The Founders Academy

Student Handbook

2017-2018

 

 

 

 

Table of Contents

i. Message from the Dean of School        4

ii. Mission Statement        5

iii. The Vision        5

iv. Leadership Code of Conduct        5

v. Teacher Code of Excellence        6

vi. Notice of Implied Agreement        6

vii. Board of Trustees        7

viii. Contact Us        7

Section 1.0: Daily Operations        7

1.1 School Hours        7

1.2 School Calendar        8

1.3 Requests for Early Dismissal        8

1.4 Dismissal at End of Day        8

1.5 Emergency Early Dismissal        8

1.6 School Cancellations & Delayed Openings        9

1.7 School Assignments during Inclement Weather or Emergency Conditions        9

Section 2.0: Academic Guidelines        10

2.1    Quarterly and Yearly Mastery        10

2.2    Grade Reporting        12

2.3     Honor Roll Criteria        14

2.4    Student Leveling, Placement, and Credits        14

2.5    Character Grades and Improvement Measures        15

2.6    Homework        16

2.7    Make-Up Work        16

2.8    Schedule Changes        17

2.9    The Founders Academy Standardized Testing        17

2.10    Study Halls        17

2.11    Textbooks/Materials        17

2.12    Transcripts        18

Section 3.0: Student Expectations        18

3.1    Standards of Conduct        18

3.2    Attendance, Absenteeism, and Truancy        18

3.2.a  Absences        19

3.2.b  Family Vacations/Educational Opportunities        20

3.2.c  Repetitive Tardiness        20

3.2.d  Truancy        20

3.2.e  Intervention Process to Address Truancy        21

3.2.f  Parental Notification of Truancy Rules        22

3.2.g  Notification of Absence or Tardiness        22

3.3    Acceptable Use of Computers and Internet Agreement        22

3.3.a  Network Etiquette        24

3.3.b  Unacceptable Use        25

3.4    Recommended Devices        26

3.5    Personal Cell Phones, Cameras, etc.        26

3.5.a  High School Student Cell Phone Exception        27

3.6    Rules Governing Student Conduct at The Founders Academy        27

3.6.a Alcohol, Drug and Tobacco Use        27

3.6.b  Bullying        28

3.6.c  Cheating and Plagiarism-Academic Integrity        29

3.7    Dress Code        31

3.8    Firearms / Weapons        33

3.9    Leaving School Grounds        34

3.10    Respecting Personal Space        34

3.11    Sexual Harassment        34

3.12    Student Reporting of Incidents        35

3.13    Theft/Vandalism        35

3.14    Philosophy of Discipline        35

3.15    Code of Discipline        35

3.15.a Restorative Discipline        37

3.15.b Bus Behavior        38

Section 4.0: School Community        38

4.1    Round Table        38

4.2    Cafeteria/Food in the School        39

4.3    School Cleanliness        39

4.4    Enrichment Assemblies and Programs        40

4.5    Field Trips        40

4.6    Lockers and Student Assigned Desks/Cabinets        40

4.7    Parking        41

4.8    Publicity        41

Section 5.0: Other Information        41

5.1    Non-Discrimination Policy        41

5.2    Access to Student Records        41

5.3    Transfer of Records        42

5.4    First Aid, Medical, and Emergency Procedures        42

5.4.a Emergency Response        42

5.4.b Emergency Response Forms        43

5.4.c Medications        43

5.4.d First Aid        44

5.5    Lab Safety        44

5.6    Fire Drills        45

5.7    Lockdown Drills        45

5.8    Parental Support        45

Section 6.0: Amendments to Founders Student Handbook        46


i.        Message from the Dean of School

July, 2017

Greetings!

Welcome to The Founders Academy Public Charter School now in its fourth year!  At Founders, we strive to uphold the school's mission of character-building, American History, leadership skills, and preserving liberty.  The school's themes were established by the school's founders, entrusted to school administrators, and carried out by teachers into each classroom.

From the beginning of every school day to its end, Founders' teachers educate students and develop ways to expound on the school's mission.  This charge starts each morning with "Round Table."

Round Table takes place during "A Period."  It is a time for teachers and students to facilitate discussions on the themes of our school, community and country.  The idea is to mimic the family dinner table conversations (hence the name Round Table) to share, inform, brainstorm, collaborate and question.  President Ronald Reagan referenced this style of discussion in his Farewell Address when he said, "All great change in America begins at the dinner table."  The concept of Round Table is so central to the school's existence that it is listed first as part of "The Founding Fathers' Character and Leadership Curriculum" and is this year's "theme of the year."

To highlight Round Table as central to the curriculum, each month of the academic calendar has a focus as well as objectives.  Each Round Table will adopt a project at the school and cover important topics based on grade level at Founders.  The syllabi for Round Table are posted on the school's web site.  The monthly themes are as follows:

September - School Functions and Purposes

October - Founders Codes and Theme of Citizenship

November - Veterans and Thanksgiving

December - Celebrate

January - Developing Self-Regulation

February - Presidential History and Character

March - Immigrants and Entrepreneurship

April - Defining Liberty and Understanding the Gifts of and Threats to Our Freedom

May - Self-Evaluation, Dreaming and Setting Goals

It is an exciting time at Founders as we continue to grow and offer students informative, fun, and challenging classes.  My hope is that the school's mission and themes clearly ring in our hallways and classrooms.  As for me, it continues to be a privilege serving the students and faculty at Founders.  Have a great year!

Maureen Mooney

Dean of School

The Founders Academy

ii.        Mission Statement

The Founders Academy is a public charter school encompassing grades 6-12 that is free and open to all New Hampshire students.  The academy develops citizens and leaders, who understand and apply the lessons of the past, demonstrate exceptional character, participate knowledgeably in community activities, and lead by example.  The Academy recognizes the importance of balance in the development of each person and respects each student’s individual journey.

Principled leadership and good citizenship are fostered by means of a curriculum of classical studies that includes analyzing the lives of great men and women of history, mining the rich classical ideals of the Western tradition, and tracing the evolution of the precious and costly idea of liberty.

iii.        The Vision

The Founders Academy prepares wise, principled leaders by offering a classical education and providing a wide array of opportunities to lead.

iv.        Leadership Code of Conduct

Students are obligated to uphold the following Leadership Code of Conduct which was created and adopted by students in January, 2015.  The Code guides students in how they are to conduct themselves both in and out of school.  The Code is as follows:

1. Be responsible

2. Be respectful

3. Be honest

4. Be lawful

5. Be determined

6. Be polite

7. Be open-minded

8. Be courageous

9. Be confident

10. Be helpful

v.        Teacher Code of Excellence

        Faculty and staff are obligated to uphold the following Teacher Code of Excellence which was written and adopted by faculty in February, 2017.  The Code truly emphasizes the manner in which faculty and staff conduct themselves as employees of Founders both in and out of school.

 Accountability

To the mission and vision of the school.

Inspiration

Inspire good character in each of our students.

Leadership

Promote leadership opportunities for students wherever possible.

Self-Improvement

Pursue personal education and development for your own teaching methods and management.

Integrity

Guarantee integrity and fairness in all areas of teaching.

Respect

Respect student individuality and encourage student growth.

Professionalism

Maintain professional discretion and respect for all members of the Founders' community.

Communication

Communicate simply, clearly, and in a timely way to Founders' community members. Bring concerns directly to administration and/or other involved parties for quick resolution.

Support

Support the entire Founders' community by sharing your knowledge and ideas.

Fulfillment

Fulfill all obligations and duties as stated in the handbook to the best of your ability.​

vi.        Notice of Implied Agreement

The registration of a student at The Founders Academy is deemed to be an agreement on his or her part, and on the part of the parents or guardians, to comply fully with all policies, rules, and regulations of the school.  The Academy reserves the right to revise or edit the rules and regulations herein at any time.  The Board of Trustees makes the final judgment in all matters.

vii.        Board of Trustees

The Founders Academy is governed by a Board of Trustees that has general supervisory control and authority over the operation and policies of the charter school.  Trustee selection is based on personal and professional background and a commitment to the school’s mission, support, and sustainability. The list of Board members and minutes for all Board of Trustees meetings can be found on the school web site: www.thefoundersacademy.org.

Everyone is encouraged to attend board meetings or committee meetings. Those meeting times are listed on the school website: www.thefoundersacademy.org.

viii.        Contact Us

Email is an important and primary method of communication for parents, students, faculty, and staff.  To contact any Founders administrator by email use the following format: firstname.lastname@tfanh.org (for example, john.smith@tfanh.org).  Founders teachers use the following format:  firstinitial.lastname@tfanh.org (for example, j.smith@tfanh.org).  All students, parents, faculty and staff are provided with a Founders' email account.  Emails will be sent at the beginning of the year describing access.  All school communications will be sent through the Founders' email account.  Founders will not send official school information to non tfanh.org email addresses.  Emails from personal accounts will not be accepted or utilized for communications regarding students or school information.   

To contact the school by phone, please call the school office at:  603-952-4705.

Section 1.0: Daily Operations

1.1        School Hours

Students may arrive at school beginning at 7:20 AM.  Parents/guardians must stay with their child before 7:20 AM.  There are other times when the staff (coaches, moderators, etc.) will schedule activities, and for such occasions, supervision will be provided only during the time of that activity. Parents are responsible for making arrangements regarding transportation, drop off, and pick up in accordance with these times.

Any students who need to be picked up prior to dismissal must be picked up before 2:30 PM.  Students engaged in sports and other activities that may require a different arrangement must communicate this to the school in advance.  We are committed to making these activities work for our students and will do our best to accommodate our students' needs.

 

1.2        School Calendar

The school’s calendar can be found on the school website at: www.thefoundersacademy.org.  Every effort will be made to have Founders’ calendar approved prior to the start of the school year.  

1.3        Requests for Early Dismissal

Please try to refrain from making appointments requiring early dismissal during the school day. In case of an emergency, a parent/guardian may request an early dismissal by phone or in person. Phone requests will be verified prior to dismissal. Parents/guardians must come to the school office to have students dismissed outside of normal dismissal times. As stated above, students who are dismissed early must be picked up before 2:30 PM.

1.4        Dismissal at End of Day

An adult will accompany students out of the building each day for bus and parent pick up, and remain outside 15 minutes after the final period. After this time, remaining students will go back into the school and will remain under the direction of an adult until a parent or authorized person picks the student up. If the adult picking up the student arrives after the students are inside the building, the adult must come in the building to meet the student and sign the student out.

1.5        Emergency Early Dismissal

If inclement weather or another situation occurs during the day necessitating emergency dismissal, a notification will be posted on Founders’ website (www.thefoundersacademy.org), an email will be sent to all parents’ email addresses on file, and phone calls will be made via the student automated call system. Every effort will be made to reach all parents in a timely manner.

NOTE:  All students must be picked up at the time stated in an emergency early dismissal notice. In a situation warranting an emergency early dismissal, we cannot jeopardize the safety of staff members by asking them to remain in the building.

1.6        School Cancellations & Delayed Openings

The Founders Academy generally makes a decision on school cancellations and delayed openings no later than 6:30 AM.  Notifications of school closings and delays can be found on the following radio and TV stations: WGIR (610 AM), WZID (95.7 FM), WLMW (90.7 FM) and WMUR-TV Channel 9, their websites, and Founders’ website (www.thefoundersacademy.org).

Additionally, at the earliest convenience of the Dean or at the Dean's instruction, an automated voice message will be sent to phones, as well as notification placed on email.  Founders parents should use their discretion when commuting on days of inclement weather considering our students come from many towns and cities throughout New Hampshire. Absence due to inclement weather is considered an excused absence.

1.7        School Assignments during Inclement Weather or Emergency Conditions

On days when Founders is closed due to emergency conditions or inclement weather, teachers may provide assignments which can include instruction via the Internet.  An announcement will be made in advance when possible.  When such an announcement is not made in advance, assignments will be announced via email and on the portals. Students are responsible for checking email and portals on days of inclement weather, and must participate in all instruction and assignments given during inclement weather or emergency conditions as on any regular school day.

Teachers will post work in advance, when possible, or as quickly as possible after a closing has been announced, but no later than the normal class time. Students will monitor email and portals for communications and instructions from teachers. Students (with Internet) will submit work to the teacher via email, or during the next class period (based on teachers' instructions) and assignments will be assessed the same way that teachers assess other assignments. A grade for these assignments will be entered into the grade book portals.

Section 2.0: Academic Guidelines

2.1    Quarterly and Yearly Mastery

Definition of Mastery at The Founders Academy

The underlying claim of mastery is that it is a process of educating students, by which all students can learn, comprehend information, and utilize ideas for practical purposes when they are provided with clear expectations of what mastery means in a specific subject area and for specific topics.  

Why “mastery?”

Mastery ensures that the goal of a rigorous curriculum and high expectations are maintained at The Founders Academy.  We do not simply require that students “pass” a course, but that they “master” the content of each course.  Additionally, the process allows students whose mastery is in question at the end of a quarter or course to continue to work towards mastering the content, and to demonstrate their mastery for the purpose of moving forward to the next level of instruction in a particular subject area.

What is the “process?”

  1. The process includes benchmarks for assessment.  This includes an assessment of mastery at the end of each quarter before the 4th quarter.  Students who earn grades of 80% or higher (B- through A+) are considered masters of the content automatically.  Students who earn grades below 80% (C+ through F) on the quarterly report card may still demonstrate mastery by completing additional work, at the teacher’s discretion.  The additional work, and ultimate decision concerning mastery must be completed within the first 3 weeks following the issuance of the report card for the quarter in which the student is working.
  2. The process includes both teacher and student reflection.  Quarterly benchmarks allow students, parents, and teachers to address any deficiencies in progress as the school year progresses.  All should work to monitor student progress towards final course mastery through the school year.
  3. The process also includes supplementary instruction.  Students who do not demonstrate mastery with a semester or course grade of 80% or higher (B- through A+) may have the opportunity to demonstrate mastery at the end of each quarter or at the end of the course, if the student believes he or she has indeed mastered the content.  This demonstration may include supplemental instruction and/or assignments.

Quarterly Mastery: (Quarters 1-3)

Students who earn grades of 80% or higher (B- through A+) are considered masters of the content automatically.  Students who earn grades below 80% (C+ through F) on the quarterly report card may still demonstrate mastery by completing additional work, at the teacher’s discretion. The additional work, and ultimate decision concerning mastery must be completed within the first 3 weeks following the issuance of the report card for the quarter in which the student is working.

Course Mastery:

At the end of the school year, students who earn a score 80% or higher (B- through A+) will be considered masters of the content and automatically be promoted to the next level within that course’s subject area.  Students who earn a grade of 70% - 79% (C- through C+) will receive credit for the class but will not be allowed to proceed to the next level (if there is one.)  However, those students may attempt a mastery assignment in order to be allowed to move to the next level.  All attempts for mastery by these students must be completed by June 30th.

Forms of demonstrating mastery may include:

Projects, Oral Exams, Written Exams, Exam Re-takes, VLACS, Khan Academy, After School Tutoring, and other assignments deemed appropriate by teachers.

Necessary Steps to Success of the Mastery Process:

The letter grade “I” (Incomplete) may be assigned to a student who has been absent due to extenuating circumstances and has not had enough time to complete the necessary work in that marking period. Students are responsible for making up all incomplete work within two weeks of the end of the marking period. If the work is not completed, the grade may be calculated with zero credit given for the missing assignments. Written requests for extensions may be submitted by parents/guardians stating the reason for the request (for example, severe illness). Approval of extensions is not automatic.

2.2    Grade Reporting

The academic year is divided into four quarters. The school will email end of quarter report cards only to “primary contacts” and students on @tfanh.org email addresses.  

For classes not eligible for high school credit, mid-term and final assessment grades will be factored into quarters 2 and 4 and graded according to the testing standards set by individual faculty.

Quarter 1 – 25%

Quarter 2 – 25%

Quarter 3 – 25%

Quarter 4 – 25%

Full Year Grade – 100%

 

For classes that are eligible for high school credit, mid-term and final exam grades are factored into final grades as follows:

 

For Full Year Courses:

 

Quarter 1 – 20%

Quarter 2 – 20%

Mid-Term – 10%

Quarter 3 – 20%

Quarter 4 – 20%

Final Assessment – 10%

Full Year Grade – 100%

 

For One Semester Courses:

 

Quarter 1 or 3 – 40%

Quarter 2 or 4 – 40%

Final Assessment – 20%

Final Grade – 100%

 

 

 

The Grade Scale used at Founders is as follows:
                              
Numerical Grade                Grade Points

A+ - 98–100%

A+ = 4.33

A – 94-97%

A   = 4.0

A- - 90-93%

A-  = 3.67

B+ - 87-89%

B+ = 3.33

B – 84-86%

B   = 3.0

B- - 80-83%

B-  = 2.67

C+ - 77-79%

C+ = 2.33

C – 74-76%

C   = 2.0

C- - 70-73%

C-  = 1.67

D+ - 67-69%

D+ = 1.33

D – 64-66%

D   = 1.0

D- - 60-63%

D-  = 0.67

F – 59% and below

F   = 0.

 

The formula for determining a student’s final grade is by using numerical grades (not points).

 

Extra grade point average points are given for Advanced Placement and Honors courses.  A bonus of 0.5 will be added to the grade point of these classes.  

 

Teachers have the discretion to decide whether or not students will be exempt from taking mid-term and final assessments in their classes.  However, if a teacher determines a student will be exempt from taking mid-terms and final assessments, then the reason will be for the following:   an A- or higher achieved in the current quarter and the immediately preceding quarter.  

If a student chooses to take mid-terms and finals despite the criteria above, he/she may do so but their exam grades will factor into their grade (as it would any other student).

Report cards will be emailed to both students and parents. Report cards will not be sent to non-tfanh.org email addresses.

During each semester, grades for each student will be available online to parents and students through designated and secure online portals. Teachers will notify parents when students earn a failing grade on a large assessment or fail to turn in three assignments in a row.  Parents are responsible for accessing the portals and contacting a teacher if grades fall below mastery.

2.3     Honor Roll Criteria

At the end of each quarter, an honor roll will be published for middle and high school students.  Honor rolls are based off of grade point averages (GPA) - not the averages of a student’s numerical grades.  Students must have a minimum of 4 graded classes in the quarter and no “Incomplete” grades to be considered for an honor roll.  The levels and criteria are as follows:

 

High Honor Roll: Students who have a quarterly GPA of 4.0 or greater (which is equivalent to an "A" or greater) at the end of the quarter shall qualify for this honor roll.

 

Honor Roll: Students who have a quarterly GPA between 3.33 and 3.99 (which is equivalent to a "B+" or “A-”) at the end of the quarter shall qualify for this honor roll.  

 

Honorable Mention: Students who have a quarterly GPA between 3.0 and 3.32 (which is equivalent to a "B") at the end of the quarter shall qualify for this honor roll.

 

2.4    Student Leveling, Placement, and Credits        

At The Founders Academy, for any given academic class, students may be placed before or during the school year at either their traditional grade level of learning, one level below their traditional grade level of learning, or higher than their traditional grade level of learning.

Initial placement for Mathematics and English is determined by placement exams prior to enrollment. Some students can be moved up or down during the school year based upon their mastery (see definition below), or lack thereof, of specific academic subjects.

For non-academic subjects, placement is determined by a student’s grade level in a traditional school setting.

A student at Founders needs twenty-six (26) required credits to receive a high school diploma.  A student’s academic progress towards graduation is measured by the completion of required middle and high school classes.  Certain middle school classes can count toward high school credits.  

Alternative credits may be given for physical education based on outside activities (i.e., dance, swimming, etc.) upon approval of the Scheduling Committee.

In very rare and well-considered circumstances, high school students may opt out of required courses by following these steps:

1. Talk to the school counselor about the academic consequences of dropping a required course.

2. Get a signed letter from parents approving this request.

3. Write a letter to the Curriculum Committee Chairman stating the (compelling) reasons for wanting to drop the course and the plan for replacing it with a substitute course.

4. Appear before the Curriculum Committee to present the case and receive their verdict.

2.5    Character Grades and Improvement Measures

The character development of students is a principal focus of The Founders Academy.  Who you are matters as much as “What you do at our school. Our mission is to create students of strong character to become good and knowledgeable citizens and leaders of the future.

 

In order to acknowledge the good character of our students or to encourage the continued development of it in others, students will be evaluated quarterly by each of their teachers on their character.  Teacher evaluations will be based on the students’ adherence to the principles set forth in The Founders Academy Leadership Code of Conduct and to other school and classroom rules. Students’ character will be graded as either “Good,” “Satisfactory,” or “Needs Work.”  

A consistently positive demonstration of the qualities enumerated in the Code of Conduct would merit a grade of “Good.”  If the behavior is the result of inattention or disorganization but the character is generally good, the grade would be “Satisfactory.”  If violations of the Code of Conduct (disrespect, dishonesty, lack of responsibility, narrow mindedness, etc.) are a result of self-remediable poor choices of behavior, then grade would be “Needs Work.”

 

If a student receives the “Needs Work” assessment from two or more teachers, a series of steps may be taken to help him/her improve.  Such steps could include:

 

Step one:   After a discussion with an administrator or school counselor, students will write an essay explaining the attributes of good character and what steps they can take to improve their own. The length of the essay will be determined by the student’s level and abilities.

 

Step two:   Students will write an essay on an historical person of outstanding character and present their final research paper to The Founders Academy Discipline and Character Development Committee. The topic chosen will be from a list provided by an administrator or school counselor.  The Discipline and Character Development Committee will discuss the meaning of the research with the student and the relationship between the topic and the student’s own values and behavior.

2.6    Homework

Students are expected to come to classes prepared.  Teachers may provide homework to reinforce what has been learned, and/or to introduce, review, or synthesize information being covered.  Students and their families should expect approximately 10-15 minutes of homework (maximum) per 45-minute block taught that day in Level 1-2 classes.   In Level 3+ classes, the expectation is approximately 15-20 minutes of homework (maximum) per block taught that day.  During study hall periods, there are opportunities for students to work on homework during the school day.

2.7    Make-Up Work

When a student is absent it is the responsibility of the student to make up all work missed, including in-class assignments.  The teacher will decide on the appropriate amount of time for make-up work. Work which was assigned prior to the absence and due on the day of the absence must be passed in upon the student’s return to class. Missed assignments and class work should be obtained from the student portal or fellow students, and finally, if further clarification is needed, the teachers.  

Students absent on the day of a quiz or test must make arrangements with the teacher on the day of return for make-up. Students may not be given tests or quizzes in advance of an absence without prior permission.

Refer to the syllabus for each course for additional information about make-up work.

 

 2.8    Schedule Changes

Once a student’s class schedule has been planned, changes may occur to create a more appropriate match with the student’s educational level.   The school’s Scheduling Committee reviews and approves adding, dropping, and/or replacing a class based on student, parent, and/or teacher request.  The process to add/drop or replace should not take longer than 1 week and is as follows:

  1. Request to Registrar (from either parent or teacher via add/drop form)
  2. Teacher conferences with School Counselor
  3. Consultation with Department Chairman by School Counselor (may include placement exam/assessment)
  4. Review by Scheduling Committee
  5. Notification to parent and student by School Counselor of the committee’s decision and publishing of a new schedule and roster if approved.
  6. Teachers receive “transfer telegrams” if any changes are approved

Students who have taken a class previously but have not made mastery have to repeat the class and cannot test out of it, cannot request to move up.  Students cannot take a history VLACS course to transfer into Founders.

2.9    The Founders Academy Standardized Testing

The Academy participates in assessment testing as required of all New Hampshire public school students. Eligible students may also take the SAT or PSAT at designated sites each year. SAT and PSAT registration and testing costs are a parent responsibility.  The Founders Academy reserves the right to administer additional testing.

2.10    Study Halls

During periods where students do not have classes scheduled, they will report to required study periods. These periods are designed as a quiet time for students to accomplish work.  The classroom rules of study hall must be followed.

2.11    Textbooks/Materials

Founders provides textbooks and other instructional materials to students in order to maximize their educational experience. These items are on loan to students, and all efforts must be made to keep them in good condition. Students need to report any and all problems with their textbooks and materials to the teacher immediately. Students will be issued textbooks and instructional materials only for those classes in which they are enrolled, and these items must be returned at the conclusion of a class. In cases where textbooks, library books, and other instructional materials are lost, damaged, or destroyed in excess of reasonable wear and tear, the student will be assessed an amount sufficient to cover replacement cost(s).  Failure to return or compensate for school textbooks and materials may result in consequences to be determined by the Dean.

2.12    Transcripts

An official transcript may be requested by completing The Founders Academy form online or by calling the school.

 

Section 3.0: Student Expectations  

3.1           Standards of Conduct

The Student Code of Conduct is our guiding light.  It is displayed at the front desk and in every classroom.  Students review it each year and take it seriously.  By and large, we have an atmosphere of harmony and good cheer in our school because our students show the respect, responsibility and lawfulness that are delineated in the Code.

 

3.2           Attendance, Absenteeism, and Truancy

The Founders Academy regulations in relationship to attendance, absenteeism and truancy are based on the following New Hampshire statutes and administrative rules, as well as additional rules as needed:

Legal References Related to Attendance:

RSA 189:34, Appointment

RSA 189:35-a, Truancy Defined

RSA 193:1, Duty of Parent; Compulsory Attendance by Pupil

RSA 193:7 Penalty

RSA 193:8, Notice Requirements

RSA 193:16 Bylaws as to Nonattendance

NH Code of Administrative Rules, Section Ed 306.04 (a)(1), Attendance and Absenteeism

NH Code of Administrative Rules, Section Ed 306.04 (c), Policy Relative to Attendance and Absenteeism

3.2.a  Absences

The Founders Academy requires that enrolled school-aged children attend school in accordance with all applicable state laws and administrative rules.  The educational program offered by Founders is predicated upon the presence of the student and requires continuity of instruction and classroom participation in order for students to achieve academic standards and consistent educational progress.

Attendance shall be required of all students enrolled in Founders during the days and hours that school is in session, except that the Dean may excuse a student for temporary absences when receiving satisfactory evidence of conditions or reasons that may reasonably cause the student’s absence.

The Founders Academy considers the following to be excused absences:

·         Illness

·         Recovery from an accident

·         Required court attendance

·         Medical and dental appointments

·         Death in the immediate family

·         Observation or celebration of religious holidays

·         Such other good cause as may be acceptable to the Dean or permitted by law

Any absence that has not been excused for any of these above reasons will be considered an unexcused absence.  

Illness:  In the event of an illness, parents are required to contact the school and inform Founders of the student’s illness and absence.  A note from a medical provider is required when a student is absent for five or more consecutive days due to illness or other health related issues. The note MUST contain the dates (past/present) to be excused, and also clear the student to return to school with or without limitations.  A note from a medical provider may be required when a student is absent one or two days on a weekly basis due to illness or other health related issues. The note MUST contain the dates (past/present) to be excused, and also clear the student to return to school with or without limitations.

Not Related to Illness or Health:  For other absences not related to illness or other health related issues, parents/guardians MUST provide written notice or a written excuse that states one of the reasons above for non-attendance.  The Dean may require parents to provide additional documentation in support of their written notice, including but not limited to doctor’s notes, court documents, obituaries, or other documents supporting the claimed reason for non-attendance.

Other Absences:  If parents wish for their child to be absent for a reason not listed above, the parent MUST provide a written explanation of the reason for such absence, including why the student will be absent and for how long the student will be absent.  The Dean or his/her designee will make a determination as to whether the stated reason for the student’s absence constitutes good cause.  If the Dean determines that good cause does not exist, the parents may request a conference with the Dean to again explain the reasons for non-attendance.  The Dean may then reconsider the initial determination.  However, at this juncture, the Dean’s decision shall be final.

After School Activities:  Students who are absent during an entire day must get permission from the Dean prior to attending any after school activities or evening events that same day.

3.2.b  Family Vacations/Educational Opportunities

Generally, absences other than for illness during the school year are discouraged.  The Dean or his/her designee may, however, grant special approval of absence for family vacations, provided written approval is given in advance.  Students are required to complete all work assigned during any special approved absence and arrange to take any missed quiz, test or exam missed during this time period.  Supplemental instruction is not to be expected.

 

3.2.c         Repetitive Tardiness

If a student’s repeated tardiness impacts classroom instruction, the teacher shall report this to the Dean.  The Dean has the authority to devise an alternative plan.  Such a plan may allow for a certain number of tardy incidents to equal an unexcused, half-day absence.  Excessive tardiness shall be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

3.2.d         Truancy

Truancy is defined as any unexcused absence from class or school.  Any absence that has not been excused for any of the reasons listed above will be considered an unexcused absence.

Ten half-days of unexcused absences during a school year will constitute habitual truancy.

A half-day absence is defined as a student missing more than two hours of instructional time and less than three and one-half hours of instructional time.

Any absence of more than three and one-half hours of instructional time shall be considered a full-day absence.

The Dean or Truant Officer is hereby designated as a Founders’ employee responsible for overseeing truancy issues.

3.2.e         Intervention Process to Address Truancy

When the Dean/designee identifies a student who is habitually truant or who is in danger of becoming habitually truant (five half days of unexcused absence or three full days unexcused absence), he/she shall first send the student’s parent/guardian an email which includes:

1.         A statement that the student has become or is in danger of becoming habitually truant;

2.         A statement of the parent’s responsibility to ensure that the student attends school;

3.         A request for a meeting between the parents/guardians and the Dean to discuss the student’s truancy and to develop a plan for reducing the student’s truancy.

If truancy continues at eight half days or four full days, the Dean/designee will send the parents a certified letter which includes:

1.         A statement that the student has become or is in danger of becoming habitually truant;

2.         A statement of the parent’s responsibility to ensure that the student attends school;

3.         A request for a meeting between the parents and the Dean to discuss the student’s truancy and to develop a written plan for reducing the student’s truancy.

Should the absences continue after the above mentioned, a written attendance plan may be established including one or more of the following measures:

3.2.f  Parental Notification of Truancy Rules

The Dean shall ensure that truancy rules are provided to students and parents annually.

3.2.g  Notification of Absence or Tardiness

Parents/guardians are required to call and/or e-mail attendance@tfanh.org with the following information when a student is absent:

In the event this email is not received, an email from the school will be sent to the parent/guardian which will require an immediate response.

3.3    Acceptable Use of Computers and Internet Agreement

The Founders Academy may use technology equipment and software in its academic and co-curricular programs.  Founders is designed so that students have access to school-configured computers, personal devices, and internet use for the purpose of enriched academic opportunities.  Use of school computers and networks, as well as personal devices, are a privilege of attending Founders; however, it is not a right. The school expects that its students will use computers and the internet according to school rules and in the manner intended—for academic purposes. Violation of the use may result in the loss of privilege at the discretion of the Dean or designee.

The following rules (numbers 1-10 below) define the expectations for the use of personal devices, school computers, and internet use.

1.    The use of electronic devices is a privilege that can be revoked.  

2.    During school hours, electronic devices (including school computers, laptops, Notebooks and Tablets) are permitted ONLY for taking notes, research, homework, study, and specific assignments such as projects. The intent is to use electronic devices ONLY for productivity and school business, not for entertainment.  Cellular and smart phones are not permitted for phone calling or texting during school hours.

3.         During school hours, students are allowed to listen to music if authorized by a teacher/staff/volunteer ONLY when appropriate during study halls, lunch and recess.  Music may not be played loud so that others can hear it, nor should it be a distraction.  NO music videos may be played.  NO music can be considered explicit, obscene, harmful, or inappropriate.

4.        Students authorized to use a school computer may NOT download any content unrelated to school including harmful or inappropriate material.

5.        Students may NOT print out assignments on school printers.  

6.        Only Wi-Fi from Founders or approved networks can be used within the Founders building.   NO Wi-Fi may be used from neighboring buildings, networks, companies or other outside sources.  NO use of 3G, 4G, LTE, or other personal service is allowed.  Teacher authorized internet usage for academic purposes is closely monitored by Founders and software protection.  Breaking this rule will result in immediate loss of the privilege to use any personal computer device.  

7.            NO computer games may be played on ANY device from 7:45am - 3:10pm at The Founders Academy, unless the game is authorized by a teacher or staff member.  Before or after school students may use their personal devices to play ONLY offline computer games.  Students may NOT use the school internet for games. Therefore, ANY games that require the use of internet are prohibited.

8.        Students shall be respectful and use proper online etiquette when sending emails from Founders email accounts.  Full descriptions and definitions of inappropriate and unacceptable usage can be found at www.thefoundersacademy.org and The Founders Academy Student Handbook.

9.        If a student loses or damages their personal device at school, it is NOT the responsibility of the school, although students should report the item if it is missing.   Students are discouraged from bringing any unnecessary devices to school.

10.        Further rules and explanations can be found below within this Student Handbook.  

Inappropriate and unacceptable usage will be reviewed and will result in consequences - from a reminder or warning to loss of privileges. A student who knowingly manipulates the system and creates IT costs will be required to reimburse the school for these costs.  

Internet and any materials accessed on school computers or personal devices must support Founders’ educational program or extracurricular school activities. In compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), Founders uses school filtering software intended to block visual depictions of material considered obscene, harmful, or inappropriate.  Most sites blocked will be on the basis of content or sites where chat rooms and instant messages are found. As a result, valid sites are sometimes blocked when employing filters.  When this occurs, please notify the front desk staff for “white listing.”

Student computer use at school includes internet access and can be monitored by Founders faculty and staff. Teachers and other adults can monitor computer and personal device use, check what students are doing, or ask that such be opened or closed in the same manner as any other school or classroom activity is monitored. The expectation is that technology is used properly in class for class purposes and subject to Founders regulations.

If a user inadvertently goes to an inappropriate website, the user should immediately exit the site and let the teacher or staff member know what happened. In this way, the incident can be documented so someone knows the access was not intended.

If a user wants access to a blocked site, there will be a system for making this request. Requests will be reviewed, and blocked sites may be (but are not required to be) removed from filtering.

3.3.a  Network Etiquette

Internet communication, like person-to-person communication, should be guided by The Founders Code of Conduct.  Every type of communication is subject to the same values of respect and politeness expressed in our Code.

The following actions are outlined to explain network etiquette:

·         Be polite. No inflammatory or rude messages.

·         Do not impersonate any other person including students, administrators, faculty, or staff when communicating with others.

·         Under no circumstances should students allow others to use their accounts or share their passwords.

·         Use appropriate language. No swears, slurs, or insulting comments, e.g. regarding race, gender, religion, disability, etc.

·         When composing emails or providing online commentary, continue to use proper sentence structure and grammar.

·         Be discreet and protective for everyone’s safety. Do not reveal the personal address or phone number of yourself, other students, parents, faculty, or others in the school.

·         Be respectful of the school. Your emails use the name of the school. Emailing and leaving messages with or about inappropriate sites or people could bring disrespect to the school.

·         Be considerate of other users. Do not use the overuse network time or use a computer in a way that would disrupt the internet access for others.

·         Be law-abiding. Some activities on the internet are illegal. These will be reported and are forbidden.

 

3.3.b  Unacceptable Use

The following actions are outlined to explain unacceptable use:

·         Neglecting or misusing school computers.

·         Sending or displaying messages or pictures that are offensive or intimidating.

·         Using another individual’s passwords, changing school passwords, or attempting to manipulate the system.

·         Removing, altering, defacing, or exchanging any hardware or software components from any laptop, desktop, or other equipment.

·         Tampering with installed software and files--deleting, renaming, moving, copying, or changing any file or its properties, other than the student’s personal document files.

·         Tampering with network computer equipment or any school hardware related to the school’s system for using technology.

·         Accessing or attempting to gain access to unauthorized or blocked files and websites

·         Installing software on school computers.

·         Violating copyright laws by unauthorized copying of software, e.g. pirated software or WAREZ files.

·         Knowingly infecting a computer system with a virus.

·         Using the school’s network system for personal commercial purposes.

·         Trespassing in someone else’s folders, work, or files.

·         Intentionally wasting resources, bandwidth, or computer processing.

·         Not abiding by school guidelines, as clarified from time to time.

·         Using another student’s personal device without their permission.

·         Engaging in an act of cyberbullying. See under “Bullying.”

Students may not use others’ personal devices without specific permission from the owner of the device.   If a device is being utilized through a different service it will be removed and held in the office until a parent/guardian is available to retrieve it.  To efficiently manage the school’s technology resources, specific guidelines are in place for adding, deleting, and altering hardware and software and also for using the internet. Students may not attempt to make changes to any school software or hardware.  A student who knowingly manipulates the system and creates IT costs will be required to reimburse the school for these costs.  All documents should be stored in Google Apps. All students and parents have accounts to access Google Apps.

Communication on and use of public school computers and networks is public in nature. There can be no expectation of privacy.  Adults who operate the system have access to all email and system files.  Email, accounts, and computers may be monitored but Founders is not required to do so.   Personal devices brought into Founders’ network environment may be required to have antivirus software verified to be up to date. Those same personal devices may be required to have VNC monitoring software installed for the purpose of real-time monitoring.

3.4    Recommended Devices

Recommended Devices for 2017/2018 for students BYOD:  At The Founders Academy, we recommend that students have a personal devices to use to support academic learning across all content areas.  Students are asked to access academic work digitally in Google Classroom on a regular basis.  It is our recommendation that students have a base level Chromebook device to support their academic learning.  Students can have a traditional laptop, however, the battery doesn’t last a full school day and these are typically heavier to transport.  In addition, they should also have a wired headset with recording capabilities to support their learning in computer science classes.  The computer science department highly advises selecting one that has a battery life of 6 or more hours so it will last students through the school day.  

If you have multiple children enrolled at the school we are recommending that each child have their own device to use.  Please keep in mind the weight of the device when purchasing as your child will need to transport their device from each class in their bag along with their binders and textbooks.  

This will run between $130-$200 for a new Chromebook from Amazon. If you shop around for sales, you can purchase them for less.

3.5    Personal Cell Phones, Cameras, etc.

Students are allowed to carry personal cell phones; however, these devices may only be used before or after school hours unless authorized by a teacher.  In the instance of a school wide emergency, calls may be made on personal cell phones and/or at the front desk.  Students shall not call parents to pick them up early for any reason. If the student needs to leave early for any reason, the student must report to the office. Office staff will make arrangements for pick up.

Due to privacy and safety issues, at no time are students allowed to use the camera function on their cell phones or digital device to photograph or record other students or adults. Individual instructors may allow photography or recordings for specific academic purposes only on a case by case basis.

School employees shall confiscate any devices being used in a manner inconsistent with school policy. The devices will be returned to students.  After multiple offenses, the devices will be returned only to parents.

Please note that Founders is not responsible for items which are lost, stolen, or damaged.

3.5.a  High School Student Cell Phone Exception

High School students may use their cell phones only with teacher permission and for the following reasons:  calculators, research, email to teachers only, Google docs, spelling, and/or music with headphones.  High school students may not use their cell phones for photographing, videoing, texting, social media, and/or online games.

3.6           Rules Governing Student Conduct at The Founders Academy

3.6.a        Alcohol, Drug and Tobacco Use

The Founders Academy does not tolerate the unlawful use, possession, sale, distribution, or manufacturing of alcohol, drugs and tobacco on school grounds. All prescription and over the counter medications must be kept at the front desk. The school’s policy extends to being under the influence of prohibited substances on school grounds. Drugs are defined to include, but not limited to:

·         Any controlled substance prohibited by law.

·         Any beverage containing alcohol.

·         Any prescription or over-the-counter drug, with the exception of those authorized by parents/guardians and held by school personnel in accordance with school policy.

·         Hallucinogenic substances of any kind.

·         Inhalants.

The Dean or designee and/or Board of Trustees will deal directly with students who are responsible for violating this policy and appropriate disciplinary action will be administered.  Discipline may include suspension and/or expulsion. In addition, all cases will be referred to the proper authorities.

3.6.b         Bullying

The Dean or designee and/or the Board of Trustees will directly handle violations of this policy with discussions, meeting with the student and his parents, and an agreement on serious and appropriate consequences, which could include a period of absence from school or, in extreme cases where the health and safety of the community is at issue, expulsion. The highest priority of discipline is always, even in these serious cases, to restore the offender to healthy, lawful functioning.  The Founders Academy will not tolerate any form of bullying.  Please refer to Founders' Policy JZB - Pupil Safety and Violence Prevention for additional information.

Definitions:

“Bullying” is defined as a single significant incident or a pattern of incidents involving a written, verbal, or electronic communication, or a physical act or gesture, or any combination thereof, directed at another pupil which:

(1) Physically harms a pupil or damages the pupil’s property;

(2) Causes emotional distress to a pupil;

(3) Interferes with a pupil’s educational opportunities;

(4) Creates a hostile educational environment; or

(5) Substantially disrupts the orderly operation of the school.

“Bullying” shall include actions motivated by an imbalance of power based on a pupil’s actual or perceived personal characteristics, behaviors, or beliefs or motivated by the pupil’s association with another person and based on the other person’s characteristics, behaviors, or beliefs.

“Cyberbullying” is any conduct that is defined as “bullying” within this policy, which is undertaken through the use of electronic devices which include, but are not limited to, telephones, cellular phones, computers, pagers, electronic mail, instant messaging, text messaging, and websites.

The Founders Academy reserves the right to address bullying and/or cyberbullying, and impose discipline for bullying and/or cyberbullying that:

·         occurs on, or is delivered to, school property or a school-sponsored activity or event on or off school property; or

·         occurs off of school property or outside of a school-sponsored activity or event, if the conduct interferes with a pupil’s educational opportunities or substantially disrupts the orderly operations of the school or school-sponsored activity or event.

Reporting Procedure

1.      Any student who believes he has been bullied may report the alleged act to the Dean, his designee or faculty and staff.

2.      Other students or adults may also report to the Dean, his designee, or any other adult at the school.

3.      Reporting may be anonymous, but verification will be necessary to effectively resolve the incident.

4.      Notification to parents will be within 48 hours, respecting the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974.

5.      A written waiver to the notification time period may be given in the best interests of the student. 

 

Investigation and Restorative Action

1.      The Dean or his designee will initiate and complete his investigation promptly.

2.      After 10 days, the Dean may request an extension, if necessary.

3.      The Dean will notify students of the results of the investigation within 2 days.

4.      Within two days, parents will receive a phone call of the results and an ensuing letter.

5.      No student records will be disclosed about the matter.

6.      The Dean or his designee will determine the manner and scope of the investigation, which might include documented interviews either separately or together with bully and victim(s), and when appropriate, with their parents. The purpose of the investigation is always to establish the facts and where possible to heal the wrong.

7.      Consequences of serious bullying may include check-ins, apologies to all stakeholders in person, regular visits with the school counselor.  A student may lose privileges if self-control and self-regulation are not possible. The safety of all students is paramount. The return to healthy functioning of the perpetrator is also a primary goal of any action taken.

8.      The Dean or designee shall maintain a written report of all substantiated incidents.

3.6.c         Cheating and Plagiarism-Academic Integrity

Cheating:  The Founders Academy considers cheating to be a serious lapse in responsibility and a violation of trust. Students violating this trust in any way will be penalized.

Cheating includes:

·         the duplication or copying of assignments that are turned in, wholly or in part, as the student’s own work.

·         the exchange of assignments with other students for the purpose of copying and submitting as original work.

·         using any method to translate one language to another and submitting it as original work.

·         providing or receiving any answers for a test or quiz. This includes discussion of tests and quizzes after class with a student who has not yet taken it.

·         participating in group work and taking credit but not contributing equally to the final result.

·         reading summaries and/or commentaries (Cliffs Notes, Spark Notes, etc.) in lieu of reading the assigned materials.

Teachers will talk with student(s) and elicit a genuine admission.  Teachers will notify the parents/guardians of any students involved in cheating.  Students may apologize in writing and for a consequence redoes the work.  Grading options are left to the teacher (which may include a grade of zero for the activity with no chance for make-up), according to the actions and attitude of the student.

Plagiarism:  Plagiarism is the use of another person’s words or ideas without properly indicating the source. Proper documentation of sources (including print sources and computer software, CDROMs, and information from the Internet) is an essential skill for students to learn. Plagiarism gives the impression that the student is trying to pass others' work off as his or her own. This is dishonest and is a form of cheating. Plagiarism demonstrates a lack of integrity and character that is inconsistent with the goals and values of The Founders Academy.

Indirect quotations (paraphrasing) must also be cited, as well as the use of any information which has been published or produced by another individual.

Plagiarism includes:

·         submitting work as one’s own when it has been copied from another person or source.

·         submitting work that was knowingly produced by another person or source and rephrasing it without giving appropriate credit to the original source.

·         purchasing the work of another and submitting it as one’s own.

·         utilizing work from the Internet and submitting it as one’s own.

Cheating and plagiarism provide the teacher, parents, and student with a false sense of student comprehension and achievement. The student is thus deprived of the opportunity to master necessary material, and the teacher is unable to adequately assess whether the student needs additional instruction. A student who resorts to cheating or plagiarism will not reach his or her true potential.  First offense: teacher talks with student and elicits a genuine admission. Student may apologize in writing and redo his work.  Teacher’s grade depends on the actions and attitude of the student. A second offense would use the same process but might result is a more severe action, such as a zero on the assignment.

Students should follow the guidelines below in an attempt to promote true achievement:

·         Keep a realistic schedule for academic and other activities outside of school. Balance is essential for success.

·         Obtain a clear understanding of assignments prior to leaving school. Contact teachers by email if questions arise and more clarification is needed.

·         Keep current with assignments, as they are designed to help you prepare, learn, and achieve. Complete smaller parts of a large project as they are assigned. For instance, if you leave the reading of an entire novel to the night before a test on that novel, you will not be prepared and your performance will suffer. Divide long assignments into smaller, manageable bits, and begin working on them right away.

·         Keep your work and your work area organized. Organization helps reduces anxiety when you study or prepare to take a test. Try to have a place for everything, and keep everything in its place.

 

Remember:

·         Assignments are to be completed independently unless the instructor indicates that it is acceptable to work with others.

·         If you choose to use another’s ideas or solutions for any reason, cite that person as a source on your paper or project.

·         Know what constitutes cheating, including all the variations of plagiarism. Ask your teachers for clarification, and ask again whenever you are in doubt.

·         Work on learning to advocate for yourself.   

3.7    Dress Code

The Founders Academy Dress Code was created by students in collaboration with the Dean and teachers.  It is based on principles of respectfulness, modesty, neatness and appropriateness.  The purpose is to promote self-respect, respect for others, and for the school as a place of learning, and to create a professional appearance to the world.

Exceptions may be granted for religious reasons, if they do not create a risk to public health or safety.

Staff will be responsible for upholding the dress code by reporting possible violations to the Dean, her assistant, or to the school counselor.  The decision of any one of these three administrators will be considered final.  In certain cases students will not return to classes until a change of clothes has taken place.

Styles of Tops

Enforced Guidelines for Tops

Styles of Bottoms

Enforced Guidelines for Bottoms

Shoes

 

Make up, Jewelry, and Hair

 

During semi-formal dances, the dress code is as follows:

For the gentlemen, a collared shirt (button down or polo) and slacks/khakis are requested. No jeans or t-shirts. A tie is preferred but not mandatory.

For the ladies, a dress or skirt or nice pants is acceptable.  No jeans or t-shirts.  The length of the dress/skirt must go past the fingertips on your hand when you place your hands down along your side. Strapless or spaghetti strap dresses are not allowed (unless you wear a shrug/sweater), but you may have a dress with straps on the shoulders that are at least 2 fingers width wide (if you put two fingers together and hold them up to the dress straps, the material must be at least that wide).  Strapless shoes for semi-formal dances are allowed.

3.8    Firearms / Weapons

Weapons of any type such as, but not limited to, firearms, explosives, knives, incendiaries, martial arts weapons (as defined in RSA 159:24), electronic defense weapons (as defined in RSA 159:20), clubs, billies, metallic knuckles or containers containing chemicals such as pepper gas or mace, or the use of any object as a weapon are prohibited on school property, on vehicles used for the transportation of students, or at school sponsored off site activities.  Even for serious violations, there should be a discussion with the offender to allow him the opportunity of taking responsibility and apologize. Because the safety of other students is involved, the student will probably have to be absent from school for a period of time.  At some point there should be a discussion with the student and his parents, and a consequence should be administered. The period of absence from the school may be necessary, but it should not be the consequence. The consequence might be such actions as checking in every day to have his clothes and his locker examined, as well as a discussion on how he is doing in other respects. A truly dangerous student might have to be expelled for safety reasons.

3.9           Leaving School Grounds

Students are not permitted to leave school property, and are required to remain within designated school boundaries, during school hours.  A violation will result in a discussion with the Dean or designee prior to consequence and parents will be notified.

3.10    Respecting Personal Space

Students are expected to use common sense, decency and good judgment regarding their personal boundaries and actions.  Students are also expected to consider the feelings of others.  Inappropriately invading another’s personal space is that which makes the other person and/or people around you feel uncomfortable.  Students engaged in the inappropriate invasion of personal space will be verbally redirected and partake in a discussion to understand the inappropriateness of the actions.

3.11    Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. It is the policy of the Board of Trustees that sexual harassment shall not be tolerated. Any student, faculty, staff or advisor who believes that he or she has been the victim of sexual harassment should report such incident or incidents to a teacher or administrator.  In determining whether the alleged conduct constitutes sexual harassment, the totality of the circumstances, the nature of the alleged harassment, and the context in which the alleged incidents occurred will be investigated promptly.  Please refer to Founders’ policy GBAA for additional information.  

3.12    Student Reporting of Incidents

In keeping with Founders policy of freedom with responsibility, students who witness any abuse of fellow students, such as bullying, uninvited teasing, or other inappropriate behaviors, shall report the incident to a staff member as soon as possible. All student-reported incidents will be kept confidential.  

Staff will investigate reported incidents and appropriate action will be taken to protect students from further incidents. When necessary, faculty, staff, and volunteers will be informed and asked to watch for a repeat occurrence of the reported behavior.

3.13    Theft/Vandalism

Acts of theft and vandalism will be reported to school administration as well as to the local authorities if appropriate.  Any student involved in theft and/or vandalism, and the parent(s) of any such student, may be financially responsible for or replace the item(s), and partake in a discussion to understand the inappropriateness of the actions.  

3.14    Philosophy of Discipline

“Discipline is a positive process at The Founders Academy. The purpose is self-awareness and self-improvement. Yes, there are consequences for offenses as outlined in the Code of Discipline, but the most valuable part of the process is the questioning that takes place before the consequences are applied. The point is for the student, through skillful questioning, to genuinely take responsibility for his/her actions, to reflect upon them, to make amends where applicable, and to suggest more constructive methods for reaching his/her goals in similar situations in the future."  The Founders Academy Philosophy of Discipline, 2015.

3.15    Code of Discipline

In March, 2015, the students created and adopted the Student Code of Discipline.

Yellow Offenses

Disrupting class

Running

Swearing

Yelling, screaming.

Bad-mouthing or being rude to a teacher.

Throwing food.

Using the microwave wrongly.

Throwing snow.

Not cleaning up tables at snack and lunch.

Not doing duties with clean up committee.

Teasing.

Wasting time in the bathroom.

Lying to a teacher.

Going into forbidden areas.

Locking the bathroom stalls.

Not being quiet when lights are turned off.

Making excuses; not taking responsibility.

Hitting back when not necessary.

Any other offense deemed not to be red.

 

 

Yellow Consequences

Yellow warning

Period of work

Student calls parents

After school clean up or help a teacher

Loss of privilege

Check-in with the Dean

Written apology

Any other consequence or combination of consequences as determined by the Dean

Red Offenses

Bullying

Fighting

Vandalism

Stealing

Endangering Safety

Two detentions in one week

Red Consequences

Student calls parents

Close supervision

Compensation for loss or damage

After school work activities

Recess work-detention or other work period

In or out of school suspension

Appearance before Discipline and Character Development Committee

Any other consequence or combination of consequences as determined by the Dean

Disruptive behavior will not be tolerated at Founders.  There will be differences in classroom management styles, and Founders faculty and staff will make use of an array of disciplinary actions, including those listed in the Student Code of Discipline and those listed below, when students make choices that are detrimental to the educational environment. In general, any repeated offense will result in stronger disciplinary action.  Consequences may include:  verbal redirection, removal from class, loss of privilege, restitution, check-ins, apologies, leaves of absences, Dean's Study, copying from the handbook or legal dictionary, and/or going before the Discipline and Character Development Committee, among others as determined by the Dean.

3.15.a        Restorative Discipline

All discipline starts with a conversation with the student(s) in question.  This conversation should always give the student the opportunity to state, himself, what the offense was (or not), to take responsibility, to express empathy for the victim(s) and to offer consequences that make sense and right the wrong done.

Wherever possible and applicable, the conversation should include both the perpetrator(s) and the victim(s) and in certain cases, their parents, and teachers, too.  The goal is always to heal the harm, to right the wrong, and to apply meaningful consequences, not punishments.

 

A sample set of questions might go like this:

What did you do? (Start the answer with “I.”)

What was wrong with that?

What problem were you trying to solve?

What goal were you trying to reach?

Next time you have that problem or goal, how will you solve it or reach it without hurting someone?

(See Schools Where Everyone Belongs by Stan Davis, pp. 157-161)

 

Sometimes the conversation must be delayed to the end of class or held in the Dean’s office.  If the infraction threatens the health or safety of any members of the school community, the perpetrator of the action might need to take an immediate leave of absence from the school. The discussion and setting of consequences would then occur upon his return.

 

Restorative Discipline includes such actions as

 

·         A verbal or non-verbal signal

 

·         A removal from class, pending a discussion with the perpetrator and victims about responsibility and consequences, which might include apologizing to victims, teachers or an entire class, and other measures related to the infraction, such as doing the classwork in the Dean’s study instead of the classroom for a period of time.

 

·         Consequences may include such actions as apologies, restitution for damaged or stolen property, check-ins with the Dean or her designee, redoing school work, doing school work in the Dean’s study for a period of time, on-going meetings with the school counselor, loss of bus-rights when bus-rules have been broken, etc.

 

·         Repeated and very serious infractions which endanger the health and safety of the community such as drug or alcohol use in school, chronic bullying or fighting, serious vandalism and disruption may result in a student having to take a leave of absence from school. Students may be directed to get the help needed during his time away from school from professionals available in the wider community, as recommended by the Dean or the Student Services Department.  

 

·         Expulsion. A student who continues to threaten the health and well being of the community might need to be expelled.  Even in such an extreme circumstance, the school would do well to make recommendations to the parents for a return to healthy functioning by the expelled student.  Expulsion is determined by the Board of Trustees after due process.

3.15.b        Bus Behavior  

When riding the public school buses, students must obey the rules of the Manchester Transit Authority found at this web site:  https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1_KVVbfkj5fXCo7TkLzun5gy498SwyYEoFnKea9LcfF8.  Additionally, the Leadership Code of Conduct must be followed on the bus.   In the instance a bus suspension is issued, the student may not ride his/her bus for a specific period of time as determined by the administration.  Parents will be notified.  

Section 4.0: School Community

4.1    Round Table

A Round Table is composed of a teacher and 15-20 students with the objective of helping the students to understand the mission of The Founders Academy and to fulfill it in their character and leadership development and their academic and social life at school. Round Table should be like an on-going dinner table experience, where mission-related topics are explored discussed and enjoyed in a variety of other ways.

 

Each week students

·         Study a quote from a Founder or other famous person, which aligns with the theme of the week.

·         Discuss, watch videos, hear stories, perform, play games related to the themes of the school.

·         Discuss academic progress and good study habits

·         Discuss character and apply the lessons to themselves

·         Participate in school-wide projects and holiday celebrations

·         Learn about great leaders and practice leadership skills

·         Enjoy American culture through current events and special holidays

·         Set goals for personal development.

4.2    Cafeteria/Food in the School  

Expectations for behavior in the cafeteria are consistent with behavior in all areas of the school. Students should exhibit polite table manners and use a normal tone of voice. Students should clean up their eating area and wash any dishes or utensils used before leaving the cafe.

School laptop computers and other electronics are only allowed in the cafeteria during class time and homework periods.  Food is not permitted in the cafeteria while classes or homework periods are taking place there.  If a student brings a personal device into the cafeteria, it is at the student’s own risk.  No food is allowed in classrooms.

Gum is not allowed in the school at any time.

4.3    School Cleanliness

All students, faculty, and staff have a responsibility to keep the school as clean as possible. Students may take turns emptying trash, cleaning surfaces, sweeping, and straightening up school areas at the end of each period as assigned by faculty and staff.  All students, faculty and staff are responsible for disposing of their own trash.

4.4    Enrichment Assemblies and Programs

Various times throughout the school year, students will be required to attend enrichment assemblies and programs.  Such assemblies and programs are presented by guest speakers to discuss and present on topics of interest to students.  When possible, enrichment assemblies and programs will be announced to parents and students in advance.  Should a parent choose to opt his/her child out of the assembly or program, he/she must do so in writing addressed to the Dean.  

4.5    Field Trips

Students must adhere to all school policies and regulations while on trips sponsored by The Founders Academy. Founders reserves the right to refuse permission to any student to participate in a field trip because of academic standing and/or if it is felt that his or her conduct does not properly represent Founders regulations. Students are required to present a permission slip signed by a parent/guardian and verified by the advisor planning the trip. A trip is not considered to be school sponsored if prior permission for the trip has not been given by the Dean. Students who fail to submit the proper form by the designated return date will be excluded from participation in the field trip.   Every field trip is nonrefundable unless otherwise stated.

4.6    Lockers and Student Assigned Desks/Cabinets

Students will have the opportunity to rent lockers.   Students may not change these assignments without permission from the school office. Students should never leave food or beverages in their lockers or desks overnight. Inappropriate pictures and/or signs should not be attached to lockers or desks. Students may use magnets to attach mirrors and other personal items. The school is not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged articles; students who store valuables in their lockers or desks do so at their own risk.

Students will be held financially responsible for damage done to lockers, desks, or other equipment, furniture or fixtures, or school property.  Lockers, desks, cabinets and chairs remain the property of the school; therefore, Founders reserves the right to examine their contents, including personal belongings, when there is reasonable cause to believe that the contents of a locker threaten the health, safety, or welfare of the students, faculty and/or staff. Founders reserves the right to restrict locker or desk privileges if they are abused.

The Founders Academy reserves the right to remove locks without approval of the student or parent if the school needs access to the lockers and may cut the locks off, if necessary. You must provide the front office with a key or combination to any lock installed on a locker.

4.7    Parking

Parking is available for staff, faculty and guests in the front and back of Founders.  Parking is prohibited in the spots along the front of the building and in the bus area during the hours of 7:20 AM-8:30 AM and after 2:30 PM.  Students wishing to park at school must fill out the appropriate form for approval.

4.8    Publicity

Photos, articles, awards, etc., may be posted on the school’s website and social media pages, as well as released to news publications. At the beginning of the school year, parents must give consent which explicitly informs the school whether or not their child can be appear in materials used for publicity.

Section 5.0: Other Information

5.1    Non-Discrimination Policy 

The Founders Academy admits students of any race, color, sex, religion, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.

5.2    Access to Student Records

In 1974, the Federal Government passed the Family Educational and Privacy Act (FERPA). The intention of this law is to protect the accuracy and privacy of student educational records. Without prior written permission, only parents, legal guardians and authorized school staff, who have a legitimate educational purpose, have access to the records of public school students. Under this law and Board policy, parents and legal guardians are entitled to the following rights:

· The right to inspect and review their child's educational records.

· The right to seek to correct parts of this record if they believe it to be inaccurate or misleading.

· The right to limit disclosure of information contained in the record.

· The right to file a complaint if there is a violation of this law.

Also, as permitted under the Family Educational and Privacy Act, the following information has been designated by The Founders Academy Board of Trustees as “directory information.” This permits The Founders Academy to use this information without prior written consent if, and only if, it is used to publish school yearbooks, programs for performing groups, and graduation ceremonies, as well as to publicize the academic awards and honors of individual students:

· The student’s name and class (i.e. seventh, ninth, etc.).

· The student’s extracurricular activities.

· Achievement awards and honors.

· The name of the school the student currently attends.

The rights and protections given to parents under FERPA and this policy transfer to the student when he/she reaches the age of 18 or enrolls in an institution of postsecondary education.

5.3           Transfer of Records

The Founders Academy complies with RSA 193-D:8 and will, upon formal request, furnish a complete school record for a pupil transferring to a new school system.

5.4    First Aid, Medical, and Emergency Procedures

 

5.4.a        Emergency Response

Students and families are asked to assist with emergency planning as follows:

1. By providing the school with emergency contact information, listing 3 contacts in order of priority and various ways of making contact;

2. By making backup plans with other students and parents for transportation difficulties that prevent timely pick-up from school;

3. By providing written permission for student transport to the nearest emergency medical center in case of a medical emergency.  Please note that in the case of an emergency, per the rules and regulations of The Founders Academy and the Manchester Police Department, students cannot be released to parents/guardians without express permission of the Dean or designee;

4. By providing names and contact information of all important health service providers for students;

5. By participating in emergency evacuation drills when in school;

6. By ensuring that no harmful devices are transported with students.

If a student requires emergency care due to illness or injury, someone in authority (classroom teacher, study teacher, office staff, etc.) must be notified immediately. The administration will then be notified and appropriate emergency response measures will be initiated. Students who are ill are not to use cell phones to contact parents directly. They are to inform a teacher or administrator who will then contact parents.

5.4.b        Emergency Response Forms

At the beginning of each year, Emergency Response Forms should be completed by the student’s first day of classes.  It is important that parents promptly fill out and sign emergency forms. These forms are kept on file in the school office and disseminated to school agencies in an appropriate manner. In the event of emergency, this information provides the authorization and guidance for proper notification and care.

It is important the parents submit updated emergency response information in the event of any changes (address, phone, etc.).

 

 

5.4.c        Medications

All medications brought into the school must be registered with Founders staff who will establish an appropriate protocol for administration of medications during the school day. No medication will be dispensed unless the medication is delivered to the school in the original container, along with written parental permission and a physician’s written order for the prescription medication.

Students who may need inhalers, EpiPens or insulin during school hours are required to submit a written authorization form, which may be obtained from the school office. Parents should bring the medication, along with the authorization form to the school office for approval. New forms will be required each academic year. Students in possession of any medications outside of these parameters will be subject to disciplinary action.

In cases where an EpiPen or other life-saving device is required, parents may want staff to be trained in its use in the event of an emergency. In these cases, a special Founders form must be filled out identifying Founders staff member(s) and giving them permission to use the device to save the student's life. Before the form is filled out, the parent/guardian must acknowledge that a Founders staff member(s)  has permission to administer.  The Founders Academy is not required to have a nurse on staff.

Parents may also give the school written permission to allow their child to take over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol). In these cases, the student would be allowed to receive such medications from Founders staff if the need should arise.

5.4.d        First Aid

If a student hurts him or herself, band aids and other first aid remedies will be made available to the student. Depending on the severity of the problem, the student may go back to class, call home, or be taken to the nearest hospital as outlined in the procedures above.

5.5    Lab Safety

The Founders Academy has designed laboratory facilities for the physical and biological sciences which meet mandated federal and state guidelines.

All students will be instructed in the safe operation of equipment and safe handling and disposal of chemicals.  Teachers will provide lectures, demos, and videos to reinforce safety in the laboratory.  All students and their parents will be required to read, understand and sign a safety contract.  Students must pass a written safety test before being allowed to work in the laboratory area.

Appropriate attire is mandatory on laboratory days.  Appropriate attire includes closed toe shoes, long pants or skirts to cover legs, no dangling jewelry or scarves, hair must be pulled or tied back, goggles must be worn at all times unless instructed otherwise by the teacher. Failure to come properly dressed will result in being barred from the lab.

There will be zero tolerance for horseplay as this will jeopardize not only the individual initiating the horseplay but also innocent bystanders and may result in an injury and/or damage to school property.  Unauthorized science experiments are not allowed. Horseplay will result in exclusion of the student from the lab area and will require a student-parent-teacher-administrator meeting to determine appropriate disciplinary and remedial action.

5.6    Fire Drills

The Founders Academy is required to have multiple fire drills per year following New Hampshire state public school safety laws.  When the fire alarm is sounded, students will move quickly and carefully out the nearest lighted exit door in an orderly fashion. Students should remain silent while leaving the building in case instructions need to be issued by school staff. Students will report to the designated areas in the parking lot away from the building, with their homerooms.  Advisors and will remain there until given the signal to re-enter the building.

5.7    Lockdown Drills

The Founders Academy conducts multiple lockdown drills throughout the school year.  Such drills alternate among various scenarios that may warrant an actual lockdown (i.e., intruder within, intruder outside, etc.).  During the drills, students, faculty and staff are to listen carefully as to what type of lockdown drill is being announced, and then proceed according to instructed practices.  

5.8    Parental Support

Parental support is a vital component of student achievement and long-term success.  To promote student achievement, we suggest that parents:

Section 6.0: Amendments to Founders Student Handbook

The Founders Academy Board of Trustees and administrators reserve the right to amend, update, revise, edit this student handbook at any time throughout the academic year.  

 

Rev.  July, 2017

Ratified by the Board of Trustees on:  August 16, 2017. 

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