School Rules and Policies

Responsible Adult Behavior


We want to emphasize that attendance is particularly important. We know that students who attend school regularly perform better in their classes and earn higher grades than students whose attendance patterns are more sporadic.


All student absences must be excused via a telephone call from a parent or guardian. Our attendance number is 558-2498. Calls must be made within 48 hours of the beginning of the absence. Washington High School does not accept notes excusing absences. Also, if you are calling to excuse your student for an appointment, please call at least an hour before the student is to be picked up so he/she can be ready.

Absences will be excused for the following reasons:

  •     Illness
  •     Professional appointments
  •     Bereavement
  •     Religious observance
  •     Court summons
  •     Pre-arranged family activity

Any absence from school for reasons other than those listed above will be designated as an unexcused absence.
The attendance office personnel will attempt to notify parents or guardians of an unexcused absence in a class via a telephone call or an e-mail notice. A computerized telephone calling system provided by the WHS PTA assists in this process.
The third unexcused absence in a class may result in the student being dropped from the missed class or the student’s assignment to after-school detention.
A total of ten absences in a class for any combination of excused and unexcused reasons may also result in the student being dropped from the missed class or the student’s assignment to after-school detention. Hospitalization or extended illness under a doctor’s care will be considered as exceptions to the “ten absence rule.”
A “reinstatement policy” exists for students who are dropped from classes for unexcused absences. The policy calls for the student to make up missed work and unexcused time within a ten-day period, to have no additional unexcused absences from any class, and to have teacher permission to re-enter the class. Students may only be reinstated into one class per term.


Students must be through the door of the classroom when the tone sounds. Students who are not in their assigned classrooms will be marked as tardy. Students who arrive at the classroom after the first five minutes of class will be counted as absent.
On the incidence of a tardy in a class, the student may be assigned to after-school detention.
Generally, teachers handle tardies according to their individual classroom rules. The administration supports those classroom rules.

Campus Restrictions


Freshmen and sophomores have closed lunch. Closed Lunch means that students may not leave the campus during their lunch period and, further, must remain in the approved areas of the campus during that time. Approved areas include the cafeteria, open hallways, and the courtyard. Other areas, such as parking lots or athletic fields, are unauthorized. Students may not be in those areas during the lunch period.
Juniors (who have turned in a parent signed permission form) and seniors have open lunch. Open Lunch means that students may leave the campus during their assigned lunch period. If students with open lunch choose to remain on campus, however, they must remain in the approved areas. No student, regardless of grade level or lunch designation, may loiter in unauthorized areas of the campus.

Study Hall

Ninth through eleventh graders may be excused from study hall if the study hall occurs period 2 or period 7. Blue parent permission forms will be distributed by the Study Hall teachers the first days of each term. The blue forms require a parent signature.
Students excused by blue forms must leave campus the appropriate period or report to study hall.
Eleventh graders may also be excused from 4th hour study hall if they have first lunch or a 6th hour study hall if they have 2nd lunch. A gold Junior Open Lunch Permission Card with a parent signature is required.
Senior Release

Seniors may leave campus during periods when they do not have classes scheduled. Seniors who choose not to leave campus must report to study hall, the IMC, or a classroom with the permission of the teacher.
Seniors returning to the campus may be asked to wait at entrances until a class period ends. The purpose of that restriction is to maintain quiet halls when classes are in session.
Parents who would prefer that their seniors not be allowed to leave campus during open periods or lunch should make their request in writing and submit it to an administrator. Such students will be assigned to study halls during open periods.


The possession or use of alcohol, other controlled substances, materials that are purported to be controlled substances, or drug paraphernalia on our campus or at any school-sponsored event at any location will result in school suspension and possible expulsion. This includes consumption of a controlled substance prior to attending school or a school event. Parents will be contacted and the police will also be contacted. Please understand that our goal is to provide a substance-free school environment, and we will take all necessary steps to ensure that we meet that goal. Likewise, the use of tobacco by students will not be permitted on the school campus. Police will be involved.

WHS will not tolerate disrespect to staff members or students. Every student has the right to a safe learning environment that is free from discrimination. The following are clear legal violations and should be reported to the administration immediately. They will result in disciplinary actions that may include suspension or expulsion:

  • Verbal threat to or assault on any school employee.
  • Threat of physical assault on another student to obtain money or other materials of value.
  • Possession of a weapon or an object that appears to be a weapon.
  • Fighting or harassing others.  Students must contact administrators if a conflict exists between students.
  • Open or persistent defiance of authority and/or school rules and regulations.
  • Failure to abide by corrective measures, such as detention, for previous acts of misconduct.
  • Bringing friends or relatives to campus to intimidate students or staff is strictly forbidden.
  • Sexual harassment or harassment on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity, religion, disability, or sexual orientation, or any other form of harassment.

WHS insists upon a positive campus atmosphere. The following disrupt that atmosphere and are prohibited. They will result in disciplinary actions that may include suspension or expulsion:

  • Bringing radios or dvd players to class.
  • Wearing clothing that may disrupt the educational process (including garments that display profanity, nudity, gang-related symbols, tasteless or obscene messages, illegal substances, messages disrespectful to staff members, or messages that promote violation of laws or school rules).
  • Garments that are inappropriately revealing or attention-seeking or disrupt the educational process are prohibited. Also, clothing should cover undergarments fully. We do not want to see underwear. Teachers who believe a student’s garment falls in one or more of those categories will refer the student to an administrator.
  • Unsafe or disruptive driving on or near the campus.
  • Vandalism of school or personal property.
  • Occupying restricted areas of the campus.
  • Disrupting classes or school activities.
  • Any use of skateboards, bicycles, mopeds, motorcycles, automobiles, or trucks other than for transportation to and from campus.
  • Use of profanity on campus or at school events.
  • Stealing.

WHS teachers all develop their own classroom rules and procedures, and administration supports those decisions.  For example, individual teachers will explain their rules regarding bringing food and beverages to class.
Violations may result in a loss of access as well as other disciplinary or legal action. When accused of violating any of the rules in this “Behavior” section, students will be given due process before penalties are imposed.


Hazing is prohibited by the Code of Iowa, Section 708.1.
WHS prohibits any activity expected of someone joining a group that humiliates, degrades, abuses, or endangers, regardless of the person's willingness to participate. This includes but is not limited to activities like being yelled at, swore at, forced to wear embarrassing clothing, taking cold showers, participating in forced physical activity, etc. It does not include activities such as rookies carrying the team balls, team parties with community games, or going out with your teammates, unless an atmosphere of humiliation, degradation, abuse, or danger arises.
In case you don't know what hazing is, Robert L. Keith, Coordinator of Greek Affairs at Ohio Wesleyan University, suggests that the following six questions be asked about a particular activity.

  • Will the activity achieve one or more of the predetermined goals of the prospective member program?
  • Would you be willing to tell your group advisor about the activity?
  • Would you be willing to perform this activity in front of a school administrator?
  • Would you be willing to send the parents of the prospective members involved a snapshot of this activity?
  • Would you be prepared to go to court to defend the merit of this activity? Would you feel ridiculous doing this activity?
  • Would you be willing to share a written description of this activity for other groups to use?

If there is the slightest question in anyone's mind about the activity, there is a quick and definite answer. DON'T DO IT. It's hazing.


All T-shirts and other garments printed by WHS student groups or organizations and sold or given to WHS students must have the advance approval of the WHS administration.


When a student's class schedule drops below three classes because of attendance or disciplinary infractions, that student will be dropped from enrollment. Metro may be offered as an alternative way to earn high school credits.


Students are prohibited from using pagers, beepers, or cellular phones during classes. 
Such devices must be turned off during class time and at school events.


The Cedar Rapids Community School District prohibits harassment, bullying, hazing, or any other victimization of students based on real or perceived race, sex, creed, color, national origin, religion, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical appearance, personality characteristics or for any other reason.  This policy is in effect while students are on property within the jurisdiction of the school district, while on school-owned and/or school-operated vehicles, while attending or engaging in school sponsored activities and while away from school grounds if the misconduct directly affects the good order, efficient management or welfare of the school district.
     “Harassment” and ‘bullying” shall be construed to mean any electronic, written, verbal, or physical act or conduct toward a student which is based on any actual or perceived trait or characteristic of the student and which creates an objectively hostile school environment that meets one or more of the following conditions:  

  • Places the student in reasonable fear of harm to the student’s person or property;
  • Has a substantially detrimental effect on the student’s physical or mental health;
  • Has the effect of substantially interfering with the student’s academic performance; or
  • Has the effect of substantially interfering with the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school.

The use of a cell phone to bully or harass a targeted student is specifically prohibited.

Sexual harassment means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual manner when such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with a student’s performance or creating an intimidating, offensive or hostile learning environment.

Recourse to Student-to-Student Bullying or Harassment

A student (or adult on student’s behalf) who believes he/she has suffered harassment should report such matters to certified staff/administrators and/or the district’s equity coordinator.  
Retaliation against a student because the student has filed a harassment complaint or assisted or participated in a harassment investigation or proceeding is also prohibited.  
See Addendum to Parent-Student Handbook for more information.