Northwood Academy Charter School
Student Parent Handbook
Revised August 2019
Please click on the hyperlinks below to be directed to the coordinating section
Board of Directors and 2019 – 2020 Meeting Schedule
Attendance and Lateness
Requests for Vacations/Trips
Late Pick up
Communicating with Staff
Public Comment at Board Meetings
Classroom Access Policy
Report Card Conferences
Honors and Recognition
Promotion and Retention
Behavioral Expectations- Parents
Change of Address and/or Telephone Number
Internet and/or Technology Usage
Parent Volunteer Opportunities
School Visitation Protocol
Personal Items of Value
Search and Seizure
Merits and Demerits
School Bus Behavior
Code of Conduct
General Statement of Non-Discrimination
English Language Learners
Child Find Policy (Annual Notice)
Media Consent/Handbook Sign-off Sheet
Welcome to Northwood Academy Charter School. For those returning families, we look forward to continuing to grow and improve with your help and support. For those families who are joining us this year, we look forward to incorporating you into the Northwood Community. You are part of a partnership whose primary function is the betterment of our children.
Northwood opened its doors in September 2005 to serve children and families in Philadelphia. It is an independent school run by a Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer. Our mission is to prepare our children to take advantage of the wealth of educational opportunities that exist for them. To that end, Northwood has hired a dedicated, skilled instructional staff to guide them in the process. Every staff member is charged with the care and well-being of your child.
Northwood students are provided with a rigorous course of study designed to develop critical thinking skills that will serve them well beyond the elementary years. In turn, we expect the parents and guardians of our students to take an active role in ensuring that your child will receive the most benefit possible from their schooling. This is achieved through frequent, consistent communication between home and school. Together we can create an environment that will allow our children to acquire the necessary skills for academic and social success.
Please take the time to read through this policy handbook which is available at www.northwoodcs.org. It is designed to provide families with the information needed to make your time at Northwood fruitful and rewarding. After you have read this handbook, please confirm your commitment to Northwood by signing and returning the signature page on the reverse side of this paper no later than Friday, September 13, 2019. There must be one signature page for each of your children attending Northwood. If you need a hard copy of the handbook, please call the office and one will be given to your child. Do not hesitate to call should you have any questions, concerns, comments (or compliments!) to share.
We are looking forward to another excellent school year.
Amy Hollister Pamela Friedman
CEO Director of Student Services
Cindy Carey Kristie Dugan
Principal Director of Operations
Erin Herschberger Kathryn Henry
Assistant Principal Assistant Principal
The mission of Northwood Academy Charter School is to educate the whole child by providing the academic, social, and emotional foundations and successes necessary to become contributing community members who possess the skills, desire and confidence to lead meaningful lives. Northwood Academy Charter School is committed to creating and sustaining a learning sanctuary that is built upon integrity and dedicated to high achievement and purposeful experiences.
Northwood Academy Charter School will ensure that its staff works together to design and deliver a rigorous and relevant curriculum that is based on collective knowledge, creativity and real-world learning experiences. By embracing the arts and service learning, we will forge a true spirit for community engagement, involvement and betterment.
Northwood Academy Charter School will develop a true collaboration of all stakeholders to provide a dynamic program for our students. With a caring spirit and keen sensibility, we embrace the uniqueness of our students and strive to provide them with an awareness of opportunities and choices that belong to each of them.
A learning sanctuary
The Northwood Academy Charter School believes that:
Northwood family members are responsible,
Always have a “take pride” attitude,
Care for their environment,
Work hard. Be nice.
Jacqueline Williams, President Katrina Maddox, Vice-President
James Marshall, Treasurer Michael Bly, Secretary
Valarie Jefferson Devon Madison
The accompanying is a list of the Board meeting dates for the Northwood Academy Charter School for the 2019-2020 school year. Meetings will be held on the third Wednesday of each month at 5:30 p.m. at 4621 Castor Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19124 unless otherwise indicated.
Wednesday, August 21, 2019 Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Wednesday, October 16, 2019 Wednesday, November 20, 2019
Wednesday, December 18, 2019 Wednesday, January 15, 2020
Wednesday, February 19, 2020 Wednesday, March 18, 2020
Wednesday, April 15, 2020 Wednesday, May 20, 2020
Wednesday, June 17, 2020
There will also be subcommittee meetings at 5:30 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month as necessary. Any alteration of any of these dates will be reflected on the monthly calendar.
All Board and subcommittee meetings are public events. Should you wish to make public comment, please refer to the protocols on page 12 Change to hyper link click here of the Northwood Student Parent Handbook.
2019 – 2020 School Year
August 26 – 28, 2019
-Professional Development Days
August 29, 2019
First Day of School
September 2, 2019
- School Closed
October 9, 2019
November 5, 2019
- No school for students
November 11, 2019
November 28 & 29, 2019
December 24, 2019 – January 2, 2020
January 20, 2020
Martin Luther King’s Birthday
February 17, 2020
March 16, 2020
-No school for students
April 6 - 13, 2020
April 20- 25, 2020
-Grades 3 – 8
April 27 –28, 2020
-Grades 3 – 8
April 29-30, 2020
-Grades 4 & 8
May 22 & 25, 2020
June 12, 2020
Last Day for Students and Staff
Scheduled Half Day (Noon) Dismissals
The third FRIDAY of each month is tentatively scheduled as a noon dismissal for Staff Development. Additionally, Wednesday, November 27th is a scheduled half day. Be sure to check your monthly calendars.
Noon Dismissal for Report Card Conferences:
Thursday, December 19, 2019 Thursday, March 26, 2020
Friday, December 20, 2019 Friday, March 27, 2020
Thursday, June 11, 2020 – Closing Ceremonies
Friday, June 12, 2020 – Last day of school
Daily hours of student attendance are 7:45 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The Board of Directors of Northwood Academy Charter School requires that all students enrolled at Northwood attend school daily and on time in accordance with the compulsory attendance laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Parents and/or guardians are required to ensure that their children attend school on each day and for all hours and periods that it is in session. The educational program offered by Northwood is designed based upon the presence of the student and requires continuity of instructional and classroom participation. Your child’s academic success depends on their attendance during all phases of instruction. Should your child be absent, you must submit an absence note to their teacher within three (3) days of the event. Failure to submit a note within this time frame will result in the absence being coded as Parental Non-compliance. It is also important to recognize that chronic lateness or early dismissal negatively impacts your child’s academic progress. A student who is 5 to 10 minutes late every day misses almost a full hour of instruction weekly.
Please be aware that three unexcused absences constitutes truancy. Parents of students who are absent on three occasions without bringing in a note explaining the absence will receive a Three Day Legal Notice. Contained therein are the parameters by which a report would be made either directly to Truancy Court or to DHS, dependent upon the age of your child.
If there are reasons why your child is not in regular attendance and for which the school can assist, either directly or through outside agencies, all efforts will be made to provide assistance. Continued non-compliance with the local and state attendance requirements may result in the family being counseled out of the program.
The following are the only absences that are considered excused:
The following are the only incidents of lateness that are considered excused:
It is imperative that you do not block our neighbors’ driveways during arrival or dismissal times. This may require you to park and walk a short distance. Please arrive with enough time to park legally and safely.
Please do not allow your children to exit your automobile in the middle of the street (Adams or Castor). This is an extremely dangerous practice. For the safety of your children, please pull into a parking spot or the drop off lane on Adams Avenue.
Students are to be dropped off on Adams Avenue at the rear of the building between 7:15 a.m. and 7:45 a.m. There is no supervision prior to 7:15 a.m. Students walk up the blacktop and enter the building through the cafeteria or the rear lobby doors. ALL entry doors will be closed promptly at 7:45 a.m. Students arriving after that time must be escorted to the Castor Avenue main entrance and receive a late note. Please note that it becomes congested between 7:35-7:45 and requires your patience for everyone’s safety.
At dismissal time, kindergarten children are to be picked up in the side courtyard (through the gate to the left of the main entrance on Castor Avenue), grade 1 in the playground on the Orthodox Street side of the building, grade 2 on the catwalk by the rear cafeteria doors and grades 3-8 on the Adams Ave. blacktop area. Parents should wait in the specific area for their children.
Parents of children who are not picked up by 3:10 p.m. will be charged a late fee $10 for every 20 minutes that accrue.
Dismissals prior to the end of the school day are discouraged as they can negatively impact your child’s educational progress. Early dismissal of students during the school day will be granted only by the Chief Executive Officer or authorized representatives. Whenever possible, all appointments and activities should be scheduled after school hours. If someone other than the child’s parent/guardian is picking up the child for an early dismissal, said parent/guardian must obtain prior approval for this arrangement. When requesting an early dismissal parents must:
Early dismissals will not be approved beyond 2:30 p.m.
Any time there are questionable weather conditions, log onto www.KYW1060.com (Our school closing number is 735) or www.myfoxphilly.com for specific information. Please note if School District of Philadelphia public schools are closed – Northwood is closed. If the School District of Philadelphia announces an early dismissal, please consult either website above, listen to KYW Newsradio 1060AM or consult www.northwoodcs.org to find out if Northwood is included in the closing/delay.
In order to promote a consistent educational process throughout the school year, parents should not schedule vacations/trips during the school year. If a vacation/trip is unavoidable, please note the following:
We dismiss Northwood students at 3:00 PM on regular days and at noon on half days. You are expected to pick up your children at that time. When you fail to be here on time, we are required to provide extra supervision for your child. A late fee of $10.00 for every twenty minute increment will be assessed. Failure to pay will result in loss of school privileges.
Proper uniforms must be worn every day. Adherence to the Northwood Uniform Policy is part of the Student Code of Conduct signed by each family at registration. The uniform policy is as follows:
Northwood reserves the right to amend the uniform policy as necessary. Notification of any changes will be communicated through Wednesday announcements.
Frequent, consistent parent/teacher communication is vital to the educational success of your child. Together we form a team that focuses on your child’s needs, concerns, and growth. We invite you to participate in the process by contacting the school whenever you have concerns or questions. Each Wednesday, the bulk of school-wide communications are sent home. Please read carefully the information offered in this section regarding communication.
Listed below are the methods of communication by which we maintain contact with families:
At Northwood, there are multiple staff members available to speak with you in regards to your child. Clerical concerns can be handled through the front office. Beyond that, the classroom teacher is the starting point when you have a question or concern. If you wish to speak with your child’s teacher, please call, write a note, use classroom communication channels (ie. Classroom Dojo) or email to arrange a discussion time. Please note that office staff will convey parental messages to individual teachers but are not allowed to interrupt instruction. You should receive an initial response from your child’s teacher within 24 hours of leaving a message. The issue may not be resolved at that time but you will have communicated directly with the teacher.
During arrival and dismissal times, teachers have a responsibility to focus their attention on the children. This is not a time for parents to have “brief” meetings with teachers. If there is something that cannot wait, please send a note with child, call or visit the office or send an email to the teacher. If you need a response or action within a school day, do not count on email, call the office as emails may only be checked in the morning.
In the event you require a more thorough process, the Board of Directors asks that you follow the protocol below:
Step 1) In the event of a concern, a parent or community member should contact their child’s classroom teacher, supervisor, coach or staff member who is directly involved with the concern or situation.
Step 2) If a parent or community member has completed Step 1 and feels that the issue or concern was not remedied, they should contact their child’s Assistant Principal, the Director of Student Services (for special education-related concerns) or the Athletic Director (for sports-related concerns).
Step 3) If a parent or community member has completed Steps 1 and 2 and feels that the issue or concern was not remedied, they should contact the school Principal. Beyond this, contact the CEO.
Step 4) If a parent or community member has completed Steps 1, 2, and 3 and feels that the issue or concern warrants yet further discussion, the parent or community member should then contact the Northwood Academy Board of Trustees (email@example.com) and/or follow the protocol to be put on the Board meeting agenda.
The Northwood Academy Charter School Board of Directors recognizes the value, to school governance, of public comment on matters facing the school.
In order to permit fair and orderly expression of such comment, the Board will provide up to a thirty (30) minute period for public participation on each of its public meeting agendas. Public comment may be on any topic related to the operation of the charter school. Please note, to be placed on the public section of the agenda, a written request must be addressed to the Board of Directors and hand delivered to the front office or sent via U.S. Mail to 4621 Castor Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19124. Requests must be received at least three (3) working days prior to the scheduled meeting.
The request must include all of the following information or it will be denied:
Time allotted to individuals will be limited to three (3) minutes. However, additional written information may be presented to and considered by the Board.
Should you miss your designated place on the agenda, you will need to resubmit your request for a future meeting. No one may make the presentation on your behalf. Board members and administrators will not respond to public comment during the comment period.
Northwood Academy observes an open door policy for its students and their family members. An open house is held annually when parents/guardians are invited to come and observe their child(ren) in the classroom. In the event additional observation is desired, please contact the Principal or Assistant Principal to arrange a convenient time to make said observation. Please allow 48 hours to arrange for such a visit.
Parents have “implied permission” to enter and be on the school’s premises for reasons relating to their child/children’s education. This means that parents are welcome to come to the school to drop off and collect their children, to speak to staff (following standard protocols), for meetings and/or schoolwide events. Parents do not have a legal right to enter or be on the school’s premises without valid reason. In education law, the term “parent” includes the natural or adoptive parents of a student, as well as a non-parent with care of a student and a non-parent with parental responsibility of a student. For the purposes of this policy only, the term “parent” can also include a non-parent who does not have care of or parental responsibility for a student, but who is involved in looking after a student on a regular basis (for example, a non-resident partner of a parent or relative who takes the student to or from school, is involved with the care of the student in some other way, attends a school function, or a person with whose emergency contact number we have been provided) with proper parental/guardian consent. Members of the public without a good reason for entering or being on the school premises are trespassing.
The school has the right to withdraw the “implied permission” for a parent or visitor to enter or be on the school’s premises (or location of off-site school events, such as sporting events or field trips) if their behavior while they were previously on the school’s premises (or other off-site location) was unacceptable. The withdrawal of the “implied permission” will be effective as soon as the parent or other visitor has been told that they must leave and are prohibited from returning, and will be confirmed in writing by recorded delivery if the home address is known.
Parent/Teacher conferences are held formally twice a year at the end of the first and second trimesters. Conference dates are listed on your monthly calendar. These conferences are held so parents and teachers may exchange information about the student to better serve the student’s needs. Additional conferences may be requested by parents and/or teachers (in writing, in person or by telephone) as needs arise. Parents must make an appointment to speak in person with teachers so a mutually agreeable time for both may be chosen. This allows meeting to be held under the best possible conditions.
Northwood Academy Charter School uses an integrated, technology-supported, standards-based curriculum. It is our expectation that children will put forth their best effort while being supported both in school and at home. Report card grades are calculated based on various measures which include, but are not limited to, formal and informal assessments, classroom work, homework and class participation. The code, indicated below, quantifies the student’s progress toward meeting both academic and social grade-level expectations.
When applicable, students receiving special education support will be graded according to their IEPs.
Students in grades 3 through 8 who attend school regularly and excel academically and socially are recognized for their efforts via the Honor Roll. The standards for inclusion on the Honor Roll are outlined below.
It is recognized that all learning cannot be accomplished within the limited amount of time allotted for classroom instruction. Therefore, homework is routinely assigned to students. As the word implies, homework is to be completed outside the regular class period.
The Role of the Student- The student has the responsibility to:
The Role of the Parent- The school encourages the parent to:
Students are required and expected to make up assignments, assessments, and projects missed when absent or otherwise not in school. Students have a number of days equal to the number of days absent to complete the missed assignments, assessments, and/or projects. If a student has been absent for an extended period, s/he should request the assistance of his/her teacher in creating a schedule to complete the missed work.
The Board recognizes that the social, physical and educational growth of students will vary and that students should be placed in the educational setting most appropriate to their needs at the various stages of their growth.
It is the policy of the Board that each student shall be moved forward in a continuous pattern of achievement and growth that corresponds with his/her own development and the system of grade levels and academic standards established for each grade. A student shall be promoted when s/he has successfully:
professional judgment of his/her teachers and the results of assessments.
The principal, with approval from the CEO, shall develop procedures for promotion and retention of students which assures that every effort will be made to remediate the student’s difficulties before s/he is retained. The procedures shall be published at the school and made known to students and parents.
The recommendation of the classroom teacher/teachers shall be considered for promotion or retention of a student.
Parents shall be informed well in advance of the possibility of retention of a student. The Chief Executive Officer shall be assigned the final responsibility for determining the promotion or retention of each student.
Periodically, students are taken on field trips as part of their educational experience. Since field trips are educational in nature, all students should participate unless they are ill. When such trips are being planned, permission slips will be sent home to be signed and returned to the teacher. The permission slip will outline the date, time, cost and any other pertinent information. If a permission slip is not signed and returned to the teacher, the student may not participate in the trip.
Non-participation in trips may have an adverse affect on some grades as assignments may be given based on the actual trip.
Since trips are educational in nature, students are required to wear school uniforms unless otherwise indicated on the permission slip. All trips are supervised by the teacher and other adult chaperones.
Parents who serve as chaperones must obtain state and federal (fingerprinting) criminal and child abuse clearances prior to attending trips. Other children (siblings) are not allowed to go along on the trip. Also, all chaperones must be at least 21 years of age. Since chaperone space is usually limited, every effort will be made to allow all interested parents at least one opportunity to chaperone a trip.
One very important aspect of life at Northwood Academy is our ability to provide a safe environment where learning can take place. Teachers and staff spend time discussing our Northwood Norms with the students and discussing positive ways by which conflict can be avoided or settled in a peaceful manner. It is our expectation that these same values are shared by our families’ members. To that end, we ask that parents:
It is necessary for parents/guardians to immediately notify the homeroom teacher and the school office concerning any change in address and/or telephone number whether it be a change at home or place of employment. It is critically important that we have a way of reaching someone in the event of an emergency. Proof of residency is required for an address change. This can be in the form of a utility bill, lease or ID
Please follow the procedure below whenever sending in money with your child:
1. Put money in an envelope and seal it.
2. Mark the envelope clearly with student’s name, grade, room number, amount of money and purpose for the money.
Students are assigned to homerooms during the summer months. The student then receives correspondence from their prospective teacher in August. While it is not our policy to move students once assignments have been made, situations sometimes arise that make this necessary. Please be aware that homeroom assignments are subject to change based on student need.
Unauthorized and inappropriate use of the Internet and/or technology while in school is grounds for disciplinary action up to and including expulsion. Inappropriate home usage of the internet by a student that in some way associates student wrongful conduct with the school, other students, teachers or staff may be cause for disciplinary action if the inappropriate use affects the administration of the school generally, or the relationship of the school to the student specifically. Thus, for example, a posting to an Internet site from home containing threatening and/or derogatory comments about a teacher, student, or school official may be grounds for dismissal. This is so particularly when the posting creates an atmosphere of fear or otherwise adversely affects the educational mission of the school. All students and parents will be required to sign an Acceptable Usage Policy for Technology prior to using school equipment.
CORA Services, Inc. provides the after-care services for Northwood Academy Charter
School children which is housed within the building. This service is at a cost established by CORA Services and will operate every day after school from 3:00 – 6:00 pm. CORA staff members provide your children with snack, homework help, and enriching extracurricular activities.
To celebrate student birthdays, a birthday roll will be called daily and students will come down to the office to receive a token gift from the administration. There will be no celebrations in classrooms as they interfere with instructional time. Also, students may not distribute party invitations in their classrooms.
Our school nurse handles a variety of student medical concerns each day as well as maintaining medical records for each student. Please inform the nurse of any special health problems or concerns. If a child becomes ill during the school day, s/he will be given immediate attention. You will be called if your child is too ill to return to class. Please advise your child that s/he cannot personally call home if they feel ill but must go to the nurse’s office.
State law requires that, beginning in kindergarten, students in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania must: 1) have a physical examination by their physician; 2) be immunized; and 3) have a dental checkup. The appropriate forms can be found in the Student Enrollment Packet.
State law requires that all 6th grade students receive a new physical examination in their 6th grade year. Medical forms are distributed at the end of the 5th grade year and will be accepted prior to the start of the school year but are required within 5 days of the start of the 6th grade school year. Students who do not submit a completed medical form to the nurse within 5 days of the of the following school year will be, by law, excluded from school.
The PA Public School Code's requirements around immunizations are different from the health services listed above. Northwood is required to ascertain that children have been immunized in accordance with state requirements and therefore, this is reflected in our enrollment procedure. Please note there are additional immunization requirements for 7th grade students. The school is not responsible for providing immunizations to students directly.
We encourage families to have children privately examined outside of school so as to provide for continuity in the medical care of the child; however, if the student does not receive medical and dental examinations by a private family physician and a dentist, Northwood will make arrangements to provide those services to the child (kindergarten- physical and dental; 6th grade- physical).
Please be aware that your child will receive the following screenings throughout their tenure as a Northwood student:
(1) Medical examinations.
(2) Dental examinations.
(3) Vision screening tests.
(4) Hearing screening tests.
(5) Threshold screening tests.
(6) Height and weight measurements.
(7) Maintenance of medical and dental records.
(8) Tuberculosis tests.
(9) Special examinations.
Any students who wish to participate in any sports must complete an inner scholastic participation form.
Children are not to bring in any kind of medication or to self-administer any kind of medication with the exception of asthma inhalers (see below). Should the occasion arise when a student must take medication during the school day, the medication must be prescribed by a physician and arrangements must be made through the nurse’s office. Physicians and parents are required to complete the Request for Administration of Medication, Use of Suction, Oxygen or Other Equipment in School form. The physician must send written orders which include: diagnosis, dosage, and the time to be given during the school day. All medications and prescriptions are to be brought by an adult in their original bottles to the nurse and kept in the health office.
Over-the-counter drugs including cough medicine, aspirin, etc. must also be accompanied by a doctor’s note. If the need arises that you must administer the medication to your child personally during the school day, please go directly to the nurse’s office after signing into the building. Your child will be called to receive his/her medication. Medication cannot be dispensed at any location other than the nurse’s office unless an emergency exists.
Asthma inhalers may be self-administered, if the student has provided, to the nurse, a note from the doctor approving self-administration. However, the nurse must be notified immediately by the student when a student has self-administered asthma medication. The nurse will record the information on her medication log. When the school nurse is not in school, the Principal or designee may administer medication under the guidelines established by the Pennsylvania Health Services Commission.
Northwood Academy offers a variety of extracurricular activities to students in grades 3 through 8. There are various sports and specialty clubs in which students may participate. Inclusion in extracurricular events is a privilege offered to students who maintain good academic and behavioral practices. Team and club information is announced school-wide.
Students will participate in emergency drills monthly throughout the school year. These drills are to prepare students and staff for any emergency that may occur which require the building to be evacuated or locked down. We comply with all safety measures as set forth by Penssylvania school law. This includes, but is not limited to bus evacuation drills, fire drills, lockdown drills, shelter in place drills and Safe2 Say SOmething program.
VOLUNTEER CLEARANCE REQUIREMENT
We, at Northwood, appreciate the time given by our families to our many programs and events. We also take the safety of our students very seriously. As of July 1, 2015, any adult who wishes to serve as a volunteer (this includes, but is not limited to, field trip chaperones) at Northwood will need background clearances. This is in accordance with Child Protective Services Laws, Act 153 of 2014. Pennsylvania has waived its fees associated with these volunteer clearances. However, the $27.00 FBI fingerprinting fee still applies. Please know that payment is your responsibility and will not be reimbursed by Northwood Academy.
Which clearances are needed?
• Report of criminal history from the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP);
• Child Abuse History Clearance from the Department of Human Services (Child
• A fingerprint based federal criminal history (FBI).
More information about clearances required under the Child Protective Services Law can be found at www.keepkidssafe.pa.gov. Individuals seeking clearances can go directly to www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis to create an individual account and apply for their child abuse clearance electronically.
All clearance information will be kept confidential and handled directly by our Community Coordinator, Mrs. Amy Kelly. If there is a violation that would preclude you from being able to volunteer, you will be notified directly. Any new information of which you need to be aware will be communicated, when it becomes available, via our website, handbook and/or Wednesday reminders.
Please be advised that we need to receive, review and process all three (3) of the clearances listed above before you are permitted to volunteer at Northwood. Once you have obtained your clearances, please bring the original documents to school. You may also send the originals in with your child. The school is required by law to see the originals. Copies of clearances will be made for your volunteer file and the originals will be returned. As these clearances are needed prior to volunteering, it is advised that you obtain these clearances as soon as possible.
Clearances will not be needed to attend general admission events such as Family Movie Night, Spring Concert and the like. We look forward to continuing family involvement.
In order to maintain building safety for all students and to protect valuable instructional time, all visitors must report directly to the main office. All visitors must sign in and out of the building and wear a visitor’s pass or identification badge. An administrator has the right to refuse admission to the school for those who fail to make advance arrangements or whose presence conflicts with other school activities. Parents/Visitors/Volunteers will be buzzed into the vestibule area and shall not go directly to classrooms or interrupt staff members in the performance of duties. Visitors are prohibited from carrying weapons into the school building. Only on-duty law enforcement officers are permitted to carry their weapons in the building.
The staff of Northwood Academy understands that there are situations and circumstances outside of school during which your child may need a cell phone. However, a student’s cell phone must be turned off prior to entering the school and should not be seen or heard throughout the day. The use of cell phones during school hours is prohibited. If a cell phone is seen or heard by a staff member during school hours, they are charged with confiscating the phone and delivering it to an administrator. Parents/guardians must pick up the confiscated cell phone. Northwood Academy Charter School will not assume responsibility for the loss or theft of cell phones.
In the 7th and 8th grades, the cell phone culture is creating a significant disturbance within our program. Our response to this issue is that all 7th and 8th grade students will be required to turn in their cell phones to their teacher upon arrival at homeroom each day. The phones will then be secured and returned at the end of each school day. If a student has an emergency and is in need of a phone, they will be allowed to call from a school phone. We encourage you to keep your child's phone at home. Students who fail to follow this protocol will have their phones confiscated and be assigned a Saturday School detention. We will be enforcing this policy with NO EXCEPTIONS. Parents will need to come into school to retrieve confiscated phones. We are aware that many of our students are SEPTA riders and it is prudent for them to have phones. Please support us in this effort by directing your child to turn in their phone daily.
Parents are urged to help their children understand that they are not to bring items of value (either monetary or sentimental) to school. This includes iPods and any other electronic games or devices. The use of electronic toys and games is prohibited in school. These items are costly and Northwood will not be responsible for breakage or theft.
Desks and storage spaces, which are provided to students without charge, are the property of the School. The principal or designee may have general inspections on a periodic basis. The principal or designee may open desks or storage spaces in the presence of a witness and examine the contents, including personal belongings of students when there are reasonable grounds to believe that they may contain illegal drugs, contraband, weapons or stolen property or that the student has violated or is violating state for federal laws, township codes or Board of Directors policies or regulations. This is true provided the search is conducted primarily for enforcing order and discipline for the school and not for criminal prosecution. Reasonable efforts to locate the student shall be made prior to the search. If the student is present, the school official shall advise him/her of the circumstances justifying the search and seizure of the objects that the official believes the search may disclose. Stolen items and items that are specifically prohibited by law, Board of Directors regulations, township or school regulations may be impounded. The student shall be given a receipt for any items impounded by school authorities and parents shall be notified of any items impounded.
Many of the students of Northwood are afforded opportunities to participate in outside activities. Some of these activities require that students raise funds in order to take part. Given the wide selection of opportunities (ie: student ambassadorships, sports teams), we cannot allow students to solicit funding, for private gain, in school.
The school telephones are available for students’ use in emergency situations as determined by the school. Forgetting notes or assignments are not emergencies. Our goal is to help students develop responsibility for gathering necessary materials and supplies prior to coming to school. Students will also not be interrupted in their classrooms to receive telephone calls. Messages will be given in emergency situations only.
Students are responsible for the maintenance and care of all materials supplied by Northwood. Textbooks must be covered. No adhesive covers, such as contact paper, may be used directly on textbooks. Parents and students are responsible to pay for damaged or lost books and/or materials (e.g. calculators). Failure to return school materials will result in withholding report cards until the fees are paid. Students in grades 5 through 8 will also be required to purchase a Northwood Planner from the school for tracking assignments.
Northwood Academy Charter School recognizes that student wellness and proper nutrition are related to each student’s physical well being, growth, development and readiness to learn. The School is committed to providing an environment that promotes student wellness, proper nutrition, nutrition education and regular physical activity as part of the total learning experience. In a healthy school environment, students will learn about and participate in positive dietary and lifestyle practices that can improve student achievement. A copy of the wellness policy is on hand in the Main Office for your viewing.
When a staff member notices a student excelling in or improving a certain behavior, they will distribute merits to that student. Merits are tickets that students can redeem for raffles, rewards, and other privileges. If a student does not put forth adequate effort in a particular area, or refuses to comply with any school rule or expectation, s/he will receive a demerit. Students are given opportunities to improve their behavior as appropriate prior to receiving demerits. Students may receive multiple demerits for continuous non-compliant behaviors that are a detriment to themselves or the learning community at large. Merits and demerits can be earned any time students are under Northwood supervision including during arrival, after school, on the bus, and during off-site school sponsored events. Consequences for accumulated demerits include, but are not limited to, loss of privileges, lunch detention, suspension, community service within the school and Saturday detention. A student's performance ratings for Skills and Behaviors that Promote Learning on the report card can be affected by the number of merits and demerits accumulated throughout a marking period.
These 19 criteria are those for which your child receives grades on the right side of their report cards. They are listed as Skills and Behaviors that Promote Learning.
In an effort to assure the safety of your children, the following rules must be observed by all riders. Failure to follow the rules will result in disciplinary action as outlined below:
The following Code of Conduct for Northwood Academy Charter School has been developed by the Board, administration, parents, and faculty in order to secure the safety and well-being of the entire school community. Northwood is committed to creating an environment conducive to learning, where respect for fellow community members is paramount. Students are expected to conduct themselves in a mature and responsible fashion during school and at all school functions. Further, when the student is dressed in the Northwood uniform, s/he is considered to be a representative of Northwood to the greater community and is, therefore, accountable to the Code. In addition to the list of possible consequences listed, restitution may be required for any violation at the discretion of the administration.
The Board of Directors of Northwood has the authority to make reasonable and necessary rules governing the conduct of students in school. The Board of Directors of Northwood is committed to creating a safe and positive learning environment wherein the students recognize their rights and responsibilities, as well as those of other students, teachers, parents, administrators and members of the school community.
Students with IEPs who require disciplinary intercession shall be afforded due process in accordance with requirements as outlined in IDEA 2004 under the authority of 20 U.S.C. §1415 Procedural Safeguards.
At specific times, and for certain violations of the student code of conduct, IDEA’s discipline procedures require the School to conduct a “manifestation determination review.” The purpose of this review is to determine whether or not the child’s behavior that led to the disciplinary infraction is linked to his or her disability.
Under §300.530(e), a manifestation determination must occur within 10 days of any decision to change the child’s placement because of a violation of a code of student conduct.
The process has been simplified under IDEA 2004, which now:
The LEA, the parent, and relevant members of the IEP team (as determined by the parent and the LEA) are involved in conducting the review. Their purpose is to determine:
(i) If the conduct in question was caused by, or had a direct and substantial relationship to, the child’s disability; or
(ii) If the conduct in question was the direct result of the LEA’s failure to implement the IEP. . . [§300.530(e)(1)-(2)]
To make these determinations, the group will review all relevant information in the student’s file, including the child’s IEP, any teacher observations, and any relevant information provided by the parents. The Manifestation Determination Worksheet published by the PDE will utilized for documentation.
Discipline is the positive direction of behavior toward established standards of conduct fully understood and based upon reason, judgment and consideration of rights of others. Ideal discipline is self-directed and self-controlled. Schools, community and parents share the responsibility for helping students develop self-discipline. When self-control falters and self-discipline fails, disciplinary forces from outside the individual must be imposed to protect the rights of others and insure uninterrupted instruction by teachers for students.
In Northwood Academy Charter School, as in the community at large, certain rules and procedures are established to guide the students through constructive growth and into mature adulthood. The rules and procedures are basically the same from kindergarten through grade eight. Parents, teachers and others responsible for the welfare and education of these students cooperate to interpret and enforce these rules.
Students guilty of any of the following offenses shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, as set forth in the Pennsylvania Code:
(The items in this list are grouped for purposes of easy reading only. This list is not exhaustive of behaviors that may result in disciplinary actions.)
In the following six cases, discipline referrals must be made immediately to the principal:
Principals are expected to recommend expulsion for the following first-time offenses occurring on school property, at school-sponsored activities or for school-related reasons:
A school is judged by the actions of its students in and out of school. At all times when students are under school jurisdiction, they are expected to conduct themselves in an orderly, courteous, dignified and respectful manner. In an effort to maintain an orderly atmosphere in the school and on the school grounds, all teacher and adult authority extends to the student populous.
Disruptive student behavior is subject to disciplinary action by the teacher and/or principal. Actions taken by teachers towards students who are disruptive may include, but are not limited to:
A discipline referral should be sent to the principal when the teacher feels that the student’s improper behavior cannot be corrected through the teacher’s classroom management practices. After consultation with the student and the teacher, the administrator will determine the course of action required to provide a safe, secure school. Action taken by the administrator toward a student may include, but is not limited to:
Students who have been suspended must be reinstated by a parent or guardian. At that time, a plan of action will be discussed to prevent the undesirable behavior from being repeated.
Out-of-school Suspensions are classified as:
Short-term: The principal can suspend the student for up to three days without an informal hearing. In the event of suspensions of more than three but less than 10 days, the student has the right to an informal hearing.
Long-term: The student can be suspended for up to ten days with notification of the right to a formal hearing.
Expulsion: A student can by expelled only by action of the Board of Directors based upon recommendation of the principal or designee. An official expulsion hearing will be held with a hearing officer and legal representation for the student if so desired. Expulsion from school excludes the student from regular school attendance.
Notification: A disciplinary form and/or phone call from the principal or her designee will be received by the parent(s) when the student is assigned in-school suspension or out-of-school suspension or is recommended for long-term suspension or expulsion.
The suspension notice for in-school suspensions shall include at least the following information:
If a student is assigned an in-school suspension, a parent will be expected to enter an agreement with the principal, which outlines the guidelines of the in-school suspension program.
The suspension notice for out-of-school suspension (fewer than ten days) shall include at least the following information:
The suspension notice for long-term suspension/expulsion (not to exceed ten days) shall include at least the following information:
Following the conference, the principal will make a decision to move forward with a recommendation to the Board of Directors for long-term suspension or expulsion and inform the parent(s) and student. If the principal or designee moves forward with the recommendation, the principal or designee will write to the President of the Board and send a copy of the notice to the parents(s).
In-school Disciplinary Actions
Should a parent disagree with disciplinary action of the school, other than out-of-school suspensions or expulsions, the parent may appeal as follows:
Out-of-school Suspension (ten days or fewer)
Should a parent disagree with a suspension of ten days or fewer, the parent may appeal the decision of the principal as follows:
In cases of immediate appeal, if the principal determines that the student’s presence at the school does not create a continuing danger to persons or property, or an ongoing threat of disruption, the student may be allowed to continue in school on a regular basis until the appeal is considered. A favorable decision will allow the student to continue in school, whereas a decision supporting the principal will require the student to serve the full suspension beginning the next school day after receiving notice of the decision. In situations where the student is excluded during the appeal process and the appeal is ultimately favorable to the student, opportunity will be provided for the completion of make-up assignments.
Long-term Suspensions (up to ten days)
Following a hearing, should the parent disagree with the Board or designee’s decision to suspend for ten days, the parent may appeal the decision to the Board of Directors as follows:
Following the principal’s recommendation for expulsion, a hearing will be held by the Board of Directors.
(1) General. Education is a statutory right, and students shall be afforded due process if they are to be excluded from school. In a case involving a possible expulsion, the student is entitled to a formal hearing.
(2) Formal hearings. A formal hearing is required in all expulsion actions. This hearing may be held before the board or an authorized committee of the board, or a qualified hearing examiner appointed by the board. When a committee of the board or a hearing examiner conducts the hearing, a majority vote of the entire board is required to expel a student. The following due process requirements shall be observed with regard to the formal hearing:
(a) Notification of the charges shall be sent to the student’s parents or guardians by certified mail.
(b) At least 3 days’ notice of the time and place of the hearing shall be given. A copy of the expulsion policy, notice that legal counsel may represent the student and hearing procedures shall be included with the hearing notice. A student may request the rescheduling of the hearing when the student demonstrates good cause for an extension.
(c) The hearing shall be held in private unless the student or parent requests a public hearing.
(d) The student may be represented by counsel, at the expense of the parents or guardians, and may have a parent or guardian attend the hearing.
(e) The student has the right to be presented with the names of witnesses against the student, and copies of the statements and affidavits of those witnesses.
(f) The student has the right to request that the witnesses appear in person and answer questions or be cross-examined.
(g) The student has the right to testify and present witnesses on his own behalf.
(h) A written or audio record shall be kept of the hearing. The student is entitled, at the student’s expense, to a copy. A copy shall be provided at no cost to a student who is indigent.
(i) The proceeding shall be held within 15 school days of the notification of charges, unless mutually agreed to by both parties. A hearing may be delayed for any of the following reasons, in which case the hearing shall be held as soon as reasonably possible:
(j) Notice of a right to appeal the results of the hearing shall be provided to the student with the expulsion decision.
(3) Informal hearings: The purpose of the informal hearing is to enable the student to meet with the appropriate school official to explain the circumstances surrounding the event for which the student is being suspended or to show why the student should not be suspended.
(a) The informal hearing is held to bring forth all relevant information regarding the event for which the student may be suspended and for students, their parents or guardians and school officials to discuss ways by which future offenses might be avoided.
(b) The following due process requirements shall be observed in regard to the informal hearing:
(1) Notification of the reasons for the suspension shall be given in writing to the parents or guardians and to the student.
(2) Sufficient notice of the time and place of the informal hearing shall be given.
(3) A student has the right to question any witnesses present at the hearing.
(4) A student has the right to speak and produce witnesses on his own behalf.
(5) The school entity shall offer to hold the informal hearing within the first 5 days of the suspension All hearings will take place before a qualified hearing examiner or authorized a committee of the Board who will consider the evidence presented by the Administration and the student in connection with a formal hearing and will make a recommendation to the Board of Directors.
Resolved, that the Northwood Academy Charter School hereby adopts the attached primary Policy on Bullying and its prevention/intervention in order to ensure compliance with HB 1067 (PA), amending "Article XIII-A Safe Schools" in the Pennsylvania School Code of 1949, that requires each school entity to adopt a policy relating to bullying.
The Northwood Academy Charter School (NACS) is committed to providing a safe, positive learning environment for its students. NACS recognizes the negative impact that bullying has on student health, welfare, and safety and on the learning environment at school. NACS recognizes that bullying creates an atmosphere of fear and intimidation, detracts from the safe environment necessary for student learning, and may lead to more serious violence. NACS prohibits bullying by students and personnel.
Bullying is characterized by the following three (3) criteria:
Bullying, as defined in this policy, refers to direct or indirect action, which may include but is not limited to:
Physical: hitting, kicking, pushing, shoving, getting another person to hurt someone;
Verbal: racial slurs, name-calling, teasing, taunting, verbal sexual harassment, gossiping, spreading rumors; or
Non-Verbal: threatening, obscene gestures, isolation, exclusion, stalking, cyber-bullying (bullying that occurs by the use of electronic or communication devices through means of email, instant messaging, text messages, blogs, photo and video sharing, chat rooms, bash boards, websites or other methods of electronic and/or digital communication)
Bullying is the intentionally harmful (electronic, written, verbal, non-verbal, psychological or physical) act or series of acts that is directed at another person, in and/or outside of a school setting or using school property (as defined below) and is severe, persistent, or pervasive and has the effect of doing the following:
School setting means in the school, on school grounds, in school vehicles, at a designated school bus stop or at any activity sponsored, supervised or sanctioned by the school.
School property means the school computer or telephone.
Northwood Academy Charter School prohibits all forms of bullying.
Northwood encourages students who have been bullied or witnesses bullying to immediately report such incidents to any building administrator. If there is no response, the target of such acts is encouraged to report the incident to the Board of Directors.
Northwood directs that complaints of bullying shall be investigated promptly and thoroughly, and corrective action shall be taken when allegations are verified. Confidentiality of all parties shall be maintained, consistent with the school’s legal and investigative obligations. No reprisals or retaliation shall occur as a result of good faith reports of bullying.
Delegation for Responsibility:
Each adult and student shall be responsible to respect the rights of others and to ensure an atmosphere that is conducive to learning and free from bullying.
The Principal (or designee) shall develop administrative regulations to implement this policy. The Principal (or designee) shall ensure that this policy and administrative regulations are reviewed annually with staff, students, and parents.
The Principal (or designee), in cooperation with other appropriate administrators, shall review this policy every three (3) years and recommend necessary revisions to the SRC.
School administration shall annually provide the following information with the Safe School Report:
The Student Code of Conduct, which shall contain this policy, shall be disseminated annually to students. This policy shall be accessible in every classroom. The policy shall be posted in a prominent location within each school building and on the school website. This policy will be reviewed within 90 days after the adoption by NACS, and annually on the first day of school thereafter.
The school shall implement research-based bullying prevention and intervention programs. Such programs shall provide training for school staff for effectively responding to, intervening in and reporting incidents of bullying. All school bullying prevention and intervention efforts shall be aligned with the framework of the research-based Responsive Classroom and Developmental Designs and shall be approved by the school’s Board of Directors.
Consequences for Violations:
Upon receipt of a complaint of bullying, the Principal (or designee) shall meet with the student(s) who is bullied and student(s) who bullies separately, starting with the student(s) who is bullied, and investigate the reported allegations.
If the allegations are confirmed, the Principal (or designee) shall do the following:
A student who violates this policy shall be subject to the following disciplinary procedure:
Depending on the severity of the incident, cases of bullying may immediately warrant the disciplinary actions of a third offense and may result in expulsion and/or referral to law enforcement officials.
It is the policy of Northwood Academy Charter School not to discriminate in their educational programs, activities or employment practices on the basis of race, sex, color, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, disability or any other legally protected classification under the provisions of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Title IX of the 1972 Educational Amendments; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA 2004), FERPA and any other applicable state of federal laws.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a federal law, affords parents and students over 18 years of age (“eligible students”) certain rights with respect to the student’s education records.
Their rights are briefly summarized below and are explained more fully in the Board’s Student Records Policy which is on file at the school and is available upon request:
1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the school receives a request for access. Parents or eligible students should submit to the Chief Executive Officer a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. The Chief Executive Officer will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education record that the parent or eligible student believes is inaccurate or misleading. Parents or eligible students may ask the school to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the Chief Executive Officer, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the school decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent or eligible student, the school will notify the parent or eligible student of the decision and advise them of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing process will be provided to the parent or eligible student when notified of the right to a hearing.
3. The right to consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official may include a person employed by the school as an administrator, supervisor, instructor or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law unit personnel); a person serving on the Board of Directors; a person or company with whom the school has contracted to perform a special task (such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant or therapist); or parent or student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee or assisting another school official in performing his/her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest, if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his/her professional responsibility. Upon request, Northwood Academy Charter School discloses education records without consent to officials of another school district in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the school to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20202-4605
The policy of the Northwood Academy Charter School (NACS) is to ensure English Language Learners have equitable access to educational opportunities by providing them with high quality, rigorous instruction and appropriate support services in accordance with the distinctive linguistic and socio-cultural needs of this group in accordance with the dictates of 22 Pa. Code § 4.26.
(a) support the successful academic and social achievement of ELL children;
(b) to infuse cultural knowledge and understanding into curriculum content that is reflective of the rich cultures and histories of the school’s students and families;
(c) the overarching purpose of the Language Policy for English Language Learners is to ensure ELLs have equitable access to educational opportunities;
(d) the need for this policy is mandated by the requirement for ELLs to meet state standards and the need to align with federal law and court orders; and
(e) accountability for the academic achievement of ELLs at the school level rests with the CEO, instructional staff and support staff.
Policy and Procedures for Students with Disabilities
Northwood Academy Charter School will ensure that all students with disabilities who
are eligible to enroll in the school will have available to them free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment. The purpose of this annual notice is to comply with the school’s obligations under Chapter 711 of Title 22 of the Pennsylvania Code. The rights of children with disabilities and their parents will be protected in accordance with federal laws.
As part of this child find responsibility, NACS seeks to ensure that all students with disabilities who are eligible to enroll in the school are identified, located and evaluated. This child find responsibility shall be accomplished through a process which, while not a definitive or final judgment of a student's capabilities or disability, is a possible indicator of special education needs.
The child find process shall include obtaining data on each student, through direct assessment or by indirect means of the student's academic performance, gross and fine motor skills, receptive and expressive language skills, vision, hearing and cognitive skills.
School staff, parents or agency representatives may refer students to the multi-disciplinary team if they believe that the student, because of a disability, may be in need of special education and supportive services in order to benefit from regular education. NACS shall ensure that an appropriately certified school psychologist participates in the initial evaluation and all subsequent re-evaluations of the student.
Final identification of students with disabilities and programming for such students occurs only after an appropriate evaluation and a determination by the multidisciplinary team. If it is determined that the child requires special education and supportive services in order to benefit from regular education, an Individual Education Plan shall be developed for the student in accordance with federal law.
If you know someone or have a child with a disability who may be in need of special education and related services, you can initiate a referral through the school by contacting Pamela Friedman, Director of Special Education at 215-289-5606 or by emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am granting permission for photographs and/or videos of my child to be taken during school activities. If photographs and/or videos are taken, they would be for the purpose of educating students, promoting the school, or promoting charter school education. The school may publish photographs and/or videos of my child. I am aware that, if published, third parties would be able to view the photographs and/or videos.
Signing this form means that I agree to the following:
I agree to the taking of photographs and/or videos of my child during school activities,
for use by the school in educating students, promoting Northwood and charter school education. I will notify the school if I decide to withdraw this consent.
I decline the use of my child’s image.
The Northwood Academy Charter School Student/Parent Handbook has been developed to communicate the responsibilities that all stakeholders share in ensuring every student a safe, secure place for learning. Our partnership relies on promises kept, trust, good faith and a commitment to the well being of all students. My, and my child’s, signature below reflect our intention to live up to this compact and all of the provisions contained herein.
Parent Name- Please print
Student Name (Parents of younger children, please print their name.)
* Student Signature or student printed name
*All children should sign this page. Kindergarten students should write their names to the best of their ability. First and second grade students are expected to print their names. Each child should have their own signature page.