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Student Handbook

Bolivar Elementary School


tiger cub cartoon drawing

445 Nuckolls Road

Bolivar, Tennessee 38008



James Rutherford, Principal


Shobek Dethrow, Assistant Principal

Michelle Howell, Assistant Principal



Si necesita ayuola para leer esto, por favor no dude en contactar la escuela.


Principal’s Message


I would like to take this opportunity to welcome each of you to Bolivar Elementary School. Our school is committed to providing an environment in which students are provided the best educational opportunities. The entire school staff believes in working together with all stakeholders to accomplish the goal of helping each child become a successful and productive member of society.


James Rutherford



Mission of Hardeman County Schools


The mission of the Hardeman County Schools is to prepare each child for the future by developing skills, nurturing talents, molding characters, and inspiring dreams.



Mission of Bolivar Elementary School


Our mission at Bolivar Elementary School is to use positive behavior interventions and support to teach students to make appropriate choices, create a climate of cooperation, and accept responsibility for their behavior in order to excel academically and socially.





It is our belief that:

  • All students can learn, yet they learn in different ways.
  • Differentiated instruction should be provided to meet the needs of all students’ learning styles.
  • Assessments should be used to make instructional decisions regarding individual progress.
  • Learning and decision-making should be responsibilities shared by students, teachers, administrators, parents, and the community.
  • Students should demonstrate behavior consistent with school and system policies.
  • All students should be given challenging curriculum and opportunities to lead them to their fullest potential.




Any student determined to be using or handling a cell phone or other personal communication device during the school day shall have the cell phone or other such item confiscated and kept in the office for thirty (30) school days, after which time the item will be given to a parent or guardian. On the second offense, the cell phone or other device will be confiscated and held for sixty (60) days. On the third offense, the cell phone or other device will be confiscated and held for the balance of the academic school year, but not less than ninety (90) school days.

Board Policy 6.312




Bolivar Elementary School provides each student with a maximum opportunity to acquire an education.  NO student has the right to interfere with this opportunity for others by his/her actions, poor manners, or lack of consideration.  All rules and regulations are developed and enforced with that thought in mind. 


Some rules and regulations are specified by the Board of Education, some are school level, and others are established by the classroom teacher.  There are five basic rules:


  1. We will show respect for others and their possessions.
  2. We will keep hands, feet, and other objects to ourselves.
  3. We will use acceptable language.
  4. We will follow directions.
  5. We will not prevent the teacher from teaching or other students from learning.


This conduct code was developed to make students, parents, and staff aware of the behavioral expectations for students while attending classes at Bolivar Elementary, while attending school sponsored activities, and while riding on transportation provided by the Hardeman County Board of Education.




The school day for students at Bolivar Elementary School begins at 8:00 A.M. and ends at 3:00 P.M.  The doors open at 7:25. If a student arrives after 8:00, a responsible adult must come to the office and sign the student in.  We do ask all car-riders to be at school no later than 7:45, if they are eating breakfast at school. All students are expected to attend school regularly.  If a student is absent from school, a note explaining the absence must be sent with the student when he/she returns to school.  This excuse must be from the parent, guardian, or doctor.  Excused absences shall be given in case of illness, death in the family, or special religious holidays.  Unexcused absences are given for any other reason.  It is the responsibility of the student to arrange to make up any class work or tests missed. All students have five (5) days to turn in an excuse note for being absent, upon the 6th day, any hand-written excuse note will be considered unexcused. The State of TN Compulsory Attendance Law TCA 49-6-3001 states that when a student reaches five unexcused absences he or she is considered truant and therefore in violation of said law.  At five unexcused absences, parent/guardian will be contacted by a school representative to set up a meeting.





Bolivar Elementary School is a member of the National Junior Beta Club, which is available to students in grades five through nine.  To become a member, a student must attain and maintain an overall 93 average in the core academic subjects (math, reading, language arts, science, and social studies), with no average of a C or lower in any of these subjects.  Once a student is a member, he/she must maintain his/her grades, or he/she will be put on probation.  A student will be placed on probation for one grading period before being removed from the club, for academic reasons. Good conduct is also a criterion for membership.  In the event a student is placed in TLC, it will be the school administration decision to determine probation or removal from the club. Any out of school suspension will require immediate dismissal from the club.





The school bus is viewed as an extension of the classroom and behavior problems may be referred to a teacher or administrator.  Riding the bus is a privilege; the privilege may be removed if infractions are serious and/or repetitive.


Hardeman County provides buses to transport students to and from school.  While the Hardeman County School System furnishes transportation, it does not relieve parents/guardians of students from the responsibility of the supervision until such time as the child boards the bus in the morning and after the child leaves the bus at the end of the school day.  Once a child boards a bus he/she becomes the responsibility of the school system.  Such responsibility shall end when the child is delivered to the regular bus stop at the close of the school day.   Rules of conduct have been developed to provide a safe and pleasant environment for students while being transported.  To encourage safety for your child, the following rules apply on our buses:

(1)  Observe same conduct as in the classroom.

(2)  Be courteous; use no profane language.

(3)  Do not eat or drink on the bus.

(4)  Keep the bus clean and do not be destructive.

(5)  Cooperate with the driver; follow his/her rules.

(6)  Stay in your seat.

(7)  Keep head, hands, and feet inside the bus.

(8)  Weapons are not allowed on the bus or any school property.

(9)  Bus drivers are authorized to assign seats if the need arises.

(10) If there is a change in the method in which the student is to go home, the bus driver and the homeroom teacher must have a written, signed note from the parent/guardian.  The note must state the address where the student is to be left.  Changes may not be made over the phone.


 If students are to be transported by automobile, please follow these rules:

(1)  Parents must stop in the designated automobile loading/unloading area in front of each building. Main entrance doors will not be unlocked until 7:20 A.M.

(2)  Students in Pre-K, kindergarten, and first grade shall be left at the door of the ABC Building.

(3)  Students in grades 2, 3, 4, and 5 shall be left at the front entrance to the Main Building.

(4)  Students in the Main Building are not to be dropped off or picked up in the teachers’ parking lot, bus loading area, or at the ABC Building.

(5)  No child shall be left at any place other than the designated area.

(6)  Children are not allowed to go to their classrooms before 7:25 A.M.

(7)  Parents are issued two mirror hangers with a designated number.  All students living in that household will be issued a matching number.  In the afternoon, car-riding students will only be released if the numbers match.  If the numbers do not match or no number is displayed, the driver will be asked to pull to the side and go inside to sign the student out in the log book.

(8)  Parents/Guardians will not be allowed to walk to the door and take a student as he/she is being dismissed or take a student off the bus before it departs without going to the office and signing the student out.

(9)  Parents who park on the street will have to come up the walk and display the mirror hanger to the personnel on car duty or go inside the office and sign the student out.

(10) Students will only be released to individuals who are on the approved pick-up list.




The same rules for good conduct apply in the cafeteria as in the classroom.  Cafeteria monitors may instruct students not to talk at any time when the noise level is excessive. No commercially prepared food can be brought into the cafeteria at lunch or breakfast. Parents/Guardians are only allowed to eat with their own child. No glass bottles of soda are allowed in the cafeteria. If a student brings a soda, it must be in a thermos. Please provide a lunch for your child if he/she will not be eating the meal prepared by the cafeteria.  Breakfast is not served after 7:55. If your child is purchasing ice cream or snacks, the money must be turned in to the office before 8:00. The office personnel will not call a child to the office to receive ice cream or snack money, after 8:00.

 Please remember the following rules while going to and from the cafeteria and while in the cafeteria:

(1)  Use kind words, actions, and manners.

(2)  Be patient and use Voice Level 0 in line, and Level 1 or 2 while eating.

(3)  Before leaving the cafeteria, clean all paper, food, and other trash from your area.

(4)  Walk facing forward, while respecting others personal space.


Revised 2-06-14



Standard dress for Hardeman County Schools will be as follows:


Shirts – Only golf-type shirts (no zippers) and button-front shirts will be permitted.  Only the top 2 buttons may be unbuttoned.

  1. Must have a collar.
  2. Must be a solid white, black, or the designated school color (Kelly green).
  3. Must be the appropriate size.
  4. May be long or short sleeves.
  5. Must not have any writing or pictures.
  6. Must be tucked in and remain tucked in at all times.
  7. Logos shall be no larger than an inch on the left side of the shirt.
  8. Only white tee shirts may be worn underneath the approved golf or button-front shirt.
  9. Short sleeve tee shirts may be worn with the approved short sleeve shirts.


Sweatshirts/Sweaters must be solid white, black, or the designated school color.  Solid color sweaters with v-necks, crew necks, cardigans or vests in the approved colors may be worn, but must be worn over the approved shirts.  No brand names or wordings are allowed.


  1. There are to be no logos on the sweater or sweatshirt other than the official school mascot logo.
  2. Sweaters, sweatshirts, and vests should hang at the waist/belt line.
  3. Hooded sweatshirts/sweaters of any will not be worn in the classroom.
  4. Sweaters or sweatshirts are not to be tied over the shoulders or around the waist.
  5. Mock turtlenecks or turtlenecks in approved colors may be worn under the approved shirt.  They must be solid color and either white or the approved school color, and they cannot be worn alone.  Short sleeve turtlenecks may be worn under the approved short sleeve shirts.

Pants – Color choices for pants are khaki colored, navy blue, and black (hemmed or cuffed) of a cotton or blend will be permitted.


  1. Pants must be worn and fitted at the waist line.
  2. Capri style pants may be worn by female students.  Capris are defined as trousers which end at the mid-calf area or just below the calf.
  3. Low slung, baggy seat, baggy legged, or bell-bottom pants are not permitted.
  4. Students in all grades K-12 may wear knee-length shorts of a cotton twill blend in khaki, navy, or black.
  5. No jeans are allowed, except on special days designated by the principal.
  6. No rivets on pants.
  7. Cargo pants, carpenter pants, or overalls are not permitted.
  8. Pant legs cannot be rolled up exposing the leg.
  9. There are to be no holes, rips, or tears.


Belts must be worn through the belt loops and buckled.  The belt buckle must be a plain buckle and shall not exceed 1 ½ inches in width.  The belt must be brown or black, and not have any writing or logos.  Uniform pants which have a completely elasticized waist with no belt loops do not require that a belt be worn. The school administration will have the final discretion on the belt color.


Skirts/Dresses – All skirts must be solid khaki, black, or navy colored, and be a twill cotton or blend.

  1. Skirts must go to the knee.
  2. There must be no slits in skirts above the knee.
  3. All dresses that are worn must be solid khaki or navy colored and go to the knee.



  1. Shoes must be worn at all times.
  2. Dress/casual shoes, sandals, or athletic shoes are to be worn and must be properly fastened.
  3. Flip flops and skele-toe shoes are not to be worn.
  4. Boots are permitted with the pants leg worn on the outside of the boot.
  5. Shoes with heels taller than 1 ½ inches are not permitted.



  1. Students may wear any color heavy coat to school, but it must be stored in a locker or designated location when the student gets to school.  Heavy coats may not be worn in the classroom.  Sweaters, jackets, or pullover windbreakers, without hoods may be worn with the standard dress policy clothing in the classroom in white or the approved school color (Kelly green).
  2. Large, oversized coats and jackets or trench coats are not permitted within the school building.
  3. Coats and jackets must not have drug, alcohol, gang related, gambling, or other such messages or pictures.



  1. No caps or hats are to be worn in the school building.
  2. No sweatbands are to be worn in the school building.
  3. Headwear may be worn on school buses but must be removed and stored upon arrival at school.
  4. Girls may wear head bands such as those worn to hold hair in place while in the school building.





Students are always expected to adhere to the standard dress policy during the regular school day.  If a student arrives at school and is not in compliance with the standard dress policy, he/she will not be allowed to attend classes.  The student will be detained, and a parent will be called to bring appropriate clothing for the first violation.  The second violation will result in a one-day in-school suspension; and subsequent violations will result in a conference with parents for further disciplinary consequences. 




Children may be released from school to a parent, guardian, or authorized adult.  This individual must be listed on the student release form in the office.  This adult must report to the office and sign his/her name, and departure time in the school logbook.  The child will meet the parent/guardian in the office, not at the child’s classroom.  Classes are in session until 3:00 and when a child is checked out early, he/she misses valuable instructional time and assignments.  The time missed will accumulate and could result in the loss of a perfect attendance award.




Fire, tornado, intruder, and earthquake drills are held at regular intervals throughout the school year.  These drills are to be taken seriously.  Talking and running are prohibited.  Teachers discuss and practice proper procedures with their classes.  Evacuation routes are posted in each classroom.




Each grade will be allowed to take one field trip per school year.  Permission slips are signed at the beginning of the year, or upon the child’s enrollment at Bolivar Elementary and will be valid the entire year.




Walk inside the building and while loading/unloading buses.

Speak softly in halls.

Raise your hand when you want to speak in the classroom.

Stay in your seat during instructional time.

Fighting, stealing, or wrestling on school property will not be permitted.

Follow each teacher’s specific directions.

Students are not permitted to have cell phones at school.

Parents/Guardians have the right to request student information from the school office.




The gifted program (ETIP) provides services for children who have been identified as being intellectually gifted.  This class provides opportunities above and beyond the scope of the regular classroom.





The purpose of homework is to provide extra practice and reinforcement of classroom learning.  Parents can best help their children with homework by designating a time and comfortable place to work.  Parents should go over the work with the child but not do it for him/her.


Parents should expect to see graded work periodically.  This work should be examined, and problem areas should be gone over with the student.  Sign the papers and return them to school the following day.  A signature does not signify the parent’s approval of the grades, but it does provide proof to the teacher that the parents have seen it.




In order to be eligible for the Honor Roll, a student must have as many or more grades in the “A” range as the “B” range, with no grade below a “B” and no unsatisfactory grades (U) in conduct, art, music, or physical education, and must be in grade four or five.  The Principal’s Honor Roll is for students who make all A’s in a nine-week grading period.




Parents or guardians will be called to pick up students who have a temperature or are too ill to stay at school.


No child with a contagious disease will be allowed to attend school.  Such diseases are pink eye, chickenpox, ringworm, impetigo, head lice, etc.  The student will be sent home from school and must remain there until this disease is no longer contagious.  The student may return to school following the illness only if a signed letter from an attending physician or the health department is presented to the student’s teacher.


All school records must contain up-to-date information.  This includes the parent’s or guardian’s name, address, and home telephone number.  If a parent works outside the home, that number also needs to be included.  If any changes occur during the school year, it is the parent’s responsibility to notify school personnel of the change.




The medication policy of the Hardeman County School System states that parents should use every effort to have medication times set for time periods other than school hours.  When this is not possible, trained school staff may assist in the administration of medication during school hours, subject to the following rules:

(1)  All medication must be brought to school by a responsible adult, so please do not send any medication with your child.  Medication should be given to the appropriate designated school official, who will count and record the number or amount received witnessed by the depositor.

(2)  All medication must be brought to school in the original, pharmacy labeled container.  The container shall display:

(A)  student’s name

(B)  prescription number

(C)  medication name and dosage

(D)  administration route or other directions

(E)  date

(F)  licensed prescriber’s name

(G)  pharmacy name, address, and phone number

(3)  Over-the-counter drugs to include lotions, salves, and ointments, Tylenol, cough medicines, etc. shall:

(A)  require an order from a licensed prescriber

(B)  Medication must be provided in an unopened container with the                   manufacturer’s original label with the ingredients listed.  The student’s name must be affixed to the container.

(4)  Medications must be kept under lock and in an area designated by the principal, and will be dispensed in the office except in certain special areas including PACE classes and disciplinary settings.  Emergency medicines (i.e. asthma inhalers, EPI-Pens, etc.) may be kept by the student as deemed necessary by the parent/school nurse.

(5)  Unused medication not picked up by the parent will be discarded after 14 days or at the end of the school year.

   (6)  A Medication Administration Record is utilized on all students receiving medication at     school. Only licensed nurses may make changes on this form.

   (7)  A Medication Variance Report will be completed in the event of a medication error.




The Bolivar Elementary School parent-teacher organization (PTO) is open to all parents.  The PTO keeps parents updated on meetings, fundraising projects, and special events through notes to parents.  Parents need to be a vital part of their child’s school and are encouraged to join PTO.




Parent/Teacher conferences are scheduled each year; however, a parent may request a conference as it is deemed necessary.  These conferences, which shall be scheduled after 3:15 P.M., must be arranged by calling the school secretary and the teacher.  A conference should only be scheduled by the parent/guardian or teacher. Frequent communication between the school and the home is strongly encouraged.




Teachers are allowed to have two parties per school year.  The parties will be at Christmas and Valentine’s Day.  Birthday parties at school are not allowed.




Report cards are sent out after the end of each nine-week grading period for students in grades K-5.  Parents shall sign the report card and students shall return the report card to school as soon as possible.  A signature does not denote agreement or disagreement with the grades.  The signature is the school’s way of knowing that the parents have seen the report card.  If parents have questions concerning the report card, they may call the school office and request a conference with their child’s teacher(s).

Progress Reports are also sent home in the middle of the nine-week grading period.




Bolivar Elementary School provides a variety of special education services for children who have been identified with special needs.  These services include Preschool, Resource, Speech/Language Therapy, English as a Second Language, and Comprehensive Development Classes.  Related services in Special Transportation, Occupational Therapy, and Physical Therapy are provided as well. 


Student Transfers


Hardeman County Schools operates under the 1969 Federal Court desegregation order. Under this order, transfers from one school zone to another are permissible when the student wishing to transfer is in the racial majority at the home school and will be in the racial minority at the receiving school.  All transfer requests meeting these criteria are subject to approval by the director of Schools and the Chairman of the Board of Education. There must be space available at the receiving school for a transfer to be approved. Parents may find the Student Transfer Request form at Forms.html.




Student tardiness is considered as checking in after 8:00 a.m. and/or checking out before 3:00 p.m. A student that has 10 or more unexcused tardies must attend a meeting at the board of education to remedy excessive tardiness. The school counselor will send home a letter of notification. Excused tardies shall be given in case of illness, death in the family, doctor’s appointment, or special religious holidays.  Unexcused tardies are given for any other reason. 




Students should ask to use the telephone only in case of an emergency.  Permission must be granted by the teacher.  Parents are encouraged to call their child’s teacher at a time when classes are not in session (after 3:15).  Students are not permitted to have cell phones at school.




Parents are encouraged to visit the school.  We want parents to become involved in the education of their children.  All parents, and other visitors, must report to the office upon entering the building.  Never go directly to a classroom. Any classroom visits must be pre-arranged with the teacher.  We do limit classroom visits to parents/guardians, and visits should not last longer than one hour.  Visitors must sign in and obtain a visitor’s pass.  Visitors should sign out when leaving the building.




Due to the large number of students we serve and because we want to give all parents equal opportunity to eat with their child, we do request that parents please limit the number of lunch visits to a maximum of one per month. We also ask the parents not to bring commercially prepared food into the cafeteria. This is due to the fact we receive federal funds from the federal government. Parents are allowed to only sit with their child during lunch.  Parents wishing to participate in this activity are expected to pay $3.50 for their meal.  One carton of milk is provided with the meal.  Tea is an additional $0.50.  Upon entering the building, the parent should check in at the office and obtain a visitor’s pass.  Upon leaving the cafeteria, the parent should proceed to the office to sign out. Parents are not allowed to escort their child to the classroom.




Students shall not possess, handle, transmit, use or attempt to use any dangerous weapon in school buildings, on school grounds, on school buses, or at any school sponsored activity, function, or event.  Students who are found to have violated this policy shall be subject to suspension for a period of not less than one year.  When it is determined that a student has violated this policy, the principal of the school shall notify the student’s parent or guardian and the criminal justice or juvenile delinquency system as required by law.




Hardeman County Board of Education has a website to which all schools are linked –  At the top of the page, click Campus then Bolivar Elementary School to access our page.  Our page will be regularly updated to keep you informed as to what is going on in the school.



The Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act(AHERA) requires schools to conduct inspections for asbestos containing building materials. The most recent inspection determined that all asbestos containing building materials were found to be in good condition. An Asbestos Management Plan is available for review in the principal’s office.

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Contact Information

Bolivar Elementary School
445 Nuckolls Rd
Bolivar, Tennessee 38008

Regular office hours are Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Phone: 731-658-3981
Fax: 731-658-2641