Student Handbook

The student handbook describes policies and expectations for our students. Please call the school at 336.721.1110 if you have any questions.

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WSSS Student Handbook

Revised June 9, 2023

Welcome! We are glad you are here. Please take advantage of this unique opportunity.  In this handbook you will find information about the school and what is expected of you, the student. Please hold on to this throughout the year, as you may need to refer back to it.

Mission Statement

Our mission is to serve students who have experienced challenges and hardships that prevent them from succeeding in traditional high school settings and to equip them with the skills and education needed to become productive members of our community. The Winston-Salem Street School surrounds our students with caring, committed adults who will help students:

  • Achieve their highest academic level
  • Know themselves and their God
  • Find and use information
  • Think independently
  • Learn independently
  • Solve problems
  • Get along with others
  • Work hard

It is our hope that all students will become well-balanced, productive and independent members of society.

Introduction & History

The Winston Salem Street School (WSSS) is a private alternative high school serving the at-risk youth of the Greater Winston Salem area of North Carolina. It is designed to meet the needs of students who struggled in traditional schools due to academic or behavioral obstacles, many of whom were expelled or dropped out. The WSSS was created to target these students and offers them the chance to earn a diploma recognized by the State of North Carolina.

The WSSS is a small, “intensive care” educational environment where students can develop and grow. Our student/teacher ratio is 10:1, which allows us to give students the individualized attention they need. We use a holistic approach to education, strengthening students academically, socially, physically, and spiritually. Our faculty and staff are dedicated to doing everything within their power to help students achieve, providing them with a patient, loving, and positive educational environment. Our students’ next steps include moving on to college, the military, or into the work force.

The Winston-Salem Street School is a member of the Street School Network, fully accredited by the National Association of Private Schools, and is registered with the North Carolina Division of Non-Public Education. The school is governed by a Board of Directors composed of individuals who share the vision that a quality education is the key to bright and productive future. Financial support for our program comes from individuals and businesses, foundations, and churches. 

The Winston-Salem Street School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national and ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies and school-administered programs.

General Information

The Winston-Salem Street School is located at 630 West 6th Street. All students, family members, friends, volunteers, and staff must respect this property and the Winston-Salem Center for Education and the Arts who allow us to use it.

School Hours
Monday-Thursday 9:00am-2:30 pm  (Special Friday hours may apply for field trips)

View the school calendar for specific dates, holidays and teacher workdays.

WSSS Core Values

Behavioral Policy
Students are expected and required to demonstrate the following core values during classes and all school-related activities.

  1. Be Respectful – towards staff, students, visitors & property.
  2. Be Responsible – for behaviors, choices, and assignments.
  3. Be Present – be punctual, on task, and mentally focused.
  4. Be Positive – be a positive influence on others in word and action.
  5. Be Productive – use time wisely and make the most of each class period
    and school activity.

Academic Policy
Students are expected to pass all classes. Failing grades are not tolerated and can result to immediate expulsion depending on student’s overall attitude and commitment level. Struggling students are expected to do whatever it takes such as homework or additional tutoring in order to pull up grades. They will be placed on academic probation, given a timetable to pull up grades, and repeated failure will result in expulsion.

General Policies

Attendance: Sign-In/Sign-Out
Consistent attendance is expected of a student at the Winston-Salem Street School.  If a student arrives at school any time after 9:00 am, he/she is late and must check in with the school office. If a student leaves for any reason before the school day ends, he/she needs to let the school office know by signing out. Leaving campus without signing-out will result in immediate suspension. Students must have approval by a parent/guardian or staff to sign-out. Students 18 and over must have approval to sign-out and are not allowed to leave without approval.

Absence Policy
Students are given 5 days each quarter for family emergencies, sickness, medical problems, and crisis. Appointments should be made afterschool (2:30pm). Absent students should communicate reason of absence to the Principal or Director of Student Services and provide documentation for accountability purposes upon return. A staff member may report absence or tardy to parent/guardian as a check-up. All absences, including out-of-school suspension, are unexcused and if accumulated, can result in expulsion.

Incomplete & Late Assignment Policy
Absent students receive INCOMPLETE grades in each class, which factors as zeroes in the Gradebook. Participation and attendance grades cannot be made up. Assignments must be turned within teacher’s given deadline. Points will be taken off for late assignments as the teacher’s discretion.

Tardy & Early Leave Policy
Students are required to sign-in at the school office and will be counted tardy after 9:00 am. If a student misses a whole class due to tardiness (for example: 10:30 am), it will result in a half-day absence. The same applies when a student leaves early and misses a later class (for example: 12:30 pm).

If a student is repeatedly tardy, the staff will conference with the student to resolve the issue. Failure to resolve a tardiness issue can lead to poorer grades and expulsion.

Parental Involvement
The staff at the Street School welcomes the involvement of parents/guardians of students. The school will offer progress reports and updates on student’s successes and areas of concern, as necessary. As for absences, parents/guardians will be contacted after the 3rd, to be made aware. All parents/guardians are encouraged to call or write at any time concerning their student’s academic standing or progress.

Standards of Conduct
Students are expected to behave in a mature manner, following all rules and standards of conduct.  It is in this atmosphere of mutual respect that the learning process will be most enhanced. During enrollment, students and parents/guardians must sign a Standard of Conduct Contract, which is the guideline for the entire school. Violations of the contract or any of the following will result in formal discipline.  Please remember that:

  • The WSSS is a non-smoking facility.  Any student violating this policy can be expelled. Smoking is permitted in the back parking lot during approved breaks. Vaping is not permitted.
  • Devices can be used during approved breaks with earbuds/headphones. They are to be turned off and stored out of sight during class time and designated activities or staff may collect them prior to class. If seen or heard, the student will be sent home and subject to further consequences at the discretion of the staff.
  • Students are not permitted to use, move, or alter the setting on school computers, property, or laboratory equipment without permission of the designated teacher.
  • The use of computers (school or personal) during the day is for academic purposes only.  Violation of this policy will result in the loss of privileges and possible expulsion.
  • Students are limited to school authorized areas of the property.

The following choices may result in suspension or expulsion:

  • Attending school under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  This includes the refusal to immediately take a drug screening test and the refusal to have lockers/personal possessions searched.
  • Disrespect to school personnel or students.
  • Damaging school property.
  • Repeated refusal to follow school rules.
  • Fighting or physical violence.
  • Gambling
  • Bullying and cyberbullying of any kind.
  • Inappropriate language (for example: cussing, derogatory/demeaning words, name calling, romantic/sexual advances)
  • Cheating
  • Stealing
  • Known involvement in gang activity or off-campus conflict if it presents a threat to the school safety.

The following choices may result in immediate expulsion:

  • Failure to take responsibility for an ongoing problem.
  • Serious threat to a student or staff member.
  • Weapons possession at school or school event.
  • Drug possession or use at school or school event.
  • Physical harm to or sexual harassment of a student or staff member.
  • Gang activity or recruitment at school or school event.

General Disciplinary Procedures

  1. Given a redirection by teacher over issue.
  2. Verbal warning.
  3. Second verbal warning with knowledge of write up as next step.
  4. Formal write up recording in our computer system.
  5. Principal will review repeated write-ups and will determine appropriate discipline steps and consequences.
  6. Continual problems with a particular behavior will likely result in expulsion from the program.

Discipline Policy

The goals of discipline are to preserve and maintain high academic standards and integrity, to protect the learning environment, and to create a safe place for students and faculty. If a student causes a problem, he/she will be asked to fix it. If a student cannot or will not fix a problem, the school will intervene and take corrective action. Each situation is considered individually. The student may be required to participate in a program to deal with problems, such as addictions or other counseling services, to remain enrolled. Unnecessary and repetitive problems or drama may result in disenrollment.

Dress Code
Students are to wear modest clothing that appropriately covers the body. Clothing must not contain obscene language, symbols, pictures, or sexually suggestive themes. Clothing with drug or alcohol related symbols or slogans are prohibited.  All pants and shorts should be worn at the waist.  All shorts must be mid thigh length. Skirts with deep slits in the front, pajamas, mini skirts, form fitting clothes, shirts that reveal cleavage, midriffs, or backs are also unacceptable. Open display of gang tattoos is strictly prohibited including bandanas. Grills are not allowed at school.  If you come to school dressed inappropriately you will be sent to the office to dress appropriately.

The Winston-Salem Street School has a partnership with the YMCA. If you are a participant in the PE program, you will be asked to adhere to the Winston-Salem Street School’s standards of dress and conduct at the YMCA. The same standards apply to participation on the school basketball and cheerleading teams.he Winston-Salem Street School has a partnership with the YMCA. If you are a participant in the PE program, you will be asked to adhere to the Winston-Salem Street School’s standards of dress and conduct at the YMCA.

Inclement Weather
The Winston-Salem Street School will follow the same inclement weather policy as the Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools system. School delays and closings are posted on local radio and television stations.  If there is a two-hour delay school begins at 11:00 AM.he Winston-Salem Street School will follow the same inclement weather policy as the Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools system. School delays and closings are posted on local radio and television stations. If there is a two-hour delay school begins at 11:00 AM.

Lost and Found
The Street School is not responsible for lost or stolen items. Students should pay close attention to their possessions including books, purses, sunglasses, etc. Any items found will be kept in the office.

Fire Readiness
Students will be told about fire exits and escape routes for the various rooms. Students should be prepared to evacuate safely in case of a fire. In accordance with state codes, fire drills will be conducted on a regular basis.

All visitors must report to the school office to obtain a visitor pass. At the end of the day, friends may meet a student on school property for transportation purposes only, provided they do not create a problem for the student or anyone else at the school.

School Supplies
Each student will be encouraged but not required to bring basic supplies to school on the first day; a three-ring binder with paper or multi-subject notebook, pen, and pencils.

Students can bring their own snacks and lunch. No food is to be ordered and/or delivered to school.  Microwaves are available to warm food.  Lunch will be provided by the school or volunteer groups.  We do have vending machines with snacks and drinks available for use during breaks and lunch.

Field Trips/Activities
These trips are considered a privilege that can be revoked by a staff member at any time. The same standards of conduct are expected when off-campus as a school group as on-campus during regular school hours. Such trips are part of the program and failure to participate may warrant disenrollment.

Bus and Vehicle Safety
While riding on a bus or in an automobile, observe the following rules:

  1. Respect the authority of the driver.
  2. Keep all parts of the body and other objects inside the vehicle.
  3. Keep the vehicle clean.
  4. Respect the vehicle as the property of another.
  5. If violation of the bus/van rules occurs more than twice, the student will lose bus/van privileges.

School Safety
To keep the safety of the students and staff at the Winston-Salem Street School all backpacks, pockets, purses, gym bags, and lockers can be subject to search at anytime without prior notice.

The school has volunteers who serve in various capacities such as guest speakers, tutors, mentors, transportation helpers, etc. Students are expected to treat volunteers with respect. If a student has a problem with a volunteer, he/she should tell his/her teacher.

NC State Requirements for High School Drivers
Students enrolled at WSSS who are under age 18 and wish to obtain a NC driver’s license or learner’s permit from the local DMV office must first obtain a DEC (Driving Eligibility Certificate) from the office.

The State Board of Education has passed a guideline that requires all High Schools to notify the Division of Motor Vehicles if a student is expelled or suspended for ten or more days. The Division of Motor Vehicles will notify the student that his/her driving privileges will be revoked for a minimum of six months. Parents are expected to waive their student’s privacy rights in order to allow the school to give the information to the Division of Motor Vehicles. The DMV will also be notified if a student withdraws from WSSS and will not be enrolling in another school.

Students planning to drive to school must submit proof of insurance and a valid driver’s license to the office for approval. All students must park their vehicles in the side parking lot. Students who fail to use extreme caution while driving on the school grounds will lose their privileges. The following guidelines will be observed at all times:

  1. Students are not allowed to go to their cars during school hours without permission from the school office.
  2. All students must park in their designated parking area during the school day.
  3. The pedestrian always has the right of way.

Public Displays of Affection & Dating
Public displays of affection are not permitted during school hours. Students are encouraged to not date within our student body.

Gang Activity
The Street School is a safe, neutral territory for all students.  Writing of gang signs or symbols, recruitment, hazing, gang intimidation, and/or fighting will not be tolerated.

Academic Requirements and Procedures

Process for Admission
The process for admission to WSSS is as follows:

  1. Submit an application for admission with a transcript.
  2. Both student and parents/guardians are interviewed by school administrators.
  3. Academic and discipline records are reviewed from previous school.
  4. Immunizations are verified.
  5. The final decision is then communicated to applicant by phone.

Graduation Requirements
22 credits are required by state law for a student to graduate with a high school diploma from the Winston-Salem Street School. Required classes include:

  1. 4 English
  2. 3 Social Sciences
  3. 3 Sciences
  4. 3 Math
  5. 7 Electives
  6. 1 PE/Health
  7. 1 Computer Elective
  8. 1 Next Steps Program Elective

Grading System
Letter grades and progress reports are used to inform students and parents/guardians of academic progress. The letter grades are as follows:

  1. A = 90-100
  2. B = 80-89
  3. C = 70-79
  4. D = 65-69
  5. F = 64 and below

Report Cards will be distributed at the end of each quarter.