2024-2025 Handbook

Vision Statement

Ensuring Excellence for All

Mission Statement

The mission of John Hay Elementary School is to provide a community for learning that works with families to achieve success academically, physically, 

and socially for all of our students.

History of Our School

John Hay Elementary School opened in 1968 as one of the early open-concept schools in Tennessee.  The school was named for John Hay, the son of a local Presbyterian Minister who volunteered for service in World War II.  John served in the Pacific Theater of the war where he was captured by the Japanese.  He died in the Bataan Death March as a prisoner of war.  

Mr. J.B. Shockley was the first principal followed by Mr. Eddie Amos.  Mr. Amos served as principal until he passed away in 2004.  After a couple of interim principals finished the year, Ms. Kim Dyke became principal before moving to Alpha Elementary School.  Mr. Scott Bolton served one year as principal before moving to Central Office.  Dr. Matthew Drinnon became principal in 2012 and served until the end of the 2021-2022 school year before moving to Central Office. Currently, Dr. Misty Hance serves as principal. She taught 21 years at John Hay before advancing to Assistant Principal at Alpha Elementary School in 2016. She returned to start the 2022 school year leading John Hay in a continued path toward academic excellence with the goal of supporting the whole child. 

In 2012 John Hay Elementary was recognized with a National Blue Ribbon for Excellence in Academics.  In 2018 John Hay Elementary was named a Reward School for Academics by the Tennessee Department of Education.  This commitment to our tradition of academic excellence continues today.

Information About Our School Procedures

School Day

The school doors open at 7:15 when teachers begin bus duty.  Students will report to either the gym or the assembly room for breakfast.  All students are dismissed from the gym at 7:50 am in order to be in their classrooms ready to begin their day at 8:00 am.  

Students are dismissed for the early buses at 2:50 pm. Students who are car riders are dismissed from the gym at 3:00 pm. The late bus arrives to pick up students at approximately 3:30 pm.  All car riders must be picked up by 3:30 pm. Teachers will not be responsible for supervision after the last bus leaves in the afternoon.



Cars are not permitted to park in front of the school at the beginning (7:15-8:00) or end (2:30-3:30) of the day as this is a fire/bus lane.  Parents or visitors who need to come into the school to conduct business should park in the parking lot on the side of the school, come into the office, sign-in, and obtain a visitor’s badge.

At the rear of the school, please observe all signs as this blocks access to our dumpster and blocks emergency access to our school.



Please keep the bus lane open each morning when dropping your child off at school and each afternoon when picking up your child.  Stay in a single file line until you get to the circle; then proceed in two lanes around the circle.  A staff member will assist in loading or unloading to ensure that your child is safe.  Please stay in your car and make sure that your current hang tag is displayed to help speed the process while keeping our students safe. If a hang tag is not displayed, the driver will be asked to park in the parking lot and come inside to check identification and school pick-up lists.

By Tennessee state law, the use of handheld cellular phones in our school zone (and on Tennessee roads) is prohibited, so please avoid using your phone while dropping off or picking up your child.

It is important that we observe all speed limits, traffic signs, and that we are not passing other cars in the school zone unless directed to do so by a staff member directing traffic. Our top priority is staff and student safety. Please help us with this matter.


Extended School Program

After school care is available if you cannot pick up your child by 3:30 pm.  This program is well staffed and available until 6:00 pm.  If you need information about this option, please contact our office or you may contact the ESP supervisor at our district office at (423) 586-7700 and ask to speak with the director of ESP.



Absences will be classified as either excused or unexcused as determined by the principal or designee in charge of attendance.  When a student is absent, the parent/guardian shall contact the school.  Upon returning to school, the student must present a note to the school for the dates absent.

Absences may be excused, but the student is responsible for any make-up work in subject matters covered during an absence. Make-up work is due in the amount of time a child has missed (if a child misses 3 days, he/she will have 3 days to make up the work once returning to school).

Absences shall be excused for:

  1. Personal illness.  A parent/guardian note shall be accepted for five days each semester.  After five days, a physician’s statement shall be required.

  2. Death in the immediate family; not to exceed three days.

  3. Illness of parent/guardian requiring temporary help; a physician’s statement is required.

  4. Recognized religious holidays.

  5. Court summons; only time actually in court shall be excused.

  6. Doctor or dentist appointment; medical statement required.

  7. Military

  8. Injury

  9. Hospitalization

  10. Homebound

  11. Subpoena

  12. Court Order

  13. School sponsored activities

  14. School endorsed activities

  15. Extenuating circumstances determined on a case-by-case basis by the school principal.

Absences for any of these will require a note from the parent or institution (doctor office, court, hospital, coach, etc.)

Absences for any reason other than those listed shall be unexcused. An accumulation of unexcused absences will result in a letter or call from the attendance coach and could result in an attendance contract or Juvenile Court appearance.


Tardies/Early Dismissals

School begins promptly at 8:00 am each day.  It is in your child’s best interest to be here a few minutes early in order to prepare for the day.  Excessive tardies or early dismissals will accumulate into days absent and can also be referred for Attendance Review or Juvenile Court.

Tardies/Early Dismissals will be excused for: 

  1. Late Bus

  2. Illness with Doctor’s Note

  3. Death in Family

  4. Religious Holiday

  5. Medical/Dental Appointment.

Tardies or early dismissals for any other reason will be unexcused.


Sign In/Sign Out

An adult must come inside and sign in all students arriving at school after 8:00 AM at the office.  If a parent must get their child before 3:00 PM, they must come to the office, have proof of identification, and be designated on the Emergency Contact list as someone who can pick up the child from school. It is very important that anyone who will be allowed to pick any child up from school be included on the Emergency Contact list.  Tardies (even around 8:00) and unexcused early dismissals will accumulate into days absent and possibly a referral to the Attendance Review Committee and/or Juvenile Court.


Sickness of a Child at School

If your child becomes ill at school or has an accident or injury, school personnel will contact parents to pick up the child.  Please be sure we have a working phone number we can use to contact one member on the Emergency Card for picking up a child at school.


COVID-19 Protocol

Any person testing positive for COVID-19 will be expected to quarantine for 5 days. Once returning to school, it is requested that a mask be worn for an additional 5 days. Quarantining is no longer expected for those being exposed to COVID-19.



For the safety of our staff and students, all visitors must enter through the front doors and check in at the office. Parents may not go directly to their child’s classroom as this can interrupt instruction. Parents are not allowed on the school playground, unless there is a specified event, during the school day. If you need to speak with your child’s teacher, you may make an appointment during the teacher’s planning time. We will not interrupt instruction for a phone call.


Telephone Usage

The school telephone is for business and emergencies only.  Please encourage your child not to make a habit of asking to use the phone for non-emergencies.  Teachers will be given messages so that they can return calls during their planning time.

Student cell phones are not allowed at school. We understand that there are times that students need access to a cell phone before or after school. If this is the case, students must leave their cell phones turned off and in the office for the school day. It is the student’s responsibility to pick up the cell phone at dismissal.

Information About Our School and District Rules

We hold high expectations for student behavior at school, on school sponsored transportation, or while at any school sponsored event. Hamblen County has a list of  Board Policies listed on the county website: https://tsba.net/hamblen-county-board-of-education-policy-manual/#students


  1. Follow directions the first time given.

  2. Keep hands, feet, objects, gestures, and inappropriate comments to yourself.

  3. Raise your hands to be recognized and wait quietly for the teacher to call on you.

  4. Follow all Hamblen County board policies regarding student conduct.


Students who choose not to follow expectations during the school day will be addressed using the Assertive Discipline Plan for their grade level.  

Teachers will use the following LEVEL ONE consequences which are teacher administered and non-cumulative outside of one school day.

1st Consequence - Verbal Warning

2nd Consequence - Time Out/Alternative Setting/Loss of Privilege 

3rd Consequence - Extended Time Out/Alternative Setting/Loss of 

activity or privilege

4th Consequence - Parent Contact 

(Note, phone call, Class Do Jo message)

5th Consequence - Referral to Principal

6th Severe Clause - Some behaviors such as fighting, use of profanity, 

inappropriate comments or gestures (profane), 

threats, etc. will result in an immediate referral to 

the Principal.


Referrals to the Principal (Office Referrals )are LEVEL TWO and any consequences are cumulative.  Any visit to the office that results in a written referral will be assigned one of the following steps and consequences.

STEP ONE - Warning

STEP TWO - 1 Day Alternative Learning Placement

STEP THREE - Up to 3 Days Alternative Learning Placement, Guidance 


STEP FOUR - 1 Day Out of School Suspension, Guidance Referral

STEP FIVE  -Up to 2 Days Out of School Suspension or comparable 

placement, Guidance Referral

STEP SIX - 3 Days Out of School Suspension or comparable placement, 

Orientation at Transition Academy, Guidance 


STEP SEVEN - Transition Academy Team Meeting to determine amount 

of time of placement.

SEVERE BEHAVIOR CLAUSE: Levels may be assigned at the principal’s discretion based on the severity of the student offense using HCBOE policy.



At John Hay Elementary School, students shall be provided a safe learning environment. It shall be a violation of this policy for any student to bully, intimidate, or create a hostile educational environment for another student.  Harassment, bullying, and intimidation occurs if the act takes place on school grounds, at any school-sponsored activity, on school-provided equipment for transportation, or at any official school bus stop and if the act either physically harms a student, damages his/her property, or knowingly places the student in reasonable fear of harm to self or property, causes emotional distress to a student or students, or creates a hostile educational environment.


Transportation Policy

Bus service is considered an extension of the classroom and the Hamblen County School Board expects students to conduct themselves on the bus in a manner consistent with the established standards for classroom behavior. Students are expected to remain quiet and seated, facing the front of the bus, keeping hands and feet to self, and refrain from eating or drinking, throwing objects, and/or participating in any activity that distracts the driver while operating the bus.

Students are under the supervision and control of the bus driver while on his bus and all reasonable directions given by him/her are to be followed. Bus Referrals for inappropriate behavior will result in the following consequences:


First Offense—Warning

Second Offense—Suspension from the bus for five (5) days.

Third Offense—Suspension from the bus for fifteen (15) days.

Fourth Offense—Suspension from the bus for thirty (30) days.

Fifth Offense—Suspension from the bus for one year. (180 school days.)


Fighting on the bus shall result in the following penalties:

First Offense—Suspension from the bus for thirty (30) days.

Second Offense—Suspension from the bus for one year. (180 School Days).


Use of Tobacco in any for, including electronic cigarettes, on school buses shall result in the following penalties:

First Offense—Suspension from the bus for five (5) days.

Second Offense—Suspension from the bus for thirty (30) days.

Third Offense—Suspension from the bus for one year. (180 School Days.)


Personal Communication Devices

Personal communication devices include, but are not limited to, wearable technology such as eyeglasses, rings, or watches that have the capability to record, live stream, or interact with wireless technology; cell phones; laptops; tablets; earbuds; and MP3 players.

Students in Grades K-5 may not possess personal communication devices. A student in violation of this policy is subject to disciplinary action as outlined below.

Whether on school buses or on school property, students are not permitted to use recording devices (photograph, audio, or video) without administrative approval.  A student in violation of this policy is subject to the grade-level discipline outlined below.

K-5 students may not possess personal communication devices during school bus transportation to and from school.


First Offense: Warning. Student may pick up the device at the end of the day.

Second Offense: One (1) day of ALP (commonly termed in-school suspension).

Student may pick up the device at the end of the day.

Third Offense: A level on the assertive discipline plan, orientation to 

alternative school, and three (3) day ALP placement. Device 

shall be released to a parent.

Fourth Offense: Placement in alternative school for forty-five (45) days.

Parent may pick up the device at the homebase school.


Dress Code

It is the goal of the Hamblen County Board of Education to provide a quality education for its students in an atmosphere that is conducive to learning.  It is the Board’s belief that a learning atmosphere is maintained when students wear clothing that is neat, modest, and decent, and that does not draw attention to the individual rather than the learning environment. In matters of opinion, the judgment of the Principal, exercised in a reasonable manner, shall prevail.

PANTS (including slacks, jeans, leggings, etc.)

Pants shall be hemmed and worn at the waist.

Pants will not have holes that reveal skin.

Leggings will be worn with a top that is the length of mid-thigh.


Skirts and dresses shall be a minimum length of mid-thigh.


Shorts shall be a minimum length of mid-thigh and shall be worn at the waist.


Tank tops, spaghetti strap, and halter tops shall not be permitted.


No clothing shall be worn that exposes underwear or body parts in an indecent manner and disrupts the learning environment.

Clothing must be neat.

No holes, rips, or tears shall be allowed.

Clothing shall fit properly and shall not be unreasonably tight or unreasonably baggy.

Students shall wear appropriate undergarments, and undergarments shall not be visible.


Students will wear appropriately fitting shoes.

Flip-flops shall not be permitted.

Tennis shoes are recommended on days when attending physical education.


No headwear of any type shall be worn inside the buildings with the exception of headwear for religious or medical reasons as approved by the school administration.

Hair bows, headbands, and barrettes shall be permitted, provided they do not cause a substantial disruption to the learning environment.


Hair shall be worn in a manner that does not disrupt the educational process and does not call attention to the individual. Hair should be of a natural hair color.


Facial jewelry shall be limited to the ear with the exception of religious exemptions approved by the school administration.


The Board prohibits the display of any symbol on school property or any object (such as a backpack, locker, clothing, etc.) which directly or by innuendo disrespects or is perceived to disrespect a student’s race, color, gender, national origin, or disability.

The principal has the right to take appropriate actions to correct any student whose clothing appearance, while not specifically covered by this policy, is considered by said principal to be out of compliance with the Board’s stated goal or causes a substantial disruption to the learning environment.





No student entering school, including those entering Kindergarten or First Grade, those from out of state, and those from non-public schools shall be permitted to enroll or attend without proof of immunization, as determined by the Commissioner of Public Health.  This documentation must be listed on the Tennessee Certificate of Immunization and must be signed by the medical provider.  It is the responsibility of the parents or guardians to have their children immunized and to provide such proof to the principal of the school that the student is to attend.

Exceptions, in the absence of an epidemic or immediate threat, shall be granted to any child whose parent or guardian who provides a completed Tennessee Certificate of Immunization that lists the refusal to give immunizations based on religious tenets or practices; or due to medical conditions that the provider has excused the child from those immunizations.


School Closing

Messages are sent from our Central Office by email, text, and a recorded phone call in the case of any school closings due to weather, illness, or other reasons. You can modify your information through your child’s parent portal account. You can also tune in to our local radio station, WCRK (105.7 FM), WJDT (106.5), or WMTN (93.3 FM) in case of bad weather.  The Citizen Tribune also offers a text notification.  Please inform your child what to do in the case of an early dismissal. We will send home a form for you to fill out in case of an unannounced early dismissal. We will follow this information. The buses will run if we are dismissed early.  Also, please maintain a current working telephone number on file with the office in case we need to contact you concerning an early dismissal.


Changes to Your Child’s Pick-up Method

If you have a change to your child’s pick-up method, please send a note signed by the legal parent/guardian the morning of the change. This is for the safety of your child. We cannot easily verify people calling in. If there is an emergency, you may call the office, but we will seek various ways to verify your identity.



Report cards are sent home every nine weeks with a mid-term progress report being sent home every four and half weeks.  As always, you can check on student progress using ParentPortal.

The basic grading system for Kindergarten is a skills checklist.

The basic grading system for First Grade is:

 E = Excellent

 S = Satisfactory

 N = Needs Improvement

 U = Unsatisfactory

In Grades 2—5 the countywide grading scale is used:

 A = 90-100

 B = 80-89

 C = 70-79

 D = 60-69

 F = Below 60

At all grade levels, S (Satisfactory) and U (Unsatisfactory) are used for Physical Education, Art, Music, and Conduct grades.

Elementary grades for the year are determined by averaging the four Nine-Week grades.



Breakfast for ALL students continues to be served free of charge as long as students take the required items.



Parents may pay for their child’s lunch for up to 30 days in advance. Your child must know his/her ID number and enter this number into the computer each day as they receive their meal.  Parents may monitor their child’s lunch account and make payments using MY Payments Plus through the Parent Portal. 

Parents meeting certain requirements may apply for Free and Reduced lunch rates  through the Hamblen County website: https://frapps.horizonsolana.com/welcome or by requesting a paper copy from the school office.


PTO and Parent Involvement

We have a very active group of parents in our PTO and are always looking for more participants. Our PTO plays a vital role in the overall success of our students and our school. The possibilities for and level of participation are varied. Your child will benefit from your enthusiasm and involvement with the school. If you have not joined our PTO in the past, we invite you to do so.  Your assistance is vital to our school’s success.


Shareable Food for Classrooms and School

Due to Health and Safety regulations, we do ask that any refreshment items shared for special activities be commercially prepared and packaged.

Our classes schedule one date each month for all of that month’s birthdays to be recognized and celebrated. You can contact your child’s teacher for more information concerning birthday or holiday celebrations.