Student Handbook & School Policies

Welcome to Stauffer Middle School

The best that Downey has to offer!

It is our hope that you will have a successful and challenging school year with many new and fun experiences. This Spartan Guide will help you succeed this school year by keeping your assignments organized at all times. Please read through the student handbook portion of this guide so you are familiar with the rules, regulations and expectations of all our students.

Stauffer Middle School is committed to ensure that Spartans will Read Critically, Communicate Effectively, and Strive for Success. To obtain our goal, we need to work as a team of parents, teachers, and students. We are dedicated to provide rigorous academics, prepare our students to be college and career ready, and instill Character Counts!

Please sign-up for Q Parent Connect and follow us on social media so you can be aware of all upcoming special dates and events. Have a great school year!

– Mr. Darryl Browning, Principal


The mission of Downey Unified School District is to provide the highest quality education in a safe, trusting environment; to utilize the resources of the home, school, and community; and to maximize the achievement of all students. The District provides a comprehensive curriculum, based on rigorous academic standards, that is responsive to the strengths and needs of our students. We are committed to developing compassionate, responsible citizens who will be confident, creative, and productive members of a global society.

At Stauffer Middle School, we believe that each child is valuable. We are committed to providing an effective, challenging and safe learning environment. Utilizing the resources of home, school and community, our students will attain the highest possible level of standards-based academic knowledge, technical expertise, and be afforded the opportunity to develop their physical, social and emotional skills. Our students will become compassionate, responsible citizens that demonstrate confidence, global awareness, and good character in an ever-changing democratic society


At Stauffer Middle School, we are helping teachers, parents, students, and neighbors learn ways to treat each other better. By focusing on the six core values of Character, TRUSTWORTHINESS, RESPECT, RESPONSIBILITY, FAIRNESS, CARING, CITIZENSHIP, we have developed a way for everyone to become a better person. If each of us works at becoming a better person, and tries to treat everyone we are involved with decently, then together we can create a better environment for everyone. Using the “Six Pillars of Character” is a way to become a person of character. Students of character often feel better about their school, friends and family. Students of character also see that doing their fair share is a great way to help make things better for everyone. Stauffer Middle School has put into place several different Character Counts awards, rewards, and programs into our school culture that support and foster the concepts of good character.


Regular School Day Hours are 7:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.

Early Release Day (Wednesday) Hours are 7:45 a.m. to 12:50p.m.

Minimum Day school hours are 7:45 a.m. to 11:59 a.m.


“Q” parent connection is a web application that provides parents with direct access to student data via the internet. Using a confidential pin and password, parents can connect to the school district’s student database using a web browser and view their child’s data.

Information can also be connected to the DUSD App for smartphones and parents are able to get real-time updates on their students grades, assignments, and attendance. See the front desk for assistance downloading the app and signing up for Q Parent Connect.


Stauffer Middle School prides itself on excellent attendance. It is our expectation that all students will make their best effort to attend school every day and on time. You are required by California State Law to attend school regularly and promptly. Law does not permit truancy, and illegal absence, D.M.C. 4109.5,4109.6,4109.7. Students who are truant on or off campus, without an acceptable excuse when they should be in an assigned classroom, may receive truancy citations from law enforcement officers or the administration. Penalties may include: A fine up to $250.00; Community service, and/or Parenting classes.

It is the responsibility of your parents to notify the school when you are absent. Parents should call 904- 3565 and choose the option for attendance between 7:00a.m. and 9:00a.m on the first day of the absence. Please keep in mind that we no longer receive funding for excused absences lasting the entire school day. We will receive funding for partial day absences. If your student has a dentist or doctor appointment, try to arrange for your child to be in school for at least part of the day. Wednesday after school on early release days are recommended for appointments.

Tardy: Students must be seated before the tardy bell rings at 7:45am, or they are considered tardy. All students late to period one may be sent to tardy sweep. Students may also be assigned Saturday school for every third tardy to any period of the day.

Excessive absences and/or tardies will be reported to the School Attendance Review Team (SART), followed by referral to the School Attendance Review Board (SARB) and possible court action by the District Attorney


There are several liability and safety issues regarding bikes and skateboards. Due to these concerns, bicycles and skateboards are not to be ridden at any time on campus. All bicycles and skateboards must be locked in the bike rack. The school is not responsible for loss or damage to your property. Failure to observe safety rules may result in the loss of privilege of riding a bike or skateboard to school. All bicycles should be licensed with the Downey Police Department.


In place of lockers, students must carry book bags or backpacks. Having a book bag or backpack provides you with a convenient way to carry books and other school materials. By carrying all your materials together, you will always have your assignments and materials for class. Backpacks, book bags, purses, and folders are to be free of writing, tagging, or any unnecessary decor, except for the student’s name. In addition, material that is deemed inappropriate or that causes a distraction or disruption is not allowed on folders. Students violating these policies will have the items confiscated and be subject to detention.


Books are issued free with the understanding that a student must pay for them if they are lost or damaged. Individual teachers will issue a supply list at the beginning of the school year. Students are expected to bring the listed supplies. You may be asked to voluntarily donate lab fees for some of the elective classes. Lab donations should be given directly to the teacher.


The school recognizes that at certain times there is a need for students to take medications during school hours. Therefore, the following procedure has been established:

1. Parent and physician must fill out the medication form or care plan All forms/care plans are available online at Forms can also be picked up from the school office.

2. Medication should be in the original container with label stating RX number, contents, schedule, dosage, physician, student’s name, and expiration date. The medication will be kept in the office and the student will be allowed to go to the office to maintain the medication schedule.

3. The school nurse will review all medication forms and health care plans. Medication forms and health care plans need to be approved by the school nurse.

4. Medication forms and health care plans need to be renew every school year.

5. Trained staff can assist students in administering medication.

6. Under no circumstances are students to be in possession of medication once they arrive at school. Students with a doctor’s note or order stating student can carry their own medication can be allowed. (Example: Inhaler or Epi Pen)

7. Medication not picked up by a parent at the end of the school year, will be discarded.


Students are expected to dress out and participate in P.E. class every day. Stauffer P.E. apparel may be purchased from the Physical Education teachers in the locker room. The uniform is as follows:

1. Gray Spartan T-shirt $15 (required)

2. Black Spartan shorts $15 (required)

3. Sweat Pants $20

4. Sweatshirt $20

5. Spartan Beanie or Visor $15

6. Spartan Middle School Hat $20

7. Spartan Guide $10

If you are getting over an illness or an injury and need to be excused from P.E. participation for a day, you must bring a note from your parent. A Doctor’s note is required for a P.E. excuse longer than two days. Students, who are excused from P.E., must report to class, dress and observe under the teacher’s supervision. Students who do not bring their PE clothing are considered non-suits. Non-suits are required to participate and will lose points towards a final grade. Points can be made up through each individual teacher with make up days and through make up homework assignments.


Each student is assigned a locker in the gym for P.E. Students need to purchase a lock for their lockers. V62 Master Brand locks are required so that we have access to the keys in the event they need to be unlocked and may be purchased from the coaches in P.E. for $5.00. Students are responsible for the contents of their locker. Never let others know your lock combinations and do not share a locker unless given permission to do so. All locker problems should be reported to the teacher. Lockers are provided as a service to students. The school is not responsible for the theft or vandalism of school or personal items stored in the lockers. If students leave their lockers unlocked, they may receive a detention.


The school cannot be responsible for the loss or destruction of students’ personal property. For this reason, valuable jewelry should never be worn to school, such as watches, rings, necklaces and bracelets, as these items must be removed during P.E. classes. The lost and found is in the main office and is open before and after school only.

Students are not allowed to bring the following personal property on campus because it distracts from their education: E- Cigarettes, vape pens, Gum, electronic audio/video equipment, laser pointers, trading cards, electronic games, dice, other games that encourages gambling. The unauthorized buying, selling, or trading of property (i.e. trading cards, candy, games, etc.) on campus is not permitted. No aerosol cans of any kind are permitted. No permanent markers or sharpies are allowed on campus. These items will be confiscated and the student will be assigned a two-hour detention.


The following may occur when students choose to abide by school and/or classroom rules:

1. Student of the Month Awards

2. Most Improved Student Awards

3. Positive Referrals and Character Counts! emails to parents

4. Attendance Awards

5. Newsletter articles commending students

6. Academic Excellence Awards


A report cards or progress report will be issued to students every six weeks. A letter grade (A,B,C,D,F) is given for academic and elective classes. Exploratory, Academic Support, and Physical Education classes are graded Excellent, Satisfactory, or Need Improvement (E,S,N). The need for improvement in behavior, attendance, and assignments is also noted with number comments. Report cards will be given to students approximately one week after each reporting period. Report cards at the end of the school year will be mailed home.

Q Parent Connect allows parents access to student’s current grades. We encourage all parents and students to sign up and use the program


CJSF is an academic organization at Stauffer Middle School. Our chapter coordinates its guidelines with the California Scholastic Federation. It is an organization that rewards scholarship and service. The purpose of CJSF is to foster high standards of scholarship, service and citizenship on the part of California’s public and private middle school students. You may qualify if you meet the following requirements:

1. If you are in second semester of 7th grade.

2. If you have at least 10 academic points.

3. If you do not have a 4 or 5 in citizenship.

4. If you do not have a D or F in any subject.

Only academic courses are counted such as English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies and Academic Electives (technology, journalism and drama). PE, cross-age tutors or office service does not count toward the academic point total.

1. A grade of “A” 3 points

2. A grade of “B” 1 point

3. A grade of “C” 0 points

4. A grade of “D” or “F” will eliminate you from eligibility. The number of points earned must be twice the number of academic subjects for which you are enrolled.


7th & 8th grade students must have at least 10 points in their four core classes (math, language arts, social studies, and science) with 3 points given for an A and 1 point for a B. They may not have any D’s, F’s, N’s, or U’s and no 4’s or 5’s in citizenship.

6th grade students must have at least 11 points in their five core classes (math, reading language arts, English language arts , social studies, and science) with 3 points given for an A and 1 point for a B. They may not have any C’s, D’s, F’s, N’s, or U’s in those core classes. They may not have any D’s, F’s, N’s, or U’s in other classes and no 4’s or 5’s in citizenship. All students will be honored each semester.


Each semester student body officers are elected by a vote of the student body. The elected officers have several leadership opportunities.

Good grades, behavior, and attendance are required to hold a position on the student council. Students not upholding the following standards may be removed from office.

1. A 2.0 or better scholastic average with no more than 2 “Ds” and/or “Fs”

2. Maintaining good attendance.

3. No more than two “5s” in behavior and citizenship.

4. No Suspensions as outlined in AR 2360


A 13-minute snack period is provided every morning. You may bring a snack from home or purchase something at the snack shack or carts. All food must remain in the quad (within the yellow lines) during snack and lunch. No food permitted in P.E. area or hallways at any time. Food is also not allowed in the classrooms unless given permission by the teacher. Students have a 30-minute lunch period each school day. Complete tray lunches may be purchased in the cafeteria. A wide variety of snack items are sold at the snack shack and carts. Students may bring sack lunches from home.

Students have four minutes at the beginning of snack and lunch periods to clear the halls. Students must leave for class immediately when the bell rings. Students not doing so may be issued campus clean up or a Saturday School.

The hallways and front restrooms are closed during snack and lunch. Students may use the library and go to an assigned classroom with permission. Students who prove disruptive during lunch may be assigned to the lunch exclusion program.


Cell phones must be off and in backpacks once the student enters campus. Cell phones that are on or in view will be confiscated and sent to the Dean’s office and a parent/guardian will be required to pick it up. It is the students’ responsibly to notify their parents that the phone was confiscated by using the phone in the office. Parents may pick-up confiscated cell phones by appointment only and the student will be issued a two-hour detention. Repeated violators are subject to Saturday School. The school administration has the authority and will check any cell phones that are on at school. Cell phones may be used during class time at the teacher’s discretion. Absolutely no recording, taking pictures, or social media usage during school hours will be permitted. Downey Police Departments may be notified. The school is not responsible for lost or stolen cell phones.


Our goal at Stauffer Middle School is to provide a safe and orderly environment where teachers are free to teach and students are able to learn through positive behavior intervention and support. Individual classroom rules and expectations will be explained to students at the beginning of the school year. The following rules and consequences will be applied campus wide.

1. We expect our students to treat others fairly and with respect. Fighting, intimidation (as a group or individual), bullying; physical, verbal or sexual harassment, excessive horseplay, including “play fighting” will not be tolerated. Any such incident occurring to and from school falls under the school’s jurisdiction. Students are encouraged to report any such incident to the administration immediately. It is also important to note that students encouraging these incidences may also be held responsible. Students violating this policy are subject to suspension, citations, social adjustment to a different campus, and/or expulsion.

2. We trust that our students will complete their own work to the best of their ability. Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated. Students taking or giving answers from or to another student or plagiarizing may be subject to detention, loss of privileges, and/or earn a “4” in citizenship for the semester.

3. When the school day is over students must leave the campus immediately. Students waiting for rides may do so in the front of the campus. Students may not leave and return to campus or go to another school campus without permission. Students violating this policy are subject to suspension.

4. Stauffer’s campus is safe. Running is not allowed in the hallways or quad at any time. Students violating this policy are subject to detention.

5. Use of appropriate language demonstrates respect for one another and good citizenship. Profanity is not allowed on campus. Students using vulgar or profane language will be assigned a Saturday School or may be suspended.

6. Good citizens take pride in a clean campus. Therefore, gum is not allowed on campus at any time. Students with gum will be referred to the office and be issued a two-hour detention.

7. We expect that students will not “hang out” in the hallways during passing period. In addition, students are to report to the quad immediately upon entering the campus prior to the 7:40 bell. Students with three tardies to any period will be assigned a Saturday School.


In order to maintain a safe and orderly environment, we encourage parents to discuss responsible internet usage with their child. Students who engage in threats to another student or staff member via the internet will receive disciplinary action such as suspension, social adjustment, or expulsion in extreme cases. Students at Stauffer Middle School do not have access to personal email websites such as Instagram or Facebook at school, however, irresponsible internet activity at home often carries over into the schools causing a disturbance between students, which falls under school jurisdiction.



Teachers have the authority to develop rules for their individual classrooms. Classroom rules are designed to maximize learning and need to be obeyed by each student. Teachers will contact parents if student behavior is not acceptable.

MINOR VIOLATION-Teacher and parent will conference and/or teacher detention assigned in writing at least 24 hours before the date to be served. In some cases, the teacher may assign trash pick-up around campus during snack or lunch.

REPEATED OR MAJOR VIOLATION-Referral to the Counselor, Dean, or Vice Principal with parent notification and conference, multiple administrative detentions, Saturday detention, or off campus suspension.



We expect Stauffer students to be courteous, polite, and respectful at all times. Stauffer students should follow the directives of the staff and show proper respect to all adults on campus, including substitute teachers. It is also important for students to take responsibility for their actions. Students that are no shows to assigned detentions are subject to further consequence.

MINOR VIOLATION-Teacher and parent conference, and/or detention.

REPEATED, MAJOR VIOLATION, OR POOR SUBSTITUTE BEHAVIOR-Referral to the Dean, Vice Principal, or Counselor for a parent conference with multiple hours of administrative assigned detention.

FAILURE TO SERVE DETENTION- The following may occur:

1. Teacher Detention: Detention doubled and parent contact for first offense. Subsequent no shows: Referral to the Counselor, Dean, and/or Vice Principal for further consequences.

2. 6th grade homework recover has a unique policy which is specifically outlined in the class syllabus.



Disciplinary action for possession or smoking tobacco may include citations, possible suspension for one to five days, or an Alcohol or Other Drugs (AOD) referral.



Firecrackers and other explosives or fireworks are illegal and/or dangerous and are never permitted on campus. Simple possession of such materials will be considered a violation of this policy. Lighting, attempting to light or exploding such materials are serious and major violations of this policy.

MINOR VIOLATION-Referral to the Vice Principal, Dean, or Counselor for parent conference, notification of the fire department, and off campus suspension for one to five days.

MAJOR VIOLATION-Referral to the Vice Principal, Dean, or Counselor for parent conference, police notification, possible arrest and removal from school, off campus suspension for three to five days, possible transfer to another school or referral for expulsion from the Downey School District.



Any student using, giving or selling to another person, or in possession of drugs, drug paraphernalia, alcohol, or weapons or dangerous objects are a serious threat to the welfare and safety of students and school personnel. Any violation of this policy will usually result in all of the following:

1. Referral to a school administrator

2. Parent conference

3. Police notification, student arrested and removed from school with subsequent legal action

4. Five days off campus suspension

5. Possible expulsion from the Downey Unified School District



Fighting is defined as an encounter where a struggle develops between two or more students. It is not necessary that both students give or receive blows. Any student that engages in a fight may receive off campus suspension.

Parents are requested to emphasize that fighting will not be tolerated at school, at school activities, before or after school, or on the way to or from school. Parents may be found financially responsible for injury to another student because of a fight.

If a student feels there might be a fight, they must inform a teacher, the counselor, or school administrator before the fight takes place. All efforts will be made to prevent the fight and injury to students. Police will be notified if necessary.

FIRST VIOLATION-Referral to the Vice Principal, Dean, or Counselor for parent conference and one to three days of off campus suspension. A major campus disruption will result in three to five days’ suspension and/or a citation.

SECOND VIOLATION-Referral to the Vice Principal, Dean, or Counselor for a parent conference, with three to five days’ suspension and possible transfer to another school and/or a citation.

REPEATED VIOLATION-Referral to the Vice Principal, Dean, or Counselor for parent conference with five days off campus suspension and transfer to another school or referral to the Board of Education for expulsion out of Downey Unified School District.



Forgery is the act of a student signing a parent, teacher, or staff member or another student’s name or changing such signature or other mark such as a grade, date, time, etc. If a student impersonates such person by voice on the telephone, he/she will be considered guilty of forgery.

VIOLATION-Parent conference and one to five days’ suspension.



Harassment is defined as troubling or tormenting another person. Harassment may be verbal or physical (i.e., hitting, shoving, inappropriate or unwelcome touching.) We expect all Stauffer students to treat all staff members, parents, and other students on campus with proper respect.

MINOR VIOLATION-Referral to the Vice Principal, Dean, or Counselor, parent notification, multiple detentions or one to three days of off campus suspension.

REPEATED OR MAJOR VIOLATION-Referral to the Vice Principal, Dean, or Counselor for parent conference and three to five days off campus suspension with possible transfer to another school or referral for expulsion from Downey Unified School District. In major violations, the police department will be notified for legal action.



Sexual Harassment of or by any employee or of or by any student shall not be allowed. Sexual harassment is prohibited by the Downey Unified School District and may result in disciplinary action to the offending employee or student.

Sexual harassment means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, visual or physical conduct of a sexual nature made by someone under any of the conditions delineated in Ed Code 212.5.

An individual or group feeling subjected to sexual harassment should directly inform the offending person/persons that such conduct must stop. Any conduct of a sexual nature following such notice may be determined to be sexual harassment.

The District will take appropriate action to protect the reporting individual or group from retaliation or other forms of harassment. Incidents of sexual harassment should be reported to the principal or the Title IX coordinator 904-3200.



Robbery, extortion, or an overt act or threat directed at a teacher are all major offenses. Any violation of this policy will result in all of the following:

1. Referral to a school administrator

2. Parent conference

3. Police notified, student arrested and removed from school with subsequent legal action

4. Five days off campus suspension, which does the District Office often, extend

5. Referral to Administrative Hearing Panel and School Board of Education for expulsion proceedings

6. Possible expulsion from the Downey Unified School District



Permanent markers and/or paint can cause permanent and expensive damage to school property. Possession of any type of permanent marker pen or paint is prohibited at all times.

MINOR VIOLATION – detention issued

USE OF PERMANENT MARKER OR PAINT IN WRITING GRAFFITI TO VANDALIZE SCHOOL PROPERTY can result in off campus suspension for up to five days; police notification with possible arrest, payment for damages, possible expulsion from the Downey Unified School District.



Good citizens show proper respect by using appropriate language No student is permitted to use profane or vulgar language at any time while at school or a school activity. Any profanity or vulgarity directed at or about a teacher or other staff member will be considered a major violation. Writing profanity or vulgarity on any school or teacher property or on a student’s yearbook or other property will be considered a major violation.

Minor violation – parent conference and detention or one to three days’ suspension.

Major violation – referral to the Vice Principal, Dean, or Counselor for parent conference, one to five days off campus suspension and possible removal from class or transfer to another school.



Theft is defined as the removal from another person or the school, an object or substance that is taken without knowledge or permission by any means. Possession of stolen property will be considered theft. Anything taken or from a P.E. locker any time during the day will be considered a major violation.

1. Minor violation- referral to Vice Principal, Dean, or Counselor for parent conference, restitution, and possible off campus suspension.

2. Major violation- referral to Vice Principal, Dean, or Counselor for parent conference, one to five days off campus suspension, police notification with possible arrest and removal from school, restitution, possible transfer to another school or referral for expulsion proceedings.




School detention is assigned for one to two hours after school or for four hours of Saturday Detention. In addition, in some instances, students may be assigned lunch exclusion. Students are assigned detention by a school administrator, counselor, or teacher for tardiness or for unacceptable student behavior.


A student may be suspended from school if it has been determined that the student has caused or threatened to cause any act which endangers the safety or welfare of other students. These are outlined above in the discipline policy. All suspensions become part of a student’s permanent record.

PLEASE NOTE: Canine detention units may be used on campus for maintaining a safe, secure, and peaceful campus.

Thank you for taking the time to read the Stauffer Spartan Guide. We look forward to another successful year at Stauffer Middle School.


All students and staff are expected to uphold high standards of conduct and appearance. Clothing should be suitable and comfortable for normal school activities and should reflect the respect, pride and standards of the student’s home and community as well as embrace diversity.

It is our campus wide expectation that students will:

  1. Wear clothing that fits properly
    • Midriffs must be covered and tank tops must extend over the entire shoulder
    • Shorts and pants must fit properly around the waist and legs.
    • Undergarments should be covered at all times.
  2. Wear clothing, hair, and accessories that are respectful towards others and in line with good citizenship
    • We expect that attire will be mindful of all genders, cultures, religions, ethnic groups, and diversity
    • We expect student attire to be free of messages that promote violence, vandalism, weapons, sex, drugs, alcohol, or tobacco.
    • Hair should not be a classroom distraction
  3. Wear clothing that adheres to a positive school climate and school safety. Examples that counter our positive school climate include:
    • Any combination of clothing which law enforcement considers gang related.
    • Backless or open toed shoes, including sandals and flip flops. Heels must be covered.
    • Piercings other than the ear lobe, ear plugs, and spacers.
    • Hairnets, bandanas, or hats that are not Stauffer Middle School (including hoods).
    • Chains, wallets or spiked clothing or accessories.

We pride ourselves on a safe and positive school climate. In support of that, violations of the dress code may lead to disciplinary action. Extracurricular school related activities are held to the dress code as well.


Stauffer Middle School students are expected to attend indoor and outdoor assemblies displaying appropriate, orderly, respectful attentive behavior. When a student participates in behavior that causes a major disruption, the following negative consequences will be used:

1. The teacher will complete a referral to the office for counseling, parent notification, and the assignment of administrative detention.

2. Loss of privileges.

3. Major violation- a major disruption of a campus activity that endangers students and/or staff will result in parent notification and suspension from one to five days.