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Rio Grande Elementary School

5555 East Rio Grande Avenue

Terre Haute, IN 47805

Phone: 812-462-4307

Fax: 812-462-4309

Mrs. Susan Lewis, Principal

Mrs. Kathy Ellis, Secretary

Mrs. Mary Lynne Wiggins, Secretary/Treasurer


School Hours—Grades K-5

Students may arrive 8:00 am

Breakfast 8:00-8:15 am

Tardy Bell 8:15 am

School dismissal 2:40 pm



The staff at Rio Grande Elementary is excited to welcome all students and their families. The Rio Grande staff is committed to helping all students develop educationally, emotionally, and socially. Establishing high academic expectations for achievement, promoting positive self-esteem, and encouraging responsible citizenship are important goals.  

 This booklet is prepared to provide you with information concerning our school.  We hope it will be helpful to you throughout the school year. It provides information, but in no way answers all the questions that arise during the school year.               I encourage you to call the school office anytime you have a question or concern regarding your child.

         The Rio Grande staff appreciates the opportunity to work with you in an educational partnership. Together, we can enhance your child’s academic progress.  We look forward to a successful and enjoyable school year.


Rio Grande Elementary School Mission/Vision Statement

Mission Statement

         Students are provided with a nurturing environment, an atmosphere that allows them to discover, explore, grow, and learn while accepting and valuing uniqueness and individuality. Students are encouraged to fully develop their capabilities and become lifelong learners. Students are prepared to live in an ever-changing society as productive and caring citizens. The staff, students, families, and school community accept the responsibility to work together in this educational endeavor.


Vision Statement

Quality education with active engagement while accommodating differences in learning.



School Improvement Goals

  1.     All students will improve the accuracy and speed of grade level appropriate math facts.
  2.     All students will improve written expression


VCSC Mission Statement

         “The Vigo County School Corporation will equip students with lifelong learning skills and prepare them to become productive and responsible citizens.”


School Policies and Procedures

Listed are policies formed by participating parents and staff at Rio Grande.  The school is guided by the rights, responsibilities and regulations as set forth in the “Student-Parent Guide” of the Vigo County School Corporation.  Support and cooperation in adhering to policies ensures a safe learning environment for our students.  The “Student-Parent Guide” is now posted online with paper copies available in the school office if requested.


Reaching Staff Before and After School

Teaching staff are here from 8:00 am until 3:15 on most days.  On Fridays, teaching staff may leave after the buses depart. 

Mrs. Kathy Ellis (Secretary) is in the office from 7:30 until 3:00 pm and Mrs. Mary Lynne Wiggins (Secretary/Treasurer) is available from 8:00 until 3:30. Mrs. Susan Lewis (Principal) is available from 7:30 – 4:00. 


Absence and Tardiness

Students are expected to be in school each day school is in session.  An emphasis on excellent attendance will benefit students as they will have the maximum opportunity for achievement in school and they will gain valuable life skills to be used beyond their school experience.

Parents are asked to call the school before 10:00 a.m. to explain a student’s absence.  This is for your child’s safety. 

If a student has a communicable disease or should need to be absent for an extended length of time, the parent should notify the school as soon as possible.  

Please see the 2021-2022/2022-2023 attendance plan published on the corporation’s website.

Any student who is tardy must report to the office before going to class. The tardy bell is at 8:15 am.



The student-parent guide posted online has rules for bringing medications to school. In general, medications must be brought to school by a parent with doctor’s instructions for administration. Students must have a “Taking Medication at School” form on file in the school office before prescribed medication will be administered.  Medicines that need to be refrigerated will be refrigerated in the Health Room after a note is received from the student’s parent.   Students are not permitted to carry any medication, over the counter or prescription, with them except in accordance with State Law.


Excusing a Student from Class

         No student shall be released from school into the custody of any individual other than the parent or guardian or those who are listed in Skyward without permission from the parent or guardian. Special circumstances for release shall be considered by the principal or administrative designee.

When a parent must pick up a child during school hours, the parent must come to the school office rather than going directly to the room.  If possible, a note should be sent to the teacher prior to the release.

When students must be absent for medical or dental appointments, please bring them back to school as soon as possible.  A partial day of attendance is better than absence for the entire day.  Please provide a note from the doctor or dentist upon child’s return to school.




Students are encouraged to dress neatly and appropriately each day.  Appropriate dress for school has a positive effect upon the attitude of a student toward school and learning.  Help of parents in maintaining appropriate standards of dress is greatly appreciated.

Please remember the building is air-conditioned.

Often students have identical clothing and other personal items.  It is very difficult to determine the ownership of these items.  Students should have names written on coats, hats, gloves, umbrellas, lunchboxes, and school supplies.


Elementary Dress Code Guidelines

  1.     No shorts or skirts are to be worn that are shorter than the extended fingertips.  If fingers touch skin, the skirt or short is too short.  This includes slits in skirts.
  2.     Sleeveless tops are allowed if shoulder areas are covered.  No shirts of sheer materials are to be worn.  No tank tops, no cut-off shirts or tops with bare midriffs, low necklines or bare backs are to be worn.
  3.     No coats or jackets/headphones, backpacks, or purse backpacks are to be worn in the building.
  4.     Backpacks must be placed in designated areas when entering the building.
  5.     No hats, sunglasses, bandannas, caps, or full head coverings are to be worn in the building before or during school hours.  This does not include headwear worn for religious purposes (unless on specified days).
  6.     No article of clothing or accessory will be allowed that promotes, encourages, or advertises alcohol, drugs, tobacco products, violence, and/or sexual content.  Clothing that intimidates, threatens, or disgraces a fellow student or staff member by means of a symbol or sign is not allowed.
  7.     Students are not allowed to wear spiked chains, bracelets, belts, etc.  In addition, pocket or wallet chains are also not to be worn.
  8.     No jeans/pants with rips, tears, or holes or long fringe are allowed.  No leggings underneath holes (bike pants, etc).  Jeans are to be worn no lower than hip level.  Apparel is to be appropriate and not present a danger to other students.
  9.     No sagging is permitted.
  10. No sleep-wear clothing or slippers (unless on specified days).
  11. The administration reserves the right to judge any student’s dress appropriate or inappropriate and the prerogative of handling the situation as deemed necessary.  After considerable distribution and discussion of the dress code, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken with those students who fail to comply with the guidelines.



Students should not bring money to school except for meals, extra milk, school supplies, or special events.  Money should be kept in a purse or a pocket and is the responsibility of the child. Parents will be informed if a child brings an unusually large amount of money to school.

 Immunization (PL 150 Senate Enrolled Act #197208.1-7-10)

Parents should have students immunized according to current state law and students may be excluded from school for non-compliance. A list of required vaccines is posted on the nurses’ page of the VCSC website. The only objections that the State of Indiana will accept are religious or medical objections. Proof of immunizations must be presented at the time of student registration.

State law requires that students shall be immunized against diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella, polio, Hepatitis A and B, and chicken pox.  

Details are available in each school or from the School Nurse’s Office 462-4465.  


Emergency School Closing

A School Emergency Closing form must be on file stating a plan for your child to follow if school is closed during the day.  This must be filled out on Skyward. When it is necessary to close school because of an emergency, children are sent home on the bus if that is their regular mode of transportation.  It is not possible to call the parents of every child when the school is alerted of an emergency closing.  The after-school program is canceled when emergency closings occur. It is essential you inform your child what procedure to follow for going home and discuss a plan for what to do when he/she arrives at home.

When there is a need for a delay in the start of the school day, students may still be dropped off at the school at 7:45 a.m. if there are no other child care options for the student. The children will wait in the cafeteria until the 10:00 a.m. start of school.


Student Drop-Off and Pick-Up

Morning Arrival:  All children transported to school by car should arrive between 8:00-8:10 a.m.  The absolute earliest students may be dropped off is 7:45 a.m. Parents/guardians should drive to the North side of the school to the car unloading zone and pull up to the sign to let your child out. Your child needs to get out of the car on the curb side. A school official will be on duty at the door. Children are not to be unloaded in the bus loading zone in front of the school. It is important that safety procedures be practiced at all times. Bus drivers cannot always see cars behind them.

Evening Dismissal: All children not riding home on a school bus must be picked up on the North drive.  They will be escorted outside by an adult. 

         Cars must go around the traffic island behind the school.  Cars need to wait at the stop sign. Students should enter the passenger side of the car.  Adults will load four to five cars at a time at the north entrance.

         Children picked up during the school day may not meet parents outside. They must be picked up and signed out in the office.


Bus Transportation

Since all students will be able to ride school buses, no student should walk to school.  If a child needs to ride a different bus for any reason, the student must have a note to show the principal and the bus driver.  Because most buses are filled to capacity, children may only change buses with the principal or designee’s approval.  Changes may not be allowed if the bus is overloaded. Sometimes Transportation must also give their approval. Due to the bus driver shortage, sometimes students will be picked up and dropped off by a different bus driver.  Parents will not be able to be notified of this change as oftentimes it happens at the last minute.



Due to the nature of the traffic, roads around our building, and the lack of secure storage, children are not permitted to ride bicycles to school.


Parking Facilities

Parking facilities during the school day are limited.  Observing the following guidelines will help with parking.  The bus loading zone is for buses only between 7:30-8:30 a.m. and 2:00-3:00pm.  Signs are posted indicating times and Bus Load Zone.  The bus loading zone is available for visitor parking during other times of the day, but all cars must be moved out of that area by 2:00 p.m. Please keep this in mind when attending events that may go past 2:00 p.m. or visiting the school later than 2:00 p.m.  Staff and visitor parking will be available on the east side of the parking area and east of the drive off the blacktop at all times during the day.


Student Arrival/After School Child Care

Children are not allowed in the classrooms before 8:00 a.m.  If students should arrive a few minutes before 8:00 they will be required to sit quietly in the cafeteria until the first bell at 8:00 a.m.

Please call YMCA for information regarding Rio Grande’s Before and After School Child Care Program.  YMCA’s number is 812-232-VIGO.


School Meals

Our cafeteria provides a tasty, well balanced breakfast and lunch program for students.  Cafeteria menus are published on our website.

Students wishing to have breakfast at school should arrive by 8:05 a.m.

Children should remain seated while eating. They are expected to use good table manners, speak in conversational tones, and conduct themselves in a responsible manner.

Parents wishing to apply for free or reduced meals must complete a community assistance application online.  Children participating in the program last year eat free or reduced until September 30.  Parents will be notified when applications are approved or denied.

Adult guests are no longer allowed for lunch due to safety concerns.




Textbook Rental

Bills for book fees will be emailed to parents in the fall.  Please pay those Book fees as soon as possible after receiving the bill.  Parents experiencing difficulty paying fees should complete the free meal/textbook assistance available online or in the school office.  Even if the family qualifies for free/reduced textbooks, the family is still responsible for paying consumable fees. If paying the whole amount at the start of school is difficult for your family, the school office can work with you to set up a payment plan. Kindergarten fees are not allowed under textbook assistance by the State of Indiana.  

If rental textbooks, Chromebooks or library books are lost or destroyed, parents will need to replace them.


School Supplies

A list of needed supplies is sent home with your child from his or her teacher. The supply list is the same for every teacher in that grade.  Supply lists are also on our website. Each child should come to school with necessary supplies. 


Appropriate Student Behavior

Responsible student behavior underlies the whole educational structure.  To guarantee a good social and educational climate in our school, it is important students understand acceptable standards of behavior will be expected at all times.

Discipline will be administered fairly, but firmly when a student’s action interferes with the right of teachers to teach and students to learn.  All school staff members have the right and responsibility to correct inappropriate behavior.

Good conduct is primarily each student’s responsibility.  The entire staff at our school cares about each student, respects each other as an individual, and expects each child to do his/her very best.



Children benefit from being outside whenever possible for recess during the instructional day.

During the winter, please send children to school with warm coats, hats, heavy shoes or boots, and gloves. 

The temperature, wind chill factor, and moisture (rain, mud, snow) will be considered before a decision is made for outdoor recess.

Please do not ask your child’s teacher to allow him or her to stay in because he or she prefers to stay indoors.  New state guidelines encourage physical activity each day.

Parents will no longer be able to accompany students to recess. This is due to safety concerns.


Bobcat Trail

         A walking/jogging half-mile trail was developed to encourage wellness and a healthy lifestyle.  Fitness has become a national goal for our Country.  Use of the trail will be encouraged and rewarded.


Physical Education and Playground Equipment

Students should not bring play equipment from home unless notified otherwise.  Rio Grande has two playgrounds that have ample equipment for student use. 

Students need to wear tennis shoes with non-marking soles during physical education.   The gym floor has a surface that requires a rubber soled shoe.  If tennis shoes are not available, students may wear socks in the gym.


School Visitation and Conferences

Parents are encouraged to visit the school. However, visitors must stop at the School Security Officer’s desk to sign in and get a badge. The School Protection Officer program in Vigo County employs special police officers at each school. The goal is to provide a safe and effective learning environment at every school. The officer has training that is provided by the Law Enforcement Academy or the Sheriff’s Department and a special orientation involving school rules and procedures. Visitors to our schools are asked to follow the school procedure for checking in and using courtesy when visiting. The police officer is present to deter crime or violence but also to maintain a calm and civil atmosphere. We ask your assistance in this matter. The badge the officer gives you must be worn at all times. After signing in come to the office to get further assistance before going to any area in the building.

Please call to make an appointment twenty-four hours prior to visiting a classroom.  Siblings or other students are not to visit school unless accompanied by a parent, and they may not disrupt the learning environment.

Parents who desire a conference with a teacher need to make prior arrangements to confer with the teacher before 8:00 a.m. or after school. Teachers are not available to conference when they’re working with students. No parent will be allowed to meet with a parent after 8:00 a.m. without prior arrangements being made.


Student Use of Telephone

A student may use the office telephone only in case of an emergency with the permission of the teacher or office personnel.  Children may not call home to ask permission to go to another home after school or to stay for a club meeting.  Those arrangements should be made at home prior to the school day.  We discourage parents from calling children out of class to come to the phone.  Instead, leave a message, and it will be given to the child.



             The Vigo County Wellness policy encourages limiting edible treats during the school day. Due to this, birthday parties may be celebrated once a month in the classroom.  It is up to the teacher to decide how their class will celebrate.

         When giving out invitations at school, for at home parties, all children of the same gender (from the class) must receive an invitation. Being left out at this age is very disappointing. It is even better when all children, regardless of gender, in that class, can be invited.




Students may bring pets to school when they have permission from the teacher and the pet is in a suitable carrier.  Parents will need to transport the pet as they may not be carried on the bus.


School Related Organizations Meeting At School

Various organizations, clubs, and teams meet at the school.  Information about these groups will be sent to you when available.  Groups wishing to use school facilities are arranged on a first come, first served basis and must comply with the VCSC Policy.


School Video Systems

         For the protection of students and staff, each school has a video system to record certain areas of the school premises. These are for internal use and may not be released to outside agencies or individuals without specific approval and only in line with FERPA guidelines. The Vigo County School Corporation will cooperate with law enforcement, however, if a crime is suspected and the law enforcement agency requests to view the information in line with legal requirements.


School Counseling Service

The elementary guidance and counseling program in the Vigo County School Corporation is based on the belief that guidance services are to be provided to all students.  Every student should have the opportunity to develop his or her learning potential to the fullest.  Students at risk of school    failure are often beset by a number of personal problems that interfere with their ability to benefit from instruction.  School counseling can attend to special needs and help children cope with stressful life events.  Academic success is determined by many factors including one’s self concept, social skills and problem-solving abilities.

The developmental guidance model is one effective means of developing these characteristics in each child.  Parents interested in their child receiving counseling services for some specific reason should contact the school.


Report Cards

Report cards are issued four times during the school year.  They will be sent home one week after the end of each grading period in the Tuesday folders.  The envelope should be signed by the parent and returned to school promptly. The paper card should be kept at home.



Field Trips

Field trips within our city and to nearby points of interest are scheduled by various classroom teachers throughout the school year. These trips are designed to supplement different aspects of the classroom curriculum and to introduce students to the resources of the community and state.

Parents will receive notices of field trips well in advance of the scheduled trip date and will be asked to sign field trip permission forms. Field trips must be approved by the principal and they must cover our state standards.  Because they are educational, it is hoped that all students attend.  Students who aren’t in attendance will be counted absent that school day.  If a parent doesn’t give permission for the child to attend the trip, the child will participate in another classroom that day and won’t be counted absent. 

Parents may be invited to attend a field trip if the school feels that such involvement is warranted or is necessary. The decision of inviting parents on field trips rests with the school. Any parent attending as a participant or chaperone is subject to a criminal history check prior to such attendance. Criminal history checks may be required yearly or at any time the principal feels that such a check is necessary. Attendance will be  approved or denied through the central office. All school rules are in effect on a field trip.

Students may go on a field trip with their class only.  No student visitors will be allowed to ride the bus.

All students must ride the school bus to the field trip.  If their parent drives separately, and it is the end of the school day, the child may ride home with their parent, but the parent must sign the child out with the child’s teacher.




Student Records

         Records that are maintained by the school may only be released to parents (natural biological parents) or legal custodians under FERPA guidelines. The records are not available to grandparents, other relatives or step-parents unless those individuals are legal custodians or a legal adoption has taken place.


Permits and Out of County Cash Tuition

         Students are required to attend the school in the district of their legal residence. If a parent wishes for a student to attend another elementary school, a permit application is required. Specific guidelines must be followed to apply for a permit. Forms are available at the elementary school and principals of both the sending and the receiving school must agree to the permit. In addition, no school bus transportation is furnished for a student on a permit. Cash Tuition for an out of county student will be waived if:

  •         The student’s legal residence is in Indiana
  •         The student is enrolled prior to “official” enrollment day in September.

Any enrollments after the “official” enrollment day in September are subject to full tuition (between $5,000-$6,000 per year).

Any student from another State will be charged the full tuition regardless of when that student enrolls in VCSC.


Unanswered Questions

When a school patron has a question involving the operation of the school, he/she should contact the office or person most responsible for the area in which the problem exists.  When the question involves an individual student or class, the classroom teacher and/or the principal are the proper persons to contact. The Rio Grande phone number is (812) 462-4307.


Parent Organization

         The purpose of the PTO is to develop a partnership between the home, school, and community.  Families and staff join together for meetings, conferences, committees, and projects.  Officers of the PTO are nominated and voted on annually. 

         Notices of PTO meetings are sent home with each student prior to meetings.  Selected programs are scheduled to provide informative and interesting sessions.  The PTO encourages all parents to become members ($1 per member).  Your support is valued and will be appreciated.  The PTO board meets the second Tuesday of each month at 5:30 in the Break Room.  All parents are encouraged to attend. 


Sex Offender Policy

         Vigo County School Corporation has adopted a policy prohibiting anyone who is listed on the sex offender registry from coming onto school property. Sex offenders may be arrested for criminal trespass for violating this policy. Exceptions (with restrictions) to the policy would only be granted in specific instances and only after following the procedures for asking for such exception.


VCSC Elementary Cell Phone Guidelines (Revised 2023)


Student Discipline Rules:

  1. Possessing or using an electronic device (e.g. cellular phone, tablet computer, pager, digital camera, electronic equipment) in a manner which constitutes an interference with a school purpose or educational function, an invasion of privacy, or an act of academic dishonesty, or is profane, indecent, or obscene.  In addition to being disciplined, students who use an electronic device in a manner which is inconsistent with this rule may have the device confiscated by school administration.  Such device will be returned to the parent.
  2. Possessing or using on school grounds during school hours an electronic device, a cellular telephone, or any other telecommunication device, including a look-a-like device, in a situation not related to a school purpose or educational function or using such device to engage in an activity that violates school rules.  This rule is not violated when the student has been given clear permission from a school administrator or a designated staff member to possess or use one of the devices listed in this rule.  In addition to being disciplined, students who use an electronic device in a manner which is inconsistent with this rule may have the device confiscated by school administration.  Such device will be returned to the parent.  


The VCSC encourages and appreciates appropriate use of cell phones and wireless communication devices (WCD), including wifi enabled smart watches.  Inappropriate use of a cell phone or wireless communication device (WCD) may qualify a student for suspension or expulsion from school.  Examples of inappropriate use include, but are not limited to, using the cell phone/WCD to take pictures or videos at prohibited times, displaying inappropriate images or websites, using inappropriate language in text messages, emails, or other forms of communication or using the device for bullying, harassment or intimidation.  Inappropriate use also includes sending, sharing, viewing, or possessing pictures, text messages, emails, or other material of a sexual nature in electronic or any other form on a cell phone, WCD, or other electronic device.


  1.     Students may possess a cell phone or WCD in school, on school property, at after school activities, and at school related functions with parental permission, provided that it is in silent mode, is in the assigned area, (i.e. bag or cubby closet), and out of sight during normal class hours, or as may be requested by staff members.
  2.     A student possessing a cell phone or WCD including smart watches shall be responsible for its care and safe keeping.  The Vigo County School Corporation shall not be responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged cell phones and/or WCD.
  3.     Students shall not use cell phones or WCD to take pictures or videos during regular school hours while on school property.  Cell phones/WCD may only be used to take photographs and/or videos at after school events and activities unless otherwise directed by staff.
  4.     School Bus Rules-Cell phones, Chromebooks, or WCD shall be permitted on the bus as long as they are kept in a no volume status that cannot be heard by others and the student possessing the device can still hear emergency directions.  Cell phones/WCD may be used in silent mode responsibly on the school bus.  If using headphones, one ear must be exposed in the event the driver needs to relay directions or directives.  Any inappropriate use of a cell phone or WCD will result in disciplinary action.


First Offense

On the first offense, the cell phone/ WCD will be confiscated until the end of the day.

Second Offense

On the second offense, the cell phone /WCD will be confiscated and the parent must come to school to pick it up.

Third Offense

The phone is no longer allowed to be brought to school.

 Social Media

Social media and websites such as Instagram have made it very easy to post photos and information online.  To protect the privacy and safety of our students and employees, we discourage individuals from publicly posting pictures taken at school events that could identity others.  We advise you to get consent of the individuals(s) photographed before posting them to exercise caution about revealing personal details including names.  The Vigo County School Corporation cannot be responsible for information posted online in violation of these guidelines.

Electronic Devices

Electronic devices that are strictly for entertainment are not allowed during the regular school day without Administrative approval.  Example:  Nintendo Switch, etc.


Release of Directory Information

The school corporation may release certain “directory information,” which means information contained in an education record of a student that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed and which includes, but is not limited to, the student’s name, address, parents’ names and their home and work telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, major field of study, participation in official recognized activities and sports, height and weight of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, awards received, teacher-selected student work with no grades displayed, pictures or video images not used in a disciplinary manner, hair and eye color, race, sex, date of birth, height, weight, grade level, and other similar information, without consent to media organizations (including radio, television, and newspaper), colleges, civic or school-related organizations, military recruiters and state or local governmental agencies. Throughout the school year, different media groups (television stations, local newspaper, radio stations, school production classes, and district communications staff, etc.) will produce stories about activities and events in the Vigo County School Corporation. These articles may include photographs and video that may be posted on the internet, printed, or aired on radio shows, including television and cable shows. In addition, the VCSC may want to include news about school activities and events on their Web sites.


Please refer to Policy JO-E that allows directory information to be released to media organizations without the consent of parent or student. In addition, JO-E Policy provides a form for a parent of a student less than 18 years of age or a student who is a least 18 years of age may object to disclosure of any of the categories of directory information by filling form JO-E (DENIAL OF PERMISSION TO RELEASE CERTAIN DIRECTORY INFORMATION WITHOUT PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT) from the principal’s office at any time during the school year.


Please refer to Policy JO-E for more specifics if needed.




Schools are expected to follow the wellness policy guidelines for food sales at school. In addition, the policy has certain expectations for parents in relation to food brought to school for holidays and celebrations. The entire policy may be viewed on the V.C.S.C. website under Student Services.



Social Media, school events and posting:

Social Media and websites such as Facebook or YouTube have made it very easy to post photos and information online. To protect the privacy and safety of our students and employees, we discourage individuals from publicly posting pictures taken at school events that could identify others. We advise you to get consent of the individual(s) photographed before posting them and to exercise caution about revealing personal details including names. The Vigo County School Corporation cannot be responsible for information posted online in violation of these guidelines.


Vigo County School Corporation

Student Discipline Rules

 The Vigo County School Corporation’s mission is to equip students with lifelong learning skills and prepare them to become productive and responsible citizens. Toward that end, the School Corporation desires to use progressive discipline of students in an effort to avoid interruption or disruption within educational program and activities while also pursuing restorative goals that seek to avoid exclusionary punishment, if possible. In accordance with Indiana law, administrators and staff members may take the following actions:

  1.     CLASSROOM CONSEQUENCE: A teacher may proscribe appropriate classroom-level correction to encourage compliance with expectations and policies.
  3.   A middle or high school teacher may remove a student from the teacher’s class or activity for a period of up to 1 school day if the student is assigned regular or additional work to be completed in another school setting.
  4.   An elementary teacher may remove a student from the teacher’s classroom or activity for a period of up to one (1) school day if the student is assigned regular or additional work to be completed in another school setting.
  5.   If a teacher removes a student from class under a) or b) above, the principal may place the student in one of the following settings: another appropriate class, another appropriate setting, or in-school suspension. The student may not be placed back into the original class until the principal has a meeting with the teacher, the student, and the student’s parents to determine an appropriate behavior plan for the student. If the parents do not attend this meeting within a reasonable time, the principal may place the student in another class or educational setting.
  6.   A student may also loose bus transportation privileges as a consequence. (NOTE: Loss of bus transportation for students under an IEP or Section 504 plan may be considered equal to an out of school suspension.)
  7.     ALTERNATIVE PLACEMENT/SUSPENSION FROM SCHOOL PRINCIPAL: A school principal (or designee) may place the student in an alternative learning environment, which is the preferred consequence, or deny a student the right to attend school and/or take part in any school function for a period of up to 10 school days.
  8.     EXPULSION: A student may be expelled from school for a period no longer than the remainder of the current semester plus the following semester. 

NOTE: Students under IEPS or Section 504 shall receive separate considerations and may not be eligible for some forms of discipline.


The grounds for suspension or expulsion listed in Section A below apply when a student is:

  1.   On school grounds immediately before, during, and immediately after school hours and at any other time when the school is being used by a school group (including summer school);
  2.   Off school grounds at a school activity, function, or event; or
  3.   Traveling to or from school or a school activity, function, or event.

A school activity, function, or event includes e-Learning, virtual instruction, and remote learning days.

A violation by a student listed in Sections A and B below is subject to a range of disciplinary consequences imposed by teachers or administrators intended to be progressive in nature and move to a more serious consequence with each violation of the same or similar rule. In recognizing that violations of certain rules and the resulting consequences will be dependent upon the age of the student, the number of prior violations and the severity of the violation, the principal of each building level shall develop the minimum and maximum consequences for each rule for their building that is to be approved by the board annually and published in the student handbook for each building. The appropriate consequence should be the least severe that will adequately address any danger to the student and other persons, prevent further disruption of activities, and promote student achievement.



  1. Student Misconduct and/or Substantial Disobedience

Grounds for suspension or expulsion are student misconduct and/or substantial disobedience. The following rules define student misconduct and/or substantial disobedience for which a student may be suspended or expelled:

  1.     Using violence, force, noise, coercion, threat, intimidation, fear, passive resistance, or other conduct constituting an interference or disruption with school purposes, or urging other students to engage in such conduct. The following enumeration is only illustrative and not limited to the type of conduct prohibited by this rule:
  2.   Occupying any school building, school grounds, or part thereof with intent to deprive others of its use.
  3. Blocking the entrance or exits of any school building or corridor or room therein with intent to deprive others of lawful access to or from, or use of the building, corridor, or room.
  4.   Setting fire to or damaging any school building or school property.
  5.   Prevention of or attempting to prevent by physical act the convening or continued functioning of any school or education function, or of any meeting or assembly on school property.
  6.   Intentionally making noise or acting in any manner so as to interfere with the ability of any teacher or any other person to conduct or participate in an education function.
  7.       Engaging in any kind of aggressive behavior that does physical or psychological harm to another person or urging of other students to engage in such conduct. Prohibited conduct includes coercion, harassment, hazing, or other comparable conduct.
  8.   Engaging in violence and/or threat of violence against any student, staff member, and/or other persons. Prohibited violent or threatening conduct includes threatening, planning, or conspiring with others to engage in a violent activity.
  9.   Causing or attempting to cause damage to school property, stealing or attempting to steal school property.
  10.   Causing or attempting to cause damage to private property, stealing or attempting to steal private property.
  11.     Causing or attempting to cause physical injury or behaving in such a way as could reasonably cause physical injury to any person. Selfdefense or reasonable action undertaken on the reasonable belief that it was necessary to protect oneself and/or another person is not a violation of this rule.
  12.     Threatening or intimidating any person for any purpose, including obtaining money or anything of value.
  13.   Threatening (whether specific or general in nature) injury to persons or damage to property, regardless of whether there is a present ability to commit the act.
  14.   Failing to report the actions or plans of another person to a teacher or administrator where those actions or plans, if carried out, could result in harm to another person or persons or damage property when the student has information about such actions or plans.
  15. Possessing, handling, or transmitting a knife or any object that can reasonably be considered a weapon, is represented to be a weapon, or looks like a weapon, including but not limited to imitation weapons or airsoft guns.
  16. Possessing, using, transmitting, or being affected by any controlled substance, prescription drug, narcotic drug, hallucinogenic drug (including natural hallucinogenics), amphetamine, barbiturate, marijuana, alcoholic beverage, intoxicant or depressant of any kind, or any paraphernalia used in connection with the listed substances. Also prohibited is the consumption of any of the stated substances immediately before attending school or a school function or event. THC Extract products as defined by state law are included in this rule and/or violations of the school corporation administration of medication policy are included in this rule
  17. aException to Rule 11: a student may possess and self-administer prescribed medication for the disease or condition if the student’s parent has filed a written authorization with the building principal. The written authorization must be filed annually. The written authorization must be completed by a physician and must include the following information:
  18.   The nature of the student’s disease or medical condition shall or may require administration of the prescribed medication during the school day.
  19. The student has been instructed in how to self-administer the prescribed medication.
  20. The student is authorized to possess and self-administer the prescribed medication.

This exception, however, does not apply to use of prescribed medication by anyone other than the individual to whom the prescription is written, nor does this exception permit the unlawful distribution of prescribed medication.

  1. Possessing, using, or transmitting any substance which is represented to be or looks like a narcotic drug, hallucinogenic drug, amphetamine, barbiturate, marijuana, alcoholic beverage, stimulant, depressant, or intoxicant of any kind.
  2. Possessing, using, transmitting, or being affected by caffeinebased substances other than beverages, substances containing phenylpropanolamine (PPA)*, stimulants of any kind, or any other similar over-the-counter products.
  3. Possessing, using, distributing, purchasing, or selling tobacco or nicotine-containing products of any kind or in any form. These products include e-cigarettes, vaping devices, any type of look-alike products or other related products or devices associated with tobacco or nicotine use or electronic nicotine delivery systems.
  4. Offering to sell or agreeing to purchase a controlled or banned substance or alcoholic beverages.
  5. Failing to comply with directions of teachers or other school personnel during any period of time when the student is properly under their supervision, where the failure constitutes an interference with school purposes or an educational function.
  6. Failing to completely and truthfully respond to questions from a staff member regarding school-related matters including potential violations of the student conduct rules or state or federal law. (NOTE: If the staff member is a uniformed law enforcement officer, the student may have the right to be silent under the U.S. and Indiana Constitutions.)
  7. Accusing any person of sexual harassment, or of violating a school rule, and/or a state or federal law without a good faith basis for such allegation.
  8. Engaging in any activity forbidden by the laws of Indiana that constitutes an interference with school purposes or an educational function.
  9. Aiding, assisting, agreeing or conspiring with another person to violate these student conduct rules or state or federal law.
  10. Engaging in academic dishonesty, including cheating, intentionally plagiarizing, wrongfully giving or receiving help during an academic examination, and wrongfully obtaining test copies or scores.
  11. Taking, recording, displaying and/or distributing pictures (digital or otherwise), video or audio recordings of a student or staff member without the consent of that student or staff member, including images altered through technology.
  12. Possessing sexually-related materials which include images displaying uncovered breasts, genitals, or buttocks.
  13. “Sexting” or using a cell phone or other personal communication device to possess or send text or email messages containing images reasonably interpreted as indecent or sexual in nature. In addition to taking any disciplinary action, phones will be confiscated and any images suspected to violate criminal laws will be referred to law enforcement authorities.
  14. Engaging in pranks or other similar activity that could result in harm to another person.
  15. Using or possessing gunpowder, ammunition, or an inflammable substance.
  16. Violating any board policy or administrative rules that are reasonably necessary in carrying out school purposes or an educational function, including, but not limited to:
  17. engaging in sexual behavior on school property;
  18.     engaging in sexual harassment of a student or staff member;
  19. disobedience of administrative authority;
  20. willful absence or tardiness of students;
  21. engaging in speech or conduct, including clothing, jewelry or hair style, that is profane, indecent, lewd, vulgar, or refers to drugs, tobacco, alcohol, sex, or illegal activity;
  22.     violation of the school corporation’s acceptable use of technology policy or rules;
  23. violation of the school corporation’s administration of medication policy or rules;
  24. possessing or using a laser pointer or similar device.


  1. Possessing or using an electronic device (e.g. cellular phone, tablet computer, pager, digital camera, electronic equipment) in a manner which constitutes an interference with a school purpose or educational function, an invasion of privacy, or an act of academic dishonesty, or is profane, indecent, or obscene. In addition to being disciplined, students who use an electronic device in a manner which is inconsistent with this rule may have the device confiscated by school administration. Such device will be returned to the parent.
  2. Possessing or using on school grounds during school hours an electronic device, a cellular telephone, or any other telecommunication device, including a look-a-like device, in a situation not related to a school purpose or educational function or using such device to engage in an activity that violates school rules. This rule is not violated when the student has been given clear permission from a school administrator or a designated staff member to possess or use one of the devices listed in this rule. In addition to being disciplined, students who use an electronic device in a manner which is inconsistent with this rule may have the device confiscated by school administration. Such device will be returned to the parent.
  3. Any student conduct rule the school building principal establishes and gives notice to students and parents.
  4. Bullying
  5. Bullying committed by students toward other students is strictly prohibited. Engaging in bullying conduct described in this rule by use of data or computer software that is accessed through any computer, computer system, computer network, or cellular telephone or other wireless or cellular communication device, is also prohibited.
  6. For purposes of this rule, bullying is defined as overt, unwanted, repeated acts or gestures, including verbal or written communications or images transmitted in any manner including electronically or digitally, physical acts committed, aggression, or any other similar behaviors that are committed by a student or group of students against another student with the intent to harass, ridicule, humiliate, intimidate, or harm the targeted student and create for the targeted student an objectively hostile school environment that:

 –          places the targeted student in reasonable fear of harm to the targeted student’s person or property;

      has a substantially detrimental effect on the targeted student’s physical or mental health;

 –          has the effect of substantially interfering with the targeted student’s academic performance; or

 –          has the effect of substantially interfering with the targeted student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, and privileges provided by the school.

  1. This rule may be applied regardless of the physical location of the bullying behavior when a student committing bullying behavior and the targeted student attend a school within the school corporation and disciplinary action is reasonably necessary to avoid substantial interference with school discipline or prevent an unreasonable threat to the rights of other students to a safe and peaceful learning environment.
  2.             Any student or parent who has knowledge of conduct in violation of this rule or any student who feels he/she has been bullied in violation of this rule should immediately report the conduct to the principal or designee who has responsibility for all investigations of student misconduct including bullying. A student or parent may also report the conduct to a teacher or counselor who will be responsible for notifying the principal or designee. This report may be made anonymously.
  3.           The principal or designee shall investigate immediately all reports of bullying made pursuant to the provisions of this rule. Such investigation must include any action or appropriate responses that may be taken immediately to address the bullying conduct wherever it takes place. The parents of the alleged perpetrator and the targeted student(s) shall be notified of the reported bullying incidents within five business days of the report of such incidents and on a regular, periodic basis of the progress and the findings of the investigation and of any remedial action that has been taken. During the investigation, the school’s priority will be the safety of the victim. The investigation may include a determination of the severity of the bullying incident(s) and whether the transfer of the alleged perpetrator or victim to another school within the school corporation is warranted.
  4.             The Principal or designee will be responsible for working with the school counselors and other community resources to provide information and/or follow-up services to support the targeted student and to educate the student engaging in bullying behavior on the effects of bullying and the prevention of bullying. In addition, the school administrator and school counselors will be responsible for determining if the bullying behavior is a violation of law required to be reported to law enforcement under Indiana law based upon their reasonable belief. Such determination should be made as soon as possible and once this determination is made, the report should be made immediately to law enforcement.
  5.             False reporting of bullying conduct as defined in this rule by a student shall be considered a violation of this rule and will result in any appropriate disciplinary action or sanctions if the investigation of the report finds it to be false.
  6.             A violation of this rule prohibiting bullying may result in any appropriate disciplinary action or sanction, including suspension and/or expulsion.
  7. Failure by a school employee who has a responsibility to report bullying or investigate bullying or any other duty under this rule to carry out such responsibility or duty will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from employment with the school corporation.
  8. Counseling, corrective discipline, and/or referral to law enforcement will be used to change the behavior of the perpetrator. This includes appropriate intervention(s), restoration of a positive climate, and support for victims and others impacted by the bullying.
  9. Educational outreach and training will be provided to school personnel, parents, and students concerning the identification, prevention, and intervention in bullying.
  10. All schools in the corporation are encouraged to engage students, staff and parents in meaningful discussions about the negative aspects of bullying. The parent involvement may be through parent organizations already in place in each school.
  11. The superintendent or designee will be responsible for developing detailed administrative procedures consistent with the Indiana Department of Education guidelines for the implementation of the provisions of this rule.


  1. Possessing a Firearm or A Destructive Device
  2.   No student shall possess, handle or transmit any firearm or a destructive device on school property.
  3. The following devices are considered to be a firearm under this rule:

any weapon that is capable of expelling, designed to expel, or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by means of an explosion.


  1.             For purposes of this rule, a destructive device is:

     an explosive, incendiary, or overpressure device that is configured as a bomb, a grenade, a rocket with a propellant charge of more than four ounces, a missile having an explosive or incendiary charge of more than one-quarter ounce, a mine, a Molotov cocktail or a device that is substantially similar to an item described above,

     a type of weapon that may be readily converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or other propellant through a barrel that has a bore diameter of more than one-half inch, or

     a combination of parts designed or intended for use in the conversion of a device into a destructive device.

A destructive device is NOT a device that although originally designed for use as a weapon, is redesigned for use as a signaling, pyrotechnic, line throwing, safety, or similar device.

  1.     The penalty for possession of a firearm or a destructive device: suspension up to 10 days and expulsion from school for at least one calendar year with the return of the student to be at the beginning of the first semester after the one year period. The superintendent may reduce the length of the expulsion if the circumstances warrant such reduction.
  2.     The superintendent shall immediately notify the appropriate law enforcement agency when a student engages in behavior described in this rule.
  3. Possessing A Deadly Weapon
  4.     No student shall possess, handle or transmit any deadly weapon on school property.
  5.   The following devices are considered to be deadly weapons for purposes of this rule:

a weapon, taser or electronic stun weapon, equipment, chemical substance, or other material that in the manner it is used, or could ordinarily be used, or is intended to be used, is readily capable of causing serious bodily injury;

an animal readily capable of causing serious bodily injury and used in the commission or attempted commission of a crime; or

a biological disease, virus, or organism that is capable of causing serious bodily injury.

  1.     The penalty for possession of a deadly weapon: up to 10 days suspension and expulsion from school for a period of up to one calendar year.
  2.   The superintendent may notify the appropriate law enforcement agency when a student engages in behavior described in this rule.
  3. Unlawful Activity


A student may be suspended or expelled for engaging in unlawful activity on or off school grounds if 1) the unlawful activity may reasonably be considered to be an interference with school purposes or an educational function, or 2) the student’s removal is necessary to restore order or protect persons on school property. This includes any unlawful activity meeting the above criteria that takes place during weekends, holidays, other school breaks, and the summer period when a student may not be attending classes or other school functions.

  1. Legal Settlement

A student may be expelled if it is determined that the student’s legal settlement is not in the attendance area of the school where the student is enrolled.



LEGAL REFERENCES:   I.C. 20-33-8                       I.C. 35-31.5-2-86

                                     I.C. 35-47.5-2-4                 I.C. 35-47-1-5


Seclusion and Restraint:

The Vigo County School Corporation supports the Seclusion and Restraint plan as adopted by the Covered Bridge Special Education District. The use of such is a last resort and as a means to maintain a safe and orderly environment to the extent to preserve the safety of students and others. The parents of the students involved will be notified verbally as soon as possible but preferably by the end of the school day when the incident took place. There are other details in the plan that is available upon request. These rules are subject to change.



Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (Drone) Policy

In consideration for the safety of students, staff and visitors to schools in the Vigo County School Corporation (“VCSC”), the following policy addresses the use of unmanned aerial vehicles on VCSC property or airspace.


The Vigo County School Board of School Trustees prohibits the use of an unmanned aerial vehicle (“UAV”), including but not limited to those objects commonly known as drones, on or above VCSC property without the express, written consent of the Superintendent or the Superintendent’s designee. VCSC shall refuse entry onto VCSC property to anyone possessing, using or attempting to use a UAV without authorization. VCSC may also confiscate any UAV that violates this policy.


Operating or being involved in the operation of a UAV or Drone in conflict with this policy by a student of the Vigo County School Corporation may be considered to be a violation of student/parent guide rule XXI (interfering or disrupting a school activity or function). Such violation may be grounds for expulsion or suspension from school.


This policy pertains to UAV’s operated on VCSC property or in airspace above VCSC that is not otherwise governed by state or federal law.



Notice to parents regarding new legislation affecting education:

The Governor recently signed into law legislation that affects education in Indiana and our School Corporation.

The new legislation generally:

  1. Impacts the type of educational instruction that schools may provide to students

in certain grades,

  1. Mandates when schools must contact parents regarding a request by a student to

change the name, pronoun, title, or word by which they are identified, and

  1. Requires schools to create a catalogue of materials held in its libraries, to remove

or otherwise not make available certain materials, and to create a procedure for parents and community members to submit a request to remove certain materials.


There have been recent news articles and opinion pieces addressing the new legislation and its potential impacts on K-12 education in our state, prompting conversations, questions, and concerns in our community. The School Corporation wants to provide accurate information to help bring clarity to these conversations and is providing this brief overview of the new laws for the benefit of our community.


First, one of the new laws prohibits schools and their employees, staff members, and third party vendors from providing instruction on “human sexuality” to students in prekindergarten through grade 3. While the legislation does not define “human sexuality,” it does clarify that the prohibition does not prevent school staff or employees from responding to questions from students.

With respect to this aspect of the new legislation, the School Corporation wants to make clear that the School Corporation did not previously, does not now, and did not plan to offer any instruction that would violate this law. In other words, there is not any approved instruction currently in our schools that violates this law, and the School Corporation does not anticipate that this new law will have much of an effect on our schools.

Second, the same new law provides that schools now have an affirmative obligation to notify at least one parent of an unemancipated student of a request to change the student’s name, pronouns, or any title or words used to identify that student. At the time any such request is made, the school has five business days to provide notice to a parent.

With respect to this aspect of the new legislation, the School Corporation wants to make clear that it already sought and seeks, to the greatest extent possible, to include and partner with parents in identifying and working through any special needs or requests of our students, including student-initiated name and pronoun accommodation requests. Consequently, the School Corporation does not anticipate this new legislation will create much of a departure from its past practices in this regard, either.

Third, and finally, another new law requires schools to create a catalogue of materials held in its libraries and prohibits schools from making available materials that are “obscene” or “harmful to minors,” as those terms are defined by law. Under this law, schools also must create a procedure for parents/guardians and community members to submit a request to remove materials from the library that they believe meet the obscene or harmful to minors standard. This procedure must include both a response and appeal process.

To ensure compliance with this new law, the School Corporation is developing a catalogue of materials for its libraries and creating a policy to establish the procedure for how parents/guardians and community members can submit requests for removal of library materials. This new procedure will set forth expectations in terms of the school’s response and the appeal process for any decision regarding challenged materials. As well, in accordance with this new law, the School Corporation will make the catalogue of materials and the new policy on the process for removal requests available to the public electronically on the school’s website and also by hard copy upon request once they are finalized.

For access to the actual language in the new legislation referenced in this update, please visit the website

for the Indiana General Assembly,, and search for house bills 1608 and 1447 (“HB 1608”

and “HB 1447”).

 Vigo County School Corporation Non-Discrimination Statement


The policy of the Vigo County School Corporation is that there will be no discrimination made on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or handicap in the educational services or activities which it supports.


The School Corporation does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap in admission or access to, or treatment or employment in, its programs and activities. The School Corporation will comply with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973(“Section 504”), 29 U.S.C. §794, and its implementing regulations at 34 C.F.R. Part 104, or Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“Title II”), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12131-12134, and its implementing regulations at 28 C.F.R. Part 35, in the operation of its schools and facilities.


Questions regarding implementation of this policy or regarding 504 or Title II should be directed to the School Corporation’s Section 504/Title II Coordinator:


For Students, please contact:

Dr. Tom Balitewicz

Director of Student Services          

Vigo County School Corporation

501 W Olive St,                 

West Terre Haute, IN 47885         


P.O. Box 3703

Terre Haute, IN 47803

Telephone: (812) 462-4224



For Employees please contact:

Michael Cox                                              

Chief Human Resource Officer                             

Vigo County School Corporation              

501 W Olive St,                                         

West Terre Haute, IN 47885


P.O. Box 3703

Terre Haute, IN 47803

Telephone: (812) 462-4404





For Title IX information please contact:

Matthew McClendon                     

Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, and   

International Exchange Program               

Vigo County School Corporation              

501 W Olive St,                                         

West Terre Haute, IN 47885


P.O. Box 3703

Terre Haute, IN 47803

Telephone: (812) 263-1141