We believe that stimulating academic curiosity built on a framework of skills and knowledge is fundamental to our students’ positive intellectual and emotional growth. We seek to inspire and cultivate our students’ desire to learn, to question, to take risks and to accept responsibility.
Our inclusive academic, athletic and arts programs emphasize structure and encourage participation and cooperation. We recognize and value the diversity of interests, backgrounds and abilities that characterizes our Middle School students. We work together to create a safe and welcoming environment in which trust and mutual respect are fostered, minds are challenged and body and spirit are nurtured.
The Bullis curriculum not only provides students with the academic background necessary for their success, but also acts as the cornerstone for an entire range of co-curricular and extracurricular activities that help develop well-rounded individuals.p
Bullis helps students establish this cornerstone by presenting them with a curriculum that generates reasonable challenges for all students.
In keeping with this goal, Bullis is concerned with the quality of students’ work and the effort and integrity that go into producing that work, especially as noted in the “Bullis Code of Academic Honesty.”
The Bullis Curriculum Guide details the school curriculum. The guide is located on the School’s website. It includes specific information about courses and scheduling.
Course Load:The Middle School has a six-period day of English, foreign language, math, science, social studies, fine arts, technology and health classes. Athletics comes at the end of the day, four days per week, mainly through participation on interscholastic teams.
Schedule Changes: Because of the care taken to create appropriate schedules, changes are rarely necessary. However, should a schedule change be necessary, the student must secure the approval of the Middle School principal.
Tests and Examinations: Student performance is evaluated and graded on a regular basis in all courses. Quizzes may be announced or unannounced, a practice that helps students maintain a consistent pattern of work by encouraging day to day preparation. Teachers instruct students in the best way to prepare for their graded assignments, and they notify their classes several days in advance of major tests. Make up tests and quizzes after excused absences are administered as needed at the discretion of the teacher.
Reports and Grades: The Bullis school year is divided into trimesters. Parent/teacher conferences are held at the midpoint of the fall and spring trimesters. All students receive progress reports at the midpoint of the winter trimester. Report cards are e-mailed and posted on the Parent Portal at the end of each trimester. Copies of grades and progress reports are kept in the student’s school file.
Students receive numerical grades in most academic subjects according to the following system:
90-100 — Excellent performance within subject matter. Has demonstrated excellent knowledge and mastery of skills and their application.
80-89 — Very good performance within subject matter. Has demonstrated facility with skills and their application.
70-79 — Adequate performance. Has demonstrated basic knowledge and grasp of skills and their application.
60-69 — Poor performance. Has not fully met course objectives, but has demonstrated sufficient knowledge and familiarity with skills to pass the course, indicating concern in cases where course is sequential.
Below 60 — Inadequate performance. Has demonstrated inadequate knowledge and little or no grasp of skills and their application.
Middle School Effort Grade Criteria: Students also receive effort grades of 1 to 4, with 4 indicating the highest effort. Students receive one effort grade each trimester per course.
|Middle School Effort Grades||4||3||2||1|
Preparation and Readiness:
- Student arrives to class promptly, with assigned work completed and with correct class materials.
- Student is ready to begin work.
- Student keeps papers and other classroom materials readily accessible for efficient use.
|Student consistently meets effort grade criteria.||Student usually meets effort grade criteria.||Student occasionally meets effort grade criteria, but needs to show improvement in one or more areas.||Student fails to meet criteria on a consistent basis and needs to show considerable improvement in multiple areas.|
- Student cooperates with teacher in fostering a classroom atmosphere of courtesy, mutual respect and productive activity.
- Student exercises self-
control by refraining from comments and actions that are inappropriate in content or timing.
- Student shares ideas and insights with the class.
- Student contributes positively to class discussion by answering questions raised by the teacher or by a student
- Student takes the initiative to anticipate absences, to make up missed work, to keep appointments and to seek help from the teachers when necessary.
- Student shows a willingness to learn and a desire to improve.
The Bullis School Code of Academic Honesty
Academic honesty is critical to the education of individual students and to the integrity of the Bullis community. Students who misrepresent their own work or present the work of others as their own deprive themselves of the benefits of the learning process. The process of analyzing, researching, investigating and wrestling with ideas is the most valuable and important aspect of one’s education. Students who choose to bypass this process fail to take advantage of the educational opportunities afforded them and demonstrate their lack of commitment to the educational philosophy of the school. In addition to diminishing their own education, academically dishonest individuals also undermine the educational mission of the school and compromise the integrity of the Bullis community. Any violation of trust and respect within the community reduces the quality of the educational experience at Bullis.
Academic Honors: The Middle School recognizes students at the end of the school year who have distinguished themselves academically. Students whose average grade is 88 and above earn Honors designation; those whose average grade is 92 and above earn High Honors. The average calculated is based on the grade earned as well as the credit weight of each course.
Academic Difficulty: The middle school years are vitally important to a child’s intellectual and emotional growth. During this time, students should learn the academic habits and skills that will support their learning throughout grades 6-8 and beyond. The Middle School has therefore developed the following guidelines:
- If a student has either an overall average below 70 percent OR is failing a class (below a 60 percent), the advisor will meet with the child’s teachers, and separately with the student to determine what is keeping the child from greater academic success. With that information in hand, a team including the advisor, counselor, grade level coordinator and the learning specialist will meet to develop an improvement plan. The plan will most likely include a daily checklist that will be monitored by the School. This checklist could include homework completion, class participation and required meetings with teachers during extra instruction. The student will also initially be suspended from competition for two weeks. The student’s academic performance will be reassessed after two weeks and will be based on grades, effort, teacher comments and other necessary indicators of progress. A student will become eligible once he or she has demonstrated effort and progress, and a plan has been put in place to continue the improvement.
Homework: Homework is given regularly in all courses at Bullis. Students have 20 to 30 minutes of homework for each class each night, depending on course and level. Students are responsible for completing homework.
In case of a prolonged excused absence from school, students will be helped in getting assignments and materials. In all other cases, students are responsible for getting all missing homework assignments and materials from teachers. Upon returning to school students are responsible for checking with teachers to see that work is up-to-date and for making up any missed quizzes or examinations as soon as possible.
Books: Students purchase and care for their own books. As soon as they purchase their books, students should write their names inside the front cover and along the outside edge of the pages. Found books are turned in to the school office.
Summer School: Students who earn grades of 60 to 65 in sequential disciplines such as English, math and foreign languages are required to do academic work over the summer to prepare for the following year’s work in that subject. Students who fail any course during the regular school year must make up that course in summer school at Bullis, if offered, unless the Middle School principal deems otherwise. However, at the discretion of the principal, some courses may have to be made up in the following academic year.
Communicating with Faculty/Administrators
Parents of Middle School students with academic, athletic or disciplinary concerns should contact the first person listed in the appropriate category below. If you have additional questions or are unable to resolve the matter, you should then proceed to the next person.
- General information about the Middle School: Middle School administrative assistant, Assistant Principal, Principal
- Athletics: Team Coach, MS Athletic Director, Assistant Principal, Principal
- Academics (specific class): Teacher, Advisor, Grade Level Coordinator, Principal
- Academics (overall questions/concerns, communications with more than one teacher, information to be disseminated to more than one teacher): Advisor, Grade Level Coordinator, Principal
- Student Life and Discipline: Assistant Principal, Principal
- Health: Nurse, Advisor, Principal (for specific and confidential information, contact the counselor).
The phone numbers for these individuals are in the Bullis Directory and on this website under Contact Us.
The philosophy of the Middle School Athletic Program is directly
related to the mission statement of the School. The program fosters the same values of integrity, respect,
responsibility and participation that are embodied in the classroom. Participation is an integral part of the
athletic philosophy at the Middle School level. Students have the opportunity
to take risks and try something new in a safe, positive environment while
learning important life skills and developing physical fitness. The lessons learned from athletic participation
are invaluable and help in the development of self-esteem and self-confidence in
our students. Students develop socially while learning lessons of character, respect,
sportsmanship, teamwork, and cooperation. Appropriate emphasis is placed on competition, and students are taught how
to win and lose gracefully, while they are prepared with the skills and game
concepts for Bullis Upper School Athletics.
The Middle School athletic program provides competitive, interscholastic
activities for students. Each student is required to participate in an athletic
activity every season, the only exception being students who are in the Middle
School musical during the winter trimester. At the start of each season there
will be open tryouts for each sport; teams will be divided on the basis of
skill level. Bullis School believes that each child will have more success when
placed on the team that is most appropriate for his or her skill level. The division
of the teams is necessary to allow for a positive experience for all of our
Middle School participants.
The Middle School activities meet during the school day on Mondays,
Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Most games last from 1 to 1-½ hours. If the students are
taking the after-school bus transportation, arrangements will need to be made for
alternative transportation on some game days, especially when the games are away.
The pickup time at Bullis for away games is between 4:00 and 4:30 p.m. If needed, students may stay for After
Care and ride the late bus at no extra charge. If parents go to away games, they may take their
son/daughter home with them, as long as they inform the coach. A coach will not
leave a student at an away game site if the parent is not there. All students
will return to Bullis.
Middle School Team Levels
||Students at this level have the necessary skills to compete against other “A” level teams. There is no guarantee of equal playing time. Students are preparing for Upper School teams.
||Students participate to develop and strengthen individual skills and team concepts in preparation to compete at the next level. All students will participate in games
||“C” teams exist for both boys’ and girls’ basketball. Basic skills and team concepts are taught. All students will participate in games, with playing time as equal as possible
Participation on JV Level Athletic Teams
Our policy on middle school sports is that students in grades 6, 7 and 8 will play on middle school teams. On occasion players in 8th grade with above average skill level may be granted the privilege to play on a JV team provided they not only meet the required academic expectations, but also demonstrate mature behavior and good citizenship. Eighth grade students who meet the eligibility requirements may play on JV teams at the discretion of the Middle School principal, assistant principal, athletic directors and coaches.
Eligibility and Attendance Requirement for Participation in School Activities
Any student absent for three or more periods in any school
day is not eligible to participate in any athletic contest, practice, student
activity or program that day. Any part of a period beyond two periods counts as
the third missed period. This policy is subject to the discretion of the Middle
School Principal and the Middle School Athletic Director and Middle School
Middle School students must maintain an average of 70 percent and have
no failing grades in a trimester to participate fully in our athletic programs
and the Middle School musical. Grades will be reviewed at the mid-trimester and
again at the end of each trimester. If a student does not meet the academic
criteria, the advisor will meet with the student’s teachers, and separately with
the student to determine what is keeping the child from greater academic success.
With that information in hand, a team including the advisor, counselor, grade level
coordinator and the learning specialist will meet to develop an improvement plan.
That plan will most likely include a daily checklist that will be monitored by
the School. This checklist could include homework completion, class
participation and required meetings with teachers during extra instruction. The
student will also initially be suspended from competition for two weeks. The
student’s academic performance will be reassessed after two weeks and will be
based on grades, effort, teacher comments and other necessary indicators of
progress. A student will become eligible once he or she has demonstrated effort
and progress, and a plan has been put in place to continue the improvement.
Middle School Athletic/Activity Offerings
Cross Country (coed)
Football (Lightweight & Heavyweight)
Boys’ Soccer (A & B teams)
Girls’ Soccer (A & B teams)
Field Hockey (A & B teams)
Boys’ Basketball (A, B & C teams)*
Girls’ Basketball (A, B & C teams) *
Ice Hockey — Important: Hockey program has an additional charge.
Four Star Tennis (coed)*
Girls’ Strength and Conditioning
Baseball (A & B teams)
Boys’ Lacrosse (A & B teams)
Girls’ Lacrosse (A & B teams)
Softball (A & B teams)
Track & Field (coed)
* Team/activity has limits.
Students are required to purchase their uniforms through the school. Students who participate in the football program should purchase their equipment through the school.
Consistent daily attendance is vital to the academic and social development of Bullis students. Attendance is also directly linked to success in the classroom. Please follow the procedures below when a student will be absent from school. These procedures help us meet our responsibility to be cognizant of your child’s whereabouts, and to ensure his or her safety.
Bullis follows the attendance policy of the State of Maryland, which defines the following as appropriate reasons for absence from school.
- Illness of the student
- Authorized out of school activity (at the discretion of the Middle School principal)
- Death in the immediate family
- Physical incapacity (documented)
- Mental incapacity (documented)
- Court summons
- Violent storms
- State emergency
- Religious holiday
Bullis regards days or classes missed for the above reasons as excused absences, and any missed work may be made up for full credit.
We recognize that on a rare occasion a student will miss school for a reason not associated with illness, death of a family member or religious observance. These absences are considered unexcused absences, and the following conditions apply:
The Middle School Office should receive at least one week advance notice of the planned absence with a signed letter from home that states the reason for the absence and when it will occur. The student will then receive an Absence Notification Form from the Middle School administrative assistant and have the form signed by each teacher. The form is then returned to the Middle School Office at least two days before the absence.
- Teachers are not expected to “reteach” material missed during an unexcused absence.
- All homework, tests, quizzes and projects missed during an unexcused absence will be made up on the first day back in school. Tests and quizzes will generally be completed during a class period, but a student is not expected to take more than a total of three tests or quizzes on one day.
A pattern of unexcused absences or a flagrant initial offense is handled within the discipline system and may lead to detention, probation or dismissal. Students who miss school for false or misleading reasons, regardless of who supplied the reasons, appear before the Middle School principal for participating in dishonesty.
Bullis School encourages parents to support our effort to promote honesty and responsibility in our students and to support our attendance and lateness policy by being forthright and accurate in giving reasons for missed school.
Absence and Credit
Students who are absent from more than 15 percent of class meetings in any course may be denied credit at the discretion of the Middle School principal, whether absences are excused or unexcused and regardless of mathematical average.
Please follow the procedures below when your son or daughter must be absent or dismissed early. These procedures help us meet our responsibility to be aware of your child’s whereabouts and safety.
Absence from School
If a student will be absent and is unable to notify the school ahead of time, one of his or her parents must phone the Middle School office by 8:15 a.m. If a student is not in class and no call has been received, the absence will be considered unexcused.
If a student must leave school before the end of the normal school day, he or she must be signed out at the Middle School Office by a parent or guardian. A student will be dismissed early only if a parent phones or sends in a note in advance explaining the reason for leaving early.
If a student arrives at school late, he or she must check in at the Middle School Office and get a pass to be admitted to class. Lateness interferes with classes and is inconsiderate of others; consequently, continual lateness is considered a serious conduct infraction. If a student is unexcused late to school or class five times, he or she will serve an after-school detention.
Accident or Illness in School
If a student is injured or becomes sick while at school, he or she should see the school nurse. The school nurse will call a parent or guardian so the student may be picked up. Students should not call home to be picked up due to illness without seeing the nurse. In the case of a life-threatening situation, we immediately call the rescue squad at 911.
Arrival and Dismissal
The Middle School hours are from 8:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Parents should be aware that the school does not supervise and cannot be held responsible for students who arrive before 7:30 a.m. and remain at school after 4:00 p.m. If a family emergency requires special consideration, please contact the Middle School principal or the Middle School administrative assistant.
Contacting Middle School Students During the School Day
Please try to make individual plans with your child before the school day begins to avoid anxiety and last-minute scheduling. Should you need to reach your son or daughter during the day, please contact the Middle School administrative assistant by 12:00 p.m. to ensure the message can be delivered in a timely fashion. Also note that cell phones are not allowed during the day.
In order to ensure the safety of our students more effectively we provide a supervised program for students who have not been picked up by 4:00 p.m. (Please do not ask your child to wait unattended for you after this time. We must require all students to go to Extended Day.) There is a charge for this service. Students may enroll in the study hall by the trimester and will be billed through the Business Office. Fees are paid at the end of each trimester. When a student comes on a “drop-in” basis, the fee is billed through the student account. Extended Day fees are distributed in August
Emotional, moral, social and intellectual development is fundamental to the healthy growth of Middle School students. The Middle School advisory program helps support this development by promoting age-appropriate activities and discussions about integrity, accountability, awareness and respect. Advisory helps students build connections within the community and helps the Middle School develop and maintain a caring, challenging community.
The Advisory Program helps develop these connections in several ways:
- Students will receive individual support from a faculty member who will encourage them to set goals, take responsibility for learning and increase self awareness. Students will consider how best to challenge themselves by using the resources around them, seeking help, managing time, taking risks and learning from mistakes. The advisor will also communicate with parents.
- Students will participate in group activities, guided discussion and informal conversation to discuss their role in creating a caring community built on integrity, accountability, respect and trust. Grade level themes of community (6th), collaboration/teamwork (7th) and leadership (8th) will provide the framework for many activities and discussions. These activities will also help students to build cohesive, meaningful bonds within the Bullis community.
In advisory groups, students will engage in community service, learning how to become active and responsible world citizens. They will reflect on their experiences, roles in the community, ability to respond to the needs of people and the world around them, and responsibilities to themselves and others.
Bullis acknowledges and accommodates academic diversity and welcomes students who can benefit from the curriculum without significant modifications. The learning specialist works with students to help them access the curriculum and with teachers and the Middle School principal to implement thoughtful curriculum and teaching strategies. Bullis does not provide individualized instruction or programs.
In order to serve our students with documented learning disabilities, Bullis provides reasonable accommodations. If accommodations are requested, parents are required to provide a copy of any psychoeducational, neuropsychological, speech/language, or other evaluation to the learning specialist. All evaluations must be kept current, meaning they must not be more than three years old. The learning specialist will summarize and share the results of the academic testing with teachers and administrators and devise an educational plan that reflects the learning needs of the student. Bullis does not guarantee that all accommodations recommended in a testing document will be provided.
For any student, the learning specialist may contact families if there are academic concerns, or if outside tutoring is recommended. A family should contact the learning specialist in their child’s division if they would like referrals for tutors or for more information about professionals who perform academic evaluations.
A part-time counselor is also on staff in the Middle School. Available to any student on a drop-in basis or by appointment, the counselor assists students with psychological, emotional or social issues that may arise. Often such issues have a direct impact on a student’s academic experience. Parents may contact the counselor directly with specific concerns or with information about sources of stress that may arise in the life of any student. Faculty may initiate contact with the principal or the counselor based on observations and interactions with a student. Again, occasional referrals to outside consultants are made.
Statement on Bullying and Harassment
The Bullis School is committed to
giving each member of the school community the full measure of dignity and
respect to which he or she is entitled. Diverse religious, ethnic, racial,
economic and cultural backgrounds, sexual orientations, and gender identities,
as well as different learning styles and abilities, are represented within the
student body and faculty, staff and administration.
Bullis strives to create and maintain a
caring and safe learning and teaching environment in which everyone can learn
and develop to his or her fullest potential without feeling fear or
intimidation. To this end, our school community will not tolerate bullying or
harassment. We consider unacceptable all forms of bullying, which we define as a repeated conscious, willful, malicious
and/or deliberate activity that excludes, harms, induces fear, threatens
further aggression, or creates terror.
Furthermore, we will not allow harassment of any sort based on race,
color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion,
age, physical ability, economic status, personal qualities or learning
differences. We define harassment,
which can be intentional or unintentional, as unwelcome, harmful behavior based on a personal
characteristic of the person harassed. Unacceptable behavior, whether involving
bullying or harassment, includes, but is not limited to, verbal abuse, physical
bullying/harassment or the threat of physical bullying/harassment, gossip, and
the use of technology (including but not limited to the Internet, cell phones,
e-mail, instant messaging, iChat, blogging, web sites and photography) which
affects any member of the community’s comfort level, behavior or in school performance.
Any student who believes that he or she
has been the target of bullying or harassment or has witnessed the bullying or
harassment of another student by any member of the school community should
contact his or her advisor, classroom teacher, counselor, dean of students or
division principals. All instances
of bullying or harassment are subject to disciplinary action.
Day-to-day rules are needed in any community to set identifiable standards and to ensure fair treatment of community members. The basic rules at Bullis are supported by traditional conduct systems designed to meet educational needs of Lower, Middle and Upper School students. A good conduct system is educative, not punitive; therefore, our aim in personal discipline, as in academic discipline, is to help students understand that their choices in behavior have consequences.
In the Middle School, faculty members are responsible for daily classroom discipline. The Middle School assistant principal handles unexcused absences, excessive tardiness, dress code violations and infractions of school rules. The principal handles any serious infractions of school rules. The assistant principal and the principal encourage appropriate behavior through a variety of methods, including communication with parents, teachers and students. Disciplinary actions range from warnings and after-school detentions to probation, suspension and dismissal. If a student reaches three dress code violations, three unexcused lates, or has a combination of three dress code violations and unexcused lates, he or she will serve a one-hour, after-school detention. If a student continues to be late, or is repeatedly in violation of the school dress code, he or she may face more serious discipline consequences. The Middle School Assistant Principal and/or the Principal determines the terms and length of disciplinary consequences.
Students are encouraged to take action whenever they observe a peer in an improper or wrongful act. It is possible to bring an incident to the attention of the dean of students, or staff member in confidentiality if the student makes that intention clear from the start.
Any physical, spoken or written act of abuse, violence, harassment, intimidation, extortion; any vulgar or profane language, any remarks of a personally destructive nature; or any restriction or prevention of free movement of an individual are unacceptable. Whether the act is deliberate or unintentional, this prohibition applies to acts directed toward an individual or group regarding race, color, creed, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, physical appearance, physical or mental disability, political or religious ideology.
A student may be suspended or dismissed immediately for any of the following offenses:
- Possessing, using or selling alcohol or illegal drugs on campus or during a school-sponsored event, including being present at school or school activities while under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs
- Possessing, brandishing or using a weapon on campus
- Taking any action that may be judged prejudicial to the school, whether at school or elsewhere, or bringing discredit or embarrassment to the school through inappropriate behavior
- Lapses in integrity such as lying, cheating or plagiarizing and especially lying, deceiving or concealing to avoid disciplinary or academic consequences (Note especially “Bullis School Code of Academic Honesty”)
- Stealing or vandalizing
- Abusing, harassing, deliberately intimidating or physically harming another person or displaying any form of racial, ethnic, sexual or religious prejudice
- Using threatening or inappropriate language about another student on the Internet.
- Displaying disrespect to members of faculty and staff.
Smoking, chewing or possessing tobacco products on campus or at school-sponsored events is against Bullis policy and is subject to disciplinary action.
Announcements and Messages
General announcements are displayed on hallway and classroom video monitors and are made during Middle School assembly. We encourage families to make individual plans before the school day begins to avoid anxiety and last-minute scheduling. If you need to get a message to your child, call the Middle School administrative assistant by 12:00 p.m. to ensure the message can be delivered in a timely fashion. A message will be placed on the appropriate grade-level message board outside of the office. To reduce interruptions to class, only emergency messages are delivered to a student while he or she is in the classroom.
The use of cell phones is not permitted during the school day and never inside school buildings. Students may request the use of the phone in the Middle School Office. If, for safety reasons, a child carries a cell phone to school, it must be kept in his or her locker and turned off. As a result of the proliferation of text messaging, if a student’s cell phone is confiscated, it will only be returned to the child’s parent or guardian. If a student violates the cell phone policy repeatedly, the student may be prohibited from bringing a cell phone to school at the discretion of the dean of students. Please help us with this policy by refraining from contacting your child via cell phone during the day.
Lunch is provided daily and served family style in the dining hall in Founders’ Hall. All members of the school community are expected to be present for lunch. Students share the responsibility of serving and clearing tables.
No gum or candy is permitted in the Middle School.
Lockers are assigned during the summer and assignments are included on student schedules. Lockers are school property; no permanent decoration is permitted, and students may be charged if stickers, posters or paint must be removed from the inside of their lockers. The administration of the school reserves the right to search or inspect lockers.
Music players like iPods and MP3 players are not permitted at school. If one is confiscated, it will only be returned to the child’s parent or guardian.
Students who have applied to Bullis may arrange campus visits with the Admission Office; otherwise, students from other schools are not permitted on campus during the school day.
Items of Value
Bullis does not require students to bring personal items of value to school. These items are best left at home and the school is not responsible for them.