-by-case basis.  
  • The term “firearm” shall include any weapon, including a starter gun, which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; the frame or receiver of any such weapon; any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; or any destructive device.  The term “destructive device” means any explosive, incendiary, or poison gas, bomb, grenade, rocket having a propellant charge of more than four ounces, missile having an explosive or incendiary charge of more than one quarter ounce, mine or any device similar to any of those devices already described in this paragraph.  Except that “destructive device” shall not mean any device not designed or redesigned for use as a weapon.
  • According to researchers, an action repeated for just 18 days usually leads to the action becoming automatic, thus becoming a habit.  That’s about the number of school days until the first five week reports are written by teachers.
  • You can help your child to take on the practices of successful students during these days to form productive habits.  When a student makes school responsibility a habit, success surely follows.
Successful Students:
  1. Set Goals - Parents: Talk with your child about setting goals.  Check monthly, assisting your child in evaluating the success of the previous month’s goals and setting new ones.
  2. Plan Their Time - Parents: Work with your child in using the planner to organize activities.  Writing down all commitments (projects, homework, sports practices and games, family plans, etc.) in the planner should become automatic.
  3. Take Notes in Class - Parents:  Ask to see notebooks.  Teachers emphasize important subject content:  successful students make a habit of writing that material in a way that is easy to read and study from.  
Spend time reviewing notes before scheduled tests with your child. Contact your child’s teacher if you are concerned about the quality of any notebook.
  1. Study Daily - Parents:  Subject matter is mastered one step at a time.  Successful students set aside time for daily study and even when no homework is assigned, these students take the opportunity to study areas “they assign to themselves”.  Reviewing notes regularly is probably the best such self-assigned study.  Talk with your child about daily study and assist them in following through.
  2. Are Prepared for School - Parents:  Check to make sure your child has a system at home for getting all materials ready to go in the morning – materials left at home are of no use to a student sitting in class.
  • Teach your child to take a few minutes at bedtime to get ready for morning (e.g. pack the bookbag, select clothes, etc.).  Students will find a routine that leads them to be ready in the morning and prepared for school.
  1. Commit to Attending School - Parents:  Expect your child to be in school unless they are ill.  Adults report to work with a headache or a slight cold – students should set the same standard.  Explain to your child that employers expect excellent attendance.  Good school attendance helps students develop a productive work ethic.
Getting to bed early enough for a good night’s sleep and eating breakfast are two key elements for student success.  Help your child continue a successful pattern or develop a new one where one is lacking.  Set a bedtime if necessary.  
Call us – we want to work with you!