DMS offers a diverse curriculum designed to give all our students the necessary skills to be successful in high school. The five core subjects that are taught at all four grade levels are reading, language arts, math, science, and social studies. There are three levels of reading/language arts and math in grades 5-8 in order to best meet the individual needs of our students. The three levels are high reading/language arts and math to challenge our advanced students, average reading/language arts and math to meet the needs of our students working at grade level, and Title reading/language arts and math designed to bring students up to their appropriate grade level. Fifth grade does not have a Title math class at this time.

Students have four exploratory classes each year in order to broaden their educational experience and expose them to subjects they other wise would not have access to. The exploratory schedule for DMS is as follows:

5th grade - Computers, Music, Art, Library

6th Grade - Life Skills, Art, Music, Computers

7th Grade - Horticulture, Art, Music, Computers

8th Grade - Lab Skills, Careers, Art, Computers

DMS offers Special Education services for students that have learning disabilities and/or emotional disorders that significantly affect their performance in the academic setting. Students who receive these services do so under the authority of an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). The IEP is created after the student is referred for evaluation, the evaluation takes place, and the results are analyzed. The IEP is created by a team of educational professionals, the student’s parents, and, where appropriate, the student. Parents may make requests for the evaluation of their child by contacting the school Principal. Parents with questions about Special Education services available at DMS should contact the school Principal as well.

Please see the curriculum section of the Student Handbook below for information on grading scales, promotion policy, and other curriculum issues.


Promotion Policy: All students in grades five through eight will be identified for promotion based upon meeting two of the three following criteria:

  1. Students must pass four of the five academic classes and three of the five exploratory classes (see explanation below).
  2. Student must have a score of “meets” or “exceeds” on all of the learning areas assessed on the ISAT.
  3. Student must be in attendance at least 90% of the school attendance days.

(More than 17 days of unexcused absence will jeopardize promotion)

**If a student fails two or more academic subjects (item #1), the student will be retained regardless of meeting any other criteria.


A. Any student CAN be retained with one (1) F average in an academic subject, or an F average in three (3) exploratory subjects.

B. Students WILL be retained with an F average in two (2) academic subjects or an F average in one (1) academic and three (3) exploratory subjects.

Students in this situation will be identified at the earliest possible time and parents will be notified that their child is under consideration for retention.

Academic Subjects are classified as: Language Arts, Reading, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Science.

Exploratory Subjects are classified as: Art, Music, Health/PE and all other nine-week courses.

Health will count for 1/3 and PE will count for 2/3 of the grade the last nine (9) weeks. To fail the area, students would have to fail both classes.

Students will receive letter grades for exploratory subjects.

Report Cards: Report cards will be sent home at the end of each nine-week grading period. Parents should check with the student’s teacher, if they have questions concerning the student’s progress.

Report cards will be held if the student has unpaid charges. Eighth graders need all fees paid before promotion (book rental, unpaid lunch charges, damaged books, etc.)

If other arrangements need to be made, the parent should contact the building principal.

Grading Scale
A 100-94 A- 93-90
B+ 89-88 B 87-84
B- 83-80 C+ 79-78
C 77-74 C- 73-70
D+ 69-68 D 67-64
D- 63-60 F 59-Below

Honor Roll(s): Three levels of scholastic honors are given quarterly

  1. Superior Honors - All “A’s” on the report card
  2. High Honor - 3.5-3.999 GPA
  3. Honor - 3.0-3.499 GPA

Academic and exploratory subjects will be counted for Honor Roll purposes. Only academic subjects will be used to calculate honor roll points. Only one “C” letter grade in any course, including exploratory classes, is allowed for any honor roll designation; no grade of “D” or “E” is allowable for honor roll designation. Computation of honor roll points is figured by converting letter grades to honor points in the following method:

  • A = 4.0
  • B = 3.0
  • C = 2.0
  • D = 1.0
  • F or I = 0.0

Students obtaining scholastic honors will receive a DuQuoin Middle School Bumper Sticker to give to parents for the first time, other incentives will be given for additional scholastic honors.

Promotion Ceremony: DuQuoin Middle School considers student’s participation in the annual Promotion ceremony to be a privilege and not a property right. If, in the opinion of the administration, a student’s cumulative record of behavior warrants such action, he or she will be denied the opportunity to participate in the Promotion ceremony.

End of Year Grade Averages: End of year grade averages for academic subjects will be calculated using numerical averages. Special considerations may be made for at-risk students, depending upon the students’ ability level and effort.

Gifted Program: The DuQuoin Unit School District provides a program for our gifted students. The special needs of gifted students are met through extensions of the regular classroom curriculum which incorporate higher levels of thinking, complex content, and a variety of processes and products. This may be in the form of projects, short-term pullout programs, and/or independent study.

Guidelines for the Gifted Education Program require that established procedures used to identify students for participation in the program be applied uniformly and be made public. The district uses ability tests, achievement tests, teacher recommendations and prior grades to select students for participation in the program. The criteria are applied to each student equally.

Cut-offs are established in each area to determine inclusion in the final selection pool. Students are ranked ordered on each of the identification items. This information is available to any member of the public upon written request. If you have any questions or concerns about the gifted program, please call the Gifted Program coordinator at 542-2646.

Physical Education: Physical Education is required by all students in the State of Illinois. Students are expected to be dressed and participate in gym classes unless excused by a written statement from a physician to the school nurse and/or building principal. If students have other reasons for not participating in physical education, it should be brought to the attention of the principal and physical education teacher. Students must have a separate pair of “gym” shoes to change into for physical education class.

Home Schooled Students: DuQuoin Middle School does not recognize grades earned while a student is being home schooled. If the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) recognizes the home schooling program, DMS will recognize work completed in a home school. Upon entry into DMS, the home-schooled student may be required to take placement tests to accurately determine the appropriate academic schedule for the student. Home-schooled students entering in the ninth grade must attend DMS for the entire year in order to graduate from DMS. Home-schooled students, while attending home schooling, are not eligible for participation in SIJHSAA sanctioned activities for DMS, or participating in other extracurricular activities offered at DMS.