Dear Mighty Cardinals,   

Dear Parents,

When it comes to education and character education in particular, there are many important key players: teachers, parents, and the community at large. Educating youth is a cooperative effort. When schools, parents, and communities deliberately encourage similar values and goals, the opportunities for our children’s success and growth become unlimited.

Developing character in a child is overwhelming. Respect, Self-Control, Responsibility, Gratefulness, Kindness, Dependability, Honesty, Cooperation, Diligence and Empathyare just as important as the intellectual gifts we treasure. Like intelligence, instilling character take years of deeply personal, rigorous cultivation.

Each month St. Matthews K-8 will feature one of the character traits listed above. We encourage all students to exhibit these traits in order to empower, compete, and succeed in school and life. Please look forward to monthly letters that will identify the character trait, along with family activities to reinforce good character. Together, we have, can, and will do what’s best for our children.

St. Matthews K-8 Guidance Department

Student Fees

Montessori and Child Development.................................................$25

Kindergarten - 3rd Grade.................................................................$15

Grades 4 - 8......................................................................................$15


Digital Device Fees (Chrome Book)

New Students to SMK-8 and Third Grade Students.................................................$25.00                                                     

Returning Students to SMK-8 in Grades Fourth- Eighth...................................................$25.00                               


1.  Early Arrival / Breakfast:  The school will continue to open promptly at 7:20 a.m.  Child Development through 2nd grade will report to the cafeteria. Third through sixth-grade students will report to the gym.  At 7:40, students will go to his/her classrooms and receive breakfast.

Seventh and eighth-grade students will report directly to the cafeteria and remain there until dismissed to their homeroom at 7:40 a.m. for breakfast.

We anticipate breakfast to be completed by 8:00 a.m.  It is very important that students who plan to eat breakfast arrive at school by 7:45 a.m. daily.  

Supervision of students at SMK-8 begins each morning at 7:20 a.m.  Students should NOT be dropped off before this time.  Please remember, it is for the safety of our children.


2. Tardy:  Students arriving after 8:00 a.m. must come into the office with a parent to be signed in. Students arriving after 8:00 a.m. will be marked tardy and must receive a pass from the office to enter class (no teacher will admit a tardy student without an official pass.) The entrance door for the main hallway will be locked daily at 8:00 a.m. to ensure the safety of our children.  The Calhoun County Code of Conduct addresses the consequences for students who are tardy.  Please be sure to look over the information.  SMK8 will adhere to the district's tardy policy.

Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, & Fridays

3.  Dismissal Times for Bus Riders

Primary Hall
3:00 pm
2:00 pm

Elementary Hall
3:00 pm
2:00 pm

Middle School Hall
3:00 pm
2:00 pm

Buses Leave
3:05 pm
2:05 pm

Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, & Fridays

Dismissal Times for Car Riders

All Car Riders
2:00 pm

For safety reasons, parents are asked to remain in their vehicles when picking up their child/children in the afternoons.

4. Early Dismissals:  Once a student reports to school, he or she is expected to stay the entire day.  If a student has to leave early due to illness or any other circumstance, it must occur before 2:30 p.m. Sign-out will not be allowed after this time.  When possible, appointments should be scheduled after school or on school holidays. Parents are urged to request early dismissal only when necessary.  Extensive early dismissals will be considered an attendance concern.   Students will not be dismissed on a regular basis to prevent waiting in the car line.


5.  Transportation Changes:  Changes in student transportation must be in writing.  You may send a note, an email (ldebruhl@ccpsonline.net or dmichael@ccpsonline.net), or you may fax the request to 803-874-3273) before 2:00 p.m.  For the safety of our children, transportation will not be changed over the phone.  


6.  Student Attendance:  Attendance is the key factor in student achievement.  Any school absence represents an educational loss to the student.  Please help ensure that our "children" are College and career-ready by attending school daily. The following policies govern student attendance for Calhoun County Schools. All students are expected to attend school until the last day of school, June 4, 2018.

 Attendance Policy and Laws:

·         Any student who accumulates more than ten absences faces the possibility of being retained.

·         Attendance starts when your child enters Pre-School.

·         Your child(ren) must be at school for over 50% of the day to be counted as present.

·         When your child is absent, you must turn in a medical note or parent note within five days of his or her return to school.

·         A parent note will excuse a maximum of ten days. These notes will only be accepted if the absences are considered to be lawful.

·         If notes are not handed in within the specified time frame your child's absences are considered unlawful.

·         There are serious consequences for unlawful absences.

Lawful Absences:

·         Absences that are excused by a doctor or other medical professional

·         Death in the immediate family (parent, grandparent, or sibling)

·         A recognized religious holiday

·         Special circumstances approved in advance by the principal (Teachers do not have the authority to approve absences for special circumstances. You must get approval from an administrator.)

·         If your child has an illness that will cause him/her to be absent in excess of five days, you must call the school and make a request for homebound instruction. You must have medical documentation verifying the need for this request.

Unlawful Absences:

·         An unlawful absence is any absence that is not excused under the conditions mentioned above.


·         A total of three consecutive or five total unlawful absences is considered to be truancy.

·         Five unlawful absences will result in a referral to Truancy Mediation.

·         Refusal to attend truancy mediation and accumulating two or more unlawful absences after the scheduled mediation date will result in a referral to family court.

·         Parents convicted for educational neglect may be placed under court order, fined up to $50 a day, and/or imprisoned for up to thirty days in jail for each unexcused absence thereafter.

·         Students between the ages of twelve and seventeen years of age may be prosecuted for truancy in family court. This could result in the child being placed in a DJJ facility for a period of 30 to 90 days and will result in the child having a criminal record.

A Court Order may remain in effect until a child reaches 17 years of age or completes high school.

7. Visitors:  SMK-8 School has an open-door policy.  Visitors are welcomed and encouraged at SMK-8. Because of security considerations, visitors including parents, should enter the school at the main entrance to sign in to the office.  Any person on school grounds without authorization will be asked to leave.

Parents are also encouraged to visit their child/children's classroom.  However, we do ask that you not interrupt the learning environment.  Please refrain from talking with your child, the teacher, or other children.  If you need to speak with the teacher, please telephone the school and schedule a conference.

Please remember, for the safety of our children, all visitors must check in at the school office to obtain a visitor's pass.

8. Parent Conferences: Parents are encouraged to meet with teachers. Conferences are to be scheduled before/after school or during teacher planning periods. You will need to call the school and schedule the conference through guidance. Teachers will not be allowed to talk with parents or receive telephone calls during instructional time unless there is a true emergency.  Telephone messages will be forwarded to the teacher's voicemail.  Messages will be given to teachers as soon as possible.  

9.  Medication Procedures: If possible, please give all medication before and after school. When prescription medication is to be administered for any period of time and must be given at school, the parent/guardian must obtain a permission form from the nurse and have it signed by the doctor. It is the parent’s responsibility to get the form signed by the doctor. Short-term prescription and non-prescription drugs must be brought to school by the parents in the original bottle with the appropriate permission form. Students are not allowed to keep medication with them in the classroom.  Appropriate disciplinary actions will occur if a student is found to have medication in class or on school grounds and not with the designated personnel.


10.  Immunization Certificate: South Carolina requires that students have a Certificate of Adequate Immunization. No student will be allowed to begin school without being in full compliance of the law. Only “transfer” students will be allowed to receive a 30-day exemption in order to begin school.


11. Withdrawals:  The school should be notified if you plan to withdraw your child/children.  All textbooks, library books, lunch fees, chrome books, and other fines must be cleared before the student receives a transfer record to another school.


12. Guidance Services: Services are provided for all students. Emphasis is placed on each student’s developmental needs. Some specific objectives are orientation, placement, appraisal, counseling, information, and evaluation.

SMK-8 Dress Code

Purpose: The purpose of the St. Matthew K-8 Dress Code is to create an atmosphere that will allow us to provide the best education possible for your children and our students.

The Student Dress and Grooming regulation at St. Matthews K-8 School specifies standards that promote a positive and safe learning environment for students. Appropriate dress for special events will be communicated to parents and students by the school. Exceptions to the dress code may be made by the administration for special days, special events, or activities. Third-eighth grade students must follow the student dress and grooming regulations.


1.  To ensure adequate coverage of the body at school and school activities, the following articles of clothing are not permitted:

§  See-through garments

§  Backless or strapless dresses or tops, including halter-tops or any tops that expose cleavage

§  Bare-midriff tops. (Tops and bottoms must touch when student is standing.)

§  Muscle shirts or sleeveless undershirts that expose the torso

§  Shorts, skirts, or dresses that are shorter than five inches above the knee or that expose undergarments when standing or sitting. These articles must provide full coverage of the body at all times.

§  Clothing that is tight or revealing

§  Flip flops and slides

§  Face or body piercings that are distracting

2.  Shoes shall be worn at all times. Shoes that interfere with safe play and instructional activities  are inappropriate.

3. Clothing, accessories, and jewelry shall be free of writing, pictures, symbols, or any other insignia, that are vulgar, profane, obscene, libelous, slanderous, or sexually suggestive. Clothing, accessories, or jewelry that degrade any cultural, religious or ethnic values, that advocate, racial, ethnic, or religious prejudice or discrimination, or that promote sex, the use of tobacco, drugs, or alcohol or any unlawful acts are prohibited.

4.  Hats, caps, and other head coverings shall not be worn.

5. Dark glasses shall not be worn indoors, except for valid medical reasons authorized by the principal or administration and verified in writing by a physician.

6. Gang-related clothing or accessories, including but not limited to bandannas, or other symbols, emblems, or insignia are prohibited. School officials shall use information obtained from community resources and the local gang task force to make judgments on what items and accessories are gang-related.

7. Tattoos, on any part of the body, must be covered if they are gang-related or violate any of the provisions of this dress code.

8. Items of clothing or accessories with spikes, safety pins, or chains, including wallet chains, are prohibited. Clothing or any attachments to clothing that could be covered weapons are not allowed.

9. Sleepwear or slippers may not be worn.

10. Clothing must not have excessive rips or tears, and appropriate clothing should be worn under clothing with rips in them.

11. At the elementary and middle level school, a student's hair color must be within the spectrum of colors that hair grows naturally.

12. Excessive sagging or baggy pants are not to be worn. Undergarments may not be exposed.

13. Any clothing or an accessory that inhibits the safety of the student or others is prohibited.

Grading Scale:  Calhoun County School District uses a 10-point grading scale. Our teachers practice rigor in the classroom to enhance and challenge students.

Rationale for 10 Point Scale

Grading Scale Change

90 - 100

80 - 89

70 - 79

60 - 69

59 - Below


16.  Academics:  Report Cards: Report cards will be issued every nine weeks and must be returned signed. See School Calendar for issue dates. Interim reports will be issued mid-grading period of each quarter.


17.  Academic Recognition: At the end of each nine-week grading period, grades are reviewed to determine qualification for Honor Roll. Students who have earned a grade of “A” in every subject will qualify for the Principal's List.  Students who earn no less than a “B” in every subject will qualify for the “A – B” Honor Roll

Homework: Homework is assigned as the needs of students are determined. The reasons are:

·         To provide practice on learned skills and the opportunity to learn good study habits.

·         To provide opportunity for growth in responsibility.

·         To provide the parent with an opportunity to see what the student is studying and how well the student is doing.


19.  Make-Up Work: A student will be allowed to make-up work missed during an absence if arrangements are made with the teacher within two days of school return. The teacher will notify the student of a reasonable work completion time.

20.  Test Papers:  Teachers of grades K-4 will send test papers and other work home bi-weekly.  Parents should sign and return these papers to the teacher the next day. Parents should contact the school office if papers are not being sent home at least twice per month.

21.  Flowers:  Students receiving flowers, balloons, stuffed animals, etc. will be called to pick them up at the end of the day.

22.  Birthday Celebrations:  Birthday celebrations must be pre-approved by the teacher.  The teachers will inform administration and receive approval.  Celebrations must be held in the cafeteria at the end of the day. 

23.  Food/Treats:  All food items shared with students must be purchased, (no homemade items) packaged and sealed.  This is for the safety of ALL children. 

24.  Field Trip Procedures:  It is recommended that all students be transported via school/site arrangements. It is the principal’s discretion whether or not to allow students to be transported via another means of transportation. If the student is transported via means other than arranged by the school, the parent releases the School District from any and all liability that may arise as a result of this alternate means of transportation.  In addition, a Field Trip Transportation Release must be completed upon approval and returned to the principal/assistant principal prior to the day of the trip.

Lost/Damaged Textbook Policy:

1.      Students will be charged the replacement cost if a book is lost.

2.      Students will be charged the replacement cost if a book is damaged and cannot be reissued next school year.

3.      Students whose names appear on the Textbook Obligations List will not be issued any textbooks.

4.      Students who lose their textbooks during the year will not be issued any replacements until the books are returned or paid for.

5.      Students will be responsible for completing assignments during the time between the loss of the book and receipt of a new book. A book may be loaned to a student (if available) for classroom use only.

Please complete this form and return it to your child's HOMEROOM TEACHER within the first week of school.  Thank you.

Parent Signature:  _________________________________________________________

Student Signature:  ________________________________________________________

Homeroom Teacher's Name:  ________________________________________________

St  Matthews K-8 School