Policies & Procedures
General School Information
School Hours
7:30 A.M. -  Doors Open - Students can wait in vestibule
7:45 A.M. - Students enter the building
7:57 A.M. - Warning Bell
8:00 A.M. -  First Period Bell
2:53 P.M. -  Dismissal Bell
(On minimum days, dismissal is at 12:15.)

Doors open at 7:30 a.m. into the entrance vestibules only. Please do not arrive earlier as doors are locked and there is NO supervision in the school prior to that time!  


The absence line is open 24 hours/day, 201-670-2784. 
 Parents/Guardians must notify the Absence line by 8:45 am to report a Student’s absence or tardiness for the day.  A note to the teacher or guidance counselor is NOT sufficient notification. If the Main Office does not receive a phone call regarding a student’s absence, every attempt will be made to contact the parents. An automated call will go out at 9:00 am to all phone numbers on file. It is the parents’ responsibility to call the school after receiving the call to verify the student is with you. If your student will be tardy, they will be marked absent until they are in the building or a phone call is received from the parent notifying us of the reason for the tardy.


If your student is absent less than three days and feels well enough, your student can contact their teachers by e-mail to request work. If they are absent for three days or more, parents/guardians may request homework through the Guidance Department at 201-670-2790 extension 40533.

Students are expected to be in their classroom when the 8:00am bell has rung. If your student will be tardy for any reason, you must call the absence line at 201-670-2784 prior to 8:45 am.  All reasons for tardiness require a phone call.  If a student does not make it to class by 8 am, he/she will be marked tardy. After 8 am, your student should go directly to the Main office to obtain a late pass. Ongoing tardiness may be dealt with at the discretion of the Administrators.

If your student needs to be dismissed before the end of the school day, you must give them a signed note indicating the reason for the request. This must be brought to the Main Office by the student at the start of the school day. The student will receive an Early Dismissal pass. At the start of the designated period, they will show the teacher the pass so they can leave the class at the designated time and report to the Main Office to await pick up.
At pick up time, please ring the bell at the Washington Street main entrance. We will send your student out to you. Students will only be released to a parent/guardian unless approved in advance through Administration.
It is important to recognize that if your student does not have a note in the morning this may delay the dismissal of your student. Please do not text your student upon your arrival. Classes often meet in various non-classroom locations including the gym, the auditorium and Citizens Field. These locations do not have phones therefore it may take some time to for your student to come to the Main office to be dismissed.

In the event of an emergency school closing, the district will send out a phone, email, text blast to alert parents. You may also check the district’s website for up-to-date school closing information.

Bicycles and skateboards are not to be ridden on school grounds or through the parking lots. Students must lock their bikes on the rack outside the gym. Skateboards and rollerblades used within one block of school may be confiscated. According to state law, students 16 years of age and younger must wear a bicycle helmet. Scooters, skateboards, and rollerblades must be kept in lockers.


Students are not permitted to use cell phones or iPods during the school day unless specified for educational use by a teacher during a particular class, or during lunch and recess. During lunch, students may use their phone or iPod to listen to music or play games, but may not make phone calls or text. Other than the exceptions stated above, if a student is found with his/her cell phone or iPod, it will be confiscated. The student may pick up the phone at the end of the school day in the office of the Assistant Principals. If a device is confiscated more than once, a parent/guardian must pick up the device from school.

Students are expected to dress neatly and appropriately for school. If your appearance disrupts learning, you will be asked to change your clothes. The wearing of hats is not allowed during the school day.

Guidance services are provided for each student within the framework of the house system. One counselor is assigned to each house and remains with his/her counselees for grades 6 through 8. This structure supports efficient and effective communication for parents/guardians, teachers, and students. The guidance department provides the following services: orientation, counseling, student appraisal, planning and placement, and parent/guardian conferences.

To see the nurse during the school day, the student must have a pass from a teacher. If the student is too ill to stay in school, the nurse will call the parent/guardian(s). A student cannot be dismissed from school for illness without the permission of the nurse. Students should not call their parents/guardians to come to get them without having reported to the nurse’s office. If a student calls a parent/guardian and asks to be picked up for illness reasons, please direct them to report to the nurse’s office. The nurse will call the parent/guardian if the student should go home.

If a student needs to take medicine during the school day, the nurse must have a note from the parent/guardian(s) and a note from the doctor. The nurse will administer the medicine and store it in the Medical Office.

Physical examinations are required for all new pupils and recommended for all eighth-graders, and all students participating in an interscholastic sport. Students must have all the immunizations required by the State before they can attend school.

New 6th graders will not be allowed to attend the first day of school and all subsequent days if the nurse does not have documentation of all mandatory immunizations!

PHYSICAL EDUCATION PASSES - Students can be excused from Physical Education for up to one week by giving the nurse a note from the parent/guardian(s). A note from your doctor is required to be excused for more than a week. If the student is excused from Physical Education, they cannot participate in intramural or interscholastic sports. P.E. passes are issued in the nurse’s office before school.

Students eligible for bus transportation will receive a pass, which they must present upon boarding the bus. When on the bus, students must remain in their seats and obey the driver. Inappropriate behavior may result in the suspension of riding privileges for at least one week. Students interested in riding the New Jersey Transit bus can pick up ticket information in the Main Office. Students are expected to follow the school’s rules for conduct while on the bus. Please note that GWMS does not have any control over the New Jersey Transit schedule, policies, or procedures. Additional information, including contact information, can be found on the GW website.

The following rules have been established to provide for an orderly and comfortable lunch period:
1. All students must report to the cafeteria for their regularly scheduled lunch period immediately after dismissal from the previous class.
2. Students may only purchase food during their regularly scheduled lunch period.
3. Lunches dropped off from home may not be picked up by students until their scheduled lunchtime. Lunch deliveries from restaurants are not permitted.
4. Food should be eaten at the tables, each place cleaned, and leftovers properly placed in the nearest trash can or recycling container before a student may go outside or to the lavatory. Food is not to be taken outside the cafeteria.
5. The restrooms at the Monroe Street end of the basement are the only ones to be used during lunch periods. Students must ask permission to use them and are to return promptly after using them.
6. Students may not leave the basement/cafeteria area during lunch periods without permission.
7. When weather permits, students may go outside.
8. GWMS does not have the ability to adjust lunch accounts. Any inquiries or concerns with lunch accounts should be directed to: [email protected]

At the beginning of each school year, students are assigned a locker near their homeroom. It is important that they use only the locker assigned to them and do not share it with other students. Students are also responsible to keep their locker neat and organized. Students will be assigned one of the school’s combination locks to use on the locker. (No other locks are permitted). A $5 fee is required from students who lose or damage a school lock. It is important that students never share their locker combination with others and are careful not to allow others to watch them unlocking their locks. A locker and lock for Physical Education will also be assigned to each student. All valuables should be locked in the assigned locker. Lockers remain the property of the school and may be inspected by school officials throughout the school year in accordance with Board Policy No. 5770 (Pupil Right of Privacy). Pupils have no expectation of privacy that would prevent examination of desks, lockers, or other storage facilities by school officials.

Found articles should be taken to the Main Office immediately. Lost and found articles are kept in a box in the cafeteria. Each year, many valuable articles such as eyeglasses, watches, phones, and sweaters are unclaimed. Always write the student's name and homeroom number on the books, notebooks, and somewhere in a wallet or purse. This will facilitate the quick return of property.

Requests for student visitation must be processed through the principal’s office well in advance of the visit.

Skyward is the online information system used by Ridgewood Public Schools. All parents/guardians and students are given a username and password to access important information regarding attendance, emergency contacts, and grading. Checking Skyward regularly is highly recommended so that students and parents/guardians can monitor grades, missing assignments, and messages from teachers. Questions regarding access should be directed to the Guidance Office at 201.670.2790 ext. 50533.

All students are expected to become familiar with and adhere to the Middle School Student Code of Conduct. In addition to the Code of Conduct, seventh and eighth graders will receive demerits for any consequences given. Any eighth-grader who receives a total of 5 demerits during the course of their 7th and 8th grade years will not be able to participate in the 8th Grade End of the Year Celebration. Those with 6 demerits will not be able to attend the 8th Grade overnight trip to Washington, D.C.