This handbook has been prepared and presented to you, the students of the

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This handbook has been prepared and presented to you, the students of the

Punxsutawney Area High School, to serve as a guide to help students and parents better understand the school. If followed, the rules and regulations in this handbook will make your school life more profitable and enjoyable.

It is the duty of all students to uphold the high standards of their school and to strive constantly to make their school even better. Students can do this only if they know the basic requirements, the accepted practices, and the rules of conduct that they must maintain for the improvement of our school.

This handbook is your source of information, suggestions, and tips to enable you to work with the Student Government, the faculty, and administration to create progress through harmony in our school.

Jasmine Lellock Matthew Neal

Jamie Smith Garrett Miller

Jodi Snyder Valerie Ishman

Emilie Cooper Adrianne Smelko

Mr. James Meneely - Advisor, (Retired)

Mrs. Susan Lainey – Advisor

Mr. David E. London – Principal

Mr. Darren Hack – Assistant Principal

Administrative Revisions 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012

Opening exercises and key operational announcements will be made over the public address system at 7:45 AM and at 2:10 PM everyday. Video announcements regarding school and student activities and news will be broadcast at 10:00AM everyday. It is imperative that each student listens closely to these announcements since they bring notices of changes during the day, coming events and lost or found items. Any student or teacher desiring to have an announcement read in the morning should leave the announcement at the Principal’s office the DAY BEFORE it is to be made. Announcements to be made in the afternoon are to be turned in to the office by noon of the same afternoon. Announcements must be written on the proper forms, which can be found on the office counter or emailed to Patti Fallara. The appropriate teacher or advisor must sign all announcement forms.


Punxsutawney Area High School received full Middle States accreditation in 2010. The Administration and Faculty are very proud of this achievement and will continue to uphold high academic standards for the students of the Punxsutawney Area.


The mission of the Punxsutawney Area School District is to prepare students for the future by enabling them to acquire knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to become productive and responsible citizens.


Since 1823 when the first Punxsutawney school was built, the education of students has been of prime importance. The future success of students in the Punxsutawney Area School District will require committed teachers, involved parents, a supportive community, and strong academic programs and activities that will enrich our students’ lives. Our students will continue to be lifelong learners who will be able to adapt to an ever-changing and increasingly diverse world.


We believe:

  • A nurturing, stimulating and safe environment promotes learning.

  • Learning is an interactive process.

  • Technology enhances learning.

  • Respectful, positive, and collaborative relationships are essential for learning.

  • Student growth is dependent upon the quality of instruction provided by the teacher.

  • Cooperation and communication between school, student, parent, and community are vital for a successful school district.

  • All students can learn.


The Board of Directors of the Punxsutawney Area School District recognizes that in order to promote achievement of our local mission statement and the goals of public education, it is necessary to establish appropriate policies, guidelines and programs that assure a safe, orderly and positive learning environment. The Board of Directors also acknowledges that it requires the support and cooperation of the entire community to maintain an educational program that enables each student to reach his full potential. Therefore, the development of this Parent Student Handbook for the Punxsutawney Area High School reflects the input, insights, and expertise of students, parents, administrators, teachers, counselors, social agencies, and legal authorities all working cooperatively to establish clear, consistent, fair, challenging and positive programs for our schools.


Section 1317 Pennsylvania School Code:

Authority of teachers, vice principals and principals over pupils (In Loco Parentis provision).

Every teacher, vice principal and principal in the public schools shall have the right to exercise the same authority as to conduct and

behavior over the pupils attending his school during the time they

are in attendance, including the time required in going to and from

their homes, as their parents, guardians, or persons in parental

relation to such pupils may exercise over them.
It is the policy of the Punxsutawney Area High School to consider discipline as part of the general school morale.

Students, parents, administrators, teachers, and all others involved in the educational process have rights that are documented by the Constitution of the United States, federal, state and local laws or regulations. The rights of individuals do not stop upon entry through the school doors. Among these rights is the administration of appropriate due process procedures and requirements.

It is also noted that a separate and more extensive set of rights and procedural safeguards are in effect for exceptional/disabled students. The regulations set forth in this handbook may not supplant, nor be contrary to these rights.
Along with certain rights, individuals involved in the educational process have certain responsibilities. The following represents the intent of creating a mutual understanding of these responsibilities so that everyone recognizes and acknowledges the rights and responsibilities of others.

Student responsibilities are based on the premise that no student has the right to interfere with the education of his/her fellow students.

Students must share the responsibility with school staff of developing a climate within the school that is conducive to wholesome learning and living, and to respect the rights of administrators, teachers and other school staff, as well as their fellow students.
In addition, students have the responsibility to:

  • Be aware of all guidelines for student behavior and conduct themselves in accordance with them.

  • Be able to express their ideas and opinions in a respectful manner so as not to offend or slander others.

  • Be willing to volunteer information in matters relating to the health, safety and welfare of the school community and the protection of school property.

  • Dress and groom so as to meet the fair standards of health, safety and the educational process.

  • Assume that until a guideline is waived, altered or repealed, it is in full effect.

  • Assist the school staff in operating a safe school for all students enrolled therein.

  • Be aware of and comply with state and local laws.

  • Exercise proper care when using public facilities and equipment.

  • Attend school daily except when excused, as well as be on time to school, classes, school meetings, activities and events.

  • Make all necessary arrangements for making up work when legally absent/tardy from school.

  • Pursue and attempt to complete the courses of study to acceptable standards prescribed by the state and local school authorities.

  • Avoid inaccuracies in student newspapers or publications as well as indecent or obscene language. Strive for mutually respectful relations with peers, teachers, administrators and other school staff.

  • Know and respect the rights of teachers, administrators, other school staff members and other students.

  • Take advantage of the academic opportunities offered at school and make a conscientious effort in classroom work.

  • Be timely in returning office documents to school.


Parents/guardians must be the first to foster self-discipline within the child at home. The school can provide the setting for this training to be carried further, while enabling all students to have the right to pursue their own educational needs without unnecessary disruptions by others. A cooperative relationship between home and school is essential to each student’s successful development and achievement.

Parents/guardians are encouraged to:

  • Exemplify an enthusiastic and supportive attitude toward school and education.

  • Build a good working relationship between themselves and school personnel.

  • Teach their child self-respect, self-control, respect for the law, respect for others and other’s property and accountability for his/her actions.

  • Insist on prompt and regular attendance.

  • Encourage their child to take pride in his/her appearance.

  • Insist that their child promptly bring home communications from school.

  • Cooperate with the school in jointly resolving any school related problem.

  • Set realistic standards of behavior for their child and be firm, fair and consistent in applying them.

  • Help their child learn to deal effectively with negative peer pressure.

  • Provide a place conducive for study and completion of homework assignments.

  • Help the child to develop an interest in learning and exploring a variety of fields of knowledge.

  • Be aware of the school’s attendance, discipline and other such policies and the consequences of non-compliance.

  • Be sure the child is free of communicable disease and is in as good health as possible in order to ensure effective classroom performance.

  • Become acquainted with the school staff, curriculum and activities.

  • Be aware that they are responsible for any financial obligations incurred by their child in school.


Generally, it is the teacher’s responsibility to handle discipline problems occurring in the classroom, which are of a common or minor nature. For more serious problems, it is the teacher’s responsibility to inform the appropriate administrator of the details of the case. While in the classroom, every teacher knows that he/she works every day with the nation’s most precious commodity-the future generation.

Teachers will:

  • Promote a climate of mutual respect and dignity, which will strengthen the student’s positive self-image.

  • Utilize classroom routines, which contribute to the total instructional program and to the student’s development of civic responsibility.

  • Provide interesting and stimulating classroom climate that will prevent most discipline problems from developing.

  • Reflect a personal enthusiasm for teaching and learning as well as a genuine concern for the individual student.

  • Guide learning activities so students learn to think and reason, to assume responsibility for their actions and to respect the rights of others.

  • Demonstrate by word and personal example, respect for law and order as well as self-discipline.

  • Seek to develop close, cooperative relationships with parent/guardians for the educational benefit of the student.

  • Distinguish between minor student misconduct best handled by the teacher and major or chronic student misconduct requiring the assistance of a principal.

  • Help students cope with negative peer pressure.

  • Be sensitive to changing behavior patterns.

  • Enable students to discuss problems with them.

  • Strive for mutually respectful relationships with students.

  • Assist students and administrators in developing a climate in the school that is conducive to wholesome learning and living.

  • Report to the principal any student who may jeopardize their own safety, the safety of other students, the safety of a teacher, or who seriously interferes with the instructional program of the classroom.

  • Serve as a surrogate parent/guardian in matters of behavior and discipline in accordance with Pennsylvania School Law.

  • Explain the discipline code to students in their classes.

  • Be fair, firm and consistent in enforcing guidelines in the classroom, in the hallways, in the restrooms, on school transportation, on the school campus and at all school sponsored activities.


As the educational leaders of the school, the administrators set the learning and disciplinary climate for the school, not only for the students but also for staff as well.

Administrators will:

  • Promote a climate of mutual respect and dignity, which will strengthen the student’s positive self-image.

  • Reflect a personal enthusiasm for teaching and learning as well as a genuine concern for the individual student.

  • Seek to develop a sound and healthful atmosphere of mutual respect in the school.

  • Develop procedures, which reduce the likelihood of student misconduct.

  • Provide the opportunity for students and staff to approach the administrator directly for redress of grievances.

  • Assist staff members to resolve problems, which may occur.

  • Maintain ongoing communication with the faculty about the status of discipline within the school.

  • Seek to develop close, cooperative relationships with parents for the educational benefit of the student.

  • Utilize all appropriate auxiliary staff and community agencies to help parents and students identify problems and seek solutions.

  • Be fair, firm and consistent in all decisions affecting students, parents and staff.

  • Demonstrate, by word and personal example, respect for law and order, self-discipline, and a genuine concern for all persons under his/her authority.

  • Establish necessary building security.

  • Assume responsibility for the dissemination and enforcement of school guidelines and insure that all discipline cases are resolved promptly.

  • Insure fairness, reasonableness and consistency.


We the members of the student body of the Punxsutawney Area High School desire to make the most of our opportunities in school. Realizing that education is necessary for the greater responsibilities of our lives and for the true appreciation and enjoyment of leisure, we will endeavor to make our stay in high school worthwhile. In order that we may realize all the advantages of a true education and of good citizenship, we will strive to be guided by the following code of conduct:


The Student Government of the Punxsutawney Area High School recognizes the importance of all students being neat and clean at all times. In view of the changing fashions and hairstyles, they submitted the following code of dress and appearance for all students of the Punxsutawney Area High School, which was approved by the Punxsutawney Area School Board.

The responsibility for the appearance of the students of the Punxsutawney Area School District rests with the parents and the students themselves. They have the obligation to determine that student’s dress is not destructive to school property, complies with all safety and health codes/rules, and does not interfere with or lend itself to causing a distraction from the normal functioning of the educational process. Students of the Punxsutawney District must be clean, neat, modestly and appropriately dressed so as not to disrupt the educational process.
Students should avoid all clothing, hairstyles, and makeup so extreme that it calls undue attention to the wearer. All clothing must be neat and clean, of appropriate size and length and worn as designed. This includes, but is not limited to the example of pants; slacks and shorts which must be properly sized to match the student’s waist and the waistline should be worn at the waist. Additionally, pants and slacks shall be worn so as not to extend over the heel of the shoe. Clothing that is tattered, ripped, or has large holes regardless of leggings or shorts worn underneath may not be worn. In case of doubt in any matter pertaining to dress, appearance, or these guidelines, the administration will make the final decision.
No student will attend any school function or any sporting event in or out of school with his/her face painted. However, wearing small decals or designs on the face may be allowed for outdoor events. Final decisions on the permissibility of such designs lie in the power of the administration.
Students shall not wear clothing, jewelry, or accessories that would create unsafe conditions to the wearer or other students.
Hair must be kept clean and well groomed at all times. Hair must be cut and groomed so that it does not interfere with the student's vision, thereby creating a safety hazard. In regards to hair color, the color of a student’s hair should be natural in nature (blonde, black, brown, auburn, etc.). Greens, blues, oranges, etc. call undue attention to the student and are not permitted.
In classes or class activities where student health and safety are a concern, students may be required to wear hair restraints, protective clothing, protective footwear, or protective eye wear.
Skirt or dress length is dictated to a large extent by fashion; however, skirts must be fingertip length and undergarments should not be exposed.
Halters, tank tops, muscle shirts, see-through fabrics, strapless shirts, or any clothing that exposes under garments, a bare midriff, torso, or cleavage, or is so revealing that it would call undue attention to the wearer may not be worn.
Shorts that are fingertip length may be worn all year long. No shorts or pants with unfinished edges are permitted. All clothing must have a finished edge.
Tops of fingertip length need to be worn over form fitting bottoms (Ex. shorts, pants, skirts, leggings).
Footwear must be worn at all times. Cleats on shoes and boots, which cause damage to floors and danger to the students' safety, must be avoided.
No student will be permitted to wear any clothing, which has writing or pictures that are sexually suggestive, vulgar, profane, obscene, or advertise drugs, alcohol, or tobacco or depict violence or display insignias related to hate groups.
Consistent with current weapons policy there shall be no chains worn, other than those designed as jewelry. Jewelry will be considered a chain with diameter less than one eighth of an inch.
NOTE: All clothing must be kept neat and clean in order to promote good student health.
In case of doubt in any matter pertaining to these guidelines, dress, or appearance (i.e. body piercing, tattooing, unnatural hair color), the administration will make the final decision.

Textbooks, computers, cameras, and other electronic equipment are purchased for the use of pupils at public expense. Bar security codes are utilized by the district and used for identification, registration, and security purposes. If restitution for lost, stolen, or damaged materials is not supplied at the end of the semester, the student may lose the privilege of taking the one-to-one laptop home. Any student who marks or otherwise damages school property must pay for its repair or replacement. Desks, chairs, pencil sharpeners, etc., should be handled with care. Walls and floors should be kept clean and care should be taken of all working materials. Careless use of furniture and equipment results in a loss to the taxpayer who provides funds for them. Prosecution through the civil and/ or criminal court system may occur if restitution is not provided.


Students should be in their classroom seats when the bell rings to start class. Since the classroom is a place to work, there should be no loud talking or unnecessary noise. Walls and desks must not be marked in any manner. The teacher will do any adjustment necessary to the windows or shades. This is not the pupil's responsibility. Floors should be kept clean. When the class is over, all waste paper should be placed in the basket. The room ought to be left in as good order as when entered. Pupils should wait for the teacher's signal for dismissal; rushing from the room is rude and undignified.

D. SCHOOL CONDUCT - Students must:

1) Walk at all times and keep to the right.

2) Speak in a normal tone of voice.

3) Not hold hands or show undue affection for each other.

4) Not walk on or over the auditorium seats.

5) Be courteous and attentive to the program and students around them from the beginning to the end.

6) Pupils must observe the proper standards of cleanliness and courtesy. Since the cafeteria serves as a dining room, the cafeteria floor should be free from debris and chairs should be pushed in when students exit the cafeteria.

7) Students must register their cell phones and have advanced permission from the office to have possession of a cell phone in school. Cell phone usage of any kind is prohibited prior to school until 2:56 PM. This includes, but is not limited to camera/picture taking features and text messaging. Cell phones must remain off during school hours.

8) Not have beepers, pagers or electronic communication devices of any kind unless approved for educational purposes.

9) Not have walkmans, electronic games, portable stereos, MP3 players, IPods, or CD players unless approved for educational purposes. Students are permitted to utilize MP3 players, IPods, and their one-to-one computer for music during study hall, activity period, and lunch as long as headphones are used and other students are not distracted. Computer games are not permitted during the school day unless approved for educational purposes.

10) Remain in their assigned area of the building according to their daily schedule or school staff approved designation.

11) Not have any type of open container including screw top bottles or squeeze bottles. Containers brought for lunch must be sealed until such time as they are taken to the cafeteria for lunch.

12) Not have tobacco products on school property. This includes tobacco stored in a student’s vehicle.

PA Act 145 States: Students are not to possess or use tobacco of any kind in a school building, on a school bus or on a school property. Possession and use are considered summary offenses. If found guilty of a summary offense, the student will be responsible to pay up to a $50.00 fine plus court costs or serve in an adjudication alternative program.

13) Keep book bags, gym bags, large tote bags and backpacks in their locker during the school day. Specifically, students may not carry these items to and from classes with the exception of gym bags to and from physical education classes. Approved 21st Century Learning computer cases will be permitted.

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