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School Handbook

2020-2021

A Mission and Ministry of

Zion Lutheran Church of Avilla

Connecting People to Christ

We at Avilla Christian Academy carry out the church’s mission work by making disciples of Jesus Christ

who will be equipped spiritually, socially and academically to further God's kingdom in the World

Avilla Christian Academy

302 Avilla East

Alexander, AR 72002

501-408-4631

Table of Contents

Avilla Christian Academy Personnel……………………4

Our Mission Statement………………………………….6  

Our Philosophy………………………………………….6

Non-Discrimination Policy……………………………...9

Custodial Policy…………………………………………9

Accreditation ………………………………..…….…….9

Registration Procedures………………………………..10

  • Payment Options………………………………11
  • Preschool Rates and Fees……………………...13
  • K-5 Grade Rates and Fees……………………..13
  • 6 through 12th Grade Rates and Fees…………..13
  • Discounts and Credits……………………..…...13

Attendance Policies……………………………………14

  • Being Tardy…………………..……………….14
  • Absenteeism Consequences……………………17
  • Leaving School Grounds During School Hours

Before Care and After Care……………………………20

  • Before Care and After Care Rates……………..21
  • Drop Off and Pick Up Procedures Before 8:00 and after 3:45…………………………………..21
  • Activities………………………………………21
  • Early Dismissal, School Closing, and Holidays.22

School Closing……………………………………..…..22

Vehicles………………………………………………..22

Visitors…………………………………………………23

Lunch and Snacks……………………………………...23

Academics……………………………………………..23

  • Curriculum………………………………….…23
  • Christian Integration………………………..…24
  • Report Cards…………………………………..24
  • Grading Scale…………………………………24
  • Parent-Teacher Communication………………25
  • Conferences……………………………………25
  • Technology…………………………………….25
  • Gradelink……………………………………….26
  • Standardized Testing…………………….……..26
  • Retention and Promotion……………….………27
  • Graduation Requirements…………….…….…..28
  • Concurrent College Credit………….…………..28

Student Records…………………………….…………..29

Withdrawal Procedures……………………..……….….29

Parent/Guardian Service Hour Program…..…………….30

Student Service Hour Program………….…………..…..31

Health and Safety………………….…….………………31

  • Health Requirements…………….………….…..31
  • Health Screening…………………………….….31
  • Illness Policy………………….…………………32
  • Accidents...............................................................32
  • Medication.............................................................32
  • Head Lice Policy………………………………...33
  • Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect…………….33

Drug/Alcohol Policy…………………………………….34

Conflict Resolution…….…………………………………………...35

Discipline……………………………………….………...38

Students’ Responsibilities, and Limitations….…………...46

  • Cell Phones…………………………………....…..46
  • Cafeteria…………………………………………..47
  • Abuse (Verbal and Physical) of a School Employee……………………………………….…47
  • Assault…………………………...………………..48
  • Sexual Harassment……………………..…………48
  • Bullying……………………………………….…..49
  • Dress Code………………………………………..50

Dishonesty……………………………………………...…52

Disorderly Conduct……………………………………….53

False Alarms……………...……………………………….53

Falsification of School Records…..………..……………..53

Fighting…………………………………………………...53

Insubordination…………………………………………...54

Liability for Injury…….………………………………….54

Lockers……………………………………………………54

Prohibited Conduct…………………………….…………55

Prohibited Items…………………………………………..57

Search and Seizure………………………………………..58

Threating Behavior……………………………...………..59

Video Surveillance……………………………………….59

Avilla Christian Academy Personal

Administration

Mike Schleider

Interim Administrator

Lauren Fox

Early Childhood Director

Lesley Kelly

Coordinator of Secondary Education

Jennifer Greenwell

Coordinator of Primary Education

Suzanne Fullerton

Academic Coordinator of Special Services &

Professional Development

Amber Shell

Administrative Assistant, Registrar

Debby McNeil

Administrative Assistant Part-time

Joy Simmons

Teacher Observation

Teaching Staff

Bethany Hudgens

Preschool 3

Georgie Forsyth

Preschool 4

Georgia Witt

Preschool 4

Anne Barnard

Kindergarten

Lauren Fox

Kindergarten Aid

Frances Bacic

1st grade

Jennifer Greenwell

2nd and 3rd grade

Olivia Calaway

4th and 5th grade

Alesha White

Middle and High School, STEAM Coordinator

Shannon Riley

Middle and High School

Lesley Kelly

Middle and High School

Mike Schleider

Middle and High School Religion

Sarah Fallon

Elementary Pull Out and Middle P.E.

Hope Jones

Elementary Spanish

Suzanne Fullerton

OT Therapist and Literacy Specialist

Stephanie Cagle

Speech Therapist and Literacy Specialist Assistant

Anna Sanders

Aftercare

Kyleigh Shell

Aftercare

School Board

Connie Helmich

Chairperson, Financial Coordinator

Mike Schleider

Pastor

Jewell “Pete” Rapier

Sara Brown

Grants

Hope Jones

Verla Hoppe

Cleaning Staff

Ronnie & George Forsyth

Zion Church Staff

Mike Schleider

Pastor

Janice Reeves

Secretary

Keith D’atrio

IT

OUR MISSION STATEMENT

The mission of Avilla Christian Academy is to make disciples of Jesus Christ who will be equipped spiritually, socially, and academically to further God’s kingdom in this world.

OUR PHILOSOPHY

Avilla Christian Academy is committed to the following educational priorities:

As a Christian school of the Lutheran heritage we seek to do the following things:

 

Avilla Christian Academy’s mission is to make disciples of Jesus Christ who can further the advancement of God’s kingdom world. We believe that being disciples of Jesus Christ involves the whole person. Therefore, we seek to equip our students by cultivating their spiritual lives and encouraging them to walk in a close relationship to God. We also believe that in order to make an impact on this world, students must have strong relational skills, being well able to get along with all kinds of people, in all kinds of situations. So, we seek to build the social skills of students by teaching habits of kindness and consideration, patience and understanding, putting the needs of others first, and seeking always to do well. Finally, in today’s world, it is essential that disciples of Jesus Christ be well-educated to the fullest extent of their God-given potential. Those who intend to make a significant impact in this world need to have a broad base of general knowledge in all academic areas including reading, writing, language, mathematics, science, history, geography, physical education, and the fine arts. We want our students to be well-rounded and have a healthy balance in the traditional academic disciplines. This is important so students might discover their gifts, talents, and areas of interest, while also experiencing the rewarding fulfillment that comes from perseverance and effort put forth even in areas students find academically challenging. Since we recognize that God has made all individuals unique, we do not expect all students to be at the same academic levels in all subjects. Rather, we emphasize the importance of continuous growth. We insist that all students, regardless of their proficiency levels, keep advancing in their knowledge and skills.

NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY

As a school that is committed to Biblical principles, Avilla Christian Academy does not show unfair partiality.  

 

CUSTODIAL POLICY

It is the policy of Avilla Christian Academy to afford custodial and non-custodial parents the same access to their children and the same rights and responsibilities toward their children as long as it does not violate any court approved decree. Non-custodial parents are given access to any and all information with regard to their children's attendance and participation in Avilla Christian Academy as long as it does not violate any court approved decree. It is also the school’s policy to allow the non-custodial parents free access to their children during the school day for activities, and transportation to and from school as long as it does not violate any court approved decree. Any exceptions to this policy need to be provided to the office, in writing, with either a court order or an agreement signed between the parents.

ACCREDITATION

Avilla Christian Academy is accredited by ANSAA (Arkansas Nonpublic School Accrediting Association), and with NLSA (National Lutheran School Accreditation).

REGISTRATION PROCEDURES

Avilla Christian Academy is happy to consider having any families who wish to provide a Christian education for their children. To be considered for admission to Avilla Christian Academy’s kindergarten, a child must have reached the age of five by no later than August 1st, of the year of entrance. A birth certificate is required to be on file for all students. All entering kindergarten students, including those who have attended our preschool, must take a readiness assessment and be recommended for kindergarten by the kindergarten teacher and/or authorized personnel from our early childhood development center. First graders must show they have completed kindergarten or are likely to graduate if the year is not yet over. A report card or letter from the school on official letterhead will suffice.

All new students entering grades first and above shall be required to take an academic assessment or provide recent standardized test scores from their previous school(s). Parents or guardians of new students, must sign a release form allowing Avilla Christian Academy to request all past academic and related records from the most recent school(s) attended. Parents or guardians must provide shot records demonstrating their child has received all required vaccinations. An interview, additional assessments, and a probation period will take place before full admission is granted.

In January of each year, materials for re-enrollment are distributed to each currently enrolled Avilla Christian Academy family to enable the school to determine the number of students who will attend the next school year. Registration fees are to be submitted with the re-enrollment form in order to reserve a place for the returning student(s). Returning students will have first priority for enrollment upon payment of the registration fee. Registration fees are non-refundable. After January 31st enrollment will be open to the public.

Payment Options

The following options are available for paying tuition:

  1. We can set up an automatic draft from your bank account. If you choose this option, we will need you to provide us with a voided check for your bank account. This option allows you to pay the annual tuition over either a ten month or a twelve month time period.

  1. We can draft the full amount of your monthly bill on either the 3rd or the 18th of each month according to your preference.
  2. We can draft half of the amount of your monthly bill on the 3rd of each month and the remainder of your monthly bill on the 18th of each month.

  1. You may pay tuition using cash or a check on a quarterly basis. This option would require payment on or before the first day of each academic quarter (Aug. 12, Oct. 15, Jan. 6, and Mar. 12).
  2. You may pay the full annual tuition by August 18 and receive a 5% discount for the year.

Tuition bank drafts and payments not received by the due date will incur a $25 penalty fee. Payments that exceed two weeks late will incur an additional 5% late fee on the amount owed. Payments not received within one month of the due date will result in a letter being sent to the family and copied to the school board. The school board will determine an appropriate course of action in such cases.  The school board reserves the right to expel students whose families do not pay the necessary tuition fees.  

Preschool Rates and Fees

Registration: $450 ($300 due at enrollment: Early bird 10% off if paid by March 1st for current families only) ($75 due by June 18th and $75 due by July 18th)

K-5th Grade Rates and Fees

Registration: $600 ($300 due at enrollment: Early bird 10% off if paid by March 1st for current families only) ($150 due by June 18th and $150 due by July 18th)

*some special ed. services require additional funding

6th through 12th Grade Rates and Fees

Registration: $600 ($300 due at enrollment: Early bird 10% off if paid by March 1st for current families only) ($150 due by June 18th and $150 due by July 18th)

*some special ed. services require additional funding

Discount and Credits

Referrals: $500 credit

Must successfully recommend a student that remains enrolled for at least one semester. Granted for each new student, not just the family. Credit does not apply to the family for enrolling a sibling of an already enrolled student.

Discounts:

Scholarships: Available based on required criteria and need

All documentation must be provided through the proper channels and according to the required schedules

ATTENDANCE POLICIES

Regular and punctual school attendance is expected and is important for a student’s success in school. Punctuality assists the classroom teacher in maintaining a daily routine. It is also a necessary lifetime habit of responsibility and courtesy.

Being Tardy

Classes run from 8:15 am to 3:30 pm. Students who are not in their proper classroom and seated in their assigned seats by 8:15 will be counted as tardy.

For Grades 7-12:

Absenteeism Procedures

We do not categorize absences as “excused” or “unexcused” since any kind of absence, regardless of its cause, results in the same loss of classroom instruction time and takes a toll on the student’s learning. We understand that there are times absences are unavoidable. In such cases we require the following procedures:

  1. Parents/guardians are to call or email the school’s administrative assistant as soon as it is known the child will not be present at school.

  1. Upon the student’s return, the student or parent/guardian must provide to the office a signed, written parental explanation of the date(s) or times, and the reason for the absence.

  1. Any other documentation that substantiates the reason for the absence must also be turned in to the office. This would include things like doctor notes, or in the case of a death in the family, a funeral program, etc.

  1. The student bears responsibility to obtain from his or her teachers assignments, tests, information, etc. that were missed during the absence. Except for extenuating circumstances, any assignments that were due, or tests that were to be taken during the student’s absence will be due upon his or her first day of return, assuming such dates were made known prior to the student’s absence. Tests or assignments that were announced during the time that the student was absent (i.e. tests and assignments the student was uninformed about due to an absence) will be communicated on the first day of the student’s return. (Again, it is the student’s responsibility to obtain this information from the teacher, and at a time the teacher is able to provide it). The student will then be given the same number of days as his or her peers were given to complete the assignment or prepare for the test. Please note, this only applies to tests and assignments that the student was not notified about prior to his or her absence.

Absenteeism Consequences

Absenteeism carries with it a costly natural consequence: a loss of learning. The statistics speak for themselves: students who are absent from school very often end up missing important instruction, putting them at a disadvantage. Not only do absent students miss what learning occurred during their absence; they continue to learn less even upon their return. They are often not able to comprehend the new instruction as well since they missed the learning that provided a basis for the new instruction. Please make every effort to protect your child’s education and future by taking responsibility for his or her regular school attendance. Schedule appointments so that they encroach as little as possible on school days and hours. Please refrain from keeping a student home for an entire day, when a partial day would suffice for the circumstances. Vacations should be scheduled for weeks when school is not in session.

Leaving School Grounds during School Hours

Avilla Christian Academy is a closed campus. Students are not permitted to leave the campus prior to dismissal time without written permission from a parent, guardian, or a designated person on the Authorized to Pick-Up list. If it is known ahead of time that a student needs to depart campus prior to 3:30 pm, the parent/guardian may send a signed note explaining the time and reason for the early dismissal. If no note is provided ahead of time, students will only be released to the care of the parent, guardian, or authorized person when the authorized person comes into the office and signs the early check-out list. Except for emergency situations, a phone call is not sufficient to release a student from campus prior to dismissal time. Written documentation is required for early dismissals and leaving campus both for the safety of the student and to protect the school from liability. Please ensure that the office has the names of persons whom you authorize to pick up your child in case you are not able to do so. We must have your signature accompanying this authorization. Also, please update with the office any changes you need to make at any time with regard to persons authorized to pick up your child. We will also need your signature for such changes. We take your child’s safety with the utmost seriousness.

BEFORE CARE AND AFTER CARE

School begins at 8:15 am. Students may come to school as early as 7:00 am for our Before Care program which is in the lower building. The upper building is not open to students till 8:00 am. If a student arrives prior to 8:00 am they will be required to check into the Before Care program.

School dismisses at 3:30 pm (preschool at 3:15 pm) at which time authorized adults should be on campus to pick up their children. Please exercise extreme caution driving in the parking lot at this time since many small children are present. A fifteen minute grace period is provided for children to be picked up from school. Students who have not been picked up from school by 3:45 pm (3:30 pm for preschool) will be taken to the AfterCare program. After Care is designed to assist working parents. It is not to be used for play-dates with other children.

Before/After Care Rates

Before School Care

After School Care

Drop Off and Pick Up Procedures before 8:00 and after 3:45

A parent/guardian signature is required during drop off at Before Care and at pick up for After Care. Parents are required to enter the school building in order to provide their signature. Students may not simply be “dropped off” or “picked up” at the school entrance without signing for Before Care or After Care.

Activities

The Before Care program will be a time for students to read, complete homework, or enjoy a quiet activity prepared by the instructor. The After Care program will be a time for students to begin homework, have a healthy snack, and enjoy a structured physical activity facilitated by the instructor.

Early Dismissal, School Closings, Holidays

There will be no After Care program held on early dismissal or school closure days. Please refer to the school calendar for a complete list of early dismissals, school closings, and holidays.

SCHOOL CLOSINGS

In case of school closing due to inclement weather, we will follow the Bryant School District’s recommendations. If they are closed, we are closed also. Listen to local radio and television stations for school closings. Parents should consult the school calendar for particulars. Avilla Christian Academy will run closure notices on local news networks, and a voice recording will be left on the school answering machine. School closures will also be listed on our website (www.avillachristian.org) and our Facebook page.

VEHICLES

Those driving motor vehicles on the campus of Avilla Christian Academy when school is in session or children are present are required to exercise extreme caution and remain alert so as to avoid striking a pedestrian. There is to be no sudden acceleration or “peeling out,” and speeds must be kept slow enough to demonstrate that serious caution is being exercised. When dropping off or picking up students, at the beginning or end of the school day, please park your vehicle in a parking space if more than a minute is necessary to load or unload. Otherwise traffic becomes backed up and creates difficulty for others, especially during rainy weather. Vehicles picking up 6-12th graders should proceed to the far end of the parking lot. These students will exit the door on the north end of the building in order to ease traffic congestion.

VISITORS

All visitors to the school must report to the school office before visiting any class or teacher, and only approved visitors with a visitor sticker are allowed past the office entryway. In addition, students will not be allowed to have a visitor at lunch.

LUNCH AND SNACKS

Students may bring a snack which may only be consumed at a designated snack time or at lunch. Parents/guardians are responsible to ensure their children bring a healthy and adequate lunch to school each day. We highly recommend a nutritious snack and lunch (as well as a wholesome breakfast) be provided for students. At no time are students to bring soda or open containers to class. Students make bring water to class in closed containers. In addition, students are not allowed to share food or drinks.

ACADEMICS

Curriculum

Avilla Christian Academy’s educational standards fulfill all requirements of the state of Arkansas, as well as the accreditation requirements of the Arkansas Non-public School Accreditation Association (ANSAA) and National Lutheran School Accreditation (NLSA). Educational standards and curriculum are reviewed on a regular basis, and changes are made periodically in accordance with our commitment to continuous school improvement. Avilla Christian Academy curriculum standards are based of the Arkansas Department of Education Curriculum Standards and Avilla Christian Academy Curriculum Standards.

Christian Integration

Avilla Christian Academy educates its students such that the beliefs and values of God’s Word, the Bible, are integrated into the learning. Children attending our school receive daily religious instruction as part of the curriculum. Weekly chapel services are also held. Chapel is conducted under the supervision of the pastor of Zion Lutheran Church.

Report Cards

Report cards are issued quarterly for K-12 students. Report cards for the first, second, and third quarters are sent home and/or emailed. Parents should sign and return these reports to indicate that they have reviewed the child’s report card. The fourth quarter report cards are given to parents the last day of school, once it is determined that the family’s accounts are paid up to date.

Grading Scales

The following scale will be used for Kindergarten subjects:

M – Mastered     S – Satisfactory     U - Unsatisfactory      N – Not Evaluated

The following scale will be used for some elementary grade subjects:

E – Excellent              G – Good                 S – Satisfactory

N – Needs Improvement              U – Unsatisfactory               I – Incomplete

The following scale will be used for 1st through 12th grades:

A 90%-100%

B 80%-89%

C 70%-79%

D 60%-69%

F 59% and below

Parent-Teacher Communication

It is a fact that frequent parent-teacher communication has a significant impact on student success. We have several avenues for you to keep abreast of what is going on in your child’s academic life. We encourage you to take advantage of these. It is always best to deal with any issues of concern with your child’s academics earlier rather than later.

The website for Avilla Christian Academy is www.avillachristian.org. Each teacher has an individual page on this website. There you can find information about your child’s teacher(s) and email addresses.

Conferences

All parents/guardians will be scheduled for a parent-teacher conference with their child’s teacher during the first and third quarters. Parents/guardians may always request additional conferences with their child’s teacher as needed. Please plan to attend these important conferences.

Technology

Students may have the opportunity to use a variety of technologies at school, including computers and the Internet. Students are to use this technology as directed by the staff in conformity with school curriculum and the STUDENT ACCEPTABLE USE AGREEMENT. Filter prevents computer users from accessing material that is harmful to minors. Students who violate the technology policy will receive disciplinary action ranging from a conference to suspension.

Gradelink

Avilla Christian Academy uses the Gradelink student information system. You are able to go online at any time and see your child’s posted grades and upcoming assignment and test dates that have been posted. If you have not received your username and password for your Gradelink account, please contact the office to obtain these. We encourage parents/guardians to check their child’s academic progress on Gradelink on at least a weekly basis.

Standardized Testing

Each spring, schools across the country administer to students a series of standardized tests in order to assess the knowledge and skill levels of students in the core subject areas. Avilla Christian Academy uses the Iowa Assessments annually for grades 8th and below, the ACT ASPIRE for grades 9th-12th, and the Measurement of Academic Progress (MAP) testing three times per year. The scores and results of these assessments are distributed to the parents. In order to ensure that the assessments provide an accurate measure of your child’s ability, it is important that your child gets a solid night’s rest on nights prior to the assessments, and that he or she has a full and nutritious breakfast the mornings of the assessments. Avilla Christian Academy uses the data from these assessments to help inform our teaching decisions and areas of needed focus, so please do enable your child to perform at his or her optimum level. Please be aware that although standardized tests serve a valuable purpose, at Avilla Christian Academy we conduct various types of assessments frequently through the year so that we have reliable data to inform us how we need to adjust our teaching to the needs of each child on a regular basis. Our philosophy of assessment is one of seeking continual growth and improvement for each child as opposed to heavy dependence on a system of competing with other student populations on norm-referenced tests, or categorizing and labeling students based on arbitrary levels of proficiency or “cut-scores” on criterion-referenced tests.

Retention and Promotion

Students will advance to the next grade level at the end of the school year after satisfactorily completing the course of studies required in their present grade. Students who do not demonstrate competence at their grade level could be retained in the same grade for another year in order to enable them to catch up and succeed. Retention would occur only in consultation with the parents and when the evidence is clear that this is what is in the best interests of the student. Retention is never our first option. We seek to remediate students within their current grade-level. Retention is not a frequent occurrence, but at the lower levels of elementary school, it can be an option that best meets the student’s academic and/or social needs.

In grades 6-12, students must attain an annual average of 60% or higher in English, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies, or they will be required to successfully complete remediation work during the summer in order to advance to the next grade or will be required to repeat subjects with average below 60%,  the following school year.

Graduation Requirements

In grades 9-12, students must successfully complete the following courses and credits in order to graduate from Avilla Christian Academy. (Students transferring in to Avilla Christian Academy after their 9th grade year will only need to meet the Religion requirement during their years at Avilla Christian Academy.) A minimum of twenty-four credits within grades 9-12 is necessary to graduate even in cases in which students transfer in from another school. 

Concurrent College Credit

Students in grades 11-12 who meet certain academic criteria and have approval administration, may opt to take classes through Arkansas State University Three Rivers’ (ASUTR) online concurrent credit courses. Concurrent credit courses are taught at the collegiate level by actual college professors. Students who successfully complete a three-hour college course (taught in one semester) will receive 0.5 high school credits while simultaneously receiving three hours of college credit with ASUTR. Avilla Christian Academy will pay the tuition for up to two courses per semester. ASUTR offers optional courses during the same semester at an additional cost by means of a half-off deal. Further ASUTR courses would be at the expense of the family who may receive the half-off deal from ASUTR. Students are responsible to purchase or gain access to their own textbooks.

STUDENT RECORDS

Parents or legal guardians have the right to inspect their child’s permanent record file. Please schedule an appointment with the school office if you wish to do this

WITHDRAWAL PROCEDURES

If a student withdraws or is dismissed from school, the following requirements must be met in order for his or her report card and/or transcript to be released:

Official transcripts will be forwarded upon completion of all financial business.

PARENT/GUARDIAN SERVICE HOUR PROGRAM

Avilla Christian Academy depends on the time and talents of its parents to assist in keeping the school and its property operating smoothly, and to keep tuition costs from rising unnecessarily. Avilla Christian Academy parents or guardians are asked to complete works of service that benefit the school. Works of service may include such things as participating in building improvement (painting, cleaning, repairing), escorting students on a field trip, helping with fundraising, helping in the library, serving on a committee, coordinating an event, etc.

The parent/guardian service hour requirements are as follows:

Families may complete the service hours through one or more parents/guardians. For families who have more than one student attending Avilla Christian Academy, it is only necessary to fulfill the number of hours that would be associated with the oldest child (preschool or K-12).

Service hours enable parents to be more involved with the school. Students whose parents are involved in their school are more likely to succeed in school. Service hours also set a great example to our students whom we also ask to serve as part of growing their Christian character. And service hours enable Avilla Christian Academy to control costs which benefits us all. If, for some reason, a family is unable to complete the appropriate number of service hours during the year, the option exists of paying fifteen dollars per hour in lieu of completing the service hours. Please be sure to check in with the office prior to doing your service hours, and have your service hours documented in the office each day you contribute service to Avilla Christian Academy. At the end of the school year, any outstanding service hours that have not been completed will be converted to a twelve dollar charge per hour and will be added to the family’s account. We thank you for supporting your child’s school with both your time and your finances

STUDENT SERVICE HOUR PROGRAM

Students enrolled in grades three and above will be encouraged to complete works of service that will benefit their community. This is part of the character education, and these opportunities benefit our school and community as well.  All High School students are required to complete 2 hours of community service each month.  

HEALTH AND SAFETY

Health Requirements

Each child must have all required immunizations before the start of the school year. Contact your family doctor or the local public health department for details.

Health Screenings

Various student health screenings are conducted during the year and current health records are kept for each child. Such screenings include hearing, vision, and scoliosis checks.

Illness Policy

In order to prevent the spread of any illness, do not send a child to school under any of these circumstances: The child  . . .

Accidents

In the event your child requires medical attention other than normal first aid, you will be notified immediately. For this reason, please keep the Emergency Medical Form in the office up to date at all times.

Medications

Medication to be administered to a child must be given to the office by the parents. All medicine must be administered by the school staff and will be stored in the office. The medication must be in an appropriately labeled container from the physician or pharmacy. A written notice must accompany the medication detailing the name of the drug, the proper dosage, and the time interval and/or circumstances in which the medication should be administered.

In order for a student to be excused from physical education or recess, a written notice from a parent or guardian is needed. After three days of being excused from physical education or recess, a note from a physician or authorized medical person must be provided for the child to continue being excused from physical activity.

Head Lice Policy

Periodic head lice checks will be conducted. Any child infected with lice will be sent home. All children present in school on the date the lice are discovered will be checked for the presence of lice in their hair. Written notification will be sent home to all families of the school informing them that lice have been discovered. The parent of the child found to be infected will be notified to treat the condition immediately. Assurance that the proper medication has been administered, and that there are no remaining nits present in the child’s hair, will be required before the child is allowed back into school.

Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect

It is the policy of Avilla Christian Academy to comply with the state’s Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Laws and with the mandatory reporting section of those laws. Any school official or employee who knows or has reasonable cause to suspect that a child has been subjected to abuse or neglect, or observes abuse or neglect as defined by law, shall immediately become responsible for making a report to the Department of Human Services. Legal Reference: AR Code 12-12-507

DRUG / ALCOHOL POLICY

An orderly and safe school environment that is conducive to promoting student achievement requires a student population free from the effects of alcohol and drugs. Their use is illegal, disruptive to the educational environment, and diminishes the capacity of students to learn and function properly in our schools.

Therefore, no student at Avilla Christian Academy shall possess, attempt to possess, consume, use, buy, attempt to buy, give to any person, or be under the influence of any substance as defined in this policy, or what the student represents or believes to be any substance as defined in this policy. This policy applies to any student who, is on or about school property, is in attendance at school or any school sponsored activity, has left the school campus for any reason and returns to the campus, is in route to or from school or any school sponsored activity. Prohibited substances shall include, but are not limited to, alcohol, or any alcoholic beverage, inhalants or any ingestible matter that alter a student’s ability to act, think, or respond, LSD, or any other hallucinogen, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, or any other narcotic drug, PCP, amphetamines, steroids, “designer drugs,” look-alike drugs, or any controlled substance.

The sale, distribution, or attempted sale or distribution of over-the-counter (OTC) medications, dietary supplement or other perceived health remedy not regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration, or prescription drugs is prohibited. The possession or use of OTC medications, dietary supplement or other perceived health remedy not regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration, or prescription drugs is prohibited except as permitted under Policy 4.35—STUDENT MEDICATIONS.

The following procedures will be followed when students violate this policy:

Consequences

1. The parent or guardian will be notified.

2. Appropriate law enforcement authorities will be notified of violation.

3. Student discipline will range from suspension to expulsion.

4. A parent conference will be held before the student is permitted to return to school.

Selling, distributing, or attempting to sell or distribute any form of alcohol, drugs, or over the-counter or prescription drugs which may impair normal functions (emotional, physical, and/or cognitive) may result in recommendation to the School Board for expulsion. Any student found in possession of such above mentioned substances in such quantity that would indicate for the purpose of intent to deliver as determined by law may be recommended to the School Board for expulsion. Any substance being represented as authentic drugs carries the same penalty.

CONFLICT RESOLUTION

At Avilla Christian Academy, we recognize that we are part of a community that includes many different people in important relationships. We take seriously the two greatest commandments as Jesus stated them: we are to love God, and we are to love each other (Matthew 22:36-40). Love only happens in relationships. But we also recognize that all authentic relationships encounter conflict. As human beings we all come at life from different angles with different points of view. This often results in conflict. We do not consider conflict, in and of itself, to be a bad thing. Conflict can be handled well or it can be handled poorly. At Avilla Christian Academy, we want to handle conflict well by handling it biblically.

This involves employing the following principles:

  1. Refrain from gossip and hearsay (James 4:11; Ephesians 4:29). Do not assume everything you are told is an accurate representation of the truth, and do not repeat negative statements about your neighbor, even if it is true.  Instead, we must adhere to Matthew 18:15-17.  
  2. Remember there are two or more sides to every story. If your child, for example, tells you about something that happened at school, and it sounds upsetting, do not assume that your child has presented everything accurately for children often misunderstand situations when they don’t have all the information. Check with the relevant person(s) at the school before you assume the worst.
  3. Assume the best about people’s motives. We all have experienced being misunderstood and misinterpreted. It is no fun to have your reputation diminished or tarnished among other people due to miscommunication, misinformation, or wrong assumptions.
  4. Be willing to authentically listen to the other person. We cannot understand why another person is the way he or she is if we refuse to hear the other person’s concerns.
  5. Be willing to confess, to repent, to forgive, and to love. These are the ethics of Jesus, and we are disciples of Jesus. We want to set the proper examples for our kids in how to resolve conflict.
  6. Before going to someone else about a conflict you have with a teacher or other school staff member or other parents or students, first go to the person with whom you have the conflict (Matthew 18:15). If your effort to resolve the conflict does not prove satisfactory, you may bring the issue to the school administrator. If you have an unresolvable conflict with the administrator, you may seek out a school board member and/or the pastor. The school board as a whole will not address any conflict in which the previous steps have not been followed in a good-faith effort to find resolution. The school board will not entertain complaints about specific school personnel at regularly scheduled, monthly school board meetings.
  7. Remember that we are all on the same side. We are all lovers of Jesus Christ, saved by his grace (Ephesians 2:8-9). We all want what is best for our kids. By adhering to these principles of conflict resolution, God will bless our community and do great things in the lives of our children.

DISCIPLINE

Consistent discipline is essential for an orderly and productive educational environment, and it is the shared responsibility of parents, teachers, and students. It is essential that students abide by all school and individual classroom rules. We do not wish to exasperate our students, so we do not employ rules which serve no beneficial purpose. At the same time, we expect students and parents to demonstrate respect for the rules we do employ since they are designed to benefit the students and the school community as a whole. Students or parents and guardians who do not feel a given rule or procedure is fair, or that a particular disciplinary procedure was handled inappropriately are asked to speak in a respectful manner and at a reasonable time to the relevant teacher about their concerns. The discipline program at Avilla Christian Academy is designed to help students build character, develop social skills, properly handle emotions, and learn to act in loving ways toward other people. We see discipline situations as an educational opportunity, and our goal is always that of repentance, forgiveness, and restoration.

Avilla Christian Academy teachers establish rules and procedures for their own classrooms and may employ reasonable consequences and rewards to support their classroom policies so that a quality learning environment is maintained. In addition, there are building-wide and school-wide rules and procedures along with consequences and awards. Both classroom and school policies are provided to students and parents. Avilla Christian Academy does not employ corporal punishment. Parents and guardians are expected to support the rules, policies, and procedures of the school and classrooms so that a wholesome learning environment is promoted, and the mission of spiritual, social, and academic growth for each student is fulfilled. Consequences will typically be assigned from the following list (which is not in a sequential order):

  1. At least one parent must bring the student to Saturday School and check him/her in and agree to be available in case of illness or misbehavior by the student during the hours of Saturday School. There must be an emergency telephone number left with the supervisor before the parent leaves. Arrangements must be made to pick up the child promptly at ll:30 dismissal. Failure to follow these guidelines could result in loss of Saturday School as a disciplinary option.
  2. Upon checking in, each student must have one (1) reading book, two (2) textbooks, paper and pencil. No magazines or newspapers will be allowed.
  3. Appropriate school clothing must be worn.
  4. Saturday School begins at 7:30 a.m. Doors will be locked at this time and no one will be permitted to enter late.
  5. Productive and meaningful activities are expected throughout each session. Head on desk or sleeping will not be tolerated; students will be sent home if this occurs.
  6. There will be one break in the morning. Students may have a snack during this time that was brought from home.
  7. All classroom/school rules and regulations will be followed during the Saturday Alternative School.
  8. Only verifiable physician statements will be acceptable as an excuse for not attending Saturday School unless absence is approved by administration.
  9. If a student cannot attend Saturday School on the assigned date, the parent shall contact the administration before the end of the school day on the Thursday prior to the Saturday School assignment. At that point the administration may delay the assignment due to genuine and verifiable conflicts.
  10. If a student becomes ill during the night and a parent notifies a school official on-site the morning of the assigned Saturday School, the Saturday School shall be reassigned.
  11. The policies concerning the use of cell phones during regular school days applies during Saturday School.
  1. All rules and regulations, as listed in the Student Handbook, are in effect while in ISS.
  2. Soft drinks, candy, and gum are not allowed in ISS.
  3. Students are to arrive at the ISS room by 8:05 a.m. and stay until the end of the school day.
  4. Students are to bring all their textbooks, notebooks, and supplies in order to work all day. No one will be allowed to leave to get supplies. No student will be allowed to borrow materials or books from other students.
  5. Students must stay all day in order for it to count. Leaving ISS early for any reason will not count as a successfully completed ISS day and will have to be made up.
  6. Students in ISS are not allowed to attend, practice, or participate in any school related activities that take place on the day the student is in ISS.
  7. If a student is absent while assigned to ISS, he/she must make up that day before being released from ISS.
  8. Students must go directly to the ISS room upon arriving on school grounds, go to their assigned seat and start work immediately. Work will be assigned by the ISS supervisor or by their classroom teachers. The student will not be released until all assigned work is completed.
  9. Students will raise their hand and obtain permission from the ISS supervisor before speaking. Students are not to communicate with each other while in ISS.
  10. Students will not sleep. They will NOT lay their head on their arms, desk, or books.
  11. Failure to follow the rules/procedures of the ISS program will result in additional ISS days and/or out of school suspension (OSS) being assigned for breaking the rules. OSS will be for the remainder of the original ISS time plus additional time for breaking the rules of ISS.
  1. After the administrator has met with the student and held a due process conference, the parent or guardian will be informed about the referral to the School Board for possible recommendation for expulsion. The administrator will send a written referral to the School Board, or his/her designee.
  2. The School Board will meet with the student and parent or guardian within two (2) to five (5) working days to discuss the School Boards expulsion recommendation with them.

STUDENTS’ RESPONSIBILITIES AND LIMITATIONS

Cell Phones

Cell phones, if brought to school, must be turned off during school hours. Phones are not to be visible during school hours. Avilla Christian Academy is not responsible for lost, stolen, or damage to a student’s phone. If a student has phone on or out during school hours, it will be seized and held to the end of the day by staff. When parents and children have a need to make contact, it is to be done through the office. Parents, please do not attempt to text your child during school hours. Simply call the office if contact with your child is needed. Teachers who wish to make educational use of cell phone technology will arrange with the office for students to have access to their cell phones during the particular class period they are needed.

At no time, whether on or off campus, are Avilla Christian Academy students allowed to use cell phone technology in an adversarial manner against other Avilla Christian Academy students. This would include such things as texting words intended to hurt another, taking photos or videos of another without the other’s permission, or using photos or videos taken of another student so as to cause harm to another student. Any such actions, or any cyber-bullying of one Avilla Christian Academy student by another, regardless of time and location will incur consequences at school. Such behavior has a significant effect on the school climate and jeopardizes the secure and wholesome learning environment we seek to create.

Cafeteria

When using the cafeteria (fellowship hall of the church), students will use appropriate manners. This includes waiting until a prayer has been said, not throwing food or trash, not engaging in horse-play, putting all one’s garbage in the trash, checking around the floor area of where one was sitting and picking up and disposing of trash, wiping down tables that were used, and putting up chairs. Students are not to leave the cafeteria without permission until formally dismissed at the end of the lunch period. Students are not to enter the room where supplies and the ice machine are kept unless they obtain permission. When lunch is held in the classrooms due to certain circumstance, students are to follow the same rules as when in the cafeteria.

Abuse (Verbal and Physical) of a school employee

 

Assault

Willfully and intentionally assaulting or threatening to assault or abuse any student or teacher, principal, superintendent, or other employee of Avilla Christian Academy will result in a minimum of suspension to a maximum of expulsion.  The Sheriff’s Department may be called and criminal charges filed when someone has been willfully injured or in danger of being injured.  

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment involves unwanted treatment toward another individual that is associated with the other person’s gender. It can be manifested in various forms including, but not limited to bodily contact, spoken or written words, gestures, etc. Sexual harassment is to be reported to an adult authority with whom the person offended feels comfortable discussing the matter.

Accusations of sexual harassment will be taken seriously and a thorough investigation will ensue. Such investigations will be carried out with as much confidentiality as is possible to protect all parties involved. Act(s) of Sexual Harassment will result in a minimum of suspension to a maximum of expulsion.

Bullying

Bullying is defined as unwarranted aggressive behavior toward another which takes place in a repeated manner over time. It may be manifested physically, verbally, in writing, and/or in other ways which are intended to harass, intimidate, or control another person against his or her will. At Avilla Christian Academy, there is no tolerance for bullying, and severe consequences will be meted out to students who are found to have engaged in any type of bullying. Act(s) of bullying will result in consequences that could include expulsion.

Examples of "Bullying" include, but are not limited to, a pattern of behavior involving one or more of the following:

Dress Code

Christians should present themselves in ways that bring honor to Christ (1 Timothy 2:9-10). Appropriate clothing creates a wholesome atmosphere, and encourages responsible behavior.

Clothing should be modest and appropriate for the season. Students are not permitted to wear the following items:

Wise parents/guardians will keep their children well within the requirements of the dress regulations so that there will be no questions or embarrassment for the student. If there is any doubt when you are shopping as to whether or not a particular article of clothing complies with our regulations, we recommend you avoid it for school. If a student comes to school dressed inappropriately, his/her parent/guardian may be called to bring a suitable change of clothes.

DISHONESTY

Students shall refrain from purposely deceiving or misleading any staff member in their efforts to gain factual information concerning any event. Also, students shall not be involved in any effort to receive credit for any assignment by dishonest means. This includes but is not limited to: copying, plagiarism, and stealing for which students will be required to redo the assignment with credit given according to building level procedures outlined in the student manual. Consequences for this infraction range from conference to expulsion.

DISORDERLY CONDUCT

Students guilty of inappropriate behavior that substantially disrupts or interferes with or is likely to disrupt or interfere with any school function, activity, or school program are subject to a minimum of suspension to a maximum of expulsion.

FALSE ALARMS

State law ACA § 5-71-210 makes it illegal to submit any type of false alarm, i.e. 911 calls, bomb threats, fire, etc. Students found guilty are subject to discipline ranging from warning to expulsion. Since this is considered a Class D felony, appropriate law enforcement agencies will be notified.

FALSIFICATION OF SCHOOL RECORDS

A student who falsifies any school record will be subject to suspension

FIGHTING

Fighting, including verbal altercations, will not be tolerated during the school day or at any school Activity. Local law enforcement may be notified. Consequences will range from conference to expulsion

INSUBORDINATION

Students are expected to follow all instructions given by any staff member while on campus or any school related activity. Refusal or failure to comply can be serious and is punishable by:

LIABILITY FOR INJURY

Each student is responsible for his/her conduct at all times. A student who causes injury to another student or a school employee will be liable for any damages and is subject to a minimum of warning to a maximum of expulsion.

LOCKERS

Middle and High School Lockers are for storage of books, notebooks, and lunches. Valuable items or money should never be left in them.. Use only the locker assigned to you. Do not use paint of any kind on the inside or outside. Do not write or mark on the lockers. Do not rig lockers to open automatically. Stick-on type materials of any kind are not permitted on the outside of lockers. Damage to a locker may result in disciplinary action. A locker is considered school-owned and is subject to a search at any time. The student to whom the locker is assigned is responsible for the contents and for any damage done to the locker.

PROHIBITED CONDUCT

Students and staff require a safe and orderly learning environment that is conducive to high student achievement. Certain student behaviors are unacceptable in such an environment and are hereby prohibited by the Board. Consequences of prohibited conduct will range from a conference to an expulsion, dependent upon the severity. Prohibited behaviors include, but shall not be limited to the following:

PROHIBITED ITEMS

Contraband such as laser lights (ACA § 6-18-512), all sports balls, toys, stuffed animals, other play items, lighters, matches, radios, tape recorders, CD players, chemical agents, ammunition, and fireworks will not be allowed on school campus without prior approval. If such items or devices are brought to school it will be collected by the teacher and handed to the principal.   In general, if the teacher has not asked the student to bring it to school, then leave it at home.  Students who violate this policy are subject to disciplinary action that will range from a minimum of a student conference to a maximum of expulsion.

SEARCH AND SEIZURE

According to ACA § 6-21-608, it is unlawful to conceal any gun, illegal drug, or other contraband in any school-owned desk, locker, or other school-owned property; said property may be searched by any school official employed in a supervisory capacity without obtaining a search warrant. Whenever said school official discovers any gun, illegal drug, or other contraband in any school-owned property assigned to an identifiable student, appropriate action for discipline, expulsion or prosecution shall be within the discretion of the supervisor of the premises. In the event that prosecution by local authorities is pursued, the supervisor shall release said contraband to the local prosecuting authorities to be used as evidence in court. Any evidence obtained by use of the procedure as defined in this Act shall be legally admissible in any court in this state. The following general rules will be followed:

  1. General searches of school property may be conducted at any time.
  2. Illegal items such as firearms or weapons, or any other articles reasonably determined to be a threat to the safety or security of others shall be seized by school authorities.
  3. Items which are used to disrupt or interfere with the educational process may be temporarily removed from a student's possession.
  4. Refusal to submit to or flight to avoid a non-intrusive physical search when reasonable suspicion exists may result in a minimum of suspension or a maximum of expulsion.
  5. All vehicles, backpacks, lunchboxes, and purses brought on to school property are subject to random searches to ensure our students are not in danger of being harmed from contraband.  There should not be any expectations of privacy in regard to these personal effects while on campus.  It is the roll of the school administration to act in place of the parent (in loco parentis) for all students enrolled at Avilla Christian Academy, and when we feel it is necessary, we will take steps to ensure the children entrusted to us are not in danger of hurting themselves or someone else.  Any student who refuses to let a staff member search any of the above listed items will be guilty of insubordination and therefore can be expelled.          

THREATENING BEHAVIOR

Threats of physical harm to any person will not be tolerated. Insinuations of death or harm to another are prohibited. Threats may be considered as criminal acts in which law enforcement involvement will occur. Appropriate action will be taken upon reports of all threats. This includes oral, written, physical or electronic communication (phone, Internet, etc.). Any person who communicates an intention of bringing a weapon to school to inflict harm to another will be immediately referred to the appropriate law enforcement agency. Violation of this policy will result in consequences ranging from conference to expulsion.

VIDEO SURVEILLANCE

Avilla Christian Academy has a responsibility to maintain discipline, protect the safety, security, and welfare of its students, staff, and visitors while at the same time safeguarding district facilities, vehicles, and equipment. As part of fulfilling this responsibility, the board authorizes the use of video/audio surveillance cameras, automatic identification technology, data compilation devices, and technology capable of tracking the physical location of school equipment, students, and/or personnel. The placement of video/audio surveillance cameras shall be based on the presumption and belief that students, staff and visitors have no reasonable expectation of privacy anywhere on or near school property, facilities, vehicles, or equipment, with the exception of places such as rest rooms or dressing areas where an expectation of bodily privacy is reasonable and customary. Students will be held responsible for any violations of school discipline rules caught by the cameras and other technologies authorized in this policy. The school shall retain copies of video recordings until they are erased which may be accomplished by either deletion or copying over with a new recording. Other than video recordings being retained under the provisions of this policy’s following paragraph, the district’s video recordings may be erased any time greater than 7 days after they were created. Videos, automatic identification, or data compilations containing evidence of a violation of student conduct rules and/or state or federal law shall be retained until the issue of the misconduct is no longer subject to review or appeal as determined by board policy or student handbook; any release or viewing of such records shall be in accordance with current law. Students who vandalize, damage, disable, or render inoperable (temporarily or permanently) surveillance cameras and equipment, automatic identification, or data compilation devices shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action and referral to appropriate law enforcement authorities.

SIGNATURE PAGE – Please sign and return to school

I acknowledge that I have received a copy of the Avilla Christian Academy Handbook. I understand it is my responsibility to read and abide by it.