Madison County High School

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MCHS Student Handbook



Student Handbook


Tradition  *  Honor  *  Excellence


174 Brock Road

Gurley, AL. 35748


Fax 256.851.3272

Madison County High School History

Madison County High School was the first public, state high school in Madison County.  The Alabama State Legislature passed a bill in 1906-1907 inviting the creation of a state high school in each Alabama County, for which Huntsville and other communities competed:  Gurley was selected.  Gurley’s success was a result of the financial support of the town as well as the Cumberland Presbyterian Church’s donation of the Robert Donnell School, which has been in existence since 1890.  The high point of the endeavor occurred when the governor of Alabama visited Gurley for the dedication of the new high school.  A host of people gathered at the train station, greeted the governor and, along with a marching band, escorted his entourage to the school for the celebration.

Our Mission Statement

Madison County High School will provide a safe and orderly environment where student learning will be the primary focus.  The staff of dedicated professionals will facilitate an academically and technically challenging curriculum designed to promote learning while shaping the character of our students to meet the demands of an ever-changing society.

Our Beliefs

  • Students learn in different ways and should be provided with a variety of instructional approaches to support their learning.
  • Students’ learning needs should be the primary focus of all decisions impacting the work of the school.
  • A safe and physically comfortable environment promotes student learning.
  • Student learning is the chief priority for the school.
  • Each student is a valued individual with unique physical, social, emotional and intellectual needs.
  • A student’s self-esteem is enhanced by positive relationships and mutual respect among and between students and staff.
  • Curriculum and instructional practices should incorporate a variety of learners.
  • The commitment to continuous improvement is imperative for our school to produce students who become confident, self-directed, lifelong learners.




School Colors

Purple and Gold

Alma Mater

In the country of Old Madison,

Framed against the sky

Proudly stands our Alma Mater,

Dear old Gurley High.

When the time has come to leave you,

We asunder part,

But forever we’ll be with you,

Memories in our heart.


Onward ever is our motto,

Conquer and prevail,

We will love our Alma Mater,

Gurley High all Hail!

Equal Opportunity

Madison County High School as a member of the Madison County School System does not discriminate against anyone based on race, color, creed, national origin, sex or handicap.


This handbook contains the policies and regulations of Madison County High School.

Arrival and Departure

The building is not open to students before 8:00am or after 4:00pm, unless a student is under the direct supervision of a teacher or an administrator.  Supervision of students is a concern, and, therefore, parents and guardians are to follow the stated time frame.

Bell Schedule

School Opens 8:00am

Dismiss for Class 8:20am

First Block 8:30 – 9:53 AM

Break 9:53AM – 10:01 AM

Second Block 10:06 AM – 11:29 AM

Resource 11:34 AM – 12:07 PM

Third Block 12:12 PM – 2:02 PM

First Lunch A - 12:14 pm – 12:45 pm

B - 12:22 pm – 12:50 pm

Second Lunch A – 12:46 pm – 1:14 pm

B – 12:51 pm – 1:19 pm

Third Lunch A - 1:15 pm – 1:43 pm

B - 1:19 pm – 1:58 pm

Fourth Lunch A - 1:34 pm – 2:02 pm

Fourth Block 2:07 PM – 3:30 PM   

Financial Assistance

Students requiring financial assistance should apply for a waiver of payment.  Forms may be obtained in the school office.


Career Technical Courses $40.00 per year

Archery $20.00 per course

Visual Arts Courses $25.00 per course

Instrumental/Band Courses $50.00 per course

Computer Science Courses $20.00 per course

Vocal Courses $25.00 per course

Theater Courses $25.00 per course

Drivers Education $60.00 per course

Physical Education Courses (beginning with a student’s 2nd PE course) $10.00 per course

Math Electives (beginning with a student’s 5th math course) $20.00 per course

Science Electives (beginning with a student’s 5th science course) $25.00 per course

Mass Media $40.00 per course

Photography Courses $70.00 per course

Ceramics $30.00 per course

Other Costs (*these costs are subject to change and cannot be waived.)

*AP Courses (set by the American College Board): $89.00 per exam

*Dual Enrollment Courses (set by the cooperating college): TBD by College

*Cosmetology Materials: Kit - $165.69, Book (optional) - $31.35

*Hospitality and Tourism at the CTC:   Chef Hat and Coat - $40.00  

FCCLA - $20.00

ServSafe - $40.00


Photography I:  Must have a 35mm FILM manual; a SLR camera, such as a Canon Rebel, Canon AE-1, Canon A-1, Pentax K1000 or Nikon FM10.

Photography II:  35mm FILM manual SLR camera is required; a small point an shoot digital camera (does to have to be an SLR); 2GB USB jump drive; a 1 GB Compact Flash Memory Card to use the school digital SLR cameras and a memory card reader.  Students may buy their own digital SLR for the class, but it is not required.

Photography III/IV:  35mm FILM manual SLR camera is required; 2 GB USB jump drive; a 1 GB Compact Flash Memory Card to use the school digital SLR cameras and a memory card reader.  Students may buy their own digital SLR for the class, but it is required.


Students may take private insurance through the school at a low cost.  It is not compulsory, and the school cannot be responsible incase payment of claims does not come to expectations of students and parents.


An indication of the cultural level of the school is the conduct of its student body at an assembly.  At all times the students’ behavior should be refined and courteous.  Whether guests are present or not, each student is personally responsible for the impression made by the school as a whole.  Unacceptable conduct includes whistling, uncalled for clapping, boisterousness, and talking during a program.  Students are to report to class for roll call before going to an assembly.  Textbooks and other materials are to be left in the classroom.  Purses and billfolds are to be taken into the gym.  Students should be accompanied by their teacher and sit together in their designated area.  Students are to remain seated and be attentive during assemblies.

Representing the School

Any student representing the school will exemplify the conduct of one who abides by rules of the school, does acceptable academic work, is mannerly, and respectful to his/her peers, general public, the staff, and the administration.  Respect for and proper representation often means submitting to both written and unwritten rules of the general public as well as schools, institution or establishments one visits.  Students who do not follow this policy will be subject to disciplinary action and removed from representing the school in any activity or school event.

School Trips

Students going on school-sponsored trips, with faculty sponsors, must turn in a student permission form signed by the parent/guardian before the student will be allowed to leave on the trip.  All students should check with teachers about make-up work before leaving on any school trip.  Field trips over 100 miles, or out of state, require board approval and a notarized health from signed by parents.

Feeder School Campus

Students should not visit other school campuses during school hours, including before and after school.  Students are under the supervision of the principal of the feeder schools when on those campuses, riding their buses or attending functions on their campuses.  Students riding a bus to a feeder school are expected to board the first bus available to Madison County.  Students are not permitted to ride a bus part of the way and catch a ride in a private vehicle.

Class Parties/Club Meetings

All class parties must have prior approval from administration.

Emergency Contact Information

It is important for emergency telephone numbers to be listed on a student’s record card.  At least three numbers are needed in case an emergency occurs and the parent or guardian cannot be reached.  If student information changes, it is the responsibility of the parent to notify the school.

Fire and Tornado Drills

Students, teachers and other district employees shall participate in frequent drills and emergency procedures.  When the alarm is sounded, students must follow the direction of teachers and administrators. Instructions for these drills are posted in each classroom by the door.  The rules will be discussed by each teacher.  Students are expected to cooperate and follow instructions.

Telephone Use/Telephone Messages

Students will not be permitted to use the telephone during class time except in an emergency.  Due to the number of incoming calls and regular business use, only emergency telephone message can be delivered.

Cell Phone Policy

Cell phones are permitted but with the following stipulations:

  1. Cell phone use is permit during break and during lunch only to be used in the Cafeteria.
  2. Cell phones are NOT permitted in the classroom unless a teacher has instructed use of such device.
  3. All ringers must be set to silent while on school campus
  4. Headphones and Ear buds are ONLY permitted if a teacher has instructed the students to use them. Headphones and Ear buds are NOT allowed during break or at lunch in the cafeteria.
  5. School administrators may make exceptions as to when and where cell phones may be used based on extenuating circumstances to serve a school purpose and need.
  6. Cell phones will be confiscated from students who violate this policy and will be returned 2 School Days after the cell phone is taken.  
    1. If the phone is confiscated on a Friday, the phone is to be turned in to the front office immediately, the phone will be returned to the student at the end of the school day.  The phone will be required to be turned back in to the front office before school begins (8:30am) on the following Monday.  The student will NOT be reminded or asked for the phone on Monday.  If the phone is NOT returned to the front office the student will be assigned AAP for 2 days.
  7. After the 3rd time the cell phone is taken a parent or guardian will be required to come and pick it up.

Violations of this policy will be handled the same as other similar violations of policies, rules and procedures by students in school.  Each time a students communication devise is confiscated it will be held in the administration office.

Automobile Regulations

Students driving to school and parking their vehicle on school property must have it registered and display a permit.

  1. Driving on campus is a privilege not a right.  The privilege may be denied based upon the severity of the offense including poor attendance and excessive tardiness.
  2. Vehicles must be properly parked.
  3. All vehicles must be registered.  Decals must be applied for within the first two weeks of school, upon your arrival if you transfer in or immediately if you trade or transfer vehicles.  Students must present a valid driver’s license, a receipt for liability insurance and pay a $20.00 parking fee to receive a decal.  Any student wishing to bring a vehicle on campus without a decal after the first two weeks must have permission of the principal or his/her designee.  By signing the parking registration card, students and parents agree to follow the Madison County Automobile Usage Rules.
  4. The manner in which you conduct yourself with your vehicle will determine your continued privilege.
  5. In emergency situations report directly to the parking lot supervisor or to the Assistant Principal’s office to discuss your special problem.
  6. Parking tickets will be issued.  There is a minimum fine of $10.00 for each parking offense
  7. Students are not allowed to return to their vehicle during the school day.
  8. Students are not permitted to sit in their vehicles.  Once on campus, students must report to the classroom.
  9. Students are to report directly to their vehicles once school is dismissed and leave campus.
  10. Visitor and handicapped spaces are provided.
  11. Students driving to school should not arrive on campus before 7:20am and are expected to leave campus by 3:30pm unless under the direct supervision of a teacher or administrator.
  12. Any person refusing written or unwritten rules and regulations will be towed at the owners expense.


Students are not to have prescription or over-the-counter medications in their possession during the school day or during school sponsored events.  Students must take medications only in the presence of the licensed nurse, Medication Assistant or parent/guardian unless authorized to self-administer.  A medication patch prescribed by the licensed Medical Provider may be worn during the school day.  Prescription medications will be administered only if a properly completed School Medication Prescriber/Parent Authorization Form is completed and signed by the licensed prescriber and parent/guardian.  Exceptions may be granted based on physician’s orders in unique situations (e.g., asthma inhaler, epipen and insulin).  Over-the-counter medications will be administered only if the School Medication Prescriber/Parent Authorization Form is completed and signed by the parent/guardian.  Authorization forms for the over-the-counter medications that are included in the physician-approved formulary need to be signed by the parent/guardian only.  If an over-the-counter medication is not included in the pre-approved formulary, the authorization form must be signed by a physician and parent/guardian.

Procedure for Administering Medication to Students

  1. Where required by Policy and Procedure Governing Student Medications, a properly completed School Medication Prescriber/Parent Authorization Form must be kept on file.
  2. Prescription medications must be kept in the original container clearly marked with the student’s name, dosage, name of drug and directions for administration.  All over-the-counter medications must be delivered in a sealed manufacturer’s labeled container with the student’s name written on the container.
  3. Students are not allowed to transport any type of medication to and from the school.  Medication must be transported by the parent/guardian unless other arrangements have been approved by the principal and school nurse (exceptions:  asthma inhaler, insulin and other diabetic supplies, and epipen).  
  4. All medications must be stored so that each medication is in an individual compartment and locked.
  5. Students will be allowed to carry (on their person) and/or self-administer emergency treatment medications only when the prescriber and parent/guardian have so indicated and signed the appropriate medication authorization form.
  6. Any change in medication or dosage must be documented and signed by the licensed prescriber and parent/guardian.

Medical Excuse for Physical Education

If a student has medical problems, he/she is to notify the teacher before taking part in any class activity.  If a student is physically unable to participate in a physical education class, a parent/guardian should send a note stating the reason.  A statement from a doctor may be required if the disability persists.  A student’s grade consists of three parts:  (1) Conduct and attitude, (2) Dressing out, (3) Participation.  Any student physically able who does not dress out must walk during the class period.  Students are not allowed to sit in the gym.  Students unable to participate for short periods of time will be given written assignments to complete.  It will be the responsibility of the student to obtain the assignment, complete it and return it to the teacher.  Students are assigned to an area of the gym to complete their assignments.  The assignment and time line will be determined by the teacher.  If a student is disabled for more than six weeks, the student may be transferred to a study hall and no credit will be earned.  Students are to make arrangements with the teacher and present documentation from a doctor for extended problems.

Eligibility Standards for Extracurricular Activities

  1. Students must have passed a minimum of six units of work (including four core courses) with a composite numerical average of 70 for those six units during the preceding two semesters of attendance.  Four-core courses must be included in the six passes and averages.  One unit of physical education may be counted per year.  All students must be taking six new units of work (ones not previously passed) during the current year.
  2. Unless excused by the principal, students must be present at school at least one half day on the day of an extra-curricular activity to be eligible to participate in the activity.
  3. Summer school grades may be counted in determining fall eligibility.  In calculating averages, the highest grade earned for the course will be used.
  4. Students who fail to meet minimum eligibility standards at the end of the school year may participate in summer activities (camp, weight-lifting, etc.) but will not be eligible for extracurricular activities when school begins.
  5. Students are required, by the AHSAA, to complete the Star Sportsmanship Program and Participant Agreement Consent and Release form, have a current physical and birth certificate on file to be eligible for participation in sports activities.  Athletes must be covered by sufficient insurance with a family accident policy or with a school accident policy.  Students traveling as a team are required to ride the designated means of transportation both to and from all activities; otherwise, the student should present a note from a parent or guardian, and then consideration will be given to the request and an answer given. The note must state the name of the student, date, and to whom the student is to be released.

Athletic Fines

The student athlete is financially responsible for any fine assessed to the school, by the Alabama High School Athletic Association, because of his/her actions which resulted in his/her ejection or other disciplinary action.  The offending student athlete will not be allowed to participate in any extracurricular activity until the fine is paid.


The gym is under the supervision of physical education teachers and is to be used for classes.  Students other than those assigned to the gym for class are not to be in the gym.  Students are not to keep books or personal belongings in the gym lockers except during P.E. classes.  Money and other valuables should not be left in the dressing room.  These items should be kept with student or locked up.  In addition, large amounts of money should not be brought to school, neither should valuables.  Practice for athletic events is not open to the public or students not participating, unless otherwise directed by the principal.


Students and/or parents are encouraged to discuss problems, questions or concerns with an administrator.  The Madison County Board of Education Policy is available for viewing upon request.

Guidance Services

A counselor is available during regular school hours to meet with students or parents.  However, to prevent a long wait, appointments are recommended.  The guidance department will assist with individual student problems; answer questions about services or programs; make referrals to other agencies; supply information on or about student records and schedule parent-teacher conferences.


School policy is to accept only those visitors who have legitimate business at the school.  A visitor is anyone not presently a student, teacher or employee of the Madison County Board of Education.  All visitors will report to the principal’s office to sign in.  Upon approval, a pass will be issued for the visit.  Unauthorized visitors will be asked to leave and if they do not, the Madison County Sheriff’s Department will be called to remove them.  This includes visiting in the parking lot, street and/or the school zone.  Visitors are not permitted to eat lunch with students except with prior permission of the principal.

Excused Absences

Parents/guardians must provide the school within three school days of each absence (or consecutive absences) a written explanation of the reason(s) for each absence including home and work telephone numbers of the parent or guardian.  If such written explanation are not provided within a three school day period, the absence(s) will be coded unexcused.  Students are permitted to make up work, tests and other assignments or activities when absent for an excused reason.  It is expected that under normal circumstances students will make up work, tests and other assignments or activities, upon the day of return to school from an absence; however, in circumstances where students have extended absences, or when the student needs additional time, he/she may be granted additional time at the discretion of the teacher, but in no circumstance will this make up period extend two weeks.  It is the student’s/parent responsibility to ensure a student makes up work when absent.  It is the responsibility of the teacher to provide opportunities for the student to make up the work either before or after school.  The teacher has the prerogative to alter assignments, tests and work activities as he/she considers necessary to ensure an accurate evaluation of the student’s performance after an absence. If a student is absent more than three days, please call the guidance office so work may be acquired from the student’s teachers.  The work may not be available the same day as the call is made to the school.  It is the student or parent’s responsibility to pick up the work.

Six reasons are listed by the Alabama State Department of Education as excused absences:

  • Illness
  • Death in immediate family
  • Inclement weather which would be dangerous to the life and health of the child as determined by the principal.
  • Legal quarantine
  • Emergency conditions as determined by the principal
  • *Prior permission of the principal and consent of the parent/guardian

Madison County Board of Education School codes for absences:

  • 1X – Personal Illness/Parent Note (excused up to 5 per semester)
  • 2X – Doctor Permission (excused)
  • 3X – Death in Immediate Family (excused)
  • 4X – Inclement weather which would be dangerous to the life and health of the student as determined by the principal and/or superintendent (excused)
  • 5X – Legal Requirements (excused with documentation)
  • 6X – *Prior permission of the principal with consent of the parent/guardian (excused)
  • 7X – Quarantine (excused with documentation)
  • 8X – Unexcused
  • 9X – School related activity

*Prior Permission requires the Principal’s Prior Permission Absence Request form located on the MCHS website under Parent Resources to be completed stating the specific reason(s) why the student needs to be absent.  This form must be turned in to the Principal 20 prior to the date of the absence. Consideration will be given to the request and a decision made.  The parent/guardian should call the attendance office for a reply.

Checking Student Out of School

To check a student out of school, a person must be listed on the student registration form as having permission to check out the student.  The custodial parent should specify if the non-custodial parent has permission to check out the student.  Identification may be required.  Check outs should be kept to a minimum.

Sign In & Out Procedures

All students are to check in and out through the attendance office.  The check in/out register must be signed by the person checking the student in or out.  If the check in or out is approved by a written note by the parent or legal guardian, phone conversation or personal appearance the responsibility to sign in or out is the student’s.  After arriving on the campus of Madison County High School, students are not to leave unless properly checking out.  Students who fail to do so are considered skipping.  Students will be appropriately disciplined for failure to abide by this policy.  Check out notes must be turned in to the attendance office or your first period teacher.

All check out notes must contain the following information:

  • Date
  • Legal name of student (first and last)
  • Reason for check out request
  • Exact time the student is to leave school.
  • Telephone number where a parent/guardian can be reached to verify the note.

*if the parent/guardian is not going to be near a telephone, a verifying call should be made to the attendance office.  Due to legal requirements, this procedure must be followed or the student will not be permitted to leave school.  It is the student’s responsibility to comply.

Only a parent/guardian may check out a student.  The reason for check out must be given (S16-28-15, Code of Alabama, 1975).  The parent must call the Attendance Office in case of an emergency or other reason a parent/guardian cannot report to the school.  Students presenting forged notes or signatures regarding absences, re-admittance, or early dismissal will be disciplined accordingly.  Telephone calls to check out/in present problems with identification of the caller and should be avoided.  Additional information may be requested and permission may be denied.

School Authorized Activities

Students will not be counted absent from school for this purpose.  Students are expected to make up work missed while at these activities and be given the same opportunities as those afforded students with an excused absence.  Students who attend but do not participate in school-sponsored or school authorized activities will be counted as absent and such absences will be unexcused unless otherwise excused by the principal.


Students arriving late to school must check in with the Attendance Office.  It is recommended the parent/guardian call the attendance office if you know your student is going to be late.   All tardies are recorded as unexcused.  

  • Students will be allowed two (2) unexcused tardies per semester.
  • Third tardy – student will be assigned to write the honor code three times.  If honor code is not turned in by specified time, student will report to AAP until honor code is written.
  • Fourth tardy – student assigned to tardy lunch
  • Fifth tardy – student assigned to ride bus for one week (driving privileges are revoked)
  • Sixth tardy and more - student referred to administration

Unauthorized Absence from Class

Students are to remain on campus once they arrive.  If a student leaves the campus without properly checking out, the student may be suspended.  Cutting/skipping is defined as not being in a class or place during the school day without written authorization from the teacher to whom the student is assigned or leaving the school campus without authorization.

Unexcused Absences

Students are permitted to complete work, tests, and other assignments when absent for unexcused reasons. The teacher(s) will give students the number of days equal to the number of days absent to complete the assignments. It is the responsibility of the student or parent to request and obtain assignments from the teacher(s) through normal school channels (in person, by telephone, email, learning management system, etc.) Administration of tests given during the unexcused absence period will be scheduled by the teacher(s) within the required period as determined by the number of days absent and at a time, which does not interfere with the normal instructional day. The teacher(s) will notify the student and parent when this is to occur. After the accumulation of three (3) unexcused absences (not including suspensions), please refer to the truancy policy.

Extended Absence

Services provided to students expected to be out of school for less than six weeks:  a doctor’s statement must be produced stating that the student is physically or emotionally unable to attend school and would best be served by the student completing assignments at home.  Upon supplying information, the request will be considered.  It must be approved by the principal.  The request should be made through the Guidance Department.  Homework assignments will not be collected through the Guidance Department if the student will be absent less than three days.


It is the responsibility of a pregnant student to notify her teachers, assistant principal and principal of her condition as soon as it is known and any physical restrictions resulting.  Students will not be excused for periods longer than two weeks for childbirth unless they are under doctor’s orders not to return to school because of complications related to childbirth.  The student is responsible for having her doctor notify the principal of longer required absence.  It is the responsibility of the student to obtain assignments and return those to the teacher, so the student will not get behind.  In cases where there are complications and the student is expected to be out for an extended period of time, homebound services should be requested.  A physician’s statement that the services are required and the approval of the coordinator of special services and/or his/her designee must be obtained.

Report Cards

Students will receive report cards for each nine-weeks grading period.  The report card is a reporting procedure to the parent of the academic progress of their child.  A student receiving a passing grade will earn one unit of credit.  A student receiving a failing grade will not receive credit.  Parents are encouraged to communicate with teachers throughout the school year and request conferences as needed concerning a student’s academic progress and conduct.  A cost will be assessed for altered, lost or destroyed report cards or progress reports.  Discipline may be issued.

Progress Reports

Progress reports will be issued at three weeks and again at six weeks if a student is in danger of failing.  Grades can quickly change.  If parents would like a report to be mailed, arrangements should be worked out with teachers.  A stamped, self-addressed envelope should be supplied to the homeroom teacher for mailing the progress reports.  Parents may view grade updates weekly via the internet with an STI Home Account requested through the registrar.

Dishonesty and Cheating

Students who cheat on tests or give the appearance of cheating on tests will be given a grade of zero for that test.  The same rule applies to the student who allows another student to copy his/her work:  a grade of zero will be given for both, regardless of who did the work and who did the copying.  If a student represents the school in any capacity, the privilege may be revoked if the student is caught cheating or giving the appearance of cheating on tests or assignments.  This includes any extra-curricular activities, class officers, club officers, homecoming candidates or any other class or activity that a student may represent the school.

Classroom Expectations

Students are to be in the classroom seated and ready for the school day to begin by the time the second bell (tardy bell) rings.  Students are to remain in the classroom for the entire class block.  Instruction is continual from bell to bell.  If a student obtains permission to leave the classroom, hall pass procedure must be followed.  Classes in session are not to be disturbed.  The teacher, not the bell, dismisses class.  Non-essential materials should not be carried to class.  All students are required to participate in class and to follow directions given by the teacher.  Anything less is insubordination.

Honor Roll

An honor roll will be published at the end of each term.  This is not an average or point system.  It will be an all A or all A and B honor roll.  One grade below a “B” will eliminate a student from the honor roll.  Each term Madison County High School will attempt to honor these students in some way.

Grading Scale

A 90 – 100

B 80 – 89

C 70 – 79

D 60 – 69

F 0 – 59

Transcript Request

The cost of a transcript is $5.00 and can be requested through the registrar.  If the student is under the age of 18, a parent/guardian must approve the request.  Transcript requests with deadlines must be submitted to the Guidance Office at least one week before the deadline date.  If this one-week deadline date is not adhered to by the student/parent, Madison County High School is not responsible for missed opportunities.

Graduation Exercises

All students graduating are expected to participate in graduation exercises.  Students earning a diploma and those earning a certificate of attendance will be permitted to participate in the exercises.  Appropriate attire is required to participate in graduation (see dress code).  Graduation is a joyful occasion; a time when memories are made and families are excited.  Please be courteous and follow the directions.  Students are not to call attention to themselves by yelling or acting out what is considered by the principal to be inappropriate behavior during or after the graduation exercises.  Any senior who is suspended or placed in AAP during the last month of school will forfeit his/her opportunity to participate in graduation exercises.  Students who refuse to follow appropriate directives during the ceremony will be disciplined accordingly.  Diplomas are not given out during the graduation exercise but will e picked up the following day at the school.  Students requiring disciplinary action because of problems at the ceremony must satisfy disciplinary consequences before receiving their diploma.

Special Education Services

Special education services are delivered as prescribed by an Individual Educational Plan and developed by a committee.

Homebound Services

Services provided by special education include homebound services for students who expect to be out of school for at least six weeks.  A doctor’s statement must be produced stating the student is physically or emotionally unable to attend school and would best be served by home services from the school system.  Upon supplying information the request will be considered.

Section 504

Individual Education Plans are developed for 504 students.  This Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of handicap by any recipient of federal financial assistance for any program or activity when that handicapped person is “otherwise qualified” for participation in that program of activity.  Contact the Guidance office for information.

Credit Requirements for Promotion

The following credits must be earned by students before consideration for promotion to the following grades:

  • 10th grade – 6 credits
  • 11th grade – 12 credits
  • 12th grade – 18 credits
  • A standard diploma requires 24 credits

A student must have passed all core classes for their grade level in order to be promoted to the next grade.  Students in grades 9 – 12 will not be allowed to double up on courses during the normal school year for the purpose of graduating early.  Students on the block schedule are required to bake an English, Math, science and Social Studies course each year as outlined in the Alabama State Department of Education’s Alabama Administrative Codes.  Students in grades 9 – 11 will not be allowed to take the next higher level of core courses until the previous level is passed, nor will the student be allowed to re-take a class which was failed during the first semester.

Conduct and Discipline Expectations

Alabama law (ACT 93-672) states that it is the responsibility of parents to ensure that their children conduct themselves properly as students.  School officials will make every effort to implement the discipline policies fairly.  Students are expected to conduct themselves in an obedient and respectful manner at all times that will contribute to the best interest of the student as well as the school system.  The philosophy of the Madison County Board of Education presupposes that most disciplinary problems will be handled between the teacher, child, and parent in a calm, reasonable manner.   This philosophy assumes that effective discipline leads to increased maturity and desirable behavior on the part of the student.   Conduct of a student in a manner that disrupts class work or involves substantial disorder or invasion of the rights of others is a basis for disciplinary action.  Such conduct may occur on school grounds, on a school bus, or at a school function.  Such conduct may also occur outside of the school provided there is a direct relationship between the conduct and the school’s educational function.  The authority of the school officials to control student conduct off school grounds and outside school hours is well settled in the law.  Where students are engaged in a school sponsored activity, the authority of the school officials is the same as if the activity took place on school property.  One of the most important lessons education should teach is discipline.  While it does not appear as a subject, it underlies the whole educational structure.  It is the training that develops self-control, character, orderliness and efficiency.  It is the key to good conduct and proper consideration for other people.  With an understanding of the purpose of discipline in a school, one may form a correct attitude toward it, and not only do ones part in making the school an effective place of learning, but develop the habit of self-restraint which will make one a better person.  Students are expected to conduct themselves at all times in a manner that will contribute to the best interest of the school system.


Effective forms of discipline may include, in addition to those described in the Madison County Schools Board Policies, the following:

  1. Extra academic assignments; for example, extra math problems may be assigned for disturbance in math class, and/or a report may be assigned in the subject area.
  2. Detention:  reporting to a designated area for a period of time to complete an assignment.  At least one day’s prior notice should be given.
  3. In-school suspension, removal from class, assignment to an isolated area or a different classroom to complete class assignments, or work assigned for a designated period of time or until the student can adjust to regular classes.
  4. Detention during a portion of a student’s lunch period.
  5. Work in the lunchroom a portion of the assigned lunch period.
  6. Supervised detention before or after school.
  7. Specific cleaning duties as it might relate to a particular problem.  For example:  cleaning desks for writing, drawing or defacing in the same manner desks or other school property; cleaning and/or washing the inside/outside of the school bus where a problem has occurred; picking up paper, cleaning chewing gum from desks or tables; or working to improve the physical appearance of the school.
  8. Corporal punishment.

In-School Suspension

Students may be assigned to AAP by the principal or his designee.  Students will be responsible for all work during AAP.  Any student who is enrolled in a Co-op Program or Technical Center and is assigned to AAP will NOT be allowed to go to work or the Technical Center.


Prior to suspending a student from school, due process will be followed according to the Madison County Board of Education Student Code of Conduct and the Madison County High School Student Handbook.

  • Short Term – not to exceed five days.  A Madison County Schools Suspension Notice must be completed when a student is suspended.  A suspension conference will be held with parents/guardians, preferably prior to the suspension, but, in any case, as soon as possible after the suspension period begins. At the end of the suspension period, the principal or administrative designee may request an additional suspension conference to re-admit the student to school.
  • Extended Suspension – more than five but not to exceed ten days.  If extended suspension is approved, the principal will notify the parents/guardian of this fact in the suspension conference.  A second suspension notice will be provided to the parents/guardian indicating extended suspension.

A student suspended from school will not be permitted to make up daily work, attend any school function or be on campus during the suspension period.  Additional suspension days may be given for violations.


Students are subject to expulsion proceedings based on Madison County Board of Education Policy as follows:

  • An accumulation of Class I and II Violations
  • Commission of a Class II Violation
  • Commission of a Class III Violation
  • Any act not specifically mentioned in the category of a Class I, II, III Violation but determined by the principal to fall within these categories.

Search and Seizure

Federal and State law along with court rulings uphold the authority of school officials to conduct reasonable searches and seizures of property where there are “Reasonable Grounds.”  To maintain order and discipline in the school and to protect the safety and welfare of students and school personnel, school authorities may search a student, student locker or student automobiles.


Textbooks will be issued to students for classes when required.  The accountability of textbooks is a student responsibility.  Madison County School Policy states that students are not to be issued textbooks that have an outstanding balance from the previous semester.  Textbooks will not be issued to a student until the lost or damaged textbook is returned or paid to Madison County High School at the front office.  Students that leave school will not be permitted to receive transcripts or other records before textbooks are reconciled.

Lunchroom Rules and Expectations

The school cafeteria is maintained as a vital part of the school.  To encourage good nutrition, a well balanced lunch is offered at a reasonable price.  The lunchroom management and fellow students appreciate cooperation in the following guidelines:

  1. Depositing all lunch liter in wastebaskets
  2. Returning all trays and utensils to the dishwashing area.
  3. Leaving the table and floor around one’s place in good condition for others.
  4. Students are not allowed to cut line.
  5. Students are not allowed in the kitchen area.
  6. All students are expected to go to and from the cafeteria with their teacher.
  7. No food or drink will be taken outside the lunchroom
  8. Students are expected to conduct themselves in an orderly manner.
  9. All students are expected to stay in the lunchroom during the lunch period.
  10. Credit tickets will not be issued for meals.
  11. Change will not be given in the cafeteria for the snack machines.
  12. Failure to observe these rules could result in loss of privileges and being assigned seats.

Bus Transportation:  Expectations and Procedures

The Madison County Board of Education provides bus service for students in Madison County.  It is a privilege and not a right to ride one of the buses.  To ensure a safe, comfortable ride, these rules will be followed:

  1. Obey all instructions of the driver promptly.
  2. Be at the bus stop on time.  Buses cannot wait.
  3. Stay back from the roadway while waiting for a bus
  4. When it is necessary to cross the highway, cross only when the driver signals, in front of the bus.
  5. Keep you head and hands inside the bus.
  6. Remain in your seat.  Do not move around while the bus is in motion.
  7. The driver may assign seats.  If so, be certain to sit in it.
  8. Help keep the floor clean of trash and litter.
  9. You may talk quietly to your neighbor.
  10. Be sure the bus has come to a full stop before attempting to enter or leave.
  11. Ride only the bus to which you are assigned.  If for some reason a student needs to ride another but, or a student that does not generally ride the bus needs to ride home with someone, the parent or guardian must send a note stating the change and the reason.  A verifying telephone number, home and work numbers must be on the note along with the date and proper signature.  Notes requesting permission are to be turned in to the school secretary before first block.
  12. Remember that vandalism on the bus costs parents an taxpayers money.
  13. Riding the bus is a privilege.  A student who respects this privilege is permitted to ride.
  14. Only enrolled students are permitted to ride the bus.
  15. The driver is responsible for the behavior of children riding the bus.  A list of rules should be posted in the bus.  Please become familiar with these rules.
  16. Display of affection is not permitted.  Bus privileges may be suspended.
  17. Inability of a student to maintain appropriate behavior and personal control are reasons for denying a student the privilege of riding a bus.
  18. Students fighting on the bus, arguing with the bus driver or cursing on the bus or at the bus driver will be barred from riding the bus for a period of one week on the first offense.  The second incident will result in the student being barred from riding the bus for one month.  The third incident will result in removal from the bus for the remainder of the school year or suspension from school.  Legal action may be taken against those fighting including removal from the bus and being taken to the detention home or county jail by the Madison County Sheriff’s Department.
  19. All rules that apply within the school apply s well when boarding, riding or departing the school bus.


Fighting by students is disruptive to the school, dangerous for the participants, could result in an arrest by the Sheriff’s Department and/or suspension from school.  It is prohibited.  The attitude of the student toward teachers, administrators or continued threats, or the inability of the student to function reasonably, may result in suspension for any offense including the first.

Glass Containers

Bottles, jars or containers are not to be brought into the school building (glass or plastic containers with water, soft drinks, etc.)  If these items are for lunch they must be properly packaged or in a lunch container.


Defiance of a School Board employee’s authority and verbal or non-verbal refusal to comply with a lawful and reasonable direction or order of a School Board employee is considered insubordination.  Refusal to follow a reasonable directive of a teacher or administrator is insubordination.  This action will result in immediate suspension.  The directives of a teacher, administrator, bus driver or school board employee shall be presumed to b reasonable and the burden of proving the directive unreasonable will be the student’s.

Prohibited Substances and Devices

  • Drugs

Students shall not possess or be under the influence of illegal drugs.  This applies to possession in personal belongings, e.g.: car, bags, etc.  Students in violation of this policy will be subject to those consequences listed under Class III Consequences.

  • Tobacco

Students shall not possess, use or sell tobacco in any form in school buildings, on school grounds, on school buses or at any other school-sponsored function.  Students in violation of this policy will be subject to those consequences listed under the Class III Consequences.

  • Alcohol

Students shall not use, have in possession, have consumed, nor sale, purchase, furnish or be given any alcoholic beverages while he/she is on the school premises, under the jurisdiction of school activities or on the way to and from school activities.  Students in violation of this policy will be subject to those consequences listed under Class III Consequences.

  • Weapons

Students shall not possess firearms/deadly weapons or have firearms/deadly weapons in their possession in personal belongings, e.g.: car, bags, etc. in school buildings, on school grounds, on school buses or at any school-sponsored function.  Students in violation of this policy shall be expelled a period of one year according to Legislative Act 95-976 passed by the Alabama Legislature in August, 1995.  Any object which is or could be considered a weapon or dangerous to the health and general welfare of the student body will be taken from students.

School Activities

Students are encouraged to attend and participate in school activities.  However, the school exercises the same rights of authority at school functions as during the regular school day.


Vandalism is the intentional and/or deliberate action resulting in injury or damages to a person or the real or personal property of the school or individual(s).  The student will be disciplined accordingly and required to pay restitution.

Vulgar or Profane Language and Gestures

Use of profane and/or obscene language or gestures and the direction of such language or gestures toward another student or school board employee may result in suspension.  Expulsion may be recommended depending on the severity of the offense.

Public Display of Affection

Inappropriate public display of affection will not be tolerated.  This includes hugging, kissing and arms around each other.  Repeat offenders may be suspended.

Building Procedures

Running, scuffling or distractions in the hall will not be permitted.  The halls are not wide enough to permit students to stand against walls or the front of lockers during class changes.

Radios, CD Players, IPods, Hazardous Articles, Etc.

Articles that are hazardous to the safety of others or interfere in some way with normal school routine are not permitted.  Such items may include fireworks (any student shooting fireworks or with fireworks in their possession will be sent home), toy guns, water pistols, radios, earphones, IPods, tape players, electronic games and any other items considered by school officials to pose a problem.  These items will be taken and may be returned after the last regular school day of the year.  Any object that is or could be considered a weapon will be taken from the student.  The student will be suspended and the matter will be turned over to the Madison County Sheriff’s Department.

Student Dress Code

The Madison County Board of Education believes good grooming and personal appearance are essential elements in the teaching and learning process. Students are expected to dress in a manner to ensure their health and safety.

  • Students must be neatly dressed, clean, and well groomed.
  • Student dress must not distract or interfere with the educational opportunity of other students.
  • A student’s appearance that draws excessive or unnecessary attention to the extent it is disruptive, potentially disruptive, or suggestive of disruption or violence, is not allowed.
  • Principals and other administrators have the authority to use discretionary judgment to prohibit such dress based on past or current circumstances. Unless otherwise specifically stated or addressed, rules and regulations contained in the Dress Code apply to normal school hours; however, such rules and regulations may be enforced at any school function or activity where the wearing of such dress is inappropriate for the type of activity, or such dress is determined to be potentially disruptive or dangerous. The Dress Code additionally applies at any school- sponsored activities at any hour or location in which students are direct participants, representing the school, and/or recipients of recognition. However, other dress requirements may be specified and enforced at any school function or activity where the Dress Code for normal school hours is not appropriate for the type activity or is determined by the Principal to be potentially disruptive or dangerous.
  • Rules and regulations of the dress code apply to all students, unless exceptions are granted due to a student's disability, medical condition, or other exceptions approved by the Principal.

Coats and Outer Garments

K-12 Heavy coats and excessively bulging outer garments are not to be worn inside school buildings. Garments to be removed include overcoats, trench coats, bulky and/or oversized jackets or oversized pullovers. Garments that equate to a lightweight windbreaker or sweater are permissible. Parents and students should assure that student attire provides for adequate comfort indoors without the wearing of outdoor garments.

Jewelry and Body Piercing

K-12 * Piercings are allowed as long as they are not hazardous or unsafe and do not distract or draw unnecessary attention.

K-12 * Jewelry should be removed during physical education classes or other school activities when requested.

K-12 *  Jewelry must not include pictures, writings, symbols, etc., promoting, acknowledging, or suggesting drugs, drug paraphernalia, tobacco products, alcohol, sexual activities, gangs, groups, individuals, or activities that would be considered potentially dangerous, disruptive, or hazardous to the student, to other students, or to the school environment.

K-12 * Wallet chains and/or oversized chains are not allowed at school or on school buses.

Pants, Shorts, Dresses and Skirts

K-12 * Appropriate dress that does not reveal the body in an inappropriate manner, e.g. clothing must not be too tight, too short, or bare at the midriff or sides. Sundresses, off the shoulder tops, spaghetti straps, tank tops, sheer or see-through clothing, and clothing with holes above the knee, may not be worn.

K-12 * Clothing, pants, or shorts which are excessively baggy and/or which are worn so as to expose underwear or body above or below the waist, and/or which drag on the floor will not be permitted.

K-12 * Prohibited items of clothing include, but are not limited to, clothing with holes above the knee or other exposure, or clothing that is too short. Generally, the length of the clothing should fall below the tips of the fingers when arms are fully extended to the side; however, due to physical differences in some students, this guide may mean some items are still too short. The Principal has the authority to make the final decision regarding the appropriateness of the garment length.

K-12 * Leggings, jeggings, and yoga pants must be covered by garments that fall to mid-thigh and are an appropriate length for the wearer as described above and as determined by the Principal.

6-12 * Pajama pants and sleepwear are not acceptable.

Shirts, Blouses, and Tops

K-12 * Clothing must not include pictures, writings, symbols, etc., promoting, acknowledging, or suggesting drugs, drug paraphernalia, tobacco products, alcohol, sexual activities, gangs, groups, individuals, or activities that would be considered potentially dangerous, disruptive, or hazardous to the student, to other students, or to the school environment.  

K-12 * Prohibited items of clothing include, but are not limited to, off-the shoulder tops, tank tops, halters, sheer or see-through clothing, clothing with holes or other exposure. Such garments are not to be too tight, oversized, or bare at the midriff or sides.

Book and Athletic Bags

K-12 * Book bags are allowed in all grades, but must be used strictly for the purpose of transporting books, school supplies and student personal items to and from school and classes.

K-12 * Athletic Bags are allowed, but must be used only for the purpose of transporting athletic material. They are not to be used as a normal method of transporting regular school supplies on school campuses. In compliance with established procedures for searches outlined in the Code of Conduct, school officials have the authority to search book and athletic bags, and any other containers, when they have reasonable suspicion to believe a bag contains dangerous, illegal, or other unauthorized material.


K-12 * Shoes or sandals must be worn and properly laced or fastened. House shoes or slippers are prohibited. Foot apparel determined by the Principal or other administrator to be dangerous or a safety hazard may not be worn.

Head Coverings and Sunglasses

K-12 *  Hats, caps, bandanas, and other head coverings, except for religious reasons, are not permitted in the school during regular hours or on school buses. During inclement weather, head coverings may be worn for purposes of protecting against such weather, but are not to be worn in school buildings.

K-12 * Sunglasses are not to be worn in the school or on school buses.


K-12 * Tattoos with pictures, writings, symbols etc., promoting, acknowledging, or suggesting drugs, tobacco products, alcohol, sexual activities or anything of a sexual nature, gangs, groups, individuals, or activities that would be considered potentially dangerous, disruptive, or hazardous to the student, to other students, or to the school environment must be kept covered by the student's clothing, and not otherwise displayed in the overall school environment during the normal school day or any school sponsored activity.


K-12 * Hair must be clean and worn so that it does not impair vision and is not considered unsafe or hazardous


K-12* The Principal may allow exceptions in dress for a specific activity, e.g., athletic events, drama productions, etc., but such exceptions are only for those activities. Exceptions that compromise the Dress Code's intent to ensure the safety of students and employees are not permitted.

K-12 * Certified sponsors or coaches of school-sponsored activities may require a higher level of dress for sponsored activities whenever the school is being represented locally or away, to include in the school

The Madison County School District does not discriminate in admission, treatment, or access to programs or activities on the basis of race, religious preference, disability, age, gender, national origin, citizenship, non-English speaking ability, or homeless status.  The Title IX and ADA Compliance Officer’s Contact Information: Coordinator of Pupil Services, 1275 F Jordan Rd., Building B, Huntsville, AL  35811; Telephone:  256-852-2557, ext. 1715; Fax #:  256-851-2127

UPDATED 7/25/2017

Madison County High School

Student Handbook

2017 – 2018

________________________________, a student

(name of student)

enrolled in Madison County High School and parent,


        (name of parent)

hereby acknowledge by our signatures that we have accessed and read, or had read to us, the Madison County High School Student Handbook on the Madison County High School website at

A separate statement is to be signed for each student in the household.  If the student lives with both parents, both are to sign the statement.  If the student lives with only one parent, only one is to sign.

Signature  ______________________________________ _______________

(Student) (Date)

Signature  ______________________________________ _______________

(Parent) (Date)

Signature  ______________________________________ _______________

(Parent) (Date)

Please sign this page and return to your 1st block teacher.  

Keep the MCHS Student Handbook for future reference.

Madison County Board of Education

1275 Jordan Road   .   Huntsville, Alabama 35811

Matt Massey, Superintendent

Media Consent Form

(Photography, Audio, Video, Website and Multimedia)

The local media may be invited to schools to videotape, photograph, record, and/or interview students involved in school-related activities. The Madison County School District promotes involvement in curricular and co-curricular activities by posting pictures of students, representative student projects, and recorded student readings on its web site and/or in its newsletters, brochures or advertisements. Images may also appear in newsletters, brochures, advertisements, web site of Madison County Schools, as well as the web of other local media outlets (such as television, newspaper and radio stations).

Please indicate your wishes regarding your child’s involvement in the activity mentioned below by completing the form and returning it to your child's teacher.  A student’s name, photograph/image and work will not be used without express permission from the parent/guardian.  All reasonable steps will be taken to protect the identity of your child.


Media Release Permission

I grant Madison County School District permission to interview, use and/or reproduce photographs, likenesses or the voice of my child in any legal manner for the internal and external informational activities of the Madison County School District.  

I grant permission for my:

  • Child to be interviewed and/or photographed by the local news media (television, radio, and/or newspapers);
  • Child’s work and/or photograph/image to be published on the Madison County School District web site, in publications and in advertisements; and
  • Child to participate as stated above for the Madison County School District/School in the activity listed below.

Student’s Name: ___________________________________________________ Grade:______________

School’s Name: ____Madison County High School____________Homeroom Teacher:_______________

Activity/Event:_____________________________________Date of Activity/Event:________________

Parent/Guardian Signature: ________________________________________Date: _________________

Please sign this page and return to your 1st block teacher.