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Click here to view a PDF version of our 2023-2024 Arden Middle School Handbook

Mission Statement

Inspired by a legacy of excellence and a commitment to students, Arden Middle School ensures every student will achieve academic success and value social responsibility by providing and celebrating the Arden Experience of dynamic, progressive learning, enriching opportunities and meaningful staff-student connections.


Tardiness interferes with the learning process for all students. Students must be in class, seated, with all their materials before the bell rings, or they are tardy. Tardies automatically take a merit from the student. 

In ONE class period: 

  • 1st Tardy will result in a warning
  • 2nd Tardy will result in a warning
  • 3rd Tardy will result in an email/call home to parents/guardians
  • 4th Tardy will result in lunch detention
  • 5th Tardy will result in lunch detention and another call/email home to parents/guardians
  • 6th Tardy will result in community service
  • 7th Tardy is deemed "habitually tardy" and will result in loss of passing periods

School Arrival/Departure

Arden’s cafeteria is open for breakfast from 7:20 to 7:50 A.M. We encourage students to arrive on campus no later than 7:40 A.M. Students arriving after 8:00 A.M. are late. They should go directly to class before 8:10, after which they must check in at the office to get a pass to class before going to class. Students must leave the school grounds within 20 minutes of dismissal time unless they are part of a specific supervised activity.

Early Dismissal

Students needing to be excused early for a doctor, dental, or other legitimate appointment should bring a note to the office before school.  They will be given an early dismissal slip to show to the teacher of the class from which they will leave. They must report to the office before leaving campus. Parent/guardian will sign the checkout sheet.

Closed Campus

Like all SJUSD middle schools, Arden maintains a closed campus. Once students arrive at school, they CANNOT leave the school grounds at any time unless given permission from the school office. This includes before school starts or after school, before the start of an after-school activity.

Cell Phones

Cell phones and ear buds are only allowed in the classroom WITH TEACHER PERMISSION. Otherwise, they should not be visible. Phones can be confiscated and held until the period is over.

No cell phones or ear buds can be used or visible in the hallways and during passing periods.  Students may use phones at lunch, but not in hallways and not in the lunch line.

The office is a cell-phone-free zone. Students referred to the office are expected to turn in their phones while they are in the office. Arden is not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged cell phones. Please secure them at all times.

Visitors and Student Deliveries


All visitors must report to the office to sign in and request a visitor’s pass before going to any area of the campus. Parents/guardians are welcome to visit classrooms if arrangements are made 24 hours in advance.


Lunches, PE clothes, and all other deliveries to students must come through the office. Arden does NOT allow or accept food deliveries from paid delivery services such as Doordash, GrubHub, Uber Eats or any other vendor delivery  service.

Medical Notes and Medication at School


  • Short Term: Students may be excused from participating in P.E. by a parent’s note for up to 5 days (students are still required to dress down).
  • Long Term:  A doctor's written request is required to excuse a student from P.E. for longer than 5 days.
  • Extended:  For extended illness or injury of 6 weeks or more, a student may be referred to Adaptive P.E., which meets the specific needs of the illness or injury. Such a referral requires doctor's approval.

Arden follows the SJUSD policy regarding a student taking medication at school:

“A designated school employee may administer medication during school hours only upon written request of both the physician and parent(s) or guardian, detailing the method, amount, and time the medication is to be taken. Medications must be brought to the school office in their original container. Medication will be administered only to students whose parent and physician deem it necessary for potentially life-threatening medical conditions or for those who need medication administered during the school day in order to interact appropriately at school.”

The medication form that needs to be filled out by a physician is available in the office. Medication, prescribed or otherwise, will not be dispensed to students without proper authorization as described above.


Bicycles and Skateboards

Students riding bicycles/skateboards to school are responsible for adhering to traffic regulations and safe riding practices. They are not to be ridden on campus. Bikes/skateboards are to be locked in the racks. It is not safe to leave them overnight.

Lost Items

Arden is not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged items. It is important that each student has his/her name on all clothing, books, and personal property. If items are found, students should take them to a teacher or the office. Students may check for lost item in the front office or at the “lost and found” section in the main hall.  Lost and found items will be donated at the end of each quarter.

Student ID Cards

Student body I.D. cards are issued to each student at the beginning of the school year.  Replacement cards can be purchased for a $2 fee.

Recognition and Awards

Academic and behavioral excellence is encouraged, promoted, and recognized. Arden's “ROAR” program is a positive behavior recognition program that encourages students to consistently demonstrate Arden's core values (Respectful, On Task, Accountable, and Responsible). Teachers reward students with ROAR bucks, which the students can use to earn privileges and enter weekly and quarterly drawings for fun prizes. At the end of the school year many students receive recognition for outstanding work in their classes, as well as for academic accomplishments, participating in extra-curricular activities, and exhibiting exemplary citizenship.

Special Activities

It is our hope that every student will participate in as many extra-curricular activities as possible, as these events give students a complete middle school experience. Regular school rules are in effect at all events. Students must attend school the day of the activity to participate in that evening’s event.


Only Arden Middle School students can attend school dances. Parent permission slips are required for all dances. Once a student enters the dance and receives a wristband, he/she is required to follow all dance guidelines and stay until it is over. If a student does not follow the rules, the student’s parent/guardian will be called to escort the student home.

Merit System

Every Arden student begins each quarter with 100 merits. Students must have at least 90 merits to attend extra-curricular events such as dances, WEB socials, Skate Night, some field trips, and end-of–the-year events.

Students lose merits for these reasons:

  • Tardies to class
  • Lunch detention
  • Community service
  • Cutting class
  • Suspension

*If a student does not attend their assigned lunch detention, he/she is assigned an additional lunch detention, and loses additional merits for not attending. If a student skips more than one lunch detention, he/she is assigned community service. Students can earn merits back!  If students wish to earn merits back, they may sign up for Community Service and earn back 2 merits. Students may do this twice a quarter to earn back a total of 4 merits.

Lunch Detention and Community Service


Lunch detention may be assigned as a consequence for an offense.  Failure to report to an assigned lunch detention will result in additional consequences. Questions and concerns may be addressed directly to the staff member who issued the detention.


Community service can be assigned as a consequence and is held for 1 hour after school on Thursdays. Failure to report to an assigned community service will result in additional consequences. Requests to reschedule community service must be made by a parent in advance of the assigned community service date.

Originality Policy

Your work in class must be original, or it will not receive credit.  Below are some examples of plagiarism:

  • If you copy someone else’s work and turn it in as your own, you have plagiarized. 
  • If you turn in a paper that makes use of someone else’s ideas, without citing them properly, you have plagiarized. 
  • If you took someone else’s ideas and reworded them without a citation, you have plagiarized. 
  • If you turn in the same work for two different classes, you have plagiarized, because you are not turning in original work. 
  • If you work with a partner, when an assignment asked for individual work, you have plagiarized. 

  Below are some examples of cheating:

  • If you use any notes or aids on tests that have not been approved by your teacher, you have cheated.
  • If you allow someone to copy your assignment, you have cheated.
  • If you complete work for another student, you have cheated.

  The penalties for assignments that have violated the originality policy are below:

  • 1st Offense for cheating or plagiarism 
    • Re-do for partial credit
    • Teacher notifies family
    • Teachers may use their discretion in making changes to effort/citizenship grades
  • 2nd Offense for cheating or plagiarism
    • Zero credit on assignment
    • Teacher notifies family of the referral to the office for detention 
    • Teachers may use their discretion in making changes to effort/citizenship grades
  • 3rd Offense for cheating or plagiarism
    • Earned “F” as quarter grade
    • Teacher notifies family of the referral to the office for Community Service
    • Teachers may use their discretion in making changes to effort/citizenship grades

Dress Code

  • Tops must have straps. The measurement from above the collarbone to the lowest part of the shirt's neck must be no more than 4 inches
  • The measurement from the bottom of dresses, skirts, and shorts to the center of the kneecap must be no more than 6 inches
  • Undergarments may not be exposed. Undergarments are underwear, boxer shorts, panties, or any other type of garment
  • Cleavage may not show and bras must be covered. Shirts must extend pas the beltline. Inseams on shorts must be at least 3 inches. Shorts are considered "too short" if they are not visible underneath t-shirts/sweatshirts.